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Gave a new impulse to them. See! they strike
The battlements fix'd by Jehovah's hand,
And the tremendous roar tells their defeat.
Look! look again—a coronal of foam
White as a snow-wreath, now surmounts the wave
And sparkles in the sun-and now-'t is gone!
But night comes on: let us begone-we'll climb
Yon mountain, though it be a toilsome task.
Let no unhallow'd word pass from thy lips,
Nor impure thought dwell in thy heart-for now
We leave the earth and all its vanities
Below-and come up to a place, that seems
The threshold of th' Eternal's presence. Hush!
Here in this region silence sits supreme,
And now she slumbers 'neath the canopy
That darkness spreads around. The sense is pain'd
By the intensity of stillness, for
Even the breeze, although its dewy wing
Bring freshness with its stirring, in its flight
Is noiseless as the eagle, when he wheels
Alone and undisturb'd in the mid air.
The sky above looks dark and fathomless,
Like the great ocean in a troubled dream;
With a strange splendor burn the stars, and yet
Diffuse no light around, but rather seem
Like orbs that separate the realm of light
From chaos. 'Tis a fearful spot-like that
Which David dreamt of, when he spoke of HIM,
Who maketh darkness his abiding place.
Still shall we on ?-Aye, even to yon crags.
How fearfully Earth's bosom quakes! It heaves
With tremulous throbbing, and sends forth deep tones,
Like thunder from a necromatic cave,
Or nature's groans of agony. Gaze now
At yonder mighty burst of waters-see-
E'en the gigantic rocks, that look as firm
As adamantine pillars, based below
The centre dark-have yielded, and retired
To make free course for the fierce torrent's plunge,
As did the waves for Israel's fugitives,
When the Red Sea was smitten by the rod
That had been given to Israel's chosen judge.
The white mist rises from the cataract
In rolling clouds, like the unceasing smoke
Of incense going to the throne of God,
And o'er the silvery sheet a rainbow spreads:-
A brilliant halo round the awful brow
Now we will seek the glen
That blossoms in rich beauty, like the fields
Of classic Tempe, in their loveliness.
It is a place meet for the home of those
Who leave the busy world-and in the pure,-
The blest communion of each other's hearts,
Live in their hallow'd intercourse with Him
Who giveth them the boon of sweet content.
Of old, such haunts as this, the wood-nymphs sought,
And when the burning noon look'd hotly down,
Met with the Naiades of the neighboring streams;
These blew their wreathed shells, the others join'd
With delicate trumpets made of hollow flowers,
And fragrance mingled with the blending notes.
Here oft I sit when eve with silent pace
Steals on when only here and there a star
Emits a doubtful ray, as though it were
Some gentle spirit coming forth to see
This earth by summer twilight-then I love
To listen to the music issuing out
In untaught freedom from each gushing fount,
And to the melody among the leaves
Of the green woods. For Fancy then can deem
These sounds the low responsive utterings
From Nature's temple to her worshippers.
Here, thou mayst woo the spirit of Poesy,
Here thou shalt find her, in her gentler moods.
Upon a field where slaughter once had rode
With reeking scimitar, and plumes that hung
Flapping upon his helmet, drench'd with blood;-
And there were graves, that had been digg'd
By soldiers' hands—the turf turn'd up in haste,
With blades still hot from battle-and the grass
Was thick-a heart had gush'd on every root,
And it was fed with clotted gore, until
It lifted up its tall, rank spires of green,
Around that place of carnage, marking out
The spot where desolation's hand had fall'n.
So where the ruins of some city lie,-
The mantling ivy spreads its leafy arms
O'er every mouldering shaft-embracing close
Each fluted column, as it were to hide
The lone prostration of the beautiful.
In that unholy place, methought I stood
In midnight solitude-and one approach'd,
Whose step resounded 'mid the tombs, as if
The sheeted dead were troubled-and their sleep
Disturb'd and broken by the stranger's walk.
He had a princely presence, and his glance
Might make the boldest cheek grow pale with awe;
His brow was that of majesty-and yet
An unquell'd spirit seem'd at work within
A mighty spirit for that bosom heaved,
And there were flashes passing o'er that brow
Like lightning o'er a marble firmament.
He trod upon a grave-there was a sound—
A bursting sound beneath the hollow earth,
And he who lay there, woke-and rose ;-and yet
No terror smote that proud one's heart-nor stay'd
The beating of his pulses, but he gazed
In calmness at the form, who beckon'd him
Forth from that Golgotha. The spectre led,
And they toil'd on, in paths that mortal foot
Till then had never press'd. The cataract,
That like the wrath of God bore down-was cross'd;
And when the tempest in its fury came,
They battled onward-and the strife was like
The combat of a band of giants, when
They fight for domination, and put forth,
Their utmost strength, until their sinews snap,
And the blood rushes like a lava stream.
That youthful warrior follow'd still the track
Of him clothed in unearthly robes, until
They reach'd a mountain's base; then in a voice
That caused my flesh to quake, and the cold sweat
To stand upon my brow, he bade him mount
The precipice, and scale the jutting cliff.
There was a rustling of the panoply
Which he had on-an outstretch'd arm-and then
Blue lightning shot across a dome that stood
Upon that rocky parapet-I saw
A fiery inscription on the base
Of that aspiring temple-
Before the winning breeze could steal
Morn's sprinkled pearl-drops from this rose,
I cull'd it, that it might reveal
The tale my lips dare not disclose.
Its leaves of virgin tenderness,
Where I have press'd a kiss for thee,-
Its blush of maiden bashfulness,-
Both tell of love and secrecy.
For they have bound my flowing curls,
And told me, that ere eve's mild hour,
They'll deck me with their gems and pearls,
To shine the queen of Irad's bower.
But I will toil and tempest brave,
And roam the desert at thy side,
And kiss thy feet, and live thy slave,
Rather than be proud Irad's bride.
Thou bright one !-let thy lover calm
The breast that heaves such throbbing sighs,
And still thy quivering lips, whose balm
Is like the breath of Paradise.
For, by thy token-flower, that brought
The seal thy crimson lips impress'd,-
By these thin leaves, with sweetness fraught,
Like shrines where spikenard blossoms rest;—
By thy pure eyes, whose diamond glow
Steals through their lashes timidly;
By thy dark locks, that loosely flow,
In glossy curls, luxuriantly ;—
And by that bosom's snowy light,
Which 'neath the veil swells half-conceal'd-
As oft through clouds of fleecy white
A heaven of beauty is reveal'd ;—
By these, and by my blade, I swear,
That little blue-vein'd foot of thine
Shall never tread the soft couch, where
The silken tents of Irad shine.
But thou thy Kosru's bride shalt be,
And seek, with him, rich Cashmir's vale;
There, thou shalt wander, wild and free
As the young fawn, o'er hill and dale.
There, like the notes of Eden's bowers,*
Thy strains shall listless time beguile;
There I will gaily pass the hours,
In the clear sunshine of thy smile.
Or Boston. His poetry has been written for the newspapers and periodicals of this city.
THOU of the pale and lofty brow,
The intellectual eye,
Whose form and beaming look avow
A soul, too sternly proud to bow
Even to destiny—
* Mahomet in speaking of the sweetness of the Persian dialect used in his day,
said that it would be the language of Paradise.