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In towering grandeur broke upon my eye.
Proud in its strength and years, the pond'rous pile
Flung up its time-defying towers;
Its lofty gates seem'd scornfully to smile
At vain assault of human powers,
And threats and arms deride.
Its gorgeous carvings of heraldic pride
In giant masses graced the walls above,
And dungeons yawn'd below.
Yet ivy there and moss their garlands wove, Grave, silent chroniclers of time's protracted flow.
Bursting on my steadfast gaze,
See, within, a sudden blaze!
So small at first, the zephyr's slightest swell,
That scarcely stirs the pine tree top,
Nor makes the wither'd leaf to drop,
The feeble fluttering of that flame would quell.
But soon it spread-
Waving, rushing, fierce, and red,
From wall to wall, from tower to tower,
Raging with resistless power;
Till every fervent pillar glow'd,
And every stone seem'd burning coal, Instinct with living heat, that flow'd Like streaming radiance from the kindled pole.
Beautiful, fearful, grand,
Silent as death, I saw the fabric stand.
At length a crackling sound began;
From side to side, throughout the pile it ran;
And louder yet, and louder grew,
Till now in rattling thunder-peals it grew,
Huge shiver'd fragments from the pillars broke,
Like fiery sparkles from the anvil's stroke.
The shatter'd walls were rent and riven,
And piecemeal driven
Like blazing comets through the troubled sky.
'Tis done; what centuries had rear'd,
In quick explosion disappear'd,
Nor even its ruins met my wondering eye.
But in their place,—
Bright with more than human grace,
Robed in more than mortal seeming,
Radiant glory in her face,
And eyes with heaven's own brightness beaming, Rose a fair majestic form,
As the mild rainbow from the storm.
I mark'd her smile, I knew her eye;
And when, with gesture of command,
She waved aloft the cap-crown'd wand,
My slumbers fled mid shouts of "Liberty!"
Read ye the dream? and know ye not
How truly it unlock'd the word of fate?
Went not the flame from this illustrious spot,
And spreads it not, and burns in every state?
And when their old and cumbrous walls,
Fill'd with this spirit, glow intense,
Vainly they rear their impotent defence—
The fabric falls!
That fervent energy must spread,
Till despotism's towers be overthrown;
And in their stead,
Liberty stands alone!
Hasten the day, just Heaven!
Accomplish thy design;
And let the blessings thou hast freely given,
Freely on all men shine;
Till equal rights be equally enjoy'd,
And human power for human good employ'd;
Till law, not man, the sovereign rule sustain,
And peace and virtue undisputed reign..
To prayer, to prayer;-for the morning breaks,
And earth in her Maker's smile awakes.
His light is on all below and above,
The light of gladness and life and love.
Oh, then, on the breath of this early air,
Send upward the incense of grateful prayer.
To prayer for the glorious sun is gone,
And the gathering darkness of night comes on.
Like a curtain from God's kind hand it flows
To shade the couch where his children repose.
Then kneel, while the watching stars are bright,
And give your last thoughts to the Guardian of night.
To prayer ;-for the day that God has blest
Comes tranquilly on with its welcome rest.
It speaks of creation's early bloom;
It speaks of the Prince who burst the tomb.
Then summon the spirit's exalted powers,
And devote to heaven the hallow'd hours.
There are smiles and tears in the mother's eyes,
For her new-born infant beside her lies.
Oh hour of bliss! when the heart o'erflows
With rapture a mother only knows.
Let it gush forth in words of fervent prayer;
Let it swell up to heaven for her precious care.
There are smiles and tears in that gathering band,
Where the heart is pledged with the trembling hand.
What trying thoughts in her bosom swell,
As the bride bids parents and home farewell!
Kneel down by the side of the tearful fair,
And strengthen the perilous hour with prayer.
Kneel down by the dying sinner's side,
And pray for his soul through him who died.
Large drops of anguish are thick on his brow;
Oh what is earth and its pleasures now?
And what shall assuage his dark despair,
But the penitent cry of humble prayer?
Kneel down at the couch of departing faith,
And hear the last words the believer saith.
He has bidden adieu to his earthly friends;
There is peace in his eye that upwards bends;
There is peace in his calm confiding air;
For his last thoughts are God's, his last words
The voice of prayer at the sable bier!
A voice to sustain, to soothe, and to cheer.
It commends the spirit to God who gave;
It lifts the thoughts from the cold dark grave;
It points to the glory where he shall reign,
Who whisper'd, "Thy brother shall rise again."
The voice of prayer in the world of bliss!
But gladder, purer, than rose from this.
The ransom'd shout to their glorious King,
Where no sorrow shades the soul as they sing;
But a sinless and joyous song they raise;
And their voice of prayer is eternal praise.
Awake, awake, and gird up thy strength
To join that holy band at length.
To Him, who unceasing love displays,
Whom the powers of nature unceasingly praise,
To Him thy heart and thy hours be given;
For a life of prayer is the life of heaven.
Was born in Philadelphia. He was educated for the law, but turned his attention from that to literature, and became the editor of the Port Folio, after the death of Dennie. He was also the conductor of a law journal, and translated Emerigon. A variety of articles in prose and verse in the Port Folio, are from his pen.
REFLECTIONS OF A RECLUSE.
DAYS of my youth, ah, whither have ye fled!
Moments of innocence, of health and joy,
Unruffled by the thoughts of worldly care,
With throbs of sad delight, how oft I sigh,
When Recollection paints thy scenes anew,
My steps ye led to halls where minstrels struck
The breathing lyre, to sing of Beauty's charms,
Or chivalry's heroic deeds.
Not then, I pour'd
The melancholy song of memory;
No solitary tale my idle hours could tell
Of sorrow; Hope departed; or Despair.
My dulcet harp was strung to Rapture's notes;
Its jocund strings re-echoed themes of love,
Or careless caroll'd what young joys could teach.
When twilight came, I sought the mountain's brow,
To mark her solemn grandeur hastening near.
Then, ah! then, I woo'd the charms of silence,
Far from the pageant show of restless man,
The pomp of pride, the sneer of haughtiness:
Malice, with quivering lip, and knawing care :
Envy, that blasts the buds whose perfumed dyes
She fain would equal: green-eyed Jealousy:
And spectres of despair, whom memory brings
To haunt the slumbering dreams of guilty men,
Of these, yet ignorant and their powers unfelt,
I rioted in youth's gay harvest,
And quaff'd the cup of roseate health and joy.
But I am changed now!
If e'er I smile, 't is as the flower of spring,
Whose tincture blooms through drops of morning dew!
And when the once loved charms of solitude
I woo, amid the valley's silence,
Or on the high hill top, where thunders loud
Proclaim to man the majesty of God,
"T is not to bathe in dreams of shadowy bliss,
Or fondly dwell on scenes of wild romance:
To weave a sonnet for my mistress' brow,
Or con an artless song to soothe her ear!
No cheerful thoughts like these entice my feet
Through tangled dells or o'er the mountain's height.
Hopeless and sad in gloomy nooks retired,
I love to watch the slow revolving moon,
And muse on visions fled of treacherous love,
Of joys departed, and deceitful hopes:
Me now, no more the balmy breeze of spring,
Nor summer's streamlets murm'ring through the grove,
Nor changeful winds that yellow autumn brings,
Can yield delight-stern winter's joyless gloom
Suits with my bosom's cold and cheerless state!
Life's purple tide no more salubrious flows;
The vernal glow of hope is fled and joy,
Shall glad no more my once contented cot:
False, fickle woman drove her smiles away.
All hail, December's chilling skies!
Come darken more the anguish of my soul.
Bring with thy gloomy hours despair's sad shades-
Bring all the load that misery prepares,
To gall us through the miry road of life: