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Journeying amid the brightest of earth's things
Where yet was never life, nor hope, nor joy!
My eye could not but look, and my ear hear;
For now strange sights, and beautiful, and rare,
Seem'd order'd from the deep through the rich prism
Above me—and sounds undulated through
The surges, till my soul grew mad with visions !
Beneath the canopy of waters I could see
Palaces and cities crumbled—and the ships
Sunk in the engorging whirlpool, while the laugh
Of revelry went wild along their decks, and ere
The oath was strangled in their swollen throats ;-
For there they lay, just hurried to one grave
With horrible contortions and fix'd eyes
Waving among the cannon, as the surge
Would slowly lift them—and their streaming hair
Twining around the blades that were their pride.
And there were two lock'd in each other's arms,
And they were lovers !
Oh God, how beautiful! cheek to cheek
And heart to heart upon that splendid deep,
A bridal bed of pearls !-a burial
Worthy of two so young and innocent.
And they did seem to lie there, like two gems
The fairest in the halls of ocean-both
Sepulchred in love-a tearless death-one look,
One wish, one smile, one mantle for their shroud,
One hope, one kiss—and that not yet quite cold !
How beautiful to die in such fidelity!
E’er yet the curse has ripen'd, or the heart
Begins to hope for death as for a joy,
And feels its streams grow thicker, till they cloy
With wishes that have sicken'd and grown old.
I saw their cheeks were pure and passionless,
And all their love had pass'd into a smile,
And in that smile they died !
Sudden a battle roll'd above my head, And there came down a flash into the deep Illumining its dim chambers—and it pass'd; The waters shudder'd—and a thousand sounds Sung hellish echoes through the cavernd waste. The blast was screaming on the upper wave, And as I look'd above me I could see The ships go booming through the murky storm, Sails rent-masts staggering--and a spectre crew, Blood mingled with the foam bathing their bows,
And I could hear their shrieks as they went on
Crying of murder to their bloody foes!
A form shot downward close at my feet;
His hand still grasp'd the steel—and his red eye
Was full of curses even in his death ;-
For he had been flung into the abyss
By fellow men before his heart was cold !
Again I stood beside the lovely pair ;-The storm and conflict were as they'd not been. I stood and shriek'd and laugh’d, and yet no voice, That I could hear, came in my
madness; It hardly seem'd that they were dead--so calın, So beautiful! the sea-stars round them shone, Like emblems of their souls so cold and pure ! The bending grass wept silent over them, Truer than any friend on earth-their tomb The jewelry of the ocean, and their dirge The everlasting music of its roar.
I seem'd to stand wretched in dreamy thought, Cursing the constancy of human hearts And vanity of human hopes—and felt As I have felt on earth in my sick hours ;How thankless was this legacy of breath To those who knew the wo of a scathed brain ! Oh ocean-ocean! if thou coverest up The ruins of a proud and broken soul, And givest such peace and solitude as this, Thy depths are heaven to man's ingratitude
I seem'd to struggle in an agony ; My streaming tears gush'd out to meet the wave ; I woke in terror, and the beaded sweat Coursed down my temples like a very rain, As though I had just issued from the sea !
Mount of the clouds; on whose Olympian height
The tall rocks brighten in the ether air,
And spirits from the skies come down at night,
To chant immortal songs to Freedom there?
Thine is the rock of other regions; where
The world of life which blooms so far below
Sweeps a wide waste: no gladdening scenes appear,
Save where with silvery flash the waters flow Beneath the far off mountain, distant, calm, and slow.
Thine is the summit where the clouds repose,
Or eddying wildly round thy cliffs are borne;
When Tempest mounts his rushing car, and throws
His billowy mist amid the thunder's home!
Far down the deep ravines the whirlwinds come,
And bow the forest as they sweep along ;
While roaring deeply from their rocky womb
The storms come forth—and hurrying darkly on,
Amid the echoing peaks the revelry prolong!
And when the tumult of the air is fled,
And quench'd in silence all the tempest flame,
There come the dim forms of the mighty dead,
Around the steep which bears the hero's name.
The stars look down upon themand the same
Pale orb that glistens o'er his distant grave,
Gleams on the summit that enshrines his fame,
And lights the cold tear of the glorious brave
The richest, purest tear, that memory ever gave!
Mount of the clouds! when winter round thee throws
The hoary mantle of the dying year,
Sublime amid the canopy of snows,
Thy towers in bright magnificence appear!
'Tis then we view thee with a chilling fear,
Till summer robes thee in her tints of blue;
When lo! in soften'd grandeur, far, yet clear,
Thy battlements stand clothed in heaven's own hue, To swell as Freedom's home on man's unbounded view!
YE have heard of spirits that sail the air,
Like birds that float over the mountains bare-
Upborne with pinions of beauty on,
When the farewell light of day is gone,
And they gladly soar to the blue away,
As to catch the star's young travelling ray
Till the arch of night,
Is tremblingly bright,
As if meteors shot on their upward flight.
Ye have heard of spirits that sail away
To realms that glitter with endless day-
Where the clouds scarce lift their giant forms
In their far, dim march to the land of storms;
Where the ocean of ether heaves around,
And silence and dew alone are found !
Where life is still,
By a boundless will,
As a sabbath around some echoless hill !
Methought I was borne through the measureless fields,
Where the silver moon and the comet wheels.
With a glorious thrilling of joy I went,
And a tide of life through my heart was sent,
As though a new fountain had burst control,
And bade its streams o'er my pulses roll ;
And a shallop frail,
With a shadowy sail,
Hurried me on with the singing gale.
It went through my brain, this deep delight,
With a kindling sense of sound and sight;
And it seem'd, as I rose, that the far blue air
Caught a hue of glory more richly rare,
Than was ever reveal’d to earthly eyes-
The cold, cold lustre of uppermost skies!
And still my bark went
Through the firmament,
As a thing to the walls of the universe sent.
When the sun roll'd up from the burning sea,
Like a car of flame from immensity,
I felt his beams quiver along my frame,
When first o'er the clouds and stars they came ;
And the light-dropping orbs I had slumber'd among,
Their dim, dewy eyes o’er creation hung.
As each beautiful ray
Sunk sadly away,
To the inner home of the high blue day!
Then I sailed far off to the thundering clouds,
That loomed on the air like spirits in shrouds,
My vessel, sunk on their fleecy pillow,
Seem'd a shadowy bark on a dreamy billow ;
And I floated through seas of vision'd things,
Where the waking breezes point their wings,
While far below,
'Mid the lightning's glow, I heard the dull sounds of the tempest go.
Then storm-clouds crossed my glowing track,
And launch'd me on through the hurrying rack,
Till a new creation seem'd
In beauty all over the opening skios;
And the spirits that pass'd on the wings of night,
As they took their farewell feathery flight,
Pour'd melody out
Like the far-off shout
Of music that dies on its airy route !
OF Boston, formerly editor of the Boston Spectator.
A MERMAID uprose in a golden dream,
And cried, “come, follow me”-
We glided away, on a swift moon-beam
To the brighest cave of the sea.
'T was the festal hall of the waves, and there
Bright gems were cluster'd round; And glowing shells in the liquid air
Made melody of sound.
I danced with the spirits o’er diamond sands
And quaff'd of happiness ;