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النشر الإلكتروني

The sons of Levi, round that city, bear
The ark of God, their consecrated care,
And, in rude concert, each returning morn,
Blow the long trump, and wind the curling horn.
No blackening thunder smok'd along the wall:
No earthquake shook it :-MUSIC wrought its fall.
The reverend hermit, who from earth retires,
Freezes to love's, to melt in holier fires,

And builds on Libanus his humble shed, 5
Beneath the waving cedars of his head ;-

Year after year, with brighter views revolving,
Doubt after doubt, in stronger hopes dissolving;-
Though neither pipe, nor voice, nor organ's swell,
Disturb the silence of his lonely cell;

Yet hears enough, had nought been heard before,
To wake a holy awe, and teach him to adore.
For, ere the day with orisons he closes,

Ere on his flinty couch his head reposes,
A couch more downy in the hermit's sight,
Than beds of roses to the Sybarite;

As lone he muses on those naked rocks,
Heaven's last light blushing on his silver locks,
Amid the deep'ning shades of that wild mountain,
He hears the burst of many a mossy fountain,
Whose crystal rills in pure embraces mingle,
And dash, and sparkle down the leafy dingle,
There lose their liquid notes :-with grateful glow,
The hermit listens, as the waters flow,

And says there's Music in that mountain stream,
The storm beneath him, and the eagle's scream.
There lives around that solitary man,

The tameless Music, that with time began;
Airs of the Power, that bids the tempest roar,
The cedar bow, the royal eagle soar;

The mighty Power, by whom those rocks were pil'd,
Who moves unseen, and murmurs thro' the wild.
What countless chords does that dread Being strike!
Various their tone, but all divine alike :

There, Mercy whispers in a balmy breath,
Here, Anger thunders, and the note is death;
There, 'tis a string that soothes with slow vibration,
And here, a burst that shakes the whole creation.

By Heaven forewarn'd, his hunted life to save,
Behold Elijah stands by Horeb's cave;

Griev'd that the God, for whom he'd warmly striven,
Should see his servants into exile driven,

His words neglected, by those servants spoken,
His prophets murdered, and his altars broken.
His bleeding heart a soothing strain requires :
He hears it :-softer than Æolian lyres,
"A still, small voice," like Zephyr's dying sighs,
Steals on his ear :-he may not lift his eyes,
But o'er his face his flowing mantle flings,
And hears a whisper from the King of kings. "
Yet, from that very cave, from Horeb's side,
Where spreads a desert prospect, wild and wide,

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The prophet sees, with reverential dread,
Dark Sinai rear his thunder-blasted head;
Where erst was pour'd on trembling Israel's ear,
A stormier peal, than Moses quak'd to hear.
In what tremendous pomp Jehovah shone,

When on that mount he fix'd his burning throne! 7
Thick, round its base, a shuddering gloom was flung
Black, on its breast, a thundercloud was hung:
Bright, through that blackness, arrowy lightnings came,
Shot from the glowing vail, that wrapp'd its head in
flame.

And when that quaking mount the Eternal trod,
Scorch'd by the foot of the descending God,
Then, blasts of unseen trumpets, long and loud,
Swelled by the breath of whirlwinds, rent the cloud,
And Death and Terror stalk'd beneath that smoky
shroud.

Seest thou that shepherd boy, of features fair,
Of eye serene, and brightly flowing hair,
That leans, in thoughtful posture, on his crook,
And, statue-like, pores o'er the pebbly brook?
Yes: and why stands he there, in stupor cold?
Why not pursue those wanderers from his fold?
Or, mid the playful children of his flocks,

Toss his light limbs, and shake his amber locks,
Rather than idly gaze upon the stream ?—
That boy is lost in a poetic dream :
And, while his eye follows the wave along,
His soul expatiates in the realms of song.

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For oft, where yonder grassy hills recede,
I've heard that shepherd tune his rustic reed;
And then such sweetness from his fingers stole,
I knew that MUSIC had possessed his soul.
Oft, in her temple shall the votary bow,
Oft, at her altar, breathe his ardent vow;
And oft suspend, along her coral walls,
The proudest trophies that adorn her halls.
Even now, the heralds of his monarch tear
The son of Jesse from his fleecy care, &
And to the hall the ruddy minstrel bring,
Where sits a being, that was once a king.
Still, on his brow the crown of Israel gleams,
And cringing courtiers still adore its beams,
Though the bright circle throws no light divine,
But
rays of hell, that melt it while they shine.
As the young harper tries each quivering wire,
It leaps and sparkles with prophetic fire,
And, with the kindling song, the kindling rays
Around his fingers tremulously blaze,

Till the whole hall, like those blest fields above,
Glows with the light of melody and love.

Soon as the foaming demon hears that psalm,
Heaven on his memory bursts, and Eden's balm :
He sees the dawnings of too bright a sky;

Detects the angel in the poet's eye;

With grasp convulsive, rends his matted hair;

Through his strain'd eye-balls shoots a fiend-like glare;

And flies, with shrieks of agony, that hall,
The throne of Israel, and the breast of Saul;
Exil❜d to roam, or, in infernal pains,

To seek a refuge from that shepherd's strains.

The night was moonless:- Judah's shepherds kept Their starlight watch: their flocks around them slept.9 To heaven's blue fields their wakeful eyes were turn'd, And to the fires that there eternal burn'd. Those azure regions had been peopled long, With Fancy's children, by the sons of song: And there, the simple shepherd, conning o'er His humble pittance of Chaldean lore, Saw, in the stillness of a starry night, The Swan and Eagle wing their silent flight; And, from their spangled pinions, as they flew, On Israel's vales of verdure shower the dew: Saw there, the brilliant gems, that nightly flare, In the thin mist of Berenicé's hair;

And there, Boötes roll his lucid wain,

On sparkling wheels, along the ethereal plain ;
And there, the Pleiades, in tuneful gyre,

Pursue forever the star-studded Lyre;

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And there, with bickering lash, heaven's Charioteer Urge round the Cynosure his bright career.

While thus the shepherds watch'd the host of night, O'er heaven's blue concave flash'd a sudden light. The unrolling glory spread its folds divine,

O'er the green hills and vales of Palestine;

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