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And robbed of all its energy thy mind,
Ere yet it cast thee on thy fellow-kind,
Abject of thought, the victim of distress,
To wander in the world's wide wilderness.
Poor Outcast, sleep in peace! the wintry storm Blows bleak no more on thine unsheltered form; Thy woes are past; thou restest in the tomb: I pause, and ponder on the days to come.
It is the funeral march. I did not think
That there had been such magic in sweet sounds !
Hark, from the blackened cymbal that dead tone! -
It awes the
rabble multitude; They follow silently, their earnest brows Lifted in solemn thought. 'Tis not the pomp And pageantry of death that with such force Arrests the sense: the mute and mourning train, The white plume nodding o'er the sable hearse, Had passed unheeded, or perchance awoke A serious smile upon
poor man's cheek At Pride's last triumph. Now these measured
This universal language, to the heart
Speak instant, and on all these various minds
Compel one feeling.
But such better thoughts
Will pass away how soon! and these who here
Are following their dead comrade to the grave,
Ere the night-fall will in their revelry
Quench all remembrance. From the ties of life
Unnaturally rent, a man who knew
No resting-place, no dear delights of home,
Belike who never saw his children's face,
Whose children knew no father,
Dropped from existence, like a blasted leaf
That from the summer tree is swept away,
Its loss unseen.
She hears not of his death
Who bore him, and already for her son
Her tears of bitterness are shed : when first
He had put on the livery of blood,
She wept him dead to her.
We are indeed
Clay in the potter's hand! One favored mind,
Scarce lower than the angels, shall explore
ways of Nature ; whilst his fellow-man,
Framed with like miracle, the work of God,
Must as the unreasonable beast drag on
A life of labor, like this soldier here,
His wondrous faculties bestowed in vain,
Be moulded by his fate till he becomes
A mere machine of murder.
And there are
that this is well ! as God has made All things for man's good pleasure, so of men The many for the few! Court-moralists,
Reverend lip-comforters, that once a week
Proclaim how blessed are the poor, for they
Shall have their wealth hereafter, and though now,
Toiling and troubled, they may pick the crums
That from the rich man's table fall, at length
In Abraham's bosom rest with Lazarus.
Themselves meantime secure their good things here,
And feast with Dives. These are they, O Lord!
Who in thy plain and simple gospel see
All mysteries, but who find no peace enjoined,
No brotherhood, no wrath denounced on them
Who shed their brethren’s blood, — blind at noonday
As owls, lynx-eyed in darkness!
I thank thee, with no pharisaic pride
I thank thee, that I am not such as these;
I thank thee for the eye that sees, the heart
That feels, the voice that in these evil days,
Amid these evil tongues, exalts itself,
And cries aloud against iniquity.
ON A LANDSCAPE OF GASPAR POUSSIN.
GASPAR, how pleasantly thy pictured scenes
Beguile the lonely hour! I sit and gaze
With lingering eye, till dreaming Fancy makes
The lovely landscape live, and the rapt soul
From the foul haunts of herded human-kind
Flies far away with spirit speed, and tastes
The untainted air that with the lively hue
Of health and happiness illumes the cheek
Of mountain Liberty. My willing soul
All eager follows on thy fairy flights,
Fancy! best friend, · whose blessed witcheries
With cheering prospects cheat the traveller
O’er the long, wearying desert of the world.
Nor dost thou, Fancy! with such magic mock
My heart, as, demon-born, old Merlin knew,
Or Alquif, or Zarzafiel's sister sage,
Who in her vengeance for so many a year
Held in the jacinth sepulchre entranced
Lisuart, the pride of Grecian chivalry.
Friend of my lonely hours ! thou leadest me
To such calm joys as Nature, wise and good,
Proffers in vain to all her wretched sons, -
Her wretched sons who pine with want amid
The abundant earth, and blindly bow them down
Before the Moloch shrines of Wealth and Power,
Authors of Evil. Well it is sometimes
That thy delusions should beguile the heart,
Sick of reality. The little pile
That tops the summit of that craggy hill
Shall be my dwelling: craggy is the hill,
And steep; yet through yon hazels upward leads
The easy path, along whose winding way,
Now close embowered, I hear the unseen stream
Dash down, anon behold its sparkling foam
Gleam through the thicket, and, ascending on,
Now pause me to survey the goodly vale
That opens on my prospect. Half way up,
Pleasant it were upon some broad, smooth rock
To sit and sun myself, and look below,
And watch the goatherd down yon high-banked path
Urging his flock grotesque, and bidding now
His lean, rough dog from some near cliff go drive
The straggler; while his barkings, loud and quick,
Amid their tremulous bleat arising oft,
Fainter and fainter from the hollow road
Send their far echoes, till the waterfall,
Hoarse bursting from the caverned cliff beneath,
Their dying murmurs drown. A little yet
Onward, and I have gained the utmost height.
Fair spreads the vale below: I see the stream
Stream radiant on beneath the noontide sky.
A passing cloud darkens the bordering steep,
Where the town-spires behind the castle-towers
Rise graceful. Brown the mountain in its shade,
Whose circling grandeur, part by mists concealed,
Part with white rocks resplendent in the sun,
Should bound mine
For I would have no hope or fear beyond.
The empty turmoil of the worthless world,
Its vanities and vices, would not vex
My quiet heart. The traveller, who beheld
The low tower of the little pile, might deem
It were the house of God; nor would he err
So deeming, for that home would be the home