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And stands beneath the massive dome, (9)
· Where oft the maids of Florence kneel,
And tell their beads with pious zeal,
Where columns frown; a Hluted band,
That round the silent alter stand;
Then whispers of the hallowed tomb (10)
Where every voice is hushed and low,
Where sleeps, in dim monastic gloom,
The dust of Godlike Angelo;
Where he, who scanned with tireless eye
The floating lights that throng the sky,
Who brought each circling planet near,
And threw an arch from sphere to sphere,
Who pierced foul Error's fair disguise,
Famed Galileo, mouldering, lies.
And then, with glance of kindling pride,
He paints the myriad gems of Art
That live and breath on every side ;
From canvass and pedestal start;
And, like the glorious Planet-chime,
Fill every soul with thought sublime;
Here, Guido's lines of glowing light,
In graceful curves, burn warm and bright;
And here the marble Paphian queen,
With snowy form and modest mien,
With glance, half love, half sweet alarm,
’Round every heart twines Beauty's charm.
Thus passed a rapid hour, and then
Idallan paced the deck again,
While softly on the evening air
Went up a murmured music prayer;
A hymn of praise, a sacred song,
Like those that thrill the courts above,
When angel train and seraph throng
Tune heart and harp to strains of love.
And Eva's faith was pure and true,
And earthward many an angel flew,
Lured from the chanting spirit train,
By one bright maiden's suppliant strain;
So soft and low the trembling tone
That breathed its prayer at Heaven's throne.
The morn, the glorious, golden morn!
How warmly bright its pennons wave!
Gay bands of fire its locks adorn,
And wreaths of foam its chariot lave!
And onward flies the Falcon now,
The Journey north-
And Northward points its leaping prow,
And fiercely, through the howling seas,
It flies before the morning breeze.
Around the ice-locked Cape it whirls ;
The Arctic air its flag unfurls ;
And many a sea it passes o'er,
Where Greenland's bleak and barren shore,
Close-barred with crag and tower of stone,
Flings out its walls and scowls alone;
And onward still, thro' strait and bay
Where fields of ice stretch far away,
Where prowls the lonely Northern bear,
And leaps the deer, and bounds the hare,
Where over lakes of ice and snow
Flits by the fur-clad Esquimaux,
Onward ! 'mid the whirling tides
That race thro' narrow avenues,
The iron-breasted Falcon glides
Where never barque had dared to cruise.
Thus days, and months, and circling years,
O'er, spanned with mingled hopes and fears,
Went swiftly by, and left behind
New standards, torn by conquering mind
From Truth's grim towers; new gems of light
Long hid in Error's covered night.
Full many a current's noiseless flow,
And many a rock, and headland low,
And open bay, and mountain isle,
Scarce tinged by Summer's golden smile,
Idallan's eye explored, and then,
With treasured wealth from Nature won,
He seeks proud Albion's shore again,
Swift as the Eagle seeks the Sun.
And homeward flies the Falcon now!
To sunnier islands points her prow;
To sunnier climes, where flowers bloom,
And darker grows the wild bird's plume,
Where earlier flies the winter king
Before the balmy gales of Spring,
Where leaves are green, and skies are blue,
And eyes are warm and brilliant too,
And mellow earth and ambient air
Their robes of richest radiance wear.
Homeward! Ah! the sailor's eye
Smiles to see the Falcon fly,
As fleetly o'er the laughing foam
It bounds along and bears him home;
While distant islets fade away,
As fades the Sun at close of day.
Homeward ! E'en Idallan's brow
Is flushed with hope and pleasure now;
With fancy gleams of England's shore,
Of toils and fears and danger o'er;
And Eva's step falls lighter still,
And wilder dreams her bosom thrill,
And dizzying thoughts around her cling,
Till glows her cheek, at Love's command,
As glows the fragile ruby ring
That burns upon her slender hand. Homeward I Now the Southern shore
Of Greenland meets her eager gaze, . And loud and grand the ocean's roar
Drowns feebler tones of prayer and praise. And night rolled on—a starless night
A night of hurrying cloud and storm,
Of blazing sky, and billow white,
And Danger's dark, monastic form.
Alone, within a narrow bay (11)
Of circling ice, the Falcon lay;
Zone before and zone behind,
Its verge with foaming breakers lined;
Clouds above and night below,
And death in every billow's blow!
On it comes they saw it rise,
And robe in gloom the western skies-
A frowning mass of tempest ire,
A sea of darkness veined with fire !
Onward still! From pole to pole
Its chariot wheels their thunder roll,
And wilder than the maddened speed
Of hunted deer or frantic steed,
The cloud, the wind, the surges rave,
And Devils guide each howling wave!
O! how the straining timbers reel,
And curve and crack from yard to keel,
While rope and chain are torn away,
And, veiled in clouds of storniy spray,
The shattered vessel madly dives
Headlong against the icy bar,
And, like a sea-hawk, fiercely drives.
Then soars amid the tempest war!
And O ! how many a brow is pale;
How many a mingled curse and cry
Float wildly on the driving gale,
From souls that do not dare to die !
How many an iron heart is stilled,
How many an eagle eye is filled
With blinding tear-drops, where before
Had gleamed no pearls from sorrow's store !
How Eva's robes and raven hair
Floats loosely ’mid the lightning's glare,
As, clinging to her father's side,
She checks his wild and daring stride,
And trembles like a fading rose
When fierce the wind of Summer blows !
But O! it heeds them not !—the storm !
The fire eyed storm, that laughs at fear;
That revels in the chief’s alarm;
And rudely spurns the maiden's tear; And 0 ! it heeds them not !—the wave !
The scowling wave no barque could ride, That opens deep a yawning grave,
And nods its helm with fiendish pride!
It bends, it breaks the straining mast!
In ragged pennons tears the sail !
And still the whirlwind, blast on blast,
Makes every manly spirit quail !
Death !—'Tis a dream-a fitful dream,
An hour of mingled joy and pain
To those who peaceful die! They seem
Pale flowers that sleep to wake again!
But such a death! Could they but brave,
On ocean's breast, the wind and wave;
Could they but skim the open sea,
Their course unbarred, their pathway free,
Each heart would beat with dauntless pride,
And scorn the foe so oft defied !
But death within a frozen wall!
A storm ’mid circling crags of snow,
Black waves of cloud o'er spanning all,
And dark and deep the current's flow !
The thought, in shivering lines of fear,
Rends every heart—chills every tear !
But hark! that half sepulchered groan!
And see! that outstretched arm of stone !
It points them to the Western wave-
The Iceberg I-God of Mercy, save!
Borne swiftly on the tempest wing,
It comes, the threatening monster king!
It crashes through the circling floe, (12)
While chains of fire around it glow ;
It parts the surge, it tears the cloud,
And sweeps the sea, a tyrant proud,
While trembling in its onward path,
The Falcon waits its blow of wrath!
And nearer gleams its frowning crest,
And broader grows its mighty breast
That towers above the swollen surge
In battlements of ice and snow,
While, eddying 'round its broken verge,
Mad currents whirl their ceaseless flow !
The Iceberg !-How the startling cry,
In tones of frantic terror, rang;
And prayers of deathlike agony
From heart and lip to Heaven sprang!
But cold and stern as island rock
That waits, unmoved, the tempest shock,
Idallan watched the reeling form,
Borne onward by the hurrying storm,
Without one word, one trembling prayer-
Chilled by the breath of cold despair!
0! madly roared the tempest then,
Like Tigers in their jungle den,
As lance and ball around them play,
While feasting on their mangled prey !
And fiercely rolled the parting surge,
Like leaping rock from mountain verge,
When twisted trunk and slender branch
Bow to the crashing avalanche!
Yet kneeling still—still undismayed,
The suppliant maiden calmly prayed !
And God replied ! The shifting gale
Wheeled 'round into the Northern sea,
And southward with its dripping sail
The towering island floated free!
It dashed upon the circling bar,
And proudly, as the triumph car
That swept the columned streets of Rome,
And bore the laureled victor home,
It parted wide the breaking zone,
Its path with myriad fragments strewn,
And out upon the Ocean wide
Sailed far away in stately pride!
The helm ! the helm !—Idallan's cry
Ran clear beneath the lowering sky;
And Hope, new-born in every heart,
Spread joy around and smiled again,
As trampled flowers in beauty start
When warmly falls the genial rain; And ring of axe and metal stroke
As down the ponderous hammer fell, Reviving strength and courage woke,
And made each vein with ardor swell. The deck was cleared; the tattered sail
And severed chain replaced, and then,
With joyous leap before the gale,
The Falcon plowed the surge again.
Along the path of foam and spray,
Where late the Iceberg forced its way,
The barque glides on, and, freed at last,
Bends lightly to the Northern blast.
And every heart is joyful now,
And warm the flush on every brow,
Saved in danger's darkest hour
When worse than vain was human power;
Rescued from a cheerless grave
When God alone was near to save !
Idallan's soul was bowed at last !
The slavish chains of Error riven !
The cloud that veiled his spirit passed,
And joyous flew his heart to Heaven !
The storm was hushed—the calm blue sky
Looked down and smiled benignantly;
The surge no plumes of sea-foam wore ;
The strife of battling winds was o'er;
And warm and bright was Nature's smile,
As sought the Falcon Albion's isle.
Idallan sat by Eva's side,