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Like lute Æolian or in trumpet-peals !
Eternal Grand and Fair! Thy power can strew As spray, and break as foam, the proudest keels!
Beneath the orient, or at eve, what hue Thy crisped surface like a prism steals,
Earth's fairest green, and Heaven's deepest blue !
What is this field so smooth? No furrowed trace ?
What mirror without waving line or flaw?
What sweeping sand-plain where no lizard claw Hath left its print near the tent's dwelling-place? Sylph hath not touched thee, nor the Horal race !
Ne'er saw I type, like thee, of perfect calm !
Not such as poets feign in bower of balm,-
Beauty's repose is here, gentle, benign,-
Where undistracted stellar concaves shine, When sages lift and spell the heavenly web !
Zephyr's wing folded ! Day's devout decline !
The storm-clouds burst along as demon-vans
Whirling the abysses from their lake-like sleep,
Forms, monstrous as themselves, start from the deep,
How yonder headland the rude billows lash !
Yet on its crest there stands a friendly mark,
A sign that is a hope to many a bark
Its shoot of light, like lightning's arrow, flies
On all the multitudinous vapour lies !
The hoary mariner far higher lifts his eyes !
Thou rayest out a Star! Solemn Watch-Fire !
Thou burnest there the beacon of each night, Quenchless in thy recess as Delphic pyre,
As Parsee's naphtha-altar ever bright !
Calmly thou seest the elemental fight !
Us of experience gleaming on our track
Refracted on the tempest's scathe and rack !
Still fitter emblem! Faint this ocean strife Depicts the troubled sea of human breast,
Where raves a vortex gulphing treasures rife,Far, far, from reach of help and port of rest,
LIGHTS OF THE WORLD, Hold forth the word of life!
STANZAS WRITTEN ON RETURNING FROM
IONA, THE SEAT OF ST. COLUMBA.
It is hardly necessary to remark, that the name of this venerable Isle is derived
from the Hebrew correlate, 737, to the Latin Columba, a dove, the name which the saint assumed. The Arkite allusion of the legend is very beaasiful. as the Tutelary fled hither from persecution, here preserved the remains of religion ; and hence disseminated, by his Missionaries, the benefits of koos. ledge and faith to the surrounding nations.
See I then Thy wave-beaten shore, lone Isle,
Thy ruins mock the elemental war!
The tide of ages rushes through my heart !
Science her torch on this wild region flung,
How oft along Thy cliffs was heard the toll
And diadem surmount that hearsed bier !
And often, too, upon this sterile strand
To win to love and law the roving clan ;
Amidst this shattered roof, this crumbled wall,
Thrilling the farthest of these haunted cells
Thine is not Staffa's columned Sanctuary,
But Mercy's altar here the wretched sought,
Hail to Thine awful Ruins, and farewell !
Thy memory lives ! though centuries have flown,
For in the Day of final ire and doom,
Shall they not near His right hand find a seat ?