Page images


To honour those who gave us birth,
To cheer their age, to feel their worth,
Is God's command to human kind,
And owned by every grateful mind.

Trace then the tender scenes of old,
And all our infant days unfold;
Yield back to sight the mother's breast,
Watchful to lull her child to rest.

Survey her toil, her anxious care,
To form the lisping lips to prayer;
To win for God the yielding soul,
And all its ardent thoughts control.

Nor hold from memory's glad review,
The fears which all the father knew,
The joy that marked his thankful gaze
As virtue crowned maturer days.

When pressed by sickness, pain, or grief,
How anxious they to give relief;
Our dearest wish they held their own;
Till ours returned, their peace was flown.

God of our life, each parent guard,
And death's sad hour, O! long retard,
Be theirs each joy that gilds the past,
And heaven our mutual home at test.



Unfading hope! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust return!
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour!
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes! immortal power '.
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day—
Then, then, the triumph and the trance begin!
And all the Phoenix spirit burns within!

Oh! deep enchanting prelude to repose,
The dawn of bliss, the twilight of our woes!
Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh,
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun!
Where time's far-wandering tide has never'fun,
From your unfethomed shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears:
'Tis heaven's commanding trumpet, long. and'loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud!
While nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her.fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal'bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss!

Daughter of faith, awake, arise, illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb!
Melt, and dispel, ye spectre doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er—the pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes-
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze;
The noon of heaven undazzled by the blaze,

On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed his wares, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!

Sonl of the just! companion of the dead!
Where is thy home, and whither art thou fled?
Back to its heavenly source thy being goes,
Swift as the comet wheels to whence he rose;
Doomed on his airy path awhile to burn,
And doomed, like thee, to travel, and return.—
Hark! from the world's exploding centre driven,
With sounds that shook the firmament of heaven,
Careers the fiery giant, fast and far,
On bickering wheels, and adamantine car;
From planet whirled to planet more remote,
He visits realms beyond the reach of thought;
But, wheeling homeward, when his course is run,
Curbs the red yoke, and mingles with the sun 1
So hath the traveller of earth unfurled
Her trembling wings, emerging from the world;
And o'er the path by mortal never trod,
Sprung to her source, the bosom of her God I

Eternal hope! when yonder spheres sublime Pealed their first notes to sound the march of time,


Thy joyous youth began—but not to fade—
When all the sister planets have decayed;
When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow,
And heaven's last thunder shakes the world below;
Thou, undismayed, shalt o'er the ruins smile,
And light thy torch at nature's funeral pile!



The glory of evening was spread through the west,

On the slope of a mountain I stood,
While the joy that precedes the calm season of rest

Hang loud through the meadow and wood.

'And must we then part from a dwelling so fair?'

In the pain of my spirit I said;
And with a deep sadness I turned to repair

To the cell where the convict is laid.

The thick-ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate,

Resound, and the dungeons unfold: I pause, and at length through the glimmering grate

That outcast of pity behold.

« PreviousContinue »