Page images
PDF
EPUB

And her who was his destiny, came back | The beings which surrounded him were gone, And thrust themselves between him and the Or were at war with him; he was a mark

light:

For blight and desolation, compass'd round What business had they there at such a time? With Hatred and Contention; Pain was mix'd

In all which was served up to him, until A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. Like to the Pontic monarch of old days, The Lady of his love ;-Oh! she was changed He fed on poisons, and they had no power, As by the sickness of the soul; her mind

But were a kind of nutriment; he lived Had wander'd from its dwelling, and her eyes Through that which had been death to They had not their own lustre, but the look

many men, Which is not of the earth ; she was become And made him friend's of mountains: with The queen of a fantastic realm; her thoughts

the stars Were combinations of disjointed things;

And the quick Spirit of the Universe And forms impalpable and unperceived

He held his dialogues; and they did teach Of others' sight familiar were to hers.

To him the magic of their mysteries; And this the world calls phrensy; but the To him the book of Night was open'd wide,

wise

And voices from the deep abyss reveal'd Have a far deeper madness, and the glance A marvel and a secret-Be it so. Of melancholy is a fearful gift; What is it but the telescope of truth?

My dream was past; it had no further Which strips the distance of its phantasics,

change. And brings life near in utter nakedness,

It was of a strange order, that the doom Making the cold reality too real!

Of these two creatures should be thus

traced out A change came o'er the spirit of my dream. Almost like a reality-the one The Wanderer was alone as heretofore, To end in madness—both in misery

D A R K N E S S.

stars

I had a dream, which was not all a dream. Wore an anearthly aspect, as by fits
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the The flashes fell upon them; some lay down

And hid their eyes and wept; and some Did wander darkling in the eternal space,

did rest Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth 'Their chins upon their clenched hands, and Swung blind and blackening in the moon

smilcd; less air;

And others harried to and fro, and fed Morn came, and went- and came, and Their funeral piles with fuel, and looked up

brought no day, With mad disquietude on the dull sky, And men forgot their passions in the dread The pall of a past world; and then again of this their desolation ; and all hearts With curses cast them down upon the dust, Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light: And gnash'd their teeth and howld: the wild And they did live by watchfires, and the

birds shriek'd, thrones,

And, terrified, did flutter on the ground, The palaces of crowned kings—the huts, And flap their useless wings; the wildest The habitations of all things which dwell,

brutes Were burnt for beacons; cities were con- Came tame and tremulous; and vipers sumed,

crawl'd And were gathered round their blazing And twined themselves among the multitude,

homes

Hissing, but stingless -- they were slain for To look once more into each other's face;

food: Happy were those who dwelt within the eye And War, which for a moment was no of the volcanos and their mountain-torch : A fearful hope was all the world contain’d; Did glat himself again; a meal was bought Forests were set on fire -- but hour by hour With blood, and each sate sullenly apart They fell and faded - and the crackling Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;

tranks

All earth was but one thought-and that Extinguish'd with a crash-and all was

was death, black.

Immediate and inglorious; and the pang The brows of men by the despairing light lof famine fed upon all entrails ; men

more,

Died, and their bonos were tombless as their Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld

flesh;

Each other's aspects-saw, and shriek'd, The meagre by the meagre were devoured,

and died Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one, Even of their mutual hideousness they died, And he was faithful to a corse and kept Unknowing who he was upon whose brow The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay, Famine had written Fiend. The world was Till bungerclung them, or the dropping dead

void, Lured their lank jaws; himself songht out The populous and the powerful was a lamp,

no food,

Seasonless, herbless, treeless,manless,lifeless, But with a piteous and perpetual moan A lump of death-a chaos of hard clay. And a quick desolate cry licking the hand The rivers, lakes, and ocean all stood still, Which answered not with a caress - he died. And nothing stirred within their silent The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two

depths; Of an enormous city did survive,

Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea, And they were enemies; they met beside And their masts fell down piecemeal; as The dying embers of an altar-place

they droppid Where had been heap'd a mass of holy They slept on the abyss withoot a surge

things

The waves were dead; the tides were in For an unholy usage; they raked up,

their grave, And shivering scraped with their cold ske- The moon their mistress had expired before;

leton-hands The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air, Tho feeble ashes, and their feeble breath And the clouds perish'd ; Darkness had no Blew for a little life, and made a flame

need Which vas a mockery; then they lifted up of aid from them -- She was the universe.

PR O M E T H EU S.

Titan! to whose immortal eyes

And in thy Silence was his Sentence, The sufferings of mortality,

And in his Soul a vain repentance, Seen in their sad reality,

And evil dread so ill dissembled Were not as things that gods despise ; That in his hand the lightnings trembled. What was thy pity's recompense ? A silent suffering, and intense ;

Thy godlike crime was to be kind, The rock, the vulture, and the chain, T'o render with thy precepts less All that the proud can feel of pain,

The sum of human wretchedness, The agony they do not show,

And strengthen Man with his own mind; The suffocating sense of woe,

But baffled as thou wert from high,
Which speaks but in its loneliness, Still in thy patient energy,
And then is jealous lest the sky

In the endurance, and repulse
Should have a listener, nor will sigh of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Until its voice is echoless.

Which Earth and Heaven could not con

vulse, Titan! to thee the strife was given

A mighty lesson we inherit: Between the suffering and the will, Thou art a symbol and a sign

Which torture where they cannot kill; To Mortals of their fate and force; And the inexorable Heaven,

Like thee, Man is in part divine, And the deaf tyranny of Fate,

A troubled stream from a pure source ; The ruling principle of Hate,

And Man in portions can foresee
Which for its pleasure doth create His own funereal destiny;
The things it may annihilate,

His wretchedness, and his resistance,
Refused thee even the boon to die:

And his sad unallied existence:
The wretched gift eternity

To which his Spirit may oppose
Was thine-and thou hast borne it well. Itself, an equal to all woes,
All that the Thunderer wrung from thee And a firm will, and a deep sense,
Was but the menace which flung back Which even in torture can descry
On him the torments of thy rack;

Its own concentred recompense,
The fate thou didst so well foresee, Triumphant where it dares defy,
But wouldst not to appease him tell: And making Death a Victory.

CHURCHILL'S GRAVE,

A FACT LITERALLY RENDERED.

[ocr errors]

I stood beside the grave of him who | Were it not that all life must end in one,

blazed

Of which we are but dreamers;- as he The comet of a season, and I saw

caught The humblest of all sepulchres, and gazed As 'twere the twilight of a former Sun, With not the less of sorrow and of awo Thus spoke he:—“I believe the man of On that neglected turf and quiet stone,

whom With name no clearer than the names You wot, who lies in this selected tomb,

unknown

Was a most famous writer in his day, Which lay unread around it; and I ask'd And therefore travellers step from out their TheGardener of that ground, why it might be

way That for this plant strangers his memory To pay him honour,– and myself whate'er

task'd

Your honour pleases," -- then most pleased Through the thick deaths of half a century;

I shook
And thus he answered—“Well, I do not From out my pockets avaricious nook

know

Some certain coins of silver, which as Why frequent travellers turn to pilgrimsso;

'twere He died before my day of Sextonship, Perforce I gave this man, though I could And I had not the digging of this grave."

spare And is this all ? I thought,--and do we rip So much but inconveniently;—Ye smile, The veil of Immortality ? and crave I see ye, ye profane ones! all the while, I know not what of honour and of light Because my homely phrase the truth would Through unborn ages, to endure this blight?

tell. So soon and so successless ? As I said, You are the fools, not 1 - for I did dwell The Architect of all on which we tread, With a deep thought, and with a softFor Earth is but a tombstone, did essay To extricate remembrance from the clay, On that Old Sexton's natural homily, Whose minglings might confuse a Newton's In which there was Obscurity and Fame,

thought

The Glory and the Nothing of a Name.

en'd eye,

M O N O D Y

ON THB

DEATH OF THE RIGHT HON. R. B. SHERIDAN.

SPOKEN AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE.

When the last sunshine of expiring day | A holy concord—and a bright regret, In summer's twilight weeps itself away, A glorious sympathy with suns that set? Who hath not felt the softness of the hour 'Tis not harsh sorrow-but a tenderer woe, Sink on the heart, as dew along the flower? Nameless, but dear to gentle hearts below, With a pure feeling which absorbs and awes Felt without bitterness - but full and clear, While Nature makes that melancholy pause, A sweet dejection-a transparent tear Her breathing-moment on the bridge where Unmix'd with worldly grief or selfish stain,

Time

Shed without shame-- and secret without Of light and darkness forms an arch sublime;

pain. Who hath not shared that calm so still and Even as the tenderness that hour instils

deep,

When Summer's day declines along the hills, The voiceless thought which would not So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes

speak but weep,

When all of Genius which can perish dies.

A mighty Spirit is eclipsed--a Power The secret enemy whose sleepless eye
Hath pass’d from day to darkness - to whose Stands sentinel-accuser-judge-and spy,

hour

The foe the fool_the jealous and the vain Of light no likeness is bequeath’d— no name, The envious who but breathe in others' pain, Focus at once of all the rays of Fame ! Behold the host! delighting to deprave, The flash of Wit,the bright Intelligence, Who track the steps of Glory to the grave, The beam of Song - the blaze of EI ence, Watch every fault that daring Genius owes Set with their Sun-but still have left Half to the ardour which its birth bestows,

behind

Distort the truth, accumulate the lie, The enduring produce of immortal Mind; And pile the Pyramid of Calumny! Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon, These are his portion - but if join'd to these A deathless part of him who died too soon. Gaunt Poverty should league with deep But small that portion of the wondrous

Disease, whole,

If the high Spirit must forget to soar, These sparkling segments of that circling And stoop to strive with Misery at the door,

soul,

To soothe Indignity- and face to face Which all embraced—and lighten'd over all, Meet sordid Rage--and wrestle with DisTo cheer- to pierce - to please-or to appal.

grace, From the charm'd council to the festive To find Hope but

renew'd caress, board,

The serpent-fold of further Faithlessness,Of human feelings the unbounded lord; If such may be the ills which men assail, In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied, What marvel if at last the mightiest fail ? The praised - the proud – who made his Breasts to whom all the strength of feeling praise their pride.

given When the loud cry of trampled Hindostan Bear hearts electric-charged with fire from Arose to Ileaven in her appeal from man,

Heaven, His was the thunder--his the avenging rod, Black with the rude collision, inly torn, The wrath-the delegated voice of God! By clouds surrounded, and on whirlwinds Which shook the nations thrvugh his lips —

borne, and blazed Driven o'er the lowering atmosphere that Till vanquish'd senates trembled as they

nurst praised. Thoughts which have turn'd to thunder

scorch -- and burst.

But far from us and from our mimic scene And here, oh! here, where yet all young Such things should be—if such have ever and warm

been; The gay creations of his spirit charin, Ours be the gentler wish, the kinder task, The matchless dialogue-the deathless wit, To give the tribute Glory need not ask, Which knew not what it was to intermit; To mourn the vanish'd beam -- and add our The glowing portraits, fresh from life that

mite bring

Of praise in payment of a long delight. Home to our hearts the truth from which

they spring; These wondrous beings of his Fancy, Ye Orators! whom yet our council yield,

wrought

Mourn for the veteran Hero of your field! To fulness by the fiat of his thought, The worthy rival of the wondrous Three! Here in their first abode you still may meet, Whose words were sparks of Immortality! Bright with the hues of his Promethean heat, Ye Bards! to whom the Drama's Muse is dear, A halo of the light of other days,

He was your Master -- emulate him here! Which still the splendour of its orb betrays. Ye men of wit and social eloquence !

He was your Brother-bear his ashes hence !

While Powers of Mind almost of boundless But should there be to whom the fatal

range, blight

Complete in kind- as various in their Of failing Wisdom yields a base delight,

change, Men who exult when minds of heavenly tone While Eloquence_Wit_Poesy-and Mirth, Jar in the music which was born their own, That humbler Harmonist of care on Earth, Still let them pause—Ah! little do they know Survive within our souls—while lives our That what to them seem'd Vice might be

but Woe.

Of pride in Merit's proud pre-eminence, Hard is his fate on whom the public gaze Long shall we seek his likeness_long in vain, Is fix'd for ever to detract or praise ; And turn to all of him which may remain, Repose denies her requiem to his name, Sighing thatNature form'd but one such man, And Folly loves the martyrdom of Fame. And broke the die - in moulding Sheridan!

sense

HEBREW MELODIES.

I.

The eye the same, except in tears

How welcome those untrodden spheres ! Sao walks in beauty, like the night How sweet this very hour to die !

Of cloudless climes and starry skies To soar from earth, and find all feare And all that's best of dark and bright

Lost in thy light-Eternity!
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light

It must be so: 'tis not for self
Which heaven to gaudy day denies. That we so tremble on the brink;

And striving to o'erleap the gulph, One shade the more, one ray the less, Yet cling to Being's severing link. Had half impair'd the nameless grace

Oh! in that future let us think Which waves in every raven tress,

To hold each heart the heart that shares, Or softly lightens o'er her face; With them the immortal waters drink, Where thoughts serenely sweet express And soul in soul grow deathless theirs!

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

IV.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, THE wild Gazelle on Judah's hills

But tell of days in goodness spent, Exulting yet may bound,
A mind at peace with all below,

And drink from all the living rills
A heart whose love is innocent!

That gush on holy ground;
Its airy step and glorious eye

May glance in tameless transport by: 11.

A step as fleet, an eye more bright,
The Harp the Monarch-Minstrel swept, Hath Judah witness'd there;

The King of men, the loved of Heaven, And o'er her scenes of lost delight
Which Music hallow'd while she wept Inhabitants more fair.

O'er tones her heart of hearts had given, The cedars wave on Lebanon,
Redoubled be her tears, its chords are But Judah's statelier maids are gone!

riven ! It soften'd men of iron mould,

More blest each palm that shades those It gave them virtues not their own;

plains No ear so dull, no soul so cold,

Than Israel's scatter'd race; That felt not, fired not to the tone, For, taking root, it there remains Till David's lyre grew mightier than his In solitary grace:

throne !

It cannot quit

its place of birth,

It will not live in other earth.
It told the triumphs of our King,
It wafted glory to our God;

But we must wander witheringly,
It made our gladden'd valleys ring,

In other lands to die;
The cedars bow, the mountains nod; And where our fathers' ashes be,
Its sound aspired to Heaven and there Our own may never lie:

abode!

Our temple hath not left a stone,
Since then, though heard on earth no more, And Mockery sits on Salem's throne.

Devotion and her daughter Love
Still bid the bursting spirit soar
To sounds that seem as from above,

V.
In dreams that day's broad light can not

On! weep for those that wept by Babel's

stream, Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a III.

dream :

Weep for the harp of Judah's broken If that high World, which lies beyond

shell ; Our own, surviving Love endears; Mourn-where their God hath dwelt the If there the cherish'd heart be fond,

Godless dwell!

remove.

« PreviousContinue »