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Of the great world of light, that lies
Behind all human destinies.
Ah! if thy fate, with anguish fraught,
Should be to wet the dusty soil
With the hot tears and sweat of toil,-
To struggle with imperious thought,
Until the overhurdened brain,
Weary with labour, faint with pain,
Like a jarred pendulum, retain
Only its motion, not its power,
Remember, in that perilous hour,
When most afflicted and
From labour there shall come forth rest.
And if a more auspicious fate
On thy advancing steps await,
Still let it ever be thy pride
To linger by the labourer's side;
With words of sympathy or song
To cheer the dreary march along
Of the great army of the poor,
O'er desert sand, o'er dangerous moor.
Nor to thyself the task shall be
Without reward; for thou shalt learn
The wisdom early to discern
True beauty in utility;
As great Pythagoras of yore,
Standing beside the blacksmith's door,
And hearing the hammers, as they smote
The anvils with a different note,
Stole from the varying tones, that hung
Vibrant on every iron tongue,
The secret of the sounding wire,
And formed the seven-chorded lyre.
Enough! I will not play the Seer;
I will no longer strive to ope
The mystic volume, where appear
The herald Hope, forerunning Fear,
And Fear, the pursuivant of Hope.
Thy destiny remains untold;
For, like Alcestes' shaft of old,
The swift thought kindles as it flies,
And burns to ashes in the skies.
THE OCCULTATION OF ORION.
I saw, as in a dream sublime,
The balance in the hand of Time.
O'er East and West its beam impended;
And day, with all its hours of light,
Was slowly sinking out of sight,
While, opposite, the scale of night
Silently with the stars ascended.
Like the astrologers of eld,
In that bright vision I beheld
Greater and deeper mysteries.
I saw, with its celestial keys,
Its chords of air, its frets of fire,
The Samian's great Æolian lyre,
Rising through all its sevenfold bars,
From earth unto the fixed stars.
And through the dewy atmosphere,
Not only could I see, but hear,
Its wondrous and harmonious strings,
Its sweet vibration, sphere by sphere,
From Dian's circle light and near,
Onward to vaster and wider rings,
Where, chanting through his beard of snows,
Majestic, mournful Saturn goes,
And down the sunless realms of space
Reverberates the thunder of his bass.
Beneath the sky's triumphal arch
This music sounded like a march,
And with its chorus seemed to be
Preluding some great tragedy.
Sirius was rising in the east;
And, slow ascending one by one,
The kindling constellations shone.
Begirt with many a blazing star,
Stood the great giant Algebar,
Orion, hunter of the beast !
His sword hung gleaming by his side.
And, on his arm, the lion's hide
Scattered across the midnight air
The golden radiance of its hair.
The moon was pallid, but not faint,
And beautiful as some fair saint,
Serenely moving on her way
In hours of trial and dismay.
As if she heard the voice of God,
Unharmed with naked feet she trod
Upon the hot and burning stars,
As on the glowing coals and bars
That were to prove her strength, and try
Her holiness and her purity.
Thus moving on with silent pace,
And triumph in her sweet, pale face,
She reached the station of Orion.
Aghast he stood in strange alarm!
And suddenly from his outstretched arm
Down fell the red skin of the lion
Into the river at his feet.
His mighty club no longer beat
The forehead of the bull; but he
Reeled as of yore beside the sea,
When, blinded by Enopion,
He sought the blacksmith at his forge,
And, climbing up the mountain gorge,
Fixed his blank eyes upon the sun.
Then, through the silence overhead,
An angel with a trumpet said,
“For evermore, for evermore,
The reign of violence is o'er!”
And like an instrument that flings
Its music on another's strings,
The trumpet of the angel cast
Upon the heavenly lyre its blast,
And on from sphere to sphere the words
Re-echoed down the burning chords, -
“For evermore, for evermore,
The reign of violence is o'er !"
GLOOMY and dark art thou, O chief of the mighty
Omahas; Gloomy and dark, as the driving cloud, whose name
thou hast taken! Wrapt in thy scarlet blanket, I see thee stalk through
the city's Narrow and populous streets, as once by the margin of
Stalked those birds unknown, that have left us only
their footprints. What, in a few short years, will remain of thy race but
the footprints ? How canst thou walk these streets, who hast trod the
green turf of the prairies? How canst thou breathe this air, who hast breathed the
sweet air of the mountains ? Ah! 'tis vain that with lordly looks of disdain thou
dost challenge Looks of disdain in return, and question these walls and
these pavements, Claiming the soil for thy hunting-grounds, while down
trodden millions Starve in the garrets of Europe, and cry from its caverns
that they, too, Have been created heirs of the earth, and claim its
division ! Back, then, back to thy woods in the regions west of the
Wabash! There as a monarch thou reignest. In autumn the leaves
of the maple Pave the floors of thy palace-halls with gold, and in
summer Pine-trees waft through its chambers the odorous breath
of their branches. There thou art strong and great, a hero, a tamer of
horses ! There thou chasest the stately stag on the banks of the
Elk-horn, Or by the roar of the Running-water, or where the
Omaha Calls thee, and leaps through the wild ravine like a
brave of the Blackfeet!