Page images
PDF
EPUB

While, gurgling deep below, the buried rill Mines for itself a snow-coved way. O! then, Your helpless charge drive from the tempting spot, And keep them on the bleak bill's stormy side, Where night-winds sweep the gathering drift

away :-So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock From faithless pleasures, full into the storms Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast, Until at length the vernal sun looks forth, Bedimmed with showers : then to the pastures

green He brings them, where the quiet waters glide, The streams of life, the Siloah of the soul.

BIBLICAL PICTURES.

THE FIRST SABBATH.

Six days the heavenly host, in circle vast,
Like that untouching cincture which enzones
The globe of Saturn, compassed wide this orb,
And with the forming mass floated along,
In rapid course, through yet untravelled space,
Beholding God's stupendous power,-a world
Bursting from Chaos at the omnific will,
And perfect ere the sixth day's evening star
On Paradise arose.

Blessed that eve !
The Sabbath's harbinger, when, all complete,
In freshest beauty from JEHOVAH's hand,
Creation bloomed; when Eden's twilight face
Smiled like a sleeping babe : the voice divine
A holy calm breathed o'er the goodly work :
Mildly the sun, upon the loftiest trees,
Shed mellowly a sloping beam. Peace reigned,
And love, and gratitude; the human pair
Their orisons poured forth ; love, concord, reigned.
The falcon, perched upon the blooming bough
With Philomela, listened to her lay ;
Among the antlered herd, the tiger couched
Harmless ; the lion's mane no terror spread
Among the careless ruminating flock.

Silence was o'er the deep ; the noiseless surge,
The last subsiding wave,-of that dread tumult
Which raged, when Ocean, at the mute command,
Rushed furiously into his new-cleft bed, -
Was gently rippling on the pebbled shore ;
While, on the swell, the sea-bird, with her head
Wing-veiled, slept tranquilly. The host of heaven,
Entranced in new delight, speechless adored ;
Nor stopped their fleet career, norchanged their form
Encircular, till on that hemisphere,
In which the blissful garden sweet exhaled
Its incense, odorous clouds,—the Sabbath dawn
Arose; then wide the flying circle oped,
And soared, in semblance of a mighty rainbow.
Silent ascend the choirs of Seraphim ;
No harp resounds, mute is each voice; the burst
Of joy and praise, reluctant they repress,-
For love and concord all things so attuned
To harmony, that Earth must have received
The grand vibration, and to the centre shook :
But soon as to the starry altitudes
They reached, then what a storm of sound, tre-

mendous, Swelled through the realms of space! The morn

ing stars
Together sang, and all the sons of God
Shouted for joy! Loud was the peal ; so loud
As would have quite o’erwhelmed human sense ;
But to the earth it came a gentle strain,
Like softest fall breathed from Æolian lute, .
When 'mid the chords the evening gale expires.
Day of the Lord ! creation's hallowed close !
Day of the Lord ! (prophetical they sang)
Benignant mitigation of that doom,

Which must, ere long, consign the fallen race, Dwellers in yonder star, to toil and wo !

THE FINDING OF MOSES.

Slow glides the Nile: amid the margin flags,
Closed in a bulrush ark, the babe is left, -
Left by a mother's hand. His sister waits
Far off; and pale, 'tween hope and fear, beholds
The royal maid, surrounded by her train,
Approach the river bank, -approach the spot
Where sleeps the innocent: she sees them stoop
With meeting plumes ; the rushy lid is oped,
And wakes the infant, smiling in his tears,
As when along a little mountain lake,
The summer south-wind breathes, with gentle sigh,
And parts the reeds, unveiling, as they bend,
A water-lily floating on the wave.

JACOB AND PHARAOH.

PHARAOH upon a gorgeous throne of state
Was seated; while around him stood submiss
His servants, watchful of his lofty looks.
The Patriarch enters, leaning on the arm
Of Benjamin. Unmoved by all the glare
Of royalty, he scarcely throws a glance
Upon the pageant show; for from his youth
A shepherd's life he led, and viewed each night
The starry host; and still, where'er he went,

He felt himself in presence of the Lord.
His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
Sudden the king descends; and, bending, kneels
Before the aged man, and supplicates
A blessing from his lips ! the aged man
Lays on the ground his staff, and, stretching forth
His tremulous hando'er Pharaoh's uncrowned head,
Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land.

JEPHTHA'S VOW.

Frou conquest JEPHTHA came, with faltering

step And troubled eye : his home appears in view ; He trembles at the sight. Sad he forebodes, – His vow will meet a victim in his child : For well he knows, that, from her earliest years, She still was first to meet his homeward steps : Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait, Sheran, and clasped his knees, and lisped, and looked Her joy ; and how, when garlanding with flowers His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink Back from the lion couched beneath the crest. What soundis that, which, from the palm-tree grove, Floats now with choral swell, now fainter falls Upon the ear? It is, it is the song He loved to hear,-a song of thanks and praise, Sung by the patriarch for his ransomed son. Hope from the omen springs : 0, blessed hope ! It may not be her voice !-Fain would he think 'Twas not his daughter's voice, that stillapproached, Blent with the timbrel's note. Forth from the grove

« PreviousContinue »