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SHE WALKS IN BEACTY. 3
Sue walks In beauty, like the night
And ail that's best of dark and bright
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
One shade the more, one ray the less.
Which waves in every raven tress.
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A heart whose love is innocent!
THE HARP THE MONARCH MINSTREL
Tiu harp the monarch minstrel swept,
1 [Lord Byron never alludes to his share in these Melodies rub complacency. Mr. Moore having, on one occasion, rallied him a little on the manner in which some of them had fteea set to music, —" Sunburn Nathan," he exclaims, "why ^ you always twit me with his Ebrew nasalities? Have l
* told you it was all Klnnaird's doing, and my own exquisite ranllty of temper ? "]
3 [" Neither the ancient Jews," says Dr. Burney, " nor the nodera, have ever had characters peculiar to music; so that tA? melodies used In their religious ceremonies have, at all ttroes, been traditional, and at the mercy of the singers." — Kilsbrenner tells us, that " les Julfs Kspagnols lisent et chantfnt lenrs pseaumes blen difmremment que les Julfs Hollandais, les Juifs Remains autrement que les Julfs dc la Prusse <* de la Hesse; et tous croient chanter comme on chantalt dan* le Temple de Jerusalem 1" —Hist, dc la Muiiqve, torn, i- P- 34.]
3 [These stanzas were written by Lord Byron, on returninjt from a ball-room, where he had seen Mrs. (now Lady) Wilmot Horton, the wife of his relation, the present Governor of Ceylon. On this occasion Mrs. Wllmot Horton had appeared in mourning, with numerous spangles on her dress.]
* [** In the reign of King David, music was held In the highest estimation by the Hebrews. The genius of that prince for music, and his attachment to the study and practice of it, as well as the great number of musicians appointed by him for the performance of religious rites and ceremonies, could not bil to extend its influence and augment its perfections ; for It *ai during this period, that music was first honoured by being
It told the triumphs of our King,
It wafted glory to our God;
The cedars bow, the mountains nod;
Its sound aspired to Heaven and there abode!5 Since then, though heard on earth no more,
Devotion and her daughter Love, Still bid the bursting spirit soar
To sounds that seem as from above,
In dreams that day's broad light can not remove.f
IF THAT HIGH WORLD.
Ir that high world, which lies beyond
Our own, surviving Love endears;
The eye the same, except in tears —
How sweet this very hour to die!
Lost in thy light—Eternity!
It must be so: 't is not for self
That we so tremble on the brink;
Yet cling to Being's severing link.
To hold each heart the heart that shares;
And soul in soul grow deathless theirs 1
admitted in the ministry of sacrifice, and worship of the ark; as well as by being cultivated by a king." — Bcrxey.]
* [" When Lord Byron put the manuscript into my hand, it terminated with this line. As this, however, did not complete the verse, I wished him to help out the melody. He replied, 'Why, I have sent you to heaven — it would be difficult to go further 1' My attention for a few minutes was called to some other person, and his Lordship, whom I had hardly missed, exclaimed,' Here, Nathan, I have brought you down again ;' and Immediately presonted mo the beautiful lines which conclude the melody."— Nathan.]
6 [The hymns of David excel no less In sublimity and tenderness of expression, than in loftiness and purity of religious sentiment. In comparison with them, the sacred poetry of all other nations sinks into mediocrity. They have embodied so exquisitely the universal language of religious emotion, that (a few fierce and vindictive passages excepted, natural In the warrior-poet of a sterner age.) they have entered, with unquestionable propriety, into the Christian ritual. The songs which cheered the solitude of the desert caves of Kngedi, or resounded from the voice of the Hebrew people as they wound along the glens or the hllt-sldes of Judea, have been repeated for ages In almost every part of the habitable world,— in the remotest islands of the ocean, amongst the forests of America, or the sands of Africa. How many human hearts have they softened, purified, exalted !— of now many wretched beings have they been the secret consolation 1 — on how many communities have they drawn down the blessings of Divine Providence, by bringing the affections in unison with their deep devotional fervour I— Milman.]
THE WILD GAZELLE.
The wild gazelle on Juclah's hills
Exulting yet may bound.
That gush on holy ground:
A step as fleet, an eye more bright,
Hath Judah witness'd there;
Inhabitants more fair.
More blest each palm that shades those plains
Than Israel's scatter'd race;
In solitary grace:
But we must wander witheringly,
In other lands to die;
Our own may never lie:
OH! WEEP FOK THOSE.
And where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet?
Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast,
ON JORDAN'S BANKS.
There — where thy finger scorch'd the tablet stone!
Oh! in the lightning let thy glance appear;
i [ Jephtha, a bastard son of Gllead, having been wrongfully expelled from his father's house, had taken refuge In a wild country, and become a noted captain of freebooters. His kindred, groaning under foreign oppression, began to look to their valiant, though lawless compatriot, whose profession, according to their usage, was no more dishonourable than that of a pirate in the elder days of Greece. They sent for him, and made him head of their city. Before he went forth against the Ammonites, he made the memorable row, that. If he returned victorious, he would sacrifice as a burnt
JEPHTHA'S DAUGHTER. I
Since Out Country, our God—Oh, my Sire!
And the voice of my mourning is o'er,
And of this, oh, my Father 1 be sure—
Though the virgins of Salem lament,
OH I SNATCH'D AWAY IN BEAUTY'S BLOOM.
Oh! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom.
And oft by yon blue gushing stream
And feed deep thought with many a dream,
Away! we know that tears are vain,
Will this unteach us to complain?
And thou—who tcll'st me to forget.
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.
MY SOUL IS DARK.
My soul is dark — Oh I quickly
The harp I yet can brook to hear; And let thy gentle fingers fling
Its melting murmurs o'er mine ear. If in this heart a hope be dear.
That sound shall charm it forth again: If in these eyes there lurk a tear,
'Twill flow, and cease to be
But bid the strain be wild and deep.
I tell thee, minstrel, I must weep,
whatever first met him on his entrance Into bis native cirr He gained a splendid victory. At the news of k. his cah daughter came dancing forth. In the gladneM of heart, with jocund instruments of music, to tolute the deurem ■ * hU people. The miserable father rent his clothes in araoybut the noble-r-plrited maiden would not hear of the drjrerari of the vow: she only demanded a short period to be*ail u>c the mountains, like the Antigone of Sopbocles, her dvn| without hope of becoming a bride or mother, and then remitted to her fate Milhan.J
For it hath been l>y sorrow nursed,
And now't is doom'd to know the worst.
I SAW THEE WEEP.
I Saw thee weep—the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue;
A violet dropping dew:
Beside tbee ceased to shine;
That flll'd that glance of thine.
As clouds from yonder sun receive
A deep and mellow dye. Which scarce the shade of coming eve
Can banish from the sky, Those smiles unto the moodiest mind
Their own pure joy impart; Their sunshine leaves a glow behind
That lightens o'er the heart.
THY DATS ARE DONE.
Thy days are done, thy fame begun;
Thy country's strains record
The slaughters of his sword!
The freedom he restored!
Though thou art fall'n, while we are free Thou shalt not taste of death!
The generous blood that flow'd from thee
Within our veins its currents be,
Thy name, our charging hosts along,
Shall be the battle-word I
From virgin voices pour'd!
Thou shalt not be deplored.
1 [" It was generally conceived that Lord Byron's reported i.iigularities approached on some occasions to derangement; and at one period, indeed, it was very currently asserted that hU intellects were actually Impaired. The report only served to amuse his Lordship. He referred to the circumstance, and declared that he would try how a madman could write: seizing the pen with eagerness, he for a moment fixed his eyes in majestic wlldness on vacancy; when, like a flash of inspiration, without erasing a single word, the above verses were the result." — Nathan.]
4 [Haunted with that insatiable desire of searching Into the secrets of ftiturity, inseparable from uncivilised man, Saul knew not to what quarter to turn. The priests, outraged by hit cruelty, had forsaken him: the prophets stood aloof; no dreams visited his couch; he had persecuted even the unlawful diviners. He hears at last of a female necromancer, a -s oman with the spirit of Ob; strangely similar in sound to the Obeah women in the West Indies. To the cave-dwelling of this woman, in Endor, the monarch proceeds in disguise. He commands her to raise the spirit of Samuel. At this daring demand, the woman first recognises, or pretends to recognise, ber royal visitor. "Whom secst thou?" says the king—" Mighty ones ascending from the earth."—" Of what form?"—"An old man covered with a mantle." Saul, in
SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST BATTLE.
Warriors and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
Farewell to others, but never we part,
Thou whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the prophet's form appear.
"Why is my sleep disquieted?
terror, bows down his head to the earth ; and, It should seem, not daring to look up, receives from the voice of the spectre the awful intimation of his defeat and death. On the reality of this apparition we pretend not to decide: the figure, if figure there were, was not seen by Saul; and, excepting the event of the approaching battle, the spirit said nothing which the living prophet had not said before, repeatedly and publicly. But the fact is curious, as showing the popular belief of the Jews in departed spirits to have been the same with that of most other nations Milman.]
3 f" Since we have spoken of witches," said Lord Byron, at Cepfialonia, In 1823, " what think you of the witch of Endor? I have always thought this the finest and most finished witchscene that ever was written or conceived; and you will be of my opinion, if you consider all the circumstances and the actors In the case, together with the gravity, simplicity, and dignity of the language. It beats all the ghost scenes I ever read. The finest conception on a similar subject is that of Goethe's Devil, Mephistopheles ; and though, of course, you will give the priority to the former, as being inspired, yet the latter, If you know it, will appear to you — at least it does to me — one of the finest and most sublime specimens of human conception."]
« ALL IS VANITY, SAITH THE PREACHER."
Fame, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
And health and youth possess'd me;
And lovely forms caress'd me;
And felt my soul grow tender;
Was mine of regal splendour.
I strive to number o'er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Would lure me to live over.
Of pleasure unembitter'd;
That gall'd not while it gUtter'd.
The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
WHEN COLDNESS WRAPS THIS SUFFERING CLAY.
When coldness wraps this suffering clay,
Ah ! whither strays the immortal mind?
But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
By steps each planet's heavenly way?
A thing of eyes, that all survey >
Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,
A thought unseen, but seeing all,
Shall it survey, shall it recall:
So darkly of departed years,
And all, that was, at once appears.
Before Creation peopled earth,
Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
The spirit trace its rising track.
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
Fix'd in its own eternity.
Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,
It lives all passionless and pure:
Its years as moments shall endure.
O'er ail, through all, its thought shall fly;
Forgetting what it was to die.
VISION OF BELSHAZZAR.
The King was on his throne.
The Satraps throng'd the hall; A thousand bright lamps shone
O'er that high festival. A thousand cups of gold,
In Judah deem'd divine— Jehovah's vessels hold
The godless Heathen's wine.
In that same hour and hall,
The fingers of a hand Came forth against the wall.
And wrote as if on sand: The fingers of a man ;—
A solitary hand Along the letters ran,
And traced them like a wand.
The monarch saw, and shook,
And bade no more rejoice; All bloodless wax'd his look,
And tremulous bis voice. "Let the men of lore appear,
The wisest of the earth, And expound the words of fear,
Which mar our royal mirth."
Chaldea's seers are good,
But here they have no skill; And the unknown letters stood
Untold and awful still And Babel's men of age
Are wise and deep in lore; But now they were not sage,
They saw—but knew no
A captive in the land,
A stranger and a youth, He heard the king's command,
He saw that writing's truth. The lamps around were bright,
The prophecy in view; He read it on that night,—
The morrow proved it true.
"Belshazzar's grave is made.
His kingdom pass'd away, He, in the balance wcigh'd,
Is light and worthless clay, The shroud his robe of state.
His canopy the stone: The Mede Is at his gate!
The Persian on his throne!"
SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS!
Sus of the sleepless I melancholy star!
WERE MY BOSOM AS FALSE AS THOU DEEM'ST IT TO BE.
Tui my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be,
I need not have wander'd from far Galilee;
It was but abjuring my creed to cflace
The curse which, thou say'st, is the crime of my race.
If the bad never triumph, then God is with thee!
I have lost for that faith more than thou canst bestow,
HEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE. 1
Ob, Mariamne! now for thee
The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding; Revenge is lost in agony,
And wild remorse to rage succeeding.
Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading:
Though Heaven were to my prayer unheeding.
And is she dead ? —and did they dare
Obey my frenzy's jealous raving?
The sword that smote her's o'er me waving
But thou art cold, my murder'd love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving For her who soars alone above,
And leaves my soul unworthy saving.
She's gone, who shared my diadem;
She sunk, with her my joys entombing; I swept that flower from Judah's stem,
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming; And mine's the guilt, and mine the bell,
This bosom's desolation dooming; And I have earn'd those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming!
ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF
Fhom the last hill that looks on thy once holy dome
I look'd for thy temple, I look'd for my home.
On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed
i f/Mariamne, the wife of Herod the Great, failing under the suspicion of infidelity, was put to death by bis order. She waj a woman of unrivalled beauty, and a haughty sp irit: unln being the object of passionate attachment, which on frenzy, to a man who had more or less concern In
And now on that mountain I stood on that day,
But the gods of the Pagan shall never profane
BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT
DOWN AND WEPT.
Of Babel, and thought of the day
Made Salem's high places his prey;
Were scatter'd all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river
They demanded the song j but, oh never
May this right hand be withcr'd for ever.
On the willow that harp is suspended,
And the hour when thy glories were ended
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB. The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold, And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, win'!) the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when Summer is green. That host with their banners at sunset were seen: Like the leaves of the forest when Autumn hath blown, That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.
For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast,
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
the murder of her grandfather, father, brother, and uncle, and who had twice commanded her death, in case of his own. Ever after, Herod was haunted by the image of the murdered Mariamne, until disorder of the mind brought on disorder of
body, which led to temporary derangement Milhak.]