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The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming ; But that which coils around the heart,
Oh! who hath power of charming?
It will not list to wisdom's lore,
Nor music's voice can lure it; But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.
WHEN COLDNESS WRAPS THIS
1. When coldness wraps this suffering clay,
Ah, whither strays the immortal mind? It cannot die, it cannot stay,
But leaves its darken'd dust behind. Then, unembodied, doth it trace
By steps each planet's heavenly way? Or fill at once the realms of space,
A thing of eyes, that all survey?
2. Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,
A thought unseen, but seeing all,
Shall it survey, shall it recal:
So darkly of departed years,
And all, that was, at once appears.
3. Before Creation peopled earth,
Its eye shall roll through chaos back; And where the furthest heaven had birth,
The spirit trace its rising track.
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
Fix'd in its own eternity.
4. Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear, It lives all passionless and pure:
shall fleet like earthly year; Its years as moments shall endure. Away, away, without a wing,
O’er all, through all, its thought shall fly; A nameless and eternal thing,
Forgetting what it was to die.
VISION OF BELSHAZZAR.
1. 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 divineJehovah's vessels hold
The godless Heathen's wine!
2. In that same hour and ball,
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;
And tremulous his voice.
“ The wisest of the earth,
“ Which mar our royal mirth.”
Chaldea's seers are good,
But here they have no skill ;
Untold and awful still.
Are wise and deep in lore;
They saw—but knew no more.
A stranger and a youth,
He saw that writing's truth.