Imágenes de página

Fame was thy gift from others ;-but for her,

To whom the wide earth held that only spot-
She loved thee !-lovely in your lives ye were,

And in your early deaths divided not.
Thou hast thine oak—thy trophy-what hath she ?

Her own blessed place by thee.
It was thy spirit, brother! which had made

The bright world glorious to her thoughtful eye,
Since first

in childhood 'midst the vines ye played, And sent glad singing through the free blue sky. Ye were but two!-and, when that spirit passed,

Wo for the one, the last !

Wo :yet not long :-she lingered but to trace

Thine image from the image in her breast;Once, once again, to see that buried face

But smile upon her, ere she went to rest. Too sad a smile its living light was o'er;

It answered hers no more!

The earth grew silent when thy voice departed,

The home too lonely whence thy step had fled: What, then, was left for her, the faithful-hearted ?

Death, death, to still the yearning for the dead ! Softly she perished. Be the flower deplored

Here, with the lyre and sword.

Have ye not met ere now? So let those trust,

That meet for moments but to part for years, That weep, watch, pray, to hold back dust from dust,

That love, where love is but a fount of tears! Brother! sweet sister! peace around ye dwell,

Lyre, sword, and flower --farewell!


God's first Temples-A Hymn.-BRYANT. The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learned To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, And spread the roof above them,--ere he framed

[ocr errors]

The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems,- in the darkling wood,
Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. For his simple heart
Might not resist the sacred influences,
That, from the stilly twilight of the place,
And from the gray old trunks, that, high in heaven,
Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
Of the invisible breath, that swayed at once
All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
His spirit with the thought of boundless Power
And inaccessible Majesty. Ah, why
Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
Only among the crowd, and under roofs
That our frail hands have raised! Let me, at least,
Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
Offer one hymn; thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in his ear.

Father, thy hand
Hath reared these venerable columns; thou
Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow,
Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
Among their branches ; till, at last, they stood,
As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
Communion with his Maker. Here are seen
No traces of man's pomp or pride; no silks
Rustle, no jewels shine, nor envious eyes
Encounter; no fantastic carvings show
The boast of our vain race to change the form
Of thy fair works. But thou art here; thou fill'st
The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds
That run along the summits of these trees
In music; thou art in the cooler breath,
That, from the inmost darkness of the place,
Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground,
The fresh, moist ground, are all instinct with thee,
Here is continual worship; nature, here,

In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
From perch to perch, the solitary bird
Passes; and yon clear spring, that, 'midst its herbs,
Wells softly forth, and visits the strong roots
Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
Thyself without a witness, in these shades,
of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace,
Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak-
By whose immoveable stem I stand, and seem
Almost annihilated—not a prince,
In all the proud old world beyond the deep,
E’er wore his crown as loftily as he
Wears the green coronal of leaves, with which
Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower,
With scented breath, and look so like a smile,
Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
An emanation of the indwelling Life,
A visible token of the upholding Love,
That are the soul of this wide universe.

My heart is awed within me, when I think
Of the great mtracte that still goes on,
In silence, round me--the perpetual work
Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
Forever. Written on thy works, I read
The lesson of thy own eternity.
Lo! all grow old and die: but see, again,
How on the faltering footsteps of decay
Youth presses--ever gay and beautiful youth
In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
Moulder beneath them. O, there is not lost
One of earth's charms : upon her bosom yet,
After the flight of untold centuries,
The freshness of her far beginning lies,
And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
Of his arch enemy Death ; yea, seats himself
Upon the sepulchre, and blooms and smiles,
And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

[merged small][ocr errors]

There have been holy men, who hid themselves
Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
The generation born with them, nor seemed
Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
Around them; and there have been holy men,
Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
But let me often to these solitudes
Retire, and, in thy presence, réassure
My feeble virtue. Here, its enemies,
The passions, at thy plainer footsteps, shrink,
And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill,
With all the waters of the firmament,
The swift, dark whirlwind, that uproots the woods,
And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself
Upon the continent, and overwhelms
Its cities; -- who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by?
0, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine; nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad, unchained elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And, to the beautiful order of thy works,
Learn to conform the order of our lives.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Hymn of Nature.- Peabody.

God of the earth's extended plains !

The dark green fields contented lie:
The mountains rise like holy towers,

Where man might com'mune with the sky :
The tall cliff challenges the storm

That lowers upon the vale below,
Where shaded fountains send their streams,

With joyous music in their flow.

God of the dark and heavy deep!

The waves lie sleeping on the sands, Till the fierce trumpet of the storm

Hath summoned up their thundering bands; Then the white sails are dashed like foam,

Or hurry, trembling, o'er the seas, Till, calmed by thee, the sinking gale

Serenely breathes, Depart in peace. God of the forest's solemn shade!

The grandeur of the lonely tree, That wrestles singly with the gale,

Lifts up admiring eyes to thee; But more majestic far they stand,

When, side by side, their ranks they form, To wave on high their plumes of green,

And fight their battles with the storm.

God of the light and viewless air !

Where summer breezes sweetly flow, Or, gathering in their angry might,

The fierce and wintry tempests blow; All—from the evening's plaintive sigh,

That hardly lifts the drooping flower, To the wild whirlwind's midnight cry“

Breathe forth the language of thy power. God of the fair and open sky!

How gloriously above us springs The tented dome, of heavenly blue,

Suspended on the rainbow's rings; Each brilliant star, that sparkles through,

Each gilded cloud, that wanders free In evening's purple radiance, gives

The beauty of its praise to thee.

God of the rolling orbs above !

Thy name is written clearly bright In the warm day?s unvarying blaze,

Or evening's golden shower of light. For every fire that fronts the sun,

And every spark that walks alone Around the utmost verge

of heaven, Were kindled at thy burning throne.

« AnteriorContinuar »