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Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer ?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perchance that very hand, now pinion'd flat,
Has hob-a-nobb’d with Pharaoh glass to glass ;
Or dropp'd a half-penny in Homer's hat,
Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Or held, by Solomon's own invitation,
A torch at the great Temple's dedication.
I need not ask thee if that hand, when arm’d,
Has any Roman soldier maul’d and knuckled,
For thou wert dead, and buried, and embalm’d,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
How the world looked when it was fresh and young,
And the great deluge still had left it green;
Or was it then so old, that history's pages
Contained no record of its early ages ?
Still silent, incommunicative elf!
Art sworn to secrecy? then keep thy vows;
But prithee tell us something of thyself ;
Reveal the secrets of thy prison-house ; Since in the world of spirits thou hast slumbered, What hast thou seen—what strange adventures num
Since first thy form was in this box extended,
We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations ; The Roman empire has begun and ended,
New worlds have risen- -we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, Whilst not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled. Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,
O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis,
And shook the Pyramids with fear and wonder,
When the gigantic Memnon fell asunder ?
If the tomb's secrets may not be confess'd,
The nature of thy private life unfold :
A heart has throbb'd beneath that leathern breast,
And tears adown that dusky cheek have rolled :
Have children climb'd those knees and kiss'd that face?
What was thy name and station, age and race?
Statue of flesh-immortal of the dead !
Imperishable type of evanescence ! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
And standest undecayed within our presence,
Thou wilt hear nothing till the judgment morning,
When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning.
Why should this worthless tegument endure,
If its undying guest be lost for ever?
Oh! let us keep the soul embalmed and pure
In living virtue, that, when both must sever,
Although corruption may our frame consume,
The immortal spirit in the skies may bloom.
TIME.-Shelley. UNFATHOMABLE Sea! whose waves are years,
Ocean of Time, whose waters of deep woe
Are brackish with the salt of human tears !
Thou shoreless flood, which in thy ebb and flow
Claspest the limits of mortality!
And sick of prey, yet howling on for more,
Vomitest thy wrecks on its inhospitable shore;
Treacherous in calm, and terrible in storm,
Who shall put forth on thee,
Unfathomable Sea ?
SUNNY DAYS IN WINTER.-D. F. Macarthy.
SUMMER is a glorious season,
Warm, and bright, and pleasant ;
But the past is not a reason
To despise the present :
So, while health can climb the mountain,
And the log lights up the hall,
There are sunny days in winter, after all !
Spring, no doubt, hath faded from us,
Maiden-like in charms;
Summer, too, with all her promise,
Perish'd in our arms :
But the memory of the vanish'd
Whom our hearts recall,
Maketh sunny days in winter, after all!
True, there's scarce a flower that bloometh-
All the best are dead;
But the wall-flower still perfumeth
Yonder garden bed ;
And the arbutus, pearl-blossom’d,
Hangs its coral ball :
There are sunny days in winter, after all!
Summer trees are pretty-very,
And I love them well;
But this holly's glistening berry
None of those excel.
While the fir can warm the landscape,
And the ivy clothes the wall,
There are sunny days in winter, after all !
Sunny hours in every season
Wait the innocent ;-
Those who taste with love and reason
What their God has sent ;
Those who neither soar too highly,
Nor too lowly fall,
Feel the sunny days of winter, after all !
Then, although our darling treasures
Vanish from the heart ;
Then, although our once-loved pleasures
One by one depart;
Though the tomb looms in the distance,
And the mourning pall,
There is sunshine, and no winter, after all !
A SONG OF THE STORM.- P. B. Marston.
ACROSS the barren moor
We hear the breakers roar,
See them shine upon the shore ;
Hear, loud, the sea-gulls cry:
The wind blows loud and shrill,
The sea heaves hill on hill,
Moonlight and tempest fill
The pure and stormy sky,
’Neath clashing winds of night
The sea revels in its might,
And clear the pale, blown light
Of driven billows gleams.
O bright, tempestuous sea !
From whose gaping foam-mouths flee
Ships hunted to the lea,
As souls by evil dreams.
If only I might share
That strife of sea, and air,
Nobly to do and dare
Would make my heart rise high,
As a martial soul's desire,
That, at sound of trump and lyre,
Breaks into flower of fire,
While the wind of sound goes by.
O women with rent hair,
The wind beats back your prayer,
Which may not reach to where
The loved ones strive for life.
Can all your tears appease
The anger of the seas
Or make a night of peace,
With sea and wind at strife!
Sea-shrieks come loud and long,
Through the thunder and the song
Of breakers white and strong,
Exploding on the land.
Against the cliffs the wind
Strikes madly, being blind,
What shall the day-break find
Upon the barren strand ?
O white and windy deep,
How many millions sleep
'Neath thy valley and thy steep;
O bright careering sea !
O white, warm, bubbling spray,
Blown hissing all one way, —
O loud, resounding bay!
O lorn and stricken lea!
Thou, God, in whose clear sight
The day is as the night,
Man's weakness as his might,
The tempest works Thy will,
Obeys, is stayed by Thee;
Say to the wind and sea,
Peace! and a calm let be,
And all the tumult still.
LIFE THROUGH DEATH.-Archbishop Trench.
A DEWDROP falling on the wild sea-wave,
Exclaimed in fear,-'I perish in this grave;'
But in a shell received, that drop of dew
Unto a pearl of marvellous beauty grew ;
And, happy now, the grace did magnify
Which thrust it forth, as it had feared, to die ;-
Until again, ' I perish quite,' it said,
Torn by rude diver from its ocean bed :
Ah unbelieving !-so it came to gleam,
Chief jewel in a monarch's diadem.
I BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid
In their noonday dreams.