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Ex Oriente Lux.
[THE following lines are founded upon the well-known scruple of Jews and Mussulmans against trampling on paper, lest the name of God may be destined to be written on it, or be so already.]
Nor yet to peace, and wished-for end
All moon-led currents run,
And not all blest those souls that blend
Creation, not without a law,
Of wrath to come, a longing not more clear-
Let none despise his brother; deeds are done
Once, in the heat of youthful blood,
The sea, with a murmur low and strange,
Ran white with surf; and no soft turf
But ruins vast their shadows cast,
Whose dying ears had heard the immemorial roar.
A ruined city! but here and there
A street, a mosque, a fort,
A belt of palm-trees crossed the air
To render yet more grim and bare
I saw the forests, far inland
Beneath some archway's ebon shade, And the fierce tigress has her lair
In the royal colonnade.
The few poor hinds, who sought to gain
While gaunt hyænas nightly trooping down, With demon-laughter scare the sleeping town.
The sun was high as I sprang to land
And stood upon the burning sand:
"God knows," I cried, "His ways are still Concealed from human ken;
How this alternate good and ill
Falls on the tribes of men.
This place so populous and great,
So blazed in ancient story,
The ancient greeting on mine ear-
The man I seek is here,
For on your youthful cheek there glows
I looked upon the seemly dress,
We toiled amid the brooding beats, The stifling silence of the streets; The very dogs had sought the shade,
While strength remained to crawl, No living creature movement made Save where the salamanders played
About the blinding wall.
No human frame could live, and bear
But help was nigh, not far before
Had brought us to the resting-place,
My guide stopped short; and turning round,
A scrap of paper from the ground;
And, "See, my son," he said
As in the porch at length we stood,—
"Sinners are we, but ONE is good,
This fluttering shred, we know not whence it came,
How shall its future fate be clear,
Perhaps to-morrow, even here,
Some hand shall trace the great Elohim's name." "Oh, if the meanest things appear
(My words broke forth without control)
"For His sake precious thus and dear,
No hearts to our dim sight are shown,
H. G. K.
GOD IN NATURE.
"THOU turnest away thy face, and they are troubled."
BEHOLD! an earthly Heaven, a realm of air,
Their streams, their trees, their wooded hills are lost
And the horizon meets the sky, like Ocean's.
Whence are these tender hues, these lights and shades,
Upon the nearer mountains; what this haze,
Is it in us, not them, the splendour dwells?
That robes them with a radiance not their own?
Ah see! the clouds draw up, and veil the plain,
Where now the splendour of the scene? where now
The glory that we see on Nature's face,
H. G. K.