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Nor oft has peopled earth sent up
—66 The life of Mirabeau is o'er !" From its one heart a nation wail'd,
For well the startled sense divined A greater power had fled away
Than aught that now remained behind. The scathed and haggard face of will, And look so strong with weapon'd thought, Had been to many million hearts
The All between themselves and naught; And so they stood aghast and pale,
As if to see the azure sky
Come shattering down, and show beyond
Calmly they show us mankind victorious O'er all that's aimless, blind, and base; Their presence has made our nature glorious, Unveiling our night's illumined face.
Thy toil has won them a god-like quiet;
And shape us a home of refuge here.
For Dædalus breathed in them his spirit;
The gifts and blessing bestow'd on these. But ah! their wise and graceful seeming
Recalls the more that the sage is gone; Weeping we wake from deceitful dreaming, And find our voiceless chamber lone.
Dædalus thou from the twilight fleest,
Which thou with vision hast made so bright; And when no more those shapes thou seest, Wanting thine eye they lose their light. E'en in the noblest of man's creations,
Those fresh worlds round this old of ours, When the seer is gone, the orphan'd nations See but the tombs of perish'd powers.
Wail for Dædalus, earth and ocean!
Stars and sun, lament for him! Ages quake, in strange commotion !
All ye realms of life, be dim! Wail for Dædalus, awful voices,
From earth's deep centre mankind appal! Seldom ye sound, and then death rejoices, For he knows that then the mightiest fall.
How swiftly pass a thousand years!
Green pasture mix'd with rocks of gray; And there huge monsters roll and feed,
Each frame a mass of sullen life; Through slimy wastes and woods of reed They crawl and tramp, and blend in strife. How swiftly pass a thousand years!
And o'er the wide and grassy plain, A human form the prospect cheers,
The new-sprung lord of earth's domain. Half-clad in skins he builds the cell,
Where wife and child create a home; To heaven he feels his spirit swell,
And owns a might beyond the dome. How swiftly pass a thousand years!
And lo! a city and a realm; Its weighty pile a temple rears,
And walls are bright with sword and helm: Each man is lost amid a crowd;
Each power unknown now bears a name ; And laws, and feasts, and songs are loud, And myriads hail their monarch's fame.
How swiftly pass a thousand years! And now beside the rolling sea, Where many a sailor nimbly steers,
The ready tribes are bold and free. The graceful shrine adorns the hill;
The square of council spreads below; Their theatres a people fill,
And list to thought's impassion'd flow. How swiftly pass a thousand years! We live amid a sterner land, Where laws ordain'd by ancient seers
Have train'd the soul to self-command. There pride, and policy, and war,
With haughty fronts are gazing slow, And bound at their trumphal car,
O'ermaster'd kings to darkness go. How swiftly pass a thousand years!
And chivalry and faith are strong; And through devotion's humble tears
Is seen high help for earthly wrong: Fair gleams the cross with mystic light
Beneath an arch of woven gloom, The burgher's pledge of civil right,
The sign that marks the monarch's tomb. How swift the years! how great the chain
That drags along our slight to-day! Before that sound returns again
The present will have stream'd away; And all our world of busy strength
Will dwell in calmer halls of time, And then with joy will own at length, Its course is fix'd, its end sublime.
EARTH, of man the bounteous mother, Feeds him still with corn and wine; He who best would aid a brother,
Shares with him these gifts divine. Many a power within her bosom
Noiseless, hidden, works beneath; Hence are seed, and leaf, and blossom, Golden ear and cluster'd wreath.
These to swell with strength and beauty,
Earthly goods for earthly lives,
What the dream, but vain rebelling, If from earth we sought to flee? "Tis our stored and ample dwelling "Tis from it the skies we see.
Wind and frost, and hour and season, Land and water, sun and shade, Work with these, as bids thy reason,
For they work thy toil to aid.
Sow thy seed and reap in gladness!
WITHIN a dark monastic cell
A monk's pale corpse was calmly laid, Peace on his lips was seen to dwell,
And light above the forehead play'd. Upon the stone beneath his hand
Was found a small and written scroll, And he whose eye the record scann'd
From this dim part must guess the whole. "There comes a thought at dead of night, And bids the shapes of sleep be gone, A thought that's more than thought, a sight On which the sun has never shone.
"A pale, stern face, and sterner far,
Because it is a woman's face; It gleams a waning worn-out star,
That once was bright with morning grace.
"An icy vision, calm, and cold,
The sprite of vanish'd hours it seems; It brings to me the times of old,
That look like, but that are not, dreams. "It brings back sorrows long gone by,
And folly stain'd not wash'd with tears; Years fall away like leaves, and die
And life's bare bony stem appears.
"Dark face! Thou art not all a shade
Through my young veins, beat high for thee.
Thou showest the hues of my despair.
The cross lights up the ghostly shade. "Around its foot the shapes of fear,
Whose eyes my weaker heart appal, As sister suppliants thrill the ear
With cries that loud for mercy call.
"Thou, God, wilt hear! Thy pangs are meant To heal the spirit, not destroy; And fiends from hell for vengeance sent,
When thou commandest, work for joy."