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There was a high and holy place, a spot
Of sacred light, a most religious sane,
Where Happiness, descending, sat and smiled,
What tongue !-no tongue shall tell what bliss o'erflowed
The mother's tender heart, while round her hung
The offspring of her love, and lisped her name
As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven,
That made her fairer far, and sweeter seem
Than every ornament of costliest hue!
And who hath not been ravished, as she passed
With all her playful band of little ones,
Like Luna with her daughters of the sky,
Walking in matron majesty and grace?
All who had hearts here pleasure sound: and oft
Have I, when tired with heavy task, for tasks
Were heavy in the world below, relaxed
My weary thoughts among their guiltless sports,
And led them by their little hands a-field,
And watched them run and crop the tempting flower-
Which oft, unasked, they brought me, and bestowed
With smiling face, that waited for a look
Of praise--and answered curious questions, put
In much simplicity, but ill to solve;
And heard their observations strange and new;
And settled whiles their little quarrels, soon
Ending in peace, and soon forgot in love.
Gay, guileless, sportive, lovely little things!
Playing around the den of sorrow, clad
In smiles, believing in their fairy hopes,
And thinking man and woman true! all joy,
Happy all day, and happy all the night!
But there was one in folly further gone ;
With eye awry, incurable, and wild,
The laugbing-stock of devils and of men,
And by his guardian-angel quite given up-
The Miser, who with dust inanimate
Held wedded intercourse. Ill-guided wretch!
Thou might'st have seen him at the midnight hour,
When good men slept, and in light-winged dreams
Ascended up to God-in wasteful hall,
With vigilance and fasting worn to skin
And bone, and wrapped in most debasing rags-
Thou might'st bave seen him bending o'er his heaps,
And holding strange communion with his gold;
And as his thievish fancy seemed to hear
The night-man's foot approach, starting alarmed,
And in his old, decrepit, withered hand,
That palsy shook, grasping the yellow earth
To make it sure. Of all God made upright,
And in their nostrils breathed a living soul,
Most fallen, most prone, most earthy, most debased.
Of all that sold Eternity for Time,
None bargained on so easy terms with death.
Illustrious fool! Nay, most inhuman wretch!
He sat among his bags, and, with a look
Which Hell might be ashamed of, drove the poor
Away unalmsed; and 'midst abundance died-
Sorest of evils--died of utter want!
crace ? - found: and of ask, for tasks
relaxed quiltless sports, = a.field, the tempting flowerme, and bestowed r a look questions, put e; age and new; rrels, soon in love.
clad hopes, me! all joy, night!
Not unremembered is the hour when friends
Met. Friends, but few on earth, and therefore dear;
Sought oft, and sought almost as oft in vain;
Yet always sought, so native to the heart,
So much desired and coveted by all.
Nor wonder those-thou wonderest not, nor nced'st.
Much beautiful, and excellent, and fair,
Than face of faithful friend, fairest when seen
In darkest day; and many sounds were sweet,
Most ravishing and pleasant to the ear;
But sweeter none than voice of faithful friend,
Sweet always, sweetest heard in loudest storm.
Some I remember, and will ne'er forget;
My early friends, friends of my evil day;
Friends in my mirth, friends in my misery too;
Friends given by God in mercy and in love;
My counsellors, my comforters, and guides;
My joy in grief, my second bliss in joy;
Companions of my young desires; in doubt
My oracles, my wings in high pursuit.
0, I remember, and will ne'er forget
Our meeting spots, our chosen sacred hours,
Our burning words that uttered all the soul,
Our faces beaming with unearthly love;
Sorrow with sorrow sighing, hope with hope
Exulting, heart embracing heart entire.
As birds of social feather helping each
His fellow's flight, we soared into the skies,
And cast the clouds beneath our feet, and earth,
With all her tardy leaden-footed cares,
And talked the speech, and ate the food of heaven!
These I remember, these selectest men,
And would their names record; but what avails
My mention of their names? Before the throne
They stand illustrious 'mong the loudest harps,
And will receive thee glad, my friend and theirs-
For all are friends in heaven, all faithful friends;
And many friendships in the days of time
Begun, are lasting bere, and growing still;
So grows ours evermore, both theirs and mine.
Pleasant were many scenes, but most to me
The solitude of vast extent, untouched
By hand of art, where nature sowed herself,
And reaped her crops; whose garments were the clouds;
Whose minstrel brooks; whose lamps the moon and stars ;
Whose organ-choir the voice of many waters;
Whose banquets morning dews; whose heroes storms;
Whose warriors mighty winds; whose lovers flowers;,
Whose orators the thunderbolts of God;
Whose palaces the everlasting hills;
Whose ceiling heaven's unfathomable blue;
And from whose rocky turrets battled high
Prospect immense spread out on all sides round,
Lost now beneath the welkin and the main,
Now walled with hills that slept above the storm.
Most fit was such a place for musing men,
Happiest sometimes when musing without aim.
It was, indeed, a wondrous sort of bliss
The lonely bard enjoyed when forth be walked,
Unpurposed; stood, and knew not why; sat down,
And knew not where; arose, and knew not when;
Had eyes, and saw not; ears, and nothing heard;
And sought-sought neither heaven nor earth-sought noughi,
Nor meant to think ; but ran meantime through vast
Of visionary things, fairer than aught
That was; and saw the distant tops of thoughts,
Which men of common stature never saw,
Greater than aught that largest worlds could hold,
Or give idea of to those who read.
He entered into Nature's holy place,
Her inner chamber, and beheld her face
Unveiled ; and heard unutterable things,
And incommunicable visions saw;
Things then unutterable, and visions then
Of incommunicable glory bright;
But by the lips of after-ages formed
To words, or by tbeir pencil pictured forth;
Who, entering farther in, beheld again,
And heard unspeakable and marvellous things,
Which other ages in their turn revealed,
And left to others greater wonders still.
The Seasons came and went, and went and came,
To teach men gratitude; and as they passid,
Gave warning of the lapse of time, that else
Had stolen unheeded by. The gentle flowers
Retired, and, stooping o'er the wilderness,
Talk'd of humility, and peace, and love.
The dews came down unseen at evening.tide,
And silently their bounties shed, to teach
Mankind unostentatious charity.
With arm in arm the forest rose on high,
And lesson gave of brotherly regard.
And, on the rugged mountain-brow exposed,
Bearing the blast alone, the ancient oak
Stood, listing high his mighty arm, and still
To courage in distress exhorted loud.
The flocks, the herds, the birds, the streams, the breeze,
Attun'd the heart to melody and love.
Mercy stood in the cloud, with eye that wept
Essential love; and, from her glorious bow,
Bending to kiss the earth in token of peace,
With her own lips, her gracious lips, which God
Of sweetest accent made, she whisper'd still,
She whisper'd to Revenge, Forgive, forgive!
The sun, rejoicing round the earth, announced
Daily the wisdom, power, and love of God.
The Moon awoke, and from her maiden face,
Shedding her cloudy locks, look'd meekly forth,
And with her virgin stars walk'd in the heavens,
Walk'd nightly there, conversing, as she walk'd,
Of purity, and holiness, and God.
In dreams and visions, sleep instructed much.
Day utter'd speech to day, and night to night
Taught knowledge. Silence had a tongue; the grave,
The darkness, and the lonely waste, had each
A tongue, that ever said, Man! think of God!
Think of thyself! think of eternity!
Fear God, the thunders said; Fear God, the waves.
Fear God, the lightning of the storm replied.
Fear God, deep loudly answer'd back to deep.
Hail love, first love, thou word that sums all bliss !
The sparkling cream of all Time's blessedness,
The silken down of happiness complete!
Discerner of the ripest grapes of joy!
She gathered and selected with her hand
All finest relishes, all fairest sights,
All rarest odors, all divinest sounds,
All thoughts, all feelings dearest to the soul;
And brought the holy mixture home, and filled
The heart with all superlatives of bliss.
But who would that expound, which words transcends,
Must talk in vain. Behold a meeting scene
Of early love, and thence infer its worth.
It was an eve of autumn's holiest mood.
The corn-fields, bathed in Cynthia's silver light,
Stood ready for the reaper's gathering hand;
And all the winds slept soundly. Nature seemed
In silent contemplation to adore
Its Maker. Now and then the aged leaf
Fell from its fellows, rustling to the ground;
And, as it fell, bade man think on his end.
On vale and lake, on wood and mountain highi,
With pensive wing outspread, sat heavenly Thought,
Conversing with itself. Vesper looked forth
From out her western hermitage, and siniled;
And up the east, unclouded, rode the moon
With all her stars, gazing on earth intense,
As if she saw some wonder working there.
Such was the night, so lovely, still, serene,
When, by a hermit thorn that on the hill
Had seen a hundred flowery ages pass,
A damsel kneeled to offer up her prayer-
Her prayer nightly offered, nightly heard.
This ancient thorn had been the meeting place
Of love, before his country's voice had called .
The ardent youth to honored oflice far
Beyond the wave : and bither now repaired,
Nightly, the maid, by God's all seeing eye
Seen only, while she sought this boon alone-
“Her lover's safety, and his quick return."
In holy, humble attitude she kneeled,
And to ber bosom, fair as moonbeam, pressed
One hand, the other lifted up to heaven.
Her eye, upturned, bright as the star of morn,
As violet meek, excessive ardor streamed,
Wafting away her earnest heart to God.
Her voice, scarce uttered, soft as Zephyr sighs
On morning's lily cheek, though soft and low,
Yet heard in heaven, heard at the mercy-seat.
A tear drop wandered on her lovely face;
It was a tear of faith and holy fear,
Pure as the drops that hang at dawning-time
On yonder willows by the stream of life.
On her the moon looked steadfastly; the stars