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Yet not to thy eternal rosting-place
Shalt thou retire alone; nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kinga
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills,
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun; the vales,
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods; rivers that move
In majesty; and the complaining brooks,
That make the meadow green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste, --
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man.
The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce;
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings; yet--the dead are there;
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep-the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest; and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come,
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid,
The bowed with age, the infant, in the smiles
And beauty of its innocent age cut off,
Shall, one by one, be gathered to thy side,
By those, who, in their turn, shall follow them.
So live, that, when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon; but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who
wraps the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
DAVID'S LAMENT OVER ABSALOM.
HE soldiers of the king trod to and fro,
Clad in the garb of battle; and their chief,
The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier,
And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly,
As if he feared the slumberer might stir.
A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade
As if a trumpet rang; but the bent form
Of David entered, and he gave command,
In a low tone, to his few followers,
And left him with his dead. The king stood still
Till the last echo died: then, throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of wo:-
* Alas! my noble boy! that thou should'st die!
Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair! That death should settle in thy glorious eye,
And leave his stillness in this clustering hair! How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
My proud boy Absalom!
DAVID'S LAMENT OVER ABSALOM.
“Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill,
As to my bosom I have tried to press thee. How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,
Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee, And hear thy sweet “my father,” from these dumb
And cold lips, Absalom!
“The grave hath won thee. I shall hear the gush
Of music, and the voices of the young;
And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung;
But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come
To meet me, Absalom!
“And, oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, How will its love for thee, as I depart,
Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token! It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,
To see thee, Absalom!
“And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
With death so like a gentle slumber on thee:And thy dark sin!-Oh! I could drink the cup,
If from this wo its bitterness had won thee. May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
My erring Absalom!"
He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment on his child: then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;
And, as a strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently, and left him there,
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.
TO THE LADY ANNE HAMILTON.
Too late I stayed, forgive the crime,
Unheeded flew the hours;
How noiseless falls the foot of Time
That only treads on flowers!
with clear account remarks The ebbing of his glass, When all its sands are diamond sparks
That dazzle as they pass!