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Thy look, that utter'd wisdom while it warm'd,
And moulded fancy in the stamp of thought,
In poet's pencil or in minstrel's song,
Perceived a moment, and remember'd long!
To feeling gave a voice-to truth a tongue! Oh! what if gods have left the Grecian mount,
And shrines are voiceless on the classic shore, And long Egeria by the gushing fount
Waits for her monarch-lover never more,
Who hath not his Egeria ?-some sweet thought,
In the green valley of his brighter years,
And sings of hope, beside the fount of tears.
In the heart's trance-the calenture of mind
Like green morganas, on the tempest's strife; In the dim hour when memory-whose song
Is still of buried hope-sings back the dead, And perish'd looks and forms-a phantom-throng,— With melancholy eyes and soundless tread, Like lost Eurydices, from graves, retrack
The long-deserted chambers of the brain, Until the yearning soul looks fondly back,
To clasp them, and they vanish, once again; At even,-when the fight of youth is done,
And sorrow-like the "searchers of the slain,"Turns up the cold, dead faces, one by one,
Of prostrate joys and wishes,-but in vain! And finds that all is lost,-and walks around, Mid hopes that, each, has perish'd of its wound;
Then, pale Egeria! to thy moon-lit cave The madden'd and the mourner may retire,
To cool the spirit's fever in thy wave, And gather inspiration from thy lyre;
In solemn musings, when the world is still, To woo a love less fleeting to the breast,
Or lie and dream, beside the prophet-rill That resteth never, while it whispers rest;
Like Numa, cast earth's cares and crowns aside, And commune with a spiritual bride!
THE TEMPLE OF JUPITER OLYMPIUS, AT ATHENS.
THOU art not silent!-oracles are thine Which the wind utters, and the spirit hears, Lingering, mid ruin'd fane and broken shrine, O'er many a tale and trace of other years! Bright as an ark, o'er all the flood of tears That wraps thy cradle-land-thine earthly love, Where hours of hope, mid centuries of fears, Have gleam'd, like lightnings through the gloom above, [Jove! Stands, roofless to the sky, thy home, Olympian
Thy column'd aisles with whispers of the past Are vocal,-and, along thine ivied walls, While Elian echoes murmur on the blast, And wild-flowers hang, like victor-coronals, In vain the turban'd tyrant rears his halls, And plants the symbol of his faith and slaughters; Now, even now, the beam of promise falls Bright upon Hellas, as her own bright daughters, And a Greek Ararat is rising o'er the waters!
Thou art not silent! when the southern fair-Ionia's moon-looks down upon thy breast,
Smiling, as pity smiles above despair, Soft as young beauty soothing age to rest,Sings the night-spirit in thy weedy crest, And she, the minstrel of the moonlight hours Breathes-like some lone one, sighing to be blestHer lay, half hope, half sorrow, from the flowers, And hoots the prophet owl, amid his tangled bowers!
And, round thine altar's mouldering stones are born
SLUMBER LIE SOFT ON THY BEAUTIFUL EYE!
SLUMBER lie soft on thy beautiful eye! Spirits, whose smiles are-like thine-of the sky, Play thee to sleep, with their visionless strings, Brighter than thou, but because they have wings! Fair as a being of heavenly birth,
But loving and loved like a child of the earth! Why is that tear?-art thou gone, in thy dream, To the valley far-off, and the moon-lighted stream, Where the sighing of flowers and the nightingale's song
Fling sweets on the wave, as it wanders along!— Blest be the dream that restores them to thee, But thou art the bird and the roses to me!
And now, as I watch o'er thy slumbers, alone, And hear thy soft breathing, and know thee mine
And muse on the wishes that grew in that vale, And the fancies we shaped from the river's low tale, I blame not the fate which has taken the rest, Since it left, to my bosom, its dearest and best!
Slumber lie soft on thy beautiful eye!
Still art thou all which thou wert, when a child
I LEAVE thee now, my spirit's love!
All bright in youth's unclouded light; With sunshine round, and hope above,
Thou scarce hast learnt to dream of night.
With much that made thy childhood gay! But should we meet in darker years,
When clouds have gather'd round thy brow, How far more precious in thy tears,
Than in thy glow of gladness, now!—
Then come to me,-thy wounded heart
All-all thine own, mid good and ill!
Thou leavest me for the world! then go!
And, should that world look dark and cold, Then turn to him whose silent truth Will still love on, when worn and old,
The form it loved so well in youth!
Like that young bird that left its nest,
Lured, by the warm and sunny sky, From flower to flower, but found no rest, And sought its native vale to die ;
Go! leave my soul to pine alone;
But, should the hopes that woo thee, wither, Return, my own beloved one! And let-oh, let us die together!
STANZAS TO A LADY.
THE rose that deck'd thy cheek is dead, The ruby from thy lip has fled,
Thy brow has lost its gladness; And the pure smiles that used to play So brightly there, have pass'd away
Before the touch of sadness!Yet sorrow's shadows o'er thy face Have wander'd with a mellowing grace.
And grief has given to thine eye
Receives, when daylight's splendour
Thy low sweet voice, in every word, Breathes-like soft music far-off heard
The soul of melancholy!
And oh! to listen to thy sigh!
The evening gale that wanders by
But none may know the thoughts that rest
For oh! thou art, to mortal eyes,
And sadly pining for the day,
AGAIN-again she comes!-methinks I hear
And welcome sends from all its broken strings. It was not thus-not thus-we met of yore,
When my plumed soul went half-way to the sky To greet her; and the joyous song she bore
Was scarce more tuneful than the glad reply: The wings are fetter'd by the weight of years, And grief has spoil'd the music with her tears.
She comes-I know her by her starry eyes,
I know her by the rainbow in her hair! Her vesture of the light and summer skies
But gone the girdle which she used to wear Of summer roses, and the sandal flowers
That hung enamour'd round her fairy feet, When, in her youth, she haunted earthly bowers, And cull'd from all the beautiful and sweet. No more she mocks me with her voice of mirth, Nor offers now the garlands of the earth.
Come back, come back-thou hast been absent long,
Oh! welcome back the sybil of the soul, Who came, and comes again, with pleading strong, To offer to the heart her mystic scroll; Though every year she wears a sadder look,
And sings a sadder song, and every year Some further leaves are torn out from her book,
And fewer what she brings, and far more dear. As once she came-oh, might she come again, With all the perish'd volumes offer'd then.
But come-thy coming is a gladness yet―
Light from the present o'er the future cast, That makes the present bright-but oh-regret
Is present sorrow while it mourns the past;
That shows the hidden fountains of the breast, And turns, with point unerring, to divine
The places where its buried treasures rest Its hoards of thought and feeling; at that spell, Methinks I feel its long-lost wealth reveal'd, And ancient springs within my bosom swell
That grief had check'd, and ruin had conceal'd, And sweetly swelling where its waters stray, The tints and freshness of its earlier day.
She comes she comes-her voice is in mine ear,
Exulting throbs, though all save hope departs:
She comes-I know her by her radiant eyes, Before whose smile the long dim cloud departs; And if a darker shade be on her brow,
And if her tones be sadder than of yore, And if she sings more solemn music now,
And bears another harp than erst she bore, And if around her form no longer glow
The earthly flowers that in her youth she woreThat look is loftier, and that song more sweet, And heaven's flowers-the stars-are at her feet.
HOMES AND GRAVES.
How beautiful a world were ours,
But for the pale and shadowy One That treadeth on its pleasant flowers,
And stalketh in its sun!
Glad childhood needs the lore of time To show the phantom overhead; But where the breast, before its prime, That carrieth not its dead
The moon that looketh on whose home In all its circuit sees no tomb?
It was an ancient tyrant's thought,
To link the living with the dead; Some secret of his soul had taught
That lesson dark and dread; And, oh! we bear about us still
The dreary moral of his artSome form that lieth, pale and chill, Upon each living heart, Tied to the memory, till a wave Shall lay them in one common grave!
To boyhood hope-to manhood fears! Alas! alas! that each bright home Should be a nursing-place of tears,
A cradle for the tomb!
If childhood seeth all things loved
Where home's unshadowy shadows wave, The old man's treasure hath removedHe looketh to the grave!For grave and home lie sadly blent, Wherever spreads yon firmament.
A few short years-and then, the boy Shall miss, beside the household hearth, Some treasure from his store of joy,
To find it not on earth;
A shade within its sadden'd walls
Shall sit, in some beloved's room, And one dear name, he vainly calls, Be written on a tomb
And he have learnt, from all beneath, His first, dread, bitter taste of death!
And years glide on, till manhood's come;
And where the young, glad faces were, Perchance the once bright, happy home Hath many a vacant chair:
A darkness, from the churchyard shed,
And much of all home's light hath fled
Than sit and sadly smile at home.
Itself appears a tomb;
Go bravely trusting-trusting on; Bear up a few short years-and, lo!
The grave and home are one!— And then, the bright ones gone before Within another, happier home, And waiting, fonder than before,
Until the old man come
A home where but the life-trees wave; Like childhood's-it hath not a grave!
A VISION OF THE STARS.
For ever gone! the world is growing old!
Gone the bright visions of its untaught youth! The age of fancy was the age of gold,
And sorrow holds the lamp that lights to truth! And wisdom writes her records on a page
Whence many a pleasant tale is swept away— The wild, sweet fables of the dreaming age,
The gorgeous stories of the classic day. The world is roused from glad and glowing dreams, Though roused by light awaking still is pain, And oh could men renew their broken themes,
Then, would the world at times might sleep again. Oh for the plains-the bright and haunted plains— Where genius wander'd, when the earth was new, Led by the sound of more than mortal strains,
And gathering flowers of many a vanish'd hue! The deathless forms that on the lonely hill
Came sweetly gliding to the lonely breast, Or spoke, in spirit whispers, from the rill
That lull'd the watcher to his mystic rest! The shapes that met his steps by green and glade, Or glanced through mid-air, on their gleaming wings; [play'd; That hover'd where the young, wild fountains And hung in rainbows o'er the dancing springs, Or drew aside the curtains of the sky, And show'd their starry mansions to his eye! Oh! the bright tracks by truth from error won! The price we pay for knowledge, and in vain! For half the beauty of the world is gone,
Since science built o'er fancy's wild domain ! A dream of beauty! such as came, of old,
To him who came and watch'd the hosts of light, As one by one their fiery chariots roll'd,
In golden pomp along the vaults of night,
Till another, and another deep
Sent forth a spirit to the shining train, Their myriad motion rock'd his heart to sleep,
But left bright pictures in the haunted brain, Where forms grew up, and took the starry eyes That gleamed upon him from the crowded skies! A dream like his to whom the boon was given To read the story of the stars, at will, And, by the lights they held for him in heaven, Talk with their lady on the Latmos hill! A vision of the stars! the moon, to-night
Her antler'd coursers by the nymph-train driven, Rides in the chariot of her own sweet light,
To hunt the shadows through the fields of heaven! And oh! the hunting-grounds of yonder sky, Whose streams are rainbows, and whose flowers are stars!
The shapes of light that, as they wander by,
Do spirit homage from their golden cars! The meteor troop that, as she passes, play
Their fiery gambols in their lady's sight; And planet-forms that, on her crowded way,
Throw silver incense from their urns of light! Lo! Perseus, from his everlasting height,
Looks out to see the huntress and her train; And Love's own planet, in the pale, soft light,
Looks young, as when she rose from out the main! And, plying all the night, his starry wings,
Up to her throne, the herald of the sky From many an earthly home and hill-top, brings The mortal offering of a young heart's sigh! And round her chariot sail immortal forms,
Or darkly hang about its shining rim; And, far away, the scared and hunted storms
Leap from their presence, to their caverns dim! On-onward, at her own wild fancy led,
Along the cloud-land paths she holds her flight, Where rears the battle-star his crested head,
And bears his burning falchion through the night! Where, hand in hand, the brothers of the sky
Sit, like twin angels, or pure heavenward sleep; While far below, with urns that never dry,
The mourning Hyads hang their heads and weep! Where brightly dwell in all their early smiles,
Ere one was lost-the sweet and sister seven, Like blessed spirits, pausing from their toils,
Or some fair family at rest, in heaven. Where, swifter than her steeds, that never tireSome comet-shape--those couriers of the skyIn breathless haste, upon his barb of fire,
On some immortal message, rushes by! O'er the dim heights where, encircled by his train, And wearing on his brow his sparkling crown, The planet-monarch holds his ancient reign;
And, from his palace of the clouds, looks down, With stately presence and a smiling eye On his bright people of the boundless sky! Mid northern lights, like fiery flags unfurl'd, And soft, sweet gales that never reach the world; Mid flaming signs, that perish in their birth, And ancient orb, that have no name on earth; Hail'd by the songs of everlasting choirs, And welcomed from a thousand burning lyres! Oh! for the ancient dreamer's prophet eye, To see the hunting grounds of yonder sky;
To hang upon some planet's wheeling car,
THE CONVICT SHIP.
MORN on the waters!—and, purple and bright, Bursts on the billows the flushing of light! O'er the glad waves, like a child of the sun, See the tall vessel goes gallantly on; Full to the breeze she unbosoms her sail, [gale! And her pennant streams onward, like hope, in the The winds come around her, in murmur and song, And the surges rejoice, as they bear her along! Upward she points to the golden-edged clouds, And the sailor sings gayly, aloft in the shrouds! Onward she glides, amid ripple and spray, Over the waters-away, and away! Bright as the visions of youth, ere they part, Passing away, like a dream the heart!Who-as the beautiful pageant sweeps by, Music around her, and sunshine on high,Pauses to think, amid glitter and glow, Oh there be hearts that are breaking, below! Night on the waves !-and the moon is on high, Hung, like a gem, on the brow of the sky; Treading its depths, in the power of her might, And turning the clouds, as they pass her, to light! Look to the waters !-asleep on their breast, Seems not the ship like an island of rest? Bright and alone on the shadowy main, Like a heart-cherish'd home on some desolate plain! Who-as she smiles in the silvery light, Spreading her wings on the bosom of night, Alone on the deep,-as the moon in the sky,A phantom of beauty!—could deem, with a sigh, That so lovely a thing is the mansion of sin, And souls that are smitten lie bursting, within! Who-as he watches her silently gliding,Remembers that wave after wave is dividing Bosoms that sorrow and guilt could not sever, Hearts that are parted and broken for ever! Or deems that he watches, afloat on the wave, The death-bed of hope, or the young spirit's grave!
'Tis thus with our life, while it passes along, Like a vessel at sea, amid sunshine and song! Gayly we glide, in the glaze of the world, With streamers afloat, and with canvass unfurl'd; All gladness and glory to wandering eyes, Yet charter'd by sorrow, and freighted with sighs!— Fading and false is the aspect it wears, As the smiles we put on-just to cover our tears; And the withering thoughts which the world cannot know,
Like heart-broken exiles, lie burning below; While the vessel drives on to that desolate shore Where the dreams of our childhood are vanish'd and o'er !
I AM ALL ALONE.
I AM all alone! and the visions that play
And the light of my heart is dimm'd and gone, And I sit in my sorrow,-and all alone!
And the forms which I fondly loved are flown,
And weaves her wreath of hope's faded flowers,
And the home of my childhood is distant far,
And the song goes round, and the glowing smile; But I am desolate all the while!
And faces are bright and bosoms glad,
I wander about, like a shadow of pain, [brain;
THE eye must be dark that so long has been dim, Ere again it may gaze upon thine;
But my heart has revealings of thee and thy home, In many a token and sign:
I need but look up with a vow to the sky,
And a light like thy beauty is there; And I hear a low murmur like thine in reply, When I pour out my spirit in prayer.
And though, like a mourner that sits by a tomb, I am wrapp'd in the mantle of care,
Yet the grief of my bosom-oh, call it not gloom!Is not the dark grief of despair.
By sorrow reveal'd, as the stars are by night, Far off a bright vision appears;
A hope-like the rainbow-a being of light, Is born, like the rainbow, in tears.
I know thou art gone to the home of thy rest;
I know thou art gone where the weary are blest,
And hope, the sweet singer that gladden'd the earth, Lies asleep on the bosom of bliss.