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Nought! But the effluence of Thy light divine,
Pervading worlds hath reach'd my bosom too;
Yes ! in my spirit doth Thy spirit shine,
As shines the sun-beam in a drop of dew.
Nought! but I live, and on hope's pinions fly
Eager towards Thy presence; for in Thee
I live, and breathe, and dwell; aspiring high,
Even to the throne of Thy divinity:
I am, O God! and surely Thou must be!
Thou art, directing, guiding all, Thou art !
Direct my understanding then to Thee :
Control my spirit, guide my wandering heart;
Though but an atom 'midst immensity :
Still I am something, fashion'd by Thy hand !
I hold a middle rank 'twixt heaven and earth,
On the last verge of mortal being stand,
Close to the realms where angels have their birth,
Just on the boundaries of the spirit-land.
The chain of being is complete in me;
In me is matter's last gradation lost,
And the next step is spirit-Deity!
I can command the lightning, and am dust!
A monarch, and a slave! a worm, a god!
Whence came I here, and how ? so marvellously
Constructed and conceived ? unknown ! this clod
Lives surely through some higher energy;
For from itself alone it could not be !
Creator, yes! Thy wisdom and Thy word
Created me! Thou source of life and good!
Thou Spirit of my spirit, and my Lord!
Thy light, Thy love, in their bright plenitude
Fill'd me with an immortal soul, to spring
Over the abyss of death, and bade it wear
The garments of eternal day, and wing
Its heavenly flight beyond this little sphere,
Even to its source-to Thee—its Author there.
O thoughts ineffable ! O visions blest !
Though worthless our conceptions all of Thee,
Yet shall Thy shadow'd image fill our breast,
And waft its homage to thy Deity,
God! thus alone my lowly thoughts can soar;
Thus seek Thy presence-Being wise and good
Midst Thy vast works admire, obey, adore :
And when the tongue is eloquent no more,
The soul shall speak in tears of gratitude.
By Robert SOUTHEY.
'Twas a fair scene wherein they stood,
A green and sunny glade amid the wood,
And in the midst an aged banian grew.
It was a goodly sight to see
That venerable tree,
For o'er the lawn, irregularly spread,
Fifty straight columns propt its lofty head;
And many a long depending shoot,
Seeking to strike its root, Straight like a plummet, grew towards the ground.
Some on the lower boughs, which crost their way, Fixing their bearded fibres, round and round, With many a ring and wild contortion wound; Some to the passing. wind, at times, with sway
Of gentle motion swung;
Others of younger growth, unmoved were hung
Like stone-drops from the cavern's fretted height.
Beneath was smooth and fair to sight,
Nor weeds nor briers deform'd the natural floor;
And through the leafy cope which bower'd o'er
Came gleams of chequer'd light.
So like a temple did it seem, that there
A pious heart's first impulse would be prayer.
A THOUSAND miles from land are we,
Tossing about on the roaring sea;
From billow to bounding billow cast,
Like fleecy snow on the stormy blast:
The sails are scatter'd abroad, like weeds,
The strong masts shake like quivering reeds,
The mighty cables, and iron chains,
The hull, which all earthly strength disdains,
They strain and they crack, and hearts like stone,
Their natural, hard, proud strength disown.
Up and down! up and down !
From the base of the wave to the billow's crown,
And amidst the flashing and feathery foam,
The stormy peterel finds a home,
A home, if such a place may be,
For her who lives on the wide, wide sea,
On the craggy ice, in the frozen air,
And only seeketh her rocky lair
To warm her young, and to teach them spring
At once o'er the waves on the stormy wing.
O'er the deep! o'er the deep!
Whire the whale, and the shark, and the sword-fish sleep,
Outflying the blast and the driving rain,
The peterel telleth her tale, in vain-
For the mariner curseth the warning bird,
That bringeth him news of the storm unheard.
Ah! thus doth the prophet of good or ill,
Meet hate from the creature he serveth still;
Yet he ne'er falters—so, Peterel, spring
Once more o'er the waves on thy stormy wing!
BIRDS, joyous birds of the wandering wing!
Whence is it ye come with the flowers of spring ?
-“We come from the shores of the green old Nile,
From the land where the roses of Sharon smile,
From the palms that wave through the Indian sky,
From the myrrh-trees of glowing Araby.
We have swept o'er cities, in song renown'd
Silent they lie, with the deserts round!
We have cross'd proud rivers, whose tide hath rollid
All dark with the warrior blood of old ;
And each worn wing hath regain'd its home,
Under peasant's roof tree, or monarch's dome.”
And what have ye found in the monarch's dome,
Since last ye traversed the blue sea's foam ?
-“We have found a change, we have found a pall,
And a gloom o’ershadowing the banquet's hall,
And a mark on the floor, as of life-drops spilt-
Nought looks the same, save the nest we built !"
Oh, joyous birds, it hath still been so!
Through the halls of kings doth the tempest go!
But the huts of the hamlet lie still and deep,
And the hills o'er their quiet a vigil keep.
Say, what have ye found in the peasant's cot,
Since last ye parted from that sweet spot ?
"A change we have found there, and many a change!
Faces and footsteps and all things strange!
Gone are the heads of the silvery hair,
And the young that were, have a brow of care,
And the place is hush'd where the children play'd-
Nought looks the same, save the nest we made !"
Sad is your tale of the beautiful earth,
Birds that o'ersweep it in power and mirth !
Yet, through the wastes of the trackless air,
Ye have a guide, and shall we despair?
Ye over desert and deep have pass'd-
So shall we reach our bright home at last !
Poor and content is rich, and rich enough;
But riches enilless are as poor as winter,
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear,
Were discord to the speaking quietude
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which love hath spread
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow:
Yon darksome walls, whence icicles depend
So stainless, that their white and glittering spears
Tinge not the moon's pure beam : yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that wrapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace-all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness :
Where silence undisturb'd might watch alone,
So cold, so bright, so still.
THE SYLVAN SCENE.
Over head up grew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
A sylvan scene; and as the ranks ascend
Shade above shade, a woody theatre
Of stateliest view.