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By PATTEN. “She sleeps ! how long she sleeps ! the sun hath sunk
beneath the west, And risen twice, yet still she keeps that deep and placid
rest. Why do they pass before me thus, her slumbering form to
view ? Come hither, brother, thou and I will gaze upon her too; But stay! we will not look there yet, but let us wait until The midnight stars are beaming bright, and all around is
still, Save when the moaning winds sweep by in whispers low and
deep, And then together we will go and view her in her sleep."
“ Stster! tread softly! hark! that sound! 'twas but the
midnight hour Tolling so harsh and heavily from yonder distant tower; Come, sister, tremble not, 'tis true the time is lone and
drear, And dimly burns the taper dark that sits beside the bier ; But thou didst breathe a prayer to me, a whisper'd prayer
but now, To come at midnight hour and gaze upon thy mother's
brow. This is the hour, and we have pass'd along the silent hall, And thus, as by the dead we stand, I take away the pallAnd here the coffin's lid I move—and here I raise the veilTurn, gentle sister, turn and look upon her features pale; Stoop down and kiss her pallid cheek—though cold and
damp it be, It is the same which in thy mirth so oft was press'd by
thee. And clasp in thine the lifeless hand that lies upon her
breast, Where pillow'd in thine infant years thou oft hast sunk to
“My eyes grow dim !-sweet brother, haste! and come with
me away! Is this the form which once I loved ! this ghastly thing of
They told me that she only slept—and that she still was fair,
As when upon her brow I used to part her raven hair.
Is this my mother?-No, oh! no,—not this on which I've
gazed, Her eyes were bright like angel's eyes, but these are fix'd
and glazed, Her lips were smiling like the sky that never knew a cloud; But these are silent, closed and pale-pale as the winding
shroud. My eyes grow dim, sweet brother, haste and come with me
awayNo, this is not the form I loved—this ghastly thing of clay.”
Another of the marvellously luxurious descriptions by KEATS ; a wealth of words without rival in English poetry.
He was a poet, sure a lover too,
Who stood on Latmus' top, what time there blew
Soft breezes from the myrtle vale below;
And brought, in faintness solemn, sweet, and slow,
A hymn from Dian's temple; while upswelling,
The incense went to her own starry dwelling.
But though her face was clear as infants' eyes,
Though she stood smiling o'er the sacrifice,
The poet wept at her so piteous fate,
Wept that such beauty should be desolate:
So in fine wrath some golden sounds he won,
And gave meek Cynthia her Endymion.
Queen of the wide air; thou most lovely queen
Of all the brightness that mine eyes bave seen!
As thou exceedest all things in thy shine,
So every tale does this sweet tale of thine.
O for three words of honey, that I might
Tell but one wonder of thy bridal night!
Where distant ships do seem to show their keels,
Phæbus awbile delay'd his mighty wheels,
And turn'd to smile upon thy bashful eyes,
Ere he his unseen pomp would solemnize.
The evening weather was so bright, and clear,
That men of health were of unusual cheer;
Stepping like Homer at the trumpet's call,
Or young Apollo on the pedestal :
And lovely women were as fair and warm,
As Venus looking sideways in alarm.
The breezes were ethereal, and pure,
And crept through half-closed lattices to cure
The languid sick, it cool'd their fever'd sleep,
And sooth'd them into slumbers full and deep.
Soon they awoke clear-eyed: nor burn'd with thirsting,
Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples bursting:
And springing up, they met the wondering sight
Of their dear friends, nigh foolish with delight;
Who feel their arms, and breasts, and kiss and stare,
And on their placid foreheads part the hair.
Young men and maidens at each other gazed,
With hands held back, and motionless, amazed
To see the brightness in each other's eyes;
And so they stood, fill'd with a sweet surprise,
Until their tongues were loosed in poesy.
Therefore no lover did of anguish die :
But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken,
Made silken ties, that never may be broken.
Cynthia! I cannot tell the greater blisses
That follow'd thine, and thy dear shepherd's kisses :
Was there a poet born ?-But now no more-
My wandering spirit must no farther soar.
MUSIC IN A CHURCH. This fine passage is from a poem by JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL, entitled “ A Legend of Brittany." THEN swell'd the organ: up through choir and nave
The music trembled with an inward thrill
Of bliss at its own grandeur: wave on wave
Its flood of mellow thunder rose, until
The hush'd air shiver'd with the throb it gave,
Then, poising for a moment, it stood still,
And sank and rose again, to burst in spray
That wander'd into silence far away.
Like to a mighty heart the music seem'd,
That yearns with melodies it cannot speak,
Until, in grand despair of wbat it dream'd,
In the agony of effort it doth break,
Yet triumphs breaking; on it rush'd and stream'd
And wanton'd in its might, as when a lake,
Long pent among the mountains, bursts its walls
And in one crowding gush leaps forth and falls.
Deeper and deeper shudders shook the air,
As the huge bass kept gathering heavily, Like thunder when it rouses in its lair,
And with its hoarse growl shakes the low-hung sky: It grew up like a darkness everywhere,
Filling the vast cathedral;—suddenly,
From the dense mass a boy's clear treble broke
Like lightning, and the full-toned choir awoke.
Through gorgeous windows shone the sun aslant,
Brimming the church with gold and purple mist, Meet atmosphere to bosom that rich chant,
Where fifty voices in one strand did twist Their varicolour'd tones, and left no want
To the delighted soul, which sank abyss'd In the warm music cloud, while, far below, The organ heaved its surges to and fro.
When from the sacred garden driven,
Man fled before his Maker's wrath,
An angel left her place in heaven,
And cross'd the wanderer's sunless path.
'Twas Art! sweet Art! new radiance broke,
Where her light foot flew o'er the ground;
And thus with seraph voice she spoke,
“The curse a blessing shall be found."
She led him through the trackless wild,
Where noontide sunbeam never blazed :-
The thistle shrunk—the harvest smiled,
And nature gladden'd as she gazed.
Earth's thousand tribes of living things,
At Art's command to him are given,
The village grows, the city springs,
And point their spires of faith to heaven,
He rends the oak—and bids it ride,
To guard the shores its beauty graced ;
He smites the rock-upheaved in pride,
See towers of strength, and domes of taste.
Earth's teaming caves their wealth reveal,
Fire bears his banner on the wave,
He bids the mortal poison heal,
And leaps triumphant o'er the grave.
He plucks the pearls that stud the deep,
Admiring beauty's lap to fill :
He breaks the stubborn marble's sleep,
And mocks his own Creator's skill.
With thoughts that swell his glowing soul,
He bids the ore illume the page,
And proudly scorning time's control,
Commerces with an unborn age.
In fields of air he writes his name,
And treads the chambers of the sky;
He reads the stars, and grasps the flame,
That quivers round the throne on high.
In war renown'd, in peace sublime,
He moves in greatness and in grace ;
His power subduing space and time,
Links realm to realm, and race to race.