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"Led they not forth, in rapture,
Resplendent as the morning sun,
"Well saw I the ancient parents,
They were moving slow, in weeds of woe, No maiden was by their side!"
THE CELESTIAL ARMY.
I Stood by the open casement,
And look'd upon the night,
Pass slowly out of sight.
Slowly the bright procession
And my soul discern'd the music
Till the great celestial army,
Became the eternal symbol
Onward, for ever onward,
Bed Mars led down his clan;
Was riding in the van.
And some were bright in beauty,
But these might be, in their great heights,
Downward, for ever downward,
Behind earth's dusky shore,
They pass'd, and were no more.
No more! oh say not so!
And downward is not just; For the sight is weak, and the sense is dim,
That looks through heated dust.
The stars and the mailed moon,
Though they seem to fall and die, Still sweep with their embattled lines
An endless reach of sky.
And though the hills of death
May hide the bright array,
Still keeps its onward way.
Upward, for ever upward,
I see their march sublime, And hear the glorious music
Of the conquerors of Time.
And long let me remember,
That the palest fainting one May to diviner vision be
A bright and blazing sun.
ONE OF THE HOMES.
A HEALTH OF TOWNS' BALLAD.
By Ebenezek Elliott, the Corn Law Rhymer.
The small boy in his home of sighs,
As if he hated man,
Frowning at little Ann.
'Twas worn to skin and bone: But whether it of famine died,
Or fever, is not known.
She wept, but not for John—and yet
She lov'd her brother well;
But why she could not tell.
Within the coffin small;
She thought she heard him call!
Above the dreadful frown;
The joiner screw'd it down.
The blighted feather'd flower,
Both blighted in one hour.
Where John whole hours would stay, When welcomed flowers came back again,
To welcome rainbow'd May! Flowers which by name he once could call!
For he, with childish pride,
Of flowers, that weekly died.
Had taught the child their names,
Outlandish flowers, in frames.
Was laid the coffin small;
So, there were four in all;
That never more would grow;
The blighted bud of woe;
That ne'er saw God's bless'd sun,
Tree wave, or river run.
And loth they seem'd to go;
Into the sewer below.
In fearful haste were they:
And heard the parson pray.
Kind, humble, just, and wise;
With pity's tearful eyes:
Once suffer'd long distress,
To honour'd usefulness.
And waved the holy book:
He look'd, with solemn look:
Stood mute, with ladies two:
A poor death-daring crew:
Sobbing; another said, "Thank God for Plague!" and darkly smiled;
A third said, " God is dead!"
Their sadness wore a frown;
Blasphemed the parson's gown.
Their prostrate hearts arose,
On each despairer's woes:
Through death to life we rise:
In sorrow lives and dies:
Dust are we, dust to be;
Let's not unman each other—part at once:
Ah! there is something holy in this hush—
This lake-like, still submergency of sound,
On whose unbroken quietudes our voices
Are as a desecration: and our steps
Fall on the throbbing silence, as a wail
Amidst the harmonious choruses of heaven—
As a tooth-grinding jar among the harps
Of angels and of hierarchies. (A pause.)
Away! What do we here? Our very heart's pulsations, Though they be low, and muffled like death-tolls, Are out of tune with this most musical silence: For they have something human in them—speak Of petty purposes, and all the broils That rack the bosom of mortality: But night is God and nature's. 'Tis the house, Black-pillar'd and sky-roofd, where they two hold Their grand unutterable intercourse.
J. Stanyan Bigg.
Oh sad no more! oh sweet no more!