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The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies,
Are crossed by pathways, that
appear As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, We may
discern—unseen before A path to higher destinies.
Nor deem the irrevocable Past,
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last
To something nobler we attain.
THE PHANTOM SHIP.
In Mather's Magnalia Christi,
Of the old colonial time,
That is here set down in rhyme.
A ship sailed from New Haven,
And the keen and frosty airs, That filled her sails at parting,
Were heavy with good men's prayers.
“O Lord ! if it be thy pleasure” –
Thus prayed the old divine“ To bury our friends in the ocean,
Take them, for they are thine!”
But Master Lamberton muttered,
And under his breath said he,
“This ship is so crank and walty
I fear our grave she will be !"
And the ships that came from England,
When the winter months were gone,
Brought no tidings of this vessel
Nor of Master Lamberton,
This put the people to praying
That the Lord would let them hear
What in his greater wisdom
He had done with friends so dear.
And at last their prayers were answered :
It was in the month of June,
An hour before the sunset
Of a windy afternoon,
When, steadily steering landward,
A ship was seen below, And they knew it was Lamberton, Master,
Who sailed so long ago.
On she came, with a cloud of canvas,
Right against the wind that blew, Until the eye could distinguish
The faces of the crew.
Then fell her straining topmasts,
Hanging tangled in the shrouds, And her sails were loosened and lifted,
And blown away like clouds.
And the masts, with all their rigging,
Fell slowly, one by one,
As a sea-mist in the sun !