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One moment in thy doubts-when my bless'd soul
Ascended from the couch of pain and grief
To liberty, and uncontrolled joy.
I look'd on thee, and though in bliss, there rose
Something, which when on earth, had been a wish
That thou couldst see ine, and that I could soothe
Thy grief, and bind thy faith ; for thou didst doubt
In thy affliction, and didst fear thyself
Of God and hope forsaken-then the prayer
of the departing Saint, the holy Man
Of those dim caves, arose unto the Heaven
For thy benighted soul, that thus the faith
Of him whose heart was righteous, should not die
As the guilt-spotted man's—then Heaven heard
And when the words of power were said, I swept
Downward from my bright cloud, and with the stream
Mingled my spirit, and from its misty breast,
Rose up before thine eyes.
Blesses thy gentle love, that thus survives
The grave, and mingles with eternity!
I am more happy in this holy bond,
Than hadst thou lived on earth ; and yet there is
One bliss, if it may be, that I would claim-
I hear thee, see thee-might I touch thy hand
With my still earthly lip?
No; for that hand
Were charged for thee with death ; and this is not
Thine hour, Oh, Beloved !-but, it comes
I feel a higher sense of joy than e'er
Mine essence knew before, for soon thou wilt
Unfetter'd be, and thy delighted spirit
Roam blessedly with me; but soft--the air
Is cut before me; something human comes
Tinted with richer hues, for there remain’d,
The roseate colours of my flower-born robe,
Memorial of my visit !-So, when man
Hereafter,-as he will,-shall seek this spot,
He will behold with wonder the rose hues
Blushing upon the snow !
Oh, lot of bliss !
Would that I might par take it !
So thou wilt!
Be faithful to the last, thy lot will be
As is thy Zoe's; not yet perfect, but
Pure as it can be, till th' accounting day,
Which will unbar the golden gates of Heaven,
Shall give us entrance there !
But Zoe, say
The sinner when he perishes, how fares
His spirit in its wanderings ; doth it dwell
At large, as thine ?
The Spirit. No !- for his liberty Is portion'd to his actions; and that is As the Almighty dooms him ; sometimes he Sleeps in a torpid sleep-the trance of deathDull, heavy, senseless. Such are those who have Inactive been, and reckless of the gifts With which they were endow'd ; their lives unmark'd By any good, although unstain’d by crimeSpendthrifts of time--who dogg'd away their clays As they were nights, or as, instead of time,
Eternity, was written on the brows
Of those who stood around them—The sin-stain’d
Are darker doom'd-sometimes enfetter'd to
The earth which they have quitted, they are bound
To mark the consequences of their guilt,
And watch their issue. The proud Greek of old,
The Macedonian, who with toil and blood,
Strode high above the necks of fellow-men,
And trampled on warm hearts, and wither'd joy,
To raise a mighty empire, was condemn'd
To see his huge throne shaken, and his friends
Sever, one by one, the columns !-He beheld
The swords his own ambition had unsheath’d,
Plunged in his children's hearts, and saw their shades
Rise trembling from the earth, and mount afar
Above his gloomy dungeon. These are those
Who, chain'd within the womb of the fierce sea,
Are tossed to and fro by the wild storm,
And never rise in air, except to pour
Destruction on the labouring vessel, which
May bear some ancient friend, or child beloved,
Or a lamenting wife. Some are compellid
To guide the thunderbolt of wrath, which rends
To fragments their own home ;-such one I mark'd
Weeping and throwing lightnings, and averting
His eye from where they fell ! — And others float
A pestilence in air, and
death To the bosoms best belov'd.' The Oppressor, who Rent from the hungry the coarse sordid meal, To heap up treasures for his heirs, beholds Those heirs expire of famine, which himself A deadly blight upon the herb and com Breathes o'er the healthy land. The Tyrant's scourge Is wielded by the Demons, who through space With stripes pursue the spectre-worse the lot Of him the envy-struck, who is condemn'd To watch the bliss of those he most abhors, And which he strove to crush; he is, indeed, The tortured for the penalties of hell Alone exceed the measure of his pangs.
Leontine. I love the theme, and yet I fear to ask, Lest with unhallow'd question I offend The mercy of the Holiest!-If it be Permitted thee to answer, hath thine eye Gazed on the Majesty of God ? The Spirit.
It is Permitted thee to question, for thy tongue Is chain'd from uttering the secrets deep, Which have been breathed into thy list’ning ear. Thou art as yet but mortal, but ere long Thy soul shall be enfranchised ; even now I see, but thou canst not, where near thee stands The beauteous shadowy King, who looks on thee With a soft, solemn smile, and whose cold hand Will fall so lightly on thy youthful brow, That to the charm'd beholder his still rest Shall seem like infant's sleep; but guard thee well, Temptation cometh-danger and distress Will soon beset thy soul--but be thou firm, And thou wilt be with membut not to gaze Upon the light of the Eternal's eye. That may not be till after Earth and Heaven
Have pass'd away, and the great day hath judged
Who merits such high glory; for there is
No bigher bliss than that which is reserved.
Draw from the stream the ring- I may not stay
Amid the sons of earth--draw forth the ring,
And give me liberty. Once more alone,
Recall me to thy presence.
Soul of my love, ascend yon floating cloud,
Fringing with silver the blue canopy
Of the majestic earth-repose, until
The voice of love recall thee.
I must not
Complain; for murmuring I am too bless'd-
Earth hath some part in me, and I may not,
As yet, disdain her claims. So then, her sons,
I will not chide away.
Enter Basil, Zeno, and GREEKS, with ANDRONICUS.
Thou hear'st, he speaks,
Conversing with the demons-now, old man,
Wring from thy son his secret, let him prove
His innocence, or else behold him die!
Andronicus. Insatiate bigot! Oh! my son, my son !
Have mercy on thy father's snowy head';
Bring not the grey hairs to the grave in woe-
Let me not see thy young blood fall to earth,
Ere the old man's hath fail'd–My son, my son!
Let me not lose thee- if thou canst-reveal
Thy secret, and preserve thy life.
It is not worth a crimeI will not break
My promise—but I stand prepared to die.
Weep not, oh father--death for me is bliss.
I go to meet my Zoe-lead ye on.
The punishment of sorcery, though I
Am guiltless of the sin, I am prepared
To meet, oh friends—Peace, dearest father, peace !
We shall soon meet again-Now to the death
My soul, my soul is ready.
Wilt thou, son,
Wilt thou destroy thy father ?
Wish me not
To live a sinful, and a hopeless man.
Now, if I die, 'tis blessedly-I go.
High Heaven will heal thine anguish, as before
It closed the wounds of mine.
Friends, he will die
Unshrinkingly-see--for himself, he has
No fears. Attack his young heart in its loves
Seize on his father-let him victim be
Of the young sorcerer's crimes.
Old man, thy son
Claims pity for his youth; but thou, whose age
Should have far better taught, and better ruled
His wayward spirit, thou shalt perish, man,
The victim of his secret.
Justice ! Justice!
What hath my father done?
The worst of sins !
Permitted thy young soul, which, to his charge
The Eternal hath committed, to run wild
To plunge into unhallow'd mysteries,
Forbidden unto man ;-therefore, again,
Thou shalt, as guilty, die.
I am content !
Leontine. Content !-thou, righteous heaven ! hear me! oh hear !
Sinless is my pursuit, but if ye
My wanderings other, why then, let me die ;
I stand prepared-bind on these hands your chains,
And let my father go.
Nor urge him farther – Ye have wisely judged
Lead me unto the bed of peace, which waits
To clasp the limbs of the life wearied man.
Zeno. Lead him unto his sentence.
Ye stir not. That which from my tortured soul,
With such unhallow'd eagerness ye tear,
Will benefit ye nothing-harden'd hearts
Cannot partake the miracle-This ring-
Oh agony! must I for ever lose
My lonely hope—my happiness and ne'er
Look on her face again : and I must live
This lone and wretched thing. Oh, Zoe-no!
I dare not—will not— Treasured gem, return
Into thy master's bosom.
The old man to the block.
Take-take the ring-
'Tis done-'tis past-I am a wretch-My sire
Clasp me unto thine heart-close-close-thy life
Is sacred-safe-thy son's is
Thy usage of this ring.
I will, but let
Me treasure this last moment of my peace--
I am the wretch doom'd to a violent death,
Who lingers out the last hour of his life,
Unwilling still to part—that ring, it isme
Oh, Zoe! I am mad—my very soul
Is starting through mine eyes I am all heart,
And that will heave and burst.
The ring, the ring-
Sorcerer, declare its powers.
It was given
By a most holy man, in my lone hour,
To save me from despair ; he said, that while
I kept the secret, if into this stream,
Beneath the moonbeam, I should plunge the ring,
It would recall to the forgotten earth
The shade of my beloved !
I would behold the wonder.
For your eyes
Thus envy spotted, in her purity
She will not come to earth-nor is it in
Her power to compass this-the charm was broke
When I reveal'd the secret.
Her presence to this world, or cv'n now
Thy father dies the death.
She said my hour
Was not far distant-can I not escape
These tyrannies, and die !-Oh pardon, God!
I will endure-still-still, I will endure,
And wait till I am summon'd, though it be
In agonies unceasing.
The virtues of thy ring—there, wretch, the stream
Hath swallow'd it for ever- -Silent be
The impious lip of sorcery !
Music, hark !
And what a gale of sweetness breathes around:
My senses ache; for the oppression grows
Too strong for mortal bearing.
[The Spirit rises in the cloud.
Leontine. Heaven ! She comes,
Miue own, mine only one- She comes once more,
In all her shadowy glory, with a smile
More joyously enchanting-hour of bliss,
I deem'd thee past for ever.
Thou hast done
With hours now, beloved. Thy account
With time is closed for ever ; now thou step'st
Within the circle of eternity.
Thou hast achiev'd the conquest of thy foe.
The Tempter who beset thee—thou didst give
Thine all for filial love, and wast resign'd
To live a groaning wretch; for this the wreath-
The coronet of Icicles doth wait
To bind thy happy brow, and that thy death
Be favour'd as thy life, lo! I am sent
To summon thee to glory, and to peace
Now then we part no more-thou art mine own.
Henceforward and for ever, the loved charm,
The golden chord is broken. Mourn thou not
Thy father, peace will crown his few short days,
For I have open'd his earth-clouded eyes,
And now, with holiest joy, he looks upon us.,,
Thou didst once ask to touch my death-chill'd hand-
Approach me now, and on thy lips receive
This holy kiss, and sink upon my breast.-
'Tis done !-Earth take thy part, the silent clay
Soul !-to the elements !
Good Zeno, speak.
Art thou entranced too-what hast thou seen?
Zeno. Nought but a silvery cloud, from which there comes
Sounds as of heavenly music. We have wrong’d
The innocent Leontine!-Is he dead !-
Can that be death !-A smile is on his face!
O pardon, Heaven, if, in our zeal, we have
Destroy'd the innocent.--Oh, good old man,
Forgive us for thy son!
My son is dead!
Glory to God !-My heaven-claim'd son is gone.
Gone from all misery- from pain, from sin
Unto eternal bliss.- Glory to God!
The flowers he planted, he hath gather'd young
To bloom in paradise! The stars he lent
To light this earth, he hath reclaimed now
To place within his crown !—Praise be to God !
Glory to the Almighty !. This subject is partly taken from a Tale, published some years since, entitled, * The Ring and the Well."