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How the dark waste rings with voices shrill,
That startle the sleeping bird !
To-morrow eve must the voice be still,
And the step must fall unheard.
The Briton lies by the blue Champlain,
In Ticonderoga's towers ;
And ere the sun rise twice again,
The towers and the lake are ours !
the bowl from the brook that glides
Where the fire-flies light the brake :
A ruddier juice the Briton hides
In his fortress by the lake.
Build high the fire, till the panther leap
From his lofty perch in fright;
And we 'll strengthen our weary arms with sleep,
For the deeds of to-morrow night.
LV.- THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY.
UNFADING Hope! when life's last embers burn,-
When soul to soul, and dust to dust, return,-
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour :
0, then thy kingdom comes, Immortal Power!
What though each spark of earth-born rapture fly
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day : -
Then — then, the triumph and the trance begin,
And all the phoenix spirit burns within !
0, deep-enchanting prelude to repose ! The dawn of bliss! the twilight of our woes ! Yet half I hear the parting spirit sigh, It is a dread and awful thing to die ! Mysterious worlds, untraveled by the sun, Where Time’s far-wandering tide has never run! From your unfathomed shades, and viewless spheres, A warning comes, unheard by other ears :
THE PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY.
'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud !
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss.
Daughter of Faith, awake! arise ! illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb !
Melt and dispel, ye specter-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness o’er the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er, the
pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of heaven, undazzled by the blaze,
On heavenly winds, that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody,
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed its waves, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill!
Soul of the just! companion of the dead !
Where is thy home, and whither art thou fled ?
Back to its heavenly source thy being goes,
Swift as the comet wheels to whence he rose •
Doomed on his airy path a while to burn,
And doomed, like thee, to travel and return;
Hark! from the world's exploring center driven,
With sounds that shook the firmament of heaven,
Careers the fiery giant, fast and far,
On bickering wheels and adamantine car;
From planet whirled to planet more remote,
He visits realms beyond the reach of thought;
But wheeling homeward, when his course is run,
Curbs the red yoke, and mingles with the sun.
So hath the traveler of earth unfurled
Her trembling wings, emerging from the world,
And, o'er the path by mortal never trod,
Sprung to her source the bosom of her God!
LVI. — THE SONG OF THE CORNISH MEN.
When Sir Jonathan Trelawny, one of the seven bishops, was committed to
the Tower, in 1688, during the religious persecutions under King James, the men of the county of Cornwall, in England, rose one and all, and marched as far as Exeter on their way to free him from prison. It is said that the following song, which was sung all over the county, had great effect in alarming the government, and staying the course of persecution.
A GOOD sword and a trusty hand,
A merry heart and true, -
King James's men shall understand
What Cornish lads can do.
And have they fixed the where and when ?
And shall Trelawny die ?
Here's thirty thousand Cornishmen
Will see the reason why!
Out spake their captain, brave and bold,
A merry wight was he:
“ If London's Tower were Michael's hold,
We'll set Trelawny free!
“We'll cross the Tamar, land to land ;
The Severn is no stay ;
All side by side, and hand to hand, -
And who shall bid us nay?
“ And when we come to London wall,
A pleasant sight to view,
Come forth, come forth, ye cowards all,
To better men than you !
Trelawny, he is in keep and hold;
Trelawny, he may die;
But here's thirty thousand Cornish bold
Will see the reason why!”
O! THERE is a dream of early youth,
And it never comes again;
Tis a vision of light of life — of truth
That flits across the brain :
THE MURDERER'S CONFESSION.
And love is the theme of that early dream
So warm, so wild, so new,
That in all our after life I deem
That early dream we rue.
O! there is a dream of maturer years,
turbulent by far
'Tis a vision of blood, and of woman's tears,
For the theme of that dream is war;
And we toil in the field of danger and death,
And we shout in the battle array,
Till we find that fame is a bodiless breath,
That vanisheth away.
O! there is a dream of hoary age;
'Tis a vision of gold in store-
Of sums noted down in a figured page,
To be counted o'er and o'er ;
And we fondly trust in our glittering dust,
As a refuge from grief and pain,
Till our limbs are laid on that cold bed
Where the wealth of the world is vain
And is it thus from man's birth to his grave,
In the path which we all are treading ?
Is there naught in his wild career to save
From remorse and self-upbraiding?
O, yes! there's a dream so pure, so bright,
That the being to whom it is given
Hath bathed in a sea of living light,
And the theme of that dream is Heaven.
LVIII. – THE MURDERER’S CONFESSION
I PAUSED not to question the devil's suggestion,
But o'er the cliff
, headlong, the living was thrown;
A scream and a plashing, a foam and a flashing,
And the smothering water accomplished his slaughter,
All was silent, and I was alone !
With heart-thrilling spasm, I leant o'er the chasm;
There was blood on the wave that closed over his head, And in bubbles his breath, as he struggled with death,
Rose up to the surface. I shuddered and fled.
With footsteps that staggered, and countenance haggard,
I stole to my dwelling, bewildered, dismayed,
Till whisperings stealthy said, “ Psha! he was wealthy -
Thou ’rt his heir no one saw thee — then be not afraid.” Age-paralyzed, sickly, he must have died quickly,
Each day brought some new ill;
Why leave him to languish and struggle with anguish ?
The deed that relieved him from all that aggrieved him
Was kindly, not cruel.
In procession extended,,a funeral splendid,
With bannered displays and escutcheons emblāzoned,
To church slowly passed,
When a dread apparition astounded my vision ;
Like an aspen-leaf shaking, dumfounded and quaking,
I stood all aghast !
From its nailed coffin-prison the corpse had arisen,
And all in its shroud vesture, with menacing gesture,
And eyeballs that stared at me, flared at me, glared at me
It pointed — it flouted its slayer, and shouted,
In accents that thrilled me,
“That ruthless dissembler, that guilt-stricken trembler,
Is the villain who killed me!”
'Twas fancy's creation mere hallucination -
A lucky delusion ; for again my confusion,
Guilt's evidence sinister, seemed to people and minister
The painful achievement of grief and bereavement.
escape the ideäl, let me dwell on the reäl :
I, a pauper so lately,
In abundance possessing life's every blessing,
Fine steeds in my stable, rare wines on my table,
Servants dressed gayly, choice banquets daily,
A wife fond and beautiful, children most dutiful,
I, a pauper so lately, live richly and greatly,
In a mansion-house stately.
Life's blessings ? — 0, liar! all are curses most dire! -
In the midst of my revels,
eyes ever stare at me, flare at me, glare at me! Before me, when treading my mănors outspreading, There yawns an abysmal cliff precipice dismal : Isolation has vanished, all silence is banished ; Where'er I immew me, his death-shrieks pursue me,
I am haunted by devils !