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An Angel Visit.
intense feeling which seemed to be awakened within me, that my brain grew dizzy, and my eye became dim. I was awakened from this state, by the touch of my supernatural instructor, who pointed me to the volume in which I had read my own terrible history, now closed, and bearing a seal, on which, with a sickening heart, I read the inscription: "Reserved until the day of judgment." "And now," said the angel, " my commission is completed. "Thou hast been permitted what was never granted to man before. What thinkest thou of the record? Dost thou not justly tremble? How many a line is here, which, "dying thou couldst wish to blot?" I see thee already shuddering at the thought of the disclosure of this volume at the day of judgment, when an assembled world shall listen to its contents. But if such be the record of one year, what must be the guilt of thy whole life? Seek, then, an interest in the blood of Christ, justified by which, thou shalt indeed hear, but not to condemnation. Pray, that when the other books are opened, thy name may be found in the book of life. And see, the volume prepared for the history of another year: yet its page is unsullied. Time is before thee—seek to improve it; privileges are before thee—may they prove the gate of heaven! Judgment is before thee—prepare to meet thy God." He turned to depart, and as I seemed to hear the rustling which announced his flight, I awoke. Was it all a dream 1
"Whatever passes as a cloud between,
A Proverb has been called the wisdom of many, and the wit of one.
How well I remember the day I first met thee!
'Twas in scenes long forsaken, in moments long fled! Then little thought I that a world would regret thee,
And Europe and Asia both mourn for thee, dead. Ah, little thought I, in those gay sunny hours,
That round thy young head e'en the laurel would twine, Still less that a wreath of the Amaranth flowers,
Inwreathed with the Palm, would, Oh Heber, be thine!
We met in the world—and the light that shone round thee,
Was the dangerous blaze of Wit's meteor ray; But e'en then, though unseen, Mercy's Angel had found thee,
And the bright star of Bethlehem was marking thy way, To the banks of the Isis, a far fitter dwelling,
Thy footsteps returned, and thy hand to its lyre, While thy heart with the Bard's bright ambition was swelling,
But holy the theme was that wakened its fire.
Again in the world and with worldlings I met thee—
And then thou wert welcomed as " Palestine's Bard:" They had scorned at the task which the Saviour had set thee,
The Christian's rough labour, the martyr's reward, Yet the one was thy calling—thy portion the other—
The far shores of India received thee and blest, And its lowliest of teachers dared greet as a brother,
And love thee, though clad in the prelate's proud vest.
In the meek, humble christian forgot was thy greatness—
The follower they saw of a crucified Lord: For thy zeal showed His spirit, thy accents His sweetness,
And the heart of the heathen drank deep of the word.
To The Memory Of Reginald Heber. 197
Bright as short was thy course, when a coal from the altar, Had touched thy blest lip, and the voice bade thee " Go,"
Thy haste could not pause, and thy step could not falter, 'Till o'er India's wide sea had advanced thy swift prow.
In vain her fierce sun with its cloudless effulgence,
Seemed arrows of death to shoot forth with each ray,
But on to the goal urged thy perilous way.
When the dark sons of India came round thee in throngs, While thee as a father they fondly regarded,
Who taught them and blessed in their own native tongues.
When thou heard'st them their faith's awful errors disclaiming,
Profess the pure creed which the Saviour had given, Those moments thy mission's blest triumph proclaiming,
Gave joy, which to thee, seemed a foretaste of Heaven! Still on cried the voice, and surrounding the altar,
Trichonopoly's sons hailed thy labours of love, Ah me! with no fear did thine accents then falter 1
No secret forebodings thy conscious heart move?
Thou had'st ceased, having taught them what rock to rely on:
And had doffed the proud robes which to prelates belong; But the next robe for thee was the white robe of Zion,
The next hymn thou heard'st was the seraphim's song! Here hushed be my lay—for, a far sweeter verse
Thy requiem I'll breathe in thy numbers alone, For the bard's votive offering to hang on thy hearse,
Should be formed of no language less sweet than thine own.
"Thou art gone to the grave! but we will not deplore thee: Since God was thy refuge, thy ransom, thy guide;
He gave thee—He took thee—and He will restore thee:
To him who in the love of nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language ; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And gentle sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,—
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To nature's teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air,—
Comes a still voice—Yet a few days, and theo
The all beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrend'ring up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to th' insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thy eternal resting place
Shalt thou retire alone—nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre :—The hills,
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,—the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between,
The venerable woods—rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green ; and pour'd round all,
Old ocean's gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribe,
That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
Of morning—and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet—the Dead are there,
And millions, in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.—
So shalt thou rest—and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living—and no friend
Take note of thy departure 1 All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom ; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and employments, and shall come,