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And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Christ is a path if any be misled:
He is a robe, if any naked be:
If any be but weak, how strong is he!
To blind men, sight: and to the needy, wealth:
Pass some fleeting moments by,
I ffiston of Immortality
Most of our readers, we suppose, have read Bryant's celebrated poem, called "Thanatopsis," and while admiring its beauty, have regretted that u contained no allusion to man's immortality. The following sequel, which though indulging in some poetic license, is much more in accordance with the dignity of man and the truths of Christianity.—Ed. " The Friend."
I Who essayed to sing, in earlier days,
The Tlumatopsis and The Hymn to Death,
Wake now the Hymn to Immortality.
Yet once again, Oh man, come forth and view
The haunts of Nature ; walk the waving fields,
Enter the silent groves, or pierce again
The depths of the untrodden wilderness,
And she shall teach thee. Thou hast learned before
One lesson—and her Hymn of Death hath fallen
With melancholy sweetness on thine ear;
Tet she shall tell thee with a myriad tongue
That life is there—life in uncounted forms—
Stealing in silence through the hidden roots,
In every branch that swings—in the green leaves,
And waving grain, and the gay summer flowers
That gladden the beholder. Listen now,
And she shall teach thee that the dead have slept
But to awaken in more glorious forms—
And that the mystery of the seed's decay
Is but the promise of the coming life.
Each towering oak that lifts its living head
To the broad sunlight, in eternal strength,
Glorious to tell thee that the acorn died.
The flowers that spring above their last year's grave
Are eloquent with the voice of life and hope—
And the green trees clap their rejoicing hands,
Waving in triumph o'er the earth's decay!
Yet not alone shall flower and forest raise
A Vision Of Immortality.
The voice of triumph and the hymn of life.
The insect brood are there !—each painted wing
That flutters in the sunshine, broke but now
From the close cerements of a worm's own shroud,
Is telling, as it flies, how life may spring
In its glad beauty from the gloom of death.
Where the crushed mould beneath the sunken foot
Seems but the sepulchre of old decay,
Turn thou a keener glance, and thou shalt find
The gathered myriads of a mimic world.
The breath of evening and the sultry morn
Bears on its wing a cloud of witnesses,
That earth from her unnumbered caves of death
Sends forth a mightier tide of teeming life.
Raise then the Hymn to Immortality!
The broad green prairies and the wilderness,
And the old cities where the dead have slept,
Age upon age, a thousand graves in one,
Shall yet be crowded with the living forms
Of myriads, waking from the silent dust.
Kings that lay down in state, and earth's poor slaves,
Resting together in one fond embrace,
The white-haired patriarch and the tender babe,
Grown old together in the flight of years.
They of immortal fame and they whose praise
Was never sounded in the ears of men,—
Archon and priest, and the poor common crowd,—
All the vast concourse in the halls of death,
Shall waken from the dreams of silent years
To hail the dawn of the immortal day.
Aye, learn the lesson. Though the worm shall be
Thy brother in the mystery of death!
And all shall pass, humble and proud and gay
Together, to earth's mighty charnel-house,
Yet the Immortal is thy heritage!
A Vision Of Immortality.
The grave shall gather thee: yet thou shalt come,
Beggar or prince, not as thou wentest forth,
In rags or purple, but arrayed as those
Whose mortal puts on Immortality!
Then mourn not when thou markest the decay
Of Nature, and her solemn hymn of death
Steals with a note of sadness to thy heart.
That other voice, with its rejoicing tones,
Breaks from the mould with every bursting flower,
"O grave ! thy victory!" And thou, Oh, man,
Burdened with sorrow at the woes that crowd
Thy narrow heritage, lift up thy head
In the strong hope of the undying life,
And shout the Hymn to Immortality.
The dear departed that have passed away
To the still house of death, leaving thine own,
The gray-haired sire that died in blessing thee,
Mother or sweet-lipped babe, or she who gave
Thy home the light and bloom of Paradise,—
They shall be thine again, when thou shalt pass,
At God's appointment, through the shadowy vale,
To reach the sunlight of the Immortal Hills.
And thou that gloriest to lie down with kings,
Thine uncrowned head now lowlier than their's,
Seek thou the loftier glory to be known
A king and priest to God,—when thou shalt pass
Forth from these silent halls to take thy place
With patriarchs and prophets and the blest
Gone up from every land to people heaven.
So live, that when the mighty caravan,
Which halts one night-time in the vale of Death,
Shall strike its white tents for the morning march,
Thou shalt mount onward to the Eternal Hills,
Thy foot unwearied, and thy strength renewed
Like the strong eagle's for the upward flight! Bryant. BT CAROLINE SOUTHEY.
Know ye the little plant that springs,
Up from a heathen sod,
Where fall not showers, and fall not dews,
And stream and fount are dry,
Earth sometimes like a desert seems—
Life's comfort streams are dry;
Poor pilgrim of Ceylon! not thou,
That mystic urn can show, That living water hast not thou— Thou knowest not whence its flow: The Bible, page inspired! to that I turn, When earth's last stream is dry, that's my Nepenthes' urn