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The Angels of Wind and of Fire
Chaunt only one hymn, and expire
With the song's irresistible stress; Expire in their rapture and wonder, As harp-strings are broken asunder
By music they throb to express.
But serene in the rapturous throng,
With eyes unimpassioned and slow, Among the dead angels, the deathless Sandalphon stands listening breathless
To sounds that ascend from below ;
From the spirits on earth that adore, From the souls that entreat and implore
In the fervor and passion of prayer ;
From the hearts that are broken with losses,
And weary with dragging the crosses
Too heavy for mortals to bear.
And he gathers the prayers as he stands,
Into garlands of purple and red;
Is wafted the fragrance they shed.
It is but a legend, I know,-
Of the ancient Rabbinical lore ;
But haunts me and holds me the more.
When I look from my window at night,
All throbbing and panting with stars, Among them majestic is standing Sandalphon the angel, expanding
His pinions in nebulous bars.
And the legend, I feel, is a part
The frenzy and fire of the brain,
To quiet its fever and pain.
OR THE POET'S AFTERTHOUGHT.
HAVE I dreamed ? or was it real,
What I saw as in a vision,
When to marches hymeneal,
Moved my thought o’er fields Elysian ?
What! are these the guests whose glances
Seemed like sunshine gleaming round me; These the wild, bewildered fancies, That with dithyrambic dances,
As with magic circles, bound me?
Ah! how cold are their caresses !
Pallid cheeks and haggard bosoms!
Spectral gleam their snow-white dresses, And from loose, dishevelled tresses
Fall the hyacinthine blossoms !
O my songs ! whose winsome measures
Filled my heart with secret rapture ! Children of my golden leisures ! Must even your delights and pleasures
Fade and perish with the capture ?
Fair they seemed, those songs sonorous,
When they came to me unbidden;
In the dark of branches hidden.