Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ORDINATION HYMN.

On the sacred errand bent,

Two and two they sallied forth; Darkness vanished where they went; Peace immortal dawned on earth. In their holy steps to tread, Other two we now ordain: On their path thy glory shed; Lord, their steadfast feet sustain.

Heralds to the young and low,
Give them words to touch and win;
Words to calm the sobs of woe,

Words to wake the sleep of sin.
Heralds of eternal truth,

Arm them with immortal love; Spread thy shield around their youth, Take their honored age above.

A CURE FOR SEA-SICKNESS:

LINES ON A NEW NOTION;

COMPOSED AT SEA,

Monday Night, April 6, 1829.

I SING the story of the ancient ark, –
That oarless, rudderless, and sailless bark,
Which through the deluge bore the holy clerk,
And saved the creatures in its chambers dark.

The clouds collect; the various tribes embark;
The fountains of the deep break up, - and hark!
Above the matins of the early lark
The thunders roll. Beyond th' appointed mark
Of ocean's ancient shores, this great nearch
Rides o'er the ruins of earth's fertile park.
How sad the wide-spread ravage to remark!
Quenched of all earth-born life the moving spark!
And wrecks, and beasts, and human corses stark,
Throng round the life-boat of the patriarch.

The months roll on. He sends the dove to mark
Th' abating floods. And now they disembark:
Men kneel; the creatures leap, fly, scream, and bark;
And o'er them circles Mercy's radiant arc.

THE VISION OF LIBERTY,

AN ODE, RECITED BEFORE THE PHI BETA KAPPA SOCIETY OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY,

August 26, 1824.

THE matter of the following lines is not a poetical invention, but the simple versification of what was actually dreamed about thirty years ago. The dreams were repeated to the writer by one who heard them at the time, and to whose recollection they were brought by the exhilarating events of the last week. An English lady residing in Hingham, about 1794, imagined that there stood before her a vast and venerable building, which, as she was looking at it, began to wax hot and red, and at length, as if with the violence of the heat, flew to pieces and disappeared; when on the spot where it had stood, appeared a beautiful female figure, whom she knew to be the goddess of Liberty. About the same time, a gentleman in Massachusetts saw in his dream a temple of wonderful magnificence and beauty. As he was approaching to enter it, a bell sounded from the dome with an uncommonly musical tone. He cast his eye up, and was surprised to see written upon it, in golden letters, the name of FAYETTE.

The irregular stanza was chosen simply because it seemed to. offer fewest embarrassments to a person writing in haste.

Is there some genial spirit of the night,
That rules the sleeping mind,

And pours within a more effectual light,
When the closed eye of sense is blind?

THE VISION OF LIBERTY.

Is it some spirit, that, in vision,
The secrets of futurity betrays,
Unveiling those bright scenes Elysian,
That wait for man in better days?

Or is it but that Fancy strays

In bolder and prophetic ways,
When slumbering Reason drops her stern control;
And, from her plodding interference freed,
Resumes some native power to read

The unsealed records of Time's lengthening scroll?

The evening heavens were calm and bright;
No dimness rested on the glittering light
That sparkled from that wilderness of worlds on high.
Those distant suns burned on with quiet ray;

The placid planets held their modest way;
And silence reigned profound o'er earth, and sea, and sky.

O, what an hour for lofty thought!
My spirit burned within; I caught
A holy inspiration from the hour.

Around me man and nature slept;
Alone my solemn watch I kept,

Till morning dawned and Sleep resumed her power.

A vision passed upon my soul.
I still was gazing up to heaven,
As in the early hours of even;
I still beheld the planets roll,

And all those countless sons of light

Flame from the broad blue arch, and guide the moonless

night;

When, lo! upon the plain,

Just where it skirts the swelling main,
A massive castle, far and high,

In towering grandeur broke upon my eye.
Proud in its strength and years, the ponderous pile
Flung up its time-defying towers;
Its lofty gates seemed scornfully to smile
At vain assault of human powers,
And threats and arms deride.
Its gorgeous carvings of heraldic pride
In giant masses graced the walls above,
And dungeons yawned below.

Yet ivy there and moss their garlands wove, Grave, silent chroniclers of Time's protracted flow.

Bursting on my steadfast gaze,

See, within, a sudden blaze!

So small at first, the zephyr's lightest swell,

That scarcely stirs the pine-tree top,

Nor makes the withered leaf to drop,

The feeble fluttering of that flame would quell.

But soon it spread

Waving, rushing, fierce, and red-
From wall to wall, from tower to tower,
Raging with resistless power,

Till every fervent pillar glowed,

And every stone seemed burning coal,
Instinct with living heat, that flowed
Like streaming radiance from the kindled pole.

Beautiful, fearful, grand,

Silent as death, I saw the fabric stand.

« AnteriorContinuar »