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fable rests. The foundation of my story, therefore, has as little to do with Holy Writ as have the dreams of the later Platomists, or the reveries of the Jewish divines; and, in appropriating the notion thus to the uses of poetry, I have done no more than eatablish it in that region of fiction, to which the opinions of the most rational Fathers, and. of all other Christian theologians, have long ago consigned it.
In addition to the fitness of the subject for poetry, it struck me also as capable of affording an allegorical medium, through which might be shadowed out (as I have endeavoured to do in the following stories,) the fall of the Soul from its original purity—the loss of
'Twas when the world was in its prime,
When the fresh stars had just begun, Their race of glory, and young Time
Told his first birth-days by the sun; When, in the light of Nature's dawn
Rejoicing, men and angels met On the high hill and sunny lawn,Ere sorrow came, or Sin had drawn
'Twixt man and heaven her curtain yet! When earth lay nearer to the skies
Than in these days of crime and woe, And mortals saw without surprise, In the mid-air, angelic eyes
Gazing upon this world below.
Alas, that Passion should profane,
Ev'n then, that morning of the earth! That, sadder still, the fatal stain
Should fall on hearts of heavenly birth; And oh, that stain so dark should fall From Woman's love, most sad of all!
One evening, in that time of bloom,
On a hill's side, where hung the ray Of sunset, sleeping in perfume,
Three noble youths conversing lay; And, as they look’d, from time to time,
To the far sky where Daylight furl'd His radiant wing, their brows sublime
Bespoke them of that distant worldCreatures of light, such as still play,
Like motes in sunshine, round the Lord, And through their infinite array Transmit each moment, night and day,
The echo of His luminous word!
Of Heaven they spoke, and, still more oft, Of the bright eyes that charm'd them
And balmy evening's influence
The melting light that beam'd above,
Each told the story of his love,
The First who spoke was one, with look
The least celestial of the threeA Spirit of light mould, that took
The prints of earth most yieldingly; Who, ev'n in heaven, was not of those
Nearest the Throne, but held a place Far off, among those shining rows
That circle out through endless space, And o'er whose wings the light from Him In the great centre falls most dim.
Still fair and glorious, he but shone
A blight had, in his transit, sent,
And left their foot-prints as they went.
Sighing as through the shadowy Past
Like a tomb-searcher, Memory ran, Lifting each shroud that Time had cast
O'er buried hopes, he thus began :
FIRST ANGEL'S STORY.
'Twas in a land, that far
away Into the golden orient lies, Where Nature knows not night's delay, But springs to meet her bridegroom, Day,
Upon the threshold of the skies. One morn, on earthly mission sent,
And mid-way choosing where to light
Oh beautiful, but fatal sight!-
Which, while it hid no single gleam
More spirit like, as they might seem Through the dim shadowing of a dream.
Pausing in wonder I look'd on,
While playfully around her breaking
She mov'd in light of her own making.