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THE MOTION OF THE MISTS.
HERE by the sunless lake
there is no air, Yetwith how ceaseless motion, with how strange Flowing and fading, do the high mists range The gloomy gorges of the mountains bare. Some weary breathing never ceases there,
The ashen peaks can feel it hour by hour;
The purple depths are darkened by its power ; A soundless breath, a trouble all things share That feel it come and go. See ! onward swim
The ghostly mists, from silent land to land, From gulf to gulf; now the whole air grows dim
Like living men, darkling a space, they stand. But lo! a Sunbeam, like the Cherubim,
Scatters them onward with a flaming brand.
I think this is the very stillest place
On all God's earth, and yet no rest is here. The vapours
mirrored in the black loch's face Drift on like frantic shapes and disappear ;
A never-ceasing murmur in mine ear
There is no rest at all, afar or near,
I feel flows on like those, restless and proud;
Before that breathing nought within my brain
Pauses, but all drifts on like mist and cloud ; Only the bald peaks and the stones remain,
Frozen before Thee, desolate and bowed.
Stirred by that weary breathing, whither away?
And whither, O ye dreams ! that night and day Drift o'er the troublous life, tremble, and blend To broken lineaments of that far Friend,
Whose strange breath's come and go ye feel so deep?
O Soul ! that hast no rest and seekest sleep, Whither? and will thy wanderings ever end ? All things that be are full of a quick pain;
Onward we fleet, swift as the running rill, The vapours drift, the mists within the brain
Float on obscuringly and have no will. Only the bare peaks and the stones remain, These only,—and a God sublime and still.
IN THE SHADOWS.
And come, blue deeps ! magnificently strewn With coloured clouds- large, light, and fugitive
By upper winds through pompous motions blown. Now it is death in life-a vapour dense
Creeps round my window till I cannot see
The far snow-shining mountains and the glens
Shagging the mountain tops. O God ! make free This barren, shackled earth, so deadly cold.
Breathe gently forth thy Spring, till Winter flies In rude amazement, fearful and yet bold,
While she performs her customed charities. I weigh the loaded hours till life is bareO God! for one clear day, a snowdrop, and sweet air !
Thy silver waters, Brook, are creeping;
Thy weary friend lies sleeping :
His eyes are closed to human seeming,
If he, indeed, be dreaming.
O Brook ! he smiled, a happy child,
Upon thy banks, and loved thy crying,
A trouble purifying;
Dream-eyed and tearful, like a woman,
To speech divine and human.
O Brook! in song full sweet and strong
He sang of thee he loved so dearly;
And murmur to him cheerly;
Though life no more slips strangely through him, Yet he may sleep more sound, to hear
His friend so close unto him.
And when at last the sleepers cast
Their swathes aside, and, wondering, waken,
In silvern arms uptaken.
Up to the Footstool, softly flowing,
DECLENSION AND REVIVAL.
‘From Me is thy fruit found.' DIE IE to thy root, sweet flower!
If so God wills, die even to thy root; Live there awhile an uncomplaining, mute, Blank life, with darkness wrapped about thy head, And fear not for the silence round thee spread. This is no grave, though thou among the dead Art counted, but the Hiding-place of Power.
Die to thy root, sweet flower !
Spring from thy root, sweet flower ! When so God wills, spring even from thy root; Send through the earth's warm breasta quickened shoot ; Spread to the sunshine, spread unto the shower, And lift into the sunny air thy dower Of bloom and odour. Life is on the plains, And, in the woods, a sound of buds and rains That sing together. Lo! the winter's cold Is past, sweet scents revive, thick buds unfold; Be thou, too, willing in the Day of Power: Spring from thy root, sweet flower!
FEBRUARY IST, 1842.
Since merry bells rang out the dying year,