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-He was the bard of gifts divine,
To sway the hearts of men ; He of the song for Salem's shrine,
He of the Sword and Pen !
Thine is a strain to read amongst the hills,
The old and full of voices—by the source
Of some free stream, whose gladdening presence fills
The solitude with sound—for in its course
Even such is thy deep song, that seems a part
Of those high scenes, a fountain from their heart.
Or its calm spirit fitly may be taken
To the still breast, in some sweet garden-bowers,
Where summer winds each tree's low tones awaken,
And bud and bell with changes mark the hours.
There let thy thoughts be with me, while the day
Sinks with a golden and serene decay.
Or by some hearth where happy faces meet,
When night hath hush'd the woods with all their birds,
There, from some gentle voice, that lay were sweet
As antique music, link'd with household words.
While, in pleas’d murmurs, woman's lip might move,
And the rais’d eye of childhood shine in love.
Or where the shadows of dark solemn yews
Brood silently o'er some lone burial-ground,
Thy verse hath power that brightly might diffuse
A breath, a kindling, as of spring, around,
From its own glow of hope and courage high,
And steadfast faith's victorious constancy.
True bard and holy !—thou art e’en as one
Who, by some secret gift of soul or eye,
In every spot beneath the smiling sun,
Sees where the springs of living waters lie-
Unseen awhile they sleep_till, touch'd by thee,
Bright, healthful waves flow forth, to each glad wanderer
Hark! from the dim church-tower,
The deep, slow curfew's chime ! A heavy sound unto hall and bower,
In England's olden time!
Sadly 'twas heard by him who came
From the fields of his toil at night,
And who might not see his own hearth's flame
In his children's eyes make light.
Sadly and sternly heard
As it quench'd the wood-fire's glow, Which had cheer'd the board, with the mirthful word,
And the red wine's foaming flow; Until that sullen, booming knell,
Flung out from every fane, On harp, and lip, and spirit fell,
With a weight, and with a chain.
Woe for the wanderer then
In the wild-deer's forests far !
No cottage lamp, to the haunts of men,
Might guide him as a star.
And woe for him, whose wakeful soul,
With lone aspirings fill'd,
Would have liv’d o'er some immortal scroll,
While the sounds of earth were still’d.
And yet a deeper woe,
For the watchers by the bed,
Where the fondly lov’d, in pain lay low,
And rest forsook the head.
For the mother, doom'd unseen to keep
By the dying babe her place,
And to feel its fitting pulse, and weep,
Yet not behold its face !
Darkness, in chieftain's hall !
Darkness, in peasant's cot ! While Freedom, under that shadowy pall,
Sat mourning o'er her lot.