Page images
PDF
EPUB

Amid the noblest of the land
Men lay the sage to rest,
And give the bard an honored place,
With costly marbles drest,
In the great minster transept
Where lights like glories fall,
And the sweet choir sings, and the organ rings
Along the emblazoned hall.

This was the bravest warrior
That ever buckled sword;
This the most gifted poet
That ever breathed a word;
And never earth's philosopher
Traced with his golden pen,
On the deathless page, truths half
As he wrote down for men.

sage

And had he not high honor?
The hillside for his pall !
To lie in state while angels wait
With stars for tapers tall !
And the dark rock-pines like tossing plumes
Over his bier to wave,
And God's own hand, in that lonely land,
To lay him in his grave!

In that deep grave without a name,
Whence his uncoffined clay
Shall break again, -0 wondrous thought!
Before the Judgment-Day,

And stand, with glory wrapped around,
On the hills he never trod,
And speak of the strife that won our life
With the incarnate Son of God.

O lonely tomb in Moab's land !
O dark Beth-peor's hill !
Speak to these curious hearts of ours,
And teach them to be still :
God hath his mysteries of grace,
Ways that we cannot tell,
He hides them deer, like the secret sleep
Of him he loved so well.

Cecil Frances Alerander.

Olivet, the Mount.

MOUNT OLIVET.

!

on Olivet's famed mount we stand, And view once more this sad but glorious land; Here, lost in thought, the bard might linger long, But we must break our dream, and close our song. The sun with purple paints the western hills, And earth and heaven a holy quiet fills; Calm in her desolation Salem sleeps, Round Omar's mosque the tall green cypress weeps; Soft gleam the rays on church and convent-spire,

And each slight minaret is tipped with fire:
Peace, like an angel, midst the coming gloom
O’er Calvary hangs, and wraps Messiah's tomb.
A spell on that dim city seems to lie,
And hush the hills around, and crimson sky;
It is not age or mystery or despair,
It is not death which casts a shadow there,
But sadness for a blighted, fallen race,
A once proud nation that has lost its place,
A sorrow that invests each ancient spot,
By feeling reverenced, memory ne'er forgot,
And as we muse and think of brighter years,
The
eye
still gazes on, and fills with tears.

Nicholas Michell.

Padan-aram.

JACOB'S DREAM.

THE
HE sun was sinking on the mountain-zone

That guards thy vales of beauty, Palestine !
And lovely from the desert rose the moon,

Yet lingering on the horizon's purple line,

Like a pure spirit o’er its earthly shrine. Up Padan-aram's height abrupt and bare

A pilgrim toiled, and oft on day's decline Looked pale, then paused for eve's delicious air: The summit gained, he knelt, and breathed his evening He spread his cloak and slumbered, — darkness fell

prayer.

Upon the twilight hills ; a sudden sound
Of silver trumpets o'er him seemed to swell;

Clouds heavy with the tempest gathered round,

Yet was the whirlwind in its caverns bound,
Still deeper rolled the darkness from on high,

Gigantic volume upon volume wound,
Above, a pillar shooting to the sky,
Below, a mighty sea, that spread incessantly.

Voices are heard, -a choir of golden strings,

Low winds, whose breath is loaded with the rose; Then chariot-wheels, the nearer rush of wings;

Pale lightning round the dark pavilion glows,

It thunders, - the resplendent gates unclose; Far as the eye can glance, on height o'er height,

fiery waving wings, and star-crowned brows, Millions on millions, brighter and more bright, Till all is lost in one supreme, unmingled light.

But two beside the sleeping pilgrim stand,

Like cherub-kings, with lifted, mighty plume, Fixed, sun-bright eyes, and looks of high command :

They tell the Patriarch of his glorious doom;

Father of countless myriads that shall come, Sweeping the land like billows of the sea,

Bright as the stars of heaven from twilight's gloom, Till He is given whom angels long to see, And Israel's splendid line is crowned with Deity.

George Croly.

Palmyra (Tadmor).

PALMYRA.

WHIT

HITE as hot steel the broad sun mounts the skies,

The burning vapors quivering as they rise. No beast, no wandering bird, doth hither come, Not e’en an insect wakes her drowsy hum. But lo! the hills on which some dark curse rests, Barren their sides, all rocks their dreary crests, Approach with frowns, and form a savage dell, Where snakes retreat, and vultures love to dwell. Silent and strange along this craggy way, Rise countless towers that brave thy hand, Decay! Did busy men once live, and flourish here, Their palaces yon piles so old and drear?

- scan each building's dark recess; What mean those crumbling bones, that mouldered

dress? Yes, these are tombs, as many a mummy shows, Where man in distant ages found repose; The street of graves! where kings laid down their pride, And many a restless phantom yet may glide : Murdered Longinus here may wander still, And she whose dust was laid by Tibur's hill, Far-famed Zenobia, for her kingdom wail, Sweeping with viewless form the desert gale.

Draw nearer,

*

*

*

Deserted Tadmor! queen of Syria's wild !

« PreviousContinue »