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The waves were streaming where the sands had shone;
Streaming o'er tree and crag, by bush and brake,
The silent splendor of a windless lake,
In whose broad wave so radiantly blue
Each feathered palm, each lonely plant that grew,
Each mountain on the distant desert-side
Shone double, shadowed in the sleeping tide.
Yet was it strange! no dream so passing strange,
As the quick phantom of that fairy change;
And stranger still, that ever as they came
To lave the burning lip, and brow of flame,
The waters fading far and farther still,
Cheated their chase and mocked their bailed will.
Alas! no pleasant waters rippled there;
The lying mirage lured them to despair.
She saw it fading, and there came a cry
Out from her heart of wildest agony;
She knew it gone, and strove to stand and speak
While the life withered in her whitened cheek.
Then her lip quivered, and her lashes fell,
And her tongue faltered in its faint farewell,
“ Man had no mercy,
- God will show us none, Ishmael! I dare not see thee die, my son!”
Tenderly, lovingly, her load she laid
Where no sun glistened in the grateful shade;
Softly she pillowed on the sands his head,
And spread her mantle for his dying bed;
No gems were there to deck the lowly bier,
But the pure lustre of a mother's tear;
No fragrant spices for the sleep of death,
But the soft fragrance of a mother's breath;
No tearful eye, no tributary tongue,
To tell his fate who died so fair and young;
No better mourner for the boy than she
Who weeps to see him what herself shall be:
Than she who sits apart with sidelong eye
Waiting till he hath died that she may die ;
And buries all her forehead in her hair,
Weeping the bitter tears of black despair.
So is the desert-sand their death and grave,
No hope of help, no pitying hand to save !
None! was it then the icy lip of death Or low winds laden with the roses' breath That kissed her forehead ? was it earthly sound, Floating like fairy voice above, around; Or splendid symphonics of seraph-kings Striking the music from unearthly strings, Whose touch hath startled her ? what inward strife Stirs the still apathy of parting life ? What sense of power unseen, of presence hid, Lifts from her lightless eyes the unwilling lid ?
- she turned, — there in that lonely place God's glory flashed upon her lifted face.
And with the glory came an angel voice,
'Hagar, what ailest? rouse thee, and rejoice!
Look up, and live! God's ever-opened ear
Hath patient hearing for a mother's prayer.
Arise, take up the boy, -- his pleading cry
Came up to God, and had its end on high ;
And God shall make him, in his own good time,
A mighty people, in a pleasant clime."
Then was her sight unsealed, and lo! at hand
A spring was sparkling in the desert sand;
Sparkling with crystal water to the brim,
Fringed with the date, and rimmed with lilied rim.
Swiftly she speeded to the fountain's brink,
And drew a draught, and gave her boy to drink,
And watched the little lips that lingered still,
Nor tasted drop till he had drunk bis fill.
Then on bent knees, with tear and smile at strife,
Mother and child, they quaffed the liquid life;
And stayed to smile, and drank to smile again,
Till sweet and cheerful seemed the silent plain ;
And young leaves dancing on the desert trees
To the low music of the passing breeze,
And birds of passage with their homeward wings,
And fireflies whecling in their lighted rings
And flowers unfolding where the glare was gone
Spake but one tale, — Hope ever, and Hope on!
THE dust of Carthage; desert shores of Nile;
Or Tyre's abandoned summit, crowned of old With stately towers; whose merchants, from their isles, And radiant thrones, assembled in her marts;
Whither Arabia, whither Kedar, brought
Their shaggy goats, their flocks and bleating lambs;
Where rich Damascus piled his fleeces white,
Prepared, and thirsty for the double tint,
And flowering shuttle. While the admiring world
Crowded her streets; ah! then the hand of pride
Sowed imperceptible his poisonous weed,
Which crept destructive up her lofty domes,
As ivy creeps around the graceful trunk
Of some tall oak. Her lofty domes no more,
Not even the ruins of her pomp, remain;
Not even the dust they sank in; by the breath
Of the Omnipotent offended hurled
Down to the bottom of the stormy deep :
Only the solitary rock remains,
Her ancient site; a monument to those,
Who toil and wealth exchange for sloth and pride.
ND this is Tyre, — the mighty mart of old,
City of merchants ! conquering kings with gold !
Through whose long streets that knew no dull repose,
Like stormy waves, the voice of Commerce rose,
While palaces, each worthy Ocean's queen,
O’erlooked in dazzling pride the busy scene.
Here Afric brought her ivory and rich plumes,
Ophir her gems, Arabia her perfumes;
The adventurous Tyrian sent his daring sail,
Where'er might roll the waves or sweep the gale ;
Strange that to power no state or people grew,
From age to age their glory to renew;
But like the sun they gain meridian height,
Blaze their appointed time, then sink in night;
And so Tyre fell, -- her riches could not save; The city of the proud is now a grave, Swept, like her daughter Carthage, by the wings Of ages, from the list of living things. And so Tyre fell, — where rose her granite towers, And shone her palaced streets, and jewelled bowers, The goatherd heedless roves, nor asks her name, Nor recks her glories past and ancient fame. He sees bowed arch, an aqueduct, and well, But who their builders were he cannot tell. The wave, unsympathizing, beats the strand, Moss clothes black fragments buried deep in sand, And sca-birds, stooping in their ocean flight, Pass with wild shrieks the vanished city's site.
Yo did thy ships to earth’s wide bounds proceed,
In that thy day of glory. Carthage rose,
Thy daughter, and the rival of thy fame,
Upon the sands of Lybia; princes were
Thy merchants ; on thy golden throne thy state
Shone, like the orient sun. Dark Lebanon
Waved all his pines for thee; for thee the oaks
Of Bashan towered in strength : thy galleys cut,