« VorigeDoorgaan »
AN INCIDENT OF THE FIRE AT HAMBURG.
tower of old Saint Nicholas soared upward to the skies,
Like some huge piece of Nature's make, the growth of centuries;
You could not deem its crowding spires a work of human art,
They seemed to ftruggle lightward from a sturdy living heart.
Not Nature's self more freely speaks in crystal or in oak,
Than, through the pious builder's hand, in that gray pile fhe spoke;
And as from acorn springs the oak, so, freely and alone,
Sprang from his heart this hymn to God, sung in obedient ftone.
It seemed a wondrous freak of chance, so perfect,
yet so rough,
A whim of Nature cryftallized flowly in granite
The thick spires yearned towards the fky in
And in broad sunlight basked and flept, like a
Never did rock or ftream or tree lay claim with
To all the adorning sympathies of fhadow and of
And, in that foreft petrified, as forefter there
Stout Herman, the old sacriftan, sole lord of all
Surge leaping after surge, the fire roared onward
Till half of Hamburg lay engulfed beneath the
For miles away, the fiery spray poured down its deadly rain,
And back and forth the billows sucked, and paused, and burft again.
From square to square with tiger leaps rufhed on the luftful fire,
The air to leeward fhuddered with the gasps of its defire ;
And church and palace, which even now ftood whelmed but to the knee,
Lift their black roofs like breakers lone amid the whirling sea.
Up in his tower old Herman sat and watched with quiet look;
His soul had trufted God too long to be at last forsook ;
He could not fear, for surely God a pathway would unfold
Through this red sea for faithful hearts, as once he did of old.