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But not a setting beam could glow
Within the dark ravine below,
Where twin'd the path, in shadow hid,
Round many a rocky pyramid,
Shooting abruptly from the dell
Its thunder-splinter'd pinnacle ;
Round many an insulated mass,
The native bulwarks of the pass,
Huge as the tower which builders vain
Presumptuous piled on Shinar's plain.
The rocky summits, split and rent,
Form'd turret, dome, or battlement,
Or seem'd fantastically set
With cupola or minaret,
Wild crests as pagod ever deck’d,
Or mosque of Eastern architect.
Nor were these earth-born castles bare,
Nor lack'd they many a banner fair ;
For, from their shiver'd brows display'd,
Far o'er the unfathomable glade,
All twinkling with the dew-drops sheen,
The briar-rose fell in streamers green,
And creeping shrubs, of thousand dyes,
Wav'd in the west-wind's summer sighs.
Boon nature scatter'd, free and wild,
Each plant or flower, the mountain's child.
Here eglantine embalm’d the air,
Hawthorn and hazel mingled there;
The primrose pale, and violet flower,
Found in each cliff a narrow bower;
Foxglove and nightshade, side by side,
Emblems of punishment and pride,
Group'd their dark hues with every stain
The weather-beaten crags retain. I From the Arabic menarah, a lantern. In Eastern architecture the slender and lofty turrets with projecting balconies, used by the Mahomedans for the purpose of calling the people to prayers.
With boughs that quak'd at every breath,
Grey birch and aspen wept beneath ;
Aloft, the ash and warrior oak
Cast anchor in the rifted rock;
And, higher yet, the pine-tree hung
His shatter'd trunk, and frequent flung,
Where seem'd the cliffs to meet on high,
His boughs athwart the narrow'd sky.
Highest of all, where white peaks glanc'd,
Where glist’ning streamers wavid and danc'd,
The wanderer's eye could barely view
The summer heaven's delicious blue ;
So wondrous wild, the whole might seem
a fairy dream.
“ SERVANT of God! well done;
Rest from thy lov'd employ;
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter thy Master's joy."
The voice at midnight came ;
He started up to hear,
A mortal arrow pierc'd his frame :
He fell - but felt no fear.
Tranquil amidst alarms,
It found him in the field,
A veteran slumbering on his arms,
Beneath his red-cross shield;
Occasioned by the sudden death of a clergyman, after having declared in his last sermon, on a preceding evening, that he hoped to die as an old soldier of Jesus Christ, with his sword in his hand.
His sword was in his hand,
Still warm with recent fight;
Ready that moment at command,
Through rock and steel to smite.
It was a two-edg'd blade,
Of heavenly temper keen;
And double were the wounds it made
Where'er it smote between :
'Twas death to sin; 'twas life
To all that mourn’d for sin,
It kindled and it silenc'd strife,
Made war and peace within.
Oft with its fiery force
His arm had quell’d the foe,
And laid, resistless, in his course,
The alien-armies low.
Bent on such glorious toils,
The world to him was loss;
Yet all his trophies, all his spoils,
He hung upon the cross.
At midnight came the cry,
“ To meet thy God prepare!"
He woke, - and caught his Captain's eye ;
Then, strong in faith and prayer
His spirit, with a bound,
Burst its encumbering clay!
His tent, at sunrise, on the ground,
A darken'd ruin lay.
The pains of death are pass’d,
Labour and sorrow cease,
And, life's long warfare clos'd at last,
His soul is found in peace.
Soldier of Christ! well done;
Praise be thy new employ;
And while eternal ages run,
Rest in thy Saviour's joy.
SOMETIMES a party, row'd from town, will land
On a small islet form’d of shelly sand,
Left by the water when the tides are low,
But which the floods, in their return, o'erflow:
There will they anchor, pleas'd awhile to view
The watery waste, a prospect wild and new;
The now receding billows give them space
On either side the growing shores to pace;
And then returning, they contract the scene,
Till small and smaller grows the walk between ;
As sea to sea approaches, shore to shores,
Till the next ebb the sandy isle restores.
Then what alarm! what danger and dismay,
If all their trust, their boat should drift away ;
And once it happen'd - Gay the friends advanc'd,
They walk'd, they ran, they play'd, they sang, they
danc'd; The urns were boiling, and the cups went round, And not a grave or thoughtful face was found ; On the bright sand they trod with nimble feet, Dry shelly sand, that made the summer-seat; The wondering mews flew fluttering o'er the head, And waves ran softly up their shining bed.
Some form’d a party from the rest to stray, Pleas'd to collect the trifles in their way; These to behold they call their friends around; No friends can hear, or hear another sound : Alarm'd, they hasten, yet perceive not why, But catch the fear that quickens as they fly.
For lo! a lady sage, who pac'd the sand With her fair children, one in either hand, Intent on home, had turn'd, and saw the boat Slipp'd from her moorings, and now far afloat; She gaz’d, she trembled, and though faint her call, It seem'd, like thunder, to confound them all. Their sailor guides, the boatman and his mate, Had drunk, and slept regardless of their state. “ Awake!” they cried aloud ! “ Alarm the shore! Shout all, or never shall we reach it more!" Alas! no shout the distant land can reach, Nor eye behold them from the foggy beach : Again they join in one loud powerful cry, Then cease, and eager listen for reply ; None came
the rising wind blew sadly by: They shout once more, and then they turn aside, To see how quickly flow'd the coming tide; Between each cry they find the waters steal On their strange prison, and new horrors feel ; Foot after foot on the contracted ground The billows fall, and dreadful is the sound ; Less and yet less the sinking isle became, And there was wailing, weeping, wrath, and blame.
Had one been there, with spirit strong and high, Who could observe, as he prepar'd to die, He might have seen of hearts the varying kind, And trac'd the movement of each different mind : He might have seen, that not the gentle maid Was more than stern and haughty man afraid ; Such, calmly grieving, will their fears suppress, And silent prayers to Mercy's throne address; While fiercer minds, impatient, angry, loud, Force their vain grief on the reluctant crowd. The party's patron, sorely sighing, cried,
Why would you urge me? I at first denied.” Fiercely they answer'd:—“Why will you complain, Who saw no danger, or were warn’d in vain ?”