« VorigeDoorgaan »
That love of sway, of noble souls the vice,
Seiz'd not on Washington to save he fought ;
A hero whom no flattery could entice
From the straight path of duty ; every thought
Was for his country; his firm judgment brought
Into subjection passions all must feel,
Who in the school of warfare have been taught
But Washington's disinterested zeal
Rose above passion's impulse, for the common weal.
I saw it all in Fancy's glass
Herself the fair, the wild magician,
That bid this splendid day-dream pass,
And nam'd each gliding apparition.
'Twas like a torch-race
such as they Of Greece perform’d, in ages gone, When the fleet youths, in long array,
Pass’d the bright torch triumphant on.
I saw th' expectant nations stand
To catch the coming flame in turn
I saw, from ready hand to hand,
The clear, but struggling glory burn.
And, oh! their joy, as it came near,
'Twas in itself a joy to see While Fancy whisper'd in my ear,
“ That torch they pass is Liberty!'
And each, as she receiv'd the flame,
Lighted her altar with its ray,
Then, smiling to the next who came,
Speeded it on its sparkling way.
From Albion first, whose ancient shrine
Was furnish'd with the spark already,
Columbia caught the spark divine,
And lit a flame like Albion's — steady.
The splendid gift then Gallia took,
And like a wild Bacchante, raising
The brand aloft, its sparkles shook,
As she would set the world a-blazing.
And when she fir'd her altar, high
It flash'd into the reddning air
So fierce, that Albion, who stood nigh,
Shrank, almost blinded by the glare!
Next, Spain so new was light to her
Leap'd at the torch ; but, ere the spark
She flung upon her shrine could stir,
'Twas quench'd, and all again was dark.
- not quench'd — a treasure worth
So much to mortal rarely dies.
Again her living light look'd forth,
And shone, a beacon, in all eyes.!
Who next receiv'd the flame ? Alas!
Unworthy Naples — shame of shames,
That ever through such hands should pass
That brightest of all earthly flames !
Scarce had her fingers touch'd the torch,
When, frighted by the sparks it shed,
Nor waiting e'en to feel the scorch,
She dropp'd it to the earth - and fled.
And fallen it might have long remain'd,
But Greece, who saw her moment now,
Caught up the prize, though prostrate, stain'd,
And wav'd it round her beauteous brow.
1 1820— revolution in Spain under Mina and Riego; the
same year, the Neapolitans rise under General Pepe. 1821–
the Greeks revolt against the Turks.
And Fancy bid me mark where, o'er
Her altar as its flame ascended,
Fair, laureld spirits seem'd to soar,
Who thus in song their voices blended :
“Shine, shine for ever, glorious flame,
Divinest gift of Heav'n to men!
From Greece thy earliest splendour came,
To Greece thy rays return again!
“ Take, Freedom ! take thy radiant round
When dimm’d, revive — when lost, return;
Till not a shrine through earth be found,
On which thy glories shall not burn!”
SWEET is the image of the brooding dove!-
Holy as heaven a mother's tender love!
The love of many prayers and many tears,
Which changes not with dim declining years,
The only love which on this teeming earth
Asks no return from passion's wayward birth;
The only love that, with a touch divine,
Displaces from the heart's most secret shrine
The idol self. 1 Oh! priz'd beneath thy due
When life's untried affections all are new,-
Love, from whose calmer hope and holier rest
(Like a fledg'd bird, impatient of the nest)
| We may have many friends in life, but we can only have one mother; “ a discovery,” says Gray, “which I never made until it was too late.”
The human heart, rebellious, springs to seek
Delights more vehement in ties more weak;
How strange to us appears, in after-life,
That term of mingled carelessness and strife,
When guardianship so gentle gall’d our pride,
When it was holiday to leave thy side,
When, with dull ignorance that would not learn,
We lost those hours that never can return
Hours, whose most sweet communion nature meant
Should be in confidence and kindness spent,
That we (hereafter mourning) might believe
In human faith, though all around deceive ;
Might weigh against the sad and startling crowd
Of ills which wound the weak and chill the proud,
Our recollections of the undefild,
The sainted tie of parent and of child !
Oh ! happy days! oh years that glided by, Scarce chronicled by one poor passing sigh! When the dark storm sweeps past us, and the soul Struggles with fainting strength to reach the goal ; When the false baits that lur'd us only cloy, What would we give to grasp yon vanish'd joy! From the cold quicksands of life's treacherous
shore The backward light our anxious eyes explore, Measure the miles our wandering feet have come, Sinking, heart-weary, far away from home, Recall the voice that whisper'd love and peace, The smile that bid our early sorrows cease, And long to bow our grieving heads, and weep, Low on the gentle breast that lulld us first to sleep!
WHITE ermine now the mountains wear,
To shield their naked shoulders bare.
The dark pine wears the snow, as head
Of Ethiop doth white turban wear.
The floods are arm’d with silver shields,
Through which the sun's sword cannot fare.
For he who trod heaven's middle road
In golden arms, on golden chair,
Now through small corner of the sky
Creeps low, nor warms the foggy air.
To mutter 'twixt their teeth, the streams,
In icy fetters, scarcely dare.
Hush'd is the busy hum of life;
'Tis silence in the earth and air.
From mountains issues the gaunt wolf,
And from its forest depths the bear.
Where is the garden's beauty now!
The thorn is here ; the rose, oh! where?
The trees, like giant skeletons,
Wave high their fleshless arms and bare ;
Or stand like wrestlers, stripp'd and bold,
And wildest winds to battle dare.
It seems a thing impossible
That earth its glories should repair ;
That ever this bleak world again
Should bright and beauteous mantle wear
Or sounds of life again be heard
In this dull earth and vacant air.