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The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains.-Beautiful!
I do remember me, that in my youth,
When I was wandering-upon such a night
I stood within the Coliseum's wall,
Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome;
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
The watch-dog bayed beyond the Tiber; and
More near from out the Cæsars' palace came
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly,
Of distant sentinels the fitful song
Begun and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appeared to skirt the horizon, yet they stood
Within a bowshot-Where the Cæsars dwelt
And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst
A grove which springs through levelled battlements,
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths,
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth ;—
But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands,
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection!
While Cæsar's chambers, and the Augustan halls,
Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.-
And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon
All this, and cast a wide and tender light,
Which softened down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and filled up,
As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er
With silent worship of the great of old !—
The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
Our spirits from their urns.-
THOMAS MOORE: 1780-1852.
Moore was a native of Dublin, and was educated at Dublin University. He came to London to study law, and in 1800 published his translation of the Odes of Anacreon. In 1803 he obtained a government appointment in Bermuda; but, after an absence of fourteen months, he returned to England, leaving his duties in the hands of a deputy. Moore's chief poems are, Lalla Rookh, a brilliant series of oriental tales, abounding with gorgeous descriptions of eastern scenery; The Loves of the Angels; The Twopenny Post-bag, a political satire; and his Songs and Irish Melodies, which are the most popular of his works.
I SAW FROM THE BEACH.
I saw from the beach, when the morning was shining,
A bark o'er the waters move gloriously on;
I came when the sun o'er that beach was declining,
The bark was still there, but the waters were gone.
And such is the fate of our life's early promise,
So passing the spring-tide of joy we have known; Each wave, that we danced on at morning, ebbs from us, And leaves us, at eve, on the bleak shore alone.
Ne'er tell me of glories serenely adorning
The close of our day, the calm eve of our night:
Give me back, give me back the wild freshness of Morning,
Her clouds and her tears are worth Evening's best light.
Oh, who would not welcome that moment's returning,
When passion first waked a new life through his frame,
And his soul-like the wood that grows precious in burning-
Gave out all its sweets to love's exquisite flame!
PARADISE AND THE PERI. From Lalla Rookh.
One morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood, disconsolate;
And as she listened to the Springs
Of Life within, like music flowing,
And caught the light upon her wings
Through the half-open portal glowing,
She wept to think her recreant race Should e'er have lost that glorious place! 'How happy,' exclaimed this child of air, 'Are the holy Spirits who wander there,
'Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall; Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, And the stars themselves have flowers for me, One blossom of Heaven outblooms them all! Though sunny the Lake of cool Cashmere, With its plane-tree isle reflected clear,
And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall; Though bright are the waters of Sing-su-hay, And the golden floods that thitherward stray, Yet-oh! 'tis only the Blest can say
How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!
'Go, wing thy flight from star to star, From world to luminous world, as far
As the universe spreads its flaming wall: Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, And multiply each through endless years, One minute of Heaven is worth them all!'
The glorious Angel, who was keeping
The gates of Light, beheld her weeping;
And, as he nearer drew and listened
To her sad song, a tear-drop glistened
Within his eyelids, like the spray
From Eden's fountain, when it lies
On the blue flow'r, which—Bramins say—
Blooms nowhere but in Paradise!
'Nymph of a fair but erring line!'
Gently he said-'One hope is thine.
"Tis written in the Book of Fate,
The Peri yet may be forgiven
Who brings to this Eternal gate
The Gift that is most dear to Heaven!
Go seek it, and redeem thy sin—
'Tis sweet to let the Pardoned in !'
Cheered by this hope she bends her thither ;-
Still laughs the radiant eye of Heaven,
Nor have the golden bowers of Even
In the rich West begun to wither ;—
When, o'er the vale of Balbec winging
Slowly, she sees a child at play,
Among the rosy wild-flowers singing,
As rosy and as wild as they ;
Chasing, with hands and eyes,
The beautiful blue damsel-flies,
That fluttered round the jasmine stems,
Like winged flowers or flying gems :-
And, near the boy, who tired with play,
Now nestling 'mid the roses lay,
She saw a wearied man dismount
From his hot steed, and on the brink
Of a small imaret's rustic fount
Impatient fling him down to drink.
Then swift his haggard brow he turned
To the fair child, who fearless sat,
Though never yet hath day-beam burned
Upon a brow more fierce than that-
Sullenly fierce-a mixture dire,
Like thunder-clouds, of gloom and fire!
In which the Peri's eye could read
Dark tales of many a ruthless deed;
The ruined maid-the shrine profaned—
Oaths broken-and the threshold stained
With blood of guests!-there written, all,
Black as the damning drops that fall
From the denouncing Angel's pen,
Ere Mercy weeps them out again!
Yet tranquil now that man of crime
(As if the balmy evening time
Softened his spirit), looked and lay,
Watching the rosy infant's play :-
Though still, whene'er his eye by chance
Fell on the boy's, its lurid glance
Met that unclouded, joyous gaze,
As torches, that have burnt all night
Through some impure and godless rite,
Encounter morning's glorious rays.
But hark! the vesper-call to prayer,
As slow the orb of daylight sets,
Is rising sweetly on the air,
From Syria's thousand minarets!
The boy has started from the bed
Of flowers, where he had laid his head,
And down upon the fragrant sod
Kneels, with his forehead to the south,
Lisping the eternal name of God
From purity's own cherub mouth,
And looking, while his hands and eyes
Are lifted to the glowing skies,
Like a stray babe of Paradise,
Just lighted on that flowery plain,
And seeking for its home again!
Oh, 'twas a sight-that Heaven-that Child
A scene, which might have well beguiled
Ev'n haughty Eblis of a sigh
For glories lost and peace gone by!
And how felt he, the wretched Man
Reclining there—while memory ran
O'er many a year of guilt and strife,
Flew o'er the dark flood of his life,
Nor found one sunny resting-place,
Nor brought him back one branch of
'There was a time,' he said, in mild,
Heart-humbled tones-thou blessed child!
When young and haply pure as thou,
I looked and prayed like thee-but now
He hung his head-each nobler aim
And hope and feeling, which had slept From boyhood's hour, that instant came Fresh o'er him, and he wept-he wept !
Blest tears of soul-felt penitence !
In whose benign, redeeming flow