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Judge of their wonder and astonishment,
When, far as heavenly eyes can see, they saw
yon blue void, that hideous world appear!
Showering thin flame, and shining vapour forth
O'er half the breadth of Heaven !-The angels paused,
And all the nations trembled at the view.
But great is He who rules them!—He can turn
And lead it all unhurtful through the spheres,
Signal of pestilence, or wasting sword,
That ravage and deface humanity.
The time will come, when, in like wise, the earth
Shall be cut off from God's fair universe;
Its end fulfilled.-But when that time shall be,
From man, from saint, from—angel is concealed.
PORTIA'S SPEECH ON MERCY.
THE quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth, as the gentle rain from Heaven,
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blessed;
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown!
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute of God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice! Therefore,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,-
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy!
Spoken at the Theatre-Royal, Liverpool, for the Benefit of the Children of MR. PALMER, who died upon the Stage, while performing the Character of the Stranger; having just repeated the emphatic words, "There is another, and a better world!"
YE airy sprites! who, oft as fancy calls,
Sport 'midst the precincts of these haunted walls,
Light forms, that float in mirth's tumultuous throng,
With frolic, dance, and revelry, and song,
Fold your gay wings!-repress your wonted fire!
And, from your favourite seats, a while retire.
And thou, whose powers sublimer thoughts impart,
Queen of the springs, that move the human heart
With change alternate !—at whose magic call,
The swelling tides of passion rise or fall,-
Thou too withdraw ;-for, 'midst thy loved abode,
With step more stern, a mightier power has trod.
-Here, on this spot, to every eye confessed,
Enrobed with terrors, stood the kingly guest!
Here, on this spot, Death waved the unerring dart,
And struck his noblest prize,—an honest heart!
What wonderous links the human feelings bind!
How strong the secret sympathies of mind!
As Fancy's pictured forms around us move,
We hope or fear,-rejoice,-detest or love!
Nor heaves the sigh for selfish woes alone:
Congenial sorrows mingle with our own.
Hence, as the poet's raptured eye-balls roll,
The fond delirium seizes all his soul,
And, whilst his pulse concordant measures keeps,
He smiles in transport; or, in anguish weeps.
But ah, lamented shade! not thine to know
The anguish only of imagined woe;
Destined o'er life's substantial ills to mourn,
And fond parental ties untimely torn;
Then, whilst thy bosom, labouring with its grief,
From fabled sorrows sought a short relief,
The fancied woes (too true to nature's tone!)
Burst the slight barrier, and became thy own:
In mingled tides, the swelling passions ran,
Absorbed the actor, and o'erwhelmed the man.
Martyr of sympathy! more sadly true
Than ever fancy feigned, or poet drew!
Say, why, by Heaven's acknowledged hand impressed, Such keen sensations actuate all the breast?
Why throbs the heart for joys that long have fled?
Why lingers hope around the silent dead?
Why spurns the spirit its encumbering clay,
And longs to soar to happier realms away?
Does Heaven, unjust, the fond desire instil,
And add, to mortal woes, another ill?
Is there, through all the intellectual frame,
No kindred mind that prompts the nightly dream?
Or, in lone musings of remembrance sweet,
Inspires the secret wish-once more to meet ?
There is:-for, not by more determined laws
Its sympathetic steel the magnet draws,
Than the freed spirit acts, with strong control,
On its responsive sympathies of soul;
And tells, (in characters by Truth unfurled)
"There is another, and a better world !"
THE DYING CHRISTIAN TO HIS SOUL.
VITAL spark of heavenly flame;
Quit, O quit this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife
And let me languish into life.
Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away
What is this absorbs me quite;
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath ;
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?
The world recedes; it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring.
Lend, lend your wings! I mount, I fly,
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?
UNFADING HOPE! when life's last embers burn,
When soul to soul, and dust to dust, return;
Heaven to thy charge resigns the awful hour:
Oh! then, thy kingdom comes,-Immortal Power!
What! though each spark of earth-born rapture fly,
The quivering lip, pale cheek, and closing eye!
Bright to the soul thy seraph hands convey
The morning dream of life's eternal day
Then then, the triumph and the trance begin!
And all the phoenix spirit burns within!
Oh! deep-enchanting prelude to repose!
The dawn of bliss! the twilight of our woes!
Yet, half I hear the parting spirit sigh—
It is a dread and awful thing to die!
Mysterious worlds, untravelled by the sun,
Where Time's far-wandering tide has never run !
From your unfathomed shades, and viewless spheres,
A warning comes, unheard by other ears:
'Tis Heaven's commanding trumpet, long and loud,
Like Sinai's thunder, pealing from the cloud!
While Nature hears, with terror-mingled trust,
The shock that hurls her fabric to the dust;
And, like the trembling Hebrew, when he trod
The roaring waves, and called upon his God,
With mortal terrors, clouds immortal bliss,
And shrieks, and hovers o'er the dark abyss !
Daughter of Faith, awake! arise! illume
The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb
Melt and dispel, ye spectre-doubts, that roll
Cimmerian darkness on the parting soul !
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day!
The strife is o'er-the pangs of nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.
Hark! as the spirit eyes, with eagle gaze,
The noon of Heaven, undazzled by the blaze,
On heavenly winds that waft her to the sky,
Float the sweet tones of star-born melody;
Wild as that hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hushed his waves, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill !
Soul of the just! companion of the dead!
Where is thy home? and whither art thou fled?
Back to its heavenly source thy being goes;
Swift as the comet wheels to whence he rose ;
Doomed on his airy path awhile to burn,
And doomed, like thee, to travel and return :—
Hark! from the world's exploding centre driven,
With sounds that shook the firmament of Heaven,
Careers the fiery giant, fast and far,
On bickering wheels and adamantine car;
From planet whirled to planet more remote,
He visits realms beyond the reach of thought;
But wheeling homeward, when his course is run,
Curbs the red yoke, and mingles with the sun.
So hath the traveller of earth unfurled
Her trembling wings, emerging from the world
And, o'er the path by mortal never trod,
Sprung to her source the bosom of her God!
BEAUTY COMPARED TO A BUTTERFLY
As rising on its purple wing
The insect Queen of eastern spring,
O'er emerald meadows of Kashmeer,
Invites the young pursuer near,
And leads him on from flower to flower,
weary chase and wasted hour,