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An ass stands meek and patient there,
And by her side a spectre fair,
To drink the balmy cup once more before she dies.
With tenderest care the pitying dame
Supports the dying maiden's frame,
And strives with laughing looks her heart to cheer;
While playful children crowd around
To catch her eye by smile or sound,
Unconscious of the door that waits their lady dear!
I feel this mournful dream impart
A holier image to my heart,
For oft doth grief to thoughts sublime give birth :-
Blest creature! through the solemn night,
I see thee bath'd in heavenly light,
Shed from that wond'rous child-The Saviour of the earth.
When, flying Herod's murd'rous rage,
Thou on that wretched pilgrimage
Didst gently near the virgin-mother lie;
On thee the humble Jesus sate,
When thousands rush'd to Salem's gate,
To see mid holy hymns the sinless man pass by.
Happy thou wert,—nor low thy praise,
In peaceful patriarchal days,
When countless tents slow passed from land to land
Like clouds o'er heaven :-the gentle race
Such quiet scene did meetly grace,
Circling the pastoral camp in many a stately band.
Poor wretch-my musing dream is o'er;
Thy shivering form I view once more,
And all the pains thy race is doom'd to prove.
But they whose thoughtful spirits see
The truth of life, will pause with me,
And bless thee in a voice of gentleness and love!
FROM " THE CITY OF THE PLAGUE."
The air of death breathes through our souls,
The dead all round us lie;
By day and night the death-hell tolls,
And says, “Prepare to die.”
The face that in the morning sun
We thought so wond'rous fair,
Hath faded, ere his course was run,
Beneath its golden hair.
I see the old man in his grave,
With thin locks silvery-gray ;
I see the child's bright tresses wave
In the cold breath of the clay.
The loving ones we loved the best,
Like music all are gone! And the wan moonlight bathes in rest
Their monumental stone.
But not when the death-prayer is said
The life of life departs; The body in the grave is laid,
Its beauty in our hearts.
And holy midnight voices sweet
Like fragrance fill the room,
And happy ghosts with noiseless feet
Come brightning from the tomb.
We know who sends the visions bright,
From whose dear side they came ! -We veil our eyes before thy light,
We bless our Saviour's name !
This frame of dust, this feeble breath
The Plague may soon destroy ; We think on Thee, and feel in death
A deep and awful joy.
Dim is the light of vanish'd years
In the glory yet to come ; O idle grief! O foolish tears!
When Jesus calls us home.
Like children for some bauble fair
That weep themselves to rest ; We part with life-awake! and there
The jewel in our breast!
What is Death? 'T is to be free!
No more to love, or hope, or fear-
To join the great equality :
All alike are humble there!
The mighty grave
Wraps lord and slave ;
Nor pride, nor poverty dares come
Within that refuge-house, the tomb !
Spirit with the drooping wing,
And the ever-weeping eye,
Thou of all earth's kings art king!
Empires at thy footstool lie!
Beneath thee strow'd
Sink, like waves upon the shore;
Storms shall never rouse them more!
What's the grandeur of the earth
To the grandeur round thy throne !
Riches, glory, beauty, birth,
To thy kingdom all have gone.
Before thee stand
The wondrous band;
Bards, heroes, sages, side by side,
Who darken’d nations when they died !
Earth has hosts ; but thou canst show
Many a million for her one ;
Through thy gates the mortal flow
Has for countless years roll'd on:
Back from the tomb
No step has come;
There fix'd, till the last thunder's sound
Shall bid thy prisoners be unbound !
Domestic Love! not in proud palace halls
Is often seen thy beauty to abide ;
Thy dwelling is in lonely cottage walls,
That in the thickets of the woodbine hide ;
With hum of bees around, and from the side
Of woody hills some little bubbling spring,
Shining along, through banks with harebells dyed;
And many a bird to warble on the wing, When morn her saffron robe o'er heaven
and earth doth fling. 0! love of loves !—to thy white hand is given Of earthly happiness the golden key, Thine are the joyous hours of winter's even, When the babes cling around their father's knee; And thine the voice, that, on the midnight sea, Melts the rude mariner with thoughts of home, Peopling the gloom with all he longs to see.
Spirit! I've built a shrine; and thou hast come And on its altar closed_forever closed thy plume.
CUPID CARRYING PROVISIONS.
THERE was once a gentle time
Whenne the worlde
was in its prime ;
And everie daye was holydaye,
And everie monthe was lovelie Maye
Cupid thenne hadde but to goe
With his purple winges and bowe;
And in blossomede vale and grove
Everie shepherde knelte to love.
Thenne a rosie, dimplede cheeke,
And a blue eye, fonde and mceke;
And a ringlette-wreathenne brow,
Like hyacinthes on a bed of snowe;
And a low voice, silverre sweete,
From a lippe without deceite ;
Onlie those the hcartes could move
Of the simple swaines to love.
But thatte time is gone and paste,
Canne the summer always laste?
And the swaines are wiser grown,
And the hearte is turned to stone,
And the maidenne's rose may witherre,
Cupid's fled, no man knows whitherre
But anotherre Cupid's come,
With a browe of care and gloome:
Fixede upon the earthlie moulde,
Thinkinge of the sullene golde;
In his hande ihe bowe no more,
At his backe the householde store,
That the bridalle gold must buye:
Uselesse nowe the smile and sighe:
But he weares the pinion stille,
Flyinge at the sighte of ille.
Oh, for the olde true-love time,
Whenne the world was in its prime!
EXTRACT FROM "PARIS IN 1815."
But stoop or pass the tempest as it will;
The hour is fix'd, when the Resplendent One,
Seen by the Prophet in his Patmos isle,
The Seraph, from whose forehead flames the sun,
Shall bid the Evil City be undone ;
Then with one fiery foot upon the shore,
And one upon the ocean's shrinking zone,
With lifted hand and thunder's sevenfold roar,
Send up his cry to Heaven, that Time shall be no more.
Then the Deliverance comes! the crimson scroll,
Writ with the madness of six thousand years,
Shall be like snow; from Heaven the clouds shall roll;
The Earth no longer be the vale of tears.
Speed on your swiftest wheels, ye golden spheres,
To bring the splendours of that morning nigh.
Already the forgiven desert bears
The rose; the Pagan lifts th' adoring eye,
The exiled Hebrew seeks the daybreak in the sky!
I see the Tribes returning in their pomp;
Before them moves the Babe of Bethlehem's star:
They come with shout and hymn, and uplift trump
That rang of old on Zion's holy air.
They come from every region wild and far,
That wo e'er trod, with every swarthy stain
Of storm, and slavery, and barbaric war;
Sons of the desert, dungeon, mountain, main;
Turban’d, and capp'd, and helm'd, a countless, boundless train.
One conflict more, the fiercest and the last!
When the old dragon-monarch of the air
His sails upon the groaning storm shall east,
To fight the final battle of despair.
But from the cope of Heaven a sword shall share
His fiery pinion in the sight of man.
Down to the depths shall rush th' eclipsing star,
Condemn’d the cup of agonies to drain,
A thousand years of night,-wild horror, scorpion pain!
Ancient of Days! that high above all height
Sitt'st on the circle of eternity!
The hour shall come, when all shall know Thy might,
And earth be heaven, for it shall look on Thee!
Blessed the eye which lives that day to see.
The grave may wrap me ere its glorious sun:
Even, Father, as Thou wilt; but Thou art He,
That sees the sparrow perish from Thy throne;
Father, in life or death, Thy sovereign will be done.