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Which steals into the heart, like sounds, that rise
Far off, in moonlight evenings, on the shore
Of the wide ocean resting after storms;
Or tones, that wind around the vaulted roof,
And pointed arches, and retiring aisles
Of some old, lonely minster, where the hand
Skilful, and moved, with passionate love of art,
Plays o'er the higher kevs, and bears aloft
The peal of bursting thunder, and then calls
By mellow touches, from the softer tubes,
Voices of melting tenderness, that blend
With pure and gentle musings, till the soul,
Commingling with the melody, is borne,
Rapt, and dissolved in ecstasy, to Heaven.
'Tis not the chime and flow of words, that move
In measured file, and metrical array ;
'Tis not the union of returning sounds,
Nor all the pleasing artifice of rhyme,
And quantity, and accent, that can give
This all pervading spirit to the ear,
Or blend it with the movings of the soul.
'T is a mysterious feeling, which combines
Man with the world around him, in a chain
Woven of flowers, and dipp'd in sweetness, till
He tastes the high communion of his thoughts,
With all existences, in earth and heaven
That meet him in the charm of
'Tis not the noisy babbler, who displays,
In studied phrase, and ornate epithet,
And rounded period, poor and vapid thoughts,
Which peep from out the cumbrous ornaments
That overload their littleness. Its words
Are few, but deep and solemn; and they break
Fresh from the fount of feeling, and are full
Of all that passion, which, on Carmel, fired
The holy prophet, when his lips were coals,
His language wing'd with terror, as when bolts
Leap from the brooding tempest, arm'd with wrath,
Commission'd to affright us, and destroy.
J. G. PERCIVAL.
He who hath bent him o'er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
(Before decay's effacing fingers
Have swept the line where beauty lingers,)
And mark'd the mild angelic air,
The rapture of repose that's there,
The fix'd yet tender traits that streak
The languor of the placid cheek,
And—but for that sad shrouded eye,
That fires not, wins not, weeps not now,
And but for that chill changeless brow,
Where cold Obstruction's apathy
Appals the gazing mourner's heart,
As if to him it would impart
The doom he dreads yet dwells upon;
Yes, but for these and these alone,
Some moments, ay one treacherous hour,
He still might doubt the tyrant's power;
So fair, so calm, so softly seal’d,
The first, last look by death reveal'd!
Such is the aspect of this shore;
'Tis Greece, but living Greece no more!
So coldly sweet, so deadly fair,
We start, for soul is wanting there.
Her's is the loveliness in death,
That parts not quite with parting breath;
But beauty with that fearful bloom,
That line which haunts it to the tomb,
Expression's last receding ray,
A gilded halo hovering round decay,
The farewell beam of Feeling past away!
Spark of that flame, perchance of heavenly birth,
Which gleams but warms no more its cherished earth!
AN EXHIBITION OF A SCHOOL OF
How fair upon the admiring sight,
In Learning's sacred fane,
With cheek of bloom, and robe of white,
Glide on yon graceful train!
Blest creatures! to whose gentle eye
Earth's gilded gifts are new,
Ye know not that distrustful sigh
Which deems its vows untrue.
There is a bubble on your cup
By buoyant fancy nurst,
How high its sparkling foam leaps up!
Ye do not think't will burst:
And be it far from me to fling
On budding joys a blight,
Or darkly spread a raven's wing
To shade a path so bright.
There twines a wreath around your brow,
Blent with the sunny braid,
Love lends its flowers a radiant glow,
Ye do not think 't will fade;
And yet 't were safer there to bindo
That plant of changeless die,
Whose root is in the lowly mind,
Whose blossom in the sky.
Yet who o'er Beauty's form can hang
Nor think how future years May bring stern sorrow's speechless pang,
Or Disappointment's tears, Unceasing toil, unpitied care,
Cold treachery's serpent moan, Ills that the tender heart must bear,
Unanswering and alone!
But as the frail and fragrant flower,
Crush'd by the sweeping blast,
Doth even in death an essence pour,
The sweetest and the last,
So woman's deep, enduring love,
Which nothing can appal,
Her steadfast faith, that looks above
For rest, can conquer all.
GERTRUDE OF WYOMING.
THE rose of England bloom'd on Gertrude's cheek-
What though these shades had seen her birth, her sire
A Briton's independence taught to seek
Far western worlds; and there his household fire
The light of social love did long inspire,
And many a halcyon day he lived to see
Unbroken, but by one misfortune dire,
When fate had reft his mutual heart-but she
Was gone--and Gertrude claim'd a widow'd father's
A loved bequest,—and I may half impart,
To them that feel the strong paternal tie,
How like a new existence to his heart
That living flow'r uprose beneath his eye,
Dear as she was, from cherub infancy,
From hours when she would round his garden play ;
To time when, as the rip’ning years went by,
Her lovely mind could culture well repay,
And more engaging grew, from pleasing day to day.
I may not paint those thousand infant charms;
(Unconscious fascination, undesign'd!)
The orison repeated in his arms,
For God to bless her sire and all mankind;
The book, the bosom on his knee reclin'd,
Or how sweet fairy-lore he heard her con, (The playmate ere the teacher of her mind :) All uncompanion'd else her years had gone, Till now in Gertrude's eyes their ninth blue summer shone.
I LIKE not beauty's roseate brightness ;
I like not beauty's sparkling eye :
Give me the cheek whose marble whiteness
Feeling's faint blush alone can dye;
Give me the pure and tranquil glance
Where no vain triumphs proudly dance,
Serene and blue as heaven's expanse ;-
Thy cheeks, thine eyes, my Mary!
I like not lips for ever smiling ;
I like not speech for ever gay:
Give me the softness more beguiling
Which gently veils wit's brilliant ray;
Give me the mellow voice that tells
What sweetness in the bosom dwells;
The sigh that oft that bosom swells ;-
Thy voice, thy sigh, my Mary!
SEE wither'd Winter bending low his head;
His ragged locks stiff with the hoary dew;
His eyes, like frozen lakes, of livid hue;
His train a sable cloud, with murky red
Streak’d.--Ah! behold his nitrous breathings shed
Petrific death! Lean, waleful birds pursue,
On as he sweeps o'er the dun lonely moor,
Amid the battling blasts of all the winds
That, while their sleet the climbing sailor blinds,
Lash the white surges to the sounding shore.