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Mysterious murmurs fill,
A strange bewildering dream of sound,
O! snatch the Harp from Sorrow's hand,
of vanish'd troubles sing, Of fears for ever fled,
of flowers that hear the voice of Spring, And burst and blossom from the dead;
Of home, contentment, health, repose, Serene delights, while years increase; And weary life's triumphant close
In some calm sun-set hour of peace;—
Of bliss that reigns above, Celestial May of Youth, Unchanging as Jehovah's love, And everlasting as his truth:
Sing, heavenly Hope!-and dart thine hand
Ah! then, this gloom control,
And at thy voice shall start A new creation in my soul, A native Eden in my heart.
Verses written for an Urn, made out of the trunk of the Weeping Willow, imported from the East, and planted by Pope in his grounds at Twickenham, where it flourished many years; but, falling into decay, it was lately cut down.
ERE POPE resign'd his tuneful breath,
Upon the drooping Willow; That Willow from Euphrates' strand, Had sprung beneath his training hand.
Long as revolving seasons flew,
From youth to age it flourish'd; By vernal winds and starlight dew,
By showers and sunbeams nourish'd; And while in dust the Poet slept, The Willow o'er his ashes wept.
Old Time beheld his silvery head
With graceful grandeur towering, Its pensile boughs profusely spread, The breezy lawn embowering, Till arch'd around, there seem'd to shoot A grove of scions from one root.
Thither, at summer noon, he view'd
Lone on a mossy bank it grew,
Where lichens, purple, white, and blue,
A bee had nestled on its blooms,
O, welcome, as a friend! I cried,
Nor ever sought in vain,
Sure as the Pleiades adorn
Scatter'd by Nature's graceful hand,
Thy fairy tribes we meet;
From winter's farm-yard bondage freed, The cattle bounding o'er the mead,
Where green the herbage grows, Among thy fragrant blossoms feed,
Upon thy tufts repose.
Tossing his forelock o'er his mane,
Where thick thy primrose blossoms play, Lovely and innocent as they,
O'er coppice lawns and dells, In bands the rural children stray, To pluck thy nectar'd bells;
Whose simple sweets, with curious skill,
Nor envy France the vine,
The dawn of lengthening days.
Thy self-renewing race Have breathed their balmy lives away In this neglected place.
And O, till Nature's final doom,
From scythe and plow secure,
Yet, lowly Cowslip, while in thee
This fading eye and withering mien
Since more and more estranged,
Then fields and woods I proudly spurn'd, From Nature's maiden love I turn'd,
And woo'd the enchantress Art; Yet while for her my fancy burn'd, Cold was my wretched heart,
Till, distanced in Ambition's race,
'Twas Spring;-my former haunts I found, My favorite flowers adorn'd the ground, My darling minstrels play'd;
The mountains were with sun-set crown'd, The valleys dun with shade.
With lorn delight the scene I view'd,
And still, in Memory's twilight bowers, The spirits of departed hours,
With mellowing tints, portray The blossoms of life's vernal flowers For ever fall'n away.
Till youth's delirious dream is o'er, Sanguine with hope, we look before,. The future good to find;
In age, when error charms no more, For bliss we look behind.
A DEED OF DARKNESS.
The body of the Missionary, John Smith, (who died February 6, 1824, in prison, under sentence of death by a court-martial, in Demerara), was ordered to be buried secretly at night, and no person, not even his widow, was allowed to follow the corpse. Mrs. Smith, however, and her friend Mrs. Elliot, accompanied by a free Negro, carrying a lantern, repaired beforehand to the spot where a grave had been dug, and there they awaited the interment, which took place accordingly. His Majesty's pardon, annulling the condemnation, is said to have arrived on the day of the unfortunate Missionary's death, from the rigors of confinement, in a tropical climate, and under the slow pains of an inveterate malady, previously afflicting him.
COME down in thy profoundest gloom, Without one vagrant fire-fly's light,
Beneath thine ebon arch entomb
Earth, from the gaze of Heaven, O Night!
A deed of darkness must be done,
Are these the criminals, that flee
Like deeper shadows through the shade? A flickering lamp, from tree to tree,
Betrays their path along the glade, Led by a Negro;-now they stand, Two trembling women, hand in hand.
A grave, an open grave, appears;
O'er this in agony they bend, Wet the fresh turf with bitter tears;
Sighs following sighs their bosoms rend: These are not murderers!-these have known Grief more bereaving than their own.
Oft through the gloom their straining eyes
Look forth, for what they fear to meet: It comes; they catch a glimpse; it flies:
Quick-glancing lights, slow-trampling feet, Amidst the cane-crops,-seen, heard, gone,— Return, and in dead-march move on. A stern procession!-gleaming arms, And spectral countenances, dart, By the red torch-flame, wild alarms,
And withering pangs through either heart; A corpse amidst the group is borne, A prisoner's corpse, who died last morn.
O, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead,
And dear Isabella, the joy of them all?
Imitated from the Italian of Metastasio.
THE tall Oak, towering to the skies,
O'erwhelm'd at length upon the plain,
THIS shadow on the Dial's face,
Since light and motion first began,
Nor only o'er the Dial's face,
This silent phantom, day by day, With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,
What is it?-Mortal Man!
And still, through each succeeding year
And Time's last shadow shall eclipse the sun.
Steals moments, months, and years away; From hoary rock and aged tree,
From proud Palmyra's mouldering walls, From Teneriffe, towering o'er the sea,
From every blade of grass it falls. For still, where'er a shadow sweeps,
The scythe of Time destroys, And man at every footstep weeps O'er evanescent joys;
Like flow'rets glittering with the dews of morn
Then Time, the Conqueror, will suspend His scythe, a trophy, o'er my tomb, Whose moving shadow shall portend Each frail beholder's doom.