« PreviousContinue »
Dim through the mist of twilight times
Relentless Hannibal, in pride
Of sworn, fix'd hatred, lowers; Cæsar, 't is Brutus at his side,
In peerless grandeur towers.
With moonlight softness Helen's charms
But Homer; see the bard arise! And hark! he strikes the lyre; The Dardan warriors lift their eyes, The Argive Chiefs respire,
And while his music rolls along, The towers of Troy sublime, Raised by the magic breath of song, Mock the destroyer, Time.
For still around the eternal walls
Genius of Homer! were it mine To track thy fiery car,
And in thy sun-set course to shine A radiant evening star,
What theme, what laurel might the Muse
Yonder his shadow flits away:
-Thou shalt not thus depart; Stay, thou transcendent spirit, stay, And tell me who thou art!
"Tis Alfred-In the rolls of Fame,
A Danish winter, from the north,
Back to the deep he roll'd the waves,
His voice was liberty to slaves,
And still that voice o'er land and sea
The race of Alfred will be free;-
But lo! the phantoms fade in flight,
With swelling wings and shadowy pride,
-With syren strains, Circean art, To win the ear, beguile the heart, Wake the wild passions into rage, And please and prostitute the age?
No!-to the generous Bard belong Diviner themes and purer song: -To hail Religion from above, Descending in the form of Love, And pointing through a world of strife The narrow way that leads to life: -To pour the balm of heavenly rest Through Sorrow's agonizing breast; With Pity's tender arms embrace The orphans of a kindred race; And in one zone of concord bind The lawless spoilers of mankind : -To sing in numbers boldly free The wars and woes of liberty; The glory of her triumphs tell, Her nobler suffering when she fell,' Girt with the phalanx of the brave, Or widow'd on the patriot's grave, Which tyrants tremble to pass by, Ev'n on the car of Victory.
These are the Bard's sublimest views,
The light of gladness from my soul,
My Song of Sorrow reach'd HER ear; She raised her languid head to hear, And, smiling in the arms of Death, She bless'd me with her latest breath.
A secret hand to me convey'd The thoughts of that inspiring Maid; They came like voices on the wind, Heard in the stillness of the mind, When round the Poet's twilight walk Aerial beings seem to talk. Not the twin-stars of Leda shine With vernal influence more benign, Nor sweeter, in the sylvan vale, Sings the lone-warbling nightingale, Than through my shades her lustre broke, Than to my griefs her spirit spoke.
My fancy form'd her young and fair, Pure as her sister-lilies were,
1 Piu val d'ogni vittoria un bel soffrire. Gaetana Passerini.
Adorn'd with meekest maiden grace,
Such was the picture fancy drew, In lineaments divinely true; The muse, by her mysterious art, Had shown her likeness to my heart, And every faithful feature brought O'er the clear mirror of my thought. -But she was waning to the tomb; The worm of death was in her bloom; Yet as the mortal frame declined, Strong through the ruins rose the mind; As the dim moon, when night ascends, Slow in the east the darkness rends, Through melting clouds, by gradual gleams, Pours the mild splendor of her beams, Then bursts in triumph o'er the pole, Free as a disembodied soul! Thus, while the veil of flesh decay'd, Her beauties brighten'd through the shade; Charms which her lowly heart conceal'd In nature's weakness were reveal'd: And still the unrobing spirit cast Diviner glories to the last, Dissolved its bonds, and clear'd its flight, Emerging into perfect light.
Yet shall the friends who loved her weep, Though shrined in peace the sufferer sleep, Though rapt to heaven the saint aspire, With seraph guards, on wings of fire; Yet shall they weep;-for oft and well Remembrance shall her story tell, Affection of her virtues speak, With beaming eye and burning cheek, Each action, word, and look recall, The last, the loveliest of all, When on the lap of death she lay, Serenely smiled her soul away, And left surviving Friendship's breast Warm with the sun-set of her rest.
O thou, who wert on earth unknown,
At conscious midnight haunts my breast;
Calm through the troubled gloom descend,