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And realized his waking dreams.
THE COMMON LOT. Once in the flight of ages past There lived a man:—and who was he? -Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast, That man resembled thee.
Unknown the region of his birth,
—“‘Leave me not, Adam' leave me not below;
“The sun, in summer majesty on high, Darted his fierce effulgence down the sky; Yet dimm'd and blunted were the dazzling rays,
His orb expanded through a dreary haze,
“The sun went down, amidst an angry glare
Of flushing clouds, that crimson'd all the air;
“Amidst this war of elements, within More dreadful grew the sacrifice of sin, Whose victim on his bed of torture lay. Breathing the slow remains of life away. Erewhile, victorious faith sublimer rose Beneath the pressure of collected woes: But now his spirit waver'd, went and came. Like the loose vapour of departing flame. Till at the point, when comfort seem'd to die For ever in his fix’d unclosiug eye, Bright through the smouldering ashes of the ou. The saint brake forth, and Adam thus began:
—““O ye that shudder at this awful strife, This wrestling agony of death and life, Think not that He, on whom my soul is cast, Will leave me thus forsaken to the last; Nature's infirmity alone you see: My chains are breaking, I shall soon be free: Though firm in God the spirit holds her trus, The flesh is frail, and trembles into dust. Horror and anguish seize me;—'tis the hour Of darkness, and I mourn beneath its power; The Tempter plies me with his direst art, I feel the Serpent coiling round my heart; He stirs the wound he once inflicted there, Instils the deadening poison of despair. Belies the truth of God's delaying grace. And bids me curse my Maker to his face. —I will not curse Him, though his grace delay; I will not cease to trust Him, though he slay; Full on his promised mercy I rely, For God hath spoken, God, who cannot lie. —Thou, of my faith the Author and the End: Mine early, late, and everlasting friend: The joy, that once thy presence gave, restore Ere I am summon'd hence, and seen no more: Down to the dust returns this earthly frame, Receive my spirit, Lord! from whom it cate; Rebuke the Tempter, shew thy power to save, O let thy glory light me to the grave, That these, who witness my departing breath, May learn to triumph in the grasp of death.’
O let me follow in this dear embrace!”
“Eve's faithful arm still clasp'd her lifeless spouse; Gently I shook it, from her trance to rouse; She gave no answer; motionless and cold, It fell like clay from my relaxing hold; Alarm’d, I listed up the locks of grey That hid her cheek; her soul had pass'd away: A beauteous corse she graced her partner's side; Love bound their lives, and death could not divide.”
THE EFFECT OF MUSIC ON CAIN.
“I love thee, twilight! as thy shadows roll, The calm of evening steals upon my soul, Sublimely tender, solemnly serene, Still as the hour, enchanting as the scene. I love thee, twilight! for thy gleams impart Their dear, their dying influence to my heart, When o'er the harp of thought thy passing wind Awakens all the music of the mind, And joy and sorrow, as the spirit burns, And hope and memory sweep the chords by turns, While contemplation, on seraphic wings, Mounts with the flame of sacrifice, and sings. Twilight! I love thee; let thy glooms increase Till every feeling, every pulse is peace; Slow from the sky the light of day declines, Clearer within the dawn of glory shines, Revealing, in the hour of nature's rest, A world of wonders in the poet's breast: Deeper, Otwilight! then thy shadows roll, An awful vision opens on my soul.
“On such an evening, so divinely calm, The woods all melody, the breezes balm, Down in a vale, where lucid waters stray'd, And mountain-cedars stretcht their downward
Jubal, the prince of song (in youth unknown)
He call'd the elements, earth, ocean, air,
“‘Alone along the lyre of nature sigh'd The master-chord, to which no chord replied; For man, while bliss and beauty reign'd around, For man alone, no fellowship was found, No fond companion, in whose dearer breast, His heart, repining in his own, might rest; For, born to love, the heart delights to roam, A kindred bosom is its happiest home. On earth's green lap, the father of mankind, In mild dejection, thoughtfully reclined; Soft o'er his eyes a sealing slumber crept, And fancy soothed him while reflection slept. ThenGod—who thus would make his counsel known, Counsel that will'd not man to dwell alone, Created woman with a smile of grace, And left the smile that made her on her face. The patriarch's eyelids open'd on his bride, —The morn of beauty risen from his side! He gazed with new-born rapture on her charms, And love's first whispers won her to his arms. Then, tuned through all the chords supremely sweet, Exulting nature found her lyre complete, And from the key of each harmonious sphere Struck music worthy of her Maker's ear.’
“Here Jubal paused; for grim before him lay, Couch'd like a lion watching for his prey, With blood-red eye of fascinating fire, Fix'd like the gazing serpent’s on the lyre, An awful form, that through the gloom appear'd, Half brute, half human; whose terrific beard, And hoary flakes of long dishevell'd hair, Like eagle's plumage ruffled by the air, Veil'd a sad wreck of grandeur and of grace; Limbs worn and wounded; a majestic face, Deep-plough’d by time, and ghastly pale with woes, That goaded till remorse to madness rose. Haunted by phantoms, he had fled his home, With savage beasts in solitude to roam; Wild as the waves, and wandering as the wind, No art could tame him, and no chains could bind: Already seven disastrous years had shed
Mildew and blast on his unshelter'd head;
“”Twas Cain, the sire of nations;–Jubal knew His kindred looks, and tremblingly withdrew; He, darting like the blaze of sudden fire, Leap'd o'er the space between, and grasp'd the lyre: Sooner with life the struggling bard would part, And ere the fiend could tear it from his heart, He hurl’d his hand, with one tremendous stroke, O'er all the strings; whence in a whirlwind broke Such tones of terror, dissonance, despair, As till that hour had never jarr'd in air. Astonish’d into marble at the shock, Backward stood Cain, unconscious as a rock, Cold, breathless, motionless through all his frame; But soon his visage quicken'd into flame, When Jubal's hand the crashing jargon changed To melting harmony, and nimbly ranged From chord to chord, ascending sweet and clear, Then rolling down in thunder on the ear; With power the pulse of anguish to restrain, And charm the evil spirit from the brain.
“Slowly recovering from that trance profound,
When windy darkness rides upon the clouds,
THE GIANT CHIEFTAIN.
“When war, that self-inflicted scourge of man, His boldest crime and bitterest curse, began ;
As lions fierce, as forest-cedars tall,
“Thus while the giants trampled friends and sees Amongst their tribe a mighty chieftain rose; His birth mysterious, but traditions tell What strange events his infancy befell.
“A Goatherd fed his flock on many a steep, Where Eden's rivers swell the southern deep; A melancholy man, who dwelt alone, Yet far abroad his evil fame was known, The first of woman born, that might presume To wake the dead bones mouldering in the tomb, And, from the gulph of uncreated night, Call phantoms of futurity to light. 'Twas said his voice could stay the falling flood, Eclipse the sun, and turn the moon to blood, Roll back the planets on their golden cars, And from the firmament unfix the stars. Spirits of fire and air, of sea and land, Came at his call, and flew at his command: His spells so potent, that his changing breath Open'd or shut the gates of life and death. O'er nature's powers he claim'd supreme contros. And held communion with ail nature's soul: The name and place of every herb he knew, Its healing balsam, or pernicious dew: The meanest reptile, and the noblest birth
Of ocean's caverns, or the living earth,
Obey'd his mandate:—Lord of all the rest,
Man more than all his hidden art confess'd, Cringed to his face, consulted, and revered
His oracles, detested him and fear'd.
“Once by the river, in a waking dream, He stood to watch the ever-running stream, In which, reflected upward to his eyes, He giddily look'd down upon the skies, For thus he feign'd in his ecstatic mood To summon divination from the flood. His steady view a floating object cross'd; His eye pursued it till the sight was lost.— An outcast infant in a fragile bark! The river whirl'd the willow-woven ark )own tow'rds the deep; the tide returning bore The little voyager unharm'd to shore: Him in his cradle-ship securely bound With swathing skins at eve the Goatherd found. Nurst by that foster-sire, austere and rude, Midst rocks and glens, in savage solitude, Among the kids, the rescued foundling grew, Nutrition from whose shaggy dams he drew, Till baby-curls his broader temples crown'd, \nd torrid suns his flexile limbs embrown'd: Then as he sprang from green to florid age, \nd rose to giant stature, stage by stage, He roam'd the vallies with his browsing flock, \nd leapt in joy of youth from rock to rock, Slimb'd the sharp precipice's steepest breast, To seize the eagle brooding on her nest, \nd rent his way through matted woods, to tear 'he skulking panther from his hidden lair. \trodden serpent, horrible and vast, prang on the heedless rover as he pass'd; amb lock'd o'er limb, with many a straitening fold )forbs inextricably involved, he roll'd )n earth in vengeance, broke the twisted toils, trangled the hissing fiend, and wore the spoils. With hardy exercise, and cruel art, To nerve the frame, and petrify the heart, The wizard train’d his pupil, from a span, so thrice the bulk and majesty of man. [grace, His limbs were sinewy strength; commanding And dauntless spirit sparkled in his face; lisarm could pluck the lion from his prey, And hold the horn’d rhinoceros at bay, His feet o'er highest hills pursue the hind, Or tire the ostrich buoyant on the wind.
“Yet 'twas the stripling's chief delight to brave The river's wrath, and wrestle with the wave; When torrent rains had swoln the furious tide, Light on the foamy surge he loved to ride; When calm and clear the stream was wont to flow, Fearless he dived to search the caves below. His childhood's story, often told, had wrought Sublimest hopes in his aspiring thought. I9nce on a cedar, from its mountain throne Pluckt by the tem pest forth he sail'd alone, And reach'd the gulph;-with eye of eager fire, And *hing cheek, he watch'd the shores retire,
Till sky and water wide around were spread;
“Through snares and deaths pursuing fame and power,
He scorn'd his flock from that adventurous hour,
ICE-BLINK AND AURORA BOREALIS.
'Tis sunset: to the firmament serene The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene: Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold Girds the blue hemisphere; above unroll'd The keen clear air grows palpable to sight, Embodied in a flush of crimson light, Through which the evening star, with milder gleam, Descends to meet her image in the stream. Far in the east, what spectacle unknown Allures the eye to gaze on it alone? -Amidst black rocks, that lift on either hand Their countless peaks, and mark receding land; Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas, That shine around the arctic Cyclades; Amidst a coast of dreariest continent, In many a shapeless promontory rent; —O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories spread, The Ice-Blink rears its undulated head, On which the sun, beyond th’ horizon shrined, Hath left his richest garniture behind; Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge, O'er fix’d and fluid strides the Alpine bridge, Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye Hewn from cerulean quarries of the sky; With glacier-battlements, that crowd the spheres, The slow creation of six thousand years, Amidst immensity it towers sublime,