« PreviousContinue »
And make thyself of worth ; and thus enlist
The smiles of all the good, the dear to fame;
'Tis infamy to die and not be missed,
Or let all soon forget that thou didst e'er exist.
Rouse to some work of high and holy love,
And thou an angel's happiness shalt know,-
Shalt bless the earth while in the world above;
The good begun by thee shall onward flow
In many a branching stream, and wider grow;
The seed that, in these few and fleeting hours,
Thy hands unsparing and unwearied sow,
Shall deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers,
And yield thee fruits divine in heaven's immortal bowers.
Inscription for the Entrance into a Wood.-BRYANT.
STRANGER, if thou hast learnt a truth, which needs
Experience more than reason, that the world
Is full of guilt and misery, and hast known
Enough of all its sorrows, crimes and cares
To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood,
And view the haunts of Nature. The calm shade
Shall bring a kindred calm, and the sweet breeze,
That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm
To thy sick heart. Thou wilt find nothing here
Of all that pained thee in the haunts of men,
And made thee loathe thy life. The primal curse
Fell, it is true, upon the unsinning earth,
But not in vengeance. Misery is wed
To guilt. And hence these shades are still the abodes
Of undissembled gladness: the thick roof
Of green and stirring branches is alive
And musical with birds, that sing and sport
In wantonness of spirit; while, below,
The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,
Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the glade
Try their thin wings, and dance in the warm beam
That waked them into life. Even the green trees
Partake the deep contentment: as they bend
To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
Looks in, and sheds a blessing on the scene.
Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy
Existence, than the winged plunderer
That sucks its sweets. The massy rocks themselves,
The old and ponderous trunks of prostrate trees,
That lead from knoll to knoll, a causey rude,
Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots,
With all their earth upon them, twisting high,
Breathe fixed tranquillity. The rivulet
Sends forth glad sounds, and, tripping o'er its bed
Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks,
Seems with continuous laughter to rejoice
In its own being. Softly tread the marge,
Lest from her midway perch thou scare the wren
That dips her bill in water. The cool wind,
That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee,
Like one that loves thee, nor will let thee pass
Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace.
The Death of Sin and the Life of Holiness.—DANA.
Be warned! Thou canst not break or 'scape the power In kindness given in thy first breathing hour: Thou canst not slay its life: it must create ; And, good or ill, there ne'er will come a date To its tremendous energies. The trust, Thus given, guard, and to thyself be just. Nor dream with life to shuffle off this coil; It takes fresh life, starts fresh for further toil, And on it goes, for ever, ever on, Changing, all down its course, each thing to one With its immortal nature. All must be, Like thy dread self, one dread eternity.
Blinded by passion, man gives up his breath,
Uncalled by God. We look, and name it death.
Mad wretch! the soul hath no last sleep; the strife
To end itself, but wakes intenser life
In the self-torturing spirit. Fool, give o'er!
Hast thou once been, yet think'st to be no more?
What! life destroy itself? O, idlest dream,
Shaped in that emptiest thing-a doubter's scheme.
Think'st in a universal soul will merge
Thy soul, as rain-drops mingle with the surge ?
Or, no less skeptic, sin will have an end,
And thy purged spirit with the holy blend
In joys as holy? Why a sinner now?
As falls the tree, so lies it. So shalt thou.
God's Book, thou doubter, holds the plain record.
Dar’st talk of hopes and doubts against that Word ?
Dar'st palter with it in a quibbling sense?
That Book shall judge thee when thou passest hence.
Then, with thy spirit from the body freed,
Thou’lt know, thou'lt see, thou’lt feel what's life, indeed.
Bursting to life, thy dominant desire
Will upward flame, like a fierce forest fire ;
Then, like a sea of fire, heave, roar, and dash-
Roll up its lowest depths in waves, and flash
A wild disaster round, like its own wo
Each wave cry,
“ Wo for ever!” in its flow,
And then pass on—from far adown its path
Send back commingling sounds of wo and wrath-
Th’indomitable Will then know no sway :
God calls—Man, hear Him; quit that fearful way!
Come, listen to His voice who died to save
Lost man, and raise him from his moral grave;
From darkness showed a path of light to heaven;
Cried, “ Rise and walk; thy sins are all forgiven."
Blest are the pure in heart. Would'st thou be blest ?
He'll cleanse thy spotted soul. Would'st thou find rest?
Around thy toils and cares he'll breathe a calm,
And to thy wounded spirit lay a balm,
From fear draw love, and teach thee where to seek
Lost strength and grandeur, with the bowed and meek.
Come lowly; He will help thee. Lay aside
That subtle, first of evils—human pride.
Know God, and, so, thyself; and be afraid
To call aught poor or low that he has made.
Fear naught but sin ; love all but sin; and learn
How that, in all things else, thou may'st discern
His forming, his creating power-how bind
Earth, self and brother to th' Eternal Mind.
Linked with th' Immortal, immortality Begins e’en here. For what is time to thee,
To whose cleared sight the night is turned to day,
And that but changing life, miscalled decay?
Is it not glorious, then, from thy own heart
To pour a stream of life?-to make a part
With thy eternal spirit things that rot,-
That, looked on for a moment, are forgot,
But to thy opening vision pass to take
New forms of life, and in new beauties wake?
To thee the falling leaf but fades to bear
Its hues and odors to some fresher air;
Some passing sound floats by to yonder sphere,
That softly answers to thy listening ear.
In one eternal round they go and come;
And where they travel, there hast thou a home
For thy far-reaching thoughts.—0, Power Divine,
Has this poor worm a spirit so like thine ?
Unwrap its folds, and clear its wings to go!
Would I could quit earth, sin, and care, and wo!
Nay, rather let me use the world aright:
Thus make me ready for my upward flight.
A Demon's false Description of his Race of fallen Intelli.
gences. A Scene from Hadad.-HILLHOUSE.
Tamar. I SHUDDER,
Lest some dark Minister be near us now.
Hadad. You wrong them. They are bright Intelligences,
Robbed of some native splendor, and cast down,
'Tis true, fronı heaven; but not deformed, and foul,
Revengeful, malice-working fiends, as fools
Suppose. They dwell, like princes, in the clouds;
Sun their bright pinions in the middle sky;
Or arch their palaces beneath the hills,
With stones inestimable studded so,
That sun or stars were useless there.
Tam. Good heavens !
Had. He bade me look on rugged Caucasus,
Crag piled on crag beyond the utmost ken,
Naked, and wild, as if creation's ruins
Were heaped in one immeasurable chain
Of barren mountains, beaten by the storms
Of everlasting winter. But within
Are glorious palaces, and domes of light,
Irradiate halls, and crystal colonnades,
Vaults set with gems, the purchase of a crown,
Blazing with lustre past the noon-tide beam,
Or, with a milder beauty, mimicking
The mystic signs of changeful Mazzaroth.
Tam. Unheard of splendor!
Had. There they dwell, and muse,
And wander; Beings beautiful, immortal,
Minds vast as heaven, capacious as the sky,
Whose thoughts connect past, present, and to come,
And glow with light intense, imperishable.
Thus, in the sparry chambers of the sea
And air-pavilions, rainbow tabernacles,
They study Nature's secrets, and enjoy
No poor dominion.
Tam. Are they beautiful,
And powerful far beyond the human race?
Had. Man's feeble heart cannot conceive it. When
The sage described them, fiery eloquence
Flowed from his lips, his bosom heaved, his eyes
Grew bright and mystical; moved by the theme,
Like one who feels a deity within.
Tam. Wondrous!—What intercourse have they with men ?
Had. Sometimes they deign to intermix with man, But oft with woman.
Tam. Hah! with woman?
Attracts them with her gentler virtues, soft,
And beautiful, and heavenly, like themselves.
They have been known to love her with a passion
Stronger than human.
Tam. That surpasses all
You yet have told me.
Had. This the
sage affirms; And Moses, darkly.
Tam. How do they appear?
How manifest their love?
Had. Sometimes ’tis spiritual, signified
By beatific dreams, or more distinct
And glorious apparition.—They have stooped
To animate a human form, and love
Tam. Frightful to be so beloved !