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Galaxy

The Galaxy

On the terrace in the sun I closed my eyes
and saw coloured light dancing under my
eyelids like a galaxy that only existed inside
of me… or is the real galaxy an illusion.
Scientists watch stars in their great telescope
but only see what is in their heads…
And we agree because we too only see what
is in our own mind. Ruby stars and pink moons
and the dream of immortality that our souls
fly to a mysterious planet like our own where
death has been vanquished.

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The Dream Land

I

To think that men of former days
In naked truth deserved the praise
Which, fain to have in flesh and blood
An image of imagined good,
Poets have sung and men received,
And all too glad to be deceived,
Most plastic and most inexact,
Posterity has told for fact;
To say what was, was not as we,
This also is a vanity.

II

Ere Agamemnon, warriors were,
Ere Helen, beauties equalling her,
Brave ones and fair, whom no one knows,
And brave or fair as these or those.
The commonplace whom daily we
In our dull streets and houses see,
To think of other mould than these
Were Cato, Solon, Socrates,
Or Mahomet or Confutze,
This also is a vanity.

III

Hannibal, Cæsar, Charlemain,
And he before, who back on Spain
Repelled the fierce inundant Moor;
Godfrey, St. Louis, wise and pure,
Washington, Cromwell, John, and Paul,
Columbus, Luther, one and all,
Go mix them up, the false and true,
With Sindbad, Crusoe, or St. Preux,
And say as he was, so was he,
This also is a vanity.

IV

Say not: Behold it here or there,
Or on the earth, or in the air.
That better thing than can be seen
Is neither now nor e’er has been;
It is not in this land or that,
But in a place we soon are at,
Where all can seek and some can find,
Where hope is liberal, fancy kind,
And what we wish for we can see,
Which also is a vanity.

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The Magnitude of Their Errors

What has defeated
A greatness beginning
To crumble beneath our feet?
It has been an obsession,
To deplete those of color in number!
Instead of appreciating contributions made...
To keep those 'feeding' off of their usefulness,
Alive!
And the magnitude of their errors,
Will open wide their eyes!

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The Troubadour. Canto 3

LAND of the olive and the vine,
The saint and soldier, sword and shrine!
How glorious to young RAYMOND'S eye
Swell'd thy bold heights, spread thy clear sky,
When first he paused upon the height
Where, gather'd, lay the Christian might.
Amid a chesnut wood were raised
Their white tents, and the red cross blazed
Meteor-like, with its crimson shine,
O'er many a standard's scutcheon'd line.

On the hill opposite there stood
The warriors of the Moorish blood,--
With their silver crescents gleaming,
And their horse-tail pennons streaming;
With cymbals and the clanging gong,
The muezzin's unchanging song,
The turbans that like rainbows shone,
The coursers' gay caparison,
As if another world had been
Where that small rivulet ran between.

And there was desperate strife next day:
The little vale below that lay
Was like a slaughter-pit, of green
Could not one single trace be seen;
The Moslem warrior stretch'd beside
The Christian chief by whom he died;
And by the broken falchion blade
The crooked scymeter was laid.

And gallantly had RAYMOND borne
The red cross through the field that morn,
When suddenly he saw a knight
Oppress'd by numbers in the fight:
Instant his ready spear was flung,
Instant amid the band he sprung;--
They fight, fly, fall,--and from the fray
He leads the wounded knight away!
Gently he gain'd his tent, and there
He left him to the leech's care;
Then sought the field of death anew,--
Little was there for knight to do.

That field was strewn with dead and dying;
And mark'd he there DE VALENCE lying
Upon the turbann'd heap, which told
How dearly had his life been sold.
And yet on his curl'd lip was worn
The impress of a soldier's scorn;
And yet his dark and glazed eye
Glared its defiance stern and high:
His head was on his shield, his hand
Held to the last his own red brand.
Felt RAYMOND all too proud for grief
In gazing on the gallant chief:
So, thought he, should a warrior fall,
A victor dying last of all.

But sadness moved him when he gave
DE VALENCE to his lowly grave,--
The grave where the wild flowers were sleeping,
And one pale olive-tree was weeping,--
And placed the rude stone cross to show
A Christian hero lay below.

With the next morning's dawning light
Was RAYMOND by the wounded knight.
He heard strange tales,--none knew his name,
And none might say from whence he came;
He wore no cognizance, his steed
Was raven black, and black his weed.
All owned his fame, but yet they deem'd
More desperate than brave he seem'd;
Or as he only dared the field
For the swift death that it might yield.

Leaning beside the curtain, where
Came o'er his brow the morning air,
He found the stranger chief; his tone,
Surely 'twas one RAYMOND had known!
He knew him not, what chord could be
Thus waken'd on his memory?

At first the knight was cold and stern,
As that his spirit shunn'd to learn
Aught of affection; as it brought
To him some shaft of venom'd thought:
When one eve RAYMOND chanced to name
Durance's castle, whence he came;
And speak of EVA , and her fate,
So young and yet so desolate,
So beautiful! Then heard he all
Her father's wrongs, her mother's fall:
For AMIRALD was the knight whose life
RAYMOND had saved amid the strife;
And now he seem'd to find relief
In pouring forth his hidden grief,
Which had for years been as the stream
Cave-lock'd from either air or beam.

LORD AMIRALD'S HISTORY.

I LOVED her! ay, I would have given
A death-bed certainty of heaven
If I had thought it could confer
The least of happiness on her!
How proudly did I wait the hour
When hid no more in lowly bower,
She should shine, loveliest of all,
The lady of my heart and hall;--
And soon I deem'd the time would be,
For many a chief stood leagued with me.

It was one evening we had sate
In my tower's secret council late,
Our bands were number'd, and we said
That the pale moon's declining head
Should shed her next full light o'er bands
With banners raised, and sheathless brands.
We parted; I to seek the shade
Where my heart's choicest gem was laid;
I flung me on my fleetest steed,
I urged it to its utmost speed,--
On I went, like the hurrying wind,
Hill, dale, and plain were left behind,
And yet I thought my courser slow--
Even when the forest lay below.

As my wont, in a secret nook
I left my horse,--I may not tell
With what delight my way I took
Till I had reach'd the oak-hid dell.
The trees which hitherto had made
A more than night, with lighten'd shade
Now let the stars and sky shine through,
Rejoicing, calm, and bright, and blue.

There did not move a leaf that night
That I cannot remember now,
Nor yet a single star whose light
Was on the royal midnight's brow:
Wander'd no cloud, sigh'd not a flower,
That is not present at this hour.
No marvel memory thus should press
Round its last light of happiness!

I paused one moment where I stood,
In all a very miser's mood,
As if that thinking of its store
Could make my bosom's treasure more.
I saw the guiding lamp which shone
From the wreath'd lattice, pale and lone;
Another moment I was there,
To pause, and look--upon despair.

I saw her!--on the ground she lay,
The life blood ebbing fast away;
But almost as she could not die
Without my hand to close her eye!
When to my bosom press'd, she raised
Her heavy lids, and feebly gazed,
And her lip moved: I caught its breath,
Its last, it was the gasp of death!

I leant her head upon my breast,
As I but soothed her into rest;--
I do not know what time might be
Past in this stony misery,
When I was waken'd from my dream
By my forgotten infant's scream.
Then first I thought upon my child.
I took it from its bed, it smiled,
And its red cheek was flush'd with sleep:
Why had it not the sense to weep?
I laid its mother on the bed,
O'er her pale brow a mantle spread,
And left the wood. Calm, stern, and cold,
The tale of blood and death I told;
Gave my child to my brother's care
As his, not mine were this despair.

I flung me on my steed again,
I urged him with the spur and rein,--
I left him at the usual tree,
But left him there at liberty.

With madd'ning step I sought the place,
I raised the mantle from her face,
And knelt me down beside, to gaze
On all the mockery death displays,
Until it seem'd but sleep to me.
Death,--oh, no! death it could not be.

The cold grey light the dawn had shed,
Changed gradual into melting red;
I watch'd the morning colour streak
With crimson dye her marble cheek;
The freshness of the stirring air
Lifted her curls of raven hair;
Her head lay pillow'd on her arm,
Sweetly, as if with life yet warm;--
I kiss'd her lips: oh, God, the chill!
My heart is frozen with it still:--
It was as suddenly on me
Open'd my depths of misery.
I flung me on the ground, and raved,
And of the wind that past me craved
One breath of poison, till my blood
From lip and brow gush'd in one flood.
I watch'd the warm stream of my veins
Mix with the death wounds clotted stains;
Oh! how I pray'd that I might pour
My heart's tide, and her life restore!

And night came on:--with what dim fear
I mark'd the darkling hours appear,--
I could not gaze on the dear brow,
And seeing was all left me now.
I grasp'd the cold hand in mine own,
Till both alike seem'd turn'd to stone.
Night, morn, and noontide pass'd away,
Then came the tokens of decay.

'Twas the third night that I had kept
My watch, and, like a child, had wept
Sorrow to sleep, and in my dream
I saw her as she once could seem,
Fair as an angel: there she bent
As if sprung from the element,
The bright clear fountain, whose pure wave
Her soft and shadowy image gave.

Methought that conscious beauty threw
Upon her cheek its own sweet hue,
Its loveliness of morning red;
I woke, and gazed upon the dead.
I mark'd the fearful stains which now
Were dark'ning o'er the once white brow,
The livid colours that declare
The soul no longer dwelleth there.
The gaze of even my fond eye,
Seem'd almost like impiety,
As it were sin for looks to be
On what the earth alone should see.
I thought upon the loathsome doom
Of the grave's cold, corrupted gloom;--
Oh, never shall the vile worm rest
A lover on thy lip and breast!

Oh, never shall a careless tread
Soil with its step thy sacred bed!
Never shall leaf or blossom bloom
With vainest mockery o'er thy tomb!

And forth I went, and raised a shrine
Of the dried branches of the pine,--
I laid her there, and o'er her flung
The wild flowers that around her sprung;
I tore them up, and root and all,
I bade them wait her funeral,
With a strange joy that each fair thing
Should, like herself, be withering.
I lit the pyre,--the evening skies
Rain'd tears upon the sacrifice;
How did its wild and awful light
Struggle with the fierce winds of night;
Red was the battle, but in vain
Hiss'd the hot embers with the rain.
It wasted to a single spark;
That faded, and all round was dark:
Then, like a madman who has burst
The chain which made him doubly curst,
I fled away. I may not tell
The agony that on me fell:--
I fled away, for fiends were near,
My brain was fire, my heart was fear!

I was borne on an eagle's wing,
Till with the noon-sun perishing;
Then I stood in a world alone,
From which all other life was gone,
Whence warmth, and breath, and light were fled,
A world o'er which a curse was said:
The trees stood leafless all, and bare,
The sky spread, but no sun was there:
Night came, no stars were on her way,
Morn came without a look of day,--
As night and day shared one pale shroud,
Without a colour or a cloud.
And there were rivers, but they stood
Without a murmur on the flood,
Waveless and dark, their task was o'er,--
The sea lay silent on the shore,
Without a sign upon its breast
Save of interminable rest:
And there were palaces and halls,
But silence reign'd amid their walls,
Though crowds yet fill'd them; for no sound
Rose from the thousands gather'd round;
All wore the same white, bloodless hue,
All the same eyes of glassy blue,
Meaningless, cold, corpse-like as those
No gentle hand was near to close.
And all seem'd, as they look'd on me,
In wonder that I yet could be
A moving shape of warmth and breath
Alone amid a world of death.

'Tis strange how much I still retain
Of these wild tortures of my brain,
Though now they but to memory seem
A curse, a madness, and a dream;
But well I can recall the hour
When first the fever lost its power;
As one whom heavy opiates steep,
Rather in feverish trance than sleep,
I waken'd scarce to consciousness,--
Memory had fainted with excess:
I only saw that I was laid
Beneath an olive tree's green shade;
I knew I was where flowers grew fair,
I felt their balm upon the air,
I drank it as it had been wine;
I saw a gift of red sunshine
Glittering upon a fountain's brim;
I heard the small birds' vesper hymn,
As they a vigil o'er me kept,--
I heard their music, and I wept.
I felt a friendly arm upraise
My head, a kind look on me gaze!

RAYMOND , it has been mine to see
The godlike heads which Italy
Has given to prophet and to saint,
All of least earthly art could paint!
But never saw I such a brow
As that which gazed upon me now;--
It was an aged man, his hair
Was white with time, perhaps with care;
For over his pale face were wrought
The characters of painful thought;
But on that lip and in that eye
Were patience, peace, and piety,
The hope which was not of this earth,
The peace which has in pangs its birth,
As if in its last stage the mind,
Like silver seven times refined
In life's red furnace, all its clay,
All its dross purified away,
Paused yet a little while below,
Its beauty and its power to show.
As if the tumult of this life,
Its sorrow, vanity, and strife,
Had been but as the lightning's shock
Shedding rich ore upon the rock,
Though in the trial scorch'd and riven,
The gold it wins is gold from heaven.
He watch'd, he soothed me day to day,
How kindly words may never say:
All angel ministering could be
That old man's succour was to me;
I dwelt with him; for all in vain
He urged me to return again
And mix with life:--and months past on
Without a trace to mark them gone;
I had one only wish, to be
Left to my grief's monotony.
There is a calm which is not peace,
Like that when ocean's tempests cease,
When worn out with the storm, the sea
Sleeps in her dark tranquillity,
As dreading that the lightest stir
Would bring again the winds on her.
I felt as if I could not brook
A sound, a breath, a voice, a look,
As I fear'd they would bring again
Madness upon my heart and brain.
It was a haunting curse to me,
The simoom of insanity.
The links of life's enchanted chain,
Its hope, its pleasure, fear or pain,
Connected but with what had been,
Clung not to any future scene.
There is an indolence in grief
Which will not even seek relief:
I sat me down, like one who knows
The poison tree above him grows,
Yet moves not; my life-task was done
With that hour which left me alone.

It was one glad and glorious noon,
Fill'd with the golden airs of June,
When leaf and flower look to the sun
As if his light and life were one,--
A day of those diviner days
When breath seems only given for praise,
Beneath a stately tree which shed
A cool green shadow over-head;
I listen'd to that old man's words
Till my heart's pulses were as chords
Of a lute waked at the command
Of some thrice powerful master's hand.
He paused: I saw his face was bright
With even more than morning's light,
As his cheek felt the spirit's glow;
A glory sate upon his brow,
His eye flash'd as to it were given
A vision of his coming heaven.
I turn'd away in awe and fear,
My spirit was not of his sphere;
Ill might an earthly care intrude
Upon such high and holy mood:
I felt the same as I had done
Had angel face upon me shone,
When sudden, as sent from on high,
Music came slowly sweeping by.
It was not harp, it was not song,
Nor aught that might to earth belong!
The birds sang not, the leaves were still,
Silence was sleeping on the rill;
But with a deep and solemn sound
The viewless music swept around.
Oh never yet was such a tone
To hand or lip of mortal known!
It was as if a hymn were sent
From heaven's starry instrument,
In joy, such joy as seraphs feel
For some pure soul's immortal weal,
When that its human task is done,
Earth's trials past, and heaven won.

I felt, before I fear'd, my dread,
I turn'd and saw the old man dead!
Without a struggle or a sigh,
And is it thus the righteous die?
There he lay in the sun, calm, pale,
As if life had been like a tale
Which, whatsoe'er its sorrows past,
Breaks off in hope and peace at last.

I stretch'd him by the olive tree,
Where his death, there his grave should be;
The place was a thrice hallowed spot,
There had he drawn his golden lot
Of immortality; 'twas blest,
A green and holy place of rest.

But ill my burthen'd heart could bear
Its after loneliness of care;
The calmness round seem'd but to be
A mockery of grief and me,--
The azure flowers, the sunlit sky,
The rill, with its still melody,
The leaves, the birds,--with my despair,
The light and freshness had no share:
The one unbidden of them all
To join in summer's festival.

I wander'd first to many a shrine
By zeal or ages made divine;
And then I visited each place
Where valour's deeds had left a trace;
Or sought the spots renown'd no less
For nature's lasting loveliness.

In vain that all things changed around,
No change in my own heart was found.
In sad or gay, in dark or fair,
My spirit found a likeness there.

At last my bosom yearn'd to see
My EVA'S blooming infancy;
I saw, myself unseen the while,
Oh, God! it was her mother's smile!
Wherefore, oh, wherefore had they flung
The veil just as her mother's hung!--
Another look I dared not take,
Another look my heart would break!
I rush'd away to the lime grove
Where first I told my tale of love;
And leaves and flowers breathed of spring
As in our first sweet wandering.

I look'd towards the clear blue sky,
I saw the gem-like stream run by;
How did I wish that, like these, fate
Had made the heart inanimate.
Oh! why should spring for others be,
When there can come no spring to thee.

Again, again, I rush'd away;
Madness was on an instant's stay!
And since that moment, near and far,
In rest, in toil, in peace, in war,
I've wander'd on without an aim
In all, save lapse of years the same.
Where was the star to rise and shine
Upon a night so dark as mine?--
My life was as a frozen stream,
Which shares but feels not the sun-beam,
All careless where its course may tend,
So that it leads but to an end.
I fear my fate too much to crave
More than it must bestow--the grave.

AND AMIRALD from that hour sought
A refuge from each mournful thought
In RAYMOND'S sad but soothing smile;
And listening what might well beguile
The spirit from its last recess
Of dark and silent wretchedness.
He spoke of EVA , and he tried
To rouse her father into pride
Of her fair beauty; rather strove
To waken hope yet more than love.

He saw how deeply AMIRALD fear'd
To touch a wound not heal'd but sear'd:
His gentle care was not in vain,
And AMIRALD learn'd to think again
Of hope, if not of happiness;
And soon his bosom pined to press
The child whom he so long had left
An orphan doubly thus bereft.
He mark'd with what enamour'd tongue
RAYMOND on EVA'S mention hung,--
The softened tone, the downward gaze,
All that so well the heart betrays;
And a reviving future stole
Like dew and sunlight on his soul.

Soon the Crusaders would be met
Where winter's rest from war was set;
And then farewell to arms and Spain;--
Then for their own fair France again.

One morn there swell'd the trumpet's blast,
Calling to battle, but the last;
And AMIRALD watch'd the youthful knight
Spur his proud courser to the fight:
Tall as the young pine yet unbent
By strife with its mountain element,--
His vizor was up, and his full dark eye
Flash'd as its flashing were victory;
And hope and pride sate on his brow
As his earlier war-dreams were on him now.
Well might he be proud, for where was there one
Who had won the honour that he had won?
And first of the line it was his to lead
His band to many a daring deed.

But rose on the breath of the evening gale,
Not the trumpet's salute, but a mournful tale
Of treachery, that had betray'd the flower
Of the Christian force to the Infidel's power.
One came who told he saw RAYMOND fall,
Left in the battle the last of all;
His helm was gone, and his wearied hand
Held a red but a broken brand.--
What could a warrior do alone?
And AMIRALD felt all hope was gone.
Alas for the young! alas for the brave!
For the morning's hope, and the evening's grave!
And gush'd for him hot briny tears,
Such as AMIRALD had not shed for years;--
With heavy step and alter'd heart,
Again he turn'd him to depart.

He sought his child, but half her bloom
Was withering in RAYMOND'S tomb.

Albeit not with those who fled,
Yet was not RAYMOND with the dead.
There is a lofty castle stands
On the verge of Grenada's lands;
It has a dungeon, and a chain,
And there the young knight must remain.
Day after day,--or rather night,--
Can morning come without its light?
Pass'd on without a sound or sight.
The only thing that he could feel,
Was the same weight of fettering steel,--
The only sound that he could hear
Was when his own voice mock'd his ear,--
His only sight was the drear lamp
That faintly show'd the dungeon's damp,
When by his side the jailor stood,
And brought his loathed and scanty food.

What is the toil, or care, or pain,
The human heart cannot sustain?
Enough if struggling can create
A change or colour in our fate;
But where's the spirit that can cope
With listless suffering, when hope,
The last of misery's allies,
Sickens of its sweet self, and dies.

He thought on EVA :--tell not me
Of happiness in memory!

Oh! what is memory but a gift
Within a ruin'd temple left,
Recalling what its beauties were,
And then presenting what they are.
And many hours pass'd by,--each one
Sad counterpart of others gone;
Till even to his dreams was brought
The sameness of his waking thought;
And in his sleep he felt again
The dungeon, darkness, damp, and chain.

One weary time, when he had thrown
Himself on his cold bed of stone,
Sudden he heard a stranger hand
Undo the grating's iron band:
He knew 'twas stranger, for no jar
Came from the hastily drawn bar.

Too faintly gleam'd the lamp to show
The face of either friend or foe;
But there was softness in the tread,
And RAYMOND raised his weary head,
And saw a muffled figure kneel,
And loose the heavy links of steel.
He heard a whisper, to which heaven
Had surely all its music given:--
'Vow to thy saints for liberty,
Sir knight, and softly follow me!'
He heard her light step on the stair,
And felt 'twas woman led him there.
And dim and dark the way they past
Till on the dazed sight flash'd at last
A burst of light, and RAYMOND stood
Where censers burn'd with sandal wood,
And silver lamps like moonshine fell
O'er mirrors and the tapestried swell
Of gold and purple: on they went
Through rooms each more magnificent.

And RAYMOND look'd upon the brow
Of the fair guide who led him now:
It was a pale but lovely face,
Yet in its first fresh spring of grace,
That spring before or leaf or flower
Has known a single withering hour:
With lips red as the earliest rose
That opens for the bee's repose.
But it was not on lip, or cheek
Too marble fair, too soft, too meek,
That aught was traced that might express
More than unconscious loveliness;
But her dark eyes! as the wild light
Streams from the stars at deep midnight,
Speaks of the future,--so those eyes
Seem'd with their fate to sympathise,
As mocking with their conscious shade
The smile that on the red lip play'd,
As that they knew their destiny
Was love, and that such love would be
The uttermost of misery.

There came a new burst of perfume,
But different, from one stately room,
Not of sweet woods, waters distill'd,
But with fresh flowers' breathings fill'd;
And there the maiden paused, as thought
Some painful memory to her brought.

Around all spoke of woman's hand:
There a guitar lay on a stand
Of polish'd ebony, and raised
In rainbow ranks the hyacinth blazed
Like banner'd lancers of the spring,
Save that they were too languishing.
And gush'd the tears from her dark eyes,
And swell'd her lip and breast with sighs;
But RAYMOND spoke, and at the sound
The maiden's eye glanced hurried round.

Motioning with her hand she led,
With watching gaze and noiseless tread,
Along a flower-fill'd terrace, where
Flow'd the first tide of open air.
They reach'd the garden; there was all
That gold could win, or luxury call
From northern or from southern skies
To make an earthly paradise.
Their path was through a little grove,
Where cypress branches met above,
Green, shadowy, as nature meant
To make the rose a summer tent,
In fear and care, lest the hot noon
Should kiss her fragrant brow too soon.
Oh! passion's history, ever thus
Love's light and breath were perilous!
On the one side a fountain play'd
As if it were a Fairy's shade,
Who shower'd diamonds to streak
The red pomegranate's ruby cheek.
The grove led to a lake, one side
Sweet scented shrubs and willows hide:
There winds a path, the clear moonshine
Pierces not its dim serpentine.
The garden lay behind in light,
With flower and with fountain bright;
The lake like sheeted silver gave
The stars a mirror in each wave;
And distant far the torchlight fell,
Where paced the walls the centinel:
And as each scene met RAYMOND'S view,
He deem'd the tales of magic true,--
With such a path, and such a night,
And such a guide, and such a flight.

The way led to a grotto's shade,
Just for a noon in summer made;
For scarcely might its arch be seen
Through the thick ivy's curtain green,
And not a sunbeam might intrude
Upon its twilight solitude.
It was the very place to strew
The latest violets that grew
Upon the feathery moss, then dream,--
Lull'd by the music of the stream,--
Fann'd by those scented gales which bring
The garden's wealth upon their wing,
Till languid with its own delight,
Sleep steals like love upon the sight,
Bearing those visionings of bliss
That only visit sleep like this.

And paused the maid,--the moonlight shed
Its light where leaves and flowers were spread,
As there she had their sweetness borne,
A pillow for a summer morn;
But when those leaves and flowers were raised,
A lamp beneath their covering blazed.
She led through a small path whose birth
Seem'd in the hidden depths of earth,--
'Twas dark and damp, and on the ear
There came a rush of waters near.
At length the drear path finds an end,--
Beneath a dark low arch they bend;
'Safe, safe!' the maiden cried, and prest
The red cross to her panting breast!
'Yes, we are safe!--on, stranger, on,
The worst is past, and freedom won!
Somewhat of peril yet remains,
But peril not from Moorish chains;--
With hope and heaven be our lot!'
She spoke, but RAYMOND answer'd not:
It was as he at once had come
Into some star's eternal home,--
He look'd upon a spacious cave,
Rich with the gifts wherewith the wave
Had heap'd the temple of that source
Which gave it to its daylight course.
Here pillars crowded round the hall,
Each with a glistening capital:--
The roof was set with thousand spars,
A very midnight heaven of stars;
The walls were bright with every gem
That ever graced a diadem;
Snow turn'd to treasure,--crystal flowers
With every hue of summer hours.
While light and colour round him blazed,
It seem'd to RAYMOND that he gazed
Upon a fairy's palace, raised
By spells from ore and jewels, that shine
In Afric's stream and Indian mine;
And she, his dark-eyed guide, were queen
Alone in the enchanted scene.

They past the columns, and they stood
By the depths of a pitchy flood,
Where silent, leaning on his oar,
An Ethiop slave stood by the shore.
'My faithful ALI !' cried the maid,
And then to gain the boat essay'd,
Then paused, as in her heart afraid
To trust that slight and fragile bark
Upon a stream so fierce, so dark;
Such sullen waves, the torch's glare
Fell wholly unreflected there.

'Twas but a moment; on they went
Over the grave-like element;
At first in silence, for so drear
Was all that met the eye and ear,--
Before, behind, all was like night,
And the red torch's cheerless light,
Fitful and dim, but served to show
How the black waters roll'd below;
And how the cavern roof o'erhead
Seem'd like the tomb above them spread.
And ever as each heavy stroke
Of the oar upon these waters broke,
Ten thousand echoes sent the sound
Like omens through the hollows round,
Till RAYMOND , who awhile subdued
His spirit's earnest gratitude,
Now pour'd his hurried thanks to her,
Heaven's own loveliest minister.
E'en by that torch he could espy
The burning cheek, the downcast eye,--
The faltering lip, which owns too well
All that its words might never tell;--
Once her dark eye met his, and then
Sank 'neath its silken shade again;
She spoke a few short hurried words,
But indistinct, like those low chords
Waked from the lute or ere the hand
Knows yet what song it shall command.
Was it in maiden fearfulness
He might her bosom's secret guess,
Or but in maiden modesty
At what a stranger's thought might be
Of this a Moorish maiden's flight
In secret with a Christian knight.
And the bright colour on her cheek
Was various as the morning break,--
Now spring-rose red, now lily pale,
As thus the maiden told her tale.

MOORISH MAIDEN'S TALE.

ALBEIT on my brow and breast
Is Moorish turban, Moorish vest;
Albeit too of Moorish line,
Yet Christian blood and faith are mine.
Even from earliest infancy
I have been taught to bend the knee
Before the sweet Madonna's face,
To pray from her a Saviour's grace!

My mother's youthful heart was given
To one an infidel to heaven;
Alas! that ever earthly love
Could turn her hope from that above;
Yet surely 'tis for tears, not blame,
To be upon that mother's name.

Well can I deem my father all
That holds a woman's heart in thrall,--
In truth his was as proud a form
As ever stemm'd a battle storm,
As ever moved first in the hall
Of crowds and courtly festival.
Upon each temple the black hair
Was mix'd with grey, as early care
Had been to him like age,--his eye,
And lip, and brow, were dark and high;
And yet there was a look that seem'd
As if at other times he dream'd
Of gentle thoughts he strove to press
Back to their unsunn'd loneliness.
Your first gaze cower'd beneath his glance,
Keen like the flashing of a lance,
As forced a homage to allow
To that tall form, that stately brow;
But the next dwelt upon the trace
That time may bring, but not efface,
Of cares that wasted life's best years,
Of griefs seared more than sooth'd by tears,
And homage changed to a sad feeling
For a proud heart its grief concealing.
If such his brow, when griefs that wear,
And hopes that waste, were written there,
What must it have been, at the hour
When in my mother's moonlit bower,
If any step moved, 'twas to take
The life he ventured for her sake?
He urged his love; to such a suit
Could woman's eye or heart be mute?
She fled with him,--it matters not,
To dwell at length upon their lot.
But that my mother's frequent sighs
Swell'd at the thoughts of former ties,
First loved, then fear'd she loved too well,
Then fear'd to love an Infidel;
A struggle all, she had the will
But scarce the strength to love him still:--
But for this weakness of the heart
Which could not from its love depart,
Rebell'd, but quickly clung again,
Which broke and then renew'd its chain,
Without the power to love, and be
Repaid by love's fidelity:--
Without this contest of the mind,
Though yet its early fetters bind,
Which still pants to be unconfined,
They had been happy.

'Twas when first
My spirit from its childhood burst,
That to our roof a maiden came,
My mother's sister, and the same
In form, in face, in smiles, in tears,
In step, in voice, in all but years,
Save that there was upon her brow
A calm my mother's wanted now;
And that ELVIRA'S loveliness
Seem'd scarce of earth, so passionless,
So pale, all that the heart could paint
Of the pure beauty of a saint.
Yes, I have seen ELVIRA kneel,
And seen the rays of evening steal,
Lighting the blue depths of her eye
With so much of divinity
As if her every thought was raised
To the bright heaven on which she gazed!
Then often I have deem'd her form
Rather with light than with life warm.

My father's darken'd brow was glad,
My mother's burthen'd heart less sad
With her, for she was not of those
Who all the heart's affections close
In a drear hour of grief or wrath,--
Her path was as an angel's path,
Known only by the flowers which spring
Beneath the influence of its wing;
And that her high and holy mood
Was such as suited solitude.
Still she had gentle words and smiles,
And all that sweetness which beguiles,
Like sunshine on an April day,
The heaviness of gloom away.
It was as the souls weal were sure
When prayer rose from lips so pure.

She left us;--the same evening came
Tidings of woe, and death, and shame.
Her guard had been attack'd by one
Whose love it had been her's to shun.

Fierce was the struggle, and her flight
Meanwhile had gain'd a neighbouring height,
Which dark above the river stood,
And look'd upon the rushing flood;
'Twas compass'd round, she was bereft
Of the vague hope that flight had left.
One moment, and they saw her kneel,
And then, as Heaven heard her appeal,
She flung her downwards from the rock:
Her heart was nerved by death to mock
What that heart never might endure,
The slavery of a godless Moor.

And madness in its burning pain
Seized on my mother's heart and brain:
She died that night, and the next day
Beheld my father far away.

But wherefore should I dwell on all
Of sorrow memory can recall,
Enough to know that I must roam
An orphan to a stranger home.--
My father's death in battle field
Forced me a father's rights to yield
To his stern brother; how my heart
Was forced with one by one to part
Of its best hopes, till life became
Existence only in its name;
Left but a single wish,--to share
The cold home where my parents were.

At last I heard, I may not say
How my soul brighten'd into day,
ELVIRA lived; a miracle
Had surely saved her as she fell!

A fisherman who saw her float,
Bore her in silence to his boat.
She lived! how often had I said
To mine own heart she is not dead;
And she remember'd me, and when
They bade us never meet again,
She sent to me an Ethiop slave,
The same who guides us o'er the wave,
Whom she had led to that pure faith
Which sains and saves in life and death,
And plann'd escape.

It was one morn
I saw our conquering standards borne,
And gazed upon a Christian knight
Wounded and prisoner from the fight;
I made a vow that he should be
Redeem'd from his captivity.
Sir knight, the Virgin heard my vow,--
Yon light,--we are in safety now!

THE arch was past, the crimson gleam
Of morning fell upon the stream,
And flash'd upon the dazzled eye
The day-break of a summer sky;
And they are sailing amid ranks
Of cypress on the river banks:
They land where water-lilies spread
Seem almost too fair for the tread;
And knelt they down upon the shore,
The heart's deep gratitude to pour.

Led by their dark guide on they press
Through many a green and lone recess:
The morning air, the bright sunshine,
To RAYMOND were like the red wine,--
Each leaf, each flower seem'd to be
With his own joy in sympathy,
So fresh, so glad; but the fair Moor,
From peril and pursuit secure,
Though hidden by her close-drawn veil,
Yet seem'd more tremulous, more pale;
The hour of dread and danger past,
Fear's timid thoughts came thronging fast;
Her cold hand trembled in his own,
Her strength seem'd with its trial gone,
And downcast eye, and faltering word,
But dimly seen, but faintly heard,
Seem'd scarcely her's that just had been
His dauntless guide through the wild scene.

At length a stately avenue
Of ancient chesnuts met their view,
And they could see the time-worn walls
Of her they sought, ELVIRA'S halls.
A small path led a nearer way
Through flower-beds in their spring array.
They reach'd the steps, and stood below
A high and marble portico;
They enter'd, and saw kneeling there
A creature even more than fair.
On each white temple the dusk braid
Of parted hair made twilight shade,
That brow whose blue veins shone to show
It was more beautiful than snow.

Her large dark eyes were almost hid
By the nightfall of the fringed lid;
And tears which fill'd their orbs with light,
Like summer showers blent soft with bright.
Her cheek was saintly pale, as nought
Were there to flush with earthly thought;
As the heart which in youth had given
Its feelings and its hopes to Heaven,
Knew no emotions that could spread
A maiden's cheek with sudden red,--
Made for an atmosphere above,
Too much to bend to mortal love.

And RAYMOND watch'd as if his eye
Were on a young divinity,--
As her bright presence made him feel
Awe that could only gaze and kneel:
And LEILA paused, as if afraid
To break upon the recluse maid,
As if her heart took its rebuke
From that cold, calm, and placid look.

'ELVIRA !'--though the name was said
Low as she fear'd to wake the dead,
Yet it was heard, and, all revealing,
Of her most treasured mortal feeling,
Fondly the Moorish maid was prest
To her she sought, ELVIRA'S breast.
'I pray'd for thee, my hope, my fear,
My LEILA ! and now thou art near.
Nay, weep not, welcome as thou art
To my faith, friends, and home and heart!'

And RAYMOND almost deem'd that earth
To such had never given birth
As the fair creatures, who, like light,
Floated upon his dazzled sight:--
One with her bright and burning cheek,
All passion, tremulous and weak,
A woman in her woman's sphere
Of joy and grief, of hope and fear.
The other, whose mild tenderness
Seem'd as less made to share than bless;
One to whom human joy was such
That her heart fear'd to trust too much,
While her wan brow seem'd as it meant
To soften rapture to content;--
To whom all earth's delight was food
For high and holy gratitude.

Gazed RAYMOND till his burning brain
Grew dizzy with excess of pain;
For unheal'd wounds his strength had worn,
And all the toil his flight had borne;
His lip, and cheek, and brow were flame;
And when ELVIRA'S welcome came,
It fell on a regardless ear,
As bow'd beside a column near,
He leant insensible to all
Of good or ill that could befall.

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The Dream

'TWAS summer eve; the changeful beams still play'd
On the fir-bark and through the beechen shade;
Still with soft crimson glow'd each floating cloud;
Still the stream glitter'd where the willow bow'd;
Still the pale moon sate silent and alone,
Nor yet the stars had rallied round her throne;
Those diamond courtiers, who, while yet the West
Wears the red shield above his dying breast,
Dare not assume the loss they all desire,
Nor pay their homage to the fainter fire,
But wait in trembling till the Sun's fair light
Fading, shall leave them free to welcome Night!

So when some Chief, whose name through realms afar
Was still the watchword of succesful war,
Met by the fatal hour which waits for all,
Is, on the field he rallied, forced to fall,
The conquerors pause to watch his parting breath,
Awed by the terrors of that mighty death;
Nor dare the meed of victory to claim,
Nor lift the standard to a meaner name,
Till every spark of soul hath ebb'd away,
And leaves what was a hero, common clay.

Oh! Twilight! Spirit that dost render birth
To dim enchantments; melting Heaven with Earth,
Leaving on craggy hills and rumning streams
A softness like the atmosphere of dreams;
Thy hour to all is welcome! Faint and sweet
Thy light falls round the peasant's homeward feet,
Who, slow returning from his task of toil,
Sees the low sunset gild the cultured soil,
And, tho' such radliance round him brightly glows,
Marks the small spark his cottage window throws.
Still as his heart forestals his weary pace,
Fondly he dreams of each familiar face,
Recalls the treasures of his narrow life,
His rosy children, and his sunburnt wife,

To whom his coming is the chief event
Of simple days in cheerful labour spent.
The rich man's chariot hath gone whirling past,
And those poor cottagers have only cast
One careless glance on all that show of pride,
Then to their tasks turn'd quietly aside;
But him they wait for, him they welcome home,
Fond sentinels look forth to see him come;
The fagot sent for when the fire grew dim,
The frugal meal prepared, are all for him;
For him the watching of that sturdy boy,
For him those smiles of tenderness and joy,
For him,--who plods his sauntering way along,
Whistling the fragment of some village song!

Dear art thou to the lover, thou sweet light,
Fair fleeting sister of the mournful night!
As in impatient hope he stands apart,
Companion'd only by his beating heart,
And with an eager fancy oft beholds
The vision of a white robe's fluttering folds
Flit through the grove, and gain the open mead,
True to the hour by loving hearts agreed!

At length she comes. The evening's holy grace
Mellows the glory of her radiant face;
The curtain of that daylight faint and pale
Hangs round her like the shrouding of a veil;
As, turning with a bashful timid thought,
From the dear welcome she herself hath sought,
Her shadowy profile drawn against the sky
Cheats, while it charms, his fond adoring eye.

Oh! dear to him, to all, since first the flowers
Of happy Eden's consecrated bowers
Heard the low breeze along the branches play,
And God's voice bless the cool hour of the day.
For though that glorious Paradise be lost,
Though earth by blighting storms be roughly cross'd,
Though the long curse demands the tax of sin,
And the day's sorrows with the day begin,
That hour, once sacred to God's presence, still
Keeps itself calmer from the touch of ill,
The holiest hour of earth. Then toil doth cease--
Then from the yoke the oxen find release
Then man rests pausing from his many cares,
And the world teems with children's sunset prayers!

Then innocent things seek out their natural rest,
The babe sinks slumbering on its mother's breast;
The birds beneath their leafy covering creep,
Yea, even the flowers fold up their buds in sleep;
And angels, floating by, on radiant wings,
Hear the low sounds the breeze of evening brings,
Catch the sweet incense as it floats along,
The infant's prayer, the mother's cradle-song,
And bear the holy gifts to worlds afar,
As thigs too sacred for this fallen star.

At such an hour, on such a summer night,
Silent and calm in its transparent light,
A widow'd parent watch'd her slumbering child,
On whose young face the sixteenth summer smiled.
Fair was the face she watch'd! Nor less, because
Beauty's perfection seem'd to make a pause,
And wait, on that smooth brow, some further touch,
Some spell from Time,--the great magician,--such
As calls the closed bud out of hidden gloom,
And bids it wake to glory, light, and bloom.
Girlish as yet, but with the gentle grace
Of a young fawn in its low resting-place,

Her folded limbs were lying: from her hand
A group of wild-flowers,--Nature's brightest band,
Of all that laugh along the Summer fields,
Of all the sunny hedge-row freely yields,
Of all that in the wild-wood darkly hide,
Or on the thyme-bank wave in breezy pride,--
Show'd, that the weariness which closed in sleep
So tranquil, child-like, innocent, and deep,
Nor festal gaiety, nor toilsome hours,
Had brought; but, like a flower among the flowers,
She had been wandering 'neath the Summer sky,
Youth on her lip and gladness in her eye,
Twisting the wild rose from its native thorn,
And the blue scabious from the sunny corn;
Smiling and singing like a spirit fair
That walk'd the world, but had no dwelling there.
And still (as though their faintly-scented breath
Preserv'd a meek fidelity in death)
Each late imprison'd blossom fondly lingers
Within the touch of her unconscious fingers,
Though, languidly unclasp'd, that hand no more
Guards its possession of the rifled store.

So wearily she lay; so sweetly slept;
So by her side fond watch the mother kept;
And, as above her gentle child she bent,
So like they seem'd in form and lineament,
You might have deem'd her face its shadow gave
To the clear mirror of a fountain's wave;
Only in this they differ'd; that, while one
Was warm and radiant as the Summer sun,
The other's smile had more a moonlight play,
For many tears had wept its glow away;
Yet was she fair; of loveliness so true,
That time, which faded, never could subdue:
And though the sleeper, like a half-blown rose,
Show'd bright as angels in her soft repose,
Though bluer veins ran through each snowy lid,
Curtaining sweet eyes, by long dark lashes hid--
Eyes that as yet had never learnt to weep,
But woke up smiling, like a child's, from sleep;
Though fainter lines were pencill'd on the brow,
Which cast soft shadow on the orbs below;
Though deeper colour flush'd her youthful cheek,
In its smooth curve more joyous and less meek,
And fuller seem'd the small and crimson mouth,
With teeth like those that glitter in the South,--
She had but youth's superior brightness, such
As the skill'd painter gives with flattering touch
When he would picture every lingering grace
Which once shone brighter in some copied face;
And it was compliment, whene'er she smiled,
To say, 'Thou'rt like thy mother, my fair child!'

Sweet is the image of the brooding dove!--
Holy as Heaven a mother's tender love!
The love of many prayers and many tears,
Which changes not with dim declining years,--
The only love which on this teeming earth
Asks no return from Passion's wayward birth;
The only love that, with a touch divine,
Displaces from the heart's most secret shrine
The idol SELF. Oh! prized beneath thy due
When life's untried affections all are new,--
Love, from whose calmer hope and holier rest
(Like a fledged bird, impatient of the nest)
The human heart, rebellious, springs to seek
Delights more vehement, in ties more weak;
How strange to us appears, in after-life,
That term of mingled carelessness and strife,

When guardianship so gentle gall'd our pride,
When it was holiday to leave thy side,
When, with dull ignorance that would not learn,
We lost those hours that never can return--
Hours, whose most sweet communion Nature meant
Should be in confidence and kindness spent,
That we (hereafter mourning) might believe
In human faith, though all around deceive;
Might weigh against the sad and startling crowd
Of ills which wound the weak and chill the proud,
Of woes 'neath which (despite of stubborn will,
Philosophy's vain boast, and erring skill)
The strong heart downward like a willow bends,
Failure of love,--and treachery of friends,--
Our recollections of the undefiled,
The sainted tie, of parent and of child!

Oh! happy days! Oh years that glided by,
Scarce chronicled by one poor passing sigh!
When the dark storm sweeps past us, and the soul
Struggles with fainting strength to reach the goal;
When the false baits that lured us only cloy,
What would we give to grasp your vanish'd joy!
From the cold quicksands of Life's treacherous shore
The backward light our anxious eyes explore,
Measure the miles our wandering feet have come,
Sinking heart-weary, far away from home,
Recall the voice that whisper'd love and peace,
The smile that bid our early sorrows cease,
And long to bow our grieving heads, and weep
Low on the gentle breast that lull'd us first to sleep!

Ah! bless'd are they for whom 'mid all their pains
That faithful and unalter'd love remains;
Who, Life wreck'd round them,--hunted from their rest,--
And, by all else forsaken or distress'd,--
Claim, in one heart, their sanctuary and shrine--
As I, my Mother, claim'd my place in thine!

Oft, since that hour, in sadness I retrace
My childhood's vision of thy calm sweet face;
Oft see thy form, its mournful beauty shrouded
In thy black weeds, and coif of widow's woe;
Thy dark expressive eyes all dim and clouded
By that deep wretchedness the lonely know:
Stifling thy grief, to hear some weary task
Conn'd by unwilling lips, with listless air,
Hoarding thy means, lest future need might ask
More than the widow's pittance then could spare.
Hidden, forgotten by the great and gay,
Enduring sorrow, not by fits and starts,
But the long, self-denial, day by day,
Alone amidst thy brood of careless hearts!
Striving to guide, to teach, or to restrain
The young rebellious spirits crowding round,
Who saw not, kuew not, felt not for thy pain,
And could not comfort--yet had power to wound!
Ah! how my selfish heart, which since hath grown
Familiar with deep trials of its own,
With riper judgment looking to the past,
Regrets the careless days that flew so fast,
Stamps with remorse each wasted hour of time,
And darkens every folly into crime!

Warriors and statesmen have their meed of praise,
And what they do or suffer men record;
But the long sacrifice of woman's days
Passes without a thought--without a word;
And many a holy struggle for the sake
Of duties sttenily, faithfully fulfill'd,--
For which the anxious mind must watch and wake,
And the strong feelings of the heart be still'd--
Goes by unheeded as the summer wind,
And leaves no memory and no trace behind!
Yet, it may be, more lofty courage dwells
In one meek heart which braves an adverse fate,
Than his, whose ardent soul indignant swells
Warm'd by the fight, or cheer'd through high debate:
The Soldier dies surrounded;--could he live
Alone to suffer, and alone to strive?

Answer, ye graves, whose suicidal gloom
Shows deeper horror than a common tomb!
Who sleep within? The men who would evade
An unseen lot of which they felt afraid.
Embarrassment of means, which work'd annoy,--
A past remorse,--a future blank of joy,--
The sinful rashness of a blind despair,--
These were the strokes which sent your victims there.

In many a village churchyard's simple grave,
Where all unmark'd the cypress-branches wave;
In many a vault where Death could only claim
The brief inscription of a woman's name;
Of different ranks, and different degrees,
From daily labour to a life of ease,
(From the rich wife who through the weary day
Wept in her jewels, grief's unceasing prey,
To the poor soul who trudged o'er marsh and moor,
And with her baby begg'd from door to door,--)
Lie hearts, which, ere they found that last release,
Had lost all memory of the blessing 'Peace;'
Hearts, whose long struggle through unpitied years
None saw but Him who marks the mourner's tears;
The obscurely noble! who evaded not
The woe which He had will'd should be their lot,
But nerved themselves to bear!

Of such art thou,
My Mother! With thy calm and holy brow,
And high devoted heart, which suffer'd still
Unmurmuring, through each degree of ill.
And, because Fate hath will'd that mine should be
A Poet's soul (at least in my degree),--
And that my verse would faintly shadow forth
What I have seen of pure unselfish worth,--
Therefore I speak of Thee; that those who read
That trust in woman, which is still my creed,
Thy early-widow'd image may recall
And greet thy nature as the type of all!

Enough! With eyes of fond unwearied love
The Mother of my story watch'd above
Her sleeping child; and, as she views the grace
And blushing beauty of that girlish face,
Her thoughts roam back through change of time and tide,
Since first Heaven sent the blessing by her side.

In that sweet vision she again receives
The snow-white cradle, where that tiny head
Lay, like a small bud folded in its leaves,
Foster'd with dew by tears of fondness shed;
Each infantine event, each dangerous hour
Which pass'd with threatening o'er its fragile form,
Her hope, her anguish, as the tender flower
Bloom'd to the sun, or sicken'd in the storm,
In memory's magic mirror glide along,
And scarce she notes the different scene around,
And scarce her lips refrain the cradle-song
Which sooth'd that infant with its lulling sound!

But the dream changes; quiet years roll on;
That dawn of frail existence fleets away,
And she beholds beneath the summer sun
A blessed sight; a little child at play.
The soft light falls upon its golden hair,
And shows a brow intelligently mild;
No more a cipher in this world of care,
Love cheers and chides that happy conscious child.
No more unheeding of her watchful love,
Pride to excel, its docile spirit stirs;
Regret and hope its tiny bosom move,
And looks of fondness brightly answer hers;
O'er the green meadow, and the broomy hill,
In restless joy it bounds and darts along;
Or through the breath of evening, low and still,
Carols with mirthful voice its welcome song.

Again the vision changes; from her view
The CHILD'S dear love and antic mirth are gone;
But, in their stead, with cheek of rose-leaf hue,
And fair slight form, and low and silvery tone,
Rises the sweetest spirit Thought can call
From memory's distant worlds--the fairy GIRL;
Whose heart her childish pleasures still enthrall,
Whose unbound hair still floats in careless curl,
But in whose blue and meekly lifted eyes,
And in whose shy, though sweet and cordial smile,
And in whose changeful blushes, dimly rise
Shadows and lights that were not seen erewhile:
Shadows and lights that speak of woman's love,
Of all that makes or mars her fate below;
Mysterious prophecies, which Time must prove
More bright in glory, or more dark with woe!
And that soft vision also wanders by
Melting in fond and innocent smiles away,
Till the loved REAL meets the watchful eye
Of her who thus recall'd a former day;
The gentle daughter, for whose precious sake
Her widow'd heart had struggled with its pain.
And still through lonely grief refused to break,
Because that tie to Earth did yet remain.
Now, as she fondly gazed, a few meek tears
Stole down her cheek; for she that sliunber'd there,
The beautiful, the loved of many years.
A bride betroth'd must leave her fostering care;
Woo'd in another's home apart to dwell.--
Oh! might that other love but half as well!
As if the mournful wish had touch'd her heart,
The slumbering maiden woke, with sudden start;
Turn'd, with a dazzled and intense surprise,
On that fond face her bright, bewilder'd eyes;
Gazed round on each familiar object near,
As though she doubted yet if sense was clear;
Cover'd her brow and sigh'd, as though to wake
Had power some spell of happy thought to break;
Then murmur'd, in a low and earnest tone,
'Oh! is that blessed dream for ever gone?'

Strange is the power of dreams! Who hath not felt,
When in the morning light such visions melt,
How the veil'd soul, though struggling to be free,
Ruled by that deep, unfathom'd mystery,
Wakes, haunted by the thoughts of good or ill,
Whose shadowy influence pursues us still?

Sometimes remorse doth weigh our spirits down;
Some crime committed earns Heaven's angriest frown;
Some awful sin, in which the tempted heart
Hath scarce, perhaps, forborne its waking part,
Brings dreams of judgment; loud the thunders roll,
The heavens shrink blacken'd like a flaming scroll;
We faint, we die, beneath the avenging rod,
And vainly hide from our offended God.
For oh! though Fancy change our mortal lot,
And rule our slumbers, CONSCIENCE sleepeth not;
What strange sad dial, by its own true light,
Points to our thoughts, how dark soe'er the night,
Still by our pillow watchful guard it keeps,
And bids the sinner tremble while he sleeps.

Sometimes, with fearful dangers doom'd to cope,
'Reft of each wild and visionary hope,
Stabb'd with a thousand wounds, we struggle still,
The hand that tortures, powerless to kill.
Sometimes 'mid ocean storms, in fearful strife,
We stem the wave, and shrieking, gasp for life,
While crowding round us, faces rise and gleam,
Some known and loved, some, pictures of our dream;
High on the buoyant waters wildly toss'd--
Low in its foaming caverns darkly lost--
Those flitting forms the dangerous hour partake,
Cling to our aid, or suffer for our sake.
Conscious of present life, the slumbering soul
Still floats us onward, as the billows roll,
Till, snatch'd from death, we seem to touch the strand,
Rise on the shoreward wave, and dash to land!
Alone we come: the forms whose wild array
Gleam'd round us while we struggled, fade away,--
We know not, reck not, who the danger shared,
But, vaguely dreaming, feel that we are spared.

Sometimes a grief, of fond affection born,
Gnaws at our heart, and bids us weep till morn;
Some anguish, copied from our waking fears,
Wakes the eternal fount of human tears,
Sends us to watch some vision'd bed of death,
Hold the faint hand, and catch the parting breath,
Where those we prized the most, and loved the best,
Seem darkly sinking to the grave's long rest;
Lo! in our arms they fade, they faint, they die,
Before our eyes the funeral train sweeps by;
We hear the orphan's sob--the widow's wail--
O'er our dim senses woeful thoughts prevail,
Till, with a burst of grief, the spell we break,
And, weeping for th' imagined loss, awake.
Ah me! from dreams like these aroused at length,
How leaps the spirit to its former strength!
What memories crowd the newly conscious brain,
What gleams of rapture, and what starts of pain!
Till from the soul the heavy mists stand clear,
All wanes and fades that seem'd so darkly drear,
The sun's fair rays those shades of death destroy,
And passionate thankfuess and tears of joy
Swell at our hearts, as, gazing on his beam,
We start, and cry aloud, 'Thank Heaven, 'twas but a dream!'

But there are visions of a fairer kind,
Thoughts fondly cherish'd by the slumbering mind,
Which, when they vanish from the waking brain,
We close our eyes, and long to dream again.
Their dim voice calls to our forsaken side
Those who betray'd us, seeming true and tried;
Those whom the fast receding waves of time
Have floated from us; those who in the prime
And glory of our young life's eagle flight
Shone round like rays, encircling us with light,
And gave the bright similitude of truth
To fair illusions--vanish'd with our youth.
They bring again the tryst of early love,
(That passionate hope, all other hopes above!)
Bid the pale hair, long shrouded in the grave,
Round the young head in floating ringlets wave,
And fill the air with echoes. Gentle words,
Low laughter, and the sing of sweet birds,
Come round us then; and drooping of light boughs,
Whose shadow could not cool our burning brows,
And lilac-blossoms, scenting the warm air,
And long laburnums, fragile, bright, and fair;
And murmuring breezes through the green leaves straying,
And rippling waters in the sunshine playing,
All that around our slumbering sense can fling
The glory of some half-forgotten spring!
They bring again the fond approving gaze
Of old true friends, who mingled love with praise;
When Fame (that cold bright guiding-star below)
Took from affection's light a borrow'd glow,--
And, strong in all the might of earnest thought,
Through the long studious night untired we wrought,
That others might the morning hour beguile,
With the fond triumph of their wondering smile.
What though those dear approving smiles be gone,
What though we strive neglected and alone,
What though no voice now mourns our hope's alloy,
Nor in the hour of triumph gives us joy?
In dreams the days return when this was not,
When strong affection sooth'd our toilsome lot:
Cheer'd, loved, admonish'd, lauded, we aspire,
And the sick soul regains its former fire.

Beneath the influence of this fond spell,
Happy, contented, bless'd, we seem to dwell;
Sweet faces shine with love's own tender ray,
Which frown, or coldly turn from us, by day;
The lonely orphan hears a parent's voice;
Sad childless mothers once again rejoice;
The poor deserted seems a happy bride;
And the long parted wander side by side.

Ah, vain deceit! Awaking with a start,
Sick grow the beatings of the troubled heart;
Silence, like some dark mantle, drops around,
Quenching th' imagined voice's welcome sound;
Again the soul repeats its old farewells,
Again recalls sad hours and funeral knells;
Again, as daylight opens on their view,
The orplan shrieks, the mother mourns anew;
Till clear we feel, as fades the morning star,
How left, how lonely, how oppres'd we are!

And other dreams exist, more vague and bright
Than MEMORY ever brought to cheer the night;--
Most to the young and happy do they come,
To those who know no shelter but of home;
To those of whom the inspired writer spoke,
When from his lips the words prophetic broke,
Which (conscious of the strong and credulous spell
Experience only in the heart can quell)
Promised the nearer glimpse of perfect truth
Not to cold wisdom, but to fervent youth;
Each, in their measure, caught its fitful gleams,--
The young saw visions, and the old dream'd dreams.

The young! Oh! what should wandering fancy bring
In life's first spring-time but the thoughts of spring?
Worlds without winter, blooming amaranth bowers,
Garlands of brightness wreath'd from changeless flowers;
Where shapes like angels wander to and fro,
Unwing,'d, but glorious, in the noontide glow,
Which steeps the hills, the dales, the earth, the sea,
In one soft flood of golden majesty.
In this world,--so create,--no sighs nor tears,--
No sadness brought with lapse of varying years,

No cold betrayal of the trusting heart,--
No knitting up of love fore-doom'd to part,--
No pain, deformity, nor pale disease,--
No wars,--no tyranny,--no fears that freeze
The rapid current of the restless blood,--
Nor effort scorn'd,--nor act misunderstood,--
No dark remorse for ever-haunting sin,--
But all at peace without--at rest within;
And hopes which gild Thought's wildest waking hours,
Scatter'd around us carelessly as flowers.

Oh! Paradise, in vain dilist thou depart;
Thine image still is stamp'd on every heart!
Though mourning man in vain may seek to trace
The site of that which was his dwelling-place,
Though the four glittering rivers now divide
No realms of beauty with their rolling tide,

Each several life yet opens with the view
Of that unblighted world where Adam drew
The breath of being: in each several mind,
However cramp'd, and fetter'd, and confined,
The innate power of beauty folded lies,
And, like a bud beneath the summer skies,
Blooms out in youth through many a radiant day,
Though in life's winter frost it dies away.

From such a vision, bright with all the fame
Her youth, her innocence, her hope, could frame,
The maiden woke: and, when her shadowy gaze
Had lost the dazzled look of wild amaze
Turn'd on her mother when she first awoke,
Thus to her questioning glanee she answering spoke:--

'Methought, oh! gentle Mother, by thy side
I dwelt no more as now, but through a wide
And sweet world wander'd; nor even then alone;
For ever in that dream's soft light stood one,--
I know not who,--yet most familiar seem'd
The fond companionship of which I dream'd!

A Brother's love, is but a name to me;
A Father's, brighten'd not my infancy;
To me, in childhood's years, no stranger's face
Took, from long habit, friendship's holy grace;
My life hath still been lone, and needed not,
Heaven knows, more perfect love than was my lot
In thy dear heart: how dream'd I then, sweet Mother,
Of any love but thine, who knew no other?

'We seem'd, this shadow and myself, to be
Together by the blue and boundless sea:
No settled home was present to my thought--
No other form my clouded fancy brought;
This one Familiar Presence still beguiled
My every thought, and look'd on me and smiled.
Fair stretch'd in beauty lay the glittering strand,
With low green copses sloping from the land;
And tangled underwood, and sunny fern,
And flowers whose humble names none cared to learn,
Smail starry wild flowers, white and gold and blue,
With leaves turn'd crimson by th' autumnal hue,
Bask'd in the fervour of the noontide glow,
Whose hot rays pierced the thirsty roots below.

The floating nautilus rose clear and pale,
As though a spirit trimm'd its fairy sail,
White and transparent; and beyond it gleam'd
Such light as never yet on Ocean beam'd:
And pink-lipp'd shells, and many-colour'd weeds,
And long brown bulbous things likc jasper beads,
And glistening pearls in beauty faint and fair,
And all things strange, and wonderful, and rare,
Whose true existence travellers make known,
Seem'd scatter'd there, and easily my own.
And then we wove our ciphers in the sands,
All fondly intertwined by loving hands;
And laugh'd to see the rustling snow-white spray
Creep o'er the names, and wash their trace away.
And the storm came not, though the white foam curl'd
In lines of brightness far along the coast;
Though many a ship, with swelling sails unfurl'd,
From the mid-sea to sheltering haven cross'd;
Though the wild billows heaved, and rose, and broke,
One o'er the other with a restless sound,
And the deep spirit of the wind awoke,
Ruffling in wrath each glassy verdant mound;
While onward roll'd that army of huge waves,
Until the foremost, with exulting roar,

Rose, proudly crested, o'er his brother slaves,
And dash'd triumphant on the groaning shore!
For then the Moon rose up, Night's mournful Queen,
'Walking with white feet o'er the troubled Sea,'
And all grew still again, as she had been
Heaven's messenger to bring Tranquillity;
Till, pale and tender, on the glistening main
She sank and smiled like one who loves in vain.
And still we linger'd by that shadowy strand,
Happy, yet full of thought, hand link'd in hand;
The hush'd waves rippling softly at our feet,
The night-breeze freshening o'er the Summer's heat;
With our hearts beating, and our gazing eyes
Fix'd on the star-light of those deep blue skies,
Blessing 'the year, the hour, the place, the time;'
While sounded, faint and far, some turret's midnight chime.

'It pass'd, that vision of the Ocean's might!
I know not how, for in my slumbering mind
There was no movement, all was shifting light,
Through which we floated with the wandering wind;
And, still together, in a different scene,
We look'd on England's woodland, fresh and green.

'No perfume of the cultured rose was there,
Wooing the senses with its garden smell,--
Nor snow-white lily,--call'd so proudly fir,
Though by the poor man's cot she loves to dwell,
Nor finds his little garden scant of room
To bid her stately buds in beauty bloom;--
Nor jasmin, with her pale stars shining through
The myrtle darkness of her leaf's green hue,--
Nor heliotrope, whose grey and heavy wreath
Mimics the orchard blossoms' fruity breath,--
Nor clustering dahlia, with its scentless flowers
Cheating the heart through autumn's faded hours,--
Nor bright chrysanthimum, whose train'd array
Still makes the rich man's winter path look gay,
And bows its hardy head when wild winds blow,
To free its petals from the fallen snow;--
Nor yet carnation;'--
(Thou, beloved of all
The plants that thrive at Art or Nature's call,
By one who greets thee with a weary sigh
As the dear friend of happy days gone by;
By one who names thee last, but loves thee first,
Of all the flowers a garden ever nursed;

The mute remembrancer and gentle token
Of links which heavy hands have roughly broken,
Welcomed through many a Summer with the same
Unalter'd gladness as when first ye came,
And welcomed still, though--as in later years
We often welcome pleasant things--with tears!)

I wander! In the Dream these had no place,--
Nor Sorrow:--all was Nature's freshest grace.

'There, wild geranium, with its woolly stem
And aromatic breath, perfumed the glade;
And fairy speedwell, like some sapphire gem,
Lighted with purple sparks the hedge-row's shade;
And woodbine, with her tinted calyxes,
And dog-rose, glistening with the dews of morn,
And tangled wreaths of tufted clematis,
Whose blossoms pale the careless eye may scorn,
(As green and light her fairy mantles fiLll
To hide the rough hedge or the crumbling wall,)
But in whose breast the laden wild-bees dive
For the best riches of their teeming hive:

'There, sprang the sunny cricket; there, was spread
The fragile silver of the spider's thread,
Stretching from blade to blade of emerald grass,
Unbroken, till some human footstep pass;
There, by the rippling stream that murmur'd on,
Now seen, now hidden--half in light, half Sun--
The darting dragon-fly, with sudden gleam,
Shot, as it went, a gold and purple beam;
And the fish leap'd within the deeper pool,
And the green trees stretch'd out their branches cool,
Where many a bird hush'd in her peopled nest
The unfledged darlings of her feather'd breast,
Listening her mate's clear song, in that sweet grove
Where all around breathed happiness and love!

'And while we talk'd the summer hours flew fast,
As hours may fly, with those whose love is young;
Who fear no future, and who know no past,
Dating existence from the hope that sprung
Up in their hearts with such a sudden light,
That all beyond shows dark and blank as night.

'Until methought we trod a wide flat heath,
Where yew and cypress darkly seem'd to wave
O'er countless tombs, so beautiful, that death
Seem'd here to make a garden of the grave!
All that is holy, tender, full of grace,
Was sculptured on the monuments around,
And many a line the musing eye could trace,
Which spoke unto the heart without a sound.
There lay the warrior and the son of song,
And there--in silence till the judgment-day--
The orator, whose all-persuading tongue
Had moved the nations with resistless sway:
There slept pale men whom science taught to climb
Restlessly upward all their labouring youth;
Who left, half conquer'd, secrets which in time
Burst on mankind in ripe and glorious truth.
He that had gazed upon the steadfast stars,
And could foretel the dark eclipse's birth,
And when red comets in their blazing cars
Should sweep above the awed and troubled earth:--
He that had sped brave vessels o'er the seas,
Which swiftly bring the wanderer to his home,
Uncanvass'd ships, which move without a breeze,
Their bright wheels dashing through the ocean foam:--

All, who in this life's bounded brief career
Had shone amongst, or served their fellow-men,
And left a name embalm'd in glory here,
Lay calmly buried on that magic plain.
And he who wander'd with me in my dream,
Told me their histories as we onward went,
Till the grave shone with such a hallow'd beam,
Such pleasure with their memory seem'd blent,
That, when we look'd to heaven, our upward eyes
With no funereal sadness mock'd the skies!

'Then, change of scene, and time, and place once more;
And by a Gothic window, richly bright,
Whose stain'd armorial hoarings on the floor
Flung the quaint tracery of their colour'd light,
We sate together: his most noble head
Bent o'er the storied tome of other days,
And still he commented on all we read,
And taught me what to love, and what to praise.
Then Spenser made the summer-day seem brief,
Or Milton sounded with a loftier song,
Then Cowper charm'd, with lays of gentle grief,
Or rough old Dryden roll'd the hour along.

Or, in his varied beauty dearer still,
Sweet Shakspeare changed the world around at will;
And we forgot the sunshine of that room
To sit with Jacquez in the forest gloom;
To look abroad with Juliet's anxious eye
For her boy-lover 'neath the moonlight sky;
Stand with Macbeth upon the haunted heath,
Or weep for gentle Desdemona's death;
Watch, on bright Cydnus' wave, the glittering sheen
And silken sails of Egypt's wanton Queen;
Or roam with Ariel through that island strange
Where spirits, and not men, were wont to range,
Still struggling on through brake, and bush, and hollow,
Hearing that sweet voice calling--'Follow! follow!'

'Nor were there wanting lays of other lands,
For these were all familiar in his hands:
And Dante's dream of horror work'd its spell,--
And Petrarch's sadness on our bosoms fell,--
And prison'd Tasso's--he, the coldly-loved,
The madly-loving! he, so deeply proved
By many a year of darkness, like the grave,
For her who dared not plead, or would not save,

For her who thought the poet's suit brought shame,
Whose passion hath immortalized her name!
And Egmont, with his noble heart betray'd,--
And Carlos, haunted by a murder'd shade,--
And Faust's strange legend, sweet and wondrous wild,
Stole many a tear:--Creation's loveliest child!
Guileless, ensnared, and tempted Margaret,
Who could peruse thy fate with eyes unwet?

'Then, through the lands we read of, far away,
The vision led me all a summer's day:
And we look'd round on southern Italy,
Where her dark head the graceful cypress rears
In arrowy straightness and soft majesty,
And the sun's face a mellower glory wears;
Bringing, where'er his warm light richly shines,
Sweet odours from the gum-distilling pines;
And casting o'er white palaces a glow,
Like morning's hue on mountain-peaks of snow.

'Those palaces! how fair their columns rose!
Their courts, cool fountains, and wide porticos!
And ballustraded roofs, whose very form
Told what an unknown stranger was the storm!

In one of these we dwelt: its painted walls
A master's hand had been employ'd to trace;
Its long cool range of shadowy marble halls
Was fill'd with statues of most living grace;
While on its ceilings roll'd the fiery car
Of the bright day-god, chasing night afar,--
Or Jove's young favourite, toward Olympus' height
Soar'd with the Eagle's dark majestic flight,--
Or fair Apollo's harp seem'd freshly strung,
All heaven group'd round him, listening while he sung.

'So, in the garden's plann'd and planted bound
All wore the aspect of enchanted ground;
Thick orange-groves, close arching over head,
Shelter'd the paths our footsteps loved to tread;
Or ilex-trees shut out, with shadow sweet,
Th' oppressive splendour of the noontide heat.
Through the bright vista, at each varying turn,
Gleam'd the white statue, or the graceful urn;
And, paved with many a curved and twisted line
Of fair Mosaic's strange and quaint design,
Terrace on terrace rose, with steep so slight,
That scarce the pausing eye inquired the height,

Till stretch'd beneath in far perspective lay
The glittering city and the deep blue bay!
Then as we turn'd again to groves and bowers,
(Rich with the perfume of a thousand flowers,)
The sultry day was cheated of its force
By the sweet winding of some streamlet's course:
From sculptured arch, and ornamented walls,
Rippled a thousand tiny waterfalls,
While here and there an open basin gave
Rest to the eye and freshness to the wave;
Here, high above the imprison'd waters, stood
Some imaged Naïad, guardian of the flood;
There, in a cool and grotto-like repose,
The sea-born goddess from her shell arose;
Or river-god his fertile urn display'd,
Gushing at distance through the lone arcade,--
Or Triton, lifting his wild conch on high,
Spouted the silver tribute to the sky,--
Or, lovelier still, (because to Nature true,
Even in the thought creative genius drew,)
Some statue-nymph, her bath of beauty o'er,
Stood gently bending by the rocky shore,
And, like Bologna's sweet and graceful dream,
From her moist hair wrung out the living stream.

'Bright was the spot! and still we linger'd on
Unwearied, till the summer-day was done;
Till He, who, when the morning dew was wet,
In glory rose--in equal glory set.
Fair sank his light, unclouded to the last,
And o'er that land its glow of beauty cast;
And the sweet breath of evening air went forth
To cool the bosom of the fainting earth;
To bid the pale-leaved olives lightly wave
Upon their seaward slope (whose waters lave
With listless gentleness the golden strand,
And scarcely leave, and scarce return to land);
Or with its wings of freshness, wandering round,
Visit the heights with many a villa crown'd,
Where the still pine and cypress, side by side,
Look from their distant hills on Ocean's tide.

'The cypress and the pine! Ah, still I see
These thy green children, lovely Italy!
Nature's dear favourites, allow'd to wear
Their summer hue throughout the circling year!
And oft, when wandering out at even-time
To watch the sunsets of a colder clime,

As the dim landscape fades and grows more faint,
Fancy's sweet power a different scene shall paint;
Enrich with deeper tints the colours given
To the pale beauty of our English heaven,--
Bid purple mountains rise among the clouds,
Or deem their mass some marble palace shrouds,--
Trace on the red horizon's level line,
In outlines dark, the high majestic pine,--
And hear, amid the groups of English trees,
His sister cypress murmuring to the breeze!

'Never again shall evening, sweet and still,
Gleam upon river, mountain, rock, or hill,--
Never again shall fresh and budding spring,
Or brighter summer, hue of beauty bring,
In this, the clime where 'tis my lot to dwell,
But shall recall, as by a magic spell,
Thy scenes, dear land of poetry and song!
Bid thy fair statues on my memory throng;
Thy glorious pictures gleam upon my sight
Like fleeting shadows o'er the summer light;
And send my haunted heart to dwell once more,
Glad and entranced by thy delightful shore--
Thy shore, where rolls that blue and tideless sea,
Bright as thyself, thou radiant Italy!

'And there (where Beauty's spirit sure had birth,
Though she hath wander'd since upon the earth,
And scatter'd, as she pass'd, some sparks of thought,
Such as of old her sons of genius wrought,
To show what strength the immortal soul can wield
E'en here, in this its dark and narrow field,
And fill us with a fond inquiring thirst
To see that land which claim'd her triumphs first)
Music was brought--with soft impressive power--
To fill with varying joy the varying hour.
We welcomed it; for welcome still to all
It comes, in cottage, court, or lordly hall;
And in the long bright summer evenings, oft
We sate and listened to some measure soft
From many instruments; or, faint and lone,
(Touch'd by his gentle hand, or by my own,)
The little lute its chorded notes would send
Tender and clear; and with our voices blend
Cadence so true, that, when the breeze swept by,
One mingled echo floated on its sigh!

'And still as day by day we saw depart,
I was the living idol of his heart:
How to make joy a portion of the air
That breathed around me, seem'd his only care.
For me the harp was strung, the page was turn'd;
For me the morning rose, the sunset burn'd;
For me the Spring put on her verdant suit;
For me the Summer flower, the Autumn fruit;
The very world seem'd mine, so mighty strove
For my contentment, that enduring love.

'I see him still, dear mother! Still I hear
That voice so deeply soft, so strangely clear;
Still in the air wild wandering echoes float,
And bring my dream's sweet music note for note!
Oh! shall those sounds no more my fancy bless,
Which fill my heart, and on my memory press?
Shall I no more those sunset clouds behold,
Floating like bright transparent thrones of gold?
The skies, the seas, the hills of glorious blue;
The glades and groves, with glories shining through;
The bands of red and purple, richly seen
Athwart the sky of pale, faint, gem-like green;

When the breeze slept, the earth lay hush'd and still,
When the low sun sank slanting from the hill,
And slow and amber-tinged the moon uprose,
To watch his farewell hour in glory close?
Is all that radiance past--gone by for ever--
And must there in its stead for ever be
The grey, sad sky, the cold and clouded river,
And dismal dwellings by the wintry sea?
E'er half a summer, altering day by day,
In fickle brightness, here, hath pass'd away!
And was that form (whose love might still sustain)
Nought but a vapour of the dreaming brain?--
Would I had slept for ever!'

Sad she sigh'd;
To whom the mournful mother thus replied:--

'Upbraid not Heaven, whose wisdom thus would rule
A world whose changes are the soul's best school:
All dream like thee, and 'tis for Mercy's sake
That those who dream the wildest, soonest wake;
All deem Perfection's system would be found
In giving earthly sense no stint or bound;
All look for happiness beneath the sun,
And each expects what God hath given to none.

'In what an idle luxury of joy
Would thy spoil'd heart its useless hours employ!
In what a selfish loneliness of light
Wouldst thou exist, read we thy dream aright!
How hath thy sleeping spirit broke the chain
Which knits thy human lot to other's pain,
And made this world of peopled millions seem
For thee and for the lover of thy dream!

'Think not my heart with cold indifference heard
The various feelings which in thine have stirr'd,
Or that its sad and weary currents know
Faint sympathy, except for human woe:
Well have the dormant echoes of my breast
Answer'd the joys thy gentle voice express'd;
Conjured a vision of the stately mate
With whom the flattering vision link'd thy fate;
And follow'd thee through grove and woodland wild,
Where so much natural beauty round thee smiled.

'What man so worldly-wise, or chill'd by age,
Who, bending o'er the faint descriptive page,
Recals not such a scene in some falr nook--
(Whereon his eyes, perchance, no more shall look
Some hawthorn copse, some gnarl'd majestic tree,
The favourite play-place of his infancy?
Who has not felt for Cowper's sweet lament,
When twelve years' course their cruel change had sent;
When his fell'd poplars gave no further shade,
And low on earth the blackbird's nest was laid;
When in a desert sunshine, bare and blank,
Lay the green field and river's mossy bank;
And melody of bird or branch no more
Rose with the breeze that swept along the shore?

'Few are the hearts, (nor theirs of kindliest frame,)
On whom fair Nature holds not such a claim;
And oft, in after-life, some simple thing--
A bank of primroses in early Spring--
The tender scent which hidden violets yield--
The sight of cowslips in a meadow-field--
Or young laburnum's pendant yellow chain--
May bring the favourite play-place back again!
Our youthful mates are gone; some dead, some changed,
With whom that pleasant spot was gladly ranged;

Ourselves, perhaps, more alter'd e'en than they--
But there still blooms the blossom-showering May;
There still along the hedge-row's verdant line
The linnet sings, the thorny brambles twine;
Still in the copse a troop of merry elves
Shout--the gay image of our former selves;
And still, with sparkling eyes and eager hands,
Some rosy urchin high on tiptoe stands,
And plucks the ripest berries from the bough--
Which tempts a different generation now!

'What though no real beauty haunt that spot,
By graver minds beheld and noticed not?
Can we forget that once to our young eyes
It wore the aspect of a Paradise?
No; still around its hallow'd precinct lives
The fond mysterious charm that memory gives;
The man recals the feelings of the boy,
And clothes the meanest flower with freshness and with joy.

'Nor think by older hearts forgotten quite
Love's whisper'd words; youth's sweet and strange delight!
They live--though after-memories fade away;
They live--to cheer life's slow declining day;
Haunting the widow by her lonely hearth,
As, meekly smiling at her childrcn's mirth,
She spreads her fair thin hands towards the fire,
To seek the warmth their slacken'd veins require:
Or gladdening her to whom Heaven's mercy spares
Her old companion with his silver hairs;
And while he dozes--changed, and dull, and weak--
And his hush'd grandchild signs, but dares not speak,--
Bidding her watch, with many a tender smile,
The wither'd form which slumbers all the while.

'Yes! sweet the voice of those we loved! the tone
Which cheers our memory as we sit alone,
And will not leave us; the o'er-mastering force,
Whose under-current's strange and hidden course
Bids some chance word, by colder hearts forgot,
Return--and still return--yet weary not
The ear which wooes its sameness! How, when Death
Hath stopp'd with ruthless hand some precious breath,
The memory of the voice he hath destroy'd
Lives in our souls, as in an aching void!

How, through the varying fate of after-years,
When stifled sorrow weeps but casual tears,
If some stray tone seem like the voice we knew,
The heart leaps up with answer faint and true!
Greeting again that sweet, long-vanish'd sound,
As, in earth's nooks of ever-haunted ground,
Strange accident, or man's capricious will,
Wakes the lone echoes, and they answer still!

'Oh! what a shallow fable cheats the age,
When the lost lover, on the motley stage,
Wrapp'd from his mistress in some quaint disguise,
Deceives her ear, because he cheats her eyes!
Rather, if all could fade which charm'd us first,--
If, by some magic stroke, some plague-spot cursed,
All outward semblance left the form beloved
A wreck unrecognised, and half disproved,
At the dear sound of that familiar voice
Her waken'd heart should tremble and rejoice,
Leap to its faith at once,--and spurn the doubt
Which, on such showing, barr'd his welcome out!

'And if even words are sweet, what, what is song,
When lips we love, the melody prolong?
How thrills the soul, and vibrates to that lay,
Swells with the glorious sound, or dies away!
How, to the cadence of the simplest words
That ever hung upon the wild harp's chords,
The breathless heart lies listening; as it felt
All life within it on that music dwelt,
And hush'd the beating pulse's rapid power
By its own will, for that enchanted hour!

'Ay! then to those who love the science well,
Music becomes a passion and a spell!
Music, the tender child of rudest times,
The gentle native of all lands and climes;
Who hymns alike man's cradle and his grave,
Lulls the low cot, or peals along the nave;
Cheers the poor peasant, who his native hills
With wild Tyrolean echoes sweetly fills;
Inspires the Indian's low monotonous chant,
Weaves skilful melodies for Luxury's haunt;
And still, through all these changes, lives the same,
Spirit without a home, without a name,

Coming, where all is discord, strife, and sin,
To prove some innate harmony within
Our listening souls; and lull the heaving breast
With the dim vision of an unknown rest!

'But, dearest child, though many a joy be given
By the pure bounty of all-pitying Heaven,--
Though sweet emotions in our hearts have birth,
As flowers are spangled on the lap of earth,--
Though, with the flag of Hope and Triumph hung
High o'er our heads, we start when life is young,
And onward cheer'd, by sense, and sight, and sound,
Like a launch'd bark, we enter with a bound;
Yet must the dark cloud lour, the tempest fall,
And the same chance of shipwreck waits for all.
Happy are they who leave the harbouring land
Not for a summer voyage, hand in hand,
Pleasure's light slaves; but with an earnest eye
Exploring all the future of their sky;
That so, when Life's career at length is past,
To the right haven they may steer at last,
And safe from hidden rock, or open gale,
Lay by the oar, and furl the slacken'd sail,--
To anchor deeply on that tranquil shore
Where vexing storms can never reach them more!

'Wouldst thou be singled out by partial Heaven
The ONE to whom a cloudless lot is given?
Look round the world, and see what fate is there,
Which justice can pronounce exempt from care:
Though bright they bloom to empty outward show,
There lurks in each some canker-worm of woe;
Still by some thorn the onward step is cross'd,
Nor least repining those who're envied most:
The poor have struggling, toil, and wounded pride,
Which seeks, and seeks in vain, its rags to hide;
The rich, cold jealousies, intrigues, and strife,
And heart-sick discontent which poisons life;
The loved are parted by the hand of Death,
The hated live to curse each other's breath:
The wealthy noble mourns the want of heirs;
While, each the object of incessant prayers,
Gay, hardy sons, around the widow's board,
With careless smiles devour her scanty hoard;
And hear no sorrow in her stifled sigh,
And see no terror in her anxious eye,--

While she in fancy antedates the time
When, scatter'd far and wide in many a clime,
These heirs to nothing but their Father's name
Must earn their bread, and struggle hard for fame;
To sultry India sends her fair-hair'd boy--
Sees the dead desk another's youth employ--
And parts with one to sail the uncertain main,
Never perhaps on earth to meet again!

'Nor ev'n does Love, whose fresh and radiant beam
Gave added brightness to thy wandering dream,
Preserve from bitter touch of ills unknown,
But rather brings strange sorrows of its own.
Various the ways in which our souls are tried;
Love often fails where most our faith relied;
Some wayward heart may win, without a thought,
That which thine own by sacrifice had bought;
May carelessly aside the treasure cast,
And yet be madly worshipp'd to the last;
Whilst thou, forsaken, grieving, left to pine,
Vainly may'st claim his plighted faith as thine;
Vainly his idol's charms with thine compare,
And know thyself as young, as bright, as fair;

Vainly in jealous pangs consume thy day,
And waste the sleepless night in tears away;
Vainly with forced indulgence strive to smile
In the cold world, heart-broken all the while,
Or from its glittering and unquiet crowd,
Thy brain on fire, thy spirit crush'd and bow'd,
Creep home unnoticed, there to weep alone,
Mock'd by a claim which gives thee not thine own,
Which leaves thee bound through all thy blighted youth
To him whose perjured soul hath broke its truth;
While the just world, beholding thee bereft,
Scorns--not his sin--but thee, for being left!

'Ah! never to the Sensualist appeal,
Nor deem his frozen bosom aught can feel.
Affection, root of all fond memories,
Which bids what once hath charm'd for ever please
He knows not: all thy beauty could inspire
Was but a sentiment of low desire:
If from thy check the roses hue be gone,
How should love stay which loved for that alone?
Or, if thy youthful face be still as bright
As when it first entranced his eager sight,

Thou art the same; there is thy fault, thy crime,
Which fades the charms yet spared by rapid Time.
Talk to him of the happy days gone by,
Conceal'd aversion chills his shrinking eye:
While in thine agony thou still dost rave,
Impatient wishes doom thee to the grave;
And if his cold and selfish thought had power
T' accelerate the fatal final hour,
The silent murder were already done,
And thy white tomb would glitter in the sun.
What wouldst thou hold by? What is it to him
That for his sake thy weeping eyes are dim?
His pall'd and wearied senses rove apart,
And for his heart--thou never hadst his heart.

'True, there is better love, whose balance just
Mingles Soul's instinct with our grosser dust,
And leaves affection, strengthening day by day,
Firm to assault, impervious to decay.
To such, a star of hope thy love shall be
Whose stedfast light he still desires to see;
And age shall vainly mar thy beauty's grace,
Or wantons plot to steal into thy place,

Or wild Temptation, from her hidden bowers,
Fling o'er his path her bright but poisonous flowers,--
Dearer to him than all who thus beguile,
Thy faded face, and thy familiar smile;
Thy glance, which still hath welcomed him for years
Now bright with gladness, and now dim with tears!
And if (for we are weak) division come
On wings of discord to that happy home,
Soon is the painful hour of anger past,
Too sharp, too strange an agony to last;
And, like some river's bright abundant tide
Which art or accident hath forced aside,
The well-springs of affection, gushing o'er,
Back to their natural channels flow once more.

'Ah! sad it is when one thus link'd departs!
When Death, that mighty severer of true hearts,
Sweeps through the halls so lately loud in mirth,
And leaves pale Sorrow weeping by the hearth!
Bitter it is to wander there alone,
To fill the vacant place, the empty chair,
With a dear vision of the loved one gone,
And start to see it vaguely melt in air!

Bitter to find all joy that once hath been
Double its value when 'tis pass'd away,--
To feel the blow which Time should make less keen
Increase its burden each successive day,--
To need good counsel, and to miss the voice,
The ever trusted, and the ever true,
Whose tones were wont to cheer our faltering choice,
And show what holy Virtue bade us do,--
To bear deep wrong, and bow the widow'd head
In helpless anguish, no one to defend;
Or worse,--in lieu of him, the kindly dead,
Claim faint assistance from some lukewarm friend,--
Yet scarce perceive the extent of all our loss
Till the fresh tomb be green with gathering moss--
Till many a morn have met our sadden'd eyes
With none to say 'Good morrow;'--many an eve
Sent its red glory through the tranquil skies,
Each bringing with it deeper cause to grieve!

'This is a destiny which may be thine--
The common grief: God will'd it should be mine:
Short was the course our happy love had run,
And hard it was to say 'Thy will be done!'
'Yet those whom man, not God, hath parted, know
A heavier pang, a more enduring woe;
No softening memory mingles with their tears,
Still the wound rankles on through dreary years,
Still the heart feels, in bitterest hours of blame,
It dares not curse the long-familiar name;
Still, vainly free, through many a cheerless day,
From weaker ties turns helplessly away,
Sick for the smiles that bless'd its home of yore,
The natural joys of life that come no more;
And, all bewildered by the abyss, whose gloom
Dark and impassable as is the tomb,
Lies stretch'd between the future and the past,--
Sinks into deep and cold despair at last.

'Heaven give thee poverty, disease, or death,
Each varied ill that waits on human breath,
Rather than bid thee linger out thy life
In the long toil of such unnatural strife.
To wander through the world unreconciled,
Heart weary as a spirit-broken child,
And think it were an hour of bliss like heaven
If thou could'st die--forgiving and forgiven,--
Or with a feverish hope, of anguish born,
(Nerving thy mind to feel indigant scorn
Of all the cruel foes who 'twixt ye stand,
Holding thy heartstrngs with a reckless hand,)
Steal to his presence, now unseen so long,
And claim his mercy who hath dealt the wrong!
Into the aching depths of thy poor heart
Dive, as it were, even to the roots of pain,
And wrench up thoughts that tear thy soul apart,
And burn like fire through thy bewilder'd brain.
Clothe them in passionate words of wild appeal
To teach thy fellow-creature how to feel,--
Pray, weep, exhaust thyself in maddening tears,--
Recal the hopes, the influences of years,--
Kneel, dash thyself upon the senseless ground,
Writhe as the worm writhes with dividing wound,--
Invoke the heaven that knows thy sorrow's truth,
By all the softening memories of youth--
By every hope that cheer'd thine earlier day--
By every tear that washes wrath away--
By every old remembrance long gone by--
By every pang that makes thee yearn to die;
And learn at length how deep and stern a blow
Near hands can strike, and yet no pity show!

'Oh! weak to suffer, savage to inflict,
Is man's commingling nature; hear him now
Some transient trial of his life depict,
Hear him in holy rites a suppliant bow;
See him shrink back from sickness and from pain,
And in his sorrow to his God complain;
'Remit my trespass, spare my sin,' he cries,
'All-merciful, Almighty, and All-wise;
Quench this affliction's bitter whelming tide,
Draw out thy barbed arrow from my side:'--
--And rises from that mockery of prayer
To hale some brother-debtor to despair!

'May this be spared thee! Yet be sure, my child,
(Howe'er that dream thy fancy hath beguiled,)
Some sorrow lurks to cloud thy future fate;
Thy share of tears,--come early or come late,--
Must still be shed; and 'twere as vain a thing
To ask of Nature one perpetual spring
As to evade those sad autumnal hours,
Or deem thy path of life should bloom, all flowers.'

She ceased: and that fair maiden heard the truth
With the fond passionate despair of youth,
Which, new to suffering, gives its sorrow vent
In outward signs and bursts of wild lament:--

'If this be so, then, mother, let me die
Ere yet the glow hath faded from my sky!
Let me die young; before the holy trust
In human kindness crumbles into dust;
Before I suffer what I have not earn'd,
Or see by treachery my truth return'd;
Before the love I live for, fades away;
Before the hopes I cherish'd most, decay;
Befor

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The Dream

In noon's heat, in a dale of Dagestan
With lead inside my breast, stirless I lay;
The deep wound still smoked on; my blood
Kept trickling drop by drop away.
On the dale's sand alone I lay. The cliffs
Crowded around in ledges steep,
And the sun scorched their tawny tops
And scorched me - but I slept death's sleep.
And in a dream I saw an evening feast
That in my native land with bright lights shone;
Among young women crowned with flowers,
A merry talk concerning me went on.
But in the merry talk not joining,
One of them sat there lost in thought,
And in a melancholy dream
Her young soul was immersed - God knows by what.
And of a dale in Dagestan she dreamt;
In that dale lay the corpse of one she knew;
Within his breast a smoking wound showed black,
And blood ran in a stream that colder grew.

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The Ultimate Sacrifice

When nations turn from peace to war,
Each soul must question why...
When Death itself is at the door,
To bring its long goodbye...
To think, that leaders lead us all,
To back them to the hilt.
It's then we see our heroes fall,
When each of them is killed...
When little children shake their heads,
Disgusted at such things,
It's right to pray beside our beds,
Condemning what war brings.
The need for guns and bullets grows
And even bombs are made -
Efficiently Man fights his foes
And in their graves they're laid...
Who knows the good they could have done,
If peace had been their lot,
Instead of wars that must be won,
When nations turn from God?
If only love lived in each heart,
We'd share God's Paradise,
Instead of this, new conflicts start
And blood's our sacrifice...
For some, the cost was loss of health...
For some, it's wasted time...
For some, the cost was death itself,
When they were in their prime.
Is this the wisest way to live,
With bombs and bullets, too?
Christ's sacrifice helps God forgive
The evil that men do...

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Return to the Dream

‘Through The Wormhole’ Morgan Freeman debating whether
intelligent life exists in our universe led to my mind getting stuck
on the wrong mental station where my fictitious characters cannot
help in resolving the argument

My five senses let me experience the dead universe which Morgan
Freeman insists is the only thing in existence – making me feel so
desperately lonely; I need an alternative to the physical depiction
of a cold and lifeless universe

My instincts and feelings require the mystique of Spiritualism and
Occultism to empower my ‘dead’ body in which the ‘thinking ghost’
is enclosed to work efficiently; the ‘thinking ghost in the machine’
theory is suffocating – let me return to the dream

In order to lead a happy and productive life; let these scientists enjoy
their self-created dark, cold and meaningless universe restricted to
their illogical assumptions of undesigned life, the limitations of their
senses and the level of their technology


“Through The Wormhole” - Channel 251 - BBC Knowledge

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No One Here Has Been Invited To Do The Boogey

With a-pitching and a bale-ing all day the hay.
And a-picking the tobacco...
Everyday until the Sun fades away,
Reminisces up my ancestors.
With a reminiscing up their lives...
And what it takes,
For me to stay...
As I am this day today.
Is a reason why I pride my dignity.
That's the reason why I walk around...
With identity!

That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk around...
With identity!

No time to do a hi-dee-hey!
And no time to drink up my hard earned pay,
To be buzzed around...
From midnight until dawn!

No...
No time to do a hi-dee-hey.
And no time to drink up my hard earned pay...
To whisper gossip,
With a nonstop to dropp it.
Like if I cropped it.
To then sweep a floor...
As I whistled while mopping it.
No!

With a-pitching and a bale-ing all day the hay.
And a-picking the tobacco...
Everyday until the Sun fades away,
No!
To then sweep a floor...
As I whistled while mopping it.
No!
Like if I cropped it,
With a nonstopping to it?
No!

That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk around...
With identity!

That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk.
That's the reason why I walk around...
With identity!

'Uh...
You?
The 'artist'!
I like your footwork.
But no one here has been invited to do the boogey!
Got that?
Good!
Now do your chores! '

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The Dream Star

Whisper, O wings of the wind! Sing me your song, O sea!
Grey is the weary world, and grey is the heart of me!
Into my shadowy heart pierce like the star of old,
Pearl of the tender dawn, kissed by the trembling gold!

Sing me the hope made sure, sing me the heart made strong!
Give me the battle-fire, give me the bugle-song

Onward ever and on, O swift, green bird of the sun;
Ever a vaster goal for the goal that thy wings have won.

Keen with a tireless beat is the rush of thy wings that soar;
But keener, swifter than thee is the vision that flies before.

What though we die forgot and sad for the song unsung!
Fresh from her thousand deaths ever the world is young.

For, ever the dream-world floats, a light on a misty bar,
And ever the grey earth follows the wake of that pilot star;

Follows a spirit ship that bears o’er a spirit sea
Shadows of thoughts unborn, phantoms of destiny.

Silver the giant sails loom through the amber haze,
And ever the helmsman Hope steers for the halcyon days;

And ever the voices call, out of the golden light,
Into the dreamer’s heart, sad in the lonely night—

Call like the ring of steel and thrill as of bugles blown,
Splendours of days to be, flaming in skies unknown.

Deep in the eastern skies glimmers that phantom star;
Dim in the distance dies the surge of the world afar.

Ah, but like broken swords, scattered along the van,
Perish the outpost souls that fall in the march of Man!

Ah, but they die not so; out of their ashes then
Flowers of immortal Love spring in the hearts of men!

Wings of the swift green Earth, ever and ever young—
This is the whispered word the wind of the morning sung!

This is the rune I heard flung by the ocean old,
Pearl of the tender dawn, kissed by the trembling gold!

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Ashes on the Slide

When Jim and Bill and I were boys a many years ago,
How gayly did we use to hail the coming of the snow!
Our sleds, fresh painted red and with their runners round and bright,
Seemed to respond right briskly to our clamor of delight
As we dragged them up the slippery road that climbed the rugged hill
Where perched the old frame meetin'-house, so solemn-like and still.

Ah, coasting in those days--those good old days--was fun indeed!
Sleds at that time I 'd have you know were paragons of speed!
And if the hill got bare in spots, as hills will do, why then
We 'd haul on ice and snow to patch those bald spots up again;
But, oh! with what sad certainty our spirits would subside
When Deacon Frisbee sprinkled ashes where we used to slide!

The deacon he would roll his eyes and gnash his toothless gums,
And clear his skinny throat, and twirl his saintly, bony thumbs,
And tell you: 'When I wuz a boy, they taught me to eschew
The godless, ribald vanities which modern youth pursue!
The pathway that leads down to hell is slippery, straight, and wide;
And Satan lurks for prey where little boys are wont to slide!'

Now, he who ever in his life has been a little boy
Will not reprove me when he hears the language I employ
To stigmatize as wickedness the deacon's zealous spite
In interfering with the play wherein we found delight;
And so I say, with confidence, not unalloyed of pride:
'Gol durn the man who sprinkles ashes where the youngsters slide!'

But Deacon Frisbee long ago went to his lasting rest,
His money well invested in farm mortgages out West;
Bill, Jim, and I, no longer boys, have learned through years of strife
That the troubles of the little boy pursue the man through life;
That here and there along the course wherein we hoped to glide
Some envious hand has sprinkled ashes just to spoil our slide!

And that malicious, envious hand is not the deacon's now.
Grim, ruthless Fate, that evil sprite none other is than thou!
Riches and honors, peace and care come at thy beck and go;
The soul, elate with joy to-day, to-morrow writhes in woe;
And till a man has turned his face unto the wall and died,
He must expect to get his share of ashes on his slide!

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The Morning Sun

Far from the ignoble strife of Man's tavern you are
The wine-cup adorning the sky's assemblage you are

The jewel which should be the pearl of the morning's bride's ear you are
The ornament which would be the pride of horizon's forehead you are

The blot of night's ink from time's page has been removed!
The star from sky like a spurious picture has been removed!

When from the roof of the sky your beauty appears
Effect of sleep's wine suddenly from eyes disappears

Perception's expanse gets filled with light
Though opens only the material eye your light

The spectacle which the eyes seek is desired
The effulgence which would open the insight is desired

The desires for freedom were not fulfilled in this life
We remained imprisoned in chains of dependence all life

The high and the low are alike for your eye
I too have longing for such a discerning eye

May my eye shedding tears in sympathy for others' woes be!
May my heart free from the prejudice of nation and customs be!

May my tongue be not bound with discrimination of color
May mankind be my nation, the whole world my country be

May secret of Nature's organization clear to my insight be
May smoke of my imagination's candle rising to the sky be

May search for secrets of opposites not make me restless!
May the Love-creating Beauty in everything appear to me!

If the rose petals get damaged by the breeze
May its pain dropping from my eye as a tear be

May the heart contain that little spark of Love's fire
The light of which may contain the secret of the Truth

May my heart not mine but the Beloved's mirror be!
May no thought in my mind except human sympathy be!

If you cannot endure the hardships of the tumultuous world
O the Great Luminary that is not the mark of greatness!

As you are not aware of your world-decorating beauty
You cannot be equal to a speck of dust at the Man's door!

The light of Man eager for the Spectacle ever remained
And you obligated to the tomorrow's morning ever remained

Longing for the Light of the Truth is only in our hearts
Abode of Lailah of desire for search is only in this litter

Opening of the difficult knot, Oh what a pleasure it is!
The pleasure of universal gain in our endless effort is!

Your bosom is unacquainted with the pain of investigation
You are not familiar with searching of the secrets of Nature

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Jesus the King

On the hill of Calvary
Hung up on a tree,
Stripped bare for all to see-

Jesus, King of the Jews,
The carpenter of Galilee,
Dying for me and you.

The soldiers and priests
Shaking dust off their feet
While his followers few, did weep.

Hah, Jesus Christ the King! ?
Hear them in mockery sing
Great Caesar be our only King!

But though they reviled,
And though they mocked.
He cried, 'Father forgive; they know not.'

For he was the great I am,
A shining light, brighter than the sun's flame.
Almighty God robed in flesh, Son of Man.

Jesus, the one who will and has been,
The one who of all will one day be seen
The Creator of every living being.

Despite their mocking,
And though they denied him:
He was still their King.

Tis still the same today,
Whether you like it that way:
Jesus the King, here to stay.

You can defy him, in defiance raise,
But one day, him, everyone will praise.
You will praise, it's just about what place.

You can curse him, spurn his love.
Shake your fists at the sky above.
Nothing you do will be enough.

Because he made you, therefore your King.
Doesn't matter if you don't like him,
Won't ever change a thing.

He has been the King,
Is the King,
Will be the King,
Forever lives the King.
Lift your hands and sing,
Long live, Jesus the King!

The majority's voice will never change,
The endowment of he who came:
Jesus the King, forever the same

You can deny him,
Doesn't change a thing-
Jesus is still your King.

Has been the King, is the King, will be the King! Long live Jesus Christ the King! Lift your hands and sing, Long live, Jesus the King.

Story behind the poem:

This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

1Ti 6: 14-16 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.

Can you feel the awe rising? I can.

And an interesting tidbit:

Joh 19: 19-22 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

What I have written, I have written. What an epic statement! Jesus will forever be the KING of kings. Nothing will ever change it!

JESUS IS KING!

GZ

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The Maid Of The Mill's Treachery

WHENCE comes our friend so hastily,

When scarce the Eastern sky is grey?
Hath he just ceased, though cold it be,

In yonder holy spot to pray?
The brook appears to hem his path,

Would he barefooted o'er it go?
Why curse his orisons in wrath,

Across those heights beclad with snow?

Alas! his warm bed he bath left,

Where he had look'd for bliss, I ween;
And if his cloak too, had been reft,

How fearful his disgrace had been!
By yonder villain sorely press'd,

His wallet from him has been torn;
Our hapless friend has been undress'd,

Left well nigh naked as when born.

The reason why he came this road,

Is that he sought a pair of eyes,
Which, at the mill, as brightly glow'd

As those that are in Paradise.
He will not soon again be there;

From out the house he quickly hied,
And when he gain'd the open air,

Thus bitterly and loudly cried

'Within her gaze, so dazzling bright,

No word of treachery I could read;
She seem'd to see me with delight,

Yet plann'd e'en then this cruel deed!
Could I, when basking in her smile,

Dream of the treason in her breast?
She bade kind Cupid stay awhile,

And he was there, to make us blest.

'To taste of love's sweet ecstasy

Throughout the night, that endless seem'd,
And for her mother's help to cry

Only when morning sunlight beam'd!
A dozen of her kith and kin,

A very human flood, in-press'd
Her cousins came, her aunts peer'd in,

And uncles, brothers, and the rest.

'Then what a tumult, fierce and loud!

Each seem'd a beast of prey to be;
The maiden's honour all the crowd,

With fearful shout, demand of me.
Why should they, madmen-like, begin

To fall upon a guiltless youth?
For he who such a prize would win,

Far nimbler needs must be, in truth.

'The way to follow up with skill

His freaks, by love betimes is known:
He ne'er will leave, within a mill,

Sweet flowers for sixteen years alone.-
They stole my clothes away,-yes, all!

And tried my cloak besides to steal.
How strange that any house so small

So many rascals could conceal!

'Then I sprang up, and raved, and swore,

To force a passage through them there.
I saw the treacherous maid once more,

And she was still, alas, so fair
They all gave way before my wrath,

Wild outcries flew about pell-mell;
At length I managed to rush forth,

With voice of thunder, from that hell.

'As maidens of the town we fly,

We'll shun you maidens of the village;
Leave it to those of quality

Their humble worshippers to pillage.
Yet if ye are of practised skill,

And of all tender ties afraid,
Exchange your lovers, if ye will,

But never let them be betray'd.'

Thus sings he in the winter-night,

While not a blade of grass was green.
I laugh'd to see his piteous plight,

For it was well-deserved, I ween.
And may this be the fate of all,

Who treat by day their true loves ill,
And, with foolhardy daring, crawl

By night to Cupid's treacherous mill!

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The Youth And The Millstream

WHENCE comes our friend so hastily,

When scarce the Eastern sky is grey?
Hath he just ceased, though cold it be,

In yonder holy spot to pray?
The brook appears to hem his path,

Would he barefooted o'er it go?
Why curse his orisons in wrath,

Across those heights beclad with snow?

Alas! his warm bed he bath left,

Where he had look'd for bliss, I ween;
And if his cloak too, had been reft,

How fearful his disgrace had been!
By yonder villain sorely press'd,

His wallet from him has been torn;
Our hapless friend has been undress'd,

Left well nigh naked as when born.

The reason why he came this road,

Is that he sought a pair of eyes,
Which, at the mill, as brightly glow'd

As those that are in Paradise.
He will not soon again be there;

From out the house he quickly hied,
And when he gain'd the open air,

Thus bitterly and loudly cried

"Within her gaze, so dazzling bright,

No word of treachery I could read;
She seem'd to see me with delight,

Yet plann'd e'en then this cruel deed!
Could I, when basking in her smile,

Dream of the treason in her breast?
She bade kind Cupid stay awhile,

And he was there, to make us blest.

"To taste of love's sweet ecstasy

Throughout the night, that endless seem'd,
And for her mother's help to cry

Only when morning sunlight beam'd!
A dozen of her kith and kin,

A very human flood, in-press'd
Her cousins came, her aunts peer'd in,

And uncles, brothers, and the rest.

"Then what a tumult, fierce and loud!

Each seem'd a beast of prey to be;
The maiden's honour all the crowd,

With fearful shout, demand of me.
Why should they, madmen-like, begin

To fall upon a guiltless youth?
For he who such a prize would win,

Far nimbler needs must be, in truth.

"The way to follow up with skill

His freaks, by love betimes is known:
He ne'er will leave, within a mill,

Sweet flowers for sixteen years alone.--
They stole my clothes away,--yes, all!

And tried my cloak besides to steal.
How strange that any house so small

So many rascals could conceal!

"Then I sprang up, and raved, and swore,

To force a passage through them there.
I saw the treacherous maid once more,

And she was still, alas, so fair
They all gave way before my wrath,

Wild outcries flew about pell-mell;
At length I managed to rush forth,

With voice of thunder, from that hell.

"As maidens of the town we fly,

We'll shun you maidens of the village;
Leave it to those of quality

Their humble worshippers to pillage.
Yet if ye are of practised skill,

And of all tender ties afraid,
Exchange your lovers, if ye will,

But never let them be betray'd."

Thus sings he in the winter-night,

While not a blade of grass was green.
I laugh'd to see his piteous plight,

For it was well-deserved, I ween.
And may this be the fate of all,

Who treat by day their true loves ill,
And, with foolhardy daring, crawl

By night to Cupid's treacherous mill!

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The 'Utopia

The table was filled with many objects

The wild tribesmen in the hills,
whose very robes were decorated with designs
of a strangeness & upsetting beauty
that went much further than the richly coloured silks embroidered there could ever suggest; . . .

There were piles of books, yet each one
was of a different size and binding.
The leathers were so finely dyed. The blues
& purples, contrasting with the deceptive simplicity
of the 'natural' tans.
And this prism & arrangement of colours
cannot be set down - the fresh arrangements
& angles possible can only point through a door
to the word 'infinite' made of white puffy clouds
floating high in a blue summer sky;
this has been written there by a small airplane
that is now returning to its green landing field.

The table is very old & made of fine mahogany
polished by generations of servants.
And through the windows the summer blue skies
& white clouds spelling a puffy word.
And on the table the books & examples
of embroidery of the wild hill tribesmen
& many large & small objects - all of which
could not help but rouse a curiosity.

There are at times people in this room
- some go to the table - things are moved -
but the atmosphere here is always that of quiet & catm
- no one could disturb this.
And though the people are the only real threat,

they are all too well trained and aware
to ever introduce the least clumsiness
or disturbing element into the room.

At times it is hard to believe
what is before one's eyes -
there is no answer to this except the room itself,
& maybe the white clouds seen through the window.

No one in the house was sure of the frontiers
& the beautiful atlas gilded and bound with blue silk
was only of antiquarian interest & quite useless
for the new questions. The whole situation
was like a painting within a painting &
that within another & so on & so on -
until everyone had lost sight of their original landmarks.
The heath melted into the sky on the horizon.
And the questions of definition & contrast
only brought on a series of fruitless searches
& examinations that made everyone irritable & exhausted.

Once the surveyors had abandoned their project
the objects once more took over.
It would be false to deny the sigh of relief
there was when this happened & calm returned.

The bus bumped down the avenue
& ahead were the mountains & the woods
that burst into flower as spring settled.
The plan & the heavy revolver were all quite in keeping
with this, despite the apparent superficial
difference & clash of worlds -
there was really only one world.
It wasn't easy - admittedly - & someone
had to stay behind & ...
The word in the sky had slowly dissolved
& was now nowhere to he seen.
But instead the sun was flooding the whole room

& everything took on a golden aura
- this meant we were even aware of the
band of horsemen now riding through the forest
that surrounded the valley.

The many details may appear evasive
but the purpose of the total was obvious
& uncompromising

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The Dream of Freedom

'Twas night, and the moonbeams palely fell
On the gloomy walls of a cheerless cell,
Where a captive sought a brief repose
From the bitter pangs of his waking woes.
O'er the dark blue waves the mighty deep
His spirit roamed in the dream of sleep,
To each well-loved spot of his native shore,
Where joyous he roved in the days of yore.
But o'er each scene a shadow threw
A gloom that never used to be,

All seemed so real, yet so untrue
To things once dear to memory.
The hill-side seemed a prison wall
That, grimly frowning, pained the eye;
The old oak-tree, with branches tall,
Looked like a gibbet 'gainst the sky.
Each face familiar once seemed now
A gaoler-face with a stony stare
A mark was set on each fair brow,

And in each voice were tones of care.
Thus mingled in the dreamer's brain
The present with the olden time,
Life's pleasant things with those of pain
And guiltless days with days of crime.
On, on in dream by lofty hill,
Through forest and o'er stormy wave,
He wandered; but he only still
Beheld a world of fettered slaves.

He saw a king surnamed the Great,
Who ruled the nations by his nod;
To billions his one word was fate -
He was a kind of demi-god.
He sat upon a lofty throne
A monarch, with a monarch's mien,
Earth's fairest forms were all his own,
And untold wealth was his I ween.
In the battlfield his arm was might
And his kingly heart was firm and brave;
But he knew not the charm of freedom's light.
For he was ambition's willing slave.

Then he turned from the monarch's throne to gaze
On a lonely cot in a peaceful dell,
Which lit by the sun's departing rays,
Seemed a home of bliss where no woe could dwell.
At the cottage door, with locks of white,
An old man gazed on the western sky,
And watched the sun's declining light
As it slowely sank from his haggard eye.
Alas! His spirit even there,
Where all around was bright and fair,
Was firmly bound to each crime-stained hour
By vivid mem'ry's haunting power,
While conscience o'er the sea of time
A lurid shade of darkness cast,
And conjured up the deeds of crime
That chained him to a guilty past.

In the captive's dream of fancy wild,
He looked no more on the man of care;
His gaze was fixed on a beauteous child
Who knelt at its mother's feet in prayer.
Its little hands were clasped - its eyes
Uplifted were to paradise;
Its simple words of faith and love
Were registered in heaven above;
Recorded there with angels' tears
As they wept o'er the hopes the mother built,
For they looked through the vista of the coming years,
And saw it fettered to future guilt.

And next he saw a youthful pair,
A gallant youth and maiden fair,
Reclining in a vine wreathed bower
At evening's calm and gentle hour.
Their words were such as lovers speak
When none are near; and on her cheek
The blushes deepened while he knelt
And poured out all his passion felt,
And not in vain. Then surely they
Were happy as a summer-day?
Ah! No, for happiness is twin
To purity of life and soul;
And those who only love in sin
Must wander widely from the goal.
The flowers that scented the ev'ing air,
The stars that gleamed from their home above,
Shed pitying tears for the guilty pair,
For they were the slaves of unholy love.

Then he turned from the things of earth to gaze
On the regions of immortality,
Where seraphs chanted their songs of praise,
And every tongue was tuned in joy,
Where countless thousands, clothed in white,
To angel-harps sang 'We are free,
And all who enter these realms of light
From sin and sorrow shall be as we.
Here freedom's waters bright and fair,
Flow undimmed by a single care;
And all who taste of the crystal tide
Of the stream of life that for ever flows,
Can never again be to sin allied,
And is free forever from earthly woes.'

'Twas now the drear-toned prison bell
Loud-echoed through the captive's cell.
He rose - the vision of the night
Again was present to his sight.
He knelt -with fervency he prayed;
Through faith in Christ, his sins forgiven,
The narrow boundary of the grave
Should be the vestibule of Heaven,
Where, disenthralled from all below,
He'd dwell beyond the starry sky,
Free from the pains of earthly woe,
In never-ending liberty!

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And the Seventh Dream is the Dream of Isis

1

white curtains of infinite fatigue
dominating the starborn heritage of the colonies of St Francis
white curtains of tortured destinies
inheriting the calamities of the plagues
of the desert encourage the waistlines of women to expand
and the eyes of men to enlarge like pocket-cameras
teach children to sin at the age of five
to cut out the eyes of their sisters with nail-scissors
to run into the streets and offer themselves to unfrocked priests
teach insects to invade the deathbeds of rich spinsters
and to engrave the foreheads of their footmen with purple signs
for the year is open the year is complete
the year is full of unforeseen happenings
and the time of earthquakes is at hand

today is the day when the streets are full of hearses
and when women cover their ring fingers with pieces of silk
when the doors fall off their hinges in ruined cathedrals
when hosts of white birds fly across the ocean from america
and make their nests in the trees of public gardens
the pavements of cities are covered with needles
the reservoirs are full of human hair
fumes of sulphur envelop the houses of ill-fame
out of which bloodred lilies appear.

2

across the square where crowds are dying in thousands
a man is walking a tightrope covered with moths

there is an explosion of geraniums in the ballroom of the hotel
there is an extremely unpleasant odour of decaying meat
arising from the depetalled flower growing out of her ear
her arms are like pieces of sandpaper
or wings of leprous birds in taxis
and when she sings her hair stands on end
and lights itself with a million little lamps like glowworms
you must always write the last two letters of her christian name
upside down with a blue pencil

she was standing at the window clothed only in a ribbon
she was burning the eyes of snails in a candle
she was eating the excrement of dogs and horses
she was writing a letter to the president of france

3

the edges of leaves must be examined through microscopes
in order to see the stains made by dying flies
at the other end of the tube is a woman bathing her husband
and a box of newspapers covered with handwriting
when an angel writes the word TOBACCO across the sky
the sea becomes covered with patches of dandruff
the trunks of trees burst open to release streams of milk
little girls stick photographs of genitals to the windows of their homes
prayerbooks in churches open themselves at the death service
and virgins cover their parents' beds with tealeaves
there is an extraordinary epidemic of tuberculosis in yorkshire
where medical dictionaries are banned from the public libraries
and salt turns a pale violet colour every day at seven o'clock
when the hearts of troubadours unfold like soaked mattresses
when the leaven of the gruesome slum-visitors
and the wings of private airplanes look like shoeleather
shoeleather on which pentagrams have been drawn
shoeleather covered with vomitings of hedgehogs
shoeleather used for decorating wedding-cakes
and the gums of queens like glass marbles
queens whose wrists are chained to the walls of houses
and whose fingernails are covered with little drawings of flowers
we rejoice to receive the blessing of criminals
and we illuminate the roofs of convents when they are hung
we look through a telescope on which the lord's prayer has been written
and we see an old woman making a scarecrow
on a mountain near a village in the middle of spain
we see an elephant killing a stag-beetle
by letting hot tears fall onto the small of its back
we see a large cocoa-tin full of shapeless lumps of wax
there is a horrible dentist walking out of a ship's funnel
and leaving behind him footsteps which make noises
on account of his accent he was discharged from the sanatorium
and sent to examine the methods of cannibals
so that wreaths of passion-flowers were floating in the darkness
giving terrible illnesses to the possessors of pistols
so that large quantities of rats disguised as pigeons
were sold to various customers from neighbouring towns
who were adepts at painting gothic letters on screens
and at tying up parcels with pieces of grass
we told them to cut off the buttons on their trousers
but they swore in our faces and took off their shoes
whereupon the whole place was stifled with vast clouds of smoke
and with theatres and eggshells and droppings of eagles
and the drums of the hospitals were broken like glass
and glass were the faces in the last looking-glass.

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Charlotte Brontë

The Missionary

Lough, vessel, plough the British main,
Seek the free ocean's wider plain;
Leave English scenes and English skies,
Unbind, dissever English ties;
Bear me to climes remote and strange,
Where altered life, fast-following change,
Hot action, never-ceasing toil,
Shall stir, turn, dig, the spirit's soil;
Fresh roots shall plant, fresh seed shall sow,
Till a new garden there shall grow,
Cleared of the weeds that fill it now,­
Mere human love, mere selfish yearning,
Which, cherished, would arrest me yet.
I grasp the plough, there's no returning,
Let me, then, struggle to forget.

But England's shores are yet in view,
And England's skies of tender blue
Are arched above her guardian sea.
I cannot yet Remembrance flee;
I must again, then, firmly face
That task of anguish, to retrace.
Wedded to home­I home forsake,
Fearful of change­I changes make;
Too fond of ease­I plunge in toil;
Lover of calm­I seek turmoil:
Nature and hostile Destiny
Stir in my heart a conflict wild;
And long and fierce the war will be
Ere duty both has reconciled.

What other tie yet holds me fast
To the divorced, abandoned past?
Smouldering, on my heart's altar lies
The fire of some great sacrifice,
Not yet half quenched. The sacred steel
But lately struck my carnal will,
My life-long hope, first joy and last,
What I loved well, and clung to fast;
What I wished wildly to retain,
What I renounced with soul-felt pain;
What­when I saw it, axe-struck, perish­
Left me no joy on earth to cherish;
A man bereft­yet sternly now
I do confirm that Jephtha vow:
Shall I retract, or fear, or flee?
Did Christ, when rose the fatal tree
Before him, on Mount Calvary?
'Twas a long fight, hard fought, but won,
And what I did was justly done.

Yet, Helen ! from thy love I turned,
When my heart most for thy heart burned;
I dared thy tears, I dared thy scorn­
Easier the death-pang had been borne.
Helen ! thou mightst not go with me,
I could not­dared not stay for thee!
I heard, afar, in bonds complain
The savage from beyond the main;
And that wild sound rose o'er the cry
Wrung out by passion's agony;
And even when, with the bitterest tear
I ever shed, mine eyes were dim,
Still, with the spirit's vision clear,
I saw Hell's empire, vast and grim,
Spread on each Indian river's shore,
Each realm of Asia covering o'er.

There the weak, trampled by the strong,
Live but to suffer­hopeless die;
There pagan-priests, whose creed is Wrong,
Extortion, Lust, and Cruelty,
Crush our lost race­and brimming fill
The bitter cup of human ill;
And I­who have the healing creed,
The faith benign of Mary's Son;
Shall I behold my brother's need
And selfishly to aid him shun?
I­who upon my mother's knees,
In childhood, read Christ's written word,
Received his legacy of peace,
His holy rule of action heard;
I­in whose heart the sacred sense
Of Jesus' love was early felt;
Of his pure full benevolence,
His pitying tenderness for guilt;
His shepherd-care for wandering sheep,
For all weak, sorrowing, trembling things,
His mercy vast, his passion deep
Of anguish for man's sufferings;
I­schooled from childhood in such lore­
Dared I draw back or hesitate,
When called to heal the sickness sore
Of those far off and desolate?
Dark, in the realm and shades of Death,
Nations and tribes and empires lie,
But even to them the light of Faith
Is breaking on their sombre sky:
And be it mine to bid them raise
Their drooped heads to the kindling scene,
And know and hail the sunrise blaze
Which heralds Christ the Nazarene.
I know how Hell the veil will spread
Over their brows and filmy eyes,
And earthward crush the lifted head
That would look up and seek the skies;
I know what war the fiend will wage
Against that soldier of the cross,
Who comes to dare his demon-rage,
And work his kingdom shame and loss.
Yes, hard and terrible the toil
Of him who steps on foreign soil,
Resolved to plant the gospel vine,
Where tyrants rule and slaves repine;
Eager to lift Religion's light
Where thickest shades of mental night
Screen the false god and fiendish rite;
Reckless that missionary blood,
Shed in wild wilderness and wood,
Has left, upon the unblest air,
The man's deep moan­the martyr's prayer.
I know my lot­I only ask
Power to fulfil the glorious task;
Willing the spirit, may the flesh
Strength for the day receive afresh.
May burning sun or deadly wind
Prevail not o'er an earnest mind;
May torments strange or direst death
Nor trample truth, nor baffle faith.
Though such blood-drops should fall from me
As fell in old Gethsemane,
Welcome the anguish, so it gave
More strength to work­more skill to save.
And, oh ! if brief must be my time,
If hostile hand or fatal clime
Cut short my course­still o'er my grave,
Lord, may thy harvest whitening wave.
So I the culture may begin,
Let others thrust the sickle in;
If but the seed will faster grow,
May my blood water what I sow !

What ! have I ever trembling stood,
And feared to give to God that blood ?
What! has the coward love of life
Made me shrink from the righteous strife?
Have human passions, human fears
Severed me from those Pioneers,
Whose task is to march first, and trace
Paths for the progress of our race?
It has been so; but grant me, Lord,
Now to stand steadfast by thy word!
Protected by salvation's helm,
Shielded by faith­with truth begirt,
To smile when trials seek to whelm
And stand 'mid testing fires unhurt!
Hurling hell's strongest bulwarks down,
Even when the last pang thrills my breast,
When Death bestows the Martyr's crown,
And calls me into Jesus' rest.
Then for my ultimate reward­
Then for the world-rejoicing word­
The voice from Father­Spirit­Son:
'Servant of God, well hast thou done!'

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The Shepherd's Dog

I.

A Shepherd's Dog there was; and he
Was faithful to his master's will,
For well he lov'd his company,
Along the plain or up the hill;
All Seasons were, to him, the same
Beneath the Sun's meridian flame;
Or, when the wintry wind blew shrill and keen,
Still the Old Shepherd's Dog, was with his Master seen.


II.

His form was shaggy clothed; yet he
Was of a bold and faithful breed;
And kept his master company
In smiling days, and days of need;
When the long Ev'ning slowly clos'd,
When ev'ry living thing repos'd,
When e'en the breeze slept on the woodlands round,
The Shepherd's watchful Dog, was ever waking found.

III.

All night, upon the cold turf he
Contented lay, with list'ning care;
And though no stranger company,
Or lonely traveller rested there;
Old Trim was pleas'd to guard it still,
For 'twas his aged master's will;--
And so pass'd on the chearful night and day,
'Till the poor Shepherd's Dog, was very old, and grey.


IV.

Among the villagers was he
Belov'd by all the young and old,
For he was chearful company,
When the north-wind blew keen and cold;
And when the cottage scarce was warm,
While round it flew, the midnight storm,
When loudly, fiercely roll'd the swelling tide--
The Shepherd's faithful Dog, crept closely by his side.


V.

When Spring in gaudy dress would be,
Sporting across the meadows green,
He kept his master company,
And all amid the flow'rs was seen;
Now barking loud, now pacing fast,
Now, backward he a look would cast,
And now, subdu'd and weak, with wanton play,
Amid the waving grass, the Shepherd's Dog would stay.


VI.

Now, up the rugged path would he
The steep hill's summit slowly gain,
And still be chearful company,
Though shiv'ring in the pelting rain;
And when the brook was frozen o'er,
Or the deep snow conceal'd the moor,
When the pale moon-beams scarcely shed a ray,
The Shepherd's faithful Dog, would mark the dang'rous way.


VII.

On Sunday, at the old Yew Tree,
Which canopies the church-yard stile,
Forc'd from his master's company,
The faithful TRIM would mope awhile;
For then his master's only care
Was the loud Psalm, or fervent Pray'r,
And, 'till the throng the church-yard path retrod,
The Shepherd's patient guard, lay silent on the sod.


VIII.

Near their small hovel stood a tree,
Where TRIM was ev'ry morning found--
Waiting his master's company,
And looking wistfully around;
And if, along the upland mead,
He heard him tune the merry reed,
O, then ! o'er hedge and ditch, thro' brake and briar,
The Shepherd's dog would haste, with eyes that seem'd on fire.


IX.

And now he pac'd the valley, free,
And now he bounded o'er the dew,
For well his master's company
Would recompence his toil he knew;
And where a rippling rill was seen
Flashing the woody brakes between,
Fearless of danger, thro' the lucid tide,
The Shepherd's eager dog, yelping with joy, would glide.


X.

Full many a year, the same was he
His love still stronger every day,
For, in his master's company,
He had grown old, and very grey;
And now his sight grew dim: and slow
Up the rough mountain he would go,
And his loud bark, which all the village knew,
With ev'ry wasting hour, more faint, and peevish grew.


XI.

One morn, to the low mead went he,
Rous'd from his threshold-bed to meet
A gay and lordly company!
The Sun was bright, the air was sweet;
Old TRIM was watchful of his care,
His master's flocks were feeding there,
And, fearful of the hounds, he yelping stood
Beneath a willow Tree, that wav'd across the flood.


XII.

Old TRIM was urg'd to wrath; for he
Was guardian of the meadow bounds;
And, heedless of the company,
With angry snarl attack'd the hounds!
Some felt his teeth, though they were old,
For still his ire was fierce and bold,
And ne'er did valiant chieftain feel more strong
Than the Old Shepherd's dog, when daring foes among.


XIII.

The Sun was setting o'er the Sea
The breezes murmuring sad, and slow,
When a gay lordly company,
Came to the Shepherd's hovel low;
Their arm'd associates stood around
The sheep-cote fence's narrow bound,
While its poor master heard, with fix'd despair,
That TRIM, his friend, deem'd MAD, was doom'd to perish there!


XIV.

The kind old Shepherd wept, for he
Had no such guide, to mark his way,
And kneeling pray'd the company,
To let him live, his little day !
"For many a year my Dog has been
"The only friend these eyes have seen,
"We both are old and feeble, he and I--
"Together we have liv'd, together let us die!


XV.

"Behold his dim, yet speaking eye!
"Which ill befits his visage grim
"He cannot from your anger fly,
"For slow and feeble is old TRIM!
"He looks, as though he fain would speak,
"His beard is white--his voice is weak--
"He IS NOT MAD! O! then, in pity spare
"The only watchful friend, of my small fleecy care!"


XVI.

The Shepherd ceas'd to speak, for He
Leant on his maple staff, subdu'd;
While pity touch'd the company,
And all, poor TRIM with sorrow view'd:
Nine days upon a willow bed
Old TRIM was doom'd to lay his head,
Oppress'd and sever'd from his master's door,
Enough to make him MAD--were he not so before!


XVII.

But not forsaken yet, was he,
For ev'ry morn, at peep of day,
To keep his old friend company,
The lonely Shepherd bent his way:
A little boat, across the stream,
Which glitter'd in the sunny beam,
Bore him, where foes no longer could annoy,
Where TRIM stood yelping loud, and ALMOST MAD with joy!


XVIII.

Six days had pass'd and still was he
Upon the island left to roam,
When on the stream a wither'd tree
Was gliding rapid midst the foam!
The little Boat now onward prest,
Danc'd o'er the river's bounding breast,
Till dash'd impetuous, 'gainst the old tree's side,
The Shepherd plung'd and groan'd, then sunk amid the tide.


XIX.

Old TRIM, now doom'd his friend to see
Beating the foam with wasted breath,
Resolv'd to bear him company,
E'en in the icy arms of death;
Soon with exulting cries he bore
His feeble master to the shore,
And, standing o'er him, howl'd in cadence sad,
For, fear and fondness, now, had nearly made him MAD.


XX.

Together, still their flocks they tend,
More happy than the proudly great;
The Shepherd has no other friend--
No Lordly home, no bed of state!
But on a pallet, clean and low,
They hear, unmov'd, the wild winds blow,
And though they ne'er another spring may see;
The Shepherd, and his Dog, are chearful company.

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The Dream of Margaret

It fell upon a summer night
The village folk were soundly sleeping,
Unconscious of the glamour white
In which the moon all things was steeping;
One window only showed a light;
Behind it, silent vigil keeping,
Sat Margaret, as one in trance—
The dark-eyed daughter of the Manse.
A flood of strange, sweet thoughts was surging
Her passionate heart and brain within.
At last, some secret impulse urging,
She laid aside her garment thin,
And from its snowy folds emerging,
Like Lamia from the serpent-skin,
She stood before her mirror bright
Naked, and lovely as the night.

Her dark hair o’er her shoulders flowing
Might well have been a silken pall
O’er Galatea’s image glowing
To life and love: she was withal—
The lamplight o’er her radiance throwing—
With her high bosom virginal,
A woman made to madden men,
A Cleopatra born again.

Hers was the beauty dark and splendid,
Whose spell upon the heart of man
Falls swiftly as, when day is ended,
Night falls in lands Australian.
Her rich, ripe, scarlet lips, bow-bended,
Smiled as such ripe lips only can;
Her eyes, wherein strange lightnings shone,
Were deeper than Oblivion.

With round, white arms, whose warm caress
No lover knew, raised towards the ceiling,
She looked like some young Pythoness
The secrets dark of Fate revealing,
Or goddess in divine distress
To higher powers for help appealing.
This invocation, standing so,
She sang in clear, sweet tones, but low:


Soul, from this narrow,
Mean life we know,
Speed as an arrow
From bended bow!
Seek, and discover,
On land or sea,
My destined lover,
Where’er he be.

How shalt thou know him,
My heart’s desire?—
His mien will show him,
His glance of fire.

High is his bearing,
His pride is high,
His spirit daring
Burns in his eye.

Birds have done mating;
The Spring is past;
My arms are waiting,
My heart beats fast.

“Oh, why,” she sighed, “has Fate awarded
This lot to me whose heart is bold?
My days by trifles are recorded,
My suitors men whose God is gold.
Oh for the Heroes helmed and sworded,
The lovers of the days of old,
Who broke for ladies many a lance
In gallant days of old Romance!

“Would I had lived in that great time when
A lady’s love was knight’s best boon;
When sword with sword made ringing rhyme, when
Mailed sea-kings fought from noon to moon,
And thought the slaughter grim no crime, when
The prize was golden-haired Gudrun.
Then I might find swords, broad and bright
And keen as theirs, for me to fight.

But narrow bounds my life environ,
And hold my eager spirit in.
The men I see no heart of fire in
Their bodies bear. My love to win
A man must have a will of iron,
A soul of flame. Then sweet were sin
Or Death for him!” With ardent glance
Thus spake the daughter of the Manse.

Then, with a smile, she fell asleep in
Her white and dainty maiden bed.
The chaste, cold moon alone could peep in,
And view her tresses dark outspread
Upon an arm whose clasp might keep in
The life of one given up for dead:
And, as she drifted down the stream
Of Slumber deep, she dreamt a dream.

. . . . .
It was a banquet rich and rare,
The wine of France was foaming madly;
The proud and great of earth were there,
And all were slaves to serve her gladly,
And yet on them with haughty air
She gazed, half-scornfully, half-sadly;
The Lady of the Feast was she—
So ran her strange dream-fantasy.
A Prince was at her fair right hand,
And at her left a famous leader
Of hosts, with look of high command,
And—blacker than the tents of Kedar—
An Eastern King, barbaric, grand,
Sat near—their Queen they had decreed her.
Below the proud, the brave, the wise,
Sat charmed by her mesmeric eyes.

Then thus she spake: “O Lords of Earth!
Than you I know none nobler, braver;
And yet your fame, and rank, and birth,
And wealth in my sight find small favour,
For all too well I know their worth—
Long since for me they lost their savour.
The Spirit, fit to mate with mine,
Must be demoniac—or divine.

A toast!” she cried. The gallant throng
Sprang up, their foaming glasses clinking.
“Satan! The Spirit proud and strong!
The bravest lover to my thinking!
The Wine of Life I’ve drunk too long:
The Wine of death I now am drinking!” . . .
Our Queen she was a moment since—
Bear forth the body!” said the Prince.

. . . . .
A ghostly wind arose, all wet
With tears, and full of cries and wailing,
And wringing hands, and faces set
In bitter anguish unavailing;
It bore the soul of Margaret
To where a voice, in tones of railing,
Cried, “Spirit proud, thou hast done well!
Thou art within the Gates of Hell!”
The soul of Margaret passed slowly,
Yet bravely, through the Hall of Dread,
The roof whereof was hidden wholly
By black clouds hanging overhead.
No sound disturbed the melancholy
Deep silence—which itself seemed dead.
No wailing of the damned was heard,
No voice the fearful stillness stirred.

But that deep silence held in keeping
The secret of Eternal Woe—
That yet seemed like a serpent creeping
Around the walls. It was as though
The cries of pain and hopeless weeping
Had died out ages long ago.
No face was seen, no figure dread. . . .
Were all the damned and devils dead?

No lustre known on earth was gleaming
In that dread Hall, but some weird light
Around the pillars vast was streaming,
And down the vistas infinite;
A light like that men see in dreaming,
And, waking, shudder with affright.
Its glare a baleful splendour shed
For ever through the Hall of Dread.

Then suddenly she was aware
That from the walls, and all around her,
In motionless and burning stare,
Millions of eyes glowed, that spellbound her:
The everlasting dumb despair
That spoke from them made Pity founder;
And, as she passed along the floor,
She trod on burning millions more.

For floor and pillar, roof and all,
Were full of eyes, for ever burning—
’Twas these that lit the Dreadful Hall,
These were the damned beyond returning,
Sealed up in pillar, floor, and wall,
Without a tongue to voice their yearning,
Or grief, or hate, so God might know:
Their eyes alone could speak their woe.

Her way lit by the weird light flowing
From those sad, awful eyes, she passed
To where—her terror ever growing—
Upon a Throne, in fire set fast,
And like a Rose of fire far-glowing,
She saw a Figure, Veiled and Vast.
She trembled, for she knew full well
She stood before the Lord of Hell.

And then, an instant courage taking,
She knelt before the burning throne,
And, all her hopes of heaven forsaking,
She cried, “O Lord, make me thine own!
For men, though they be of God’s making,
I love not. Thee I love alone.”
The figure veiled spake thus: “Arise,
O Spirit proud—and most unwise!”

And as It spake, unveiling slowly,
A brow of awful beauty shone
On Margaret’s soul—yet Melancholy
And Woe Eternal sat thereon.
But, lo! the form was woman wholly.
A faint smile played her lips upon,
As in a voice low, sweet, and level
She said: “My dear, I am the Devil!”

With one wild wail of bitter scorning
The stricken soul of Margaret fled,
Sore harrowed by that dreadful warning;
And, shrieking, through the Hall of Dread
She passed . . . and woke . . . and it was morning,
And she was in her own white bed.

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