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His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
ELIJAH FED BY RAVENS.
SORE was the famine throughout all the bounds A blessing from his lips ! the aged man
Of Israel, when Elijah, by command Lays on the ground his staff, and stretching forth Of God, journeyed to Cherith's failing brook. His tremulous hand o'er Pharaoh's uncrown'd head, No rain-drops fall, no dew-fraught cloud, at mom Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land. Or closing eve, creeps slowly up the vale ;
The withering herbage dies; among the palms
The shrivell’d leaves send to the summer gale JEPHTHAH'S VOW.
An autumn rustle ; no sweet songster's lay From conquest Jephthah came, with faltering step Is warbled from the branches ; scarce is heard And troubled eye ; his home appears in view; The rill's faint brawl. The prophet looks around He trembles at the sight. Sad he forbodes,
And trusts in God, and lays his silver'd head His vow will meet a victim in his child :
Upon the flowerless bank; serene he sleeps, For well he knows, that, from her earliest years, Nor wakes till dawning: then with hands enclasp’d, She still was first to meet his homeward steps : And heavenward face, and eyelids closed, he prays Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait, To Him who manna on the desert shower'd, She ran, and clasp'd his knees, and lisp'd, and look'd To Him who from the rock made fountains gush: Her joy; and how, when garlanding with flowers Entranced the man of God remains : till roused His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink
By sound of wheeling wings, with grateful heart, Back from the lion couch'd beneath the crest.
He sees the ravens fearless by his side What sound is that, which, from the palm-tree Alight, and leave the heaven-provided food.
THE BIRTH OF JESUS ANNOUNCED.
DEEP was the midnight silence in the fields
Of Bethlehem; hush'd the folds ; save that at times Hope from the omen springs : 0 blessed hope !
Was heard the lamb’s faint bleat: the shepherds, It may not be her voice !-Fain would he think
stretch'd 'Twas not his daughter's voice that still approach'd, On the green sward, survey'd the starry vault. Blent with the timbrel's note. Forth from the grove The heavens declare the glory of the Lord, She foremost glides of all the minstrel band :
The firmament shows forth thy handy-work: Moveless he stands; then grasps his hilt, still red
Thus they, their hearts attuned to the Most HighWith hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold: When suddenly a splendid cloud appear'd, And clasps in agony his hands, and cries,
As if a portion of the milky way “ Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low."
Descended slowly in the spiral course.
Near and more near it draws; then, hovering, floats
Upon the folded flocks, a heavenly radiance,
From whence was utter'd loud, yet sweet, a voice,– DEEP was the furrow in the royal brow,
Fear not, I bring good tidings of great joy ;
The angel spake; when, lo! upon the cloud,
A multitude of seraphim, enthroned, In Pharaoh's realm; his brethren thither sent;
Sang praises, saying,-Glory to the Lord Suppliant they stood before his face, well known, On high ; on earth be peace, good will to men. Unknowing,—till Joseph fell upon the neck With sweet response harmoniously they choir'd, Of Benjamin, his mother's son, and wept.
And while, with heavenly harmony, the song Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused ; Arose to God, more bright the buoyant throne But when he saw, down the yet quivering string, Illumed the land: the prowling lion stops, The tear-drop trembling glide, abash'd, he check’d, Awe-struck, with mane upreard, and Aatten'd Indignant at himself, the bursting flood,
head; And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords : And, without turning, backward on his steps From side to side his hands transversely glance, Recoils, aghast, into the desert gloom. Like lightning 'thwart a stormy sea; his voice A trembling joy th' astonish'd shepherds prove, Arises 'mid the clang, and straightway calms As heavenward reascends the vocal blaze The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell Triumphantly; while by degrees the strain Majestical, triumphant ; for he sings
Dies on the ear, that, self-deluded, listens
As if a sound so sweet could never die.
BEHOLD MY MOTHER AND MY BRETHREN.
Who is my mother, or my brethren?
With a meek smile of pity blent with love,
More melting than e'er gleam'd from human face, — And quits his hold; the voyagers, appallid, As when a sunbeam, through a summer shower, Shrink from the fancied Spirit of the Flood : Shines mildly on a little hill-side flock;
But when the voice of Jesus with the storm And with that look of love he said, Behold Soft mingled, It is 1, be not afraid ; My mother and my brethren; for I say,
Fear fled, and joy lighten'd from eye to eye. That whosoe'er shall do the will of God,
Up he ascends, and, from the rolling side,
Surveys the tumult of the sea and sky
Sinks to a sudden calm; the clouds disperse ;
The moonbeam trembles on the face divine, BLIND, poor, and helpless Bartimeus sat,
Reflected mildly in th’ unruffled deep.
THE DUMB CURED.
The dumb man, with a supplicating look, Of thousand steps ; it is the hum of tongues Turn'd as the Lord pass'd by: Jesus beheld, Innumerable: But when the sightless man And on him bent a pitying look, and spake : Heard that the Nazarene was passing by
His moving lips are by the suppliant seen,
Was never utter'd but in doing good.
THE DEATH OF JESUS. Forbid them not. Imbolden'd by his words, 'Tis finished: he spake the words, and bow'd The mothers onward press; but finding vain His head, and died.-Beholding him far off, Th’ attempt to reach the Lord, they trust their They who had minister'd unto him hope. babes
'Tis his last agony: The temple's vail To strangers' hands; The innocents, alarm'd
Is rent; revealing the most holy place, Amid the throng of faces all unknown,
Wherein the cherubim their wings extend, Shrink, trembling,-till their wandering eyes dis- O'ershadowing the mercy-seat of God.
Appall’d the leaning soldier feels the spear The countenance of Jesus, beaming love
Shake in his grasp ; the planted standard falls And pity ; eager then they stretch their arms,
Upon the heaving ground; the sun is dimm'd, And, cowering, lay their heads upon his breast.
And darkness shrouds the body of the Lord.
JESUS CALMS THE TEMPEST,
THE RESURRECTION. THE roaring tumult of the billow'd sea
The setting orb of night her level ray Awakes him not: high on the crested surge Shed o'er the land, and on the dewy sward Now heaved, his locks flow streaming in the blast, The lengthen’d shadows of the triple cross And now, descending 'tween the sheltering waves, Were laid far-stretch'd,—when in the east arose, The falling tresses veil the face divine ;
Last of the stars, day's harbinger: No sound Meek through that veil, a momentary gleam
Was heard, save of the watching soldier's foot: Benignant shines; he dreams that he beholds
Within the rock-barr'd sepulchre, the gloom The opening eyes,—that long hopeless had roll'd
Of deepest midnight brooded o'er the dead, In darkness,-look around bedimm'd with tears
The Holy One: but, lo! a radiance faint Of joy ; but suddenly the voice of fear
Began to dawn around his sacred brow : Dispellid the happy vision : Awful he rose,
The linen vesture seem'd a snowy wreath, Rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea,
Drifted by storms into a mountain cave: Peace, be thou still! and straight there was a calm. Bright and more bright, the circling halo beam'd With terror-mingled gladness in their looks,
Upon that face, clothed in a smile benign, The mariners exclaim,-What man is this,
Though yet exanimate. Nor long the reign That e'en the wind and sea obey his voice!
Of death; the eyes that wept for human griefs
Unclose, and look around with conscious joy. JESUS WALKS ON THE SEA, AND CALMS THE Yes ; with returning life, the first emotion STORM.
That glow'd in Jesus' breast of love was joy Loud blew the storm of night; the thwarting surge At man's redemption, now complete; at death Dash'd, boiling, on the labouring bark: dismay, Disarm’d;
the grave transform'd into the couch From face to face reflected, spread around : Of faith; the resurrection and the life. When, lo! upon a towering wave is seen
Majestical he rose: trembled the earth; The semblance of a foamy wreath, upright, The ponderous gate of stone was rollid away; Move onward to the ship: The helmsman starts, The keepers fell; the angel, awe-struck, sunk
Into invisibility, while forth
Of justice, temperance, and the life to come,
Who healeth all thy diseases: who redeemeth thy life
These eyes, that were half-closed in death, A hymn, low-breathed; a hymn of sorrow, blent Now dare the noontide blaze; With hope ; when, in the midst, sudden he stood;
My voice, that scarce could speak my wants, The awe-struck circle backward shrink; he looks
Now hymns Jehovah's praise.
How pleasant to my feet unused,
To tread the daisied ground! Pavilion'd in dark clouds, mildly comes forth,
How sweet to my unwonted ear
The streamlet's lulling sound.
That on my temples play'd !
How sweet the woodland evening song,
Full floating down the glade!
But sweeter far the lark that soars
Through morning's blushing ray ; Behold his dauntless outstretch'd arm, his face For then unseen, unheard, I join Illumed of heaven :-he knoweth not the fear
His lonely heavenward lay. Of man, of principalities, of powers.
And sweeter still that infant voice, The stoic's moveless frown; the vacant stare
With all its artless charms ;Of Epicurus' herd; the scowl and gnash malign
'Twas such as he that Jesus took, Of superstition, stopping both her ears;
And cherish'd in his arms.
O Lord my God! all these delights
I to thy mercy owe; As if no worldly object could inspire
For thou hast raised me from the couch A terror in his soul; as if the vision,
Of sickness, pain, and wo. Which, when he journey'd to Damascus, shone 'Twas thou that from the whelming wave From heaven, still swam before his eyes,
My sinking soul redeemid; Outdazzling all things earthly; as if the voice,
'Twas thou that o'er destruction's storm That spake from out th' effulgence, ever rang
A calming radiance beam'd.
ON VISITING MELROSE,
AFTER AN ABSENCE OF SIXTEEN YEARS. GOVERNOR OF JUDEA.
Yon setting sun, that slowly disappears, The judge ascended to the judgment-seat; Gleams a memento of departed years: Amid a gleam of spears th' apostle stood.
Ay, many a year is gone, and many a friend, Dauntless he forward came, and look'd around, Since here I saw the autumn sun descend. And raised his voice, at first in accents low, Ah! one is gone, whose hand was lock'd in mine, Yet clear; a whisper spread among the throng:- In this, that traces now the sorrowing line: So when the thunder mutters, still the breeze And now alone I scan the mouldering tombs, Is heard, at times, to sigh ; but when the peal Alone I wander through the vaulted glooms, Tremendous, louder rolls, a silence dead
And list, as if the echoes might retain Succeeds each pause,-moveless the aspen leaf. One lingering cadence of her varied strain. Thus fix'd and motionless, the listening band Alas! I heard that melting voice decay, Of soldiers forward lean'd, as from the man Heard seraph tones in whispers die away; Inspired of God, truth's awful thunders roll’d. I mark'd the tear presageful fill her eye, No more he feels, upon his high-raised arm, And quivering speak, I am resign'd to die. The ponderous chain, than does the playful child Ye stars that through the fretted windows shed The bracelet, form'd of many a flowery link. A glimmering beam athwart the mighty dead, Heedless of self, forgetful that his life
Say to what sphere her sainted spirit flew, Is now to be defended by his words,
That thither I may turn my longing view, He only thinks of doing good to them
And wish, and hope, some tedious seasons o'er, Who seek his life ; and while he reasons high To join a long lost friend, to part no more.
THE WILD DUCK AND HER BROOD. EPITAPH ON A BLACKBIRD KILLED BY A
WINTER was o'er, and spring-flowers deck'd the Held in the concave of th' inverted sky,–
glade; In which is seen the rook's dull flagging wing
The blackbird's note among the wild woods rung: Move o'er the silvery clouds. How peaceful sails Ah, short-lived note ! the songster now is laid Yon little fleet, the wild duck and her brood !
Beneath the bush on which so sweet he sung. Fearless of harm, they row their easy way;
Thy jetty plumes, by ruthless falcon rent, The water-lily neath the plumy prows,
Are now all soil'd among the mouldering clay; Dips, reappearing in their dimpled track.
A primrosed turf is all thy monument, Yet, e'en amid that scene of peace, the noise
And for thy dirge the redbreast lends his lay.
THE POOR MAN'S FUNERAL.
Yon motley, sable-suited throng, that wait
Around the poor man's door, announce a tale To lure the foe, and lead him from their young;
Of wo; the husband, parent, is no more.
From day to day, he from his sick-bed saw,
The younger's plaint,-languid he raised his head,
Into the arms of death, the poor man's friend ! FROM snowy plains, and icy sprays,
The coffin is borne out; the humble pomp From moonless nights, and sunless days,
Moves slowly on; the orphan mourner's hand Welcome, poor bird ! I'll cherish thee;
(Poor helpless child !) just reaches to the pall. I love thee, for thou trustest me.
And now they pass into the field of graves, Thrice welcome, helpless, panting guest!
And now around the narrow house they stand, Fondly I'll warm thee in my breast:
And view the plain black board sink from the sight. How quick thy little heart is beating!
Hollow the mansion of the dead resounds, As if its brother flutterer greeting.
As falls each spadeful of the bone-mix'd mould. Thou need'st not dread a captive's doom;
The turf is spread ; uncover'd is each head, No: freely flutter round my room ;
A last farewell: all turn their several ways. Perch on my lute's remaining string,
Wo's me! those tear-dimm'd eyes, that sobbing
breast! And sweetly of sweet summer sing. That note, that summer note, I know;
Poor child! thou thinkest of the kindly hand It wakes at once, and soothes my wo;
That wont to lead thee home: No more that hand I see those woods, I see that stream,
Shall aid thy feeble gait, or gentle stroke I see,-ah, still prolong the dream!
Thy sun-bleach'd head and downy cheek. Still with thy song those scenes renew,
But go, a mother waits thy homeward steps ;
In vain her eyes dwell on the sacred page,Though through my tears they reach my view. No more now, at my lonely meal,
Her thoughts are in the grave; 'tis thou alone, While thou art by, alone I'll feel;
Her first-born child, canst rouse that statue gaze For soon, devoid of all distrust,
Of wo profound. Haste to the widow'd arms; Thou'lt nibbling share my humble crust;
Look with thy father's look, speak with his voice, Or on my finger, pert and spruce,
And melt a heart that else will break with grief. Thou'lt learn to sip the sparkling juice; And when (our short collation o’er) Some favourite volume I explore, Be't work of poet or of sage,
THE THANKSGIVING OFF CAPE TRA. Safe thou shalt hop across the page ;
FALGAR. Uncheck'd, shall flit o’er Virgil's groves, Upon the high, yet gently rolling wave, Or flutter 'mid Tibullus' loves.
The floating tomb that heaves above the brave, Thus, heedless of the raving blast,
Soft sighs the gale, that late tremendous roar'd, Thou'lt dwell with me till winter's past; Whelming the wretched remnants of the sword. And when the primrose tells 'tis spring, And now the cannon's peaceful thunder calls And when the thrush begins to sing,
The victor bands to mount their wooden walls, Soon as I hear the woodland song,
And from the ramparts, while their comrades fell, Freed, thou shalt join the vocal throng.
The mingled strain of joy and grief to swell:
Fast they ascend, from stem to stern they spread, Ah, no! full oft a boding horror flies
To think I still survived within his heart;
How gently I would lead him by the hand;
What lore I taught him, roaming wood and wild,
And how the man descended to the child; TWICE has the sun commenced his annual round, How well I loved with him, on Sabbath morn, Since first thy footsteps totter'd o'er the ground, To hear the anthem of the vocal thorn; Since first thy tongue was tuned to bless mine ear, To teach religion, unallied to strife, By faltering out the name to fathers dear.
And trace to him the way, the truth, the life. O! nature's language, with her looks combined, But far and farther still my view I bend, More precious far than periods thrice refined ! And now I see a child thy steps attend ;0! sportive looks of love, devoid of guile, To yonder churchyard wall thou takest thy way, I prize you more than beauty's magic smile: While round thee, pleased, thou seest the infant play; Yes, in that face, unconscious of its charm Then lifting him, while tears suffuse thine eyes, I gaze with bliss, unmingled with alarm.
Pointing, thou tell'st him, There thy grandsire lies.