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OH! SNATCH'D AWAY IN BEAUTY'S
OH! snatch'd away in beauty's bloom,
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year;
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:
And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head, And feed deep thought with many a dream, And lingering pause and lightly tread:
Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead!
Away! we know that tears are vain,
That death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou-who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.
The triumphs of her chosen son,
The slaughters of his sword! The deeds he did, the fields he won, The freedom he restored!
Though thou art fall'n, while we are free Thou shalt not taste of death!
The generous blood that flow'd from thee Disdain'd to sink beneath :
Within our veins its currents be,
Thy spirit on our breath:
Thy name, our charging hosts along, Shall be the battle-word!
Thy fall, the theme of choral song
From virgin voices pour'd! To weep would do thy glory wrong; Thou shalt not be deplored.
SONG OF SAUL BEFORE HIS LAST
WARRIORS and chiefs! should the shaft or the sword
Pierce me in leading the host of the Lord,
Heed not the corse, though a king's, in your path:
Bury your steel in the bosoms of Gath!
Thou who art bearing my buckler and bow,
Should the soldiers of Saul look away from the foe,
Stretch me that moment in blood at thy feet!
Mine be the doom which they dared not to meet.
Farewell to others, but never we part,
Heir to my royalty, son of my heart!
Bright is the diadem, boundless the sway,
Or kingly the death, which awaits us to-day!
I SAW THEE WEEP.
I SAW thee weep-the big bright tear
Came o'er that eye of blue;
And then methought it did appear
A violet dropping dew;
I saw thee smile-the sapphire's blaze
Beside thee ceased to shine,
It could not match the living rays
That fill'd that glance of thine.
As clouds from yonder sun receive
A deep and mellow die,
Which scarce the shade of coming eve
Can banish from the sky,
Those smiles unto the moodiest mind
Their own pure joy impart; Their sunshine leaves a glow behind That lightens o'er the heart.
'THY DAYS ARE DONE. THY days are done, thy fame begun; The country's strains record
THOU whose spell can raise the dead,
Bid the prophet's form appear. "Samuel, raise thy buried head!
King, behold the phantom seer!"
Earth yawn'd; he stood the centre of a cloud:
Light changed its hue, retiring from his shroud:
Death stood all glassy in his fixed eye;
His hand was wither'd and his veins were dry;
His foot, in bony whiteness, glitter'd there,
Shrunken and sinewless, and ghastly bare:
From lips that moved not and unbreathing frame,
Like cavern'd winds, the hollow accents came.
Saul saw, and fell to earth, as falls the oak,
At once, and blasted by the thunder-stroke.
"Why is my sleep disquieted?
Who is be that calls the dead?
Is it thou, oh king? Behold,
Bloodless are these limbs, and cold:
Such are mine; and such shall be
Thine, to-morrow, when with me:
Ere the coming day is done,
Such shalt thou be, such thy son.
Fare thee well, but for a day;
Then we mix our mouldering clay.
Thou, thy race, lie pale and low,
I jerced by shafts of many a bow:
And the falchion by thy side
To thy heart, thy hand shall guide:
Crownless, breathless, headless fall,
Son and sire, the house of Saul!"
"ALL IS VANITY, SAITH THE PREACHER."
FAME, wisdom, love, and power were mine,
And health and youth possess'd me;
My goblets blush'd from every vine,
And lovely forms caress'd me;
I sunn'd my heart in beauty's eyes,
And felt my soul grow tender;
All earth can give, or mortal prize,
Was mine of regal splendour.
I strive to number o'er what days
Remembrance can discover,
Which all that life or earth displays
Would lure me to live over.
There rose no day, there roll'd no hour
Of pleasure unembitter'd ;
And not a trapping deck'd my power
That gall'd not while it glitter'd.
The serpent of the field, by art
And spells, is won from harming;
But that which coils around the heart,
Oh! who hath power of charining?
It will not list to wisdom's lore,
Nor music's voice can lure it;
But there it stings for evermore
The soul that must endure it.
WHEN COLDNESS WRAPS THIS SUFFERING CLAY.
WHEN coldness wraps this suffering clay,
Ah, whither strays the immortal mind?
It cannot die, it cannot stay,
But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
Then, unembodied, doth it trace
By steps each planet's heavenly way?
Or fill at once the realms of space,
A thing of eyes, that all survey?
Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,
A thought unseen, but seeing all,
All, all in earth, or skies display'd,
Shall it survey, shall it recall:
Each fainter trace that memory holds,
So darkly of departed years,
In one broad glance the soul beholds,
And all, that was, at once appears.
Before creation peopled earth,
Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
And where the furthest heaven had birth,
The spirit trace its rising track.
And where the future mars or makes,
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
While sun is quench'd or system breaks,
Fix'd in its own eternity.
Above or love, hope, haic, or fear,
It lives all passionless and pure:
An age shall fleet like earthly year;
Its years as moments shall endure. Away, away, without a wing,
O'er all, through all, its thoughts shall fly; A nameless and eternal thing, Forgetting what it was to die.
VISION OF BELSHAZZAR.
THE king was on his throne,
The satraps throng'd the hall;
A thousand bright lamps shone
O'er that high festival.
A thousand cups of gold,
In Judah deem'd divine-
Jehovah's vessels hold
The godless heathen's wine!
In that same hour and hall,
The fingers of a hand
Came forth against the wall,
And wrote as if on sand:
The fingers of a man;—
A solitary hand
Along the letters ran,
And traced them like a wand.
The monarch saw, and shook,
And bade no more rejoice; All bloodless wax'd his look,
And tremulous his voice. "Let the men of lore appear, The wisest of the earth, And expound the words of fear, Which mar our royal mirth."
Chaldea's seers are good,
But here they have no skill: And the unknown letters stood, Untold and awful still. And Babel's men of age
Are wise and deep in lore; But now they were not sage, They saw-but knew no more
A captive in the land,
A stranger and a youth, He heard the king's command, He saw that writing's truth. The lamps around were bright,
The prophecy in view; He read it on that night,
The morrow proved it true. "Belshazzar's grave is made, His kingdom pass'd away, He in the balance weigh'd, Is light and worthless clay. The shroud, his robe of state,
His canopy, the stone; The Mede is at his gate! The Persian on his throne!"
SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS SUN of the sleepless! melancholy star! Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
That show'st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
How like art thou to joy remember'd well!
So gleams the past, the light of other days,
On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed
Had reflected the last beam of day as it blazed;
While I stood on the height, and beheld the decline
Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays; Of the rays from the mountain that shone on thy shrine.
A night-beam sorrow watcheth to behold,
Distinct, but distant-clear-but, oh how cold!
WERE MY BOSOM AS FALSE AS THOU
DEEM'ST IT TO BE.
WERE my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be,
I need not have wander'd from far Galilee;
It was but abjuring my creed to efface
The curse which, thou say'st, is the crime of my race.
If the bad never triumph, then God is with thee!
If the slave only sin, thou art spotless and free!
If the exile on earth is an outcast on high,
Live on in thy faith, but in mine I will die.
I have lost for that faith more than thou canst bestow,
As the God who permits thee to prosper
In his hand is my heart and my hope-and in thine
The land and the life which for him I resign.
HEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE.
OH, Mariamne! now for thee
The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding;
Revenge is lost in agony,
And wild remorse to rage succeeding.
Oh, Mariamne! where art thou?
Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading:
Ah, couldst thou-thou wouldst pardon now,
Though Heaven were to my prayer unheeding.
And is she dead?-and did they dare
Obey my frenzy's jealous raving? My wrath but doom'd my own despair:
The sword that smote her 's o'er me waving.But thou art cold, my murder'd love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving For her who soars alone above,
And leaves my soul unworthy saving.
She's gone, who shared my diadem!
She sunk, with her my joys entombing;
I swept that flower from Judah's stem
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming.
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,
This bosom's desolation dooming;
And I have earn'd those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming!
And now on that mountain I stood on that day,
But I mark'd not the twilight beam melting away;
Oh! would that the lightning had glared in its stead,
And the thunderbolt burst on the conqueror's head!
But the gods of the Pagan shall never profane
The shrine where Jehovah disdain'd not to reign;
And scatter'd and scorn'd as thy people may be,
Our worship, oh Father! is only for thee.
BY THE RIVERS OF BABYLON WE SAT
DOWN AND WEPT.
We sat down and wept by the waters
Of Babel, and thought of the day
When our foe, in the hue of his slaughters,
Made Salem's high places his prey;
And ye, oh her desolate daughters!
Were scatter'd all weeping away.
While sadly we gazed on the river
Which roll'd on in freedom below,
They demanded the song; but, oh never
That triumph the stranger shall know!
May this right hand be wither'd for ever,
Ere it string our high harp for the foe!
On the willow that harp is suspended,-
Oh Salem! its sound should be free;
And the hour when thy glories were ended,
But left me that token of thee:
And ne'er shall its soft tones be blended
With the voice of the spoiler by me!
THE DESTRUCTION OF SENNACHERIB.
THE Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen:
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown,
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown.
For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And breathed in the face of the foe as he pass'd;
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
But through it there roll'd not the breath of his pride:
ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF And the foam of his gasping lay white on the turf,
JERUSALEM BY TITUS.
FROM the last hill that looks on thy once holy dome
I beheld thee, oh Sion! when render'd to Rome:
"T was thy last sun went down, and the flames of thy fall
Flash'd back on the last glance I gave to thy wall.
I look'd for thy temple, I look'd for my home,
And forgot for a moment my bondage to come;
I beheld but the death-fire that fed on thy fane,
And the fast-fetter'd hands that made vengeance in vain.
And cold as the spray of the rock-beating surf.
And there lay the rider distorted and pale,
With the dew on his brow and the rust on his mail;
And the tents were all silent, the banners alone,
The lances unlifted, the trumpet unblown.
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like snow in the glance of the Lord!
A SPIRIT pass'd before me: I beheld
The face of immortality unveil'd—
Deep sleep came down on every eye save mine-
And there it stood,—all formless-but divine:
Along my bones the creeping flesh did quake;
And as my damp hair stiffen'd, thus it spake :
"Is man more just than God? Is man more pure Than he who deems even seraphs insecure?
| Creatures of clay-vain dwellers in the dust!
The moth survives you, and are ye more just?
Things of a day! you wither ere the night,
Heedless and blind to wisdom's wasted light!"
"Expende Annibalem:-quot libras in duce summo Invenies?" JUVENAL, Sat. X.
"The Emperor Nepos was acknowledged by the Senate, by the Italians, and by the provincials of Gaul; his moral virtues and military talents were loudly celebrated; and those who derived any private benefit from his government anBounced in prophetic strains the restoration of public felicity.
By this shameful abdication, he protracted his life a few years, in a very ambiguous state, between an emperor and an exile, till
GIBBON'S Decline and Fall, vol. vi. p. 220.
ODE TO NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE.
"Tis done-but yesterday a king!
And arm'd with kings to strive-
And now thou art a nameless thing,
So abject-yet alive!
Is this the man of thousand thrones,
Who strew'd our earth with hostile bones?
And can he thus survive?
Since he, miscall'd the morning star,
Nor man nor fiend hath fallen so far.
Ill-minded man! why scourge thy kind,
Who bow'd so low the knee?
By gazing on thyself grown blind,
Thou taught'st the rest to see.
With might unquestion'd,-power to saveThine only gift hath been the grave
To those that worshipp'd thee; Nor, till thy fall, could mortals guess Ambition's less than littleness!
Thanks for that lesson-it will teach
To after-warriors more
Than high philosophy can preach,
And vainly preach'd before.
That spell upon the minds of men
Breaks never to unite again,
That led them to adore
Those pagod things of sabre-sway,
With fronts of brass, and feet of clay.
The triumph and the vanity,
The rapture of the strife-1
The earthquake shout of Victory,
To thee the breath of life;
The sword, the sceptre, and that sway
Which man seem'd made but to obey,
Wherewith renown was rife-
All quell'd!-Dark spirit! what must be
The madness of thy memory!
The desolator desolate!
The victor overthrown! The arbiter of others' fate
A suppliant for his own!
Is it some yet imperial hope
That with such change can calmly cope?
Or dread of death alone?
To die a prince-or live a slave-
Thy choice is most ignobly brave!
He who of old would rend the oak
Dream'd not of the rebound;
Chain'd by the trunk he vainly broke,-
Alone-how look'd he round?-
Thou, in the sternness of thy strength,
An equal deed hast done at length,
And darker fate hast found:
He fell, the forest-prowlers' prey;
Bat thou must eat thy heart away!
The Roman, when his burning heart
Was slaked with blood of Rome,
Threw down the dagger-dared depart,
In savage grandeur, home.
He dared depart, in utter scorn
Of men that such a yoke had borne,
Yet left him such a doom!
His only glory was that hour
Of self-upheld abandon'd power.
The Spaniard, when the lust of swag
Had lost its quickening spell,
Cast crowns for rosaries away,
An empire for a cell;
A strict accountant of his beads,
A subtle disputant on creeds,
His dotage trifled well:
1 Certaminis gaudia, the expression of Attila, in his n rangue to his army, previous to the battle of Chalons, gives in Cassiodorus.
4 Charles V
Yet better had he never known
A bigot's shrine, nor despot's throne.
But thou-from thy reluctant hand The thunderbolt is wrung
Too late thou leavest the high command
To which thy weakness clung;
All evil spirit as thou art,
It is enough to grieve the heart,
To see thine own unstrung;
To think that God's fair world hath been
The footstool of a thing so mean;
And earth hath spilt her blood for him,
Who thus can hoard his own!
And monarchs bow'd the trembling limb,
And thank'd him for a throne!
Fair freedom! we may hold thee dear,
When thus thy mightiest foes their fear
In humblest guise have shown.
Oh! ne'er may tyrant leave behind
A brighter name to lure mankind!
Thine evil deeds are writ in gore,
Nor written thus in vain-
Thy triumphs tell of fame no more,
Or deepen every stain.
If thou hadst died as honour dies,
Some new Napoleon might arise,
To shame the worlu gain-
But who would soar the solar height,
To set in such a starless night?
Weigh'd in the balance, hero dust
Is vile as vulgar clay;
Thy scales, mortality! are just
To all that pass away;
But yet, methought, the living great
Some higher sparks should animate
To dazzle and dismay;
Nor deem'd contempt could thus make mirth
Of these, the conquerors of the earth.
And she, proud Austria's mournful flower,
Thy still imperial bride;
How bears her breast the torturing hour?
Still clings she to thy side?
Must she too bend, must she too share
Thy late repentance, long despair,
Thou throneless homicide?
If still she loves thee, hoard that gem, "Tis worth thy vanish'd diadem!
Then haste thee to thy sullen isle,
And gaze upon the sea;
That element may meet thy smile,
It ne'er was ruled by thee!
Or trace with thine all idle hand,
In loitering mood, upon the sand,
That earth is now as free!
That Corinth's pedagogue hath now
Transferr'd his by-word to thy brow.
Thou Timor! in his captive's cagel
What thoughts will there be thine,
While brooding in thy prison'd rage?
Bu one-"The world was mine:"
The cage of Bajazet, by order of Tamerlane.
Unless, like he of Babylon,
All sense is with thy sceptre gone,
Life will not long confine
That spirit pour'd so widely forth-
So long obey'd-so little worth!
Or like the thief of fire from heaven,
Wilt thou withstand the shock?
And share with him, the unforgiven,
His vulture and his rock?
Foredoom'd by God-by man accurst,
And that last act, though not thy worst,
The very fiend's arch mock ;2
He in his fall preserved his pride,
And, if a mortal, had as proudly died!
DEATH OF THE RIGHT HON. R. B. SHERIDAN
SPOKEN AT DRURY-LANE THEATRE.
WHEN the last sunshine of expiring day
In summer's twilight weeps itself away.
Who hath not felt the softness of the hour
Sink on the heart, as dew along the flower?
With a pure feeling which absorbs and awes
While Nature makes that melancholy pause,
Her breathing moment on the bridge where Time
Of light and darkness forms an arch sublime,
Who hath not shared that calm so still and deep,
The voiceless thought which would not speak but weep
A holy concord--and a bright regret,
A glorious sympathy with suns that set?
'Tis not harsh sorrow-but a tenderer woe,
Nameless, but dear to gentle hearts below,
Felt without bitterness-but full and clear,
A sweet dejection-a transparent tear,
Unmix'd with worldly grief or selfish stain,
Shed without shanie-and secret without pain.
Even as the tenderness that hour instils
When summer's day declines along the hills,
So feels the fulness of our heart and eyes
When all of genius which can perish dies.
A mighty spirit is eclipsed-a power
Hath pass'd from day to darkness-to whose hour
Of light no likeness is bequeath'd-no name,
Focus at once of all the rays of fame!
The flash of wit-the bright intelligence,
The beam of song-the blaze of eloquence,
Set with their sun-but still have left behind
The enduring produce of immortal Mind;
Fruits of a genial morn, and glorious noon,
A deathless part of him who died too soon.
But small that portion of the wondrous whole,
These sparkling segments of that circling soul,
Which all embraced-and lighten'd over all,
To cheer-to pierce-to please--or to appal.
From the charm'd council to the festive board,
Of human feelings the unbounded lord;
In whose acclaim the loftiest voices vied,
The praised, the proud, who made his praise their pride.
2 "The fiend's arch mock-
To lip a wanton, and suppose her chaste."