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From clime to clime the wanderer loved to roam, The waves his heritage, the world his home.
Then first Columbus, with the mighty hand
Far from the western cliffs he cast his eye
“Ah! on this sea of glory might I sail, Track the bright sun, and pierce
the eternal veil That hides those lands, beneath Hesperian skies, Where daylight sojourns till our morrow rise !"
Thoughtful he wander'd on the beach alone; Mild o'er the deep the vesper planet shone, The eye of evening, brightening through the west Till the sweet moment when it shut to rest : “Whither, oh golden Venus ! art thou fled ? Not in the ocean-chambers lies thy bed ; Round the dim world thy glittering chariot drawn, Pursues the twilight or precedes the dawn ; Thy beauty noon and midnight never see, The morn and eve divide the year with thee.”
Soft fell the shades, till Cynthia's slender bow Crested the farthest wave, then sunk below :
“ Tell me, resplendent guardian of the night,
Now earth and ocean vanish’d, all serene
There is a land, of every land the pride, Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside ; Where brighter suns dispense serener light, And milder moons emparadise the night; A land of beauty, virtue, valour, truth, Time-tutor'd age, and love-exalted youth ; The wandering mariner, whose eye explores The wealthiest isles, the most enchanting shores, Views not a realm so beautiful and fair, Nor breathes the spirit of a purer air; In every clime the magnet of his soul, Touch'd by remembrance, trembles to that pole ; For in this land of Heaven's peculiar grace, The heritage of Nature's noblest race, There is a spot of earth supremely bless'd, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest,
Where man, creation's tyrant, casts aside
There is a calm for those who weep,
Low in the ground.
That shuts the rose.
From all my toil.
Take home thy child.
Hark! a strange sound affrights mine ear:
“I am the GRAVE!"
6 The Grave, that never spake before, Hath found at length a tongue to chide : Oh, listen! I will speak no more :
Be silent, Pride !
“ Art thou a WRETCH of hope forlorn,
By fell despair ?
“ Do foul misdeeds of former times Wring with remorse thy guilty breast? And ghosts of unforgiven crimes
Murder thy rest ?
“ Lash'd by the furies of the mind, From Wrath and Vengeance wouldst thou flee? Ah! think not, hope not, fool, to find
A friend in me,
“By all the terrors of the tomb, Beyond the power of tongue to tell ; By the dread secrets of my womb;
By Death and Hell;
“I charge thee Live! repent and pray,
And sin no more.
“ Art thou a MOURNER? Hast thou known
And tranquil nights ?
- Oh LIVE! and deeply cherish still
For peace at last.
“ Though long of winds and waves the sport, Condemn'd in wretchedness to roam, Live! thou shalt reach a sheltering port,
A quiet home. “ To Friendship didst thou trust thy fame, And was thy friend a deadly foe, Who stole into thy breast to aim
A surer blow?
“ Live! and repine not o'er his loss,
For friendship's gold.
With heavenly balm.
And sold thy love?
But kills the heart.