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IN joyous youth, what soul hath never known Thought, feeling, taste, harmonious to its own? Who hath not paus'd, while Beauty's pensive eye Ask'd from his heart the homage of a sigh? Who hath not own'd, with rapture-smitten frame, The power of grace, the magic of a name?
There be, perhaps, who barren hearts avow, Cold as the rocks on Torneo's hoary brow; There be, whose loveless wisdom never fail'd, In self-adoring pride securely mail'd ;But, triumph not, ye peace-enamour'd few! Fire, Nature, Genius, never dwelt with you! For you no fancy consecrates the scene Where rapture utter'd vows, and wept between ; 'Tis yours, unmov'd, to sever and to meet; No pledge is sacred, and no home is sweet!
Who that would ask a heart to dulness wed,
Till Hymen brought his love-delighted hour,
And still the stranger wist not where to stray,-
OH! lives there, Heav'n! beneath thy dread expanse, One hopeless, dark Idolater of Chance, Content to feed, with pleasures unrefin'd, The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind; Who, mould'ring earthward, reft of every trust, In joyless union wedded to the dust, Could all his parting energy dismiss, And call this barren world sufficient bliss?-There live, alas! of Heav'n-directed mien, Of cultur'd soul, and sapient eye serene, Who hail thee, Man! the pilgrim of a day, Spouse of the worm, and brother of the clay! Frail as the leaf in Autumn's yellow bower, Dust in the wind, or dew upon the flower! A friendless slave, a child without a sire, Whose mortal life, and momentary fire, Lights to the grave his chance-created form, As ocean-wrecks illuminate the storm; And, when the gun's tremendous flash is o'er, To Night and silence sink for ever more!—
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim, Lights of the world, and demi-gods of Fame? Is this your triumph-this your proud applause, Children of Truth, and champions of her cause? For this hath Science search'd, on weary wing, By shore and sea-each mute and living thing? Lanch'd with Iberia's pilot from the steep, To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep? Or round the cope her living chariot driv❜n, And wheel'd in triumph through the signs of Heav'n? Oh! star-ey'd Science, hast thou wander'd there, To waft us home the message of despair? Then bind the palm, thy sage's brow to suit, Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit! Ah me! the laurel'd wreath that murder rears, Blood-nurs'd, and water'd by the widow's tears, Seems not so foul, so tainted, and so dread, As waves the night-shade round the sceptic head. What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain? I smile on death, if Heav'n-ward Hope remain! But, if the warring winds of Nature's strife Be all the faithless charter of my life,
If Chance awak'd, inexorable pow'r!
Cease every joy to glimmer on my mind,
Her musing mood shall every pang appease,
Eternal Hope! when yonder spheres sublime Peal'd their first notes to sound the march of Time, Thy joyous youth began-but not to fade.When all the sister planets have decay'd; When wrapt in fire the realms of ether glow, And Heaven's last thunder shakes the world below; Thou, undismay'd, shalt o'er the ruins smile, And light thy torch at Nature's funeral pile!
THE ROSE OF THE WILDERNESS.
AT the silence of twilight's contemplative hour,
On the wind-shaken weeds that embosom the bower,
And lonely the dark raven's sheltering tree; And travell'd by few is the grass-cover'd road, Where the hunter of deer and the warrior trode To his hills that encircle the sea.
Yet wandering, I found on my ruinous walk,
Sweet bud of the wilderness! emblem of all
The fabric of bliss to its centre may fall;
But patience shall never depart!
Through the wilds of enchantment, all vernal and bright,
With the vanishing phantoms of love and delight,
Be hush'd, my dark spirit! for wisdom condemns
Be strong as the rock of the ocean that stems
Though the perils of chance, and the scowl of disdain,
May thy front be unaltered, thy courage elate; Yea! even the name I have worshipped in vain Shall awake not the sigh of remembrance again; To bear is to conquer our fate.
THE LAST MAN.
ALL worldly shapes shall melt in gloom, The Sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
I saw a vision in my sleep,
The Sun's eye had a sickly glare,
Some had expired in fight,—the brands
Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
Saying, We are twins in death, proud Sun,
For thou ten thousand thousand years
What though beneath thee man put forth
Yet mourn not I thy parted sway,