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A vain illusion! (such as mocks the eyes
Of fearful men, when mountains round them rise
And once again that valiant company Right onward came, ploughing the Unknown Sea. Already borne beyond the range of thought, With Light divine, with Truth immortal fraught, From world to world their steady course they keep, Swift as the winds along the waters sweep,
'Mid the mute nations of the purple deep.
And see, the heavens bow down, the waters rise,
Moving in silent majesty, till Night
Descends, and shuts the vision from their sight.
An Assembly of Evil Spirits.
THO' changed my cloth of gold for amice gray-
And tho' my world be now a narrow cell,
Tho' now my head be bald, my feet be bare,
Oh I was there, one of that gallant crew,
And saw-and wondered whence his Power He drew,
Yet little thought, tho' by his side I stood,
Of his great Foes in earth and air and flood,
And the Night coming-and my Task not done!—
'Twas there that now, as wont in heaven to shine,
What time the song of death is in the breeze!
'Twas now in dismal pomp and order due, While the vast concave flashed with lightnings blue, On shining pavements of metallic ore,
That many an age the fusing sulphur bore,
They held high council. All was silence round, When, with a voice most sweet yet most profound,
A sovereign Spirit burst the gates of night,
And from his wings of gold shook drops of liquid light!
Chief of the ZEMI, whom the Isles obeyed,
"Prepare, again prepare,"
Thus o'er the soul the thrilling accents came,
He, on whose call afflicting thunders wait,
In vain the legions, emulous to save,
Hung in the tempest o'er the troubled main ; Turned each presumptuous prow that broke the wave, And dashed it on its shores again.
All is fulfilled! Behold, in close array,
What mighty banners stream in the bright track of day!
"No voice as erst shall in the desert rise;
Nor ancient, dread solemnities
With scorn of death the trembling tribes inspire.
He spoke; and all was silence, all was night! Each had already winged his formidable flight.
The Voyage continued.
"Aн, why look back, tho' all is left behind?
And you, ye birds, winging your passage home,
A human footstep on a desert shore!"
-Still, as beyond this mortal life impelled