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An Assembly of Evil Spirits.
world be now a narrow cell, (Renounced for ever all I loved so well) Tho' now my head be bald, my feet be bare, And scarce my knees sustain my book of prayer, 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, Then uninstructed.-But my sand is run, And the Night coming --- and my Task not done!-
'Twas in the deep, immeasurable cave Of ANDES, echoing to the Southern wave, Mid pillars of Basalt, the work of fire, That, giant-like, to upper day aspire, 'Twas there that now, as wont in heaven to shine, Forms of angelic mould and grace divine
Assembled. All, exiled the realms of rest,
Oh could I now-but how in mortal verse-
'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! MERION, commissioned with his host to sweep From age to age the melancholy deep! Chief of the Zemi, whom the Isles obeyed, By Ocean severed from a world of shade.
And triumph for despair.
Has willed it; and his will is fate!
Hung in the tempest o'er the troubled main ;
And dashed it on its shores again.
He spoke; and all was silence, all was night! Each had already winged his formidable flight.
The Voyage continued. " Ah, why look back, tho' all is left behind ? No sounds of life are stirring in the wind. And you, ye birds, winging your passage home, How blest ye are !-We know not where we roam. We go," they cried, “ go to return no more; Nor ours, alas, the transport to explore A human footstep on a desert shore!"
-Still, as beyond this mortal life impelled By some mysterious energy, He held His everlasting course. Still self-possessed, High on the deck He stood, disdaining rest; (His amber chain the only badge he bore, His mantle blue such as his fathers wore) Fathomed, with searching hand, the dark profound, And scattered hope and glad assurance round; Tho', like some strange portentous dream, the Past Still hovered, and the cloudless sky o'ercast.
At day-break might the Caravels * be seen, Chasing their shadows o'er the deep serene;
* Light vessels, formerly used by the Spaniards and Portuguese.
Their burnished prows lashed by the sparkling tide,