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- With sudden spring as at the shout of war,
He flies ! and, turning in his flight, from far
Glares thro' the gloom like some portentous star!
Unseen, unheard! Hence, Minister of Ill!
Hence, 'tis not yet the hour! tho' come it will!
They that foretold—too soon shall they fulfil;
When forth they rush as with the torrent's sweep,
And deeds are done that make the Angels weep!
Hark, o'er the busy mead the shell proclaims
Triumphs, and masques, and high heroic games.
And now the old sit round; and now the young
Climb the green boughs, the murmuring doves among.
Who claims the prize, when winged feet contend;
When twanging bows the flaming arrows send? +
Who stands self-centred in the field of fame,
And, grappling, flings to earth a giant's frame?
Whilst all, with anxious hearts and eager eyes,
Bend as he bends, and, as he rises, rise!
And Cora's self, in pride of beauty here,
Trembles with grief and joy, and hope and fear!
(She who, the fairest, ever flew the first,
With cup of balm to quench his burning thirst;
Knelt at his head, her fan-leaf in her hand,
And hummed the air that pleased him, while she fanned)
How blest his lot!-tho', by the Muse unsung,
His name shall perish, when his knell is rung.
* P. Martyr, dec. iii. c. 7. + Rochefort. c. xx.
That night, transported, with a sigh I said “ 'Tis all a dream!"—Now, like a dream, 'tis fled; And many and many a year has passed away, And I alone remain to watch and pray! Yet oft in darkness, on my bed of straw, Oft I awake and think on what I saw! The groves, the birds, the youths, the nymphs recall, And Cora, loveliest, sweetest of them all!
Still would I speak of Him before I went,
Who among us a life of sorrow spent,
And, dying, left a world his monument;
Still, if the time allowed! My Hour draws near;
But He will prompt me when I faint with fear.
Alas, He hears me not! He cannot hear !
Twice the Moon filled her silver urn with light.
Then from the Throne an Angel winged his flight;
He, who unfixed the compass, and assigned
O'er the wild waves a pathway to the wind;
Who, while approached by none but Spirits pure,
Wrought, in his progress thro' the dread obscure,
Signs like the ethereal bow—that shall endure !
As he descended thro' the upper air,
Day broke on day as God Himself were there!
Before the great Discoverer, laid to rest,
He stood, and thus his secret soul addressed.
“ The wind recalls thee; its still voice obey.
Millions await thy coming; hence, away.
To thee blest tidings of great joy consigned,
Another Nature, and a new Mankind!
The vain to dream, the wise to doubt shall cease;
Young men be glad, and old depart in peace! *
Hence! tho' assembling in the fields of air,
Now, in a night of clouds, thy Foes prepare
To rock the globe with elemental wars,
And dash the floods of ocean to the stars;
To bid the meek repine, the valiant weep,
And Thee restore thy Secret to the Deep!
“ Not then to leave Thee! to their vengeance cast, Thy heart their aliment, their dire repast!
Thy sons reproached with their great father's fame,
And on his world inscribed another's name!
That world a prison-house, full of sights of woe,
Where groans burst forth, and tears in torrents flow!
These gardens of the sun, sacred to song,
By dogs of carnage, howling loud and long,
Swept—till the voyager, in the desert air,
Starts back to hear his altered accents there!
“ Not thine the olive, but the sword to bring,
Not peace, but war! Yet from these shores shall spring
Peace without end ;* from these, with blood defiled,
Spread the pure spirit of thy Master mild !
Here, in His train, shall arts and arms attend,
Arts to adorn, and arms but to defend.
Assembling here, all nations shall be blest;
The sad be comforted; the weary rest:
Untouched shall drop the fetters from the slave;
And He shall rule the world he died to save!
“ Hence, and rejoice. The glorious work is done. A spark is thrown that shall eclipse the sun! And, tho' bad men shall long thy course pursue, As erst the ravening brood der chaos flew, + He, whom I serve, shall vindicate his reign; The spoiler spoiled of all; the slayer slain ; The tyrant's self, oppressing and opprest, Mid gems and gold unenvied and unblest: * See Washington's farewell address to his fellow-citizens.
+ See Paradise Lost. X.