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Clouds of incense woo thy smile,
Scaly monarch of the Nile !* But ah! what myriads claim the bended knee! + Go, count the busy drops that swell the sea. Proud land! what eye can trace thy mystic lore, Locked up in characters as dark as night?I What eye those long, long labyrinths dare explore, To which the parted soul oft wings her flight;
Again to visit her cold cell of clay, Charmed with perennial sweets, and smiling at decay?
On yon hoar summit, mildly bright||
With purple ether's liquid light,
On dazzling bursts of heavenly fire;
say, what sounds my ear invade
• The Crocodile.
+ According to an ancient proverb, it was less difficult in Egypt to find a god than a man.
The Hieroglyphics. The Catacombs. || " The Persians," says Herodotus,“ have no temples, altars, or statoes. They sacrifice on the tops of the highest mountains." I. 131.
From Delphi's venerable shade?
Her figure swells ! she foams, she raves !
Streams of rapture roll along,
Silver notes ascend the skies:
Oh catch it, ere it dies !
Breathing a prophetic flame.
Mona, thy Druid-rites awake the dead!
Even whisper to the idle air;
Æn. VI. 46, &c.
Shivered by thy piercing glance,
Pointless falls the hero's lance. Thy magic bids the imperial eagle fly,* And blasts the laureate wreath of victory. Hark, the bard's soul inspires the vocal string ! At every pause dread Silence hovers o'er: While murky Night sails round on raven-wing, Deepening the tempest's howl, the torrent's roar;
Chased by the Morn from Snowdon's awful brow Where late she sate and scowled on the black wave
Lo, steel-clad War his
And mow thro' infancy and age ;
Veiling from the eye of day,
Penance dreams her life away; In cloistered solitude she sits and sighs, While from each shrine still, small responses rise.
* See Tacitus, 1. xiv. c. 29.
+ This remarkable event happened at the siege and sack of Jerusalem in the last year of the eleventh century. Matth. Paris, IV. 2.
Hear, with what heart-felt beat, the midnight bell Swings its slow summons thro' the hollow pile! The weak, wan votarist leaves her twilight-cell, To walk, with taper dim, the winding isle;
With choral chantings vainly to aspire Beyond this nether sphere, on Rapture's wing of fire.
Lord of each
the nerves can feel, Hence with the rack and reeking wheel. Faith lifts the soul above this little ball !
While gleams of glory open round,
Her heavenly form, with glowing hand,
Each fine feeling as it flows;
Pure as the mountain-snows :
Celestial transports round her play,
Shrinking from her glance in vain.
Her touch unlocks the day-spring from above, And lo! it visits man with beams of light and love.