« PreviousContinue »
On each would equal love the best confer,
On deck, in groups embracing as they died, Each by distinct affection dear to her;
Singly, erect, or slumbering side by side, One the first pledge that to her spouse she gave Behold the crew!—They sail'd, with hope elate, And one unborn till he was in his grave;
For eastern Greenland ; till, ensnared by fate, This was his darling, that to her most kind; In toils that mock'd their utmost strength and skill, A fifth was once a twin, the sixth is blind :
They felt, as by a charm, their ship stand still; In each she lives ;-in each by turns she dies; The madness of the wildest gale that blows, Smitten by pestilence before her eyes,
Were mercy to that shudder of repose, Three days and all are slain ;-the heaviest doom When withering horror struck from heart to heart, Is hers, their ice-barr'd cottage is their tomb. The blunt rebound of Death's benumbing dart, - The wretch, whose limbs are impotent with cold, And each, a petrifaction at his post, In the warm comfort of a mantle rollid,
Looked on yon father, and gave up the ghost;' Lies down to slumber on his soul's desire ; He, meekly kneeling, with his hands upraised, But wakes at morn, as wrapt in flames of fire, His beard of driven snow, eyes fix'd and glazed, Not Hercules, when from his breast he tore Alone among the dead shall yet survive, The cloak envenom'd with the Centaur's gore, — Th’imperishable dead that seem alive; Felt sharper pangs than he, who, mad with rage, _Th' immortal dead, whose spirits, breaking free, Dives in the gulf, or rolls in snow, t' assuage Bore his last words into eternity, His quenchless agony; the rankling dart
While with a seraph's zeal, a Christian's love, Within him burns till it consumes his heart. Till his tongue fail'd, he spoke of joys above. From vale lo vale th' affrighted victims fly, Now motionless, amidst the icy air, But catch or give the plague with every sigh; He breathes from marble lips unutter'd prayer. A touch contaminates the porest veins,
The clouds condensed, with dark, unbroken hue Till the Black Death through all the region reigns.' Of stormy purple, overhang his view,
Save in the west, 10 which he strains his sight, Comes there no ship again to Greenland's shore? Till thence th' emerging sun, with lightning blaze,
One golden streak, that grows intensely bright, There comes another :-there shall come no more ;
Pours the whole quiver of his arrowy rays ; Nor this shall reach an haven :- What are these
The smitten rocks to instant diamond turn, Stupendous monuments upon the seas?
And round th' expiring saint such visions burn, Works of Omnipotence, in wondrous forms,
As if the gates of Paradise were thrown Immovable as mountains in the storms?
Wide open to receive his soul ; 't is flown! Far as Imagination's eye can roll,
The glory vanishes, and over all
Cimmerian darkness spreads her funeral pall.
Morn shall return, and noon, and eve, and night
But from this bark no timber shall decay, Thence from its neck that winter-yoke to rend, Of these cold forms no feature pass away ; And down the gulf the crashing fragments send.
Perennial ice around th' incrusted bow There lies a vessel in this realm of frost,
The peopled deck, and full-rigg'd masts shall grow, Not wrecked, nor stranded, yet for ever lost; Till from the sun himself the whole be hid, Its keel imbedded in the solid mass ;
Or spied beneath a crystal pyramid; Its glistening sails appear expanded glass ;
As in pure amber, with divergent lines, The transverse ropes with pearls enormous strung, A rugged shell emboss'd with sea-weed shines. The yards with icicles grotesquely hung.
From age to age increased with annual snow, Wrapt in the topmost shrouds there rests a boy, This new Mont Blanc among the clouds may glow, His old sea-faring father's only joy ;
Whose conic peak, that earliest greets the dawn, Sprung from a race of rovers, ocean-born,
And latest from the sun's shut eye withdrawn, Nursed at the helm, he trod dry-land with scorn; Shall from the zenith, through incumbent gloom, Through fourscore years from port to port he veer'd, Burn like a lamp upon this naval tomb. Quicksand, nor rock, nor foe, nor tempest fear'd; But when th' archangel's trumpet sounds on high, Now cast ashore, though like a bulk he lie,
The pile shall burst to atoms through the sky,
And leave its dead, upstarting, at the call,
Once more to Greenland's long-forsaken beach,
1 The Danish Chronicle says, that the Greenland colonists Congeal'd to adamant his frame shall last,
were tributary to the kings of Norway from the year 1023 ; soon Though empires change, till time and tide be past
after which they embraced Christianity. In its more flourishing period this province is stated to have been divided into a hundred parishes, under the superintendence of a bishop. From
1120 to 1409, the succession of seventeen bishops is recorded. 1 The depopulation of old Greenland is supposed to have been in the last-mentioned year, Andrew, ordained bishop of Greengreatly accelerated by the introduction of the plague, which, land by Askill, archbishop of Dront heim, sailed for his diocese, under the name of the Black Death, mare dreadiul havoc but whether he arrived there, or was cast away, was never throughout Europe towards the close of the fourteenth century. known. To his imagined fate this episode alludes.
Imagination wings her fight, explores
Meanwhile his partner waits, her heart at rest The march of Pestilence along the shores,
No burthen but her infant on her breast : And sees how Famine in his steps hath paced, With him she slumbers, or with him she plays, While Winter laid the soil for ever waste.
And tells him all her dreams of future days, Dwellings are heaps of fall’n or falling stones, Asks him a thousand questions, feigns replies, The charnel-houses of unburied bones,
And reads whate'er she wishes in his eyes. On which obscene and prowling monsters fed, -Red evening comes; no husband's shadow falls But with the ravin in their jaws fell dead.
Where fell the reindeer's o'er the latticed walls : Thus while Destruction, blasting youth and age, "T is night; no footstep sounds towards her door; Raged till it wanted victims for its rage ;
The day returns,—but he returns no more. Love, the last feeling that from life retires, In frenzy forth she sallies; and with cries, Blew the faint sparks of his unfuellid fires. To which no voice except her own replies In the cold sunshine of yon narrow dell
In frightful echoes, starting all around, Affection lingers ;—there two lovers dwell, Where human voice again shall never sound, Greenland's whole family; nor long forlorn, She seeks him, finds him not; some angel-guide There comes a visitant; a babe is born.
In mercy turns her from the corpse aside; O'er his meek helplessness the parents smiled ; Perhaps his own freed spirit, lingering near, "T was Hope-for Hope is every mother's child; Who waits to wast her to a happier sphere, Then seem'd they, in that world of solitude, But leads her first, at evening, to their cot, The Eve and Adam of a race renew'd.
Where lies the little one, all day forgot ; Brief happiness! too perilous to last ;
Imparadised in sleep she finds him there,
At length it breaks, while on her lap he lies,
Not long thy sutferings; cold and colder grown, Assailants each, till each the other slew;
The arms that clasp thee chill thy limbs to stone. Mingling their blood from mutual wounds, they lay -"T is done :—from Greenland's coast, the latest sigh Stretch'd on the carcass of their aniler'd prey. Bore infant innocence beyond the sky.
Songs of Zion.
| be found that he has added a little to the small na PREFACE.
tional stock of“ psalms and hymns, and spiritual songs," in which piety speaks the language of poetry, and poetry the language of inspiration, he trusts that he
will be humbly contented, and unfeignedly thankful. In the following Imitations of portions of the true SHEFFIELD, May 21, 1822. “ Songs of Zion," the author pretends not to have succeeded better than any that have gone before him; but, having followed in the track of none, he would
PSALM I. venture to hope, that, by avoiding the rugged literality of some, and the diffusive paraphrases of others, Turice happy he, who shuns the way he may, in a few instances, have approached nearer That leads ungodly men astray; than either of them have generally done, to the ideal Who fears to stand where sinners meet, model of what devotional poems, in a modern tongue, Nor with the scorner takes his seat. grounded upon the subjects of ancient psalms, yet suiled for Christian edification, ought to be. Beyond The law of God is his delight; this he dare not say more than that, whatever symp- That cloud by day, that fire by night, toms of feebleness or bad taste may be betrayed in Shall be his comfort in distress, the execution of these pieces, he offers not to the And guide him through the wilderness pubiic the premature fruits of idleness or haste. So far as he recollects, he has endeavored 10 do his best, His works shall prosper ;-he shall be and, in doing so, he has never hesitated to sacrifice A fruitful, fair, unwithering tree, ambitious ornament to simplicity, clearness, and force That, planted where the river flows, of thought and expression. If in the event, it shall Nor drought nor frost, nor mildew knows.
Not so the wicked ;-they are cast
Thy name on earth is known!
How wonderfully shown!
Thy praises are confest
And sucklings at the breast.
The work of thy right hand ; The moon and stars amid the sky,
Thy lights in every land :-
On him to set thy love,
Then fill a throne above ?
“There is no help in God for thee :" Lord, lift thou up thy servant's head,
My glory, shield, and solace be. Thus to the Lord I raised my cry:
He heard me from his holy hill; At his command the waves rollid by
He beckon'd, and the winds were still.
O Lord, how excellent thy name!
How manifold thy ways! Let Time thy saving truth proclaim,
Eternity thy praise.
I laid me down and slept :-I woke
Thou, Lord, my spirit didst sustain; Bright from the east the morning broke,
Thy comforts rose on me again.
Compass my steps, in all their wrath; Salvation to the Lord belongs,
His presence guards his people's path.
PSALM XI. The Lord is in his holy place
And from his throne on high He looks upon the human race
With omnipresent eye. He proves the righteous, marks their path;
In Him the weak are strong ; But violence provokes his wrath,
The Lord abhorreth wrong.
The servant of the Lord despise,
And trust in refuges of lies ?
The godly man in every age :
His people are his heritage.
Commune with your own heart; be still ; The Lord requireth truth within,
The sacrifice of mind and will.
God on the wicked will rain down
Brimstone, and fire, and snares ; The gloom and tempest of his frown
-This portion shall be theirs.
The righteous Lord will take delight
Alone in righteousness;
The humble He will bless.
Ah! who will show the way to bliss ? Lord, lift on us thy saving light
We seek no other guide than this. Gladness thy sacred presence brings,
More than the joyful reaper knows; Or he who treads the grapes, and sings,
While with new wine his vat o'erflows. In peace I lay me down to sleep;
Thine arm, O Lord, shall stay my head; Thine angel spread his tent, and keep
His midnight watch around my bed.
No. 1. Tay glory, Lord, the heavens declare,
The firmament displays thy skill; The changing clouds, the viewless air,
Tempest and calm, thy word fulfil; Day unto day doth utter speech, And night to night thy knowledge teach
Though voice nor sound inform the ear,
Well-known the language of their song, When one by one the stars appear,
Led by the silent moon along,
Let goodness and mercy, my bountiful God,
Sull follow my steps ull I meet thee above; I seek,—by the path which my forefathers trod Through the land of their sojourn,—thy kingdom
Waked by thy touch, the morning sun
Comes like a bridegroom from his bower, And, like a giant, glad to run
His bright career with speed and power; -Thy flaming messenger, to dart Life through the depth of Nature's heart. While these transporting visions shine
A long the path of Providence, Glory elernal, joy divine,
Thy word reveals, transcending sense ; -My soul thy goodness longs to see, Thy love to man, thy love to me.
Its peopled realms and wealthy stores ; Built on the flood, by power divine,
The waves are ramparts to the shores. But who shall reach thine holy place,
Or who, O Lord, ascend thine hill? The pure in heart shall see thy face,
The perfect man that doth thy will.
To idols never bent the knee,
Redeemd, and own'd, and kept by Thee
Thy testimonies sure,
And thy commandments pure. Holy, inviolate thy fear,
Enduring as thy throne; Thy judgments, chastening or severe,
Justice and truth alone.
More prized than gold,—than gold whose waste
Refining fire expels ;
Than honey from the cells.
And make thy servant wise ;
The day-spring to mine eyes.
Who knows the guile within ?
Cleanse me from secret sin.
The thoughts that throng my mind,
With thee acceptance find.
Your everlasting doors display;
And give the King of Glory way Who is the King of Glory?-He
The Lord Omnipotent to save, Whose own right-arm in victory
Led captive Death, and spoil'd the grave Lift up your heads, ye gates, and high
Your everlasting portals heave; Welcome the King of Glory nigh
Him let the heaven of heavens receive. Who is the King of Glory?—who?
The Lord of Hosts—behold his name: The kingdom, power and honor due
Yield him, ye saints, with glad acclaim.
PSALM XXIII. The Lord is my shepherd, no want shall I know;
I feed in green pastures, safe-folded I rest : He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow, Restures me when wandering, redeems when op
Through the valley and shadow of death though Istray,
Since thou art my guardian, no evil I fear; Tlıy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay,
No harm can befall, with my Comforter near. In the midst of affliction my table is spread;
With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er, With perfume and oil thou anointest my head ;
O what shall I ask of ihy providence more?
What foe have I to fear?
My light, my help, is near: Though hosts encamp around me,
Firm to the fight I stand ; What terror can confound me,
With God at my right hand ? Place on the Lord reliance,
My soul, with courage wait , His truth be thine affiance, When faint and desolate :
His might thine heart shall strengthen,
His love thy joy increase ; Mercy thy days shall lengthen
The Lord will give thee peace.
The voice of the Lord through the calm of the wood
Awakens its echoes, strikes light through its caves, The Lord sitteth King on the turbulent flood;
The winds are his servants, his servants the waves.
The Lord is the strength of his people; the Lord
Gives health to his people, and peace evermore ; Then throng to his temple, his glory record,
But, Oh! when he speaketh, in silence adore
YEA, I will extol Thee,
Lord of life and light, For thine arm upheld me,
Turn'd my foes lo flight: I implored thy succor,
Thou wert swift to save; Heal my wounded spirit,
Bring me from the grave.
One thing, with all my soul's desire,
I sought and will pursue ;
Lord, for thy servant do.
Among thy saints a seat,
And worship at thy feet : In thy pavilion to abide
When storms of trouble blow, And in thy tabernacle hide,
Secure from every foe. " Seek ye my face;"—without delay,
When thus I hear Thee speak, My heart would leap for joy, and say,
“ Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” Then leave me not when griefs assail,
And earthly comforts flee;
My God, remember me.
of every hope my hold,
Thy benefits of old.
My soul, disdain to fear;
And thy redemption near.
Sing, ye saints, sing praises,
Call his love to mind, For a moment angry,
But for ever kind; Grief may, like a pilgrim,
Through the night sojourn, Yet shall joy to-morrow
With the sun return.
In my wealth I vaunted,
“ Nought shall move me hence;' Thou hadst made my mountain
Strong in my defence: -Then thy face was hidden,
Trouble laid me low, “Lord," I cried most humbly,
" Why forsake me so ?
« Would my blood appease Theo,
In atonement shed ?
Praise employ the dead ?
God, my helper, hear:” -Long Thou didst not tarry,
Help and health were near.
Ye noble, ye mighly, with joyful accord;
In the beauty of holiness worship the Lord.
The God of eternity thundereth abroad ; The voice of the Lord, from the depth of his throne,
Is terror and power :-all nature is awed.
Thou hast turn'd my mourning
Set from thraldom free:
Henceforth shall adore,– Thee, my great Deliverer,
Bless for evermore.
At the voice of the Lord the cedars are bow'd,
And towers from their base into ruin are hurl'd; The voice of the Lord, from the dark-bosom'd cloud,
Dissevers the lightning in flames o'er the world.
wee Lebanon bound, like the kid on his rocks,
And wild as the unicorn Sirion appear; The wilderness quakes with the resonant shocks; The hinds cast their young in the travail of sear.
PSALM XXXIX. Lord, let me know mine end,
My days, how brief their date, That I may timely comprehend How frail my best estate