Page images
PDF
EPUB

wer

VI.
Our human hopes, our human fears,
1 In Thee and Thine have birth;
And, by their varied smiles and tears,

Evince Thy present worth;-
In truth, 'tis Thy engrossing “ Now"
Which gives to ev'ry thoughtless brow

Its fickle gloom, or mirth :-
All Sense can feel, or hear, or see,
While Sense endures,-is found in Thee.

VII. What is the haughtiest Despot's power

Contrasted with Thine own?
He sways his sceptre of an hour,

And fills his transient throne:-
Thou sweep'st the empty pageant by;
A moment-and to mortal eye

His place no more is known! And one brief line records his Lot “ He was !--and now. on Earth is NOT !"

VIII.
The works of Man confess, by turns,

Thy mute, resistless sway;
Tow’rs, temples, pyramids, and urns,

Before Thy touch decay :-
At Man's command they rose on Earth ;
Awhile they tell who gave them birth;

Then mingle with his clay!
And vague Tradition, in despair,
Can but conjecture what they were.

[ocr errors]

IX.
Nor less is Nature's every grace,-

Romantic, grand, and rude,
· As thqu pursuest thy forward race,

By Thee destroyed, -renewed :-
Leaves bud, and fade; flowers bloom, and die
Suns rise, and set ;-by stars on high

Their courses are pursued :-
All seem, indeed, the same to be,
Yet find incessant change in Thee.

X.
Even the vast and wondrous Deep,

Where Navies come and go,
Which, whether lulled in dreamless sleep,

Or foaming to and fro,-
Appears just what it was of yore ;-
This, too, is changing evermore,

With every ebb, and flow;
And, seeming to defy Thy power,
In essence varies every hour.

XI. But what avails it to recal,

Or dwell on truths so trite ? · Vicissitude awaits on all,

As day succeeds to night;
And nothing in Creation's range
· Escapes thy transmutations strange,
. Or robs Thee of thy right:-

Whilst Thou, with cold, unaltered mien,
Remain'st-what Thou hast ever been.

XII.
This annual offering at thy Shrine

May well thy power attest;
“ Precept on Precept, Line on Line,"

By Thee are here imprest !
Man is, indeed, thy Chronicler,
But Thou—thy varied Calendar

Canst still interpret best;
And Contemplation must impart
Its moral uses to the heart.

XIII.
Unto her pensive, musing eye

Each feast, or fast—appears A fruitless effort to defy

The silent lapse of years :And yet some soothing thoughts are blent With such a transient monument;

And noblest hopes and fears
By turns elate, and awe the soul,
As we thy records thus unrol.

XIV.
Such fears and hopes may well engage

Our thoughts, in turning o'er
Thy brief OBITUARY PAGE,

Its annals to explore :-
There, each succeeding year, we find
The exit of some mighty mind,

Whose rich and varied store
Fulfilled the purposes of Heaven,
For which its ample wealth was given.

b

• xy. There too, perchance, are found enrolled

Some scarcely known to Fame; Of whom, though little can be told

The World's applause to claim — A brief inscription points the lot, And for a while keeps unforgot

Their Being's end, and aim! .
“ The single talent-well employed,”
Redeems them from oblivion's void.

XVI.
And though that respite may be brief ;-

Though such may seem to share
The fate of Autumn's withered leaf,

And pass—we know not where !
Yet, while their cherished Memory lives,
Fresh strength to other minds it gives

Life's weary lot to bear ;
Unveiling to the mental eye
Hopes--feelings—thoughts—which cannot die.

XVII.
But not to Man ;-his death, or birth,

Nor aught by him designed
To be his monument on Earth,

Thy records are confined:-
In them we trace the rise, the fall,
The ever-restless change of all

Mortality can bind ;-
And, while thy potent spell is shown,
See Power more glorious than thine own.

XVIII.
The Power of Him, whose mighty one

On Sea and Earth shall tread;
With face all radiant as the Sun,

A rainbow round his head;
Pillars of fire-his feet shall gleam;
Dark clouds of heaven his vesture seem;

His voice-a sound of dread;
While thunders, echoing far away,
Shall publish thy departing sway.

XIX.
THEN the immutable decree,

So long by Heaven deferred,
Shall, in the destined close of Thee,

Fulfil its solemn word: '
Through boundless space, by thought untrod,
The DELEGATED VOICE OF GOD

Shall awfully be heard, Proclaiming, as foretold of yore, “ THE MYST'RY FINISHED ! TIME NO MORE !"

« PreviousContinue »