« PreviousContinue »
Patriots have toiled, and in their country's cause
Bled nobly; and their deeds, as they deserve,
Receive proud recompense. We give in charge
Their names to the sweet lyre. The historic muse,
Proud of the treasure, marches with it down
To latest times; and sculpture, in her turn,
Gives bond in stone and ever-during brass
To guard them, and to immortalize her trust :
But fairer wreaths are due, though never paid,
To those who, posted at the shrine of Truth,
Have fallen in her defence. A patriot's blood,
Well spent in such a strife, may earn indeed,
And for a time ensure, to his loved land,
The sweets of liberty and equal laws;
But martyrs struggle for a brighter prize,
And win it with more pain. Their blood is shed
In confirmation of the noblest claim-
Our claim to feed upon immortal truth,
To walk with God, to be divinely free,
To soar, and to anticipate the skies.
Yet few remember them. They lived unknown
Till Persecution dragged them into fame,
And chased them up to Heaven. Their ashes flew-
No marble tells us whither. With their names
No bard embalms and sanctifies his song:
and history, so warm on meaner themes,
Is cold on this. She execrates indeed
The tyranny that doomed them to the fire,
But gives the glorious sufferers little praise.
He is the freeman whom the truth makes free,
and all are slaves beside. There's not a chain
That hellish foes, confederate for his harm,
Can wind around him, but he casts it off
With as much ease as Samson his green withes.
He looks abroad into the varied field
Of nature, and, though poor perhaps compared
With those whose mansions glitter in his sight,
Calls the delightful scenery all his own.
His are the mountains, and the valleys his,
And the resplendent rivers. His to enjoy
With a propriety that none can feel,
But who, with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say—“ My Father made them all!"
'Tis night, and the landscape is lovely no more;
I mourn, but, ye woodlands, I mourn not for you;
For morn is approaching, your charms to restore,
Perfumed with fresh fragrance and glittering with dew.
Nor yet for the ravage of winter I mourn;
Kind Nature the embryo blossom will save,
But when shall spring visit the mouldering urn!
O when shall it dawn on the night of the grave!
'Twas thus, by the glare of false science betrayed,
That leads, to bewilder: and dazzles, to blind :
My thoughts went to roam, from shade onward to shade,
Destruction before me, and sorrow behind.
O pity, great Father of light, then I cried,
Thy creature, who fain would not wander from thee;
Lo, humbled in dust, I relinquish my pride:
From doubt and from darkness thou only canst free.
And darkness and doubt are now flying away,
No longer I roam in conjecture forlorn,
So breaks on the traveller, faint, and astray,
The bright and the balmy effulgence of morn.
See Truth, Love, and Mercy in triumph descending,
And nature all glowing in Eden's first bloom !
On the cold cheek of Death smiles and roses are blending,
And Beauty immortal awakes from the tomb.
Let Vanity adorn the marble tomb
With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown,
In the deep dungeon of some Gothic dome,
Where night and desolation ever frown.
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down;
Where a green grassy turf is all I crave,
With here and there a violet bestrown,
Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave;
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave.
HAIL! beauteous stranger of the grove,
Thou messenger of spring,
Now heaven repairs thy rural seat,
And woods thy welcome sing.
What time the daisy decks the green,
Thy certain voice we hear;
Hast thou a star to guide thy path,
Or mark the rolling year ?
Delightful visitant! with thee
I hail the time of flowers,
And hear the sound of music sweet
From birds among the bowers.
The school-boy, wandering through the wood,
To pluck the primrose gay, Starts, thy curious voice to hear,
And imitates thy lay.
What time the pea puts on the bloom,
Thou fliest the vocal vale,
An annual guest, in other lands
Another spring to hail.
Sweet bird ! thy bower is ever green,
Thy sky is ever clear;
Thou hast no sorrow in thy song,
No winter in thy year.
0! could I fly, I'd fly with thee;
We'd make, with joyful wing,
Our annual visit o'er the globe,
Companions of the spring.
() God! whose thunder shakes the sky,
Whose eye this atom globe surveys,
To thee, my only rock, I fly,
Thy mercy in thy justice praise.
The mystic mazes of thy will,
The shadows of celestial light,
Are past the powers of human skill ;
But what the Eternal acts is right.
O teach me in the trying hour,
When anguish swells the dewy tear,
To still my sorrows, own thy power,
Thy goodness love, thy justice fear.
If in this bosom aught but thee,
Encroaching, sought a boundless sway,
Omniscience could the danger see,
And mercy look the cause away.
Then why, my soul, dost thou complain?
Why, drooping, seek the dark recess ?
Shake off the melancholy chain,
For God created all to bless.