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So fondly tenanted with better things
Than e'er experience own'd-but both are mute;
And past and future, vocal on all else,
So full of memories and phantasies,
Are deaf and speechless here! Fatigued, I turn
From all vain parley with the elements;
And close mine eyes, and bid the thought turn inward.
From each material thing its anxious guest,
If, in the stillness of the waiting soul,
He may vouchsafe himself-Spirit to spirit!.
O Thou, at once most dreaded and desired,
Pavilion'd still in darkness, wilt thou hide thee?
What though the rash request be fraught with fate,
Nor human eye may look on thine and live?
Welcome the penalty! let that come now,
Which soon or late must come. For light like this
Who would not dare to die?
Peace, my proud aim,
And hush the wish that knows not what it asks.
Await his will, who hath appointed this,
With every other trial. Be that will
Done now, as ever. For thy curious search,
And unprepared solicitude to gaze
On Him—the Unreveald-learn hence, instead,
To temper highest hope with humbleness.
Pass thy novitiate in these outer courts,
Till rent the veil, no longer separating
The Holiest of all-as erst, disclosing
A brighter dispensation; whose results
Ineffable, interminable, tend
E'en to the perfecting thyself—thy kind-
Till meet for that sublime beatitude,
By the firin promise of a voice from heaven
Pledged to the pure in heart!
“Now, if I fall, will it be my lot
To be cast in some low and lonely spot,
To melt, and to sink unseen or forgot ?
And then will my course be ended ?"
T was thus a feathery Snow-Flake said,
As down through the measureless space it stray'd,
Or, as half by dalliance, half afraid,
It seem'd in mid air suspended.
“O, no," said the Earth, “thou shalt not lie,
Neglected and lone, on my lap to die,
Thou pure and delicate child of the sky;
For thou wilt be safe in my keeping;
But, then, I must give thee a lovelier form;
Thou 'lt not be a part of the wintry storm,
But revive when the sunbeams are yellow and warm,
And the flowers from my bosom are peeping.
“And then thou shalt have thy choice to be
Restored in the lily that decks the lea,
In the jessamine bloom, the anemone,
Or aught of thy spotless whiteness;
To melt, and be cast in a glittering bead,
With the pearls that the night scatters over the mead,
In the cup where the bee and the fire-fly feed,
Regaining thy dazzling brightness ;
" To wake, and be raised from thy transient sleep,
When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep,
In a tremulous tear, or a diamond leap
In a drop from the unlock'd fountain ;
Or, leaving the valley, the meadow and heath,
The streamlet, the flowers, and all beneath,
To go and be wove in the silvery wreath
Encircling the brow of the mountain.
u Or, wouldst thou return to a home in the skies,
To shine in the Iris I'll let thee arise,
And appear in the many and glorious dyes
A pencil of sunbeams is blending.
But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth,
I'll give thee a new and vernal birth,
When thou shalt recover thy primal worth
And never regret descending !"
“Then I will drop,” said the trusting flake; “But bear it in mind that the choice I make Is not in the flowers nor the dew to awake.
Nor the mist that shall pass with the morning : For, things of thyself, they expire with thee; But those that are lent from on high, like me, They rise, and will live, from thy dust set free,
To the regions above returning.
" And if true to thy word, and just thou art,
Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart,
Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart,
And return to my native heaven;
For I would be placed in the beautiful bow,
From time to time, in thy sight to glow,
So thou may'st remember the Flake of Snow
By the promise that God hath given.”
They sin who tell us love can die!
With life all other passions fly,
All others are but vanity,
In heaven ambition cannot dwell
Nor avarice in the vaults of hell;
Earthly these passions of the earth,
They perish where they have their birth :
But love is indestructible,
Its holy flame for ever burneth,
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth:
For oft on earth a troubled griest,
At times deceived, at times opprest,
It here is tried and purified,
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest :
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of love is there.
Oh! when a mother meets on high,
The babe she has lost in infancy,
Hath she not then, for pains and fears,
The day of woe, the watchful night,
For all her sorrows, all her tears,
An over-payment of delight?
I BADE the Day-break bring to me
Its own sweet song of ecstasy:
An anwer came from leafy trees,
And waking birds, and wandering bees,
And wavelets on the water's brim-
The matin hymn-the matin hymn!
I ask'd the Noon for music then:
It echoed forth the hum of men;
The sounds of labour on the wind,
The loud-voiced eloquence of mind ;
The heart—the soul's sublime pulsations
The song—the shout-the shock of nations.
I hasten'd from the restless throng,
To soothe me with the Evening song:
The dark’ning heaven was vocal still,
I heard the music of the rill-
The home-bound bee-the vesper bell-
The cicada-and philomel.
Thou Omnipresent Harmony !
Shades, streams, and stars are full of thee;
On every wing-in every sound,
Thine all-pervading power is found;
Some chord to touch-some tale to tell
Deep-deep within the Spirit's cell.
THE CHILD AND FLOWERS. Hast thou been in the woods with the honey-bee ? Hast thou been with the lamb in the pastures free ? With the hare through the copses and dingles wild ? With the butterfly over the heath, fair child ? Yes, the light form of thy bounding feet Hath not startled the wren from her mossy seat; Yet hast thou ranged the green forest dells, And brought back a treasure of buds and bells.
Thou know'st not the sweetness, by antique song,
Breathed o'er the names of that flowery throng ;
The woodbine, the primrose, the violets dim,
The lily that gleams by the fountain's brim :
These are old words, that have made each grove
A dreary haunt for romance and love ;
Each sunny bank, where faint odours lie,
A place for the gushings of poesy.
Thou know'st not the light wherewith fairy lore
Sprinkles the turf and the daisies o'er;
Enough for thee are the dews that sleep
Like hidden gems in the flower-urns deep;
Enough the rich crimson spots that dwell
'Midst the gold of the cowslip's perfumed cell;
And the scent by the blossoming sweetbriers shed,
And the beauty that bows the wood-hyacinth's head.
O, happy child in thy fawn-like glee!
What is remembrance or thought to thee?