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The unfelt rite at length was done
The prayer unheard at length was saidAn hour had passed:-the noon day sun
Smote on the features of the dead!
Against the crime of Law, which gave
And Faith's white blossoms never wave
Beneath the dark veil which divides
And Nature's solemn secret hides,
When Power found license for its crime,
Choked the young breath of Freedom out,
Oh Thou! at whose rebuke the grave
Thou, unto whom the blind and lame,
The fiends of his revenge, were sent
Thy name is Love! What then is he
On the blind eyes which know Thee not, And let the light of thy pure day
Melt in upon his darkened thought. Soften his hard, cold heart, and show
The power which in forbearance lies, And let him feel that Mercy now
Is better than old sacrifice.
As on the White Sea's charmed shore,
The low pale fire is quivering still;
And half quenched stars that never set
And early beauty, linger there,
Hath Heaven inscribed "DESPAIR!"
My brother man, Beware!
With that deep voice which, from the skies Forbade the Patriarch's sacrifice,
God's angel cries, FORBEAR!
Poetry has been to me its own " exceeding great reward;" it has soothed my affliction; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments; it has endeared solitude; and it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.-COLERIDGE.
You cannot live for men, without living with
POEMS BY WILLIAM H. BURLEIGH.
"THE EARTH IS THE LORD'S."
Lord! the earth is thine,
And the fulness of the sea-
Where the great sea-monsters roam,
Thou hast builded temples fairerThou hast fashioned grottos rarer Than the proudest works of man.
There uncounted treasures lie
All the gems that flash and shine
Lord! the earth is thine,
And the fulness of the earth!
From the mass chaotic hurled
In their orbits sped.
Tree, and plant, and opening flower,
In their virgin beauty drest,
All by Thee were called to birth,
From the sluggish worm that crawls
Gifts of song that seem divineInsect, beast, and bird are thine! Formed by Thy creating hand, Heedful all to Thy command.
Hills arrayed in living green,
Where the sunshine loves to linger, And the wind with wizard finger, Trifles with the springing grassWaters singing as they pass, (Pauses none to intervene,) With a low and pleasant tune, All the leafy time of JuneValleys with the sunshine dancing On their verdant slopes, and glancing Downward to their deepest beds
Forests, regally uplifting
To the clouds their crowned heads-
And its shadows ever shifting.
Then to Thee, of life the Giver,
Thanks and songs for ever givenEvery voice in concert sounding, Every heart with rapture bounding, All harmonious anthems blending, Louder swelling as ascendingTribute of the earth to Heaven!
H. A. B.
Deem not, Beloved! that the glow
Of love with youth will know decayFor though the wing of time may throw A shadow o'er our way; The sunshine of a cloudless faith, The calmness of a holy trust, Shall linger in our hearts till Death Consigns our dust to dust!"
The fervid passion of our youth
The fervor of Affection's kissLove, born of purity and truthAll pleasant memories-These still are ours, while looking back Upon the Past with dewy eyes; Oh dearest! on Life's vanished track How much of sunshine lies!
Men call us poor-it may be true
Amid the gay and glittering crowdWe feel it, though our wants are few,
Yet envy not the proud.
The freshness of Love's early flowers,
Heart-sheltered through long years of want, Pure hopes and quiet joys are ours,
That wealth could never grant.
Something of beauty from thy brow,
An emblem of the love which lives
Through every change, as time departs; Which binds our souls in one, and gives New gladness to our hearts! Flinging a halo over life
Like that which gilds the life beyond! Ah! well I know thy thoughts, dear wife! To thoughts like these respond.
The mother, with her dewy eye,
Is dearer than the blushing bride
In beauty by my side!
Rich in the heart's best treasure, still
With a calm trust we'll journey on, Linked heart with heart, dear wife! until Life's pilgrimage be done! Youth-beauty-passion-these will pass Like every thing of earth away— The breath-stains on the polished glass
Less transient are than they.
But love dies not-the child of God
The soother of Life's many woes—
Earth's pleasant streams and pasture by,
Still pointing to a better land
Of bliss beyond the sky!
Priestess of Nature! in the solemn woods
And where the cataracts dash their shattered floods
Eternally beneath, thy hand hath reared Altars whereon no blood-stain hath appearedBut there, at dewy eve, or kindling dawn, Meek-hearted children, with their offerings Of buds or bursting flowers, together kneel In gladdest worship, till their spirits feel A new and holier baptism; while the springs Of joy are opened, and their waters flow Forth to the laughing light, exulting as they go!
TO MY QUAKER COUSIN.
"Don't tell me of the feelings, the fine sensibilities, the hope and joy, and the true poetry of man's life being blunted by the increase of years! Why, I'll hate old age, if it is true! Make this, if thee pleases, no longer an apology for the laziness thee is guilty of when thee ceases to give us and every body the scintillations of thy poetical genius.' It is not that thy days are in the yellow leaf,' but that they are days of downright-laziness!"
Extract from her letter.
Yes, thou art right, sweet coz! I own
I am a lazy rhymer-very,-
Of willing music, sad or merry ;
I never wet my thirsty lip
At Helicon's inspiring fountain,
To meet the Muses on their mountain.
Lazy and uninspired, can I
Write for thee canzonet or sonnet?
To perpetrate a song upon it?
Would madden, like a heavenly vision,
From that bright realm where seraphs are
With the dull muse that weaves my numbers,
But, for the brightness of thy youth,
And for the chastened love I bear thee, And for thy gentleness and truth, Which even thievish Time must spare thee, And for thy heart which overflows
With kindness for the wronged and lowly, And for thy guileless soul which glows With tenderest feelings, pure and holy
And for that fervent zeal for Right
Which burneth in thy bosom ever, And for that steadfast faith whose might In perils's hour shall fail thee never
For human sympathies, which bring
True hearts around thee to adore thee
For these, dear coz! I kneel and fling
Others may sonnetize the spell
That lives within thy radiant glances, And lying bardlings boldly tell
That loveliness around thee dances; Vows may be offered thee in rhyme,
And worship paid in common metre But these will pass with passing time, For beauty than the wind is fleeter.
Be mine the better task to find
For thee a tribute undegrading: Flowers from the garden of the mind,
Fragrant and pure, and never fadingGems from the mines of knowledge won, Brighter than fancy ever painted— An offering to lay upon
The altar of a heart untainted.
So, when the hand of Time hath reft From face and form thy youthful graces,
A tenderer beauty shall be left
To sanctify their fading traces;
A chastened radiance, born of Thought, Around thy path shall then be shining, With more than earthly brightness fraught, To gild and bless thy life's declining!
TO THE ABOLITIONISTS OF AMERICA:
Toil and pray!
Groweth flesh and spirit faint? Think of her who pours her plaint All the day
Her-the wretched negro wife, Robbed of all that sweetens lifeHer-who weeps in anguish wild For the husband and the child
Binding heart with kindred heart,
Tears and sighs,
Wo and blight,
Broken heart and palsied mind, Reason crushed and conscience blind, Darkest night
Shutting from the spirit's eye,
What though Hate
For though long the strife endure,
Not in vain
Hath been heard your voice of warning
Lo! a better day is dawning;
Shall be heard, from sea to sea,
Loudest songs of jubilee,
Bursting from a franchised nation,
He worthy is of freedom-only he
Who claims the boon for all-and, strong in right, Rebukes the proud oppressor by whose might The poor are crushed-for TRUTH hath made him free, And Love hath sanctified his liberty! When Tyranny his horrid head uprears,
And blasts the earth with pestilential breath, Girded with righteousness and strong in faith, He stems the tide of wrong; nor scoffs, nor jeers, Nor ruffian threats, nor fierce mobocracy, Can daunt his soul, or turn him from the path
Where duty points. Not his the craven heart That shrinks when tyrants bluster in their wrath; But well in Freedom's strife he bears his part.
The ceaseless hum of men-the dusty streets,
Of the untrodden forest, where, in bowers
Indulge, while over me their radiant showers Of rarest blossoms the old trees shake down,And thanks to HIM my meditations crown!
"As I stood upon the forecastle and looked towards the land, which soon seemed but a little streak in the horizon, and was fast sinking from our sight, I seemed to feel a heavy weight drop off me. The chains were gone. I felt myself a freeman; and as I watched the fast-receding shore, my bosom heaved with a proud scorn-a mingled feeling of safety and disdain. Farewell, my country!'-such were the thoughts that rose upon my mind, and pressed to find an utterance from my lips, and such a country! A land boasting to be the chosen seat of liberty and equal rights, yet holding such a portion of her people in hopeless, helpless, miserable bondage!
"Farewell my country! Much is the gratitude and thanks I owe thee! Land of the tyrant and the slave, farewell!'
"And welcome, welcome, ye bounding billows and foaming surges of the ocean! Ye are the emblems and the children of liberty-I hail ye as my brothers!-for, at last, I too am free!-free!free!"-Archy Moore, Vol. II. p. 146-7.
From my heel I have broken the chain!
I have shivered the yoke from my neck! Free!-free!-as the plover that rides on the mainAs the waters that dash o'er our deck!
my bosom new feelings are born-
And I leave to my country defiance and scorn,
My country?-away!-for the gifts which she gave
Thank God! that a limit is set
To the reach of the tyrant's control!
That the down-trodden serf may not wholly forget
Yet, lit by the breath of Jehovah, like Him
Will the fires of the mountain grow feeble and die?
Proud Land!-there is vengeance in store
For thy soul-crushing despots and theeWhen Mercy, grown faint, shall no longer implore, But the day of thy recompense be
When thy cup with the mixture of wrath
Shall be full-the Avenger, in power,
And thy mountains shall echo the shriek of despair,
Wo! wo! to the forgers of chains,
Who trample the image of God:
Calls for vengeance the blood of the bondman, which stains
The cursed and the verdureless sod!
A SUMMER MORNING IN THE COUNTRY. How sweetly on the hill-side sleeps
The sunlight with its quickening rays!
With subtile wing, breathes only life-
She puts her gayest mantle on-
A sweeter cadence to their song-
That float in light along.
"The cattle on a thousand hills,"
The fleecy flocks that dot the vale, All joy alike in life, that fills
The air, and breathes in every gale!
To feel the bliss and drink it in,
A sweet companionship to hold
With Nature in her forest-bowers,
By singing birds and opening flowers?
No selfish joy-if Duty calls,
Not sullenly I turn from these-
The wind's low voice among the trees,