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THE EXILE OF ERIN.
of plunder, devoting them and their possessions to the rapacity of hireling cruelty! If I were an American, as I am an Englishman, while a foreign troop was landed in my country, I never would lay down my arms!-never! never! never!
THE EXILE OF ERIN.-GEORGE NUGENT REYNOLDS.
HERE came to the beach a poor exile of Erin,-
The dew on his thin robe was heavy and chill;
For his country he sighed, when, at twilight, repairing
To wander alone by the wind-beaten hill:
But the day-star attracted his eye's sad devotion;
For it rose o'er his own native isle of the ocean,
Where once, in the fervor of youth's warm emotion,
He sang the bold anthem of "Erin go bragh!"
"Sad is my fate!"-said the heart-broken stranger—"The wild deer and wolf to the covert can flee; But I have no refuge from famine and danger:
A home and a country remain not to me! Never again, in the green, sunny bowers, Where my forefathers lived, shall I spend the sweet hours, Or cover my harp with the wild-woven flowers,
And strike to the numbers of Erin go bragh!'
"Erin! my country! though sad and forsaken,
In dreams I revisit thy sea-beaten shore!
But, alas! in a far-foreign land I awaken,
And sigh for the friends that can meet me no more!
O cruel fate, wilt thou never replace me
In a mansion of peace, where no perils can chase me?
Never again shall my brothers embrace me!
They died to defend me!--or live to deplore!
"Where is my cabin-door, fast by the wild wood ?—
Sisters and sire, did ye weep for its fall?
Where is the mother that looked on my childhood?
And where is the bosom-friend, dearer than all?
Ah! my sad soul, long abandoned by pleasure!
Why did it dote on a fast-fading treasure?
Tears, like the rain-drops, may fall without measure,
But rapture and beauty they cannot recall!
"Yet, all its sad recollections suppressing,
One dying wish my lone bosom can draw ;--
Erin! an exile bequeaths thee his blessing!
Land of my forefathers! Erin go bragh! Buried and cold, when my heart stills her motion, Green be thy fields, sweetest isle of the ocean! And thy harp-striking bards sing aloud with devotion,— Erin mavournin-Erin go bragh!""
ABSALOM.-N. P. WILLIS.
KING DAVID'S limbs were weary. He had fled,
From far Jerusalem; and now he stood
With his faint people, for a little rest,
Upon the shore of Jordan. The light wind
Of morn was stirring, and he bared his brow
To its refreshing breath, for he had worn
The mourner's covering, and he had not felt.
That he could see his people until now.
They gathered round him on the fresh, green bank,
And spoke their kindly words; and, as the sun
Rose up in heaven, he knelt among them there,
And bowed his head upon his hands to pray.
Oh! when the heart is full,-when bitter thoughts
Come crowding thickly up for utterance,
And the poor common words of courtesy
Are such a very mockery-how much
The bursting heart may pour itself in prayer!
He prayed for Israel; and his voice went up
Strongly and fervently. He prayed for those
Whose love had been his shield; and his deep tones
Grew tremulous. But, oh! for Absalom,—
For his estranged, misguided Absalom,—
The proud, bright being, who had burst away,
In all his princely beauty, to defy
The heart that cherished him--for him he poured,
In agony that would not be controlled,
Strong supplication, and forgave him there,
Before his God, for his deep sinfulness.
The pall was settled. He who slept beneath
Was straitened for the grave; and, as the folds
Sunk to the still proportions, they betrayed
The matchless symmetry of Absalom.
His hair was yet unshorn, and silken curls
Were floating round the tassels, as they swayed
To the admitted air, as glossy now
As when, in hours of gentle dalliance, bathing
The snowy fingers of Judea's girls.
His helm was at his feet: his banner, soiled
With trailing through Jerusalem, was laid,
Reversed, beside him: and the jeweled hilt,
Whose diamonds lit the passage of his blade,
Rested, like mockery, on his covered brow.
The soldiers of the king trod to and fro,
Clad in the garb of battle; and their chief,
The mighty Joab, stood beside the bier,
And gazed upon the dark pall steadfastly,
As if he feared the slumberer might stir.
A slow step startled him. He grasped his blade,
As if a trumpet rang; but the bent form
Of David entered, and he gave command,
In a low tone, to his few followers,
And left him with his dead. The king stood still
Till the last echo died; then, throwing off
The sackcloth from his brow, and laying back
The pall from the still features of his child,
He bowed his head upon him, and broke forth
In the resistless eloquence of woe:—
"Alas! my noble boy! that thou shouldst die! Thou, who wert made so beautifully fair!
That death should settle in thy glorious eye,
And leave his stillness in this clustering hair!
How could he mark thee for the silent tomb,
My proud boy Absalom!
"Cold is thy brow, my son! and I am chill,
As to my bosom I have tried to press thee.
How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,
Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee,
And hear thy sweet 'my father!' from these dumb
And cold lips, Absalom!
"The grave hath won thee. I shall hear the gush
Of music, and the voices of the young;
And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
And the dark tresses to the soft winds flung;-
But thou no more, with thy sweet voice, shalt come
To meet me, Absalom!
"And, oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken,
How will its love for thee, as I depart,
Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token!
It were so sweet, amid death's gathering gloom,
To see thee, Absalom!
“And now, farewell! "Tis hard to give thee up,
With death so like a gentle slumber on thee:—
And thy dark sin!—Oh! I could drink the cup,
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee.
May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
My erring Absalom!"
He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment on his child: then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer;
And, as a strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently, and left him there,
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.
THERE IS NO DEATH.
THERE is no death! The stars go down
To rise upon some fairer shore; And, bright in Heaven's jeweled crown, They shine forevermore.
There is no death!
The dust we tread
Shall change beneath the summer showers
To golden grain or mellow fruit,
Or rainbow-tinted flowers.
The granite rocks disorganize
To feed the hungry moss they bear;
The forest leaves draw daily life
From out the viewless air.
There is no death! The leaves may fall,
The flowers may fade and pass away—
They only wait, through wintry hours,
The coming of the May.
There is no death! An angel form
Walks o'er the earth with silent tread, He bears our best loved things away, And then we call them "dead.”
He leaves our hearts all desolate-
He plucks our fairest, sweetest flowers;
Transplanted into bliss, they now
Adorn immortal bowers.
The bird-like voice whose joyous tones
Made glad this scene of sin and strife,
Rings now in everlasting song
Beneath the tree of life.
And where he sees a smile too bright,
Or hearts too pure for taint of vice,
He bears it to that world of light,
To dwell in Paradise.