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By Chebar's Brook ye pass'd, such radiance wearing,
As mortal vision might but ill endure;
Along the stream the living chariot bearing,
Wity its high crystal arch, intently pure 華
And the dread rushing of your wings that hour,
Was like the noise of waters in their power.
But in the Olive-Mount, by night appearing,
Midst the dim leaves, your holiest work was done !--
Whose was the voice that came, divinely cheering,
Fraught with the breath of God to aid his Son ?—
Haply of those that on the moonlit plains,
Wafted good-tidings unto Syrian swains.
Yet one more task was yours!-your heavenly dwelling
Ye left, and by th' unseal'd sepulchral stone
In glorious raiment sat: the weepers telling
That He they sought, had triumph'd, and was gone
Now have ye left us for the brighter shore,
Your presence lights the lonely groves no more!-
But may ye not, unseen, around us hover,
With gentle promptings and sweet influence yet?
Tho' the fresh glory of those days be over,
When, midst the palm-trees, man your footsteps met?
Are ye not near when Faith and Hope rise high,
When love by strength q'ermasters agony?
Are ye not near, when sorrow unrepining,
Yields up life's treasures unto Him who gave?
When martyrs, all things for His sake resigning,
Lead on the march of death, serenely brave?
Dreams!-but a deeper thought our souls may fill,
One, one is near-a Spirit, holier still!
A CHILD beside a hamlet's fount at play,
Her fair face laughing at the sunny day;
The cheerful girl her labour leaves awhile,
To gaze on Heaven's and Earth's unsullied smile;
Her happy dog looks on her dimpled cheeks,
And of his joy in his own language speaks;
A gush of waters, tremulously bright,
Kindling the air to gladness with their light;
And a soft gloom beyond, of summer-trees,
Darkening the turf, and, shadowed o'er by these,
A low, dim, woodland cottage:-this was all!
What had the scene for memory to recall
With a fond look of love? What secret spell
With the heart's pictures bade its image dwell?
What but the spirit of the joyous child,
That freshly forth o'er stream and verdure smiled,
Casting upon the common things of earth
A brightness, born and gone with infant mirth!
THE CROSS IN THE WILDERNESS.
SILENT and mournful sat an Indian chief,
In the red sunset, by a grassy tomb;
His eyes, that might not weep, were dark with grief,
And his arms folded in majestic gloom,
And his bow lay unstrung beneath the mound,
Which sanctified the gorgeous waste around.
For a pale Cross above its greensward rose,
Telling the cedars and the pines that there
Man's heart and hope had struggled with his woes,
And lifted from the dust a voice of prayer.
Now all was hushed-and eve's last splendour shone
With a rich sadness on the attesting stone.
There came a lonely traveller o'er the wild,
And he too paused in reverence by that grave,
Asking the tale of its memorial, piled
Between the forest and the lake's bright wave;
Till, as a wind might stir a wither'd oak,
On the deep dream of age his accents broke:
And the grey chieftain, slowly rising, said,-
"I listened for the words, which years ago
Passed o'er these waters: though the voice is fled
Which made them as a singing fountain's flow;
Yet, when I sit in their long-faded track,
Sometimes the forest's murmur gives them back.
212 THE CROSS IN THE WILDERNESS.
"Asks't thou of Him, whose house is lone beneath?
I was an eagle in my youthful pride,
When o'er the seas he came, with summer's breath,
To dwell amidst us, on the lake's green side.
Many the times of flowers have been since then,-
Many, but bringing nought like Him again!
"Not with the bunter's bow and spear he came
O'er the blue bills to chase the flying roe;
Not the dark glory of the woods to tame,
Laying their cedars like corn-stalks low;
But to spread tidings of all holy things,
Gladdening our souls as with the morning's wings.
"Doth not yon cypress whisper how we met,
I and my brethren that from earth are gone, Under its boughs to hear his voice, which yet
Seems through their gloom to send a silvery tone? He told of One, the grave's dark bands who broke, And our hearts burned within us as he spoke !
"He told of far and sunny lands which lie
Beyond the dust wherein our fathers dwell, Bright must they be! for there are none that die, And none that weep, and none that say, 'Farewell!' He came to guide us thither, but away
The happy called him, and he might not stay.
We saw him slowly fade-athirst, perchance, For the fresh waters of that lovely clime; Yet was there still a sunbeam in his glance,
And on his gleaming hair no touch of time: Therefore we hoped-but now the lake looks dim, For the green summer comes-and finds not Him!
"We gather'd round him in the dewy hour
Of one still morn, beneath his chosen tree;
From his clear voice at first the words of power
Came low, like moanings of a distant sea;
But swelled, and shook the wilderness ere long,
As if the spirit of the breeze grew strong.
"And then once more they trembled on his tongue, And his white eyelids fluttered, and his head
Fell back, and mists upon his forehead hung-
Know'st thou not how we pass to join the dead?
It is enough!-he sank upon my breast,-
Our friend that loved us, he was gone to rest!
"We buried him where he was wont to pray,
By the calm lake, e'en here, at eventide;
We reared this Cross in token where he lay,
For on the Cross, he said, his Lord had died! Now hath he surely reached, o'er mount and wave, That flowery land whose green turf hides no grave!
"But I am sad-I mourn the clear light taken Back from my people, o'er whose place it shone, The pathway to the better shore forsaken,
And the true words forgotten, save by one,
Who hears them faintly sounding from the past,
Mingled with death-songs in each fitful blast."
Then spoke the wanderer forth with kindling eye :-
"Son of the wilderness! despair thou not,
Though the bright hour may seem to thee gone by,
And the cloud settled o'er thy nation's lot:
Heaven darkly works, yet where the seed hath been,
There shall the fruitage, glowing yet, be seen.
"Hope on, hope ever!-by the sudden springing
Of green leaves which the winter hid so long;
And by the bursts of free, triumphant singing,
After cold, silent months, the woods among;
And by the rending of the frozen chains,
Which bound the glorious rivers on their plains;
"Deem not the words of light that here were spoken, But as a lovely song, to leave no trace!
Yet shall the gloom which wraps thy hills be broken,
And the full day-spring rise upon thy race!
And fading mists the better paths disclose,
And the wide desert blossom as the rose."
So by the Cross they parted, in the wild,
Each fraught with musings for life's after-day,
Memories to visit one the Forest's Child,
By many a blue stream on its lonely way;
And upon one, midst busy throngs to press
Deep thoughts and sad, yet full of holiness.