Page images

Again the thunder's voice, with pealing roar,
From cloud to cloud continuous rollid along,
Amazing bursts ! Air, sea, and fhore resound.
Horror fits shuddering in the felou-breast,
And feels the deathful flash before it Aies :
Each sleeping sin, excited, starts to view ;
And all is storm within. The Murderer, pale
With conscious guilt, though hid in deepest shade,
Hears and flies wild, pursued by all his fears :
And sees the bleeding Madow of the Slain
Rise hideous, glaring on him through the gloom!

Hark! thrcagh th' aëreal vault, the storm infiam'd
Comes nearer, hoarsely lodd, abrupt and fierce,
Peal hurl'd on peal incessant, burst on burst:
Torn from its base, as if the general frame
Were tumbling into chaos_There it fell,
With whirlwind-wing, in red diffusion Aash'd.
Destruction marks its path. Yon riven oak
Is hid in fmouldering fires : surpriz'd beneath,
The traveller ill-omen'd prostrate falls,
A livid course. Yon cottage flames to heaven:
And in its farthest cell, to which the hour,
All-horrible, had fped their steps, behold!
The parent breathless lies; her orphan-babes
Shuddering and speechless round-O Power divine !
Whose will, unerring, points the bolt of fate!
Thy hand, though terrible, shall man decide
If punishment, or mercy, dealt the blow?

Appeas'd at last, the tumult of the skies SubGdes, the thunder's falling roar is hush'd :



At once the clouds fly scattering, and the fun
Breaks out with boundless fplendor o'er the world.
Parent of light and joy! to all things he
New life restores, and from each drooping field
Draws the redundant rain, in climbing mists
Faft-rising to his ray ;


Lift up its head, and Nature Imiles reviv'd.

At farit 'tis awful silence over all, From sense of late-felt danger ; till confirm’d, In grateful chorus mixing, beast and bird Rejoice aloud to heaven : on either hand, The woodlands warble, and the valleys fów. So pass the songful hours : and now the sun, Declin'd, hangs verging on the western main, Whose fluctuating bosom, blushing red The space of many seas beneath his eye, Heaves in soft swellings murmuring to the shore. A circling glory glows around his disk Of milder beams: part, streaming o'er the sky, Infiame the distant azure : part below In level lines Thoot through the waving wood, Clad half in light, and half in pleasing shade, That lengthens o'er the lawn. Yon evening clouds, Lucid or dusk, with flamy purple edg'd, Float in gay pomp the blue horizon round, Amusive, changeful, shifting into shapes Of visionary beauty, antique towers With thadowy domes and pinnacles adorn'd; Or hills of white extent, that rise and sink As sportful Fancy lifts; till late, the sun


From human eye, behind earth's shading orb
Total withdrawn, th' aërial landscape fades.

Distinction fails: and in the darkening west,
The last light, quivering, dimly dies away.
And now th' illusive flame, oft seen at eve,
Upborne and blazing on the light-wing d gale,
Glides o’er the lawn, betokening Night's approach :
Arising awful o'er the eastern sky,
Onward she comes with silent step and flow,
In her brown mantle wrapt, and brings along
The still, the mild, the melancholy hour,
And Meditation, with his eye on heaven.

Musing, in fober mood, of Time and Life, That fly with unreturning wing away To that dark world, untravel'd and unknown, Eternity! through desert ways I walk; Or to the cypress-grove, at twilight shund By passing swains. The chill breeze murmurs low, And the boughs rustle round me where I stand, With fancy all-arous’d.-Far on the left, Shoots up a shapeless rock of duiky height, The raven's haunt: and down its woody steep, A dalhing flood in headlong torrent hurls His founding waters; white on every cliff Hangs the light foam, and sparkles through the gloom.

Behind me rises huge a reverend pile Sole on this blasted heath, a place of tombs, Waste, defolate, where Ruin dreary dwells. Brooding o'er fightless sculls, and crumbling bones, Ghaftful he fits, and eyes with stedfast glare,



(Sad trophies of his power, where ivy twines
Its fatal green around the falling roof,
The time-shook arch, the column grey with moss,
The leaning wall, the sculptur'd stone defac’d,
Whole monumental flattery, mix'd with duft,
Now hides the name it vainly meant to raise.
All is dread silence here, and unditurb’d,
Save what the wind sighs, and the wailing ow]
Screams solitary to the mournful moon,
Glimmering her western ray through yonder isle,
Where the sad spirit walks with shadowy foot
His wonted round, or lingers o'er his grave.

Hail, midnight-shades! hail, venerable dome!
By age more venerable ; sacred shore,
Beyond Time’s troubled sea, where never wave,
Where never wind of passion, or of guilt,
Of suffering or of sorrow, shall invade
The calm found night of those who rest below.
The weary are at peace : the small and great,
Life's voyage ended, meet and mingle here.
Here sleeps the prisoner fafe, nor feels his chain,
Nor hears th' oppreffor's voice. The poor and old,
With all the fons of mourning, fearless now
Of want or woe, find analarm'd repose.
Proud greatness, too, the tyranny of power,
The grace of beauty, and the force of youth,
And name and place, are here--for ever lost !

But, at near distance, on the mouldering wall
Behold a monument, with emblem grac'd,
And fair infcription : where with head declin'd,


And folded arms, the Virtues weeping round Lean o'er a beauteous youth who dies below. Thyrsişm’tis he! the wisest and the best! Lamented fade! whom every gift of heaven Profusely blest: all learning was his own, Pleasing his speech, by Nature taught to flow, Persuasive sense and strong, sincere and clear, His manners greatly plain ; a noble grace, Self-taught, beyond the reach of mimic Art, Adorn’d him : his calm temper winning mild; Nor Pity softer, nor was Truth more bright. Constant in doing well, he neither sought Nor shun'd applause. No bashful merit figh'd Near him neglected : sympathizing he Wip'd off the tear from Sorrow's clouded eye With kindly hand, and taught her heart to smile.

'Tis morning: and the fun, his welcome light, Swift, from beyond dark ocean's orient stream, Casts through the air, renewing Nature's face With heaven-born beauty. O'er her ample breast, O’er sea and shore, light Fancy speeds along, Quick as the darted beam, from pole to pole, Excursive traveller. Now beneath the north, Alone with Winter in his inmost realm, Region of horrors ! Here, amid the roar Of winds and waves, the drifted turbulence Of hail-mix'd snows, resides th' ungenial Power, For ever filent, shivering, and forlorn! From Zembla's cliffs on to the straits surmiz'd Of Anian eastward, where both worlds oppose

« PreviousContinue »