Page images

A master key of truth that shall unlock
The thousand wards of earthly mysteries;
And shew thee unto whom alone, the good,
The true, the noble, pure, and beautiful,
Whatever seems to mortals loveliest,
Can have or claim an immortality
Of goodness, truth, or beauty - 'tis to those
Whose hearts are right, whose beings one with God,
Who in Him find their all: to other men,
The beauteous things that pass them by on earth,
Oh, yes, they are immortal, but it is
An immortality of deathless woe,
That haunts them with the sting of lost delight.”

And once again, retracing all my steps,
I gazed upon those lovely scenes of life;
Those passion fountains of unfathom'd depth,
Those springs of human love, those beautiful homes
Of friendship and affection, which the dove
Of Peace broods over evermore, and there
Doth shelter underneath her sacred wing
A father's heart, a mother's, or a child's,
Those dearest types of heaven; and lo, they rose

In tenfold loveliness before me, rose
More passionately beautiful than ever ;
And oh, the blessed change !- they vanish'd not.
At first my faithless heart grew chill with fear,
And trembled as the moments swift flew by,
And the far beatings of the clock of time
Again struck dimly on mine ear, but soon
Faith whisper'd, " They are amaranthine now,
Thou livest now 'mid everlasting things —
Fear not: what once was of the present, soon
Is number'd with the past: what once was now,
Let one brief moment pass away, is then :
And Time may count these hours and cycles, gone,
But Faith hath vanquish'd Time: and she beholds
The things that have been, being, and to be.”

In peace, my spirit linger’d on the scenes
Of her eternal Past:- in

I mused
On those delicious spots of earth, those fair
Oases in the wilderness of life,
Those isles too often few and far between,
Emblems of home upon the homeless sea,
Those Edens blooming in a ruin'd world,


Those sunbeams 'mid the storm-clouds all astray,
Those gushing springs within a thirsty land,
Those stars that startle us like friends at night,
Those blessed things so inexpressibly dear,
There, there I mused there wander'd like a child
Through flowerets all his own; and when at length
The cycle was complete, and through the heavens
Thrice peal'd the everlasting answer, Gone,
I look'd upon those scenes of far delight,
And there unfading and unchanged they lay
In the clear cloudless region of the Past,
Imperishably shrined in love and light.

Trinity College, 1845.


[The story of Samson is put into the mouth of Manoah, who relates it to

his attendant shortly before his death.]

“Ibi demum morte quievit.”

VIRGIL. Æneid. ix. 445.

Give me thy hand, brave stripling, for mine eyes
Are dim with age and many sorrows: rise
And lead me to that rocky seat, whereon
Beams the full radiance of the summer sun;
And basking in his glory, ere he laves
His chariot wheels in yonder western waves,
Again my frozen life-streams onward flowing,
Again my heart with manhood's pulses glowing, -
I'll grant thy eager and long-sought request,
Before I sink to silence and to rest.
Yes, thou hast urged me oftentimes to tell
How my child Samson lived and fought and fell ;

By all the silent pleading of those years
Spent with an old man in this vale of tears,
By all the brooding thunder-clouds of war
Skirting the confines of our land afar,
And by thy hopes to light the latent fire
Of thy young heart at Samson's funeral pyre;
I felt thy silent longings ; but my heart,
Though school'd in grief, refused the mourner's part:
I could not tell thee without tears his story —
I could not weep o'er Samson's tomb of glory :-
But now I feel, I know my hour is nigh.
Who weeps with heaven before him? fix thine eye
On mine: the sun shines cloudless : it is well :

Now listen to an old man's tale, and tell

The after centuries when I am gone,

So spake Manoah of his only son.

Yes, the dark clouds are breaking from my sight,
My childhood floats before me: bathed in light
Again I see my fond parental home
Smiling in beauty, and again I roam

green and quiet pastures. Like a dream Flow'd on apace with me life's early stream,



« PreviousContinue »