Page images
PDF
EPUB

LIBERTY

Hail, sacred Freedom, when by law restrain'd! Without you what were man? A grovelling herd, In darkness, wretchedness, and want enchain'd.

Beattia. Oh, Liberty, thou goddess, heavenly bright, Profuse of bliss, and pregnant with delight! Eternal pleasures in thy presence reign, And smiling plenty leads thy wanton train; Eased of her load subjection grows more light, And poverty looks cheerful in thy sight; Thou makest the gloomy face of nature gay, Givest beauty to !he sun, and pleasure to the day.

Addison

Liberty.

THE VISION OF LIBERTY.*

BY HENRY WARE, JR.

The evening heavens were calm and bright;

No dimness rested on the glittering light
That sparkled from that wilderness of worlds on

high;
Those distant suns burn'd on in quiet ray;

The placid planets held their modest way:
And silence reign'd profound o'er earth, and sea,

and sky.
O what an hour for lofty thought!

My spirit burn'd within ; I caught
A holy inspiration from the hour.

Around me man and nature slept;

Alone my solemn watch I kept, Till morning dawn'd, and sleep resumed her power. A vision pass'd upon my soul.

I still was gazing up to heaven,

# From a poem delivered before the Phi Bo'a Kappa Society, at Cam. bridge, in 1825.

As in the early hours of even; I still beheld the planets roll, And all those countless sons of light Flame from the broad blue arch, and guide the

moonless night.

When, lo, upon the plain,
Just where it skirts the swelling main,
A massive castle, far and high,

In towering grandeur broke upon my eye. Proud in its strength and years, the ponderous pils

Flung up its time-defying towers ;
Its lofty gates seem'd scornfully to smile

Ai vain assault of human powers,
And threats and arms deride.
Its gorgeous carvings of heraldic pride

In giant masses graced the walls above,
And dungeons yawn'd below.

Yet ivy there and moss their garlands wove Grave, silent chroniclers of time's protracted floʻv.

Bursting on my steadfast gaze,

See, within, a sudden blaze !
So small at first, the zephyr's slightest swell,

That scarcely stirs the pine-tree top,

Nor makes the wither'd leaf to drop,
The feeble fluttering of that flame would quell.

But soon it spread
Waving, rushing, fierce, and red-

From wall to wall, from tower to tower,

Raging with resistless power; Till every fervent pillar giow'd,

And every stone seem'd burning coal,
Instinct with living heat, that flow'd

Like streaming radiance from the kindled pole.
Beautiful, fearful, grand,
Silent as death, I saw the fabric stand.
At length a crackling sound began;
From side to side, throughout the pile it ran
And louder yet and louder grew,
Till now in rattling thunder-peals it grew :
Huge shiver'd fragments from the pillars broke,
Like fiery sparkles from the anvil's stroke.
The shatter'd walls were rent and riven,
And piecemeal driven,
Like blazing comets through the troubled sky.

'Tis done; what centuries had rear'd,

In quick explosion disappear’d,
Nor even its ruins met my wondering eye.

But in their place

Bright with more than human grace, Robed in more than mortal seeming,

Radiant glory in her face,
And eyes with heaven's own brightness beam.

ing-
Rose a fair, majestic form,
As the mild rainbow from the storm.

« PreviousContinue »