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Flow în for ever, in thy glorious robe
Of terror and of beauty. Yea, flow on
Unfathomed and resistless. God hath set
His rainbow on thy forehead : and the cloud
Mantled around thy feet. And he doth give
Thy voice of thunder power to speak of Him
Eternally-bidding the lip of man
Keep silence and upon thy rocky altar pour
Incense of awe-struck praise.
Ah! who can dare To lift the insect-trump of earthly hope, Or love, or sorrow-'mid the peal sublime Of thy tremendous hymn ? Even Ocean shrinks Back from thy brotherhood: and all his waves Retire abashed. For he doth sometimes seem To sleep like a spent labourer—and recall His wearied billows from their vexing play, And lull them to a cradle calm : but thou, With everlasting, undecaying tide, Dost rest not night or day. The morning stars, When first they sang o'er young creation's birth, Heard thy deep anthem; and those wrecking firos, That wait the archangle’s signal to dissolve
This solid earth, shall find Jehovah's name
Graven, as with a thousand diamond spears,
On thy unending volume.
That lifts itself within thy wide domain,
Doth gather greenness from thy living spray,
Yet tremble at the baptism. Lo! yon birds
Do boldly venture near, and bathe their wing
Amid thy mist and foam. 'Tis meet for them
To touch thy garment's hem, and lightly stir
The snowy leaflets of thy vapour-wreath,
For they may sport unharmed amid the clouds,
Or listen at the echoing gate of heaven,
Without reproof. But as for us, it seems
Scarce lawful, with our broken tones, to speak
Familiarly of thee. Methinks, to tint
Thy glorious features with our pencil's point,
Or woo thee to the tablet of a song,
Thou dost make the soul A wondering witness of thy majesty; But as it presses with delirious joy To pierce thy vestibule, dost chain its step, And tame its rapture with the humbling view Of its own nothingness, bidding it stand In the dread presence of the Invisible, As if to answer to its God through thee.
How beautiful is Earth! my starry thoughts
Look down on it from their unearthly sphere,
And sing symphonious-beautiful is Earth!
The lights and shadows of her myriad's hills;
The branching greenness of her myriad woods;
Her sky-affecting rocks; her changing sea ;
Her rushing, gleaming cataracts; her streams
That race below, the winged clouds on high ;
Her pleasantness of vale and meadow!
Me seemeth through the leafy trees to ring
A chime of bells to falling waters tuned,
Whereat comes heathen Zephyrus out of breath
With running up the hills, and shakes his hair
From off his gleesome forehead, bold and glad
With keeping blithe Dan Phebus company ;
And throws him on the grass, though half afraid,
First glancing round lest tempests should be nigh;
And lays close to the ground his ruddy lips,
And shapes their beauty into sound, and calls
On all the petalled flowers that sit beneath
In hiding places from the rain and snow,
To loosen the hard soil, and leave their cold
Sad idlesse, and betake them up to him.
They straightway hear his voice.
A dim and mighty minister of old Time!
A temple shadowy with remembrances
Of the majestic past !--the very light
Streams with a colouring of heroic days
In every ray, which leads through arch and aisle
A path of dreamy lustre, wandering back
To other years ;--and the rich fretted roof,
And the wrought coronals of summer leaves,
Ivy and vine, and many a sculptured rose-
The tenderest image of mortality-
Binding the slender columns, whose light shafts :
Cluster like stems in corn-sheaves, all these
Tell of a race that nobly, fearlessly,
On their heart's worship poured a wealth of love!
Honour be with the dead !--the people kneel
Under the helms of antique chivalry,
And in the crimson gloom from banners thrown,
And midst the forms, in pale proud slumber carved
Of warriors on their tombs.— The people kneel
Where mail-clad chiefs have knelt; where jewelled
On the flushed brows of conquerors have been set : Where the high anihems of old victories
Have made the dust give echoes. Hence, vain
thoughts ! Memories of power and pride, which, long ago, Like dim processions of a dream, have sunk In twilight depths away. Return, my soul The cross recalls thee.-LO! the blessed cross ! High o'er the banners, and the crests of earth, Fixed in its meek and still supremacy! And lo! the throng of beating human hearts With all their secret scrolls of buried grief, All their full treasures of immortal Hope, Gathered before their God! Hark! how the flood Of the rich organ harmony bears up Their voice on its high waves !--a mighty burst !A forest-sounding music !-every tone Which the blasts call forth with their harping
wings From gulfs of tossing foliage there is blent: And the old minister-forest-like itselfWith its long avenues of pillared shade, Seems quivering all with spirit, as that strain O'erslows its dim recesses, leaving not One tomb unthrilled by the strong sympathy Answering the electric notes.-Join, join, my soul! In thine own lowly, trembling consciousness, And thine own solitude, the glorious hymn.