« PreviousContinue »
Thou shalt ascend the Zion of the skies,
Far, far above the rolling spheres, where reigns
Thy still incarnate God; and dwell with him,
And all the glorious company of heav'n,'
In bliss ineffable, and light divine.
THERE is a calm for those who weep;
A rest for weary pilgrims found :
They softly lie, and sweetly sleep,
Low in the ground.
The storm that wrecks the winter sky,
No more disturbs their deep repose,
Than summer evening's latest sigh
That shuts the rose.
I long to lay this painful head,
And aching heart, beneath the soil ;
To slumber in that dreamless bed
From all my toil.
The grave that never spake before,
Hath found at length a tongue to chide ;
O listen !-I will speak no more:
Be silent pride!
• Art thou a mourner ? last thou known
The joy of innocent delights,
Endearing days for ever flown,
And tranquil nights?
• O live! and deeply cherish still
The sweet remembrance of the past;
Rely on Heav'n's unchanging will
For peace at last.
« Tho' long of winds and waves the sport
Condemn'd in wretchedness to roam;
Live! thou shalt reach a shelt'ring port,
A quiet home.
• Seek the true treasure, seldom found,
Of power the fiercest griefs to calm,
And soothe the bosom's deepest wound
With heav'nly balm
• Whate'er thy lot—where'er thou be-
Confess thy folly-kiss the rod;
And in thy chast'ning sorrows see
The hand of God.
• A bruised reed he will not break,
Afflictions all his children feel;
He wounds then for his mercy's sake;
He wounds to heal ! • Humbled beneath his mighty hand, Prostrate his providence adore: 'Tis done! arise! He bids thee stand,
To fall no more.
• Now, traveller in the vale of tears !
To realms of everlasting light,
Thro’time's dark wilderness of years,
Pursue thy flight.
• There is a calm for those who weep,
A rest for weary pilgrims found :
And while the mould’ring ashes sleep
Low in the ground;
“The soul, of origin divine,
God's glorious image, freed from clay,
In heaven's eternal sphere shall shine
A star of day.
• The sun is but a spark of fire,
A transient meteor in the sky;
The soul, immortal as its sire,
Shall never die!"
"A venerable, grave old gentleman,
Of ancient family and good estate
He was, who told the story as we sato
Last Christmas eve around the crackling fire.'
'Twas in my happy, thoughtless youth, when we,
A pleasant household, ere my mother died, Dwelt in a palace, standing solemnly
A mile from Florence, by the Arno's side. The house was ancient, grey, and ruinate, With splendid vestige of its former state, Where the old line of Maffei dwelt of yore. Around it woods of pine and sycamore, Ilex and chesnut, to the bill.tops grew, Hiding its ruins from the traveller's view, A spirit-haunting, wild, and solemn place, Meet dwelling for some dark unearthly race, That have with man no sympathies, yet throw Around him awful spells of fear and woe. Within, each room was large, and dim, and lone; The walls gave back a deep sepulchral tone, When mirth or music made a revel there; And often, when the evening fire's red glare Reveal'd the dusky portraits on the wall,
My father's guests have told of dismal things, Which in that house of mystery might appal;
And even now the haunting terror clings
Unto my soul-of deeds of frightful sin
That had been done those desolate rooms within :
I heard those tales, and nightly shook with dread,
In my small chamber as I stole to bed ;
And then had dreams, the strangest that e'er came
To man or child-and evermore the same.
I always dreamed, that as I lay and slept,
A gentle lady o'er me hung, and wept,
And clasped her hands, and moaned, and inly prayed,
Like one in agony, and sore afraid -
As if she dreaded some severe command,
Whose fearful ban had left her broken-heartedThen kissed my lips, and with her small white hand
Softly the ringlets from my forehead parted;
But oh, her touch! 'twas like the marble stone,
And seemed to chill me to the very bone,
As if death shot through every gushing vein
A momentary pang of icy pain:
Such was my dream--and more-for always she
Bore at her waist a costly rosary,
From which each night a scented bead she took,
And laid within my hand--and ever it seemed
So real, that each morning, when I woke,
I looked to find the bead of which I dreamed. Thus, night by night, her visits were maintained, Till not a bead upon the string remained Nought save the crucifix; and then I told What nightly in my dreams I did beholdTold to my father and his guests by chance. Oh! had you seen each ghastly countenance, As they gazed on me in their speechless awe, You might have thought some spectral form they saw! At length, thus spoke an ancient lady there :"Now Heaven be praised, who of the child had care ! For he no more had woke to love and light, Had he received the crucifix this night.
We knew not that the chamber where he slept,
Was that in which the lady vigil kept ;-
'Tis said her room is in the western tower
But God be praised who kept him from the power
Of awful death! Wonld you the story know !
Alas! 'tis one of tyranny and woe!
She was a lady beautiful and good
Wife to Lorenzo Maffei, whose mood
Was like the earthquake's, unrelenting, fell;
Whose ire and scorn no gentle love could quell;
Fierce in his cruel love, fierce in his hate,
Making his life a desert desolate:
All men abhorred him, women at his name
Grew pale, and crossed themselves; guests never came
Within his gate; nor menial would have borne,
Save for their lady's sake, his fiendish scorn.
She was the mother of a gentle child,
A boy, like her so delicate and mild,
That his stern father cursed him as he lay
Resting his dear head on his mother's breast;
And ever chid him at his harmless play,
Because his quiet spirit courted rest : At length he said no longer side by side
Mother and child should dwell, because he needed A harsher teacher to arouse the pride
And passion of his soul. Ah! little heeded
That terrible man their earnest prayers and tears,
For they were parted—and three weary years
She dwelt alone, nor ever might rejoice
Her soul at sound of his soft pleasant voice.
But after that time's space, one night she heard
The low wail of a child, as though it wept,
Telling its griefs in many an artless word;
And from her chamber silently she crept, Guided by the sounds, and there she found her boy;And yet the sight to her brought little joy;