Page images



From flaming Equinox to frigid Pole,
Belting the earth thy waters roll.

Engulfing mountains at a sweep

Beneath their angry sway,
Or raising islands from the deep

In their triumphant way,
Or murmuring sweet round Scian isles,
In cadence soft as beauty's smiles.

'Tis midnight !-earth and air

Are hush'd in lair and rest-
Thy energy from thy long birth

Hath never needed rest:
Thou dost not tire—thou feel'st not toil-
Thou art not form’d, like me, of soil.

Why dost thou thunder so?

What in thy depths profound,
Thus as a strong man with his foe,

Gives out that angry sound;
On earth no foe can ever be,
Prince of creation, worthy thee!

Age thou hast never known

Thou shalt be young and free,
Till God command thee give thine own,

And all is dumb save thee;
And haply when the sun is blood,
Unchanged shall be thy mighty food.



The echoes of its vaults are eloquent!
The stones have voices, and the walls do live;
It is the house of Memory.-MATURIN.

Long years have pass’d since last I stray'd,

In boyhood, through thy roofless aisle,
And watch'd the mists of eve o'ershade

Day's latest, loveliest smile;
And saw the bright, broad, moving moon
Sail up the sapphire skies of June !
The air around was breathing balm;

The aspen scarcely seem'd to sway;
And, as a sleeping infant calm,

The river stream'd away, -
Devious as Error, deep as Love,
And blue and bright as heaven above!

Steep'd in a flood of glorious light,

Type of that hour of deep repose, In wan, wild beauty on my sight,

Thy time-worn tower arose, Brightening above the wreck of years, Like FAITH amid a world of fears !

I climb'd its dark and dizzy stair,

And gain'd its ivy-mantled brow;
But broken-ruin'd—who may dare

Ascend that pathway now?
Life was an upward journey then;
When shall my spirit mount again?


The steps in youth I loved to tread,

Have sunk beneath the foot of Time;
Like them, the daring hopes that led

Me, once, to heights sublime,
Ambition's dazzling dreams, are o'er,
And I may scale those heights no more!
And years have fled, and now I stand

Once more by thy deserted fane,
Nerveless alike in heart and hand !

How changed by grief and pain,
Since last I loiter'd here, and deem'd
Life was the fairy thing it seem'd !
And gazing on thy crumbling walls,

What visions meet my mental eye!
For every stone of thine recalls

Some trace of years gone by,-
Some cherish'd bliss, too frail to last,
Some hope decay’d, -or passion past!
Ay, thoughts come thronging on my soul

Of sunny youth's delightful morn;
When free from sorrow's dark control,

By pining cares unworn,
Dreaming of Fame, and Fortune's smile,
I linger'd in thy ruin'd aisle !
How many a wild and withering woe

Hath seard my trusting heart since then ;
What clouds of blight, consuming slow

The springs that life sustain,-
Have o'er my world-vex'd spirit past,
Sweet Kirkstall, since I saw thee last!
How bright is every scene beheld

In youth and hope's unclouded hours !
How darkly-youth and hope dispellid-

The loveliest prospect lours:

Thou wert a splendid vision then ;-
When wilt thou seem so bright again?
Yet still thy turrets drink the light

Of summer evening's softest ray,
And ivy garlands, green and bright,

Still mantle thy decay;
And calm and beauteous, as of old,
Thy wandering river glides in gold !
But life's gay morn of ecstasy,

That made thee seem so more than fair, The aspirations wild and high,

The soul to nobly dare, Oh where are they, stern ruin, say?Thou dost but echo—WHERE ARE THEY?

Farewell !-Be still to other hearts

What thou wert long ago to mine ; And when the blissful dream departs,

Do thou a beacon shine, To guide the mourner through his tears, To the bless'd scenes of happier years.

Farewell !-I ask no richer boon,

Than that my parting hour may be Bright as the evening skies of June !

Thus—thus to fade like thee, With heavenly Faith's soul-cheering ray To gild with glory my decay!



And this is death! how. cold and still,

And yet how lovely it appears !
Too cold to let the gazer smile,

And yet too beautiful for tears.
The sparkling eye no more is bright,

The cheek hath lost its roselike red;
And yet it is with strange delight

I stand and gaze upon the dead.

But when I see the fair wide brow,

Half shaded by the silken hair, That never look'd so fair as now,

When life and health were laughing there, I wonder not that grief should swell

So wildly upward in the breast, And that strong passion once rebel,

That need not, cannot be suppress'd. I wonder not that parents' eyes,

In gazing thus grow cold and dim, That burning tears and aching sighs

Are blended with the funeral hymn; The spirit hath an earthly part,

That weeps when earthly pleasure flies, And heaven would scorn the frozen heart

That melts not when the infant dies.

And yet why mourn? that deep repose

Shall never more be broke by pain; Those lips no more in sighs unclose,

Those eyes shall never weep again.

« PreviousContinue »