Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

He cared not, so his wealth kept rising,
How other debts and credits stood.
He came to thirty, vile as ever,
One-two were added, half a third,
When lo! Tom Bell, the unbeliever,
Became a lover of the Word.

It was a night in cold November,
Five days or more before its close,
When shrill-voiced winds the oaks dismember,
And hazy clouds foretel the snows;
When beasts go to their coverts creeping,
When birds of passage seek mild skies,
When the rough waves the cliffs are sweeping,
There stood a form before his eyes.

He sat, that awful moment, resting
Upon a bank of leafless firs,
Watching to see a soft form breasting
The chilly night-wind, even her's.
When all at once as he sits gazing,
He feels the air grow deadly cold ;
And he beholds a tall form raising
Itself from out the frozen mould.

Its dress was white, damp, grave-clothes flowiny
All heavily upon the gale ;
Its eyes no more with life were glowing,
Its brow was ghastly, and cheek pale.
It bent itself, that cold corse, o'er him,
Upon his shoulder laid its hand;

02

With this thing from the tombs before him All shuddering did the sinner stand.

And when it spoke, its tones were hollow ;-
6 What dost thou here, this chilly night?
Why, base seducer, dost thou follow
A gentle girl, to work her blight?
I perished by thy base pursuing,
Does not thy soul my secret tell ?
The earliest victim of thy wooing-
Thou know'st me now, lost Isabel.

I come,

bad

man, to give thee warning,
Thy sins cry out, and Justice hears;
Nor would'st thou see another morning,
Did not fair Mercy plead with tears.
But oh! her voice is growing weaker,
Her pleas are by thy sinnings crost,
She blushes to become the seeker
For grace on thee-she deems thee lost.

If by the time that morn discovers
Her yellow light to the brown hills,
No guardian angel o'er thee hovers,
No other spirit thy frame fills,
Thou shalt lie low; and ere the going
Of the bright sun adown the West,
By him that said it—the All-knowing,
Thou shalt be gone, but not to rest."

*T is hushed; he looks with horror round him;
There's but himself with life that stirs ;
One groan, and the next moment found him,
Lying low beneath the nodding firs.
And then, while the cold moon was shedding
Her silver light on the brown sod,
And twinkling stars their maze were threading,
He, weeping, thus addressed his God.

6 I kneel—to pray-I who have never
Yet knelt in prayer, kneel to beseech
Forgiveness; Thou didist say that ever
Thy pardon penitence should reach.
Now in the dust behold me humbled,
And shuddering at thy just rage lie ;
The worm that feeds on bodies crumbled
is better in thy sight than I.

All-righteous Judge! recall thy sentence,
Allow me time to mend my ways;
And as I show or not repentance,
So lengthen, or abridge my days.
If that my heart still cleaves to errors,
Then execute thy named decree;
But if I mend, O! veil thy terrors,
And look with eyes of love on me.”

He ceased. Whose are the tones that greet him
Soft as the gentle gales of spring ?
'T is she who comes, weak girl! to meet him,
As 't were upon a plover's wing.

He answers not her fond caresses,
But with mild speech he bids her go;
And says “ tomorrow braid thy tresses,
And deck thyself for bridal show.”

'Tis morn, there's frolic in the hamlet,
The rustics' joys to transports swell;
And many a cheek as brown as camlet,
Goes to the nuptials of Tom Bell.
He's changed, they see, he checks their riot,
He speaks of foul paths he has trod;
And in his face there reigns the quiet
Of one at peace with a kind God.

Now evermore at the broad chancel,
He wakes the earliest anthem's swell ;
Nor with hymns only does he cancel
His debts with Justice-he lives well.
His beds have pillows for the weary,
His wardrobe garments for the poor,
He makes the hungry orphan cheery,
He reads the Scriptures to the boor.

At home, abroad, dry, wet, night, morning,
"T is all the same, he's ever calm,
Each day with some new trait adorning
Poor nature-gathering stores of balm.
And far and wide his praise is sounding;
His good deeds distant cities tell;
And slanderers who delight in wounding
Say nought against Reformed Tom Bell.

A MOOR'S CURSE ON SPAIN.

With tearful eyes and swelling hearts, they leave

Grenada's gate, And the wind blows fair to waft their barks across

the narrow strait; They have hoisted sail, and they are gone,—the last

of all the Moors, Whom bigot zeal hath banished from their much-loved

Spanish shores.

The remnants of those warlike tribes, who trode on

Spanish necks, Whom, name you to Castilian ears, if you delight to

vex; Now broken, not by sword and spear, but papal racks

alone, They go, to found, where Dido reigned, another Mos

lem throne.

There stood upon the deck a Moor, who had to Mecca

been, Whose hoary hair proclaimed his years beyond three

score and ten. He had tasted of the water of Zemzeim's holy well, And could read the monarch's magic ring, and speak

the direful spell.

And there he watched, that aged man, till they had

Calpe past,

« AnteriorContinuar »