« AnteriorContinuar »
'Twas whispered in heaven, and muttered in hell,
And echo caught softly the sound as it fell;
In the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest,
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest ;
It was seen in the lightning, and heard in the thunder,
'Twill be found in the spheres when all's driven asunder;
It was given to man with his earliest breath,
It assists at his birth, and attends him in death,
Presides o'er his happiness, honour and health,
Is the prop of his house, and the end of his wealth;
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound;
And, though unassuming, with monarchs is crowned ;
In the heaps of the miser 'tis hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in the prodigal heir;
Without it the soldier and sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch that expels it from home;
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found,
Nor e'er in the whirlpool of passion be drowned;
It softens the heart, and, though deaf be the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear;
But in shades let it rest, like an elegant flower;
Oh! breathe on it softly,—it dies in an hour.
THERE IS A WORLD WE HAVE NOT SEEN.
There is a world we have not seen,
Which time shall never dare destroy;
Where mortal footstep hath not been,
Nor ear hath caught its sounds of joy.
There is a region lovelier far
Than sages tell, or poets sing,
Brighter than summer beauties are,
And softer than the tints of spring.
It is all holy and serene,
The land of glory and repose,
And there to dim the radiant scene,
The tear of sorrow never flows.
It is not fanned by summer gale,
'Tis not refreshed by summer showers ;
It never needs the moonbeam pale,
For there are known no evening hours.
There forms that mortals may not see,
Too glorious for the eye to trace;
And clad in peerless majesty
Move with unutterable grace.
In vain the philosophic eye
May seek to view the fair abode,
Or find it in the curtained sky-
It is the dwelling place of God!
Calm was the eve, and cooling was the gale
That gently fanned Koöma's Bentang tree:
Beneath its canopy the aged throng
Sat garrulous, and praised the lightsome days
Of better years; yet praised their lot, that now,
Beneath the boughs which waved above their sires,
They see their children round about them sport
In mirthful rings, or hear the horn that sounds
The herd's approach. Alas! tis not the sound
Of herdsman's horn; it is the trumpet's voice
Distant as yet, and faint among the hills.
Homeward each warrior hies, and grasps the spear,
And slings the quiver o'er his throbbing heart,
Trembling for those who weeping round him wait,
But bold in conscious courage and his cause:
Yet nought his cause avails: right yields to power.
O'erwhelmed by numbers, fathers, husbands, lie
Dead, bleeding, dying-blessed are the dead!
They bear not the oppressor's chain, nor feel
The bolted iron; while from a neighbouring hill
The pale-faced, ruthless author of the war,
Surveys the human harvest reaped and bound!
Fire, sword and rapine, sweep away at once
The cottage with its inmates, and transform
The happy vale into a wilderness;
No human being save the bowed down,
And children that scarce lisp a father's name,
Is left; as when a forest is laid low,
Haply some single and far sundered trees
Are spared, while every lowly shrub and flower,
That sheltered smiled, droops shivering in the breeze.
And now the wretched captives, linked in rows, In sad community of chains, drag on
Their iron-cumbered limbs, while oft the
Or unclosed wound leaves in the thirsty sand
The traces of their miserable way.
At last the fainting victims reach the shore,
Where low they lie, dispersed in mournful bands;
Then are unbound, to bear the butcher-gripe
Of brutal traffickers, or join the dance,
Mockery of mirth to harmony of whips!
The bargain finished, piteous is the sight;
Most lamentable are the peals of cries,
The groans of parents from their children torn,
Of brother, sister severed; every tie
Of kindred, by one rude revulsion riven.
Some kindred groups remain entire, and feel
The solace of society in woe.
Behold a father driven with his sons,
The mother with her nursling in her arms,
To meet yon ship, now newly hove in sight,
And unsupplied. The trader with his flock
Hastes to the water edge, where waits his boat,
Its human cargo.
First the sire is bound,
And thrown beneath a bench; the rest, unbound,
Implicit follow where affection leads:
His darling boy hastes in, and lays him down
A gentle pillow to his father's head,
And with his little hands would dry the tears
That fill the upward-turned, despairing eye.
But who is he that in the dimpling track
Elbows the brine? He is a boy bereft