Page images
PDF
EPUB

Think, O my soul, devoutly think,
How with affrighted eyes

Thou sawest the wide-extended deep
In all its horrors rise!

Confusion dwelt in every face,
And fear in every heart,

When waves on waves, and gulfs in gulfs,
O'ercame the pilot's art.

Yet then from all my griefs, O Lord,
Thy mercy set me free;
While in the confidence of prayer
My soul took hold on thee.

For though in dreadful whirls we hung
High on the broken wave,

I knew thou wert not slow to hear,
Nor impotent to save.

The storm was laid, the winds retired,
Obedient to thy will;

The sea, that roared at thy command,
At thy command was still.

In midst of dangers, fears, and deaths,
Thy goodness I'll adore;

And praise thee for thy mercies past,
And humbly hope for more.

My life, if thou preservest my life,
Thy sacrifice shall be;

And death, if death must be my doom,
Shall join my soul to thee.

wwwwww

EARLY IMPRESSIONS.

CHILDHOOD's loved

group revisits every scene;

The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green! Indulgent MEMORY wakes, and lo, they live! Clothed with far softer hues than Light can give.

The School's lone porch, with reverend mosses gray,
Just tells the pensive pilgrim where it lay.
Mute is the bell that rung at peep of dawn,
Quickening my truant-feet across the lawn:
Unheard the shout that rent the noontide air,
When the slow dial gave a pause to care.
Up springs, at every step, to claim a tear,
Some little friendship formed and cherished here;
And not the lightest leaf, but trembling teems
With golden visions, and romantic dreams!

Down by yon hazel copse, at evening, blazed
The gipsy's fagot-there we stood and gazed;
Gazed on her sun-burnt face with silent awe,
Her tattered mantle, and her hood of straw;
Her moving lips, her caldron brimming o'er;
The drowsy brood that on her back she bore,
Imps, in the barn with mousing owlet bred,
From rifled roost at nightly revel fed;

Whose dark eyes flashed through locks of blackest shade,
When in the breeze the distant watch-dog bayed:-
And heroes fled the Sibyl's muttered call,
Whose elfin prowess scaled the orchard-wall.

As o'er my palm the silver piece she drew,

And traced the line of life with searching view,

How throbbed my fluttering pulse with hopes and fears, To learn the colour of my future

years!

Ah, then, what honest triumph flushed my breast;
This truth once known-To bless is to be blest!
We led the bending beggar on his way,
(Bare were his feet, his tresses silver-gray,)
Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt,
And on his tale with mute attention dwelt.
As in his scrip we dropt our little store,
And sighed to think that little was no more,
He breathed his prayer, "Long may such goodness live!"
'Twas all he gave, 'twas all he had to give.

But hark! through those old firs, with sullen swell,
The church-clock strikes! ye tender scenes, farewell!
It calls me hence, beneath their shade, to trace
The few fond lines that Time may soon efface.

On yon gray stone, that fronts the chancel-door,
Worn smooth by busy feet now seen no more,
Each eve we shot the marble through the ring,
When the heart danced, and life was in its spring;
Alas! unconscious of the kindred earth,

That faintly echoed to the voice of mirth.
The glow-worm loves her emerald light to shed,
Where now the sexton rests his hoary head.
Oft, as he turned the greensward with his spade,
He lectured every youth that round him played;
And calmly pointing where our fathers lay,
Roused us to rival each, the hero of his day.

[blocks in formation]

It is not that my lot is low,
That bids the silent tear to flow;
It is not grief that bids me moan,
It is that I am all alone.

In woods and glens I love to roam,
When the tired hedger hies him home;
Or by the woodland pool to rest,
When pale the star looks on its breast.

Yet when the silent evening sighs,
With hallowed airs and symphonies,
My spirit takes another tone,
And sighs that it is all alone.

The autumn leaf is sear and dead-
It floats upon the water's bed;
I would not be a leaf, to die
Without recording sorrow's sigh!

The woods and winds, with sullen wail,

Tell all the same unvaried tale;

I've none to smile when I am free,

And when I sigh, to sigh with me.

Yet in my dreams a form I view,
That thinks on me, and loves me too :
I start; and, when the vision's flown,
weep that I am all alone.

I

[blocks in formation]

But art thou thus indeed "alone?"
Quite unbefriended-all unknown?
And hast thou, then, his name forgot
Who formed thy frame, and fixed thy lot?
Is not His voice in evening's gale?
Beams not with Him the "star" so pale?
Is there a leaf can fade and die
Unnoticed by his watchful eye?

Each fluttering hope-each anxious fear-
Each lonely sigh-each silent tear-
To thine Almighty Friend is known;
And say'st thou, thou art "all alone?"

ELIZA.

Now stood Eliza on the wood-crowned height,
O'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the fight;
Sought with bold eye amid the bloody strife
Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
From hill to hill the rushing host pursued,
And viewed his banner, or believed she viewed.
Pleased with the distant roar, with quicker tread
Fast by his hand one lisping boy she led;
And one fair girl amid the loud alarm
Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm;

While round her brows bright beams of honour dart
And love's warm eddies circle round her heart.
-Near and more near the intrepid beauty pressed,
Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest;
Heard the exulting shout, "They run! they run!"
"Great God!" she cried, "he's safe! the battle's won!"
-A ball now hisses through the airy tides,
(Some fury winged it, and some demon guides !)

Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck, Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck; The red stream issuing from her azure veins Dyes her white veil, her ivory bosom stains."Ah me!" she cried, and, sinking on the ground, Kissed her dear babes, regardless of the wound; "Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou vital urn!

[ocr errors]

Wait, gushing life, Oh wait my love's return! "Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far! "The angel, pity, shuns the walks of war !— "Oh spare, ye war hounds, spare their tender age!— "On me, on me!" she cried, " exhaust your rage!" Then with weak arms her weeping babes caressed, And, sighing, hid them in her blood-stained vest. From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies, Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes; Eliza's name along the camp he calls, Eliza echoes through the canvass walls;

Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread,
O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead,
Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood,
Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood !—

-Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds,
With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds :-
Speak low," he cries, and gives his little hand,
"Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand;
"Poor weeping babe with bloody fingers pressed,
"And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast!
"Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake-

[ocr errors]

'Why do you weep ?-Mamma will soon awake."

"She'll wake no more!" the hopeless mourner cried, Upturned his eyes, and clasped his hands, and sighed ; Stretched on the ground awhile entranced he lay, And pressed warm kisses on the lifeless clay; And then upsprung with wild convulsive start, And all the father kindled in his heart :

"O, Heavens!" he cried, "my first rash vow forgive! "These bind to earth, for these I pray to live!" Round his chill babes he wrapped his crimson vest, And clasped them sobbing to his aching breast.

« PreviousContinue »