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On heavenly wings that waft her to the sky
Float the sweet tones of starborn melody :
Wild as the hallowed anthem sent to hail
Bethlehem's shepherds in the lonely vale,
When Jordan hush'd his waves, and midnight still
Watched on the holy towers of Zion hill..
38. ADDRESS TO SCEPTICS.-Campbell.
Are these the pompous tidings ye proclaim, Lights of the world and demi-gods of fame? Is this your triumph—this your proud applause, Children of truth, and champions of her cause ? For this hath science searched, on weary wing, By shore and sea,-each mute and living thing? Launched with Iberia’s pilot from the steep, To worlds unknown, and isles beyond the deep! Or round the cope her living chariot driven And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven! Oh! star-eyed science, hast thou wandered there, To waft us home the message of despair! Then bind the palm thy sage's brow to suit, Of blasted leaf, and death-distilling fruit ! Ah me! the laureled wreath that murder rears, Blood-nursed, and watered by the widow's tears, Seems not so foul, so tainted, and so dread, As waves the night-shade round the sceptic's head. What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain ? I smile on death if heavenward hope remain! But if the warring winds of nature's strife Be all the faithless charter of my life;. If chance awaked, inexorable power ! This frail and feverish being of an hour; Doomed o'er the world's precarious scene to sweep, Swift as the tempest travels on the deep, To know delight but by her parting smile, And toil, and wish, and weep a little while ; Then melt, ye elements ! that formed in vain This troubled pulse and visionary brain ! Fade, ye wild flowers ! memorials of my doom; And sing, ye stars ! that light me to the tomb. Truth! ever lovely—since the world began, The foe of tyrants, and the friend of man,
How can thy words from balmy slumber start,
Reposing virtue, pillowed on the heart !
Yet, if thy voice the note of thunder rolled,
And that were true which nature never told,
Let wisdom smile not on her conquered field;
No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed!
Oh! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate,
The doom that bars us from a better fate;
But, sad as angels from the good man's sin,
Weep to record, and blush to give it in.
What is ambition ? 'Tis a glorious cheat !
Angels of light walk not so dazzlingly
The sapphire walls of heaven. The unsearched mine
Hath not such gems. Earth's constellated thrones
Have not such pomp of purple and of gold.
It hath no features. In its face is set
A mirror, and the gazer sees his own.
It looks a god, but it is like himself !
It hath a mien of empery, and smiles
Majestically sweet_but how like him!
It follows not with fortune. It is seen
Rarely or never in the rich man's hall.
It seeks the chamber of the gifted boy,
And lifts his humble window and comes in.
The narrow walls expand, and spread away
Into a kingly palace, and the roof
Lifts to the sky, and unseen fingers work
The ceilings with rich blazonry, and write
His name in burning letters over all.
And ever, as he shuts his wildered
The phantom comes and lays upon his lids
A spell that murders sleep, and in his ear
Whispers a deathless word, and on his brain
Breathes a fierce thirst no water will allay.
He is its slave henceforth! His days are spent
In chaining down his heart, and watching where
To rise by human weaknesses. His nights
Bring him no rest in all their blessed hours.
His kindred are forgotten or estranged.
Unhealthful fires burn constant in his eye.
His lip grows restless, and its smile is curled
Half into scorn,--till the bright, fiery boy,
That was a daily blessing but to seey
His spirit was so birdlike and so pure,
Is frozen, in the very flush of youth,
Into a cold, care-fretted, heartless man!
And what is its reward ? At best, a name!
Praise—when the ear has grown too dull to hear ;
Gold—when the senses it should please are dead;
Wreaths—when the hair they cover has grown gray;
Fame-when the heart it should have thrilled is numb.
All things but love—when love is all we want,
And close behind comes death, and ere we know
That even these unavailing gifts are ours,
He sends us, stripped and naked, to the grave!
OPPOSITION OF CHARACTERS.--Pollok.
One man there was—and
Have met—who never had a dozen thoughts
In all his life, and never changed their course;
But told them o'er, each in its 'customed place,
From morn till night, from youth till hoary age.
Little above the ox which grazed the field
His reason rose: so weak his memory,
The name his mother called him by, he scarce
Remembered; and his judgment so untaught,
That what at evening played along the swamp,
Fantastic, clad in robe of fiery hue,
He thought the devil in disguise, and fled
With quivering heart and winged footsteps home.
The word philosophy he never heard,
Or science; never heard of liberty,
Necessity, or laws of gravitation:
And never had an unbelieving doubt.
Beyond his native vale he never looked;
But thought the visual line that girt him round,
The world's extreme; and thought the silver moon,
That nightly o’er him led her virgin host,
No broader than his father's shield. He lived
Lived where his father lived-died where he died;
Lived happy, and died happy, and was saved.
Be not surprised. He loved and served his God.
There was another, large of understanding,
Of memory infinite, of judgment deep:
Who knew all learning, and all science knew;
And all phenomena in heaven and earth,
Traced to their causes; traced the labyrinths
Of thought, association, passion, will ;
And all the subtile, nice affinities
Of matter traced; its motions, virtues, laws;
And most familiarly and deeply talked
Of mental, moral, natural, divine.
Leaving the earth at will, he soared to heaven,
And read the glorious visions of the skies ;
And to the music of the rolling spheres
Intelligently listened ; and gazed far back,
Into the awful depths of Deity.
Did all that mind assisted most, could do ;
And yet in misery lived, in misery died.
Because he wanted holiness of heart.
A deeper lesson this to mortals taught,
And nearer cut the branches of their pride :
That not in mental, but in moral worth,
God excellence placed; and only to the good,
To virtue, granted happiness alone.
41. What's HALLOWED GROUND ?-Campbell.
hat's hallowed ground ? Has earth a clod Its Maker meant not should be trod By man, the image of his God,
Erect and free, Unscourged by superstition's rod,
To bow the knee?
What's hallowed ground ?-where, mourned and missed,
The lips repose our love has kissed, -
But where's their memory's mansion ? Is't
Yon churchyard's bowers ?
No! in ourselves their souls exist,
A part of ours.
A kiss can consecrate the ground
Where mated hearts are mutual bound:
The spot where love's first links were wound,
That ne'er are riven,
Is hallowed, down to earth's profound,
And up to heaven!
What hallows ground where heroes sleep?
'Tis not the sculptured piles you heap :
In dews that heavens far-distant weep
Their turf may bloom;
Or genii twine beneath the deep
Their coral tomb.
But strew his ashes to the wind
Whose sword or voice has saved mankind
And is he dead, whose glorious mind
Lifts thine on high ?
To live in hearts we leave behind,
is not to die.
Is't death to fall for freedom's right?
He's dead alone that lacks her light !
And murder sullies, in heaven's sight,
The sword he draws :
What can alone ennoble fight ?
A noble cause?
Give that: and welcome war to brace
Her drums! and rend heaven's reeking space!
The colors planted face to face,
The charging cheer,
Though death's pale horse lead on the chase,
Shall still be dear.
What's hallowed ground? "Tis what gives birth
To sacred thoughts in souls of worth !
Peace! independence! truth! go forth
Earth's compass round;
And your high-priesthood shall make earth
All hallowed ground!
42. CASSIUS INSTIGATING BRUTUS AGAINST CÆSAR..
Honor is the subject of my story
I cannot tell what you and other men
Think of this life ; but for my single self,