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Oh! ask not, hope thou not too much
Of sympathy below! Few are the hearts whence one same touch
Bids the sweet fountains flow-
Forbidden here to meet :
Too fair for aught so fleet.
It may be that thy brother's eye
Sees not as thine, which turns
Where the rich sunset burns :
Born amidst violets lone,
A dream, to his unknown.
The tune that speaks of other times—
A sorrowful delight!
The sound of waves by night,
Some chord within can thrill,
To him a mystery still.
Yet scorn thou not, for this, the true
The kindly, that from childhood grew,
The faithful to thy tears !
Hath in thy grief borne part,
Call his a kindred heart !
But for those bonds all perfect made
Wherein bright spirits blend,
With the same breeze that bend-
Never to mortals given,
Or lift them unto heaven.
THE TRAVELLER AT THE SOURCE OF
In sunset's light, o'er Afric thrown,
A wanderer proudly stood
Of Egypt's awful flood-
He heard its life's first murmuring sound,
A low mysterious tone-
By kings and warriors gone.
He listen'd-and his heart beat high :
The rapture of a conqueror's mood
Rush'd burning through his frame,
Its torrents could not tame;
Night came with stars. Across his soul
There swept a sudden change :
A shadow dark and strange
No more than this! What seem'd it now
First by that spring to stand ? * A remarkable description of feelings thus fluctuating from triumph to despondency, is given in Bruce's Abyssinian Travels. The buoyant exultation of his spirits on arriving at the source of the Nile, was almost immediately succeeded by a gloom, which he thus portrays:—“I was, at that very moment, in possession of what had for many years been the principal object of my ambition and wishes ; indifference, which, from the usual infirmity of human nature, follows, at least for a time, complete enjoyment, had taken place of it. The marsh and the fountains of the Nile, upon comparison with the rise of many of our rivers, became now a trifling object in my sight. I remembered that magnificent scene in my own native country, where the Tweed, Clyde, and Annan, rise in one hill. I began, in my sorrow, to treat the inquiry about the source of the Nile as a violent effort of a distempered fancy.”
A thousand streams of lovelier flow
Bathed his own mountain-land ! Whence, far o'er waste and ocean track, Their wild, sweet voices, call'd him back.
They call’d him back to many a glade,
His childhood's haunt of play, Where brightly through the beechen shade
Their waters glanced away; They call'd him, with their sounding waves, Back to his father's hills and graves.
But, darkly mingling with the thought
Of each familiar scene,
With all that lay between-
Where was the glow of power and pride?
The spirit born to roam ?
With yearnings for his home!
He wept! The stars of Afric's heaven
Beheld his bursting tears,
The meed of toiling years!—
The boy stood on the burning deck
Whence all but he had fled;
Shone round him o'er the dead.
Yet beautiful and bright he stood,
As born to rule the storm-
A proud, though child-like form.
The flames rollid on-he would not go
Without his father's word;
His voice no longer heard.
He call'd aloud :-“ Say, father, say
If yet my task is done !"
Unconscious of his son.
“ Speak, father !” once again he cried,
“ If I may yet be gone!”
And fast the flames rollid on.
* Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son to the Admiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the Battle of the Nile) after the ship had taken fire, and all the guns had been abandoned ; and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had reached the powder.