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The fir-tree waves o'er me, the fire-flies' red light
With its quick-glancing splendor illumines the night ,
And I read in each tint of the skies and the earth,
How distant my steps from the land of my birth.
But to thee, as thy lode-stars resplendently burn
In their clear depths of blue, with devotion I turn,
Bright Cross of the South ! and beholding thee shine,
Scarce regret the loved land of the olive and vine.
Thou recallest the ages when first o'er the main
My fathers unfolded the ensign of Spain,
And planted their faith in the regions that see
Its unperishing symbol emblazon'd in thee.
How oft in their course o'er the oceans unknown,
Where all was mysterious, and awful and lone,
Hath their spirit been cheerd by thy light, when the deep
Reflected its brilliance in tremulous sleep?
As the vision that rose to the Lord of the world,*
When first his bright banner of faith was unfurl:d ;
Even such, to the heroes of Spain, when their prow
Made the billows the path of their glory, wert thou.
And to me as I traversed the world of the west,
Through deserts of beauty in stillness that rest;
By forests and rivers untamed in their pride,
Thy hues have a language, thy course is a guide.
Shine on-my own land is a far distant spot,
And the stars of thy sphere can enlighten it not ;
And the eyes that I love, though e'en now they may be
O’er the firmament wandering, can gaze not on thee !
But thou to my thoughts art a pure-blazing shrine,
A fount of bright hopes, and of visions divine ;
And my soul as an eagle exulting and free,
Soars high o'er the Andes to mingle with thee.
I Lay upon the solemn plain,
And by the funeral mound,
Where those who died not there in vain,
Their place of sleep had found.
'Twas silent where the free blood gush'd
When Persia came array'd
So many a voice had there been hush'd,
So many a foot-step stay'd.
I slumber'd on the lonely spot
So sanctified by death :
I slumber'd-but my rest was not
As theirs who lay beneath.
For on my dreams, that shadowy hour,
They rose--the chainless dead-
All arm'd they sprang, in joy, in power,
Up from their grassy bed.
I saw their spears on that red field,
Flash as in time gone by
Chased to the seas without his shield
I saw the Persian fly.
I woke-the sudden trumpet's blast
Callid to another fight-
From visions of our glorious past,
Who doth not wake in might ?
TO MISS F. A. L. ON HER BIRTHDAY
What wish can Friendship form for thee
What brighter star invoke to shine ?
Thy path from every thorn is free,
And every rose is thine !
Life hath no purer joy in store,
Time hath no sorrow to efface ;
Hope cannot paint one blessing more
Than memory can retrace !
Some hearts a boding fear might own,
Had fate to them thy portion given,
Since many an eye by tears alone,
Is taught to gaze on Heaven! And there are virtues oft conceald,
Till roused by anguish from repose, As odorous trees no balm will yield,
Till from their wounds it flows.
But fear not thou the lesson fraught
With Sorrow's chastning power to know; Thou need'st not thus be sternly taught,
“ To melt at others' woe.”
Then still, with heart as blest, as warm,
Rejoice thou in thy lot on earth :
Ah! why should virtue dread the storm.
If Sunbeams prove her worth?
WRITTEN IN THE FIRST LEAF OF THE ALBUM OF THE
What first should consecrate as thine,
The volume, destined to be fraught
With many a sweet and playful line,
With many a pure and pious thought ?
It should be, what a loftier strain
Perchance less meetly would impart;
What never yet was pour'd in vain,-
The blessing of a grateful heart-
For kindness, which hath soothed the hour
Of anxious grief, of weary pain,
And oft, with its beguiling power,
Taught languid Hope to smile again ;
Long shall that fervent blessing rest
On thee and thine, and heavenwards borne,
Call down such peace to soothe thy breast.
As thou would'st bear to all that mourn.
TO THE SAME-ON THE DEATH OF HER MOTHER.
Say not 'tis fruitless, nature's holy tear.
Shed by affection o'er a parent's hier!
More blest than dew on Hermon's brow that falls,
Each drop to life some latent virtue calls ;
Awakes some purer hope, ordain'd to rise,
By earthly sorrow strengthen’d for the skies,
Till the sad heart, whose pangs exalt its love,
With its lost treasure, seeks a home--above.
But grief will claim her hour,—and He, whose eye
Looks pitying down on nature's agony,
He, in whose love the righteous calmly sleep,
Who bids us hope, forbids not to weep!
He too, hath wept-and sacred be the woes
Once borne by him, their inmost source who knows,
Searches each wound, and bids His Spirit bring
Celestial healing on its dove-like wing!
And who but he shall soothe, when one dread stroke,
Ties, that were fibres of the soul, hath broke?
Oh! well may those, yet lingering here, deplore
The vanish'd light, that cheers their path no more!
Th’ Almighty hand, which many a blessing dealt,
Sends its keen arrows not to be unfelt !
By fire and storm, Heaven tries the Christian's worth,
And joy departs to wean us from the earth,
Where still too long, with beings born to die,
Time hath dominion o'er Eternity.
Yet not the less, o'er all the heart hath lost,
Shall Faith rejoice, when Nature grieves the most ;
Then comes her triumph! through the shadowy gloom,
Her star in glory rises from the tomb,
Mounts to the day-spring, leaves the cloud below,
And gilds the tears that cease not yet to flow!
Yes, all is o'er! fear, doubt, suspense are fled,
Let brighter thoughts be with the virtuous dead!
The final ordeal of the soul is past,
And the pale brow is seal’d to Heaven at last !*
And thou, loved spirit! for the skies mature,
Steadfast in faith, in meek devotion pure ;
Thou that didst make the home thy presence blest,
Bright with the sunshine of thy gentle breast,
Where peace a holy dwelling-place had found,
Whence beam'd her smile benignantly around;
Thou, that to bosoms widow'd and bereft
Dear, precious records of thy worth hast left,
The treasured gem of sorrowing hearts to be
Till Heaven recall surviving love to thee !
O cherish'd and revered! fond memory well
On thee, with sacred, sad delight, may dwell!
So pure, so blest thy life, that death alone
Could make more perfect happiness thine own;
He came-thy cup of joy, serenely bright,
Full to the last, still flowd in cloudless light;
He came-an angel, bearing from on high
The all it wanted-immortality!
FROM THE ITALIAN OF GARCILASSO DE LA VEGA.
DIVINE Eliza !—since the sapphire sky
Thou measur'st now on angel wings, and teet
Sandall’d with immortality-oh why
Of me forgetsul :- Wherefore not entreat
To hurry on the time when I shall see
The veil of mortal being rent in twain,
And smile that I am free?
In the third circle of that happy land
Shall we not seek together, hand in hand,
Another lovelier lanscape, a new plain,
Other romantic streams and mountains blue,
And other vales, and a new shady shore,
When I may rest, and ever in my view
Keep thee, without the terror and surprise
Of being sunder'd more!
FROM THE ITALIAN OF SANNAZARO.
Oh! pure and blessed soul
That, from thy clay's control
Escaped, hast sought and found thy native sphere,
And from thy crystal throne
Look'st down, with smiles alone,
On this vain scene of mortal hope and fear ;
Thy happy feet have trod
The starry spangled road,
Celestial flocks by field and fountain guiding,
And from their erring track
Thou charm'st thy shepherds back.
With the soft music of thy gentle chiding,
Oh! who shall Death withstand
Death, whose impartial hand
Levels the lowest plant and loftiest pine!
When shall our ears again
Drink in so sweet a strain.
Our eyes behold so fair a form as thine.
APPEARANCE OF THE SPIRIT OF THE CAPE TO VASCO
(TRANSLATED FROM THE FIFTH BOOK OF THE LUSIAD OF CAMOENI.)
PROPITIOUS winds our daring bark impellid,
O’er seas which mortal n'er till then beheld,
When as one eve, devoid of care, we stood
Watching the prow glide swiftly through the flood,