Imágenes de páginas



That in an April sunbeam's fleeting glow
Fulfils its destined, though invisible work,

The universal Spirit guides; nor less
When merciless ambition, or mad zeal,

I was an infant when my mother went
Has led two hosts of dupes to battle-field,

To see an atheist burned. She took me there : That, blind, they there may dig each other's graves The dark-robed priests were met around the pile ; And call the sad work glory, does it rule

The multitude was gazing silently; All passions: not a thought, a will, an act, And as the culprit passed with dauntless mien, No working of the tyrant's moody mind,

Tempered disdain in his unaltering eye, Nor one misgiving of the slaves who boast

Mixed with a quiet smile, shone calmly forth: Their servitude, to hide the shame they feel, The thirsty fire crept round his manly limbs ; Nor the events enchaining every will,

His resolute eyes were scorched to blindness soon ; That from the depths of unrecorded time

His death-pang rent my heart! the insensate mob Have drawn all-influencing virtue, pass

Uttered a cry of triumph, and I wept. Unrecognised or unforeseen by thee,

Weep not, child ! cried my mother, for that man Soul of the Universe ! eternal spring

Has said, There is no God.
Of life and death, of happiness and woe,
Of all that chequers the phantasmal scene
That floats before our eyes in wavering light,

There is no God ! Which gleams but on the darkness of our prison, Nature confirms the faith his death-groan seald: Whose chains and massy walls

Let heaven and earth, let man's revolving race, We feel but cannot see.

His ceaseless generations, tell their tale;

Let every part depending on the chain Spirit of Nature ! all-sufficing Power.

That links it to the whole, point to the hand Necessity! thou mother of the world!

That grasps its term! Let every seed that falls, Unlike the God of human error, thou

In silent eloquence unfold its store
Requirest no prayers or praises; the caprice Of argument: infinity within,
Of man's weak will belongs no more to thee Infinity without, belie creation ;
Than do the changeful passions of his breast The exterminable spirit it contains
To thy unvarying harmony: the slave,

Is nature's only God; but human pride
Whose horrible lusts spread misery o'er the world, Is skilful to invent most serious names
And the good man, who lifts, with virtuous pride, To hide its ignorance.
His being, in the sight of happiness,
That springs from his own works; the poison-tree, Has fenced about all crime with holiness,

The name of God
Beneath whose shade all life is withered up,
And the fair vak, whose leafy dome affords

Himself the creature of his worshippers,
A temple where the vows of happy love

Whose names and attributes and passions change, Are register’d, are equal in thy sight:

Seeva, Buddh, Foh, Jehovah, God, or Lord, No love, no hate thou cherishest ; revenge

Even with the human dupes who build his shrines, And favouritism, and worst desire of fame,

Still serving o'er the war-polluted world Thou knowest not: all that the wide world contains

For desolation's watch-word; whether hosts Are but thy passive instruments, and thou

Stain his death-blushing chariot wheels, as on Regard'st them all with an impartial eye

Triumphantly they roll, whilst Brahmins raise Whose joy or pain thy nature cannot feel,

A sacred hymn to mingle with the groans; Because thou hast not human sense,

Or countless partners of his power divide Because thou art not human mind.

His tyranny to weakness; or the smoke

Of burning towns, the cries of female helplessness, Yes! when the sweeping storm of time

Unarmed old age, and youth, and infancy, Has sung its death-dirge o'er the ruined fanes

Horribly massacred, ascend to heaven And broken altars of the almighty fiend

In honour of his name; or, last and worst, Whose name usurps thy honours, and the blood

Earth groans beneath religion's iron age, Through centuries clotted there, has floated down

And priests dare babble of a God of peace, The tainted flood of ages, shalt thou live

Even whilst their hands are red with guiltless blood, Unchangeable! A shrine is raised to thee,

Murdering the while, uprooting every germ Which, nor the tempest breath of time,

Of truth, exterminating, spoiling all,
Nor the interminable flood,

Making the earth a slaughter-house !
Over earth's slight pageant rolling,
Availeth to destroy, -

O Spirit! through the sense

By which thy inner nature was apprised The sensitive extension of the world.

Of outward shows vague dreams have roll’d, That wondrous and eternal fane,

And varied reminiscences have waked Where pain and pleasure, good and evil join,

Tablets that never fade; To do the will of strong necessity,

All things have been imprinted there, And life in multitudinous shapes,

The stars, the sea, the earth, the sky,
Still pressing forward where no term can be,

Even the unshapeliest lineaments
Like hungry and unresting flame
Curls round the eternal columns of its strength.

Of wild and fleeting visions

Have left a record there

To testify of earth.
These are my empire, for to me is given
The wonders of the human world to keep,



And fancy's thin creations to endow

Shall perish, to fulfil the blind revenge With manner, being, and reality ;

(Which you, to men, call justice) of their God. Therefore a wondrous phantom, from the dreams Of human error's dense and purblind faith,

The murderer's brow
I will evoke, to meet thy questioning.

Quiver'd with horror.
Ahasuerus, rise !

God omnipotent,
A strange and woe-worn wight

Is there no mercy ? must our punishment
Arose beside the battlement,

Be endless ? will long ages roll away,
And stood unmoving there.

And see no term? Oh! wherefore hast thou made His inessential figure cast no shade

In mockery and wrath this evil earth ?
Upon the golden floor ;

Mercy becomes the powerful-be but just :
His port and mien bore mark of many years,

O God! repent and save. And chronicles of untold ancientness

One way remains : Were legible within his beamless eye :

I will beget a son, and he shall bear
Yet his cheek bore the mark of youth ; The sins of all the world ; he shall arise
Freshness and vigour knit his manly frame ; In an unnoticed corner of the earth,
The wisdom of old age was mingled there

And there shall die upon a cross, and purge
With youth's primæval dauntlessness; The universal crime; so that the few
And inexpressible woe,

On whom my grace descends, those who are mark'd Chasten’d by fearless resignation, gave

As vessels to the honour of their God,
An awful grace to his all-speaking brow.

May credit this strange sacrifice, and save
Their souls alive : millions shall live and die,

Who ne'er shall call upon their Saviour's name,
Is there a God ?

But, unredeemed, go to the gaping grave.
Thousands shall deem it an old woman's tale,

Such as the nurses frighten babes withal :
Is there a God !-ay, an almighty God,

These in a gulf of anguish and of flame And vengeful as almighty! Once his voice Shall curse their reprobation endlessly, Was heard on earth : earth shudder'd at the sound; | Yet tenfold pangs shall force them to avow, The fiery-visaged firmament express'd

Even on their beds of torment, where they howl,
Abhorrence, and the grave of nature yawn'd My honour, and the justice of their doom.
To swallow all the dauntless and the good What then avail their virtuous deeds, their thoughts
That dared to hurl defiance at his throne,

Of purity, with radiant genius bright,
Girt as it was with power. None but slaves Or lit with human reason's earthly ray?
Survived,-cold-blooded slaves, who did the work | Many are called, but few will I elect.
Of tyrannous omnipotence ; whose souls

Do thou my bidding, Moses !
No honest indignation ever urged
To elevated daring, to one deed

Even the murderer's cheek
Which gross and sensual self did not pollute. Was blanched with horror, and his quivering lips
These slaves built temples for the omnipotent fiend, Scarce faintly uttered—0 almighty one,
Gorgeous and vast : the costly altars smoked I tremble and obey !
With human blood, and hideous pæans rung
Through all the long-drawn aisles. A murderer O Spirit ! centuries have set their seal

On this heart of many wounds, and loaded brain, His voice in Egypt, one whose gifts and arts

Since the Incarnate came : humbly he came, Had raised him to his eminence in power,

Veiling his horrible Godhead in the shape Accomplice of omnipotence in crime,

Of man, scorned by the world, his name unheard, And confidant of the all-knowing one.

Save by the rabble of his native town,
These were Jehovah's words.

Even as a parish demagogue. He led

The crowd; he taught them justice, truth, and From an eternity of idleness

peace, I, God, awoke ; in seven days' toil made earth In semblance ; but he lit within their souls From nothing ; rested, and created man:

The quenchless flames of zeal, and blest the sword I placed him in a paradise, and there

He brought on earth to satiate with the blood Planted the tree of evil, so that he

Of truth and freedom his malignant soul. Might eat and perish, and my soul procure

At length his mortal frame was led to death. Wherewith to sate its malice, and to turn,

I stood beside him : on the torturing cross Even like a heartless conqueror of the earth, No pain assailed his unterrestrial sense ; All misery to my fame. The race of men And yet he groaned. Indignantly I summed Chosen to my honour, with impunity

The massacres and miseries which his name May sate the lusts I planted in their heart. Had sanctioned in my country, and I cried, Here I command thee hence to lead them on, Go! go ! in mockery. Until, with harden'd feet, their conquering troops A smile of godlike malice reillumed Wade on the promised soil through woman's blood, His fading lineaments._I go, he cried, And make my name be dreaded through the land. But thou shalt wander o'er the unquiet earth Yet ever-burning flame and ceaseless woe Eternally. -The dampness of the grave Shall be the doom of their eternal souls,

Bathed my imperishable front. I fell, With every soul on this ungrateful earth,

And long lay tranced upon the charmed soil. Virtuous or vicious, weak or strong,—even all

When I awoke hell burned within my brain,

Which staggered on its seat; for all around To see the smiles of peace around them play,
The mouldering relics of my kindred lay,

To frustrate or to sanctify their doom.
Even as the Almighty's ire arrested them,
And in their various attitudes of death

Thus have I stood,—through a wild waste of years
My murdered children's mute and eyeless sculls Struggling with whirlwinds of mad agony,
Glared ghastly upon me.

Yet peaceful, and serene, and self-enshrined,

Mocking my powerless tyrant's horrible curse But my soul,

With stubborn and unalterable will, From sight and sense of the polluting woe

Even as a giant oak, which heaven's fierce flame Of tyranny, had long learned to prefer

Had scathed in the wilderness, to stand Hell's freedom to the servitude of heaven.

A monument of fadeless ruin there; Therefore I rose, and dauntlessly began

Yet peacefully and movelessly it braves My lonely and unending pilgrimage,

The midnight conflict of the wintry storm, Resolved to wage unweariable war

As in the sun-light's calm it spreads With my almighty tyrant, and to hurl

Its worn and withered arms on high
Defiance at his impotence to harm

To meet the quiet of a summer's noon.
Beyond the curse I bore. The very hand
That barred my passage to the peaceful grave
Has crushed the earth to misery, and given

The Fairy waved her wand :

Ahasuerus fled Its empire to the chosen of his slaves.

Fast as the shapes of mingled shade and mist, These have I seen, even from the earliest dawn

That lurk in the glens of a twilight grove, Of weak, unstable, and precarious power;

Flee from the morning beam : Then preaching peace, as now they practise war,

The matter of which dreams are made
So, when they turned but from the massacre

Not more endowed with actual life
Of unoffending infidels, to quench
Their thirst for ruin in the very blood

Than this phantasmal portraiture
That flowed in their own veins, and pitiless zeal

Of wandering human thought.
Froze every human feeling, as the wife
Sheathed in her husband's heart the sacred steel,
Even whilst its hopes were dreaming of her love;
And friends to friends, brothers to brothers stood

Opposed in bloodiest battle-field, and war,
Scarce satiable by fate's last death-draught waged,

The present and the past thou hast beheld :

It was a desolate sight. Now Spirit, learn,
Drunk from the wine-press of the Almighty's wrath ;

The secrets of the future.-Time !
Whilst the red cross, in mockery of peace,
Pointed to victory! When the fray was done,

Unfold the brooding pinion of thy gloom,
No remnant of the exterminated faith

Render thou up thy half-devoured babes,

And from the cradles of eternity, Survived to tell its ruin, but the flesh,

Where millions lie lulled to their portioned sleep With putrid smoke poisoning the atmosphere, That rotted on the half-extinguished pile.

By the deep murmuring stream of passing things,

Tear thou that gloomy shroud.-Spirit, behold Yes! I have seen God's worshippers unsheath

Thy glorious destiny!
The sword of his revenge, when grace descended,
Confirming all unnatural impulses,

Joy to the Spirit came.
To sanctify their desolating deeds ;

Through the wide rent in Time's eternal veil, And frantic priests waved the ill-omened cross Hope was seen beaming through the mists of fear: O'er the unhappy earth: then shone the sun

Earth was no longer hell ; On showers of gore from the upflashing steel

Love, freedom, health, had given Of safe assassination, and all crime

Their ripeness to the manhood of its prime, Made stingless by the spirits of the Lord,

And all its pulses beat And blood-red rainbows canopied the land.

Symphonious to the planetary spheres :

Then dulcet music swelled Spirit! no year of my eventful being

Concordant with the life-strings of the soul; Has passed unstained by crime and misery,

It throbbed in sweet and languid beatings there, Which flows from God's own faith. I've marked Catching new life from transitory death.his slaves,

Like the vague sighings of a wind at even, With tongues whose lies are venomous, beguile

That wakes the wavelets of the slumbering sea, The insensate mob, and, whilst one hand was red

And dies on the creation of its breath, With murder, feign to stretch the other out

And sinks and rises, fails and swells by fits : For brotherhood and peace; and, that they now

Was the pure stream of feeling Babble of love and mercy, whilst their deeds

That sprang from these sweet notes, Are marked with all the narrowness and crime

And o'er the Spirit's human sympathies That freedom's young arm dares not yet chastise,

With mild and gentle motion calmly flowed. Reason may claim our gratitude, who now, Establishing the imperishable throne

Joy to the Spirit came, – Of truth, and stubborn virtue, maketh vain

Such joy as when a lover sees The unprevailing malice of my foe,

The chosen of his soul in happiness, Whose bootless rage heaps torments for the brave,

And witnesses her peace Adds impotent eternities to pain,

Whose woe to him were bitterer than death ; Whilst keenest disappointment racks his breast

Sees her unfaded cheek

And fertile valleys, resonant with bliss,
Whilst green woods overcanopy the wave,
Which like a toil-worn labourer leaps to shore,
To meet the kisses of the flowrets there.

Glow mantling in first luxury of health,

Thrills with her lovely eyes, Which like two stars amid the heaving main

Sparkle through liquid bliss. Then in her triumph spoke the Fairy Queen : I will not call the ghost of ages gone To unfold the frightful secrets of its lore;

The present now is past, And those events that desolate the earth Have faded from the memory of Time, Who dares not give reality to that Whose being I annul. To me is given The wonders of the human world to keep, Space, matter, time, and mind. Futurity Exposes now its treasure ; let the sight Renew and strengthen all thy failing hope. O human Spirit ! spur thee to the goal Where virtue fixes universal peace, And, ʼmidst the ebb and flow of human things, Show somewhat stable, somewhat certain still, A light-house o'er the wild of dreary waves.

All things are recreated, and the flame
Of consentaneous love inspires all life:
The fertile bosom of the earth gives suck
To myriads, who still grow beneath her care,
Rewarding her with their pure perfectness :
The balmy breathings of the wind inhale
Her virtues, and diffuse them all abroad:
Health floats amid the gentle atmosphere,
Glows in the fruits, and mantles on the stream:
No storms deform the beaming brow of heaven,
Nor scatter in the freshness of its pride
The foliage of the ever-verdant trees;
But fruits are ever ripe, flowers ever fair,
And autumn proudly bears her matron grace,
Kindling a flush on the fair cheek of spring,
Whose virgin bloom beneath the ruddy fruit
Reflects its tint, and blushes into love.

The habitable earth is full of bliss ;
Those wastes of frozen billows that were hurled
By everlasting snow-storms round the poles,
Where matter dared not vegetate nor live,
But ceaseless frost round the vast solitude
Bound its broad zone of stillness, are unloosed ;
And fragrant zephyrs there from spicy isles
Ruffle the placid ocean-deep, that rolls
Its broad, bright surges to the sloping sand,
Whose roar is wakened into echoings sweet
To murmur through the heaven-breathing groves,
And melodize with man's blest nature there.

The lion now forgets to thirst for blood :
There might you see him sporting in the sun
Beside the dreadless kid; his claws are sheathed,
His teeth are harmless, custom's force has made
His nature as the nature of a lamb.
Like passion's fruit, the nightshade's tempting bane
Poisons no more the pleasure it bestows:
All bitterness is past; the cup of joy
Unmingled mantles to the goblet's brim,
And courts the thirsty lips it fled before.

Those deserts of immeasurable sand,
Whose age-collected fervours scarce allowed
A bird to live, a blade of grass to spring,
Where the shrill chirp of the green lizard's love
Broke on the sultry silentness alone,
Now teem with countless rills and shady woods,
Corn-fields and pastures and white cottages;
And where the startled wilderness beheld
A savage conqueror stained in kindred blood,
A tigress sating with the flesh of lambs
The unnatural famine of her toothless cubs,
While shouts and howlings through the desert rang;
Sloping and smooth the daisy-spangled lawn,
Offering sweet incense to the sun-rise, smiles
To see a babe before his mother's door,

Sharing his morning's meal
With the green and golden basilisk

That comes to lick his feet.

But chief, ambiguous man, he that can know
More misery, and dream more joy than all;
Whose keen sensations thrill within his breast
To mingle with a loftier instinet there,
Lending their power to pleasure and to pain,
Yet raising, sharpening, and refining each;
Who stands amid the ever-varying world,
The burthen or the glory of the earth;
He chief perceives the change; his being notes
The gradual renovation, and defines
Each movement of its progress on his mind.
Man, where the gloom of the long polar night
Lowers o'er the snow-clad rocks and frozen soil,
Where scarce the hardiest herb that braves the frost
Basks in the moonlight's ineffectual glow,
Shrank with the plants, and darkened with the night;
His chilled and narrow energies, his heart,
Insensible to courage, truth, or love,
His stunted stature and imbecile frame,
Marked him for some abortion of the earth,
Fit compeer of the bears that roamed around,
Whose habits and enjoyments were his own :
His life a feverish dream of stagnant woe,
Whose meagre wants, but scantily fulfilled,
Apprised him ever of the joyless length
Which his short being's wretchedness had reached;
His death a pang which famine, cold, and toil,
Long on the mind, whilst yet the vital spark
Clung to the body stubbornly, had brought:
All was inflicted here that earth's revenge
Could wreak on the infringers of her law ;
One curse alone was spared—the name of God.

Those trackless deeps, where many a weary sail
Has seen above the illimitable plain,
Morning on night, and night on morning rise,
Whilst still no land to greet the wanderer spread
Its shadowy mountains on the sun-bright sea,
Where the loud roarings of the tempest-waves
So long have mingled with the gusty wind
In melancholy loneliness, and swept
The desert of those ocean solitudes,
But vocal to the sea-bird's harrowing shriek,
The bellowing monster, and the rushing storm;
Now to the sweet and many mingling sounds
Of kindliest human impulses respond.
Those lonely realms bright garden-isles begem,
With lightsome clouds and shining seas between,

Nor, where the tropics bound the realms of day With a broad belt of mingling cloud and flame,

Where blue mists through the unmoving atmosphere Whilst every shape and mode of matter lends Scattered the seeds of pestilence, and fed

Its force to the omnipotence of mind, Unnatural vegetation, where the land

Which from its dark mine drags the gem of truth Teemed with all earthquake, tempest, and disease, To decorate its paradise of peace. Was man a nobler being; slavery Had crushed him to his country's blood-stained

dust; Or he was bartered for the fame of power,

IX. Which, all internal impulses destroying,

O HAPPY Earth! reality of Heaven ! Makes human will an article of trade;

To which those restless souls that ceaselessly Or he was changed with Christians for their gold, Throng through the human universe, aspire; And dragged to distant isles, where to the sound Thou consummation of all mortal hope ! Of the flesh-mangling scourge, he does the work Thou glorious prize of blindly-working will ! Of all-polluting luxury and wealth,

Whose rays, diffused throughout all space and time; Which doubly visits on the tyrants' heads

Verge to one point and blend for ever there: The long-protracted fulness of their woe;

Of purest spirits thou pure dwelling-place! Or he was led to legal butchery,

Where care and sorrow, impotence and crime, To turn to worms beneath that burning sun Languor, disease, and ignorance, dare not come: Where kings first leagued against the rights of men, o happy Earth, reality of Heaven! And priests first traded with the name of God.

Genius has seen thee in her passionate dreams; Even where the milder zone afforded man

And dim forebodings of thy loveliness, A seeming shelter, yet contagion there,

Haunting the human heart, have there entwined Blighting his being with unnumbered ills,

Those rooted hopes of some sweet place of bliss, Spread like a quenchless fire; nor truth till late Where friends and lovers meet to part no more. Availed to arrest its progress, or create

Thou art the end of all desire and will, That peace which first in bloodless victory waved The product of all action; and the souls Her snowy standard o'er this favoured clime: That by the paths of an aspiring change There man was long the train-bearer of slaves, Have reached thy haven of perpetual peace, The mimic of surrounding misery,

There rest from the eternity of toil The jackal of ambition's lion-rage,

That framed the fabric of thy perfectness. The bloodhound of religion's hungry zeal.

Even Time, the conqueror, fled thee in his fear; Here now the human being stands adorning That hoary giant, who, in lonely pride, This loveliest earth with taintless body and mind; So long had ruled the world, that nations fell Blest from his birth with all bland impulses, Beneath his silent footstep. Pyramids, Which gently in his noble bosom wake

That for millenniums had withstood the tide All kindly passions and all pure desires.

Of human things, his storm-breath drove in sand Him (still from hope to hope the bliss pursuing, Across that desert where their stones survived Which from the exhaustless store of human weal The name of him whose pride had heaped them Draws on the virtuous mind) the thoughts that rise Yon monarch, in his solitary pomp, [there. In time-destroying infiniteness, gift

Was but the mushroom of a summer day, With self-enshrined eternity, that mocks

That his light-winged footstep pressed to dust : The unprevailing hoariness of age,

Time was the king of earth : all things gave way And man, once fleeting o'er the transient scene Before him, but the fixed and virtuous will, Swift as an unremembered vision, stands

The sacred sympathies of soul and sense,
Immortal upon earth : no longer now

That mocked his fury and prepared his fall.
He slays the lamb that looks him in the face,
And horribly devours his mangled flesh,

Yet slow and gradual dawned the morn of love; Which, still avenging nature's broken law, Long lay the clouds of darkness o'er the scene, Kindled all putrid humours in his frame,

Till from its native heaven they rolled away: All evil passions, and all vain belief,

First, crime triumphant o'er all hope careered Hatred, despair, and loathing in his mind, Unblushing, undisguising, bold and strong; The germs of misery, death, disease, and crime. Whilst falsehood, tricked in virtue's attributes, No longer now the winged habitants,

Long sanctified all deeds of vice and woe, That in the woods their sweet lives sing away, Till, done by her own venomous sting to death, Flee from the form of man; but gather round, She left the moral world without a law, And prune their sunny feathers on the hands No longer fettering passion's fearless wing. Which little children stretch in friendly sport Then steadily the happy ferment worked; Towards these dreadless partners of their play. Reason was free; and wild though passion went All things are void of terror: man has lost Through tangled glens and wood-embosomed meads, His terrible prerogative, and stands

Gathering a garland of the strangest flowers, An equal amidst equals : happiness

Yet, like the bee returning to her queen, And science dawn, though late, upon the earth; She bound the sweetest on her sister's brow, Peace cheers the mind, health renovates the frame; Who meek and sober, kissed the sportive child, Disease and pleasure cease to mingle here, No longer trembling at the broken rod. Reason and passion cease to combat there; Whilst each unfettered o'er the earth extends Mild was the slow necessity of death : Its all-subduing energies, and wields

The tranquil Spirit failed beneath its grasp. The sceptre of a vast dominion there;

Without a groan, almost without a fear,


« AnteriorContinuar »