Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Thought 'twas their herald's wing My heart was maddened-in the flush returning ;

Of the wild revel I gave way Oft did the potent spell-word, given To all that frantic mirth, that rush

To envoys hither from the skies, Of desperate gaiety, which they To be pronounced, when back to heaven Who never felt how pain's excess

It is their hour or wish to rise, Can break out thus, think happinessCome to my lips that fatal day; Sad mimicry of mirth and life,

And once, too, was so nearly spoken, Whose flashes come but from the strife That my spread plumage in the ray Of inward passions, like the light Aud breeze of heaven began to play, Struck out by clashing swords in fight. When my heart failed, the spell was broken,

Then, too, that juice of earth, the banel The word unfinished died away, And blessing of man's heart and brainAnd my checked plumes, ready to soar, That draught of sorcery, which brings Fell slack and lifeless as before. Phantoms of fair, forbidden things

Whose drops, like those of rainbows,

smile How could I leave a world which she,

Upon the mists that circle man, Or lost or won, made all to me?

Brightening not only earth, the while, No matter where my wanderings were,

But grasping heaven, too, in their So there she looked, moved, breathed about

Then first the fatal wine-cup rained? Woe, ruin, death, more sweet with her, Its dews of darkness through my lips, Than all heaven's proudest joys Casting whate’er of light remained without!

To my lost soul into eclipse,

And filling it with such wild dreams, But to return—that very day

Such fantasies and wrong desires, A feast was held, where, full of mirth, As in the absence of heaven's beams, Came, crowding thick as flowers that Haunt us for ever, like wild-fires play

That walk this earth when day retires. In summer winds, the young

and

gay And beautiful of this bright earth.

Now hear the rest- our banquet done, And she was there, and 'mid the young I sought herin the accustomed bower,

And beautiful stood first, alone : Where late we oft, when day was gone, Though on her gentle brow still hung And the world hushed, had met alone,

The shadow I that morn had thrown- At the same silent moonlight hour. The first that ever shame or woe I found her-oh, so beautiful ! Had cast upon its vernal snow.

Why, why have hapless angels eyes ?3

span !

1 For all that relates to the nature and written on the subject; the 9th, 10th, and 11th attributes of angels, the time of their creation, chapters, sixth book, of l'Histoire des Juifs, the extent of their knowledge, and the power where all the extraordinary reveries of the Rabbius which they possess, or can occasionally assume, about angels and demons aro enumerated; the of performing such human functions as eating questions attributed to St. Athanasius; the drinking, etc. etc., I shall refer those who are in treatise of Bonaventure upon the Wings of the quisitive upon the subject to the following works : Seraphim; and lastly, the ponderous tolio of

The Treatise upon the Celestial Hierarchy, Suarez de Angelis, where the reader will find all written under the name of Dionysius the Areopa. that has ever been fancied or reasoned, upon a gite, in which among much that is heavy and subject which only such writers could have contrilling, there are some sublime notions concern- trived to render so dull. ing the agency of these spiritual creatures ; the * Some of the circumstances of this story were questions de Cognitione Angelorum of St. Thomas, suggested to me by the Eastern legend of the two where he examines most prolixly into such angels, Harut and Marut, as it is given by Mariti, puzzling points as whether angels illuminate who says that the author of the Taalim founds eich other,' 'whether they speak to each other,' upon it the Mahometan prohibition of wine. The etc. etc.; the Thesaurus of Cocceins, containing Bahardanush tells the story differently. extracts from almost every theologian that has 3 Tertullian imagines that the words of St.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Or why are there not flowers to cull, Without one blest memorial given

As fair as woman, in yon skies? To soothe me in that lonely skyStill did her brow, as usual, turn One look like those the young and fond To her loved star, which seemed to burn Give when they're parting, which Purer than ever on that night;

would be, While she, in lookivg, grew more Even in remembrance, ar beyond bright,

All heaven hath left of bliss for me! As though that planet were an urn From which her eyes drank liquid | Oh, but to see that head recline light.

Aminute on this trembling arm, There was a virtue in that scene,

And those mild eyes look up to mine A spell of holiness around,

Without a dread, a thought of harm! Which would have—had my brain not To meet but once the thrilling touch been

Of lips that are too fond to fear me, Thus poisoned, maddened-held me

Or, if that boon be all too much, bound,

Even thus to bring their fragrance

near me ! As though I stood on God's own groupd.

Nay, shrink not so-a look-a word Even as it was, with soul all flame,

Give them but kindly and I fly; And lips that burned in their own

Already, see, my plumes have stirred, sighs,

And trein ble for their home on high. I stood to gaze, with awe and shame— Thus be our parting-cheek to cheekThe memory of Eden came

One minute's lapse will be forgiven, Full o'er me when I saw those eyes;

And thou, the next, shalt hear me speak And though too well each glance of mine

The spell that plumes my wing for

heaven !'
To the pale shrinking maiden proved
How far, alas, from aught divine,
Aught worthy of so pure a shrine,

While thus I spoke, the fearful maid,
Was the wild love with which I loved, of me and of herself afraid,
Yet must she, too, have seen-oh yes,' Had shrinking stood, like flowers be-
'Tis soothing but to think she saw-

neath The deep, true, soul-felt tenderness The scorching of the south wind's The homage of an angel's awe

breath; To her, a mortal, whom pure love

But when I named--alas, too well Then placed above him-far above- I now recall, though wildered then,-And all that struggle to repress

Instantly, when I named the spell, A sinful spirit's mad excess,

Her brow, her eyes uprose again, Which worked within me at that hour, And, with an eagerness that spoke When—with a voice, where Passion The sudden light that o'er her broke, shed

“The spell, the spell!-oh, speak it now All the deep sadness of her power,

And I will bless thee!' sheexclaimed. Her melancholy power-I said,

Unknowing what I did, inflamed, · Then be it so-if back to heaven And lost already, on her brow I zaust unloved, uppitied fly,

Istamped one burning kiss, and named

Paul, Woman ought to have a veil on her head, Such instances of indecorum, however, are but on account of the angels,' have an evident refe- too common throughout the Fathers; in proof of rence to the fatal effects which the beauty of which I need only refer to some passages in the women once produced upon these spiritual beings. same writer's treatise, De Anima, to the Second See the strange passage of this Father (de Virgin.) and Third Books of the Pedagogus of Clernens Velandis), beginning, ' Si enim propter angelos,' Alexandrinus, and to the instances which la etc., where his editor Pamelius endeavours to Mothe le Vayer has adduced from Chrysostom in save his morality, at the expense of his Latinity, his Herameron Rustique, Journée Seconde. by substituting the word 'excussat' for 'excusat.'

wear's

The mystic word, till then ne'er told There seemed around me some dark
To living creature of earth's mould ! chain,
Scarce was it said, when, quick as Which still, as I essayed to soar,
thought,

Baffled, alas ! each wild endeavour : Her lips from mine, like echo, caught Dead lay my wings, as they have lain The holy sound-her hands and eyes Since that sad hour, and will remainWere instant lifted to the skies,

So wills the offended God-for ever ! And thrice to heaven she spoke it out, It was to yonder star I traced With that triumphant look Faith

Her journey up the illumined wasteWhen not a cloud of fear or doubt,

That isle in the blue firmament,

To which so oft her fancy went
A vapour from this vale of tears,
Between her and her God appears !

In wishes and in dreams before,
And which was now—such, Purity,

Thy blest reward-ordained to be That very moment her whole frame

Her home of light for evermore! All bright and glorified became, Once-or did I but fancy so?And at her back I saw unclose

Even in her flight to that fair sphere, Two wings magnificent as those 'Mid all her spirit's new-felt glow,

That sparkle round the eternal throne, A pitying look she turned below Whose plumes, as buoyantly she rose Õn him who stood in darkness here; Above me, in the moonbeam shone

Him whom, perhaps, if vain regret With a pure light, which—from its hue, Can dwell in heaven, she pities yet; Unknown upon this earth–I knew

And oft, when looking to this dim Was light from Eden, glistening And distant world, remembers him.

through! Most holy vision ! ne'er before

But soon that passing dream was gone; Did aught so radiant-since the day Farther and farther off she shone, When Lucifer, in falling, bore

Till lessened to a point as small The third of the bright stars away As are those specks that yonder burnRise, in earth's beauty, to repair Those vivid drops of light, that fall That loss of light and glory there ! 3 The last from day's exhausted urn. But did I tamely view her flight ? And when at length she merged, afar,

Did not 1, too, proclaim out thrice Into her own immortal star, The powerful words that were, that And when at length my straining sight night,

Had caught her wing's last fading ray, Oh, even for Heaven too much delight !- That minute from my soul the light Again to bring us eyes to eyes,

Of heaven and love both passed away; And soul to soul in Paradise ? And I forgot my home, my birth, I did I spoke it o'er and o'er- Profaned my spirit, sunk my brow,

I prayed, I wept, but all in vain ; And revelled in gross joys of earth, For me the spell had power no more,

Till I became- what I am now !

1 'And his tail drew the third part of the stars the completion of that grade alone; or, as it is of heaven, and did cast them to the earth.' Rev. explained by Salonius (Dial. in Eccl.) — Decem xii. 4.— Docent sancti (says Suarez) supremum sunt ordines angelorum, sed unus cecidit per angelum traxisse secum tertiam partem stel. superbiam, et idcirco boni angeli semper laborant, larum.'-Lib. 7. cap. 7.

ut de hominibus numerus adimpleatur, et pro2 The idea of the Fathers was, that the veniat ad perfectum numerum, id est, denarium.' vacancies occasioned in the different orders of According to some theologians, virgins alone are angels by the fall were to be filled up from the admitted 'ad collegium angelorum;' but the human race. There is, however, another opinion, authorof the Speculum Peregrinarum Quæstionum backed by papal authority, that it was only the rather questions this exclusive privilege :- Hoc tenth order of the Celestial Hierarchy that fell, non videtur verum, quia multi, non virgines, ut and that, therefore, the promotions which occa- Petrus et Magdalena, multis etiam virginibus sionally take place from earth are intended for eminentiores sunt,'-Decad. 2, cap. 10.

far

wear ;

ear

The Spirit bowed his head in shame; Spirits of Knowledge, who o'er Time

A shame that of itself would tell- And Space and Thought an empire Were there not even those breaks of claimed, tlame,

Second alone to Him, whose light Celestial, through his clouded frame-- Was, even to theirs, as day to nightHow grand the height from which he 'Twixt whom and them was distance

fell! That holy Shame which ne'er forgets And wide, as would the journey be The unblenched renown it used to To reach from any island star

The vague shores of infinity! Whose blush remains, when Virtue sets,

To show her sunshine has been there. Once only, while the tale he toid,

| 'Twas Rubi, in whose mournful eye Were his eyes lifted to behold

Slept the dim light of days gone by ; That happy stainless star, where she

Whose voice, though sweet, fell on the Dwelt in her bower of purity ! One minute did he look, and then

Like echoes in some silent place, As though he felt some deadly pain

When first awaked for many a year ; From its sweet light through heart

And when he smiled—if o'er his face and brain

Smile ever shone—'twas like the grace Shrunk back, and never looked again. The sunny life, the glory gone.

Of moonlight rainbows, fair, but wan,
Even o'er his pride, though still the

same, Who was the Second Spirit ?--he A softening shade from sorrow came; With the proud front and piercing And though at times his spirit knew glance,

The kindlings of disdain and ire, Who seemed, when viewing heaven's Short was the fitful glare they threw

Like the last flashes, fierce but few, expanse, As though his far-sent eye could see

Seen through some noble pile on fire! On, ou into the Immensity Behind the veils of that blue sky, Such was the Angel who now broke Where God's sublimest secrets lie ?- The silence that had come o'er all, His wings, the while, though day was When he, the Spirit that last spoke, gone,

Closed the sad history of his fall; Flashing, with many a various hue And, while a sacred Justre, flown Of light they from themselves alone, For many a day, relumed his cheek,

Instinct with Eden's brightness drew? Beautiful as in days of old ; 'Twas Rubi'—once among the prime And not those eloquent lips alone, And flower of those bright creatures, But every feature seemed to speaknamed

Thus his eventful story told :

1 I might have chosen, perhaps, some better find it expressly forbidden in one of the canons name; but it is meant (like that of Zaraph in the (35th) of the Council of Laodicea, ovou aSELV TOUS following story) to define the particular class of ayyesovs. Josephus, too, mentions, among the spirits to which the angel belonged. The author religious rites of the Essenes, their 'swearing to of the Book of Enoch, who estimates at 200 the preserve the names of the angels,' -oovtipnoely number of angels that descended upon Mount Ta twv ayye.wy ovouata.-Bell. Jud. lib. 2, cap. Hermon, for the purpose of making love to the 8. See upon this subject Van Dale, de Orig.ct women of earth, has favoured us with the names Progress. Idololat. cap. 9. of their leader and chiefs-Samyaza, Urakabard- 2 The word cherub signifies knowledge-TO meel, Akibeci, Tamiel, etc. etc.

γνοστικον αυτων και θεοπτικον, says Dionysius. In that heretical worship of angels, which llence it is that Ezekiel, to express the abundance prevailed to a great degree during the first ages of their knowledge, represents them as 'full of of Christianity, to name them seems to have been eyes.' one of the most important ceremonies ; for we

SECOND ANGEL'S STORY. For ever, with a spell-like weight, You both remember well the day

Upon my spirit-early, late,

Whate'er I did, or dreamed, or felt, When unto Eden's new-made bowers, The thought of what might yet befall He, whom all living things obey, Summoned his chief angelic powers, Nor she alone, but her whole race

That splendid creature mixed with all. To witness the one wonder yet,

Through ages yet to come—whate'er Beyond man, angel, star, or sun, Of feminine, and fond, and fair, He must achieve, ere he could set

Should spring from that pure mind and His seal upon the world as done

face, To see that last perfection rise, All waked my soul's intensest care : That crowning of creation's birth,

Their forms, souls, feeling, still to me When, 'mid the worship and surprise God's most disturbing mystery! Of circliug angels, Woman's eyes

First opened upon heaven and earth; It was my doom-even from the first, And from their lids a thrill was sent,

When summoned with my cherub That through each living spirit went, Like first light through the firmament! To witness the young vernal burst

peers,

Of nature through those blooming Can you forget how gradual stole

spheres, The fresh awakened breath of soul Those Aowers of light, that spring Throughout her perfect form—which beneath seemed

The first touch of the Eternal's breath To grow transparent, as there beamed It was my doom still to be haunted That dawn of mind within, and caught By some new wonder, some sublime New loveliness from each new thought? And matchless work, that, for the Slow as o'er summer seas we trace

time, The progress of the noon-tide air, Held all my soul enchained, enchanted, Dimpling its bright and silent face And left me not a thought, a dream, Each minute into some new grace, A word, but on that only theme ! And varying heaven's reflections there

The wish to know that endless thirst, Or, like the light of evening stealing

Which even by quenching is awaked, O’er some fair temple, which all day And which becomes or blessed or cursed, Hath slept in shadow, slow revealing

As is the fount whereat 'tis slakedIts several beauties, ray by ray,

Still urged me onward, with desire Till it shines out, a thing to bless,

Insatiate, to explore, inquire--
All full of light and loveliness.

Whate'er the wondrous things might be,
That waked each new idolatry—

Their cause, aim, source from whence Can you forget her blush when round

they sprung, Through Eden's lone enchanted ground Their inmost powers, as though for me She looked-and at the sea, the skies, Existence on that knowledge hung,

And heard the rush of many a wing, By God's command then vanishing, Oh what a vision were the stars, And saw the last few angel eyes, When first I saw them burn on high, Still lingering-mine among the rest, – Rolling along, like living cars Reluctant leaving scene so blest ? Of light for gods to journey by! From that miraculous hour, the fate They were my heart's first passion--days

Of this new glorious Being dwelt And nights, unwearied, in their rays

1. St. Augustin, upon Genesis, seems rather inclined to admit that the angels had some share (aliquod ministerium) in the creation of Adam and Eve.

« AnteriorContinuar »