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From earth's redeemed; while many a twinkling throng
Of starry worlds augment the tide of song.
But now she hovers; resting on those beams
Of crystal light, that bridge affliction's streams;
Those tides of human tears, that pit of woe,
That vortex of despair in which they flow,
Sweeping, as their floods tumultuous roll,
Like withered leaves, the hopes of many a soul.
The earth she sees engulphed in moral night,
Nor can her pitying tears obstruct the sight.
Darkly it swings around its central sun,
While red with human gore its rivers run.
Its lofty domes, its minarets, its towers,
Rocked and fro, as roll contending powers.
E'en pestilence, with foul, infectious breath,'
Now stalks abroad, a parasite of death.
Oppression's hand hath bound in servile chains,
The brothers, ah! of those who hold their reins,
And with iron hand hath crushed their sacred shrines,
And robbed e'en hell of half its black designs.
Sighing she turns to seek in Eden's bowers,
Those founts of joy that spring from beds of flowers; Laughing as their crystal arms entwine
The ripening fruit that clusters on the vine,
And sprinkling with golden spray like floods of light, Flowers that bloom forever fresh and bright.
Nay, prove it to a fraction,
That this fair earth was at her birth
In a state of liquefaction;
But that nature and time wrought many a change
And drew forth objects new and strange.
The motion on her axis,
And soon a crust of rock and dust,
Was formed for vegetation.
A dent in this shell the ocean found,
And left quite bare the fertile ground.
The seasons went and came,
But left no fossil time;
Though herbs and trees, and flowers and bees, And mountains that towered sublime, Appeared on the face of the infant earth, And to many a fish did the sea give birth.
Meantime, while nature toiled,
Great rivers changed their beds;
And where the sea was wont to be,
Tall mountains reared their heads.
Reptiles and beasts had all been formed,
And the air with birds and insects swarmed.
Yet all was not complete;
The lord of this creation
Was not yet made to wield the spade,
And nurture vegetation;
But at length there sprang from nature's hand
The crowning work, a perfect man.
Thus, science contradicts
The words of inspiration;
For Moses says, within six days
God finished all creation;
The heavens, with all their clustering stars,
The earth, its animals and flowers.
That, on the seventh day,
From all his works he rested;
And that one, of seven, might taste of heaven,
He hallowed it and blest it;
As proof that these were days, not years,
The evening and the morn appears.
Yet should one dare to question
The primeval earth's fluidity,
Geologists would sneer and hiss,
And call it sheer stupidity:
These scientific men of letters
Regard themselves as Moses' betters.
Oh, why should poets dream so sadly!
Hath poesy no other strain?
Or why, misanthropes, rave so madly,
Can hatred break love's golden chain?
Linked to the brightest hopes we cherish,
It vibrates through eternal years;
But broken, every ray must perish
Amid the gloom of skeptic fears.
From things of nature's first creation,
To orders of a higher mould;
From eyes that beam with animation,
And hearts that throb with powers untold;
From world to luminous world extending,
Unbroken lies love's golden chain;
From sphere to loftier sphere ascending,
Till heaven ends the glittering train.
Dimly it skirts hell's dark dominions,
And glimmers the verge of night;
And now upborne on seraph's pinions,
It melts in heaven's purest light.
Twilight shadows thick were flying,
Like the leaves of autumn sighing,
Sighing as they fall;
Sprites with bat-like wings distended,
Brushed the lamps that hung depended
From night's dusky wall.
Winds, that all the day had rustled
Through the leafy groves, now bustled
Blustering o'er the plains.
Midnight gloom was creeping o'er me,
As the lamp burned dim before me,
Fitfully it waned.
Mournfully the windows clattered,
While without the rain-drops pattered,
Coals upon the grate were glowing,
But with wild, strange light were throwing
Shadows on the floor.
One by one I saw them dying,
Crumbling and in ashes lying,
Tinkling as they fell;
So, thought I, if all we cherish,
Like these fading embers, perish,
What can break Fate's spell!
Thus, if every pure emotion
Sink in passion's boundless ocean,
Fathomless and drear,
How shall every holy feeling
Melt in christian light, revealing
Cordials for each fear?
Softly o'er my brow were playing
Breezes, while a voice seemed saying
Jesus is the way;
Morning shall dispel thy sadness,
As the birds, with songs of gladness,
Welcome in the day.
So shall faith unbar hope's prison,
When the sun of truth is risen,
Setting conscience free; Mind shall soar on buoyant pinions, Scanning nature's vast dominions, Through eternity.
"In olden time," tradition says,
"When Charity was young,
A squad of philanthropic flies,
Of every caste and tongue,
Assembled on the bright green glade,
With circumspect intention,
Beneath a palm tree's spreading shade,
In general convention.
dignitary filled the chair,
With parchment, scrip and scribe,
And many a delegate was there,
From every buzzing tribe.
A worthy sage, with numerous eyes,
And legs of great dimension,
Arose, and in the following wise,
Addressed the said convention.
"Most excellent sir, and worthies all,'
The speaker thus began,
"Our tyrants, ever since the fall
That so perverted man,
That threw all nature out of gear,
Have tried their subtlest arts,
To see how they could best ensnare
The victim of their sports.