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Our sister, too, was there with radiant brow,
She of the sunny smile and dove-like eye,
The beautiful on earth, far lovelier now,
Arrayed in light and immortality;
She whispered come, in heavenly accents low-
Sister, oh let me go!
And he was there, the wanderer from the fold,
For whom so oft in agony we prayed;
But on his brow no stain of earthly mould,
Not as on earth, in sin's dark vestures 'rayed;
His shining robes were white as spotless snow-
Sister, oh let me go!
Death's seal is set upon this fevered brow,
O'er these dim eyes the gathering shadows come;
Heaven's zephyrs seem to play around me now,
And woo me to my far-off distant home;
None view such scenes and longer dwell below-
Sister, farewell, I go!
Tree of the forest, gigantic and old,
What ages unreck'd of have over thee rolled;
Oh, could'st thou but tell us each varying scene
That long since has passed 'neath thy branches of green.
Thou hast seen the glad summer in beauty approach,
And the woods wake in smiles at her magical touch,
When the soft wind swept over the delicate flowers,
Fresh laden with sweets from the tropical bowers.
Thou hast shivered and tossed in the whirlwind's blast,
And seen thy companions uptorn as it pass'd;
And still thou art rearing thy old rugged form,
To smile on the summer and frown on the storm.
The king of the forest, long, long hast thou stood,
The pride of the desert and vast solitude,
Ere the step of the white man the wilderness stirred,
Or his sharp ringing axe in the forest was heard.
In days long gone by, how often perchance,
Hast thou looked on the Indians' wild, native dance;
Or marked the deep scowl of his red, gleaming eye,
As he glared on his victim, and doomed him to die.
Thou hast seen the pale captive, and heard his wild shriek,
Which told of the anguish that words might not speak,
As he saw through the darkness the red, glaring fire,
And knew while he gazed 'twas his funeral pyre.
But away with those scenes of darkness and blood,
Sweet sounds are now heard in thy once solitude;
The laughter of childhood in innocent glee,
Blends sweet with the husbandman's song on the lea.
Perchance thou hast seen on bright summer eves,
When the zephyr was stirring thy dark, glossy leaves,
A maiden steal forth with a timorous eye,
And a blush on her cheek, for her lover was nigh.
And there she has listened to love's magic tone,
Believing his heart was as true as her own;
But, alas! she was seeking an undying love,
Which only is found in the regions above.
The way worn traveler hails with delight
The mantling shade as you rise on his sight;
And sinks to repose on the green mossy bed,
Which oft in his childhood has pillowed his head.
How solemn to think of the thousands of earth,
That are sleeping in death since first thou had'st birth;
And still thou art waving, majestic and free,
The monarch of ages, the old Forest Tree.
What art thou, voice, on the wild winds borne-
Heard 'bove the shriek of the furious storm-
Sweeping along o'er the angry surge,
Like the strange, wild notes of a funeral dirge?
Art thou a spirit foreboding woe,
Come from the fathomless depths below?
For the laugh is hushed, and each cheek grows pale,
As the seaman lists to thy mournful wail.
Art thou come to tell of some desolate shore,
Where the wild waves dash and the breakers roar-
Of the whirlpool nigh, with its chambers dark-
The tomb of many a gallant bark?
Or, perchance, from the ocean's gem-lit caves,
Thou wert weary of sport 'neath the feathery waves,
Midst the unknown tombs where the sea nymphs fair,
Their vigils keep o'er the sleepers there;
Where the mermaid wreathes her golden curls
With crimson coral and rarest pearls;
Where the naiads' sweet, low melodies
Resound through the amber palaces.
But why art thou come from homes like these,
To float 'mid the tempest-child of the seas-
When the sable hue of the night is spread,
Like a funeral pall, o'er the voyager's head
*We are informed by navigators that strange cries, resembling the human voice, have frequently been heard far out at sea, the causes of which have never been satisfactorily explained.
Where no ray of brightness greets the sight,
Save the curling waves' phosphoric light,
That fearfully on the billows loom,
Like spectral forms amid the gloom?
Oh, were our hearts but freed from sin,
We would fear thee not 'mid the tempest's din
We would welcome thee as an angel voice,
At the gates of the Heavenly Paradise.
BY MICHAEL M'GUIRE.
I stood where swift Niagara pours its flood
Into the darksome caverns where it falls,
And heard its voice, as voice of God, proclaim
The power of Him, who let it on its course
Commence, with the green earth's first creation;
And I was where the atmosphere shed tears,
As giving back the drops the waters wept,
On reaching that great sepulchre of floods,-
Or bringing from above the bow of God,
To plant its beauties in the pearly spray.
And as I stood and heard, though seeing nought,
Sad thoughts took deep possession of my mind,
And rude imagination venturing forth,
Did toil to pencil, though in vain, that scene,
Which, in its every feature, spoke of God.
Oh, voice of nature! full of strength and awe;—
Unceasing sermon, where Omnipotence
Is at once the theme and illustration.
O thou pervading sound! o'erwhelming all
With vast conceptions of might infinite!
Hallow my inspirations, and subdue
Whatever in me jars with holy thought.
Let thy loud tones speak to my inmost soul,
And teach it ever to acknowledge God.
Full of thyself, great flood, how vain the task
To tell thy might, or adequately know
How vast thou art,-so very small are we!
If such the thoughts are which thy voice stirs up,
Then what the awe that would entrance the mind
At viewing thy dread strength, thy power sublime!
Or beauty that o'ertops the highest range
Of boldest fancy, whose most lofty flight
Would fall beneath thee far, and much abashed.
Oh place most sacred! full of awe and God!
Where every sound, and all that's seen, combine
To teach our minds to humbly trust in Him,
Whose fiat called, and who sustains the world.
O spot! if any spot on earth can be
A temple, where Jehovah is felt most,
Raise my dejection, and enable me
To speak as may befit thee and myself;
And teach me to address, in proper terms,
Him, for whose honor thou wast form'd to flow,
And talk forever of his power supreme.
O Thou, that givest all that we possess,
Whose might is infinite, and goodness, too,
Bend to my voice thy always ready ear,
And hearing grant, O grant my earnest prayer,
One which hypocrisy hath ne'er abused,
Nor has been by the drowsy formalist.
The verdant earth which thou hast made,
The sky through which the blazing sun doth ride,
And the moon with her large train make progress;
These are thy works, which well assert thy might
And goodness, and addressing us, doth speak
Wherever culture rules or nature reigns.
Yet, sight of sky, of sea, or of the earth,
Of wild plant, or of cultivated flower,
Of quiet lake that sleeps in loveliness,
Wound in a belt of perfect solitude,—
Of streams that flow contented in their course,
And leave a legacy of flowers behind,-
Is not to me vouchsafed,-nor may I look