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Long was the prayer he uttered,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
And still I thought of thee.
But now, alas! the place seems changed
Thou art no longer here:
With thee did disappear.
Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart
Like pine trees, dark and high, Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;
This memory brightens o'er the past
As when the sun, concealed
Shines on a distant field.
THE ARSENAL AT SPRINGFIELD.
This is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling,
Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms But from their silent pipes no anthems pealing
Startles the village with strange alarms.
Ah! what a sound will rise, how wild and dreary When the death-angel touches those swift
keys ! What loud lament and dismal Miserere
Will mingle with their awful symphonies !
I hear even now the infinite fierce chorus,
The cries of agony, the endless groan, Which, through the ages that have gone before
On helm and harness rings the Saxon hammer,
Through Cimbric forest roars the Norse
And loud, amid the universal clamour,
O'er distant deserts sounds the Tartar gong.
I hear the Florentine, who from his palace
Wheels out his battle-bell with dreadful din, And Aztec priests upon their teocallis
Beat the wild war drums made of serpent's
The tumult of each sacked and burning village, The shout that every prayer for mercy
drowns; The soldiers' rerels in the midst of pillage;
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns
The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched
asunder, The rattling musketry, the clashing blade; And ever and anon, in tones of thunder,
The diapason of the cannonade.
Is it, О man, with such discordant noises,
With such accursed instruments as these, Thou drownest Nature's sweet and kindly
voices, And jarrest the celestial harmonies;
Were half the power that fills the world with
terror, Where half the wealth, bestowed on camps
and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts :
The warrior's name would be a name abhorred!
And every nation, that should lift again Its hand against a brother, on its forehead Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain !
Down the dark future, through long genera
tions, The echoing sounds grow fainter and then
cease ; And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations I hear once more the voice of Christ say,
Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals The blast of war's great organ shakes the
skies! But beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise.