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Freighted with hope and fear;
As upon subterranean streams,
In caverns unexplored and dark,
Men sometimes launch a fragile bark,
Laden with flickering fire,
And watch its swift-receding beams,
Until at length they disappear,
And in the distant dark expire.
By what astrology of fear or hope
Dare I to cast thy horoscope !
Like the new moon thy life appears
A little strip of silver light,
And widening outward into night
The shadowy disk of future years !
And yet upon its outer rim,
A luminous circle, faint and dim,.
And scarcely visible to us here,
Rounds and completes the perfect sphere;
A prophecy and intimation,
A pale and feeble adumbration,
Of the great world of light, that lies
Behind all human destinies.
Ah! if thy fate with anguish fraught,
Should be to wet the dusty soil
With the hot tears and sweat of toil, -
To struggle with imperious thought,
Until the overburdened brain,
Weary with labour, faint with pain,
Like a jarred pendulum, retain
Only its motion, not its power, –
Remember, in that perilous hour,
When most afflicted and oppressed,
From labour there shall come forth rest
And if a more auspicious fate
On thy advancing steps await,
Still let it ever be thy pride
To linger by the labourer's side ;
With words of sympathy or song
To cheer the dreary march along,
Of the great army of the poor,
O'er desert sand, o'er dangerous moor.
Nor to thyself the task shall be
Without reward; for thou shalt learn
The wisdom early to discern
True beauty in utility;
As great Pythagoras of yore,
Standing beside the blacksmith's door,
And hearing the hammers, as they smote
The anvils with a different note,
Stole from the varying tones, that hung
Vibrant on every iron tongue,
The secret of the sounding wire,
And formed the seven-chorded lyre.
Enough! I will not play the Seer;
I will no longer strive to ope
The mystic volume, where appear
The heraid Hope, forerunning Fear,
And Fear, the pursuivant of Hope.
Thy destiny remains untold;
For, like Acestes' shaft of old,
The swift thought kindles as it flies,
And burns to ashes in the skies.
THE OCCULTATION OF ORION.
I saw, as in a dream sublime,
The balance in the hand of Time.
O'er East and West its beams impended;
And day, with all its hours of light,
Was slowly sinking out of sight,
While, opposite, the scale of night
Silently with the stars ascended
Like the astrologers of eld,
In that bright vision I beheld