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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 ʼmid the tempest-child of the seasm
When the sable hue of the night is spread,
Like a funeral pall, o'er the voyager's head-,
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 ʼmid the tempest's din-
We would welcome thee as an angel voice,
At the gates of the Heavenly Paradise.
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 naturel 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 sublimel
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 migk'
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, - - or may I look
Upon the cataract's unfetter'd rage,
That wildly hurries it to the abyss,
Which, like a gap in nature, waits the flood
Which, ever rolling, leaves it waiting still.
Of this, imagination tells alone!
Is forced to copy, oh, how faint transcribe,
Where all its paintings must be in itself,
Nature's designer, and her artist, too.
For me, the world is black, and filled with gluom;
Huge darkness sits recumbent on the air,
Oppressing it with universal night,
And making melancholy joys supplant,
Till cheerfulness removes from where gloon nejpoo
Leaving the mind a prey to thoughts unblest
And here, where Thou art ever felt to be,
Where nature loudly owns Thee as her Ged,
Whose praise is sounded by the cataract,
Hearken to me, and my petition hear,
As from each recess of my struggling soul,
The sighs of sickly hope, assembling fast,
Meet in a perfect flood of fervent prayer, —
Which all express’d is this,-Lord, give me sight
And that so long unheard, is unheard still.
THE VOICE OF THE FALLING LEAVES
A friendless Minstrel walk'd alone,
Where the autumn twilight lay
Cold on the woods, and leaves were strewn
By thousands in his way:
He thought of the promise-breathing spring,
And of summer's rosy eves ;
And he said: “Alas! for the withering,
And the time of falling leaves ! ”
The music of bird and breeze had passed,
From the woodlands, hush'd and dimBut there came an answering voice at last,
From the dying leaves to him:
And it said: “Oh! thou of the sleepless thought,
In thy musings sad and lone,
Weep not the close of our tearless lot,
But rather mourn thine own;
“For the greenness of early spring was ours,
And the summer's palmy prime
And the glowing tints that deck'd the bowers
In the glorious harvest-time!
And have we not seen the roses die l-
For their splendors might not stay ;
And the summer birds are gone—then why
Should not leaves, too, pass away?
“Yet the flowers may fade, and the leaves may fall,
And the glory of woods depart;
But mourn in thy sorrow, more than all,
The withering of the heart;
And the soul's young brightness dimm'd 80 89on,
'Twas a glory early o'er;
For Time hath taken that blessed boon
That Time can ne'er restore.
“And mourn for life's perish'd hopes, that died
While the spring was flowery still ;
For the stainless love which the grave hath hid,
Though it could not change nor chill ;
For the weary eyes that have look'd for light
Which never met their gaze;
And for all who have lived through storm and blight,
But saw no summer days."
The winds in their lonely power awoke,
As the night came darkly on-
And the voice which in twilight stillness spoke
With that twilight hour was gone;