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Temple of beauty-long that day is done;
Thy ark is dust; thy golden cherubim
In the fierce triumphs of the foe are gone:
The shades of ages on thy altars swim.
Yet still a light is there, though wavering dim;
And has its holy lamp been watch'd in vain?
Or lives it not until the finish'd time,
When he who fix'd, shall break his people's chain, And Sion be the loved, the crown'd of God again?
But then thou wast of Earth the splendid wonder,
And matchless beauty sat upon thy walls.
At once, as with a peal of midnight thunder,
Was shook the crowd within thy ivory halls;
The priests, with turban'd brows and purple palls,
The son of Mammon, the pale usurer,
Like men that see the lightning ere it falls,
From their polluted seats sprang, smote with fear; That shout, like judgment, burst upon the guilty ear.
He comes, yet with the burning bolt unarm’d; Pale, pure, prophetic, God of Majesty! Tho' thousands, tens of thousands, round him swarm’d, None durst abide that depth divine of eye; None durst the waving of his robe draw nigh. But at his feet was laid the Roman's sword: There Lazarus knelt to see his King pass by; There Jairus, with his age's child, adored. “ He comes, the King of Kings: Hosanna to the Lord !"
That rock's his haunt.-There's not in all our hills
A hunter that can climb with him. He'll watch
Before the lark is up; and, staff in hand,
For hours stand gazing, by the eagle's nest,
Like one enamour'd of the rising sun;
And then all day he 'll wander through yon woods,
Till he has found his couch beside a rill:
Which, in his fantasy, he strews with shells,
And hangs with garlands of the weedy flowers.
Some think him love-cross’d;—others, that he deals
With spirits,-for all such seek loneliness:
And yet I think him holy, for he loves
Our convent walls, and many an evening strays
To see the sunset sleeping on its roof
And its old arches, or but turns away
To pore upon its image in the stream;
And then upon his knee he'll spread his book,
And make wild lines, and smile, and tear the page,
Flinging it down the stream. Here's one of them.
[Giving a paper.
This is LORRAINE! or he is not on earth.
Thou loveliest of the lovely, where
Is thy bright spirit gone?
Where is thy gentle throne;
In what sweet and silver sphere?
Tell me, my Angela, that I
All night on thee may gaze,
And know thy temple's blaze
From all the splendours of the sky.
Oh! if the loved in death return,
To love and look upon
The pale, heart-broken one,
That weeps at midnight o'er their urn;
Tell me, when on the blissful air
They stoop, that I may be
Found fit to welcome thee,
With hands and heart upraised in prayer.
Or art thou changed, and to mine eye
A thing invisible;
Wrapp'd in the unpierced veil
Of holy immortality?
No,—thou wilt stoop to earth no more;
Thy glory were profaned
By thoughts to earth still chain’d:
My Angela,—thy trial's o'er.
And I will follow thee, sweet love!
Life's bitterness is past,
The world is fading fast,
My spirit wings its way above.
Young tyrant of the bow and wings,
Thy altar asks three precious things;
The heart's, the world's, most precious three,
Courage, and Time, and Constancy!
And Love must have them all, or none:
By Time he's wearied, but not won;
He shrinks from Courage hot and high;
He laughs at tedious Constancy;
But all his raptures, tender, true, sublime,
Are given to Courage, Constancy, and Time.
In the low echoes of the anthem's close
The murmurs of a distant chorus rose.
A portal open'd; in its shadow stood
A sable pomp, the hallow'd sisterhood.
They led a white-robed form, young, delicate,
Where life's delicious spring was opening yet:
Yet was she stately, and, as up the aisle
She moved, her proud, pale lip half wore a smile:
Her eye was firm, yet those who saw it near,
Saw on its lash the glistening of a te
All to Sidonia's passing daughter bow'd,
And she return'd it gravely, like one vow'd
To loftier things. But, once she paused; and press'd
With quick, strange force her slight hand to her breast,
And her wan cheek was redden'd with a glow
That spread its crimson to her forehead's snow,
As if the vestal felt the throes that wreak
Their stings upon young hearts about to break;
She struggled, sigh’d; her look of agony
Was calm’d, and she was at Sidonia's knee.
Her father's chasing tears upon her fell;
His gentle heart abhorr'd the convent cell;
Even now he bade her pause. She look'd to heaven,
One long, wild pressure to his cheek was given,
Her pale lip quiver’d, would not say “Farewell.”
The bell gave one deep toll, it seem'd her knell;
She started, strove his strong embrace to sever,
Then rush'd within the gate that sbuts for ever.
Th’ Enchantress first shook off the silent trance;
And in a voice sweet as the murmuring
Of summer streams beneath the moonlight's glance,
Besought the desperate one to spread the wing
Beyond the power of his vindictive King.
Slave to her slightest word, he raised his plume,
A purple cloud, and stood in act to spring
Through that fierce upward sea of storm and gloom; She wildly kiss'd his hand, and sank, as in a tomb.
The Angel cheer'd her, “No! let Justice wreak
Its wrath upon them both, or him alone.”
A flush of love's pure crimson lit her cheek;
She whisper'd, and his stoop'd ear drank the tone
With mad delight; “Oh there is one way, one,
To save us both. Are there not mighty words
Graved on the magnet-throne where Solomon
Sits ever guarded by the Genii swords,
To give thy servant wings like her resplendent Lord's?"
This was the Sin of Sins! The first, last crime,
In earth and heaven, unnamed, unnameable;
This from his gorgeous throne, before all time,
Had smitten Eblis, brightest, first that fell;
He started back.—“ What urged him to rebel?
What led that soft seducer to his bower?
Could she have laid upon his soul that spell
Young, lovely, fond; yet but an earthly flower?"
But for that fatal cup, he had been free that hour.
But still its draught was fever in his blood,
He caught the upward, humble, weeping gleam
Of woman's eye, by passion all subdued;
lle sigh’d, and at his sigh he saw it beam:
Oh! the sweet frenzy of the lover's dream!
A moment's lingering, and they both must die.
The lightning round them shot a broader stream;
He felt her clasp his knees in agony;
He spoke the words of might,—the thunder gave reply!
Away! away! the sky is one black cloud,
Shooting the lightnings down in spire on spire.
Now, round the Mount its canopy is bow'd,
A vault of stone on columns of red fire.
The stars like lamps along its roof expire;
But through its centre bursts an orb of rays;
The Angel knew the Avenger in his ire!
The hill-top smoked beneath the stooping blaze,
The culprits dared not there their guilty eye-balls raise.
And words were utter'd from that whirling sphere,
That mortal sense might never hear and live.
They pierced like arrows through the Angel's ear;
He bow'd his head; 'twas vain to fly or strive.
Down comes the final wrath: the thunders give
The doubled peal,—the rains in cataracts sweep,
Broad fiery bars the sheeted deluge rive;
The mountain summits to the valley leap,
Pavilion, garden, grove, smoke up one ruin'd heap.
The storm stands still! a moment's pause of terror!
All dungeon dark !-Again the lightning's yawn,
Showing the Earth as in a quivering mirror.
The prostrate Angel felt but that the one,
Whose love had lost him Paradise, was gone:
He dared not see her corpse!—he closed his eyes;
A voice burst o'er him, solemn as the tone
Of the last trump,-he glanced upon the skies,
He saw what shook his soul with terror, shame, surprise.
Th’ Enchantress stood before him; two broad plumes
Spread from her shoulders on the burthen'd air;
Her face was glorious still, but love's young
Had vanish'd for the hue of bold despair;
A fiery circle crown'd her sable hair;
And, as she look'd upon her prostrate prize,
Her eye-balls shot around a meteor glare,
Her form tower'd up at once to giant size; 'Twas Eblis, king of Hell's relentless sovereignties.