Shouldst thou awake when I have pass’d away,
Shouldst thou see clear the error and the wrong,
And Truth break on thee with its dazzling ray,
As sure it will, for Innocence is strong,
Then may my prayers thine every pang allay!
For thee, poor youth,—go not unto the grave
With a red lie upon thy trembling tongue—
Not for myself, but for thy soul I crave,—
Death’s champions should have sinews tightly strung,
And thou wilt falter where I shall be brave.
In that dim world there flows no cooling stream,
No Lethe for the guilty and the fever’d,
There is no answer to their parching scream,
From hope and mercy they are ever sever’d,
There is no waking from their spectral dream.
Then pause or e’er thou stampest on thy soul
Eternally such misery as thine,
And writest on God’s conscience-blasting scroll,
A wife’s dishonour, and a tarnish’d line,
To weigh for thee thine everlasting dole...
Friend, let thine arm be strong, good sooth there’s
Thou cuttest through a weary depth of woe!—
Well! that will pass, and soon rest come indeed,—
Ay, ay! the robe’s white now ... will’t long be so?...
Yet better far the crimson tide should flow,
Than the heart inly with its anguish bleed.
The day is fading from the sky,
And softly shines the Star of Even,
As watching with a lover’s eye
The rest of Earth the peace of Heaven;
The dew is rising cool and sweet,
And, zephyr-rock’d, the flowers are closing,
The Night steals on with noiseless feet,
Oh! gentle be my love’s reposing.
The streamlet, as it flows along,
Sounds like a voice ’mid childhood’s slumbers;
And from the brake the Queen of Song
Pours forth her softest, clearest numbers;
And ever through the stirless leaves
The summer moon is brightly streaming,
Light fancies on the sward it weaves,—
As radiant be my lady’s dreaming.
The silent hours move swiftly on,
With many a blessed vision laden,
That all the night has softly shone
Upon the hearts of youth and maiden;
And now, in golden splendors drest,
The new-born day is gladly breaking,
Oh! blissful be my lady’s rest,
And sweet as Morn be her awaking.
The winds sweep by him on his mountain throne,
Hurling the clouds together at his feet,
Till Earth is hidden, lost, and swallow’d up
As in the flood of waters,—and he sits
Eyeing the boundless firmament above,
Proud and unruffled, till his heart exclaims,—
“I am a god, Heaven is my home,—the Earth
Serveth me but for footstool.”
The strong winds
Sweep on, and wide his pinions spreadeth he,—
“Bear me afar!” and on the mighty storm
He rides triumphant, spurning the dim Earth—
Whither, O whither goest thou? What star
Shall raise its mountains for thee? What far orb
Echo the fierceness of thy battle-cry?