The dawning light of Knowledge smites thee now,
And forth from the dim Past come voices clear,
Falling in solemn music on the ear,
Which, as the haloes brighten on thy brow,
Shall still in richer harmonies draw near.
The Past comes back in music soft and sweet,
And lo! the Present like a strung harp stands
Waiting the sweeping of prophetic hands,
To send its living music, loud and fleet,
Careering calmly through unnumber’d lands.
Then swift uprise, thou Sun, thou Music-Maker!
Smiting the chords of Life with gladsome rays,
Till from each Memnon burst the song of praise,
From lips which thou hast freed, O silence-breaker!
That over Earth the sound may swell always.
* * * * *
NOTE—It will of course be remembered that the celebrated statue of Memnon was believed to utter lugubrious and mournful sounds at sunset, and during the hours of darkness, which changed to sounds of joy as the first rays of morning fell upon it.
The Grey-beard Winter sat alone and still,
Locking his treasures in the flinty earth;
And like a miser comfortless and chill,
Frown’d upon pleasure and rejected mirth;
But Spring came, gentle Spring, the young, the fair,
And with her smiles subdued his frosty heart,
So that for very joy to see her there,
His soul, relenting, play’d the lover’s part;
And nought could bring too lovely or too sweet,
To lavish on the bright Evangel’s head;
No flowers too radiant for her tender feet;
No joys too blissful o’er her life to shed.
And thus the land became a Paradise,
A new-made Eden, redolent of joy,
Where beauty blossom’d under sunny skies,
And peaceful pleasure reign’d without alloy.
I stood on the Land’s End, alone and still.
Man might have been unmade, for no frail trace
Of mortal labour startled the wild place,
And only sea-mews with their wailing shrill,
Circled beneath me over the dark sea,
Flashing the waves with pinions snowy white,
That glimmer’d faintly in the gloomy light
Betwixt the foaming furrows constantly.
It was a mighty cape, that proudly rose
Above the world of waters, high and steep,
With many a scar and fissure fathoms deep,
Upon whose ledges lodged the endless snows;
A noble brow to a firm-founded world,
That at the limits of its empire stood,
Fronting the ocean in its roughest mood,
And all its fury calmly backward hurl’d.
The Midnight Sun rose like an angry god,
Girt round with clouds, through which a lurid glow
Fev’rously trembled to the waves below,
And smote the waters with a fiery rod;
Above, the glory circled up the sky,