On a mountain he stood, for
the struggle was done,—
A smile on his lip for the victory won.
The city of millions,—lone islet and cave,
The home of the hermit,—all earth was a grave!
The last of his race, where the first saw the light,
The monarch had met, and triumphed in fight:
Swift, swift was the steed, o’er Shinar’s wide sand,
But swifter the arrow that flew from Death’s hand!
mountain he seems like a tempest to lower,
Triumphant and dark in the fulness of power;
And flashes of flame, that play round his crest,
Bespeak the fierce lightning that glows in his breast.
But a vision of wonder breaks now on his sight;
The blue vault of heaven is gushing with light,
And, facing the tyrant, a form from the sky
Returns the fierce glance of his challenging eye.
A moment they pause,—two princes of might,—
The Demon of Darkness,—an Angel of Light!
Each gazes on each,—no barrier between—
And the quivering rocks shrink aghast from the scene!
The sword of the angel waves free in the air;
Death looks to his quiver,—no arrow is there!
He falls like a pyramid, crumbled and torn;
And a vision of light on his dying eye borne,
In glory reveals the blest souls of the slain,—
And he sees that his sceptre was transient and vain;
For, ’mid the bright throng, e’en the infant he slew,
And the altar-struck bride, beam full on the view!
The Rainbow Bridge.
[Illustration: The Rainbow Bridge]
Love and Hope and Youth, together—
Travelling once in stormy weather,
Met a deep and gloomy tide,
Flowing swift and dark and wide.
’Twas named the river of Despair,—
And many a wreck was floating there!
The urchins paused, with faces grave,
Debating how to cross the wave,
When lo! the curtain of the storm
Was severed, and the rainbow’s form
Stood against the parting cloud—
Emblem of peace on trouble’s shroud!
Hope pointed to the signal flying,
And the three, their shoulders plying,
O’er the stream the light arch threw—
A rainbow bridge of loveliest hue!
Now, laughing as they tripped it o’er,
They gayly sought the other shore:
But soon the hills began to frown,
And the bright sun went darkly down.
Though their step was light and fleet,
The rainbow vanished ’neath their feet,—
And down they went,—the giddy things!
But Hope put forth his ready wings,—
And clinging Love and Youth he bore
In triumph to the other shore.
But ne’er I ween should mortals deem
On rainbow bridge to cross a stream,
Unless bright, buoyant Hope is nigh,
And, light with Love and Youth, they fly!