Trusting to nature, on the tide
Of life, where breezy passion blows,
To whelm the adventurer in his pride.
Yes, for the smoothest lake hath waves
Within its bosom, which will rise
And revel when the tempest raves;
The cloud will come o’er gentlest skies;
And not a favored spot on earth,
The furrowing ploughman finds, but there
The rank and ready weeds have birth,
Sown by the winds to mock his care.
’Tis thus with every human heart;
The seeds of ill are scattered wide,
And flaunting flowers of vice will start
Thick o’er the soil they seek to hide.
Aye, and the gentleness of youth,
That seems some hill-side sown with flowers,
Odorous, as if with budding truth,
Shoots into wild fantastic bowers.
The spark for ever tends to flame;
The ray that quivers in the plash
Of yonder river, is the same
That feeds the lightning’s ruddy flash.
The summer breeze that fans the rose,
Or eddies down some flowery path,
Is but the infant gale that blows
To-morrow with the whirlwind’s wrath.
And He alone, who wields the storm,
And bids the arrowy lightning play,
Can guide the heart, when wild and warm,
It springs on passion’s wing away!
One angel minister is sent,
To guard and guide us to the sky,
And still Her sheltering wing is bent,
Till manhood rudely throws it by.
Oh, then with mad disdain we spurn
A mother’s gentle teaching; throw
Her bosom from us, and we burn,
To rush in freedom, where the glow
Of pleasure lights the dancing wave:
We launch the bark, we woo the gale,
And reckless of the darkling grave
That yawns below, we speed the sail!
a murderer stands before thee!
To tell the guilty tale were vain—
It is enough—the curse is o’er me—
And I am but a wandering Cain.
What boots it that the world bestows,
For deeds of death its honors dear?
The blood that from the duel flows,
Will cry to heaven, and heaven will hear!
Thou shalt not kill!’ ’Twas deeply traced
In living stone, and thunder-sealed;
It cannot be by man effaced,
Or fashion’s impious act repealed.
And though we seek with thin deceit,
To blind Jehovah’s piercing gaze,
Call murder, honor,—can we cheat
The Omniscient with a specious phrase?
Alas! ’tis adding crime to crime,
To veil the blood our hands have spilt,
And seek by words of softening chime,
To lend blest virtue’s charm to guilt.
Oh, no! in vain the world may give