He comes not! ’Tis
a dreadful thing to hear them as they rave,
The savage wolf-train howling, like the near burst of a wave.
She thought it was a father’s cry she heard—a father’s cry!
And she flung her from the cottage door, in startled agony.
Good Virgin save thee, gentle
girl! they are no knightly train
That mark thee for their sinless prey—thou wilt not smile again;
The blood is streaming on thy cheek; the heart it ceases slow;
A father gazes on his child—God help a father’s woe!
Orion! old Orion! who dost
Warder at heaven’s star-studded gate,
On a throne where worlds might meet
At thy silver sandal’d feet,
All invisible to thee,
Gazing through immensity;
For thy crowned head is higher
Than the ramparts of earth-searching fire,
And the comet his blooded banner, there
Flings back upon the waveless air.
Old Orion! holy hands
Have knit thy everlasting bands,
Belted by the King of kings,
Under thy azure-sheathed wings,
With a zone of living light,
Such as bound the Apostate might,
When from highest tower of heaven,
His vaunting shape was wrathly driven
To its wane, woe-wall’d abode,
Rended from the eye of God!
Dost thou, in thy vigils,
Arcturus on his chariot pale,
Leading his sons—a fiery flight—
Over the hollow hill of night?
Or tellest of their watches long,
To the sleepless, nameless throng,
Shoaling in a wond’rous gleam,
Like channel through the azure stream
Of life reflected, as it flows,
In one broad ocean of repose,
Gushing from thy lips, Orion!
To the holy walls of Zion?
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