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Yet mourn I not thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day:
For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang
Entailed on human hearts.
Go, let oblivion's curtains fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall
Life's tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretched in disease's shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.
Even I am weary
To watch the fading fire;
Test of all sumless agonies,
Behold not me expire.
My lips that speak thy dirge of death -
Their rounded grasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast:
The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall, —
The majesty of Darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost !
This spirit shall return to Him
gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim
When thou thyself art dark !
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,
By Him recalled to breath,
Who captive led Captivity,
Who robbed the grave of Victory,
And took the sting from Death!
Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up
On Nature's awful waste,
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,
On earth's sepulchral clod,
The darkening universe defy
To quench his immortality,
Or shake his trust in God !
Oh, would I were among the bowers,
Thy waters, Witham ! love to lave, Where Botolph's far-distinguished towers
Look out upon the German wave. There is a star upon that stream,
A flower upon those banks there blows, – Heaven cannot boast a lovelier beam,
Nor earth possess a sweeter rose.
How blest were I, how more than blest,
To sit me down such scenes among, And there, the cot's contented guest, Divide
life 'twixt love and song; To guard thee, sweet, and in thine ears
Plead passion, not perchance in vainThe very vision costs me tears
Of mingled tenderness and pain.
Alas! how different is
lotTo drag through being far from thee, Far from that loved, Elysian spot,
Which Witham leaves in tears with me. But pilgrim of whatever shore,
No fate from thee my heart shall tear; And even when life itself 's no more,
My spirit will be with thee there.
High rolled the day—all smiling sheen,
With beams and bowers of ever-green,
Lay stretched in light the land;
Glowed to the sun's unclouded glow
The billows' breast, whose heavings slow
Came parleying towards the strand;
As if in reconcilement sweet,
To clasp and kiss the dark rocks feet,
And pardon and oblivion pray
For rude assault of stormier day.
The signal “ready!” instant flies ;
Ship answering ship with ardent breath,
Rung out that prelude note of death,
And “ready!” all the line replies.
To quarters stood in lion-mood,
The Christian rulers of the flood.
Throbbed every breast; -each thought that came
Was thought of duty, or of fame;
And reckless brow, and burning eye,
Spoke careless choice to live or die.
The thrilling pause which battle knows,
Ere havoc hails the earthquake close,-
Such grim and deathly pause
One shot the Moslem sent;- - again,
And hush! forth-furnacing amain,
Twice, thrice an hundred throats of brass,
Like thunder-clap, and hurricane,
Fling blazing fire, and shattering shower
Round mole and rampart, mosque and tower;
Trembles the firm earth, based on rock,
Beneath the huge projectile shock :
As Etna's self whirled high through air,
Had poured his blazing entrails there,
In floods of flame- such flame as rolled
O'er Canaan's cities twain, of old ;
Leap from their seats the alarmed hills,
With all their woods, and cliffs, and rills ;
And the wide welkin, sea and shore,
Remultiply the hollow roar.
The battle deepens, heavier squall
Envelopes man, and mast, and wall;
Like the tall palm beneath the axe,
Staggers each battlement, and cracks;
Down, down, the loose stones whirling go,
Crushing the Arab, screened below;
Above, beneath, new thunders swell,
While under cope of smoke and shell,
The Moor, above his rampart's wreck,
The Briton on his reeling deck,.
With equal daring, one and all,
Cheer to the volley-cheering, fall!
Encountering spheres of living fire
From either host alternate driven,
Through clouds careering high and higher,
Clash, burst, and thunder in mid-heaven!
And the red fragments mar the sight
With forked hideousness of light.
Thou wert too like a dream of heaven
For earthly love to merit thee.
We parted, and we knew it was for ever
We knew it, yet we parted; then each thought And inmost feeling of our souls, which never
Had else been breathed in words, rushed forth and sought Their sweet home in each other's hearts, and there They lived and grew imid sadness and despair.
It was not with the bonds of common love
Our hearts were knit together; they had been
Silent companions in those griefs which move
And purify the soul, and we had seen
Each other's strength and truth of mind, and hence
We loved with passion's holiest confidence.
And virtue was the great bond that united
Our guileless hopes in love's simplicity;
And in those higher aims we meekly slighted
The shallow feelings and weak vanity
Which the world calls affection, for our eyes
Had not been caught with smiles, our hearts with sighs.
We parted (as our hearts had loved) in duty
To heaven and virtue, and we both resigned
Our cherished trust;-I all her worth and beauty,
And she the untold devotion of
We parted in mute anguish, but we bent
Lowly to Him whose love is chastisement.
It was, perchance, her spirit had been goaded
With suffering past its bearing—that her frail
But patient heart had been so deeply loaded
With sorrow, that its chords were forced to fail :
Severed by more than distance, I was told
Her heart amid its troubles had grown cold.