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Speak!-for thou long enough hast acted dummy,
Thou hast a tongue, come-let us hear its tune! Thou'rt standing on thy legs, above-ground, mummy! Revisiting the glimpses of the moon—
Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures,
Tell us for doubtless thou canst recollect
To whom should we assign the Sphinx's fame?— Was Cheops, or Cephrenes architect
Of either pyramid that bears his name?—
Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer?
Had Thebes a hundred gates, as sung by Homer?
Perhaps thou wert a mason—and forbidden,
In Memnon's statue, which at sunrise played?
Hath hob-a-nobbed with Pharaoh, glass to glass— Or dropped a halfpenny in Homer's hat
Or doffed thine own, to let Queen Dido pass―
I need not ask thee if that hand, when armed,
Antiquity appears to have begun
Long after thy primeval race was run.
Thou couldst develop, if that withered tongue
Might tell us what those sightless orbs have seen,
Still silent!-Incommunicative elf!
Art sworn to secrecy? Then keep thy vows!
Since first thy form was in this box extended,
We have, above-ground, seen some strange mutations; The Roman empire has begun and ended—
New worlds have risen-we have lost old nationsAnd countless kings have into dust been humbled, While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled.
Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head,
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, Marched armies o'er thy tomb, with thundering tread, O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis
And shook the pyramids with fear and wonder,
If the tomb's secrets may not be confessed,
A heart hath throbbed beneath that leathern breast,
And tears adown that dusky cheek have rolled :Have children climbed those knees, and kissed that face? What was thy name and station, age and race?
Statue of flesh!-Immortal of the dead!
Posthumous man-who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
Why should this worthless tegument endure,
PARADISE AND THE PERI.
(From "LALLA ROOKн.")
ONE morn a Peri at the gate
Of Eden stood disconsolate;
And as she listened to the Springs
Of Life within, like music flowing,
Mid flowers that never shall fade or fall;
Though mine are the gardens of earth and sea, And the stars themselves have flowers for me, One blossom of Heaven outblooms them all!
Though sunny the Lake of cool Cashmere, With its plane-tree isle reflected clear,
And sweetly the founts of that Valley fall; Though bright are the waters of Sing-su-hay, And the golden floods that thitherward stray, Yet-oh! 'tis only the Blest can say
How the waters of Heaven outshine them all!
Go, wing thy flight from star to star, From world to luminous world, as far
As the universe spreads its flaming wall; Take all the pleasures of all the spheres, And multiply each through endless years,
One minute of Heaven is worth them all!"
The glorious Angel, who was keeping
From Eden's fountain, when it lies
"Nymph of a fair but erring line!"
Who brings to this Eternal gate
The Gift that is most dear to Heaven !
Go, seek it, and redeem thy sin-
Rapidly as comets run
To th' embraces of the sun ;-
And, lighted earthward by a glance
That just then broke from morning's eyes,
But whither shall the Spirit go
To find this gift for Heaven?—"I know
every urn In which unnumbered rubies burn, Beneath the pillars of Chilminar;
I know where the Isles of Perfume are,
But gifts like these are not for the sky.
While thus she mused, her pinions fann'd