Imatges de pÓgina
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Just o'er the eastern wave
Peeped the first faint smile of morn :-
The magic car moved on-
From the celestial hoofs

The atmosphere in flaming sparkles flew,
And where the burning wheels

Eddied above the mountain's loftiest peak,
Was traced a line of lightning.
Now it flew far above a rock
The utmost verge of earth,

The rival of the Andes, whose dark brow
Loured o'er the silver sea.

Far, far below the chariot's path,
Calm as a slumbering babe,
Tremendous Ocean lay.

The mirror of its stillness showed
The pale and waning stars,
The chariot's fiery track,
And the grey light of morn
Tinging those fleecy clouds
That canopied the dawn.

Seemed it, that the chariot's way

Lay through the midst of an immense concave, Radiant with million constellations, tinged

With shades of infinite colour,

And semicircled with a belt
Flashing incessant meteors.

The magic car moved on.

As they approached their goal
The coursers seemed to gather speed;
The sea no longer was distinguished; earth
Appeared a vast and shadowy sphere;
The sun's unclouded orb

Rolled through the black concave ;
Its rays of rapid light

Parted around the chariot's swifter course,
And fell, like ocean's feathery spray
Dashed from the boiling surge
Before a vessel's prow.

The magic car moved on.
Earth's distant orb appeared

The smallest light that twinkles in the heaven;
Whilst round the chariot's way
Innumerable systems rolled,
And countless spheres diffused
An ever-varying glory.

It was a sight of wonder: some

Were horned like the crescent moon;

Some shed a mild and silver beam

Like Hesperus o'er the western sea;

Some dashed athwart with trains of flame,

Like worlds to death and ruin driven;

Some shone like suns, and as the chariot passed, Eclipsed all other light.

Spirit of Nature! here!
In this interminable wilderness
Of worlds, at whose immensity
Even soaring fancy staggers,
Here is thy fitting temple.
Yet not the lightest leaf

That quivers to the passing breeze
Is less instinct with thee:

Yet not the meanest worm

That lurks in graves and fattens on the dead
Less shares thy eternal breath.

Spirit of Nature! thou!
Imperishable as this scene,
Here is thy fitting temple.

II.

If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the wild ocean's echoing shore,
And thou hast lingered there,
Until the sun's broad orb

Seemed resting on the burnished wave,

Thou must have marked the lines

Of purple gold, that motionless

Hung o'er the sinking sphere:

Thou must have marked the billowy clouds

Edged with intolerable radiancy

Towering like rocks of jet

Crowned with a diamond wreath.

And yet there is a moment,

When the sun's highest point

Peeps like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery gold,
Shaded with deepest purple, gleam
Like islands on a dark blue sea;
Then has thy fancy soared above the earth,
And furled its wearied wing

Within the Fairy's fane.

Yet not the golden islands

Gleaming in yon flood of light,

Nor the feathery curtains

Stretching o'er the sun's bright couch,

Nor the burnished ocean waves
Paving that gorgeous dome,

So fair, so wonderful a sight

As Mab's ethereal palace could afford.

Yet likest evening's vault, that faery Hall f

As Heaven, low resting on the wave, it spread

Its floors of flashing light,
Its vast and azure dome,
Its fertile golden islands
Floating on a silver sea;

Whilst suns their mingling beamings darted
Through clouds of circumambient darkness,
And pearly battlements around

Looked o'er the immense of Heaven.

The magic car no longer moved.

The Fairy and the Spirit
Entered the Hall of Spells :
Those golden clouds

That rolled in glittering billows
Beneath the azure canopy

With the ethereal footsteps, trembled not :
The light and crimson mists,
Floating to strains of thrilling melody
Through that unearthly dwelling,
Yielded to every movement of the will.
Upon their passive swell the Spirit leaned,
And, for the varied bliss that pressed around,
Used not the glorious privilege

Of virtue and of wisdom.

Spirit! the Fairy said,

And pointed to the gorgeous dome,
This is a wondrous sight

And mocks all human grandeur;

But, were it virtue's only meed, to dwell
In a celestial palace, all resigned
To pleasurable impulses, immured
Within the prison of itself, the will

Of changeless nature would be unfulfilled.
Learn to make others happy. Spirit, come!
This is thine high reward :-the past shall rise ;
Thou shalt behold the present; I will teach
The secrets of the future.

The Fairy and the Spirit

Approached the overhanging battlement.-
Below lay stretched the universe!
There, far as the remotest line
That bounds imagination's flight,
Countless and unending orbs
In mazy motion intermingled,
Yet still fulfilled immutably
Eternal nature's law.
Above, below, around
The circling systems formed
A wilderness of harmony:
Each with undeviating aim,

In eloquent silence, through the depths of space
Pursued its wondrous way.

There was a little light

That twinkled in the misty distance :

None but a spirit's eye,

Might ken that rolling orb ;

None but a spirit's eye,.
And in no other place

But that celestial dwelling, might behold
Each action of this earth's inhabitants.
But matter, space, and time

In those aërial mansions cease to act ;
And all-prevailing wisdom, when it reaps
The harvest of its excellence, o'erbounds
Those obstacles, of which an earthly soul
Fears to attempt the conquest.

The Fairy pointed to the earth.
The Spirit's intellectual eye

Its kindred beings recognised.

The thronging thousands, to a passing view,
Seemed like an anthill's citizens.

How wonderful! that even

The passions, prejudices, interests.

That sway the meanest being, the weak touch
That moves the finest nerve,

And in one human brain

Causes the faintest thought, becomes a link
In the great chain of nature.

Behold, the Fairy cried.
Palmyra's ruined palaces !—

Behold! where grandeur frowned;
Behold! where pleasure smiled;
What now remains ?-the memory
Of senselessness and shame-
What is immortal there?
Nothing-it stands to tell
A melancholy tale to give
An awful warning: soon
Oblivion will steal silently

The remnant of its fame.

Monarchs and conquerors there Proud o'er prostrate millions trodThe earthquakes of the human race; Like them, forgotten when the ruin That marks their shock is past.

Beside the eternal Nile,
The Pyramids have risen.

Nile shall pursue his changeless way :
Those pyramids shall fall;

Yea! not a stone shall stand to tell
The spot whereon they stood;
Their very site shall be forgotten,
As is their builder's name !

Behold yon sterile spot;

Where now the wandering Arab's tent
Flaps in the desert blast.

There once old Salem's haughty fane

Reared high to heaven its thousand golden domes, And in the blushing face of day

Exposed its shameful glory.

Oh! many a widow, many an orphan cursed

The building of that fane; and many a father,

Worn out with toil and slavery, implored

The poor man's God to sweep it from the earth,
And spare his children the detested task

Of piling stone on stone, and poisoning
The choicest days of life,

To soothe a dotard's vanity.

There an inhuman and uncultured race
Howled hideous praises to their Demon-God;

They rushed to war, tore from the mother's womb

The unborn child-old age and infancy
Promiscuous perished; their victorious arms

Left not a soul to breathe. Oh! they were fiends:
But what was he who taught them that the God
Of nature and benevolence had given

A special sanction to the trade of blood?
His name and theirs are fading, and the tales
Of this barbarian nation, which imposture
Recites till terror credits, are pursuing
Itself into forgetfulness.

Where Athens, Rome, and Sparta stood,
There is a moral desert now:

The mean and miserable huts,
The yet more wretched palaces,

Contrasted with those ancient fanes,

Now crumbling to oblivion;

The long and lonely colonnades,

Through which the ghost of Freedom stalks,
Seem like a well-known tune,

Which, in some dear scene we have loved to hear,
Remembered now in sadness.

But, oh! how much more changed,
How gloomier is the contrast

Of human nature there!

Where Socrates expired, a tyrant's slave,
A coward and a fool, spreads death around—
Then, shuddering, meets his own.
Where Cicero and Antoninus lived,
A cowled and hypocritical monk
Prays, curses, and deceives.

Spirit! ten thousand years
Have scarcely past away,

Since, in the waste where now the savage drinks
His enemy's blood, and aping Europe's sons,
Wakes the unholy song of war,

Arose a stately city,

Metropolis of the western continent :
There, now, the mossy column-stone,
Indented by time's unrelaxing grasp,
Which once appeared to brave
All, save its country's ruin;
There the wild forest scene,

Rude in the uncultivated loveliness
Of gardens long run wild,

Seems, to the unwilling sojourner, whose steps
Chance in that desert has delayed,

Thus to have stood since earth was what it is.
Yet once it was the busiest haunt,

Whither, as to a common centre, flocked
Strangers, and ships, and merchandize :
Once peace and freedom blest

The cultivated plain :

But wealth, that curse of man,

Blighted the bud of its prosperity :
Virtue and wisdom, truth and liberty,

Fled, to return not, until man shall know

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