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WHEN COLDNESS WRAPS THIS SUFFERING CLAY

I.

WHEN coldness wraps this suffering clay,
Ah! whither strays the immortal mind?
It cannot die, it cannot stay,

But leaves its darken'd dust behind.
Then, unembodied, doth it trace

By steps each planet's heavenly way?
Or fill at once the realms of space,
A thing of eyes, that all survey?

II.

Eternal, boundless, undecay'd,

A thought unseen, but seeing all,
All, all in earth, or skies display'd,
Shall it survey, shall it recall :
Each fainter trace that memory holds
So darkly of departed years,

In one broad glance the soul beholds,
And all, that was, at once appears.

III.

Before Creation peopled earth,

Its eye shall roll through chaos back;
And where the furthest heaven had birth,
The spirit trace its rising track.

And where the future mars or makes,
Its glance dilate o'er all to be,
While sun is quench'd or system breaks,
Fix'd in its own eternity.

IV.

Above or Love, Hope, Hate, or Fear,
It lives all passionless and pure:
An age shall fleet like earthly year;
Its years as moments shall endure.
Away, away, without a wing,

O'er all, through all, its thought shall fly,
A nameless and eternal thing,

Forgetting what it was to die.

VISION OF BELSIIAZZAR.

I.

THE King was on his throne,
The Satraps throng'd the hall:
A thousand bright lamps shone
O'er that high festival.
A thousand cups of gold,

In Judah deem'd divine-
Jehovah's vessels hold

The godless Heathen's wine!

II.

In that same hour and hall,
The fingers of a hand
Came forth against the wall,

And wrote as if on sand:

The fingers of a man ;—
A solitary hand

Along the letters ran,

And traced them like a wand.

III.

The monarch saw, and shook,
And bade no more rejoice;
All bloodless wax'd his look,
And tremulous his voice.
"Let the men of lore appear,
The wisest of the earth,
And expound the words of fear,
Which mar our royal mirth."

IV.

Chaldea's seers are good,

But here they have no skill; And the unknown letters stood Untold and awful still.

And Babel's men of age

Are wise and deep in lore;

But now they were not sage,

They saw-but knew no more.

V.

A captive in the land,

A stranger and a youth,
He heard the king's command,
He saw that writing's truth.
The lamps around were bright,
The prophecy in view;
He read it on that night,—
The morrow proved it true.

VI.

"Belshazzar's grave is made,
His kingdom pass'd away,
He, in the balance weigh'd,
Is light and worthless clay;
The shroud, his robe of state,
His canopy the stone;
The Mede is at his gate!

The Persian on his throne!"

SUN OF THE SLEEPLESS!

SUN of the sleepless! melancholy star!
Whose tearful beam glows tremulously far,
That show'st the darkness thou canst not dispel,
How like art thou to joy remember'd well!

So gleams the past, the light of other days,

Which shines, but warms not with its powerless rays;
A night-beam Sorrow watcheth to behold,
Distinct, but distant-clear-but, oh how cold!

WERE MY BOSOM AS FALSE AS THOU DEEM'ST

IT TO BE.

I.

WERE my bosom as false as thou deem'st it to be,
I need not have wander'd from far Galilee;
It was but abjuring my creed to efface

The curse which, thou say'st, is the crime of my race.

II.

If the bad never triumph, then God is with thee!
If the slave only sin, thou art spotless and free!
If the Exile on earth is an Outcast on high,
Live on in thy faith, but in mine I will die.

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I have lost for that faith more than thou canst bestow, As the God who permits thee to prosper doth know; In his hand is my heart and my hope-and in thine The land and the life which for him I resign.

HIEROD'S LAMENT FOR MARIAMNE.6

1.

OH, Mariamne! now for thee

The heart for which thou bled'st is bleeding; Revenge is lost in agony,

And wild remorse to rage succeeding.

Oh, Mariamne! where art thou?

Thou canst not hear my bitter pleading:

Ah! could'st thou-thou would'st pardon now,
Though Heaven were to my prayer unheeding.

II.

And is she dead?—and did they dare
Obey my frenzy's jealous raving?
My wrath but doom'd-my own despair:

The sword that smote her's o'er me waving.

But thou art cold, my murder'd love!
And this dark heart is vainly craving
For her who soars alone above,

And leaves my soul unworthy saving.

III.

She's gone, who shared my diadem;
She sunk, with her my joys entombing;
I swept that flower from Judah's stem,
Whose leaves for me alone were blooming;
And mine's the guilt, and mine the hell,
This bosom's desolation dooming;

And I have earn'd those tortures well,
Which unconsumed are still consuming!

ON THE DAY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM BY TITUS.

I.

FROM the last hill that looks on thy once holy dome,
I beheld thee, oh Sion! when render'd to Rome:
'Twas thy last sun went down, and the flames of thy fall
Flash'd back on the last glance I gave to thy wall.

II.

I look'd for thy temple, I look'd for my home,
And forgot for a moment my bondage to come;
I beheld but the death-fire that fed on thy fane,
And the fast-fetter'd hands that made vengeance in vain.

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On many an eve, the high spot whence I gazed
Had reflected the last beam of day as it blazed ;
While I stood on the height, and beheld the decline

Of the rays from the mountain that shone on thy shrine.

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