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IKENESS of heaven I
Agent of power
Man is thy victim,
Shipwrecks thy dower Spices and jewels
From valley and sea, Armies and banners,
Are buried in thee
What are the riches
Of Mexico's mines
To the wealth that far down
In thy deep water shines 2
The proud navies that cover
The conquering West—
Thou fling'st them to death
With one heave of thy breast.
From the high hills that vizor
Thy wreck-making shore,
When the bride of the mariner
Shrieks at thy roar,
When, like lambs in the tempest
Or mews in the blast,
O'er thy ridge-broken billows
The canvas is cast,-
How humbling to one
With a heart and a soul,
To look on thy greatness,
And list to thyroll;
And to think how that heart
In cold ashes shall be,
While the voice of eternity
Rises from thee l
Yes! where are the cities
Of Thebes and of Tyre 2–
Swept from the nations,
Like sparks from the fire l
The glory of Athens,
The splendor of Rome,
Like dew in thy foam 1
But thou art almighty—
Twin-brother of Time !
Fleets, tempests, nor nations
Thy glory can bow;
As the stars first beheld thee,
Still chainless art thou !
But hold 1 when thy surges
No longer shall roll,
And that firmament's length
Is drawn back like a scroll;
Then—then shall the spirit
That sighs by thee now,
Be more mighty, more lasting,
More chainless than thou !
John AUGUSTUS SHEA.
L. a foundling in slumber, the summer-day lay
On the crimsoning threshold of even,
And I thought that the glow through the azure-arched way Was a glimpse of the coming of Heaven.
There together we sat by the beautiful stream;
We had nothing to do but to love and to dream,
In the days that have gone on before.
These are not the same days, though they bear the same
With the ones I shall welcome no more.
But it may be that angels are calling them o'er,
For a Sabbath and summer forever,
When the years shall forget the Decembers they wore,
And the shroud shall be woven, no never !
In a twilight like that, Jennie June for a bride,
Oh l what more of the world could one wish for beside,
As we gazed on the river unrolled,
Till we heard, or we fancied its musical tide,
When it flowed through the gateway of gold
“Jennie June,” then I said, “let us linger no more
On the banks of the beautiful river;
Let the boat be unmoored, and be muffled the oar,
And we'll steal into heaven together.
If the angel on duty our coming descries,
You have nothing to do but throw off the disguise
That you wore while you wandered with me,
And the sentry shall say, 'Welcome back to the skies,
We long have been waiting for thee.’”
Oh! how sweetly she spoke, ere she uttered a word,
With that blush, partly hers, partly even's,
And a tone, like the dream of a song we once heard,
As she whispered, “This way is not heaven's:
For the River that runs by the realm of the blest,
Has no song on its ripple, no star on its breast;
Oh! that river is nothing like this,
For it glides on in shadow beyond the world's west,
Till it breaks into beauty and bliss.”
I am lingering yet, but I linger alone,
On the banks of the beautiful river;
'Tis the twin of that day, but the wave where it shone
Bears the willow-tree's shadow forever.
BENJAMIN F. TAYLOR.
How broad thou art growing !
And the sentinel headlands wait grimly for thee;
And Euroclydon urges
The bold-riding surges
That in white-crested lines gallop in from the seal
O bright-hearted river,
With crystalline quiver,
Like a sword from its scabbard, far-flashing abroad 1
And I think, as I gaze
On the tremulous blaze,
That thou surely wert drawn by an angel of God!
Through the black heart of night, Leaping out to the light, Thou art reeking with sunset, and dyed with the dawn; Cleft the emerald sod— Cleft the mountains of God— And the shadows of roses yet rusted thereon I
Where willows are weeping,
Where shadows are sleeping, Where the frown of the mountain lies dark on thy crest;
Arcturus now shining,
Arbutus now twining, And “my castles in Spain” gleaming down in thy breast;
Then disastered and dim,
Swinging sullen and grim,
Where the old ragged shadows of hovels are shed;
Creeping in, creeping out,
As in dream, or in doubt,
In the reeds and the rushes slow rocking the dead.
When all crimson and gold,
Slowly home to the fold
Do the fleecy clouds flock to the gateway of even,
Then, no longer brook-born,
But a way paved with morn,
Ay, a bright golden street to the city of Heaven
In the great stony heart
Of the feverish mart,
Is the throb of thy pulses pellucid, to-day;
By gray mossy ledges,
By green velvet edges,
Where the corn waves its sabre, thou glidest away.
Broad and brave, deep and strong,
Thou art lapsing along;
And the stars rise and fall in thy turbulent tide,
As light as the drifted
White swan's breast is lifted,
Or a June fleet of lilies at anchor may ride.
And yet, gallant river,
That hast cleft the broad world on thy way to the main,
I would part from thee here,
With a smile and a tear,
And a Hebrew, read back to thy fountains again.