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Silence was o'er the deep; the noiseless surge,
The last subsiding wave,-of that dread tumult
Which raged, when Ocean, at the mute command,
Rushed furiously into his new-cleft bed,—
Was gently rippling on the pebbled shore ;
While, on the swell, the sea-bird, with her head
Wing-veiled, slept tranquilly. The host of heaven,
Entranced in new delight, speechless adored;
Nor stopped their fleet career, nor changed their form
Encircular, till on that hemisphere,—
In which the blissful garden sweet exhaled
Its incense, odorous clouds,-the Sabbath dawn
Arose; then wide the flying circle oped,
And soared, in semblance of a mighty rainbow.
Silent ascend the choirs of Seraphim;
No harp resounds, mute is each voice; the burst
Of joy and praise, reluctant they repress,—
For love and concord all things so attuned
To harmony, that Earth must have received
The grand vibration, and to the centre shook :
But soon as to the starry altitudes
They reached, then what a storm of sound, tremendous,
Swelled through the realms of space! The morning stars
Together sang, and all the sons of God
Shouted for joy! Loud was the peal; so loud
As would have quite o'erwhelmed human sense;
But to the earth it came a gentle strain,
Like softest fall breathed from Æolian lute,
When 'mid the chords the evening gale expires.
Day of the Lord! creation's hallowed close!
Day of the Lord! (prophetical they sang)
Benignant mitigation of that doom,
Which must, ere long, consign the fallen race, Dwellers in yonder star, to toil and wo!
THE FINDING OF MOSES.
SLOW glides the Nile: amid the margin flags,
Closed in a bulrush ark, the babe is left,-
Left by a mother's hand. His sister waits
Far off; and pale, 'tween hope and fear, beholds
The royal maid, surrounded by her train,
Approach the river bank,-approach the spot
Where sleeps the innocent: she sees them stoop
With meeting plumes; the rushy lid is oped,
And wakes the infant, smiling in his tears,
As when along a little mountain lake,
The summer south-wind breathes, with gentle sigh,
And parts the reeds, unveiling, as they bend,
A water-lily floating on the wave.
JACOB AND PHARAOH.
PHARAOH upon a gorgeous throne of state
Was seated; while around him stood submiss
His servants, watchful of his lofty looks.
The Patriarch enters, leaning on the arm
Of Benjamin. Unmoved by all the glare
Of royalty, he scarcely throws a glance
Upon the pageant show; for from his youth
A shepherd's life he led, and viewed each night
The starry host; and still, where'er he went,
He felt himself in presence of the Lord.
His eye is bent on Joseph, him pursues.
Sudden the king descends; and, bending, kneels
Before the aged man, and supplicates
A blessing from his lips! the aged man
Lays on the ground his staff, and, stretching forth
His tremulous hando'er Pharaoh's uncrowned head,
Prays that the Lord would bless him and his land.
FROM conquest JEPHTHA came, with faltering step
And troubled eye: his home appears in view;
He trembles at the sight. Sad he forebodes,-
His vow will meet a victim in his child :
For well he knows, that, from her earliest years,
She still was first to meet his homeward steps:
Well he remembers, how, with tottering gait,
Sheran, and clasped his knees, and lisped, and looked
Her joy; and how, when garlanding with flowers
His helm, fearful, her infant hand would shrink
Back from the lion couched beneath the crest.
What sound is that, which, from the palm-tree grove,
Floats now with choral swell, now fainter falls
Upon the ear? It is, it is the song
He loved to hear,-a song of thanks and praise,
Sung by the patriarch for his ransomed son.
Hope from the omen springs: O, blessed hope!
It may not be her voice!-Fain would he think
'Twas not his daughter's voice, that still approached,
Blent with the timbrel's note. Forth from the grove
She foremost glides of all the minstrel band:
Moveless he stands; then grasps his hilt still red
With hostile gore, but, shuddering, quits the hold;
And clasps in agony his hands, and cries,
"Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me low."-
The timbrel at her rooted feet resounds.
DEEP was the furrow in the royal brow,
When DAVID's hand, lightly as vernal gales
Rippling the brook of Kedron, skimmed the lyre :
He sung of JACOB's youngest born,-the child
Of his old age,-sold to the Ishmaelite;
His exaltation to the second power
In PHARAOH's realm: his brethren thither sent;
Suppliant they stood before his face, well known,
Unknowing,-till JOSEPH fell upon the neck
Of BENJAMIN, his mother's son, and wept.
Unconsciously the warlike shepherd paused;
But when he saw, down the yet quivering string,
The tear-drop trembling glide, abashed, he checked,
Indignant at himself, the bursting flood,
And, with a sweep impetuous, struck the chords :
From side to side his hands transversely glance,
Like lightning 'thwart a stormy sea; his voice
Arises 'mid the clang, and straightway calms
The harmonious tempest, to a solemn swell
Majestical, triumphant; for he sings
Of Arad's mighty host by Israel's arm
Subdued; of Israel through the desert led,
He sings; of him who was their leader, called
By God himself, from keeping JETHRO's flock, To be a ruler o'er the chosen race.
Kindles the eye of SAUL; his arm is poized ;Harmless the javelin quivers in the wall.
SORE was the famine throughout all the bounds
Of Israel, when ELIJAH, by command
Of God, journeyed to Cherith's failing brook.
No rain-drops fall, no dew-fraught cloud, at morn,
Or closing eve, creeps slowly up the vale;
The withering herbage dies; among the palms
The shrivelled leaves send to the summer gale
An autumn rustle; no sweet songster's lay
Is warbled from the branches; scarce is heard
The rill's faint brawl. The prophet looks around,
And trusts in God, and lays his silvered head
Upon the flowerless bank; serene he sleeps,
Nor wakes till dawning: then with hands enclasped,
And heavenward face, and eyelids closed, he prays
To Him who manna on the desert showered,
To Him who from the rock made fountains gush :
Entranced the man of God remains, till, roused
By sound of wheeling wings, with grateful heart,
He sees the ravens fearless by his side
Alight, and leave the heaven-provided food.