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SILENCE of death-portentous calm,
Those airy forms that yonder fly,
Denote that your void fore-runs a storm,
That the hour of fate is nigh.
I see, I see, on the dim mist borne,
The Spirit of battles rear his crest !
that ere the morn, His spear will forsake its hated rest, And the widow'd wife of Larrendill will beat her
O'er the smooth bosom of the sullen deep,
No softly ruffling zephyrs fly;
But Nature sleeps a deathless sleep,
For the hour of battle is nigh.
Not a loose leaf waves on the dusky oak,
But a creeping stillness reigns around;
Except when the raven, with ominous croak,
On the ear does unwelcomely sound.
I know, I know what this silence means;
I know what the raven saith
Strike, oh, ye bards ! the melancholy harp,
For this is the eve of death.
Behold, how along the twilight air
The shades of our fathers glide!
There Morven fled, with the blood-drench'd hair,
And Colma with gray side.
No gale around its coolness flings,
Yet sadly sigh the gloomy trees;
And, hark ! how the harp's unvisited strings
Sound sweet, as if swept by a whispering breeze! 'Tis done! the sun he has set in blood !
He will never set more to the brave;
Let us pour to the hero the dirge of death-
For to-morrow he hies to the grave.
Oh! who would cherish life,
And cling unto this heavy clog of clay,
Love this rude world of strife,
Where glooms and tempests cloud the fairest day;
And where, 'neath outward smiles, Conceal'd, the snake lies feeding on its prey, Where pit-falls lie in every flowery way,
And sirens lure the wanderer to their wiles ! Hateful it is to me, Its riotous railings and revengeful strife;
I'm tired with all- its screams and brutal shouts Dinning the ear ;-away-away with life!
And welcome, oh! thou silent maid,
Who in some foggy vault art laid,
Where never day-light's dazzling ray
Comes to disturb thy dismal sway; (sleep,
And there amid unwholesome damps dost
In such forgetful slumbers deep,
That all thy senses stupefied,
Are to marble petrified.
Sleepy Death, I welcome thee!
Sweet are thy calms to misery.
Poppies I will ask no more,
Nor the fatal hellebore;
Death is the best, the only cure,
His are slumbers ever sure.
Lay me in the Gothic tomb,
In whose solemn fretted gloom
I may lie in mouldering state,
With all the grandeur of the great:
Over me, magnificent,
Carve a stately monument :
Then thereon my statue lay,
With hands in attitude to pray,
And angels serve to hold my head,
Weeping o'er the father dead.
Duly too at close of day,
Let the pealing organ play ;
And while the harmonious thunders roll,
Chant a vesper to my soul:
Thus how sweet my sleep will be,
Shut out from thoughtful misery!
AWAY with death-away
With all her sluggish sleeps and chilling damps,
Impervious to the day,
Where Nature sinks into inanity.
How can the soul desire
Such hateful nothingness to crave,
And yield with joy the vital fire,
To moulder in the grave !
Yet mortal life is sad,
Eternal storms molest its sullen sky;
And sorrows ever rife
Drain the sacred fountain dry-
Away with mortal life !
But, hail the calm reality,
The seraph Immortality!
Hail the Heavenly bowers of peace !
Where all the storms of passion cease.
Wild Life's dismaying struggle o'er,
The wearied spirit weeps no more;
But wears the eternal smile of joy,
Tasting bliss without alloy.
Welcome, welcome, happy bowers,
Where no passing tempest lowers;
But the azure heavens display
The everlasting smile of day;
Where the choral seraph choir,
Strike to praise the harmonious lyre;
And the spirit sinks to ease,
Lulld by distant symphonies.
Oh! to think of meeting there
The friends whose graves received our tear,
The daughter loved, the wife adored,
To our widow'd arms restored;
And all the joys which death did sever,
Given to us again for ever!
Who would cling to wretched life,
And hug the poison'd thorn of strife;
Who would not long from earth to fly,
A sluggish senseless lump to lie,
When the glorious prospect lies
Full before his raptured eyes?
Written between the Ages of Fourteen and Fifteen, with
a few subsequent verbal Alterations.
Music, all powerful o'er the human mind,
Can still each mental storm, each tumult calm, Soothe anxious Care on sleepless couch reclined,
And e'en fierce Anger's furious rage disarm.
At her command the various passions lie;
She stirs to battle, or she lulls to peace; Melts the charm'd soul to thrilling ecstacy, [cease.
And bids the jarring world's harsh clangour Her martial sounds can fainting troops inspire
With strength unwonted, and enthusiasm raise;