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I WOULD NOT LIVE ALWAY.
Where Hope, when she paints her gay bow in the air,
I would not live alway, thus fettered by sin,
I would not live alway: no, welcome the tomb;
Who, who would live alway, away from his God,
That heavenly music! what is it I hear?
O give me, O give me the wings of a dove!
WILLIAM AUGUSTUS MUHLENBERG.
Lines vUritten in a Church-yard.
“It is good for us to be here. If thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, one for Moses, and one for Elias."
METHINKS it is good to be here;
Nor Elias nor Moses appear;
Shall we build to Ambition ? Ah no!
For see, they would pen him below
To Beauty ? Ah no! she forgets
Nor knows the foul worm that he frets
Shall we build to the purple of pride ? To the trappings which dizen the proud ?
Alas! they are all laid aside, And here is neither dress nor adornment allowed, But the long winding-sheet, and the fringe of the shroud
To Riches ? Alas, 't is in vain ! Who hid, in their turns have been hid:
The treasures are squandered again;
THE MARINER'S DREAM.
And here in the grave are all metals forbid,
To the pleasures which Mirth can afford,
Ahl here is a plentiful board !
Shall we build to Affection and Love?
Or fled with the spirit above.
Unto Sorrow ?—the dead cannot grieve;
Which compassion itself could relieve.
Unto Death, to whom monarchs must bow?
And here there are trophies enow!
The first tabernacle to Hope we will build,
The second to Faith, that insures it fulfilled; And the third to the Lamb of the great sacrifice, Who bequeathed us them both when he rose to the skies.
The Mariner's Dream.
In slumbers of midnight the sailor-boy lay;
His hammock swung loose at the sport of the wind;
But watch-worn and weary, his cares flew away,
And visions of happiness danced o'er his mind.
He dreamt of his home, of his dear native bowers,
And pleasures that waited on life's merry morn; While memory stood sideways half covered with flowers,
And restored every rose, but secreted its thorn.
Then Fancy her magical pinions spread wide,
And bade the young dreamer in ecstasy rise; Now far, far behind him the green waters glide,
And the cot of his forefathers blesses his eyes.
The jessainine clambers in flower o'er the thatch,
And the swallow chirps sweet from her nest in the wall; All trembling with transport he raises the latch,
And the voices of loved ones reply to his call.
A father bends o'er him with looks of delight;
His cheek is impearled with a mother's warm tear; And the lips of the boy in a love-kiss unite
With the lips of the maid whom his bosom holds dear.
The heart of the sleeper beats high in his breast;
Joy quickens his pulses,—his hardships seem o'er; And a murmur of happiness steals through his rest, — “O God! thou hast blest me, -I ask for no more."
Ah! whence is that flame which now bursts on his eye?
Ah! what is that sound which now 'larms on his ear? 'T is the lightning's red gleam, painting hell on the sky!
'T is the crashing of thunders, the groan of the sphere!
He springs from his hammock, he flies to the deck;
Amazement confronts him with images dire;
The masts fly in splinters; the shrouds are on fire.
Like mountains the billows tremendously swell;
In vain the lost wretch calls on mercy to save; Unseen hands of spirits are ringing his knell,
And the death-angel flaps his broad wings o'er the wave!
O sailor-boy, woe to thy dream of delight!
In darkness dissolves the gay frost-work of bliss. Where now is the picture that fancy touched bright,
Thy parents' fond pressure, and love's honeyed kiss ?
O sailor-boy! sailor-boy! never again
Shall home, love, or kindred thy wishes repay; Unblessed and unhonored, down deep in the main,
Full many a fathom, thy frame shall decay.
No tomb shall e'er plead to remembrance for thee,
Or redeem form or fame from the merciless surge, But the white foam of waves shall thy winding-sheet be,
And winds in the midnight of winter thy dirge!
On a bed of green sea-flowers thy limbs shall be laid,
Around thy white bones the red coral shall grow; Of thy fair yellow locks threads of amber be made,
And every part suit to thy mansion below.
Days, months, years, and ages shall circle away,
And still the vast waters above thee shall roll;
OLD GRIMES is dead; that good old man
We never shall see more;
All buttoned down before.