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But, when the days of golden dreams had perished,
And even Despair was powerless to destroy;
Then did I learn how existence could be cherished,
Strengthened, and fed without the aid of joy.
Then did I check the tears of useless passion,
Weaned my young soul from yearning after thine ;
Sternly denied its burning wish to hasten
Down to that tomb already more than mine.
And even yet I dare not let it languish,
Dare not indulge in memory's rapturous pain;
Once drinking deep of that divinest anguish,
How could I seek the empty world again ?
All worldly shapes shall melt in gloom,
The sun himself must die,
Before this mortal shall assume
I saw a vision in my sleep,
That gave my spirit strength to sweep
Adown the gulf of Time!
I saw the last of human mould,
That shall Creation's death behold,
As Adam saw her prime !
The sun's eye had a sickly glare,
The earth with age was wan,
The skeletons of nations were
Around that lonely man!
Some had expired in fight,--the brands
Still rusted in their bony hands;
In plague and famine some !
Earth's cities had no sound nor tread;
And ships were drifting with the dead
To shores where all was dumb !
Yet, prophet-like, that lone one stood,
With dauntless words and high,
That shook the sere leaves from the wood,
As if a storm passed by -
Saying, We are twins in death, proud Sun,
Thy face is cold, thy race is run,
'Tis mercy bids thee go;
For thou ten thousand thousand years
Hast seen the tide of human tears,
That shall no longer flow.
What though beneath thee man put forth
His pomp, his pride, his skill ;
And arts that made fire, flood, and earth,
The vassals of his will ;-
Yet mourn I not thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day ;
For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Healed not a passion or a pang
Entailed on human hearts.
Go, let oblivion's curtain fall
Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall
Life's tragedy again.
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh upon the rack
Of pain anew to writhe ;
Stretched in disease's shapes abhorred,
Or mown in battle by the sword,
Like grass beneath the scythe.
Even I am weary in yon skies
To watch thy fading fire ; Test of all sumless agonies, Behold not me expire.
My lips that speak thy dirge of death-
Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath
To see thou shalt not boast.
The eclipse of nature spreads my pall, -
The majesty of darkness shall
Receive my parting ghost !
Go, Sun, while mercy holds me up
On nature's awful waste,
To drink this last and bitter cup
Of grief that man shall taste-
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,
On earth's sepulchral clod,
The darkening universe defy
To quench his immortality,
Or shake his trust in God !
Ah! what avails the sceptred race,
Ah! what the form divine !
What every virtue, every grace !
Rose Aylmer, all were thine.
Rose Aylmer, whom these wakeful eyes
May weep, but never see,
A night of memories and of sighs
I consecrate to thee.
Walter Savage Landor.
Gone were but the winter cold,
And gone were but the snow,
I could sleep in the wild woods
Where primroses blow.
Cold's the snow at my head,
And cold at my feet;
And the finger of death's at my een,
Closing them to sleep.
Let none tell my father,
Or my mother so dear,
I'll meet them both in heaven
At the spring of the year.
I thought to meet no more, so dreary seemed
Death's interposing veil, and thou so pure,
Thy place in Paradise
Beyond where I could soar ;
Friend of this worthless heart ! but happier thoughts 5
Spring like unbidden violets from the scd,
Where patiently thou tak'st
Thy sweet and sure repose.
The shadows fall more soothing, the soft air
Is full of cheering whispers like thine own;
While Memory, by thy grave,
Lives o'er thy funeral day ;
The deep knell dying down; the mourners' pause,
Waiting their Saviour's welcome at the gate;
Sure with the words of Heaven
Thy spirit met us there,
And sought with us along the accustomed way
The hallowed porch, and entering in beheld
The pageant of sad joy,
So dear to Faith and Hope.
Oh, hadst thou brought a strain from Paradise
To cheer us, happy soul! thou hadst not touched
The sacred springs of grief
More tenderly and true,
Than those deep-warbled anthems, high and low,
Low as the grave, high as the eternal Throne,
Guiding through light and gloom
Our mourning fancies wild,
Till gently, like soft golden clouds at eve
Around the western twilight, all subside
Into a placid Faith,
That e'en with beaming eye
Counts thy sad honours, coffin, bier, and pall :
So many relics of a frail love lost,
So many tokens dear
Of endless love begun.
Listen! it is no dream : the Apostle's trump
Gives earnest of the Archangel's : calmly now,
Our hearts yet beating high
To that victorious lay,