Halloween, a Romaunt; with Lays Meditative and Devotional

Drawn & Engraved by J. N. Gimbrede

Give me the calm of Days decline to muse upon my own

















Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1844, by


In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of Connecticut.



Stereotyped by


Hartford, Conn.


Printed by


Hartford, Conn.


Halloween has been printed, though never published before. In the winter of 1842 I had a private edition, of fifty copies, struck off for my friends. These have been freely loaned and circulated, till the book has been enquired for by strangers, at my bookseller’s; and at his instance, I now allow it to appear. Though I had not intended this, and for many private reasons rather disliked the idea of making it public; I suppose, on the whole, that it will be better to publish it now, than in after life, and to edit it myself, than to leave it to a survivor.

A curious incident suggested this little poem. It was written when I was but twenty. The same theme would now inspire a very different strain; and I can approve it only as a true exhibition of the manifold emotions at work, in a mind disposed to be religious, at that period of life when the world entices most, and character is yet fervid and unstamped. I am willing to make it public, therefore, if the gentle few, who have heretofore been my public, will vouchsafe to consider it only in reference to its place, between the trifles I have written before and after it. In its proper position I think its effect will be happy; for it is a favorite habit of mine to regard all that an author publishes, as his only complete work; in which, if he be a poet, the several parts will bear but the proportion of a stanza or a canto. I think this is an ennobling view to take of any writer; but a profitable one especially, where authors have written much, and ventured often before the world, while their opinions were in a state of progress and transition. By such a rule, I hope my own friends will judge whatever I have already, or may hereafter, put forth. I should be sorry if Politiano’s experience were not always mine, with regard to all I have yet published:

Dum relego scripsisse pudet; quia plurima cerno,

  Me quoque, qui feci, judice, digna lini.

A. C. C.

St. John’s Rectory, Hartford,

May, 1844.


         TO A LADY.




If souls, once more, to these their haunts on earth,

  Can come, dear Lady, from the Spirit-land,

I ask’d thee,—would it spoil thine hour of mirth,

  To see some sudden shape before thee stand!

  And a cold shudder told me, and thine hand

Press’d dearer to mine own. But then said I,

  Oh! if thy friend were dead, and could command

Some midnight hour to visit thee; reply,

Say, would it grieve thee, Love, if love could never die!




I have been roaming in that Spirit-world,

  And still my deathless love return’d to thee:

And still thy brow, thy locks in lustre curl’d,

  And thy dear eye of beauty shone on me:

  And thou, my guardian angel, changelessly,

Though all abandon’d, still wouldst leave me not!

  And then I thought, if e’er an hour should be,

When my poor soul might leave that rayless spot,

Thee would my spirit seek, forgetless, unforgot.




Fear not, dear Lady, if my voice to thee,

  Sounds then thus sadly, from the Spirit-land;

The dream is o’er that then unhearted me,

  And I in living shape before thee stand.

  But take my story in thy lily hand,

And in some hour when sadness were not sad,

  Let these loose numbers by thine eye be scann’d.

Learn what deep sorrows in my heart I had,

When I was far from thee, and all that’s bright and glad.



  ὰθανάτας ὶδεας ὲπιδώμεθα

  τηλεσκόπῳ ὄμματι γαῖαν.

            Aristophanes. Clouds. 286.





I have been near the gates of death,

  And thought I passed them thro’;

Ev’n now my spirit quivereth,

  To think of where it flew!

Oh it was hard to yield my breath;

  ’Twas hard to breathe anew;

It was hard to come to life again,

  And Earth once more to view!

To wake, and find ’twas all in vain,

  The death-pang and adieu!




Many there be who die in throes,

  And groans, and fearful anguish:

And there be those, who waste in woes;

  And many there be who languish;

But few there be, who die like me,

  Then wake again to sorrow;

Who strive with death, and feel them free,

  But are bound again to-morrow;

Who wrestle through all its agony,

And strive no more in its chains to be,

But are born again to misery,

  In the dying years they borrow.




I have been near the gates of death,

  And know ’tis hard to die;

That the mortal flesh it shuddereth

  In the spell of death to lie:

That fearful it is—the ebbing breath;

  And awful—the closing eye,

When powerless all, it curtaineth

  The soul, from its loved ones by;

When it closeth slow o’er the leaden gaze,

That wraps, like the mariner’s home, in a haze,

  The dear ones that comfort us nigh.




’Tis awful,—the hour when death comes on,

When the voice of cheer or wail is gone;

To feel the lip o’er the dry tooth ope,

To catch half a ray through the eyelid’s scope,

Then shudder, though powerless all, to feel

The frost o’er the glazing orbs congeal,

When the breath grows low, and the heart is chill,

Though the blood creeps ghostlike around it still,

And to gasp a moment, and struggle, and try

To yield the starved spirit,—and groan,—and die,

And still to flicker a dying hour,

When life still hovers, and seems to lower,

Though voice hath no spell, and the pulse no power!




I tell ye the story this chill Halloween,

  For it suiteth the Spirit-eve;

But my trance was in Spring-time, when trees were green,

  And the hedgerows began to leave:

When the blossom put forth, and the year was new:

When Earth was so lovely—to bid it adieu

Seem’d doubly to die!—and I thought while I drew

  My death gasp, I scarcely could grieve

To die in the Autumn, when leaves come down;

When the shadows are gone from the wilderness brown,

When the flowret droops, and the glories that crown

  The hill-top, like hopes that deceive:

But to die in Spring,—the joyous Spring!

The dear young year, when Hope hath a wing!

To die amid blossoms,—the season’s sweet prime;

To go ere the summer; to fade in the time

When Earth waketh up at the Easter-bell’s chime,

  And dresseth her green, and decketh her sward,

  Like virgins, that early awaited the Lord,

On the morn of his waking sublime!

Oh, to die in the Spring-time,—the young joyous Spring,

When scarce have outbudded the sprigs that they fling

In the cold bed they hallow:—when forest birds sing

Their wood-notes too gaily for requiem due:

Oh, this did appal me, as soulless I grew!




The Autumn wind—oh hear it howl!

Without—October’s tempests scowl,

As he troops away on the raving wind!

And leaveth dry leaves in his path behind!


        Oh hear him shout,

  He is making the old trees bare;

        Oh cruel, he,

        To the old oak tree,

  And the garden hedge so fair!

Oh, a wild and tyrannous king is he,

When he playeth his frolic in every tree,

  And maketh the forest bare!




I know that a tyrannous rod is his,

  When he maketh the forest bow;

But worse, far worse are his tyrannies,

  For he tameth the spirit now!


        Oh hear him shout,

            October is going away!

’Tis the night—the night

Of the grave’s delight,

    And the warlocks are at their play!

Ye think that without,

The wild winds shout,

    But no, it is they—it is they!




The spirits are pulling the sere dry leaves,

  Of the shadowy forest, down;

And howl the gaunt reapers that gather the sheaves,

  With the moon, o’er their revels, to frown:

To-morrow ye’ll find all their spoils in your path,

  And ye’ll speak of the wind and the sky;

But oh could ye see them to-night, in their wrath,

  I ween ye’d be frenzied of eye!




There is a world in which we dwell;

And yet a world invisible!

And do not think that naught can be,

Save only what with eyes ye see;

I tell ye, that, this very hour,

Had but your sight a spirit’s power,

Ye would be looking, eye to eye,

At a terrific company!

A thousand shapes are at your side,

A thousand by your bed abide,

A thousand, hellish demon sprites,

That bend ye to their foul delights;

And ye are, every day, the hand,

The tool of an infernal band,

That with you dwell,—are one with you,

And govern ye in all ye do,

Save, when ye live in prayer, or hear

A silent whisper in your ear,

From one,—your friend in heav’n and earth,

The guardian angel of your birth.




Bear with me, while in sooth I tell

  How mine own eye was purged, to see

A strange and awful miracle,

  The haunted deep of Destiny.

Ah me, I know the story well!

  And I was once as blithe as ye;

But one whose soul hath been in Hell,

  Ev’n in a dream, must sadden’d be.




I have been near the gates of death,

  And I, once more, must there appear;

But, Lord, make sure thy servant’s faith,

  To walk that shadow-vale of fear!

For thou hast spoil’d the pang, the sting

  Of death and hell so fierce before,

Led captive in thy triumphing,

  Thy conquest of the Conqueror;

And Faith but waits thy bidding word,

  Thy spirit walking on the sea,

To leap, like Peter to his Lord,

  And pass the roaring floods to Thee;

For raging waves can never tame,

  Nor midnight dark, nor storms, confound

The soul that burns like naptha-flame,

  The brighter for the waters round.




Oh Death! they do thee cruel wrong,

Who call thee fearful names in song,

Or on the blackened canvas, throw

Thy shape, in awfulness and woe.

They sin, who paint thee fearful shade,

A devil-shape, in shroud array’d,

With arrows in thy bony hand,

And shaking aye the sinner’s sand,

With felon grin, and demon leer,

Till Nature feels thy venom’d spear.




For oft, as with a seraph’s smile,

Thou dost the happy soul beguile,

And charm away, from darkest scene,

To homes of endless day serene,

Above the world,—no more to sigh

For realms where never more they die;

In worlds, to us poor earthlings, known

By thee, kind Death,—by death alone.




But not to me came death so bright,

For I had lov’d the world’s delight;

And oh to leave what only charm’d me,

To go with Death—that had disarm’d me,

And dragg’d me, loth to part, and fain

To struggle back to bonds again;

’Twas very hard—’twas very dread!

But from my couch, I rais’d my head,

And op’d mine eyes, to look once more

On what, for me, should soon be o’er,

And then I said—or thought, or seem’d

To be repeating, while I dream’d

Away my ebbing hour of breath—

To leave this all, oh this is death!




My couch was by a lattic’d door,

  With diamond panes, of olden making,

That open’d on a garden floor

  Of pebbled paths, and flower-beds, waking

Bright as the year, to glad the Earth

And glory in their brilliant birth.




I cast mine eye athwart the scene,

And blest the soul-reviving green;

And must I go away, and must

This eye that doateth turn to dust?

Ye pleasant flowers, I said, when ye

Have turn’d to fruit, oh where shall be

The sight that sees ye, loves you, now,

And blesses ye with fervent vow!

Though all the while ’tis growing dim,

And blooms your beauty—not for him!




This eye hath but an hour to serve,

  And its fine work is broke forever;

The worm shall gnaw its tender nerve,

  And blessed light illume it never.

A moment more—and all is dark;

  This orb, that beauteous shapes have brighten’d,

And lighted like a diamond spark,

  Shall palsy, ne’er to be enlighten’d!




Then my last look shall be at you,

  Ye blessed things that still I cherish;

’Tis well the latest things I view,

  Should charm me, even as I perish!

Farewell, farewell; life’s dream is going;

  And I shall wake to deathless years:

But oh ye flowers, so sweetly blowing,

  How can I leave you but with tears!




I learn’d to love ye on the knee

Of a fair nurse, in infancy,

Who taught me, with a lip as sweet

As rose-buds, your perfume to greet,

And clap my little hands with joy,

When she gave lilies to her boy.

Oh little flowers! in boyhood too

I held sweet dalliance with you,

And in my earliest passion’s hour,

Could only call my love a flower.

Oh then the starry jessamine,

I pull’d the garden walks within,

And romp’d around, from plot to plot,

Reaping, where I had strewed not,

All hues and odours; wild with glee,

So boldly mischievous to be;

And laughing when they strove to catch,

Or failing, begg’d me not to snatch;

For I had e’er a lover’s eye,

And flowers were lovely company!

A very bacchanal of heart;

And nature-taught in pleasure’s art,

A young Anacreon in my glee,

Beneath the rose-bush tossing me,

And more,—a very rogue, was I,

A pig from Epicurus’ stye;

And so my bosom would I fill

With lily, pink, and daffodil,

And gallop back, my treasures folding,

And bold of heart to bear a scolding,

My head enwreath’d from ear to ear,

And Duke, my spaniel, prancing near.




Dear happy days, forever fled,

I too must wither, and be dead.

  I too must droop; oh bear me up!

  A look shall be my cordial cup!

  Ah this is my last glance:—nay, this!

  I feel an awful dizziness!

  Fling wide the casement—let me see

  The last dear day-light fade on me!

  Oh—and the breezes let me smell;

  I know the scent of Spring-time well!

  And there’s a little songster winging;

  And hark, ’tis Robin Red-breast singing!

And there the glorious sun goes down!

  My life’s last sun! oh hold; oh why

So hasten o’er the woodlands brown,

  And leave me in the dark to die!

Would God! that mountain were away,

  So I might see the sunset longer!

Stop, stop!—ah naught can stop the Day;

  And yet mine agony grows stronger!

Oh see how fast his golden ray

  Sinks—sinks! I’m sure, before, it never

Went half so fast! Stay, stay, oh stay!

  Ah there ’tis going!—gone forever!




It sunk: I swoon’d: a pang—’twas over!

Nay, nay, for still my life would hover:

The dying lamp would flicker—flicker,

Though breath was low, and sight was thicker.

And I was going, going slowly,

My heart unshrived, my soul unholy,

The sins of mis-spent years upon me,

And follies that had all undone me!

And this I knew not—for ’twas awful,

How I was fill’d with thoughts unlawful;

Thoughts that did make me all forget

  What I had left for dying minute;

And I was dying, dying, yet

  Forgot that endless death was in it.




I slept; but yet I was not dead

  For breath still fluttered nigh;

And now, a strain of music shed,

  Came mournful as a sigh!

Was it some spirit’s harp I heard,

  Far in the land of dreams?

Was it the song of Eden’s bird?

  Was it the lull of streams?

What was it? for I did not know

  But ’twas an angel band

Come down, to bear me from below,

  Up to the Spirit-land!


It murmur’d—rose—swell’d high and clear:

Then sunk, and sunk away, like Fear

Holding her breath. Again, it swell’d!

I thought some fairy’s death-peal knell’d.




It was a wind-harp’s magic strong,

Mov’d by the breeze in dreamy song;

But I was gone too far to know

What stirr’d my troubled spirit so,

And in my fancy, came a flood

Of visions, strange to flesh and blood,

And nameless shapes that hover’d round;

Such was the wizard power of sound!




Methought all lovely forms were nigh,

And Beauty, with a tearful eye

Dewing the couch where I lay to die,

    And singing my soul away.

And I said, fair beings, ’tis well ye know,

And the soul of a poet would have it so,

The lovely have been my friends below,

And a soul of song, in a song should go

    To the world where they sing for aye.




And their fairy fingers were fain to play:

  But I was a-going, and gone too far

To listen them longer, as there I lay,

  Though each was as lovely as angels are.

And each had locks, like the beamy light,

  And lips like the crimson wine,

And eyes, like the stars of the morning, bright,

  Or the diamond’s spark divine.




But one glance more—one wilder’d sight,

And I closed my eye on all delight:

One hasty glance—and I never knew

Whence was the music that thrill’d me through;

My ear but caught one fading strain,

And then it was seal’d: but it rung again

With a deathlike, piercing, frosty pain:

And o’er each limb did numbness creep,

As steals o’er the muscles the prickly sleep:

And death came on me: my breath but press’d

In a struggling gasp, from half my breast;

And a falling, falling, falling feeling,

And dark oblivion o’er me stealing,

And a hand that press’d me down, below

The deepest depth of some ocean’s flow,

And a struggle long, and a struggle dread,

And a frantic wrench to raise my head,

And a throttled gasp, and a quenching breath,

And a struggle—is all I know of death.




’Twas over! But then my death began;

I was a disembodied man!

Blind, and alone, and alive—but where!

I was falling, and floating, and flitting through air;

There was darkness here, there was darkness there;

    Oh where was I, poor soul!

I had never a voice, and never a tongue,

And I felt no limbs, but still I was flung

In the darksome deep that around me hung,

    And that seem’d to have never a goal.




Alone, alone; in the deep alone,

Of an awful, soulless world unknown!

And there was I—but I could still

Think of such thoughts, as us’d to fill

Mine eyes with tears: and tears had then

Been sweet as sunlight seen again.

But tears were none, and never an eye

Save the quenchless sight of memory.




The thoughts of joys our childhood gave,

Like flowers upon a mother’s grave,

How laden comes their sad perfume

With all that hath inspired their bloom!

The dear beloved—the only fair,

Our heart’s best part is mould’ring there;

And thoughts that blossom from the urn,

Are dust, and unto dust return.




The breeze that o’er that mother’s tomb

  Comes idly, as to garden-beds,

Is sober’d by the flowers’ perfume,

  And sadness, all around, it sheds.

The very grass it stirs to life,

Doth seem with old remembrance rife,

And every blade instinct, doth move

To wake the tenderness of love.

’Tis then, that as they wave and nod,

And shiver o’er the daisied sod,

They seem, profanely, not to know

The holy head that sleeps below;

And lovely though their petals be,

Their loveliness is agony.




How awful was my memory, then,

Of hours when I abode with men:

When rose my clouded soul within

The pictur’d world, where I had been:

When all delights that I had known,

Came back, because forever flown:

When blew their fragrance o’er my sense,

  With sorrow’s fullness in their flavour,

And all the silent eloquence

  Of a remembered savour.




I heard the sound of coming wings;

  ’Twas dark as the second death,

But I could see a thousand things,

  For I heard a being’s breath:

A whisper—a sigh—was here—was there,

  For darkness is Fancy’s light:

And horrible phantoms were filling the air,

  For I heard the low stroke of their flight.

Oh should they touch me!

Or oh should they clutch me!

  How shrunk my poor soul in its fright!




A terrible moment—’twas coming nigh;

  ’Twas nearer; ’twas nearer; ’twas on me!

Oh can I believe it!—it pass’d me by;

And off, in the distance, it seem’d to die,

With the creak of its wings:—but there came a cry,

And a hollow, unspeakable, fading sigh,

  And a laugh in my ears to stun me.

Ha—ha! Ha—ha! What a wretch was I,

  For I thought the devil had won me.




Ha—ha! Ha—ha! ’twas a hollow jeer;

And it broke like a thunder-clap, right in my ear,

And just when I thought not a whisper was near,

  It burst like a trumpet beside me:

And it deafen’d my hearing, with deafness that rung,

And I knew ’twas a black and a damned tongue,

  That had laugh’d such a laugh to deride me.




For I had senses, and I could tell

By my spirit’s hearing, that such a yell

Was only learn’d in the bottom of hell,

  To torture a bodiless soul:

And bodiless, still I could feel the same,

And I trembled whenever a spirit came,

  Or the flap of his flying stole.

Oh why did I tremble! The deathless mind,

  It needeth no more to be human still,

Its flesh, and its beauty, it leaveth behind,

  But still it endureth—the conquerless Will.




I fell—I fell—I fell,

  Till my spirit began to tire,

I had verily thought the depths of Hell

  Were nearer to Heaven, and higher!

And I felt how terrible ’twas, to be

Falling through all Eternity,

With never an eye to gaze and see,

  But oh, such a soul to desire!




And was I to be for ages so!

A being, forever so blind to go!

Oh, I was left in my soul to know

  The wicked are like the Ocean,

That never can rest, in rise or fall,

That even in calm, is tremulous all,

That casteth up mire, and, bitter as gall,

  Is ever, and aye in motion.




A body grew o’er my ghostly mind,

And I felt young winglets sprout behind,

A butterfly pair of gauzy things;

And I was a cherub with little wings.

But cherubs there are of weal and woe,

Angels above and imps below:

Oh, was it for good I was fashion’d so!

  Or was it for direr stings!

For now I had eyes; and now I could see

And now I was dress’d in a shape to be

A new-born soul in Eternity,

But ignorant all of my destiny,

  As the veriest bird that sings.




But an angel flew with his hands let down

A glorious angel—that wore a crown;

And he caught me up so sweet, and smil’d,

As a mother takes up her falling child;

And I was happy, and thought me then

One of the army of ransom’d men,

But oh, alas! I was left again

  In desolate wastes, and wild.




But in mine eyes strange virtues grew;

And now the Heaven of Heavens, to view

  Rose glorious as the light!

Oh it were idle to strive to tell,

But I can remember, remember well,

  How wonderful seem’d the sight.

I was not there; but saw afar

How happy the heavenly spirits are,

Like him of old, with a gulf between

My longing soul and the glorious scene.

Oh, never shall pass that dread ravine

  A soul defiled by sin!

But there was I, and I could see

How desolate all without must be,

  How rapturous all within.




It seem’d as if in Heaven, they all

Were keeping some high festival:

For, far and near, they thronging came,

Angels, and shapes of living flame,

That had been wandering with their peers,

Out, o’er remotest stars and spheres,

And roaming over fields of light,

Adoring ever, at the sight

Of wondrous things, beyond our seeing,

Creations bursting into being,

New suns and planets ever making,

And new-born light forever breaking.




And wonder seem’d their high employ

Forever, in their homes of joy;

These are thy works—the endless song

Forever roll’d those worlds along.

And now they came, to worship flying,

From stars beyond old Saturn lying;

From far they came, all homeward winging,

And ever on their journey singing,

And trooping to their homes again

From realms beyond our utmost ken,

Legions on legions—from the coasts

Of all thine empire, Lord of Hosts!




A pair of angels came apart

Of flaming soul, and flaming heart,

And flying through the holy air

From Paradise’s gardens fair,

As if two flowers that there were wreathing,

Had sprung to life, all wing’d and breathing.

Ulla and Arah, they are lovers;

Ulla with Arah ever hovers;

Ever together—twins in Heaven;

To whom, by God himself ’twas given

That loving all, and loving Him,

They should be loving cherubim,

And ever in his empire dwell,

Two heavenly souls, yet one as well,

In love that is unspeakable.




Ulla and Arah, there they came

Floating in atmosphere of flame,

And hovering, in the amber blaze,

Like phantoms in a golden haze.

Oh, ye that rapt in wondrous awe,

Have seen what ancient hands could draw,

Bethink ye of the shapes divine,

With wavy grace in every line,

In rainbow rays of glory hung,

Which rapt Rafaelle’s pencil flung;

And ye can tell how there I felt,

To see those cherubs as they knelt,

Their wings and arms together twining,

Their beamy locks together shining,

And rising, falling, bathed in light,

As eagles poise them in their flight;

On waves of ether swan-like sailing,

And, in their angel-worship, veiling,

As Holy, Holy, they did call,

In music-notes seraphical.




And I could see, when there above,

This was thine essence, Holy Love!

For love, below, unfailing comer

To light and shade our life’s young summer;

The love that stirs each earthly bosom,

When life’s first blushing roses blossom;

That joyful, gleeful, blissful sighing,

Dying for love, yet never dying:

Oh, that sweet speech of eye to eye,

Is love, but not like love on high.

’Tis all the same in essence fair,

But mingled here—’tis perfect there:

Here, earthly, troubled, never sure,

Above, ’tis tearless, blest, and pure:

Here, never can we call our own,

Flesh of our flesh, and bone of bone;

Above, two hearts may join in one,

And never is the tie undone,

Unending still, and still begun.




Oh yes! for it was born above,

That Medo-Persic law of Love!

It hath in God himself its spring,

And is like God, a holy thing.

They that love on, and love through all,

Though fortune lower, and fate appal;

The wife that wed in happy day,

Loves still when clouds come o’er the way;

The manly heart, that ne’er so warm,

Gives his own breast to brave the storm,

So he may shield her faded form;

These loving spirits—think ye these

Well moor’d at length in calmer seas,

And brighter, fairer, blest above,

Will love the less, where all is love?

Oh, there upon that happy shore

They wed, and give away no more,

But angel-lovers, they abide,

And roam the blissful regions wide,

In love sublimed and purified.




And then I thought if I should ever

Reach that dear home, to leave it never,

I too would find some angel-spirit

Risen from Earth through Christ, his merit,

With whom I too might ever hover,

In heavenly love, a heavenly lover.

Then did it seem—oh pray no sin

So sweet a thought of heaven be in!

Then did it seem, that heaven the dearer

Would surely be, and joy sincerer,

To have some soul, akin to mine,

Go out o’er all the fields divine,

Link’d with mine own—some soul that I

Had known this side Eternity:

That we, no more to part asunder,

Together there, might gaze and wonder;

Praising the Lord for all things there,

For all his wondrous works and fair,

So vast, so bright: but most, that we

Safe landed there at last, should be!

And then along our starry walk,

Of this lone planet would we talk,

The dear green Earth, our once sweet home,

Of which such few, far tidings come;

Of all its joy, of all its woe,

Of many a landscape there below;

How we were children there, and grew;

How many a joyful hour we knew,

Of how we dwelt, of how we roved,

And dearer far, of how we loved!

And so together would we be

Blest, through a long Eternity;

As o’er the loving worlds we trod,

With all our love absorb’d in God.




The Heaven of Heavens is fill’d with One,

Of rays shot forth, and God the Sun:

For God is Love, and this is He,

That filleth all Immensity.

And seraphs in his sight are dim,

They are but beings out of Him!

’Tis central Glory—and its beams:

’Tis Light’s great Fountain—and its streams:

’Tis One—so great, so good, so bright,

And hosts inscrutable as light,

A Voice—and echoes of its sound;

God,—and his living smiles around!




But God forbid that I should dare

Discover, what I next saw there:

Or tell the music, or the word,

That from immortal tongues I heard.

I saw, but oh I must not tell,

The vision was unspeakable!

Millions on millions, bright to see,

All crowding through Immensity:

Myriads on myriads, far away,

To keep the worship of that day,

That stood in serried, close array,

And bent, and sway’d them, to the breeze

Of soul-controlling harmonies;

As if the heavenly fields were sown

With wavy light, to harvest grown.




I saw them like the elders fall,

  Whom once in Patmos’ lonely isle,

In dream apocalyptical

  The Prophet saw, and quak’d the while:

But mine was nothing but a dream;

  A phantasy, a fearful vision,

Reflected in a troubled stream,

  A soul that long’d for sights elysian;

Mine was an agony of thought,

By grief, and subtle fancy wrought,

And what I saw I only tell

As my deep slumber’s miracle;

For well I know, that nothing gives,

And nought is known by man that lives,

Nor earth hath heard, nor thought conceived,

Nor Fancy into vision weaved,

What joys the Faithful have in store,

Where our dear Lord is gone before.




But God has told us by his Son,

How that triumphant church is one

With all the saints, on Earth, who go

Campaigning through a world of woe;

And one with that dear army blest,

Whose fight is o’er, yet calmly rest,

In Paradise—not mute, nor dumb,

Praying with us, Thy kingdom come,

And ready, at the Master’s call,

To rise where Christ is all in all.

Oh ye baptised, and cross’d beside,

Ye soldiers of the Crucified,

That stand in phalanx deep and broad,

The one Church Catholic of God!

Know ye full well, that every day

With you, the old Apostles pray;

With you, as if on Earth they stood,

The prophets’ goodly brotherhood

Are praising God; and with them bright,

The martyrs’ noble host in light.




These that from great afflictions came,

The martyrs with their tongues of flame,

And spirits of the Just, as well,

In companies innumerable;

With our still further voices blend,

All one with those that there ascend.

I heard their clouds of song arise

In full liturgic sacrifice!

One song from all their legions given

Came rolling through the deep of Heaven;

And far as vision’d eye could gaze,

Alike they worshipp’d in amaze;

And holy lauds, that I could hear

Far off the same, the same a-near,

Uprose before the living throne,

Where dwells the Infinite Unknown;

Where lives in light—the nameless Name,

Whose presence is a burning flame,

A flame of love—a flame of fire,

A God of mercy—and of ire!




Gone! and the vision roll’d away,

As Heaven shall roll that dreadful day!

The stars, with Earth’s great star, the Sun,

Our God shall quench when time is done,

But in that day, that direful day,

When blotted out is every ray,

’Twill all be light, yes, glorious light,

To that unfathomable night,

That, in a moment, leap’d around,

And chang’d the vision of my swound.




I saw a picture in the air,

  A shape that bleeding hung:

It caught from some far fires a glare,

  That fearful shadows flung:

As when the culprit in his cell,

Sees him he slew, and knows him well,

So did my conscience cry, ’tis He;

  So did I know the sight!

A being, bleeding patiently,

  In that terrific light!

A flickering blaze it was, that threw

Upon his form, a light so blue,

And gave pale limbs, a livid hue,

  To fright me down to Hell!

Each sinew strain’d—a writhing frame,

The figure in the subtle flame,

How fearfully it went and came,

  How lighted up—and fell!




A glorious being suffering,

A thorny crown’d and bleeding king,

  His patient arms spread wide;

The trickling drops were on his brow,

  The scar was on his side;

I gaz’d—methinks I see it now!

  It was the Crucified!




A lamb before his shearers dumb!

I heard no sound or murmur come,

Though, but to look, mine eyes did ache,

To see the very gibbet shake,

And know it was in agony

The Lord himself endur’d for me.

Methought on me, the tortur’d eye

Fell meek, and so forgivingly!

But Oh, the worst reproach it seem’d,

To see how merciful it beam’d;

So like the look that broke, of old,

The heart that could no longer hold,

But burst to bitter tears abhorr’d,

Of him, that had denied his Lord.




And I had wept—but had no tears!

I had denied him many years!

And ’twas the second death, I trow,

To look upon that Saviour now,

And think, what I on earth had done,

To pierce afresh that Holy One

I yearn’d to think ’twas all a dream!

  But no—I see him there!

I strove to waken with a scream,

  But voices mock’d in air:

I strove to cry—I yearn’d to pray:

And a voice broke in on my wild dismay,

Go—go, poor creature, begone for aye!

And a demon laugh ha-ha’d away.




There is another world than this,

  And there ’twas mine to fall:

’Tis never a world of joy or bliss,

But a world where fear and darksomeness,

  And gloom, enshroudeth all.

Oh pray ye now, while pray ye can,

  That never ye come, where then I came;

For never return’d a tell-tale man,

  That once went down to that world of flame.




Oh where was my poor soul to run!

  I came to light once more,

And knew it was the blessed sun

  That such a flood did pour!

Oh yes, it was that gorgeous one,

  As glorious as before!

And I was league on league from here,

  Away the stars among:

I could not see our little sphere,

  Or know how sweet she sung;

But I had been so far to roam,

I called the Solar System—home.




And still I gaz’d upon the sun!

It was that old familiar one!

And I remember’d how it seem’d,

When daily, o’er the earth, he beam’d.

For I had often seen him rise

In splendor up the golden skies,

With varied clouds, around to curl,

Like hues that paint the mother-pearl.

And I remember’d, true and well,

His glory, o’er the Ocean’s swell,

When oft, beneath his path of fire,

The sea’s calm bosom would respire,

Or bid each foam-capp’d ocean sprite

Leap up, and clap his wild delight.




The same dear sun was shining yet,

Whose setting sheen, I’ll near forget,

When oft at eve, the hills among,

O’er the deep West I saw him hung,

Till stretch’d the woodland shadows brown,

And bright apparell’d, he went down.

’Twas sweet to think, so far away,

Of youth and its romantic day,

Of blue Owasco, and my joy

To frolic there, a sailor-boy,

Till sunlight went, and many a tune

Beguil’d my voyage beneath the moon;

Of all the mountain streams, and groves,

That yet my memory keeps and loves,

That dearer, brighter, lovelier, were

To me, star-wandering voyager,

For memories, golden as the day,

Of morn, or evening’s lingering ray.




I saw the little world from far,

  And did not know my home;

But bless’d the little fairy star

  That did so lonely roam;

’Twas spinning round, and round, and round,

  And singing all the while,

As went, until Apollo bound,

  Latona’s holy isle:

Away the constellations shone

  Like stellar Cyclades,

And spun the little Earth alone,

  Upon the airy seas.




The Earth, it is a little ball

  That sails thro’ ether clear,

And beautiful it moves, through all

  The silent atmosphere;

Ten thousand, thousand, miles away

  From any sister star,

It is a lonely thing, they say,

  Yet shineth from afar;

To each remotest star it smiles,

  And flieth all the time,

And all its airy way, beguiles,

  With some celestial chime.




Oh do not smile! it is not vain,

Though envy sneer, and doubt complain;

They do not dream, who say they hear

The music of each little sphere,

On some clear evening, when aloft

The stars are out, and shining soft.

Oh Earth, it is a lonely thing

Through empty regions wandering,

Yet charm’d forever, by a sound

From all the deep blue Heaven around;

The Heaven above, the Heaven below,

The Heaven wherever she may go,

The starry vault through which she flies,

The deep, unfathom’d, pathless skies.




Oh Earth, it is a little gem,

  The green Earth, and the bright;

An emerald, in a diadem

  Of sapphire, blue as night;

As night—when all the stars are dim,

  Because the moon shines fair,

And Nature sends her holy hymn,

  Up, through the stilly air.

And now I know that angels bright

Are ever with it, in its flight,

And dance around it, as it rolls,

And spinneth on its silver poles.

They flit anear its azure coasts,

The legions of the Lord of Hosts;

Ten thousand, thousand, angel wings

Are with it in its journeyings,

And these are they, whose simple smile

Is starlight to the little isle;

And oft their troops are visible

  In changing columns, quick and glancing,

As if the skies, by miracle,

  Were full of angel-lustres dancing.

And these in bright successive changes,

The boy, that through the woodland ranges

Beholds appall’d, and in his fear

Believes the judgment-day is near;

While duller wits are gravely set

With glass, and tube and tourniquet,

And eyes asquint,—at what they call

Naught but Aurora-Boreal;

Unweeting that the sign is there,

As God in flesh, did once declare,

That all the world might know before,

How earth should rock, and ocean roar,

And nations quake, and empires wail,

And man’s strong heart with terror fail.




The Earth, it is a tiny thing,

  That hath all colours bright;

And zones, that gird it like a ring,

  With green and snowy white!

And ocean gives it fields of blue,

  And mountains boss it fair;

It carries every blessed hue

  Through all the deep of air.

Oh yes, I’m coming nearer, nearer,

I see my little dwelling clearer,

And yonder—yes—it is the moon,

Up gleaming from her highest noon!




I saw the fairy vision ope,

Such as ye ken through the telescope:

Now, ’twas a globe of frost-work hung

High up in air, the stars among;

Then as it came to daylight more,

’Twas a blister’d orb of silver ore;

And lo! as the nearer sunbeams steal,

’Tis an orange stripp’d of its golden peel.

And so was the night-queen lost in light;

Oh ye should look on the moon at night!




I saw it was only our planet’s shade,

That men call night, and are sore afraid;

And ever, ’tis so, with the mortal breast,

With the gloom of its own dark soul distress’d;

He feareth a shadow, that only can be

A speck in the sunshine of happiness free;

For man, like his planet, must ever be going

  Half dark, and half light, on his wonderful way,

While ever his God, like the sunlight, is throwing

  His merciful, glorious, unquenchable ray.




I never lik’d the world so well,

  It never seem’d so dear:

For I beheld it, as I fell,

  And bless’d the little sphere.

And now I breathed the air again,

  And felt ’twas native breath;

And I long’d to speak once more to men,

  And tell them what is death:

But I was high in the sky-vault yet,

  And slow I sunk, and slower:

Oh, how I long’d my foot to set

  On the dear green Earth once more!




There cometh a winged form!

  What meanest thou, so high?

His wing was wet from a lower storm,

  And he wafted, slowly by,

For his was a spirit warm,

  And his was a quenchless eye!

And I knew ’twas the eagle—untameable bird!

  For he came with the earth’s perfumes;

And a mountain scent, wherever he stirr’d,

  He shook from his glittering plumes.




Another—another! dear bird of my love,

Stay, stay thy worn winglet, thou beautiful dove!

His bosom was heaving, and panting for breath;

His maiden-like eye, it was filmy as death;

And the dear little creature, he wing’d me by

So faint, and so feeble, I knew he would die:

And he seem’d like a spirit broke loose from earth,

That long’d to be off to a purer birth,

That rose into heaven, and joyously there

Was happy a moment, in heavenly air,

But wearied anon of its hope, and its wing,

Was dropping to earth again: poor little thing!




A hawk—a hawk in chase above!

Oh fast! fly fast, my little dove!

A hawk!—a hawk! I’ve come again

To breathe the atmosphere of men,

For ever and aye, in the world ’twas so,

Where a dove was flying, a hawk would go!




Nearer to earth, it seem’d no more,

That beautiful, glorious, fairy shore;

Already, so many a mile in air,

I felt that a poison’d taint was there;

And the hawk and dove, they brought me back

To earth’s dark scenes, and its beaten track;

And then I remember’d, remember’d well,

As nearer, and nearer, and nearer I fell,

How often my spirit had groan’d, to be

On the dull time-side of Eternity;

How oft I had hated and loath’d my home,

And long’d to be off where the soul might roam,

And sigh’d as I gaz’d on the starlight above;

Oh—oh had I only the wings of a dove!




O Earth, it is a weary place,

  A never lighten’d gloom;

The charnel of a dying race;

  The soaring spirit’s tomb.

Oh Earth, ’tis a dismal nook at best,

  I never can bear it more;

As eaglets never can bear their nest,

  When once they have learn’d to soar!




Dids’t ever fall in a fearful dream!

  For now I was falling so:

And ye who have dream’d a fall, may deem

  It was fearful to fall so low.

Falling, and falling, and falling—Hark!

  ’Twas a voice from the Earth that caught me;

’Twas wild as the song of the morning lark,

  Or the laugh that my mother taught me!




But where is it I ope mine eyes!

Oh, can I be in Paradise!

That voice so innocent—so gay,

Seem’d but to laugh as angels may!

A wild, full, childish peal of joy,

The halloo of a noble boy,

And something like a sister’s glee,

Ha-ha-ing in full harmony.




Mine eyes were scarcely yet unclos’d;

And half awake, I half repos’d;

It needed yet another peal

The spell of spirit to unseal:

  Again it broke,

  I woke—I woke!

Oh, do I wake to woe, or weal!




Two laughing cherubs bent above me,

That look’d like Cupids sent to love me,

Laughing with all their elfin might,

The very sculpture of delight;

Their curly locks, and merry eyes,

And their full voices’ melodies,

The very vision, to recall

My soul, without too sad a fall;

The very link I needed, given,

So wild with Earth, so full of Heaven!

And as I woke, they flew away,

A pair of cherubs—imp and fay,

In mischief, merry o’er their fun,

That they had plagu’d a sleepy one,

Yet screaming in their happy laughter,

Lest I should up, and follow after.




I could not stir—I heard them run,

Two rosy children, full of fun:

And now I knew the bright blue eye,

The ruddy lip that kiss’d me nigh,

The voice that woke, the flaxy curl,

Were all a dear beloved girl,

That out had scamper’d, with her brother,

To pull young flowers, and hide from mother.




I knew it all: but there I lay,

  My eyes were op’d—I could not stir!

I felt as some tir’d pilgrim may,

  That hath been years a traveller!

A breeze was through my casement blowing,

  And oh I heard the warblers sing;

And rarest plants their scents were throwing,

  And every breath was full of Spring

And I was waking up from death,

  As one who hath been drown’d;

Oh, how my spirit shuddereth

  To tell ye of that swound!

I could not thank the Lord enow,

  That it was all a dream;

The sweat was cold upon my brow,

  And ’twas a blessed stream;

I felt the sweet life-giving air,

In every tangle of my hair,

But could not stir—for there was I,

In more than rapture’s reverie.

And was I yet in this green world,

  Was yet my spirit here!

Was I safe home, that had been hurl’d

  Out o’er the farthest sphere!

Oh—had I time to strive for Heaven!

  Or, was I dreaming still!

Would God this riddle’s end were given!

  I said—and like a thrill,

Over the hills, and over the dells,

I heard your music, bells, sweet bells!




I knew from earth it must arise;

’Tis always Sunday in the skies,

And save on earth, there is no where

That spirits need a call to prayer.

The bells, the bells, the same old chime!

It brought me back to childhood’s time;

I saw the gray old church’s towers,

The ivied porch, the funeral flowers,

And smelt the very scent they flung,

So full of joy, when I was young!

I heard the organ’s swell once more,

Through window-arch and portal pour,

While throng’d the villagers to pray,

In groups along the rustic way,

And saw, the shadow’d walk adown,

The dear old rector’s reverend gown.




My soul grew strong; and up I rose,

  Oh yes, I have been all night dreaming;

But now the ruddy morning glows,

  And up the golden sun is streaming:

I’ll out upon the pebbled path,

  Mine easy robe about me folding,

And see how bright the season hath

  Put forth fresh flowers, for my beholding.

Green Earth is all around reviving,

  And strong is every living thing;

And all is pleasant health, and thriving,

  In thy sweet season, lovely Spring!

Yes, every knoll its wealth unbosoms,

  And laugheth o’er the winter flown,

And see the dead old trunk hath blossoms,

  And moss is on the cold gray stone.




And up the butterfly is springing

  From out the shroud, that lately wound him;

And off on gentle zephyrs winging,

  How spurneth he the clod that bound him.

So our Lord did break his prison,

  So he wafted to the skies;

So my soul, thou too hast risen!

  So the dead in Christ shall rise.




It was the holy Easter-day,

And Nature, like an infant lay,

When soft its breathing comes and goes,

No sound, no stir, but cool repose.

A calm soft sleep was in the air,

And every breeze, that whisper’d there,

Came sweet as from a seraph’s mouth,

With odours from the sunny South.

And so the garden-walks along

I saunter’d pleas’d, and humming song,

And knew that Heaven itself above,

Did keep with Earth that feast of Love.




When Christ, our Lord, was born of old,

An angel choir his coming told;

And from the manger where he lay,

All up along the starry way,

Were seraphs set, and watchwords given,

To pass the story up to Heaven.

And so in sooth, they stand as well,

Though not to mortals visible,

Where’er the Church’s anthems rise,

To waft our homage to the skies.

Oh then, how blest each festal morn,

When Christ arose, when Christ was born,

And who but loves thee, Easter-day,

Queen of old feasts, so bright, so gay,

So dear to every Christian soul,

O’er all the Earth, from pole to pole!




For Heaven comes down to Earth, in thee,

That worship may be harmony.

And years on years away have roll’d,

But still the Easter chimes are toll’d.

From land to land they peal and ring,

How Jesu is our Lord and King;

And hark! once more—from yonder fane,

Outpeal those gushing sounds again,

Responsive to the anthem, hurl’d

From land to land, around the world.




Yes,—the Easter-bells are ringing!

  Yes,—it is the Easter-day!

Hark,—their merry chimes are singing,

  In their sweet old fashioned way!

  Listen,—for they seem to say,

In their ivied turret swinging,

  Hear oh Earth, ’tis Easter-day!





     Christ is arisen,

       Joy to thee, mortal!

     Out of his prison,

       Forth from its portal!

     Christ is not sleeping,

       Seek him no longer;

     Strong was his keeping;

       Jesus was stronger!





     Christ is arisen,

       Seek him not here,

     Lonely his prison,

       Empty his bier;

     Vain his entombing,

       Spices, and lawn;

     Vain the perfuming:

       Jesus is gone!





     Christ is arisen,

       Joy to thee, mortal!

     Empty his prison,

       Broken its portal:

     Rising, he giveth

       His shroud to the sod;

     Risen,—he liveth,

       And liveth to God!





Yes,—and all the world around,

So those Easter chimings sound:

All the Earth is gay and bright,

Risen with the Lord to light;

Yes,—and yonder sun doth see

Many a Christian on his knee,

Singing, as he bends to pray,

Christ, our Lord, is risen to-day!




Think, my soul, in every land

How, in holy aisles, they stand;

Christians—who with every tongue,

Lauds, and anthems high, have sung;

And all night long, pale vigil kept,

As Magdalene and Mary wept,

With lowly heart, but lifted eye,

Gazing raptly on the sky,

Blessing there the Paschal moon,

And longing, as she pass’d her noon,

To see her silver melt away,

In all the golden glow of day!




Think of those who watch’d the dawn,

Pilgrims, o’er the desert drawn,

Round the Sepulchre afar,

Where the turban’d Paynims are!

Think, who, there, His love to shew,

Rose two thousand years ago!

Think, how Mary wept to say,

They have ta’en my Lord away;

Think, when Christ appear’d to her

How she call’d Him—gardener:

Picture then the fond reply,

Mary———and her swimming eye.




Think along the Grecian isles

How each dark-eyed lady smiles,

As, at incense-hour, she goes,

Singing sweetly—Jesus rose!

Think of Roman, Goth, and Hun,

Praising and adoring One!

While, the solid world around,

Rises one symphonious sound,

From choirs, and bells, and organs blown,

Cathedral chaunt, and matins lone,

One burst—one loud adoring voice,

The Lord is risen—Earth rejoice!




A thousand vintages to-day,

The dear Redeemer’s blood display,

From Samos’ isle of ruddy vines,

To where the Finland chalice shines;

And where the Hindu hand hath crush’d

The grape that in the jungle blush’d;

Or where the Huron’s cluster wild,

Is on the altar, undefiled.

And grain that hath to harvest grown,

Upon a thousand mountains sown,

From green Arkansas, to Cathay,

Is bless’d for Jesu’s flesh to-day.




And every altar, Greek and Goth,

Is cover’d with its snowy cloth;

And kneeling Christians, every where,

Are fed with sacramental fare.

In farthest Ind, I see them bow,

The naked shape, the swarthy brow,

Where Gunga’s wave, so dark before,

Hath borne the northern bishop’s prore;

Aye there, ’neath vault and swelling dome,

And oh, in my green forest home,

All—all are kneeling!—and on high,

There’s one communion in the sky:

For there all angels, and the dead,

Are one, in Him that suffered!




To-day the chimes of England call

A nation to the festival;

And I can see the glorious light,

That makes the minster-window bright,

And throws a gorgeous stain, in flood,

Upon the blessed bread and blood.

I see, beside the altar, stand,

The bishop, with the Cup in hand,

A solemn light around him shed,

And holy hues upon his head!

I see the priests in snowy white,

And tombs with blazon’d scutcheons dight;

I see the people kneeling round;

I hear the organ’s host of sound,

With angels and archangels high,

The Saviour laud and magnify!

And I can feel, to worship there,

Is living on the mount of prayer!




Oh, utter’d in an humbler tone,

The same high service is mine own.

And hark again, the bells, the bells!

The music, what a tale it tells!

It calleth all, and calleth me;

Nor vain shall its sweet warning be,

For I this morn, through Him that bled,

Am doubly risen from the dead;

If but my Lord will hear to-day

The vows repentant I would pay,

And, as once more He gives me breath,

Give me to win a holier death,

With ministers of mercy round,

And pard’ning grace, and prayer’s sweet sound,

And sacramental strength to break

The bonds of flesh—and then to wake,

As now I waken, from a dream,

And hail this holy Easter-beam

That bids me sing my Saviour’s love,

And risen, seek the things above.




Oft my dull hours, poor Song, thou hast deceived,

  And borne me back to that enchanted dream,

In which I made thee. In thee have I weaved

  More than to shallow eyesight there will seem.

  And thou hast liv’d, as, in the darling beam

Of one bright lady, the cag’d bird doth dwell,

  Where he that gave it, envies it the gleam

Of her admiring smiles. But from her cell

Now thou art loos’d, poor Song—thou’lt not be lov’d so well.


All-Saints’ day, as all good Christians should remember, is the first day of November. Halloween, is a sweet Scotticism for its vigil, familiar to the reader of Burns, but which I have grudged to the degrading use which has been made of it, by that unhappy bard.

Instead of the profane rites by which it has been desecrated, I have supposed it observed in Christian homes, by fire-side tales and recollections of the departed, and conversations about the state of Intermediate Repose. Such would be a less unfitting way of preparing for a Festival, in which the Church commemorates her Saints and Martyrs, and all the dead in Christ, as part of her Holy Communion, expecting with her the resurrection of the body, and the final award of the life everlasting.

This Festival is the counterpart of Easter—telling of Death, as Easter does of Resurrection; and as God has given to the latter, the reviving blossom and the sweet Spring-time; so He has set the former in the Autumn, and strewed the sere leaves in our path to Church, as its becoming symbol. And thus the true Catholic always finds himself living in harmony with nature; for the Author of Nature is the Author of his Holy Religion. He has a joy which the world knows not, in beholding all the works of God. They have a place in that system of the universe, of which the Catholic Church is a part; and Niagara, and Mont Blanc, possess for him a ritual character, as really as the Te Deum, in which he sings, “All the earth doth worship thee the Father Everlasting.”

The warlocks are at their play.

Strophe vii.

Such is one of the familiar superstitions concerning Halloween.

There is a world, &c.

Strophe ix.

See Ps. 78; 49. Zech. 13; 2. Eph. 6; 12. 1. Tim. 4; 1. And for Guardian Angels see S. Matt. 18; 10, and the service for Michaelmas, in the Prayerbook.

But one whose soul hath been in Hell.

Strophe x.

The word Hell is here used, as in the Creed, to signify Hades, or the place of departed spirits. I have purposely shunned any imagining of its secret things, whether in the Paradise of the just, or the Phylace of the wicked; and have simply employed some of the revelations of the Apocalypse, in a reverent hint at the employment of the Angels in Heaven. The episode of Ulla and Arah is introduced to illustrate the received doctrine of the recognition of friends in the final abodes of the righteous.

A pig from Epicurus’ stye.

Strophe xix.

The reader will recognize this truly Horatian, though some what inelegant metaphor, as borrowed from “Porcus de grege Epicuri.”

And I could see when there above.

Strophe xlv.

This passage was written with Southey’s famous lines in memory, beginning “Oh when a mother meets on high.”

As God in flesh did once declare.

Strophe lxv.

See the Gospel for the second Sunday in Advent.

That hath all colours bright.

Strophe lxvi.

A year or so after this was written, I read some of the Dialogues of Plato, and found in the Phædon, (I think,) a passage, which might be supposed to have suggested this whole strophe.

Such as ye ken through the telescope.

Strophe lxvii.

The appearance here described may be observed through a telescope in an inverted order, when the moon is nearly full and rises about sunset.

Green Earth is all around reviving.

Strophe lxxxii.

The reader is referred to a sweet description of Easter, in the charming book entitled “Scenes in Our Parish.”

Christ is arisen.

Strophe lxxxvii.

The famous chorus of the women in Faust, suggested this little ode, which is partly translated from the German of Goethe.

And risen, seek the things above.

Strophe xcv.

See Epistle for Easter-day, in the Church Service. The moral of all is, in the words of Augustine, “Ibam longe a te in plura sterilia semina dolorum, O tardum gaudium meum!”


The lyre my boyhood chose for idle lays,

Of its own impulse found a holier strain.

















A. C. C.





When the Christian Ballads first appeared, I appended to the book several little poems of a different character, with the announcement that they were selected from a forthcoming volume. Although I afterwards determined not to publish that volume in a collected form, its contents have, to a great extent, found their way into print; and are from time to time reviving, and dying newspaper deaths, sometimes with the loss of limbs, and even parts more vital. I have been induced therefore to collect and arrange them, and, in an unostentatious form, to present them to the public: supposing that my friends will not be unwilling to have these early efforts, in a legitimate shape, and that others will find the volume too unpretending to deserve their censure.

These poems, except a few introduced in place of others destroyed, were written in my early years. They were begun in the Summer of 1836, when I was passing a college vacation under my father’s roof, at Auburn, in Western New York. It was my privilege there to meet the friend, to whose memory I have inscribed them; and to his musical taste, and his frequent suggestion that I should give him words for some of his favorite airs, the production of the songs and hymns in this collection, was chiefly owing. Little did I foresee that they would be published as a tribute to his beloved memory!

As motives of ambition would dictate the suppression of this boyish book, after the favorable reception bestowed by the public, on my later productions, I shall find every anticipation satisfied, if in the opinion of goodnatured critics, these Lays are not unworthy of the years in which they were written.

A. C. C.

The Sycamores, Hartford West,

August 15, 1843.






Give me the hour of day’s decline

  To muse upon my own,

To call from Earth each wish of mine,

  And dream of Heaven alone;

And let nor voice, nor foot intrude

Upon my meditative mood,

  As stretched in lonely cell or bower,

I feel the shades, that o’er the lea,

Come lengthening till they fall on me

  And veil my pensive hour.




For I have loved the Eventide,

  While yet I knew not why;

But now, since early friends have died,

  ’Tis dear as memory.

It minds me of their quiet sleep

’Neath many a grassy mound; or deep

  The floods of far-off seas below!

It tells me how my years steal on,

How strong and lovely ones have gone,

  And how we all must go!




My name shall ne’er be writ with those

  Whose friendships death can end;

No grave upon my love can close,

  No tomb take all my friend;

Not only in communion blest,

I share their beatific rest,

  But oft to ev’n mine earthly ken,

Their Death seems but a signet set,

To love, whose converse passeth yet,

  All life with worldly men.




To think of names, once daily heard,

  That now are read in stone,

And know each gesture, look, and word,

  Familiar smile and tone,

As all would be, could they but still

Give hand and heart with thine to thrill,

  This is a pure though sad delight!

And such is mine, at that sweet hour

When wakes the star, and dies the flower,

  As sunset turns to night.




Thus ye come back, my own dear dead,

  From Paradise’s door,

To fill with feelings hallowed,

  The world ye blessed before!

When we were mates, ye drew with mine,

Life’s pictured way, in equal line,

  Nor dreamed we, ye were near its goal;

Where hand-in-hand we thought to be,

Ye’ve left a lonely race to me;

  Ah, shall I run the whole!







  Ah gentle flowers!

Long time enough my life has run,

To twine dear thoughts, with every one,

  That blooms in bowers.




  My couch beside,

When I am sick,—each flings a scent

Of its own story redolent,

  O’er memory’s tide.




  There’s pert heartsease!

The boy’s own flower shall still be mine

While thoughts of childhood’s auld-lang-syne,

  My heart can please.




  The parlour’s pride,

Sweet hyacinth—thy full perfume

Reminds of home—the curtained room,

  And warm fireside.




  The primrose lone,

I see it ever on its stalk,

Flush in my favorite woodland walk

  Spring’s first full-blown.



  And crocus, too,

I’ve seen it up on Easter-day;

Sweet symbol, from the frozen clay

  Rising anew!




  The coiled woodbine,

Brings some fair cottager to sight,

That to her lattice, trails aright

  Its tangled vine.




  Rose—red or pale,

Yellow or mossy—who shall sing,

Thy fragrant memories, queenly thing,

  Or tell their tale!




  Starred jessamine!

Thy glory shall adorn my bride’s,

With orange-blossoms, wreathed besides

  Her tresses in!




  And by her bower,

I’ll plant the falling eardrop’s grace,

Whose lady-blossoms hide their face

  From sun and shower.




  And she shall set

The lily near, to favour me,

And myrtles, and sad rosemary

  And mignonette.




  And I will plant

One flower beside—and say to her,

I’ve nursed it for my monitor;

  This thou shalt grant;




  In life’s last hour,

To tell me of the Crucified,

Oh set alone my couch beside

  The passion-flower.




  And on my tomb,

Plant deathless amaranth, for I

Would rise in immortality,

  And endless bloom.





    Hymn to the North Star.


               I.    1.


Star that hast thy bright abode

  In the skies for ever,

Like the sleepless eye of God

  Never resting—never

Star of glory—holy star,

  Chiming in thy sphere

Glorious creature, from afar

  If thou hearest—hear!


               I.    2.


Deem not I upon thee call

  As to God I bow;

I before thy Maker fall;

  I am more than thou!

But I’ve pleasant words for thee!

  And my heart is flowing;

Dear is thy sweet light to me,

  And I love its glowing!


               II.    1.


I, with wonder in my soul,

  See thy ray in heaven,

Thinking, thus while ages roll,

  Still thy light is given.

Would I might my story give

  Deathless star, to thee!

Then, as long as earth shall live,

  Men would think on me.


               II.    2.


Stars of earth on thee have gazed,

  Ever-glorious flame!

They have burned away and blazed,

  Thou art still the same!

Thou art ever bright as now,

  Far above all sorrow;

Born for endless ages thou!

  I must die to-morrow!


               III.    1.


Nay, thou ever-watching star,

  Of the heavenly portal,

Long as thy dull ages are,

  I am more immortal!

’Twas for this I called thy name,

  Star that dwell’st so high,

For the skies shall melt in flame,

  Even thou shalt die!


               III.    2.


Thou shalt perish!—I endure

  When thy lamp is dim,

Dark thy place in ether pure,

  Hush’d thy sphery hymn!

Thou shalt fade: and ne’er be found,

  Never more, oh, never:

I shall live a deathless round,

  Ever—and for ever.







She shone upon the bright saloon

  Mid mirth and music’s sound,

Like moonlight, on the glimmering

  Of tapers dim around,

And where she walked, ’twas wonderful

  How all our hearts she bowed,

And how she tamed the manliest,

  And how she awed the proud.




Some shapes there are, though dear and rare,

  By grudging Nature given,

To teach us here, how beautiful

  The angels are in heaven;

And such was she, the queen of all,

  The fairest of the fair,

The lady of the gentle heart,

  And soul-subduing air.







My heart is like the twilight sky

  For there thou shin’st, its only star;

And giv’st me all the radiancy

  That others worship from afar!




Oh may this twilight be as those

  That linger o’er the arctic air,

Where one mild star, as fable shews,

  Goes round and round, but sets not there.




For I have known no cheerful day,

  Till soft this twilight calm was given;

Star of my heart—sink ne’er away,

  Nor seek too soon thy further Heaven!







Thou art gone to the land of thy bloom and thy birth,

  Thou fairest of beings that die:

We knew that thy spirit was purer than earth,

  We knew that thy home was on high;

But we loved thee too well not to weep at thy flight,

  And we said it was hard thou shouldst go:

There are angels enough in the regions of light,

  But whom hast thou left us below?




Ah! well did we fear thou wast budding for Heaven,

  Though nurst in a climate so cold,

And marked as a warning too faithfully given,

  The wings of thy spirit unfold:

And rainbow on rainbow thy pinions displayed,

  And thy gaze was, in love, on the sky,

And we said, ’tis an angel a moment delayed,

  But plumed, and just ready to fly.




Thou art gone to the land of thy bloom and thy birth,

  Though here was thy glory begun:

Ah! why hast thou left us a desolate earth,

  Ere half of thy journey was done?

Ah! why was thy spirit so eager to fly,

  And lose the dear shape that it wore?

Thou hast left to the grave, what was worthy the sky,

  For scarce could an angel be more!





      Written for a Swiss Air.




Weep for the lovely, that are fled,

  With years their smiles made bright;

The lovely that are vanished,

  Like unreturning light;

Like Stars that set and leave no ray,

  Like Summer’s bloom forgot,

From Earth their glory died away,

  But Earth remembers not.




How still they slumber ’neath the turf,

  The faded spoil of grief;

The sore-tossed pearls of Ocean’s surf,

  The forest’s withered leaf!

Remembered—as a fancy fled,

  Or as a vanished sound,

Where once their light a lustre shed

  On meaner things around!




Weep for the lovely, sent to bless

  The world’s unlovely clime,

And oft, in all their loveliness

  To fade before their time;

Made often in their guileless years

  Some soulless mortal’s prey,

To feel the waste of secret tears,

  And all the heart’s decay!







Love like theirs was never lighted,

With a season to be blighted;

It was deeper than emotion,

Deep as their deep souls’ devotion,

Fixed in their fond hearts forever,

Like the soul—to perish never.




They were friends in that sweet season,

When the heart is foe to Reason:

Loving fondly, loving kindly,

Blind to fate—yet loving blindly;

Happy in the passing minute;

Naught the next, though Death were in it.




They were friends whom fortune parted,

Severing sad and broken hearted:

God’s own law their trothal hind’red,

For their souls were near a-kindred;

Lovers not—twin-children rather

Of the same all-glorious Father.




Worlds there are, above all sorrow,

And that world is theirs to-morrow:

There where love is brighter, purer,

Shall their friendship be the surer;

And when dreary life is over,

Each shall be the happier lover.







Break not tryste with tender hearts,

  They ask not oaths for trust;

A look—a smile—to them imparts

What—answered with a tear that starts,

  Is sealed, if thou art just!




Learn this lesson, not too late;

  ’Twill save some gentle eye,

That often at her garden gate,

Strains sight and ear to watch and wait,

  And droops—she tells not why.







Oh where’s the hope like morning’s star, that lit my childhood’s hours,

And smiled upon my dawn of life like sunrise over flowers!

’Tis gone, alas—or faintly seen, is as a rainbow’s ray,

Far—far afield! and as I chase, the phantom flies away.




Sure never have I been too young to sigh o’er vanished hopes;

As if life’s wishes all were made, before an eyelid opes!

Sure never came an hour to me, that brought not in its train,

Some blight to fair and fond desire, and longings nursed in vain.




They dream who tell of life’s long hours, its brightest is its first,

When o’er the sparkling dews of youth, the hues of morning burst;

Those morning hues dispel the mists that made its flowers so gay,

And boyhood’s joys are only bright, as they are borne away.




And all the hopes those dews inspired, like dews dissolve in air,

And melt in fickle forms away, and leave unveiled the glare:

And childhood mourns like hoary Eld a thousand pleasures gone,

And weeps o’er disappointed hours, while yet ’tis early dawn!




Oh can it be that we have lived, before we wept on earth,

And measured out our spirit’s path, before our body’s birth!

Howe’er it be—the babe new-born, begins its life with tears,

And age that weeps o’er childhood gone, but mimics childhood’s years.





To the Music of Von Weber’s last Waltz.




I’d die mid soft music,

  And whispering the lay,

I’d breathe in sweet singing

  My spirit away.

Bend o’er me, though weeping,

  Thou beautiful one

With thy long flowing tresses

  Till sinks my life’s sun:

Then round me, ye lovely,

  Sigh sad to the lute,

And warble your sorrow

  While breathes the soft flute.

                I’d die, &c.




I’ve lived mid the lovely,

  And dying, I’d hear

The voice of the lovely

  Sound last on mine ear.

In life, and in blooming

  I’ve loved the soft lyre,

And music shall soothe me

  Till faint I expire.

Till Earth’s music failing

  I join as I rise,

The far fading echoes

  That float from the skies.

                I’d die, &c.







I’ve left the giddy throng:

  The dance is o’er: mine ear

Hears but a phantom song,

  And I am lonely here.

Oh, in the dark still night

  When shadows round us be,

How vain all earth’s delight!

  Whom have I, Lord, but thee?




It is a fearful thing

  To be with self alone;

To bear a closeting,

  With conscience on her throne:

For who but feels, when still

  The heavy night hangs round,

The boding dews that chill

  The sleepers under ground!




Oh, who but thinks how soon

  Such sleep his own must be;

The cold damp sod aboon,

  And earth-worms feasting free:

Oh, who but feels full oft

  His body rotting there,

His robes of beauty doffed,

  The winding-sheet, his wear!




And who but trembles then,

  At what we dare to be,

When mixt with thoughtless men,

  We too live thoughtlessly!

Poor pilgrims unto death,

  Poor insects of a day,

How dare we spend our breath

  As if we lived for aye.





Man goeth to his long home.







  Making sounds as they tread,

Ho-ho! how they step,

  Going down to the dead!

Every stride, every tramp,

  Every footfall is nearer;

And dimmer each lamp,

  As darkness grows drearer:

But ho! how they march,

  Making sounds as they tread;

Ho-ho! how they step,

  Going down to the dead!





  Making sounds as they tread,

Ho-ho, how they laugh,

  Going down to the dead!

How they whirl—how they trip,

  How they smile, how they dally,

How blithesome they skip,

  Going down to the valley;

Oh ho, how they march,

  Making sounds as they tread;

Ho-ho, how they skip,

  Going down to the dead!





  Earth groans as they tread!

Each carries a skull;

  Going down to the dead!

Every stride—every stamp,

  Every footfall is bolder;

’Tis a skeleton’s tramp,

  With a skull on his shoulder;

But ho, how he steps

  With a high tossing head,

That clay-covered bone,

  Going down to the dead!



       LAKE BYROM,


In the County of Westchester, N. Y.




By thy still waters, lonely Lake,

  The wild-dove builds her hermit home,

And there her matin-song doth make,

  Where mornings all like Sabbaths come:

O’er thee she flits with silent wing,

  Or lulls thee with its silken sound,

Thee—sleeping like a holy thing,

  And hid from all the world around.




No voice along thy leafy shore,

  But nature’s hymns are rising there,

Nor oft the echo-waking oar

  Disturbs thy breast, and haunted air!

A fane upon thy water side

  With lights ablaze in every cell,

How bright ’twould seem at even tide,

  How soft be heard its Vesper Bell!




By thy still waters, lonely Lake,

  I too could build a hermit home,

Where mornings all like Sabbaths break,

  And Earth’s alarm can never come;

And there, this bosom, Heavenly Dove,

  A cell for thy repose might be,

Forsaking all for worlds above,

  And all the world forsaking me.





     Quæ nunc abibis in loca.




When first the soul’s dark chains unbind,

And bursts from clay the prison’d mind,

What thoughts—what visions on it press,

Floating through ether—bodiless,

And borne away in calmest air,

Or falling, falling to despair,

        What are its thoughts to find it there!




Oh, when the struggling gasp is o’er,

And Earth hath naught to charm it more,

And it is free, and fixt its fate,

Flitting through space—all desolate,

With none its wilderment to share,

In silence borne—it knows not where,

        What are its thoughts to find it there!




Oh rising, when it first doth hear

Heaven’s far-off music drawing near,

And gazeth now on heavenly light,

That brighter grows, and still more bright;

Oh, when it gains that purer air,

And first beholds those regions fair,

        What are its thoughts to find it there!




Or sinking, sinking, when more near

Deep groans assail its spirit ear,

And Earth is gone—its little day

Pass’d as a slighted dream away;

When round it frowns at length the glare,

The glimmering darkness of despair,

        What are its thoughts to find it there!





The years draw nigh when thou shalt say,

I have no pleasure.    Eccles.




Years are coming hither

  When this heart so gay,

Much I fear will wither!

  Youth is gone away.

Men are brothers—brothers!

  Oh! I tremble then,

Lest I grow as others

  Of my fellow-men.




Those of whims and wrinkles,

  Once were blithe as I;

Heads that frost besprinkles,

  Once look’d bonnily;

And where winter lingers

  Upon the old man’s curls,

Have play’d the taper fingers

  Of well-beloved girls.




Oh, must the years come on me

  When these are no delight!

Must frost-work fall upon me,

  And deadliness and blight;

This heart that loves the summer,

  Be chilly as the cold;

And I be dim, and dumber

  Than the mummies of the Old!




And am I surely growing

  In soul and senses seal’d,

Like him who, all unknowing,

  Is frozen and congeal’d!

I know it—ah, I know it;

  Of all the world ’tis true;

And the fibres of the poet

  Must break—or toughen too.




Thank God with all my spirit

  For my only, only cheer,

Since I learn’d that I inherit

  A destiny so drear.

But now I care not for it,

  And welcome is the grave;

Oh why should I abhor it,

  Since only it can save!




I’ve seen a worm that weaveth

  His shroud as with delight;

Then sleeps, as who believeth,

  He only bids good night.

Then up again he springeth,

  A wing’d and elfin form;

Away, away he wingeth,

  An angel from a worm!




Wise worm! and I, his brother,

  Will learn from him to live!

A lesson that no other

  So beautiful can give.

Oh, weave in life thy swathing,

  And then in Christ repose!

Who maketh life a plaything

  Is born to many woes.







When the wounded buccaneer

  Moors alone, his pirate prore,

Seeking, in his flight of fear,

  Alabama’s woody shore,

Oft reclined at heat of day,

  In the green palmetto grove,

Sad, he lists the roundelay

  Of the sweet Zenaida Dove.




He is far from kin and kind,

  He has seen his comrades die;

Now the bold and dark of mind,

  Is as dim and dark of eye.

She is singing, in her home,

  Innocent and soft as love;

Ne’er a wish or wing to roam

  Hath the sweet Zenaida Dove.




Then, as soft the carol pours,

  Will he turn his languid eye

Round the cypress-shaded shores,

  Feeling it is hard to die.

Tears, as gentle as a child,

  Pay the minstrelsy above,

And the pirate’s heart grows mild,

  Listening the Zenaida Dove.




Lady, when mine erring heart

  Made my dark and gloomy brow,

We had been for years apart,

  Guilty I—but holy thou.

But—by chance, we met agen,

  Thou all innocence and love!

I beheld abash’d—and then

  Thou wast my Zenaida Dove.




Youth was fever in my blood,

  And a frenzy in mine eye:

Thou hadst bloomed to maidenhood,

  Guileless all as infancy:

Dear thy voice, as childhood seemed,

  And thine eye was mild as love,

With a soft rebuke it beamed:

  Thou wast my Zenaida Dove.





       Eccles. xii.




Remember thy Creator now

  When youth and years are bright,

Ere evil days draw nigh, when thou

  Shalt find them no delight:

Now, when the moon and stars above

  Are pleasant things to see;

Now, when thy days are soft as love,

  And all is joy and glee.




The voice of song and mirth must cease,

  And Music’s daughters die;

The bird’s sweet voice be hushed to peace,

  And earth’s best beauty fly;

And almond buds shall blossom white,

  Where now thy locks are dark,

To dim thy young eye’s sapphire light,

  Or hyacinthine spark.




Or ever then the silver cord

  Shall loose the golden bowl,

Remember thy Creator Lord

  With overflowing soul:

For dust to dust must mingle then,

  And Earth its earth shall claim,

And thy free spirit flit again

  To God, from whom it came.





           Written in 1830.




Hark, through the skies the glad anthem is ringing,

  The glory effulgent of heaven is shown;

Angels of light the loud chorus are singing,

  Jehovah’s dear son the Messiah, to own.




Lo, the rude Shepherds their flocks while attending,

  And wearied of watching, are startled with fright;

For see a bright angel—in clouds is descending,

  While darkness gives place to a heavenly light!




And hearken the message—good tidings I bring!

  The Saviour long promised in Juda, is born;

Oh hasten to greet him, and worship your king,

  Ere burst o’er the mountains, the beams of the morn.




And sudden, all heaven with melody fired,

  In rapt adoration the chorus prolong:

And cherub, and seraph with rapture inspired,

  The glad allelluia attune in their song:




To God in the Highest all glory be given;

  And peace be to men of good-will upon earth,

For down his Redeemer is stooping from heaven,

  Rejoice all ye lands—’tis the morn of his birth.









Oh would I were happy! If wealth can but buy

The favour of heaven, and peace from on high,

My riches I’ll give to the helpless and poor,

And load him with kindness, that begs at my door;

The widow and orphan my bounty shall share,

And all the afflicted partake of my care.




Oh would I were happy! the sorrows and cares,

Which each new-born hour to my troubled heart bears,

Disgust me with all the gay pleasures of earth,

And weary me with its vain-glory and mirth;

If penance can wash out my guiltiness deep,

In sackcloth and ashes my crimes I will weep.




But hearken! what voice is it falls on mine ear!

How gracious the message, the tidings how dear;

’Tis the voice of the Saviour that promiseth rest,

To the children of sorrow in mercy addrest,

Oh hear and be happy, yes happy in truth,

’Twill solace thine age, and ’twill strengthen thy youth.




Oh come to the waters! come taste of the wave,

The waters of life, ever potent to save!

Who drinks of this fountain, shall thirst never more:

It springeth within, till his journey is o’er;

Ho! each one that thirsteth; the lofty, the low,

Come all to the fount I have bidden to flow.




Oh these are the tidings so sweet to mine ear;

My sorrows are vanished, my spirit is clear!

Mine alms are worth little; my labour is vain,

My penance, unable this peace to obtain;

The treasures of Ophir, too poor a reward,

To purchase this peace—’tis the gift of the Lord.









Oft in the desert dreary

  A stream, the pilgrim spies,

And joyous then, though weary,

  He speedeth to the prize:

But onward as he goeth,

  The stream, the shining stream

Is vanish’d, and he knoweth

  ’Twas but an idle dream.




So pleasure, bright appearing,

  Oft tempts frail man astray:

And off, with joy careering,

  He runs his giddy way:

But ah too soon perceiveth,

  How false she is, and vain:

Her painted face deceiveth,

  And cheats us into pain.




Oh pleasure! What is pleasure!

  A phantom of the mind;

We seize it as a treasure,

  ’Tis emptiness we find:

The heart for pleasure sigheth,

  But who hath pleasure known!

Ere it is born, it dieth;

  Ere it is caught—’tis flown!









When evening from the starry skies,

  Its blessed dews doth send,

And all the landscape stilly lies,

  Calm contemplation’s friend:

Oh, then when moonlight beams are shed,

  And gales so quiet blow,

And when from heaven’s fountain-head

  Such varied mercies flow;




Dear Saviour, bending at thy throne,

  ’Tis then my prayer I pour,

’Tis then my sorrows all I own,

  And weep while I adore:

’Tis then I know the starry skies

  Will listen to my prayer,

Accept my spirit’s sacrifice,

  And charm away despair.









As o’er the desert’s scorching sands

  The Arah pilgrim strays,

And pants for green Idume’s lands,

  Beneath the sultry rays:




As he her spicy hills desires,

  With flocks, and fruitage graced,

And onward hastens through the fires

  That parch the dreary waste;




So, pilgrim through Earth’s desert wild,

  As fainting, and o’erspent,

Thou too art travelling, and exiled,

  And in the noontide bent.




Oh think not of the dismal earth,

  But stretch thy longing eyes,

To hills, and homes of holy mirth,

  That in the distance rise.




Then take fresh courage to thy soul,

  And onward speed thy way;

For there the living waters roll,

  And there is endless day!









Soldier, to the contest pressing,

  Onward, let thy watchword be;

God upon thee pours his blessing;

  What though man derideth thee!




Onward, though the faggot’s burning,

  By thy pathway’s only light:

Onward, death and danger spurning:

  Onward in the path of right!




God, for all thy wants providing,

  Armor trusty hath for thee;

Gird thyself, in him confiding,

  With the goodly panoply:




Righteousness thy breast defending,

  And thy feet with justice shod:

Onward; with the foe contending,

  Wield thy sword, the word of God.




Thine the helmet of salvation,

  Faith thy mighty shield shall be;

And let prayer and supplication,

  Lance, and glorious faulchion be:




Still the standard o’er thee streaming

  Be the banner pure, of love,

Where in glorious blazon beaming,

  Float thy pinions, Holy Dove!




Onward then, with bold contending,

  In the path the martyrs trod:

God to thee his strength is lending;

  Onward, in the strength of God.







Oh, shine, my Redeemer,

  My light o’er my way!

For faint is the pilgrim,

  And lone, and astray.

No ray o’er the desert,

  No light from afar,

Shine forth in thy glory,

  Bright Bethlehem’s Star!




Long blazed the fierce sunlight,

  And toiling I went;

Now night falleth chilling,

  My courage is spent:

These shadows of darkness,

  How fearful they are!

Shine forth in thy glory,

  Bright Bethlehem’s Star!




’Tis said—and the midnight

  Is breaking away:

See, soft through the shadows,

  Pours mercy’s mild ray!

Now smileth the pilgrim

  To greet thee from far;

All hail to thy glory,

  Bright Bethlehem’s Star!







Let Music lull thee, spirit mine,

And songs and harmonies divine,

    When thou art sore distrest!

The viol and the tabret bring,

With lute and lyre of magic string

    That charm the soul to rest,

And harps whose holy carolling

    Becalms the breast.




And let some angel shape be near,

With dewy lip, and voice as dear,

    All loveliness and soul,

To wake the chords, and shed along

The joy of bosom-heaving song,

    And music’s rippling roll;

While warbling their enchantment strong,

    Soft flutes condole.




Let music lull thee, spirit mine,

Sweet music, and the dear eyes shine,

    Of gentle ones we love!

From Eden, when poor Eve was driven,

Sweet music by our God was given

    With her the world to rove,

And lure her children back to Heaven,

    Her home above!





   He hath made everything beautiful

   in his time.    Eccles. iii. 11.




To all that’s glorious and bright

  The poet vows his shell;

To youth, and beauty’s fair delight,

  And fancy’s warmer spell:

The world of loveliness is his,

  And his the summer’s bloom,

And his the wildwood’s harmonies,

  And birds of faery plume.




These lovely things, like him, must die!

  They vanish while he sings;

And what has pleased the poet’s eye,

  Must grieve his pensive strings.

And ever was his song—a tear,

  A sigh for beauty fled:

And harps that woke to charm and cheer,

  Must soon lament the dead!




I’ve seen the loveliness I loved,

  Like frailest flowers decay:

And while the Spring’s young joys I proved,

  My spring-time passed away.

And boyhood’s mirth is but a name,

  Ere boyhood’s tears are dried,

And hopes in golden hues that came,

  Like golden dreams have died.




And false thy promise, empty Earth,

  I trust thy show no more;

I’ve learned of my immortal birth,

  And spurn this stranger shore;

And Heaven, my home, my haven bright,

  To Heaven be vowed my shell;

My soul to its inspiring light,

  And fancy’s hallowed spell.





  And I said, O that I had wings like

  a dove, then would I fly away and

  be at rest!    Psalter.




There is a land, like Eden fair,

  But more than Eden blest;

The wicked cease from troubling there,

  The weary are at rest.




There is a land of calmest shore,

  Where ceaseless summers smile,

And winds, like angel whispers, pour

  Across the shining isle.




There is a land of purest mirth,

  Where healing waters glide;

And there the wearied child of Earth

  Untroubled may abide.




There is a land, where Sorrow’s sons,

  Like ocean’s wrecks, are tossed;

But there revive those weeping ones,

  And Life’s dull sea is crossed!




There is a land, where small and great

  Before the Lord appear,

The spoils of fortune, and of fate,

  Whom Heaven alone can cheer.




There is a land, where star-like shine

  The pearls of Christ’s renown:

And gems, long buried in the mine,

  Are jewels in his crown.




There is a land, like Eden fair,

  But more than Eden blest;

Oh! for a wing to waft me there,

  To fly, and be at rest!





     Behold I stand at the door.




In the silent midnight watches,

  List thy bosom-door;

How it knocketh—knocketh—knocketh,

  Knocketh evermore!

Say not ’tis thy pulse’s beating,

  ’Tis thy heart of sin;

’Tis thy Saviour stands entreating,

  Rise and let me in.




Death comes down with equal footstep

  To the hall and hut;

Think you Death will stand a-knocking

  Where the door is shut!

Jesus waiteth—waiteth—waiteth;

  But thy door is fast:

Griev’d, at length away he turneth;

  Death breaks in at last!




Then ’tis thine to stand entreating

  Christ to let thee in;

At the door of Heaven beating,

  Wailing for thy sin.

Nay, alas, thou foolish virgin,

  Hast thou then forgot,

Jesus waited long to know thee,

  But—he knows thee not!





   From the Latin of Mary Queen of Scots.




      Oh blessed, my Jesu,

        I’ve trusted in thee;

      Oh Saviour, my Jesu,

        Now liberate me.

      In horrible prison

      And gloom have arisen,

My sighs, oh my Jesu, incessant to thee;

      But, oh on my sorrow,

      Has brightened no morrow,

Yet hear me, my Jesu, and liberate me.




      Oh blessed, my Jesu,

        I’ve trusted in thee,

      And still will I trust thee,

        To liberate me.

      And so, while I languish,

      I cry in my anguish,

Adoring, imploring and bending the knee;

      In sorrow and tremor,

      Oh blessed Redeemer,

Smile on me from Heaven, and liberate me!





  And when Aaron and all the children of Israel

  saw Moses, behold the skin of his face shone;

  and they were afraid.    Exod. xxxiv. 30.




In radiance he came from the mount where he bowed,

To talk with the Lord in the veil of the cloud;

And light flashed before him, as trembling he trod,

From the mountain that quaked at the coming of God.




’Twas Israel’s Prophet—oh breathe not his name,

Who talked with the Lord till his visage was flame;

Whose brow with the smile of Jehovah did glow,

And shone with the blaze of his glory below!




Oh, bright as the mercy-seat dazzling afar,

He rose on the night of the vale like a star,

And dread was the sight to the recreant’s mirth,

Who praised his grim idol, while God was on earth.




Then flew the swift shudder electric, of fear,

And stole the breath-whisper of guilt on the ear,

And the dancer was dumb at his orgies abhorr’d

And the renegade priest knew the friend of the Lord.




And the virgins of Judah are lightsome of limb,

As they whirl round the Calf to a love-breathing hymn;

And the damsel’s swift heel hath a language that speaks,

And the hue of her heart flushes warm on her cheeks.




A moment—and mute as the startled gazelle,

All wild is her eye—the dark eye of her spell!

And breaks the frail ring o’er the dance beaten sod,

Like flowers dropping pale from their garlanded god.




So dazzling the beauty of holiness bright!

The glory of goodness—the wonderful light!

So, Lord, would I shine from my converse above,

So shed on the nations the light of thy love.




And so from the mountains, the height of my prayer,

Where dwelling with thee, it was good to be there,

Grant, Lord, I may stoop to the valleys below,

With visage all radiant, and features that glow.





  And it was a custom in Israel, that the

  daughters of Israel went yearly to lament

  the daughter of Jephtha, the Gileadite,

  four days in a year.    Judges, xi. 40.




Oh, of dance and song the pride,

  Jephtha’s daughter, young and fair,

Never now the wreath of bride,

  Ne’er the bridal veil shall wear!

Ne’er with cymbals light advancing,

  Shall she greet her true love home,

Never in the valleys dancing,

  Bound like Ocean’s purest foam.

Never shall she whisper—never,

  Vows that bind the Hebrew maid;

Hers from all the world to sever,

  Hers the hermit cell and shade.




Oh, of song and dance the pride,

  Jephtha’s daughter, young and fair;

She should be a hero’s bride,

  She a hero son should bear.

But her fortune is another,

  She shall ne’er love’s worship know;

Ne’er a babe shall call her mother,

  Nestled on her breast of snow;

She hath gone from spring and fountain;

  She hath vanished from the rills;

Lone she wanders on the mountain,

  And her home is on the hills.




Oh, of dance and song the pride,

  Jephtha’s daughter, young and fair,

In the mount she must abide,

  And her virgin vestments wear.

There her foot that bounded lightly,

  Faint with maiden step shall go;

And her dance that was so sprightly,

  To a pensive gliding grow.

She shall bend ’mid caverns praying,

  Like a flower that trembles there,

While anear the wild fox baying,

  Breaks alone the silent air.




Oh, of song and dance the pride,

  Jephtha’s daughter, young and fair;

Angels with her shall abide,

  Angels smile upon her prayer.

Angels there shall be her lovers,

  In such love as angels use;

While each wing that o’er her hovers,

  Sheds around celestial dews;

Angels there, that cheer her sighing,

  Shall her loneliness beguile,

And the wings that shade her dying,

  Waft her to the happy isle.




Oh, of dance and song the pride,

  Jephtha’s daughter, young and fair;

Weep for her that doth abide

  On the lonely mountain there.

Many flowers like her have perished

  E’er their scented buds could ope;

But no flower was e’er so cherished,

  Ne’er like her a hero’s hope.

Many maids have gone to slaughter,

  But they ne’er so lovely were:

Weep, oh weep for Jephtha’s daughter,

  Weep ye lovely, weep for her.







Deep night o’er thy waters, thou dark-rolling Nile,

And the Hebrew sleeps trembling, his lord with a smile,

For a voice comes in dreams to the children of God:

But the proud have no whisper that Death is abroad!




So, nestled in rocks, when the whirlwind is nigh,

They hear its far coming—the birds of the sky!

While trees it must shiver in leaf and in form,

Are hush as the stillness that heralds the storm.




And the Memphian, at midnight, lay smiling and pleased,

His sin all unshriven, his God unappeas’d,

Till o’er his dark slumbers chill shadows were curl’d,

And the soul of the dreamer was far from the world.




And he lay in the coils of the death-spirit, mute,

With a seal on his lips, like the blast in the fruit:

And he seem’d as when hoar-frost hath stiffen’d the flower;

’Twas the blight of the Lord, ’twas the touch of his power.




But still was the starlight—while, shrouded and hid,

Death brooded o’er palace, and cold pyramid;

No voice on the midnight; no larum of wrath;

No sound of the whirlwind—but only its path.




And a cry was in Egypt, when rose the red morn,

For a thousand pale mothers bewail’d their first born;

And Memnon’s sweet music that greeted the Sun,

Was lost in the moan of a nation undone.




And shriek’d the young wife o’er the child of her pain,

That never should breathe on her bosom again;

And breasts that were warm with their nursling before,

But heaved, in their grief, for the boy that she bore.




And the bride shrunk aghast, like the death-stricken dove,

When she woke in the cold frozen clasp of her love:

And a groan for the noble, the lovely outpour’d,

A wail for the battle they waged with the Lord.




And they seem’d like the willows, that, left on the steep,

Are bent o’er the wreck of the forest to weep,

Or lilies that dripping, and drooping of form,

Shed tears o’er the broken, the spoil of the storm.




Ye join not the wailing, ye dwellers of Zan!

Hath the death-angel spared ye, that smote as he ran?

Oh, the blood-sprinkled lintel hath stayed his proud reign,

And watched at your threshhold the Lamb that was slain.







When o’er Judea’s vales and hills,

Or by her olive-shaded rills,

Thy weary footsteps went of old,

Or walked the lulling waters bold,

How beauteous were the marks divine,

That in thy meekness used to shine,

That lit thy lonely pathway, trod

In wondrous love, O Lamb of God!




Oh! who like thee, so calm, so bright,

Thou Holy child, Thou Light of Light,

Oh! who like thee, did ever go

So patient, through a world of wo,

Oh! who like thee, so humbly bore

The scorn, the scoffs of men before,

So meek, so lovely—yet so high,

So glorious in humility!




The morning saw thee, like the day,

Forth on thy light-bestowing way;

And evening in her holy hues,

Shed down her sweet baptismal dews,

Where bending angels stoop’d to see,

The lisping infant clasp thy knee,

And smile, as in a father’s eye,

Upon thy mild Divinity!




The hours when princes sought their rest

Beheld thee, still, no chamber’s guest;

But when the chilly night hung round,

And man from thee, sweet slumber found,

Thy wearied footsteps sought, alone,

The mountain to thy sorrows known,

And darkness heard thy patient prayer,

Or hid thee, in the prowler’s lair.




And all thy life’s unchanging years,

A man of sorrows, and of tears,

The cross, where all our sins were laid,

Upon thy bending shoulders weigh’d;

And death, that sets the pris’ner free,

Was pang, and scoff, and scorn to thee;

Yet love through all thy torture glow’d,

And mercy with thy life-blood flow’d.




O wondrous Lord! my soul would be

Still more and more conform’d to thee,

Would lose the pride, the taint of sin,

That burns these fever’d veins within,

And learn of Thee, the lowly One,

And like thee, all my journey run,

Above the world, and all its mirth,

Yet weeping still with weeping earth.




Oh! in thy light, be mine to go,

Illuming all my way of wo;

And give me ever, on the road,

To trace thy footsteps, O my God!

My passions lull, my spirit calm,

And make this lion-heart a lamb;

And give me, all my life, to be

A sacrifice to love and thee!





When I awake up after Thy likeness I shall be satisfied.




But who can tell what joys shall make

  The peace, the bliss, the love of Heaven!

Lord in thy likeness let me wake

  And rise in all thy light, forgiven!

Else darker than this dreary earth,

  Our long undying years shall be,

And who shall bear his second birth

  To worse than Time—Eternity!




Lord, in thy likeness let me wake,

  So shall my soul be satisfied,

When from the mouldering tomb I break,

  And see in clouds, the Lamb that died;

As roamed the dove the deluge dark,

  My spirit roams Life’s troubled sea,

But thou shalt be the wanderer’s ark,

  That knows no rest, till home with Thee.





They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.




Years cannot make their strength decay

  Who lean upon the Lord,

Nor age fling shadows o’er the way

  That’s lighted by his word:

Their path doth bright and brighter shine

  Till perfect in the skies;

And life’s soft eve is no decline,

  For heavenward still they rise.




When winter’s might hath rent the oak,

  Or summer blights its shoot,

The streams of God can heal the stroke

  And sprout its deathless root:

And souls that have the fountain quaffed

  Of Christ’s world-healing side,

Arise immortal from the draught,

  And live through Him that died.





    My Father, thou art the guide of my youth.




But Thou, oh Lord, shalt be my guide

  Through all my dreary way,

And down the vale of death beside

  Thy staff shall be my stay.

To thee alone I’ll lift mine eye

  When snares have made me fall;

To Thee, when low in grief I lie,

  From lowest deeps I’ll call.




And oh, on Thee in every hour

  Of sunshine or of shade,

The soul that feels thy varied power,

  Shall call for varied aid;

So shalt thou lead me in the light

  That round thy saints is cast,

O’er Jordan’s flood, to Zion’s height,

  And home to Heaven at last.





       He shall sit as a refiner.




As o’er the flame that proves his gold,

  The artist bends with careful mind,

Till mirror’d there, he may behold

  His features in the ore refined;




So oft doth God his children prove,

  When burns the fierce refining flame,

Till glows the image of his love,

  And in the heart, he reads his name.





     As thy days so shall thy strength be.




Still as our days our strength shall be,

While still; good Lord, we trust in Thee;

While on Thy promise we depend,

Our Saviour, brother, father, friend,

Our great High Priest, to whom were known

Temptations, troubles, like our own,

Who can be touched with mortal care,

For Thou didst all our sorrows bear.




Oh Lamb of God, the world on Thee,

Hath laid her deep infirmity;

And in the cross that weighed Thee down,

The bitter scourge, the thorny crown,

Thou all her griefs, and all her fears,

Didst bear through all thine earthly years,

The guiltless, for the guilty one,

For man, the Everlasting Son.




Oh Saviour mine, how great the love,

That brought thee from thy throne above!

That love, what seraph’s lyre can tell,

That wondrous love, unspeakable!

So infinite, so all divine,

Unlike all other love but thine,

Like none but Jesu, none but Thee

Thou bleeding Lamb of Calvary!




Give me, Thou glorious Lamb of God,

Daily to walk, where Thou hast trod,

And in adoring rapture grow,

As in thy lowly steps I go.

Give me to ponder, more and more,

Thy word’s, and thy example’s lore,

That walking here, my God with Thee,

Still as my days my strength may be.





  Heaviness may endure for a night.




There’s not a cloud that floats below

  Can quench the Star of Day,

And vain the vapors earth can throw

  To reach the heavenly ray;

And fast before the orient flame

  The mists of morning flee;

And so our Father is the same,

  Though dark our souls may be.




And He will clear the deepest night

  That clouds his children’s sky,

And bid the dullest tear be bright,

  That dims the doubting eye.

On storms where yet the lightnings gleam

  His rainbows often play,

And brighter is the moonlight’s beam

  As tempest breaks away.





   And Enoch walked with God.




Oh walk with God, and thou shalt find

  How he can charm thy way,

And lead thee with a quiet mind

  Into his perfect day.

His love shall cheer thee, like the dew

  That bathes the drooping flower,

That love is every morning new,

  Nor fails at evening’s hour.




Oh walk with God, and thou with smiles

  Shalt tread the way of tears,

His mercy every ill beguiles,

  And softens all our fears.

No fire shall harm thee, if alas

  Through fires He bid thee go;

Through waters, when thy footsteps pass,

  They shall not overflow.




Oh walk with God, while thou on earth,

  With pilgrim steps must fare,

Content, to leave the world its mirth,

  And claim no dwelling there.

A stranger, thou must seek a home,

  Beyond the fearful tide,

And if to Canaan thou would’st come,

  Oh who but God can guide!




Oh walk with God, and thou shalt go

  Down death’s dark vale in light,

And find thy faithful walk below

  Hath reached to Zion’s height!

Oh walk with God, if thou would’st see

  Thy pathway thither tend:

And lingering though thy journey be,

  ’Tis heaven and home at end!







Oh native clime where’er afar

  Thy promised glories shine,

Thou city of the Holy One,

  Of Jesu’s friends and mine;

For thee my exile soul doth pant,

  And from this far abode,

Would stretch the pinions of a dove,

  And mount to meet its God.




Oh there the weary wing shall rest

  That cannot rest below,

And there its earth-stained plumage bathe,

  Where living waters flow;

There shall the lips life’s fountain quaff,

  That parch in deserts here,

And there these eyes the Lord behold,

  And know no more a tear.




Oh, happy home, oh native seat,

  Thou only home for me,

Thou city where my portion is,

  Where my true kindred be;

What joy within my bosom thrills,

  That I shall soon be there,

Though last and least, yet one with them,

  That crowns of glory wear!







Who is this, with garments gory,

  Triumphing from Bozrah’s way;

This, that weareth robes of glory,

  Bright, with more than vict’ry’s ray;

Who is this unwearied comer,

  From his journey’s sultry length,

Travelling through Idume’s summer,

  In the greatness of his strength!




Wherefore red in thine apparel,

  Like the conquerors of Earth,

And arrayed like those who carol

  O’er the reeking vineyard’s mirth;

Who art thou, the valleys seeking,

  Where our peaceful harvests wave!

I—in righteous anger speaking,

  I—the mighty One to save.




I, that of the raging heathen

  Trod the wine-press all alone,

Now in victor-garlands wreathen,

  Coming to redeem my own:

I am He with sprinkled raiment

  Glorious for my vengeance hour,

Ransoming with priceless payment,

  And delivering with power.




Hail, all hail thou Lord of Glory!

  Thee our Father, thee we own!

Abram heard not of our story,

  Israel ne’er our name hath known;

But, Redeemer, thou hast sought us,

  Thou hast heard thy children’s wail,

Thou with thy dear blood, hast bought us,

  Hail, thou mighty Victor, hail!





        American Missions.




Lord, when thou didst come from Heaven,

  Edom sought thee, from afar,

With her gold and incense given,

  By the leading of a star;

Westward then, from Eden guiding,

  Was the light of Bethlehem shed;

Like the pillar’d blaze abiding

  O’er the wandering Hebrew’s head.




Westward still, the world alluring,

  Hath the risen Day-Star beamed,

And, the sinking soul assuring,

  O’er the world’s wide ocean streamed.

Westward still, the midnight breaking,

  Westward still, its light be poured!

Heathen thy possession making,

  Utmost lands thy dwelling, Lord!




Westward, where from giant fountains,

  Oregon comes down in flood,

Westward to Missouri’s mountains,

  Or to wild Iowa’s wood:

Where the broad Arkansas goeth,

  Winding o’er savannahs wide;

Where, beyond old Huron, floweth

  Many a strong eternal tide.




Westward, where the wavy prairie

  Dark as slumbering ocean lies,

Let thy starlight, Son of Mary,

  O’er the shadow’d billows rise!

There, be heard ye herald voices

  Till the Lord his glory shows,

And the lonely place rejoices,

  With the bloom of Sharon’s rose.




Where the wilderness is lying,

  And the trees of ages nod,

Westward, in the desert crying,

  Make a highway for our God:

Westward—till the Church be kneeling

  In the forest aisles so dim,

And the wildwood’s arches pealing,

  With the people’s holy hymn!




Westward, still, oh Lord, in glory

  Be thy bannered cross unfurled,

Till from vale to mountain hoary,

  Rolls the anthem round the world;

Reign, oh reign o’er every nation,

  Reign, Redeemer, Father, King,

And with songs of thy salvation,

  Let the wide creation ring!






       Looking unto Jesus.




Star of the Soul, my Saviour’s cross,

  No cloud thy glorious light can hide;

Thou shin’st unshaken, while I toss

  In darkest night, o’er billows wide;

I look to thee, I look to thee,

  Whatever gulfs would overwhelm,

And thine unclouded presence see,

  Above the storm, and o’er the helm.




Star of the Soul, my Saviour’s cross,

  That from the deep baptismal wave,

I saw arise, when all at loss

  Repentance found naught else to save:

Oh seen by faith at such an hour,

  My only hope, my only guide,

Star of the Soul, how blest the Power,

  That set thee o’er life’s raging tide.




Star of the Soul, in storms of fear

  That in my heart their tumult keep,

Oh cross of Christ, thou still art near,

  In mercy beaming o’er the deep;

Though sin its bitter waters toss,

  Unbrightened by a hope beside,

Star of the Soul, my Saviour’s cross,

  No cloud thy glorious light can hide.





    For the child of a dear friend.




When the evergreens hung round,

And the Christmas bells did sound,

Saviour, then they told of thee,

Thou wast once a child like me:

Hear me then, my Saviour mild,

Hear, and love a little child.




Since for me thou camest to die,

I, like thee to live, will try;

Thou for me didst poor become,

And a manger was thine home:

Oh for all thou didst endure,

Help me Lord, to love the poor.




Smiling on the Virgin’s knee,

Brightly went the day with thee;

Peace and love were round thee shed,

And God’s angels watched thy bed;

So may I improve the light,

So be guarded safe by night.




Help me too, like thee to grow

Dear to God, and man below!

And from childhood’s guileless heart,

Saviour, let me never part,

Since like children, all must be,

Who, at last, would live with thee!




       Exod. xxxiii. 18.




Thy glory, Lord, o’er all the earth,

  Like morning’s light doth shine,

Where mountain’s heave their giant birth,

  Where rolls that sea of thine;

That glorious sea, that mirrors thee

  More wonderful and vast,

Whose throne was reared, eternally

  In clouds and darkness cast.




Thy glory, Lord, though thou art great,

  Is not thy power alone,

Though seraphs in thy service wait,

  And burn before thy throne;

Thy glory, Lord, is not the sword

  Of vengeance on thy thigh;

Nor thunders that await thy word,

  To rend the shrivelled sky.




Thy glory, Lord, is not the light

  That crowns thine awful head,

Nor e’en the amber lustre bright

  Around thy presence shed:

For there the hymn, of cherubim,

  And lyres that flame above,

Proclaims it, to thy glory dim,

  The glory of thy love!





  Help, Lord, for the godly man ceaseth.


       1. SOLO.


So, from the earth, the godly go!

  Help, Lord, the faithful fail!

Ah, who are left to thee below,

Ah, what to soothe our sorrow’s flow,

Save the bright hope that calms our wo,

  As, o’er the dead, we wail!


       2. TRIO.


’Tis o’er the early dead we weep;

But peaceful is their hallow’d sleep;

And, Saviour, when thy light they see,

When from the dust they rise to thee,

How glorious shall their waking be!


       3. CHORUS.


Blest leader of the bright array,

  That yet shall break their cerements dread,

And change their cold corrupted clay,

  To rise, undying, from the dead;

Be thou our helper, and our stay,

When comes creation’s final day,

When roll the parching skies away,

  And loud the archangel trumpets ring!

That such our triumph-song may be,

As rapt, we rise to life and thee,

Oh grave where is thy victory,

  Where, Spoiler, is thy sting!





        Beatus vir.




Oh the blessings of him who hath turned from the path,

Where wander bewildered the children of wrath:

Who stands not with scorners, nor sits in the seat,

Where triumph the godless, and atheists meet!




The Lord is his pleasure, his song, and delight:

He dwells with Jehovah from morning to night:

His leaf shall not wither, his fruit never fall;

And look! what he doeth shall prosper withal!




He shall stand like a tree in the garden of God,

His boughs high in heaven, his root in the sod,

All goodly and green as the olives that bend,

Where rills of the desert through oases wend.




And this, while the godless up-torn by the root,

Shall blast in the blossom and blight in the fruit!

Oh dreadful their lot! Like the chaff they shall fly,

Or the sands of the waste when the whirlwind is high.





    Dominus regnavit.




Our God in glory reigneth

  Majestical, on high,

The Lord, whose hand sustaineth,

  The earth and starry sky.

And glorious there his throne, of old,

  That shall for aye endure,

Was fixt ere yonder planets rolled,

  Or this round world was sure!




The waves, the seas, the waters

  Have lifted up their voice,

But God’s unfearing daughters,

  Above the storm rejoice;

Their father’s word can still the roar,

  For, mightier far than they,

The floods, the winds, the sounding shore,

  Shall hear him, and obey.




Oh yes, though loudly raging,

  Old Ocean mocks the sky,

His word is heard assuaging,

  And down the billows die!

And glory, Lord, thy saints shall sing,

  To thee their God alone,

For holiness, Almighty King,

  Becomes thy glorious throne!





           In exitu.




When Israel, from the land of Nile,

  Went up in triumph o’er the sea,

And left, beneath that cloudy pile,

  The shores where heathen altars be,

In Juda was Jehovah known,

And there the mighty God was shown!




The rolling waters saw and fled,

  The mountains leaped like Nebo’s rams,

And Jordan trembled in its bed,

  And skipped the little hills like lambs.

Oh Jordan then what ailed thee!

Why fleddest thou eternal sea!




Why fled ye so, ye little rills,

  Or what, old Ocean, broke thy calm!

Why leaped ye so, ye high, high hills,

  Why skipped ye like the mountain lamb?

The tribes went up across the sea;

Say, ye big waves, why trembled ye!




Tremble, oh earth—it was the Lord!

  The pillar of His presence led;

The God of Jacob bared His sword,

  The startled waters saw and fled!

Gushed into tears the flinty stone;

Tremble, oh earth; ’twas God alone!





      Lætatus sum.




Right glad was I when unto me,

  They said with one accord,

Oh let us up to Zion-hill,

  The city of our Lord!

Our feet shall stand within thy gates,

  Jerusalem, our home,

And to thy temples beauty-built,

  Our wearied steps shall come.




Oh thither all the tribes go up,

  The people of our God!

And there the golden censers smoke,

  And music sounds abroad!

There incense-wreaths forever rise,

  And there the Lord is known,

And there is set his judgment seat,

  His glory, and his throne!




Oh pray ye for Jerusalem,

  Who blesseth her is blest;

Peace be within thy palaces,

  And in thy temples rest!

And on her golden shrines be light,

  And sunshine ever fair,

For there my father’s children dwell;

  Our fathers’ God is there.







Jesu, in the manger born,

Mid the stabled herd, forlorn;

Jesu, once a babe at rest,

On thy virgin mother’s breast;

Jesu, with thy sacred head,

Pillowed where the oxen fed;

Jesu Saviour, look on me,

Born in dreary earth like thee!

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, in the temple shewn,

By thy mother poor and lone;

Jesu, child of fears and loves,

With the bleeding turtle-doves;

Jesu, in a father’s arms,

Borne from Herod’s vain alarms;

Jesu, Saviour, look on me,

By thine early misery.

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, with the shelly bowl

Sprinkling o’er thy stainless soul;

Jesu, Lamb of God, for aye

Bearing all our sins away;

Jesu, up the mountain led,

Where the howling beasts are bred;

Jesu, tempted once like me,

Give me, too, thy victory.

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, by thy power divine,

Changing water into wine;

Jesu, giving life again,

To the widow’s son of Nain;

Jesu, man’s own brother proved,

Weeping for thy friend beloved;

Jesu, let my worship be

Mary’s spikenard box to thee!

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, in that solemn hall,

Holding love’s last festival;

Jesu, in the garden lone,

Where the paschal moon-beam shone;

Jesu, pouring out thy breath,

Soul and spirit unto death;

Jesu Saviour, pity me,

When I cannot watch with thee.

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, in the purple weed,

Thorny crown, and scornful reed;

Jesu, fainting in the way,

’Neath the cross that on thee lay;

Jesu, with thy tender eye,

Straining for its hour to die;

Jesu, bid thy servant be

Yet in Paradise with thee.

            Miserere Domine.




Jesu, scarred but strong to save,

Rising deathless from the grave;

Jesu, in the garden seen

By adoring Magdalene;

Jesu, going up on high,

Leading thy captivity;

Jesu Saviour, let me be

Evermore in Heaven with thee.

            Miserere Domine.





   Theme from the Dies Iræ.




That awful day of ire,

  Ah, who shall bear that day!

When earth dissolves in fire,

  And heaven shall roll away:

What trembling shall surprise

  The guilty child of clay,

When opes that last assize:

  Ah, who shall bear that day!




When loud the trump shall sound,

  Ah, who shall bear that day!

When shrill it echoes round,

  Where long the slumberers lay;

When up from every tomb

  Shall start the silent clay;

That dreadful day of doom,

  Ah, who shall bear that day!




Oh, death itself shall quake,

  And nature shrink away,

When from the clods they break,

  To meet that dreadful day!

Ah, when the just are pale,

  What shall the guilty say!

Ah, who shall heed their wail;

  Ah, who shall bear that day!




Tremendous Monarch! now

  To thy majestic sway

Our trembling spirits bow,

  Or ere that dreadful day!

Oh, save us, Fount of Love!

  Oh, wash our sin away!

Spare—spare us, God above!

  Else who shall bear that day!




Oh, Judge Supreme and Just,

  Appalled, I bend and pray!

Oh God, I shrink to dust!

  How can I bear that day!

That day of dread surprise!

  Jesu, be thou my stay,

That awful day of sighs:

  Else, who shall bear that day!




That awful day of ire,

  When heaven shall roll away,

When earth dissolves in fire;

  That day—that awful day!

Its trumpet, in the tomb

  Shall stir the shrouded clay;

That dreadful day of doom;

  Oh who shall bear that day!





Theme from the Non Nobis Domine.




Not unto us, oh Lord our God,

Not unto us, the noble laud,

For thine are all things here below,

And earth and skies thy glory show,

And Heaven is thine, and thine are we,

And thine are all things good, we see,

            Non nobis decus, Domine.




Now the bright skies thy praise proclaim!

The heavens are letter’d with thy name;

O’er all the world, the sunlight poured,

Is shadow to thy glory, Lord;

And stars, and light, and earth and sea,

Send up one anthem, Lord, to thee,

            Non nobis decus, Domine.




Thine is the heaven of heavens, oh God;

How is thy glory spread abroad!

And realms unseen, and worlds divine,

And angel armies, Lord, are thine;

So great art thou, so lowly we;

Not unto us, the glory be,

            Non nobis decus, Domine.





     Te Deum Laudamus.




Thee, God, we praise, acknowledging

Thou art the Lord, and thou our King:

To thee all earth doth lowly bow,

The Father everlasting thou!




To thee all angels loudly cry,

The heavens and all the powers on high,

While seraphs bright, and cherubim,

Upsend their sweet continual hymn!




In homes of light their song is poured,

Oh, holy, holy, holy Lord!

Earth and high heaven are full of thee,

Thy glory and thy majesty!




The glorious company above

Of the apostles hymn thy love,

While with the prophets’ goodly ring,

The martyrs’ noble army sing.




And all throughout this world so wide,

The holy Church, the spotless bride,

Father and Lord confesseth thee,

All infinite in majesty!




Also thy true and only Son,

The church with thee adoreth one;

And one with thee, sent down to her,

O Holy Ghost, the Comforter!




Thou art the King of glory bright,

O Christ! the Lord—the God of might;

Thou art the true, the Holy One,

The Father’s Everlasting Son!




When on thyself, poor man to save,

Thou tookest shame, the cross, the grave,

Thou, sent to suffer in our room,

Didst not abhor the Virgin’s womb.




When death’s sharp bitterness was o’er,

And thou hadst spoiled the conqueror,

Thou to the faithful and forgiven

Didst open wide the gates of heaven.




Now in the Father’s glory high,

Thou sittest clothed with majesty,

At the right hand of God enthroned,

Till foes thy footstool shall be owned.




Thence we believe that thou shalt come,

To be our Judge, that day of doom;

Oh, therefore, help thy servants, Lord,

Bought with thy blood, thy due reward.




Make them with all thy saints to sit,

In glory everlasting writ;

Oh, save thy flock from Satan’s rage!

Lord, bless thy chosen heritage!




O Lord, their King vouchsafe to be,

And daily lift them up to thee,

Whom, day by day, we magnify,

And worship till the world shall die!




Keep us this day from sin abhorr’d,

Have mercy on us—mercy, Lord!

And let thy mercy on us be,

As we have trusted, Lord, in thee!




O Lord, in thee—in thee alone,

My hope from holy faith hath grown,

And since I’ve trusted in thy name,

Oh, let me never suffer shame!







Alas, which way I turn I err,

  My thoughts are vile within,

Ah how shall earth’s poor voyager,

  Escape the paths of sin.




Lord, I have wandered and to thee

  Have been a faithless son,

But father, still a father be,

  And spare thine erring son.




Through His dear love, by whom alone,

  We may thy children be,

And by the sorrows He hath known,

  My soul from sorrow free.




And smile, my Father, through the gloom

  That wraps my suppliant hour,

Nor quench the glowing soul’s perfume,

  Nor break the drooping flower.





  Thy dew is as the dew of herbs.




How in the flowery spring, my God,

  The buds of promise ope,

And blossom o’er life’s thorny road

  To cheer the Christian’s hope!

Like them, exulting from the tomb,

  We, too, revived, shall rise,

And flourish in immortal bloom,

  In Edens of the skies.




What though in pensive Autumn’s wane,

  Earth’s sere-grown glories fall,

And sleep through winter’s dull domain,

  When death is writ on all;

Exulting, in the breaking year,

  The lily doth unclose,

And daisies o’er the waste appear,

  And roses from the snows.




So then to dust, our dust shall turn,

  So, too, shall rise and sing,

When falls upon the mouldered urn,

  The joyous dew of Spring:

The God that rears the tender flowers,

  And breathes to life their dust,

From the cold grave shall quicken ours,

  And new-create the just.







Oh, crowned with light in glory now,

  Though crowned on earth with thorn,

To thee, with all the earth we bow,

  And sing the Virgin-born.

And lowly are the notes we raise,

  Yet, Saviour, deign to hear,

Though there thou reign’st where seraphs blaze,

  And cherubs burn and fear.




For so, to bless the sons of earth,

  On earth thou wast forlorn:

A man of sorrows from thy birth,

  The lowly Virgin-born:

For us, thy tender hand was scarred:

  For us, was bowed thy head,

And all thy human beauty marred,

  When Death was captive led.




For us, the crimson cross was stain’d,

  For us, thy life-blood given:

For us, the glorious conflict gained,

  To bring us home to heaven:

For us, thou art gone up on high,

  With victor-beauty crowned:

For us, thy hand hath oped the sky,

  And Death in fetters bound.




For us, thy garments stained with blood,

  Thee, more than Conqueror show,

The Prince of Peace, the mighty God,

  The Lord of all below!

Oh Wonderful!—in glory now,

  Though once on earth forlorn,

To thee, with all the earth, we bow,

  And laud the Virgin-born!







Now, the shining worlds along,

Rises high the angel-song,

Where the emerald rainbows spread,

Glorious round the Eternal head;

Where upon the sapphire throne,

Beams the mystic sardin-stone;

And where veiling seraphs bow,

Crying Holy, Holy, thou!

Thou who art, and art to be

Glorified eternally,

And forevermore adored;

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord!




Streams on earth a dimmer day,

Where thy lowly people pray:

Yet rejoicing in thy light,

And adoring thee aright,

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost;

We, with all the heavenly host,

Here on earth would bend and bow,

Crying Holy, Holy, thou!

Thou who art, &c.




So, forever till we die,

Holy, Holy may we cry!

So forever, honour thee

Glorious God, the Trinity!

Still confessing thee but one,

Father, Holy Ghost and Son,

Till with angel choirs we bow,

Crying Holy, Holy thou,

Thou who art, and art to be

Glorified eternally,

And forevermore adored;

Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord!





      A Lent Lay.




Let out thy soul, and pray

  Not for thy home alone!

Away—in prayer, away!

  Make all the world thine own!

Let out thy soul in prayer;

  Oh, let thy spirit grow!

God gives thee sun and air;

  Let the full blossom blow!




There! dost thou not perceive

  Thy spirit swell within,

And something high receive,

  That is not born of sin?

Oh, paltry is the soul

  That only self can heed!

Sail outward—from the shoal,

  And bourgeon, from the seed!




Moth and the rust consume

  The spangled folds of pride;

Dry-rot doth eat the bloom,

  And gnaw the wealth we hide:

The Spirit’s selfish care,

  Doth die away the same;

But give it air—free air,

  And how the soul can flame!




Yestreen I did not know

  How largely I could live;

But Faith hath made me grow,

  To more than Earth can give.

Joy! for a heart released

  From littleness and pride;

Fast is the Spirit’s feast,

  And Lent the soul’s high-tide.




When for the Church I pray’d,

  As this dear Lent began,

My thoughts, I am afraid,

  Within small limits ran.

By Ember-week I learn’d

  How large that prayer might be,

And then, in soul, I burn’d

  That all might pray with me.




Plead for the victims all

  Of heresy and sect;

And bow thy knees like Paul,

  For all the Lord’s Elect!

Pray for the Church—I mean,

  For Shem and Japhet pray:

And churches, long unseen,

  In isles, and far away!




Oh, pray that all who err

  May thus be gather’d in;

The Moslem worshipper,

  And all the sects of sin!

For all who love in heart,

  But have not found the way,

Pray—and thy tears will start!

  ’Twas so the Lord did pray.




Now, when the hordes of Rome

  Are up against the Lord,

All churches are our home,

  And Prayer our mighty sword!

The saints’ communion—one,

  One Lord—one Faith—one birth,

Oh, pray to God the Son,

  For all his Church on Earth.





      A hymn for the times.




We are living,—we are dwelling

  In a grand and awful time;

In an age, on ages telling,

  To be living—is sublime.




Hark! the waking up of nations,

  Gog and Magog, to the fray;

Hark! what soundeth, is Creation’s

  Groaning for its latter day.




Will ye play, then! will ye dally,

  With your music, with your wine?

Up! it is Jehovah’s rally!

  God’s own arm hath need of thine.




Hark, the onset! will ye fold your

  Faith-clad arms in lazy lock?

Up, O up, thou drowsy soldier!

  Worlds are charging to the shock.




Worlds are charging—Heaven beholding;

  Thou hast but an hour to fight;

Now, the blazon’d cross unfolding,

  On—right onward, for the right!




What! still hug thy dreamy slumbers?

  ’Tis no time for idling play:

Wreaths, and dance, and poet-numbers,

  Flout them! we must work to-day!




Fear not! spurn the worlding’s laughter;

  Thine ambition—trample thou!

Thou shalt find a long Hereafter,

  To be more than tempts thee now.




Oh! let all the soul within you,

  For the truth’s sake, go abroad!

Strike! let every nerve and sinew

  Tell on ages—tell for God.




Magog leadeth many a vassal;

  Christ his few—his little ones;

But about our leaguer’d castle,

  Rear and Vanguard are his sons!




Seal’d to blush, to waver never;

  Cross’d, baptized, and born agen,

Sworn to be Christ’s soldiers ever,

  Oh, for Christ, at least, be men!





I will wash my hands in innocency.




I’ll wash my hands in waters

  That are innocent as snow,

And thus unto thine altars,

  My Redeemer, will I go:

I’ll stand within thy temples,

  In garments pure and white,

And take thy yoke upon me,

  For ’tis easy and ’tis light.




But give me in the beauty

  Of holiness to shine,

And to sound upon the mountains

  That cheery trump of thine;

And to ope the gushing fountains

  In the desert’s dreary ways,

And herald joyful tidings,

  And the holy cross to raise.




And with a soul that tramples

  On the laurel and the gem,

May I strive, in godlike meekness,

  For a brighter diadem;

And run my race with glory,

  And fight a noble fight,

Till I join the victor-pæan

  Of the conquerors in light.




Now clothe me in mine armor,

  Ye fathers of the host,

And give my hand the banner

  Of the dove-like Holy Ghost;

While swells around the war-song

  Of my Redeemer King,

And all the warrior-anthems

  That the noble armies sing.




Then bless me for the onset

  That I may battle well,

For the Captain of salvation,

  ’Gainst the leaguered hosts of hell;

Nor shun the hottest conflict,

  Where the spoiler is abroad,

But breast his fiercest phalanx,

  In the panoply of God.




Oh, glorious is the warfare

  And the triumph-cry shall sound,

Not sweeter to the victors,

  Than the vanquished heathen round:

Messiah’s armies ever,

  To their foemen faint in strife,

Bend down the laden branches

  Of the healing tree of life.




Yet, Saviour, not with boasting

  Would I gird me for the fight,

And take thy yoke upon me,

  Though so easy and so light!

Who putteth on his harness,

  And striveth for a crown,

Oh, let him never glory

  Till he lays his armor down.


The first poem in this collection was inserted as appropriate to follow the dedication, although it was written at a much later date than most of the others. The Hymn of the Wreath, was also written after most of the Lays, but I have given it its place, because I knew of no better use for it. And although the two are of a graver burden, than those that immediately follow, they are supposed the more suitable, as commencing the book with a vanitas vanitatum. After these, lays of emulation, love, disappointment, and reflection succeed each other, until the whole are of a devotional and religious cast. Even in these last, there will be noticed a progressive order, varying from “Spiritual Songs” to Catholic Hymns and Anthems.

I’d die mid soft music.

The etherial harmony of Von Weber’s Last Waltz, though too melancholy for mirth, is not dignified enough for religion. I have furnished it with words, therefore, which seem to me expressive of the sentiment of the music. But that sentiment must by no means be attributed to me. I had heard that the Last Waltz was composed by Von Weber on his death-bed; and therefore imagined the burthen of its strain, such as I have suggested. But a truly Christian composer would not employ his last hours on any thing less than a sacred Anthem, or a Miserere: and the story of Mozart’s Requiem is much more interesting and becoming.

Hark through the skies, &c.

This poem and others that succeed it, were written in such early years that I have distinguished them with apologetic dates. They made no part of the book when it was put to press, but as more matter was found necessary, I was obliged hastily to incorporate them with the Lays, as being the only early poems of the kind in my possession.

When the wounded bucanier.

This poem was addressed to a lady, a relative, on reading the anecdote to which it alludes, in the work of Audubon, on American birds. That author tells us that the plaintive note of the Zenaida dove, has actually been known to have such an effect upon a pirate, that he deserted his comrades, and in true penitence, abandoned forever his evil ways.

Still as our day our strength shall be.

I have spoken in this little Hymn, of our blessed Saviour, as suffering the pains of his cross, during the whole of his life. My meaning must be explained of course by the fact of his Divinity, to which the future was ever present. And in this I believe I am borne out by sound theologians. Dr. Dens, who, though a Romish divine, is generally Catholic on such points, and usually follows S. Thomas Aquinas, has this passage, which is exactly to the purpose. “Scriptores quidam spirituales, pia meditatione, observant, Christum Dominum toto vitæ suæ tempore sensisse, in anima dolores mortis, quos passus est in cruce; quia præcognoscens illos futuros, sibi eos vivacissime et perfecte omni tempore representabat et acceptabat tanquam præsentes.”

De Incarnatione, Quæst. xl.

Oh, of song and dance the pride.

It has been discovered by modern theologians, that Jephtha’s daughter was not sacrificed by her father, but only devoted to a recluse and virgin life. The Fathers, however, thought otherwise; and St. Augustine sees in the transaction, a deep spiritual import. Of course I prefer his comment, to Kimchi’s; but when I wrote this poem, the modern notion struck me as a pretty fable, to which I was not unwilling to listen.

Oh the blessings of him.

Such is the more literal rendering of the original Hebrew text, in the first verse of the first Psalm. For the criticism I am indebted to my preceptor, the late Prof. Nordheimer, of the University of New York, whose sudden and early death is so universally regretted by the learned, and lamented by his grateful pupils.

When Israel from the land of Nile.

I cannot forbear to refer the reader, for a much better rendering of the 114th Psalm, to the critical and elegant translation of my friend and brother, the Rev. George Burgess, M. A., of Hartford, whose metrical version of the Psalms is such an honor to American literature and taste. The peculiar beauty of the second verse, which I have sacrificed by introducing the name of God, (which is only elegantly implied in the original,) is in Mr. Burgess’ translation very happily preserved.

That awful day of ire.

This is a free translation of some select portions of the Dies Iræ; so well known to English readers, by the fine imitation of Scott; and to scholars, by the impressive use made of it by Goethe in his Faust. I have partially imitated, as well as translated, several passages; that famous one, in particular, which is known as the Rex Tremendæ. In so doing, I have been forced, however, to sacrifice, in some degree, a desirable gracefulness of expression, for the sake of approximating, in some degree, to the sonorous melody of the Latin.

Not unto us, oh Lord, our God.

I have put together, this hymn, and the translation of the Te Deum, which follows, because the Non Nobis was once always associated with that sublime doxology, in Thanksgiving services; though now seldom heard of, except as performed at public dinners, on the removal of the cloth. The exclamation of Henry V., on the field of Agincourt, is familiar to all:

              Do we all holy rites,

Let there be sung Non Nobis and Te Deum.

It is interesting, also, to remember, that Te Deum was the first Christian thanksgiving ever offered to God, in this hemisphere. The piety of Columbus, at once suggested the propriety of its use, when he found himself the discoverer of a New World; and the hymn that was introduced to public worship, in the Cathedral at Milan, at the baptism of Augustine, was made the offering of a free heart, when the first European foot was planted in America. We doubt whether any thing as good was chaunted on Plymouth Rock; though had the Pilgrim Fathers been Churchmen, they would have found in the Psalms for the day, a very appropriate as well as inspired thanksgiving: “Then are they glad because they are at rest; and so He bringeth them unto the haven where they would be. Oh that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness; and declare the wonders that he doeth for the children of men.”

Holy Orders.

In the last verse the allusion is to the text, “Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself, as he that putteth it off.” I. Kings, xx. 11th.

I trust the reader has noticed that the arrangement of these Lays has not been merely fortuitous. They are meant to succeed each other, as did the experiences which suggested them, from the pursuit of trifles, to the choice of God’s holy service; and to exhibit as a moral what St. Augustine so appositely says in his confessions: Tu, Domine, excitas, ut laudare Te delectat; quia fecisti nos ad Te, et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in Te.


Notes to Halloween,64
Lays, Meditative and Devotional,67
Give me the Hour,73
Hymn of the Wreath,75
Star that Hast,78
Thou art gone to the Land,83
Oh Where’s the Hope,87
I’ve Left the Giddy Throng,91
Lake Byrom,95
The Zenaida Dove,101
Oh Would I were happy,106
The Mirage,108
Home Music,114
To all that’s Glorious and Bright,116
There is a Land,118
The Heart’s Song,120
In Radiance He came,122
Lament of the Virgins,125
The Last Plague of Egypt,128
Hymn to the Redeemer,131
But Thou, oh Lord,136
Still as our Day,137
There’s not a Cloud,139
Oh Walk with God,140
The Land of Beulah,142
Hymn in Holy Week,143
Mariner’s Hymn,147
Little Hymn,148
Thy Glory, Lord,150
Hymn for the Dead,151
The First Psalm,152
Our God in Glory,153
When Israel from the Land of Nile,155
Right Glad was I,156
Advent Hymn,160
Not Unto us,163
Thee, God, we Praise,164
A Lent Hymn,167
Stanzas for Eastertide,168
Hymn for Holy Thursday,170
Hymn for Trinity Sunday,171
Let out thy Soul,173
Holy Orders,178



Has for sale, by the author of Halloween,




Second Edition, with Notes.


Also will publish shortly, in uniform with Halloween,




Second Edition, with Additions.


Several poems published with the former edition of the Ballads, have been retained in their proper places, among the Lays published with Halloween, as they will not again be printed with the Ballads.


Also, H. S. P. has in press,







Rector of St. George’s, Schenectady.

Transcriber’s Notes:

Hyphenation and archaic spellings have been retained as in the original text. Punctuation and obvious typesetting errors have been corrected without note.

[End of Halloween, A Romaunt with Lays, Meditative and Devotional, by Arthur Cleveland Coxe]