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Such beauty hath the Eternal poured
Upon them not forlorn,
Though of a lineage once abhorred,
Nor yet redeemed from scorn.
Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite
Of poverty and wrong,
Doth here preserve a living light,
From Hebrew fountains sprung ;
That gives this ragged group to cast
Around the dell a gleam
Of Palestine, of glory past,
And proud Jerusalem!
The Ear addressed, as occupied by a spiritual functionary, in
theory of numbers and music, with their supposed power over the motions of the universe; - imaginations consonant with such a theory. — Wish expressed 11th Stanza) realized, in some degree, by the representation of all sounds under the form of thanksgiving to the Creator. — (Last Stanza.) The destruction of earth and the planetary system, the survival of audible harmony, and its support in the Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ.
Thy functions are ethereal,
As if within thee dwelt a glancing mind,
Organ of vision! And a Spirit aërial
Informs the cell of Hearing, dark and blind;
Intricate labyrinth, more dread for thought
To enter than oracular cave;
Strict passage, through which sighs are brought,
And whispers for the heart, their slave ;
And shrieks, that revel in abuse
Of shivering flesh; and warbled air,
Whose piercing sweetness can unloose
The chains of frenzy, or entice a smile
Into the ambush of despair;
Hosannas pealing down the long-drawn aisle,
And requiems answered by the pulse that beats
Devoutly, in life's last retreats !
The headlong streams and fountains
Serve Thee, invisible Spirit, with untired powers ;
Cheering the wakeful tent on Syrian mountains,
They lull perchance ten thousand thousand flowers.
That roar, the prowling lion's Here I am,
How fearful to the desert wide!
That bleat, how tender! of the dam
Calling a straggler to her side.
Shout, cuckoo ! - let the vernal soul
Go with thee to the frozen zone ;
Toll from thy loftiest perch, lone bell-bird, toll
At the still hour to Mercy dear,
Mercy from her twilight throne
Listening to nun's faint throb of holy fear,
To sailor's prayer breathed from a darkening sea,
Or widow's cottage-lullaby.
Ye Voices, and ye Shadows
And Images of voice, -to hound and horn
From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows
Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, reborn,-
On with your pastime! till the church-tower bells
A greeting give of measured glee;
And milder echoes from their cells
Repeat the bridal symphony.
Then, or far earlier, let us rove
Where mists are breaking up or gone,
And from aloft look down into a cove
Besprinkled with a careless choir,
Happy milkmaids, one by one
Scattering a ditty each to her desire,
A liquid concert matchless by nice Art,
A stream as if from one full heart,
Blest be the song that brightens
The blind man's gloom, exalts the veteran's mirth;
Unscorned the peasant's whistling breath, that
His duteous toil of furrowing the green earth.
For the tired slave, Song lifts the languid oar,
And bids it aptly fall, with chime
That beautifies the fairest shore,
And mitigates the harshest clime.
Yon pilgrims see, - in lagging file
They move; but soon the appointed way
A choral Ave Marie shall beguile,
And to their hope the distant shrine
Glisten with a livelier ray :
Nor friendless he, the prisoner of the mine,
Who from the well-spring of his own clear breast
Can draw, and sing his griefs to rest.
When civic renovation
Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste
Best eloquence avails not, Inspiration
Mounts with a tune, that travels like a blast
Piping through cave and battlemented tower;
Then starts the sluggard, pleased to meet
That voice of Freedom, in its power
Of promises, shrill, wild, and sweet!
Who, from a martial pageant, spreads
Incitements of the battle-day,
Thrilling the unweaponed crowd with plumeless
heads ? -
Even She whose Lydian airs inspire
Peaceful striving, gentle play
Of timid hope and innocent desire
Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move
Fanned by the plausive wings of Love.
How oft along thy mazes, Regent of sound, have dangerous Passions trod! 0 Thou, through whom the temple rings with
praises, And blackening clouds in thunder speak of God, Betray not by the cozenage of sense Thy votaries, wooingly resigned To a voluptuous influence That taints the purer, better mind; But lead sick Fancy to a harp That hath in noble tasks been tried ; And, if the virtuous feel a pang too sharp, Soothe it into patience, — stay The uplifted arm of Suicide ; And let some mood of thine in firm array Knit every thought the impending issue needs, Ere martyr burns, or patriot bleeds !
As Conscience, to the centre
Of being, smites with irresistible pain,