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It rested on the scene,
And through my heart a whisper ran, “God, or his angel shrouded here
Holds converse with this holy man."
No glory on it seemed to dwell;
A streaming radiance fell;
Sandaled, and girded in his vest,
Far down his pure and quiet breast; His eye was on the cloud, as one
Who listens to momentous things, And seems with reverence to hear, Yet with more confidence than fear,
What some great herald brings. But as I gazed, a little boat,
Swift, without rudder, oars, or sail, Down through the ambient air afloat,
Bore onward one who seemed to hail The patriarch, — and he turned his head ;
He turned and saw a smiling boy,
Lay with eternal joy.
Since this, and perished as they came; But in my mind imprinted fast
This lives, and still remains the same. The beauty of that gliding car;
The mystery of the cloud and sage;
In memory's living page,
First-mate was I of the Nancy,
A tight ship and a sound;
And then were homeward bound.
Before the trade-wind's power;
Full thirteen knots an hour.
By a steady gale impressed;
But just what liked him best.
The dull days idly sped;
Or else a book I read.
I stood upon the deck ;
I saw a faintish speck.
At first I did not know;
That he might look also.
That it must be a boat;
But a large bamboo afloat.
That he the sight might see ;
But no two could agree.
“And it roweth with an oar!" But none of them could see it so,
All differing as before. “ It cometh on ; I see it plain;
It is a boat!" I cried, “A liule boat o'erlaid with pearl,
And a little child to guide !"
And worked with an oar;
Had ever seen before.
THE BOY OF THE SOUTHERN ISLE.
AN OLD SEAMAN'S STORY.
Within it sate a little child,
The fairest eer was seen ;
His mantle of sea-green.
And the hair that on it grew
of the sunniest golden hue. The rudest man on board our ship
Blest God that sight to see ;
I'LL tell ye, if ye hearken now,
A thing that chanced to me It must be fifty years agone
Upon the southern sea.
The captain was a strong, stern man;
None liked him overwell;
Haul up yon cockle-shell!
In this good ship to dwell!"
Some awful threat a joke,
The words the captain spoke.
And put his oar away,
Quick passed a pale dismay.
As if he were possessed ;
And smote upon his breast. 'Twas a wicked deed as e'er was done
I longed to set him free;
Was a grievous sight to me.
His lofty heart gave way,
At the captain's feet he lay.
There sat he in his pretty boat,
Like an angel from the sky,
With wonder in his eye.
His sweet lips were apart;
His wonder in my heart.
His little boat he neared,
Nor seemed the least aseared.
And without fear of ill,
With frank and free good will.
No syren full of guile;
From some unknown-of isle.
Was English, every word;
As his I never heard.
Within a tamarind-grove;
A family of love.
From out a large sea-shell;
" I shall this evening tell!" His robes, he said, his mother had wove
From roots of an Indian-tree;
With the merriest mockery.
May-be an hour or so,
And said that he would go.
“For me they all will wait; I must be back again," quoth he,
"Or ever the day be late !" “He shall not go!" the captain said;
* Haul up his boat and oar ! The pretty boy shall sail with us
To the famous English shore !
I'll find thee a new mother;-
To them shalt be a brother!"
" For thee I do not know;I must be back again," he cried,
* Before the sun be low!" Then sprang unto the vessel's side, And made as he would go.
"Oh take me back again !" he cried,
Let me not tarry here, And I'll give thee sea-apples,
And honey rich and clear;
“ And fetch thee heavy pearl-stones
From deep sea-caves below; And red tree-gold and coral-tree,
If thou wilt let me go!
“Or if I must abide with thee,
In thy great ship to dwell, Let me but just go back again,
To bid them all farewell !"
And at the word " farewell" he wept,
As if his heart would break; The very memory of his tears
Sore sad my heart doth make.
To hear his woful cry ;
One man whose eyes were dry.
When the captain saw the seamen's grief,
An angry man was he,
For our great sympathy.
To his cabin all alone :
At length he woke from that dead woe,
Like one that long hath slept,
And long and freely wept.
Yet knew not what to say,
That on his spirit lay.
Of Jesus Christ; and spake
He suffered for our sake.
All wickedness doth hate ;
It cometh soon or late,
Even from the very night
On board that was not right.
Where they were all alone,
A low and quiet moan ;
To move a heart of stone.
Like one who doeth wrong,
Against a conscience strong.
With a good will or a free ;
Went slowly over the sea.
Sent down in haste for me.
Oppressed with fever-pain;
That he would not rise again, -
Would never rise again. “I have done wickedly,” said he,
“ And Christ doth me condemn ;I have children three on land," groaned he,
“ And woe will come to them! “I have been weighed, and wanting found;
I've done an evil deed !
Take back this child with speed! “I have children three," again groaned he,
" And I pray that this be done! Thou wilt have order of the ship
When I am dead and gone: -
That mercy may be won!"
l'pon the Testament;
To his account he went.
And set him on my knee,
But he spoke no word to me.
Had robbed him of his speech, And that I ne'er by word or look,
His sunken soul could reach.
“For me and thee, dear child," I said,
" He suffered, and be sure He will not lay a pang on thee
Without he give the cure !" Like as the heavy clouds of night
Pass from the coming day, So cleared the sullen weight of woe
From his dear soul away. Oh happy hours of converse sweet ;
The Christian's hope he knew, And with an eager heart he gained
That knowledge sweet and new. And ever by my side he kept,
Loving, and meek, and still: But never more to him returned
His bold and wayward will :He had been tried and purified
From every taint of ill.
I turned the ship about,
We 'll find the island out."
So back unto the place we came,
Where we the child had found;
We sailed it all around.
A far-off peak was seen;
All woody, rich, and green.
When the mountains came in view, And tears ran streaming from his eyes,—
For his own isle he knew.
And, with a wildly-piercing tone,
He cried, “Oh mother dear, Weep not, - I come, my mother!"
Long, long ere she could hear. And soon we saw a mountain-top
Whereon a beacon burned; Then as the good ship neared the land, An answer was returned.
But a blessing great went with the ship,
And with the freight she bore ;
So did the island's ore; -
Nor found the island more.
Or what to him befel,
Is not for me to tell,
"Oh give to me my boat!" he cried,
And give to me mine oar!" Just then we saw another boat
Pushed from the island-shore.
Its sail a silken mat,
And three within her sat.
The little boy he sprung ; And the mother gave a scream of joy,
With which the island rung.
He swam the ocean-tide,
He clomb the shallop's side.
He lay, O sweet embrace !
Into her loving face.
That e'er mine eyes will see,
Unto his family! - Now wot ye of his parentage ?
Sometime I'll tell you it; Of meaner matter many a time
Has many a book been writ. "T would make a pleasant history
Of joy scarce touched by woe, Of innocence and love; but now
This only must you know. His mother was of English birth,
Well-born, and young, and fair ; In the wreck of an East-Indiaman
She had been saved there. His father was the island's chief,
Goodly as man can be ; Adam, methinks, in Paradise
Was such a one as he.
THE TWO MARYS. Oh dark day of sorrow, Amazement and pain; When the promise was blighted The given was ta'en ! When the master no longer A refuge should prove ; And evil was stronger Than mercy and love! Oh dark day of sorrow, A basement and dread, When the Master beloved Was one with the dead! We sate in our anguish Afar off to see, For we surely believed not This sorrow could be ! But the trust of our spirits Was all overthrown; And we wept, in our anguish, Astonished, alone! At even they laid him With aloes and myrrh, In fine linen wound, in A new sepulchre. There, there will we seek him: Will wash him with care ; Anoint him with spices : And mourn for him there. Oh strangest of sorrow! Oh vision of fear! New grief is around us The Lord is not here!
"T is not for my weak speech to tell
The joy so sweet and good,
Nor all their gratitude.
Delicious fruits and wines,
And ore from out their mines.
Again we turned about, And, with the wind that changòd then
Went from the harbour out. -"T is joy to do an upright deed;
"T is joy to do a kind ; And the best reward of virtuous deeds
Is the peace of one's own mind.
Women, why shrink ye
Death has been conquered
Fearless in spirit,
For the night of the mighty Shall o'er you be cast ; And I will be with you, My friends, to the last,
I go to the father,
CORN-FIELDS. In the young merry time of spring,
When clover 'gins to burst; When blue-bells nod within the wood,
And sweet May whitens first; When merle and mavis sing their fill, Green is the young corn on the hill. But when the merry spring is past,
And summer groweth bold,
A thousand flowers unfold;
And summer weareth on,
The red-rose groweth wan, And holly-hock and sunflowers tall O'ertop the mossy garden wall: When on the breath of autumn breeze,
From pastures dry and brown, Goes floating, like an idle thought, The fair, white thistlo-down ;
There life never-ending; There bliss that endures; There love never-changing, My friends, shall be yours !
But the hour is accomplished !