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It rested on the scene, More still and motionless than lie The clouds of summer in the sky.
Beside it stood a hoary seer,
And through my heart a whisper ran, "God, or his angel shrouded here
Holds converse with this holy man." Dark was that cloudy dwelling-place;
No glory on it seemed to dwell; Yet still on every thing around, On tree, on shrub, and heathy ground, A streaming radiance fell; And on that patriarch's awful face Glowed with intense, unearthly grace. Propped on his staff, in peace he stood,
Sandaled, and girded in his vest, And his full beard in silver flowed
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, Smiling in beauty and in youth, With eyes in which eternal truth Lay with eternal joy.
He touched that old man's snowy head, And boat, youth, cloud, and patriarch fled!
A multitude of dreams have passed
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; Those plains in arid drought so stern; That solemn hush, that seemed etern;In memory's living page,
Still stand in light, more real far
THE BOY OF THE SOUTHERN ISLE.
AN OLD SEAMAN'S STORY.
I'LL tell ye,
ye hearken now,
A thing that chanced to me
It must be fifty years agone Upon the southern sea.
And soon we saw a mountain-top
"Oh give to me my boat!" he cried,
A carved boat of sandal-wood,
Down from the ship into the sea
Like some sea-creature beautiful
The happiest and the sweetest sight
-Now wot ye of his parentage?
"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,
"T is not for my weak speech to tell The joy so sweet and good,
Of these kind, simple islanders,
Whate'er the island held they gave; Delicious fruits and wines,
Rich-tinted shells from out the sea, And ore from out their mines.
But I might not stay; and that same day Again we turned about,
And, with the wind that changed 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.