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And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
And the idols are broke in the temple of Baal;
And the might of the Gentile, unsmote by the sword,
Hath melted like spow in the glance of the Lord !
Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hall,
Thou aged carle so stern and gray ?
Dost thou its former pride recall,
Or ponder how it pass'd away?
“ Knowst thou not me ?” the Deep Voice cried,
“So long enjoy'd, so oft misused
Alternate, in thy fickle pride,
Desired, neglected, and accused ?
Before my breath, like blazing flax,
Man and his marvels pass away ;
And changing empires wane and wax,
Are founded, flourish, and decay,
Redeem thine hours—the space is brief-
While in my glass the sand-grains shiver,
And measureless thy joy or grief,
When Time and thou shalt part for ever!”
Low wondrous Egypt lies ! Come royal heirs
Of Ptolemy, and patriarchal kings,
And see the shadow of your once sublime
And storied Egypt ! True, her fostering Nile,
That flowing wanderer of mysterious birth,
Her animal life-blood generously yields ;
But where the soul of science ? Where the font
Of wisdom, from whose deep and dateless spring
The Greek and Roman drank ? Colossal Thebes,
How lowly sleep thy ruins, where, of yore,
Like billows trooping at the whirlwind's call,
Forth from thy hundred gates the battle-cars
Were rolld. Thy tombs and arches, temples huge
As sculptured mountains, darkling yet remain,
But sadness broods o'er all; and yet august,
In blacken'd, blighted majesty uprear’d.
Ye pyramids ! that point your heads to Heaven,
As pillars that would prop the spheres,-a day
Is coming when you moulder into dust,
And melt away, like dew upon the wind !
So sink the monuments of ancient might,
So fade the gauds and splendours of the world;
Her empires brighten, blaze, and pass away,
And trophied fanes, and adamantine domes,
That threaten’d an eternity, depart,
Amid the dying change, or lapse of things :
Enthroned o'er all, a desolation frowns,
Save mind, -omnipotent, surpassing mind!
One scintillation of a soul inspired,
Though kindled in an atmosphere of gloom,
Or loneliness, will strengthen, glow, and live,
And burn from age to age, till it become
The sun and glory of a thinking world,
When thrones are shatter'd, and their kings forgot!
O MAJESTIC night!
Nature's great ancestor ! day's elder born !
And fated to survive the transient sun !
By mortals and immortals seen with awe :
A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,
An azure zone thy waist ; clouds, in heaven's loom
Wrought through varieties of shape and shade,
In ample folds of drapery divine,
Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven throughout,
Voluminously pour thy pompous train :
Thy gloomy grandeurs-nature's most august,
Inspiring aspect !-claim a grateful verse;
And, like a sable curtain starr’d with gold,
Drawn o'er my labours past, shall close the scene.
It was a summer evening,
Old Kaspar's work was done ;
And he, before his cottage door,
Was sitting in the sun.
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.
She saw her brother Peterkin
Roll something large and round,
That he, beside the rivulet,
In playing there, had found ;
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.
Old Kaspar took it from the boy,
Who stood expectant by ; And then the old man shook his head,
And with a natural sigh, “ 'Tis some poor fellow's skull,” said he, “ Who fell in the great victory.
“ I find them in the garden, for
There's many here about ; And often when I go to plough,
The ploughshare turns them out;
For many thousand men,” said he, • Were slain in the great victory."
“Now tell us what 'twas all about,”
Young Peterkin he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up
With wonder-waiting eyes; “ Now tell us all about the war, And what they kill'd each other for.”
"It was the English," Kaspar cried,
“That put the French to rout; But what they kill'd each other for,
I could not well make out ; But everybody said,” quoth he, “ That 'twas a famous victory.
My father lived at Blenheim then,
Yon little stream hard by ;
They burnt his dwelling to the ground,
And he was forced to fly ;
So, with his wife and child, he fled,
Nor had he where to rest his head.
“ With fire and sword the country round
Was wasted far and wide ;
And many a childing mother then
And new-born infant died ;
But things like that, you know, must be
At every famous victory.