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and the old are there,
The coward heart and the brave-
Those to whom life in her morning shone fair,
And those who were wasted with cankering care,
The freeman, the tyrant, the slave.
The infant is there, with the light
Of his innocent smile round his brow;
He laugh'd when the foam on that pitiless night,
Curld o'er the rude wave with its sparkles of light-
But his blue eye is slumbering now.
And there is the beautiful bride,
Still entwined in her lover's last grasp ;
The warrior rests with his foe by his side,
And the mother yet seems, in her matronly pride,
To enfold that fair boy in her clasp.
Ye depths of the billowy sea !
How many a tale of fear,
Of the plunging corse, and the mutiny,
And the blood-red banner of piracy,
Could ye tell to the shuddering ear!
And of how, at the dead of night,
The captive burst his chain,
And with one glance at the moon's fair light,
Forever he sunk from the tyrant's sight-
And the wave rollid on again.
Oh, ye are a changeless mystery
The heavens are wreathed in flame,
And the bark is toss'd on the raging sea,
Or the sunbeam smiles with its breezes free
But ye are forever the same.
THE RECAPTURED SLAVE.
WOE to thee, tyrant ! woe!
Does that white brow of thine which shows so fair
And the rich tint thy cheek is wont to wear,
Make thee the ruler of my destiny?
Or does thy blood more freely flow,
Than that which pours so madly now,
Along my burning veins—that thou should'st be
The favourite of fortune-proud and free
And I should be thy slave—thy vassal!-no! 'T is true, I was thy slave—the power was thine
And thou hadst made me such-through lingering years, One weary task of ceaseless toil was mine, Of servitude and tears But didst thou think no kindly glow,
Could warm my heart to joy or woe? Mistaken fool! I heard thee name a name,
That rush'd like fire along my burning breast,
And from that instant there awoke a flame,
That ne'er has been, and ne'er shall be suppressid
I heard the glorious name of liberty !
And from that hour I panted to be free!
I had breathed on—not lived-in recklessness,
And idle dull submission to my fate;
But then the very sunbeams seem'd to press
Upon my senses, with a bitter weight-
As though they spake upbraidingly,
around me should be free,
And I should be so vile—that I should bow,
And tremble at the gathering of thy brow !
I once had loved the gushing mirth
Of the young spring—when bee, flower, bird,
And every thing upon the earth,
Seem'd fraught with joy—but now, one word,
One only word, came o'er my brain,
Again, again, again,
As if 't were scorch'd in characters of flame
And that one word was Freedom ! all things seem'd
To shape their voices only to that name-
The wild bird's joyous song—the fish that gleam'd Through the bright flood—the murmur of the waveNay, even the breath of heaven-methought seem'd whispering,
I fled, and ere another set of sun,
My galling chains were broken-I was free! A new, a bright existence was begun
And my soul knew and felt its potency.
The voice of eve seem'd sweeter to my ears,
And all things brighter to my eye-till tears
From my full heart gush'd up tumultuously-
Wife, children, friends, were all forgotten--all-
I only felt that I was free from thrall.
'Tis over now and I once more am thine
But thinkest thou that, having known the bliss
That though one moment only has been mine,
I will live on in servitude like this,
And wear the chains of bondage ? tyrant, no!
My blood be on thy head! woe rest upon thee, woe !
Art thou my master! then come ask the wave,
To give thee back thy slave!
THE hostile armies still were hush'd in sleep,
And ove Gilead's plain hung silence deep ;
The fading watch-fires dimly gleam'd from far,
Like the faint radiance of some sinking star,
And rising high in heaven, the moon's pale beam,
Its trembling lustre cast o'er bank and stream:
The men of Israel slept—but in his tent,
Their chief in prayer the lingering moments spent.
He felt how less than vain was human power,
To lend him succour in the coming hour,
And kneeling, threw aside his helm and sword,
And pour'd his soul in suppliance to the Lord.
“Oh thou! who ridest on the whirlwind's wings,
Jehovah ! Judge of earth, and King of kings !
Be pleased from thine abiding place on high,
To cast on Israel's low estate thine eye;
Behold, oh Lord! how fallen is the pride
Of her who once the nations round defied,
When thy bright pillar was her shield and guide.
Lord ! she hath sinn'd-forgetful of thy name,
Hath raised to other gods the altar's flame;
Unmindful of thy mercies she has knelt,
And join'd in prayer with those that round her dwelt ;
But God, forgive her for she bends the knee,
And turns in tearful penitence to thee ;
Her cherish'd idols from their shrines she spurns,
And once again thy holy altar burns.
Forgive her, Lord! again thy grace restore,
And in her wounds thy healing balsam pour !
How long, oh Lord ! shall Israel bow the head,
And mourn her power estranged, her glory fled ?
How long shall Zion's daughters weep in vain,
The best, the noblest, of thy servants slain ?
Behold'st thou not, from thine abode of day,
How hath the spoiler mark'd her for a prey ?
Arise, arise ! in thy returning wrath,
And sweep proud Ammon from her guilty path!
Arise, arise! thy lamp of light restore,
And on thy foes thy cup of vengeance pour !
If thou who hear'st from heaven thy servant's prayer,
Against thy foes thy vengeful arm wilt bare,
If thou wilt nerve my arm, and edge my sword,
That death and slaughter through their ranks be pour'd,
When homeward with exulting shouts I turn,
Unnumber'd fires shall on thine altars burn;
And what of all my household first shall be,
To greet thy servant, shall be slain for thee !"
Thus Jephthah pray'd—Jehovah heard his prayer,
And gave his arm to triumph in the war ;
The power of Ammon was subdued and slain,
And Israel rescued from her captive chain.
The chieftain turn’d him home in conquering pride,
His helpless captives trembling by his side,
His car triumphal with proud laurels hung,
And songs of victory around him sung.
Yet though his bosom swell’d with conscious pride,
His sinking heart in secret sadness died;
The flush of triumph faded from his brow,
With memory of his unaccomplish'd vow;
Nor were his bodings falseas near he drew,
To where his native city met his view,
A band of maidens gaily deck'd with flowers,
The brightest blooming in their roseate bowers,
With timbrel, dance, and song, to meet him came,
In numbers wild, proclaiming Jephthah's fame :
And while his bold achievements still they sung,
Their brightest roses in his path they flung.
The leader of that band of joyous girls
Was fairest of the group—her clustering curls
With roses wreath'd—the cheek of blush and snow,
The ruby lip, the eye's expressive glow,
All met in her—and beam'd more brightly fair,
For the proud feeling that had call's her there.
She forward sprung, to meet the chief's advance,
And first on her was pour'd his anxious glance.
That martial cavalcade, that pompous show,
What were they to his anxious spirit now?
E'en 'midst the loud acclaims that rent the air,
He tore the wreath of laurel from his hair,
And, dashing from his side his conquering blade,
He sprang to earth, to meet and clasp the maid.
“My child, my daughter !” wild exclaim'd the chief,
“ How hast thou changed my triumph into grief !
How hast thou now become as one of those,
Who are my worst tormentors and my foes !
For I have vow'd, in prayer unto the Lord,
If he would nerve my arm and edge my sword,
That of my household, what first met my eyes,
Should be to him a holy sacrifice.”
The maiden heard, and one convulsive start
Drove back the gushing life-blood from her heart,
While with blanch'd cheek and vacant eyes she stood,
As though the hand of death had chill'd her blood;
'T was but a moment—then her changing eye,
With deep fire glowing, spoke her purpose high.
“Since thou hast vow'd, my father, to the Lord,
Do thou with me according to thy word ;
I cannot murmur that my life should be
An offering, thus, for Israel and for thee !"