My home is now a thousand miles away;
Yet in my thoughts its ever)- image fair
Rises as keen, as I still linger'd there,
And, turning me, could all I loved survey.
And so, upon Death's unaverted day,
As I speed upwards, I shall on me bear,
And in no breathless whirl, the things that
And duties given, and ends I did obey.
And, when at length I reach the Throne of
Ah! still unscared, I shall in fulness see
The vision of my past innumerous deeds,
My deep heart-courses and their motive seeds,
So to gaze on till the red dooming hour.
Lord, in that strait, the Judge ! remember me!
Off Cape Trafalgar. December 15, 1832.
Whence is this awe, by stillness spread
O'er the world-fretted soul?
Wave reared on wave its godless head,
While my keen bark, by breezes sped,
Dash'd fiercely through the ocean bed,
And chafed toward its goal.
But now there reigns so deep a rest,
That I could almost weep.
Sinner ! thou hast in this rare guest
Of Adam's peace a figure blest;
'Tis Eden seen, though not possess'd,
Which cherub-flames still keep.
Gibraltar. December 16, 1832.
A WORD IN SEASON.
0 Lord ! when sin's close-marshall'd line
Assails Thy witness on his way,
How should he raise Thy glorious sign,
And how Thy will display?
Thy holy Paul, with soul of flame,
Rose on Mars' hill, a soldier lone;
Shall I thus speak th' Atoning Name,
Though with a heart of stone?
"Not so," He said : "hush thee, and seek, With thoughts in prayer and watchful eyes,
My seasons sent for thee to speak,
And use them as they rise.''
Gibraltar. December if, 1832.
Thy words are good, and freely given,
As though thou felt them true;
Friend, think thee well, to hell or heaven
A serious heart is due.
It pains thee sore, man's will should swerve
In his true path divine;
And yet thou ventur'st nought to serve
Thy neighbor's weal nor thine.
Beware ! such words may once be said,
Where shame and fear unite;
But, spoken twice, they mark instead
A sin against the light.
Gibraltar. December 17, 1832
Moses, the patriot fierce, became
The meekest man on earth,
To show us how love's quickening flame
Can give our souls new birth.
Moses, the man of meekest heart,
Lost Canaan by self-will,
To show, where Grace has done its part,
How sin defiles us still.
Thou, who hast taught me in Thy fear,
Yet seest me frail at best,
O grant me loss with Moses here,
To gain his future rest!
At Sfa. December ig, 1832. THE PATIENT CHURCH.
Bide them thy time! Watch with meek eyes the race of pride and
crime, Sit in the gate, and be the heathen's jest,
Smiling and self-possest O thou to whom is pledged a victor's sway,
Bide thou the victor's day!
Think on the sin'
That reap'd the unripe seed, and toil'd to win Foul history-marks at Bethel and at Dan,
No blessing, but a ban; Whilst the wise Shepherd • hid his heaventold fate,
Nor reck'd a tyrant's hate.
Such loss is gain;
Wait the bright Advent that shall loose Thy chain!
1 Jeroboam. 2 David.
E'en now the shadows break, and gleams divine
Edge the dim distant line. When thrones are trembling, and earth's fat ones quail,
True Seed ! thou shalt prevail!
Off Algiers. December 20, 1832.
"O that I had in the wilderness a lodging-place of wayfaring men ; that I might leave my people, and go from them!"
"Woe's me !" the peaceful prophet cried,
"Spare me this troubled life; To stem man's wrath, to school his pride,
To head the sacred strife!
'' O place me in some silent vale, Where groves and flowers abound \
Nor eyes that grudge, nor tongues that rail. Vex the truth-haunted ground!"
If his meek spirit err'd, opprest
That God denied repose,
What sin is ours, to whom Heaven's rest
Is pledged, to heal earth's woes?
Off Galita. December 22,
Mortal ! if e'er thy spirits faint,
By grief or pain opprest,
Seek not vain hope, or sour complaint,
To cheer or ease thy breast:
But view thy bitterest pangs as sent
A shadow of that doom,
Which is the soul's just punishment
In its own guilt's true home.
Be thine own judge; hate thy proud heart;
And while the sad drops flow.
E'en let thy will attend the smart,
And sanctify thy woe.
Off Pantellaria. December 23, 1832. THE COURSE OF TRUTH.
"Him God raised up the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God."
When royal Truth, released from mortal
throes, Burst His brief slumber, and triumphant rose, 1ll had the Holiest sued A patron multitude, Or courted Tetrarch's eye, or claimed to rule By the world's winning grace, or proofs from learned school.
But, robing Him in viewless air, He told
His secret to a few of meanest mould;
They in their turn imparted
The gift of men pure-hearted,
While the brute many heard His mysteries
high, As some strange fearful tongue, and crouch'd, they knew not why.
Still is the might of Truth, as it has been;
Lodged in the few, obey'd, and yet unseen.
Rear'd on lone heights, and rare,
His saints their watch-flame bear,
And the mad world sees the wide-circling
Vain searching whence it streams, and how to quench its rays.
Malta. December 24, 1832.
CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CHRIST.
How can I keep my Christmas feast
In its due festive show,
Reft of the sight of the High Priest
From whom its glories flow?
I hear the tuneful bells around,
The blessed towers I see;
A stranger on a foreign ground,
They peal a fast for me.
O Britons ! now so brave and high,
How will ye weep the day
When Christ in judgment passes by,
And calls the Bride away!
Your Christmas then will lose its mirth,
Your Easter lose its bloom; Abroad, a scene of strife and dearth;
Within, a cheerless home!
Malta. December 25, 1832.
Unwearied God, before whose face
The night is clear as day,
Whilst we, poor worms, o'er life's scant race
Now creep, and now delay,
We with death's foretaste alternate
Our labor's dint and sorrow's weight,
Save in that fever-troubled state
When pain or care has sway.
Dread Lord! Thy glory, watchfulness,
Is but disease in man;
We to our cost our bounds transgress
In Thy eternal plan:
Pride grasps the powers by Thee display'd,
Yet ne'er the rebel effort made
But fell beneath the sudden shade
Of nature's withering ban.
Malta. December 26, 1832.
The better portion didst thou choose, Great
Heart, Thy God's first choice, and pledge of Gentile
Faith's truest type, he with unruffled face Bore the world's smile, and bade her slaves
Whether, a trader, with no trader's art,
He buys in Canaan his last resting-place,—
Or freely yields rich Siddim's ample space,—
Or braves the rescue, and the battle's smart,
Yet scorns the heathen gifts of those he saved.
O happy is their soul's high solitude,
Who commune thus with God, and not with
Amid the scoffings of the wealth-enslaved,
A ready prey, as though in absent mood
They calmly move, nor reck the unmanner'd
At Sea. December 27, 1832.
THE GREEK FATHERS.
Let heathen sing thy heathen praise,
Fall'n Greece ! the thought of holier days
In my sad heart abides;
For sons of thine in Truth's first hour
Were tongues and weapons of H is power,
Born of the Spirit's fiery shower,
Our fathers and our guides.
All thine is Clement's varied page;
And Dionysius, ruler sage,
In days of doubt and pain; And Origen with eagle eye; And saintly Basil's purpose high To smite imperial heresy,
And cleanse the Altar's stain.
From thee the glorious preacher came,
With soul of zeal and and lips of flame,
A court's stern martyr-guest;
And thine, O inexhaustive race!
Was Nazianzen's heaven-taught grace;
And royal-hearted Athanase,
With Paul's own mantle blest.
Of Zante. December 28, 1832.
How shall a child of God fulfil
His vow to cleanse his soul from ill,
And raise on high his baptism-light,
Like Aaron's seed in vestment white
And holy-hearted Nazarite?
First, let him shun the haunts of vice,
Sin-feast, or heathen sacrifice;
Fearing the board of wealthy pride,
Or heretic, self-trusting guide,
Or where the adulterer's smiles preside.
Next, as he threads the maze of men,
Aye must he lift his witness, when
A sin is spoke in Heaven's dread face,
And none at hand of higher grace
The Cross to carry in his place.
But if he hears and sits him still,
First, he will lose his hate of ill;
Next, fear of sinning; after, hate;
Small sins his heart then desecrate;
And last, despair persuades to great.
Off Ithaca. December 30, 1832. THE DEATH OF MOSES.
My Father's hope ! my childhood's dream '.
The promise from on high! Long waited for I its glories beam
Now when my death is nigh.
My death is come, but not decay;
Nor eye nor mind is dim;
The keenness of youth's vigorous day
Thrills in each nerve and limb.
Blest scene I thrice welcome after toil—
If no deceit I view;
O might my lips but press the soil,
And prove the vision true!
Its glorious heights, its wealthy plains.
Its many-tinted groves,
They call ! but He my steps restrains
Who chastens whom He loves.
Ah ! now they melt. . . they are but shades...
I die !—yet is no rest,
O Lord ! in store, since Canaan fades
But seen, and not possest?
Off Ithaca. December 30, 1832.
"Without father, without mother, without descent ; having neither beginning of days, nor end of life."
Thrice bless'd are they, who feel their loneliness;
To whom nor voice of friends nor pleasant scene
Brings aught on which the sadden'd heart can lean;
Yea, the rich earth, garb'd in her daintiest dress
Of light and joy, doth but the more oppress,
Claiming responsive smiles and rapture high;
Till, sick at heart, beyond the veil they fly,
Seeking His Presence, who alone can bless.
Such, in strange days, the weapons of Heaven's
grace; When, passing o'er the high-born Hebrew
He moulds the vessel of His vast design; Fatherless, homeless, reft of age and place, Sever'd from earth, and careless of its wreck, Born through long woe His rare Melchizedek.
Corfu January /, 1833.
"They glorified God m me."
I Saw thee once and nought discem'd
For stranger to admire;
A serious aspect, but it burn'd
With no unearthly fire.
Again I saw, and I confess'd
Thy speech was rare and high;
And yet it vex'd my burden'd breast,
And scared, I knew not why.
I saw once more, and awe-struck gazed
On face, and form, and air; God's living glory round thee blazed—
A Saint—a Saint was there!
Of Zante. January 8, 1833.
BEHIND THE VEIL.
Banish'd the House of sacred rest,
Amid a thoughtless throng,
At length I heard its creed confess'd,
And knelt the saints among.
Artless his strain and unadorn'd,
Who spoke Christ's message there;
But what at home I might have scorn'd,
Now charm'd my famish'd ear.
Lord, grant me this abiding grace,
Thy Word and sons to know; To pierce the veil on Moses' face,
Although his speech be slow,
At Sea. January y, 1833, JUDGMENT.
If e'er I fell beneath Th yrod,
As through life's snares I go,
Save me from David's lot, O God!
And choose Thyself the woe.
How should I face Thy plagues ? which scare,
And haunt, and stun, until
The heart or sinks in mute despair,
Or names a random ill.
If else . . . then guide in David's path,
Who chose the holier pain;
Satan and man are tools of wrath,
An Angel's scourge is gain.
Off Malta, January 10,
Time was, I shrank from what was right
From fear of what was wrong;
I would not brave the sacred fight,
Because the foe was strong.
But now I cast that finer sense
And sorer shrine aside;
Such dread of sin was indolence,
Such aim at Heaven was pride.
So, when my Saviour calls, I rise,
And calmly do my best; Leaving to Him, with silent eyes
Of hope and fear, the rest .
I step, I mount where He has led ;—
Men count my haltings o'er ;—
I know them ; yet, though self I dread,
I love His precept more.
Lazaret, Malta. January 15, 1833.
DAVID AND JONATHAN.
"Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."
O Heart of fire ! misjudged by wilful man,
Thou flower of Jesse's race! What woe was thine, when thou and Jonathan
Last greeted face to face!
He doom'd to die, thou on us to impress
The portent of a blood-stained holiness.
Yet it was well :—for so, 'mid cares of rule
And crime's encircling tide,
A spell was o'er thee, zealous one, to cool
Earth-joy and kingly pride;
With battle-scene and pageant, prompt to
blend The pale calm spectre of a blameless friend. Ah ! had he lived, before thy throne to stand,
Thy spirit keen and high Sure it had snapp'd in twain love's slender
So dear in memory;
Paul, of his comrade reft, the warning gives,— He lives to us who dies, he is but lost who lives.
Lazaret, Malta. January ib,
I Have been honor'd and obey'd,
I have met scorn and slight;
And my heart loves earth's sober shade,
More than her laughing light.
For what is rule but a sad weight
Of duty and a snare?
What meanness, but with happier fate
The Saviour's Cross to share?
This my hid choice, if not from heaven,
Moves on the heavenward line;
Cleanse it, good Lord, from earthly leaven,
And make it simply Thine.
Lazaret, Malta. January 16,
THE CALL OF DAVID.
"And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him, for this is he."
Latest born of Jesse's race,
Wonder lights thy bashful face,
While the Prophet's gifted oil
Seals thee for a path of toil.
We, thy Angels, circling round thee,
Ne'er shall find thee as we found thee,
When thy faith first brought us near
In thy lion-fight severe.
Go! and mid thy flocks awhile
At thy doom of greatness smile;
Bold to bear God's heaviest load,
Dimly guessing of the road,—
Rocky road, and scarce ascended,
Though thy foot be angel-tended.
Twofold praise thou shalt attain,
In royal court and battle plain;
Then comes heart-ache, care, distress,
Blighted hope, and loneliness;
Wounds from friend and gifts from foe,
Dizzied faith, and guilt, and woe •
Loftiest aims by earth denied,
Gleams of wisdom, sin-beguiled,
Sated power's tyrannic mood,
Counsels shared with men of blood,
Sad success, parental tears,
And a dreary gift of years.
Strange, that guileless face and form
To lavish on the scarring storm!
Yet we take thee in thy blindness,
And we buffet thee in kindness;
Little chary of thy fame,—
Dust unborn may bless or blame,—
But we mould thee for the root
Of man's promised healing Fruit,
And we mould thee hence to rise,
As our brother, to the skies.
Lazaret, Malta. January i8, 1833.
What time my heart unfolded its fresh leaves In springtime gay, and scatter'd flowers
A whisper warn'd of earth's unhealthy ground, And all that there love's light and pureness
Sun's ray and canker-worm, And sudden-whelming storm ;— But, ah! my self-will smiled, nor reck'd the
So now defilement dims life's memory-spring;
I cannot hear an early-cherish'd strain,
But first a joy, and then it brings a pain—
Fear, and self-hate, and vain remorseful stings:
Tears lull my grief to rest,
Not without hope, this breast
May one day lose its load, and youth yet
Lazaret, Malta. January 19,
O Purest Symbol of the Eternal Son!
Who dwelt in thee as in some sacred shrine,
To draw hearts after thee, and make them
Not parent only by that light was won,
And brethren crouch'd who had in wrath be-
But heathen pomp abased her at the sign
And the hid Presence of a guest divine,
Till a king heard, and all thou bads't was
Then was fulfill'd Nature's dim augury,
That "Wisdom, clad in visible form, would
So fair, that all must love and bow the knee ;" Lest it might seem, what time the Substance
Truth lack'd a sceptre, when It but laid by Its beaming front, and bore a willing shame.
Lazaret, Malta. January 20,
O Lord and Christ, Thy children of the South
So shudder, when they see The two-edged sword sharp-issuing from Thy
As to fall back from Thee, And cling to charms of man, or heathen rite To aid them against Thee, Thou Fount of
love and light!
But I before Thine awful eyes will go
And firmly fix me there, In my full shame; not bent my doom to know,
Not fainting with despair; Not fearing less than they, but deeming sure, If e'en Thy Name shall fail, nought my base heart can cure.
Lazaret, Malta. January 21, 1833.
Many the guileless years the Patriarch spent, Bless'd in the wife a father's foresight chose; Many the prayers and gracious deeds, which
rose Daily thank-offerings from his pilgrim tent. Yet these, though written in the heavens, are
rent From out truth's lower roll, which sternly
shows But one sad trespass at his history's close, Father's, son's, mother's, and its punishment. Not in their brightness, but their earthly stains Are the true seed vouchsafed to earthly eyes. Sin can read sin, but dimly scans high grace, So we move heavenward with averted face, Scared into faith by warning of sin's pains; And Saints are lower'd, that the world may rise.
Valletta. January 23, 1833.
When mirth is full and free,
Some sudden gloom shall be;
When haughty power mounts high,
The Watcher's axe is nigh.
All growth has bound ; when greatest found,
It hastes to die.
When the rich town, that long
Has lain its huts among,
Uprears its pageants vast,
And vaunts—it shall not last!
Bright tints that shine, are but a sign
Of summer past .
And when thine eye surveys,
With fond adoring gaze,
And yearning heart, thy friend:—
Love to its grave doth tend.
All gifts below, save Truth, but grow
Towards an end.
January 30, 1833. HOPE.
We are not children of a guilty sire,
Since Noe stepp'd from out his wave-tossed
home, And a stern baptism flush'd earth's faded
bloom. Not that the heavens then clear'd, or cherub's
From Eden's portal did at once retire;
But thoughts were stirr'd of Him who wns to
come, Whose rainbow hues so streak'd the o'ershad
That faith could e'en that desolate scene admire. The Lord has come and gone; and now we
wait The second substance of the deluge type,
When our slight ark shall cross a molten
surge; So, while the gross earth melts, for judgment
Ne'er with its haughty turrets to emerge,
We shall mount up to Eden's long-lost gate.
Valletta. February 3, 1833.