[From Mona's Isle, 1844]



THE Sun below the western tide
Sinks slowly in refulgent blaze,
While each fair cloud that round doth glide
Blushes beneath his parting gaze,—

What earthly artist’s mimic quill
Could trace the hand of Nature there?
For Science fails with all her skill
In picturing a scene so fair.

Here let me view them as they fade,
While mingling with the evening grey,
As die their brilliant crimson-shade
In the faint violet away.

As gently steals the soft twilight
Along old Ocean’s tranquil breast,
Closely behind comes sable Night
To lull the world below to rest.
As on he sweeps with rapid strides,
Spreading his mantle o’er the main,
The new-horn’d Moon her aspect hides,
And glimmer forth the starry train.

On mental wings my soul would fly,
If free from earthly ties below,
To trace the hand of Deity,
His hidden mysteries to know,

Where those bright orbs of light doth shine From native lustre in their spheres,
Proclaiming forth the hand divine That makes them stand the flux of years:

But ah ! my panting soul must wait,
As all that’s mortal must be seal’d
Ere it can enter on that state
Of immortality reveal’d.

Man’s mortal body is confined
To limits not beyond this globe,
Yet, far above extends the mind,
Leaving behind its earthly robe;

From world to world it glides along,— Surveying nature’s mighty field— Viewing the planetary throng
As round their annual course they’re wheel’d.
Up nature’s concave vault it soars,
And roves the deep immensity
Of mighty space—whose boundless shores Are lost in dread eternity.!

Below, is nature’s fertile womb,
So vastly fraught with vital seed;
Above,—worlds countless have their room,
And end, by God’s great will decreed!

To limit the Almighty hand,
How vain, how futile, and how weak! His mysteries to understand,
E’en man, and angels, vainly seek!

To paint a place where God is not Imagination strives in vain,
Above, below, there’s not a spot But owns his presence and his reign!

He fills the vast obscure expanse,
And awful nature’s utmost bounds
Are mark’d by Him—and to enhance
His pow’r, he the whole surrounds!

God did exist ere Time began
To feast upon his daily prey,
And strike to earth poor feeble man
Who falls beneath his powerful sway!

Great Author of the universe!
I bow before thine awful throne—
My humble lay cannot rehearse
Thy mighty deeds—in words alone:

In silence, then, let me adore,
And contemplate thy godlike fame,—
Thy greatness and thy love are more
Than any thought or speech can name !


Back index next

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2000