John Johns (fl.1828)
Soul of the far but unforgotten past!
Queen of the sword and lady of the lyre!
Spirit of thoughts too high, of deeds too vast,
To fear, like clay, the waste of flood and fire,
Or darkly perish on oblivion's pyre--
Whence, like the birds from Memnon's pile, they spring
Born from the dust, but not with years to tire,
Or furl in death the everlasting wing!
Teach me, Oh! teach me, but for once to fling
My hand thy own triumphal harp along--
To strike one strain whose echoes yet may ring
Above the spot where rests a friend of song!--
Do I but dream the laurel yet may wave
Memorial verdure over its votary's grave?
When to the winds the firm oak's stately form
Sways, while each branch is as an organ-key
Dashed to mad music by the frantic storm,
And swells the full tremendous melody,
I love amid the sounding woods to be
And with a stern and solemn rapture hear
The straining forest's thunder--it is to me
An hour of awful bliss and glorious fear!--
But wilder, stranger still, swells on the ear
That shrill sound heard amid the tempest's pause,
As it were a phantom's whisper, deep yet clear,
While its dread breath anew the spent blast draws.
Sounds not that voice, which makes the listener pale,
Like some lone forest-spirit's desolate wail?