The north! the north! from out the north
What founts of light are breaking forth,
And streaming up these evening skies,
A glorious wonder to our eyes!
It mounts, it spreads, it parts, and plays
In thousand forms, a thousand ways.
The moon, to hide her silver crown,
Behind the hills is sinking down;
The silent stars more fixed appear,
To watch the blazing o'er their sphere.
The north! the north! ah! who can tell
What fires in thy cold bosom dwell,
Or e'er the grand arcana know,
Such scenery o'er the heavens to throw?
It fades! it shifts! and now appears
An army, bright with shields and spears,
That, winding on in proud array,
Up the blue heights pursue their way.
With waving plumes and banners, where
No eagle's wing e'er cleaved the air,
In serried ranks they're seen awhile;
Then, twining off, in thin defile.
Battalioned, now again they march
Beneath the high triumphal arch.
And while the vast pavilion spreads,
Gold-fringed and tasselled, o'er their heads,
A zenith-loop superbly holds
Its emerald, rose, and purple folds.
'Tis changed! a city looms to sight,
With towers and temples shining white!
Behind it snowy mountains rise;
Before, a foaming ocean lies.
And eager throngs impetuous sweep
Fast downward to that yawning deep;
Then, pressing on the crumbling shore,
Drop off, and all are seen no more!
Their mansions melt in waning fire,
While fast the mount and sea retire.
The north, O, who can view aright,
But He who said "Let there be light,"--
Himself a glorious mystery,
Throned in his calm eternity?