The subjoined stanzas are the production of a lady of the West lately
deceased, and were furnished for the Occident by a relative of the
writer. We believe they are the first of her writings that have even
been published, though we are assured that she has left behind many
poetical effusions; and if they are all of equal merit with the Rainbow,
it is much to be regretted that her modesty made her shrink from the
public view. This piece appears to have been written on a visit to the
seashore, which she made a year or two previous to her death, when her
health had become greatly enfeebled.
I sometimes have thought in my loneliest hours,
That lie on my heart like dew on the flowers,
Of a ramble I took one bright afternoon,
When my heart was as light as a blossom in June.
The green earth was moist from the late fallen
The breeze fluttered down and blew open the flowers,
While a single white bird to its haven of rest,
On the white wings of peace, floated off to the west.
I threw back my tresses to catch the soft breeze,
That scattered the rain-drops and dimpled the seas;
Far up the blue sky a fair rainbow unrolled
Its soft tined pinions of purple and gold.
It was born in a moment, yet quick as its birth,
It had stretched to the uttermost parts of the earth,
And fair as an angel it floated all free,
With a wing on the earth and a wing on the sea.
How calm was the ocean, how gentle its swell,
Like woman's soft bosom it rose and it fell,
While its bright sparkling waves stealing laughingly o'er,
When they saw the fair rainbow, broke soft on the shore.
No sweet hymn ascended, no murmur of prayer,
Yet I felt that the spirit of worship was there;
And low bent my head in devotion and love,
'Neath the form of the angel that floated above.
How wide was the sweep of its beautiful wings,
How boundless its circle, how radiant its rings;
If I looked on the sky, 'twas suspended in air,
If I looked on the ocean, the rainbow was there,--
Thus forming a girdle as brilliant and whole
As the thought of the rainbow that circled my soul--
Like the wings of a seraph 'twas calmly unfurled,
It bent from the cloud, and encircled the world.
There are moments, I think, when the spirit receives
Whole columns of thoughts on its unwritten leaves,
When the folds of the heart in a moment unclose,
Like the innermost leaves from the heart of a rose.
And thus when the rainbow had passed from the sky,
The thoughts that it woke were too deep to pass by,
It left my full soul like the wings of a dove,
All fluttering with pleasure, all fluttering with love.
I know that each moment of rapture--of pain,
But shortens the links in life's mystical chain;
I know that my form, like the bow from the wave,
Must pass from the earth and lie cold in the grave.
But oh! when death's shadows my bosom encloud,
When I shrink from the thought of the coffin and shroud,
May Hope like the rainbow my spirit enfold,
In her beautiful pinions of purple and gold.