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Morven, The Departed Spirit.


One day, as on the beach reclined,
With visions floating through my mind,
Methought I saw a radiant ship
Into the calm, blue ocean dip.
The ship did seem too slight and thin
For human form to sit therein;
So frail, and yet so bright it shone,
I held my breath as it glided on.
At length methought I could discern
A maiden sitting at the stern,
And as she partly lay reclined,
Her dark hair waving with the wind,
Her eyes looked mournfully around,
Then rested—not on earthly ground.
The ship was built by a fairy sprite,
Of golden clouds and silvery light;
And the maid was not of mortal mould,
But a calm, pure spirit, pale and cold.
And I thought, Is it thus? does a bark like this
Convey pure souls to the realms of bliss?
And a thrill of joy went through my fame,
For I knew her eye, and I guessed her name.
"Oh, Morven," then at length I said,
"I did not know that thou wert dead!
I did not think that thou wert she,
Sailing in light so tranquilly.
Thy tender heart is now at rest;
I see thy soul in beauty dressed;
And though there still remains a trace
Of sadness o'er thy angel face,
That soon will fade when thou dost meet
Congenial spirits, who will greet
Thy soul with tenderness, and love,
And fond affection; for above,
And there alone, do spirits know
What joy affection can bestow;
The happiness which is combined
In every word, when from the mind
Flows the exalted sentiment
From the pure fount of wisdom sent;
When thought meets thought in converse free,
Weaving the hours harmoniously."
A soft, sweet smile began to play
Around her mouth; when, like a ray
Of moonlight, for transparency,
One finger to her lip she pressed,
Which seemed to say, "I'm crow at rest."
The ship, which, until then, did glide
In silent calmness down the tide,
Suddenly ceased its tranquil motion,
And left no track on the waveless ocean,
Which seemed unconscious that it bore
A spirit to her native shore.
It did not heave beneath the weight,
Though laden with immortal freight;
Not every a breath of wind seemed stirred,
Nor human voice could there be heard.
But through the air there came a sound
As of many wings. I looked around,
But nought could I see but the spirit-maid
In her ship of clouds; and that did fade
Slowly, slowly from any sight,
And then, oh! then, the vision bright
Which met any gaze! A winged boat,
Down through ethereal space did float;
Six young seraphs, with wings outspread,
Closing, beneath like a downy bed,
Their heads up either side reclined,
To form a boat, all soul, all mind,
That so this pure, departed spirit,
Might, without fear, repose within it.
I grazed in rapt astonishment;
I knew for whom this boat was sent.
It was a scene too bright to last
One moment more; for Morven passed
Into the realms of dazzling light,
Borne upon wings so swift, so bright,
That ere I could withdraw my eyes,
Her spirit mingled with the skies.

R. E. S.