Within the bosom of an amber cloud
by Josias Homely
Which check'd the sunbeam's flight with filmy wreaths
Of varigated vapour, forming domes
Resting on snowy columns edg'd with gold.
O'er halls aerial, hung with rainbow hues,
Floor'd by soft azure, canopied with white.
Through which a trembling zephyr's fitful breath
Pass'd like a sigh, yet seem'd afraid to break
The holy rest—tranquil the spirit lay,
And cast on earth a pensive farewell glance.
The stranger now had flown in eager flight
Form pole to pole, and round the rolling globe;
Through teeming city and o'er silent waste ;
Mountain and billow ; cultivated field ;
O'er unknown prairies by man iinclaim'd ;
Through crowded marts of artificial wealth ;
The embryo cities of the wilderness
Arising in the solitude, had mark'd ;
Drawing forth millions to the desert wilds
From the vast multitudes of ancient lands.
He'd found the ruins of those cities old,
'Whose names had awed the world. A polish'd shaft,
A fretted capital, in floating sands
Embeded, told their history—their fame—
Their greatness and their fall. He also found
Those mighty mounds—gigantic monuments,
Which speak of teeming millions swept away
From wastes which men think undiscovered lands ;
Tho' each green blade which springs on those vast fields
Is nurtur'd by the blood and dust of man.
Imperfect records these, which dimly mark
A lagging progress, slow from stage to stage,
Yet prove progression even in decay.
Of all that conquers man, and all he rules,
He form'd just estimate, and in the past
Kead of futurity—the yet unknown.
'Roll on fair orb—in joy roll on—roll on,
For thou art wheeling to more perfect good,
An erring race' at length the spirit said.
'They have internal energies of soul,
And native tendencies, (though hidden long
Like trembling lightnings in the thunder-cloud)
Whicli shall spring up and gain ascendency
l^riumphantly at last, and all be light
Where darkness and remorse have rested long.'
'A lost abortion of the parent mind
Flung from the hand which fashion'd him, away
Disdainfully, to wander in the dark
Man now appears, spoil'd, useless, and cast off—
Its very imperfections show the work
Unfinished, or its Maker also weak !
But who can doubt Him, Powerful and Good !
Wise to design, and mighty to complete ?'
'He dwelt among the darkness, ere a sun
Look'd fondly round upon its rolling train.
And thought Thought into being ! Needing nought,
To perfect his own perfect happiness,
He will'd a universe of circling spheres.
Awoke the drowsy dust to sense and life.
That with young thought, his favourite progeny,
He might communicate, unseen, unknown.
But whence come pain and sorrow, if the Power
Who call'd on nothing and it thought—wills nought
But to communicale felicity?'
'Whence come those essences who dwell in dust?
Did stern compulsion link them to the flesh
And soil what perfect sprung from the First Mind ?
Suspicion hovers o'er the darken'd soul
But dares not light its trembling foot on him.
It may not be—but immaterial minds,
Free souls—the noblest, purest essences,
Spirits, who were archangels, might have rush'd
To earth, and link'd themselves to suffering worms,
Gladly enduring all their earth-born pains.
That they might learn the wonders of his hand
Working with matter—of Creating thought
The second child. Inhabiting the dust.
There for a time they darkly, sadly roam.
Lost is their consciousness of higher state—
Or their brief trial itself were worse than lost.
A deadly rest falls on th'immortal T/toufjht—
He slowly wakes surrounded by the sense.
Blinded, his sole ideas come from it.
A youth of animal delights, manhood
Of gloomy cares, old age of pains succeed,
The quivering nerve, and animated brain.
And all deceptive senses, rule their guest,
Archangel though he be. In troubled dreams
He wanders doubtingly, and even dreads
A deadlier death than that the flesh can know.
Death—the companion of his life, his bane,
Heard in the flutter of an insect's wing ;
Seen in the thorn embosom'd in the rose,
Felt in the breeze that fans his aching brow—
Dreadful commander of the angry sea ;
Awful controuler of the earthquake's burst ;
Lord of the tempest—Emperor of Earth,
Is but the messenger that calls him back;
He soars again to his first seat of blis.-,
Furnish' d with reflections (knowing fain
And earthly joy, by dwelling in the clay)
To occupy a Avhole Eternity !
'The mighty secret's told. It was decreed
Ten thousand thousand years should pass o'er earth
Ere human mind should know that lofty truth,
And then besfin the new, the second state.
Those who have suffer'd and have pass'd away,
Complain not of the destiny they chose,
But dwell among their glories, watching earth
With an intensity of love and mingled hope—
They'are around me, brothers Hail all Hail !'
The vapoury chambers of the amber cloud
Shook with the friendly greetings of the blest.
Then melted into thousands of bright drops
Of silvery rain. The heaven was one pure blue,
Save that an arch of soft and snowy light
Shot through the zenith, circling o'er the world.
Millions of spirits who had dwelt on earth
Form'd this bright band around the stranger guest,
For it had been foretold that one should come
Among them from some distant orb, and tell,
With thought intuitive, what man shall be.
The mariner upon the sea observed
One fair, faint light, filling the concave heaven ;
Then saw it rise, until it seem'd a star
Surrounded by its halo ; bright it shone—
That brightness was the spirit traveller—
The radiance, millions waiting to receive
His thoughts benevolent ; and thus they flowed.
'Spirits—kindred to God and man, all hail!
Ye who have dwelt in dust, and sympathise
Still with the seeming erring race beneath!
It was decreed that none of you should solve
Its final destiny. I felt desire.
The cause of which I -knew not, thitherward
To wing my flight adventurous, and found,
Suffering and joy, and good with evil mix'd
In earthly natures, chiefly so in man.
There dwells unfathomable mystery
In every form of life which breathes in dust ;
A seeming stern, but kind necessity,
For those who roam the earth unknowing death
Provides. They wake—they live—they fall asleep
Unknowing hope, and fearing nought but pain
They gain maturity, their perfect state.
Without anxiety or care ; the past
To them is lost ; the present is their all ;
The future is unclaim'd and undesired ;
They make no progress on from age to age.
And what relation to eternity
Aught dwelling in their organism bears,
Must be untold—Their earthly fate is known,
Their future is a copy of the past
From race to race, till time shall be no more'
'Man, the most helpless, seemingly unfit
To struggle with his hard necessities.
Becomes e'en by the pressure of his wants
The conqueror of all, and rules the globe.
Long has he wander'd in the dark
Misguided and bewilder'd, yet has learnt
To vanquish nature, e'en by nature's laws—
By application of a stronger powei'.
Will he not jierfect what imperfect trial
Has shown to be his highest, noblest gift?
That all subduing reason, which will guide
Him to his greatest happiness, and marks
Perfect obedience for complete command ?
He will ; and knowing nature learn to know
Himself. A perfect organism springs
From culture not from accident ; disease
Exists, only to guide him into health ;
And punishment, arm'd with her scorpion stings
To lash him to felicity. The past
A record of confusion, uniform
In one great truth alone, completely proves
That happiness is harmony of thought—
A pleasing consciousness, which dwells
In blended energies, where mental powers
Are each existing in its perfect strength.
Yet each obedient in the blended whole.
The chans:eful circumstances which surround
The storm beat, lielpless wanderer of earth
The weather of his little day—will change :
His strengthen'd hand will fix the shifting winds,
And all be harmony with his pure wish.'
'The complicated, seeming erring brain,
Shall work in harmony ; the fleshly wish
Shall to the nobler intellect succumb.
And moral truth from contradiction rise
As springs the fairest flow'r from mould'ring dust.
The waited for, the sabbath, and the change
Shall then descend upon the happy earth.
And all impressions from without shall blend
Into one focus of felicity ;
And man shall walk with God and God with man !
The pestilence, the famine, and the sword ;
The torture, and the martyr's fiery bed ;
The wants of poverty ; the wants of pride ;
The seeming nothingness of earthly good;
The dread reality of human ill,
Shall all prove instruments to raise the dust
Into communion with ihe Parent Mind !
Matter, and spirit, both created good,
Mingling may disagree, and evil seem
The result of the conflict, but at length,
Link'd in blest union they shall worship God !
And He, their everlasting parent, love
His long divided children with delight;
Concentrating in both—roll on fair earth.
For thou art rolling to more perfect bliss
A long mistaken and an erring race.'
A shout of grand impassion'd melody
'Rose from the disembodied men—all rusli'd
Like one vast stream of lightning on the earth,
And night was for an instant day, and day
Fill'd with a light unknown to day before.
Around the palaces, the cottage homes,
The winds seem'd eloquent with floating words.
As if of fathers blessing virtuous sons.
And oft there came a cadence, sweet but sad.
As if a mother with excess of joy
Wept o'er her own—Mothers of the earth
May roam from world to world in quest of good.
But they are mothers still—
* * * * *
Here the boy
Thought on his mother, and a gush of tears
Finished his foolish fable—She was dead.
And yet he thought some holy yearnings still
Might link her heart to his. He was a child;,
And so I leave him to the kind and good.