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CHAPTER xxiv.

POETIC TESTIMONY.

“Sounding through the dreamy dimness

Where I faint and weary lay,
Spake a poet : •I will lead thee

To the land of songs to-day.'

Sweet and heavenly sings the Poet Laureate of England:

• How pure at heart and sound in head,

With what divine affections bold

Should be the man whose thought would hold
An hour's communion with the dead.

In vain shalt thou, or any, call

The spirits from their golden day,

Except, like them, thou too canst say
My spirit is at peace with all."

Exalted minds dwell in the element of the spiritual. The spiritual is the real. Poets are the soul's prophets. Unlike metaphysicians, they give us the product of their spiritual life and intuitive insight, and appeal to the consciousness and deep sympathies of humanity for the verification. Poets are divinity-appointed interpreters, employing the shadows of the outer world to reveal the substance of the world within. From the Vedic hymns of the Hindoos their glory gleams all along the pages of thought and culture. Brain, sunned from heaven, pen afire with truth, their lines ever tender, glow with the fadeless radiance of immortal

love. Divest God of the attribute of love-disrobe literature of its ideal-strip poetry of its Spiritualism, and the residuum is shells—nothing but shells. The nature-poet of Galilee, Jesus, walked under Syrian skies a Spiritualist, guarded by a legion of angels.

Want of space warrants but a few quotations from the rich poesy fields of Spiritualism. Grand this apostrophe of Coleridge:

“Contemplant Spirits ! ye that hover o'er
With untried gaze the immeasurable fount
Ebullient with creative Deity!
And ye of plastic power, that interfused
Roll through the grosser and material mass

In organizing surge! Holies of God!”
Longfellow's testimony:

“Some men there are, I have known such, who think
That the two worlds--the seen and the unseen,
The world of matter and the world of spirit-
Are like the hemispheres upon our maps,
And touch each other only at a point.
But these two worlds are not divided thus,
Save for the purpose of common speech.
They form one globe, in which the parted seas
All flow together and are intermingled,
While the great continents remain distinct."

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“A drowsiness is stealing over me

Which is not sleep; for, though I close mine eyes,
I am awake, and in another world.
Dim faces of the dead and of the absent
Come floating up before me."

*

“When the hours of day are numbered,

And the voices of the night

Wake the better soul that slumber'd,

To a holy, calm delight;
Ere the evening lamps are lighted,

And like phantoms grim and tall,
Shadows from the fitful fire-light,

Dance upon the parlor wall

Then the forms of the departed

Enter at the open door ;
The beloved ones, the true hearted,

Come to visit me once more;
And with them the Being Beauteous,

Who unto my youth was given
More than all things else to love me,

And is now a saint in heaven.

With a slow and noiseless footstep

Comes that messenger divine,
Takes the vacant chair beside me,

Lays her gentle hand in mine,
And she sits and gazes at me,

With those deep and tender eyes,
Like the stars, so still and saint-like,
Looking downward from the skies."

* * *
-"As the moon from some dark gate or cloud

Throws o'er the sea a floating bridge of light
Across whose trembling planks our mem'ries crowd

Into the realm of mystery and light

So from the world of spirits there descends

A bridge of light, connecting it with this,
O'er whose unsteady floor, that sways and bende,

Wander our thoughts above the dark abyss."

PHÆBE Cary's testimony:

That influential weekly, the New York Independent, relating the spiritual experiences of Cowper, subjoins some lines from Miss Cary's pen, at once poetic and appropriate :

" The most important events of Cowper's latter years were audibly announced to him before they occurred. We find him writing of Mrs. l'rwin's approaching death,' when her health, although feeble, was not such as to occasion alarm. His lucid intervals, and the return of his disorder, were announced to him in the same remarkable manner.

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Mrs. M. A. LIVERMORE's testimony:

The glory of genuine poets trails all along the eras of art and culture. Their inspirations are comparable to dewdrops dripping from the leaves of the “ Tree of Life.” The gifted Mrs. Livermore, wife of Rev. D. P. Livermore, and assistant editor of the New Covenant, sings the principles of Spiritualism in these lines :

“List thee, father: 'twas last evening as I lay upon my bed,
Thinking of my sainted mother, whom they hid among the dead,
Till my tears bedewed the pillow, as though wet with dropping rain,
And I prayed aloud in anguish that she might come back again-
'Twas just then, as I lay weeping, that the beautiful angel came,
And her voice was fraught with music as she called me by my name;
And her robe seemed woven sunbeams, 'twas so soft and clear and bright,
And her fair, high brow was circled by a diadem of light."

Describing the brightness of the shining angel mother, the imprinted kiss and her own calm, happy sensations, she thus continues : “ And she spoke-I cannot tell thee all the blessed angel said As she bent above my pillow and kept watoh beside my bed ; But of heavenly things she told me-of a light and lovely land, Where there dwelleth angel-children many a fair and spotless band.

And she said such flowers bloom there as we never see below,
Rosier than the hues of sunset, brighter than the rain's fair brow;
And such gushing strains of music swell along the fragrant air,
As will soothe the ransomed spirit when released from earthly care.”

MILTON's testimony:

“Millions of spiritual beings walk the earth unseen,

Both when we wake and when we sleep."

TENNYSON's testimony:

In that spiritual biography, “ In Memoriam,” is mirrored the various changes of a poet's love and tenderness upon the earthly loss of a friend. Death he considers an upward flight—the leaving of a mortal garment, a ruined chrysalis, a shattered temple.

The poems of this gifted son of song present a type of Spiritualism, as beautiful as philosophical :

“God's finger touch'd him, and he slept !

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