Biblical Sketches.

No I.


Elijah with his mantle smote the waves1
Of Jordan to the right hand, and the left,2
Which, parting, sundered like a breaking cloud3
When vernal breezes wanton in the sky ;4
And onwards with his master, thro’ the sands,5
Without a word, in that mysterious calm,6
Elisha passed.7
The fated hour was nigh,8
The hour of consummation ; loneliness9
Hung o’er the hills and vallies, like a shroud ;10
Dashing the bridled waters closed behind,11
And all was still ;— sombre the forests lay,12
A mass of pitchy darkness, in the scowl13
Of that dim sky—a solitude of death !14
The elements of Nature seem’d asleep ;15
And, in their place, mysterious agencies16
At work, to overthrow the rolling world.17
Within Elijah’s glance a piercingness18
Which was not of this earth, upon his face,19
Shaded with raven locks, a darkening hue,20
As if reflective of the frowning sky,21
Was visible ; when, lifting up his voice,22
It is the hour,” he said, “ before we part,23
To meet no more upon this lower sphere ;24
What would’st thou of me?”25
Then Elisha prayed26
For a double portion of his master’s soul27
And a flaming chariot came,29
A fiery chariot, drawn by steeds of fire,30
Treading the clouds beneath them in their march.31
And breathless silence, like a wizard, held32
Spell-bound the breathless elements in awe,33
While forky lightnings flash’d among the clouds ;34
And they were parted by invisible arm !—35
Elijah entered,—and a whirlwind rose,36
And took him to the skies, and—he was not !37