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.
The fated hour was nigh,7
The hour of consummation ; loneliness8
Hung o’er the hills and vallies, like a shroud ;9
Dashing the bridled waters closed behind,10
And all was still ;— sombre the forests lay,11
A mass of pitchy darkness, in the scowl12
Of that dim sky—a solitude of death !13
The elements of Nature seem’d asleep ;14
And, in their place, mysterious agencies15
At work, to overthrow the rolling world.16
Within Elijah’s glance a piercingness17
Which was not of this earth, upon his face,18
Shaded with raven locks, a darkening hue,19
As if reflective of the frowning sky,20
Was visible ; when, lifting up his voice,21
It is the hour,” he said, “ before we part,22
To meet no more upon this lower sphere ;23
What would’st thou of me?”
Then Elisha prayed24
For a double portion of his master’s soul25
And a flaming chariot came,26
A fiery chariot, drawn by steeds of fire,27
Treading the clouds beneath them in their march.28
And breathless silence, like a wizard, held29
Spell-bound the breathless elements in awe,30
While forky lightnings flash’d among the clouds ;31
And they were parted by invisible arm !—32
Elijah entered,—and a whirlwind rose,33
And took him to the skies, and—he was not !34