Imágenes de páginas

Forgotten since the days of old. Then sighed the Peri-wife, as though

She wished those wings had been destroyed ; And then came back the long ago,

And with them still she played and toyed; And then she flung her hands behind And tried if she again could bind The wings upon their former place. Then came a shudder o'er her face, For she had fixed them firmly thereShe could not from her shoulders tear Those wings, though it was grief and pain To feel a Peri once again, To know she must rejoin her race And leave behind no sign nor trace. The nurse looked on in dread to trace The strange, wild glow light up her face. She shook, she trembled—then she flew, When went her charge she never knewShe sought at night her chamber-door, But saw her master's bride no more. The merchant but returned to find

A lonely home—his treasure fled ;
And long, with overburdened mind,

He wished that he himself were dead.
But he had bowed to beauty's power,
Forgetting there's a higher dower
A gift of goodness-grace of mind,
And many a holier spell to bind
Two wedded hearts in wedded love,
Rare gifts, than beauty, far above;
Strong, perfect, true, domestic ties
That fix the heart, not charm the eyes,
That strengthen, ripen, ne'er grow cold,
That keep the heart from growing old,
That never from the bosom start,
Enduring till from life we part.




WILLIAM R. SAWYER. The locks of age are thin and frayed, Even the eyes of age will fade, Will pale in hue as they fail in sight, But his were keen with an ominous light, That gaunt old man's, as he drew to his side The blossom of beauty, his two months' bride. " Darling !” he called her, “heart's desire !" But her eyes met his with a glimmering fire, Wherein nor passion nor fervour wrought But the fitful gleam of a growing thought Which yet to her heart she scarce would own, Which yet to his heart was all unknown. “I will love him, this gaunt old man, I will love him all that I can, My soul will strengthen in trial," she mused, But his jealous passion her thought abused. “ It is a young and frivolous thing Would love a bird for the hue of its wing. “ Youth is well, and beauty is well, But beauty and youth may nought excel? What! is it nothing, the love of age, Is the heart of a man so poor a gage ? Can nothing the love of a maid bespeak But á milky skin and a rose in the cheek ?" Time flowed on as time will flow, Her cheek grew whiter than falling snow: “I have loved him, this gaunt old man, I have loved him all that I can, But my heart is breaking.” So she spake, And the heart of the young is not hard to break. “ She is fast changing. Day by day The bloom of her beauty is swept away,

The light has died out of those eyes of blue :
Her hand is so thin the sun shines through.
What is this love, this power of might
That thus can the young and the old unite ?
" How does it chance that line by line,
Her being is changed to the like of mine,
Or I grow younger as she matures ?
How comes it that as our love endures,
We near and near, 'till when all is done
My age and her youth will seem as one ?"
Sun-ripen'd roses clustering made
Round the window an odorous shade:
She beneath it wasted to naught,
He beside her, buried in thought,
" I have aged in a year,” sighed she :
“She is older than I,” thought he.
“I did not dream that one little year
Would bring her youth and my age so near;
I could but hope that time would show
How pure was the love my heart could know,
Love wherein passion played no part:
Born of the reason, not of the heart.
" Then I had said to her, “Wife of mine,
Youth to youth will ever incline:
For youth is foolish and judges by
The credulous heart and seeking eye;
But age is wiser.'” A sigh, a moan,
She had dropped to his feet a stone !
She a stone at his feet was laid,
Over her face the rose-shadows play'd,
In her eyes no fire, on her lips no red,
“ God! I have killed her! She is dead!"
Dead? Yes: gone was her latest breath-

There was no end for such love but death. (By permission of the Author. From " Ten Miles from




JEREMY Taylor.

(Jeremy Taylor was a learned and pious (divine, born in 1613, at Cambridge. He attracted the notice of Archbishop Laud, who made him his chaplain, and presented him with the rectorship of Uppingham. In 1642 he was created D.D., having already become chaplain in ordinary to Charles I. During the Commonwealth he retired into Wales, where he was kindly received by the Earl of Carbery, under whose protection he continued to exercise his ministry, and keep a school. In this retirement he wrote those fervent and thoughtful discourses which have rendered him one of the first writers in the English language. He was twice imprisoned by the Republican Government; but at the restoration he was made Bishop of Down and Connor, and Vice-Chancellor of Trinity College, Dublin. He died in 1667.] SUPPOSE a man gets all the world, what is it that he gets ? It is a bubble and a phantasm, and hath no reality beyond a present transient use; a thing that is impossible to be enjoyed, because its fruits and usages are transmitted to us by parts and by succession. He that hath all the world (if we can suppose such a man) cannot have a dish of fresh summer fruits in the midst of winter, not so much as a green fig; and very much of its possessions is so hid, so fugacious, and of so uncertain purchase, that it is like the riches of the sea to the lord of the shore; all the fish and wealth within all its hollownesses are his, but he is never the better for what he cannot get; all the shell-fishes that produce pearls, produce them not for him; and the bowels of the earth hide their treasures in undiscovered retirements; so that it will signify as much to this great proprietor, to be entitled to an inheritance in the upper region of the air : he is so far from possessing all its riches, that he does not so much as know of them, nor understand the philosophy of its minerals.

I consider that he who is the greatest possessor in the world, enjoys its best and most noble parts, and those which are of most excellent perfection, but in


common with the inferior persons, and the most despicable of his kingdom. Can the greatest prince enclose the sun, and set one little star in his cabinet for his own use, or secure to himself the gentle and benign influence of any one constellation ? Are not his subjects' fields bedewed with the same showers that water his gardens of pleasure ?

Nay, those things which he esteems his ornament and the singularity of his possessions, are they not of more use to others than to himself? For suppose his garments splendid and shining, like the robe of a cherub, or the clothing of the fields—all that he that wears them enjoys, is that they keep him warm, and clean, and modest: and all this is done by clean and less pompous vestments; and the beauty of them, which distinguishes him from others, is made to please the eyes of the beholders: the fairest face or the sparkling eye cannot perceive or enjoy its own beauties, but by reflection. It is I that am pleased with beholding his gaiety; and the gay man, in his greatest bravery, is only pleased because I am pleased with the sight : so borrowing his little and imaginary complacency from the delight that I have, not from any inherency in his own possession.

The poorest artisan of Rome, walking in Cæsar's gardens, had the same pleasures which they ministered to their lord ; and although, it may be, he was put to gather fruits to eat from another place, yet his other senses were delighted equally with Cæsar's: the birds made him as good music, the flowers gave him as sweet smells; he there sucked as good air, and delighted in the beauty and order of the place, for the same reason and upon the same perception as the prince himself; save only that Cæsar paid, for all that pleasure, vast sums of money, the blood and treasure of a province, which the poor man had for nothing.

And so it is if the whole world should be given to any man. He knows not what to do with it; he can use no more but according to the capacities of a man;

« AnteriorContinuar »