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And dreams of that which cannot die,
Bright visions, came to me,
As lapped in thought I used to lie,
And gaze into the summer sky,
Where the sailing clouds went by,
Like ships upon the sea;
Dreams that the soul of youth engage
Ere Fancy has been quelled;
Old legends of the monkish page,
Traditions of the saint and sage,
Tales that have the rime of age,
And chronicles of eld.
And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng
I feel the freshness of the streams,
That, crossed by shades and sunny gleams,
Water the green land of dreams, -
The holy land of song.
Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings
The Spring, clothed like a bride,
When nestling buds unfold their wings,
'And bishop's-caps have golden rings,
Musing upon many things,
I sought the woodlands wide.
The green trees whispered low and mild;
It was a sound of joy!
They were my playmates when a child,
And rocked me in their arms so wild !
Still they looked at me and smiled,
As if I were a boy;
And ever whispered, mild and low,
“Come, be a child once more l’”
And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow;
O, I could not choose but go
Into the woodlands hoar :
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood,
Solemn and silent everywhere!
Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer
Like one in prayer I stood.
Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
Abroad their fan-like branches grew,
And where the sunshine darted through,
Spread a vapour soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.
And falling on my weary brain,
Like a fast-falling shower,
The dreams of youth came back again;
Low lispings of the summer rain,
Dropping on the ripened grain,
As once upon the flower.
Visions of childhood l stay, O stay!
Ye were so Sweet and wild !
And distant voices seemed to say,
“It cannot bel. They pass away I
Other themes demand thy lay;
Thou art no more a child !
“The land of Song within thee lies,
Watered by living springs;
The lids of Fancy's sleepless eyes
Are gates unto that Paradise,
Holy thoughts, like stars, arise,
Its clouds are angels' wings.
“Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
Not mountains capped with snow,
Nor forests sounding like the sea,
Nor rivers flowing ceaselessly,
. Where the woodlands bend to See
The bending heavens below.
“There is a forest, where the din
Of iron branches sounds !
A mighty river roars between,
And whosoever looks therein
Sees the heavens all black with sin,-
Sees not its depths, nor bounds.
“Athwart the swinging branches cast,
Soft rays of sunshine pour;
Then comes the fearful wintry blast;
Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast :
Pallid lips say, ‘It is past!
We can return no more I’
“Look, then, into thine heart, and write
Yes, into life's deep stream!
All forms of sorrow and delight,
All solemn Voices of the Night,
That can soothe thee, or affright,
Be these henceforth thy theme.”
I HEARD the trailing garments of the Night Sweep through her marble halls 1
I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light From the celestial walls l
I felt her resence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;
The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.
I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold soft chimes,
That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.
From the cool cisterms of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose; -
The fountain of perpetual peace flows there,
From those deep cisterns flows.
O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before |
Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.
Peace! Peace! Orestes-like Ibreathe this prayer! Descend with broad-winged flight,
The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair, The best-beloved Night!
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST.
TELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real Life is earnest |
And the grave is not its goal ;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Finds us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are heating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world's broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle !
Be a hero in the strife' "
Trust no Future, howe'er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act, act in the living Present l
Heart within, and God o'erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.
THERE is a reaper, whose name is Death,
And, with his sickle keen,
He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the slowers that grow between.
“Shall I have naught that is fair?” saith he , “Have naught but the bearded grain? Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again.”.