Imágenes de páginas

Lines on a Skeleton.

BEHOLD this ruin! 'T was a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full.
This narrow cell was Life's retreat,
This space was Thought's mysterious seat.
What beauteous visions filled this spot,
What dreams of pleasure long forgot!
Nor hope, nor joy, nor love, nor fear,
Have left one trace of record here.

Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye,
But start not at the dismal void, -
If social love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed,
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and sun are sunk in night.

Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue;
If Falsehood's honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke,–
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When Time unveils Eternity!

Say, did these fingers delve the mine?
Or with the envied rubies shine ?
To hew the rock, or wear a gem,
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of Truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer meed shall claim
Than all that wait on Wealth and Fame.

Avails it whether bare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod ?
If from the bowers of Ease they fled,
To seek Affliction's humble shed;
If Grandeur's guilty bribe they spurned,
And home to Virtue's cot returned, -
These feet with angel-wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky.


The Place where Man should Die.

How little recks it where men lie,

When once the moment 's past
In which the dim and glazing eye

Has looked on earth its last,-
Whether beneath the sculptured urn

The coffined form shall rest,
Or in its nakedness return

Back to its mother's breast!

Death is a common friend or foe,

As different men may hold,
And at his summons each must go,

The timid and the bold;
But when the spirit, free and warm,

Deserts it, as it must,
What matter where the lifeless form

Dissolves again to dust ?
The soldier falls 'mid corses piled

Upon the battle-plain,
Where reinless war-steeds gallop wild

Above the mangled slain ;
But though his corse be grim to see,

Hoof-trampled on the sod,
What recks it, when the spirit free

Has soared aloft to God?

The coward's dying eyes may close

Upon his downy bed,
And softest hands his limbs compose,

Or garments o'er them spread.
But ye who shun the bloody fray,

When fall the mangled brave,
Go-strip his coffin-lid away,

And see him in his gravel

'T were sweet, indeed, to close our eyes,

With those we cherish near,
And, wafted upwards by their sighs,

Soar to some calmer sphere.
But whether on the scaffold high,

Or in the battle's van,
The fittest place where man can die
Is where he dies for man!


A Hundred Years to come.

WHERE, where will be the birds that sing,

A hundred years to come ?
The flowers that now in beauty spring,

A hundred years to come ?
The rosy lips, the lofty brow,
The heart that beats so gayly now,
Oh, where will be love's beaming eye,
Joy's pleasant smile, and sorrow's sigh,

A hundred years to come ?

Who 'll press for gold this crowded street,

A hundred years to come ?
Who 'll tread yon church with willing feet,

A hundred years to come?
Pale trembling age, and fiery youth,
And childhood with its brow of truth;

The rich and poor, on land and sea, -
Where will the mighty millions be

A hundred years to come ?

We all within our graves shall sleep,

A hundred years to come;
No living soul for us will weep,

A hundred years to come.
But other men our lands shall till,
And others, then, our streets will fill,
While other birds will sing as gay,
As bright the sunshine as to-day,
A hundred years to come.


The Song of Steam.

HARNESS me down with your iron bands,

Be sure of your curb and rein,
For I scorn the strength of your puny hands

As the tempest scorns a chain.
How I laughed as I lay concealed from sight,

For many a countless hour,
At the childish boast of human might,

And the pride of human power.

When I saw an army upon the land,

A navy upon the seas, Creeping along, a snail-like band,

Or waiting the wayward breeze, When I marked the peasant faintly reel

With the toil which he daily bore, As he feebly turned the tardy wheel,

Or tugged at the weary oar,

When I measured the panting courser's speed,

The flight of the carrier dove,

As they bore the law a king decreed,

Or the lines of impatient love,
I could but think how the world would feel,

As these were outstripped afar,
When I should be bound to the rushing keel,

Or chained to the flying car.

Ha, ha, ha! They found me at last,

They invited me forth at length, And I rushed to my throne with a thunder blast,

And laughed in my iron strength! Oh! then ye saw a wondrous change

On the earth and the ocean wide, Where now my fiery armies range,

Nor wait for wind or tide.

The ocean pales where'er I sweep,

To hear my strength rejoice,
And monsters of the briny deep

Cower trembling at my voice.
I carry the wealth and the lord of earth,

The thoughts of his godlike mind;
The wind lags after my going forth,

The lightning is left behind.

In the darksome depths of the fathomless mine,

My tireless arm doth play ;
Where the rocks never saw the sun decline,

Or the dawn of a glorious day;
I bring earth's glittering jewels up

From the hidden caves below,
And I make the fountain's granite cup

With a crystal gush o'erflow.

I blow the bellows, I forge the steel,

In all the shops of trade;
I hammer the ore and turn the wheel

Where my arms of strength are made.

« AnteriorContinuar »