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Brought me back ever? I have come in dream
From many a far land, many a brighter sky,
And trod these dappled shadows till the morn.
every Gothic aisle my heart fled home,
From every groined roof, and pointed arch,
To find its type in emerald beauty here.
The moon we worshipp'd through this trembling veil
In other heavens seem'd garish and unclad.
The stars that burn'd to us through whispering leaves
Stood cold and silently in other skies.
Stiller seem'd always here the holy dawn,
Hush'd by the breathless silence of the trees ;
And who that ever, on a Sabbath morn,
Sent through this leafy roof a prayer to Heaven,
And when the sweet bells burst upon the air
Saw the leaves quiver and the flecks of light
Leap, like caressing angels, to the feet
Of the church-going multitude, but felt
That here God's day was holier—that the trees,
Pierced by these shining spires, and echoing ever
“To prayer!" "to prayer!” were but the lofty roof
Of an unbewn cathedral, in whose choirs
Breezes, and storm-winds, and the many birds,
Join'd in the varied anthem; and that so,
Resting their breasts upon these bending limbs,
Closer and readier to our need they lay-
The spirits who keep watch 'twixt us and Heaven!
ON SEEING A DECEASED INFANT.
An American poet, who rejoices in the truly Yankee name of PEABODY, has, in spite of his name, published some very sweet poetry, and our readers will feel that the following, from his pen, is the production of no mean genius. It is in excellent taste, having an unaffected solemnity of tone and thought, and may worthily be treasured among our selections.
And this is death ! how cold and still,
And yet how lovely it appears ;
Too cold to let the gazer smile,
But far too beautiful for tears.
The sparkling eye no more is bright, The cheek bath lost its rose-like red;
And yet it is with strange delight I stand and gaze upon the dead.
But when I see the fair wide brow, Half shaded by the silken hair,
That never look'd so fair as now, When life and health were laughing there,
I wonder not that grief should swell So wildly upward in the breast,
And that strong passion once rebel That need not, cannot be suppressed.
I wonder not that parents' eyes, In gazing thus grow cold and dim,
That burning tears and aching sighs
Are blended with the funeral hymn;
The spirit hath an earthly part,
That weeps when earthly pleasure flies,
And heaven would scorn the frozen heart, That melts not when the infant dies.
And yet why mourn ? that deep repose Shall never more be broke by pain ;
Those lips no more in sighs unclose, Those eyes shall never weep again.
For think not that the blushing flower Shall wither in the church-yard sod,
'Twas made to gild an angel's bower Within the paradise of God.
Once more I gaze—and swift and far The clouds of death in sorrow fly;
I see thee, like a new-born star, Move up thy pathway in the sky.
The star hath rays serene and bright, But cold and pale compared with thine ;
For thy orb shines with heavenly light, With beams unfailing and divine.
Then let the burthen'd heart be free, The tears of sorrow all be shed,
And parents calmly bend to see The mournful beauty of the dead;
Thrice happy-that their infant bears
To heaven no darkening stains of sin ;
And only breathed life's morning airs,
Before its evening storms begin.
Farewell! I shall not soon forget!
Although thy heart hath ceased to beat,
My memory warmly treasures yet
Thy features calm and mildly sweet;
But no, that look is not the last,
We yet may meet where seraphs dwell,
Where love no more deplores the past,
Nor breathes that withering word—farewell.
SAPPHO. This poem, so remarkable for bold originality, is the production of the Rev. CHARLES KINGSLEY, who is better known to the public as the author of some still more remarkable works in prose, of which Alton Locke was the most famous. No reader will question the claim of the composer of these lines to the title of poet. The picture is perfect. The hand of a great artist is visible in every touch.
She lay among the myrtles on the cliff;
Above her glared the moon; beneath, the sea.
Upon the white horizon Athos' peak
Welter'd in burning haze; all airs were dead;
The cicale slept among the tamarisk's hair;
The birds sat dumb and drooping. Far below
The lazy sea-weed glisten’d in the sun;
The lazy sea-fowl dried their steaming wings ;
The lazy swell crept whispering up the ledge,
And sank again. Great Pan was laid to rest ;
And mother Earth watch'd by him as he slept,
And hush'd her myriad children for awhile.
She lay among the myrtles on the cliff;
And sigh'd for sleep,—for sleep that would not hear,
But left her tossing still; for night and day
A mighty hunger yearn'd within her heart,
Till all her veins ran fever, and her cheek,
Her long thin hands, and ivory-channel'd feet,
Were wasted with the wasting of her soul.
Then peevishly she flung her on her face,
And bid her eyeballs from the blinding glare,
And finger'd at the grass, and tried to cool
Her crisp hot lips against the crisp hot sward;
And then she raised her head, and upward cast
Wild looks from homeless eyes, whose liquid light
Gleam'd out between deep folds of blue-black hair,
As gleam twin lakes between the purple peaks
Of deep Parnassus, at the mournful moon.
Beside her lay her lyre. She snatch'd the shell,
And waked wild music from its silver strings ;
Then toss'd it sadly by,—“Ah, hush !” she cries,
“Dead offspring of the tortoise, and the mine!
Why mock my discords with thine harmonies ?
Although a thrice-Olympian lot be thine,
Only to echo back in every tone
The moods of nobler natures than thine own."
A HIGHLAND MAIDEN. In his poetry, as in his prose, Sir WALTER SCOTT excelled in description. He could paint in words, and conjure up scenes and persons before the mind's eye of the reader as vividly as an artist could exhibit them upon his canvass. What a delightful portrait is the following, from The Lady of the Lake ! How life-like ! how real ! Who will not image, as he reads, the Highland Maiden herself, and think of her ever after as of one whom he has seen ?
NEVER did Grecian chisel trace
A Nymph, a Naiad, or a Grace,
Of finer form, or lovelier face!
What though the sun, with ardent frown,
Had slightly tinged her cheek with brown;
The sportive toil, which, short and light,
Had dyed her glowing hue so bright,
Served, too, in hastier swell, to show
Short glimpses of a breast of snow.
What though no rule of courtly grace
To measured mood bad train’d her pace;
A foot more light, a step more true,
Ne'er from the heath-flower dash'd the dew ;
E'en the slight hare-bell raised its head
Elastic from her airy tread.
What though upon her speech there hung
The accents of the mountain tongue;
Those silver sounds, so soft, so clear,
The list'ner held his breath to hear.
A chieftain's daughter seem'd the maid;
Her satin snood, her silken plaid,
Her golden brooch, such birth betray'd.
And seldom was a snood amid
Such wild luxurious ringlets hid,
Whose glossy black to shame might bring
The plumage of the raven's wing ;
And seldom o'er a breast so fair
Mantled a plaid with modest care;
And never brooch the folds combined
Above a heart more good and kind.
Her kindness and her worth to spy,
You need but gaze on Ellen's eye ;
Not Katrine, in her mirror blue,
Gives back the banks in shapes more true,
Than ev'ry free-born glance confess'd
The guileless movements of her breast;
Whether joy danced in her dark eye,
Or woe or pity claim'd a sigh,
Or filial love was glowing there,
Or meek devotion pour'd a prayer,
Or tale of injury call’d forth
The indignant spirit of the north.
One only passion, unreveald,
With maiden pride the maid conceal’d,
Yet not less purely felt the flame;
O need I tell that passion's name?
A sweet summer song, by Tom MOORE, will be read with pleasure.
The summer webs that float and shine,
The summer dews that fall,
Though light they be, this heart of mine
Is lighter still than all.