Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel ; to set budding more,
And still more, later flower for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,

For summer has o'erbrimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find Thee sitting, careless, on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft lifted by the winnowing wind : Or, on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers ; And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook ;
Or, by a cyder-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue : Then, in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn Among the river sallows, borne aloft,

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies ;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now, with treble soft,
The redbreast whistles from a garden croft,

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

TENNYSON.

THE POET AND HIS POETRY.

SALFRED TENNYSON is the son of a clergyman residing in Lincolnshire; he was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree. He has a brother, Charles, who has published a volume of graceful and beautiful “ Sonnets ;” and another brother, Frederick, is said to possess considerable poetical powers. He is of the school of Keats; that is to say, it is difficult not to see that Keats has been a great deal in his thoughts ; and that he delights in the same brooding over his sensations, and the same melodious enjoyment of their expression. He is, also, a great lover of a certain homkind of landscape, which he delights to paint with affecting minuteness. His compositions are, undoubtedly, brilliant and beautiful: their merit is sufficient to justify the praise he has received; and it is only because he has afforded ample proof of his capacity to do better, that we lament he has not yet fulfilled the earliest promise of his genius.]

EXTRACT FROM TENNYSON.

MARIANA.

With blackest moss the flower plots

Were thickly crusted, one and all ;
The rusted nails fell from the knots

That held the peach to the garden wall.
The broken sheds looked sad and strange,

Unlifted was the clinking latch,

Weeded and worn the ancient thatch
Upon the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,
I would that I were dead!"

Her tears fell with the dews at even,

Her tears fell ere the dews were dried ! She could not look on the sweet heaven,

Either at morn or eventide. After the flitting of the bats,

When thickest dark did trance the sky,

She drew her casement curtain by, And glanced athwart the glooming flats.

She only said, “The night is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead!"

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking, she heard the night fowl crow : The cock sung out an hour ere light;

From the dark fen the oxen's low Came to her: without hope of change,

In sleep she seemed to walk forlorn,

Till cold winds woke the grey-eyed morn About the lonely moated grange.

She only said, “The day is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !" :
About a stone-cast from the wall,

A sluice with blackened waters slept, And o'er it many, round and small,

The clustered marishmosses crept. Hard by a poplar shook alway,

All silver green with gnarled bark,

For leagues no other tree did dark The level waste, the rounding grey.

She only said, "My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !" .

And ever when the moon was low,

And the shrill winds were up an' away, In the white curtain, to and fro,

She saw the gusty shadow sway. But when the moon was very low,

And wild winds bound within their cell,

The shadow of the poplar fell Upon her bed, across her brow.

[ocr errors]

All day within the dreamy house,

The doors upon their hinges creaked ; The blue fly sung i’ the pane; the mouse

Behind the mouldering wainscot shrieked, Or from the crevice peered about.

Old faces glimmered through the doors,

Old footsteps trod the upper floors, Old voices called her from without.

She only said, “My life is dreary,

He cometh not,” she said ;
She said, “I am aweary, aweary,

I would that I were dead !".

The sparrow's chirrup on the roof,

The slow clock ticking, and the sound Which to the wooing wind aloof

The poplar made, did all confound Her sense; but most she loathed the hour

When the thick moted sunbeam lay

Athwart the chambers, and the day Down-sloped was westering in his bower.

Then said she, “I am very dreary,

He will not come,” she said ;
She wept, “I am aweary, aweary,

Oh, God, that I were dead !”

CLARE.

THE POET AND HIS POETRY.

JOAN CLARE, called the Northamptonshire Poet, was the son of a day labourer, and was born in the year 1793, and is self-educated in the truest sense of the word, not having been even taught to read, till by working overhours, he saved money enough to pay for a few weeks' schooling. From being at all times abroad with nature, he soon began to woo, and afterwards to worship her, and thus became a poet. For many years he made attempts in verse, and at last published a volume of poems, which passed through several editions. This has been followed by other volumes which have not detracted from the merit of their author

There is little to be said of the poetry of Clare, except that it is full of simplicity and an artless pathos, which steals upon the heart before the reader is aware, and melts him into tenderness and love. Like the soft sweet pipings of the redbreast, every note has a touching melancholy about it, and the poet is never so felicitous as when those chords are struck, which respond to the “sad sighings of the spirit.” Few authors are more worthy of a sweet place in our remembrance than Clare ; and we trust that the world will not suffer a pure and noble mind, to languish in the poverty which was his only birthright, nor to pass the evening of its decline, in the coldness of neglect, with the blight of misery on the silver hairs. There are many “Brother Poets,” basking in the world's favour, and reaping not only golden opinions from all sorts of people, but golden rewards; the world may be cold and heartless, but Poets at least ought not to be so.)

EXTRACTS FROM CLARE.

THE QUIET MIND.

Though low my lot, my wish is wou,

My hopes are few and staid ;
All I thought life would do is done,

The last request is made.
If I have foes, no foes I fear,

To fate I live resigned ;
I have a friend I value here

And that's a quiet mind.

« AnteriorContinuar »