Imágenes de páginas

I wish not it was mine to wear

Flushed honour's sunny crown
I wish not I were Fortune's heir,

She frowns, and let her frown.
I have no taste for pomp and strife,

Which others love to find :
I only wish the bliss of life, -

A poor and quiet mind.

The trumpet's taunt in battle field,

The great man's pedigree,What peace can all their honours yield ?

And what are they to me?
Though praise and pomp to eke the strife,

Rave like a mighty wind;
What are they to the calm of life, -

A still and quiet mind ?

I mourn not that my lot is low,

I wish no higher state;
I sigh not that Fate made me so,

Nor tease her to be great.
I am content-for well I see

What all at last shall find,
That life's worst lot the best may be,

If that's a quiet mind.

I see the world pass heedless by,

And pride above me tower; It costs me not a single sigh

For either wealth or power;
They are but men, and I'm a man

Of quite as great a kind,
Proud, too, that life gives all she can,

A calm and quiet mind.

When friends depart, as part they must,

And love's true joys decay,
That leave us like the summer dust,

Which whirlwinds puff away:
While life's allotted time I brave,

Though left the last behind,
A prop and friend I still shall have,

If I've a quiet mind.



(MRS. HEMANS was born in Duke Street, Liverpool, in the year 1793. Her father was a native of Ireland; her maiden name was Browne, and at an early age, she was married to Mr. Hemans, an officer in the army. This marriage was unhappy; she was estranged from her husband, and lived many years in retirement, enlivened principally by the correspondence of the most celebrated literary characters. She first lived at St. Asaph, in Wales; three years at Wavertree, near Liverpool, and latterly at Dublin; where she died on Saturday night, the 16th of May, 1835, aged 41.

Mrs. Hemans may be well stiled the “Poet of the Affections." She may not have possessed the graphic power of depicting scenes of common life, displayed by some, nor the lofty imaginations of others; but as to the feelings and the affections of our nature, none tuned the lyre more exquisitely. In all that relates to woman, her suffering, her constancy, her love, she is perhaps the first of female poets, and what enhances her writings to us, is, that both in subject and in style, they are purely English, English in their sentiments, feelings and affections. Towards the latter end of her life, Mrs. Hemans became still more deeply embued with true religious feeling, and a sweet sonnet written a few days before her death, shows that she possessed that calm and halcyon peace of mind, which is imparted alone, by the blessed hope of immortality.]



Birds, joyous birds of the wandering wing!
Whence is it ye come with the flowers of spring?
“We come from the shore of the green old Nile,
From the land where the roses of Sharon smile,
From the palms that wave through the Indian sky
From the myrrh-trees of glowing Araby.

We have swept o'er the cities, in song renown'd, -
Silent they lie, with the deserts around !
We have cross'd proud rivers, whose tide hath rollid
All dark with the warrior-blood of old ;
And each worn wing hath regain'd its home,
Under the peasant's roof-tree, or monarch's dome.”

And what have ye found in the monarch's dome,
Since last ye traversed the blue sea's foam ?
We have found a change, we have found a pall,
And gloom o'ershadowing the banquet's hall,
And a mark on the floor, as of life-drops spilt,
Nought looks the same, save the nest we built !"

Oh, joyous birds, it hath still been so !
Through the halls of kings doth the tempest go!
But the huts of the hamlet lie still and deep,
And the hills o'er their quiet a vigil keep.
Say, what have ye found in the peasant's cot,
Since last ye parted from that sweet spot?

“A change we have found there, and many a change!
Faces, and footsteps, and all things strange !
Gone are the heads of the silvery hair,
And the young that were, have a brow of care,
And the place is hush'd, where the children play'd
Nought looks the same, save the nest we made !"

Sad is your tale of the beautiful earth,
Birds that o'ersweep it in power and mirth !
Yet, through the wastes of the trackless air,
Ye have a guide, and shall we despair?
Ye over deserts and deep have pass'd-
So shall we reach our bright home at last !


What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells?,

Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main ! Pale glist’ning pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,

Bright things which gleam unreck'd of, and in vain, Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!

We ask not such from thee.

Yet more, the depths have more! What wealth untold,

Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,

Won from ten thousand royal Argosies.
Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main!

Earth claims not these again!
Yet more, the depths have more !—Thy waves have roll'd

Above the cities of a world gone by! Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,

Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry ! Dash o'er them, Ocean! in thy scornful play,

Man yields them to decay !

Yet more! the billows and the depths have more !

High hearts and brave are gather'd to thy breast; They hear not now the booming waters roar,

The battle thunders will not break their rest. Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave !

Give back the true and brave !

Give back the lost and lovely! Those for whom

The place was kept at board and hearth so long; The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,

And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song! Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,

But all is not thine own!

To thee the love of woman hath gone down;

Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown;

Yet must thou hear a voice-Restore the dead !
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee,-

Restore the Dead, thou Sea!


“I hear thee speak of the better land,
Thou call'st its children a happy band;
Mother! oh, where is that radiant shore ?
Shall we not seek it, and weep no more?
Is it where the flower of the orange blows,
And the fire-flies glance through the myrtle-boughs ?”

"Not there, not there, my child !"

"Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies?
Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas,
Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze,
And strange, bright birds, on their starry wings,
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things ?"
-“Not there, not there, my child !”.

“ Is it far away, in some region old,
Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold ?
Where the burning rays of the ruby shine,
And the diamond lights up the secret mine,
And the pearl gleams forth from the coral strand-
Is it there, sweet mother! that better land ?”
-"Not there, not there, my child !".

"Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy!
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy;
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair-
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom,
For, beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,

It is there, it is there, my child !"


Once more the eternal melodies from far,
Woo me like songs of home: once more discerning
Through fitful clouds the pure majestic star,
Above the poet's world serenely burning,
Thither my soul, fresh-winged by love, is turning,
As o'er the waves the wood-bird seeks her nest,
For those green heights of dewy stillness yearning,
Whence glorious minds o'erlook the earth's l.nrest.
Now be the spirit of Heaven's truth my guide
Through the bright land ! that no brief gladness, found
In passing bloom, rich-odour, or sweet sound,
May lure my footsteps from their aim aside:
Their true, high quest-to seek, if ne'er to gain,
The inmost, purest shrine of that august domain.

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »