Imágenes de páginas

Long time with them dwelt Marien,

Until she was sent forth,
At the Lord's bidding to perform

New service on the earth.
Good speed to thee, thou blessed child,

May angels guide thy bark, 'Mid slumbrous calm, 'mid tempests wild,

And o'er the waters dark!
Good speed to thee, thou blessed child -

The angel of the poor -
And win from sorrow and from sin

The world from shore to shore !


Not he! for he loveth the children,

And holiday begs for all;
And comes with bis pockets full of gifts,

For the great ones and the small !
With a present for every servant;-

For in giving he doth not tire ; From the red-faced, jovial butler,

To the girl by the kitchen-fire. And he tells us witty old stories;

And singeth with might and main; And we talk of the old man's visit

Till the day that he comes again! Oh he is a kind old fellow,

For though that beef be dear, He giveth the parish paupers

A good dinner once a year! And all the workhouse children

He sets them down in a row,
And giveth them rare plum-pudding,

And two-pence a-piece also.
Oh, could you have seen those paupers,

Have heard those children young,
You would wish with them that Christmas

Came oft and tarried long!
He must be a rich old fellow,-

What money he gives away!
There is not a lord in England

Could equal him any day!
Good luck unto old Christmas,

And long life, let us sing,
For he doth more good unto the poor

Than many a crowned king!


Now he who knows old Christmas,

He knows a carle of worth ; For he is as good a fellow,

As any upon the earth! He comes warm cloaked and coated,

And buttoned up to the chin,
And soon as he comes a-nigh the door,

We open and let him in.
We know that he will not fail us,

So we sweep the hearth up clean; We set him the old armed chair,

And a cushion whereon to lean. And with sprigs of holly and ivy

We make the house look gay, Just out of an old regard to him,

For it was his ancient way. We broach the strong ale barrel,

And bring out wine and meat; And thus have all things ready,

Our dear old friend to greet. And soon as the time wears round,

The good old carle we see, Coming a-near; – for a creditor

Less punctual is than he! He comes with a cordial voice

That does one good to hear; He shakes one heartily by the hand,

As he hath done many a year. And after the little children

He asks in a cheerful tone, Jack, Kate, and little Annie,

He remembers them every one! What a fine old fellow he is,

With his faculties all as clear, And his heart as warm and light

As a man's in his fortieth year! What a fine old fellow, in troth!

Not one of your griping elves, Who, with plenty of money to spare, Think only about themselves !

My friends, the spirit is at peace;

Oh do not trouble me with tears;
Petition rather my release,

Nor covet for me length of years,
Which are but weariness and woe;
Resign me, friends, before I go!
I know how strong are human ties;

I know how strong is human fear;
But visions open to mine eyes,

And words of power are in mine ear;
My friends, my friends, can ye not see,
Nor hear what voices speak to me?
“ Thou human soul," they seem to say,

“ We are commissioned from above, Through the dark portal to convey

Thee to the paradise of love; Thou need’st not shrink, thou need'st not fear; We, thy sure help, are gathered near!

A world of beauty in my mind,

A never-ceasing store. "I hear you talk of mountains,

The beautiful, the grand; Of splintered peaks so grey and tall; Of lake, and glen, and waterfall; Of flowers and trees ;-I ken them all;

Their difference understand.

“ Thy weakness on our strength confide;

Thy doubt upon our steadfast trust; And rise up, pure and glorified,

From thine infirm and sinful dust. Rise up, rise up! the eternal day Begins to dawn — why wilt thou stay? "Look forth — the day begins to dawn;

The future openeth to thy view; The veil of mystery is undrawn;

The old things are becoming new; The night of time is passing by : Poor trembler, do not fear to die! “Come, come! the gates of pearl unfold :

The eternal glory shines on thee! Body, relax thy lingering hold,

And set the struggling spirit free !" "Tis done, 'tis done!- before my sight Opens the awful infinite : I see, I hear, I live anew! Oh friends, dear friends, - adieu, adieu !

“The harebell and the gowan

Are not alike to me, Are different as the herd and flock, The blasted pine-tree of the rock, The waving birch, the broad, green oak,

The river and the sea.

“And oh, the heavenly music,

That as I sit alone, Comes to mine inward sense as clear As if the angel voices were Singing to harp and dulcimer

Before the mighty Throne!


“ It is not as of outward sound,

Of breeze, or singing bird ; But wondrous melody refined; A gift of God unto the blind; An inward harmony of mind,

By inward senses heard !

“Oh brother," said fair Annie,

To the blind boy at her side; “Would thou could'st see the sunshine lie On hill and valley, and the sky Hung like a glorious canopy

O'er all things far and wide!
“Would thou could'st see the waters

In many a distant glen;
The mountain flocks that gaze around;
Nay, even this patch of stony ground,
These crags, with silver lichen crowned,

I would that thou could'st ken! “Would thou could'st see my face, brother,

As well as I see thine; For always what I cannot see It is but half a joy to me. Brother, I often weep for thee,

Yet thou dost ne'er repine !"
“ And why should I repine, Annie ?"

Said the blind boy with a smile;
“I ken the blue sky and the grey;
The sunny and the misty day;
The moorland valley stretched away

For many and many a mile! " I ken the night and day, Annie,

For all ye may believe;
And often in my spirit lies
A clear light as of mid-day skies ;
And splendours on my vision rise,

Like gorgeous hues of eve. "I sit upon the stone, Annie,

Beside our cottage door,
And people say, 'that boy is blind,'
And pity me, although I find

“And all the old-world stories

That neighbours tell o' nights; Of fairies on the fairy mound, Of brownies dwelling under ground, of elves careering round and round,

Of fays and water-sprites ;
“ All this to me is pleasantness, -

Is all a merry show;
I see the antic people play, —
Brownie and kelpie, elf and say,
In a sweet country far away,

Yet where I seem to go.
“But better far than this, Annie,

Is when thou read'st to me Of the dear Saviour meek and kind, And how he healed the lame and blind. Am I not healed ? — for in my mind

His blessèd form I see!
“Oh, love is not of sight, Annie,

Is not of outward things;
For, in my inmost soul I know,
His pity for all mortal woe;
His words of love, spoke long ago,

Unseal its deepest springs !
“ Then do not mourn for me, Annie,

Because that I am blind;The beauty of all outward sight; The wondrous shows of day and night; All love, all faith, and all delight, Are strong in heart and mind!"


What of this ? our blessed Lord

Loved such as we;How he blessed the little ones

Sitting on his knee !


WHERE shall I meet thee,

Thou beautiful one? Where shall I find thee,

For aye who art gone ? What is the shape

To thy clear spirit given? Where is thy home

In the infinite heaven? I see thee, but still

As thou wert upon earth, In thy bodied delight,

In thy wonder and mirth! But now thou art one

Of the glorified band Who have touched the shore

of the far spirit-land ! And thy shape is fair,

And thy locks are bright, In the living stream

of the quenchless light. And thy spirit's thought

It is pure, and free
From darkness and doubt

And from mystery!
And thine ears have drunk

The awful tone
Of the First and Last,

of the Ancient One! And the dwellers old

Thy steps have met, Where the lost is found,

And the past is yet. Where shall I find thee,

For aye who art gone? Where shall I meet thee,

Thou beautiful one?

Hoar with the lapse of ages seemed

The silent land toward which I drew, And yet within myself I deemed

The dwellers in that land were few. A strong conviction seemed to rest

Upon my heart that I was then In the sole portion of the earth, Since creation's perfect birth,

Had held the sons of men; And I was on a marvelling quest Of that small colony of the blest. How lone, how silent! not a sound

In earth or air, from wind or flood; But o'er the bare and barren ground

Brooded an endless solitude. It was an awful thing to tread

O'er grey and parched and mighty plains,
Where never living thing was seen,
Where the live heart had never been:

The blood chilled in my veins, -
Yet still I felt in spirit led
Across that wilderness of dread.
But lo! that deadness of the world,

Which seemed of an eternal power,
Like a light vapour was unfurled,

And I walked over fern and flower; Hills, robed in light celestial blue,

Bounded that amplitude of plain ;
And round me there were lofty trees,
Yet moveless, soundless to the breeze;

And not a wild bird's strain,
Nor cry of beast, could still undo
The spell which silence o'er me threw.
But man was there. Not far aside,

One I beheld who strongly toiled;
He seemed a youth of solemn pride,

Of noble form, but dimmed and soiled
With rural labour and with care,

And he clove wood for sacrifice.
I listened for his sounding stroke,
There was no sound ; and now the smoke

Did from the pile arise ;
And he gazed on it with an air
Less marked by pleasure than despair.
But then a lovelier vision sprung

Before me; and between the tall
And shadowy trees, a low cloud hung,

So low, it scarcely hung at all; 'Twas like no cloud which sails the sky;

Around it all was clearly seen; It mixed not with the ambient air; Rolled on itself compact and fair,



We are poor and lowly born;

With the poor we bide; Labour is our heritage,

Care and want beside.
What of this ? our blessed Lord

Was of lowly birth,
And poor, toiling fishermen

Were his friends on earth!
We are ignorant and young ;

Simple children all; Gifted with but humble powers,

And of learning small.

It rested on the scene,
More still and motionless than lie
The clouds of summer in the sky.
Beside it stood a hoary seer,

And through my heart a whisper ran,
“God, or his angel shrouded here

Holds converse with this holy man."
Dark was that cloudy dwelling-placo;

No glory on it seemed to dwell;
Yet still on every thing around,
On tree, on shrub, and heathy gmund,

A streaming radiance fell;
And on that patriarch's awful face
Glowed with intense, unearthly grace.
Propped on his staff, in peace he stood,

Sandaled, and girded in his vest,
And his full beard in silver flowed

Far down his pure and quiet breast; His eye was on the cloud, as one

Who listens to momentous things, And seems with reverence to hear, Yet with more confidence than fear,

What some great herald brings. But as I gazed, a little boat,

Swift, without rudder, oars, or sail, Down through the ambient air afloat,

Bore onward one who seemed to hail
The patriarch, - and he turned his head ;

He turned and saw a smiling boy,
Smiling in beauty and in youth,
With eyes in which eternal truth

Lay with eternal joy.
He touched that old man's snowy head,
And boat, youth, cloud, and patriarch fled !
A multitude of dreams tave passed

Since this, and perished as they came; But in my mind imprinted fast

This lives, and still remains the same. The beauty of that gliding car;

The mystery of the cloud and sage;
Those plains in arid drought so stern ;
That solenın hush, that seemed etern; —

In memory's living page,
Still stand in light, more real far
Than thousands of our day-dreams are !

First-mate was I of the Nancy,

A tight ship and a sound;
We had made a prosperous voyage,

And then were homeward bound.
We were sailing on the Tropic seas,

Before the trade-wind's power,
Day after day, without delay,

Full thirteen knots an hour.
The sea was as a glassy lake,

By a steady gale impressed;
There was nought for any man to do

But just what liked him best.
And yet the calm was wearisome;

The dull days idly sped;
And sometimes on a flute I played,

Or else a book I read.
And dallying thus one afternoon,

I stood upon the deck;
When far off, to the leeward,

I saw a faintish speck.
Whether 't was rock, or fish, or cloud,

At first I did not know;
So I called unto a seaman,

That he might look also.
And as it neared, I saw for sure

That it must be a boat;
But my fellow swore it was not so,

But a large bamboo afloat.
We called a third unto us then,

That he the sight might see; Then came a fourth, a fifth, a sixth,

But no two could agree. "Nay, 't is a little boat," I said,

“And it roweth with an oar!" But none of them could see it so,

All differing as before. " It cometh on; I see it plain;

It is a boat!" I cried, “A little boat o'erlaid with pearl,

And a little child to guide !"
And sure enough, a boat it was,

And worked with an oar;
But such a boat as 't was, no man

Had ever seen before.





Within it sate a little child,

The fairest e'er was seen;
His robes were like the amethyst,

His mantle of sea-green.
No covering wore he on his head,

And the hair that on it
Showered down in thick and wavy locks

Of the sunniest golden hue.
The rudest man on board our ship

Blest God that sight to see ;
For me I could do nought but weer,
Such power had it on me.

I'll tell ye, if ye hearken now,

A thing that chanced to me It must be fifty years agone

Upon the southern sea.

The captain was a strong, stern man;

None liked him overwell;
And to a seaman standing near,
Said he, with voice and look austere,

"Haul up yon cockle-shell! And you, my boy, content you,

In this good ship to dwell!"
As one who gladly would believe

Some awful threat a joke,
So heard the child, with half a smile,

The words the captain spoke.
But when he saw them seize his boat,

And put his oar away,
The smile was gone, and o'er his face

Quick passed a pale dismay.
And then a passion seized his frame,

As if he were possessed ;
He stamped his little feet in rage,

And smote upon his breast. 'Twas a wicked deed as e'er was done

I longed to set him free;
And the impotence of his great grief

Was a grievous sight to me.

There sat he in his pretty boat,

Like an angel from the sky,
Regarding us in our great ship,

With wonder in his eye.
The little oar slid from his hand;

His sweet lips were apart;
Within my soul I felt his joy ;

His wonder in my heart.
And as we tokened him to come,

His little boat he neared,
And smiled at all our friendly words,

Nor seemed the least afeared.
“Come hither a-board!" the captain said,

And without fear of ill,
He sprang into the lordly ship,

With frank and free good will.
He was no son of the merman;

No syren full of guile;
But a creature like the cherubim,

From some unknown-of isle.
And strange to tell, his pleasant speech

Was English, every word;
And yet such English, sweet and pure,

As his I never heard.
There were three, he said, who dwelt with him

Within a tamarind-grove;
His parents and his sister young,

A family of love.
His father, he said, had made his boat

From out a large sea-shell;
“ And what a wondrous tale," said he,

“ I shall this evening tell!" His robes, he said, his mother had wove

From roots of an Indian-tree;
And he laughed at the clothes the seamen wore,

With the merriest mockery,
When the little child had stayed with us,

May-be an hour or so,
He smiled farewell to all on board,

And said that he would go.
“For I must be back again,” said he,

“For me they all will wait; I must be back again," quoth he,

“Or ever the day be late!" “ He shall not go!" the captain said;

“ Haul up his boat and oar! The pretty boy shall sail with us

To the famous English shore !
a Thou shalt with me, my pretty boy;

I'll find thee a new mother;-
I've children three at home, and thou

To them shalt be a brother!"
« Nay, nay, I shall go back!” he said;

“For thee I do not know;I must be back again," he cried,

" Before the sun be low!" Then sprang unto the vessel's side, And made as he would go.


At length, when rage had spent itself,

His lofty heart gave way,
And, falling on his pretty knees,

At the captain's feet he lay. “Oh take me back again!" he cried,

" Let me not tarry here, And I'll give thee sea-apples,

And honey rich and clear; “ And fetch thee heavy pearl-stones

From deep sea-caves below; And red tree-gold and coral-tree,

If thou wilt let me go!

“Or if I must abide with thee, –

In thy great ship to dwell, Let me but just go back again,

To bid them all farewell!"

And at the word " farewell” he wept,

As if his heart would break;
The very memory of his tears

Sore sad my heart doth make.
The captain's self was almost moved

To hear his woful cry;
And there was not within the ship

One man whose eyes were dry.
When the captain saw the seamen's gref,

An angry man was he,
And shut his heart against the child,

For our great sympathy.
Down from the deck he took him

To his cabin all alone :
We saw him not for many a day,
But only heard his moan.


« AnteriorContinuar »