« AnteriorContinuar »
Which task'd thy pipe too sore, and
tired thy throat
It fail'd, and thou wast mute ! Yet hadst thou always visions of our
light, And long with men of care thou
couldst not stay. And soon thy foot resumed its wan
dering way, Left human haunt, and on alone till
night. Too rare, too rare, grow now my visits
here! 'Mid city-noise, not, as with thee of
yore, Thyrsis ! in reach of sheep-bells is
my home. - Then through the great town's harslı,
heart-wearying roar, Let in thy voice a whisper often
AUSTERITY OF POETRY THAT son of Italy who tried to blow, Ere Dante came, the trump of sacred
song, In his light youth amid a festal throng Sate with his bride to see a public show. Fair was the bride, and on her front did
glow Youth like a star; and what to youth
belongGay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation
strong A prop gave way! crash fell a platform !
lo, Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to death,
she lay! Shuddering, they drew her garments
off-and found A robe of sackcloth next the smooth,
white skin. Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse!
young, gay, Radiant, adorn'll outside; a hidden
ground Of thought and of austerity within.
Evex in a palace, life may be led uell! So spake the imperial sage, purest of men, Marcus Aurelius. But the stilling den Of common life, where, crowded up
pell-mell. Our freedom for a little bread we sell, And drudge under some foolish master's
ken Who rates us if we peer outside our
penMatch with a palace, is not this a hell? Eren in a palace! On his truth sincere, Who spoke these words, no shadow ever
came; And when my ill-schoold spirit is aflame Some nobler, ampler stage of life to win, I'll stop, and say : “ There were no suc
cor here! The aids to noble life are all within."
To chase fatigue and fear: Why faintest thou! I wander dtill Lilierl. Roam on! The light ue sought is
shining still. Dost thou ask proof ? Our tree yet
crowns the hill. Our Scholar trarels yet the loved hill-siile.
1966. YOUTH AND CALM "Tis death ! and peace, indeed, is here, And ease from shame, and rest from fear. There's nothing can dismarble now The smoothness of that limpid brow. But is a calm like this, in truth, The crowning end of life and youth, And when this boon rewards the dead, Are all debts paid, has all been said ? And is the heart of youth so light, Its step so firm, its eyes so bright, Because on its hot brow there blows A wind of promise and repose. From the far grave, to which it goes ; Because it hath the hope to come, One day, to harbor in the tomb? th no, the bliss youth dreams is one For daylight, for the cheerful sun, For feeling nerves and living breath-Youth dreams a bliss on this side death. It dreams a rest, if not more deep, Jore grateful than this marble sleep; It hears a voice within it tell: Calm's not life's crown, though calm is
well. *T is all perhaps which man acquires, But 'tis not what our youth desires.
And he with unsunn'd face did always
I met a preacher there I knew, and said: · Ill and o'erwork d, how fare you in
this scene?"** Bravely!” said he;" for I of late have
been Much cheer'd with thoughts of Christ,
the living bread." O human soul ! as long as thou canst so Set up a mark of everlasting light, Above the howling senses' ebb and flow, To cheer thee, and to right thee if thou
Seiriol the Bright, Kybi the Dark! men
said. The seër from the East was then in light, The seër from the West was then in
shade. Ah! now 'tis changed. In conquering
sunshine bright The man of the bold West now comes
array'd ; He of the mystic East is touch'd with night.
Not with lost toil thou laborest through
the night! Thou mak'st the heaven thou hop'st indeed thy home.
THE BETTER PART
CROUCH'D on the pavement, close by
Belgrave Square, A tramp I saw, ill, moody, and tongue
tied. A babe was in her arms, and at her side A girl ; their clothes were rags, their
feet were bare. Some laboring men, whose work lay
somewhere there, Pass'd opposite ; she touch'd her girl,
who hied Across, and begg’d, and
came back satisfied. The rich she had let pass with frozen
stare. Thought I: “ Above her state this spirit
towers ; She will not ask of aliens, but of friends, Of sharers in a common human fate. She turns from that cold succor, which
attends The unknown little from the unknow
ing great, And points us to a better time than ours."
LONG fed on boundless hopes, O race of
man, How angrily thou spurn'st all simpler
fare ! Christ,” some one says,
was human as we are : No judge eyes us from Heaven, our sin
to scan ; We live no more, when we have done
our span. * Well, then, for Christ," thou answerest,
· who can care? From sin, which Heaven records not,
why forbear? Live we like brutes our life without a
plan !” So answerest thou ; but why not rather
say : · Hath man no second life?- Pitch this
one high ! Sits there no judge in Heaven, our sin
to see? More strictly, then, the inward judge
obey! Was Christ a man like us? Ah! let us try If we then, too, can be such men as he."
EAST AND WEST
In the bare midst of Anglesey they show Two springs which close by one another
play ; And, “Thirteen hundred years agone,"
they say, * Two saints met often where those
waters flow, One came from Penmon westward, and
a glow Whiten'd his face from the sun's front
ing ray ; Eastward the other, from the dying day,
Foil'd by our fellow-men, depressid.
outworn, We leave the brutal world to take its
way, And, Patience! in another life, we say, The world shall be thrust down, and we
up-borne. And will not, then, the immortal armies
scorn The world's poor, routed leavings? or
will they, Who fail'd under the heat of this life's
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for
pain ; And we are here as on a darkling plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle
and flight, Where ignorant armies clash by night.
GROWING OLD What is it to grow old ? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The lustre of the eye? Is it for beauty to forego her wreath? -Yes, but not this alone.
Is it to feel our strength-
Support the fervors of the heavenly
morn ? No, no! the energy of life may be Kept on after the grave, but not begun ; And he who flagg'd not in the earthly
strife, From strength to strength advancing
only he, His soul well-knit, and all his battles Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.
1867. DOVER BEACH The sea is calm to-night, The tide is full, the moon lies fair l'pon the straits ;-on the French coast
the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of Eng
land stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tran
quil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night
air ! Only, from the long line of spray Where the sea meets the moon-blanch'd
land, Listen! you hear the grating roar Of pebbles which the waves draw back,
and Aing. At their return, up the high strand, Begin, and cease, and then again begin. With tremulous cadence slow, and bring The eternal note of sadness in. Sophocles long ago Heard it on the Ægæan, and it brought Into his mind the turbid ebb and How Of human misery ; we Find also in the sound a thought, Hearing it by this distant northern sea. The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round
earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furld. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges
drear And naked shingles of the world. Ah, love, let us be true To one another ! for the world, which
Yes, this, and more: but not
't would be ! 'Tis not to have our life have Mellow'd and softenil as with sunset
glow, A golden day's decline.
“T is not to see the world As from a height, with rapt prophetic
eyes. And heart profoundly stirril: And weep, and feel the fulness of the
past, The years that are no more. It is to spend long days And not once feel that we were ever
young ; It is to add, inimured In the hot prison of the present, month To month with weary pain. It is to suffer this, And feel but half, and feebly, what we
feel. Deep in our hidden heart Festers the dull remembrance of
change, But no emotion-none. It is-last stage of allWhen we are frozen up within, and quite The phantom of ourselves, To hear the world applaud the hollow
ghost Which blamed the living man. 1867.
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
* Man is blind because of sin, Revelation makes him sure ; Without that, who looks within. Looks in vain, for all 's obscure.”
Nay, look closer into man !
THE LAST WORD
CREEP into thy narrow bed, Creep, and let no more be said ! Vain thy onset ! all stands fast. Thou thyself must break at last.
And jale dog-roses in the hedge. And from the mint-plant in the selge, In puffs of balm the night-air blows The perfume which the dar foreges. And on the pure horizon far, See, pulsing with the first-born star, The liquid sky above the bill! The evening comes, the fields are still, Loitering and leaping, With saunter, with boundsFlickering and circling In files and in roundsGaily their pine-staff green Tossing in air. Loose o'er their shoulders white Showering their hairSee! the wild Mænads Break from the wood, Youth and Iacchus Maddening their blood. See! through the quiet land Rioting they passFling the fresh heaps about, Trample the grass. Tear from the rifled hedge Garlands, their prize ; Fill with their sports the field, Fill with their cries. Shepherd, what ails thee, then? Shepherd, wliy mute ? Forth with thy joyous song! Forth with thy flute ! Tempts not the revel blithe? Lure not their cries? Glow not their shoulders smooth? Melt not their eyes? Is not, on cheeks like those, Lovely the flush ? - Ah, so the quiet was! So was the hush !
Let the long contention cease!
They out-talk'il thee, hiss'd thee, tore
thee? Better men fared thus before thee; Fired their ringing shot and pass’d, Hotly charged--and sank at last. Charge once more, then, and be dumb! Let the victors, when they come, When the forts of folly fall, Find thy body by the wall ! 1867.
THE NEW AGE
The evening comes, the fields are still.
The epoch ends, the world is still.
cending pure, the bell-like fame this or that down-trodden name, licate spirits, push'd away the hot press of the noon-day. do'er the plain, where the dead age Tits now silent warfare wage:s that wide plain, now
wrapt in gloom, here many a splendor finds its tomb, iny spent fames and fallen mightse one or two immortal lights e slowly up into the sky shine there everlastingly, ke stars over the bounding hill. e epoch ends, the world is still.
Set where the upper streams of Simois
flow Was the Palladium, high 'mid rock and
wood; And Hector was in Ilium, far below, And fought, and saw it not-but there
it stood !
It stood, and sun and moonshine rain'll
their light On the pure columns of its glen-built
hall, Backward and forward rollid the waves
of fight Round Troy—but while this stood, Troy
could not fall.
undering and bursting torrents, in wavesrolling and shouting er tombs, amid gravesel on the cumber'd plain earing a stage, attering the past about, omes the new age. irds make new poems, rinkers new schools, atesmen new systems, ritics new rules. II things begin again ; ife is their prize : arth with their deeds they fill, ill with their cries.
det, what ails thee, then ? by, why so mute ? orth with thy praising voice! orth with thy fute ! piterer! why sittest thou unk in thy dream ? empts not the bright new age? lines not its stream ? ook, ah, what genius, urt, science, wit ! oldiers like Cæsar, tatesmen like Pitt! culptors like Phidias, Gaphaels in shoals, poets like ShakespeareBeautiful souls ! ipe, on their glowing cheeks leavenly the fush! -Ah, so the silence was! jo was the hush!
Still doth the soul, from its lone fastness
high, Upon our life a ruling effluence send. And when it fails, fight as we will, we
die; And while it lasts, we cannot wholly end.
I ASK not that my bed of death
The world but feels the present's spell,
I ask not each kind soul to keep Tearless, when of my death he hears. Let those who will, if any, weep!