Imágenes de páginas


The heavy rain it hurries amain
And heaven and the hurricane.
Hurrying wind o'er the heaven's hollow
And the heavy rain to follow. 1881.


Brown shell first for the butterfly
And a bright wing by and by.
Butterfly, good-by to your shell,
And, bright wings, speed you well.
Bright lamplight for the butterfly
And a burnt wing by and by.
Butterfly, alas for your shell,
And, bright wings, fare you well.


Lost love-labor and lullaby, And lowly let love lie.

Lost love-morrow and love-fellow
And love's life lying low.
Lovelorn labor and life laid by
And lowly let love lie.
Late love-longing and life-sorrow
And love's life lying low.


Beauty's body and benison
With a bosom-flower new-blown.

Bitter beauty and blessing bann'd With a breast to burn and brand.

LET no man ask thee of anything
Not yearborn between Spring and

More of all worlds than he can know,
Each day the single sun doth show.
A trustier gloss than thou canst give
From all wise scrolls demonstrative,
The sea doth sigh and the wind sing.
Let no man awe thee on any height
Of earthly kingship’s mouldering might.
The dust his heel holds meet for thy

brow Hath all of it been what both are now; And thou and he may plague together A beggar's eyes in some dusty weather When none that is now knows sound or

sight. Crave thou no dower of earthly things Unworthy Hope's imaginings. To have brought true birth of Song to be And to have won hearts to Poesy, Or anywhere in the sun or rain To have loved and been beloved again, Is loftiest reach of Hope's bright wings. The wild waifs cast up by the sea Are diverse ever seasonably. Even so the soul-tides still may land A different drift upon the sand. But one the sea is evermore : And one be still, 'twixt shore and shore, As the sea's life, thy soul in thee. Say, hast thou pride? How then may fit Thy mood with flatterer's silk-spun wit? Haply the sweet voice lifts thy crest, A breeze of fame made manifest. Nay, but then chaf'st at flattery ? Pause : Be sure thy wrath is not because It makes thee feel thou lovest it. Let thy soul strive that still the same Be early friendship's sacred flame. The affinities have strongest part In youth, and draw men heart to heart: As life wears on and finds no rest, The individual in each breast Is tyrannous to sunder them. In the life-drama's stern cue-..!! A friend is a part well-prize!

Beauty's bower in the dust o'erblown With a bare white breast of bone. Barren beauty and bower' of sand With a blast on either hand.


Buried bars in the breakwater
And bubble of the brimming weir.
Body's blood in the breakwater
And a buried body's bier.
Buried bones in the breakwater
And bubble of the brawling weir.
Bitter tears in the breakwater
And a breaking heart to bear.


Hollow heaven and the hurricane And hurry of the heavy rain. Hwrried clouds in the hollow heaven And a heavy rain hard-driven.


And if thou meet an enemy, What art thou that none such should be? Even so : but if the two parts run Into each other and grow one, Then comes the curtain's cue to fall. Whate'er by other's need is claimed More than by thine,-to him unblamed Resign it: and if he should hold What more than he thou lack'st, bread, Or any good whereby we live, To thee such substance let him give Freely : nor he nor thou be shamed. Strive that thy works prove equal : lest That work which thou hast done the best Should come to be to thee at length (Even as to envy seems the strength Of others) hateful and abhorr'd, Thine own above thyself made lord, Of self-rebuke the bitterest. Unto the man of yearning thought And aspiration, to do nought Is in itself almost an act,Being chasm-fire and cataract of the soul's utter depths unseal'd. Yet woe to thee if once thou yield Unto the act of doing nought ! How callous seems beyond revoke The clock with its last listless stroke ! How much too late at length 1-to trace The hour on its forewarning face, The thing thou hast not dared to do!.... Behold, this may be thus! Ere true It prove, arise and bear thy yoke. Let lore of all Theology Be to thy soul what it can be : But know,—the Power that fashions man Measured not out thy little span For thee to take the meting-rod In turn, and so approve on God Thy science of Theometry. To God at best, to Chance at worst, Give thanks for good things, last as first. But windstrown blossom is that good Whose apple is not gratitude. Even if no prayer uplift thy face, Let the sweet right to render grace As thy soul's cherished child be nurs'd. Didst ever say, “ Lo, I forget ? ” Such thought was to remember yet. As in a gravegarth count to see The monumn


Be this thy soul's appointed scope :-
Gaze onward without claim to hope,
Nor, gazing backward, court regret.

In whomsoe'er, since Poesy began,
A Poet most of all men we may scan,
Burns of all poets is the most a Man.


I. THOMAS CHATTERTON With Shakespeare's manhood at a boy's

wild heart,Through Hamlet's doubt to Shakespeare

near allied, And kin to Milton through his Satan's

pride, At Death's sole door he stooped, and

craved a dart; And to the dear new bower of England's

art,Even to that shrine Time else had dei

fied, The unuttered heart that soared against

bis side, Drove the fell point, and smote life's

seals apart. Thy nested home-loves, noble Chatter

ton ; The angel-trodden stair thy soul could

trace Up Redcliffe's spire: and in the world's

armed space Thy gallant sword-play :--these to many

an one

Are sweet for ever ; as thy grave un

known And love-dream of thine unrecorded


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Thought-wandering, unto nought that

met them there, But to the unfettered irreversible goal. This cupboard, Holy of Holies, held the

cloud Of his soul writ and limned ; this other

one, His true wife's charge, full oft to their

abode Yielded for daily bread the martyr's

stone, Ere yet their food might be that Bread

alone, The words now home-speech of the

mouth of God.

Weary with labor spurned and love

found vain, In dead Rome's sheltering shadow wrap

ped his sleep. O pang-dowered Poet, whose reverber

ant lips And heart-strung lyre awoke the Moon's

eclipse, Thou whom the daisies glory in grow

ing o'er,Their fragrance clings around thy name,

not writ But rumord in water, while the fame

of it Along Time's flood goes echoing ever







His Soul fared forth (as from the deep

home-grove The father-songster plies the hour-long

quest,) To feed his soul-brood hungering in the

nest ; But his warm Heart, the mother-bird,

above Their callow fledgling progeny still hove With tented roof of wings and fosiering

breast Till the Soul fed the soul-brood. Richly

blest From Heaven their growth, whose food

was Human Love. Yet ah! Like desert pools that show

the stars Once in long leagues,- -even such the

scarce-snatched hours Which deepening pain left to his lord

liest powers : Heaven lost through spider-trammelled

prison-bars. Six years, from sixty saved! Yet kin

dling skies Own them, a beacon to our centuries.

'Twixt those twin worlds,-the world of

Sleep, which gave No dream to warm, -the tidal world of

Death, Which the earth's sea, as the earth, re

plenisheth, Shelley, Song's orient sun, to breast the

wave, Rose from this couch that morn. Ah!

did he brave Only the sea ?-or did man's deed of hell Engulf his bark 'mid mists impene

trable ? .

discerned, nor any power might When that mist cleared, O Shelley!

what dread veil Was rent for thee, to whom far-darkling

Truth Reigned sovereign guide through the

brief ageless youth? Was the Truth thy Truth, Shelley ?

Hush ! All-Hail, Past doubt, thou gav'st it ; and in

Truth's bright sphere Art first of praisers, being most praised here.


No eye


[blocks in formation]


THE weltering London ways where chil

dren weep And girls whom none call maidens

laugh,--strange road Miring his outward steps, who inly

trode The bright Castalian brink and Latmos'

steep :Even such his life's cross-paths; till

deathly deep He toiled through sands of Lethe; and



I CATHERINE am a Douglas born,

A name all Scots dear ; And Kate Barlass they've called me now

Through many a waning year,

long pain,



This old arm's withered now. 'T was

Most deft ’mong maidens all
To rein the steed, to wing the shaft,

To sinite the palm-play ball.
In hall adown the close-linked dance

It has shone most white and fair :
It has been the rest for a true lord's head,
And many a sweet babe's nursing-bed,

And the bar to a King's chambére. dre, lasses, draw round Kate Barlass,

And hark with bated breath How good King James, King Robert's

Was foully done to death. Through all the days of his gallant youth

The princely James was pent, By his friends at first and then by his

foes, In long imprisonment. For the elder Prince, the kingdom's heir,

By treason's murderous brood Was slain ; and the father quaked for

the child With the royal mortal blood. I'the Bass Rock fort, by his father's care,

Was his childhood's life assured ; And Henry the subtle Bolingbroke, Proud England's King, 'neath the south

ron yoke His youth for long years immured. Yet in all things meet for a kingly man

Himself did he approve; And the nightingale through his prison

wall Taught him both lore and love. For once, when the bird's song drew him

To the opened window-pane,
In her bowers beneath a lady stood,
A light of life to his sorrowful mood,

Like a lily amid the rain.
And for her sake, to the sweet bird's note,

He framed a sweeter Song,
More sweet than ever a poet's heart

Gave yet to the English tongue.
She was a lady of royal blood;

And when, past sorrow and teen, He stood where still through his crown

At Scone were the happy lovers crowned,

A heart-wed King and Queen. But the bird may fall from the bough of

youth, And song be turned to moan, And Love's storm-cloud be the shadow

of Hate, When the tempest-waves of a troubled

State Are beating against a throne. Yet well they loved ; and the god of Love,

Whom well the King had sung, Might find on the earth no truer'hearts

His lowliest swains among. From the days when first she rode abroad

With Scottish maids in her train, I Catherine Douglas won the trust

Of my mistress, sweet Queen Jane. And oft she sighed, “To be born a

And oft along the way
When she saw the homely lovers pass

She has said, Alack the day!”
Years wared,- the loving and toiling

years : Till England's wrong renewed Drove James, by outrage cast on his

crown, To the open field of feud. 'T was when the King and his host were

met At the leaguer of Roxbro' hold, The Queen o'the sudden sought his camp

With a tale of dread to be told. And she showed him a secret letter writ

That spoke of treasonous strife, And how a band of his noblest lords

Were sworn to take his life. “ And it may be here or it may be there,

In the camp or the court." she said : “ But for my sake come to your people's

And guard your royal heal." Quoth he, “ 'T is the fifteenth day of the

siege, And the castle 's nigh to yield.” “O face your foes on your throne," she

cried, “And show the power you wield ; And under your Scottish people's love

You shall sit as under your shield.”


less years

His Scottish realm had been,

At the fair Queen's side I stood that day

When he bade themn raise the siege, And back to his Court he sped to know

How the lords would meet their Liege.

But when he summoned his Parliament,

The louring brows hung round, Like clouds that circle the mountain

head Ere the first low thunders sound.

· No Liege of mine thou art : but I see From this day forth alone in thee

God's creature, my mortal foe. • Through thee are my wife and children

lost, My heritage and lands; And when my God shall show me a way, Thyself my mortal foe will I slay

With these my proper hands. Against the coming of Christmastide

That year the King bade call I' the Black Friars' Charterhouse of Perth

A solemn festival.

For he had tamed the nobles' lust

And curbed their power and pride, And reached out an arm to right the

poor Through Scotland far and wide; And many a lordly wrong-doer

By the headsman's axe had died. 'T was then upspoke Sir Robert Græme,

The bold o'ermastering man :O King, in the name of your Three

Estates I set you under their ban! · For, as your lords made oath to you

Of service and fealty, Even in likewise you pledged your oath

Their faithful sire to be :" Yet all we here that are nobly sprung

Have mourned dear kith and kin Since first for the Scottish Barons' curse

Did your bloody rule begin.” With that he laid his hands on his

King :* Is this not so, my lords ?” But of all who had sworn to league with

him Not one spake back to his words. Quoth the King :-“ Thou speak'st but

for one Estate, Nor doth it avow thy gage. Let my liege lords hale this traitor

hence !" The Græme fired dark with rage :" Who works for lesser men than himself,

He earns but a witless wage!” But soon from the dungeon where he lay

He won by privy plots, And forth he fled with a price on his

head To the country of the Wild Scots. And word there came from Sir Robert

To the King at Edinbro':-


And we of his household rode with him

In a close-ranked company : But not till the sun had sunk from his

throne Did we reach the Scottish Sea. That eve was clenched for a boding storm,

'Neath a toilsome moon half seen; The cloud stooped low and the surf

rose high; And where there was a line of the sky,

Wild wings loomed dark between. And on a rock of the black beach-side,

By the veiled moon dimly lit, There was something seemed to heare

with life As the King drew nigh to it. And was it only the tossing furze

Or brake of the waste sea-wold? Or was it an eagle bent to the blast ? When near we came, we knew it at last

For a woman tattered and old. But it seemed as though by a fire within

Her writhen limbs were wrung; And as soon as the King was close to her.

She stood up gaunt and strong. 'T was then the moon sailed clear of the

rack On high in her hollow dome; And still as aloft with hoary crest

Each clamorous wave rang home, Like fire in snow the moonlight blazed

Amid the champing foam. And the woman held his eyes with her

eyes: “O King, thou art come at last ; But thy wraith has haunted the Scottish

To my sight for four years past.

« AnteriorContinuar »