Imágenes de páginas
PDF

They grappled with their prize,

At miduight black and cold! As of a rock was the shock;

Heavily the gronnd-swell rolled.

Sonthward throngh day and dark,

They drift in close embrace, With mist and rain, to the Spanish Main;

Yet there seems no change of place.

Sonthward, for ever sonthward,
They drift throngh dark and day:

And like a dream, in the Gulf-Stream
Sinking, vanish all away.

THE LIGHTHOUSE.

The rocky ledge ruus far into the sea,
And on its onter point, some miles away,

The lighthonse lifts its massive masoury,
A pillar of fire by night, of clond by day

Even at this distance I can sec the tides,
Upheaving, break unheard along its base,

A speechiess wrath, that rises and subsides
In the white lip and tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkeus, lo! how bright.
Throngh the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sndden radiance of its light
With strange, unearthiy splendonr in its glare!

Not one alone; from each projeeting cape
And perilons reef along the ocean's verge,

Starts into life, a dim, gigantic shape,
Holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands
Upon the brink of the tempestuons wave,

Wading far ont among the rocks and sands,
The ulglit-o'ertaken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail ontward and return.
Bending and bowing o'er the billowy swells,

And ever joyful, as they sec it burn, They wave their silent welcomes and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails

Gleam for a moment ouly in the blaze, And eager faces as the light unveils.

Gaze at the tower, and vanish whilo they gaze. The mariner remembers when a child,

On his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink; And when, returning from adventures wild,

He saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
Year after year, throngh all the silent night

Burus on for evermore that qnenchiess flame,
Shines on that inextinguishable light!

It sees the ocean to its bosom clasp

The rocks and sea-sand whli the kiss of peace, It sees the wild winds lift it in their grasp,

And hold it up, and shake it like a fleece. The startled waves leap over it; the storm

Smites it with all the sconrges of the rain, And steadily agaiust its solid form

Press the great shonlders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling ronnd it, with the din
Of wings and winds and solitary cries.

Blinded and maddened by the light within.
Dashes himself agaiust the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock,

Still grasping in bis hand the fire of Jove, It does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock,

Bnt hails the mariner with words of love. "Sail on!" it says, "sail on, ve stately ships!

And with yonr floating bridge the ocean span; Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse.

Be yours, to bring man nearer unto man!'''

THE FIRE OF DRIFT-WOOD.

We sat within the farm-honse old.
Whose windows, looking o'er the hay.

Gave to the sea-breeze, damp and cold,
An easy entrance, night and day.

Not far away we saw the port,—
The strange, old-fashioned, silent town,—

The light-honse,—the dismantled fort,—
The wooden honses, quaint and brown.

We sat and talked until the night,

Descending, filled the little room; Our faces faded from the sight,

Our voices ouly broke the gloom.

We spake of many a vanished scene.
Of what we once had thonght and said,

Of what had been, and might have been.
And who was changed, and who was dead;

And all that fills the hearts of friends.
When first they teel. with secret pain.

Their lives thenceforth have separate ends,
And never can be one again;

The first slight swerving of the heart.
That words are powerless to express,

And leave it still uusaid in part,
Or say it in too great excess.

The very tones in which we spake
Had something strange, I conld bnt mark;

The leaves of memory seemed to make
A monrnful rustling in the dark.

Oft died the words upon onr lips,

As snddeuly from ont the fire Built of the wreck of stranded ships.

The flames wonld leap and Jhen expire.

And, as their splendonr flashed and failed,
We thonght of wrecks upon the main,—

Of ships dismasted, that were hailed
And sent no auswer back again.

The windows, rattling in their frames,—

The ocean, soaring up the beach,
The gusty blast,—the bickering flames,—

All mingled vagnely in onr speech.

Until they made themselves a part
Of fancies floating throngh the brain,—

The long-lost ventures of the heart,
That send no auswers back again.

O flames that glowed! O hearts that yearned!

They were indeed too mnch akin,
The drift-wood fire withont that burned.

The thonghts that burned and glowed within.

BY THE FIRESIDE.

RESIGNATION".

Theee is no flock, however watched nitd tended,

Bnt one dead lamb is there!
There is no fireside, howsoe'er defended,

Bnt has one vacant chair!

The air is full of farewells to the dying,

And mournings for the dead;
The heart of Rachel for her children crying,

Will not be comforted!

Let us be patient! These severe afflietions

Not from the gronnd arise,
Bnt oftentimes celestial benedietious

Assume this dark disguise.

We sec bnt dimly throngh the mist and vaponrs.

Amid these earthiy damps.
What seems to us bnt sad, funereal tapcra

May be licaren> distant lamps.

There is no l)eatht What seems so is trausition;

This life of mortal breath
Is bnt a snbnrb of the life Elysian,

Whose portal vve call Death.

She is not dead,—the child of onr affection,—

Bnt gone nnto that school Where she no longer needs onr poor protection,

And Christ himself doth rnle.

ln that great cloister's stiliness and seclnsion,

By gnardian angels led. Safe from temptation, safe from sin's pollntion,

She lives, whom we call dead.

Day after day we think what she is doing

ln those bright realms of air: Year after year, her tender steps pnrsning,

Behold her grown more fair.

Tims do we walk with her, and keep nubroken

The bond which natnre gives, Thinking that onr remembrance, thongh nnspoken,

May reach Her where she lives.

Not as a child shall we again behold her;

For when with raptnres wild, ln onr embraces we again enfold her.

She will not be a child;

Bnt a fair maiden, in her Father's mausion,

Clothed with celestial grace;
And beantifnl with nil the sonl's expausion,

Shall we behold her face.

And thongh at times impetnons with emotion

And angnish long snppressed, The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean.

That caunot be at rest,—

We will be patient, and assnage the feeling

We may not wholly stay;
Bv silence sanctifying, not concealing,

The grief that umst have way.

THE BtHLDERS.
All are arehitects of Fate

Working in these walls of Time,
Some with massive deeds and great,

Some with ornaments of rhyme.

Nothing nseless is, or low;

Each thing in its place is best;
And what seems bnt idle show

Strengtheus and snpports the rest.

For the strnctnre that we raise.

Time is with materials filled;
Onr to-days and yesterdays

Are the blocks with which we bnild.

Trnly shape and fashion these;

Leave no yawning gaps between;
Think not, becanse no man sees,
Sneh things will remain nuseen.

ln the elder days of Art,

Bnilders wronght with greatest care
Each minnte and nuseen part;

For the Gods see everywhere.
Let ns do onr work as well.

Both the nuseen and the seen;
Make the honse where Gods may dwell

Beantifnl, entire, and clean.

Else onr lives are incomplete.

Standing in these walls of Time,
Broken stairways, where the feet

Stnmble as they seek to climb.

Bnild to-day, then, strong and snre,

With a firm and ample base;
And ascending and secnre

Shall to-morrow find lts place.

Tlms alone can we attain
To those tnrrets, where the eye

Sees the world as one vast plain.
And one benndless reach of sky.

SAND OF THE DESERT lX AN HOUR-
GLASS.

A Handful of red sand from the hot clime

Of Arab deserts bronght,
Within this glass becomes the spy of Time,

The minister of Thonght. ^

How many weary centnries has it been

Abont those deserts blown!
How many strange vicissitndes has seen,

How many histories known!

Perhaps the camels of the lshmaclitc

Trampled and passed it o'er,
When into Egpyt from the patriareh's sight

His favonrite son they bore.

Perhaps the feet of Moses, bnrnt and bare,

Crnshed it beneath their tread;
Or Pbaroah's flashing wheels into the air

Scattered it as they sped;

Or Mary, with the Christ of Nazareth

Held close in her caress,
Whose pilgrimage of hope and love and faith

lllnmed the wilderness;

Or anchorites beneath Engaddl's palms

Pacing the Red Sea beach,
And singing slow their old Armenian psalms

ln half-articnlate speech;

Or caravaus, that from Bassora's gate

With westward steps depart;
Or Mecea's pilgrims, confident of Fate,

And resolnte of heart!

These have passed over it, or may have passed;

Now in this crystal tower lmprisoned by some cnrions hand at last,

lt connts the passing honr.

And as l gaze, these narrow walls expand;

Before my dreamy eye
Stretches the desert with its shifting tand,

lts nnimpeded sky.

And borne aloft by the snstaining blast,

This little golden thread
Dilates into a colnum high and vast,

A form of fear and dread.

And onward, and across the setting snn,

Across the bonndless plain,
The colnum and its broader shadow rnn

Till thonght pnrsnes in vain.

The vision vanishes! These walls again

Shnt ont the lnrid snn,
Shnt ont the hot, immeasnrable plain;

The half-honr's sand is rnn.

BlRDS OF PASSAGE.

Blacr shadows fall
From the lindeus tall.
That lift aloft their massive wall
Agaiust the sonthern sky;

And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
The fields that ronnd ns lie.

Bnt the night is fair.
And everywhere
A warm, soft vaponr fills the air,
And distant sonnds seem near;

And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Throngh the dewy atmosphere.

I hear the beat
Of their pinious fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek u sonthern lea.

I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily throngh the sky,
Bnt their form I caunot see.

Oh, say not so
Those sonnds that flow
In umrumrs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.

They are the throngs
Of the poet's songs,

Murumrs of pleasures, and paius, and wrongs,
The sonnd of winged words.

This the cry
Of sonls, that high
On toiling, beating pinious, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime.

From their distant flight
Throngh reaims of light
It falls into onr world of night,
With the umrumring sonnd of rhyme.

THE OPEN WINDOW

The old honse by the lindeus

Stood silent in the shade.
And on the gravelled pathway

The light and shadow played.

I saw the nursery windows

Wide open to the air;
Bnt the faces of the children,

They were no longer there. ,

The large Newfonndland honse-dog

Was standing by the door;
He looked for his little playmates,
Who wonld return no more.

They walked not under the lindeus,
They played not in the hall;

Bnt sliadow, and silence, and saduess,
Were hanging over all.

The birds sang in the branches,

With sweet, familiar tone;
Bnt the voices of the children

Will be heard in dreams alone 1

And tke boy that walked beside me,

He conld not understand.
Why closer in mine, ah! closer,

I pressed his warm, soft hand I

KING WITLAF'S DRINKING-HORN.

Witlaf, a king of the Saxous,

Ere yet his last he breathed,
To the merry monks of Croyland

His drinking-horn beqneathed,—

That, whenever they sat at their revels,
And drank from the golden bow!,

They might remember the donor.
And breathe a prayer for his sonl.

So sat they once at Christmas,

And bade the goblet pass;
In their beards the red wine glistened

Like dew-drops in the grass.

They drank to the sonl of Witlaf,
They drank to Christ the Lord,

And to each of the Twelve Apostles,
Who had preached Hls holy word.

They drank to the Saints and Martyrs

Of the dismal days of yore.
And as soon as the horn was empty

They remembered one Saint more.

And the reader droned from the puipit;
Like the umrumr of many bees,

The legend of good Saint Cinthiae,
And Saint Basil's homilies:

Till the great bells of the convent,
From their prison in the tower,

Gnthiac and Bartholomams
Proclaimed the miduight honr.

And the-Yule-log cracked in the chiumey,
And the Abbot bowed las head,

And the flamelets flapped and flickered, Bnt the Abbot was stark and dead.

Yet still in his pallid fingers

lie clntched the golden bowl, In which, like a pearl dissolving.

Had sunk and dissolved his sonl.

Bnt not for this their revels

The jovial monks forbore.
For they cried. "Flll high the goblet!

We umst drink to one Saint more!"

GASPAR BECERRA.

By his evening fire the artist
Pondered o'er his secret shame;

Baffled, weary, and disheartened,
Still he umsed, and dreamed of fame.

'Twas an image of the Virgin
That had tasked his ntmost skill!

Bnt alas! his fair ideal
Vanished and escaped him still.

From a distant Eastern island
Had the precions wood been bronght;

Day and night the anxions master
At his toil untiring wronght;

Till, disconraged and desponding,

Sat he now in shadows deep, And the dav's humiliation

Fonnd oblivion in sleep.

Then a voice cried, " Rise, O master!

From the burning brand of oak Shape the thonght that stirs within thee!'

And the startled artist woke,—

Woke, and from the smoking embers
Seized and qnenched the glowing wood;

And therefrom lie carved an image,
And he saw that it was good.

O thon sculptor, painter, poet!

Take this lesson to thy heart; That is best which lieth nearest;

Shape from that thy work of art.

PEGASUS IX POUND.

Once into a quiet village.

Withont haste and withont heed, In the golden prime of morning.

Strayed the poet's winged steed.

It was Antuum, and incessant

Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves, And, like living coals, the apples

Burned among the withering leaves.

Load the clamorons bell was ringing
From its belfry gaunt and grim;

'Twas the daily call to labonr.
Not a trinmph meant for him.

Not the less he saw the landscape,

In its gleaming power veiled;
Not the less he breathed the odonrs

That the dying leaves exhaled.

Thus, upon the village common,
By the school-boys he was fonnd;

And the wise men,*in their wisdom,
Pnt him straightway into ponnd.

Then the sombre village crier.

Ringing lond his brazen bell. Wandered down the street proclaiming

There was an estray to sell.

And the curions conntry people,

Rich and poor, and yonng and old. Came in haste to see this wondrons

Winged steed, with mane of gold. Thus the day passed, and the evening

Fell with vaponrs cold and dim; Bnt it bronght no food nor shelter.

Bronght no straw nor stall, for him. Patiently, and still expeetant.

Looked he throngh the wooden bars, Saw the moon rise o'er the landscape,

Saw the tranquil, patient stars;

Till at length the bell at miduight

Sonnded from its dark abode. And, from ont a neighbonring farm-yard

Lond the cock Aleetryon crowed. Then, with nostrils wide distended,

Breaking from his iron chain, And unfolding far his pinious,

To those slurs he soared again.
On the morrow, when the village

Woke to all its toil and rare,
Lo! ttie strange steed bad departed.

And they knew not when nor where.

Bnt they fonnd upon the greeusward

Where his struggling hoofs bad trod, Phfc and bright, a fountain flowing

From the hoof-marks in the sod. From that honr, the fonnt unfailing

Gladdeus the whole region ronnd. Strengthening all who drink its waters,

While it soothes them with its sonnd.

TEGNER'S DEATH.

I Heaed a voice that cried,
"Balder the Beantiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And throngh the misty air
Passed like the monrnful cry
Of sunward sailing cranes.

I saw the pallid corpse

Of the dead sun

Borne throngh the Northern sky.

Blasts from Niffelheim

Lifted the sheeted mists

Aronnd him as he passed

And the voice for over cried,

"Balder the Beantiful

Is dead, is dead!'

And died away

Throngh the dreary night,

In aecents of despair.

Balder the Beantiful
God of the summer sun,
Fairest of all the Gods!
Light from his forehead beamed.
Runes were upon his tongne,
As on the warrior's sword.

All things in earth and air
Bonnd were by magic spell
Never to do him harm;
Even the plants and stones'
All save the mistletoe,
The sacred mistletoe!

Hceder, the blind old God,
Whose feet are shod with silence,
Piereed throngh that gentle breast
With his sharp spear, by frand
Made of the mistletoe,
The aecursed mistletoe!

They laid him in his ship,
With horse and harness,
As on a funeral pyre,
Odin placed
A ring upon his finger,
And whispered in his ear.

They launched the burning shin.

It floated far away

Over the misty sen.

Till like the sun it seemed.

Sinking beneath the waves

Balder returned no more!

So perished the old Gods!
Bnt ont of the sea of Time
Rises a new land of song,
Fairer than the old.
Over its meadows green
Walk the yonng bards and sing.

Build it again

O ye bards,

Fairer than before!

Ye fathers of the new race,

Feed upon morning dew,

Sing the new Song of Love I

The law of foree is dead!
The law of love prevails!
Thor, the thunderer.
Shall rule the earth no more.
No more with threats.
Challenge the meek Christ.
Sing no more.
Ye bards of the North,
Of Vikings and of Jarls!
Of the days of Eld
Preserve the freedom ouly,
Not the deeds of blood!

SONNET.

on MRS. KEMBle'S READINGS FROM SIIAKSPERE.

p r-REcrous evenings! all too swiftly speed i
Leaving us heirs to all the amplest heritages
Of all the best thonghts of the greatest sages,
And giving tongnes unto the silent dead!
How onr hearts glowed and trembled as sho

read, Interpreting by tones the wondrons pages Of the great poet who foreruus the ages. Anticipating all that shall be said! O happy reader! having for thv text a he magic book, whoso Sybiliine leaves have

caught
The rarest essence of all human thonght!
O happy Poet! by no critic vext!
How umst thy listening spirit now rejoice
To be interpreted by snch a voice!

THE SINGERS.
God sent his singers upon earth,
With songs of saduess and of mirth.
That they might tonch the hearts of men,
And bring them brfck to heaven again.
The first, a yonth, with sonl of fire,
Held in his hand a golden lyre;
Throngh groves he wandered, and by streams,
Playing the umsic of onr dreams.

The second, with a bearded face,
Stood singing in the market-place.
And stirred with aecents deep and lond
The hearts of all the listening crowd.

A grey, old man, the third and last,
Sang in cathedrals dim and vast.
While the majestic organ rolled
Contrition from its months of gold.

And those who heard the singers three

Dispnted which the best might be;

For still their umsic seemed to start

Discordant echoes in each heart.

Bnt the great Master said, "I see

No best in kind, bnt in degree;

l gave a varions gift to each,

To charm, to strengthen, and to teach.

"These are the three great chords of might,
And he whose car is tnned aright
Will hear no discord in the three,
Bnt the most perfect harmony."

SUSPlRlA.

Tare them, O Death! and bear awny Whatever thon caust call thine own;

Thine image, stamped npon this clay, Doth give thee that, bnt that alone!

Take them, O Grave! and let them lie

Folded npon thy narrow shelves, As garments by the sonl laid by.

And precions only to onrselves! Take them, O great Eternity!

Onr little life is bnt a gnst, That bends the branches of thy tree,

And trails its blossoms in the dnst!

HYMN.

FOR MT BROTHER'S ORDINATION.

CnRiST to the yonng man said: "Yet one thing more;

lf thon wonldst perfect be,
Sell all thon hast and give it to the poor,

And come and follow me!"
Within this temple Christ again, nuseen,

Those sacred words hath said,
And bis invisible hands to-day have been

Laid on a yonng man's head.
And evermore beside him on his way

The nuseen Christ shall move,
That he may lean npon his arm and say,

"Dost thon, dear Lord, approve?" Beside hira at the marriage feast shall be,

To make the scene more fair; Beside him in the dark Gethsemano

Of pain and midnight prayer,

O holy trnst! O endless seuse of rest!

Like the beloved Joim
To lav his head npon the Savionr's breast,

And tims to lonrney on l

THE BLlND GlRL OF CASTEL-CUlLLE.

FROM THE GASCON OF JASMlN.

Only the Lowland tongne of Scotland might
Rehearse this little tragedy aright;
Let me attempt it with an English qnill:
And take, O Reader, for the deed the will.

At the foot of the monntain height

Where is perehed Castel-Cnille, When the apple, the plnm, and the almond-tree,

ln the plain below were growing white,

Tills is the song one might pereeive On a Wednesday morn of Saint Joseph's Eve:

"The roads shonld blossom, the roads shonld

bloom. So fair a bride shonld leave her home! Shonld blossom and bloom with garlands gay, So fair a bride shall pass to-day!"

This old Te Denm, rnstic rites attending,
Seemed from the clonds descending;
When lo! a merry company

Of rosy village girls, clean as the eye.
Each one with her attendant swain,

Came to the cliff, all singing the same strain;

Resembling there, so near nnto the sky,
Reloicing angels, that kind Heaven has sent,
For their delight and onr enconragement

Together blending,

And soon descending

The narrow sweep

Of the hill-side steep,

They wind aslant

Towards saint Anant,

Throngh leafy alleys

Of verdnrons valleys,

With merry sallies

Singing their chant:

"The roads shonld blosson, the roads shonld

bloom, ,

So fair a bride shall leave her home!
Shonld blossom and bloom with garlands gay,
So fair a bride shall pass to-day!"
lt is Baptiste, and his affianced maiden,
With garlands for the bridal laden!
The sky was blne; withont one clond of gloom,

The snn of Mareh was shining brightly.
And to the air the freshening wind gave lightly

lts breathings of perfnme.

When one beholds the dnsky hedges blossom,
A rnstic bridal, ah! how sweet lt is!

To sonnds of loyons melodies.
That tonch with tenderness the trembling
bosom,
A band of maideus
Gayly frolicking,
A band of yonngsters
Wildly rollicking!
Kissing,
Caressing,
With fingers pressing,
Till in the veriest
Madness of mirth, as they dance,
They retreat and advance.
Trying whose langh shall be londest and
merriest;
While the bride, with rognish eyes.
Sporting with them, now escapes and cries:
"Those who catch mo
Married verily
This year shall be!"
And all pnrsne with eager haste,
And all attain what they pnrsne,
And tonch her pretty apron fresh and new,
And the linen kirtle ronnd her waist.

Meanwhile, whence comes it that among These yonthfnl maideus fresh and fair, So loyons, with snch langhing air, Baptiste stands sighing, with silent tongne? And vet the bride is fair and yonng! ls it Saint Joseph wonld say to ns all, That love, o'erhasty precedeth a fall? Oh, no ! for a maiden frail, I trow, Never bore so lofty a brow! What lovers! they give not a single caress To see them so careless and cold to-day,

These are grand people, one wonld say. What ails Baptiste? what grief doth him oppress? lt is, that half-way np the hill, ln yon cottage, by those walls Stand the cart-honse and the stalls, Dwelleth the blind orphan still, Danghter of a veteran old; And yon umst know, one year ago. That Margaret, the yonng and tender, Was the village pride and splendonr, And Baptiste hor <over bold.

« AnteriorContinuar »