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Their light stems thrill to the wild wood strains,
And youth is abroad in my green domains.
But ye! ye are changed since ye met me last ;
A shade of earth has been round you cast !
There is that come over your brow and eye,
Which speaks of a world where the flowers must die!
Ye smile! but your smile hath a dimness yet-
Oh, what have ye look'd on since last we met ?
Ye are changed, ye are changed !--and I see not here
All whom I saw in the vanish'd year!
There were graceful heads, with their ringlets bright,
Which toss'd in the breeze with a play of light;
There were eyes, in whose glistening laughter lay
No faint remembrance of dull decay.
Th were steps, that flew o'er the cowslip's head,
As if for a banquet all earth were spread;
There were voices that rung through the sapphire sky,
And had not a sound of mortality!
Are they gone ?-is their mirth from the
Ye have look'd on death since ye met me last !
I know whence the shadow comes o'er ye now,
Ye have strewn the dust on the sunny brow !
Ye have given the lovely to earth's embrace,
She hath taken the fairest of beauty's race!
With their laughing eyes and their festal crown
They are gone from amongst you in silence down.
They are gone from amongst you, the bright and fair-
Ye have lost the gleam of their shining hair!
But I know of a world where there falls no blight,
I shall find them there, with their eyes of light !
Where death ʼmidst the blooms of the morn may dwell,
I tarry no longer-farewell—farewell !
The summer is hastening, on soft winds borne,
Ye may press the grape, ye may bind the corn!
For me, I depart to a brighter shore,
Ye are mark'd by care, ye are mine no more.
I go where the loved who have left you dwell,
And the flowers are not death's-fare ye well, farewell !
To BRYANT we turn again for another of bis beautiful picures of Nature, and he has composed nothing more beautiful than this.
It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
The dew that lay upon the morning grass.
There is no rustling in the lofty elm
That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
And interrupted murmur of the bee,
Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
Instantly on the wing. The plants around
Feel the too potent fervours : the tall maize
Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven, -
Their bases on the mountains—their white tops
Shining in the far ether-fire the air
With a reflected radiance, and make turn
The gazer's eye away. For me, I lie
Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
That still delays its coming. Why so slow,
Gentle and voluble spirit of the air ?
Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
He hears me ? See, on yonder woody ridge,
The pine is bending his proud top, and now,
Among the nearer groves, chesnut and oak
Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes !
Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves !
The deep distressful silence of the scene
Breaks up with mingling of unnumber'd sounds
And universal motion. He is come,
Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
Of distant waterfalls. All the
Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
Nod gaily to each other; glossy leaves
Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
Were on them yet, and silver waters break
Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.
ON POWER'S STATUE OF THE GREEK SLAVE.
Mrs. BROWNING, of whose peculiar genius we shall have more to say on another occasion, is the author of the following Sonnet.
say Ideal Beauty cannot enter
The house of anguish. On the threshold stands
An alien Image with the shackled hands,
Call'd the Greek Slave : as if the artist meant her
(That passionless perfection which he lent her,
Shadow'd, not darken'd, where the sill expands)
To so confront man's crimes in different lands
With man's ideal sense. Pierce to the centre,
Art's fiery finger !—and break up ere long
The serfdom of this world! Appeal, fair stone,
From God's pure heights of beauty, 'gainst man's wrong!
Catch up in thy divine face not alone
East griefs but west, -- and strike and shame the strong
By thunders of white silence overthrown.
THE LAST POET. It is very difficult to render into another language the delicate shades of thought in which the beauty of a poem often lies, especially when the translator is also hampered by the shackles of rhyme. Often he is compelled to sacrifice the idea to the verse. So it has been with the translation into English of this fine German lyric from the pen of Count AUERSPERG ; nevertheless enough of the spirit of the original is preserved to excite the admiration of all lovers of poetry.
“When will you bards be weary
Of rhyming on? How long
Ere it is sung and ended,
The old eternal song ?
“Is it not, long since, empty-
The horn of full supply ;
And all the posies gather'd
And all the fountains dry ?”
As long as the Sun's Chariot
Yet keeps its azure track,
And but one human visage
Gives answering glances back;
As long as skies shall nourish
thunderbolt and gale,
And frightened at their fury
One throbbing heart shall quail ;
As long as after tempest
Shall spring one showery bow,
One breast with peaceful promise
Of reconcilement glow;
As long as night the concave
Sows with its starry seed,
And but one man those letters
Of golden writ can read;
Long as a moonbeam glimmers,
Or bosom sighs a vow;
Long as the wood-leaves rustle
To cool a weary brow;
As long as roses blossom,
And earth is green in May;
As long as eyes shall sparkle
And smile in pleasure's ray ;
As long as cypress shadows
The graves more mournful make,
Or one cheek's wet with weeping,
Or one poor heart can break;
So long on earth shall wander
The goddess Poesy,
And with her one exulting
Her votarist to be.
And, singing on, triumphing,
The old earth-mansion through,
Out marches the last minstrel, –
He is the last man too.
The Lord holds the Creation
Forth in his hand, meanwhile,
Like a fresh flower just open'd,
And views it with a smile.
When once this Flower-Giant
Begins to show decay,
And Earths and Suns are flying
Like blossom-dust away ;
Then ask-if of the question
Not weary yet—how long
Ere it is sung and ended,
The old eternal song.
STORM AND CALM. This is a pretty poem by CRABBE, who is remarkable for his graphic powers, and who has painted life as it is in its forms of poverly and crime, with a sternness of truth which makes the reader shudder, but at the same time commands his attention. He seldom passes into the fanciful, and is rarely successful in his attempts to do so. But the following is one of his best efforts out of his own peculiar sphere, and it is as good a specimen as we possess of a style of poetry now past away, yet not without many merits which make the best of it worthy of a place in this Selection.
Ar sea when angry tempests rise,
When angry winds the waves deform,
The seaman lifts to Heaven his eyes,
And deprecates the dreadful storm.