Imágenes de páginas

Proffered its horny hand. The large-lunged West, Upon the ghastly foreheads of the crew;
From out his giant breast,

The whispers of rebelliou, faint and few Yelled its frank welcome. And from main to main At first, but deepening ever till they grew Jubilant to the sky,

Into black thoughts of murder, -such the throng Thundered the mighty cry,

Of horrors bound the hero. High the song HONOR TO KANE!

Should be that hymns the noble part he played !

Sinking himself, yet ministering aid
In vain, — in vain beneath his feet we flung To all around him. By a mighty will

The reddening roses ! All in vain we poured Living defiant of the wants that kill,

The golden wine, and round the shining board Because his death would seal his comrades' fate ; Sent the toast circling, till the rafters rung Cheering with ceaseless and inventive skill With the thrice-tripled honors of the feast !

Those polar waters, dark and desolate. Scarce the buds wilted and the voices ceased

Equal to every trial, every fate, Ere the pure light that sparkled in his eyes,

He stands, until spring, tardy with relief, Bright as auroral fires in Southern skies,

Unlocks the icy gate, Faded and faded ! And the brave young heart and the pale prisoners thread the world once That the relentless Arctic winds had robbed

more, Of all its vital heat, in that long quest

To the steep cliffs of Greenland's pastoral shore For the lost captain, now within his breast

Bearing their dying chief !
More and more faintly throbbed.
His was the victory ; but as his grasp

Time was when he should gain his spurs of gold! Closed on the laurel crown with eager clasp,

From royal hands, who wooed the knightly Death launched a whistling dart ;

state ; And ere the thunders of applause were done

The knell of old formalities is tolled, His bright eyes closed forever on the sun!

And the world's knights are now self-conseToo late, - too late the splendid prize he won

crate. In the Olympic race of Science and of Art !

No grander episode doth chivalry hold Like to some shattered berg that, pale and lone,

In all its annals, back to Charlemagne, Drifts from the white North to a Tropic zone, Than that lone vigil of unceasing pain, And in the burning day

Faithfully kept through hunger and through cold, Wastes peak by peak away,

By the good Christian knight, Elisha Kane ! Till on some rosy even

FITZ.JAMES O'BRIEN. It dies with sunlight blessing it ; so he Tranquilly floated to a Southern sea, And melted into heaven !

He needs no tears who lived a noble life!

We will not weep for him who died so well ; A Light is out in Italy,
But we will gather round the hearth, and tell A golden tongue of purest flame.
The story of his strife ;

We watched it burning, long and lone,
Such homage suits him well,

And every watcher knew its name,
Better than funeral pomp or passing bell !

And knew from whence its fervor came :

That one rare light of Italy, What tale of peril and self-sacrifice !

Which put self-seeking souls to shame! Prisoned amid the fastnesses of ice,

With hunger howling o'er the wastes of snow ! This light which burnt for Italy Night lengthening into months; the ravenous Through all the blackness of her night, floe

She doubted, once upon a time, Crunching the massive ships, as the white bear Because it took away her sight. Crunches his prey. The insufficient share She looked and said, “ There is no light!” Of loathsome food ;

It was thine eyes, poor Italy ! The lethargy of famine ; the despair

That knew not dark apart from bright. Urging to labor, nervelessly pursued :

Toil done with skinny arms, and faces lued This flame which burnt for Italy, Like pallid masks, while dolefully behind

It would not let her haters sleep. Glimmered the fading embers of a mind!

They blew at it with angry breath, That awful hour, when through the prostrate band And only fed its upward leap, Delirium stalked, laying his burning hand And only made it hot and deep.

Its burning showed us Italy, And all the hopes she had to keep.

This light is out in Italy,

Her eyes shall seek for it in vain ! For her sweet sake it spent itself,

Too early flickering to its wane, Too long blown over by her pain.

Bow down and weep, 0 Italy, Thou canst not kindle it again !

LAURA C. REDDEN (Howard Glyndon).

God-fearing, learned in life's hard-taught school ;
By long obedience lessoned how to rule ;
Through many an early struggle led to find
That crown of prosperous fortune, – to be kind.
Lay on his breast these English daisies sweet!
Good rest to the gray head and the tired feet
That walked this world for seventy steadfast

years !
Bury him with fond blessings and few tears,
Or only of remembrance, not regret.
On his full life the eternal seal is set,
Unbroken till the resurrection day.
So let his children's children go their way,
Go and do likewise, leaving 'neath this sod
An honest man,

“the noblest work of God."




MAY 28, 1857

Tuy error, Fremont, simply was to act
A brave man's part, without the statesman's tact,
Ard, taking counsel but of common sense,
To strike at cause as well as consequence,
0, never yet since Roland wound his horn
At Roncesvalles has a blast been blown
Far-heard, wide-echoed, startling as thine own,
Heard from the van of freedom's hope forlorn !
It had been safer, doubtless, for the time,
To flatter treason, and avoid offence
To that Dark Power whose underlying crime
Heaves upward its perpetual turbulence.
But, if thine be the fate of all who break
The ground for truth's seed, or forerun their

Till lost in distance, or with stout hearts make
A lane for freedom through the level spears,
Still take thou courage ! God has spoken through

thee, Irrevocable, the mighty words, Be free ! The land shakes with them, and the slave's dull

It was fifty years ago,

In the pleasant month of May, In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,

A child in its cradle lay.

And Nature, the old nurse, took

The child upon her knee, Saying, “Here is a story-book

Thy Father has written for thee."

"C'ome, wander with me," she said,

“Into regions yet untrod, And read what is still unread

In the manuscripts of God."

[blocks in formation]

And the mother at home says,

“ Hark!
For his voice I listen and yearn :
It is growing late and dark,
And my boy does not return !"



On the isle of Penikese,
Ringed about by sapphire seas,
Fanned by breezes salt and cool,
Stood the Master with his school.
Over sails that not in vain
Wooed the west-wind's steady strain,
Line of past that low and far
Stretched its undulating bar,
Wings aslant along the rim
Of the waves they stooped to skim,
Rock and isle and glistening bay,
Fell the beautiful white day.

The All-Father heareth us ; And his holy ear we pain With our noisy words and vain. Not for him our violence, Storming at the gates of sense, His the primal language, his The eternal silences ! Even the careless heart was moved, And the doubting gave assent, With a gesture reverent, To the Master well-beloved. As thin mists are glorified By the light they cannot hide, All who gazed upon him saw, Through its veil of tender awe, How his face was still uplit By the old sweet look of it, Hopeful, trustful, full of cheer, And the love that casts out fear. Who the secret may declare Of that brief, unuttered prayer ? Did the shade before him come Of the inevitable doom, of the end of earth so near, And Eternity's new year?

Said the Master to the youth :
“We have come in search of truth,
Trying with uncertain key
Door by door of mystery ;
We are reaching, through His laws,
To the garment-hem of Cause,
Him, the endless, unbegun,
The Unnameable, the One,
Light of all our light the Source,
Life of life, and Force of force.
As with fingers of the blind,
We are groping here to find
What the hieroglyphics mean
Of the Unseen in the seen,
What the Thought which underlies
Nature's masking and disguise,
What it is that hides beneath
Blight and bloom and birth and death.
By past efforts unavailing,
Doubt and error, loss and failing,
Of our weakness made aware,
On the threshold of our task
Let us light and guidance ask,
Let us pause in silent prayer!"

In the lap of sheltering seas
Rests the isle of Penikese;
But the lord of the domain
Comes not to his own again :
Where the eyes that follow fail,
On a vaster sea his sail
Drifts beyond our beck and hail !
Other lips within its bound
Shall the laws of life expound;
Other eyes from rock and shell
Read the world's old riddles well ;
But when breezes light and bland
Blow from Summer's blossomed land,
When the air is glad with wings,
And the blithe song-sparrow sings,
Many an eye with his still face
Shall the living ones displace,
Many an ear the word shall seek
He alone could fitly speak.
And one name forevermore
Shall be uttered o'er and o'er
By the waves that kiss the shore,
By the curlew's whistle, sent
Down the cool, sea-scented air ;
In all voices known to her
Nature own her worshipper, triumph, half lament.
Thither love shall tearful turn,
Friendship pause uncovered there,
And the wisest reverence learn
From the Master's silent prayer.


Then the Master in his place
Bowed his head a little space,
And the leaves by soft airs stirred,
Lapse of wave and cry of bird,
Left the solemn hush unbroken
Of that wordless prayer unspoken,
While its wish, on earth unsaid,
Rose to heaven interpreted.
As in life's best hours we hear
By the spirit's finer ear
His low voice within us, thus

[blocks in formation]



Fair City by the Sea ! upraise

His veil with reverent hands;

I, that am rudely stamperl and want love's And mingle with thy own the praise

majesty And pride of other lands.

To strut before a wanton ambling nymph; Let Greece his fiery lyric breathe

I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion, Above her hero-urns ;

Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
And Scotland, with her holly, wreathe

Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
The flower he culled for Burns.

Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,

And that so lamely and unfashionable 0, stately stand thy palace walls,

That dogs bark at me as I halt by them,
Thy tall ships ride the seas ;

Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
To-day thy poet's name recalls

Have no delight to pass away the tine,
A prouder thought than these.

Unless to see my shadow in the sun.

King Richard III., Act i. Sc. I.
Not less thy pulse of trade shall beat,

Nor less thy tall fleets swim,
That shaded square and dusty street

Are classic ground through him.

The starry Galileo, with his woes.

Childe Harold, Cant. iv.
Alive, he loved, like all who sing,

The echoes of his song ;
Too late the tardy meed we bring,

The praise delayed so long.

The admired mirror, glory of our isle,

Thou far, far more than mortal man, whose style Too late, alas !- Of all who knew

Struck more men dumb to hearken to thy song The living man, to-day

Than Orpheus' harp, or Tully's golden tongue. Before his unveiled face, how few Make bare their locks of gray !

To him, as right, for wit's deep quintessence,

For honor, valor, virtue, excellence, Our lips of praise must soon be dumb,

Be all the garlands, crown his tomb with bay, Our grateful eyes be dim;

Who spake as much as e'er our tongue can say. O, brothers of the days to come,

Britannia's Pastorals, Book ii. Song 2.
Take tender charge of him !
New hands the wires of song may sweep,

New voices challenge fame ;

Divinest Spenser, heaven-bred, happy Muse ! But let no moss of years o'ercreep

Would any power into my brain infuse
The lines of Halleck's name.

Thy worth, or all that poets had before,

I could not praise till thou deserv'st no more.

Britannia's Pastorals, Book il. Song 1,
I was promised on a time
To have reason for my rhyme ;

From that time unto this season,

I received nor rhyme nor reason.

Lines on his promised Pension.
As that renowmèd poet them compyled
With warlike numbers and heroicke sound,

Dan Chaucer, well of English undefyled, For that fine madness still he did retain,
On Faine's eternall beadroll worthie to be fyled. Which rightly should possess a poet's brain.
Faerie Queene, Book iv. Cant. ii.

SPENSER. To Henry Reynolds : Of Poets and Poesy. M. DRAYTON,




THE EARL OF WARWICK. Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick! Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings.

King Henry VI., Part III. Act iii. Sc. 3.

If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind !

Essay on Man, Epistie IV.



« AnteriorContinuar »