Obrazy na stronie
PDF

And shadows of swift sailing birds o'erskim
The sunny grass. The mellow distance through
Winds the bright river like a vein of light,
And in a soul of beauty swathed, the fields
Out to the melting bound of hills do lie;
Earth putteth on the borrow'd robes of heaven,
And sitteth in a sabbath of still rest;
And silence swells into a dreamy sound,
That sinks again to silence. The woods drone
A drowsy song, that in its utterance dies ;
And the dim voice of indolent herds floats by,
With slow, luxurious calm. The runnel bath
Its tune beneath the trees. The insect throng,
Drunk with the wine of summer, dart and dance
In mazy play; and through the woodlands swell
The tender trembles of the ringdove's dole;
And here and there, from clustering groups of trees,
Rise hamlet spires and gables grey, half hid
With green profusion-quaint manorial homes,
Whose quiet household smoke seems motionless
And pictured on the blue. In those old days,
When rill and woodland were the haunt of shapes
Born of their fairness and as fair, in each
Naiad or dryad dwelt retired, and made
Beautiful awe with her sweet presence, here
Some sun-toil'd nymph might choose her couch of rest,
Sink her soft limbs in a delicious depth
Of flowers, and from the mingled harmony
Of all these low and musical voices take
Divine repose.

SONNET. From the Italian of Giacomo Sanazzaro. By MARIE J. Ewen. For many a year I dwelt with thee below,

My heart's dear lord, in love and calm delight;

Death closed, at length, mine eyes in endless night, And bore me from this scene of earthly woe. And now I rest in joy where glories glow

In rich effulgence of celestial light;

Death had no startling terrors to affright, Save thoughts of thee and of thy sorrow's flow.

A ray of mercy lingers from above

To guide thee to the end of mortal sighs; Nor yet so fearful will that passage prove,

I will be there—then dry thy weeping eyes; Think of the glorious home enwreath'd with love, Where we shall reign, enthron'd in the skies.

WHAT IS DEATH?

A passage in LONGFELLOW's Golden Legend.

'Tis the cessation of our breath.
Silent and motionless we lie:
And no one knoweth more than this.
I saw our little Gertrude die;
She left off breathing, and no more
I smooth'd the pillow beneath her head.
She was more beautiful than before.
Like violets faded were her eyes;
By this we knew that she was dead.
Through the open window look'd the skies
Into the chamber where she lay,
And the wind was like the sound of wings,
As if angels came to bear her away.
Ah! when I saw and felt these things,
I found it difficult to stay :
I longed to die as she had died,
And go forth with her, side by side.
The Saints are dead, the Martyrs dead,
And Mary, and Our Lord; and I
Would follow in humility
The way by them illuminéd !

HOPE DEFERRED.

By THOMAS Davis. 'Tis long since we were forced to part, at least it seems so

to my grief, For sorrow wearies us like time, but ah! it brings not time's

relief; As in our days of tenderness, before me still she seems to

glide; And though my arms are wide as then, yet she will not

abide.

The daylight and the starlight shine, as if her eyes were in

their light, And whispering in the panting breeze, her love-songs come

at lonely night; While, far away with those less dear, she tries to hide her

grief in vain, For, kind to all while true to me, it pains her to give pain.

I know she never spoke her love, she never breathed a

single vow, And yet I'm sure she loved me then, and still doats on

me now; For, when we met, her eyes grew glad, and heavy when I

left her side, And oft she said she'd be most happy as a poor man's

bride. I toild to win a pleasant home, and make it ready by the

spring; The spring is past—what season now my girl unto our home

will bring? I'm sick and weary, very weary-watching, morning, night,

and noon; How long you're coming—I am dying—will you not come

soon ?

MONT BLANC. A fine passage from a poem so named, by SHELLEY. Far, far above, piercing the infinite sky, Mont Blanc appears,—still, snowy, and sereneIts subject mountains their unearthly forms File round it, ice and rock; broad vales between Of frozen floods, unfathomable deeps, Blue as the overhanging heaven, that spread And wind among the accumulated steeps; A desert peopled by the storms alone, Save when the eagle brings some hunter's bone, And the wolf tracks her there-how hideously Its shapes are heaped around! rude, bare, and high, Ghastly, and scarred, and riven. Is this the scene Where the old Earthquake-demon taught her young Ruin ? Were these their toys ? or did a sea Of fire envelop once this silent snow? None can reply—all seems eternal now. The wilderness has a mysterious tongue Which teaches awful doubt, or faith so mild, So solemn, so serene, that man may be But for such faith with nature reconciled; Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal Large codes of fraud and woe; not understood By all, but which the wise, and great, and good, Interpret or make felt, or deeply feel.

The fields, the lakes, the forests, and the streams,
Ocean, and all the living things that dwell
Within the dædal earth; lightning, and rain,
Earthquake, and fiery flood, and hurricane,
The torpor of the year when feeble dreams
Visit the hidden buds, or dreamless sleep
Holds every future leaf and flower,—the bound
With which from that detested trance they leap;
The works and ways of man, their death and birth ,
And that of him, and all that his may be!
All things that move and breathe with toil and sound
Are born and die, revolve, subside, and swell.
Power dwells apart in its tranquillity,
Remote, serene, and inaccessible:
And this, the naked countenance of earth,

On which I gaze, even these primæval mountains,
Teach the adverting mind. The glaicers creep,
Like snakes that watch their prey, from their far fountains,
Slow rolling on ; there, many a precipice
Frost and the Sun in scorn of mortal power
Have piled-dome, pyramid, and pinnacle,
A city of death distinct with many a tower
And wall impregnable of beaming ice.
Yet not a city, but a flood of ruin
Is there, that from the boundaries of the sky
Rolls its perpetual stream; vast pines are strewing
Its destined path, or in the mangled soil
Branchless and shattered stand; the rocks, drawn down
From yon remotest waste, have overthrown
The limits of the dead and living world.
Never to be reclaimed. The dwelling-place
Of insects, beasts and birds, becomes its spoil ;
Their food and their retreat for ever gone,
So much of life and joy is lost. The race
Of man flies far in dread; bis work and dwelling
Vanish, like smoke before the tempest's stream,
And their place is not known. Below, vast caves
Shine in the rushing torrent's restless gleam,
Which from those secret chasms in tumult welling
Meet in the Vale, and one majestic River,
The breath and blood of distant lands, for ever
Rolls its loud waters to the ocean waves,
Breathes its swift vapours to the circling air.

Mont Blanc yet gleams on high : the power is there,
The still and solemn power of many sights
And many sounds, and much of life and death.
In the calm darkness of the moonless nights,
In the lone glare of day, the snows descend
Upon that mountain ; none beholds them there,
Nor when the flakes burn in the sinking sun,
Or the star-beams dart through them :-Winds contend
Silently there, and heap the snow, with breath
Rapid and strong, but silently! its home
The voiceless lightning in these solitudes
Keeps innocently, and like vapour broods
Over the snow. The secret strength of things,
Which governs thought, and to the infinite dome
Of heaven is as a law, inbabits thee!

« PoprzedniaDalej »