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Upon the cataract's unfetter'd rage,
That wildly hurries it to the abyss,
Which, like a gap in nature, waits the flood
Which, ever rolling, leaves it waiting still.
Of this, imagination tells alone!
Is forced to copy, oh, how faint transcribe,
Where all its paintings must be in itself,
Nature's designer, and her artist, too.
For me, the world is black, and filled with gloom;
Huge darkness sits recumbent on the air,
Oppressing it with universal night,
And making melancholy joys supplant,
Till cheerfulness removes from where gloom reigns,
Leaving the mind a prey to thoughts unblest.
And here, where Thou art ever felt to be,
Where nature loudly owns Thee as her God,
Whose praise is sounded by the cataract,
Hearken to me, and my petition hear,
As from each recess of my struggling soul,
The sighs of sickly hope, assembling fast,
Meet in a perfect flood of fervent prayer,—
Which all express'd is this,-Lord, give me sight:-
And that so long unheard, is unheard still.
THE VOICE OF THE FALLING LEAVES.
A friendless Minstrel walk'd alone,
Where the autumn twilight lay
Cold on the woods, and leaves were strewn
By thousands in his way:
He thought of the promise-breathing spring,
And of summer's rosy eves;
And he said: “Alas! for the withering,
And the time of falling leaves!"
The music of bird and breeze had passed,
. From the woodlands, hush'd and dim-
But there came an answering voice at last,
From the dying leaves to him:
And it said: "Oh! thou of the sleepless thought,
In thy musings sad and lone,
Weep not the close of our tearless lot,
But rather mourn thine own;
"For the greenness of early spring was ours, And the summer's palmy prime
And the glowing tints that deck'd the bowers
In the glorious harvest-time!
And have we not seen the roses die?
For their splendors might not stay;
And the summer birds are gone-then why
Should not leaves, too, pass away?
"Yet the flowers may fade, and the leaves may fall, And the glory of woods depart;
But mourn in thy sorrow, more than all,
The withering of the heart;
And the soul's young brightness dimm'd so soon,
"Twas a glory early o'er;
For Time hath taken that blessed boon-
That Time can ne'er restore.
"And mourn for life's perish'd hopes, that died
While the spring was flowery still;
For the stainless love which the grave hath hid,
Though it could not change nor chill;
For the weary eyes that have look'd for light
Which never met their gaze;
And for all who have lived through storm and blight,
But saw no summer days."
The winds in their lonely power awoke,
As the night came darkly on
And the voice which in twilight stillness spoke,
With that twilight hour was gone;
"And oh!" said the minstrel, "strange, in sooth,
Are the spells which Fancy weaves, For now she has given a voice of truth, To the fading, falling leaves!"
BLACKLOCK'S PICTURE OF HIMSELF.
While in my matchless graces wrapt I stand,
And touch each feature with a trembling hand,
Deign, lovely self! with art and nature's pride,
To mix the colors, and the pencil guide.
Self is the grand pursuit of half mankind;
How vast a crowd by self, like me are blind!
By self the fop in magic colors shown,
Though scorned by every eye, delights his own;
When age and wrinkles seize the conquering maid,
Self, not the glass, reflects the flattering shade.
Then, wonder-working self, begin the lay;
Thy charms to others, as to me, display.
Straight is my person, but of little size;
Lean are my cheeks, and hollow are my eyes;
My youthful down is, like my talents, rare;
Politely distant stands each single hair.
My voice, too rough to charm a lady's ear;
So smooth a child may listen without fear;
Not form'd in cadence soft and warbling lays,
To soothe the fair through pleasure's wanton ways.
My form so fine, so regular, so new,
My port so manly, and so fresh my hue;
Oft as I meet the crowd, they laughing say,
"See, see Memento Mori cross the way."
The ravish'd Proserpine, at last, we know,
Grew fondly jealous of her sable beau;
But, thanks to nature, none from me need fly.
One heart the devil could wound-so cannot I.
Yet though my person fearless may be seen,
There is some danger in my graceful mien:
For, as some vessel, tossed by wind and tide,
Bounds o'er the waves, and rocks from side to side;
In just vibration thus I always move:
This who can view, and not be forced to love?
Hail! charming self! by whose prosperous aid,
My form in all its glory stands display'd:
Be present, still; with inspiration kind,
Let the same faithful colors paint the mind.
Like all mankind, with vanity I'm blessed,
Conserves of wit I never yet possessed.
To strong desires my heart an easy prey,
Oft feels their force, but never owns their sway.
This hour, perhaps, as death I hate my foe;
The next I wonder why I should do so.
Though poor, the rich I view with careless eye;
Scorn a vain oath, and hate a serious lie.
I ne'er for satire, torture common sense;
Nor show my wit at God's nor man's expense.
Harmless I live, unknowing and unknown;
Wish well to all, and yet do good to none.
Unmerited contempt I hate to bear;
Yet on my faults, like others, am severe.
Dishonest flames my bosom never fire:
The bad I pity, and the good admire:
Fond of the muse, to her devote my days,
And scribble, not for pudding, but for praise.
These careless lines if any virgin hears,
Perhaps in pity to my joyless years,
She may consent a generous flame to own;
And I no longer sigh the nights alone.
But, should the fair, affected, vain or nice,
Scream with the fears inspired by frogs or mi
Cry, "Save us, Heaven! a spectre, not a man !"
Her hartshorn snatch, or interpose her fan:
If I my tender overture repeat,
O! may my vows her kind reception meet;
May she new graces on my form bestow,
And with tall honors dignify my brow.
EPITAPH, ON A FAVORITE LAP-DOG.
I never barked when out of season;
I never bit without a reason;
I ne'er insulted weaker brother;
Nor wronged by force nor fraud another.
Though brutes are placed a rank below,
Happy for man, could he say so.
The world may believe in the wisdom time teaches,
And trust in its truth as the anchor of age,
But many and cold is the winter that reaches
Not only the head, but the heart of the sage.
There are lights on the first steps of life that awaken,
Oh, never again on the far journey flung,
But true to the wisdom our years have forsaken,
And bright in their wrecks are the schemes of the young.
As hearth-light illumes the dark eve of December,
Affliction may beam through the winter of years, But will not the miser in silence remember
Some brow that still bound with his roses appears? Alas! for the dust and the change may pass over
The step and the tone to our memory that clungBut time hath no shadow that bright track to cover, And life hath no love like the love of the young.