« ZurückWeiter »
5. “ Cold is thy brow, my son ! and I am chill,
As to my bosom I have tried to press thee ! How was I wont to feel my pulses thrill,
Like a rich harp-string, yearning to caress thee, And hear thy sweet my father !' from those dumb
And cold lips, Absalom !
6. “The grave hath won thee! I shall hear the gush
Of music, and the voices of the young ; And life will pass me in the mantling blush,
And the dark tresses to the soft wings flung ;But thou no more with thy sweet voice shalt come
To meet me, Absalom !
7. “ And oh! when I am stricken, and my heart,
Like a bruised reed, is waiting to be broken, How will its love for thee, as I depart,
Yearn for thine ear to drink its last deep token ! It were so sweet, amid death’s gathering gloom,
To see thee, Absalom !
8.“ And now, farewell! 'Tis hard to give thee up,
With death so like a gentle slumber on thee ! And thy dark sin !-oh! I could drink the cup,
If from this woe its bitterness had won thee. May God have called thee, like a wanderer, home,
My lost boy, Absalom !”
9. He covered up his face, and bowed himself
A moment on his child; then, giving him
A look of melting tenderness, he clasped
His hands convulsively, as if in prayer.
And, as if strength were given him of God,
He rose up calmly, and composed the pall
Firmly and decently,—and left him there,
As if his rest had been a breathing sleep.
N. P. WILLIS.
SATAN'S ADDRESS TO THE SUN. [John Milton, next to Shakespeare, the most illustrious of the
whole line of English poets, was born on the 9th December, 1608. His two great works are “ Paradise Lost,” and “Paradise Regained." He lived through the troublesome times of the Commonwealth, and died on 8th November, 1674. Our extract is from the fourth book of “Paradise Lost.” Satan had left Hell in search of the newly created Earth, that he might, if possible, seduce man from his allegiance to God. After passing through the kingdom of chaos or darkness, he comes in sight of the Sun, the view of
which causes him to break out as in the extract.] O THOU, that, with surpassing glory crown'd, Look’st from thy sole dominion like the God Of this new world ; at whose sight all the stars Hide their diminish'd heads; to thee I call, Bu with no friendly voice, and add thy name, O Sun! to tell thee how I hate thy beams, That bring to my remembrance from what state I fell ; how glorious once above thy sphere, Till pride and worse ambition threw me down, Warring in Heaven against Heaven's matchless King : Ah, wherefore ? He deserved no such return From me, whom He created what I was In that bright eminence, and with His good Upbraided none; nor was His service hard. What could be less than to afford Him praise, The easiest recompense, and pay Him thanks, How due ! yet all His good proved ill in me, And wrought but malice; lifted up so high [ 'sdained subjection, and thought one step higher Would set me highest, and in a moment quit The debt immense of endless gratitude, So burthensome still paying, still to owe; Forgetful what from Him I still received, And understood not that a grateful mind By owing owes not, but still pays, at once Indebted and discharged; what burden then ?
O, had His powerful destiny ordain'd
Me some inferior angel, I had stood
Then happy; no unbounded hope had raised
Ambition ! Yet why not? some other power
As great might have aspired, and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other powers as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Hadst thou the same free will and power to stand ?
Thou hadst: whom hast thou then or what to accuse,
But Heaven's free love dealt equally to all ?
Be then His love accurs’d, since, love or hate,
To me alike, it deals eternal woe.
Nay, cursed be thou; since against His thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable ! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath and infinite despair?
Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell ;
And, in the lowest deep, a lower deep,
Still threatening to devour me, opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heaven.
O, then, at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left ?
None left but by submission ; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
The Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of Hell.
With diadem and sceptre high advanced,
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery : such joy ambition finds.
say I could repent, and could obtain, By act of grace, my former state ; how soon Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore ? Ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void.
For never can true reconcilement grow,
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so deep;
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting He, as I from begging peace :
All hope excluded thus, behold, instead
Of us outcast, exiled, His new delight,
Mankind, created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope ; and with hope, farewell fear;
Farewell remorse! all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with Heaven's King I hold,
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
[SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, born 21st October, 1772, was not
one of the greatest English poets, simply because of his
fatal habit of procrastination. He was one of the most
acute thinkers of his day, gifted with a splendid imagination,
and great power of expression, but unfortunately for the
world he never set himself to earnest work. He died 25th
ALAS! they had been friends in youth ;
But whispering tongues can poison truth;
And constancy lives in realms above;
And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
And to be wroth with one we love,
Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
With Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of high disdain
And insult to his heart's best brother :
They parted—ne'er to meet again !
But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining-
They stood aloof, the scars remaining,
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder ;
A dreary sea now flows between ;-
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,
Shall wholly do away, I ween,
The marks of that which once hath been !
[The Rev. JAMES MERRICK, born 8th June, 1720, published
“Poems," 1763, “The Psalms in Verse,” 1765. Died 5th
OFT has it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master 'gainst a post,
Yet round the world the blade has been
To see whatever could be seen,
Returning from his finish'd tour,
Grown ten times perter than before ;
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travell’d fool your mouth will stop,
“Sir, if my judgment you 'll allow-
—and sure I ought to know
So begs you'd pay a due submission,
And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they past,
And on their way in friendly chat
Now talk'd of this and then of that,