Abbildungen der Seite

I have watched them through the burning


And driven the vulture and raven away;
And the cormorant wheeled in circles round,
Yet feared to light on the guarded ground.
And when the shadows of twilight came,
I have seen the hyena's eyes of flame,
And heard at my side his stealthy tread,
But aye at my shout the savage fled :
And I threw the lighted brand to fright
The jackal and wolf that yelled in the night.

"Ye were foully murdered, my hapless sons, By the hands of wicked and cruel ones; Ye fell, in your fresh and blooming prime, All innocent, for your father's crime.

He sinned-but he paid the price of his guilt When his blood by a nameless hand was spilt; When he strove with the heathen host in vain, And fell with the flower of his people slain,

And the sceptre his children's hands should


From his injured lineage passed away.

"But I hoped that the cottage roof would be A safe retreat for my sons and me;

And that while they ripened to manhood fast, They should wean my thoughts from the woes of the past.

And my bosom swelled with a mother's pride, As they stood in their beauty and strength by my side,

Tall like their sire, with the princely grace
Of his stately form, and the bloom of his face.


Oh, what an hour for a mother's heart, When the pitiless ruffians tore us apart! When I clasped their knees and wept and


And struggled and shrieked to Heaven for aid,

And clung to my sons with desperate strength, Till the murderers loosed my hold at length, And bore me breathless and faint aside,

In their iron arms, while my children died. They died—and the mother that gave them birth Is forbidden to cover their bones with earth.


The barley harvest was nodding white, When my children died on the rocky height, And the reapers were singing on hill and plain, When I came to my task of sorrow and pain. But now the season of rain is nigh,

The sun is dim in the thickening sky,

And the clouds in sullen darkness rest

Where he hides his light at the doors of the west.
I hear the howl of the wind that brings
The long drear storm on its heavy wings;
But the howling wind and the driving rain
Will beat my houseless head in vain :
I shall stay, from my murdered sons to scare
The beasts of the desert, and fowls of air."


I SAW an aged man upon his bier,

His hair was thin and white, and on his brow

A record of the cares of many a year ;

Cares that were ended and forgotten now. And there was sadness round, and faces bowed, And woman's tears fell fast, and children wailed aloud.

Then rose another hoary man and said,

In faltering accents, to that weeping train,


Why mourn ye that our aged friend is dead? Ye are not sad to see the gathered grain, Nor when their mellow fruit the orchards cast, Nor when the yellow woods shake down the ripened mast.

"Ye sigh not when the sun, his course fulfilled,

His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky, In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled, Sinks where his islands of refreshment lie, And leaves the smile of his departure spread O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain head.


Why weep ye then for him, who, having won The bound of man's appointed years, at last, Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done, Serenely to his final rest has passed; While the soft memory of his virtues, yet, Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set?

« ZurückWeiter »