« ZurückWeiter »
Richard Henry Stoddard.
THE FLIGHT OF YOUTH.
There are gains for all our losses, There are balms for all our pain: But when youth, the dream, departs, It takes something from our hearts, And it never comes again.
We are stronger, and are better,
Under manhood's sterner reign: Still we feel that something sweet followed youth, with flying feet, And will never come again.
Something beautiful is vanished,
And we sigh for it in vain:
AN OLD SONG REVERSED.
"There are gains for all our losses."
So I said when I was young.
Which but suits an idle tongue.
Youth has gone, and hope gone with it,
Gone the strong desire for fame. Laurels are not for the old. Take them, lads. Give Senex gold.
What's an everlasting name?
When my life was in its summer
One fair woman liked my looks: Now that Time has driven his plough In deep furrows on my brow, I'm no more in her good books.
"There are gains for all our losses?"
Grave beside the wintry sea, Where my child is, and my heart, For they would not live apart,
What has been your gain to me?
No, the words I sang were idle,
And will ever so remain: Death, and age, and vanished youth, All declare this bitter truth,
"There's a loss for every gainl"
When first the bride and bridegroom wed,
They love their single selves the best;
A sword is in the marriage-bed. Their separate slumbers are not rest;
They quarrel, and make up again, They give and suffer worlds of pain.
Both right and wrong,
They struggle long. [old, Till some good day, when they are Some dark day, when the bells are tolled,
Death having taken their test of life, They lose themselves, and find each other; [wife, They know that they are husband, For, weeping, they are father, mother!
The He brides.
I Saw two maids at the kirk,
One in her wedding-robe.
The choristers sang the hymn,
And one for life to life,
They were borne to their bridal-beds,
In loveliness and bloom; One in a merry castle.
And one in a solemn tomb.
One on the morrow woke
But the other was happier far.
This man whose homely face you
look upon, was one of nature's masterful, great
Born with strong arms, that unf ought
battles won; Direct of speech, and cunning with
Chosen for large designs, he had the art
Of winning with his humor, and he went
Straight to his mark, which was the human heart;
Wise, too, for what he could not break he bent.
Upon his back a more than Atlasload,
The burden of the Commonwealth,
was laid; He stooped, and rose up to it, though
Shot suddenly downwards, not a
All now give place
HOW A BE S ON (I S BE (I OTA ND Bit ED.
How are songs begot and bred?
Tell me first how folded flowers
None may answer, none may know,
RATTLE THE WINDOW.
Rattle the window, winds,
Rain, drip on the panes; There are tears and sighs in our hearts and eyes.
And a weary weight on our brains.
The gray sea heaves And hpaves,
And the blasted limb of the churchyard yew,— It shakes like a ghostly hand.
The dead are engulfed beneath it,
Sunk in the grassy waves: But we have more dead in our hearts to-day
Than earth in all her graves!
Let no poet, great or small,
For song comcth, if at all,
But because it suits its will,
Tired at last of being still.
Every song that has been sung
Waiting since the world was young
Oh, if any waiting be,
May they come to-day to me!
I am ready to repeat
Whatsoever they impart; Sorrows sent by them are sweet,
They know how to heal the heart: Ay, and in the lightest strain Something serious doth remain.
What are my white hairs, forsooth,
I have still the soul of youth,
I can still with numbers fleet
Fill the world with dancing feet.
No, I am no longer young.
But my songs will yet be sung,
O my son that is to be.
Sing my songs, and think of me!
WHEN THE DRUM OF SICKNESS BEATS.
When the drum of sickness beats The change o' the watch, and we are old.
Farewell, youth, and all its sweets, Fires gone out that leave us cold!
Hairs are white that once were black,
And the bending of t he back
PAIN AND PLEASURE.
Pain and pleasure both decay,
Wisdom makes a longer stay,
Therefore, be thou wise, my heart.
Land remains not, nor do they
Kings and princes pass away,
If by hatred, love, or pride
Only one thing will abide.
OUT OF THE DEEPS OF HEAVEN.
Out of the deeps of heaven
As twice in the ripening summers
Why it has flown to my dwelling
Nor it nor I may know; And only the silent angels
Can tell when it shall go.
That it will not straightway vanish,
And sing in the greenest branches
Is the prayer of my love and terror;
For my soul is sore distrest. Lest I wake some dreadful morning,
And find but its empty nest!
WE SAT BY THE CHEERLESS
Wk sat by the cheerless fireside,
All thinking of our darling,
He lay in his little coffin,
A Christmas wreath on his bosom,
"We bury the boy to-morrow,"
"Why can't I sit by the fireside,
As I am sitting now,
And the wrinkles on my brow?
"God keep him there in his coffin
If he must be buried to-morrow,
You may drink to your leman in gold,
In a great golden goblet of wine; She's as ripe as the wine, and as bold As the glare of the gold:
But this little lady of mine,
I will not profane her in wine. I go where the garden so still is,
(The moon raining through,) To pluck the white bowls of .the lilies.
And drink her in dew!
If I could ever sing the songs
The only fit accompaniment
A thousand dreamy melodies,
liegot with pleasant pain, Like incantations float around
The chambers of my brain.
But when I strive to utter one,
It mocks my feeble art, And leaves me silent, with the thorns
Of music in my heart!
O Faint, delicious, spring-time violet,
Thine odor, like a key, Turns noiselessly in memory's wards to let
A thought of sorrow free.
The breath of distant fields upon my brow
Blows through that open door The sound of wind-borne bells, more sweet and low, And sadder than of yore.
It comes afar, from that beloved place,
And that belove 1 hour, When life bung ripening in love's golden grace, Like grapes above a bower.
A spring goes singing through its reedy grass; The lark sings o'er my head, Drowned in the sky.— Oh, pass, ye visions, pass! I would that I were dead!
Why hast thou opened that forbidden door
From which I ever flee? O vanished Joy! O Love, that art no more,
Let my vexed spirit be!
O violet! thy odor through my brain Hath searched, and stung to grief
This sunny day, as if a curse did stain Thy velvet leaf.
Strive not to say the whole! the
poet in his art, Must intimate the whole, and say the
The youngmoon's silver arc, her perfect circle tells,
The limitless, within Art's bounded outline dwells.
Of every noble work, the silent part is best;
Of all expression, that which cannot be expressed.
Each act contains the life, each work
of art, the world, And all the planet-laws are in each
WETMORE COTTAGE, If AH ANT.
The hours on the old piazza
That overhangs the sea,
At times steal over me; And again, o'er the balcony leaning.
We list to the surf on the beach, That fills with its solemn warning The intervals of speech.
We three sit at night in the moonlight,
As we sat in the summer gone,
And sing as we sit alone;
Where oranges hang o'er the sea, And our hearts are tender with dreaming
Of days that no more shall be.
How gaily the hours went with us
Ah! would we were all together.
Could life be again so perfect?
The heart of its freshness of feeling,—
But I long, though the longing he vain.
Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Life's mystery,—deep, restless as the ocean,— Hath surged and wailed for ages to and fro;
Earth's generations watch its ceaseless motion As in and out its hollow moanings flow;
Shivering and yearning by that unknown sea,
Let my soul calm itself, O Christ, in thee!
Life's sorrows, with inexorable power,
Sweep desolation o'er this mortal plain;
And human loves and hopes tlv as
the chaff Borne by the whirlwind from the
ripened grain: — Ah, when before that blast my hopes
Let my soul calm itself, O Christ, in thee!
Between the mysteries of death and life
Thou standest, loving, guiding,— not explaining; We ask, and thou art silent,—yet we gaze.
And our charmed hearts forget their drear complaining!
No crushing fate, —no stony destiny!
Thou Land> that hast been slain, we rest in thee!
The many waves of thought, the mighty tides, The ground-swell that rolls up from other lands.
From far-off worlds, from dim eternal shores Whose echo dashes on life's waveworn strands,—
This vague, dark tumult of the inner sea
Grows calm, grows bright, O, risen Lord, in thee!
Thy pierced hand guides the mysterious wheels; Thy thorn-crowned brow now wears the crown of power;
And when the dark enigma presseth sore
Thy patient voice saith, "Watch with me one hour!" As sinks the moaning river in the sea
In silver peace,— so sinks my soul in Thee!
THE OTHER WORLD.
It lies around us like a cloud.—
A world we do not see;
May bring us there to be.
Its gentle breezes fan our cheek;
Amid our worldly cares
And mingle with our prayers.
Sweet hearts around us throb and beat.
Sweet helping hands are stirred, And palpitates the veil between With breathings almost heard.
The silence, — awful, sweet, and calm,
They have no power to break; For mortal words are not for them To utter or partake.
So thin, so soft, so sweet they glide.
So near to press they seem,— They seem to lull us to our rest,
And melt into our dream.
And in the hush of rest they bring,
'Tis easy now to see
The hour of death may be.