« ZurückWeiter »
Something of beauty from thy brow,
Something of lightness from thy tread, Hath passed- yet thou art dearer now
Than when our vows were said. A softer beauty round thee gleams
Chastened by time, yet calmly bright; And from thine eye of hazel, beams
A deeper, tenderer light
An emblem of the love which lives
Through every change, as time departs; Which binds our souls in one, and gives
New gladness to our hearts ! Flinging a halo over life
Like that which gilds the life beyond ! Ah! well I know thy thoughts, dear wife!
To thoughts like these respond. The mother, with her dewy eye,
Is dearer than the blushing bride
In beauty by my side!
Hath blessed us with a fairy child-
The pure and undefiled :
TO MY QUAKER COUSIN. " Don't tell me of the feelings, the fine sensibilities, the hope and joy, and the true poetry of man's life being blunted by the increase of years! Why, I'll hate old age, if it is true! Make this, if thee pleases, no longer an apology for the laziness thee is guilty of when thee ceases to give us and every body the scintillations of thy poetical genius.' It is not that thy days are in the yellow leaf,' but that they are days of downright-laziness !"
Extract from her letter. Yes, thou art right, sweet coz! I own
I am a lazy rhymer-very,-
Of willing music, sad or merry ;
And I myself am out of fashion,
Was never my peculiar passion. I never wet my thirsty lip
At Helicon's inspiring fountain, Nor even in fancy took a trip
To meet the Muses on their mountain. The voice of Fame is sweet enough,
Doubtless, for devotees who love her, But then her hill is quite too rough
And steep for me to clamber over.
Rich in the heart's best treasure, still
With a calm trust we'll journey on, Linked heart with heart, dear wife! until
Life's pilgrimage be done!
Like every thing of earth away-
Less transient are than they.
Lazy and uninspired, can I
Write for thee canzonet or sonnet? Or, smitten by thy beauty, try
To perpetrate a song upon it ? No-though thy charms of face and form
Would madden, like a heavenly vision, When wine and love had rendered warm
Some dreamer of the fields Elysian!
But love dies not- the child of God
The soother of Life's many woes-
Where buried hopes repose !
Earth's pleasant streams and pasture by, Still pointing to a better land
Of bliss beyond the sky!
No-though the wicked world should sweas
Thou art the latest importation
Bending for aye in adoration !
With the dull muse that weaves my numbers, Nor laughing eye, nor polished brow,
Gleams on her in her dreamless slumbers.
MARY HOWITT. Priestess of Nature! in the solemn woods
And by the sullen sea, whose ceaseless roar
Speaks of God's majesty for evermore, And where the cataracts dash their shattered floods Down to the iris-girdled gulfs which yawn
Eternally beneath, thy hand hath reared
Altars whereon no blood-stain hath appeared-
Of buds or bursting flowers, together kneel
In gladdest worship, till their spirits feel
But, for the brightness of thy yonth,
And for the chastened love I bear thee, And for thy gentleness and truth,
Which even thievish Time must spare thee, And for thy heart which overflows
With kindness for the wronged and lowly, And for thy guileless soul which glows
With tenderest feelings, pure and holyAnd for that fervent zeal for Right
Which burneth in thy bosom ever, And for that steadfast faith whose might
In perils's hour shall fail thee never
Shutting from the spirit's eye, Light and glory from on highThink of these-and falter not! Toil-until the slave is brought
Up to light!
For human sympathies, which bring
True hearts around thee to adore theeFor these, dear coz! I kneel and fing
The tribute of my song before thee. Others may sonnetize the spell
That lives within thy radiant glances, And lying bardlings boldly tell
That loveliness around thee dances ; Vows may be offered thee in rhyme,
And worship paid in common metre But these will pass with passing time,
For beauty than the wind is fleeter.
What thongh Hate Darkly scowls upon yonr path? Fear not ye the tyrant's wrath-
Hope, and waitFor though long the strife endure, Freedom's triumph shall be sure Toil in faith, for God hath spoken, Every fetter shall be broken,
Soon or late.
Be mine the better task to find
For thee a tribute undegrading : Flowers from the garden of the mind,
Fragrant and pure, and never fadingGems from the mines of knowledge won,
Brighter than fancy ever paintedAn offering to lay upon
The altar of a heart untainted.
Not in vain
From the chain !
So, when the hand of Time hath reft
From face and form thy youthful graces, A tenderer beauty shall be left
To sanctify their fading traces;
Around thy path shall then be shining, With more than earthly brightness fraught,
To gild and bless thy life's declining !
THE FREEMAN. He worthy is of freedom-only he
Who claims the boon for all--and, strong in right,
Rebukes the proud oppressor by whose might The poor are crushed-for Truth hath made him free, And Love hath sanctified his liberty! When Tyranny his horrid head uprears,
And blasts the earth with pestilential breath,
Girded with righteousness and strong in faith, He stems the tide of wrong; nor scoffs, nor jeers, Nor ruffian threats, nor fierce mobocracy, Can daunt his soul, or turn him from the path
Where duty points. Not his the craven heart
That shrinks when tyrants bluster in their wrath ; But well in Freedom's strife he bears his part.
TO THE ABOLITIONISTS OF AMERICA.
Toil and pray! Groweth flesh and spirit faint ? Think of her who pours her plaint
All the dayHer—the wretched negro wife, Robbed of all that sweetens lifeHer—who weeps in anguish wild For the husband and the child
Tears and sighs,
Crowded with multitudinous life-the din
Of toil and traffic—and the wo and sin, The dweller in the populous city meetsThese have I left to seek the cool retreats
Of the untrodden forest, where, in bowers
Builded by Nature's hand, inlaid with flowers, And roofed with ivy, on the mossy seats
Reclining, I can while away the hours
Indulge, while over me their radiant showers Of rarest blossoms the old trees shake down,And thanks to Him my meditations crown!
Wo and blight, Broken heart and palsied mind, Reason crushed and conscience blind,
Ye may tread on the poor—but not long !
Ye may torture the weak--while ye dare ! r. As I stood upon the forecastle and looked to. But wo!—for the arm of a People is strong, wards the land, which soon seemed but a little streak
When nerved by revenge and despair ! in the horizon, and was fast sinking from our sight, I Let the fetter be tightened !—the sooner 't will break! seemed to feel a heavy weight drop off me. The chains
Trample on!—and the serf shall more quickly awake! were gone. I felt myself a freeman; and as I watched the fast-receding shore, my bosom heaved with a
My country!- the land of my birth! proud scorn-a mingled feeling of safety and disdain.
Farewell to thy fetters and thee! *-« Farewell, my country!'—such were the thoughts The by-word of tyrants—the scorn of the earththat rose upon my mind, and pressed to find an utter
A mockery to all shalt thou be! ance from my lips,---- and such a country! A land Hurra! for the sea and its waves ! boasting to be the chosen seat of liberty and equal
Ye billows and surges-all hail! rights, yet holding such a portion of her people in My brothers henceforth--for ye scorn to be slaves, hopeless, helpless, miserable bondage !
As ye toss up your crests to the gale! • Farewell my country! Much is the gratitude Farewell to the land of the “ charter and chain,"and thanks I owe thee! Land of the tyrant and the My path is away o'er the fetterless main! slave, farewell !! "16 And welcome, welcome, ye bounding billows
A SUMMER MORNING IN THE COUNTRY. and foaming surges of the ocean! Ye are the em. blems and the children of liberty-1 bail ye as my
How sweetly on the hill-side sleeps
The sunlight with its quickening rays ! brothers !--for, at last, I too am free! — free!
The verdant trees that crown the steeps free !! "- Archy Moore, Vol. II. p. 146-7.
Grow greener in its quivering blaze: From my heel I have broken the chain !
While all the air that round us floats
With subtile wing, breathes only life-
The woods with song are rife.
Why, this is Nature's holiday ! New hopes have sprung up in my path
She puts her gayest mantle onAnd I leave to my country defiance and scorn,
And, sparkling o'er their pebbly way, The curse of a fugitive's wrath !
With gladder shout the brooklets run; My country ?--away!—for the gifts which she gave
The birds and breezes seem to give Were the whip and the fetter-the life of a slave! A sweeter cadence to their songThank God! that a limit is set
A brighter life the insects live To the reach of the tyrant's control!
That float in light along. That the down-trodden serf may not wholly forget
" The cattle on a thousand hills," The right and the might of his soul !
The fleecy flocks that dot the vale, That though years of oppression may dim
All joy alike in life, that fills The fire on the heart's altar laid,
The air, and breathes in every gale! Yet, lit by the breath of Jehovah, like Him
And who that has a heart and eye
To feel the bliss and drink it in,
A sweet companionship to hold
With Nature in her forest-bowers,
And learn the gentle lessons told
By singing birds and opening flowers ?
Nor do they err who love her lore-
Though books have power to stir my heart,
Yet Nature's varied page can more
Of rapturous joy impart !
No selfish joy-if Duty calls,
Not sullenly I turn from these
Though dear the dash of waterfalls, Wo! wo! to the forgers of chains,
The wind's low voice among the trees, Who trample the image of God :
Birds, flowers, and flocks-for God hath taught Calls for vengeance the blood of the bondman, which -Oh, keep, my heart! the lesson stillstains
His soul, alone, with bliss is fraught, The cursed and the verdureless sod!
Who heeds the Father's will !
Their own peculiar music on the air,
And glancing in the sunshine radiantly. “Like thee, oh stream! to glide in solitude
Now their clear tones are hushed-for the Frost-King Noiselessly on, reflecting sun or star,
Hath thrown his fetter on them, and evoked Unseen by man, and from the great world's jar
The voice of melody that dwelt with them Kept evermore aloof—methinks 'twere good
In the bright sunny hours, and they are staid To live thus lonely through the silent lapse
In their free current, frozen, murmurless. Of my appointed time.” Not wisely said,
Unthinking Quietist! The brook hath sped Where stays the sunshine ? Hath it learned that Its course for ages through the narrow gaps
Earth of rifted hills and o'er the reedy plain,
Is chilled through all her veins, and for some grudge Or 'mid the eternal forests, not in vain
That seemed forgotten long ago, resolved The grass more greenly groweth on its brink, To let it freeze for ever? Or, perchance,
And lovelier flowers and richer fruits are there, The sun himself is frozen. If that cloud,
That hangs so like a pall along the sky,
Back to his ocean-mansion, we might learn
Whether the sun be dead or slumbering. Inaction now is crime. The old earth reels
Inebriate with guilt; and Vice, grown bold, Ho! bring my cloak, Katurah ! Heap the wood
Laughs Innocence to scorn. The thirst for gold On the hot hearth—draw up the high-backed screen: Hath made men demons, till the heart that feels Let the winds whistle now, if so they willThe impulse of impartial love, nor kneels
I care but little for their minstrelsy, In worship foul to Mammon, is contemned.
So I can shut from me their freezing breath. He who hath kept his purer faith, and stemmed Well-I am warm and quiet; but, i' faith, Corruption's tide, and from the ruffian heels
I pity the poor wight that's forced to face Of impious tramplers rescued periled Right,
Old Boreas to-day. Necessity Is called fanatic, and with scoffs and jeers
Alone will call forth travellers, and—ugh! ugh! Maliciously assailed. The poor man's tears
This cough-ugh! ugh !—will kill me presently Are unregarded—the oppressor's might
An' I am not more careful. Oh, the seams Revered as law-and he whose righteous way Around the doors and windows are unclosed. Departs from evil, makes himself a prey.
List !-List !-a roll of list! I will not freeze
In my own domicil. Heap on the wood,
To popular Falsehood, and throw down his shield,
Hark! as I live, I hear the ringing sound
And see how merrily they wheel away Awe-struck before Injustice? No !-a cry,
In swift gyrations o'er the glassy ice, 6. Ho! to the rescue!” from the hills hath rung,
As if a power were given them to fly! And men have heard and to the combat sprung
The happy dogs!-Heaven grant they may not freeze. Strong for the right, to conquer or to die!
I thought no boy would venture out to-day l'p, Loiterer! for on the winds are flung
For sport or labor, an' he were not flogged
For tarrying within. Well, after all,
It may not be so very cold for them,
How little cared I for the biting frost,
So I might whirl upon the ringing steel
As happy as myself, all life and joy!
But s’death: a few short years will make a change
In a man's ser.sitiveness, 'specially (The middle of December— Thermometer at Zero.)
When they bring with them gout and rheumatism, This feels like winter! Ugh! how bitterly Toothachs and agues, fevers and catarrhsCometh the keen northwester! In the west and worse, far worse than aught, ay, than all else, Dark clouds are piled in gloomy masses up, Dread hypochondria! They will find it so, And from their folds comes freezingly the breath Those merry boys now skating on the lakeOf the Storm-Spirit, couched and shrouded there. If they, like me, indulge in turtle-soup, But yestermorn the streams were murmuring Sauces, and pies, and cakes, and the whole round With their low, silvery voices, pouring forth Of eatables and drinkables which load