Abbildungen der Seite

These are ancient ethnic revels,

Of a faith long since forsaken ; Now the Satyrs, changed to devils,

Frighten mortals wine-o'ertaken.

Now to rivulets from the mountains

Point the rods of fortune-tellers ; Youth perpetual dwells in fountains,

Not in flasks, and casks, and cellars.

Claudius, though he sang of flagons

And huge tankards filled with Rhenish, From that fiery blood of dragons

Never would his own replenish.

Even Redi, though he chaunted

Bacchus in the Tuscan valleys, Never drank the wine he vaunted

In his dithyrambic sallies.

Then with water fill the pitcher

Wreathed about with classic fables ; Ne'er Falernian threw a richer

Light upon Lucullus' tables.

Come, old friend, sit down and listen!

As it passes thus between us, How its wavelets laugh and glisten

In the head of old Silenus !


L'éternité est une pendule, dont le balancier dit et redit sans cesse ces deux mots seulement, dans le silence des tombeaux : "Toujours ! jamais ! Jamais ! toujours !”


SOMEWHAT back from the village street
Stands the old-fashioned country-seat.
Across its antique portico
Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;

And from its station in the hall
An ancient timepiece says to all,

“ Forever - never !

Never - forever!”

Halfway up the stairs it stands,
And points and beckons with his hands
From its case of massive oak,
Like a monk, who, under his cloak,
Crosses himself, and sighs, alas!
With sorrowful voice to all who pass,-

“ Forever - never !

Never - forever!"

By day its voice is low and light;
But in the silent dead of night,
Distinct as a passing footstep's fall,
It echoes along the vacant hall,
Along the ceiling, along the floor,
And seems to say, at each chamber-door,-

Forever never !
Never - forever!”

[ocr errors]

Through days of sorrow and of mirth.
Through days of death and days of birth,
Through every swift vicissitude
Of changeful time, unchanged it has stood,
And as if, like God, it all things saw,
It calmly repeats those words of awe,-

“ Forever never!

Never - forever!”

In that mansion used to be
Free-hearted Hospitality ;
His great fires up the chimney roared ;
The stranger feasted at his board ;
But, like the skeleton at the feast,
That warning timepiece never ceased, -

6 Forever — never !

Never forever!”

There groups

of merry children played, There youths and maidens dreaming strayed; O precious hours ! O golden prime, And affluence of love and time!

« ZurückWeiter »