« ZurückWeiter »
AUSTERITY OF POETRY.
That son of Italy who tried to blow. Ere Dami. came, the trump of sacred song.
In his light youth amid a festal throng
Sate with liis bride to see a public show.
Fair was the bride, and on her front did glow
Youth like a star; and what to youth belong —
Gay raiment, sparkling gauds, elation strong.
A prop gave way! crash fell a platform! lo,
Mid struggling sufferers, hurt to
death, she lay! Shuddering, they drew her garments
off — and found A robe of sackcloth next the smooth,
Such, poets, is your bride, the Muse!
young, gay, Radiant, adoro'd outside; a hidden
Of thought and of austerity within.
[From Memorial Verses.]
He took the suffering human race, He read each wound, each weakness clear;
And struck his finger on the place, And said: Thou ailest here, and here I
EARLY DEATH AND FAME.
For him who must see many years, I praise the life which slips away Out of the light and mutely; which avoids
Fame, and her less fair followers,
But, when immature death
Weary of myself, and sick of asking What I am, and what I ought to be, At this vessel's prow I stand, which
bears me Forwards, forwards, o'er the starlit sea.
And a look of passionate desire O'er the sea and to the stars I send: Ye who from my childhood up have calm'd me, Calm me, ah, compose me to the end!
"Ah, once more," I cried, " yc stars,
ye waters, On my heart your mighty charm
Still, still let me, as I gaze upon you, Feel my soul becoming vast like you!"
From the intense, clear, star-sown
vault of heaven. Over the lit sea's unquiet way, In the rustling night-air came the
"Wouldst thou be as these are 1 Lice as they.
"Unaffrighted by the silence round them,
Undistracted by the sights they see. These demand not that the things
without them Yield them love, amusement, sympathy.
"And with joy the stars perform
their shining, And the sea its long moon-silver'd
For self-poised they live, nor pine
with noting All the fever of some differing soul.
"Bounded by themselves, and unregardf ul
In what state God's other works may be,
In their own tasks all their powers pouring,
These attain the mighty life you see."
O air-born voice! long since, severely
A cry like thine in mine own heart
"Resolve to be thyself; and know,
Who finds himself, loses his misery!"
Philip James Bailey.
THE TRUE MEASURE OF LIFE.
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breath;
In feelings, not in figures on the dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs when they beat
For God, for man, for duty. He most lives,
Who thinks most, feels noblest, acts the best.
Life is but a means unto an end — that end.
Beginning, mean, and end to all things, God.
THE WORTH OF FAME.
Oh! who shall lightly say, that Fame
As, thinking of the mighty dead,
And vow, with lifted hands out-
Like them to act a noble part?
Oh! who shall lightly say that Fame
All ages past a blank would be,
They are the distant objects seen, —
Oh! who shall lightly say that Fame
To earth-worn pilgrim's wistful eye
That point to immortality?
Wanton droll, whose harmless
Beguiles the rustic's closing day.
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose.
As bright the blazing fagot glows. Who, bending to the friendly light Plies her task with busy sleight; Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward eoil'd, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe, The housewife's spindle whirling round,
Or thread, or straw, that on the ground
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still,
Erected stiff, and gait awry,
But not alone by cottage fire
The widest range of human lore,
The ends of ravell'd skein to catch, But lets thee have thy wayward will, Perplexing oft her sober skill
MY LOVE IS ON HER WAY.
Oh, welcome bat and owlet gray, Thus winging low your airy way! And welcome moth and drowsy fly That to mine ear comes humming by! And welcome shadows dim and deep, And stars that through the pale sky peep;
Oh welcome all! to me ye say
Upon the soft wind floats her hair,
SNATCHES OF BIRTH IN A DARK LIFE.
Didst thou ne'er see the swallow's
veering breast, Winging the air beneath some murky
In the stunned glimpses of a stormy day,
Shiver in silvery brightness? Or boatman's ear, as vivid lightning flash
In the faint gleam, ili.it like a spirit's path
Tracks the still waters of some sullen lake?
Or lonely tower, from its brown mass of woods,
Give to the parting of a wintry sun
One hasty glance in mockery of the night
Closing in darkness round it ? (Gentle friend!
Chide not her mirth who was sad
yesterday, And may be so to-morrow.)
ILKA BLADE O' GRASS KEPS ITS AIN DRAP O' DEW.
Confide ye aye in Providence, for Providence is kind,
And bear ye a' life's changes, wi' a calm and tranquil mind,
Though pressed and hemmed on every side, ha'e faith and ye'll win through,
For ilka blade o' grass keps its ain drap o'dew.
Gin reft frae friends or crost in love, as whiles nae doubt ye've been,
In lang, lang days o' simmer, when the clear and cloudless sky
Sae, lest 'mid fortune's sunshine we should feel owre proud and hie,
Anna Letitia Barbauld.
Life! I know not what thou art,
Life! we've been long together Through pleasant and through cloudy weather;
'Tis hard to part when friends are
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear;
Choose thine own time;
THE DEATH OF THE VIRTUOUS.
Sweet is the scene when virtue dies!
When sinks a righteous soul to rest, How mildly beam the closing eyes.
How gently heaves th' expiring
So fades a summer cloud away
So gently shuts the eye of day,
Triumphant smiles the victor brow.
Where is, O Grave! thy victory now! And where, insidious Death, thy sting!
Farewell, conflicting joys and fears, Where light and shade alternate dwell]
How bright the unchanging mor n appears; — Farewell, inconstant world, farewell!
Its duty done, — as sinks the day, Light from its load the spirit flies;
While heaven and earth combine to say
"Sweet is the scene when Virtue dies!"
THE COVERED BRIDGE.
Tell the fainting soul in the weary form,
There's a world of the purest bliss,
That is linked as the soul and form are linked, By a covered bridge with this.
Yet to reach that realm on the other shore,
We must pass through a transient gloom,
and must walk unseen, unhelped, and alone Through that covered bridge — the tomb.
But we all pass over on equal terms.
For the universal toll Is the outer garb, which the hand of God
Has flung around the soul.
Though the eye is dim and the bridge is dark,
And the river it spans is wide, Yet Faith points through to a shining mount That looms on the other side.
To enable our feet on the next day's march
To climb up that golden ridge, We must all lie down for a one night's rest Inside of the covered bridge.
Scn of the moral world! effulgent source
Of man's best wisdom and his steadiest force,
Soul-searching Freedom! here assume thy stand,
And radiate hence to every distant land;
Point out and prove how all the
scenes of strife, The shock of states, the impassion'd
broils of life.
Spring from unequal sway; and how they fly
Before the splendor of thy peaceful eye;
Unfold at last the genuine social plan, The mind's full scope, the dignity of man.
Bold nature bursting through her
long disguise, A nd nations dari ng to be just and wise. Yes! righteous Freedom, heaven and
earth and sea Yield or withhold their various gifts for thee;