Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,

With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and strife —

The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear

The scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear —

And malice, and meanness, and falsehood and folly,

Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy;

When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high,

And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh —

Oh! then there is freedom, and joy and pride,

Afar in the desert alone to ride!

There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,

And to bound away with the eagle's speed,

With the death-fraught firelock in

my hand — The only law of the desert land!

Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent bush-boy alone by my side,

Away — away from the dwellings of men,

By the wild deer's haunt, by the buffalo's glen;

By valleys remote where the oriby plays

Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the

hartebeest graze, And the kudu and eland unhunted

recline

By the skirts of gray forest o'erhung

with wild vine! Where the elephant browses at peace

in his wood, And the river-horse gambols unscared

in the flood. And the mighty rhinoceros wallows

at will

In the fen where the wild ass is drinking his fill.

Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent bush-boy alone by my side,

O'er the brown karroo, where the

bleating cry Of the springbok's fawn soundsplain

tively;

And the timorous quagga's shrill

whistling neigh Is heard by the fountain at twilight

gray;

Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane,

With wild hoof scouring the desolate plain;

And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste

Speeds like a horseman who travels

in haste,

Hieing away to the home of her rest, Where she and her mate have scooped

their nest, Far hid from the pitiless plunderers

view

In the pathless depths of the parched karroo.

Afar in the desert I love to ride, With the silent bush-boy alone by my side.

Away — away — in the wilderness vast,

Where the white man's foot hath

never passed, And the quivered Coranna or Bech

uan

Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan;

A region of emptiness, howling and drear,

Which man hath abandoned from famine and fear;

Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone,

With the twilight bat from the yawning stone;

Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root,

Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot:

And the bitter-melon, for food and drink,

Is the pilgrim's fare by the salt-lake's

brink;

A region of drought, where no river glides,

Nor rippling brook with osiered sides;

Where sedgy pool, nor bubbling fount,

Nor tree, nor cloud, nor misty mount, Appears, to refresh the aching eye; But the barren earth and the burning

sky, [round, And the blank horizon, round and Spread — void of living sight or

sound.

And here, while the night-winds round me sigh,

And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky, As I sit apart by the desert stone, Like Elijah at Horeb's cave, alone, "A still small voice" comes through the wild

(Like a father consoling his fretful child),

Which banishes bitterness, wrath,

and fear, — Saying — Man is distant, but God is

near!

Matthew Prior.

[From Solomon.] THE WISE MAN IN DARKNESS.

Happy the mortal man, who now at last

Has through the doleful vale of misery passed;

Who to his destined stage has carried on

The tedious load, and laid his burdens down;

Whom the cut brass or mounded marble shows

Victor o'er life and all her train of woes.

He happier yet, who, privileged by

fate

To shorter labor, and a lighter weight,

Received but yesterday the gift of breath,

Ordered to-morrow to return to death.

But oh! beyond description, happiest

he

Who ne'er must roll on life's tumultuous sea;

Who with blessed freedom from the general doom

Exempt, must never force the teeming womb,

Nor see the sun, nor sink into the tomb.

Who breathes must suffer; and who

thinks must mourn; And he alone is blest who ne'er was

born.

[From Solomon.]
THE WISE MAN IN LIGHT.

Supreme, all-wise, eternal Potentate!

Sole Author, sole Dispenser of our fate!

Enthroned in light and immortality!

Whom no man fully sees, and none can see!

Original of beings! Power divine! Since that I live, and that I think, is

Thine;

Benign Creator, let Thy plastic hand Dispose its own effect. Let Thy command

Restore, great Father, Thy instructed

son;

And in my act, may Thy great will be done!

Adelaide Anne Procter.

ONE BY ONE.

One by one the sands are flowing,
One by one the moments fall;

Some are coming, some are going,
Do not strive to grasp them all.

One by one thy duties wait thee,
Let thy whole strength go to each,

Let no future dreams elate thee, Learn thou first what these can teach.

One by one (bright gifts from Heaven)

Joys are sent thee here below; Take them readily when given, Ready too to let them go.

One by one thy griefs shall meet thee.

Do not fear an armed band; One will fade as others greet thee; Shadows passing through the land.

Do not look at life's long sorrow;

See how small each moment's pain, God will help thee for to-morrow,

So each day begin again.

Every hour that fleets so slowly
Has its task to do or bear;

Luminous the crown, and holy,
When each gem is set with care.

Do not linger with regretting,
Or for passing hours despond;

Nor, the daily toil forgetting,
Look too eagerly beyond.

Hours are golden links, God's token,
Reaching heaven; but one by one

Take them, lest the chain be broken Ere the pilgrimage be done.

JUDGE NOT.

Judge not; the workings of his brain And of his heart thou canst not see;

What looks to thy dim eyes a stain,

In God's pure light may only be A scar, brought from some well-won field,

Where thou wouldst only faint and yield.

The look, the air, that frets thy sight,
May be it token, that below

The soul has closed in deadly fight
With some infernal fiery foe,

Whose glance would scorch thy smiling grace,

And cast thee shuddering on thy face!

The fall thou darest to despise,—
May be the angel's slackened hand

has suffered it, that he may rise
And take a firmer, surer stand;

Or, trusting less to earthly things.

May henceforth learn to use his wings.

And judge none lost; but wait and see,

With hopeful pity, not disdain:
The depth of the abyss may be
The measure of the height of
pain

And love and glory that may raise
This soul to God in after days!

THANKFULNESS.

My God, I thank Thee who hast made

The earth so bright;
So full of splendor and of joy,

Beauty and light;
So many glorious things are here,

Noble and right 1

I thank Thee, too, that Thou hast made

Joy to abound;
So many gentle thoughts and deeds

Circling us round,
That in the darkest spot of earth

Some love is found.

I thank Thee more that all our joy

Is touched with pain; That shadows fall on brightest hours;

That thorns remain; So that earth's bliss may be our guide,

And not our chain.

For Thou who knowest, Lord, how soon

Our weak heart clings,
Hast given us joys, tender and true,

Yet all with wings,
So that we see, gleaming on high,

Diviner things!

I thank Thee, Lord, that Thou hast kept

The best in store;
We have enough, yet not too much

To long for more:
A yearning for a deeper peace,

Not known before.

I thank Thee, Lord, that here our souls

Though amply blest,
Can never find, although they seek,

A perfect rest,—
Nor ever shall, until they lean

On Jesus' breast!

A LOST CHORD.

Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,

And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.

I do not know what I was playing,
Or what I was dreaming then;

But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

It flooded the crimson twilight,
Like the close of an angel's psalm,

And it lay on my fevered spirit
With a touch of infinite calm.

It quieted pain and sorrow,
Like love overcoming strife;

It seemed the harmonious echo
From our discordant life.

It linked all perplexed meanings

Into one perfect peace,
And trembled away into silence

As if it were loth to cease.

I have sought, but I seek it vainly, That one lost chord divine,

That came from the soul of the organ, And entered into mine.

It may be that death's bright angel
Will speak in that chord again,

It may be that only in heaven
I shall hear that grand Amen.

TOO LATE.

Hush! speak low; tread softly;

Draw the sheet aside; — Yes, she does look peaceful;

With that smile she died.

Yet ster n want and sorrow

Even now you trace
On the wan, worn features

Of the still white face.

Bestless, helpless, hopeless,
Was her bitter part; —

Now,— how still the violets
Lie upon her heart!

She who toiled and labored

For her daily bread; See the velvet hangings

Of this stately bed.

Yes, they did forgive her;

Brought her home at last; Strove to cover over

Their relentless past.

Ah, they would have given
Wealth, and home, and pride,

To see her just look happy
Once before she died!

They strove hard to please her,
But, when death is near,

All you know is deadened,
Hope, and joy, and fear.

And besides, one sorrow
Deeper still,— one pain

Was beyond them: healing
Came to-day,— in vain!"

If she had but lingered
Just a few hours more;

Or had this letter reached her
Just one day before!

I can almost pity

Even him to-day; Though he let this anguish

Eat her heart away.

Yet she never blamed him: —
One day you shall know

How this sorrow happened;
It was long ago.

I have read the letter;

Many a weary year,
For one word she hungered,—

There are thousands here.

If she could but hear it,
Could but understand;

See,— I put the letter
In her cold white hand.

Even these words, so longed for,

Do not stir her rest;
Well, I should not murmur,

For God judges best.

She needs no more pity,—

But I mourn his fate, When he hears his letter

Came a day too late.

CLEANSING FIRES.

Let thy gold be cast in the furnace,
Thy red gold, precious and bright,

Do not fear the hungry fire.
With its caverns of burning light;

And thy gold shall return more precious.

Free from every spot and stain; For gold must be tried by fire, As a heart must be tried by pain!

In the cruel fire of sorrow,

Cast thy heart, do not faint or wail; Let thy hand be firm and steady,

Do not let thy spirit quail: But wait till the trial is over,

And take thy heart again; For as gold is tried by fire.

So a heart must be tried by pain!

I shall know by the gleam and glitter

Of the golden chain you wear, By your heart's calm strength in loving.

Of the fire they have had to bear. Beat on, true heart, forever;

Shine bright, strong golden chain; And bless the cleansing fire,

And the furnace of living pain!

A WOMAN'S QUESTION.

Before I trust my fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,

Before I let thy future give
Color and form to mine,

Before I peril all for thee,
Question thy soul to-night for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel

A shadow of regret:
Is there one link within the past

That holds thy spirit yet?
Or is thy faith as clear and free

As that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within thy dimmest
dreams
A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth
breathe,
Untouched, unshared by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost.
Oh, tell me before all is lost.

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel

Within thy inmost soul, That thou hast kept a portion back

While I have staked the whole; Let no false pity spare the blow,

But in true mercy tell me so.

« ZurückWeiter »