Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

His chamber in the silent halls of death,

Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,

Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed

By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave

Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch

About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

THE EVENING WIND.

Spirit that breathest through my

lattice, thou That coolest the twilight of the

sultry day, Gratefully flows thy freshness round

my brow: Thou hast been out upon the

deep at play, Riding all day the wild blue waves

till now, Roughening their crests, and

scattering high their spray And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee To the scorched land, thou wanderer

of the sea!

Nor I alone—a thousand bosoms round

Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;

And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;

And, languishing to hear thy grateful sound. Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the sight.

Go forth into the gathering shade; go forth,

God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!

Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,

Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse

The wide old wood from his majestic rest,

Summoning, from the innumerable boughs,

The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast: Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows

The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,

And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the grass.

The faint old man shall lean his silver head

To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep, And dry the moistened curls that overspread his temples, while his breathing grows more deep: And they who stand about the sick man's bed, Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,

And softly part his curtains to allow Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.

Go—but the circle of eternal change. Which is the life of nature, shall restore.

With sounds and scents from all thy

mighty range, Thee to thy birthplace of the deep

once more; Sweet odors in the sea-air, sweet and

strange.

Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the shore;

And, listening to thy murmur, he shall deem

He hears the rustling leaf and running stream.

LIFE.

On, Life, I breathe thee in the breeze, I feel thee bounding in my veins,

I see thee in these stretching trees, These flowers, this still rock's mossy stains.

This stream of odor flowing by, From clover fleld and clumps of pine,

This music, thrilling all the sky, From all the morning birds, are thine.

Thou fill'st with joy this little one,

That leaps and shouts beside me

here,

Where Isar's clay white rivulets ran Through the dark woods like frighted deer.

Ah! must thy mighty breath, that wakes

Insect and bird, and flower and tree,

From the low-trodden dust, and makes Their daily gladness, pass from me —

Pass, pulse by pulse, till o'er the ground

These limbs, now strong, shall creep with pain, And this fair world of sight and sound

Seem fading into night again?

The things, oh, Life! thou quickenest, all

Strive upward towards the broad

bright sky, Upward and outward, and they fall Back to earth's bosom when they

die.

All that have borne the touch of death,

All that shall live, lie mingled there,

Beneath that veil of bloom and breath,

That living zone 'twixt earth and air.

There lies my chamber dark and still,

The atoms trampled by my feet, There wait, to take the place I fill In the sweet air and sunshine sweet.

Well, I have had my turn, have been

Raised from the darkness of the clod,

And for a glorious moment seen
The brightness of the skirts of
God;

And knew the light within my breast,

Though wavering oftentimes and dim,

The power, the will, that never rest,

And cannot die, were all from Him.

Dear child! I know that thou wilt grieve

To see me taken from thy love, Wilt seek my grave at Sabbath eve, And weep, and scatter flowers above.

Thy little heart will soon be healed. And being shall be bliss, till thou

To younger forms of life must yield The place thou fill'st with beauty now.

When we descend to dust again,

Where will the final dwelling be Of Thought and all its memories then,

My love for thee, and thine for me?

THE FRINGED GENTIAN.

Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,

And colored with the heaven's own blue,

That openest when the quiet light Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

Thou comest not when violets lean O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,

Or columbines, in purple dressed, Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

Thou waitest late and com'st alone, When woods are bare and birds are flown.

And frosts and shortening days portend

The aged year is near his end.

Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye Look through its fringes to the sky, Blue — blue — as if that sky let fall A flower from its cerulean wall.

I would that thus, when I shall see The hour of death draw near to me, Hope, blossoming within my heart, May look to heaven as I depart.

THE CROWDED STREET.

Let me move slowly through the street,

Filled with an ever-shifting train, Amid the sound of steps that beat The murmuring walks like autumn rain.

How fast the flitting figures come!

The mild, the fierce, the stony face; Some bright with thoughtless smiles, and some Where secret tears have left their trace.

They pass — to toil, to strife, to rest; To halls in which the feast is spread;

To chambers where the funeral guest In silence sits beside the dead.

And some to happy homes repair, Where children, pressing cheek to cheek,

With mute caresses shall declare
The tenderness they cannot speak.

And some, who walk in calmness here, Shall shudder as they reach the door

Where one who made their dwelling dear,

Its flower, its light, is seen no more.

Youth, with pale cheek and slender frame,

And dreams of greatness in thine eye!

Goest thou to build an early name, Or early in the task to die?

Keen son of trade, with eager brow!

Who is now fluttering in thy snare? Thy golden fortunes, tower they now,

Or melt the glittering spires in air?

Who of this crowd to-night shall tread

The dance till daylight gleam again?

Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead? Who writhe in throes of mortal pain?

Some, famine-struck, shall think how long The cold dark hours, how slow the light!

And some who flaunt amid the throng,

Shall hide in dens of shame tonight.

Each, where his tasks or pleasures call,

They pass and heed each other not. There is who heeds, w ho holds them all,

In His large love and boundless thought.

These struggling tides of life that

seem

In wayward, aimless course to tend,

Are eddies of the mighty stream
That rolls to its appointed end.

THE FUTURE LIFE.

How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps The disembodied spiritsof the dead, When all of thee that time could wither, sleeps And perishes among the dust we tread?

For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain

If there I meet thy gentle presence not;

Nor hear the voice I love, nor read again

In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.

Will not thy own meek heart demand

me there? That heart whose fondest throbs

to me were given? My name on earth was ever in thy

prayer,

And must thou never utter it in heaven?

In meadows fanned by heaven's lifebreathing wind, In the resplendence of that glorious sphere, And larger movements of the unfettered mind, Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here?

The love that lived through all the stormy past, And meekly with my harsher nature bore,

And deeper grew, and tenderer to the last.

Shall it expire with life, and be no more?

A happier lot than mine, and larger light,

Await thee there; for thou hast bowed thy will In cheerful homage to the rule of right,

And lovest all, and renderest good for ill.

For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,

Shrink and consume my heart, as

heat the scroll; And wrath has left its scar — that

fire of hell Has left its frightful scar upon my

soul.

Yet though thou wearest the glory of the sky.

Wilt thou not keep the same beloved name. The tame fair thoughtful brow, and gentle eye,

Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate, yet the same?

Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home, The wisdom that I learned so ill in this —

The wisdom which is love—till I become

Thy fit companion in that land of bliss?

THE CONQUEROR'S GRAVE.

Within this lowly grave a Conqueror lies,

And yet the monument proclaims it not.

Nor round the sleeper's name hath chisel wrought The emblems of a fame that never dies.

Ivy and amaranth in a graceful sheaf, Twined with the laurel's fair, imperial leaf. A simple name alone, To the great world unknown, Is graven here, and wild flowers, rising round, Meek meadow-sweet and violets of the ground, Lean lovingly against the humble stone.

Here in the quiet earth, they laid apart

No man of iron mould and bloody hands,

Who sought to wreck upon the cowering lands The passions that consumed his restless heart;

But one of tender spirit and delicate frame,

Gentlest in mien and mind,
Of gentle womankind,

Timidly shrinking from the breath of blame;

One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May,

Yet, at the thought of others' pain, a shade

Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.

Nor deem that when the hand that

moulders here Was raised in menace, realms were

chilled with fear, And armies mustered at the sign,

as when

Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy East, —

Gray captains leading bands of veteran men And fiery youths to be the vulture's feast.

Not thus were waged the mighty wars

that gave The victory to her who fills this

grave;

Alone her task was wrought, Alone the battle fought; Through that long strife her constant

hope was staid On God alone, nor looked for other aid.

She met the hosts of sorrow with a look

That altered not beneath the frown they wore, And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took, Meekly, her gentle rule, and frowned no more. Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath, And calmly broke in twain The fiery shafts of pain, And rent the nets of passion from her path. By that victorious hand despair was slain.

With love she vanquished hate and

overcame Evil with good, in her great Master's

name.

Her glory is not of this shadowy

state

Glory that with the fleeting season

dies;

But when she entered at the sapphire gate

What joy was radiant in celestial

eyes!

How heaven's bright depths with

sounding welcomes rung, And flowers of heaven by shining hands were flung; And He who, long before, Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore, The Mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,

Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat;

He who returning, glorious, from the grave,

Dragged Death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave.

See, as I linger here, the sun grows low;

Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near. Oh, gentle sleeper, from thy grave I go

Consoled though sad, in hope and

yet in fear. Brief is the time, I know, The warfare scarce begun; Yet all may win the triumphs thou

hast won. Still flows the fount whose waters

strengthened thee; The victors' names are yet too few

to fill

Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory,

That ministered to thee is open still.

[From an unflnitlud poem.]
AN EVENING Deli very.

The summer day is closed — the sun is set; Well they have done their office, those bright hours,

« ZurückWeiter »