« AnteriorContinuar »
THE MESSENGER BIRD.
Some of the native Brazilians pay great veneration to a certain bird
that sings mournfully in the night-time. They say it is a messenger
which their deceased friends and relations have sent, and that it brings them news from the other world.
See Picart's Ceremonies and Religious Customs,
Thou art come from the spirit's land, thou bird !
Thou art come from the spirit's land !
And tell of the shadowy band !
We know that the bowers are green and fair
In the light of the summer shore;
They are there—and they weep no more !
And we know they have quenched their fever's thirst
From the fountain of youth ere now;
Which none may find below!
And we know that they will not be lured to earth
From the land of deathless flowers,
Though their hearts were once with ours ;
Though they sat with us by the night-fire's blaze,
And bent with us the bow ;
Which are told to others now !
But tell us, thou bird of the solemn strain,
Can those who have loved forget ? We call—and they answer not again
-Do they love-do they love us yet ?
Doth the warrior think of his brother there,
And the father of his child ?
His wanderings through the wild ?
We call them far through the silent night,
And they speak not from cave or hill,
Mrs Hemans. THE CLOUD.
I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams ;
In their noon-day dreams.
The sweet birds every one,
As she dances about the sun.
And whiten the green plains under,
in thunder. I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast ; And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast. Sublime on the towers of my skiey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits ;
It struggles and howls at fits ;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
In the depths of the purple sea :
Over the lakes and the plains,
The spirit he loves remains ;
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread, Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead. As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may
sit In the light of its golden wings. And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,
Its ardours of rest and of love, And the crimson pall of eve may
fall From the depth of heaven above, With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the moon, Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn; And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear, May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof, The stars peep
behind her and peer ; And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,
Till the calm rivers, lakes, and seas,
Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,
And the moon's with a girdle of pearl ; The volcanos are dim, and the stars reel and swim,
When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl. From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,
Over a torrent sea,
The mountains its columns be.
With hurricane, fire, and snow,