Imágenes de página

This is no bull, although it sounds so ; for [said.

'Twas night, but there were lamps, as hath been A third's all pallid aspect offered more

The traits of sleeping Sorrow, and betrayed, Through the heaved breast, the dream of some far shore

Beloved and deplored ; while slowly strayed (As night dew, on a cypress glittering, tinges The black bough) tear-drops through her eyes' dark

fringes. A fourth as marble, statue-like and still,

Lay in a breathless, hushed, and stony sleep ;
While, cold and pure, as looks a frozen rill,

Or the snow minaret on Alpine steep,
Or Lot's wife done in salt,-or what you will ;-

My similes are gathered in a heap,
So pick and chooseperhaps you'll be content
With a carved lady on a monument.

FEMALE ANGUISH. She stood a moment as a Pythoness

Stands on her tripod, agonized, and full Of Inspiration gathered from Distress,

When all the heart-strings like wild horses pull The heart asunder :-then, as more or less

Their speed abated or their strength grew dull, She sunk down on her seat by slow degrees, And bowed her throbbing head o'er trembling knees. Her face declined and was unseen ; her hair

Fell in long tresses like the weeping willow, Sweeping the marble underneath her chair,

Or rather sofa, (for it was all pillow, A low, soft ottoman), and black Despair

Stirred up and down her bosom like a billow,

Which rushes to some shore, whose shingles check
Its farther course, but must receive its wreck.
Her head hung down, and her long hair, in stooping,

Concealed her features better than a veil:
And one hand o'er the ottoman lay drooping,

White, waxen, and as alabaster, pale :
Would that I were a painter ! to be grouping

All that a poet drags into detail !
Oh, that my words were colours ! but their tints
May serve perhaps as outlines or slight hints.


Clear, placid Leman ! thy contrasted lake,
With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth’s troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction ; once I loved
Torn ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring

Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved,
That I with stern delights should e'er have been so

moved. It is the hush of night, and all between Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear, Mellowed and mingling, yet distinctly seen, Save darkened Jura, whose capt heights appear Precipitously steep ; and drawing near, There breathes a living fragrance from the shore, Of flowers yet fresh with childhood ; on the ear

Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more ;

He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill :

At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy-for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love instil,

Weeping themselves away, till they infuse
Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.

Ye stars, which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires, 'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with


for A beauty and a mystery, and create

In us such love and reverence from afar, That fortune, fame, power, life, have named them

selves a star.

ye are

All heaven and earth are still—though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most ;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep:-
All heaven and earth are still: from the high host
Of stars, to the lull’d lake and mountain-coast,
All is concentred in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,

But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and defence.

Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
In solitude, where we are leost alone:
A truth, which through our being then doth melt
And purifies from self: It is a tone,
The soul and source of music, which makes known
Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm,


Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,

Binding all things with beauty ,-'twould disarm The spectre Death, had he substantial power to harm.

Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak
Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take
A fit and unwall’d temple, there to seek
The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
Upreard of human hands. Come, and compare
Columns and idle-dwellings, Goth or Greek,

With nature's realms or worship, earth and air, Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer ! The sky is changed !--and such a change ! Oh

night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wond'rous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman! Far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder ! Not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue,

And Jura answers, through her misty shroud,
Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud !

And this is in the night:-most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber ! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight-
A portion of the tempest and of thee !
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black-and now, the glee

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er the young earthquake's birth. Of years

Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way be

tween Heights which appear as lovers who have parted In hate, whose mining depths so intervene, That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted; Though in their souls, which thus each other

thwarted, Love was the very root of the fond rage Which blighted their life's bloom and then de.

parted : Itself expired, but leaving them an age

all winters-war within themselves to wage. Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his

way, The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand : For here, not one, but many, make their play, And Aling their thunderbolts from hand to hand, Flashing and cast around : of all the band, The brightest through these parted hills hath fork'd His lightnings,—as if he did understand,

That in such gaps as desolation work'd There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein

lurk’d. Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings ! ye ! With night, and clouds, and thunder, and a soul To make these felt and feeling, well may be Things that have made me watchful; the far roll Of your departed voices is the knoll Of what in me is sleepless,—if I rest. But where of ye, oh tempests ! is the goal ?

Are ye like those within the human breast ? Or do ye find, at length, like eagles, some high nest ?

« AnteriorContinuar »