Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

145

150

155

160

Seen in these scattered notes their date' that claim
When first his feeling conscious sought a name.

Beside the wishing gate which so they name,
'Mid northern hills to me this fancy came,
A wish I formed, my wish I thus expressed :
Would I could wish my wishes all to rest,
And know to wish the wish that were the best!
O for some winnowing wind, to the empty air
This chaff of easy sympathies to bear
Far off, and leave me of myself aware !
While thus this over health deludes me still,
So willing that I know not what I will ;
O for some friend, or more than friend, austere,
To make me know myself, and make me fear!
O for touch, too noble to be kind,
To awake to life the mind within the mind!”

“O charms, seductions and divine delights !
All through the radiant yellow summer nights,
Dreams, hardly dreams, that yield or e’er they're done,
To the bright fact, my day, my risen sun!
O promise and fulfilment, both in one!
O bliss, already bliss, which naught has shared,
Whose glory no fruition has impaired,
And, emblem of my state, thou coming day,
With all thy hours unspent to pass away!
Why do I wait? What more propose to know?
Where the sweet mandate bids me, let me go;
My conscience in my impulse let me find,
Justification in the moving mind,
Law in the strong desire; or yet behind,
Say, is there aught the spell that has not heard,
A something that refuses to be stirred ? ”

"In other regions has my being heard
Of a strange language the diviner word ?
Has some forgotten life the exemplar shown?
Elsewhere such high communion have I known,
As dooms me here, in this, to live alone?
Then love, that shouldest blind me, let me, love,
Nothing behold beyond thee or above;

165

170

וי

175

180

185

190

195

וי

200

Ye impulses, that should be strong and wild,
Beguile me, if I am to be beguiled.”

“Or are there modes of love, and different kinds,
Proportioned to the sizes of our minds?
There are who say thus, I held there was one,
One love, one deity, one central sun;
As he resistless brings the expanding day,
So love should come on his victorious way.
If light at all, can light indeed be there,
Yet only permeate half the ambient air?
Can the high noon be regnant in the sky,
Yet half the land in light, and half in darkness lie?
Can love, if love, be occupant in part,
Hold, as it were, some chambers in the heart;
Tenant at will of so much of the soul,
Not lord and mighty master of the whole?
There are who say, and say that it is well;
Opinion all, of knowledge none can tell.”

• Montaigne, I know in a realm high above
Places the seat of friendship over love;
'Tis not in love that we should think to find
The lofty fellowship of mind with mind;
Love's not a joy where soul and soul unite,
Rather a wondrous animal delight;
And as in spring, for one consummate hour
The world of vegetation turns to flower,
The birds with liveliest plumage trim their wing,
And all the woodland listens as they sing;
When spring is o'er and summer days are sped,
The songs are silent, and the blossoms dead:
E'en so of man and woman is the bliss.
O, but I will not tamely yield to this !
I think it only shows us in the end,
Montaigne was happy in a noble friend,
Had not the fortune of a noble wife;
He lived, I think, a poor ignoble life,
And wrote of petty pleasures, petty pain ;
I do not greatly think about Montaigne.”

“ How charming to be with her! Yet indeed,

205

210

215

220

225

230

235

240

After a while I find a blank succeed :
After a while she little has to say,
I'm silent too, although I wish to stay ;
What would it be all day, day after day?
Ah! but I ask, I do not doubt, too much ;

think of ove as if should be such
As to fulfil and occupy in whole
The naught-else-seeking, naught-essaying soul.
Therefore it is my mind with doubts I urge ;
Hence are these fears and shiverings on the verge ;
By books, not nature, thus have we been schooled,
By poetry and novels been befooled;
Wiser tradition says, the affections' claim
Will be supplied, the rest will be the same.
I think too much of love, 'tis true: I know
It is not all, was ne'er intended so;
Yet such a change, so entire, I feel, 'twould be,
So potent, so omnipotent with me;
My former self I never should recall,
Indeed I think it must be all in all."

“I thought that Love was winged; without a sound,
His purple pinions bore him o'er the ground,
Wafted without an effort here or there,
He came

and we too trod as if in air:
But panting, toiling, clambering up the hill,
Am I to assist him? I, put forth my will
To upbear his lagging footsteps, lame and slow,
And help him on and tell him where to go,
And ease him of his quiver and his bow?"

- Erotion! I saw it in a book ;
Why did I notice it, why did I look?
Yea, is it so, ye powers that see above?
I do not love, I want, I try to love !
This is not love, but lack of love instead!
Merciless thought! I would I had been dead,
Or e'er the phrase had come into my head.”

She also wrote: and here may find a place,
Of her and of her thoughts some slender trace.

6. He is not vain ; if proud, he quells his pride,

245

250

255

[ocr errors]

260

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

And somehow really likes to be defied;
Rejoices if you humble him : indeed
Gives way at once, and leaves you to succeed.”

• Easy it were with such a mind to play,
And foolish not to do so, some would say ;
One almost smiles to look and see the way:
But come what will, I will not play a part,
Indeed, I dare not condescend to art."

Easy 'twere not, perhaps, with him to live;
He looks for more than anyone can give :
So dulled at times and disappointed; still
Expecting what depends not of my will :
My inspiration comes not at my call,
Seek me as I am, if seek you do at all.”

- Like him I do, and think of him I must;
But more - I dare not and I cannot trust.
This more he brings — say, is it more or less
Than that no fruitage ever came to bless,
The old wild flower of love-in-idleness?"

o Me when he leaves and others when he sees,
What is my fate who am not there to please?
Me he has left; already may have seen
One, who for me forgotten here has been;
And he, the while is balancing between.
If the heart spoke, the heart I knew were bound;
What if it utter an uncertain sound?"

“So quick to vary, so rejoiced to change,
From this to that his feelings surely range ;
His fancies wander, and his thoughts as well;
And if the heart be constant, who can tell?
Far off to fly, to abandon me, and go,
He seems returning then before I know :
With every accident he seems to move,
Is now below me and is now above,
Now far ide, — O, does he really love?"

** Absence were hard ; yet let the trial be;
His nature's aim and purpose he would free,
And in the world his course of action see.
O should he lose, not learn ; pervert his scope;

[blocks in formation]

300

305

310

315

O should I lose ! and yet to win I hope.
I win not now; his way if now I went,
Brief joy I gave, for years of discontent.”

Gone, is it true ? but oft he went before,
And came again before a month was o'er.
Gone — though I could not venture upon art,
It was perhaps a foolish pride in part;
He had such ready fancies in his head,
And really was so easy to be led;
One might have failed; and yet I feel 'twas pride,
And can't but half repent I never tried.
Gone, is it true ? but he again will come,
Wandering he loves, and loves returning home.”

Gone, it was true; nor came so soon again,
Came, after travelling, pleasure half, half pain,
Came, but a half of Europe first o’erran ;
Arrived, his father found a ruined man.
Rich they had been, and rich was Emma too.
Heiress of wealth she knew not, Edmund knew.

Farewell to her!- In a new home obscure,
Food for his helpless parents to secure,
From early morning to advancing dark,
He toiled and labored as a merchant's clerk.
Three years his heavy load he bore, nor quailed,
Then all his health, though scarce his spirit, failed;
Friends interposed, insisted it must be,
Enforced their help, and sent him to the sea.

Wandering about with little here to do,
His old thoughts mingling dimly with his new,
Wandering one morn, he met upon the shore,
Her, whom he quitted five long years before.

Alas! why quitted? Say that charms are naught,
Nor grace, nor beauty worth one serious thought;
Was there no mystic virtue in the sense
That joined your boyish girlish innocence ?
Is constancy a thing to throw away,
And loving faithfulness a chance of every day?
Alas! why quitted? is she changed? but now
The weight of intellect is in her brow;

320

325

330

335

« AnteriorContinuar »