Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

So, take and use thy work,
Amend what flaws may lurk,
What strain o' the stuff, what warpings

past the aim!
My times be in thy hand!

190 Perfect the cup as planned! Let age approve of youth, and death com

plete the same!

I I thought once how Theocritus had sung Of the sweet years, the dear and wished

for years,

EPILOGUE TO ASOLANDO

At the midnight in the silence of the sleep

time, When you set your fancies free, Will they pass to where—by death, fools

think, imprisonedLow he lies who once so loved you, whom you loved so,

- Pity me?

Who each one in a gracious hand appears To bear a gift for mortals, old or young: And, as I mused it in his antique tongue, 5 I saw in gradual vision through my tears, The sweet, sad years, the melancholy

years, Those of my own life, who by turns had

flung A shadow across me. Straightway I was

'ware, So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move Behind me, and drew me backward by

the hair; And a voice said in mastery while I

strove, “Guess now who holds thee?”—“Death!"

I said. But there, The silver answer rang: “Not Death, but Love."

VII The face of all the world is changed, I

think, Since first I heard the footsteps of thy

soul

II

5

[blocks in formation]

the same,

IO

anear.

IO

XLIII

Move still, oh, still, beside me as they stole Their vanishing eyes. Then thou didst
Betwixt me and the dreadful outer brink come to be,
Of obvious death, where I, who thought Beloved, what they seemed. Their shining
to sink,

5

fronts, Was caught up into love and taught the Their songs, their splendors (better, yet

whole Of life in a new rhythm. The cup of dole As river water, hallowed into fonts) God gave for baptism, I am fain to drink, Met in thee, and from out thee overcame And praise its sweetness, Sweet, with thee My soul with satisfaction of all wants

Because God's gifts put man's best dreams The names of country, heaven, are to shame.

changed away For where thou art or shalt be, there or here;

How do I love thee? Let me count the And this—this lute and song-loved ways. yesterday,

I love thee to the depth and breadth and (The singing angels know) are only dear height Because thy name moves right in what My soul can reach, when feeling out of they say.

sight

For the ends of Being and Ideal Grace. XIV

I love thee to the level of everyday's 5 If thou must love me, let it be for nought | Most quiet need, by sun and candleExcept for love's sake only. Do not say, light. “I love her for her smile her look-her I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; way

I love thee purely, as they turn from Of speaking gently, for a trick of thought Praise. That falls in well with mine, and certes I love thee with the passion put to use brought

5 In my old griefs, and with my childhood's A sense of pleasant ease on such a day;": faith. For these things in themselves, Beloved, I love thee with a love I seemed to lose may

With my lost saints, I love thee with Be changed, or change for thee,-and love, the breath, so wrought,

Smiles, tears, of all my life!-and, if God May be unwrought so. Neither love me choose, for

I shall but love thee better after death. Thine own dear pity's wiping my cheeks

dry: A creature might forget to weep, who bore Thy comfort long, and lose thy love THE CRY OF THE CHILDREN

thereby. But love me for love's sake, that evermore Do ye hear the children weeping, O my Thou may'st love on through love's brothers, eternity.

Ere the sorrow comes with years?

They are leaning their young heads against XXVI

their mothers, I lived with visions for my company, And that cannot stop their tears. Instead of men and women, years ago, The young lambs are bleating in the And found them gentle mates, nor thought meadows, to know

The young birds are chirping in the A sweeter music than they played to me.

nest, But soon their trailing purple was not free The young fawns are playing with the Of this world's dust—their lutes did silent

shadows, grow,

6 The young flowers are blowing toAnd I myself grew faint and blind below

ward the west

IO

IO

5

[ocr errors]

IO

45

25

But the young, young children, O my From the sleep wherein she lieth none brothers,

will wake her They are weeping bitterly!

Crying, 'Get up, little Alice! it is day. ' They are weeping in the playtime of the If you listen by that grave, in sun and others,

shower, In the country of the free.

With your ear down, little Alice never

cries; Do you question the young children in Could we see her face, be sure we should the sorrow

not know her, Why their tears are falling so?

For the smile has time for growing The old man may weep for his to

in her eyes: morrow

15

And merry go her moments, lulled and Which is lost in Long Ago;

stilled in The old tree is leafless in the forest,

The shroud by the kirk-chime.

50 The old year is ending in the frost, It is good when it happens," say the chilThe old wound, if stricken, is the sorest,

dren, The old hope is hardest to be lost: 20 “That we die before our time.” But the young, young children, O my brothers,

Alas, alas, the children! they are seeking Do you ask them why they stand Death in life, as best to have: Weeping sore before the bosoms of their They are binding up their hearts away mothers,

from breaking,

55 In our happy Fatherland?

With a cerement from the grave. Go out, children, from the mine and from

the city, They look up with their pale and sunken faces,

Sing out, children, as the little And their looks are sad to see,

thrushes do; For the man's hoary anguish draws and Pluck your handfuls of the meadow

cowslips pretty, presses Down the cheeks of infancy;

Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let “Your old earth," they say, "is very

them through! dreary;

But they answer, “Are your cowslips of Our young feet,” they say, “are very

the meadows weak;

Like our weeds anear the mine? Few paces have we taken, yet are weary

Leave us quiet in the dark of the coalOur grave-rest is very far to seek:

shadows, Ask the aged why they weep, and not the

From your pleasures fair and fine! children, For the outside earth is cold,

“For oh,” say the children, “we are And we young ones stand without, in

weary,

63 our bewildering,

And we cannot run or leap;

35 And the graves are for the old. If we cared for any meadows, it were True," say the children, "it may happen merely That we die before our time:

To drop down in them and sleep. Little Alice died last year, her grave is

Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping, shapen

We fall upon our faces, trying to go; 70 Like a snowball, in the rime.1

And, underneath our heavy eyelids droup40

ing,

The reddest flower would look as We looked into the pit prepared to take her:

pale as snow. Was no room for any work in the For, all day, we drag our burden tiring, close clay!

Through the coal-dark, underground; Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron 75

In the factories, round and round.

60

30

1 frost.

I 20

"For, all day, the wheels are droning, And we hear not (for the wheels in their turning;

resounding) Their wind comes in our faces,

Strangers speaking at the door: 110 Till our hearts turn our heads, with pulses Is it likely God, with angels singing round burning,

Him,
And the walls turn in their places: 80 Hears our weeping any more?
Turns the sky in the high window, blank
and reeling,

“Two words, indeed, of praying we reTurns the long light that drops adown

member; the wall,

And at midnight's hour of harm, Turn the black flies that crawl along the 'Our Father,' looking upward in the ceiling:

chamber,

115 All are turning, all the day, and we We say softly for a charm. with all.

We know no other words, except Our And all day the iron wheels are dron

Father,

And we think that, in some pause of ing:

85 And sometimes we could pray,

angels' song, 'Oye wheels,' (breaking out in a mad God may pluck them with the silence moaning)

sweet to gather, 'Stop! be silent for to-day!'"

And hold both within His right hand

which is strong. Ay, be silent! Let them hear each other 'Our Father! If He heard us, He would breathing

surely For a moment, mouth to mouth! 90

(For they call Him good and mild) Let them touch each other's hands, in a

Answer, smiling down the steep world fresh wreathing

very purely, Of their tender human youth!

'Come and rest with me, my child.' Let them feel that this cold metallic motion

“But no!" say the children, weeping Is not all the life God fashions or re

faster,

125 veals:

“He is speechless as a stone: Let them prove their living souls against And they tell us, of His image is the the notion

95

master That they live in you, or under you, Who commands us to work on. 0 wheels!

Go to!” say the children,-“Up in Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward,

Heaven, Grinding life down from its mark;

Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are And the children's souls, which God is

all we find:

130 calling sunward,

Do not mock us; grief has made us unSpin on blindly in the dark.

believing:

We look up for God, but tears have Now tell the poor young children, O my

made us blind.” brothers,

Do you hear the children weeping and To look up to Him and pray;

disproving, So the blessed One who blesseth all the

O my brothers, what ye preach? others,

For God's possible is taught by His Will bless them another day.

.world's loving,

135 They answer, “Who is God that He

And the children doubt of each. should hear us,

105 While the rushing of the iron wheels And well may the children weep before is stirred?

you! When we sob aloud, the human creatures They are weary ere they run; near us

They have never seen the sunshine, nor Pass by, hearing not, or answer not the glory a word.

Which is brighter than the sun: 140

100

can

reed,

20

They know the grief of man, without its High on the shore sat the great god Pan, wisdom;

While turbidly flowed the river; They sink in man's despair, without And hacked and hewed as a great god its calm;

15 And slaves, without the liberty in Christ. With his hard bleak steel at the patient

dom, Are martyrs, by the pang without Till there was not a sign of the leaf indeed the palm:

To

prove it fresh from the river. Are worn as if with age, yet unretrievingly

145

He cut it short, did the great god Pan, The harvest of its memories cannot (How tall it stood in the river!), reap,

Then drew the pith, like the heart of a Are orphans of the earthly love and man, heavenly.

Steadily from the outside ring,
Let them weep! let them weep! And notched the poor dry empty thing

In holes, as he sat by the river.
They look up with their pale and sunken
faces,

“This is the way,” laughed the great god And their look is dread to see, 150

Pan

25 For they mind you of their angels in high (Laughed while he sat by the river), places,

“The only way, since gods began With eyes turned on Deity.

To make sweet music, they could succeed." “How long,” they say, “how long, O cruel Then dropping his mouth to a hole in the nation,

reed, Will you stand, to move the world, He blew in power by the river. 30

on a child's heart, Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpita- Sweet, sweet, sweet, O Pan! tion,

155 Piercing sweet by the river! And tread onward to your throne Blinding sweet, Ogreat god Pan! amid the mart?

The sun on the hill forgot to die, Our blood splashes upward, O gold- And the lilies revived, and the dragonheaper,

fly

35 And your purple shows your path! Came back to dream on the river. But the child's sob in the silence curses deeper

Yet half a beast is the great god Pan Than the strong man in his wrath."160 To laugh, as he sits by the river, Making a poet out of a man:

39 The true gods sigh for the cost and painA MUSICAL INSTRUMENT For the reed which grows never more again

As a reed with the reeds of the river. What was he doing, the great god Pan,

Down in the reeds by the river? Spreading ruin and scattering ban,

EDWARD FITZGERALD (1809–1883) Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat,

RUBÁIYÁT OF OMAR KHAYYÁM And breaking the golden lilies afloat 5 With the dragon-fly on the river?

Wake! For the Sun, who scatter'd into He tore out a reed, the great god Pan,

flight From the deep cool bed of the river; The Stars before him from the Field of The limpid water turbidly ran

Night, And the broken lilies a-dying lay,

Drives Night along with them from And the dragon-fly had fled away,

Heav'n, and strikes Ere he brought it out of the river. The Sultan's Turret with a Shaft of Light.

I

IO

« AnteriorContinuar »