Imágenes de página

Excelsior, The Ladder of St. Augustine, and The Footsteps of Angels, although there are many later productions that merit, and must attain, a like distinction. Here are three noble verses from the Psalm of Life:

Art is long, and time is Aeeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffed drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the


Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time!
Footprints ! that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, -shall take heart again.

The Song of Hiawatha has perhaps been the most popular of any of his recent productions ; but that which is generally esteemed his greatest work is Evangeline, which possesses an additional interest for us, since it illustrates some of the stirring incidents of our early history. “ I shall never forget,” writes an English author, on his recent visit to the United States, “that I have been permitted to touch the hand, and to listen to the discourse—full of calm, and wise, and gentle things--of a noble American man,-of him who wrote the Village Blacksmith and Evangeline, -of him whose life has been blameless, whose record is pure, whose name is a sound of fame to all people—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.”

One of his recent poems, entitled “ Weariness," must conclude our selections from his works :

O little feet, that such long years
Must wander on, through doubts and fears,
Must ache and bleed beneath your load !

[merged small][graphic][merged small]

O little hearts, that throb and beat
With such impatient, feverish heat,

Such limitless and strong desires !
Mine, that so long has glowed and burned,
With passions into ashes turned,

Now covers and conceals its fires.

O little souls, as pure and white
And crystalline as rays of light

Direct from heaven, their source divine !
Refracted through the mist of years,
How red my setting sun appears,

How lurid looks this soul of mine!

Very touching is the pathos of these plaintive lines, by SHELDON CHADWICK :

Our baby lies under the snow, sweet wife, our baby lies under the

snow, Out in the dark with the night, while the winds so loudly blow. As a dead saint thou art pale, sweet wife, and the cross is on thy

breast; Oh, the snow no more can chill that little dove in its nest! Shall we shut the baby out, sweet wife, while the chilling winds do

blow? Oh, the grave is now its bed, and its coverlet is of snow. Oh, our merry bird is snared, sweet wife, that a rain of music gave, And the snow falls on our hearts, and our hearts are each a grave! Oh, it was the lamp of our life, sweet wife, blown out in a night

of gloom; A leaf from our Aower of love, nipped in its fresh spring bloom. But the lamp will shine above, sweet wife, and the leaf again shall

grow, Where there are no bitter winds, and no dreary, dreary snow !

Fields, the author-bookseller of Boston, wrote this refrain :

Underneath the sod low-lying, dark and drear,
Sleepeth one who left, in dying, sorrow here.
Yes! they're ever bending o'er her eyes that weep;
Forms that to the cold grave bore ber, vigils keep.
When the Summer moon is shining, soft and fair,
Friends she loved, in tears are twining chaplets there.
Rest in peace, thou gentle spirit, throned above!
Souls like thine, with God inherit life and love !

As a specimen of the rich music of GERALD MASSEY's verse, we offer the two following brilliant extracts :

Death of the Babe Christabel :

In this dim world of clouding cares,

We rarely know, till 'wildered eyes

See white wings lessening up the skies,
The angels with us unawares !
And thou hast stolen a jewel, Death!

Shall light thy dark up like a star

A beacon kindling from afar-
Our light of love and fainting faith.

Our beautiful bird of light hath Aed ;

Awhile she sat, with folded wings, –

Sang round us a few hoverings,-
Then straightway unto glory sped !


Through childhood's morning-land, serene

She walked betwixt us twain, like Love ;

While, in a robe of light above,
Her better angel walked unseen, -

[blocks in formation]

God's ichor fills the hearts that bleed;

The best fruit loads the broken bough ;

And in our minds our sufferings plough,
Immortal Love sows sovereign seed !

Ah! 'tis like a tale of olden time, long, long ago ;
When the world was in its golden prime, and Love was lord below!
Every vein of Earth was dancing with the Spring's new wine !
'Twas the pleasant time of Aowers when I met you, love of mine!
Ah! some spirit sure was straying out of heaven that day,
When I met you, Sweet ! a-Maying in that merry, merry May ;
Little heart ! it shyly opened its red leaves' love lore,
Like a rose that must be ripened to the dainty, dainty core.
But its beauties daily brighten, and it blooms so dear, -
Though a many winters whiten, I go Maying all the year
And my proud heart will be praying blessings on the day
When I met you, Sweet, a-Maying, in that merry, merry May.

Very charming is the following from the pen of Sir E. Bulwer LYTTON :

Hollow is the oak beside the sunny waters drooping ;
Thither came, when I was young, happy children trooping ;
Dream I now, or hear I now-far, their mellow whooping?
Gay, below the cowslip bank, see the billow dances,
There I lay, beguiling time--when I lived romances ;
Dropping pebbles in the wave, fancies into fancies ;
Farther, where the river glides by the wooded cover,

« AnteriorContinuar »