Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

A fearful day was that ! the rains

Fell fast with tempest roar,
And the swoln tide of Severn spread

Far on the level shore.

In vain Lord William sought the feast 1

In vain he quaff’d the bowl,2
And strove with noisy mirth to drown

The anguish of his soul.

Reluctant now as night came on

His lonely couch he press’d,
And wearied out he sunk to sleep-

To sleep—but not to rest.

Beside that couch his brother's form,

Lord Edmund, seem'd to stand,
Such and so pale as when in death

He grasp'd his brother's hand;

Such and so pale his face as when,

With faint and faltering tongue,
To William's care, a dying charge,

He left his orphan son.3

“ I bade thee with a father's love

My orphan Edmund guard :
Well, William, hast thou kept thy charge !

Take now thy due reward.”

He started up, each limb convulsed 4

With agonizing fear;

! | Sought the feast, Eut recours au plaisir de la table -% He quaff'd the bowl, Il vida sa coupe à longs traits.—3 To William's care, a dying charge, he left his orphan son, Il recommanda en mourant sa fille orpheline à la sollicitude de William.4 Each limb convulsed with agonizing fear, Tous ses inembres étaient agités d'une frayeur convulsive.

He only heard the storm of night

'Twas music to his ear.

When lo! the voice of loud alarm

His inmost soul appals :“What ho ! Lord William, rise in haste ;2

The water saps thy walls !".

He rose in haste-beneath the walls

He saw the flood appear ; It hemm'd him round : 'twas midnight now,

No human aid was near.

He heard a shout of joy, for now

A boat approach'd the wall, And eager to the welcome aid

They crowd for safety all.3

“My boat is small,” the boatman cried,

“'Twill bear but one away ; Come in, Lord William, and do ye

In God's protection stay." 4

Strange feelings fill’d them at his voice,

Even in that hour of woe,
That, save their lord, there was not one

Who wish'd with him to go.

But William leapt into the boat,

His terror was so sore : “ Thou shalt have half my gold,"5 he cried,

“ Haste, haste to yonder shore !"6

1 'Twas music to his ear, Accord mélodieux pour son oreille épouvantée. - What ho! Lord William, rise in haste, Alerte ! Lord William, levez-vous vite.-3 Eager to the welcome aid they crowd for safety all, Tous se précipitèrent à la rencontre de l'esquif qui leur apportait le salut. -4 And do ye in God's protection stay, Et vous autres restez sous la garde de Dieu.—5 Half my gold. La moitié de mon or.– 6 Haste, haste, to yonder shore ! Vite, vite, gagne l'autre bord !

More precious than silver and gold,

Or all that this earth can afford.
But the sound of the church-going belli

These valleys and rocks never heard ;
Never sigh'd at the sound of a knell,

Or smiled when a Sabbath appeard.

Ye winds ! that have made me your sport,

Convey to this desolate shore
Some cordial endearing report

Of a land I shall visit no more.
My friends, do they now and then send

A wish or a thought after me?
Oh! tell me I yet have a friend,
Though a friend I am never to see.

W. CowPER.
1731-1800.

MY BIRTH-DAY. “My birth-day”—what a different sound

That word had in my youthful ears!
And how, each time the day comes round,

Less and less white its mark appears !
When first our scanty years are told,
It seems like pastime to grow old ;
And, as Youth counts the shining links,

That Time around him binds so fast,
Pleased with the task, he little thinks

How hard that chain will press at last. Vain was the man, and false as vain,

Who said—“ Were he ordain'd to run His long career of life again,

He would do all that he had done."

i The church-going bell, La cloche qui appelle à l'église.

Ah, 'tis not thus the voice that dwells

In sober birth-days? speaks to me;
Far otherwise-of time it tells,

Lavish'd unwisely, carelessly-
Of counsel mock’d-of talents, made

Haply for high and pure designs,
But oft, like Israel's incense, laid

Upon unholy, earthly shrines2— All this it tells, and, could I trace

Th’ imperfect picture o'er again,
With power to add, retouch, efface

The lights and shades, the joy and pain,
How little of the past would stay?
How quickly all should melt away!

TH. MOORE.

1780–1852.

A PSALM OF LIFE.

“Be up and doing.”3 TELL me not in mournful numbers,

“ Life is but an empty dream !” For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest !

And the grave is not its goal ; “ Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"

Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way ; But to act, that each to-morrow 4

Finds us farther than to-day.5

1 The voice that dwells in sober birth-days, La voix de l'âge mûr.—2 U pon unholy, earthly shrines, Sur des autels profanes et mondains. -3 Be up and doing, Debout et à l'auvre.-4 Each to-morrow, Chaque lendemain.--- Than to-day, Que la veille.

“ The butterfly is glancing bright

Across the sunbeam's track ;1
I care not now to chase its flight,-

Oh, call my brother back !

“ The flowers run wild—the flowers we sow'd

Around our garden-tree ;
Our vine is drooping with its load, -

Oh, call him back to me!”

“ He would not hear my voice, fair child ;

He may not come to thee;
The face that once like spring-time smiled,

On earth no more thou 'lt see.

“ A rose's brief bright life of joy,

Such? unto him was given ;
Go,—thou must play alone, my boy,-

Thy brother is in heaven!”

“ And has he left the birds and flowers ?

And must I call in vain ?
And through the long, long summer hours,

Will he not come again ?

“ And by the brook, and in the glade,

Are all our wanderings o'er ?
Oh, while my brother with me play'd,
Would I had loved him more !"3

MRS HEMANS.

1792–1835.

" Is glancing bright across the sunbeam's tracı, Fait briller ses ailes aux rayons du soleil. -2 A rose's brief bright life of joy, such was, Une vie courte, mais brillante et heureuse comme celle de la rose, telle fut. -3 Would I had loved him more, Que je voudrais l'avoir aimé davantage.

« AnteriorContinuar »