« AnteriorContinuar »
In saffron, thence pure golden shines the morn;
THERE was a slumbrous silence in the air, By noon-tide's sultry murmurs from without Made more oblivious. Not a pipe was heard From field or wood; but the grave beetle's drone Pass'd near the entrance: once the cuckoo call'd O'er distant meads, and once a horn began Melodious plaint, then died away. A sound Of murmurous music yet was in the breeze, For silver gnats that harp on glassy strings, And rise and fall in sparkling clouds, sustain'd Their dizzy dances o'er the seething meads.
BUILDING OF THE PALACE OF POSEIDON.
For him I built a palace underground, Of iron, black and rough as his own hands. Deep in the groaning, disembowel'd earth, The tower-broad pillars and huge stanchions, And slant supporting wedges I set up, Aided by the Cyclops who obey'd my voice, Which through the metal fabric rang and peal'd In orders echoing far, like thunder-dreams. With arches, galleries, and domes all carvedSo that great figures started from the roof And lofty coignes, or sat and downward gazed On those who strode below and gazed aboveI fill'd it; in the centre framed a hall: Central in that, a throne; and for the light, Forged mighty hammers that should rise and fall On slanted rocks of granite and of flint, Work'd by a torrent, for whose passage down A chasm I hew'd. And here the god could take, Midst showery sparks and swathes of broad, gold fire, His lone repose, lull'd by the sounds he loved; Or, casting back the hammer-heads till they choked The water's course, enjoy, if so he wish'd, Midnight tremendous, silence, and iron sleep.
ORION'S EXTIRPATION OF THE BEASTS FROM CHIOS.
FRESH trees he fell'd and wove More barriers and fences; inaccessible To fiercest charge of droves, and to o'erleap Impossible. These walls he so arranged That to a common centre each should force The flight of those pursued; and from that centre Diverged three outlets: one, the wide expanse Which from the rocks and inland forests led; One was the clear-skied windy gap above A precipice; the third, a long ravine [ran Which through steep slopes, down to the seashore Winding, and then direct into the sea.
Orion, in each hand Waving a torch, his course at night began,
Through wildest haunts and lairs of savage beasts. With long-drawn howl, before him troop'd the wolves
The panthers, terror-stricken, and the bears
Skulk'd, or sprang madly, as the tossing brands
Whate'er its cause, pass over. Through dark fens,
Of serpent and of dragon moved before him
RESTORATION OF ORION.
Now had Poseidon with tridental spear Torn up the smitten sea, which raged on high With grief and anger for Orion slain; And black Hephaestos deep beneath the earth A cold thrill felt through his metallic veins, Which soon with sparkling fire began to writhe Like serpents, till from each volcanic peak Burst smoke and threatening flames. Day hid his And while the body of Orion sunk Drawn down into the embraces of the sea,
The four winds with confronting fury arose,
Feverish and trembling-like the breath of one
"Call it not love!-oh never yet for thee
They own'd, surrendering all before love's feast,
But how, ah me! shall time record the hour,
"Ah me! alas! why came this great affliction, Which, indeed, seems beyond all remedy, Though scalding tears from our immortal eyes Make constant arcs in heaven. Beauty avails not Where power is needed. Seek we, then, for power, That some reviving or renewing beam
May call him back, now pale in the deep sea. Thou answerest not. I think thou hast a heart,
Which beats thy reasoning down to silent truth,
Take sorrow's sweetness, which hath secret hope,
Raised slowly, but with eyes still downward bent
And answer'd, "I will go with thee." The twain
"Father of gods, and of the populous earth!
The cloud expanded darkly o'er the heavens, Which, like a vault preparing to give back The heroic dead, yawn'd with its sacred gloom, And iron-crown'd Night her black breath pour'd around
To meet the clouds that from Olympos roll'd
With pale gold shield, like a translucent moon
Of happy change that o'er the zodiac round
FRANCES KEMBLE BUTLER.
MRS. BUTLER is a daughter of CHARLES KEMBLE, and a niece of JOHN PHILIP KEMBLE and Mrs. SIddons. After a brilliant career at the Drury Lane Theatre, she in 1832 came with her father to the United States, where she played with unprecedented success in the principal cities, confirming a reputation already acquired as the greatest British actress of the age. In 1834 she retired from the stage and was married to Mr. PIERCE BUTLER of Philadelphia.
Mrs. BUTLER is among the few of her profession who have been eminent in the world of letters. Her dramas, Francis the First and the Star of Seville, were written when she was very young, and do not retain possession of the stage, though superior to many pieces
I AM alone-Oh be thou near to me,
Great God! from whom the meanest are not far.
Around me grow the trees, each by the other;
which in this respect have been more fortunate. The volume of her shorter poems published in Philadelphia in 1844 entitles her to be ranked with the first class of living English poetesses. Their general tone is melancholy and desponding; but they are vigorous in thought and execution, and free from the sickly sentiment and puerile expression for which so much of the verse of the day is chiefly distinguished. She has written besides the works before mentioned A Journal, which was published on her return from this country to London. It is a clever, gossipping book, with such absurdities of opinion as might have been expected from a commentator on national character of her age and position: very amusing and very harınless.
The fleshly casket, that may not contain them,
ON A FORGET-ME-NOT, BROUGHT FROM SWITZERLAND.
FLOWER of the mountain! by the wanderer's hand Robb'd of thy beauty's short-lived sunny day; Didst thou but blow to gem the stranger's way, And bloom to wither in the stranger's land? Hueless and scentless as thou art,
How much that stirs the memory,
How much, much more, that thrills the heart, Thou faded thing, yet lives in thee!
Where is thy beauty in the grassy blade [now;
There lives more fragrance and more freshness Yet oh! not all the flowers that bloom and fade Are half so dear to memory's eye as thou.
The dew that on the mountain lies,
Thy parent stem will nurse and nourish;
ON A MUSICAL BOX.
Poor little sprite! in that dark, narrow cell
And drink the starry dew-drops as they fell? Say, dost thou think, sometimes when thou art singing,
Of thy wild haunt upon the mountain's brow, Where thou wert wont to list the heath-bells ringing, And sail upon the sunset's amber glow? When thou art weary of thy oft-told theme, Say, dost thou think of the clear pebbly stream,
Upon whose mossy brink thy fellows play, Dancing in circles by the moon's soft beam, Hiding in blossoms from the sun's fierce gleam,
Whilst thou in darkness sing'st thy life away. And canst thou feel when the spring-time returns, Filling the earth with fragrance and with glee; When in the wide creation nothing mourns,
Of all that lives, save that which is not free? Oh! if thou couldst, and we could hear thy prayer, How would thy little voice beseeching cry, For one short draught of the sweet morning air,
For one short glimpse of the clear, azure sky! Perchance thou sing'st in hopes thou shalt be free, Sweetly and patiently thy task fulfilling; While thy sad thoughts are wandering with the bee, To every bud with honey-dew distilling. That hope is vain: for even couldst thou wing
Thy homeward flight back to the greenwood gay, Thou'st be a shunn'd and a forsaken thing,
'Mongst the companions of thy happier day. For fairy sprites, like many other creatures,
Bear fleeting memories, that come and go; Nor can they oft recall familiar features,
By absence touch'd, or clouded o'er with wo. Then rest content with sorrow: for there be Many that must that lesson learn with thee; And still thy wild notes warble cheerfully, Till, when thy tiny voice begins to fail, For thy lost bliss sing but one parting wail, Poor little sprite! and then sleep peacefully!
Ou! that I were a fairy sprite to wander In forest paths, o'erarch'd with oak and beech; Where the sun's yellow light, in slanting rays, Sleeps on the dewy moss; what time the breath Of early morn stirs the white hawthorn boughs, And fills the air with showers of snowy blossoms. Or lie at sunset mid the purple heather, Listening the silver music that rings out From the pale mountain bells, sway'd by the wind. Or sit in rocky clefts above the sea, While one by one the evening stars shine forth Among the gathering clouds, that strew the heavens Like floating purple wreaths of mournful nightshade!
WRITTEN IN LONDON.
STRUGGLE not with thy life!-the heavy doom
Complain not of thy life!—for what art thou More than thy fellows, that thou should'st not weep?
Brave thoughts still lodge beneath a furrow'd brow, And the way-wearied have the sweetest sleep. Marvel not at thy life!-patience shall see
The perfect work of wisdom to her given; Hold fast thy soul through this high mystery, And it shall lead thee to the gates of heaven.
WALKING by moonlight on the golden margin That binds the silver sea, I fell to thinking Of all the wild imaginings that man
Hath peopled heaven, and earth, and ocean with; Making fair nature's solitary haunts
Alive with beings, beautiful and fearful.
The stars gazed fix'dly with their golden eyes,
From no one point of heaven or earth it came;
Were wreaths of crimson and of yellow foxglove.
THE VISION OF LIFE.
DEATH and I On a hill so high Stood side by side,
And we saw below,
All things that be in the world so wide.
Ten thousand cries
From the gulf did rise,
With a wild, discordant sound;
Laughter and wailing,
As the ball spun round and round.
And over all
Hung a floating pall
Of dark and gory veils :
"Tis the blood of years, And the sighs and tears Which this noisome marsh exhales.
All this did seem
Like a fearful dream,
Till Death cried, with a joyful cry: "Look down! look down! It is all mine own,
Here comes life's pageant by!"
Like to a masque in ancient revelries,
Peopled the earth or plough'd the unfathom'd deep, All that now breathe the universal air,
And all that in the womb of time yet sleep.
Before this mighty host a woman came, With hurried feet and oft-averted head; With accursed light
Her eyes were bright,
And with inviting hand them on she beckoned. Her follow'd close, with wild acclaim, Her servants three: Lust, with his eye of fire, And burning lips, that tremble with desire,
Pale, sunken cheek ;-and, as he stagger'd by, The trumpet-blast was hush'd, and there arose
A melting strain of such soft melody As breathed into the soul love's ecstasies and woes.
Loudly again the trumpet smote the air,
The double drum did roll, and to the sky
With feet all gory,
And dazzling eyes, rush'd by,
He pass'd like lightning-then ceased every sound Of war triumphant, and of love's sweet song, And all was silent.-Creeping slow along, With eager eyes that wander'd round and round, Wild, haggard mien, and meager, wasted frame, Bow'd to the earth, pale, starting Avarice came:
Clutching with palsied hands his golden god,
And after them follow'd the ceaseless stream
But not for this was stay'd the mighty throng, Nor ceased the warlike clang, or wanton lays, But still they rush'd-along-along-along!
Br the pure spring, whose haunted waters flow
As when I last took leave of it and thee,
Were wont to sit, studying the harmony
At sunny noon I will be heard by thee; Not sobbing forth each oft-repeated sound,
As when I last falter'd them o'er to thee, But uttering them in the air around,
With youth's clear, laughing voice of melody. On the wild shore of the eternal deep,
Where we have stray'd so oft, and stood so long Watching the mighty water's conquering sweep, And listening to their loud, triumphant song, At sunny noon, dearest! I'll be with thee;
Not as when last I linger'd on the strand, Tracing our names on the inconstant sand; But in each bright thing that around shall be: My voice shall call thee from the ocean's breast, Thou'lt see my hair in its bright showery crest, In its dark rocky depths thou'lt see my eyes, My form shall be the light cloud in the skies, My spirit shall be with thee, warm and bright, And flood thee o'er with love, and life, and light.
TO THE NIGHTINGALE.
How passing sad! Listen, it sings again!
Art thou a spirit, that amongst the boughs The livelong day dost chant that wondrous strain, Making wan Dian stoop her silver brows Out of the clouds to hear thee? Who shall say, Thou lone one! that thy melody is gay, Let him come listen now to that one note
That thou art pouring o'er and o'er again Through the sweet echoes of thy mellow throat, With such a sobbing sound of deep, deep pain. I prithee cease thy song! for from my heart Thou hast made memory's bitter waters start,
And fill'd my weary eyes with the soul's rain.