Imágenes de página
[merged small][graphic]

O little hands, that, weak or strong, Have still to serve or rule so long,

Have still so long to give or ask ! I, who so much with book or pen Have toiled among my fellow-men,

Am weary, thinking of your task.

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


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 :

Oh, the

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


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 flower 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 !

[ocr errors]

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


Forms that to the cold grave bore her, 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 Aled;

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,-

Till life's highway broke bleak and wild;

Then, lest her starry garments trail

In mire, heart bleed, and courage fail-
The angel's arms caught up the child !


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 thạt 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,

Where the merlin singeth low, with the hawk above her,
Came a foot and shone a smile--woe is me, the lover !
Leaflets on the hollow oak still as greenly quiver,
Musical, amid the reeds, murmurs on the river ;
But the footstep and the smile !—woe is me forever!

These beautiful lines are also by this eminent novelist and

poet :

When stars are in the quiet skies, then most I pine for thee;
Bend on me then thy tender eyes, as stars look on the sea.
For thoughts, like waves that glide by night, are stillest when they

shine ;

Mine earthly love lies hushed in light, beneath the heaven of thine.
There is an hour when angels keep familiar watch o'er men,
When coarser souls are wrapped in sleep; sweet Spirit, meet me then!
There is an hour when holy dreams through slumber fairest glide,
And in that mystic hour it seems thou shouldst be by my side.
My thoughts of thee too sacred are for daylight's common beam ;
I can but know thee as my star, my angel, and my dream !
When stars are in the quiet skies, then most I pine for thee;
Bend on me then thy tender eyes, as stars look on the sea.

As a genial satirist, Oliver WENDELL Holmes is perhaps unsurpassed by any American writer ; he is not only a humorist, but a true poet of passion and pathos, although his forte is the grotesque: witness the following extracts :But now his nose is thin, and it rests upon his chin

Like a staff;
And a crook is in his back, and a melancholy crack

In his laugh.
For I know it is a sin for me to sit and grin

At him here ;
But the old three-cornered hat, and the breeches, and all that,

Are so queer!

« AnteriorContinuar »