Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

Came sailing from eternity; the Dove
On silver pinions winged her peaceful way.
There at the footstool of Jehovah's throne
The Altar, kindled from His presence,

blazed.
There too, all else excelling, meekly shone
The Cross, the symbol of redeeming love.
The heavens declared the glory of the

LORD, The firmament displayed His handiwork,

"MAKE WAY FOR LIBERTY."

And here, at the altar, a zone of sweet bells Round the waist of some fair Indian dancer is ringing.

(shines Or to see it by moonlight, -when mellowly The light o'er its palaces, gardens, and shrines;

[fall of stars, When the waterfalls gleam like a quick And the nightingale's hymn from the Isle

of Chenars Is broken by laughs and light echoes of feet From the cool shining walks where the

young people meet. [awakes Or at morn, when the magic of daylight A new wonder each minute, as slowly it breaks,

(one Hills, cupolas, fountains, called forth every Out of darkness, as they were just born of the sun. —

[day, When the Spirit of Fragrance is up with the From his haram of night flowers stealing

away; And the wind, full of wantonness, woos

like a lover The young aspen-trees till they tremble all over.

(first hopes, When the east is as warm as the light of And Day, with his banner of radiance unfurled,

(that opes Shines in through the mountainous portal, Sublime from that valley of bliss to the

world!

:0:

JAMES MONTGOMERY.

1771--1854.

“MAKE way for Liberty!” he cried; Made way for Liberty, and died !

In arms the Austrian phalanx stood, A living wall, a human wood! A wall, where every conscious stone Seemed to its kindred thousands grown; A rampart all assaults to bear, Till Time to dust their frames should wear; A wood, like that enchanted grove, In which with fiends Rinaldo strove, Where every silent tree possessed A spirit prisoned in its breast, Which the first stroke of coming strife Would startle into hideous life: So dense, so still the Austrians stood, A living wall, a human wood! Impregnable, their front appears All horrent with projected spears, Whose polished points before them shine, From flank to flank, one brilliant line, Bright as the breakers' splendours run Along the billows to the sun.

Opposed to these, a hovering band Contended for their native land; Peasants, whose new-found strength had

broke From manly necks the ignoble yoke, And forged their fetters into swords, On equal terms to fight their lords; And what insurgent rage had gained, In many a mortal fray maintained: Marshalled once more at Freedom's call, They came to conquer or to fall, Where he who conquered, he who fell, Was deemed a dead or living Tell. Such virtue had that patriot breathed, So to the soil his soul bequeathed, That whereso'er his arrows flew, Heroes in his own likeness grew, And warriors sprang from every sod Which his awakening footstep trod.

And now the work of life and death Hung on the passing of a breath ;

NIGHT IN THE TROPICS.

Night, silent, cool, transparent, crowned

the day, The sky receded farther into space, The stars came lower down to meet the eye, Till the whole hemisphere, alive with light, Trembled from east to west with one con

sent. The constellations round the Arctic pole, That never set to us, here scarcely rose, But in their stead Orion through the north Pursued the Pleiades; Sirius with his keen Quick scintillations in the zenith reigned. The South unveiled its glories; there the

Wolf With eyes of lightning watched the Cen

taur's spear; Through the clear hyaline the Ship of

Heaven

REGINALD HEBER.

1783—1826.

PALESTINE.

Reft of thy sons, amid thy foes forlorn, Mourn, widowed queen, forgotten Sion,

mourn! Is this thy place, sad city, this thy throne, Where the wild desert rears its craggy stone,

[fling, While suns unblessed their angry lustre And wayworn pilgrims seek the scanty spring ?

(envy viewed? Where now thy pomp, which kings with Where now thy might, which all those kings

subdued ? No martial myriads muster in thy gate; No suppliant nations in thy Temple wait; No prophet bards, thy glittering courts among

[song; Wake the full lyre and swell the tide of But lawless force and meagre want are

there, And the quick-darting eye of restless fear, While cold oblivion, 'mid thy ruins laid, Folds his dank wing beneath the ivy shade.

The fire of conflict burned within,
The battle trembled to begin :
Yet while the Austrians held their ground,
Point for attack was nowhere found;
Where'er the impatient Switzers gazed,
The unbroken line of lances blazed ;
That line 'twere suicide to meet,
And perish at their tyrants' feet;-
How could they rest within their graves,
And leave their homes the homes of slaves?
Would they not feel their children tread
With clanking chains above their head?

It must not be: this day, this hour
Annihilates the oppressor's power;
All Switzerland is in the field,
She will not fly, she cannot yield, -
She must not fall; her better fate
Here gives her an immortal date.
Few were the numbers she could boast,
But every freeman was a host,
And felt as though himself were he
On whose sole arm hung victory.

It did depend on one indeed;
Behold him-Arnold Winkelried !
There sounds not to the trump of fame
The echo of a nobler name,
Unmarked he stood amid the throng,
In rumination deep and long,
Till you might see with sudden grace
The very thought come o'er his face,
And by the motion of his form
Anticipate the bursting storm,
And by the uplifting of his brow
Tell where the bolt would strike, and how.

But,'twas no sooner thought than done; The field was in a moment won. “Make way for Liberty!" he cried, Then ran, with arms extended wide, As if his dearest friend to clasp; Ten spears he swept within his grasp: “Make way for Liberty!" he cried. Their keen points met from side to side; He bowed amongst them like a tree, And thus made way for Liberty.

Swift to the breach his comrades fly;
“Make way for Liberty!" they cry,
And through the Austrian phalanx dart,
As rushed the spears through Arnold's

heart;
While instantaneous as his fall,
Rout, ruin, panic, scattered all:
An earthquake could not overthrow
A city wih a surer blow.

Thus Switzerland again was free;
Thus Death made way for Liberty!

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

O happy once in Heaven's peculiar love, Delight of men below, and saints above! Though, Salem, now the spoiler's ruffian hand

[land; Has loosed his hell-hounds o'er thy wasted Though weak, and whelmed beneath the

storms of fate, Thy house is left unto thee desolate; Though thy proud stones in cumbrous ruin fall,

(wall; And seas of sand o'ertop thy mouldering Yet shall the Muse to fancy's ardent view Each shadowy trace of faded pomp renew; And as the seer on Pisgah's topmost brow With glistening eye beheld the plain below, With prescient ardour drank the scented gale,

[hail, And bade the opening glades of Canaan Her eagle eye shall scan the prospect wild, From Carmel's cliffs to Almotana's tide; The flinty waste, the cedar-tufted hill, The liquid health of smooth Ardeni's rill, The grot, where, by the watch-fire's evening

blaze, The robber riots or the hermit prays; Or where the tempest rives the hoary stone, The wintry top of giant Lebanon.

-:0:

HEMANS-WORDSWORTH.

63

FELICIA HEMANS.

1793—1835. IVAN THE CZAR.

“Didst thou not know I loved thee well?

Thou didst not! and art gone, In bitterness of soul, to dwell

Where man must dwell alone.
Come back, young fiery spirit !

If but one hour, to learn
The secrets of the folded heart,

That seened to thee so stern.

He sat in silence on the ground,

The old and haughty Czar,
Lonely, though princes girt him round,

And leaders of the war;
He had cast his jewelled sabre,

That many a field had won,
To the earth beside his youthful dead-

His fair and first-born son. With a robe of ermine for its bed

Was laid that form of clay, Where the light a stormy sunset shed

Through the rich tent made way, And a sad and solemn beauty

On the pallid face came down, Which the lord of nations mutelywatched,

In the dust, with his renown.

Thou wert the first, the first fair child

That in mine arms I pressed ; Thou wert the brightone that hast smiled

Like summer on my breast.
I reared thee as an eagle,

To the chase thy steps I led,
I bore thee on my battle-horse, -

I look upon thee-dead! “Lay down my warlike banners here,

Never again to wave,
And bury my red sword and spear,

Chiefs, in my first-born's grave;
And leave me !--I have conquered,

I have slain-my work is done! Whom have I slain? Ye answer not;

Thou too art mute, my son!" And thus his wild lament was poured

Through the dark resounding night, And the battle knew no more his sword,

Nor the foaming steed his might. He heard strange voices moaning

In every wind that sighed;
From the searching stars of heaven he

shrank-
Humbly the conqueror died.

Low tones at last, of woe and fear,

From his full bosom broke;
A mournful thing it was to hear

How then the proud man spoke.
The voice that through the combat

Had shouted far and high, Came forth in strange, dull, hollow tones,

Burdened with agony.
"There is no crimson on thy cheek,

And on thy lip no breath;
I call thee, and thou dost not speak:

They tell me this is death!
And fearful things are whispering

That I the deed have done!
For the honour of thy father's name,
Look up, look up, my son!

[mien; “Well might I know death's hue and

But on thine aspect, boy,
What, till this moment, have I seen

Save pride and tameless joy?
Swiftest thou wert to battle,

And bravest there of all:
How could I think a warrior's frame

Thus like a flower should fall?

:0:

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

1770-1850.

A NIGHT PIECE.

“I will not bear that still cold look

Rise up, thou fierce and free! Wake as the storm wakes! I will brook

All, save this calm, from thee. Lift brightly up, and proudly,

Once more thy kindling eyes: Hath my word lost its power on earth?

I say to thee, arise !

THE sky is overcast With a continuous cloud of texture close, Heavy and wan, all whitened by the moon, Which through that veil is indistinctly seen, A dull contracted circle, yielding light So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls, Chequering the ground, from rock, plant,

tree, or tower. At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam Startles the pensive traveller while he treads His lonesome path, with unobserving eye Bent earthwards: he looks up- the clouds

are split

Up with a sally and a flash of speed,
As if they scorned both resting-place and

rest!

YEW-TREES.

Asunder, - and above his head he sees The clear moon, and the glory of the

heavens; There in a black-blue vault she sails along, Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small And sharp and bright, along the dark abyss Drive as she drives :-how fast they wheel

away, Yet vanish not!-the wind is in the tree, But they are silent ;-still they roll along, Immeasurably distant; and the vault, Built round by those white clouds, enor

mous clouds, Still deepens its unfathomable depth. At length the vision closes; and the mind, Not undisturbed by the delight it feels, Which slowly settles into peaceful calm, Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

WATER-FOWL.

“Let me be allowed the aid of verse to describe the evolutions which these visitants sometimes perform, on a fine day towards the close of winter." -Extract from the Author's Book on the Lakes.

There is a yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale, Which to this day stands single, in the midst Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore, Not loth to furnish weapons for the bands Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed

the sea And drew their sounding bows at Azincour, Perhaps at earlier Crecy or Poictiers. Of vast circumference and gloom profound This solitary tree !-a living thing Produced too slowly ever to decay; Of form and aspect too magnificent To be destroyed. But worthier still of note Are those fraternal four of Borrowdale, Joined in one solemn and capacious grove; Huge trunks !—and each particular trunk a Of intertwisted fibres serpentine [growth Up-coiling, and invet'rately convolved, Nor uninformed with phantasy, and looks That threaten the profane ;-a pillared shade,

[hue, Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown By sheddings from the pining umbrage

tinged Perennially—beneath whose sable roof Of boughs, as if for festal purpose decked With unrejoicing berries, ghostly shapes May meet at noontide-Fear and trembling

Hope, Silenceand Foresight-Death the Skeleton, And Time the Shadow,--there to celebrate, As in a natural temple scattered o'er With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, United worship; or in mute repose To lie, and listen to the mountain flood Murmuring from Glaramara'sinmost caves.

soars

MARK how the feathered tenants of the flood,

[seem With grace of motion that might scarcely Inferior to angelical, prolong Their curious pastime! shaping in mid-air (And sometimes with ambitious wing that High as the level of the mountain-tops) A circuit ampler than the lake beneath, Their own domain; but ever, while intent On tracing and retracing that large round, Their jubilant activity evolves Hundreds of curves and circles, to and fro, Upward and downward, progress intricate Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed Their indefatigable flight. — 'Tis doneTen times, or more, I fancied it had ceased; But lo! the vanished company again Ascending ;-they approach-I hear their wings

(sound, Faint, faint at first; and then an eager Past in a moment-and as faint again! They tempt the sun to sport amid their

plumes; They tempt the water, or the gleaming ice, To show them a fair image ;-'tis themselves,

[plain, Their own fair forms, upon the glimmering Painted more soft and fair as they descend Almost to touch; then up again aloft,

NUTTING

It seems a day speak of one from many singled out) One of those heavenly days which cannot,

die; When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage threshold, sallying forth With a huge wallet o'er my shoulder slung, A nutting-crook in hand, and turned my

steps

[blocks in formation]

Then, dearest maiden, move along these

shades In gentleness of heart; with gentle band Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods.

A PERFECT WOMAN.

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament.
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair,
Like twilight's too her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

Towards the distant woods, a figure quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off

weeds Which for that service had been husbanded, By exhortation of my frugal dame. Motley accoutrements, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,-and in truth,

(woods More ragged than need was. Among the And o'er the pathless rocks I forced my way, Until, at length, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, un

gracious sign Of devastation, but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters

hung: A virgin scene! A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the

heart As joy delights in; and with wise restraint Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed The banquet,—or beneath the trees I sate Among the flowers, and with the flowers I

played ; A temper known to those who, after long And weary expectation, have been blest With sudden happiness beyond all hope. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose

leaves The violets of five seasons reappear And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever,--and I saw the sparkling foam, And with my cheek on one of those green stones

trees That, fleeced with moss, beneath the shady Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep,

(sound, I heard the murmur and the murmuring In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to

pay Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure, The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, And dragged to earth both branch and

bough, with crash And merciless ravage; and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being; and, unless I now Confound my present feelings with the past, Even then, when from the bower I turned

away Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld The silent trees and the intruding sky.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A spirit, yet a woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and

[smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller betwixt life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill,
A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.

THE MOUNTAIN ASH.

THE mountain ash No eye can overlook, when 'mid a grove Of yet unfaded trees she lifts her head Decked with autumnal berries, that outshine

[have marked Spring's richest blossoms; and ye may By a brook-side or solitary tarn, How she her station doth adorn :-the pool Glows at her feet; and all the gloomy rocks Are brightened round her.

« AnteriorContinuar »