Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Is this your triumph, — this your proud applause,
Children of Truth and champions of her cause ?
For this hath Science searched, on weary wing,
By shore and sea, each mute and living thing?
Launched with Iberia's pilot from the steep,
To worlds unknown and isles beyond the deep ?
Or round the cope her living chariot driven,
And wheeled in triumph through the signs of heaven?
O! star-eyed Science, hast thou wandered there
To waft us home the message of despair ?
Then bind the palm, thy sage's brow to suit,
Of blasted leaf and death-distilling fruit !
Ah me! the laureled leaf that Murder rears,
Blood nursed, and watered by the widow's tears,
Seems not so foul, so tainted, and so dread,
As waves the night-shade round the skeptic's head.
What is the bigot's torch, the tyrant's chain ?
I smile on death, if heavenward HOPE remain !
But if the warring winds of Nature's strife
Be all the faithless charter of my life, -
If Chance awaked, inexorable power,
This frail and feverish being of an hour,
Doomed o'er the world's precarious scene to sweep,
Swift as the tempest travels on the deep,
To know Delight but by her parting smile,
And toil, and wish, and weep, a little while ;
Then melt, ye elements, that formed in vain
This troubled pulse and visionary brain !
Fade,

ye

wild flowers, memorials of my doom !
And sink, ye stars, that light me to the tomb !
Truth, ever lovely, — since the world began,
The foe of tyrants, and the friend of man,
How can thy words from balmy slumber start
Reposing Virtue pillowed on the heart !
Yet, if thy voice the note of thunder rolled,
And that were true which Nature never told,
Let Wisdom smile not on her conquered field, —
No rapture dawns, no treasure is revealed !
O! let her read, nor loudly, nor elate,
The doom that bars us from a better fate;
But, sad as angels for the good man's sin,
Weep to record, and blush to give it in !

CAMPBELL.

MODULATION IN SPEAKING.

385

LXXVIII. - MODULATION IN SPEAKING.
'Tis not enough the voice be sound and clear;
'Tis modulation that must charm the ear.
When desperate heroines grieve with tedious modo
And whine their sorrows in a see-saw tone,
The same soft sounds of unimpassioned woes
Can only make the yawning hearers doze.
The voice all modes of passion can express,
That marks the proper word with proper stress.
But none emphatic can that actor call,
Who lays an equal emphasis on all.

Some o'er the tongue the labored measures roll,
Slow and deliberate as the parting toll :
Point every step, mark every pause so strong,
Their words, like stage processions, stalk along.
All affectation but creates disgust,
And e'en in speaking we may seem too just.

In vain for them the pleasing measure flow,
Whose recitation runs it all to prose ; .
Repeating what the poet sets not down,
The verb disjoining from its friendly noun,
While pause, and break, and repetition, join
To make a discord in each tuneful line,

Some placid natures fill the allotted scene
With lifeless drone, insipid, and serene ;
While others thunder every couplet o'er,
And almost crack your ears with rant and roar.

More nature oft and finer strokes are shown
In the low whisper, than tempestuous tone;
And Hamlet's hollow voice and fixed amaze
More powerful terror to the mind conveys,
Than he who, swollen with big, impetuous rage,
Bullies the bulky phantom cff the stage.

He who in earnest studies o'er his part
Will find true nature cling about his heart.
The modes of grief are not included all
In the white handkerchief and mournful drawl;
A single look more marks the internal woe
Than all the windings of the lengthened 0 !
Up to the face the quick sensation flies,
And darts its meaning from the speaking eyes :
Love, transport, madness, anger, scorn, despair,
And all the passions, all the soul, is there.

LLOYD,

LXXIX.

- RODERICK DHU’S VINDICATION.

OF THE PREDATORY HABITS OF HIS CLAN.

Saxon, from yonder mountain high,
I marked thee send delighted eye,
Far to the south and cast, where lay,
Extended in succession gay,
Deep waving fields and pastures green,
With gentle slopes and groves between :
These fertile plains, that softened vale,
Were once the birthright of the Gael ;
The stranger came with iron hand,
And from our fathers reft the land.
Where dwell we now ? — See, rudely swell
Crag over crag, and fell o'er fell.
Ask we this savage hill we tread
For fattened steer or household bread ?
Ask we for food these shingles dry ?
And well the mountain might reply, -

To you, as to your
Belong the target and clay-more !
I give you shelter in my breast,
Your own good blades must win the rest.”
Pent in this fortress of the north,
Thinkst thou we will not sally forth
To spoil the spoiler as we may,
And from the robber rend the

prey

?
Ay, by my soul ! — While on yon plain
The Saxon rears one shock of grain,
While, of ten thousand herds, there strays
But one along yon river's maze,
The Gael, of plain and river heir,
Shall, with strong hand, redeem his share.

sires of yore,

SCOTT.

LXXX. _OCCASION.

“Say, who art thou, with more than mortal air, Endowed by Heaven with gifts and graces rare, Whom restless, wingéd feet for ever onward bear?” “ I am Occasion known to few, at best ; And since one foot upon a wheel I rest, Constant my movements are they cannot be repressed.

WHY THUS LONGING ?

387

« Not the swift eagle in his swiftest flight
Can equal me in speed, - my wings are bright;
And man, who sees them waved, is dazzled by the sight

My thick and flowing locks before me thrown
Conceal my form, nor face nor breast is shown,
That thus, as I approach, my coming be not known.
“Behind my head no single lock of hair
Invites the hand that fain would

grasp

it there; But he who lets me pass to seize me may despair.” " Whom, then, so close behind thee do I see ?”. “Her name is Penitence; and Heaven's decree Hath made all those her prey who profit not by me.”

[blocks in formation]

Why thus longing, thus for ever sighing,

For the far off, unattained, and dim,
While the beautiful, all round thee lying,

Offers up its low perpetual hymn ?
Wouldst thou listen to its gentle teaching,

All thy restless yearnings it would still ;
Leaf and flower and laden bee are preaching,

Thine own sphere, though humble, first to fill.
Poor, indeed, thou must be, if around thea

Thou no ray of light and joy canst throw ;
If no silken cord of love hath bound thee

To some little world through weal and woe ;
If no dear eyes thy fond love can brighten,

No fond voices answer to thine own;
If no brother's sorrow thou canst lighten,

By daily sympathy and gentle tone.
Not by deeds that win the crowd's applauses,

Not by works that give thee world-renown,
Not by martyrdom, or vaunted crosses,

Canst thou win and wear the immortal crown.
Daily struggling, though unloved and lonely,

Every day a rich reward will give;
Thou wilt find, by hearty striving only,

And truly loving, thou canst truly live.

Dost thou revel in the rosy morning,

When all nature hails the lord of light,
And his smile, the mountain tops adorning,

Robes yon fragrant fields in radiance bright?
Other hands may grasp the field and forest,

Proud proprietors in pomp may shine ;
But with fervent love if thou adorest,

Thou art wealthier, — all the world is thine !
Yet, if through earth's wide domains thou rovest,

Sighing that they are not thine alone,
Not those fair fields, but thyself thou lovest,

And their beauty and thy worth are gone.
Nature wears the colors of the spirit;

Sweetly to her worshiper she sings ;
All the glow, the grace she does inherit,

Round her trusting child she fondly flings !

HARRIET WINSLOW.

LXXXII. - ALEXANDER AND DIOGENES. When Alexander the Great asked Diogenes, the Cynic philosopher, if he

could oblige him in any way, the latter replied, “ Yes ; you can stand out of my sunshine.”

Slowly the monarch turned aside :
But when his glance of youthful pride
Rested upon

the warriors gray
Who bore his lance and shield that day,
And the long line of spears

that
Through the far groves like waves of flame, —
Then Alexander's pulse beat high,
More darkly flashed his shifting eye,
And visions of the battle-plain
Came bursting on his soul again.
Quick turned Diogenes * away
Right gladly from that long array,
As if their presence were a blight
Of pain and sickness to his sight;
And slowly folding o'er his breast
The fragments of his tattered vest,
As was his wont, unasked, unsought,
Gave to the winds his muttered thought,

came

* Pronounced Di-oj'e-nēs.

mi

« ПредишнаНапред »