Графични страници
PDF файл

Even to shadows which they cast

I cling, I cling.

Show me thy face Just once, once more. A single night Cannot have brought a loss or blight Upon its grace.

But all attempts were unsuccessful found
“Begone, gross lump," I cry'd in high disdain,
“ No slave of abject birth shall here remain.
Be distant far, to nobler names give way,
And mix with vulgar dust thy sordid clay."
"Thou fool, thou wretch!” a hollow voice reply'd,
“Now learn the impotence of wealth and pride;
Hereditary names and honours, here,
With all their farce and tinsel, disappear.
In these dark realms Death's reptile heralds trace
From one sole origin all human race:
On all the line one equal lot attends;
From dust it rises and to dust descends.
Her pale Ambition, quitting pomp and form,
Admits her last-best counsellor, a worm.
Here Nature's charter stands confirm'd, alone;
The grave is less precarious than the throne.
Then seek not here preeminence and state,
But own and bless th' impartial will of Fate;
With life, its errors and its whims resign,
Nor think a beggar's title worse than thine.”

Nor are they dead whom thou dost bear,

Robed for the grave;
See what a smile their red lips wear:
To lay them living wilt thou dare

Into a grave?

I know, I know,
I left thee first. Now I repent;
I listen now; I never meant

To have thee go.

Just once, once more, tell me that word

Thou hadst for me. Alas! although my heart was stirred, I never fully knew or heard ,

It was for me.

O Yesterday, My Yesterday, thy sorest pain Were joy, couldst thou but come again,

Sweet Yesterday.


The glories of our blood and state

Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hands on kings:

Sceptre and crown

Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade.


Some men with swords may reap the field,

And plant fresh laurels where they kill; But their strong nerves at last must yield; They tame but one another still:

Early or late,

They stoop to fate, And must give up their murmuring breath, When they, pale captives, creep to death.

All red with joy the waiting west;

O little swallow,
Canst thou tell me which road is best?
Cleaving high air, with thy soft breast

For keel, O swallow,

Thou must o'erlook
My seas, and know if I mistake:
I would not the same harbour make

Which Yesterday forsook.

The garlands wither on your brow,

Then boast no more your mighty deeds; Upon Death's purple altar now See, where the victor victim bleeds:

Your heads must come

To the cold tomb,
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

I hear the swift blades dip and plash

Of unseen rowers; On unknown lands the waters dash: Who knows how it be wise or rash

To meet the rowers?

Premi! Premi!Venetia's boatmen lean and cry; With voiceless lips, I drift and lie

Upon the twilight sea.



The swallow sleeps. Her last low call

Had sound of warning. Sweet little one, whate'er befall, Thou wilt not know that it was all

In vain, thy warning.

I may not borrow A hope, a help. I close my eyes; Cold wind blows from the Bridge of Sighs;

Kneeling, I wait To-morrow.

Dear Yesterday, glide not so fast;

Oh, let me cling
To thy white garments foating past;




Every man who means to be successful, must single

out from a vast number of possible employments MENTAL DISCOURSE. Character.

some specialty, and to that devote himself thor.

oughly.—Garfield. Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell character.—Lavater.

Whatever I have tried to do in life, I have tried to

do well. What I have devoted myself to, I have You cannot dream yourself into a character; you

devoted myself to completely.—Charles Dickens. must hammer and forge yourself one.-Froude.

It is not the quantity of study one gets through The great mark of a strong character is to prevent

that makes a man wise, but the appositeness of the the world from knowing every change and phase of

study to the purpose for which it is pursued; the con. thought and feeling, and to give it nought but results.

centration of the mind, for the time being, upon the -Auerbach.

subject under consideration, and the habitual disThere is a difference between character and repu

cipline by which the whole system of mental applitation. Character is what a man is; reputation is

cation is regulated.-Charles Sumner. what he is thought to be. Men of good character are generally men of good reputation, but this is not Courtesy. always the case, as the motives and actions of the Hear every man upon his favorite theme, best of men are sometimes misunderstood and mis.

And ever be more knowing than you seem. represented. But it is important, above everything The lowest genius will afford some light, else, that we be right and do right, whether our Or give a hint that had escaped your sight. motives and actions are properly understood and

-Stillingfleet. appreciated or not. Nothing can be so important to any man as the formation and possession of a good

True courage and courtesy always go hand in hand. character.-Edmund Burke.

The bravest men are the most forgiving, and the

most anxious to avoid quarrels.—Thackeray. Conscience.

Oh, Conscience! thou tremendous power
Who dost inhabit us without our leave,

I dare do all that may become a man,
And art within ourselves another self,

Who dares do more is none.

-Shakespeare. A master self. * * How dost thou light a torch to distant deeds,

Courage consists not in hazarding without fear, but Make the past present, and the future frown; being resolutely minded in a just cause. The brave How, ever and anon, awake the soul,

man is not he who feels no fear, for that were stupid As with a peal of thunder, to strange horrors, and irrational, but he whose noble soul subdues its Through the long, restless dream of life?

fears, and bravely dares the danger nature shrinks

-Young. from.- Ferrold.

O fear not in a world like this,
Children are what the mothers are;

And thou shalt know ere long,
No fondest father's proudest care

Know how sublime a thing it is,
Can fashion so the infant heart

To suffer and grow strong.
As those creative beains that dart,

With all their hopes and fears, upon
The cradle of a sleeping son.

It requires a good, strong man to say: "I was mis-
-Robert Savage Landor.

taken, and am sorry.” A weak man hesitates and

often fails to do the right thing.--Franklin.
Learn to win a lady's faith

Nobly, as the thing is high;

The primal duties shine aloft like stars,
Bravely, as for life and death,

The charities that soothe and heal and bless
And with loyal gravity.

Lie scattered at the feet of man like flowers,
Lead her from the festive boards,

- Wordsworth.
Point her to the starry skies,
Guide her by your truthful words,

Charity is another name for disinterested lovePure from courtship's flatteries.

the humane, sympathetic feeling—that which seeks Then her Yes 'once said to you,

the good of others; that which would pour out from Shall be Yes forever more.

the treasures of its munificence gifts of good things -Elizabeth B. Browning.

upon all.-Cowley.


[graphic][merged small]



The back so oft-times bent in toil's dumb prayer,

Amid the fields, is stricken straight by Death;

But silence on her lips is sweeter breath Than sighing life; her face is smoothed of care Like some sea-pool be-rippled, then left bare

To list and learn what night to ocean saith,

To gaze upon each star that wandereth, And calmly shine with heaven's own secret there. Soul-hungered men and women! who shall tell,

Save Death, what is this life of love and strife,

And what the answer for such dark surprise, As stands between these two that loved so well?

Her ears are tuned to some supernal life; 'Tis his seem harkening for a sound that dies.




D'ARCY WENTWORTH THOMPSON. Listen! how the rain is pattering against the win. dow-panes! and how the rain drives down the smoke! -and this is spring weather; the season belauded by our old poets, in phrases borrowed from southern singers and suited only to southern climes. I wish we had one of the old conventional fellows here; with permission to treat him as we saw fit. It would be a pleasure to stick him in the water-butt, and watch him from behind the window-blinds.

But, after all, the weather is better than what an east wind brings; the wind as cold and cutting as ill. natured wit; the wind that blows with such a pene

the bow eternally on the stretch; we are in a coninuous state of training; we have ceased to perspire, from the lack of superfluous flesh and comfortable fat. We are eliminating all lymphatic temperaments from out the population; ere long there will not be a man among us to weigh fifteen stone. Plethora and apoplexy are waxing rare; not a bad thing of itself; but in their stead have come heart-disease and a spectral troop of shadowy nervous maladies. We begin life as our fathers ended it. We start our house-keeping with the luxuries that to them were the well-won rewards of half a century's unambi. tious toil. We are uncontentable hangangerels. We are uneasy dogs, forever on the wrong side of the door.

But wherefore all this discontent, and hurry, and pressing forward? Were it not a pleasure to pause awhile; to stand at ease; to lie upon our oars, and hear the rippling of the water; to spin, like a top, in a dizzy, quasi-motionless, sound sleep? were it not sweet to leave behind us the busy factory, the hum. ming town, the many.languaged harbor; and to loll

ease upon one's solitary sofa; or, better still, on the green grass of beautiful Dalmeny; and to listen - with ear and soul to listen? And to what? Why, to the birds, or to anything. Heaven knows what music we should hear!

The schoolboy longs for the holidays; the maiden for the bridal morn; the student for his fellowship; the father for the manhood of his boys. To reach a distant bourn, we are ever ready to leap the interval; forgetting that the interval may be a momentous fraction in our little life-total. It may be, indeed, that all intervals of life are not equally valuable. What infinitesimal price should we set upon a year of hobbydehoyhood? What imagination could appraise an hour spent rapturously in speaking and listenirg to love-nonsense?

It is also possible that the speed as well as the value of time is only relative; and that clocks, with all their humdrum regularity, are but respectable delusions. There are times with us all, when in a concave mirror we see a minute distorted into long hours; and, again, in the convex glass the long hours dwindle to a point. When summoned by peremp. tory duty from a warm bed upon a keen, frosty morning, how precious are the last five minutes of snoozledom! You live introspectively all through them; you chew the cud of your own cosiness. Then comes the wrench; in a moment you are in the cold tub, careless and forgetful of repose. So, when the hour is come for rising from our long life-sleep, we beg another hour in vain. A minute yet remains; only one. Each second is an epoch; divided into distinct and awful intervals. The senses are preternaturally quickened, as under the first influence of ether, and you hear the beating and the pulsing of some great inner-world machinery; the terrible ticking of some eternal timepiece. The hour strikes and in a momant we are up to our necks in water;

trative cheerlessness, that, while your sunny-side is the

You are,

baking, your shady-side is down at zero. beneath its influence, a walking allegory of French toast; you have your nose equatorially at home, and your nadir in a Siberian exile. So it is; no blessings come unmixed; from the cup of enjoyment we never drink pleasure neat. The sweet, delicious wind that blows from the warm west too often deluges us and our new hats with rain; and, if the sun shine brightly overhead, it is too often through the icy wind medi. um, that comes surcharged with rheumatism and bad temper from the uncomfortable east.

But what does it matter to be kept indoors? Could we walk abroad, should we in an afternoon's ramble cast eyes upon a single happy face? Let us take a long retrospect of our own lives, and try to recall a week of uninterrupted happiness. If he is to be pitied that has no such green oasis to look back upon, how much more pitiable the wretch that looks back upon the pleasant spot and knows it may revisited!

Let the rain fall. 'Tis a good thing to be kept indoors. Let us be idle for a day, and hold aloof from the busy, restless world. Let us strip off our worka-day clothes, and bare us to the skin, and wallow in luxurious laziness. Let the rain fall. We are thrown upon an unquiet age of competitive rivalry; we keep

ever be

« ПредишнаНапред »