Графични страници
PDF файл
[ocr errors][merged small]

On its peculiar soil; while suns matured What winds had sown, and rains in season

watcr'd, Providing nourishment for all that lived: Man's generations came and went like these, The grass and flowers that wither where

they spring; The brutes that perish wholly where they fall.

Thus while I mused on these in long

succession, And all remained as all had heen before, I rried, as I was wont, though none did listen, —"lis sweet sometimes to speak and be the

hearer; For he is twice himself who can converse With his own thoughts,as with a living throng Of fellow-travellers in solitude; And mine too long had been my sole companions; —"What is this mystery of human life't In rude or civilised society, Alike, a pilgrim's progress through this world To that which is to come, by the same stages; With infinite diversity of fortune To each distinct adventurer by the way! Life is the transmigration of a soul Through various bodies, various states of

being; New manners.passions.tastes,pursuits in each; In nothing, save in consciousness, the same. Infancy, adolescence, manhood, age, Arc alway moving onward, alway losing Themselves in one another, lost at length, Like undulations, on the strand of death. The sage of threescore years and ten looks

back,— With many a pang of lingering tenderness, And many a shuddering conscience-fit,—on

what He hath been, is not, cannot be again; Nor trembles less with fear and hope, to think What he is now, but cannot long continue. And what he must be through uncounted

ages. —The Child ;—we know no more of happy

childhood Than happy childhood knows of wretched eld; And all our dreams of its felicity Are incoherent as its own crude visions: We but begin to live from that fine point Which memory dwells on, with the morningstar, The earliest note we heard the cuckoo sing, Or the first daisy that we ever pluck'd, When thoughts themselves were stars, and birds, and flowers, Pure brilliance, simplest music, wild perfume. Thenceforward, mark the metamorphoses! —The Hoy, the Girl;—when all was joy,

hope, promise; Yet who would be a Boy, a (iirl again, To bear the yoke, to long for liberty. And drenm of what will never mine to pass?

—The Youth, the Maiden;—living but for

love. Yet learning soon that life hath other cam And joys less rapturous, but more endura;: —The W oman;— in her offspring multiplies1; A tree of life, whose glory is her braock-. Beneath whose shadow, she (both rost i*

stem) Delights to dwell in meek obscurity. That they may be the pleasure of beholden —The Man;—as father of a progeny. Whose birth requires his death to make then

room, Yet in whose lives he feels his resurrection And grows immortal in his children's childr-: —Then the gray Elder;—leaning on hisstaff. And bow'd beneath a weight of years, tbai

steal Upon him with the secrecy of sleep, (No snow falls lighter than the snow of ap. None with such subtilty benumbs the frame) Till he forgets sensation, and lies down Dead in the lap of his primeval mother; She throws a shroud of tnrf and flovtn

around him. Then calls the worms, and bids them i>

their office: —Man givcth up the ghost,—and what

is He?"

I saw those changes realised before me; Saw them recurring in perpetual line. The line unbroken, while the thread ran *■ Failing at this extreme, at that renew"4Likc buds, leaves, blossoms, fruits on herb

and trees; Like mites, flies, reptiles; birds, and beasu,

and fishes. Of every length of period here,—all mora!. And all resolved into those elements Whence they had emanated, whence tbrr

drew Their sustenance, and which their wrecb

recruited To generate and foster other forms' As like themselves as were the lights sf

heaven. For ever moving in serene succession.— Not like those lights unquenchable by tint. But ever changing, like the clouds that cow. Who can tell whence? and go, who can ttil

whither? Thus the swift scries of man's race elapses. As for no higher destiny created Than aught beneath them, — from tb

elephant Down to the worm, thence to the zoophvtr. Thnt link which binds Prometheus to his rock. The living fibre to insensate matter. They were not, then they were; the unborn.

the living! They were, then were not; they had livsl

and died.

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

HYMN TO THE PENATES.

Tet one Song more! one high and solemn

■train, Kit, Phoebus! on thy temple's ruin'd wall hang the silent harp: there may its strings, IV lien the rude tempest shakes the aged pile, Make melancholy music. One Song more! 'bnatbb! hear me! for to you I hymn The rotive lay; whether, as sages deem, > c dwell in the inmost Heaven, the CounSellors )f Jove; or if, Supreme Of Dbities, 111 things are yours, and in your holy train lovs proudly ranks, and Juno, white-arm'd

Queen, Vnil, wisest of Immortals, the dread Maid Vthbnian Pallas. Venerable Powers, Hearken your hymn of praise! Though from

your rites Estranged, and exiled from your altars long, have not ceased to love you, Household Gods! n many a long and melancholy hour )f solitude and sorrow, hath my heart iVith earnest longings pray'd to rest at length icside your hallow'd hearth—for Peace is there!

Yes, I have loved you long! I call on you i ourselves to witness with what holy joy, Shunning the common herd of human kind,

have retired to watch your lonely fires knd commune with myself. Delightful hours, ['hut gave mysterious pleasure, made rac

know line inmost heart, its weakness and its

strength, Taught me to cherish with devoutest care ts strange unworldly feelings, taught me too he best of lessons—To Respect Myself. for have I ever ceased to reverence you, Domestic Deities! from the first dawn (f reason, through the adventurous paths

of youth )vcn to this better day, when on mine ear lie uproar of contending nations sounds tut like the passing wind, and wakes no pulse

To tumult. When a child—(and still I love
To dwell with fondness on my childish years)
When first a little one, I left my home,
I can remember the first grief I felt,
And the first painful smile that clothed in v

front
With feelings not its own: sadly at night
I sat me down beside a stranger's hearth;
And when the lingering hour of rest was

come, First wet with tears my pillow. As I grew In years and knowledge, and the course of

Time Develop'd the young feelings of my heart. When most I loved in solitude to rove Amid the woodland - gloom; or where the

rocks Darken'd old Avon's stream, in the ivied cave Recluse to sit and brood the future song,Yet not then less, Penates, loved I then Your altars; not the less at evening-hour Delighted by the well-trimm'd fire to sit, Absorb'd in many a dear deceitful dream Of visionary joys; deceitful dreams,— And yet not vain; for, painting purest bliss,' They form'd to Fancy's mould her votary's

heart.

By Chcrwell's sedgy side, and in the mentis Where Isis in her calm clear stream reflects The willow's bending boughs, at early dawn. In the noon tide-hour, and when the night

mist rose, I have rcmxniber'd you: and when the noise Of lewd Intemperance on my lonely ear Burst with loud tumult, as recluse I sate. Pondering on loftiest themes of man redeem'd From servitude, and vice and wretchedness, I blest you, Household Gods! becansc I

loved Your peaceful altars and serener rites. Nor did I cease to reverence you, when

driven Amid the jarring crowd, an unfit man To mingle with the world; still, still my heart Sigh'd for your sanctuary, and inly pined; And, loathing human converse, I have stray'd Where o'er the sea-beach chilly lion I il the

blast,

And gazed upon the world of waves, and

wish'd That I were far beyond the Atlantic deep, In woodland-haunts, a sojourner with Peace.

Not idly did the poets dream of old, Who peopled earth with Deities. They trod The wood with reverence where the Dry \ us

dwelt; At day's dim dawn or evening's misty hour They saw the Oreads on their mountainhaunts, And felt their holy influence; nor impure Of thought, or ever with polluted hands, Touch'd they without a prayer the Naiad's

spring; Yet was their influence transient; such brief

awe Inspiring as the thunder's long loud peal Strikes to the feeble spirit. Household Gods, Not such your empire! in your votaries'

breasts No momentary impulse ye awake; Nor fleeting, like their local energies, The deep devotion that your fanes impart. O ye whom Youth has wilder'd on your way, Or Vice with fair-mask'd foulness, or the

lure Of Fame that calls ye to her crowded paths With Folly's rattle, to your HouseholdGods Return; for not in V Ice's gay abodes. Not in the unquiet unsafe halls of Fame Doth Happiness abide! O ye who weep Much for the many miseries of Mankind, More for their vices; ye whose honest eyes Frown on Oppression, — ye whose honest

hearts Beat high when Freedom sounds her dread

alarm; O ye who quit the path of peaceful life Crusading for mankind—a spaniel-race That lick the hand that beats them, or tear

all

Alike in phrensy; to your Household Gods
Return, for by their altars Virtue dwells,
And Happiness with her; for by their fires
Tranquillity, in no unsocial mood,
Sits silent, listening to the pattering shower;
For, so Suspicion sleep not at the gate
Of Wisdom, Falsehood shall not enter there

As on the height of some huge eminence, Reach'd with long labour, the way-faring

man Pauses awhile, and, gazing o'er the plain With many a sore step travcll'd, turns him

then Serious to contemplate the onward road, And calls to mind the comforts of his home, And sighs that he has left them, and resolves To stray no more: I on my way of life Muse thus, Pknatkh, and with firmest faith Devote myself to you. I will not quit,

To mingle with the crowd, your calm absia. Where by the evening-hearth Contra run

sits And hears the cricket chirp; where Lnt

delights

To dwell, and on your altars lays his tstd That burns with no extinguishable flam;

Hear me, ye Powers benignant! then s

one Must be mine inmate,—for I may not ch»» But love him. He is one whom many irw Have sicken'd of the world. There vu i

time When he would weep to hear of wicked**. And wonder at the tale; when for the s»

preot He felt a brother's pity, to the oppressor A good man's honest anger. His quiet ot Betray'd each rising feeling; every thou: Leapt to his tongue. When first Raise

mankind He mingled, by himself he judged of tan. And loved and trusted them, to Wisto

deaf, And took them to his bosom. Falsehoodcr Her unsuspecting victim, fair of frost And lovely as Apega's sculptured form. Like that false image caught his nna

brace. And gored his open breast. The reptilr rto Clung round his bosom, and, with viper-Ms Encircling, stung the fool who foster'd ties His mother was Simplicity, his sire Benevolence; in earlier days he bore His father's name; the world who isjtr*

him Call him Misanthropy. I may not ekssr But love him, Household Gods! forwesi*

nurst In the same school.—Penates ! some there sWho say, that not in the inmost heaves »

dwell. Gazing with eye remote on all the wsyi Of man, his Guardian Gods; wiselier uV?

deem A dearer interest to the human rare Links you, yourselves the Spibjts or ra

Brad. No mortal eye may pierce the isvis&r

world. No light of human reason penetrate The depth where Truth lies hid. Yft»

this faith My heart with' instant sympathy assron. And I would judge all systems and all (»■» By that best touchstone, from whose w»

Dacarr Shrinks like the Arch-Fiend at Itaarir>

•pear. And Sophistry's gay glittering bubble ban* As at the spousals of the Nereid's ass. When that false Florinu-l. by her protsrrf Display'd in rivalry, with all her chars* Dissolved away.—Nor can the halls of H«*» live to the human soul such kindred joy, Ls hovering o'er its earthly haunts it feels, A Inn with the breeze it wantons round the

brow )f one beloved on earth; or when at night n dreams it comes, and brings with it the

Days Lnd Joys that are no more. Or when, perchance Vitli power permitted to alleviate ill Lnd fit the sufferer for the coming woe, iome strange presage the Spirit breathes,

and fills Phc breast with ominous fear, and disciplines ■or sorrow, pours into the afflicted heart The balm of resignation, and inspires iVith heavenly hope. Even as a child delights To visit day by day the favourite plant lis hand has sown, to mark its gradual

growth, Lnd watch all-anxious for the promised flower: Thus to the blessed spirit, in innocence Lnd pure affections, like a little child, iweet will it be to hover o'er the friends ieloved; then sweetest, if, as Duty prompts, >\ illi earthly care we in their breasts have

sown The seeds of Truth and Virtue, holy flowers, iVhose odour reacheth Heaven. When my

sick heart Sick with hope long delayed, than which

no care Weighs on the spirit heavier;) from itself Seeks the best comfort, often have I deem'd That thou didst witness every inmost

thought, Ieward! my dear dead friend! For not in

vain, ) early summon'd pn thy heavenly course! >Vas thy brief sojourn here: me didst thou

leave >\ illi strengthen'd step to follow the right

path Till we shall meet again. Meantime I sooth The deep regret of Nature, with belief, ) Edmund! that thine eye's celestial ken 'crvades me now, marking with no mean joy The movements of the heart that loved thee

well!

Such feelings Nature prompts, and hence

your rites, Domestic Gods arose. When for his son With ceaseless grief Syrophanes bcwail'd, Mourning his age left childless,' and his

Wealth leapt for an nlien, he with obstinate eye Still on the imaged marble of the dead J welt, pampering sorrow. Thither from his

wrath, V safe asylum, fled the offending slave, lnd garlanded the statue, and implored lis young lost lord to save: Remembrance

then toften'd the father, and he loved to see

The votive wreath renew'd, and the rich

smoke Curl from the costly censer slow and sweet. From Egypt soon the sorrow-soothing rites Divulging spread; before your idol-forms By every hearth the blinded Pagan knelt, Pouring his prayers to these, and offering

there Vain sacrifice or impious, and sometimes With human blood your sanctuary defiled: Till the first Brutus, tyrant - conquering

chief, Arose; he first the impious rites put down, He fitliest, who for Freedom lived and died, The friend of humankind. Then did your

feasts Frequent recur and blameless; and when came The solemn festival, whose happiest rites Emblem'd Equality, the holiest truth! Crown'd with gay garlands were your statues seen, To you the fragrant censer smoked, to yon The rich libation flow'd: vain sacrifice For nor the poppy-wreath nor fruits nor

wine Ye ask, Penates! nor the altar cleansed With many a mystic form, ye ask the heart Made pure, and by domestic Peace and Love Hallow'd to you. Hearken your hymn of

praise, Penates! to your shrines I come for rest, There only to be found. Often at eve. Amid my wanderings I have seen far off The lonely light that spake of comfort there; It told my heart of many a joy of home. And my poor heart was sad. When I have

gazed From some high eminence on goodly vales And cots and villages embower'd below. The thought would rise that all to me was

strange Amid the scene so fair, nor one small spot Where my tired mind might rest, and call

it home. There is a magic in that little word; It is a mystic circle that surrounds Comforts and virtues never known beyond The hallowed limit. Often has my heart Ached for that quiet haven!—hnven'd now, I think of those in this world's wilderness Who wander on and find no home of rest Till to the grave they go! them Poverty, Hollow-eyed fiend, the child of Wealth and

Power, Bad offspring of worse parents, aye afflicts. Cankering with her foul mildews the chill'd

heart; Them Want with scorpion-scourge drives

to the den Of Guilt;—them Slaughter for the price

of death Throws to her raven-brood. Oh, not on

them, God Of Eternal Justice! not on them Let fall thy thunder!—Household Deities! Then only shall be Happiness on earth

When man (shall feci your sarred power, and

love Your tranquil joys; then shall the city stand A huge void sepulchre, and rising fair Amid the ruins of the palace-pile The olive grow, there shall the Tbbb or Pbacb Strike its roots deep and flourish. This the

state Shall bless the race redeem'd of Man, when

Wealth And Power and all their hideous progeny Shall sink annihilate, and all mankind Live in the equal brotherhood of love. Heart-calming hope, and sure! for hitherward Tend all the tumults of the tronbled world, Its woes, its wisdom, and its wickedness Alike: so He hath will'd, whose will is just.

Meantime, all hoping and expecting all In patient faith, to you, Domestic Gods! I come, studious of other lore than song, Of my past years the solace and support: Yet shall my heart remembet the past years With honest pride, trusting that not in vain Lives the pure song of Libebty and Truth.

R U D I G E R.

Divers Princes and Noblemen being assembled in a beantifnl and fair Palace, which was sitnate upon the river Rhine, they beheld a boat or small barge make toward the shore, drawn by a Swan in a silver chain, the one end fastened about her Beck, the other to the vessel; and in it an unknown soldier, a man of a comely personage, and graceful presence, who slept upon the shore; which done, the boat guided by the Swan left him, and floated down the river. This man fell afterward in league with a fair gentlewoman, married her, and by her had many children. After some years, the same Swan came with the same barge nnto the same place; the soldier entering into it, was carried thence the way he came, left wife, children, and family, and was never seen amongst them after.

Now who can judge this to be other than one of those spirits that are named Incubi 1 says Thomas Heywnod. I have adopted his story, but not his solution, making the unknown soldier not an evil spirit, but one who bad purchased happiness of a malevolent being, by the promised sacrifice of his first-bora child.

Bright on the mountain's heathy slope
The day's last splendours shine,

And rich with many a radiant hue,
Gleam gaily on the Rhine.

And many a one from Waldhurst's walls

Along the river stroll'd,
As ruffling o'er the pleasant stream

The evening-gales came cold.

So as they atray'd a swan they saw

Sail stately up and strong, And by a silver chain he drew

A little boat along.

Whose streamer to the gentle brent
Long floating flutter'd light.

Beneath whose crimson canopv
There lay reclined a knight.

With arching crest and swelling brant
On sail'd the stately swan.

And lightly up the parting tide
The little boat came on.

And onward to the shore they drew.

Where having left the knight. The little boat adown the stream

Fell soon beyond the sight.

Was never a Knight in Waldhurst's v«S Could with this stranger vie,

Was never a youth at aught esteem's' When Rudiger was by.

Was never a Maid in Waldhurst's nlk Might match with Margaret,

Her cheek was fair, her eyes were dot
Her silken locks like jet.

And many a rich and noble yontk
Had strove to win the fair.

But never a rich and noble youth
Could rival Rudiger.

At every tilt and tourney he

Still bore away the prize. For knightly feats superior still

And knightly courtesies.

His gallant feats, his looks, his lore.

Soon won the willing fair; And soon did Margaret become

The wife of Rudiger.

Like morning-dreams of happiness
Fast roll'd the months away;

For he was kind and she was kind.
And who so blest as they 1

Yet Rudiger would sometimes sit
Absorb'd in silent thought,

And his dark downward eye would sr«o
With anxious meaning fraught

But soon he raised his looks again.

And smiled his cares away, And 'mid the hall of gaiety

Was none like him so gay.

And onward roll'd the waning monll*

The hour appointed came. And Margaret her Rudiger

Hail'd with a father's name.

But silently did Rudiger

The little infant see;
And darkly on the bnbe he gazed,—

A gloomy man was he.

« ПредишнаНапред »