Графични страници
PDF файл

And such have been the heights of the world's glory Which I have climbed ;-ah! weary was the

steep! Amid whose glittering snows my heart grew hoary,

While summer breathed upon the valleys deepIn vain-for none of all its roses won me,

From toiling upward to that mountain's brow:'Tis gain'd; but ah! the weight of years is on

me,-
My spirit cannot claim its birthright now!
For early that inheritance was sold,
For nought-like his, of old !

But yet, methinks, some dewdrops of my morning Have linger'd through the long and parching

day!
I feel the childhood of my soul returning,

In visions of green forests, far away.
It is too late ;-the cup hath pass’d untasted-

The noon was glorious, but I lost its glow ;-
Oh! for but one of all the summers wasted!

And now the spring is come—but I must go Where years their sunborn blossoms cannot bring:Farewell, thou blessed spring!

FRANCES BROWNE.

And many are those who unconsciously echo the last lines of the poet Tasso, who died in his dungeon on the day preceding that appointed for his coronation as a king of song.

Ye who, on wings of joyance borne,

To flowery Pindus flee,
Greet there my harp which hangs forlorn

Against a cypress tree.

Say that by unrelenting fate

And years of woe oppress'd,
The laurel-wreath is twined too late,

Ere Tasso sinks to rest.

What then? Will not all the Tassos of later life, who listen to the mournful knell — “ Too late! Too late!”—carry their divine gifts with them into a better life?

Another life-spring there adorns

Another youth, without the dread
Of cruel care, whose crown of thorns

Is here for manhood's aching head.
Oh! there are realms of welcome day,
A world where tears are wiped away!
Then be thy flights among the skies :

Take, then, oh! take the skylark's wing,
And leave dull earth, and heavenward rise
O'er all its tearful clouds, and sing
On skylark's wing!

THOMAS HOOD.

And what of the birthdays now in a desolated home, where one looks around on the vacant places of the loved ? Later life brings many to that bitter lot. What home then remains for the heart but that heavenly “house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens”? To reach that, we wish for the pinions of the dove, that we also might flee away and be at rest. These feelings are most pathetically symbolized by Jean Ingelow, as a widow of later life, who has survived all, or nearly all, her family.

I had a nestful of my own,

Ah! happy, happy I! Right dearly I loved them; but when they were

grown
They spread out their wings to fly-
Oh! one after one they flew away

Far up to the heavenly blue,
To the better country, the upper day,

And I wish I was going too.
I pray you, what is the nest to me-

My empty nest?
And what is the shore where I stood to see

My boat sail down to the west?
Can I call that home where I anchor yet,

Though my good man has saild?
Can I call that home where my heart was set,

Now all its hope has fail'd ?
Nay, but the port where my sailor went,

And the land where my nestlings bem
There is the home where my hopes are sent,

The only home for me.

Welcome is the end of life to the souls of the poor and oppressed.

Look not alone on youthful prime

Or manhood's active might;
Man then is useful to his kind,

Supported is his right:
But see him on the edge of life,

With cares and sorrows worn;
Then age and want-Oh, ill-match'd pair !
Show man was made to mourn.

* * * *

Many and sharp the numerous ills

Inwoven with our frame !
More pointed still, we make ourselves

Regret, remorse, and shame;
And man, whose heaven-erected face

The smiles of love adorn,
Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn!

* * *

O Death! the poor man's dearest friend

The kindest and the best !
Welcome the hour my aged limbs

Are laid with thee at rest !
The great, the wealthy, fear thy blow,

From pomp and pleasure torn!
But, oh! a blest relief to those
That, weary laden, mourn.

Burns.

We have a striking poem on the sixty-second birthday of Queen Elizabeth, written by George Peele, the dramatist. It is entitled, “ England's Holydays,” describing the brilliant passages of arms by her knightly courtiers, on the 17th of November, 1595, when the commencement of the thirty-eighth year of her reign was celebrated at the same time with her sixty-second birthday. The poem has considerable merit, but is too long for insertion here except in parts. We pass over the beautiful invocation to the “ Sacred Daughters of King Jove." Write, write, you chroniclers of time and fame, That keep remembrance golden register, And recommend to time's eternity Her honour's height, and wonders of her age

Wonders of her that reason's reach transcend,
Such wonders as have set the world at gaze !
Write, write, you chroniclers of time and fame,
Elizabeth by miracles preserved
From perils imminent and infinite :
Clio proclaims, with golden trump and pen,
Her happy days, England's high holidays,
O'er Europe's bounds take wing, and make thy

flight
Through melting air, from where the rising sun
Gallops the zodiac in his fiery wain.

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

Even there and round about this earthly ball
Proclaim the day of England's happiness-
The days of peace, the days of quietness;
And let her gladsome birthday be the first,
Her day of birth, beginning of our bliss ;
Set down the day in characters of gold,
And mark it with a stone as white as milk-
That cheerful sunny day! Wear eglantine,
And wreath's of roses red and white put on,
In honour of that day, you lovely nymphs,
And pæans sing, and sweet melodious songs;
Along the chalky cliffs of Albion
Lead England's lonely shepherds in a dance
O’er hill and dale, and downs, and dairy plots,
And be that day England's high holiday ;
And holidays and high days be they all-
High holidays, days, minutes, months, and hours,
That multiply the number of her years ;
Wherein we live in safety under her-
Wherein she reigns in honour over us ;
So may she long, and ever may she go,
Untouch'd of traitorous hand or treacherous foe!

« ПредишнаНапред »