Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The still sweet fall of music far away;

And oft he lingers from his home a while,

To watch the dying notes, and start, and smile!

4. Let winter come! let polar spirits sweep
The darkening world, and tempest-troubled deep;
Though boundless snows the withered heath deform,
And the dim sun scarce wanders through the storm,
Yet shall the smile of social love repay,
With mental light, the melancholy day!
And when its short and sullen noon is o'er,
The ice-chained waters slumbering on the shore,
How bright the fagots in his little hall
Blaze on the hearth, and warm the pictured wall!

.5. How blest he names, in love's familiar tone,
The kind fair friend by nature marked his own;
And, in the waveless mirror of his mind,
Views the fleet years of pleasure left behind,
Since when her empire e'er his heart began —
Since first he called her his before the holy man!

6. Trim the gay taper in his rustic dome,
And light the wintry paradise of home;
And let the half-uncurtained window hail
Some wav-worn man benighted in the vale!
Now, while the moaning night-wind rages high,
As sweep the shot-stars down the troubled sky;
While fiery hosts in heaven's wide circle play,
And bathe in lurid light the milky way;
Safe from the storm, the meteor, and the shower,
Some pleasing page shall charm the solemn hour*
With pathos shall command, with wit beguile
A generous tear of anguish, or a smile!

LESSON CIX.

, Tirpt. Young*

1. Ah! how unjust to Nature and himselt
Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man!
Like children babbling nonsense in their sports,
We censure Nature for a span too short;
That span too short we tax as tedious too;

♦ Born 1679 ; died 1766.

Torture invention, all expedients tire,

To lash the lingering moments into speed,

And whirl us (happy riddance !) from ourselves.

2. Time, in advance, behind him hides his wings, And seems to creep, decrepit with his age.

Behold him when passed by; what then is seen
But his broad pinions swifter than the winds?
And all mankind, in contradiction strong,
Rueful, aghast, cry out on his career.

3. We waste, not use, our time; we breathe, not live; Time wasted is existence; used, is life:

And bare existence man, to live ordained,
Wrings and oppresses with enormous weight.

4. And why? since time was given for use, not waste, Enjoined to fly, with tempest, tide, and stars,

To keep his speed, nor ever wait for man.
Time's use was doomed a pleasure, waste a pain,
That man might feel his error, if .unseen,
And, feeling, fly to labor for his cure;
Not, blundering, split on idleness for ease.

5. We push time from us, and we wish him back; Life we think long and short; death seek and shun. O, the dark days of vanity! while

Here, how tasteless! and how terrible when gone!

6. Gone? they ne'er go; when past, they haunt us still The spirit walks of every day deceased,

And smiles an angel, or a fury frowns.
Nor death nor life delight us.

7. If time past,

And time possessed, both pain us, what can please?

That which the Deity to please prdained,

Time used. The man who consecrates his hours

By vigorous effort and an honest aim,

At once he draws the sting of life and death:

He walks with nature, and her paths are peace.

8. 'T is greatly wise to talk with our past hours, And ask them what report they bore to heaven, , And how they might have borne more welcome news. Their answers form what men experience call;

If wisdom's friend her best, if not, worst foe.

9. All-sensual man, because untouched, unseen, He looks on time as nothing. Nothing else

Is truly man's; 't is fortune's. Time's a god.
Hast thou ne'er heard of time's omnipotence?

/

For, or against, what wonders can he do!
And will: to stand blank neuter he disdains.
Not on those terms was time (heaven's stranger
On his important embassy to man.

*#####

10. But why on time so lavish is my song?
On this great theme kind Nature keeps a school
To teach her sons herself. Each night we die —
Each morn are born anew; each day a life;
J^Lnd shall we kill each day? If trifling kills,
Sure vice must butcher. O, what heaps of slain
Cry out for vengeance on us'! time destroyed
Is suicide^where more than blood is spilt.

11 Throw years away f
Throw empires, and be blameless: moments seize;'
Heaven's on their wing: a moment we may wish,
When worlds want wealth to buy. Bid day stand still,
Bid him drive back his car, and re-impart
The period past, re-give the given hour.
Lorenzo! more than miracles we want.
Lorenzo! O for yesterdays to come!

LESSON CX.
Apostrophe to Night. Young.

1. O Majestic Night!

Nature's great ancestor! Day's elder born!

And fated to survive the transient sun!

By mortals and immortals seen with awe!

A starry crown thy raven brow adorns,

An azure zone thy waist: clouds, in heaven's loom

Wrought through varieties of shape and shade,

In ample folds of drapery divine,

Thy flowing mantle form, and, heaven throughout,

Voluminously pour thy pompous train:

2. Thy gloomy grandeurs — Nature's most august Inspiring aspect! — claim a grateful verse;

And, like a sable curtain starred with gold,
Drawn o'er my labors past, shall clothe the scene,
,if- $k ^ "if* Wf

3. Night, sable goddess! from her ebon throne,
In rayless majesty, now stretches forth

Her leaden sceptre o'er a slumbering world.
Silence how dead! and darkness how profound!
Nor eye nor listening ear an object finds.

4. Creation sleeps. 'T is^as the general pulse
Of life stood still, and Nature made a pause;
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.
And let her prophecy be soon fulfilled:
Fate! drop the curtain; I can lose no more.

LESSON CXI.
Wedded have's First Home. James H»ll.*

1. 'T Was far beyond yon mountains, dear, we plighted vows of love; The ocean-wave was at our feet, the autumn sky above;

The pebbly shore was covered o'er with many a varied shell,
And on the billow's curling spray the sunbeams glittering fell.
The storm has vexed that billow oft, and oft that sun has set,
But plighted love remains with us, in peace and luster yet.

2. I wiled thee to a lonely haunt, that bashful love might speak Where none could hear what love revealed, or see the crimson cheek; The shore was all deserted, and we wandered there alone,

And not a human step impressed the sand-beach but our own.

Thy footsteps all have vanished from the willow-beaten strand';

The vows we breathed remain with us — they were not traced in sand.

3. Far, far we left the sea-girt shore, endeared by childhood's dream. To seek the humble cot that smiled by fair Ohio's stream;

In vain the mountain cliff opposed, the mountain torrent roared, V
For love unfurled her silken wing, and o'er each barrier soared;
And many a wide domain we passed and many an ample dome,
But none so blessed, so dear to us, as wedded love's first home.

4. Beyond those mountains now are all that e'er we loved or knew, The long-remembered many, and the dearly-cherished few:

The home of her we value, and the grave of him we mourn,
Are there ;— and there is all the past to which the heart can turn;
But dearer scenes surround us here, and lovelier joys we trace,
For here is wedded love's first home, its hallowed resting-place.

—,—*

LESSON CXII.

A Baronial Tower. Scott.

1. Day set on Norham's castled steep, And Tweed's fair river, broad and deep,

* Judge Hall has written several valuable works respecting the Western States, and his name is interwoven with their periodical literature.

And Cheviot's mountains lone;
The battled towers, the donjon keep,
The loop-hole grates where captives weep,
The flanking walls that round it sweep,'
In yellow luster shone.

2. The warriors on the turrets high,
Moving athwart the evening sky,
Seemed forms of giant height;

Their armor, as it caught the rays,
Flashed back against the western blaze,
In lines of dazzling light.

3. St. George's banner, broad and gay,
Now faded, as the fading ray

Less bright, and less, was flung;
The evening gale had scarce the power
To wave it on the donjon tower,
So heavily it hung.

4. The scouts had parted on their search,
The castle gates were barred;

Above the gloomy portal arch,
Timing his footsteps to a march,
The warder kept his guard,
Low-humming, as he paced along,
Some ancient border-gathering song.

LESSON CXIII.
The Deserted Wife. Percival.

1, He comes not — I have watched the moon go down, But yet he comes not. Once it was not so.

He thinks not how these bitter tears do flow,
The while he holds his riot in that town.
Yet he will come, and chide, and I shall weep;
And he will wake my infant from its sleep,
To blend its feeble wailing with my tears.

2. O! how I love a mother's watch to keep,
Over those sleeping eyes, that smile, which cheers
My heart, though sunk in sorrow, fixed and deep.
I had a husband once, who loved me —now

He ever wears a frown upon his brow,
And feeds his passion on a wanton's lip,
As bees from laurel flowers a poison sip.

« AnteriorContinuar »