Imágenes de páginas
[graphic][merged small]


And all we shrink from now may seem

No new revealing,
The sunlight glitters keen and bright,

Familiar as our childhood's stream,
Where, miles away,

Or pleasant memory of a dream,
Lies stretching to my dazzled sight

The loved and cherished Past upon the new life A luminous belt, a misty light,

stealing Beyond the dark pine bluffs and wastes of sandy gray.

Serene and mild, the untried light

May have its dawning;
The tremulous shadow of the sea !

And, as in summer's northern night
Against its ground

The evening and the dawn unite,
Of silvery light, rock, hill, and tree,

The sunset hues of Time blend with the soul's Still as a picture, clear and free,

new morning. With varying outline mark the coast for miles

I sit alone ; in foam and spray around.

Wave after wave

Breaks on the rocks which, stern and gray, On -on — we trcad with loose-flung rein

Shoulder the broken tide away,
Our seaward way,

Or murmurs hoarse and strong through mossy Through dark-green fields and blossoming

cleft and cave. grain, Where the wild brier-rose skirts the lane, What heed I of the dusty land And bends above our heads the flowering locust

And noisy town? spray.

I see the mighty deep expand

From its white line of glimmering sand Ha! like a kind hand on my brow

To where the blue of heaven on bluer waves Comes this fresh breeze,

shuts down ! Cooling its dull and feverish glow, While through my being seems to slow

In listless quietude of mind, The breath of a new life, – the healing of the

1 yield to all seas!

The change of cloud and wave and wind ;

And passive on the flood reclined, Now rest we, where this grassy mound I wander with the waves, and with them rise His feet hath set

and fall. In the great waters, which have bound

But look, thou dreamer ! - wave and shore His granite ankles greenly round

In shadow lie; With long and tangled moss, and weeds with cool spray wet.

The night-wind warns me back once more

To where, any native hill-tops o'er, Good by to pain and care! I take

Bends like an arch of fire the glowing sunset Mine ease to-day;

sky! Here, where the sunny waters break,

So then, beach, bluff, and wave, farewell ! And ripples this keen breeze, I shake

I bear with me All burdens from the heart, all weary thoughts

No token stone nor glittering shell, away.

But long and oft shall Memory tell I draw a freer breath - I seem

Of this brief thoughtful hour of musing by the Like all I see

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER. Waves in the sun — the white-winged gleam

Of sca-birds in the slanting beam – And far-off sails which flit before the south-wind free.



So when Time's veil shall fall asunder,

The soul may know
No fearful change, nor sudden wonder,

Nor sink the weight of mystery under,
But with the upward rise, and with the vastness


WHEN descends on the Atlantic

The gigantic
Storm-wind of the equinox,
Landward in his wrath he scourges

The toiling surges,
Laden with sea-weed from the rocks :

[ocr errors]

From Bermuda's reefs ; from edges

Of sunken ledges,
In some far-oif, bright Azore;
From Bahama, and the dashing,

Surges of San Salvador;

From the tumbling surf that buries

The Orkneyan skerries,
Answering the hoarse Hebrides ;
And from wrecks of ships, and drifting

Spars, uplifting
On the desolate, rainy seas ;

Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting
Currents of the restless main ;
Till in sheltered coves, and reaches

Of sandy beaches,
All have found repose again.

So when storms of wild emotion

Strike the ocean
Of the poet's soul, erelong,
From each cave and rocky fastness

In its vastness,
Floats some fragment of a song :

From the far-off isles enchanted

Heaven has planted
With the golden fruit of Truth ;
From the flashing surf, whose vision

Gleams Elysian
In the tropic clime of Youth ;

From the strong Will, and the Endeavor

That forever Wrestles with the tides of Fate; From the wreck of Hopes far-scattered,

Tempest-shattered, Floating waste and desolate ;

Ever drifting, drifting, drifting

On the shifting Currents of the restless heart; Till at length in books recorded,

They, like hoarded Household words, no more depart.

Sport of the spume of the surging sea ;

Flung on the foain, afar and anear,
Mark my manifold mystery,

Growth and grace in their place appear.

I bear round berries, gray and red,

Rootless and rover though I be ;
My spangled leaves, when nicely spread,

Arboresce as a trunkless tree;
Corals curious coat me o'er,

White and hard in apt array ;
Mid the wild waves' rude uproar

Gracefully grow I, night and day.

Hearts there are on the sounding shore,

Something whispers soft to me,
Restless and roaming forevermore,

Like this weary weed of the sea;
Bear they yet on each beating breast

The eternal type of the wondrous whole,
Growth unfolding amidst unrest,
Grace informing with silent soul.





Light as a flake of foam upon the wind
Keel-upward from the deep emerged a shell,
Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled:
Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose,
And moved at will along the yielding water.
The native pilot of this little bark
Put out a tier of oars on either side,
Spread to the wafting breeze a twofold sail,
And mounted up and glided down the billow
In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air,
And wander in the luxury of light.
Worth all the dead creation, in that hour,
To me appeared this lonely Nautilus,
My fellow-being, like myself, alive.
Entranced in contemplation, vague yet sweet,
I watched its vagrant course and rippling wake,
Till I forgot the sun amidst the heavens.
It closed, sunk, dwindled to a point, then

While the last bubble crowned the dimpling eddy,
Through which mine eyes still giddily pursued it,
A joyous creature vaulted through the air,
The aspiring fish that fain would be a biru,
On long, light wings, that flung a diamond.

Of dew-drops round its evanescent form,
Sprang into light, and instantly descended.
Ere I could greet the stranger as a friend,
Or mourn his quick departure on the surge,



A WEARY weed, tossed to and fro,

Drearily drenched in the ocean brine, Soaring high and sinking low,

Lashed along without will of mine ;

a shoal of dolphins tumbling in wild glee, Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring, Glowed with such orient tints, they might have Like the terraced pride of Assyria's king; been

The turf looks green where the breakers rolled ; The rainbow's offspring, when it met the ocean O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold ; In that resplendent vision I had seen.

The sea-snatched isle is the home of men, While yet in ecstasy, I hung o'er these,

And mountains exult where the wave hath been. With every motion pouring out fresh beauties, As though the conscious colors came and went But why do ye plant, 'neath the billows dark, At pleasure, glorying in their subtle changes, The wrecking reef for the gallant bark ? Enormous o'er the flood, Leviathan

There are snares enough on the tented field, Looked forth, and from his roaring nostrils sent : Mid the blossomed sweets that the valleys yield; Two fountains to the sky, then plunged amain There are serpents to coil ere the flowers are up, In headlong pastime through the closing gulf.

There's a poison drop in man's purest cup, These were but prelules to the revelry

There are foes that watch for his cradle breath, That reigned at sunset : then the deep let loose And why need ye sow the floods with death ? Its blithe adventurers to sport at large, As kindly instinct taught them; buoyant shells, With mouldering bones the deeps are white, On stormless voyages, in fleets or single,

From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright; Wherried their tiny mariners ; aloof,

The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold

With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold, On wing-like fins, in bow-and-arrow figures, The flying-fishes darted to and fro;

And the gods of the ocean have frowned to see
While spouting whales projected watery columns, The mariner's bed in their halls of glee ;
That turned to arches at their height, and seemed Hath earth no graves, that ye thus must spread
The skeletons of crystal palaces

The boundless sea for the thronging dead ?
Built on the blue expanse, then perishing,
Frail as the element which they were made of :

Ye build — ye build - but ye enter not in, Dolphins, in gambols, lent the lucid brine Like the tribes whom the desert devoured in their Hues richer than the canopy of eve,

sin; That overhung the scene with gorgeous clouds,

From the land of promise ye fade and die

Ere its verdure gleams forth on your weary eye ; Deraying into gloom more beautiful Than the sun's golden liveries which they lost :

As the kings of the cloud-crowned pyramid,

Their noiseless bones in oblivion hid, Till light that hides, and darkness that reveals

Ye slumber unmarked mid the desolate main, The stars, — exchanging guard, like sentinels Of day and night,

transformed the face of While the wonderand pride of your works remain. nature; Abore was wakefulness, silence around, Beneath, repose,

- repose that reached even me. Power, will, sensation, memory, failed in turn ;

My very essence seemed to pass away,

Like a thin cloud that melts across the moon,
Lost in the blue immensity of heaven.

EVERY one,

By instinct taught, performed its little task,
To build its dwelling and its sepulchre,
From its own essence exquisitely modelled ;

There breed, and die, and leave a progeny,

Still multiplied beyond the reach of numbers, Toulon ! toil on ! ye ephemeral train,

To frame new cells and tombs, then breed and die Who build in the tossing and treacherous main ; As all their ancestors had done, – and rest, Toil on! for the wisdom of man ye mock, Hermetically sealed, each in its shrine, With your sand-based structures and domes of A statue in this temple of oblivion ! rock,

Millions of millions thus, from age to age, Your columns the fathomless fountains' cave, With simplest skill and toil unweariable, And your arches spring up to the crested wave; No moment and no movement unimproved, Ye 're puny race thus to boldly rear

Laid line on line, on terrace terrace spread, A fabric so vast in a realm so drear.

To swell the heightening, brightening, gradual

mound, Ye bind the deep with your secret zone, By marvellous structure climbing towards the day, The ocean is sealed, and the surge a stone,





« AnteriorContinuar »