Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Thou seek'st in globe and galaxy,
He hides in pure transparency;
Thou askest in fountains and in fires,
He is the essence that inquires.
He is the axis of the star ;
He is the sparkle of the spar;
He is the heart of every creature;
He is the meaning of each feature;
And his mind is the sky,
Than all it holds, more deep, more high.”.

MONADNOC.

TH

HOUSAND minstrels woke within me,

“Our music's in the hills ; Gayest pictures rose to win me,

Leopard-coloured rills. “Up !—If thou knew'st who calls To twilight parks of beech and pine, High over the river intervals, Above the ploughman's highest line, Over the owner's farthest walls ! Up! where the airy citadel O'erlooks the surging landscape's swell! Let not unto the stones the Day Her lily and rose, her sea and land display. Read the celestial sign ! Lo! the south answers to the north ; Bookworm, break this sloth urbane ; A greater spirit bids thee forth Than the grey dreams which thee detain. Mark how the climbing Oreads Beckon thee to their arcades ! Youth, for a moment free as they, Teach thy feet to feel the ground, Ere yet arrives the wintry day When Time thy feet has bound, Take the bounty of thy birth, Taste the lordship of the earth.”

I heard, and I obeyed, -
Assured that he who made the claim,
Well known, but loving not a name,

Was not to be gainsaid.
Ere yet the summoning voice was still,
I turned to Cheshire's haughty hill.
From the fixed cone the cloud-rack flowed
Like ample banner flung abroad
To all the dwellers in the plains
Round about, a hundred miles,
With salutation to the sea, and to the bordering

isles.
In his own loom's garment dressed,
By his proper bounty blessed,
Fast abides this constant giver,
Pouring many a cheerful river !
To far eyes, an aërial isle
Unploughed, which finer spirits pile,
Which morn and crimson evening paint
For bard, for lover, and for saint;
An eyemark and the country's core,
Inspirer, prophet evermore ;
Pillar which God aloft had set
So that men might it not forget ;
It should be their life's ornament,
And mix itself with each event;
Gauge and calendar and dial,
Weatherglass and chemic phial,
Garden of berries, perch of birds,
Pasture of pool-haunting herds.
Graced by each change of sum untold,
Earth-baking heat, stone-cleaving cold.
The Titan heeds his sky-affairs,
Rich rents and wide alliance shares ;
Mysteries of colour daily laid
By morn and eve in light and shade ;
And sweet varieties of chance,
And the mystic seasons' dance ;
And thief-like step of liberal hours
Thawing snow-drift into flowers.

O, wondrous craft of plant and stone By eldest science wrought and shown ! Happy," I said, "whose home is here ! Fair fortunes to the mountaineer ! Boon Nature to his poorest shed Has royal pleasure-grounds outspread.” Intent, I searched the region round, And in low hut the dweller found :-Woe is me for my hope's downfall ! Is yonder squalid peasant all That this proud nursery could breed For God's vicegerency and stead ? Time out of mind, this forge of ores; Quarry of spars in mountain pores; Õld cradle, hunting-ground, and bier Of wolf and otter, bear and deer; Well-built abode of many a race ; Tower of observance searching space; Factory of river and of rain ; Link in the Alps' globe-girding chain ; By million changes skilled to tell What in the Eternal standeth well, And what obedient Nature can ;Is this colossal talisman Kindly to plant, and blood, and kind, But speechless to the master's mind ? I thought to find the patriots In whom the stock of freedom roots : To myself I oft recount Tales of many a famous mount,Wales, Scotland, Uri, Hungary's dells; Bards, Roys, Scanderbegs, and Tells. And think how Nature in these towers Uplifted shall condense her powers, And lifting man to the blue deep Where stars their perfect courses keep, Like wise preceptor, lure his eye To sound the science of the sky, And carry learning to its height Of untried power and sane delight :

The Indian cheer, the frosty skies,
Rear purer wits, inventive eyes, -
Eyes that frame cities where none be,
And hands that stablish what these see ;
And by the moral of his place
Hint summits of heroic grace ;
Man in these crags a fastness find
To fight pollution of the mind;
In the wide thaw and ooze of wrong,
Adhere like this foundation strong,
The insanity of towns to stem
With simpleness for stratagem.
But if the brave old mould is broke,
And end in churls the mountain folk,
In tavern cheer and tavern joke,
Sink, O mountain, in the swamp!
Hide in thy skies, O sovereign lamp !
Perish like leaves, the highland breed,
No sire survive, no son succeed !

Soft! let not the offended muse
Toil's hard hap with scorn accuse.
Many hamlets sought I then,
Many farms of mountain men.
Rallying round a parish steeple
Nestle warm the highland people,
Coarse and boisterous, yet mild,
Strong as giant, slow as child.
Sweat and season are their arts,
Their talismans are ploughs and carts ;
And well the youngest can command
Honey from the frozen land;
With cloverheads the swamp adorn,
Change the running sand to corn;
For wolf and fox bring lowing herds,
And for cold mosses, cream and curds;
Weave wood to canisters and mats ;
Drain sweet maple juice in vats.
No bird is safe that cuts the air
From their rifle or their snare;
No fish, in river or in lake,

But their long hands it thence will take;
Whilst the country's flinty face,
Like wax, their fashioning skill betrays,
To fill the hollows, sink the hills,
Bridge gulfs, drain swamps, build dams and mills,
And fit the bleak and howling waste
For homes of virtue, sense, and taste.
The World-soul knows his own affair,
Forelooking, when he would prepare
For the next ages, men of mould
Well embodied, well ensouled,
He cools the present's fiery glow,
Sets the life-pulse strong but slow :
Bitter winds and fasts austere
His quarantines and grottos, where
He slowly cures decrepit flesh,
And brings it infantile and fresh.
Toil and tempest are the toys
And games to breathe his stalwart boys :
They bide their time, and well can prove,
If need were, their line from Jove;
Of the same stuff, and so allayed,
As that whereof the sun is made,
And of the fibre, quick and strong,
Whose throbs are love, whose thrills are song.

Now in sordid weeds they sleep,
Indulness now their secret keep ;
Yet, will you learn our ancient speech,
These the masters who can teach.
Fourscore or a hundred words
All their vocal muse affords ;
But they turn them in a fashion
Past clerks' or statesmen's art or passion.
I can spare the college bell,
And the learned lecture, well ;
Spare the clergy and libraries,
Institutes and dictionaries,
For that hardy English root
Thrives here, unvalued, underfoot.
Rude poets of the tavern hearth,

« AnteriorContinuar »