Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

There is no wind but soweth seeds

Of a more true and open life, Which burst, unlooked-for, into high-souled deeds,

With wayside beauty rife.

We find within these souls of ours

Some wild germs of a higher birth,
Which in the poet's tropic heart bear flowers

Whose fragrance fills the earth.

Within the hearts of all men lie
These promises of wider bliss,
Which blossom into hopes that cannot die,

In sunny hours like this.

All that hath been majestical

In life or death, since time began, Is native in the simple heart of all,

The angel heart of man.

And thus, among the untaught poor,

Great deeds and feelings find a home, That cast in shadow all the golden lore

Of classic Greece and Rome.

0, mighty brother-soul of man,

Where'er thou art, in low or high, Thy skiey arches with exulting span

O'er-roof infinity!

All thoughts that mould the age begin

Deep down within the primitive soul, And from the many slowly upward win

To one who grasps the whole :

In his wide brain the feeling deep
That struggled on the many's tongue

Swells to a tide of thought, whose surges leap

O'er the weak thrones of wrong.

All thought begins in feeling-wide

In the great mass its base is hid,
And, narrowing up to thought, stands glorified,

A moveless pyramid.
Nor is he far astray who deems

That every hope, which rises and grows broad In the world's heart, by ordered impulse streams

From the great heart of God.
God wills, man hopes : in common souls
Hope is but vague and undefined,
Till from the poet's tongue the message rolls

A blessing to his kind.

Never did Poesy appear

So full of heaven to me, as when I saw how it would pierce through pride and fear

To the lives of coarsest men.

It may be glorious to write

Thoughts that shall glad the two or three High souls, like those far stars that come in sight

Once in a century;

But better far it is to speak

One simple word, which now and then Shall waken their free nature in the weak

And friendless sons of men ;

To write some ear est verse or ne,

Which, seeking not the praise of art,
Shall make a clearer faith and manhood shine
In the untutored heart.

7

VOL. I.

He who doth this, in verse or prose,

May be forgotten in his day, But surely shall be crowned at last with those

Who live and speak for aye.

1842.

RHECUS.

God sends his teachers unto every age,
To every clime, and every race of men,
With revelations fitted to their growth
And shape of mind, nor gives the realm of Truth
Into the selfish rule of one sole race :
Therefore each form of worship that hath swayed
The life of man, and given it to grasp
The master-key of knowledge, reverence,
Enfolds some germs of goodness and of right;
Else never had the eager soul, which loathes
The slothful down of pampered ignorance,
Found in it even a moment's fitful rest.

There is an instinct in the human heart Which makes that all the fables it hath coined, To justify the reign of its belief And strengthen it by beauty's right divine, Veil in their inner cells a mystic gift, Which, like the hazel twig, in faithful hands, Points surely to the hidden springs of truth. For, as in nature naught is made in vain, But all things have within their hull of use A wisdom and a meaning which may speak Of spiritual secrets to the ear Of spirit; so, in whatsoe'er the heart Hath fashioned for a solace to itself, To make its inspirations suit its creed, And from the niggard hands of falsehood wring Its needful food of truth, there ever is A sympathy with Nature, which reveals, Not less than her own works, pure gleams of light And earnest parables of inward lore.

646981

Hear now this fairy legend of old Greece,
As full of freedom, youth, and beauty still
As the immortal freshness of that grace
Carved for all ages on some Attic frieze.

A youth named Rhæcus, wandering in the wood,
Saw an old oak just trembling to its fall,
And, feeling pity of so fair a tree,
He propped its gray trunk with admiring care,
And with a thoughtless footstep loitered on.
But, as he turned, he heard a voice behind
That murmured “Rhæcus !” 'Twas as if the leaves,
Stirred by a passing breath, had murmured it,
And, while he paused bewildered, yet again
It murmured “ Rhæcus !” softer than a breeze.
He started and beheld with dizzy eyes
What seemed the substance of a happy dream
Stand there before him, spreading a warm glow
Within the green glooms of the shadowy oak.
It seemed a woman's shape, yet all too fair
To be a woman, and with eyes too meek
For any that were wont to mate with gods.
All naked like a goddess stood she there,
And like a goddess all too beautiful
To feel the guilt-born earthliness of shame.
“ Rhæcus, I am the Dryad of this tree,”
Thus she began, dropping her low-toned words
Serene, and full, and clear, as drops of dew,
“ And with it I am doomed to live and die ;
The rain and sunshine are my caterers,
Nor have I other bliss than simple life;
Now ask me what thou wilt, that I can give,
And with a thankful joy it shall be thine.”

Then Rhæcus, with a flutter at the heart, Yet, by the prompting of such beauty, bold, Answered : What is there that can satisfy

« ElőzőTovább »