Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

A REQUIEM.

Ay, pale and silent maiden,

Cold as thou liest there,
Thine was the sunniest nature

That ever drew the air,
The wildest and most wayward,

And yet so gently kind,
Thou seemedst but to body

A breath of summer wind.

Into the eternal shadow

That girds our life around, Into the infinite silence

Wherewith Death's shore is bound, Thou hast gone forth, beloved !

And I were mean to weep, That thou hast left Life's shallows,

And dost possess the Deep.

Thou liest low and silent,

Thy heart is cold and still, Thine eyes are shut forever,

And Death hath had his will ; He loved and would have taken,

I loved and would have kept, We strove,—and he was stronger,

And I have never wept. Let him possess thy body,

Thy soul is still with me, More sunny and more gladsome

Than it was wont to be:

Thy body was a fetter

That bound me to the flesh, Thank God that it is broken,

And now I live afresh !

Now I can see thee clearly ;

The dusky cloud of clay, That hid thy starry spirit,

Is rent and blown away : To earth I give thy body,

Thy spirit to the sky, I saw its bright wings growing,

And knew that thou must fly.

Now I can love thee truly,

For nothing comes between The senses and the spirit,

The seen and the unseen; Lifts the eternal shadow,

The silence bursts apart, And the soul's boundless future

Is present in my heart.

A PARABLE.

Worn and footsore was the Prophet,

When he gained the holy hill; “ God has left the earth,” he murmured,

“ Here his presence lingers still. “ God of all the olden prophets,

Wilt thou speak with men no more? Have I not as truly served thee,

As thy chosen ones of yore ? “ Hear me, guider of my

fathers, Lo! a humble heart is mine; By thy mercy I beseech thee, Grant thy servant but a sign !”

Bowing then his head, he listened

For an answer to his prayer;
No loud burst of thunder followed,

Not a murmur stirred the air :

But the tuft of moss before him

Opened while he waited yet,
And, from out the rock's hard bosom,

Sprang a tender violet.

“God! I thank thee,” said the Prophet;

o Hard of heart and blind was I, Looking to the holy mountain

For the gift of prophecy.

“ Still thou speakest with thy children

Freely as in eld sublime ; Humbleness, and love, and patience,

Still give empire over time.

“ Had I trusted in my nature,

And had faith in lowly things, Thou thyself wouldst then have sought me,

And set free my spirit's wings..

“ But I looked for signs and wonders,

That o'er men should give me sway, Thirsting to be more than mortal,

I was even less than clay.

5 Ere I entered on my journey,

As I girt my loins to start, Ran to me my little daughter,

The beloved of my heart;

“ In her hand she held a flower,

Like to this as like may be, Which, beside my very threshold,

She had plucked and brought to me.”

A GLANCE BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

WE see but half the causes of our deeds,
Seeking them wholly in the outer life,
And heedless of the encircling spirit-world,
Which, though unseen, is felt, and sows in us
All
germs

of
pure

and world-wide purposes.
From one stage of our being to the next
We pass unconscious o'er a slender bridge,
The momentary work of unseen hands,
Which crumbles down behind us; looking back,
We see the other shore, the gulf between,
And, marvelling how we won to where we stand,
Content ourselves to call the builder Chance,
We trace the wisdom to the apple's fall,
Not to the birth-throes of a mighty Truth
Which, for long ages in blank Chaos dumb,
Yet yearned to be incarnate, and had found
At last a spirit meet to be the womb
From which it might be born to bless mankind,-
Not to the soul of Newton, ripe with all
The hoarded thoughtfulness of earnest years,
And waiting but one ray of sunlight more
To blossom fully.

But whence came that ray ?
We call our sorrows Destiny, but ought
Rather to name our high successes so.
Only the instincts of great souls are Fate,
And have predestined sway: all other things,
Except by leave of us, could never be.
For Destiny is but the breath of God
Still moving in us, the last fragment left
Of our unfallen nature, waking oft

« ElőzőTovább »