Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

And, moved through life of lower phase,

Result in man, be born and think,

And act and love, a closer link Betwixt us and the crowning race

Of those that, eye to eye, shall look

On knowledge; under whose command

Is Earth and Earth's, and in their hand Is Nature like an open book ; No longer half-akin to brute,

For all we thought and loved and did,

And hoped, and suffered, is but seed Of what in them is flower and fruit;

Whereof the man, that with me trod

This planet, was a noble type,

Appearing ere the times were ripe, That friend of mine who lives in God, That God, which ever lives and loves,

One God, one law, one element,

And one far-off divine event, To which the whole creation moves.

MAUD.

I HATE the dreadful hollow behind the little wood, i Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood

red heath, so The red-ribb'd ledges drip with a silent horror of

blood, And Echo there, whatever is ask'd her, answers

• Death

[ocr errors]

2.

For there in the ghastly pit long since a body was

found, His who had given me life - O father! O God!

was it well ? — Mangled, and flatten’d, and crush’d, and dinted into

the ground: There yet lies the rock that fell with him when he

fell.

Did he fling himself down? who knows? for a vast

speculation had fail'd, And ever he mutter'd and madden'd, and ever

wann'd with despair, And out he walk'd when the wind like a broken

worldling wail'd, And the flying gold of the ruin'd woodlands drove

thro’ the air.

I remember the time, for the roots of my hair were

stirrid By a shuffled step, by a dead weight trail'd, by a

whisper'd fright, And my pulses closed their gates with a shock on

my heart as I heard The shrill-edged shriek of a mother divide the shuddering night.

5. Villany somewhere ! whose ? One says, we are

villains all. Not he: his honest fame should at least by me be

maintain’d: But that old man, now lord of the broad estate and

the Hall, Dropt off gorged from a scheme that had left us

flaccid and drain’d.

Why do they prate of the blessings of Peace ? we

have made them a curse, Pick pockets, each hand lusting for all that is not its

own; And lust of gain, in the spirit of Cain, is it better

or worse Than the heart of the citizen hissing in war on his

own hearthstone ?

But these are the days of advance, the works of

the men of mind, When who but a fool would have faith in a trades

man's ware or his word ? Is it peace or war? Civil war, as I think, and that

of a kind The viler, as underhand, not openly bearing the

sword.

Sooner or later I too may passively take the print Of the golden age-why not? I have neither

hope nor trust; May make my heart as a millstone, set my face as

a flint, Cheat and be cheated, and die: who knows? we are ashes and dust.

9. Peace sitting under her olive, and slurring the days

gone by, When the poor are hovell’d and hustled together,

each sex, like swine, When only the ledger lives, and when only not all

men lie; Peace in her vineyard—yes !—but a company

forges the wine.

10.

And the vitriol madness Alushes up in the ruffian’s

head, Till the filthy by-lane rings to the yell of the

trampled wife, While chalk and alum and plaster are sold to the

poor for bread, And the spirit of murder works in the very means

of life.

11. And Sleep must lie down arm’d, for the villanous

centre-bits Grind on the wakeful ear in the hush of the moon

less nights, While another is cheating the sick of a few last

gasps, as he sits To pestle a poison'd poison behind his crimson

lights.

12.

When a Mammonite mother kills her babe for a

burial fee, And Timour-Mammon grins on a pile of children's

bones, Is it peace or war? better, war! loud war by land

and by sea, War with a thousand battles, and shaking a hun

dred thrones.

13.

For I trust if an enemy's fleet came yonder round

by the hill, And the rushing battle-bolt sang from the three

decker out of the foam, That the smooth-faced snub-nosed rogue would

leap from his counter and till, And strike, if he could, were it but with his cheat

ing yard-wand, home.

14.

What! am I raging alone as my father raged in

his mood ? Must I too creep to the hollow and dash myself

down and die Rather than hold by the law that I made, never

more to brood On a horror of shatter'd limbs and a wretched

swindler's lie?

15.

Would there be sorrow for me ? there was love in

the passionate shriek, Love for the silent thing that had made false haste

to the graveWrapt in a cloak, as I saw him, and thought he

would rise and speak And rave at the lie and the liar, ah God, as he

used to rave.

« ElőzőTovább »