Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

For the wearied spirit lieth as a fainting maiden,
Captive and borne away or the warrior's foam-covered steed,
And sinketh down wounded, as a gladiator on the sand,
While the keen falchion of Intellect is cutting through the scabbard of the

brain.
Imagination, like a shadowy giant looming on the twilight of the Hartz,
Shall overwhelm Judgment with affright, and scare him from his throne:
In a dream thou mayst be mad, and feel the fire within thee;
In a dream thou mayst travel out of self, and see thee with the eyes of

another; Or sleep in thine own corpse; or wake as in many bodies: Or swell, as expanded to infinity; or shrink, as imprisoned to a point ; Or among moss-grown ruins may wander with the sullen disembodied, And gaze upon their glassy eyes until thy heart-blood freeze.

Alone must thou stand, O man ! alone at the bar of judgment;
Alone must thou bear thy sentence, alone must thou answer for thy deeds
Therefore it is well thou retirest often to secrecy and solitude,
To feel that thou art accountable separately from thy fellows:
For a crowd hiJeth truth from the eyes, society drowneth thought,
And, being but one among many, stifleth the chidings of conscience.
Solitude bringeth woe to the wicked, for his crimes are told out in his ear;
But addeth peace to the good, for the mercies of his God are numbered.
Thou mayst know if it be well with a man,-loveth he gaiety or solitude ?
For the troubled river rusheth to the sea, but the calm lake slumbereth

among the mountains. How dear to the mind of the sage are the thoughts that are bred in

loneliness, For there is as it were music at his heart, and he talketh within him as

with friends: But guilt maddeneth the brain, and terror glareth in the eye, Where, in his solitary cell, the malefactor wrestleth with remorse. Give me but a lodge in the wilderness, drop me on an island in the desert, And thought shall yield me happiness, though I may not increase it by

imparting: For the soul never slumbereth, but is as the eye of the Eternal, And mind, the breath of God, knoweth not ideal vacuity :

At night, after weariness and watching, the body sinketh into sleep,
But the mental eye is awake, and thou reasonest in thy dreams:
In a dream thou mayst live a lifetime, and all be forgotten in the

morning :
Even such is life, and so socn perisheth its memory.

OF SPEAKING.

Speech is the golden narvest that followeth the flowering of thought;
Yet oftentimes runnetn it to husk, and the grains be withered and scanty
Speech is reason's brotner, and a kingly prerogative of man,
That likeneth him to his Maker, who spake, and it was done:
Spirit may mingle with spirit, but sense requireth a symbol;
And speech is the body of a thought, without which it were not seen.
When thou walkest, musing with thyself, in the green aisles of the forest,
Utter thy thinkings aloud, that they take a shape and being;
For he that pondereth in silence crowdeth the storehouse of his mind,
And though he bave heaped great riches, yet is he hindered in the using.
A man that speaketh too little, and thinketh much and deeply,
Corrodeth his own heart-strings, and keepeth back good from his fellows
A man that speaketh too much, and museth but little and lightly,
Wasteth his mind in words, and is counted a fool among men:
But thou, when thou hast thought, weave charily the web of meditation,
And clothe the ideal spirit in the suitable garments of speech.

UTTERED out of time, or concealed in its season, good savoureth of evil;
To be sccret looketh like guilt, to speak out may breed contention :
Often have I known the honest heart, flaming with indignant virtue,
Provoke unneeded war by its rash ambassador the tongue :
Often have I seen the charitable man go so slily on his mission,
That those who met him in the twilight, took him for a skulking thief:
I have heard the zealous youth telling out his holy secrets
Before a swinish throng, who mocked him as he spake;
And I considered, his openness was hardening them that mocked,

Whereas, a juclicious keeping-back might have won their sympathy;
I have judged rashly and harshly the hand liberal in the dark,
Because in the broad daylight it hath holden it a virtue to be close;
And the silent tongue have I condemned, because reserve hath chained it,
That it hid, yea from a brother, the kindness it had done by comforting
No need to sound a trumpet, but less to hush a footfall:
Do thou thy good openly, not as though the doing were a crime.
Secrecy goeth cowled, and Honesty demandeth wherefore ?
For he judgeth,—judgeth he not well ?—that nothing need be hid but

guilt;
Why should thy good be evil spoken of through thine unrighteous silence
If thou art challenged, speak, and prove the good thou doest.
The free example of benevolence, unobtruded, yet unbidden,
Soundeth in the ears of sloth, Go, and do thou likewise :
And I wot the hypocrite's sin to be of darker dye,
Because the good man, fearing, thereby hideth his light:
But neither God nor man hath bid thee cloak thy good,
When a seasonable word would set thee in thy sphere, that all might see

thy brightness. Ascribe the honour to thy Lord, but be thou jealous of that honour, Nor think it light and worthless, because thou mayst not wear it for

thyself: Remember thy grand prerogative is free unshackled utterance, And suffer not the floodgates of secrecy to lock the full river of thy speech.

COME, I will show thee an affliction, unnumbered among this world's

sorrows, Yet real and wearisome and constant, embittering the cup of life. There be, who can think within themselves, and the fire burneth at their

heart, And eloquence waiteth at their lips, yet they speak not with their tongue: There be, whom zeal quickeneth, or slander stirreth to reply, Or need constraineth to ask, or pity sendeth as her messengers, But nervous dread and sensitive shame freeze the current of their speech; The month is sealed as with lead, a cold weight presseth on the heart, The mocking promise of power is once more broken in performance, And they stand impotent of words, travailing with unborn thoughts:

Courage is cowed at the portal : wisdom is widowed of utterance;
He that went to comfort is pitied; he that should rebuke, is silent.
And fools who might listen and learn, stand by to look and laugh;
While friends, with kinder eyes, wound deeper by compassion,
And thought, finding not a vent, smouldereth, gnawing at the heart,
And the man sinketh in his sphere, for lack of empty sounds.
There be many cares and sorrows thou hast not yet considered,
And well may thy soul rejoice in the fair privilege of speech;
For at every turn to want a word,--thou canst not guess that want;
It is as lack of breath or bread: life hath no grief more galling.

COME, I will tell thee of a joy, which the parasites of pleasure have not

known, Though earth and air and sea have gorged all the appetites of sense. Behold, what fire is in his eye, what fervour on his cheek! That glorious burst of winged words!—how bound they from his tongue ! The full expression of the mighty thought, the strong triumphant argument,

1 The rush of native eloquence, resistless as Niagara, The keen demand, the clear reply, the fine poetic image, The nice analogy, the clenching fact, the metaphor bold and free, The grasp of concentrated intellect wielding the omnipotence of truth, The grandeur of his speech, in his majesty of mind ! Champion of the right,-patriot, or priest, or plealer of the innocen.

!

cause,

Upon whose lips the mystic bee hath dropped the honey of persuasion, (2) Whose heart and tongue have been touched, as of old, by the live coal

from the altar, How wide the spreading of thy peace, how deep the draught of thy

pleasures!
To hold the multitude as one, breathing in measured cadence,
A thousand men with flashing eyes, waiting upon thy will ;
A thousand hearts kindled by thee with consecrated fire,
Ten flaminy spiritual hecatombs offered on the mount of God:
And now a pause, a thrilling pause,—they live but in thy words,
Thou hast broken the bounds of self, as the Nile at its rising,
Thou art expanded into them, one faith, one hope, one spirit,

« ElőzőTovább »