Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

VIII. She is a woman : one in whom The spring-time of her childish years Hath never lost its fresh pertume, Though knowing well that lite hath room For many blights and many tears.

But up the west, like a rock-shivered

surge, Climbs a great cloud edged with sun

whitened spray; Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o'er

its verge, And falling still it seems, and yet it

climbs alway.

IX. I love her with a love as still As a broad river's peaceful might, Which, by high tower and lowly mill, Goes wandering at its own will, And

yet doth ever flow aright.

X. And, on its full, deep breast serene, Like quiet isles my duties lie ; It flows around them and between, And makes them fresh and fair and green, Sweet homes wherein to live and die.

1840.

Suddenly all the sky is hid

As with the shutting of a lid, One by one great drops are falling

Doubtful and slow, Down the pane they are crookedly

crawling,

And the wind breathes low; Slowly the circles widen on the river,

Widen and mingle, one and all ; Here and there the slenderer flowers

shiver, Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall.

SUMMER STORM. UNTREMULOUS in the river clear, Toward the sky's image, hangs the im

aged bridge ;

So still the air that I can hear The slenderclarion of the unseen midge; Out of the stillness, with a gathering

creep, Like rising wind in leaves, which now

decreases, Now lulls, now swells, and all the while

increases, The huddling trample of a drove of

sheep Tilts the loose planks, and then as grad

ually ceases
In dust on the other side ; life's er

blem deep,
A confused noise between two silences,
Finding at last in dust precarious peace.
On the wide marsh the purple-blos-

somed grasses Soak up the sunshine ; sleeps the

brimming tide, Save when the wedge-shaped wake in Of some slow water-rat, whose sinu

ous glide Wavers it.e lung green sedge's shade

from side to siae ;

Now on the hills I hear the thunder

mutter,

The wind is gathering in the west ; The upturned leaves first whiten and

flutter,

Then droop to a fitful rest ; Up from the stream with sluggish flap

Struggles the gull and floats away; Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder

clap, We shall not see the sun go down to

day : Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh, And tramples the grass with terrified

feet, Thestartledriver turnsleadenandharsh. You can hear the quick heart of the

tempest beat.

em

Look ! look ! that livid flash! And instantly follows the rattling thun

der, As if some cloud-crag, split asunder,

Fell, splintering with a ruinous

crash, On the Earth, which crouches in silence

under; And now a solid gray wall of rain Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile , For a breath's space I see the blue

wood again,

vilence passes

As the airy gossamere, Floating in the sunlight clear, Where'er it toucheth clingeth tightly, Round glossy leaf or stump unsightly, So from his spirit wandered out Tendrils spreading all about, Knitting all things to its thrall With a perfect love of all : O stern word -- Nevermore!

He did but float a little way
Adown the stream of time,
With dreamy eyes watching the ripples

play,
Or hearkening their fairy chime ;
His slender sail
Ne'er felt the gale ;
He did but float a little way,
And, putting to the shore
While yet ’t was early day,
Went calmly on his way,
To dwell with us no more !
No jarring did he feel,
No grating on his vessel's keel ;
A strip of silver sand
Mingled the waters with the land
Where he was seen no more :
O stern word - Nevermore !

Come and rest thee! O come hither
Come to this peaceful home of ours,

Where evermore
The low west-wind creeps panting up

the shore To be at rest among the flowers; Full of rest, the green moss lifts,

As the dark waves of the sea
Draw in and out of rocky rifts,

Calling solemnly to thee
With voices deep and hollow, –

"To the shore
Follow ! O, follow !
To be at rest forevermore !

Forevermore!"

Full short his journey was; no dust Of earth unto his sandals clave ; The weary weight that old men must, He bore not to the grave. He seemed a cherub who had lost his

way And wandered hither, so his stay With us was short, and 't was most meet That he should be no delver in earth's

clod, Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet To stand before his God : O blest word - Evermore!

1839.

Look how the gray old Ocean From the depth of his heart rejoices, Heaving with a gentle motion, When he hears our restful voices; List how he sings in an undertone, Chiming with our melody; And all sweet sounds of earth and air Melt into one low voice alone, That murmurs over the weary sea, And seems to sing from everywhere, “Here mayst thou harbor peacefully, Here mayst thou rest from the aching

oar; Turn thy curvëd prow ashore, And in our green isle rest forevermore!

Forevermore!" And Echo half wakes in the wooded

hill, And, to her heart so calm and deep,

Murmurs over in her sleep, Doubtfully pausing and murmuring still "Evermore!"

Thus, on Life's weary sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing low and clear,

Ever singing longingly.
Is it not better here to be,
Than to be toiling late and soon?
In the dreary night to see
Nothing but the blood-red moon
Go up and down into the sea ,
Or, in the loneliness of day,

To see the still seals only
Solemnly lift their faces gray,

Making it yet more lonely? Is it not better, than to hear

THE SIRENS.

The sea is lonely, the sea is dreary, The sea is restless and uneasy ; Thou seekest quiet, thou art weary, Wandering thou knowest not whith

er :Our little isle is green and breezy,

sate

ed types

As is the golden mystery of sunset,
Or the sweet coming of the evening

star,
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
And seeming ever best and fairest now;
A love that doth not kneel for what it

seeks, But faces Truth and Beauty as their

peer, Showing its worthiness of noble

thoughts By a clear sense of inward nobleness; A love that in its object findeth not All grace and beauty, and enough to Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good Found there, it sees but Heaven-grantOf good and beauty in the soul of man, And traces, in the simplest heart that

beats, A family-likeness to its chosen one, That claims of it the rights of brother

hood. For love is blind but with the fleshly

eye, That so its inner sight may be more

clear ; And outward shows of beauty only so Are needful at the first, as is a hand To guide and to uphold an infant's

steps: Great spirits need them not : their ear

nest look Pierces the body's mask of thin dis

guise, And beauty ever is to them revealed, Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump

of clay, With arms outstretched and eager face

ablaze, Yearning to be but understood and

loved. 1840.

Every sad and happy feeling,
Thou hast had in bygone years,
Through thy lips comes stealing, steal-

ing,

Clear and low ;
All thy smiles and all thy tears

In thy voice awaken,
And sweetness, wove of joy and woe,

From their teaching it hath taken:
Feeling and music move together,
Like a swan and shadow ever
Floating on a sky-blue river
In a day of cloudless weather.
It hath caught a touch of sadness,

Yet it is not sad;
It hath tones of clearest gladness,

Yet it is not glad ;
A dim, sweet twilight voice it is

Where to-day's accustomed blue
Is over-grayed with memories,

With starry feelingsquivered through.

Thy voice is like a fountain Leaping up in sunshine bright,

And I never weary counting,
Its clear droppings, lone and single,
Or when in one full gush they mingle.

Shooting in melodious light.
Thine is music such as yields
Feelings of old brooks and fields,
And, around this pent-up room,
Sheds a woodland, free perfume ;
O, thus forever sing to me!

O, thus forever!
The green, bright grass of childhood

bring to me,
Flowing like an emerald river,
And the bright blue skies above !
O, sing them back, as fresh as ever,
Into the bosom of my love,
The sunshine and the merriment,
The unsought, evergreen content,

Of that never cold time,
The joy, that, like a clear breeze,

went
Through and through the old time!
Peace sits within thine eyes,
With white hands crossed in joyful

rest,
While, through thy lips and face,

arise

TO PERDITA, SINGING. Thy voice is like a fountain,

Leaping up in clear moonshine ; Silver, silver, ever mounting,

Ever sinking,

Without thinking, To that brimful heart of thine

with care,

These are Irene's dowry, which no fate Can shake from their serene, deep

builded state.

And, though herself not unacquaint Hath in her heart wide room for all

that be, Her heart that hath no secrets of its

own, But open is as eglantine full blown. Cloudless forever is her brow serene, Speaking calm hope and trust within

her, whence Welleth a noiseless spring of patience, That keepeth all her life so fresh, so

green And full of holiness, that every look, The greatness of her woman's soul re

vealing, Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feel

ing As when I read in God's own holy

book. A graciousness in giving that doth

make The small'st gift greatest, and a sense

most meek Of worthiness, that doth not fear to

take From others, but which always fears to

speak Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's

sake; The deep religion of a thankful heart, Which rests instinctively in Heaven's

clear law With a full peace, that never can de

part From its own steadfastness ; – a holy For holy things, not those which men

call holy, But such as are revealed to the eyes Of a true woman's soul bent down and

lowly Before the face of daily mysteries :A love that blossoms soon, but ripens

slowly To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, Enduring with a firmness that defies All shallow tricks of circumstance and

time, By a sure insight knowing where to

cling, And where it clingeth never wither

ing:

In-seeing sympathy is hers, which

chasteneth No less than loveth, scorning to be

bound With fear of blame, and yet which ever

hasteneth To pour the balm of kind looks on the

wound, If they be wounds which such sweet

teaching makes, Giving itself a pang for others' sakes; No want of faith, that chills with side

long eye, Hath she; no jealousy, no Levite pride That passeth by upon the other side ; For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. Right from the hand of God her spirit Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten

whence It came, nor wandered far from thence, But laboreth to keep her still the same, Near to her place of birth, that she Soil her white raiment with an earthly

spot.

came

may not

awe

Yet sets she not her soul 90 steadily Above, that she forgets her ties to

earth, But her whole thought would almost

seem to be How to make glad one lowly human

hearth; For with a gentle courage she doth

strive In thought and word and feeling so to

live As to make earth next heaven; and

her heart Herein doth show its most exceeding

worth, That, bearing in our frailty her just

part, She hath not shrunk from evils of this

life, But hath gone calmly forth into the

strife, And all its sins and sorrows hath with

stood

« ElőzőTovább »