Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Through the closed blinds the golden sun
Poured in a dusty beam,
Like the celestial ladder seen
By Jacob in his dream.

And ever and anon, the wind,
Sweet-scented with the hay,
Turned o'er the hymn-book's fluttering leaves
That on the window lay.

Long was the good man's sermon,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For he spake of Ruth the beautiful,
And still I thought of thee.

Long was the prayer he uttered,
Yet it seemed not so to me;
For in my heart I prayed with him,
And still I thought of thee.

But now,
alas! the place seems changed;
Thou art no longer here:

Part of the sunshine of the scene
With thee did disappear.

Though thoughts, deep-rooted in my heart,
Like pine-trees dark and high,
Subdue the light of noon, and breathe
A low and ceaseless sigh;

This memory brightens o'er the past,
As when the sun, concealed
Behind some cloud that near us hangs,
Shines on a distant field.

[ocr errors]

RAIN IN SUMMER.

RAIN IN SUMMER.

After the dust and heat,
In the broad and fiery street,
In the narrow lane,
How beautiful is the rain!

How it clatters along the roofs,
Like the tramp of hoofs !

How it gushes and struggles out

From the throat of the overflowing spout!

Across the window-pane

It pours and pours;

And swift and wide,

With a muddy tide,

Like a river down the gutter roars

The rain, the welcome rain!

The sick man from his chamber looks

At the twisted brooks;

He can feel the cool

Breath of each little pool;

His fevered brain

Grows calm again,

And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

From the neighboring school

Come the boys,

With more than their wonted noise

And commotion;

And down the wet streets

Sail their mimic fleets,
Till the treacherous pool
Engulfs them in its whirling
And turbulent ocean.

333

In the country, on every side,
Where, far and wide,

Like a leopard's tawny and spotted hide,
Stretches the plain,

To the dry grass and the drier grain
How welcome is the rain!

In the furrowed land

The toilsome and patient oxen stand;
Lifting the yoke-encumbered head,
With their dilated nostrils spread,
They silently inhale

The clover-scented gale,

And the vapors that arise

From the well watered and smoking soil. For this rest in the furrow after toil

Their large and lustrous eyes

Seem to thank the Lord,

More than man's spoken word.

Near at hand,

From under the sheltering trees,
The farmer sees

His pastures, and his fields of grain,

As they bend their tops

To the numberless beating drops

Of the incessant rain.

He counts it as no sin

That he sees therein

Only his own thrift and gain.

These, and far more than these,

The Poet sees !

He can behold

Aquarius old

Walking the fenceless fields of air;
And from each ample fold

Of the clouds about him rolled

Scattering everywhere
The showery rain,

As the farmer scatters his grain.

TO A CHILD.

He can behold

Things manifold

That have not yet been wholly told,
Have not been wholly sung nor said.
For his thought, that never stops,
Follows the water-drops

Down to the graves of the dead,
Down through chasms and gulfs profound,
To the dreary fountain-head

Of lakes and rivers under ground;
And sees them, when the rain is done,
On the bridge of colors seven
Climbing up once more to heaven,
Opposite the setting sun.

Thus the Seer,

With vision clear,

Sees forms appear and disappear,
In the perpetual round of strange,
Mysterious change

From birth to death, from death to birth,

From earth to heaven, from heaven to earth;

Till glimpses more sublime

Of things, unseen before,

Unto his wondering eyes reveal

The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel
Turning forevermore

In the rapid and rushing river of Time.

TO A CHILD.

EAR child! how radiant on thy mother's knee,

on

Thou gazest at the painted tiles,
Whose figures grace,

With many a grotesque form and face,

35

The ancient chimney of thy nursery!
The lady with the gay macaw,
The dancing girl, the grave bashaw
With bearded lip and chin;

And, leaning idly o'er his gate,
Beneath the imperial fan of state,
The Chinese mandarin.

With what a look of proud command
Thou shakest in thy little hand
The coral rattle with its silver bells,
Making a merry tune!

Thousands of years in Indian seas
That coral grew, by slow degrees,
Until some deadly and wild monsoon
Dashed it on Coromandel's sand!
Those silver bells

Reposed of yore,

As shapeless ore,

Far down in the deep-sunken wells
Of darksome mines,

In some obscure and sunless place,
Beneath huge Chimborazo's base,
Or Potosí's o'erhanging pines!
And thus for thee, O little child,
Through many a danger and escape,
The tall ships passed the stormy cape;
For thee in foreign lands remote,
Beneath the burning, tropic clime,
The Indian peasant, chasing the wild goat,
Himself as swift and wild,

In falling, clutched the frail arbute,
The fibres of whose shallow root,
Uplifted from the soil, betrayed
The silver veins beneath it laid,
The buried treasures of the pirate, Time.

But, lo! thy door is left ajar!
Thou hearest footsteps from afar !

« ElőzőTovább »