Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

HOUSEHOLD POEMS.

HYMN TO THE NIGHT.

̓Ασπασίη, τρίλλιστος.

I

HEARD the trailing garments of the Night
Sweep through her marble halls!

I saw her sable skirts all fringed with light
From the celestial walls!

I felt her presence, by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above;

The calm, majestic presence of the Night,
As of the one I love.

I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes,

That fill the haunted chambers of the Night,
Like some old poet's rhymes.

From the cool cisterns of the midnight air
My spirit drank repose;

The fountain of perpetual peace flows there, -
From those deep cisterns flows.

O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before!

Thou layest thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more.

Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe this prayer!
Descend with broad-winged flight,

The welcome, the thrice-prayed for, the most fair,
The best-beloved Night!

A PSALM OF LIFE.

WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST.

ΤΕΙ

ELL me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! !”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is earnest !

And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

Art is long, and Time is fleeting,

And our hearts, though stout and brave,

Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

THE REAPER AND THE FLOWERS.

HERE is a Reaper, whose name is Death,

He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between.

"Shall I have nought that is fair?" saith he;
"Have nought but the bearded grain?
Though the breath of these flowers is sweet to me,
I will give them all back again."

He gazed at the flowers with tearful eyes,
He kissed their drooping leaves;

It was for the Lord of Paradise

He bound them in his sheaves.

""

'My Lord has need of these flowerets gay,"
The Reaper said, and smiled;

"Dear tokens of the earth are they,

Where he was once a child.

9

"They shall all bloom in fields of light, Transplanted by my care,

And saints, upon their garments white, These sacred blossoms wear."

And the mother gave, in tears and pain, The flowers she most did love;

She knew she should find them all again In the fields of light above.

O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'T was an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.

[graphic]

THE LIGHT OF STARS.

THE LIGHT OF STARS.

HE night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,

All silently, the little moon
Drops down behind the sky.

There is no light in earth or heaven,
But the cold light of stars;
And the first watch of night is given
To the red planet Mars.

Is it the tender star of love?

The star of love and dreams? O no! from that blue tent above, A hero's armor gleams.

And earnest thoughts within me rise,
When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,
The shield of that red star.

O star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain;

Thou beckonest with thy mailed hand,
And I am strong again.

Within my breast there is no light,
But the cold light of stars;
I give the first watch of the night
To the red planet Mars.

The star of the unconquered will,
He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,
And calm, and self-possessed;

II

« ElőzőTovább »