Ye open the eastern windows,
That look towards the sun,
Where thoughts are singing swallows
And the brooks of morning run.

In your hearts are the birds and the sunshine,
In your thoughts the brooklet's flow,

But in mine is the wind of Autumn

And the first fall of the snow.

Ah! what would the world be to us
If the children were no more?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

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

Come to me, O ye children!
And whisper in my ear
What the birds and the winds are singing
In your sunny atmosphere.

For what are all our contrivings,
And the wisdom of our books,
When compared with your caresses,
And the gladness of your looks?

Ye are better than all the ballads
That ever were sung or said;
For ye are living poems,

And all the rest are dead.




URN, O evening hearth, and waken Pleasant visions, as of old! Though the house by winds be shaken, Safe I keep this room of gold!

Ah! no longer wizard Fancy

Builds its castles in the air, Luring me by necromancy

Up the never-ending stair.

But, instead, it builds me bridges
Over many a dark ravine,
Where beneath the gusty ridges

Cataracts dash and roar unseen.

And I cross them, little heeding

Blast of wind or torrent's roar, As I follow the receding

Footsteps that have gone before.

Naught avails the imploring gesture,
Naught avails the cry of pain!
When I touch the flying vesture,

'T is the gray robe of the rain.

Baffled I return, and, leaning

O'er the parapets of cloud, Watch the mist that intervening

Wraps the valley in its shroud.

And the sounds of life ascending

Faintly, vaguely, meet the ear, Murmur of bells and voices blending With the rush of waters near.



Well I know what there lies hidden,
Every tower and town and farm,
And again the land forbidden

Reassumes its vanished charm.

Well I know the secret places,

And the nests in hedge and tree;
At what doors are friendly faces,

In what hearts a thought of me.

Through the mist and darkness sinking,

Blown by wind and beaten by shower,
Down I fling the thought I'm thinking,
Down I toss this Alpine flower.



LAY upon the headland-height, and listened
To the incessant sobbing of the sea

In caverns under me,

And watched the waves, that tossed and fled and glistened, Until the rolling meadows of amethyst

Melted away in mist.

Then suddenly, as one from sleep, I started;
For round about me all the sunny capes
Seemed peopled with the shapes

Of those whom I had known in days departed,
Apparelled in the loveliness which gleams
On faces seen in dreams.


A moment only, and the light and glory
Faded away, and the disconsolate shore
Stood lonely as before;

And the wild roses of the promontory
Around me shuddered in the wind, and shed
Their petals of pale red.

There was an old belief that in the embers
Of all things their primordial form exists,
And cunning alchemists

Could recreate the rose with all its members
From its own ashes, but without the bloom,
Without the lost perfume.

Ah me! what wonder-working, occult science
Can from the ashes in our hearts once more
The rose of youth restore?

What craft of alchemy can bid defiance
To time and change, and for a single hour
Renew this phantom-flower?

“O, give me back," I cried, "the vanished splendors, The breath of morn, and the exultant strife, When the swift stream of life

Bounds o'er its rocky channel, and surrenders
The pond, with all its lilies, for the leap
Into the unknown deep!"

And the sea answered, with a lamentation, Like some old prophet wailing, and it said, "Alas! thy youth is dead!

It breathes no more, its heart has no pulsation,
In the dark places with the dead of old
It lies forever cold!"

Then said I, "From its consecrated cerements
I will not drag this sacred dust again,
Only to give me pain;

But, still remembering all the lost endearments,
Go on my way, like one who looks before,
And turns to weep no more."

Into what land of harvests, what plantations
Bright with autumnal foliage and the glow
Of sunsets burning low;


Beneath what midnight skies, whose constellations
Light up the spacious avenues between
This world and the unseen!

Amid what friendly greetings and caresses,

What households, though not alien, yet not mine,
What bowers of rest divine;

To what temptations in lone wildernesses,
What famine of the heart, what pain and loss,
The bearing of what cross

I do not know; nor will I vainly question
Those pages of the mystic book which hold
The story still untold,

But without rash conjecture or suggestion
Turn its last leaves in reverence and good heed,
Until The End" I read.




AUGH of the mountain!-lyre of bird and tree!
Pomp of the meadow! mirror of the morn!
The soul of April, unto whom are born
The rose and jessamine, leaps wild in thee!
Although, where'er thy devious current strays,
The lap of earth with gold and silver teems,
To me thy clear proceeding brighter seems
Than golden sands, that charm each shepherd's gaze.
How without guile thy bosom, all transparent
As the pure crystal, lets the curious eye

Thy secrets scan, thy smooth, round pebbles count!
How, without malice murmuring, glides thy current!
O sweet simplicity of days gone by!

Thou shun'st the haunts of man, to dwell in limpid fount!

[ocr errors][merged small]
« ElőzőTovább »