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And we stand up, though young, near the funeral-sheet
Which covers the Cæsar and old Pharamond;
And death is so nigh us, Life cools from its heat-
O Life, O Beyond,
Art thou fair,-art thou sweet?
Then we act to a purpose—we spring up erect-
We will tame the wild mouths of the wilderness-steeds ;
We will plough up the deep in the ships double-decked;
We will build the great cities, and do the great deeds,-
Strike the steel upon steel, strike the soul upon soul,
Strike the dole on the weal, overcoming the dole,
Let the cloud meet the cloud in a grand thunder-roll !
While the eagle of thought rides the tempest in scorn,
Who cares if the lightning is burning the corn ?
“Let us sit on the thrones
In a purple sublimity,
And grind down men's bones
To a pale unanimity!
Speed me God !-serve me man ! I am god over men !
When I speak in my cloud, none shall answer again-
'Neath the stripe and the bond,
Lie and mourn at my feet !”—
O thou Life, O Beyond,
Thou art strange, thou art sweet!
Then we grow into thought,--and with inward ascensions,
Touch the bounds of our being !
We lie in the dark here, swathed doubly around
With our sensual relations and social conventions,-
Yet are 'ware of a sight, yet are 'ware of a sound
Beyond hearing and seeing -
Are aware that a Hades rolls deep on all sides,
With its infinite tides,
About and above us,-until the strong arch
Of our life creaks and bends as if ready for falling,
And through all the dim rolling we hear the sweet calling
Of spirits that speak, in a soft under-tongue,
The interpretative sense of the mystical march:
And we cry to them softly, " Come nearer, come nearer,-
And lift up the lap of this dark, and speak clearer,
And teach us the song that ye sung."
And we smile in our thought, if they answer or no,For to dream of a sweetness is sweet as to know !
Wonders breathe in our face,
And we ask not their name ;
And love takes all the blame
Of the world's prison-place.
And we sing back the songs, as we guess them, aloud !
And we send up the lark of our music that cuts
Untired through the cloud,
To beat with its wings at the lattice Heaven shuts :
Yet the angels look down, and the mortals look up,
As the little wings beat, And the poet is bless'd with their pity or hope, 'Twixt the Heavens and the earth, can a poet despond ?
O Life, O Beyond,
Thou art strange, thou art sweet !
From BEAUMONT and FLETCHER.
SHEPHERDS all, and maidens fair,
Fold your flocks up; for the air
'Gins to thicken, and the sun
Already his great course hath run.
See the dew-drops, how they kiss
Every little flower that is ;
Hanging on their velvet heads
Like a string of crystal beads.
See the heavy clouds low falling,
And bright Hesperus down calling
The dead dead night from underground,
At whose rising, mists unsound,
Damps and vapours, fly apace,
And hover o'er the smiling face
Of these pastures, where they come,
Striking dead both bud and bloom.
Therefore from such danger lock
Every one his lovèd flock :
And let your dogs lie loose without,
Lest the wolf come as a scout
From the mountain, and ere day
Bear a lamb or kid away ;
Or the crafty thievish fox
Break upon your simple flocks.
So shall you good shepherds prove,
And deserve your master's love.
Now, good night! may sweetest slumbers
And soft silence fall in numbers
On your eyelids : so, farewell!
Thus I end my evening knell,
THE CHILD AND THE DEWDROPS.
By J. E. CARPENTER. “Oh ! father, dear father, why pass they away, The dewdrops that sparkled at dawning of dayThat glitter'd like stars by the light of the moon, Oh! why are those dewdrops dissolving so soon ? Does the sun, in his wrath, chase their brightness away, As though nothing that's lovely might live for a day? The moonlight has faded—the flowers still remain, But the dew is dried out of their petals again.” “My child,” said the father, “ look up to the skies, Behold yon bright rainbow, those beautiful dyes, There—there are the dewdrops in glory reset, 'Mid the jewels of heaven they are glittering yet. Then are we not taught by each beautiful ray To mourn not for beauty, though fleeting away? For though youth of its brightness and beauty be riven, All that withers on earth blooms more brightly in heaven." Alas! for the father-how little knew he The words he had spoken prophetic could be ; That the beautiful child—the bright star of his dayWas e'en then, like the dewdrops, dissolving away. Oh! sad was father, when lo! in the skies The rainbow again spread its glorious dyes ; And then he remember'd the maxims he'd given, And thought of his child and the dewdrops-in heaven.
The following lines are from A Treatise of Wars, by FULKE GREVILLE, Lord Brooke, whose epitaph, by his own desire, was, “Servant to Queen Elizabeth, Councillor to King James, and Friend to Sir Philip Sydney."
Never did any public misery
Rise of itself-God's plagues still grounded are
On common stains of our humanity.
In our nature, rightly understood,
Rebellion lives, still striving to disfashion
Order, authority, laws, or any good,
That should restrain our liberty of pleasure,
Bound our designs, or give desire a measure.
So that in man the humour radical
Of violence is, a swelling of desire,
To win that freedom, captived by his fall,
Which yet falls. more by striving to climb higher-
Men would be tyrants, tyrants would be gods,
Thus they become our scourges, we their rods.
“I HEAR thee speak of the better land;
Thou call'st its children a happy band :
Mother! oh, where is that radiant shore ?
Shall we not seek it, and weep no more?
Is it where the flower of the orange blows,
And the fire-flies dance through the myrtle-boughs ? ”
“Not there, not there, my child ! ”
"Is it where the feathery palm-trees rise,
And the date grows ripe under sunny skies ?
Or 'midst the green islands of glittering seas,
Where fragrant forests perfume the breeze;
And strange bright birds on their starry wings
Bear the rich hues of all glorious things ? "
“Not there, not there, my child !”
"Is it far away in some region old,
Where the rivers wander o'er sands of gold,
Where the burning rays of the ruby shine,
And the diamond lights up the secret mine,
And the pearls gleam from the coral strand, -
Is it there, sweet mother, that better land ?”
“Not there, not there, my child !
Eye hath not seen it, my gentle boy ;
Ear hath not heard its deep songs of joy ;
Dreams cannot picture a world so fair ;
Sorrow and death may not enter there;
Time doth not breathe on its fadeless bloom ;
Far beyond the clouds, and beyond the tomb,
It is there, it is there, my child ! "
TO MY BROTHER. From Tait's Magazine we select an elegant poem, very superior to the poetry that generally, drugs the pages of our periodicals. COME with me, dearest, to the river's side,
Where the bright floods make music as they flow,
And while we wander by its sparkling tide,
Sweet memories will rise of long ago,
And thoughts, that childhood bade these waters keep,
Flash forth once more from their enchanted sleep.
Look where it flows, unchanged, unchangeable,
Foaming o'er rocks and rippling to the sun,
The shy trout plays among its eddies still,
Where dense and dark the restless currents run; How strange to know that thrice three years have past, Since we two wander'd by its margin last !