Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

“Fill the can, and fill the cup :

All the windy ways of men Are but dust that rises up,

And is lightly laid again.

“ Trooping from their mouldy dens

The chap-fallen circle spreads : Welcome, fellow-citizens,

Hollow hearts and empty heads !

You are bones, and what of that?

Every face, however full,
Padded round with flesh and fat,

Is but modell’d on a skull.

“Death is king, and Vivat Rex !

Tread a measure on the stones, Madam—if I know your sex,

From the fashion of your bones.

“No, I cannot praise the fire

In your eye-nor yet your lip :
All the more do I admire

Joints of cunning workmanship.

“Lo! God's likeness—the ground-plan

Neither modell’d, glazed, or framed : Buss me, thou rough sketch of man,

Far too naked to be shamed !

“ Drink to Fortune, drink to Chance,

While we keep a little breath!
Drink to heavy Ignorance !

Hob-and-nob with brother Death !

“ Thou art mazed, the night is long,

And the longer night is near :
What! I am not all as wrong

As a bitter jest is dear.

“ Youthful hopes, by scores, to all,

When the locks are crisp and curl'd ;
Unto me my maudlin gall

And my mockeries of the world.

“Fill the cup, and fill the can!

Mingle madness, mingle scorn!
Dregs of life, and lees of man :

Yet we will not die forlorn." ..

The voice grew faint: there came a further change ;
Again arose the mystic mountain-range :
Below were men and horses pierced with worms,
And slowly quickening into lower forms ;
By shards and scurf of salt, and scum of dross,
Old plash of rains, and refuse patch'd with moss.
Then some one spake : “Behold! it was a crime
Of sense avenged by sense that wore with time.”

[ocr errors]

Another said : “ The crime of sense became
The crime of malice, and is equal blame.”
And one : “ He had not wholly quench'd his power ;
A little grain of conscience made him sour.”
At last I heard a voice upon the slope
Cry to the summit, “ Is there any hope ?”
To which an answer peald from that high land,
But in a tongue no man could understand ;
And on the glimmering limit far withdrawn
God made Himself an awful rose of dawn.

THE SKIPPING-ROPE.

SURE never yet was Antelope

Could skip so lightly by.
Stand off, or else my skipping-rope

Will hit you in the eye.
How lightly whirls the skipping-rope !

How fairy-like you fly!
Go, get you gone, you muse and mope-

I hate that silly sigh.
Nay, dearest, teach me how to hope,

Or tell me how to die.
There, take it, take my skipping-rope,

And hang yourself thereby.

Move eastward, happy earth, and leave

Yon orange sunset waning slow : From fringes of the faded eve,

0, happy planet, eastward go; Till over thy dark shoulder glow

Thy silver sister-world, and rise

To glass herself in dewy eyes That watch me from the glen below.

Ah, bear me with thee, lightly borne,

Dip forward under starry light, And move me to my marriage-morn,

And round again to happy night.

« ElőzőTovább »