[blocks in formation]




ECHO AND SILENCE.* A DEW-DROP came, with a spark of flame In eddying course when leaves began to fly,

He had caught from the sun's last ray, And Autumn in her lap the store to strew, To a violet's breast, where he lay at rest

As mid wild scenes I chanced the Muse to woo, Till the hours brought back the day.

Through glens untrod, and woods that frowned

on high, The rose looked down, with a blush and frown ; Two sleeping nymphs with wonder mute | spy! But she smiled all at once, to view

And, lo, she's gone !-- In robe of dark-green hue, Her own bright form, with its coloring warm, 'T was Echo from her sister Silence Mew, Reflected back by the dew.

For quick the hunter's horn resounded to the sky'

In shade affrighted Silence melts away. Then the stranger took a stolen look

Not so her sister. Hark! for onward still, At the sky, so soft and blue;

With far-heard step, she takes her listening way, And a leaflet green, with its silver sheen,

| Bounding from rock to rock, and hill to hill. Was seen by the idler too.

Ah, mark the merry maid in mockful play

With thousand mimic tones the laughing forest A cold north-wind, as he thus reclined,

Of a sudilen raged around ;
And a maiden fair, who was walking there,
Next morning, an opal found.

What was he doing, the great god Pan,

Down in the reeds by the river ?

Spreading ruin and scattering ban, T is believed that this harp, which I wake now Splashing and paddling with hoofs of a goat, for thee,

And breaking the golden lilies afloat
Was a Siren of old, who sung under the sea ; ; With the dragon-fly on the river ?
And who often, at eve, through the bright billow

| He tore out a reed, the great god Pan, To meet, on the green shore, a youth whom she

From the deep, cool bed of the river,

The limpid water turbidly ran, loved.

And the broken lilies a-dying lay, But she loved him in vain, for he left her to. And the dragon-fly had Hed away, weep,

Ere he brought it out of the river. And in tears, all the night, her gold ringlets to

High on the shore sat the great god Pan, steep, Till Heaven looked with pity on true-love so

i While turbidly flowed the river,

' And hacked and hewed as a great gou can warm,

With his hard, bleak steel at the patient reec, And changed to this soft harp the sea-maiden's, form.

· Till there was not a sign of a leaf indeed

To prove it fresh from the river. Still her bosom rose fair -- still her cheek smiled',

“He cut it short, did the great god Pan, the same

al (How tall it stood in the river!) While her sea- beauties gracefully curled round

Then drew the pith like the heart of a man, the frame ;

Steadily from the outside ring, And her hair, shedding tear-drops from all its

Then notched the poor dry empty thing bright rings,

In holes, as he sate by the river. Fell o'er her white arm, to make the gold strings ! i

“This is the way," laughed the grrat god Pan, Hence it came, that this soft harp so long hath

"! (Laughed while he sate by the river !) been known

“The only way since gods began To mingle love's language with sorrow's sad tone;' Till thou didst divide thenı, and teach the fond |

To make sweet music, they could succeed." " They dropping his mouth to a hole in the reed,

He blew in power by the river. To be love when I'm near thee, and grief when away!


* Declared by Wordsworth to be the best Sonnet in the English



[blocks in formation]

For matters cannot well be worse

Not so,” said Satan, “I serve God, Than when the thief says, “Guard your purse!' His angel now, and now his rod.

[blocks in formation]


Look, out of line one tall corn-captain

stands Advanced beyond the foremost of his

bands, And waves his blades upon the very edge

And hottest thicket of the battling hedge. Thou lustrous stalk, that ne'er mayst walk

nor talk, Still shalt thou type the poet-soul sublime That leads the vanward of his timid time And sings up cowards with commanding

rhyme Soul-calm, like thee, yet fain, like thee, to

grow By double increment, above, below; Soul-homely, as thou art, yet rich in grace

like thee,
Teaching the yeomen selfless chivalry

That moves in gentle curves of courtesy ; Soul-filled like thy long veins with sweet. ness tense,

By every godlike sense
Transmuted from the four wild elements.

Drawn to high plans,
Thou lift'st more stature than a mortal

man's, Yet ever piercest downward in the mould

And keepest hold
Upon the reverend and steadfast earth

That gave thee birth;
Yea, standest smiling in thy very grave,

Serene and brave,
With unremitting breath

Inhaling life from death, Thine epitaph writ fair in fruitage eloquent

Thy living self thy monument.


[graphic][merged small]

Poet who sleepest by this wandering wave!

When thou wast born, what birth-gift hadst thou then To thee what wealth was that the Immortals gave,

The wealth thou gavest in thy turn to men ?

Not Milton's keen, translunar music thine;

Not Shakespeare's cloudless, boundless human view; Not Shelley's flush of rose on peaks divine;

Nor yet the wizard twilight Coleridge knew.

What hadst thou that could make so large amends

For all thou hadst not and thy peers possessed, Motion and fire, swift means to radiant ends ?

Thou hadst for weary feet the gift of rest.

From Shelley's dazzling glow or thunderous haze,

From Byron's tempest-anger, tempest-mirth, Men turned to thee and found — not blast and blaze,

Tumult of tottering heavens, but peace on earth.

Nor peace that grows by Lethe, scentless flower,

There in white languors to decline and cease; But peace whose names are also rapture, power,

Clear sight, and love: for these are parts of peace.

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »