Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

POEMS OF NATURE.

WORLDLINESS.

INVOCATION TO LIGHT.

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

The World is too much with us; late and soon, Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven first-born !

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
Little we see in nature that is ours;

May I express thee unblamed ? since God is light,
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon ! And never but in unapproached light
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,

Bright effluence of bright essence increate. The winds that will be howling at all hours And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, whose fountain who shall tell ? before the sum,

Or hear’st thou rather pure ethereal stream, For this, for everything, we are out of tune ;

Before the heavens, thou wert, and at the voice It moves us not. --- Great God ! I'd rather be Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn, - The rising world of waters dark and deep, So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Won from the void and formless infinite.
Have glimpses that would make meless forlorn; Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea ; Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detained
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathéd horn. In that obscure sojourn, while in my light

Through utterand through middledarkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre,
I sung of Chaos and eternal Night,

Taught by the heavenly Muse to venture down
DAYBREAK.

The dark descent, and up to reascend, A WIND came up out of the sea,

Though hard and rare : thee I revisit safe, And said, “O mists, make room for me!”

And feel thy sovereign vital lamp ; but thou

Revisitest not these eyes, that roll in vain It hailed the ships, and cried, “Sail on, To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn ; Ye mariners, the night is gone."

So thick a drop serene hath quenched their orbs, And hurried landward far away,

Or dim suffusion veiled. Yet not the more Crying, “Awake! it is the day.”

Cease I to wander where the Muses haunt

Clear spring, or shady grove, or sunny hill, It said unto the forest, “Shout!

Smit with the love of sacred song ; but chief Hang all your leafy banners out!”

Thee, Sion, and the flowery brooks beneath, It touched the wood-bird's folded wing,

That wash thy hallowed feet, and warbling flow, And said, “O bird, awake and sing !”.

Nightly I visit : nor sometimes forget

Those other two equalled with me in fate,
And o'er the farms, “() chanticleer, So were I equalled with them in renown,
Your clarion blow; the day is near !'” Blind Thamyris and blind Mæonides,
It whispered to the fields of corn,

And Tiresias and Phineus, prophets old : “Bow down, and hail the coming morn !”

Then feed on thoughts that voluntary move

Harmonious numbers ; as the wakeful bird It shouted through the belfry-tower, Sings darkling, and in shadiest covert hid “Awake, O bell ! proclaim the hour." Tunes her nocturnal note. Thus with the year It crossed the churchyard with a sigh,

Seasons return, but not to me returns
And said, “Not yet ! in quiet lie.'

Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,

HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.

Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine ; The whistling ploughman stalks afield ; and, But cloud, instead, and ever-during dark,

hark ! Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair

rings; Presented with a universal blank

Through rustling corn the hare astonished Of nature's works, to me expunged and rased,

springs ; And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out. Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour; So much the rather thou, celestial Light,

The partridge bursts away on whirring wings ; Shine inwarıl, and the mind through all her powers Deep mourns the turtle in sequestered bower, Irradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from thence And shrill lark carols clear from her aerial tower. Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell

JAMES BEATTIE. Of things invisible to mortal sight. ·

MILTON.

THE SABBATH MORNING.

PACK CLOUDS AWAY.

Pack clouds away, and welcome day,

With night we banish sorrow;
Sweet air, blow soft ; mount, lark, aloft,

To give my love good morrow.
Wings from the wind to please her mind,

Notes from the lark I'll borrow :
Bird, prune thy wing; nightingale, sing,

To give my love good morrow.
To give my love good morrow,
Notes from them all I 'll borrow.

With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That slowly wakes while all the fields are still !
A soothing calm on every breeze is borne ;
A graver murmur gurgles from the rill;
And echo answers softer from the hill ;
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn :
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene ! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
The rooks float silent by in airy drove ;
The sun a placid yellow lustre throws ;
The gales that lately sighed along the grove
Have hushed their downy wings in dead repose ;
The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move,
So smiled the day when the first morn arose !

DR. JOHN LEYDEN.

Wake from thy nest, robin redbreast,

Sing, birds, in every furrow; And from each hill let music shrill

Give my fair love good morrow. Blackbird and thrush in every bush,

Stare, limnet, and cock-sparrow,
You pretty elves, amongst yourselves,

Sing my fair love good morrow.
To give my love good morrow,
Sing, birds, in every furrow.

REVE DU MIDI.

THOMAS HEYWOOD.

WHEN o'er the mountain steeps
The hazy noontide creeps,
And the shrill cricket sleeps
Under the grass ;
When soft the shadows lie,
And clouds sail o'er the sky,

And the idle winds go by,
With the heavy scent of blossoms as they pass,

[blocks in formation]

Then, when the silent stream
Lapses as in a dream,
And the water-lilies gleam
Up to the sun;
When the hot and burdened day
Rests on its downward way,

When the moth forgets to play,
And the plodding ant may dream her work is

done,

The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark ;
Crowned with her pail the tripping milkmaid

singe ;

Then, from the noise of war
And the din of earth afar,
Like some forgotten star
Dropt from the sky, --
The sounds of love and fear,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

ROBERT TANXAHILL.

Beneath the golden gloamin' sky
NOONTIDE.

The mavis mends her lay ;

The redbreast pours his sweetest strains BENEATH a shivering canopy reclined,

To charm the lingering day; Of aspen-leaves that wave without a wind,

While weary yeldrins seem to wail I love to lie, when lulling breezes stir

Their little nestlings torn, The spiry cones that tremble on the fir;

The merry wren, frae den to den,
Or wander mid the dark-green fields of broom,

Gaes jinking through the thorn.
When peers in scattered tufts the yellow bloom ;
Or trace the path with tangling furze o’errun,

The roses fauld their silken leaves,
When bursting seed-bells crackle in the sun,

The foxglove shuts its bell ; And pittering grasshoppers, confus'dly shrill, The honeysuckle and the birk Pipe giddily along the glowing hill :

Spread fragrance through the dell. Sweet grasshopper, who lov'st at noon to lie

Let others crowd the giddy court Serenely in the green-ribbed clover's eye,

Of mirth and revelry, To sun thy filmy wings and emerald vest,

The simple joys that nature yields
Unseen thy form, and undisturbed thy rest,

Are dearer far to me.
Oft have I listening mused the sultry day,
And wondered what thy chirping song might say,
When nanght was heard along the blossomed lea,
To join thy music, save the listless bee.

THE EVENING WIND.
DR. JOHN LEYDEN.

Spirit that breathest through my lattice . thou

That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day! ON A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;

Thou hast been out upon the deep at play, O UNSEEN Spirit ! now a calm divine

Riding all day the wild blue waves till now, Comes forth from thee, rejoicing earth and air ! Roughening their crests, and scattering high Trees, hills, and houses, all distinctly shine, And thy great ocean slumbers everywhere. And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee

To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the seal The mountain ridge against the purple sky Stands clear and strong, with darkened rocks Nor I alone, a thousand bosoms round and dells,

Inhale thee in the fulness of delight; And cloudless brightness opens wide and high And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound

A home aerial, where thy presence dwells. Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;

1

their spray,

Star of love's soft interviews,
Parted lovers on thee muse;
Their remembrancer in heaven

Of thrilling vows thou art,
Too delicious to be riven
By absence from the heart.

THOMAS CAMPBELL

CAPE-COTTAGE AT SUNSET.

We stood upon the ragged rocks,

When the long day was nearly done ; The waves had ceased their sullen shocks,

And lapped our feet with murmuring tone, And o'er the bay in streaming locks

Blew the red tresses of the sun.

And languishing to hear thy welcome sound,

Lies the vast inland, stretched beyond the sight. Go forth into the gathering shade ; go forth, God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth! Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest;

Curl the still waters, bright with stars; and rouse The wide old wood from his majestic rest,

Summoning, from the innumerable boughs, The strange deep harmonies that haunt his breast.

Pleasant shall be thy way where meckly bows The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass, And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the

grass. Stop o'er the place of graves, and softly sway

The sighing herbage by the gleaming stone That they who near the churchyard willows stray,

And listen in the deepening gloom, alone, May think of gentle souls that passeil away,

Like thy pure breath, into the vast unknown, Sent forth from heaven among the sons of men, And

gone into the boundless heaven again. The faint old man shall lean his silver head

To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep, And dry the moistened curls that overspread His temples, while his breathing grows more

deep; And they who stand about the sick man's bed

Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
And softly part his curtains to allow
Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.
Go, — but the circle of eternal change,

Which is the life of nature, shall restore, With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,

Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more. Sweet odors in the sea air, sweet and strange,

Shall tell the homesick mariner of the shore ; And, listening to thy murmur, he shall deem He hears the rustling leaf and running stream.

Along the west the golden bars

Still to a deeper glory grew; Above our heads the faint, few stars

Looked out from the unfathomed blue; And the fair city's clamorous jars

Seemed melted in that evening hue.

O sunset sky! O purple tide !

O fri ds to friends that closer pressed ! Those glories have in darkness died,

And ye have left my longing breast. I could not keep you by my side,

Nor fix that radiance in the west.

W. B. GLAZIER.

SUNSET.

WILLIAN CULLEN BRYANT.

THE EVENING STAR.

Star that bringest home the bee,
And sett'st the weary laborer free!
If any star shed peace, 't is thou,

That send'st it from above,
Appearing when heaven's breath and brow

Are sweet as hers we love.

If solitude hath ever led thy steps
To the wild ocean's echoing shore,

And thou hast lingered there

Until the sun's broad orb
Seemed resting on the burnished wave,

Thou must have marked the lines
Of purple gold, that motionless

Hung o'er the sinking sphere :
Thou must have marked the billowy clouds,
Edged with intolerable radiancy,

Towering like rocks of jet
Crowned with a diamond wreath.
And yet there is a moment,

When the sun's highest point
Peeps like a star o'er ocean's western edge,
When those far clouds of feathery gold,

Shaded with deepest purple, gleam

Like islands on a dark-blue sea ;
Then has thy fancy soared above the earth,

And furlel its wearied wing
Within the Fairy's fane.

Come to the luxuriant skies,
Whilst the landscape's odors rise,
Whilst far-off lowing herds are heard,

And songs, when toil is done,
From cottages whose smoke unstirred

Curls yellow in the sun.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

YROM

BYRON.

Yet not the golden islands

And vesper bells that rose the boughs along;
Gleaming in yon flood of light,

The spectre huntsman of Onesti's line,
Nor the feathery curtains

His hell-dogs, and their chase, and the fair throng
Stretching o'er the sun's bright couch, Which learned from this example not to fly
Nor the burnished ocean's waves

From a true lover, — shadowed my mind's eye.
Paving that gorgeous dome,
So fair, so wonderful a sight

O Hesperus ! thou bringest all good things, As Mab's ethereal palace could aflord.

Home to the weary, to the hungry cheer, Yet likest evening's vault, that fairy Hall !

To the young bird the parent's brooding wings, Heaven, low resting on the wave, it spread

The welcome stall to the o'erlabored steer ; Its Moors of flashing light,

Whate'er of peace about our hearthstone clines, Its vast and azure dome,

Whate'er our household gods protect of dear, Its fertile golden islands

Are gathered round us by thy look of rest ; Floating on a silver sea;

Thou bring'st the child, too, to the mother's breast. Whilst suns their mingling beamings darted

Soft hour! which wakes the wish and melts the Through clouds of circumambient darkness,

heart And pearly battlements around

Of those who sail the seas, on the first day Looked o'er the immense of heaven.

When they from their sweet friends are torn apart;

Or fills with love the pilgrim on his way,
As the far bell of vesper makes him start,

Seeming to weep the dying day's decay :
EVENING.

Is this a fancy which our reason scoins?
DON JUAN.

Ah! surely nothing dies but something mourns.
Ave Maria ! o'er the earth and sea,
That heavenliest hour of heaven is worthiest thee!
Ave Maria ! blessed be the hour,

EVENING IN PARADISE. The rime, the clime, the spot, where I so oft

Now came still evening on, and twiliglit gray Have felt that moment in its fullest power

Had in her sober livery all things clad ;
Sink o'er the earth so beautiful and soft,

Silence accompanied ; for beast and bird,
While swing the deep bell in the distant tower
Or the faint (lying day hymn stole aloft,

They to their grassy couch, these to their ne is,

Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale; And not a breath crept through the rosy air, And yet the forest leaves seemed stirred with She all night long her amorous descant sumy.

Silence was pleased : now glowed the firmanent prayer.

With living sapphires ; Hesperus, that led Ave Maria ! 't is the hour of prayer !

The starry host, rode brightest, till the moon, Ave Maria ! 't is the hour of love!

Ri in clouded majesty, at gth Ave Maria ! may our spirits dare

Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light, Look up to thine and to thy Son's above ! And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. Ave Maria! O that face so fair !

When Adam thus to Eve : Fair consort, the Those downcast eyes beneath the Almighty

hour dove,

Of night, and all things now retired to rest, What though 't is but a pictured image ? Mind us of like repose, since God hath set strike,

Labor and rest, as day and night, to men That painting is no idol, - 't is too like. Successive; and the timely dew of sleep, Sweet hour of twilight ! in the solitude

Now falling with soft slumberous weight, inclines

Our eyelids. Other creatures all day long
Of the pine forest, and the silent shore
Which bounds Ravenna's immemorial wood,

Rove idle, unemployed, and less need rest; Rooted where once the Adrian wave flowed o'er. Man hath his daily work of body or mind To where the last Cæsarean fortress stood,

Appointed, which declares his dignity,

And the regard of Heaven on all his ways; Evergreen forest ; which Boccaccio's lore

While other animals unactive range,
And Dryden's lay made haunted ground to me,
How have I loved the twilight hour and thee !

And of their doings God takes no account.

To-morrow, ere fresh morning streak the east The shrill cicalas, people of the pine,

With first approach of light, we must be risen, Making their summer lives one ceaseless song, And at our pleasant labor, to reform Were the sole echoes, save my steed's and mine, 1 Yon flowery arbors, yonder alleys green,

« VorigeDoorgaan »