« VorigeDoorgaan »
A gentle hill its side inclines,
Lovely in England's fadeless green,
Through this romantic scene
While summer's wind blew soft and low,
A thousand years ago.
I wandered through the lofty halls
Trod by the Percys of old fame, And traced upon the chapel walls
Each high, heroic name, From him who once his standard set Where now, o'er mosque and minaret,
Glitter the Sultan's crescent moons, To him who, when a younger son, Fought for King George at Lexington,
A major of dragoons.
The age of bargaining, said Burke,
Is England's friend and fast ally ;
And on the Cross and altar-stone,
And Christendom looks tamely on, And hears the Christian maiden shriek,
And sees the Christian father die ; And not a sabre-blow is given For Greece and fame, for faith and heaven,
By Europe's craven chivalry. You 'll ask if yet the Percy lives
In the armed pomp of feudal state ?
Of Hotspur and his “gentle Kate,”
A chambermaid, whose lip and eye,
Spoke nature's aristocracy ; And one, half groom, half seneschal, Who bowed me through court, bower, and hall, From donjon keep to turret wall,
For ten-and-sixpence sterling.
That last half-stanza, it has dashed
From my warm lip the sparkling cup; The light that o'er my eyebeam flashed,
The power that bore my spirit up Above this bank-note world, is gone ; And Alnwick 's but a market town, And this, alas ! its market day, And beasts and borderers throng the way ; Oxen and bleating lambs in lots, Northumbrian boors and plaided Scots,
Men in the coal and cattle line ; From Teviot's bard and hero land, From royal Berwick's beach of sand, From Wooller, Morpeth, Hexham, and
THE FISHER'S COTTAGE.
We sat by the fisher's cottage,
And looked at the stormy tide ; The evening mist came rising,
And floating far and wide. One by one in the lighthouse
The lamps shone out on high ;
A ship went sailing by.
Of sailors, and how they live ;
And the sorrows and joys they give. We spoke of distant countries,
In regions strange and fair,
And curious customs there ;
Which are launched in the twilight hour; And the dark and silent Brahmins,
Who worship the lotos flower.
Broad-headed, wide-mouthed, and small, – Who crouch round their oil-fires, cooking,
And chatter and scream and bawl.
These are not the romantic times
So dazzling to the dreaming boy ;
Of Bailie Jarvie, not Rob Roy ; 'T is what “Our President," Monroe,
Has called “the era of good feeling" ;
And leave off cattle-stealing :
The Douglass in red herrings ;
Of Rothschild or the Barings.
And the maidens earnestly listened, I seek ye vainly, and see in your place
The shadowy tempest that sweeps through space,
Alone with the terrible hurricane.
of CHARLES G. LELAND.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
To men of other minds my fancy flies,
Embosomed in the deep where Holland lies, And lo ! on the wing of the heavy gales,
Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Through the boundless arch of heaven he sails. Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Silent and slow, and terribly strong,
And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, The mighty shadow is borne along,
Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride. Like the dark eternity to come ;
Onward methinks, and diligently slow, While the world below, dismayed and dumb,
The firm connected bulwark seems to grow ; Through the calm of the thick hot atmosphere Spreads its long arms amidst the watery roar, Looks up at its gloomy folds with fear.
Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore.
While the pent ocean, rising o'er the pile, They darken fast ; and the golden blaze Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile; Of the sun is quenched in the lurid haze, The slow canal, the yellow-blossomed vale And he sends through the shade a funeral ray The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail, A glare that is neither night nor day,
The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, A beam that touches, with hues of death, A new creation rescued from his reign. The clouds above and the earth beneath.
Thus while around the wave-subjected soil To its covert glides the silent bird,
Impels the native to repeated toil, While the hurricane's distant voice is heard Industrious habits in each bosom reign, Uplifted among the mountains round,
And industry begets a love of gain. And the forests hear and answer the sound. Hence all the good from opulence that springs,
With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, He is come ! he is come ! do ye not behold
Are here displayed.
ITALY AND SWITZERLAND.
Far to the right where Apennine ascends,
Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, And hark to the crashing, long and loud,
Woods over woods, in gay theatric pride ; Of the chariot of God in the thunder-cloud ! While oft some temple's mouldering tops between You may trace its path by the flashes that start with venerable grandeur mark the scene. Froin the rapid wheels where'er they dart,
Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast, As the fire-bolts leap to the world below,
The sons of Italy were surely blest. And flood the skies with a lurid glow.
Whatever fruits in different climes were found,
That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; What roar is that ?- 't is the rain that breaks Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear, In torrents away from the airy lakes,
Whose bright succession decks the varied year ; Heavily poured on the shuddering ground, Whatever sweets salute the northern sky And shedding a nameless horror round.
With vernal lives, that blossom but to die ; Ah! well-known woods, and mountains, and skies, These here disporting own the kindred soil, With the very clouds ! — ye are lost to my eyes. I Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil ;
While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.
small, But small the bliss that sense alone bestows, He sees his little lot the lot of all ; And sensual bliss is all the nation knows. Sees no contiguous palace rear its head In florid beauty groves and fields appear, To shame the meanness of his humble shed, Man seems the only growth that dwindles here. No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal Contrasted faults through all his manners reign ; To make him loathe his vegetable meal ; Though poor, luxurious ; though submissive, vain; But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil, Though grave, yet trisling ; zealous, yet untrue ; Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil. And e'en in penance planning sins anew. Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, All evils here contaminate the mind,
Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes ; That opulence departed leaves behind ;
With patient angle trolls the finny deep, For wealth was theirs ; not far removed the date or drives his venturous ploughshare to the steep ; When commerce proudly flourished through the Or seeks theden where snow-tracks mark the way, state ;
And drags the struggling savage into day. At her command the palace learnt to rise, At night returning, every labor sped, Again the long-fallen column sought the skies ; He sits him down the monarch of a shed : The canvas glowed beyond e'en Nature warm, Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys The pregnant quarry teemed with human form. His children's looks, that brighten at the blaze ; Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard, Commerce on other shores displayed her sail ; Displays her cleanly platter on the board ; While naught remained of all that riches gave, And haply too some pilgrim, thither led, But towns unmanned, and lords without a slave : With many a tale repays the nightly bed. And late the nation found with fruitless skill Its former strength was but plethoric ill.
Yet still the loss of wealth is here supplied
O Italy, how beautiful thou art !
Yet I could weep,
– for thou art lying, alas ! The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade ; Low in the dust; and they who come admire thee Processions formed for piety and love,
As we admire the beautiful in death. A mistress or a saint in every grove.
Thine was a dangerous gift, the gift of beauty. By sports like these are all their cares beguiled, Would thou hadst less, or wert as once thou wast, The sports of children satisfy the child ;
Inspiring awe in those who now enslave thee! Each nobler aim, represt by long control, But why despair ? Twice hast thou lived already, Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul ; Twice shone among the nations of the world, While low delights succeeding fast behind, As the sun shines among the lesser lights In happier meanness occupy the mind ; Of heaven; and shalt again. The hour shall come, As in those domes where Cæsars once bore sway,
When they who think to bind the ethereal spirit, Defaced by time and tottering in decay,
Who, like the eagle cowering o'er his prey, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
Watch with quick eye, and strike and strike again The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed, If but a sinew vibrate, shall confess And, wondering man could want the larger pile, Their wisdom folly. Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile.
My soul, turn from them, turn we to survey,
The Sea is in the broad, the narrow streets,
Yet still, e'en here, content can spread a charm, As to a floating City, — steering in, Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm, And gliding up her streets as in a dream,