Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Welcome, folded arms, and fixed eyes,

And sweet is youth, although it hath bereft us A sigh that piercing mortifies,

Of that which made our childhood sweeter still ; A look that's fastened to the ground,

And sweet is middle life, for it hath left us A tongue chained up without a sound !

A nearer good to cure an older ill;

| And sweet are all things, when we learn to prize Fountain-heads and pathless groves,

them, Places which pale passion loves !

Not for their sake, but His who grants them or Moonlight walks, when all the fowls

denies them! Are warmly housed save bats and owls !

AUBREY DE VERE. A midnight bell, a parting groan ! These are the sounds we feed upon; Then stretch our bones in a still gloomy valley : Nothing's so dainty sweet as lovely melancholy. ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE.

JOHN FLETCHER.

Written in the spring of 1819, when suffering from physical de pression, the precursor of his death, which happened soon after.

My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains BLOW, BLOW, THOU WINTER WIND.

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk,
FROM "AS YOU LIKE IT," ACT 11. SC. 7. Or emptied some dull opiate to the drains
Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

One minute past, and Lethe-wards had sunk:
Thou art not so unkind

"T is not through envy of thy happy lot,
As man's ingratitude ;

But being too happy in thy happiness,
Thy tooth is not so keen,

That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
Because thou art not seen,

In some melodious plot
Although thy breath be rude.

Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Heigh-ho ! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly;

Singest of Summer in full-throated ease. Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly :

O for a draught of vintage, that hath been
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!

Cooled a long age in the deep delved earth,
This life is most jolly!

Tasting of Flora and the country-green,

Dance, and Provençal song, and sunburnt Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,

mirth!
Thou dost not bite so nigh

O for a beaker full of the warm South,
As benefits forgot :

Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene,
Though thou the waters warp,

With beaded bubbles winking at the brim,
Thy sting is not so sharp

And purple-stained mouth, -
As friend remembered not.

That I might drink, and leave the world unHeigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly :

seen, Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere

And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
folly :
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly!

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget

What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; SAD IS OUR YOUTH, FOR IT IS EVER Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, GOING.

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and

dies; Sad is our youth, for it is ever going,

Where but to think is to be full of sorrow Crumbling away beneath our very feet;

And leaden-eyed despairs, Sad is our life, for onward it is flowing

Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, In current unperceived, because so fleet; :

Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow. Sad are our hopes, for they were sweet in sow

ing, — But tares, self-sown, have overtopped the wheat ;Away! away! for I will fly to thee. Sad are our joys, for they were sweet in blow- Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards, ing,

But on the viewless wings of Poesy, And still, O, still their dying breath is sweet; | Though the dull brain perplexes and retards :

SHAKESPEARE.

STANZAS WRITTEN IN DEJECTION NEAR NAPLES.

eves.

Already with thee! tender is the night,

THE SUN IS WARM, THE SKY IS CLEAR. And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne, Clustered around by all her starry Fays ; But here there is no light,

The sun is warm, the sky is clear, Save what from heaven is with the breezes

The waves are dancing fast and bright, blown

Blue isles and snowy mountains wear Through verdurous glooms and winding

The purple noon's transparent light: mossy ways.

The breath of the moist air is light

Around its unexpanded buds ; I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,

Like many a voice of one delight, – Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,

The winds', the birds', the ocean-floods', But in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet

The City's voice itself is soft like Solitude's. Wherewith the seasonable month endows The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild ; I see the Deep's untrampled floor White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine ; With green and purple sea-weeds strown ; Fast-fading violets covered up in leaves ; I see the waves upon the shore And mid-May's eldest child,

Like light dissolved in star-showers thrown : The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine, I sit upon the sands alone ; The murmurous haunt of flies on summer The lightning of the noontide ocean

Is flashing round me, and a tone

Arises from its measured motion, Darkling I listen ; and for many a time

How sweet, did any heart now share in my I have been half in love with easeful Death.

emotion!
Called him soft names in many a musèd rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath ;

Alas! I have nor hope nor health,
Now, more than ever, seems it rich to die, Nor peace within nor calm around,
To cease upon the midnight, with no pain, Nor that Content surpassing wealth
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad, The sage in meditation found,
In such an ecstasy ! --

And walked with inward glory crowned, Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in Nor fame, nor power, nor love, nor leisure. vain –

Others I see whom these surround ; To thy high requiem become a sod.

Smiling they live, and call life pleasure ;

To me that cup has been dealt in another measure Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird !

No hungry generations tread thee down ; Yet now despair itself is mild
The voice I hear this passing night was heard Even as the winds and waters are ;
In ancient days by emperor and clown :

I could lie down like a tired child,
Perhaps the self-same song that found a path And weep away the life of care
Through the sad heart of Ruth, when, sick for Which I have borne, and yet must bear,
home,

Till death like sleep might steal on me,
She stood in tears amid the alien corn ; And I might feel in the warm air
The same that oft-times hath

My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Charmed magic casements opening on the foam Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.

Of perilous seas, in faery lands forlorn.

PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY

ROSALIE.

rorlorn ! the very word is like a bell,

To toll me back from thee to my sole self !
Adieu ! the Fancy cannot cheat so well

As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu ! adieu ! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hillside ; and now 't is buried deep

In the next valley-glades :
Was it a vision or a waking dream?
Fled is that music :- do I wake or sleep?

JOHN KEATS.

O, pour upon my soul again

That sad, unearthly strain
That seems froin other worlds to 'plain !
Thus falling, falling from afar,
As if some melancholy star
Had mingled with her light her sighs,

And dropped them from the skies.

No, never came from aught below

This melody of woe, That makes my heart to overflow, As from a thousand gushing springs Unknown before ; that with it brings This nameless light -- if light it be –

That veils the world I see.

For all I see around me wears

The hue of other spheres ; And something blent of smiles and tears Comes from the very air I breathe. 0, nothing, sure, the stars beneath, Can mould a sadness like to this,

So like angelic bliss !

So, at that dreamy hour of day,

When the last lingering ray
Stops on the highest cloud to play, —
So thought the gentle Rosalie
As on her maiden revery
First fell the strain of him who stole
In music to her soul.

WASHINGTON ALLSTON.

A DOUBTING HEART.

WHERE are the swallows fled ?

Frozen and dead
Perchance upon some bleak and stormy shore.

O doubting heart !
Far over purple seas
They wait, in sunny ease,

The balmy southern breeze
To bring them to their northern homes once more.

Why must the flowers die ?

Prisoned they lie
In the cold tomb, heedless of tears or rain.

O doubting heart !
They only sleep below
The soft white ermine snow

While winter winds shall blow,
To breathe and smile upon you soon again.

The sun has hid its rays

These many days;
Will dreary hours never leave the earth?

O doubting heart !
The stormy clouds on high
Veil the same sunny sky

That soon, for spring is nigh,
Shall wake the summer into golden mirth.

Fair hope is dead, and light

Is quenched in night ;

What sound can break the silence of despair ?

O doubting heart !
The sky is overcast,
Yet stars shall rise at last,

Brighter for darkness past,
And angels' silver voices stir the air.

ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER

OFT IN THE STILLY NIGHT.

Oft in the stilly night,

Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me :

The smiles, the tears,

Of boyhood's years,
The words of love then spoken ;

The eyes that shone,

Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
Thus in the stilly night,

Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light

Of other days around me.

When I remember all

The friends so linked together
I've seen around me fall,
Like leaves in wintry weather,

I feel like one

Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,

Whose lights are fled,

Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed.
Thus in the stilly night,

Ere slumber's chain has bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light

Of other days around me.

THOMAS MOORE

MY SHIP.

Down to the wharves, as the sun goes down,

And the daylight's tumult and dust and din Are dying away in the busy town,

I go to see if my ship comes in.

I gaze

far over the quiet sea, Rosy with sunset, like mellow wine, Where ships, like lilies, lie tranquilly,

Many and fair, — but I see not mine.

I question the sailors every night

Who over the bulwarks idly lean, Noting the sails as they come in sight,

“Have you seen my beautiful ship come in ?"

“Whence does she come ?” they ask of me; Bright visions of glory that vanished too soon ;

“Who is her master, and what her name?Day-dreams, that departed ere manhood's noon ; And they smile upon me pityingly

Attachments hy fate or falsehood reft ; When my answer is ever and ever the same. Companions of early days lost or left ;

And my native land, whose magical name 0, mine was a vessel of strength and truth, Thrills to the heart like electric flame;

Her sails were white as a young lamb's fleece, The home of my childhood ; the haunts of my She sailed long since from the port of Youth,

prime; Her master was Love, and her name was Peace. All the passions and scenes of that rapturous

time And like all beloved and beauteous things, When the feelings were young, and the world She faded in distance and doubt away,

was new, With only a tremble of snowy wings

Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view ; She floated, swan-like, adown the bay, All, all now forsaken, forgotten, foregone !

And I, a lone exile remembered of none, Carrying with her a precious freight,

My high aims abandoned, my good acts undone, All I had gathered by years of pain ;

Aweary of all that is under the sun,A tempting prize to the pirate, Fate,

With that sadness of heart which no stranger And still I watch for her back again ;

may scan,

I ly to the desert afar from man.
Watch from the earliest morning light
Till the pale stars grieve o'er the dying day,

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
To catch the gleam of her canvas white

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side ! Among the islands which gem the bay.

When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,

With its scenes of oppression, corruption, and But she comes not yet, -- she will never come

strife, To gladden my eyes and my spirit more ;

The proud man's frown, and the base man's fear, And my heart grows hopeless and faint and dumb, The scorner's laugh, and the sufferer's tear, As I wait and wait on the lonesome shore, And malice, and ineanness, and falsehood, and

folly, Knowing that tempest and time and storm

Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy; Have wrecked and shattered my beauteous bark: When my bosom is full, and my thoughts are Rank sea-weeds cover her wasting form,

high, And her sails are tattered and stained and dark. And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh,

0, then there is freedom, and joy, and pride,

Afar in the desert alone to ride!
But the tide comes up, and the tide goes down,
And the daylight follows the night's eclipse,

There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,

And to bound away with the eagle's speed, And still with the sailors, tanned and brown,

With the death-fraught elock in my hand, I wait on the wharves and watch the ships.

The only law of the Desert Land !
And still with a patience that is not hope,

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
For vain and empty it long hath been,
I sit on the rough shore's rocky slope,

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side, And watch to see if my ship comes in.

Away, away from the dwellings of men,

By the wild deer's haunt, hy the buffalo's glen ;
ELIZABETH AKERS ALLEN (Florence Percy).

By valleys remote where the oribi plays,
Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the hartebeest

graze,

And the kudu and eland unhunteil recline
AFAR IN THE DESERT.

By the skirts of gray forest o’erhung with wild AFAR in the desert I love to ride,

vine; With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side : Where the clephant browses at peace in his wool, When the sorrows of life the soul o'ercast, And the river-horse gambols unscared in the And, sick of the present, I cling to the past ;

flood, When the eye is suffused with regretful tears, And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will From the fond recollections of former years ; In the fen where the wild ass is drinking his fill And shadows of things that have long since Med Afar in the desert I love to ridle, Flit over the brain, like the ghosts of the dead, - With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side

fear;

O'er the brown karroo, where the bleating cry

Yet whilst with sorrow here we live opprest, Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively ;

What life is best?
And the timorous quagga's shrill whistling neigh Courts are but only superficial schools
Is heard by the fountain at twilight gray ;

To dandle fools :
Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane, | The rural parts are turned into a den
With wild hoof scouring the desolate plain ;

Of savage men :
And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste And where's a city from foul vice so free,
Speeds like a horseman who travels in ! aste, But may be term'd the worst of all the three ?
Hieing away to the home of her rest,
Where she and her mate have scooped their Domestic cares afflict the husband's bed,
nest,

Or pains his bead : Far hid from the pitiless plunderer's view

Those that live single, take it for a curse, In the pathless depths of the parched karroo.

Or do things worse :

Some would have children : those that have Afar in the desert I love to ride,

them, moan With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side,

Or wish them gone :
Away, away, in the wilderness vast

What is it, then, to have or have no wife,
Where the white man's foot hath never passed, But single thraldom, or a double strife ?
And the quivered Coranna or Bechuan
Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan, Our own affection still at home to please
A region of emptiness, howling and drear,

Is a disease :
Which man hath abandoned from famine and | To cross the seas to any foreign soil,

Peril and toil :
Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone, Wars with their noise affright us; when they
With the twilight bat from the yawning stone;

cease, Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root,

We are worse in peace ; Save poisonous thorns that pierce the foot ; What then remains, but that we still should cry And the bitter-melon, for food and drink, For being born, or, being born, to die? Is the pilgrim's fare by the salt lake's brink ;

FRANCIS, LORD BACON.
A region of drought, where no river glides,
Nor rippling brook with osiered sides ;
Where sedgy pool, nor bubbling fount,

LOVE NOT.
Nor tree, nor cloud, nor misty mount,
Appears, to refresh the aching eye ;

Love not, love not, ye hapless sons of clay!
But the barren earth and the burning sky, Hope's gayest wreaths are made of earthly flow.
And the blank horizon, rounıl and round,
Spread, — void of living sight or sound. Things that are inade to fade and fall away
And here, while the night-winds round me sigh, Ere they have blossomed for a few short hours.
And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky,

Love not !
As I sit apart by the desert stone,
Like Elijah at Horeb's cave, alone,

Love not ! the thing ye love may change ; “A still small voice” comes through the wild The rosy lip may cease to smile on you, (Like a father consoling his fretful child), The kindly-beaming eye grow cold and strange, Which banishes bitterness, wrath, and fear, The heart still warmly beat, yet not be true. Saying, Man is distant, but God is near !

Love not!
Love not ! the thing you love may die,
May perish from the gay and glad some earth;

The silent stars, the blue and smiling sky,
THE WORLD.

Beam o'er its grave, as once upon its birth.

Love not !
The World 's a bubble, and the Life of Man

Less than a span :
In his conception wretched, from the womb,

Love not ! O warning vainly said

In present hours as in years gone by!
So to the tomb;
Curst from his cradle, and brought up to years

Love Aings a halo round the dear ones' head,

Faultless, immortal, till they change or die. With cares and fears.

Love not ! Who then to frail mortality shall trust,

CAROLINE ELIZABETH SHERIDAN. But limns on water, or but writes in dust.

er's,

THOMAS PRINGLE.

(HON, MRS. NORTON.)

« VorigeDoorgaan »