Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

"LOSE WHAT THOU LOVEST, AND THE LIFE OF OLD IS FROM THINE EYES, O SOUL, NO MORE CONCEALED ;-(LORD LYTTON)

[ocr errors][merged small]

HAPPY THE MAN IN WHOM WITH EVERY YEAR-(LORD LYTTON)

LORD LYTTON.

If vain for others, not in vain for me,

Who builds an altar, let him worship there;

What needs the crowd? though love the shrine may be,
Not hallowed less the prayer.

Enow if haply, in the after days,

When by the altar sleeps the funeral stone,

When gone the mists our human passions raise,
And Truth is seen alone:

When causeless Hate can wound its prey no more,
And fawns its late repentance o'er the dead,

If gentle footsteps from some kindlier shore
Pause by the narrow bed.

Or if you children, whose young sounds of glee
Float to mine ear the evening gales along,
Recall some echo, in their years to be,
Of not all-perished song!

Taking some spark to glad the earth, or light
The student lamp, from now neglected fires,—

And one sad memory in the sons requite
What-I forgive the sires.

[These lines may be compared with Byron's verses, written on the occasion of his thirty-sixth birth-day. They resemble them in tone and metrical form.]

THE POPE AND THE BEGGAR.

"The desires the chains, the deeds the wings."

SAW a soul beside the clay it wore,

88

When reigned that clay the Hierarch Sire of Rome;
A hundred priests stood ranged the bier before,
Within St. Peter's dome.

NEW LIFE IS BORN, RE-BAPTIZED IN THE PAST."-LORD LYTTON.

LOOK BEYOND DEATH, AND THROUGH THY TEARS BEHOLD THERE, where love goeS, THINE ANCIENT HOME."-LYTTON.

"LIKE LIGHT, CONNECTING STAR AND STAR, DOES THOUGHT, TRANSMITTED, RUN-(LYTTON)

66

HOW SWEET THE DAYS WE YEARN FOR, TILL FULFILLED!"-LYTTON.

THE POPE AND THE BEGGAR.

And all was incense, solemn dirge, and prayer,

And still the soul stood sullen in the clay: "O soul, why to thy heavenly native air Dost thou not soar away?"

And the soul answered, with a ghastly frown,

"In what life loved, death finds its weal or woe; Slave to the clay's desires, they drag me down

To the clay's rot below!"

It spoke, and where Rome's purple ones reposed

They lowered the corpse; and downwards from the sun

Both soul and body sunk—and darkness closed
Over that two-fold one!

Without the church, unburied on the ground,
There lay in rags a beggar newly dead;
Above the dust no holy priest was found,
No pious prayer was said!

But round the corpse unnumbered lovely things,
Hovering unseen by the proud passers-by,

Formed, upward, upward, upward, with bright wings,
A ladder to the sky!

"We are,"

"And what are ye, O beautiful?"

Answered the cherubim, "his deeds!"
Then his soul, sparkling sudden as a star,
Flashed from his mortal weeds,

275

And lightly passing, tier on tier, along

The gradual pinions, vanished like a smile!
Just then, swept by the solemn-visaged throng
From the apostle's pile.

66 IN THE ETERNAL SHALL WE SEIZE THE FLEETING NOW?"-LYTTON.

RAYS THAT TO EARTH THE NEAREST ARE, HAVE LONGEST LEFT THE SUN."-LORD LYTTON.

"AS IN CREATION LIVES THE FATHER SOUL, SO LIVES THE SOUL HE BREATHED AMIDST THE CLAY;

"" MAPPED ARE THE KNOWN DOMINIONS OF THE THOUGHT, LYTTON)

[blocks in formation]

"Knew ye this beggar?"

"Knew! a wretch who died
Under the curse of our good Pope, now gone!"
"Loved ye that Pope?" "He was our Church's
And Rome's most holy son!"

Then did I muse, such are men's judgments; blind
In scorn or love! In what unguessed-of things,
Desires or deeds—do rags and purple find
The fetters or the wings!

[From "Corn-Flowers," book ii.]

[ocr errors]

THE HOLLOW OAK.

JOLLOW is the oak beside the sunny waters drooping;
Hither came, when I was young, happy children
trooping;

Dream I now, or hear I now-far, their mellow whooping!

ide,

Gay below the cowslip bank, see the billow dances,
There I lay beguiling time-when I lived romances;
Dropping pebbles in the wave, fancies into fancies;-

Farther, where the river glides by the wooded cover,
Where the merlin singeth low, with the hawk above her,
Came a foot and shone a smile-woe is me, the lover!

Leaflets on the hollow oak still as greenly quiver,
Musical amid the reeds murmurs on the river;
But the footsteps and the smile?-woe is me for ever!

[From "Corn-Flowers," book ii., in "Collected Poetical Works."]

матер

BUT WHO SHALL FIND THE PALACE OF THE SOUL?"-LORD LYTTON.

ROUND IT THE THOUGHTS ON STARRY AXLES ROLL, LIFE FLOWS AND EBBS AWAY."-LORD LYTTON.

"FROM EDEN'S BOWERS THE FULL-FED RIVERS FLOW, TO GUIDE THE OUTCASTS TO THE LAND OF WOE;-(MACDONALD)

"A DEEPER CHILDHOOD FIRST AWAY MUST WIPE-(G. MACDONALD)

AUTUMN SONG.

George Mac Donald.

[THIS thoughtful poet and eloquent writer is the author of numerous works, scarcely less remarkable for their subtle fancy and poetic spirit, their tenderness, lofty tone, and beautiful expression, than for their characteristic originality. He has already enriched our literature with, in poetry, "The Disciple," and "Within and Without; " in fiction, with " Phantastes," "The Portent," "David Elginbrod," "Adela Cathcart," "Alec Forbes of Howglen," "Guild Court," "Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood ;' and "Wilfrid Cumbermede;" and in theology, with his "Unspoken Sermons. These are the treasured companions of a large and ever-increasing circle of enthusiastic admirers.

277

"No lover of poetry," says a writer in the Athenæum, "will be insen-
sible to the high and generous feeling, the true love of nature, and the fancy,
fresh and delicate, which Mr. MacDonald displays. There is much to re-
mind us of Wordsworth. There is the same happy blending of the influences
of nature with the truths of human life-the same keen perception both of
the correspondences and the differences between the two. Mr. MacDonald's
strains, if less majestic, are more tender. We catch from the flute, as it
were in a sweet echo, the melody first heard from the organ."
Mr. MacDonald was born in 1824.]

AUTUMN SONG.

JUTUMN clouds are flying, flying,

O'er the waste of blue;

Summer flowers are dying, dying,

Late so lovely new.

Labouring wains are slowly rolling

Home with winter grain;
Holy bells are slowly tolling
Over buried men.

Goldener light sets noon a-sleeping

Like an afternoon;

Colder airs come stealing, creeping,

After sun and moon;

THE CONSCIOUSNESS WHICH WAS OUR MANHOOD'S PAIN."-MACDONALD.

OUR EARTH ONE LITTLE TOILING STREAMLET YIELDS, TO GUIDE THE WANDERERS TO THE HAPPY FIELDS."-MACDONALD.

"BETTER TO SIT AT THE WATER'S BIRTH THAN A SEA OF WAVES TO WIN,-(GEORGE MACDONALD)

278

BE THY HEART A WELL OF LOVE, MY CHILD;

GEORGE MACDONALD.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small][merged small]

TO LIVE IN THE LOVE THAT FLOWETH FORTH, THAN THE LOVE THAT COMETH IN."-MACDONALD.

« ZurückWeiter »