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MRS. NORTON.

TO THE DUCHESS OF SUTHERLAND.

Once more, my harp! once more, although I thought

Never to wake thy silent strings again,
A wandering dream thy gentle chords have wrought,

And my sad heart, which long hath dwelt in pain,
Soars, like a wild bird from a cypress bough,
Into the poet's heaven, and leaves dull grief below!

And unto thee — the beautiful and pure

Whose lot is cast amid that busy world
Where only sluggish Dullness dwells secure,

And Fancy's generous wing is faintly furled;
To thee — whose friendship kept its equal truth
Through the most dreary hour of my embittered youth —

I dedicate the lay. Ah! never bard,

In days when poverty was twin with song;
Nor wandering harper, lonely and ill-starred,

Cheered by some castle's chief, and harboured long;
Not Scott's Last Minstrel, in his trembling lays,
Woke with a warmer heart the earnest meed of praise !

For easy are the alms the rich man spares

To sons of Genius, by misfortune bent;
But thou gavest me, what woman seldom dares,

Belief — in spite of many a cold dissent -
When, slandered and maligned, I stood apart
From those whose bounded power hath wrung, not crushed, my
heart

l'hou, then, when cowards lied away my name,

And scoffed to see me feebly stem the tide ; When some were kind on whom I had no claim,

And some forsook on whom my love relied, And some, who might have battled for my sake, Stood off in doubt to see what turn the world would take

Thou gavest me that the poor do give the poor,

Kind words and holy wishes, and true tears;
The loved, the near of kin could do no more,

Who changed not with the gloom of varying years,
But clung the closer when I stood forlorn,
And blunted Slander's dart with their indignant scorn.

For they who credit crime, are they who feel

Their own hearts weak to unresisted sin;
Memory, not judgment, prompts the thoughts which steal

O’er minds like these, an easy faith to win;
And tales of broken truth are still believed
Most readily by those who have themselves deceived.

But like a white swan down a troubled stream,

Whose ruffling pinion hath the power to fling
Aside the turbid drops which darkly gleam

And mar the freshness of her snowy wing -
So thou, with queenly grace and gentle pride,
Along the world's dark waves in purity dost glide:

Thy pale and pearly cheek was never made

To crimson with a faint false-hearted shame; Thou didst not shrink- of bitter tongues afraid,

Who hunt in packs the object of their blame ; To thee the sad denial still held true, For from thine own good thoughts thy heart its mercy drew

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

THANATOPSIS.

To him who, in the love of nature, holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language; for his gayer

hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty; and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And healing sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart; Go forth, under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings, while from all around Earth and her waters, and the depths of air Comes a still voice — Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground, Where thy pale form is laid with many tears, Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,

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And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock,
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone - nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world - with kings,
The powerful of the earth — the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers, of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. - The hills
Rock-ribbed, and ancient as the sun, - the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods — rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old ocean's grey and melancholy waste, -
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man.

The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe, are but a hanuful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom. - Take the wings
Of morning, and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound
Save his own dashings — yet the dead are there,
And millions in those solitudes, since first

The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep - the dead there reign alone.

So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
Unheeded by the living - and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one, as before, will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
And the sweet babe, and the grey-headed man,-
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those who, in their turn, shall follow them.

So live, that, when thy summons comes to join The innumerable caravan, that moves To that mysterious realm, where each shall take His chamber in the silent halls of death. Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, Like one that draws the drapery of his couch About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

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