Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

By the mere passing of that cavalcade,

With plumes, and cloaks, and housings, and the stir

Of jewelled bridle and of golden spur.

And lo! among the menials, in mock state,
Upon a piebald steed, with shambling gait,
His cloak of fox-tails flapping in the wind,
The solemn ape demurely perched behind,
King Robert rode, making huge merriment
In all the country towns through which they went .

The Pope received them with great pomp, and blare

Of bannered trumpets, on St. Peter's square,

Giving his benediction and embrace,

Fervent, and full of apostolic grace.

While, with congratulations and with prayers

He entertained the Angel unawares,

Robert, the Jester, bursting through the crowd,

Into their presence rushed, and cried aloud,

"I am the King! Look, and behold in me

Robert, your brother, King of Sicily!

This man, who wears my semblance to your eyes,

Is an impostor in a king's disguise.

Do you not know me? does no voice within

Answer my cry, and say we are akin?"

The Pope in silence, but with troubled mien,

Gazed at the Angel's countenance serene;

The Emperor, laughing, said, "It is strange sport

To keep a madman for thy Fool at court!"

And the poor, baffled Jester in disgrace

Was hustled back among the populace.

In solemn state the Holy Week went by,
And Easter Sunday gleamed upon the sky;

The presence of the Angel, with its light,

Before the sun rose, made the city bright,

And with new fervor filled the hearts of men,

Who felt that Christ indeed had risen again.

Even the Jester, on his bed of straw,

With haggard eyes the unwonted splendor saw,

He felt within a power unfelt before,

And, kneeling humbly on his chamber floor,

He heard the rushing garments of the Lord

Sweep through the silent air, ascending heavenward.

And now the visit ending, and once more

Valmond returning to the Danube shore,

Homeward the Angel journeyed, and again

The land was made resplendent with his train,

Flashing along the towns of Italy

Unto Salerno, and from there by sea.

And when once more within Palermo's wall,

And, seated on the throne in his great hall,

He heard the Angelus from convent towers,

As if the better world conversed with ours,

He beckoned to King Robert to draw nigher,

And with a gesture bade the rest retire;

And when they were alone, the Angel said,

"Art thou the King?" Then bowing down his head,

King Robert crossed both hands upon his breast,

And meekly answered him: "Thou knowest best!

My sins as scarlet are; let me go hence,

And in some cloister's school of penitence,

Across those stones that pave the way to heaven,

Walk barefoot, till my guilty soul is shriven!"

The Angel smiled, and from his radiant face

A holy light illumined all the place,

And through the open window, loud and clear,

They heard the monks chant in the chapel near,

Above the stir and tumult of the street:

"He has put down the mighty from their seat,

And has exalted them of low degree!"

And through the chant a second melody

Rose like the throbbing of a single string:

"I am an Angel, and thou art the King!"

King Robert, who was standing near the throne,
Lifted his eyes, and lo ! he was alone!
But all apparelled as in days of old,
With ermined mantle and with cloth of gold;
And when his courtiers came, they found him there
Kneeling upon the floor, absorbed in silent prayer.

H. W. Longfellow

LXXXVIII

CHARITY

'""T'HEN constant faith and holy hope shall die,

-L One lost in certainty, and one in joy;
Whilst thou, more happy power, fair Charity,
Triumphant sister, greatest of the three,
Thy office and thy nature still the same,
Lasting thy lamp, and unconsumed thy flame,
Shalt still survive —

Shalt stand before the host of Heaven confessed,
For ever blessing, and for ever blest.

Matthew Prior

LXXXIX

THE LAST TRUMP

AS grew the power of sacred lays
The spheres began to move,
And sung the great Creator's praise

To all the blessed above:
So when the last and dreadful hour
This crumbling pageant shall devour,
The trumpet shall be heard on high,
The dead shall live, the living die,
And music shall untune the sky.

John Dryden

xc

"And Jesus said unto them, There shall not be left here one stone upon another. . . . Heaven and earth shall pass away."

THE cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are rnade of, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare

HOLY SCRIPTURE

WHO has this Book and reads it not
Doth God Himself despise;
Who reads, but understandeth not,
His soul in darkness lies.

Who understands, but savors not,

He finds no rest in trouble; Who savors but obeyeth not,

He hath his judgment double.

Who reads this book—who understands —

Doth savor and obey;
His soul shall stand at God's right hand,

In the great Judgment Day.

Old Hymn

[graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »