Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Upon his brow he felt their breath,

And in his waving hair,
And look'd from that lone post of death

In still yet brave despair ;

66

And shouted but once more aloud,

My father! must I stay ?"
While o'er him fast, through sail and shroud,

The wreathing fires made way.

They wrapt the ship in splendour wild,

They caught the flag on high,
And stream'd above the gallant child

Like banners in the sky.

There came a burst of thunder-sound

The boy-oh! where was he ? Ask of the winds that far around

With fragments strew'd the sea !

[ocr errors]

With mast, and helm, and pennon fair,

That well had borne their part;
But the noblest thing which perish'd there

Was that young faithful heart !

THE DIAL OF FLOWERS.*

'Twas a lovely thought to mark the hours

As they floated in light away,
By the opening and the folding flowers,

That laugh to the summer's day.

Thus had each moment its own rich hue,

And its graceful cup and bell,
In whose colour'd vase might sleep the dew,

Like a pearl in an ocean-shell.

To such sweet signs might the time have flow'd

In a golden current on,
Ere from the garden, man's first abode,

The glorious guests were gone.

So might the days have been brightly told

Those days of song and dreams-
When shepherds gather'd their flocks of old

By the blue Arcadian streams.

So in those isles of delight, that rest

Far off in a breezeless main,
Which many a bark, with a weary quest,

Has sought, but still in vain.

* This dial was, I believe, formed by Linnæus, and marked the hours by the opening and closing, at regular intervals, of the flowers arranged in it.

Yet is not life, in its real flight,

Mark'd thus-even thus-on earth, By the closing of one hope's delight,

And another's gentle birth ?

Oh ! let us live, so that flower by flower,

Shutting in turn, may leave
A lingerer still for the sunset hour,

A charm for the shaded eve.

OUR DAILY PATHS.*

Naught shall prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings.”.

WORDSWORTH.

THERE's beauty all around our paths, if but our

watchful eyes

Can trace it midst familiar things, and through their

lowly guise;

*

This little poem derives an additional interest from being affectingly associated with a name no less distinguished than that of the late Mr Dugald Stewart. The admiration he always expressed for Mrs Hemans's poetry, was mingled with regret that she so generally made choice of melancholy subjects; and on one occasion, he sent her, through a mutual friend, a message suggestive of his wish that she would employ her fine talents in giving more consolatory views of the ways of Providence, thus infusing comfort and cheer into the bosoms of her readers, in a spirit of Christian philosophy, which, he thought, would be more consonant with the pious mind and loving heart displayed in every line she

We may find it where a hedgerow showers its

blossomso'er our way, Or a cottage window sparkles forth in the last red

light of day.

We may find it where a spring shines clear be

neath an aged tree, With the foxglove o'er the water's glass, borne

downwards by the bee; Or where a swift and sunny gleam on the birchen

stems is thrown, As a soft wind playing parts the leaves, in copses

green and lone.

wrote, than dwelling on what was painful and depressing, however beautifully and touchingly such subjects might be treated of. This message was faithfully transmitted, and almost by return of post, Mrs Hemans (who was then residing in Wales) sent to the kind friend to whom it had been forwarded, the poem of “ Our Daily Paths,” requesting it might be given to Mr Stewart, with an assurance of her gratitude for the interest he took in her writings, and alleging as the reason of the mournful strain which pervaded them," that a cloud hung over her life which she could not always rise above.”

The letter reached Mr Stewart just as he was stepping into the carriage, to leave his country residence (Kinneil House, the property of the Duke of Hamilton) for Edinburghthe last time, alas ! his presence was ever to gladden that happy home, as his valuable life was closed very shortly afterwards. The poem was read to him by his daughter, on his way to Edinburgh, and he expressed himself in the highest degree charmed and gratified with the result of his suggestions ; and some of the lines which pleased him more particularly were often repeated to him during the few remaining weeks of his life.

VOL. IV.

L

We may

find it in the winter boughs, as they cross the cold blue sky, While soft on icy pool and stream their pencil'd

shadows lie, When we look upon their tracery, by the fairy frost

work bound, Whence the flitting redbreast shakes a shower of

crystals to the ground.

Yes ! beauty dwells in all our paths—but sorrow

too is there : How oft some cloud within us dims the bright, still

summer air ! When we carry our sick hearts abroad amidst the

joyous things, That through the leafy places glance on many

colour'd wings,

With shadows from the past we fill the happy wood

land shades, And a mournful memory of the dead is with us in

the glades; And our dream-like fancies lend the wind an echo's

plaintive tone Of voices, and of melodies, and of silvery laughter

gone.

But are we free to do even thus—to wander as we

will, Bearing sad visions through the grove, and o'er the

breezy hill ?

« AnteriorContinuar »