« AnteriorContinuar »
No! in our daily paths lie cares, that ofttimes bind
us fast, While from their narrow round we see the golden
day fleet past.
They hold us from the woodlark's haunts, and vio
let dingles, back, And from all the lovely sounds and gleams in the
shining river's track; They bar us from our heritage of spring-time, hope,
and mirth, And weigh our burden'd spirits down with the cum
bering dust of earth.
Yet should this be? Too much, too soon, despond
ingly we yield! A better lesson we are taught by the lilies of the
field! A sweeter by the birds of heaven—which tell us, in
their flight, Of One that through the desert air for ever guides
Shall not this knowledge calm our hearts, and bid
vain conflicts cease? Ay, when they commune with themselves in holy
hours of peace And feel that by the lights and clouds through
which our pathway lies, By the beauty and the grief alike, we are training
for the skies!
THE CROSS IN THE WILDERNESS.
SILENT and mournful sat an Indian chief,
In the red sunset, by a grassy tomb; His
eyes, that might not weep, were dark with grief, And his arms folded in majestic gloom; And his bow lay unstrung, beneath the mound Which sanctified the gorgeous waste around.
For a pale cross above its greensward rose,
Telling the cedars and the pines that there Man's heart and hope had struggled with his woes,
And lifted from the dust a voice of prayer. Now all was hush’d—and eve's last splendour shone With a rich sadness on th' attesting stone.
There came a lonely traveller o'er the wild,
And he, too, paused in reverence by that grave, Asking the tale of its memorial, piled
Between the forest and the lake's bright wave;
And the grey chieftain, slowly rising, said
“ I listen’d for the words, which, years ago, Pass’d o'er these waters. Though the voice is fled
Which made them as a singing fountain's flow, Yet, when I sit in their long-faded track, Sometimes the forest's murmur gives them back.
“ Ask’st thou of him whose house is lone beneath?
I was an eagle in my youthful pride,
When o'er the seas he came, with summer's breath, To dwell amidst us, on the lake's green
side. Many the times of flowers have been since thenMany, but bringing nought like him again!
- Not with the hunter's bow and spear he came,
O’er the blue hills to chase the flying roe; Not the dark glory of the woods to tame,
Laying their cedars, like the corn-stalks, low; But to spread tidings of all holy things, Gladdening our souls, as with the morning's wings.
“ Doth not yon cypress whisper how we met, I and
brethren that from earth are gone, Under its boughs to hear his voice, which yet
Seems through their gloom to send a silvery tone? He told of One the grave's dark bonds who broke, And our hearts burn’d within us as he spoke.
“ He told of far and sunny lands, which lie
Beyond the dust wherein our fathers dwell: Bright must they be! for there are none that die,
And none that weep, and none that say "Farewell!' He came to guide us thither ; but away The Happy call'd him, and he might not stay.
“ We saw him slowly fade-athirst, perchance,
For the fresh waters of that lovely clime; Yet was there still a sunbeam in his glance,
And on his gleaming hair no touch of timeTherefore we hoped : but now the lake looks dim, For the green summer comes—and finds not him!
“ We gather'd round him in the dewy hour
beneath his chosen tree; From his clear voice, at first, the words of power
Came low, like moanings of a distant sea; But swell’d and shook the wilderness ere long, As if the spirit of the breeze grew strong.
“ And then once more they trembled on his tongue,
And his white eyelids flutter'd, and his head Fell back, and mist upon his forehead hung
Know'st thou not how we pass to join the dead? It is enough! he sank upon my breastOur friend that loved us, he was gone to rest!
“ We buried him where he was wont to pray,
By the calm lake, e'en here, at eventide; We rear'd this cross in token where he lay,
For on the cross, he said, his Lord had died ! Now hath he surely reach’d, o'er mount and wave, That flowery land whose green turf hides no grave.
“ But I am sad ! I mourn the clear light taken
Back from my people, o'er whose place it shone, The pathway to the better shore forsaken,
And the true words forgotten, save by one, Who hears them faintly sounding from the past, Mingled with death-songs in each fitful blast.”
Then spoke the wanderer forth with kindling eye:
“ Son of the wilderness ! despair thou not, Though the bright hour may seem to thee gone by,
And the cloud settled o'er thy nation's lot!
Heaven darkly works-yet, where the seed hath been There shall the fruitage, glowing yet, be seen.
“ Hope on, hope ever!—by the sudden springing
leaves which the winter hid so long; And by the bursts of free, triumphant singing,
After cold silent months the woods among; And by the rending of the frozen chains, Which bound the glorious rivers on the plains.
“ Deem not the words of light that here were spoken,
But as a lovely song, to leave no trace: Yet shall the gloom which wraps thy hills be broken,
And the full dayspring rise upon thy race ! And fading mists the better path disclose, And the wide desert blossom as the rose.”
So by the cross they parted, in the wild,
Each fraught with musings for life's after day, Memories to visit one, the forest's child,
By many a blue stream in its lonely way; And upon one, midst busy throngs to press Deep thoughts and sad, yet full of holiness.
By the mighty minster's bell,
Know, a prince hath died !