Imágenes de páginas



A dim and mighty minster of old Time!
A temple shadowy with remembrances
Of the majestic past !-the very light
Streams with a colouring of heroic days
In every ray, which leads through arch and aisle
A path of dreamy lustre, wandering back

[merged small][ocr errors]

tented or repining spirit;" and though it anords continual pivors v. ... -e-, ...-----> for a “better land,” and a mournful consciousness that her “Soul's lofty gifts" were insufficient

“To quench its panting thirst for happiness;”

it manifests no unwillingness to bear meekly, patiently, and trustingly, the thousand ills that flesh is heir to. Few Poets, living or dead, have written so much, and written so well. There is not, indeed, one among her productions that we might cast from us with indifference, or “willingly let die.” Her diction is harmonious and free; her themes, though infinitely varied, are all happily chosen, and treated with grace, originality, and judgment. Her poetry is full of images—but they are always natural and true: it is studded with ornaments—but they are never unbecoming; she selected and distributed them with singular felicity. Though rarely energetic, she is never languid, her tenderness never wearies; her piety—one of the chief sources of her power and her success—never degenerates into bitterness, but is at all times servid and humanizing. The poetry of Mrs. Hemans, indeed, may be likened to a Cathedral chaunt,<-deep, solemn, and impressive; entrancing rather than exciting—and depress


CAtheld Ral, HYMN.

A DIM and mighty minster of old Time !
A temple shadowy with remembrances
Of the majestic past !—the very light
Streams with a colouring of heroic days
In every ray, which leads through arch and aisle
A path of dreamy lustre, wandering back *


And the wrought coronals of summer leaves,
Ivy and vine, and many a sculptured rose—
The tenderest image of mortality—
Binding the slender columns, whose light shafts
Cluster like stems in corn-sheaves, all these things
Tell of a race that nobly, fearlessly,
On their heart's worship poured a wealth of love :
Honour be with the dead!—the people kneel
Under the helms of antique chivalry,
And in the crimson gloom from banners thrown,
And midst the forms, in pale proud slumber carved
Of warriors on their tombs.-The people kneel
Where mail-clad chiefs have knelt; where jewelled crowns
On the flushed brows of conquerors have been set;
Where the high anthems of old victories
Have made the dust give echoes. Hence, vain thoughts :
Memories of power and pride, which, long ago,
Like dim processions of a dream, have sunk
In twilight depths away. Return, my soul!
The cross recals thee.—Lo ! the blessed cross'
High o'er the banners and the crests of earth,
Fixed in its meek and still supremacy."
And lo! the throng of beating human hearts,
With all their secret scrolls of buried grief,
All their full treasuries of immortal Hope,
Gathered before their God! Hark! how the flood
Of the rich organ harmony bears up
Their voice on its high waves'—a mighty burst'—
A forest-sounding music!—every tone
Which the blasts call forth with their harping wings
From gulfs of tossing foliage there is blent:
And the old minster—forest-like itself—
With its long avenues of pillared shade,
Seems quivering all with spirit, as that strain
O'erflows its dim recesses, leaving not
One tomb unthrilled by the strong sympathy
Answering the electric notes.—Join, join, my soul!
In thine own lowly, trembling consciousness,
And thine own solitude, the glorious hymn.


I come to thee, O Earth! With all my gifts :- for every flower, sweet dew, In bell, and urn, and chalice, to renew

The glory of its birth.

Not one which glimmering lies
Far amidst folding hills or forest-leaves,
But, through its views of beauty, so receives

A spirit of fresh dyes.

I come with every star : Making thy streams, that on their noon-day track Gave but the moss, the reed, the lily back,

Mirrors of worlds afar.

I come with peace ; I shed Sleep through thy wood-walks o'er the honey-bee, The lark's triumphant voice, the fawn's young glee,

The hyacinth's meek head.

On my own heart I lay
The weary babe, and, sealing with a breath
Its eyes of love, send fairy dreams, beneath

The shadowing lids to play.

I come with mightier things !
Who calls me silent ?-I have many tones :
The dark skies thrill with low mysterious moans

Borne on my sweeping wings.

I waft them not alone
From the deep organ of the forest shades,
Or buried streams, unbeard amidst their glades,

Till the bright day is done.

But in the human breast
A thousand still small voices I awake,
Strong in their sweetness from the soul to shake

« AnteriorContinuar »