« AnteriorContinuar »
Winning it with eager eyes,
Lingering with a long delight,
Giving us a sweet surprise
The flower of fairy lore ?
Too long in the meadow staying,
Where the cowslip bends, With the buttercups delaying As with early friends,
Did the little maiden stay.
We, too, loiter mid life's flowers,
All love lingering on their way,
The flower of fairy lore.
THE FIRST GRAVE,
IN THE NEW CHURCHYARD AT BROMPTON,
A SINGLE grave !--the only one
In this unbroken ground,
Are lingering around.
How utterly alone
Not one familiar tone;
The shade where forest-trees shut out
All but the distant sky ;-
When the dark winds pass'd by :
My lip has gasped for breath ;
A single grave!—we half forget
The place is purified with hope,
The golden chord which binds us all
I do not know who sleeps beneath,
Perhaps this is too fanciful:—
Those gentler charities which draw
THE moon is sailing o'er the sky,
For somewhat of companionship,
Earth is her mirror, and the stars
She is a beauty and a queen,_
Is there not one—not one—to share
I cannot choose but pity thee,
I'd rather be the meanest flower
So there were others of my kin,
Earth, thou hast sorrow, grief, and death;
Than reach and rule yon radiant sphere,
MoRN on the Adriatic, every wave
The morning-timeThe summer time, how beautiful they are ! A buoyant spirit fills the natural world, And sheds its influence on humanity; Man draws his breath more lightly, and forgets The weight of cares that made the night seem long. How beautiful the summer, and the morn, When opening over forest and green field, Waking the singing birds, till every leaf Vibrates with music; and the flowers unfold, Heavy and fragrant with their dewy sleep. But here they only call to life and light The far wide waste of waters, and the walls Of a proud city,—yet how beautiful ! Not the calm beauty of a woodland world, Fraught with sweet idleness and minstrel-dreams : But beauty which awakes the intellect More than the feelings ; that of power and mindMan's power, man's mind—for never city raised A prouder or a fairer brow than Venice, The daughter and the mistress of the sea.
Far spread the ocean,—but it spread to bear Her galleys o'er its depths, for war or wealth ; And raised upon foundations, which have robbed The waters of its birthright, stand her halls.
Now enter in her palaces : a world Has paid its tribute to their luxury; The harvest of the rose, on Syria's plains, Is reaped for Venice; from the Indian vales The sandal-wood is brought to burn in Venice ; The ambergris that floats on eastern seas, And spice, and cinnamon, and pearls that lie Deep in the gulf of Ormus, are for Venice ; The Persian loom doth spread her silken floors ; And the clear gems from far Golconda's mines Burn on the swanlike necks of her proud daughtersFor the fair wife of a Venetian noble Doth often bear upon her ivory arm The ransom of a kingdom. By the sword, Drawn by the free and fearless ; by the sail, That sweeps the sea for riches, which are power, The state of Venice is upheld : she is A Christian Tyre,—save that her sea-girt gates
Morn on the Adriatic, bright and glad ' And yet we are not joyful; there is here A stronger influence than sweet Nature's joy: The scene hath its own sorrow, and the heart Ponders the lessons of mortality Too gravely to be warmed by that delight Born of the sun, and air, and morning prime. For we forget the present as we stand So much beneath the shadow of the past: And here the past is mighty. Memory Lies heavy on the atmosphere around; There is the sea, but where now are the ships That bore the will of Venice round the world 2 Where are the sails that brought home victory And wealth from other nations 2 No glad prows Break up the waters into sparkling foam : I only see some sluggish fishing-boats. There are the palaces, their marble fronts Are grey and worn; and the rich furniture Is stripped from the bare walls; or else the moth Feeds on the velvet hangings. There they hang, The many pictures of the beautiful, The brave, the noble, who were once Venetians : But hourly doth the damp destroy their colours, And Titian's hues are faded as the face From which he painted. With a downcast brow, Drawing his dark robe round him, which no more Hides the rich silk or gems, walks the Venetian ; Proud, with a melancholy pride which dwells Only upon the glories of the dead; And humble, with a bitter consciousness Of present degradation.
These are the things that tame the pride of man; The spectral writings on the wall of time, Warnings from the Invisible, to show Man's destiny is not in his own hands. Cities and nations, each are in their turn The mighty sacrifice which Time demands, And offers up at the eternal throne,— Signs of man's weakness, and man's vanity.