Imágenes de páginas

We in the tents abide

Which he at distance eyed
Like goodly cedars by the waters spread,

While seven red altar-fires

Rose up in wavy spires, Where on the mount he watched his sorceries dark and dread.

He watched till morning's ray

On lake and meadow lay,
And willow-shaded streams, that silent sweep

Around the bannered lines,

Where by their several signs
The desert-wearied tribes in sight of Canaan sleep.

He watched till knowledge came

Upon his soul like flame,
Not of those magic fires at random caught:

But true prophetic light

Flashed o'er him, high and bright, Flashed once, and died away, and left his darkened thought.

And can he choose but fear,

Who feels his God so near,
That when he fain would curse, his powerless tongue

In blessing only moves?—

Alas! the world he loves
Too close around his heart her tangling veil hath flung.

Sceptre and Star divine,

Who in Thine inmost shrine
Hast made us worshippers, O claim Thine own;

More than Thy seers we know—

O teach our love to grow
Up to Thy heavenly light, and reap what Thou hast sown.

Edward, Lord Lytton.

Born 1805. Died 1872.

The Desire Of Fame.

I DO confess that I have wished to give
My land the gift of no ignoble name,
And in that holier air have sought to live,
Sunned with the hope of fame.

Do I lament that I have seen the bays

Denied my own, not worthier brows above, Foes quick to scoff, and friends afraid to praise,— More active hate than love?

Do I lament that roseate youth has flown

In the hard labour grudged its niggard meed, And cull from far and juster lands alone Few flowers from many a seed?

No! for whoever with an earnest soul

Strives for some end from this low world afar, Still upward travels, though he miss the goal, And strays—but towards a star.

Better than fame is still the wish for fame,

The constant training for a glorious strife: The athlete nurtured for the Olympian Game, Gains strength at least for life.

The wish for Fame is faith in holy things

That soothe the life, and shall outlive the tomb A reverent listening for some angel wings That cower above the gloom.


To gladden earth with beauty, or men's lives

To serve with action, or their souls with truth,—
These are the ends for which the hope survives
The ignobler thirsts of youth.

No, I lament not, though these leaves may fall
From the sered branches on the desert plain,
Mocked by the idle wings that waft; and all
Life's blooms, its last, in vain l

If vain for others, not in vain for me,—

Who builds an altar let him worship there; What needs the crowd? though lone the shrine may be, Not hallowed less the prayer.

Enough if haply in the after days,

When by the altar sleeps the funeral stone, When gone the mists our human passions raise, And Truth is seen alone:

When causeless Hate can wound its prey no more,

And fawns its late repentance o'er the dead,
If gentler footsteps from some kindlier shore
Pause by the narrow bed.

Or if yon children, whose young souls of glee
Float to mine ear, the evening gales along,
Recall some echo, in their years to be,
Of not all-perished song!

Taking some spark to glad the hearth, or light

The student lamp, from now neglected fires,—
And one sad memory in the sons requite
What—I forgive the sires.

Alexander Smith.

Born 1830. Died 1867.


T HID my face awhile, then cried aloud,

*- 'No one can give forgetfulness; not one.

No one can tell me who can give it me.

I asked of Joy, as he went laughing past,

Crushing a bunch of grapes against his lips,

And suddenly the light forsook his face,

His orbs were blind with tears—he could not tell.

I asked of Grief, as with red eyes he came

From a sweet infant's bier; and at the sound

He started, shook his head, with quick hand drew

His mantle o'er his face, and turned away

'Mong the blue twilight-mists.' Sleep did not raise

His heavy lids, but in a drowsy voice,

Like murmur of a leafy sycamore

When bees are swarming in the glimmering leaves,

Said, 'I 've a younger brother, very wise,

Silent and still, who ever dwells alone—

His name is Death: seek him, and he may know.'

I cried 'O angel, is there no one else?'

But Sleep stood silent, and his eyes were closed.

Methought, when I awoke, 'We have two lives;
The soul of man is like the rolling world,
One half in day, the other dipt in night,
The one has music and the flying cloud,
The other, silence and the wakeful stars.'
I drew my window-curtains, and instead
Of the used yesterday, there laughing stood

A new-born morning from the Infinite
Before my very face: my heart leaped up,
Inexorable Labour called me forth;
And as I hurried through the busy streets,
There was a sense of envy in my heart
Of lazy lengths of rivers in the sun,
Larks soaring up the ever-soaring sky,
And mild kine couched in fields of uncrushed dew.

From Horton.

A Dream.

Fair lady, in my dream Methought I was a weak and lonely bird, In search of summer, wandered on the sea, Toiling through mists, drenched by the arrowy rain, Struck by the heartless winds: at last, methought I came upon an isle in whose sweet air I dried my feathers, smoothed my ruffled breast, And skimmed delight from off the waving woods. Thy coming, lady, reads this dream of mine: I am the swallow, thou the summer land.

From A Life Drama.

The Dying King.

A grim old king, Whose blood leapt madly when the trumpets brayed To joyous battle 'mid a storm of steeds, Won a rich kingdom on a battle-day; But in the sunset he was ebbing fast, Ringed by his weeping lords. His left hand held His white steed, to the belly splashed with blood, That seemed to mourn him with his drooping head; His right, his broken brand; and in his ear His old victorious banners flap the winds.

« AnteriorContinuar »