Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors]

To catch Gilboa's light and spicy breeze.
Genesareth stood cool upon the east,
Fast by the sea of Galilee, and there
The weary traveller might bide till eve;
And on the alders of Bethulia's plains
The grapes of Palestine hung ripe and wild ;
Yet turn'd he not aside, but, gazing on,
From every swelling mount, he saw afar,
Amid the hills, the humble spires of Nain,
The place of his next errand, and the path
Touch'd not Bethulia, and a league away
Upon the east lay pleasant Galilee.

Forth from the city gate the pitying crowd
Follow'd the stricken mourner." They came near
The place of burial, and, with straining hands
Closer upon her breast she clasp'd the pall,
And with a gasping sob, quick as a child's,
And an enquiring wildness flashing through
The thin gray lashes of her fevered eyes,
She came where Jesus stood beside the way.
He look'd upon her, and his heart was moved.
“Weep not!” he said; and as they stay'd the bier
And at his bidding laid it at his feet,
He gently drew the pall from out her grasp,
And turn'd it o'er, in silence, from the dead.
With troubled wonder the mute throng drew near,
And gazed on his calm looks. A minute's space
He stood and pray'd. Then taking the cold hand,
He said “Arise !" And instantly the breast
Heav'd in its cerements, and a sudden flush
Ran through the lines of the divided lips,
And with a murmur of his mother's name
He trembled and sat upright in his shroud;
And, while the mourner hung upon his neck,
Jesus went calmly on his way to Nain.

LINES SUGGESTED BY A BEAUTIFUL STATUE OF A
DEAD CHILD.

MRS A. WATTS.
I saw thee in thy beauty! thou wert graceful as the fawn,
When in very wantoness of glee it sports upon the lawn:
I saw thee seek the mirror, and when it met thy sight
The very air was musical with thy burst of wild delight.
I saw thee in thy beauty! with thy sister by thy side;
She a lily of the valley, thou a rose in all its pride:
I look'd upon thy mother—there was triumph in her eyes,
And I trembled for her happiness, for grief had made me wise.

I saw thee in thy beauty! with one hand among her curls-
The other with no gentle grasp had seized a string of pearls ;

She felt the pretty trespass, and she chid thee, though she smiled,
And I knew not which was lovelier, the mother or the child.
I see thee in thy beauty! for there thou seem'st to lie
In slumber resting peacefully: but, oh! the change of eye-
That still serenity of brow-those lips that breathe no more,
Proclaim thee but a mockery fair of what thou wert of yore.
I see thee in thy beauty! with thy waving hair at rest,
And thy busy little fingers folded lightly on thy breast;
But thy merry dance is over, and thy little race is run,
And the mirror that reflected two can now give back but one!
I see thee in thy beauty! as I saw thee on that day!
But the mirth that gladden'd then thy home fled with thy life'away.
I see thee lying motionless upon the accustom'd floor;
But my heart hath blinded both mine eyes, and I can see no more!

A PARENTAL ODE TO MY CHILD.

Thomas Hood.
Thou happy, happy elf!
(But stop—first let me kiss away that tear)

Thou tiny image of myself!
(My love, he's poking peas into his ear)

Thou merry laughing sprite!

With spirits feather light,
Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin,
(See! see! the child is swallowing a pin!)

Thou little tricksy Puck!
With antic joy so funnily bestuck,
Light as the singing bird that wings the air,
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)

Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore afire!)

Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In love's dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents (Bless the boy!

There goes my ink !)

Thou cherub-but of earth!
Fit play-fellow for Fays by moonlight pale,

In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail !)
Thou human humming bee, extracting honey
From every blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble—that's his precious nose!)

Thy father's pride and hope !
(He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope !)
With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint,

(Where did he learn that squint?)

Thou young domestic dove!
(He'll have that jug off with another shove !)

Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)

Little epitome of man!
(He'll climb upon the table—that's his plan!)
Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life,

(He's got a knife !)

Thou enviable being !
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky forseeing,

Play on, play on,

My elfin John!
Toss the light ball—bestride the stick,
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick !)
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,

With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He's got the scissors snipping at your gown!)

Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)
Balmy, and breathing music like the south,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove.
(I'll tell you what my love,
I cannot write, unless he's sent above :)

THE MAY QUEEN.

ALFRED TENNYSON.
It is the choice time of the year,
For the violets now appear;
Now the rose receives its birth,
And pretty primrose decks the earth,
Then to the May-pole come away,
For it is now a holiday.

ACTEON AND DIANA.

As I was lying in bed this morning, enjoying one of those half dreams, half reveries. which are so pleasant in the country, when the birds are singing about the window. and the sun-beams peeping through the curtains, I was roused by the sound of music. On going down stairs, I found a number of villagers, dressed in their holiday clothes, bearing a pole ornamented with garlands and ribbons, and accompanied by the village band of music, under the direction of the tailor, the pale fellow who plays on the clarionet. They had all sprigs of hawthorn, or, as it is called, “the May,” in their hats, and had brought green branches and flowers to decorate the Hall door and windows. They had come to give notice that the May-pole was reared on the green. and to invite the household to witness the sports. The Hall, according to custom became a scene of hurry and delighted confusion. The servants were all agog with May and music; and there was no keeping either the tongues or the feet of the maids quiet, who were anticipating the sports of the green, and the evening dance.

I repaired to the village at an early hour to enjoy the merry-making. The morning was pure and sunny, such as a May morning is always described. The fields were white with daisies, the hawthorn was covered with its fragrant blossoms, the bee hummed about every bank, and the swallow played high in the air about the village steeple. It was one of those genial days when we seem to draw in pleasure with the very air we breathe, and to feel happy we know not why. Whoever has felt the worth of worthy man, or has doted on lovely woman, will, on such a day, call them tenderly to mind,' and feel his heart all alive with long-buried recollections. “For thenne," says the excellent romance of King Arthur, "lovers call again to thair mynde old gentilnes and old service, and many kind dedes that were forgotten by negligence."

Before reaching the village, I saw the May-pole towering above the cottages, with its gay garlands and streamers, and heard the sound of music. Booths had been set up near it, for the reception of company; and a bower of green branches and flowers for the Queen of May, a fresh rosy-cheeked girl of the village.- Washington Irving.

You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear;
To-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all the glad new year;
Of all the glad new year, mother, the maddest, merriest day;
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

There's many a black black eye, they say, but none so bright as mine;
There's Margaret and Mary, there's Kate and Caroline :
But none so fair as little Alice in all the land they say,
So I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

I sleep so sound all night, mother, that I shall never wake,
If you do not call me loud, when the day begins to break;
But I must gather knots of flowers, and buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

As I came up the valley, whom think you should I see,
But Robin leaning on the bridge beneath the hazel-tree;
He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterday-
But I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

He thought I was a ghost, mother, for I was all in white,
And I ran by him without speaking, like a flash of light.
They call me cruel-hearted, but I care not what they say,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

Little Effie shall go with me to-morrow to the green,
And you'll be there too, mother, to see me made the Queen ;
For the shepherd lads on every side 'll come from far away,
And I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
The honeysuckle round the porch has wov'n its wavy bowers,
And by the meadow-trenches blow the faint sweet cuckoo-flowers ;
And the wild marsh-marigold shines like fire in swamps and hollows

gray,
And I'm to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.
The night winds come and go, mother, upon the meadow grass,
And the happy stars above them seem to brighten as they pass,
There will not be a drop of rain the whole of the livelong day,
And I'm to be Queen of the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.
All the valley, mother, 'll be fresh and green and still,
And the cowslip and the crowfoot are over all the hill,
And the rivulet in the flowery dale 'll merrily glance and play,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o'the May.
So you must wake and call me early, call me early mother, dear,
To-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all the glad new-year:
To-morrow 'll be of all the year the maddest merriest day,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother, I'm to be Queen o' the May.

New-YEAR'S EVE.
If you're waking call me early, call me early mother dear,
For I would see the sun rise upon the glad new-year.
It is the last new-year that I shall ever see,
Then you may lay me low i' the mould and think no more of me.
To-night I saw the sun set: he set and left behind
The good old year, the dear old time, and all my peace of mind,
And the new-year's coming up, mother, but I shall never see
The blossom on the blackthorn, the leaf upon the tree.

Last May we made a crown of flowers: we had a merry day;
Beneath the hawthorn on the green they made me Queen of May.
And we danced about the May-pole and in the hazel copse,
Till Charles's wain came out above the tall white chimney tops.

There's not a flower on all the hills: the frost is on the pane ;
I only wish to live till the snowdrops come again :
I wish the snow would melt and the sun come out on high :
I long to see a flower so before the day I die.

The building rook '11 caw from the windy tall elm tree,
And the tufted plover pipe along the fallow lea,
And the swallow 'll come back again with summer o'er the wave,
But I shall lie alone, mother, within the mouldering grave.
Upon the chancel casement, and upon that grave of mine,
In the early early morning the summer sun 'll shine,
Before the red cock crows from the farm upon the hill,
When you are warm asleep, mother, and all the world is still.
When the flowers come again, mother, beneath the waning light,
You'll never see me more in the long gray fields at night;
When from the dry dark wold the summer airs blow cool
On the oat-grass and the sword-grass, and the bulrush in the pool.
You'll bury me, my mother, just beneath the hawthorn shade,
And you'll come sometimes and see me where I am lowly laid,
I shall not forget you, mother, I shall hear you when you pass,
With your feet above my head in the long and pleasant grass.
I have been wild and wayward, but you'll forgive me now;
You'll kiss me, my own mother, upon my cheek and brow;
Nay, nay, you must not weep, nor let your grief be wild,
You should not fret for me mother, you have another child.

« AnteriorContinuar »