« PreviousContinue »
Nor worn with lips devout the rock-hewn grot
Where, in his mother's tears embalmed, he lay; Nor smote my breast on that sad mountain-head
Where, even in death, conquering the Powers of Air, His arms, as to embrace our earth, he spread,
And bowed his head, to bless it there.
For these I leave my home; for these I stake
My little span of useless years below:
The trunk that yields nor fruit nor foliage now? Fool! says the crowd. Theirs is the foolish part !
Not in one spot can the soul's food be found; No!- to the poet thought is bread, his heart Lives on his Maker's works around.
Alphonse de Lamartine. Tr. Anon.
THE LAST CRUSADER.
EFT to the Saviour's conquering foes,
The land that girds the Saviour's grave; Where Godfrey's 'crosier-standard rose,
He saw the crescent-banner wave.
There, o’er the gently broken vale,
The halo-light on Zion glowed ; There Kedron, with a voice of wail,
By tombs of saints and heroes flowed ;
There still the olives silver o'er
The dimness of the distant hill ;
There still the flowers that Sharon bore,
Calm air with many an odor fill.
Slowly the last Crusader eyed
The towers, the mount, the stream, the plain, And thought of those whose blood had dyed
The earth with crimson streams in vain !
He thought of that sublime array,
The hosts that over land and deep The Hermit marshalled on their way,
To see those towers, and halt to weep!
Resigned the loved familiar lands,
O’er burning wastes the cross to bear, And rescue from the Paynim's hands
The empire of a sepulchre !
And vain the hope, and vain the loss,
And vain the famine and the strife : In vain the faith that bore the cross,
The valor prodigal of life!
And vain was Richard's lion-soul,
And guileless Godfrey's patient mind, Like waves on shore, they reached the goal,
To die, and leave no trace behind !
“O God!” the last Crusader cried,
* And art thou careless of thine own? For us thy Son in Salem died,
And Salem is the scoffer's throne !
“And shall we leave, from age to age,
To godless hands the holy tomb ? Against thy saints the heathen rage,
Launch forth thy lightnings and consume !”
Swift, as he spoke, before his sight
A form flashed, white-robed, from above; All Heaven was in those looks of light,
But Heaven, whose native air is love.
“ Alas !” the solemn vision said,
Thy God is of the shield and spear, To bless the quick and raise the dead,
The Saviour-God descended here !
“Ask not the Father to reward
The hearts that seek, through blood, the Son ; O warrior! never by the sword The Saviour's Holy Land is won !”
Edward, Lord Lytton.
AIL to the hills where Desolation weeps,
Yet holy watch untiring Memory keeps! Hail to the vales where Plenty laughs no more, Or mantling vines display their purple store, But every rock with history's wreath is crowned, And every barren glen is hallowed ground ! Hail to the streams that flow not now along
Blessed by the saint, or charmed by holy song,
Ah! who so cold can gaze, and wander here, Nor feel his bosom thrill, nor shed a tear ? Thrill, when he thinks of glorious times of yore, And weep to know that glory ever o'er. The ground he treads a thousand saints have trod, Prophets, far-visioned bards, and seers of God. The ruined tower, the once-green olived hill, The stony waste, the half-choked fount and rill, Each tells its tale that prompts a hope or sigh, Linked with celestial memories ne'er to die. The harp of Judah sounds o'er Sharon's vale, Though there no more the roses scent the gale: Despite the Roman's plough, and Moslem's shrine, Fancy beholds the Temple's splendors shine; High stands on Olivet that sacred form, Bright in our world as rainbow in a storm; By Kedron's tomb-lined brook he wanders slow, Teaches his followers mid those caves below, Sheds tears loved Salem's bitter fate to tell, Or leans and talks by blessed Samaria's well: Yes, those far ages flash a heavenly ray, That hallows' every scene we here survey.
Nicholas Michell. SYRIA.
I ask no flowery tribute of the spring,