« PreviousContinue »
Substantial life to have thee by my side
Part of my soul, I seek thee, and thee claim
And wisdom, which alone is truly fair."
Lord George Noel Gordon Byron was born in London, England, January 22, 1788, and died in Missolonghi, Greece, April 19, 1824. The following is an extract from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage."
H! that the Desert were my dwelling-place,
With one fair Spirit for my minister,
That I might all forget the human race,
In deeming such inhabit many a spot?
Though with them to converse can rarely be our lot.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean - roll!
When, for a moment, like a drop of rain,
His steps are not upon thy paths,- thy fields
And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields
Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies,
And howling to his Gods, where haply lies
His petty hope in some near port or bay,
And dashest him again to earth: there let him lay.
The armaments which thunderstrike the walls
Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake,
The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make
These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake,
Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee
Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,
Dark-heaving;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward; from a boy
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL
James Russell Lowell was born in Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 22, 1819, and died there Aug. 12, 1891. The following extract is from the "Ode Recited at the Harvard Commemoration," July 21, 1865.
MUCH was he, our Martyr-Chief,
Whom late the Nation he had led,
With ashes on her head,
Wept with the passion of an angry grief:
And cannot make a man
Save on some worn-out plan,
For him her Old-World moulds aside she threw,
Of the unexhausted West,
With stuff untainted shaped a hero new,
Wise, steadfast in the strength of God, and true.
How beautiful to see
Once more a shepherd of mankind indeed,
Who loved his charge, but never loved to lead;
But by his clear-grained human worth,
They knew that outward grace is dust;
In that sure-footed mind's unfaltering skill,
And supple-tempered will
That bent like perfect steel to spring again and
His was no lonely mountain-peak of mind,
Nothing of Europe here,
Or, then, of Europe fronting mornward still,
Ere any names of Serf and Peer
Could Nature's equal scheme deface
Here was a type of the true elder race,
And one of Plutarch's men talked with us face to face.
I praise him not; it were too late;
And some innative weakness there must be