« PreviousContinue »
VOICES OF THE NIGHT.
Πότνια, πότνια νυξ,
Dreams that the soul of youth engage PLEASANT it was, when woods were
Ere Fancy has been quell'd;
Old legends of the monkish page, green,
Traditions of the saint and sage, And winds were soft and low,
Tales that have the rime of To lie amid some sylvan scene,
And chronicles of Eld. Where, the long drooping boughs between,
And, loving still these quaint old themes, Shadows dark and sunlight sheen
Even in the city's throng Alternate come and go;
I feel the freshness of the streams,
That, crossed by shades and sunny Or where the denser grove receives
gleams, No sunlight from above,
Water the green land of dreams,
The holy land of song.
Therefore, at Pentecost, which brings The shadows hardly move.
The spring, clothed like a bride,
When nestling buds unfold their wings, Beneath some patriarchal tree
And bishop's-caps have golden rings, I lay upon the ground;
Musing upon many things, His hoary arms uplifted he,
I sought the woodlands wide. And all the broad leaves over me Clapped their little hands in glee, The green trees whispered low and mild; With one continuous sound ;
It was a sound of joy! A slumberous sound,-a sound that They were my playmates when a child
And rocked me in their arms so wild ! brings
Still they looked at me and smiled, The feelings of a dream,
As if I were a boy; As of innumerable wings, As, when a bell no longer swings, And ever whispered, mild and low, Faint the hollow murmur rings
“Come, be a child once more!” O'er meadow, lake, and stream. And waved their long arms to and fro,
And beckoned solemnly and slow; And dreams of that which cannot die,
Oh, I could not choose but go
Into the woodlands hoar;
Into the blithe and breathing air,
Into the solemn wood, Like ships upon the sea;
Solemn and silent everywhere!
All solemn Voices of the Night, That can soothe thee, or affright,
Be these henceforth thy theme.”
Nature with folded hands seemed there, Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Like one in prayer I stood. Before me rose an avenue
Of tall and sombrous pines;
In long and sloping lines.
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Ye were so sweet and wild !
Thou art no more a child !
Watered by living springs;
Its clouds are angels' wings. “Learn, that henceforth thy song shall
The bending heavens below.
Of iron branches sounds ! A mighty river roars between, And whosoever looks therein, Sees the heavens all black with sin,
Sees not its depths, nor bounds. “Athwart the swinging branches cast,
Soft rays of sunshine pour; Then comes the fearful wintry blast; Our hopes, like withered leaves, fall fast; Pallid lips say, “It is past !
We can return no more! “Look, then, into thine heart, and
write! Yes, into Life's deep stream! All forras of sorrow and delight,
HYMN TO THE NIGHT.
'Ασπασίη, τρίλλιστος. I HEARD the trailing garments of the
Night Sweep through her marble halls ! I saw her sable skirts all fringed with
light From the celestial walls ! I felt her presence by its spell of might,
Stoop o'er me from above; The calm, majestic presence of the
Night, As of the one I love. I heard the sounds of sorrow and delight,
The manifold, soft chimes, That fill the haunted chambers of the
Night, Like some old poet's rhymes. From the cool cisterns of the midnight
air My spirit drank repose; The fountain of perpetual peace flows
there, From those deep cisterns flows. O holy Night! from thee I learn to bear
What man has borne before : Thou layst thy finger on the lips of Care,
And they complain no more. Peace! Peace! Orestes-like I breathe
this prayer! Descend with broad-winged flight, The welcome, the thrice-prayed-for, the
A PSALM OF LIFE.
WHAT THE HEART OF THE YOUNG
MAN SAID TO THE PSALMIST. Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
“Life is but an empty dream!”. For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal; "Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and
brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the bivouac of Life,
Be a hero in the strife!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Heart within, and God o'erhead! Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labour and to wait.
And earnest thoughts within me rise,
When I behold afar, Suspended in the evening skies,
The shield of that red star. O star of strength! I see thee stand
And smile upon my pain; Thou beckonest with thy mailèd hand,
And I am strong again., Within
breast there is no light,
To the red plan Mars.
He rises in my breast,
And calm, and self-possessed. And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,
That readest this brief psalm,
Be resolute and calm.
And thou shalt know ere long,
To suffer and be strong.
THE LIGHT OF STARS. The night is come, but not too soon;
And sinking silently,
Drops down behind the sky.
But the cold light of stars;
To the red planet Mars.
The star of love and dreams?
A hero's armour gleams.
THE REAPER AND THE
FLOWERS. THERE is a Reaper, whose name is
Death, And, with his sickle keen, He reaps the bearded grain at a breath,
And the flowers that grow between. “Shall I have nought that is fair !”
saith he; “Have nought but the bearded grain ? Though the breath of these flowers is
sweet to me, I will give them all back again.” He gazed at the flowers with tearsul
eyes, He kissed their drooping leaves; It was for the Lord of Paradise
He bound them in his sheaves. "My Lord has need of these flowerets
gay, The Reaper said, and smiled ; “Dear tokens of the earth are they, Where he was once a child.