« 上一頁繼續 »
Those speculative heights that lure
Tow'rds ether too attenuately pure
But better loved the foothold sure Of paths that wind by old abodes of men 130 Who hope at last the churchyard's peace secure,
And follow time-worn rules, that them suffice,
His mind, too brave to look on Truth askance, 135 No more those habitudes of faith could share,
But, tinged with sweetness of the old Swiss manse,
The enigma of creation to surprise,
Without a mystery from kindly eyes ;
And caught his native greatness at rebound 145 From generosities itself had fired;
Then how the heat through every fibre ran,
Virtues and faults it to one metal wrought, 150
Fined all his blood to thought,
152. Tully is the now somewhat old-fashioned English way of referring to Marcus Tullius Cicero, whose book De Oratore and Quintilian's Institutiones Oratorie were the most celebrated ancient works on thetoric.
And his rapt audience all unconscious lent
Persuasion fondled in his look and tone;
Her coy constraints and icy hindrances 60 Melted upon his lips to natural ease,
As a brook's fetters swell the dance of spring.
By velvet courtesy or caution cold,
But, with two-handed wrath,
Struck once nor needed to strike more.
His magic was not far to seek, —
Far from his kind he neither sank nor soared,
No prince presume; for still himself he bare 175 At manhood's simple level, and where'er
He met a stranger, there he left a friend.
Like visits of those earthly gods he came; 180 His look, wherever its good-fortune fell,
Doubled the feast without a miracle,
Amphitryon's gold-juice humanized to wine. 183. For the stories of Philemon and Amphitryon, see Ovid's Metamorphoses, viii. 631, and vi. 112.
Gather again from all their far-flown nooks,
Thicken their twilight files 190 Tow'rds Tintern's gray repose of roofless aisles:
Once more I see him at the table's head
To scholars, poets, wits, All choice, some famous, loving things, not names, 195 And so without a twinge at others' fames,
Such company as wisest moods befits,
Of undeliberate mirth,
Tracing the eccentric orbit of a jest.
And but one chair is empty of them all;
Immortal, changeless creatures of the brain:
190. Tintern Abbey on the river Wye is one of the most fa. mous ruins in England. About this as other ruins and shaded buildings the rooks make their home.
192. A club known as the Saturday Club has for many years net in Boston, and some of the prominent members are intimated in the following lines.
Of sense or spirit, to the truly sane ;
In this abstraction it were light to deem
They are the real things, and I the ghost
And strive to speak and am but futile air, 215 As truly most of us are little more.
The latest parted thence,
And armed neutrality of self-defence
While Tyro, plucking facts with careless reach,
The infallible strategy of volunteers 225 Making through Nature's walls its easy breach,
And seems to learn where he alone could teach.
Centre where minds diverse and various skills 230 Find their warm nook and stretch unhampered
The eyes whose sunshine runs before the lips 335 While Holmes's rockets curve their long ellipse, And burst in seeds of fire that burst again
To drop in scintillating rain.
216. Agassiz himself.
There too the face half-rustic, half-divine,
Self-poised, sagacious, freaked with humor fine, 240 Of bim who taught us not to mow and mope
About our fancied selves, but seek our scope In Nature's world and Man's, nor fade to hollow trope;
Listening with eyes averse I see him sit
Pricked with the cider of the judge's wit 245 (Ripe-hearted homebrew, fresh and fresh again), While the wise nose's firm-built aquiline
Curves sharper to restrain
Pass not the dumb laugh learned in listening woods 250
Of silence-shedding pine :
Of petals that remember, not foretell, 255 The paler primrose of a second spring.
First he from sympathy still held apart 238. Ralph Waldo Emerson. The words half-rustic, halfdivine, recall Lowell's earlier characterization in his Fable for Critics :
" A Greek head on right Yankee shoulders, whose range
Las Olympus for one pole, for t'other the Exchange ;
And the Gascon's shrewd wit casek by jowl co-exist."
258. Nathaniel Hawthorne. He was varied in Concord, Mav 24, 1864.