ePub 版

They dared not feel new hopes were


For both, and trembling pleasures new.


Now neither sat beside the grave,
They stood below the old Yew-tree,
That with its sable shadows gave
A home where grief might love to be.


They speak of those so lately gone, And words of sorrow dry their tears; And even when the tear flows on It each to each the more endears. 40. For grief like theirs, without remorse, Is yet a gentle hallowed feeling, And darkens not the limpid source Of joy, from love's deep fountain stealing.

41. Thou Breeze of dawn, a music blent With hues that are a song of light! Thou Sky, whose dome, above them bent,

Expands the cloudless god to sight!


Thou greenest World, through countless ages

Adorned our bounteous home to be! So fair beyond the dreams of sages, Which are but glimpses caught from thee!

43. And Thou pervading Soul of All, In man's large mind most clearly shown,


Bear witness! ye consenting saw,
And shed from all your seats above,
A strength all evil fears to awe,
In those two hearts combined by love.


At morning oft, and oft at eve, They met below the old Yew-tree, For they would not forget to grieve, Though blest as mortal souls may be. 'Twere worth a thoughtful wish to see A loving pair so calm, so young,


With graven brow of shapely span, And sudden-moving, pensive eye.


With bold affection, pure and true,
The lovers rose all fears above,
And Faith and Conscience fed with dew
The strong and flame-like flower of


'Mid graves, beside the churchyard tree,

While summer's light around them clung.


He seemed a more than common man, Whom children passed not heedless by,

48. Retired and staid was Henry's look, And shrank from men's tumultuous


And on the earth as on a book
He oft would bend his gaze.

But then at sight of bird or flower,
Or beam that set the clouds in flame,
Or aught that told of joy or power,
Upon the man his genius came.

Most flashed his light whene'er he saw The kind and blooming face of Jane, When Love, by its supremest law, Bade care depart, and fears be vain.

Receiving at devotion's call
Whate'er of best thy Sire makes It was, in truth, a simple soul


51. His Jane was fair to any eye; How more than earthly fair to him! To think that it should e'er be dim. Her very beauty made you sigh


So childlike young, so gravely sweet, With smiles of some disportive sprite, While blushes clear and fancies fleet Played o'er in rippling waves of light.


That filled with day her great blue


That made her all one gracious Whole,
Unmarred by vain and selfish lies.

54. She had no art, and little skill In aught save Right, and maiden Feel


On Henry's wisdom leant her will,
No ignorance from him concealing.


And so she freshened all his life,
As does a sparkling mountain rill,
That plays with scarce a show of strife
Around its green aspiring hill.


Sometimes amid the glimmering meads
And marked above the mill-stream
They walked in August's genial eve,

The myriad flies their mazes weave.


While under heaven's warm lucent hues
They felt their eyes and bosoms glow,
And learnt how fondly Fancy views
Fair sights the moment ere they go.

And then, while earth was darkening o'er,

While stars began their tranquil day,
Rejoiced that Nature gives us more
Than all it ever takes away.
In earliest autumn's fading woods
Remote from eyes they roamed at morn,
And saw how Time transmuting broods
O'er all that into Time is born.

That power which men would fain forget,

The law of change and slow decay,
Came to them with a mild regret,
A brightness veiled in softening gray.


While in this mood one day they sat
Beside a lonely woodland spring,
On moss that spread a living mat,
The fountain's verdant fairy-ring-


To Jane her lover slowly said,
"The time, the scene, recall to me
A story of a youth and maid
In famous lands beyond the sea.

9. "In land of Greece in ancient days, A man, by many dreams possessed, Would wander oft from trodden ways, And rudest wilds he loved the best. 10

"He strewed his thoughts along the gale,

He gave his heart to earth and sky,
To trees his life's fantastic tale
Was known, but not to mortal eye.


"His soul devout, his shaping mind, Had power at last o'er mystic things, And could the silent charms unbind That chain the fountain's icy springs.

12. "There shone a breezeless autumn


When o'er the crystal cell arose
A woman from the waters born,
And fair as aught our fancy knows.

"He sought to make the maid his own, For earthly love a human bride; Her voice had love's pathetic tone, But still her words the suit denied. 14.

"One day of pure delight was given In every month of changing skies,

And 'twas once more the autumnal heaven

That saw the Fountain Spirit rise.


"Again the youth his fay besought A mortal's lot with him to share, For converse all of airy thought Contents but souls ensphered in air ; 16. "And man will ask below the skies That breast may lean to beating breast, That mingling hands and answering


May halve the toil and glad the rest.



"I too,' she said, and saying darkened, • Must speak to thee of certain doom, To thee for whom my deeps have hearkened,

And oft have felt unwonted gloom.


"For thee my heart, so calmly blest, Has throbbed with keener hopes and joys;

My waves have sparkled unrepressed, And breathed for thee more vocal noise.

19. "Too fond has been our mutual love To last beneath yon clouded sun; And fate, that sternly sits above, Decrees our bliss already done. 20. "At morn or eve thou must no more Return for commune sweet with me; My gaze on mortal eyes is o'er, Because it may not feed on thee. 21. "Thou must in other pathways roam, But sometimes think that once we met; I seek my lonely cavern home, There still to live, but not forget.' 22.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

But clear she saw, and truly felt,
That Henry was not well at ease;
'Twas not a grief obscurely spelt,
But plain as aught the spirit sees.
Her arms around his neck she threw,
Against his cheek her head she laid,
And he could feel the sigh she drew,
Could feel the passion of the maid.
Then first upon her soul it broke
That Time their lives might sever;
From joy's delightful trance she woke,
And it was gone for ever:


As when a child first snaps the band
That close to home has bound him ;
Or as the sailor dreams of land,
And wakes with waves around him.

Long time she paused, and hid her face,

Then raised her head in piteous sor



Slow dragged along the unsmiling year, With winds, and mist, and foliage torn ; And, though their green love grew not sere, They could not cease to mourn. 2.

But still they strove to feed their hope,
Though faint and worn away with
Though in their passion's ample scope
Was room for many tears.


As doubting in his look to trace A hope for e'en to-morrow.

To see the Sexton Henry came,
And told how great a thing he sought;

[blocks in formation]



"The autumn woods are fair to see, Its clouds with straggling sunshine burn;

But lovelier will the springtime be, When warmth, and hope, and life return."

38. With long, sad smiles, of sorrow bred, The fate-struck lovers left each other, While both at heart more deeply bled Than even for a buried mother.

The father did not loudly blame,
But sat in unrejoicing thought.


At last he spoke, with lingering tongue :

"My friend, I will not say you no, Though Jane is still but weak and young From her old father's side to go. 5.

"Indeed, 'twould be a wiser plan, If you could come and live with me; Though I am not a book-learned man, With her to help we might agree. 6. "The house and fields are all my own, And will be his who weds with her,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

"The chaff may glitter in the sun,
And dance before the wind,
But I would rather look upon
The quiet heap behind.

But when the waste has reached an end

The gains of thrift are coming in.


The wise man takes a day to win;

39. "And ever I have seen that they Who least had cause to fear the morrow, Have cheeriest walked the open way, Nor hung their heads in sorrow.


"Who does not feel how hard the

For one whose life must soon be o'er,
That all his days have added nought,
But still made less man's little store?

"And therefore, Jane, I think it right That you should choose a gainful man, One working hard from morn till night, Gathering and hoarding all he can. 42.

"Yet, mind you well, I do not say But Henry may your husband be; Though much I doubt if learning's pay Will keep a house from leanness free. 43.

"His health, by study much abused,
Seems now, if well I mark, to pine;
And then he has been always used
To nurture delicate and fine.

"His mother's stipend ceased with her,
And he, I know, must needs be poor;
And so methinks it better were
That you and he should love no more.

"But stay till winter days be past,
And when the spring returns again,
If still I find your liking last,
Why then-nay, come and kiss me,

[blocks in formation]

With anguish more than dread.


But when the closing promise came, They both were comforted and cheered; "What some within an hour would For, freed from strife, remorse, and



The old man's eye no more they feared.

« 上一頁繼續 »