網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Back on the past he turns his eye;

Till she sunk with very weakness. Her old Remembering with an envious sigh

mother The happy dreams of Youth.

Omitted no kind office, working for her,

Albeit her hardest labour barely earn'd
So reaches he the latter stage

Enough to keep life struggling, and prolong
Of this our mortal pilgrimage,

The pains of grief and sickness. Thus she lay
With feeble step and slow;

On the sick bed of poverty, worn out
New ills that latter stage await,

With her long suffering and those painful thoughts And old Experience learns too late

Which at her heart were rankling, and so weak,
That all is vanity below.

That she could make no effort to express
Life's vain delusions are gone by,

Affection for her infant; and the child,
Its idle hopes are o'er,

Whose lisping love perhaps had solaced her,
Yet Age remembers with a sigh

Shunn'd her as one indifferent. But she too
The days that are no more.

Had grown indifferent to all things of earth;
Finding her only comfort in the thought
Of that cold bed wherein the wretched rest.
There had she now, in that last home been laid,
And all was over now,

sickness and grief, Her shame, her suffering, and her penitence:

Their work was done. The school-boys as they Hannah.

sport

In the church-yard, for awhile might turn away Passing across a green and lonely lane From the fresh grave till grass should cover it; A funeral met our view. It was not here Nature would do that office soon; and none A sight of every day, as in the streets

Who trod upon the senseless turf would think Of some great city, and we stopt and ask'd Of what a world of woes lay buried there! Whom they were bearing to the grave. A girl, They answer’d, of the village, who had pined Through the long course of eighteen painful

months
With such slow wasting, that the hour of death
Came welcome to her. We pursued our way

The Ebb tide.
To the bouse of mirth, and with that idle talk
Which passes o'er the mind and is forgot,

Slowly thy flowing tide
We wore away the time. But it was eve Came in, old Avon! scarcely did mine eyes,
When homewardly I went, and in the air As watchfully I roam'd thy green-wood side,
Was that cool freshness, that discolouring shade Behold the gentle rise.
Which makes the eye turn inward: hearing then
Over the vale the heavy toll of death

With many a stroke and strong
Sound slow, it made ne think upon the dead The labouring boatmen upward plied their oars,
I question'd more, and learnt her mournful tale. And yet the eye beheld them labouring long
She bore unhusbanded a mother's pains;

Between thy winding shores.
And he who should have cherish'd her, far off
Sail'd on the seas. Left thus a wretched one,

Now down thine ebbing tide
Scorn made a mock of her, and evil tongues The unlabour'd boat falls rapidly along;
Were busy with her name. She had to bear The solitary helmsman sits to guide,
The sharper sorrow of neglect from him

And sings an idle song.
Whom she had loved so dearly. Once he wrote,
But only once that drop of comfort came

Now o'er the rocks that lay
To mingle with her cup of wretchedness; So silent late the shallow current roars;
And when his parents had some tidings from him, Fast flow thy waters on their sea-ward way,
There was no mention of poor Hannah there,

Through wider-spreading shores.
Or 'twas the cold inquiry, more unkind
Than silence. So she pined and pined away,

Avon! I gaze and know
And for herself and baby toild and toil'd; The lesson emblem'd in thy varying way;
Nor did she, even on her death-bed, rest It speaks of human joys that rise so slow,
From labour, knitting there with lifted arms,

So rapidly decay.

[ocr errors]

or ,

Kingdoms which long have stood, What a cold sickness made her blood run back And slow to strength and power attain'd at last, When first she heard the tidings of the fight: Thus from the summit of high fortune's flood Man does not know with what a dreadful hope Ebb to their ruin fast.

She listened to the names of those who died:

Man does not know, knowing, will not
Thus like thy flow appears

heed,
Time's tardy course to manhood's envied stage; With what an agony of tenderness
Alas! how hurryingly the ebbing years She gazed upon her children, and beheld
Then hasten to old age!

His image who was gone. O God! be Thou,
Who art the widow's friend, her comforter!

The Victory.

The Battle of Blenheim.

It was a summer evening,

Old Kaspar's work was done,
And be before his cottage door

Was sitting in the sun,
And by him sported on the green
His little grandchild Wilhelmine.

[ocr errors]

She saw her brother Peterkin

Roll something lurge and round,
Which he beside the rivulet

In playing there had found;
He came to ask what he had found,
That was so large, and smooth, and round.

Hark, how the church bells' thundering har

mony
Stuns the glad ear! tidings of joy have come,
Good tidings of great joy! two gallant ships
Met on the element; they inet, they fought
A desperate fight! – good tidings of great joy!
Old England triumph'd! — yet another day
Of glory for the ruler of the waves !
For those who fell, 'twas in their country's cause,
They have their passing paragraphs of praise,
And are forgotten!

There was one who died
In that day's glory, whose obscurer name
No proud historian's page will chronicle.
Peace to his honest soul! I read his name,
'Twas in the list of slaughter, and blest God
The sound was not familiar to mine ear.
But it was told me, after, that this man
Was one whom lawful violence had forced
From his own home, and wife, and little ones,
Who by his labour lived; that he was one
Whose uncorrupted heart could keenly feel
A husband's love, - a father's anxiousness;
That, from the wages of his toil, he fed
The distant dear ones, and would talk of them
At midnight, when he trod the silent deck
With him he valued; talk of them, of joys
Which he had known, oh God! and of the

hour
When they should meet again, till his full heart,
His manly heart, at last would overflow
Even like a child's with very tenderness.
Peace to his honest spirit! suddenly
It came, and merciful the ball of death,
For it came suddenly and shatter'd him,
And left no moment's agonizing thought
On those he loved so well.

He, ocean deep,
Now lies at rest. Be Thou her comforter
Who art the widow's friend! Man does not know

Old Kaspar took it from the boy,

Who stood expectant by;
And then the old man shook his head,

And with a natural sigh,
" 'Tis some poor fellow's scull,” said he,
“Who fell in the great victory.

“I find them in the garden,

"For there's many here about; "And often when I go to plough,

“The ploughshare turns them out! "For many thousand men,” said he, "Were slain in that great victory."

"Now tell us what 'twas all about,"

Young Peterkin he cries;
While little Wilhelmine looks up,

With wonder-waiting eyes;
"Now tell us all about the war,
"And what they kill'd each other for."

"It was the English,” Kaspar cried,

"Who put the French to rout;
"But what they kill'd each other for,

[blocks in formation]

"Great praise the Duke of Marlbro' won,

“And our good prince Eugene." “Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!"

Said little Wilhelmine. "Nay - nay my little girl," quoth he, "It was a famous victory.

O God! have mercy in this dreadful hour

On the poor mariner! in comfort here

Safe shelter'd as I am, I almost fear
The blast that rages with resistless power.

What were it now to toss upon the waves,
The madden'd waves, and know no succour near;
The howling of the storm alone to hear,

And the wild sea that to the tempest raves :
To gaze amid the horrors of the night,
And only see the billow's gleaming light;

And in the dread of death to think of her,
Who, as she listens, sleepless, to the gale,
Puts up a silent prayer and waxes pale?

O God! have mercy on the mariner!

"And every body prais'd the Duke

"Who this great fight did win.” "But what good came of it at last?"

Quoth little Peterkin. "Why, that I cannot tell,” said he, “But 'twas a famous victory."

To a Bee.

Mary, the Maid of the Inn.
Thou wert out betimes, thou busy, busy Bee!
As abroad I took my early way,

Who is yonder poor Maniac, whose wildlyfix'd Before the cow from her resting-place

eyes

Seem a heart overcharged to express?
Had risen up and left her trace
On the meadow, with dew so grey,

She weeps not, yet often and deeply she sighs: Saw I thee, thou busy, busy Bee.

She never complains, but her silence implies

The composure of settled distress. Thou wert working late, thou busy, busy Bee !

After the fall of the Cistus flower; No pity she looks for, no alms does she seek; When the Primrose of evening was ready to burst, Nor for raiment nor food doth she care:

Through her rags do the winds of the winter With fearless good-humour did Mary comply,

blow bleak

And her way to the Abbey she bent; On that wither'd breast, and her weatherworn The night it was dark, and the wind it was high,

cheek

And as hollowly howling it swept through the sky, Hath the hue of a mortal despair.

She shiver'd with cold as she went.

1

Yet cheerful and happy, nor distant the day, O'er the path so well known still proceeded the Poor Mary the Maniac hath been;

Maid The Traveller remembers who journey'd this way Where the Abbey rose dim on the sight; No damsel so lovely, no damsel so gay, Through the gate-way she enter'd, she felt not As Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

afraid,

Yet the ruins were lonely and wild, and their Her cheerful address fill'd the guests with de

shade light

Seem'd to deepen the gloom of the night. As she welcomed them in with a smile; Her heart was a stranger to childish affright, All around her was silent, save when the rude And Mary would walk by the Abbey at night

blast When the wind whistled down the dark aisle. Howl'd dismally round the old pile;

Over weed-cover'd fragments she fearlessly past, She loved, and young Richard had settled the day, And arrived at the innermost ruin at last, And she hoped to be happy for life:

Where the elder-tree grew in the aisle. But Richard was idle and worthless, and they Who knew him would pity poor Mary and say Well-pleased did she reach it, and quickly drew That she was too good for his wife.

near,

And hastily gather'd the bough; 'Twas in autumn, and stormy and dark was the When the sound of a voice seem'd to rise on

night, And fast were the windows and door.

She paused, and she listen'd all eager to hear, Two guests sat enjoying the fire that burnt bright, And her heart panted fearfully now. And smoking in silence, with tranquil delight They listen'd to hear the wind roar.

The wind blew, the hoarse ivy shook over her

head, 'Tis pleasant, cried one, seated by the fire-side She listen'd nought else could she hear; To hear the wind whistle without.

The wind fell, her heart sunk in her bosom with What a night for the Abbey! his comrade replied,

dread, Methinks a man's courage would now be well tried For she heard in the ruins distinctly the tread Who should wander the ruins about.

Of footsteps approaching her near.

her ear,

[ocr errors]

I myself, like a school-boy, should tremble to Behind a wide column, half breathless with fear,

hear

She crept to conceal herself there: The hoarse ivy shake over my head; That instant the moon o'er a dark cloud shone And could fancy I saw, half persuaded by fear,

clear, Some ugly old Abbot's grim spirit appear, And she saw in the moon-light two ruffians appear, For this wind might awaken the dead!

And between them a corpse did they bear.

I'll wager a dinner, the other one cried,

That Mary would venture there now.
Then wager and lose! with a sneer he replied,
I'll warrant she'd fancy a ghost by her side,

And faint if she saw a white cow,

Then Mary could feel her heart-blood curdle cold!

Again the rough wind hurried by,
It blew off the hat of the one, and, behold!
Even close to the feet of poor Mary it roli'd,

She felt, and expected to die.

we hide

Will Mary this charge on her courage allow? Curse the hat! he exclaims; nay come on, till

His companion exclaim'd with a smile;
I shall win, for I know she will venture The dead body, his comrade replies.

there now,

She beholds them in safety pass on by her side, And earn a new bonnet by bringing a bough She seizes the hat, fear her courage supplied, From the elder that grows in the aisle.

And fast through the Abbey she dies.

She ran with wild speed, she rush'd in at the Her eyes from that object convulsively start,

door,

For what a cold horror then thrilld through She gazed horribly cager around,

her heart Then her limbs could support their faint burthen When the name of her Richard she knew !

no more, And exhausted and breathless she sunk on the Where the old Abbey stands, on the common floor,

hard by, Unable to utter a sound.

His gibbet is now to be seen;

His irons you still from the road may espy, Ere yet her pale lips could the story impart, The traveller beholds them and thinks with a sigh For a moment the hat met her view;

Of poor Mary, the Maid of the Inn.

Moore.

Thomas Moore ward am 28. Mai 1780 in Dublin geboren, studirte daselbst und widmete sich dann der juristischen Praxis. 1803 erhielt er eine Anstellung in Bermuda, kehrte aber 1806 wieder nach England zurück, vermühlte sich und lebt seit dieser Zeit als Privatmann, meist bei Bowwood in Wiltshire.

Abgesehen von seinen prosaischen Schriften hat sich Moore besonders einen bedeutenden Namen erworben durch seine epischen, lyrischen und satyrischen Poesieen. Eine vollständige Ausgabe seiner Dichtungen mit Ausnahine der wenigen später geschriebenen, kam für Deutschland, Leipzig 1826 in einem Bande in gross 8. heraus. Sie enthält sein grösseres aus vier erzählenden Gedichten bestehendes und durch einen prosaischen Rahmen verbundenes Werk, Lalla Rookh, ein anderes episches Poem, the Loves of the Angels, eine Reihe von Satyren, The Fudge Family, eine Sammlung Lieder, Irish Melodies, viele einzelne lyrische Poesieen, Satyren, Fabeln u. A. m.

Die glänzendste Phantasie in ihrem üppigsten Reichthume, eine fast schneidende Schürfe des Verstandes und der Auffassungskraft und die dem innersten Herzen entsprungene Tiefe des Gefühls sind Eigenschaften, die Moore nie verlassen, sondern beständig als die treuesten und bereitwilligsten Dienerinnen seiner Muse zur Seite wandeln. Ganz im Gegensatz zu Byron's melancholischen Färbungen, weiss er über fast alle Gebilde seiner Schöpfung einen beinahe blendenden Schimmer freudigen, gewaltig strömenden Lebens auszugiessen und doch herrscht wieder eine Zartheit und Innigkeit überall vor, wie man sie nur selten mit solcher Kraft vermählt findet. Dabei beherrscht er einen ungeheuern Schatz von Kenntnissen, der ihm aber nie zur Last wird; denn wie unter des Midas Berührung sich Alles vor diesem in Gold verwandelte, so wird ihm, dem echten Dichter Alles zur Poesie und selbst dem sprödesten und widerstrebendsten Stoffe vermag er eine Seite abzugewinnen, die ihn gefällig darstellt. Aus Allem aber bricht die Liebenswürdigkeit und Redlichkeit seiner Gesinnungen siegreich hervor und erhöht unendlich den Werth seiner Gaben. Als Dichter ist er ein Proteus, aber als Mensch immer echt und man muss ihn daher lieben, selbst dann, wenn es ihm gefüllt, frivol und leichtfertig oder sarkastisch und verletzend vor uns zu erscheinen, denn sein Genius verlässt ihn auch in solchen Augenblicken nicht und seine Grazie hindert uns, ihm ernstlich zu zürnen.

« 上一頁繼續 »