« 上一頁繼續 »
And tremble, and are still. O God! when thou
Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill
With all the waters of the firmament
The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
And drowns the villages ; when, at thy call,
Uprises the great deep, and throws himself
Upon the continent and overwhelms
Its cities—who forgets not, at the sight
Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
His pride and lays his strifes and follies by ?
Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
Of the mad unchain'd elements to teach
Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of thy works
Learn to conform the order of our lives.
We suspect that few of our readers are acquainted with the Isle of Palms, by John Wilson, who is better known as CHRISTOPHER NORTH of Blackwood's Magazine, where he has published, in the form of prose, as much true poetry as any of his contemporaries. So thoroughly poetical is his temperament, that he cannot write half a dozen sentences without some flash of genius that reveals the poet. Withal, the Isle of Palms, his longest and best poem, has not achieved popularity; but it contains many fine passages, of which the following is a specimen.
It is the midnight hour :—the beauteous Sea,
Calm as the cloudless heaven, the heaven discloses,
While many a sparkling star, in quiet glee,
Far down within the watery sky reposes.
As if the Ocean's heart were stirr'd
With inward life, a sound is heard,
Like that of dreamer murmuring in his sleep;
'Tis partly the billow, and partly the air,
That lies like a garment floating fair
Above the happy Deep.
The Sea, I ween cannot be fann'd
By evening freshness from the land,
For the land it is far away;
But God hath will'd that the sky-born breeze
In the centre of the loneliest seas
Should ever sport and play.
The mighty Moon she sits above,
Encircled with a zone of love,
A zone of dim and tender light
That makes her wakeful eye more bright:
She seems to shine with a sunny ray,
And the night looks like a mellow'd day!
The gracious mistress of the main
Hath now an undisturbed reign.
And from her silent throne looks down,
As upon children of her own,
On the waves that lend their gentle breast
In gladness for her couch of rest!
My spirit sleeps amid the calm
The sleep of a new delight;
And hopes that she ne'er may wake again,
But for ever hang o’er the lovely main
And adore the lovely night.
Scarce conscious of an earthly frame,
She glides away like a lambent flame,
And in her bliss she sings;
Now touching softly the Ocean's breast,
Now mid the stars she lies at rest,
As if she sail'd on wings !
Now bold as the brightest star that glows
More brightly since at first it rose,
Looks down on the far-off flood;
And there all breathless and alone,
As the sky where she soars were a world of her own,
She mocketh the gentle Mighty One
As he lies in his quiet mood.
“ Art thou,” she breathes, “the tyrant grim
That scoffs at human prayers,
Answering with prouder roaring the while,
As it rises from some lonely isle,
Through groans raised wild, the hopeless hymn
Of shipwreck'd mariners ?
Oh! thou art as harmless as a child
Weary with joy and reconciled
For sleep to change its play ;
And now that night hath stay'd thy race Smiles wander o'er thy placid face, As if thy dreams were gay.” And can it be that for me alone The main and heavens are spread ? Oh! whither, in this holy hour Have those fair creatures fled To whom the ocean plains are given As clouds possess their native heaven? The tiniest boat that ever sail'd Upon an inland lake Might through this sea without a fear Her silent journey take, Though the helmsman slept as if on land, And the oar had dropp'd from the rower's hand. How like a monarch would she glide, While the hush'd billow kiss'd her side With low and lulling tone, Some stately ship, that from afar Shone sudden, like a rising star, With all her bravery on! List! how in murmurs of delight The blessed airs of heaven invite The joyous bark to pass one night Within their still domain ! O grief! that yonder gentle moon Whose smiles for ever fade so soon, Should waste such smiles in vain. Haste! haste! before the moonshine dies, Dissolved amid the morning skies, While yet the silvery glory lies Above the sparkling foam;. Bright mid surrounding brightness, Thou Scattering fresh beauty from thy prow, In pomp and splendour come! And lo! upon the murmuring waves A glorious shape appearing ! A broad-wing'd vessel through the shower Of glimmering lustre steering! As if the beauteous ship enjoy'd The beauty of the sea, She lifteth up her stately head
And saileth joyfully.
A lovely path before her lies,
A lovely path behind;
She sails amid the loveliness
Like a thing with heart and mind.
Fit pilgrim through a scene so fair,
Slowly she beareth on;
A glorious phantom of the deep,
Risen up to meet the moon.
The moon bids her tenderest radiance fall
On her wavy streamer and snow-white wings,
And the quiet voice of the rocking sea
To cheer the gliding vision sings.
Oh! ne'er did sky and water blend
In such a holy sleep,
Or bathe in brighter quietude
A roamer of the deep.
So far the peaceful soul of heaven
Hath settled on the sea,
It seems as if this weight of calm
Were from eternity.
O World of Waters ! the stedfast earth
Ne'er lay entranced like Thee !
Is she a vision wild and bright,
That sails amid the still moon-light
At the dreaming soul's command ?
A vessel borne by magic gales,
All rigg'd with gossamery sails,
And bound for Fairy-land ?
Ah no !-an earthly freight she bears
Of joys and sorrows, hopes and fears;
And lonely as she seems to be,
Thus left by herself on the moonlight sea,
In loneliness that rolls,
She hath a constant company
In sleep, or waking revelry,
Five hundred human souls !
ON THE PICTURE OF A GIRL LEADING HER BLIND
MOTHER THROUGH THE WOOD. The following very sweet and touching verses are by N. P. WILLIS.
The green leaves as we pass
Lay their light fingers on thee unaware,
And by thy side the bazels cluster fair,
And the low forest-grass
Grows green and silken where the wood-paths wind-
Alas! for thee, sweet mother! thou art blind!
And nature is all bright;
And the faint gray and crimson of the dawn, .
Like folded curtains, from the day are drawn;
And evening's purple light
Quivers in tremulous softness on the sky-
Alas! sweet mother! for thy clouded eye!
The moon's new silver shell
Trembles above thee, and the stars float up
In the blue air, and the rich tulip's cup
Is pencill'd passing well,
And the swift birds on glorious pinions flee-
Alas! sweet mother! that thou canst not see!
And the kind looks of friends
Peruse the sad expression in thy face,
And the child stops and his bounding race,
And the tall stripling bends
Low to thine ear with duty unforgot-
Alas! sweet mother! that thou see'st them not !
But thou canst hear! and love
May richly on a human tone be pour'd,
And the least cadence of a whisper'd word
A daughter's love may proveAnd while I speak thou knowest if I smile, Albeit thou canst not see my face the while!
Yes, thou canst hear! and He Who on thy sightless eye its darkness hung, To the attentive ear, like harps, bath strung
Heaven and earth and sea! And 'tis a lesson in our hearts to know With but one sense the soul may overflow.