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Pur sentira la tua parola brusca.
THREE MEMORIAL POEMS.
E. L. GODKIN,
OP OUR POLITICAL THOUGHT,
These Three Poems
*** Readers, it is hoped, will remember that, by his Ode at the Harvard Commemoration, the author had precluded himself from many of the natural outlets of thought and feeling common to such occasions as are celebrated in these poems.
| The gathering buzz of the drums ?
The bells that called ye to prayer,
VERSARY OF THE FIGHT AT CONCORD Crying, “She cometh ! prepare
Her to praise and her to honor,
That a hundred years 9go
Scattered here in blood and tears
Potent seeds wherefrom should grow Who cometh over the hills,
Gladness for a hundred years !"
Tell me, young men, have ye seen, Her presence freshens the air;
Creature of diviner mien Sunshine steals light from her face; For true hearts to long and cry for, The leaden footstep of Care
| Manly hearts to live and die for ? Leaps to the tune of her pace,
What hath she that others want ? Fairness of all that is fair,
Brows that all endearments haunt, Grace at the heart of all grace,
Eyes that make it sweet to dare, Sweetener of hut and of hall,
Smiles that cheer untimely death Bringer of life out of naught,
Looks that fortify despair, Freedom, 0, fairest of all
Tones more brave than trumpet's breath; The daughters of Time and Thought! Tell me, maidens, have ye known
Household charm more sweetly rare, II.
Grace of woman ampler blown, She cometh, cometh to-day :
Modesty more debonair, Hark! hear ye not her tread,
Younger heart with wit full grown? Sending a thrill through your clay, O for an hour of my prime, Under the sod there, ye dead,
The pulse of my hotter years, Her nurslings and champions ?
That I might praise her in rhyme Do ye not hear, as she comes,
Would tingle your eyelids to tears, The bay of the deep-mouthed guns, Oursweetness, our strength, and our star,
Our hope, our joy, and our trust, | Why cometh she? She was not far away. Who lifted us out of the dust,
Since the soul touched it, not in vain, And made us whatever we are !
With pathos of immortal gain,
'Tis here her fondest memories stay. IV.
She loves yon pine-bemurmured ridge Whiter than moonshine upon snow
Where now our broad-browed poet sleeps Her raiment is, but round the hem
Dear to both Englands; near him he Crimson stained ; and, as to and fro
Who wore the ring of Canace ; Her sandals flash, we see on them,
But most her heart to rapture leaps And on her instep veined with blue,
Where stood that era-parting bridge, Flecks of crimson, on those fair feet,
O'er which, with footfall still as dew, High-arched, Diana-like, and fleet,
The Old Time passed into the New; Fit for no grosser stain than dew :
Where, as your stealthy river creeps, 0, call them rather chrisms than stains,
He whispers to his listening weeds Sacred and from heroic veins !
Tales of sublimest homespun deeds. For, in the glory-guarded pass,
Here English law and English thought Her haughty and far-shining head
'Gainst the self-will of England fought; She bowed to shrive Leonidas
And here were men (coequal with their With his imperishable dead ;
fate), Her, too, Morgarten saw,
Who did great things, unconscious they Where the Swiss lion fleshed his icy paw;
were great. She followed Cromwell's quenchless star
They dreamed not what a die was cast Where the grim Puritan tread
With that first answering shot; what Shook Marston, Naseby, and Dunbar :
then ? Yea, on her feet are dearer dyes
There was their duty ; they were men Yet fresh, nor looked on with untearful
Schooled the soul's inward gospel to obey,
Though leading to the lion's den. eyes.
They felt the habit-hallowed world give v.
way Our fathers found her in the woods Beneath their lives, and on went they, Where Nature meditates and broods,
Unhappy who was last. The seeds of unexampled things
When Buttrick gave the word, Which Time to consummation brings That awful idol of the unchallenged Past, Through life and death and man's un- Strong in their love, and in their lineage stable moods ;
strong, They met her here, not recognized,
Fell crashing: if they heard it not, A sylvan huntress clothed in furs,
Yet the earth heard, To whose chaste wants her bow sufficed, Nor ever hath forgot, Nor dreamed what destinies were hers : As on from startled throne to throne, She taught them bee-like to create
Where Superstition sate or conscions Their simpler forms of Church and State;
Wrong, She taught them to endue
A shudder ran of some dread birth unThe past with other functions than it |
I known. knew,
Thrice venerable spot! And turn in channels strange the uncer- River more fateful than the Rubicon ! tain stream of Fate;
O'er those red planks, to snatch her diaBetter than all, she fenced them in their
dem, need With iron-handed Duty's sternest creed,
Man's Hope, star-girdled, sprang with
them, 'Gainst Self's lean wolf that ravens word And over ways untried the feet of Doom and deed.
strode on. VI. Why cometh she hither to-day
VII. To this low village of the plain
Think you these felt no charms Far from the Present's loud highway,
In their gray homesteads and embowered From Trade's cool heart and seething. farms?. brain ?
In household faces waiting at the door
Their evening step should lighten up no Where discrowned empires o’er their more?
ruins brood, In fields their boyish feet had known? And many a thwarted hope wrings its In trees their fathers' hands had set,
weak hands and weeps, And which with them had grown, I hear the voice as of a mighty wind Widening each year their leafy coronet? From all heaven's caverns rushing unFelt they no pang of passionate regret confined, For those unsolid goods that seem so “I, Freedom, dwell with Knowledge : much our own ?
I abide These things are dear to every man that with men whom dust of faction cannot lives,
blind And life prized more for what it lends To the slow tracings of the Eternal than gives.
Mind; Yea, many a tie, through iteration sweet, With men by culture trained and forStrove to detain their fatal feet;
tified, And yet the enduring half they chose, Who bitter duty to sweet lusts prefer, Whose choice decides a man life's slave Fearless to counsel and obey. or king.
Conscience my sceptre is, and law my The invisible things of God before the sword, seen and known :
Not to be drawn in passion or in play, Therefore their memory inspiration blows | But terrible to punish and deter; With echoes gathering on from zone to Implacable as God's word, zone;
Like it, a shepherd's crook to them that For manhood is the one immortal thing
blindly err.. Beneath Time's changeful sky,
Your firm-pulsed sires, my martyrs and And, where it lightened once, from age my saints, to age,
Offshoots of that one stock whose patient Men come to learn, in grateful pilgrim sense age,
Hath known to mingle flux with perThat length of days is knjwing when to manence, die.
Rated my chaste denials and restraints VIII.
Above the moinent's dear-paid paraWhat marvellous change of things and men!.
Beware lest, shifting with Time's gradual She, a world-wandering orphan then, creep, So mighty now! Those are her streams The light that guided shine into your That whirl the myriad, myriad wheels eyes. Of all that does, and all that dreams, The envious Powers of ill nor wink nor Of all that thinks, and all that feels, sleep : Through spaces stretched from sea to sea;
Be therefore timely wise, By idle tongues and busy brains, Nor laugh when this one steals, and that By who doth right, and who refrains,
one lies, Hers are our losses and our gains ; As if your luck could cheat those sleepOur maker and our victim she.
Till the deaf Fury comes your house to IX.
sweep!” Maiden half mortal, half divine, I hear the voice, and unaffrighted bow; We triumphed in thy coming to the Ye shall not be prophetic now, brinks
Heralds of ill, that darkening fly Our hearts were filled with pride's tu- | Between my vision and the rainbowed multuous wine ;
sky, Better to-day who rather feels than Or on the left your hoarse forebodings thinks.
croak Yet will some graver thoughts intrude, / From many a blasted bough And cares of sterner mood ;
On Yggdrasil's storm-sinewed oak, They won thee: who shall keep thee? | That once was green, Hope of the West, From the deeps
as thou :