Thou and all strength shall crumble, | Unscarred by thy grim vulture, as the except Love,

truth By whom, and for whose glory, ye shall Grows but more lovely 'neath the beaks cease:

and claws And, when thou 'rt but a weary moaning of Harpies blind that fain would soil it, heard

shall From out the pitiless gloom of Chaos, I In all the throbbing exultations share Shall be a power and a memory,

| That wait on freedom's triumphs, and A name to fright all tyrants with, a in all light

The glorious agonies of martyr-spirits, Unsetting as the pole-star, a great voice Sharp lightning-throes to split the jag. Heard in the breathless pauses of the ged clouds fight

That veil the future, showing them the By truth and freedom ever waged with end, wrong,

Pain's thorny crown for constancy and Clear as a silver trumpet, to awake

truth, Far echoes that from age to age live Girding the temples like a wreath of

stars. In kindred spirits, giving them a sense This is a thought, that, like the fabled Of boundless power from boundless suf

laurel, fering wrung:

Makes my faith thunder-proof; and thy And many a glazing eye shall smile to dread bolts

Fall on me like the silent flakes of snow The memory of my triumph (for to meet On the hoar brows of aged Caucasus: Wrong with endurance, and to overcome But, oh, thought far more blissful, they The present with a heart that looks be

can rend yond,

This cloud of flesh, and make my soul a Are triumph), like a prophet eagle, perch star! Upon the sacred banner of the Right. Evil springs up, and flowers, and bears Unleash thy crouching thunders now, no seed,

O Jove! And feeds the green earth with its swift Free this high heart, which, a poor cap.

tive long, Leaving it richer for the growth of Doth knock to be let forth, this heart truth;

which still, But Good, once put in action or in In its invincible manhood, overtops thought,

Thy puny godship, as this mountain doth Like a strong oak, doth from its boughs The pines that moss its roots. O, even shed down

now, The ripe germs of a forest. Thou, weak While from my peak of suffering I look god,

down, Shalt fade and be forgotten! but this Beholding with a far-spread gush of

soul, Fresh-living still in the serene abyss, The sunrise of that Beauty, in whose In every heaving shall partake, that face, grows

Shone all around with love, no man shall From heart to heart among the sons of look men,

But straightway like a god he be uplift As the ominous hum before the earth- | Unto the throne long empty for his sake, quake runs

And clearly oft foreshadowed in bravo Far through the Ægean from roused isle dreams to isle,

| By his free inward nature, which nor Foreboding wreck to palaces and shrines, thou, And mighty rents in many a cavernous Nor any anarch after thee, can bind

From working its great doom, - now, That darkens the free light to mian :

now set free This heart,

| This essence, not to die, but to become




Part of that awful Presence which doth | Loneliest, save me, of all created things, haunt

Mild-eyed Astarte, my best comforter, The palaces of tyrants, to scare off, With thy pale smile of sad benignity ? With its grim eyes and fearful whisperings

Year after year will pass away and And hideous sense of utter loneliness,

seem All hope of safety, all desire of peace, To me, in mine eternal agony, All but the loathed forefeeling of blank But as the shadows of dumb summer death,

clouds, Part of that spirit which doth ever brood | Which I have watched so often darken In patient calm on the unpilfered nest

ing o'er Of inan's deep heart, till mighty thoughts The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide grow fledged

at first, To sail with darkening shadow o'er the But, with still swiftness, lessening on world,

and on Filling with dread such souls as dare not Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle trust

where In the unfailing energy of Good, The gray horizon fades into the sky, Until they swoop, and their pale quarry Far, far to northward. Yes, for ages yet make

Must I lie here upon my altar huge, Of some o'erbloated wrong, - that spirit A sacrifice for man. Sorrow will be, which

As it hath been, his portion; endless Scatters great hopes in the seed-field of doom man,

While the immortal with the mortal Like acorns among grain, to grow and be linked A roof for freedom in all coming time! Dreams of its wings and pines for what

it dreams, But no, this cannot be; for ages yet, With upward yearn unceasing. Better In solitude unbroken, shall I hear

SO: The angry Caspian to the Euxine shout, For wisdom is stern sorrow's patient And Euxine answer with a muffled roar,

child, On either side storming the giant walls And empire over self, and all the deep Of Caucasus with leagues of climbing Strong charities that make men seem foam

like gods ; (Less, from my height, than flakes of And love, that makes them be gods, downy snow),

from her breasts That draw back baffled but to hurl again, Sucks in the milk that makes mankind Snatched up in wrath and horrible tur one blood. moil,

Good never comes unmixed, or so it Mountain on mountain, as the Titans

seems, erst,

| Having two faces, as some images My brethren, scaling the high seat of Are carved, of foolish gods; one face Jove,

is ill; Heaved Pelion upon Ossa's shoulders But one heart lies beneath, and that is

broad In vain emprise. The moon will come As are all hearts, when we explore their and go

depths. With her monotonous vicissitude; Therefore, great heart, bear up ! thou ar Once beautiful, when I was free to walk but type Among my fellows, and to interchange Of what all lofty spirits endure, that fain The influence benign of loving eyes, Would win men back to strength and But now by aged use grown wearisome;

peace through love: False thought! most false ! for how could Each hath his lonely peak, and on each I endure

heart These crawling centuries of lonely woe | Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong Unshamed by weak complaining, but for With vulture beak; yet the high soul is thee,


[ocr errors]

And faith, which is but hope grown Earth seemed more sweet to live upon, wise, and love

More full of love, because of him. And patience which at last shall over

And day by day more holy grew

Each spot where he had trod,

Till after-poets only knew
THE SHEPHERD OF KING ADMETUS. Their first-born brother as a god.


THERE came a youth upon the earth,
Some thousand years ago,

Whose slender hands were nothing

It is a mere wild rosebud, Whether to plough, or reap, or sow. Quite sallow now, and dry,

Yet there's something wondrous in it, Upon an empty tortoise-shell

Some gleams of days gone by, He stretched some chords, and drew | Dear sights and sounds that are to me Music that made men's bosoms swell The very moons of memory, Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with And stir my heart's blood far below dew.

Its short-lived waves of joy and woe. Then King Admetus, one who had Lips must fade and roses wither, Pure taste by right divine,

All sweet times be o'er; Decreed his singing not too bad

They only smile, and, murmuring To hear between the cups of wine :

“ Thither!" And so, well pleased with being soothed

Stay with us no more : Into a sweet half-sleep,

And yet ofttines a look or smile, Three times his kingly beard he smoothed,

Forgotten in a kiss's while,

· Years after from the dark will start, And made him viceroy o'er his sheep.

And flash across the trembling heart. His words were simple words enough, And yet he used them so,

Thou hast given me many roses, That what in other mouths was rough

But never one, like this, In his seemed musical and low.

O'erfloods both sense and spirit

With such a deep, wild bliss; Men called him but a shiftless youth, We must have instincts that glean up In whom no good they saw;

Sparse drops of this life in the cup, And yet, unwittingly, in truth,

Whose taste shall give us all that we
They made his careless words their law. Can prove of immortality.
They knew not how he learned at all, Earth's stablest things are shadows,
For idly, hour by hour,

And, in the life to come,
He sat and watched the dead leaves fall, | Haply some chance-saved trifle
Or mused upon a common flower.

May tell of this old home :

As now sometimes we seem to find, It seemed the loveliness of things

In a dark crevice of the mind, Did teach him all their use,

Some relic, which, long pondered o'er, For, in mere weeds, and stones, and Hints faintly at a life before.

springs, He found a healing power profuse. Men granted that his speech was wise, AN INCIDENT IN A RAILROAD CAR

But, when a glance they caught Of his slim grace and woman's eyes,

He spoke of Burns: men rude and They laughed, and called him good-fornaught.

Pressed round to hear the praise of one

| Whose heart was made of manly, simple Yet after he was dead and gone,

stuff, And e'en his memory dim,

As homespun as their own.


And, when he read, they forward Thy skyey arches with exulting span leaned,

O'er-roof infinity! Drinking, with thirsty hearts and ears, His brook-like songs whom glory never All thoughts that mould the age begin weaned

Deep down within the primitive soul, From humble smiles and tears. And from the many slowly upward win

To one who grasps the whole : Slowly there grew a tender awe,

Sun-like, o'er faces brown and hard, I In his wide brain the feeling deep As if in him who read they felt and saw. That struggled on the many's tongue Some presence of the bard.

Swells to a tide of thought, whose surges

leap ! It was a sight for sin and wrong

O'er the weak thrones of wrong.
And slavish tyranny to see,
A sight to make our faith more pure and All thought begins in feeling, - wide

In the great mass its base is hid,
In high humanity.

And, narrowing up to thought, stands

I thought, these men will carry hence A moveless pyramid.

Promptings their former life above,
And something of a finer reverence Nor is he far astray, who deems
For beauty, truth, and love.

That every hope, which rises and

grows broad God scatters love on every side In the world's heart, by ordered impulse Freely among his children all,

streams And always hearts are lying open wide, From the great heart of God. Wherein some grains may fall.

God wills, man hopes : in common There is no wind but soweth seeds

souls Of a more true and open life,

Hope is but vague and undefined, Which burst, unlooked for, into high- | Till from the poet's tongue the message souled deeds,

rolls With wayside beauty rife.

A blessing to his kind. We find within these souls of ours Never did Poesy appear

Some wild germs of a higher birth, So full of heaven to me, as when Which in the poet's tropic heart bear I saw how it would pierce through pride flowers

and fear Whose fragrance fills the earth. To the lives of coarsest men. Within the hearts of all men lie

It may be glorious to write These promises of wider bliss,

Thoughts that shall glad the two or Which blossom into hopes that cannot

three die,

High souls, like those far stars that In sunny hours like this.

come in sight

Once in a century ;-
All that hath been majestical
In life or death, since time began,

But better far it is to speak
Is native in the simple heart of all, | One simple word, which now and then
The angel heart of man.

Shall waken their free nature in the

And thus, among the untaught poor, And friendless sons of men ;
Great deeds and feelings find a home,
That cast in shadow all the golden lore

1 To write some earnest verse or line, Of classic Greece and Rome.

1 Which, seeking not the praise of art,

Shall make a clearer faith and manhood 0, mighty brother-soul of man,

shine Where'er thou art, in low or high, In the untutored heart.

He who doth this, in verse or prose, As full of gracious youth and beauty May be forgotten in his day,

still But surely shall be crowned at last with As the immortal freshness of that grace those

Carved for all ages on some Attic frieze. Who live and speak for aye.

A youth named Rhæcus, wandering in

the wood, RHECUS.

Saw an old oak just trembling to its fall,

And, feeling pity of so fair a tree, God sends his teachers unto every age, | He propped its gray trunk with admir. To every clime, and every race of men,

ing care, With revelations fitted to their growth | And with a thoughtless footstep loitered And shape of mind, nor gives the realm

on. of Truth

| But, as he turned, he heard a voice beInto the selfish rule of one sole race:

hind Therefore each form of worship that hath That murmured “Rhæcus !” 'T was as swayed

if the leaves, The life of man, and given it to grasp Stirred by a passing breath, had mur. The master-key of knowledge, rever mured it, ence,

And, while he paused bewildered, yet Infolds some germs of goodness and of right;

It murmured “Rhæcus !” softer than a Else never had the eager soul, which breeze. loathes

He started and beheld with dizzy eyes The slothful down of pampered igno What seemed the substance of a happy rance,

dream Found in it even a moment's fitful rest. Stand there before him, spreading a warm




There is an instinct in the human Within the green glooms of the shadowy heart

oak. Which makes that all the fables it hath It seemed a woman's shape, yet far too coined,

fair To justify the reign of its belief

To be a woman, and with eyes too meek And strengthen it by beauty's right for any that were wont to mate with

divine, Veil in their inner cells a mystic gift, All naked like a goddess stood she there, Which, like the hazel twig, in faithful And like a goddess all too beautiful hands,

To feel the guilt-born earthliness of Points surely to the hidden springs of shame. truth.

“ Rhæcus, I am the Dryad of this tree,” For, as in nature naught is made in vain, Thus she began, dropping her low-toned But all things have within their hull of words

Serene, and full, and clear, as drops of A wisdom and a meaning which may dew, speak

“And with it I am doomed to live and Of spiritual secrets to the ear Of spirit ; so, in whatsoe'er the heart | The rain and sunshine are my caterers, Hath fashioned for a solace to itself, | Nor have I other bliss than simple life; To make its inspirations suit its creed, Now ask me what thou wilt, that I can And from the niggard hands of falsehood wring

And with a thankful joy it shall be Its needful food of truth, there ever is

thine." A sympathy with Nature, which reveals, Not less than her own works, pure Then Rhæcus, with a flutter at the

gleams of light And earnest parables of inward lore. Yet, by the prompting of such beauty, Hear now this fairy legend of old Greece,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »