But saddens not; they still show mer-1 And now those waterfalls the ebb, rier tints,

ing river Though sober russet seems to cover Twice every day creates on either all;

side When the first sunshine through their Tinkle, as through their freshdew-drops glints,

sparred grots they shiver Look how the yellow clearness, In grass-arched channels to the sun streamed across,

denied ; Redeems with rarer hues the season's High flaps in sparkling blue the farloss,

heard crow, As Dawn's feet there had touched and The silvered flats gleam frostily beleft their rosy prints.


Suddenly drops the gull and breaks the Or come when sunset gives its fresh

glassy tide. ened zest, Lean o'er the bridge and let the ruddy

But crowned in turn by vying sea. thrill,

sons three, While the shorn sun swells down

Their winter halo hath a fuller ring; the hazy west,

This glory seems to rest immovaGlow opposite;—the marshes drink

bly, their fill

The others were too fleet and vanishAnd swoon with purple veins, then

ing; slowly fade

When the hid tide is at its highest Through pink to brown, as eastward moves the shade,

O'er marsh and stream one breathLengthening with stealthy creep, of Si less trance of snow mond's darkening hill.

With brooding fulness awes and hushes

everything. Later, and yet ere Winter wholly The sunshine seems blown off by shuts,

the bleak wind, Ere through the first dry snow the

As pale as formal candles lit by day; runner grates,

Gropes to the sea the river dumb and And the loath cart-wheel screams in

blind; slippery ruts,

The brown ricks, snow-thatched by While firmer ice the eager boy awaits,

the storm in play, Trying each buckle and strap beside

Show pearly breakers combing o'er the fire.

their lee, And until bedtime plays with his White crests as of some just endesire,

chanted sea, Twenty times putting on and off his new-Checked in their maddest leap and hangbought skates;

ing poised midway.

[ocr errors]

Then, every morn, the river's banks But when the eastern blow, with shine bright

rain aslant, With smooth plate-armor, treacherous From mid-sea's prairies green and rolland frail,

ing plains By the frost's clinking hammers Drives in his wallowing herds of bilforged at night,

lows gaunt, 'Gainst which the lances of the sun And the roused Charles remembers in prevail,

his veins Giving a pretty emblem of the Old Ocean's blood and snaps his

gyves of frost, When guiltier arms in light shall That tyrannous silence on the shores melt away,

is tost And states shall move free-limbed, loosed in dreary wreck, and crumbling desola. from war's cramping mail.

tion reigns.


Edgewise or flat, in Druid-like de Beyond the hillock's house-bespotvice,

ted swell, With leaden pools between or gullies Where Gothic chapels house the horse bare,

and chaise, The blocks lie strewn, a bleak Stone Where quiet cits in Grecian temhenge of ice;

ples dwell, No life, no sound, to break the grim Where Coptic tombs 'resound with despair,

prayer and praise, Save sullen plunge, as othrough the Where dust and mud the equal sedges stiff

year divide, Down crackles riverward some There gentle Allston lived, and thaw-sapped cliff,

wrought, and died, Or when the close-wedged fields of ice Transfiguring street and shop with his crunch here and there.

illumined gaze. But let me turn from fancy-pic- Virgilium vidi tantum, - I have tured scenes

seen To that whose pastoral calm before me But as a boy, who looks alike on all. lies:

That misty hair, that fine Undine-like Here nothing harsh or rugged inter

mien, venes ;

Tremulous as down to feeling's faintest The early evening with her misty dyes

call ; Smooths off the ravelled edges of

Ah, dear old homestead ! count it to the nigh,

thy fame Relieves the distant with her cooler

That thither many times the Paintsky,

er came; And tones the landscape down, and One elm yet bears his name, a feathery soothes the wearied eyes.

tree and tall.
There gleams my native village, dear
to me,

Swiftly the present fades in memThough higher change's waves each |

ory's glow, — day are seen,

Our only sure possession is the past; Whelming fields famed in boyhood's

The village blacksmith died a history,

month ago, Sanding with houses the diminished

And dim to me the forge's roaring green;

blast; There, in red brick, which soften

Soon fire-new mediævals we shall ing time defies,

see Stand square and stiff the Muses' |

Oust the black smithy from its chestfactories;

nut-tree, How with my life knit up is every well. A

knit up is every well. And that hewn down, perhaps, the beeknown scene!

hive green and vast. Flow on, dear river ! not alone you How many times, prouder than flow

king on throne, To outward sight, and through your Loosed from the village school-dame's marshes wind;

A's and B's, Fed from the mystic springs of long Panting have I the creaky bellows

blown, Your twin flows silent through my And watched the pent volcano's red world of mind :

increase, Grow dim, dear marshes, in the Then paused to see the ponderous evening's gray !

sledge, brought down Before my inner sight ye stretch By that hard arm voluminous and away,

brown, And will forever, though these fleshly From the white iron swarm its golden eyes grow blind.

vanishing bees.

[ocr errors]

Dear native town! whose choking That portion of my life more choice elms each year

to me With eddying dust before their time (Though brief, yet in itself so round turn gray,

and whole) Pining for rain, — to me thy dust is Than all the imperfect residue can dear;

be ;It glorifies the eve of summer day, The Artist saw his statue of the soul And when the westering sun half Was perfect; so, with one regretful sunken burns,

stroke, The mote-thick air to deepest orange The earthen model into fragments turns,

broke, The westward horseman rides through And without her the impoverished seaclouds of gold away,

sons roll.

[ocr errors]

So palpable, I've seen those unshorn

THE GROWTH OF THE LEGEND. few, The six old willows at the causey's end

(Such trees Paul Potter never
dreamed nor drew),

A LEGEND that grew in the forest's Through this dry mist their checker. |

hush ing shadows send,

Slowly as tear-drops gather and gush, Striped, here and there, with many

When a word some poet chanced to a long-drawn thread,

say Where streamed through leafy

| Ages ago, in his careless way, chinks the trembling red,

Brings our youth back to us out of its Past which, in one bright trail, the

shroud hangbird's flashes blend.

Clearly as under yon thunder-cloud | I see that white sea-gull. It grew and

grew, Yes, dearer far thy dust than all From the pine-trees gathering a sombre

that e'er, Beneath the awarded crown of victory, Till it seems a mere murmur out of the Gilded the blown Olympic chariot

vast eer;

Norwegian forests of the past; Though lightly prized the ribboned And it grew itself like a true Northern parchments three,

Yet collegisse juvat, I am glad

First a little slender line,
That here what colleging was mine Like a mermaid's green eyelash, and then
I had,-

anon It linked another tie, dear native town, | A stem that a tower might rest upon, with thee!

Standing spear-straight in the waist

deep moss, Nearer art thou than simply native Its bony roots clutching around and earth,

across, My dust with thine concedes a deeper As if they would tear up earth's heart

in their grasp A closer claim thy soil may well put Ere the storm should uproot them or forth,

make them unclasp ; Something of kindred more than sym. Its cloudy boughs singing, as suiteth the pathy;

pine, For in thy bounds I reverently laid To snow-bearded sea-kings old songs of away

the brine, That blinding anguish of forsaken till they straightened and let their clay,

staves fall to the floor, That title I seemed to have in earth and Hearing waves moan again on the persea and sky,

ilous shore

[ocr errors]

Of Vinland, perhaps, while their prow | Yes, wherever the pine-wood has never groped its way

let in, 'Twixt the frothed gnashing tusks of Since the day of creation, the light and some ship-crunching bay.

the din

of manifold life, but has safely con. So, pine-like, the legend grew, strong. veyed limbed and tall,

From the midnight primeval its armful As the Gypsy child grows that eats crusts of shade, in the hall;

And has kept the weird Past with its It sucked the whole strength of the child-faith alive earth and the sky,

Mid the hum and the stir of To-day's Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, all busy hive, brought it supply;

There the legend takes root in the age'T was a natural growth, and stood fear gathered gloom, lessly there,

And its murmurous boughs for their True part of the landscape as sea, land, sagas find room.

and air; For it grew in good times, ere the fash- Where Aroostook, far-heard, seems to ion it was

sob as he goes To force these wild births of the woods Groping down to the sea 'neath his under glass,

mountainous snows; And so, if 't is told as it should be told, Where the lake's frore Sahara of neverThough 't were sung under Venice's tracked white, moonlight of gold,

When the crack shoots across it, comiYou would hear the old voice of its plains to the night mother, the pine,

With a long, lonely moan, that leagues Murmur sealike and northern through northward is lost, every line,

As the ice shrinks away from the tread And the verses should grow, self-sus of the frost; tained and free,

Where the lumberers sit by the log-fires Round the vibrating stem of the melody, that throw Like the lithe moonlit limbs of the Their own threatening shadows far round parent tree.

o'er the snow,

When the wolf howls aloof, and the Yes, the pine is the mother of legends; wavering glare what food

Flashes out from the blackness the eyes For their grim roots is left when the of the bear, thousand-yeared wood,

| When the wood's huge recesses, halfThe dim-aisled cathedral, whose tall lighted, supply arches spring

A canvas where Fancy her mad brush Light, sinewy, graceful, firm-set as the may try, wing

Blotting in giant Horrors that venture From Michael's white shoulder, is hewn not down and defaced

Through the right-angled streets of the By iconoclast axes in desperate waste,

brisk, whitewashed town, And its wrecks seek the ocean it proph. But skulk in the depths of the measureesied long,

less wood Cassandra-like, crooning its mystical Mid the Dark's creeping whispers that song?

curdle the blood, Then the legends go with them, - even when the eye, glanced in dread o'er tho yet on the sea

shoulder, may dream, A wild virtue is left in the touch of the Ere it shrinks to the camp-fire's compantree,

ioning gleam, And the sailor's night - watches are That it saw the fierce ghost of the Red thrilled to the core

. Man crouch back With the lineal offspring of Odin and To the shroud of the tree-trunk's invinThor.

cible black ;

There the old shapes crowd thick round This fruitless husk which dustward dries the pine-shadowed camp,

Hath been a heart once, hath been Which shun the keen gleam of the schol. arly lamp,

On this bowed head the awful Past And the seed of the legend finds true Once laid its consecrating hands; Norland ground,

The Future in its purpose vast While the border-tale's told and the Paused, waiting my supreme comcanteen flits round.


But look! whose shadows block the A CONTRAST.


Who are those two that stand aloof? Thy love thou sentest oft to me, See ! on my hands this freshening gore

And still as oft I thrust it back; Writes o'er again its crimson proof! Thy messengers I could not see

My looked for death-bed guests are In those who everything did lack,

met; The poor, the outcast, and the black. There my dead Youth doth wring its

hands, Pride held his hand before mine eyes, And there, with eyes that goad me yet, The world with flattery stuffed mine

The ghost of my Ideal stands! ears; I looked to see a monarch's guise, God bends from out the deep and says, Nor dreamed thy love would knock “I gave thee the great gift of life; for years,

Wast thou not called in many ways ? Poor, naked, fettered, full of tears. Are not my earth and heaven at strife ?

I gave thee of my seed to sow, Yet, when I sent my love to thee,

Bringest thou me my hundred-fold ?” Thou with a smile didst take it in, Can I look up with face aglow, And entertain'dst it royally,

And answer, “Father, here is gold” ? Though grimed with earth, with hun

ger thin, And leprous with the taint of sin.

I have been innocent; God knows

| When first this wasted life began, Now every day thy love I meet,

Not grape with grape more kindly grows, As o'er the earth it wanders wide,

| Than I with every brother-man : With weary step and bleeding feet,

Now here I gasp; what lose my kind, Still knocking at the heart of pride

When this fast ebbing breath shall And offering grace, though still de

part? nied.

What bands of love and service bind

This being to a brother heart?

Christ still was wandering o'er the earth Go! leave me, Priest; my soul would

Without a place to lay his head;

He found free welcome at my hearth, Alone with the consoler, Death;

He shared my cup and broke my Far sadder eyes than thine will see

bread: This crumbling clay yield up its

Now, when I hear those steps sublime, breath;

That bring the other world to this, These shrivelled hands have deeper stains

My snake-turned nature, sunk in slime, Than holy oil can cleanse away,

Starts sideway with defiant hiss. Hands that have plucked the world's coarse gains

Upon the hour when I was born, As erst they plucked the flowers of God said, “ Another man shall be,"

And the great Maker did not scorn

Out of himself to fashion me; Call, if thou canst, to these gray eyes He sunned me with his ripening looks, Some faith from youth's traditions And Heaven's rich instincts in me wrung;




« 上一頁繼續 »