網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

cxv. “I'm weak and faint. 0, let me stay!"

Nay, murderer, rest nor stay for thee !" The horse and man are on their way;

He bears him to the sea. Hark! how the spectre breathes through this still

night: See, from his nostrils streams a deathly light!

At last thou didst it well! The dread command
Came, and thou swept'st to death the breathing land;
And then once more, unto the silent heaven
Thy lone and melancholy voice was given.

And though the land is throng'd again, O Sea!
Strange sadness touches all that goes with thee.
The small bird's plaining note, the wild, sharp call,
Share thy own spirit: it is sadness all!
How dark and stern upon thy waves looks down
Yonder tall cliff--he with the iron crown.
And see! those sable pines along the steep,
Are come to join thy requiem, gloomy deep!
Like stoled monks they stand and chant the dirge
Over the dead, with thy low beating surge.

CXVI.

He's on the beach ; but stops not there;

He's on the sea !- that dreadful horse! LEE flings and writhes in wild despair !

In vain! The spirit-corse Holds him by fearful spell ;-he cannot leap. Within that horrid light he rides the deep.

CXVII.

DAYBREAK.

“The Pilgrim they laid in a large upper chamber, whose window opened towards the sun-rising: the name of the chamber was Peace; where he slept till break of day, and then he awoke and sang."-The Pilgrim's Pregress.

It lights the sea around their track

The curling comb, and dark steel wave; There, yet, sits LEE the spectre's back

Gone! gone! and none to save !
They're seen no more; the night has shut them in.
May Heaven have pity on thee, man of sin!

CXVIII.
The earth has wash'd away its stain ;

The sealed-up sky is breaking forth,
Mustering its glorious hosts again,

From the far south and north ; The climbing moon plays on the rippling sea. -0, whither on its waters rideth LEE?

THE OCEAN.*

Now, brighter than the host that all night long,
In fiery armour, far up in the sky
Stood watch, thou comest to wait the morning's

song,
Thou comest to tell me day again is nigh,
Star of the dawning! Cheerful is thine eye;
And yet in the broad day it must grow dim.
Thou seem'st to look on me, as asking why
My mourning eyes with silent tears do swim;
Thou bid’st me turn to God, and seek my rest in

Him. Canst thou grow sad, thou say’st, as earth grows

bright? And sigh, when little birds begin discourse In quick, low voices, ere the streaming light Pours on their nests, from out the day's fresh

source? With creatures innocent thou must perforce A sharer be, if that thine heart be pure. And holy hour like this, save sharp remorse, Of ills and pains of life must be the cure, And breathe in kindred calm, and teach thee to

endure.

Now stretch your eye off shore, o'er waters made To cleanse the air and bear the world's great trade, To rise, and wet the mountains near the sun, Then back into themselves in rivers run, Fulfilling mighty uses far and wide, Through earth, in air, or here, as ocean-tide.

Ho! how the giant heaves himself, and strains And flings to break his strong and viewless chains; Foams in his wrath ; and at his prison doors, Hark! hear him! how he beats and tugs and roars, As if he would break forth again and sweep Each living thing within his lowest deep.

Type of the Infinite! I look away Over thy billows, and I cannot stay My thought upon a resting-place, or make A shore beyond my vision, where they break; But on my spirit stretches, till it's pain To think; then rests, and then puts forth again. Thou hold'st me by a spell; and on thy beach I feel all soul; and thoughts unmeasured reach Far back beyond all date. And, O! how old Thou art to me. For countless years thou hast

roll'd. Before an ear did hear thee, thou didst mourn, Prophet of sorrows, o'er a race unborn ; Waiting, thou mighty minister of death, Lonely thy work, ere man had drawn his breath.

I feel its calm. But there's a sombrous hue,
Edging that eastern cloud, of deep, dull red;
Nor glitters yet the cold and heavy dew;
And all the woods and hill-tops stand outspread
With dusky lights, which warmth nor comfort

shed.
Still—save the bird that scarcely lifts its song-
The vast world seems the tomb of all the dead
The silent city emptied of its throng,
And ended, all alike, grief, mirth, love, hate, and

wrong. But wrong, and hate, and love, and grief, and mirth Will quicken soon; and hard, hot toil and strife, With leadlong purpose, shake this sleeping earth With discord strange, and all that man calls life. With thousand scatter'd beauties nature's rife ;

* From "Factitious Life."

I.

And airs and woods and streams breathe harmonies: Hymn it around our souls: according harps,
Man weds not these, but taketh art to wife; By angel fingers touch'd when the mild stars
Xor binds his heart with soft and kindly ties : Of morning sang together, sound forth still
He, feverish, blinded, lives, and, feverish, sated, dies. The song of our great immortality!
It is because man useth so amiss

Thick, clustering orbs, and this our fair domain, Her dearest blessings, Nature seemeth sad;

The tall, dark mountains, and the deep-toned seas, Else why should she in such fresh hour as this

Join in this solemn, universal song. Not lift the veil, in revelation glad,

-0, listen, ye, our spirits ! drink it in From her fair face?-It is that man is mad!

From all the air! 'Tis in the gentle moonlight; Then chide me not, clear star, that I repine

'Tis floating in day's setting glories; night, When nature grieves; nor deem this heart is bad.

Wrapp'd in her sable robe, with silent step Thou look'st toward earth ; but yet the heavens

Comes to our bed and breathes it in our ears ; are thine;

Night and the dawn, bright day and thoughtful eve, While I to earth am bound :- When will the

All time, all bounds, the limitless expanse, heavens be mine?

As one vast, mystic instrument, are touch'd

By an unseen, living Hand, and conscious chords If man would but his finer nature learn,

Quiver with joy in this great jubilee : And not in life fantastic lose the sense

--The dying hear it; and as sounds of earth Of simpler things; could nature's features stern

Grow dull and distant, wake their passing souls
Teach him be thoughtful, then, with soul intense To mingle in this heavenly harmony.
I should not yearn for God to take me hence,
Bat bear my lot, albeit in spirit bow'd,
Remembering humbly why it is, and whence :
But when I see cold man of reason proud,

THE LITTLE BEACH-BIRD.
My solitude is sad—I'm lonely in the crowd.
But not for this alone, the silent tear
Steals to mine eyes, while looking on the morn, Taou little bird, thou dweller by the sea,
Nor for this solemn hour: fresh life is near ;-

Why takest thou its melancholy voice?
But all my joys !--they died when newly born. And with that boding cry
Thousands will wake to joy; while I, forlorn,

O’er the waves dost thou fly?
And like the stricken deer, with sickly eye 0! rather, bird, with me
Shall see them pass. Breathe calm--my spirit's

Through the fair land rejoice! torn; Ye holy thoughts, lift up my soul on high !Ye hopes of things unseen, the far-off world bring Thy flitting form comes ghostly dim and pale, nigh.

As driven by a beating storm at sea ; And when I grieve, 0, rather let it be

Thy cry is weak and scared, That I-whom nature taught to sit with her

As if thy mates had shared On her proud mountains, by her rolling sea The doom of us: Thy wail — Who, when the winds are up, with mighty stir What does it bring to me? Of woods and waters--feel the quickening spur To my strong spirit;--who, as my own child, Do love the flower, and in the ragged bur Thou call'st along the sand, and haunt'st the surge, A beauty see—that I this mother mild

Restless and sad: as if, in strange accord Should leave, and go with care, and passions fierce With the motion and the roar and wild !

Of waves that drive to shore, How suddenly that straight and glittering shaft

One spirit did ye urgeShot 'thwart the earth! In crown of living fire

The Mystery—the Word. Upcomes the day! As if they conscious quaff'dThe sunny flood, hill, forest, city spire Laugh in the wakening light.-Go, vain desire ! Of thousands, thou both sepulchre and pall, The dusky lights are gone; go thou thy way! Old ocean, art! A requiem o'er the dead, And pining discontent, like them, expire!

From out thy gloomy cells Be call'd my chamber, Peace, when ends the day; A tale of mourning tells, And let me with the dawn, like PILGRIM, sing and Tells of man's wo and fall, pray.

His sinless glory fled.

II.

III.

IV.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE MOSS SUPPLICATETH FOR THE

POET.

He answer'd, earth no blessing had

To cure his lone and aching heart, That I was one, when he was sad,

Oft stole him from his pain, in part. But e'en from thee, he said, I go,

To meet the world, its care and strife, No more to watch this quiet flow,

Or spend with thee a gentle life. And yet the brook is gliding on,

And I, without a care, at rest, While back to toiling life he's gone,

Where finds his head no faithful breast. Deal gently with him, world, I pray ;

Ye cares, like soften'd shadows come; His spirit, wellnigh worn away,

Asks with ye but awhile a home. Oh, may I live, and when he dies

Be at his feet an humble sod; Oh, may I lay me where he lies,

To die when he awakes in God!

WASHINGTON ALLSTON.

Though I am humble, slight me not,

But love me for the Poet's sake; Forget me not till he's forgot;

I, care or slight, with him would take. For oft he pass'd the blossoms by,

And gazed on me with kindly look; Left flaunting flowers and open sky,

And woo'd me by the shady brook.
And like the brook his voice was low:

So soft, so sad the words he spoke,
That with the stream they seem'd to flow :

They told me that his heart was broke ;-
They said, the world he fain would shun,

And seek the still and twilight woodHis spirit, weary of the sun,

In humblest things found chiefest good ;That I was of a lowly frame,

And far more constant than the flower, Which, vain with many a boastful name,

But flutter'd out its idle hour; That I was kind to old decay,

And wrapt it softly round in green, On naked root and trunk of gray

Spread out a garniture and screen :They said, that he was withering fast,

Without a sheltering friend like me; That on his manhood fell a blast,

And left him bare, like yonder tree; That spring would clothe his boughs no more,

Nor ring his boughs with song of birdSounds like the melancholy shore

Alone were through his branches heard. Methought, as then, he stood to trace

The wither'd stems, there stole a tear That I could read in his sad face,

Brother, our sorrows make us near. And then he stretch'd him all along,

And laid his head upon my breast, Listening the water's peaceful song,

How glad was I to tend his rest! Then happier grew his soothed soul.

He turn’d and watch'd the sunlight play Upon my face, as in it stole,

Whispering, Above is brighter day! He praised my varied hues—the green,

The silver hoar, the golden, brown; Said, Lovelier hues were never seen:

Then gently press'd my tender down. And where I sent up little shoots,

He call'd them trees, in fond conceit: Like silly lovers in their suits

He talk'd, his care awhile to cheat. I said, I'd deck me in the dews,

Could I but chase away his care, And clothe me in a thousand hues,

To bring him joys that I might share.

I LOOK through tears on Beauty now; And Beauty's self, less radiant, looks on me, Serene, yet touch'd with sadness is the brow

(Once bright with joy) I see.
Joy-waking Beauty, why so sad ?
Tell where the radiance of the smile is gone
At which my heart and earth and skies were glad-

That link'd us all in one.
It is not on the mountain's breast;
It comes not to me with the dawning day;
Nor looks it from the glories of the west,

As slow they pass away.
Nor on those gliding roundlets bright
That steal their play among the woody shades,
Nor on thine own dear children doth it light-

The flowers along the glades.
And alter'd to the living mind
(The great high-priestess with her thought-born race
Who round thine altar aye have stood and shined)

The comforts of thy face.
Why shadow'd thus thy forehead fair?
Why on the mind low hangs a mystic gloom?
And spreads away upon the genial air,

Like vapours from the tomb?
Why should ye shine, you lights above ?
Why, little flowers, open to the heat ?
No more within the heart ye filled with love

The living pulses beat.
Well, Beauty, may you mourning stand!
The fine beholding eye whose constant look
Was turn'd on thee is dark-and cold the hand

That gave all vision took.
Nay, heart, be still !–Of heavenly birth

Beauty sprung.-Look up! behoid the place ! There he who reverent traced her steps on earth

Now sees her face to face.

RICHARD HENRY WILDE.

(Born 1789. Died 1817.)

I BELIEVE Mr. Wilde is a native of Baltimore, purpose, and to raise a fund to establish a public and that he was born about the year 1789.* His library. family are of Saxon origin, and their ancient name All this time his older and graver acquaintances, was De Wilde; but his parents were natives of who knew nothing of his designs, naturally conDublin, and his father was a wholesale hardware founded him with his thoughtless companions, merchant and ironmonger in that city during the who sought only amusement, and argued badly American war; near the close of which he emi. of his future life. He bore the injustice in silence, grated to Maryland, leaving a prosperous business and pursued his secret studies for a year and a half; and a large capital in the hands of a partner, by at the end of which, pale, emaciated, feeble, and whose bad management they were in a few years with a consumptive cough, he sought a distant both lost.

court to be examined, that, if rejected, the news The childhood of Richard HENRY WILDE was of his defeat might not reach his mother. When passed in Baltimore. He was taught to read by he arrived, he found he had been wrongly informed, his mother, and received instruction in writing and that the judges had no power to admit him. and Latin grammar from a private tutor until he

He met friend there, however, who was going was about seven years old. He afterward attended to the Greene Superior Court; and, on being inan academy; but his father's affairs becoming em- vited by him to do so, he determined to proceed imbarrassed, in his eleventh year he was taken home mediately to that place. It was the March term, and placed in a store. His constitution was at for 1809, Mr. Justice Early presiding; and the first tender and delicate. In his infancy he was young applicant, totally unknown to every one, not expected to live from month to month, and save the friend who accompanied him, was at inhe suffered much from ill health until he was fif tervals, during three days, subjected to a most teen or sixteen. This induced quiet, retiring, soli- rigorous examination. Justice Early was well tary, and studious habits. His mother's example known for his strictness, and the circumstance of gave him a passion for reading, and all his leisure a youth leaving his own circuit excited his suspiwas devoted to books. The study of poetry was cion; but every question was answered to the his principal source of pleasure, when he was not satisfaction and even admiration of the examinmore than twelve years old.

ing committee; and he declared that

“ the young About this time his father died; and gathering as

man could not have left his circuit because he much as she could from the wreck of his property, was unprepared.” His friend certified to the his mother removed to Augusta, Georgia, and

correctness of his moral character; he was adcommenced there a small business for the support

mitted without a dissenting voice, and returned of her family. Here young Wilde, amid the in triumph to Augusta. He was at this time Irudgery of trade, taught himself book-keeping,

under twenty years of age. and became familiar with the works in general His health gradually improved; he applied himliterature which he could obtain in the meagre self diligently to the study of belles lettres, and to libraries of the town, or from his personal friends. his duties as an advocate, and rapidly rose to emi

The expenses of a large family, and various nence; being in a few years made attorney-geneother causes, reduced the little wealth of his ral of the state. He was remarkable for industry mother; her business became unprofitable, and he in the preparation of his cases, sound logic, and resolved to study law. Unable, however, to pay the

general urbanity. In forensic disputation, he never usual fee for instruction, he kept his design a secret, indulged in personalities,—then too common at the as far as possible; borrowed some elementary books bar,—unless in self-defence; but, having studied from his friends, and studied incessantly, tasking

the characters of his associates, and stored his himself to read fifty pages, and write five pages memory with appropriate quotations, his ridicule of notes, in the form of questions and answers,

was a formidable weapon against all who attacked each day, besides attending to his duties in the him. store. And, to overcome a natural diffidence, in In the autumn of 1815, when only a fortnight over creased by a slight impediment in his speech, he

the age required by law, Mr. Wilde was elected a appeared frequently as an actor at a dramatic so member of the national House of Representatives. ciety, which he had called into existence for this At the next election, all the representatives from

Georgia, but one, were defeated, and Mr. WILDE

returned to the bar, where he continued, with the * Most of the facts in this notice of Mr. WILDE were exception of a short service in Congress in 1825, communicated to me by an eminent citizen of Georgia, until 1828, when he again became a representawho has long been intimately acquainted with him. He

tive, and so continued until 1835. I have not was uncertain whether Mr. W. was born before the arrival of his parents in America, but believed he was

room to trace his character as a politician very closely. On the occasion of the Force Bill, as it

bot.

was called, he seceded from a majority of Con felicity. Having completed his work on Tasso, gress, considering it a measure calculated to pro he turned his attention to the life of Dante; and duce civil war, and justified bimself in a speech having learned incidentally one day, in conversaof much eloquence. His speeches on the tariff, tion with an artist, that an authentic portrait of the relative advantages and disadvantages of a this great poet, from the pencil of Giotto, probasmall-note currency, and on the removal of the bly still existed in the Bargello, (anciently both deposites by General Jackson, show what are the prison and the palace of the republic,) on a his pretensions to industry and sagacity as a poli wall, which by some strange neglect or inadvertician.

tence had been covered with whitewash, he set on Mr. Wilde's opposition to the Force Bill and foot a project for its discovery and restoration, the removal of the deposites rendered him as un which, after several months, was crowned with popular with the Jackson party in Georgia, as his complete success. This discovery of a veritable letter from Virginia had made him with the nul. portrait of Dante, in the prime of bis days, says lifiers, and at the election of 1834 he was left out Mr. Invino,t produced throughout Italy some of Congress. This afforded him the opportunity such sensation as, in England, would follow the he had long desired of going abroad, to recruit his sudden discovery of a perfectly well-authenticated health, much impaired by long and arduous public likeness of SHAKSPEARE. service, and by repeated attacks of the diseases in Mr. Wude returned to the United States in cident to southern climates. He sailed for Europe 1840, and was engaged in literary studies and in in June, 1835, spent two years in travelling through the practice of his profession until his death, in England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy, the summer of 1847, at New Orleans, where he and settled during three years more in Florence. held the professorship of law in the University of Here he occupied himself entirely with literature. Louisiana. The romantic love, the madness, and imprison Mr. Wilde's original poems and translations ment of Tasso had become a subject of curious are always graceful and correct. Those that have controversy, and he entered into the investigation

been published were mostly written while he was “with the enthusiasm of a poet, and the patience a member of Congress, during moments of relaxaand accuracy of a case-hunter,” and produced a tion, and they have never been printed collectively. work, published since his return to the United Specimens of his translations are excluded, by the States, in which the questions concerning Tasso plan of this work. His versions from the Italian, are most ably discussed, and lights are thrown upon Spanish, and French languages, are among the them by his letters, and by some of his sonnets, most elegant and scholarly productions of their which last are rendered into English with rare kind that have been published.

ODE TO EASE.

I never bent at Glory's shrine;

To Wealth I never bow'd the knee; Beauty has heard no vows of mine;

I love thee, Ease, and only thee;
Beloved of the gods and men,

Sister of Joy and Liberty,
When wilt thou visit me agen;
In shady wood, or silent glen,
By falling stream, or rocky den,
Like those where once I found thee, when,
Despite the ills of Poverty,
And Wisdom's warning prophecy,
I liscen'd to thy siren voice,
And made thee mistress of my choice!
I chose thee, Ease! and Glory fled;
For me no more her laurels spread;
Her golden crown shall never shed
Its beams of splendour on my head.

And when within the narrow bed,
To Fame and Memory ever dead,

My senseless corpse is thrown:
Nor stately column, sculptured bust,
Nor urn that holds within its trust
The poor remains of mortal dust,

Nor monumental stone,
Nor willow, waving in the gale,
Nor feeble fence, with whitend pale,
Nor rustic cross, memorial frail,

Shall mark the grave I own.
No lofty deeds in armour wrought;
No hidden truths in science taught;
No undiscover'd regions sought;
No classic page, with learning fraught,
Nor elo

ence, nor verse divine,
Nor daring speech, nor high design,
Nor patriotic act of mine
On History's page shall ever shine :
But, all to future ages lost,
Nor even a wreck, tradition toss'd,
Of what I was when valued most
By the few friends whose love I boast,
In after years shall float to shore,
And serve to tell the name I bore.

* To show his standing in the House of Representatives, it may be proper 10 state, that, in 1834, he was voted for ag Speaker, with the following result, on the first ballot :-R. H. Wilde, 64; J. K. POLK, 42, J. B. SUTHERLAND), 31; Joun Bell, 30; scattering, 32. Ultimately Mr. Bell was elected.

† Knickerbocker Magazine, October, 1841.

« 上一頁繼續 »