網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

she changes never. Above all fluctuations of opi. Nay, verily; for it often humbles me to tears, to nion, and all the tumult of the passions, she smiles think how much I am loved more than I deserve ; ever, in various but unchanging beauty. I have while thousands, far nearer to God, pass on their gone to her with tears in my eyes, with a heart full thorny path, comparatively uncheered by love and of the saddest forebodings, for myself and all the hu- blessing. But it came into my heart to tell you how man race; and lo, she has shown me a babe pluck- much these things helped me to be good ; how they ing a white clover, with busy, uncertain little fingers, were like roses dropped by unseen hands, guiding me and the child walked straight into my heart, and through a wilderness-path unto our Father's manprophesied as hopefully as an angel; and I believed sion. And the love that helps me to be good, I her, and went on my way rejoicing. The language would have you bestow upon all, that all may beof nature, like that of music, is universal; it speaks come good. To love others is greater happiness to the heart, and is understood by all. Dialects than to be beloved by them; to do good is more blesbelong to clans and sects; tones to the universe. sed than to receive. The heart of Jesus was so full High above all language, floats music on its amber of love, that he called little children to his arms, and cloud. It is not ihe exponent of opinion, but of feel- folded John upon his bosom; and this love made ing. The heart made it; therefore it is infinite. It him capable of such divine self-renunciation, that he reveals more than language can ever utter, or could offer up even his life for the good of the world. thoughts conceive. And high as music is above The desire to be beloved is ever restless and unsatismere dialects—winging its godlike way, while verbs fied; but the love that flows out upon others is a and nouns go creeping—even so sounds the voice of perpetual well-spring from on high. This source of Love, that clear, treble note of the universe, into the happiness is within the reach of all; here, if not heart of man, and the ear of Jehovah.

elsewhere, may the stranger and the friendless satisfy In sincere humility do I acknowledge that if I am the infinite yearnings of the human heart, and find less guilty than some of my human brothers, it is therein refreshment and joy. mainly because I have been beloved. Kind emotions Believe me, the great panacea for all the disorders and impulses have not been sent back to me, like in the universe, is Love. For thousands of years the dreary echoes, through empty rooms. All round me world has gone on perversely, trying to overcome at this moment are tokens of a friendly heart-warmth. evil with evil; with the worst results, as the conA sheaf of dried grasses brings near the gentle dition of things plainly testifies. Nearly two thouimage of one who gathered them for love; a varied sand years ago, the prophet of the Highest proclaimgroup of the graceful lady.fern tells me of summered that evil could be overcome only with good. But rambles in the woods, by one who mingled thoughts when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find fuith of me with all her glimpses of nature's beauty. A on the earth ?' If we have faith in this holy princi. rose-bush, from a poor Irish woman, speaks to me of ple, where is it written on our laws or our customs ? her blessings. A bird of paradise, sent by friend Write it on thine own life: and men reading it ship to warm the wintry hours with thoughts of sun shall say, lo, something greater than vengeance is ny Eastern climes, cheers me with its floating beau- here; a power mightier than coercion. And thus ty, like a fairy fancy. Flower-tokens from the best the individual faith shall become a social faith; and of neighbors, have come all summer long, to bid me to the mountains of crime around us, it will say, a blithe good morning, and tell me news of sunshine · Be thou removed, and cast into the depths of the and fresh air. A piece of sponge, graceful as if it sea!' and they will be removed; and the places that grew on the arms of the wave, reminds me of Gre- knew them shall know them no more. cian seas, and of Hylas borne away by water. This hope is coming toward us, with a halo of nymphs. It was given me for its uncommon beau- sunshine round its head; in the light it casts before, ty; and who will not try harder to be good, for let us do works of zeal with the spirit of love. Man being deemed a fit recipient of the beantiful ? A root, may be redeemed from his thraldom! He will be which promises to bloom into fragrance, is sent by redeemed. For the mouth of the Most High bath an old Quaker lady, whom I know not, but who spoken it. It is inscribed in written prophecy, and says, “I would fain minister to thy love of flowers.' He utters it to our hearts in perpetual revelation. Affection sends childhood to peep lovingly at me To you, and me, and each of us, He says, Go, bring from engravings, or stand in classic grace, embodied my people out of Egypt, into the promised land.' in the little plaster cast. The far-off and the near, To perform this mission, we must love both the the past and the future, are with me in my humble evil and the good, and shower blessings on the just apartment. True, the mementoes cost little of the as well as the unjust. Thanks to our Heavenly world's wealth ; for they are of the simplest kind; Father, I have had much friendly aid on my own spibut they express the universe--because they are ritual pilgrimage; through many a cloud has pierced thoughts of love, clothed in forms of beauty. a sunbeam, and over many a pitfall have I been

Why do I mention these things ? From vanity?) guided by a garland. In gratitude for this, fain would

I help others to be good, according to the small mea- | Afar in the desert I love to ride,
sure of my ability. My spiritual adventures are with the silent Bush.boy alone by my side :
like those of the little boy that run away from Pro. When the wild turmoil of this wearisome life,
vidence.' When troubled or discouraged, my soul With its scenes of oppression, corruption and strise ;
seats itself on some door-step-there is ever some The proud man's frown and the base man's fear,
one to welcome me in, and make a nice little bed' The scorner's laugh and the sufferer's tear,
for my weary heart. It may be a young friend, And malice, and meanness, and falsehood, and folly,
who gathers for me flowers in summer, and grasses, Dispose me to musing and dark melancholy;
ferns, and red berries in the autumn; or it may when my bosom is full, and my thoughts are high,
be sweet Mary Howitt, whose mission it is · to turn And my soul is sick with the bondman's sigh, -
the sunny side of things to human eyes ;' or Charles O, then there is freedom, and joy, and pride,
Dickens, who looks with such deep and friendly Afar in the desert alone to ride!
glance into the human heart, whether it beats be. There is rapture to vault on the champing steed,
neatb embroidered vest, or tattered jacket; or the And to bound away with the eagle's speed,
serene and gentle Fenelon; or the devout Thomas With the death-fraught firelock in my hand, -
á Keinpis; or the meek-spirited John Woolman; or The only law of the desert land !
the eloquent hopefulness of Channing; or the cathe-
dral tones of Keble, or the saintly beauty of Raphael, Afar in the desert I love to ride,
or the clear melody of Handel. All speak to me with the silent Bush-boy alone by my side :
with friendly greeting, and have somewhat to give Away, away from the dwellings of men,
my thirsty soul. Fain would I do the same, for By the wild deer's haunt, by the buffalo's glen;
all who come to my door-step, hungry, and cold, By the valleys remote where the oribi plays,
spiritually or naturally. To the erring and the Where the gnu, the gazelle, and the hartebeest graze,
guilty, above all others, the door of my heart shall And the kudu and eland unhunted recline
never open outward. I have too much need of mercy. By the skirts of gray forests o’erhung with wild-vine;
Are we not all children of the same Father ? and Where the elephant browses at peace in his wood,
shall we not pity those who among pit-falls lose And the river-horse gambols unscared in the flood,
their way home?

And the mighty rhinoceros wallows at will
In the fen where the wild ass is dinking his fill.

BY THOMAS PRINGLE.

Afar in the desert I love to ride,
AFAR IN THE DESERT.

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side :
O'er the brown karroo, where the fleeting cry

Of the springbok's fawn sounds plaintively,
Afar in the desert I love to ride,

And the timorous quagga's shrill-whistling neigh With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side : Is heard by the fountain at twilight gray; When the sorrows of lise the soul o'ercast,

Where the zebra wantonly tosses his mane, And, sick of the present, I cling to the past; With wild hoof scouring the desolate plain ; When the eye is suffused with regretful tears, And the fleet-footed ostrich over the waste From the fond recollections of former years ; Speeds like a horseman who travels in haste, And shadows of things that have long since fled Hieing away to the home of her rest, Flit over the brain, like ghosts of the dead : Where she and her mate have scooped their nest, Bright visions of glory, that vanished too soon, Far hid from the pitiless plunderer's view Day-dreams, that departed ere manhood's noon; In the pathless depths of the parched karroo. Attachments, by fate or by falsehood reft; Companions of early days, lost or left;

Afar in the desert I love to ride, And my native land, whose magical name

With the silent Bush-boy alone by my side : Thrills to the heart like electric flame ;

Away, away, in the wilderness vast, The home of my childhood ; the haunts of my prime; Where the white man's foot hath never passed, All the passions and scenes of that rapturous time

And the quivered Coranna or Bechuan When the feelings were young and the world was new, Hath rarely crossed with his roving clan ; Like the fresh bowers of Eden unfolding to view;

A region of emptiness, howling and drear, All, all now forsaken, forgotten, sorgone;

Which man hath abandoned from famine and fear ; And I, a lone exile, remembered by none;

Which the snake and the lizard inhabit alone, My high aims abandoned, my good acts undone,

With the twilight bat from the yawning stone ; Aweary of all that is under the sun ;

Where grass, nor herb, nor shrub takes root, With that sadness of heart which no stranger may Save poisonous thorns that pieree the foot ; scan,

And the bitter melon, for food and drink, I fly to the desert afar from man!

s the pilgrim's fare by the salt lake's brink ;

A region of drought, where no river glides,
Nor rippling brook with osiered sides ;
Where sedgy pool, nor bubbling fount,
Nor tree, nor cloud, nor misty mount,
Appears to refresh the aching eye ;
But the barren earth, and the burning sky,
And the blank horizon, round and round,
Spread, void of living sight or sound.

Beautiful the sleep that she has watched untiring,

Lighted up with visions from yonder radiant sky,
Full of an immortal's glorious inspiring,
Softened by a woman's meek and loving sigh.

When will he awaken?

And here, while the night-winds round me sigh,
And the stars burn bright in the midnight sky,
As I sit apart by the desert stone,
Like Elijah at Horeb's cave alone,
A still small voice comes through the wild,
Like a father consoling his fretful child,
Which banistes bitterness, wrath and fear,
Saying,-MAN IS DISTANT, BUT GOD IS NEAR!

He has been dreaming of old heroic stories,

And the poet's world has entered in his soul;
He has grown conscious of life's ancestral glories,
When sages and when kings first upheld the mind's

control.

When will he awaken?
Asks the midnight's stately queen.
Lo, the appointed midnight! the present hour is

fated;
It is Endymion's planet that rises on the air ;
How long, how tenderly his goddess love has waited ;
Waited with a love too mighty for despair !

Soon he will awaken!

Soft amid the pines is a sound as if of singing,
Tones that seem the lute's from the breathing

flowers depart;

Not a wind that wanders o'er Mount Latmos but is THE AWAKENING OF ENDYMION.

bringing

Music that is murmured from Nature's inmost heart. Lone upon a mountain, the pine-trees wailing round

Soon he will awaken him, Lone upon a mountain the Grecian youth is laid;

To his and midnight's queen! Sleep, mystic sleep, for many a year has bound him, Lovely is the green earth, -she knows the hour is Yet his beauty, like a statue's, pale and fair, is

holy; undecayed,

Starry are the heavens, lit with eternal joy ; When will he awaken?

Light like their own is dawning sweet and slowly

O'er the fair and sculptured forehead of that yet When will be awaken? a loud voice hath been crying

dreaming boy. Night after night, and the cry has been in vain;

Soon he will awaken! Winds, woods, and waves found echoes for replying, But the tones of the beloved ones were never heard Red as the red rose towards the morning turning, again.

Warms the youth's lip to the watcher's near his When will he awaken?

own; Asked the midnight's silver queen.

While the dark eyes open, bright, intense, and burning

With a life more glorious than, ere they closed, Never mortal eye has looked upon his sleeping ;

was known. Parents, kindred, comrades have mourned for him

Yes, he has awakened as dead;

For the midnight's happy queen! By day the gathered clouds have had him in their

What is this old history, but a lesson given, keeping,

How true love still conquers by the deep strength And at night the solemn shadows round his rest

of truth, are shed.

How all the impulses, whose native home is heaven, When will he awaken?

Sanctify the visions of hope, and faith, and youth?

"T is for such they waken! Long has been the cry of faithful Love's imploring; Long has Hope been watching with soft eyes fixed When every worldly thought is utterly forsaken, above ;

Comes the starry midnight, felt by life's gifted When will the Fates, the life of life restoring, Own themselves vanquished by much-enduring Then will the spirit from its earthly sleep awaken Love?

To a being more intense, more spiritual, and true. When will he awaken?

So doth the soul awaken, Asks the midnight's weary queen.

Like that youth to night's fair queen!

few;

THE INFANT'S DREAM.

Oh! cradle me on thy knee, mamma,

And sing me the holy strain That soothed me last, as you fondly prest My glowing cheek to your soft white breast; For I saw a scene when I slumbered last,

That I fain would see again.

The spirits which came from this world of distress;
And there was the joy no tongue can express,

For they know no sorrow there.
Do you mind when sister Jane, mamma,

Lay dead, a short time agone ?
Oh! you gaz'd on the sad, but lovely wreck,
With a full flood of woe, you could not check,
And your heart was so sore you wish'd it would

break, But it lov’d, and you still sobbed on!

And smile as you then did smile, mamma,

And weep as you then did weep;
Then fix on me thy glistening eye,
And gaze and gaze 'till the tear be dry,
Then rock me gently, and sing and sigh,

Till you lull me fast asleep.
For I dream'd a heavenly dream, mamma,

While slumbering on thy knee,
I lived in a land where forms divine
In kingdoms of glory eternally shine,
And the world I'd give, if the world were mine,

Again that land to see.
I fancied we roam'd in a wood, mamma,

And we rested, as under a bough;
Then near me a butterfly, flaunted in pride ;
And I chased it away through the forest wide,
And the night came on and I lost my guide,

And I knew not what to do.

But Oh! had you been with me, mamma,

In realms of unknown care; And seen what I saw, you ne'er had cried, Though they buried pretty Jane in the grave when

she died, For shining with the blest, and adorn'd like a bride,

Sweet sister Jane was there.

My heart grew sick with fear, mamma,

And I loudly wept for thee; But a white-rob'd maiden appear'd in the air, And she flung back the curls of her golden hair, And she kiss'd me softly ere I was aware,

Saying “ come pretty babe with me.”

Do you mind that silly old man, mamma,

Who came very late to our door,
And the night was dark, and the tempest loud,
And his heart was sick, and his soul was proud,
And his ragged old mantle serv'd for his shroud,

Ere the midnight hour was o'er?
And think what a weight of wo, mamma,

Made heavy each long drawn sigh,
As the good man sat on papa's old chair,
While the rain dripp'd down from his thin grey hair,
And fast as the big tear of speechless care

Ran down from his glazing eye.
And think what a heavenly look, mamma,

Flash'd through each trembling tear,
As he told how he went to the baron's strong hold,
Saying « Oh! let me in for the night is so cold,”
But the rich man cried, “go sleep in the wold,

For we shield no beggars here." Well, he was in glory too, mamma,

As happy as the blest can be ; He needed no alms in the mansions of light, For he sat with the patriarchs, clothed in white, And there was not a seraph had a crown more bright,

Nor a costlier robe than he.

My tears and fears she beguiled, mamma,

And she led me far away ; We enter'd the door of the dark, dark tomb, We pass'd through a long, long vault of gloom; Then opend our eyes on a land of bloom,

And a sky of endless day.

And heavenly forms were there, mamma,

And lovely cherubs bright; They smiled when they saw me, but I was amaz’d, And wond'ring, round me, I gaz'd and gaz'd, And songs I heard, and sunny beams blaz’d;

All glorious in the land of light.

But soon came a shining throng, mamma,

Of white-winged babes to me; Their eyes looked love, and their sweet lips smil'd, And they marvell’d to meet with an earth-born child; And they gloried that I from the earth was exil'd,

Saying, “ here love, blest thou shalt be."

Now sing, for I fain would sleep mamma,

And dream as I dream'd before, For sound was my slumber, and sweet was my rest, While my spirit in the kingdom'of Life was a guest, And the heart that has throbb'd in the climes of the

blest, Can love this world no more.

Then I mixed with the heavenly throng, mamma,

With cherub and seraphim fair ;
And saw as I roam'd the regions of peace,

- There is a comfort in the strength of love ; 'Twill make a thing endurable, which else Would overset the brain or break the beart."

WORDSWORTH.

No. 12.

BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.

[ocr errors]

THE BÉ AUTIFUL.

woods-scattered trees with moist sward and bright mosses at their roots--great clumps of green sha

dow, where limb entwists with limb, and the rustle - A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; of one leaf stirs a hundred others-stretching up a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form; steep hill-sides, flooding with green beauty the val. it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; leys, or arching over with leaves the sharp ravines,it is the finest of the fine arts.”Emerson's Essays, every tree and shrub unlike its neighbor in size and Second Series, iv. p. 162.

proportion, the old and storm-broken leaning on the A few days since, I was walking with a friend, young and vigorous—intricate and confused, withwho, unfortunately for himself, seldom meets with out order or method! Who would exchange this any thing in the world of realities worthy of com.

for artificial French gardens, where every tree stands parison with the ideal of his faucy, which, like the stiff and regular, clipped and trimmed into unvary. bird in the Arabian tale, glides perpetually before ing conformity, like so many grenadiers under rehim, always near, yet never overtaken. I felt my view? Who wants eternal sunshine or shadow ? arm suddenly pressed. Did you see that lady, Who would fix for ever the loveliest cloud-work of who has just passed us ?” he inquired. I turned and an autumn sunset; or hang over him an everlastthrew back a glance. - I see her," I replied ; "a

ing moonlight ? If the stream had no quiet eddying good figure, and quite a graceful step—what of her ?" place, could we so admire its cascade over the rocks? “ Why, she is almost beautiful,-in fact very nearly Were there no clouds, could we so hail the sky perfect,” said my friend. “I have seen her several shining through them in its still, calm purity? Who times before, and were it not for a chin slightly out shall venture to ask our kind Mother Nature to reof proportion, I should be obliged to confess that move from our sight any one of her forms or colors ? there is at least one handsome woman in the city." Who shall decide which is beautiful, or otherwise, “ And but one, I suppose,” said I, laughingly.

in itself considered ? " That I am sure of,” said he. " I have been to all

There are too many like my fastidious friend, the churches, from the Catholic to the Mormon, and who go through the world « from Dan to' Beersheeon all the Corporations, and there is not a handsome ba, finding all barren”—who have always some fault woman here, although she whom we have just pass or other to find with Nature and Providence, seemed comes nearer the standard than any other.'

ing to consider themselves especially ill-used beJust as if there were any standard of beauty,-a cause the one does not always coincide with their fixed, arbitrary model of form and feature, and color! taste, nor the other with their narrow notions of perThe beauty which my friend seemed in search of, sonal convenience. In one of his early poems, was that of proportion and coloring; mechanical ex- Coleridge has beautifully expressed a truth, which actness ; a due combination of soft curves, and obtuse is not the less important because it is not generally angles, of warm carnation, and marble purity! Such admitted. I have not in my mind at this moment a man, for aught I can see, might love a graven image, the entire passage, but the idea is briefly this : that like the girl of Florence, who pined into a shadow the mind gives to all things their coloring, their for the Apollo Belvidere, looking coldly on her with gloom or gladness; that the pleasure we derive from his stony eyes, from his niche in the Vatican. One external Nature is primarily from ourselves : thing is certain ; he will never find his faultless piece of artistical perfection, by searching for it amidst A light, a glory, a fair luminoas mist,

Enveloping the earth." flesh and blood realities. Nature does not, as far as I can perceive, work with square and compass, or The real difficulty of these life-long hunters after lay on her colors by the rules of royal artists, or the the Beautiful, exists in their own spirits. They dunces of the academies. She eschews regular out- set up certain models of perfection in their imaginalines. She does not shape her forms by a common tions, and then go about the world in the vain exmodel. Not one of Eve's numerous progeny in all pectation of finding them actually wrought out acrespects resembles her who first culled the flowers cording to pattern; very unreasonably calculating of Eden. It is in the infinite variety and picturesque that nature will suspend her everlasting laws for the inequality of Nature, that her great charm and un- purpose of creating faultless prodigies for their especloying beauty consists. Look at her primitive cial gratification.

"From the mind itself must issue forth

« 上一頁繼續 »