網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

BY

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

HEART-LEAP WELL.

And now, too happy for repose or rest,
(Never had living man such joyful lot!)

Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west, Heart. Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles And gazed and gazed upon that darling spot. from Richinund in Yorkshire, and near the side of the road that leads from Richmond to Askrice. Its nome is derived! And climbing up that hill-(it was at least from a remarkable Chase, the memory of which is preserved. Nine roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found by the monuments spoken of in the second part of the follow. ing Poem, which monuments do now exist as I have there de. Three several hoof-marks w bich the hunted Beast scribed them.

Had left imprinted on the grassy ground.
The Knight had ridden down from Wensley Moor
With the slow motion of a summer's clui;

Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, « Till now

Such sight was never seen by humau eyes : And now as he approached a vassal's dwor, • Bring forth another horse!" he cried aloud.

Three leaps bave borne bim from this lufty brow,

Down to the weary fountain where he lies. “ Another horse!”—That shout the vassal heard,

I'll build a pleasure house upon this spot, And saddled his best Steed, a comely grey ;

And a small arbour, made for rural joy ; Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third

'Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's cot, Which he had mounted on that glorious day.

A place of love for dansels that are coy. Joy sparkled in the prancing courser's eyes;

A cunning artist will I have to frame The horse and horseman are a happy pair;

A basin for that fountain in the dell! But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies,

And ibey who do inake mention of the same, There is a doleful silence in the air.

From this day forth, shall call it HEART-LEAP WELL. A rout this morning left Sir Walter's Hall,

And, gallant Stag! to make thy praises known, That as they galloped made the echoes roar;

Another monument shall here be raised ; But horse and man are vanished, one and all;

Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn stone, Such race, I think, was never seen before.

And planted where thy hoofs the tuft bave grazed. Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,

And, in the summer-time when days are long, Calls to the few tired dogs that yet

remain :

I will come hither with my Paramour;
Blanch, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind, And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
Follow, and up the weary mountain strain.

We will make merry in that pleasant bower.
The knight hallooed, he cheered and chid them on Till the foundations of the mountain fail
With suppliant gestures and upbraidings stern; My mansion with its arbour shall endure;-
But breath and eyesight fail; and, one by one, The joy of them who till the fields of Swale,
The dogs are scattered among the mountain fern. And them who dwell among the woods of Ure!"

Where is the throng, the tumult of the race ?
The bugles that so joyfully were blown ?
--This chase it looks not like an earthly chase;
Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.

Then bome he went, and left the Hart stone-dead,
With breathless nostrils stretched above the spring.
-Soon did the Knight perform what he had said ;
And far and wide the fame thereof did ring.

The poor Hart toils along the mountain sile;
I will not stop to tell how far he fled,
Nor will I mention by what death he died ;
But now the Knight beholds him lying dead.

Ere thrice the Moon into her port had steered,
A cup of stone received the living well;
Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter reared,
And built a bouse of pleasure in the dell.
And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall
With trailing plants and trees were intertwined,--
Which soon composed a little sylvan ball,
A leafy shelter from the sun and wind.

Dismounting, then, he leaned against a thorn;
He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy :
He neither cracked his whip, nor blew his horn,
But gazed upon the spoil with silent joy.
Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned,
Stood his dumb partner in this glorious fiat ;
Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned ;
And white with foam as if with cleaving sleet.
Upon bis side the Hart was lying stretched :
His nostril touched a spring beneath a bill,
And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched
The waters of the spring were trembling still.

And thither, when the summer days were long,
Sir Walter led his wondering Paramour;
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
Made merriment within that pleasant bower.

The Knight, Sir Walter, died in course of time,
And his bones lie in his paternal vale,-
But there is matter for a second rhyme,
Avd I to this would add another tale.

PART SECOND.

The moving accident is not my trade;
To freeze the blood I have no ready arts;
'Tis my delight, alone in suinmer shade,
To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts.

As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair, It chanced that I saw standing in a dell Three aspens at three corners of a square ; And one, not far distant, near a well.

What this imported I could ill divine :
And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop,
I saw three pillars standing in a line-
The last stone-pillar on a dark bill-top.

The trees were grey, with neither arms nor head;
Half wasted the square mound of tawny green;
So that you just might say, as then I said,
« Here ia old time the hand of man bath been.”

For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race; And in my simple mind we cannot tell What cause the Ilart might have to love this place, And come and make his death bed near the well. Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank, Lulled by the fountain in the summer-tide ; This water was perhaps the first he drank When he had wandered from his mother's side. In April here beneath the flowering thorn He heard the birds their morning carols sing; And he, perbaps, for aught we know, was born Not half a furlong from that self-same spring. Now, here is neither grass nor pleasant shade ; The sun on drearer hollow never shone, So will it be, as I have often said, Till trees, and stones, and fountain, all are gone." “Grey-headed Shepherd, thou hast spoken well; Small difference lies between thy creed and tine : This Beast not unobserved by Nature fell; His death was mourned by sympathy divine. The Being, that is in the clouds and air, That is in the green leaves among the groves, Maintains a deep and reverential care, For the unoffending creatures whom he loves. The pleasure-house is dust :--behind, before, This is no common waste, no common gloom; But Nature, in due course of time, once more Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom. She leaves these objects to a slow decay, That what we are, and have been, may be known; But, at the coming of the milder day, These monuments shall all be overgrown. One lesson, Shepherd, let us two divide, Taught both by what she shows, and what conceals; Never to blend our pleasures or our pride With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels."

I looked upon the hill both far and near,
More doleful place did never eye survey ;
It seeined as if the spring-time came not here,
And Nature here were willing to decay. .

I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost,
When one, who was in shepherd's garb attired,
Came up the hollow :---him did I accost,
And what his place might be I then inquired.

The Shepherd stopped, and that same story told
Which in my foriner rhyme I have rehearsed.
“ A jolly place,” said he, “ in times of old !
But something ails it now : the spot is curst.

You see these lifeless stumps of aspen woodSome say that they are beeches, others elmsThese were the bower; and here a mansion stood, The finest palace of a hundred realms!

The arbour does its own condition tell ;
You see the stones, the fountain, and the stream;
But as to the great Lodge! you might as well
Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream.

“ MAY I COME UP?”

There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,
Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;
And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep,
This water doth send forth a dolorous groan.

Some say that here a murder has been done, And blood cries out for blood : but, for my part, I've guessed, when I've been sitting in the sun, That it was all for that unhappy Hart.

May I come up ?” the waking germ inquires ? 66 All winter long; the fearful frost has bound

Above my head a mass of icy ground. I've slept in silence, till the solar fires

Have driven away the frost; the softened earth

Invites me now to claim the right of birth. Oh may I come, and see day's sunny smile ?''

« Not yet, not yet. "Tis past the time of snow,

But frosts come, and the nipping winds may blow. Tis safe for thee to hide a little while

Within thy cell : ere long shalt tho arise
And God thy life wilt keep.” The April hours,

Soon weepingcome, with warm and genial skies, The germ springs up, and bears a crown of buds and

flowers.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

BY LYDIA MARIA CUILD.

LOVE AND FAITH.

load. He went, and returned in due time with empty cannisters; and this he continued to do for several days. The house bells in Madrid are usually so con.

struc'ed that you pull downward to make them ring. I thank my heavenly Father for every manifesta. The peasant afterward learned that his sagacious tion of human love. I thank him for all experiences, animal stopped before the door of every customer, be they sweet or bitter, which help me to forgive and after waiting what he deemed a snfficient time, all things, and to enfold the whole world with bless. pulled the bell with his mouth. If affectionate treating. "What shall be our reward,' says Swedenborg, ment will thus idealize the jackass, what may it not • for loving our neighbour us ourselves in this life? do? Assuredly there is no limit to its power. It That when we become angels, we shall be enabled can banish crime, and make this earth an Eden. to love him better than ourselves.' This is a reward

The best tamer of colts that was ever known in pure and holy; the only one, which my heart has Massachusetts, never allowed whip or spur to be not rejected, whenever offered as an incitement to used; and the horses he trained never needed the goodness. It is this chiefly which makes the hap- whip. Their spirits were unbroken by severity, piness of lovers more nearly allied to heaven, than and they obeyed the slightest impulse of the voice any other emotions experienced by the human heart. or rein, with the most animated promptitude ; but Each loves the other better than himself; each is rendered obedient to affection, their vivacity was willing to sacrifice all to the other-uay, finds joy always restrained by graceful docility. He said therein. This it is that surrounds them with a

was with horses as with children; if accustomed to golden atmosphere, and tinges the world with rose. beating, they would not obey without it. But if colour. A mother's love has the same angelic cha- managed with untiring gentleness, united with conracter; more completely unselfish, but lacking the sistent and very equable firmness, the victory once charm of perfect reciprocity.

gained over them, was gained for ever. The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares,

In the face of all these facts, the world goes on the sorrows, and the crimes of humanity, all lie in manufacturing whips, spurs, the gallows, and chains ; that one word, Love. It is the divine vitality that while each one carries within his own soul a divine every where produces and restores life. To each substitute for these devil's inventions, with which and every one of us it gives the power of working he might work miracles, inward and outward, if he miracles, if we will.

would. Unto this end let us work with unfaltering

faith. Great is the strength of an individual soul, • Love is the story without an end, and angels throng to hear ; true to its high trust;-mighty is it even to the reThe word, the king of words, carved on Jehovah's heart.'

demption of a world. From the highest to the lowest, all feel its influ A German, whose sense of sound was exceedingly ence, all acknowledge its sway. Even the poor, acute, was passing by a church, a day or two after despised donkey is changed by its magic influence. he had landed in this country, and the sound of music When coerced and beaten, he is vicious, obstinate, attracted him to enter, though he had no knowledge and stupid. With the peasantry of Spain, he is a of our langnage. The music proved to be a piece of petted favourite, almost an inmate of the household. nasal psalmody, sung in most discordant fashion; The children bid him welcome home, and the wife and the sensitive German would fain have covered feeds him from her hands. He knows them all, and his ears. As this was scarcely civil, and might ap. he loves them all, for he feels in his inmost heart pear like insanity, his next impulse was to rush that they all love him. He will follow his master, into the open air, and leave the hated sounds behind and come and go at his bidding, like a faithful dog; him. • But this too I feared to do,' said he. lest and he delights to take the baby on his back, and offence might be given; so I resolved to endure the walk him round, gently, on the greensward His torture with the best fortitude I could assume; intellect expands, too, in the sunshine of affection; when lo! I distinguished amid the din, the soft and he that is called the stupidest of animals be clear voice of a woman singing in perfect tune. She comes sagacious. A Spanish peasant had for many made no effort to drown the voices of her comyears carried milk into Madrid to supply a set of panions, neither was she disturbed by their noisy customers. Every morning, he and his donkey, discord; but patiently and sweetly she sang in full, with loaded panniers, trudged the well-known round. rich tones : one after another yielded to the gentle At last, the peasant became very ill, and had no influence; and before the tune was finished, all were one to send to market. His wife proposed to send the in perfect harmony.' faithful old animal by himself. The panniers were I have often thought of this story as conveying an accordingly filled with cannisters of milk, an in- instructive lesson for reformers. The spirit that can scription, written by the priest, requested customers thus sing patiently and sweetly in a world of disto measure their own milk, and return the vessels; cord, must indeed be of the strongest, as well as the and the donkey was instructed to set off with his gentlest kind. One scarce can hear his own soft

[ocr errors]

voice amid the braying of the multitude; and ever | Lo, I am tall and strong, well skilled to hunt, and anon comes the temptation to sing louder than Patient of toil and hunger, and not yet they, and drown the voices that cannot thus be forc. Have seen the danger which I dared not look ed into perfect tune. But this were a pitiful expe- Full in the face ; what hinders me to be riment; the melodious tones, cracked into shrillness ; A mighty Brave and Chief among my kin?" would only increase the tumult.

So, taking up his arrows and his bow, Stronger, and more frequently, comes the tempta- As if to hunt, he journeyed swiftly on, tion to stop singing, and let discord do its own wild | Until he gained the wigwams of his tribe, work. But blessed are they that endure to the end - Where, choosing out a bride, he soon forgot, singing patiently and sweetly, till all join in with In all the fret and bustle of new life, loving acquiescence, and universal harmony prevails, The little Sheemah and his father's charge. without forcing into submission the free discord of

Now when the sister found her brother gone, a single voice. This is the hardest and the bravest task, which a

And that, for many days, he came not back, true soul has to perform amid the clashing elements She wept for Sheemah more than for herself; of time. But once has it been done perfectly, into

For Love bides longest in a woman's heart, the end; and that voice, so clear in its meekness, is And flutters many times before he flies, heard above all the din of a tumultuous world; one

And then doth perch so nearly, that a word after another chimes in with its patient sweetness, May lure him back, as swift and glad as light; and, through infinite discords, the listening soul can

And Duty lingers even when Love is gone, perceive that the great tune is slowly coming into Oft looking out in hope of his return; harmony.

And, after Duty hath been driven forth,
Then Selfishness creeps in the last of all,
Warming her lean hands at the lonely hearth,
And crouching o'er the embers, to shut out
Whatever paltry warmth and light are left,
With avaricious greed, from all beside.
So, for long months, the sister hunted wide,
And cared for little Sheemah tenderly;

But, daily more and more, the loneliness
A CHIPPEWA LEGEND.

Grew wearisome, and to herself she sighed,
". Am I not fair ? at least the glossy pool,

That hath no cause to flatter, tells me so;
The old Chief, feeling now well-nigh his end, But, O, how flat and meaningless the tale,
Called his two eldest children to his side,

Unless it tremble on a lover's tongue ! And gave them, in few words, his parting charge : Beauty hath no true glass, except it be

My son and daughter, me ye see no more ; In the sweet privacy of loving eyes." The happy hunting.grounds await me, green Thus deemed she idly, and forgot the lore With change of spring and summer through the year; Which she had learned of nature and the woods, But, for remembrance, aster I am gone,

That beauty's chief reward is to itself, Be kind to little Sheemah for my sake :

And that the eyes of Love reflect alone Weakling he is and young, and knows not yet The inward fairness, which is blurred and lost To set the trap, or draw tbe seasoned bow; Unless kept clear and white by Duty's care. Therefore of both your loves he hath more need, So she went forth and sought the haunts of men, And he, who needeth love, to love hath right; And, being wedded, in her household cares, It is not like our furs and stores of corn,

Soon, like the elder brother, quite forgot
Whereto we claim sole title by our toil,

The little Sheemah and her father's charge.
But the Great Spirit plants it in our hearts,
And waters it, and gives it sun, to be

But Sheemah, left alone within the lodge,
The common stock and heritage of all :

Waited and waited, with a shrinking heart, Therefore be kind to Sheemah, that yourselves

Thinking each rustle was his sister's step. May not be left deserted in your need."

Till hope grew less and less, and then went out,

And every sound was changed from hope to fear. Alone, beside a lake, their wigwam stood,

Few sounds there were :— the dropping of a nut, Far from the other dwellings of their tribe ; The squirrel's chirrup, and the jay's harsh scream, And, after many moons, the loneliness

Autumn's sad remnants of blithe Summer's cheer, Wearied the elder brother, and he said,

Heard at long intervals, seemed but to make “ Why should I dwell here all alone, shut out The dreadful void of silence silenter. From the free, natural joys that fit my age ? Soon what small store his sister left was gone,

BY JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.

And, through the Autumn, he made shift to live Wherefore we shall give up a straight account.
On roots and berries, gathered in much fear Woe, if we have forgotten them, and left
Of wolves, whose ghastly howl he heard ofttimes, Those souls that might have grown so fair and gladl,
Hollow and hungry, at the dead of night.

That only wanted a kind word from us,
But Winter came at last, and, when the snow, To be so free and gently beautiful,-
Thick-heaped for gleaming leagues o'er hill and plain, Left them to feel their birthright as a curse,
Spread its unbroken silence over all,

To grow all lean, and cramped, and full of sores,
Made bold by hunger, he was fain to glean, And last, --sad change, that surely comes to all
(More sick at heart than Ruth, and all alone,) Shut out from manhood by their brother-man,-
After the harvest of the merciless wolf,

To turn mere wolves, for lack of aught to love! Grim Boaz, who, sharp-ribbed and gaunt, yet feared

Hear it, О England! thou who liest asleep
A thing more starving than himself;

On a volcano, from whose pent-up wrath,
Till, by degrees, the wolf and he grew friends,
And shared together all the winter through.

Already some red flashes, bursting up,

Glare bloodily on coronet and crown Late in the Spring, when all the ice was gone,

And gray cathedral looming huge aloof, The elder brother, fishing in the lake,

Wi:h dreadful portent of o’erhanging doom! Upon whose edge his father's wigwam stood,

Thou Dives among nations ! from whose board, Heard a low moaning noise upon the shore :

After the dogs are sed, poor Lazarus, Half like a child it seemed, half like a wolf,

Crooked and worn with toil, and hollow-eyed, And straightway there was something in his heart

Begs a few crumbs in vain! That said, “ It is thy brother Sheemah's voice.”

I honour thee So, paddling swiftly to the bank, he saw,

For all the lessons thou hast taught the world, Within a little thicket close at hand,

Not few nor poor, and freedom chief of all; A child that seemed fast changing to a wolf,

I honour thee for thy huge energy, From the neck downward, gray with shaggy hair,

Thy tough endurance, and thy fearless heart : That still crept on and upward as he looked.

And how coulil man, who speaks with English words, The face was turned away, but well he knew

Think lightly of the blessed womb that bare That it was Sheemah's, even his brother's face.

Shakspeare and Milton, and full many more Then with his trembling hands he hid his eyes,

Whose names are now our earth's sweet lullabies, And bowed his head, so that he might not see

Wherewith she cheers the infancy of those The first look of his brother's eyes, and cried,

Who are to do her honour in their lives? « 0, Sheemah! O, my brother, speak to me!

Yet I would bid thee, ere too late, beware, Dost thou not know me, that I am thy brother ?

Lest, while thou playest off thine empty farce Come to me, little Sheemah, thou shalt dwell

Of Queenship to outface a grinning world, With me henceforth, and know no care or want !"

Patching thy purple out with filthy rags, Sheemah was silent for a space, as if

To make thy madness a more bitter scoff, ’T were hard to summon up a human voice,

Thy starving millions,—who not only pine And, when he spake, the sound was of a wolf's :

For body's bread, but for the bread of life, “I know thee not, nor art thou what thou say'st;

The light which from their eyes is quite shut out I have none other brethren than the wolves,

By the broad mockery of thy golden roof,And, till thy heart be changed from what it is,

Should turn to wolves that hanker for thy blood. Thou art not worthy to be called their kin.”

Even now their cry, which, o'er the ocean-stream, Then groaned the other, with a choking tongue,

Wanders, and moans upon the awe-struck ear, ** Alas! my heart is changed right bitterly;

Clear-heard above the sea's eternal wail, 'T is shrunk and parched within me even now!"

But deeper far, and mournfuller, than that, And, looking up fearfully, he saw

(For nought so fathomless as woe unshared,) Ouly a wolf that shrank away and ran,

Hath learned a savage meaning of the wolf, Ugly and fierce, to hide among the woods.

Whose nature now half-triumphs in the heart

Of the world-exiled and despairing Man.
This rude, wild legend hath an inward sense,
Which it were well we all should lay to heart; And thou, my country, who to me art dear
For have not we our younger brothers, too, As is the blood that circles through my heart,
The poor, the outcast, and the trodden-down, To whom God granted it in charge to be
Left fatherless on earth to pine for bread ?

Freedom's apostle to a trampled world,
They are ahungered for our love and care,

Who shouldst have been a mighty name to shae It is their spirits that are famishing,

Old lies and shams, as with a voice from Heaven, And our dear Father, in his Testament,

Art little better than a sneer and mock, Bequeathed them to us as our dearest trust,

And tyrants smile to see thee holding up

« 上一頁繼續 »