網頁圖片
PDF

In the wild and wintry weather,
My love, you know,
With our heads as white as
snow,

What prayers we pray together,
What fears we share together.
What Heaven we seek together,
For our time has come to go!

SiR MAIIMADUKE'S MUSINGS.

I Won a noble fame;

But, with it sudden frown,
The people snatched my crown,
And, in the mire, trod down

My lofty name.

I bore a bounteous purse;
And beggars by the way
Then blessed me, day by day;
But I, grown poor as they,

Have now their curse.

I gained what men call friends;
But now their love is hate,
And I have learned, too late,
How mated minds unmate,

And friendship ends.

I clasped a woman's breast,—
As if her heart, I knew,
Or fancied, would be true,—
Who proved, alas! she too!

False like the rest.

I now am all bereft,—

As when some tower doth fall,
With battlement, and wall,
And gate, and bridge, and all,—

And nothing left.

But I account it worth

All pangs of fair hopes crossed —
All loves and honors lost,—
To gain the heavens, at cost

Of losing earth.

So, lest I be inclined

To render ill for ill,—
Henceforth in me instil,
O God, a sweet good will

To all mankind.

HECO.VPENSE.

The Temple of the Lord stood open wide,

And worshippers went up from many lands.

Who, kneeling at the altar, side by side,

Made votive offerings with uplifted hands.

Their gifts were gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Then, with a lustrous gleam and rapturous stir,

While all the people trembled and turned pale.

There flew an angel to the altar-rail,

Who, with anointed eyes, keen to discern.

Gazed, noting all the kneelers, who

they were, And what was each one's tribute to

the Lord,— And, gift for gift, with sudden, swift

return,

Bestowed on every suppliant his reward.

O mocking recompense! To one, a spear!

To many, each a thorn! To some a nail!

To all, a cross! But unto none a crown!

At last, they saw the angel disappear.

Then, as their timid hearts shook off their fear,

Some rose in anger, flung their treasures down.

And cried, "Such gifts from Heaven as these, we spurn!

They are too cruel, and too keen to bear!

They are too grievous for a human breast!

Heaven sends us heartache, misery,

and despair! We knelt for blessing, but we rise un

blest!

If Heaven so mock us, we will cease to pray!"

They left the altar, and they went

their way; But their blaspheming hearts were

then self-torn

Far more by pride, and heaven-defying scorn,

Than pierced before by nail, or spear, or thorn!

A few (not many!) with their brows

down bent, Gave thanks for each sharp gift that

Heaven had sent,— And each embraced his separate pain

and sting, As if it were some sweet and pleasant

thing,—

And each his cross, with joyful tears, did take.

To bear it for the great Cross-bearer's sake.

Then lo! as from the Temple forth

they went, Their bleeding bosoms, though with

anguish rent. Had, spite of all their pain! — a sweet

content;

For on each brow, though not to mortal sight,

The vanished angel left a crown of light!

THE TWO LADDERS.

Benighted in my pilgrimage,— alone,—

And footsore — (for the path to heaven grew steep,)— I looked for Jacob's pillow of a stone. In hope of Jacob's vision in my sleep.

Then, in my dream, whereof I quake to tell,—

Not up from earth to heaven, but, oh, sad sight! The ladder was let down from earth to hell !— Whereon, ascending from the deep "abyss.

Came fiery spirits who, with dismal hiss.

Made woeful clamor of their lost delight,

And stung my eyelids open, till, in fright,

I caught my staff, and at the dead of night,

I, who toward heaven and peace

had halted so. Was fleet of foot to flee from hell

and woe!

Richard Chenevix Trench.

THREE SONNETS ON PRAYER.

Lord, what a change within us one

short hour Spent in Thy presence will prevail to

make —

What heavy burdens from our bosoms take,

What parched grounds refresh, as

with a shower! We kneel, and all around us seems to

lower;

We rise, and all, the distant and the near.

Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear;

We kneel how weak, we rise how full of power!

Why, therefore, should we do ourselves this wrong,

Or others — that we are not always

strong;

That we are ever overborne with care;

That we should ever weak or heartless be,

Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer,

And joy, and strength, and courage, are with Thee?

A Garden so well watered before morn

Is hotly up, that not the swart sun's blaze.

Down beating with unmitigated rays, Nor arid winds from scorching places borne,

Shall quite prevail to make it bare

and shorn Of its green beauty — shall not quite

prevail

That all its morning freshness shall exhale,

Till evening and the evening dews return —

A blessing such as this our hearts

might reap, The freshness of the garden they

might share, Through the long day a heavenly

freshness keep, If, knowing how the day and the

day's glare Must beat upon them, we would

largely steep And water them betimes with dews

of prayer.

When hearts are full of yearning

tenderness, For the loved absent, whom we can

not reach — By deed or token, gesture or kind

speech,

The spirit's true affection to express; When hearts are full of innermost

distress, [by, And we are doomed to stand inactive Watching the soul's or body's agony, Which human effort helps not to

make less — Then like a cup capacious to contain The overflowings of the heart, is

prayer:

The longing of the soul is satisfied, The keenest darts of anguish blunted are;

And, though we can not cease to

yearn or grieve, Yet we have learned in patience to

abide.

LORD, MANY TIMES I AM A WEAR Y.

Lord, many times I am aweary quite

Of mine own self, my sin, my vanity —

Yet be not Thou, or I am lost outright,— Weary of me.

And hate against myself I often bear, And enter with myself in fierce debate:

Take Thou my part against myself, nor share In that just hate!

Best friends might loathe us, if what things perverse We know of our own selves, they also knew: Lord, Holy One! if Thou who knowest worse Shouldst loathe us too!

[From Lines to a Friend.]

WEAK CONSOLATION.

Oh, miserable comfort! Loss is loss, And death is death; and after all is done —

After the flowers are scattered on the tomb,

After the singing of the sweetest dirge —

The mourner, with his heart uncomforted.

Returning to his solitary home, Thinks with himself, if any one had aught

Of stronger consolation, he should speak;

If not, 'twere best for ever to hold peace,

And not to mock him with vain words like these.

sadness BORN OF BEAUTY.

All beautiful things bring sadness,

nor alone Music, whereof that wisest poet

spake;*

Because in us keen longings they awake

After the good for which we pine and groan,

From which exiled we make continual moan,

* I am never merry when I hear sweet music. — Shakespeare.

Till once again we may our spirits slake

At those clear streams, which man

did first forsake, When he would dig for fountains of

his ow n.

All beauty makes us sad, yet not in vain —

For who would be ungracious to refuse,

Or not to use, this sadness without pain,

Whether it flows upon us from the hues

Of sunset, from the time of stars

and dews. From the clear sky, or waters pure of

stain ".'

THE LENT JEWELS.

In schools of wisdom all the day was spent:

His steps at eve the Rabbi homeward bent,

With homeward thoughts, which

dwelt upon the wife And two fair children who consoled

his life,

She, meeting at the threshold, led him in,

And with these words preventing, did begin: —

"Ever rejoicing at your wished return,

Yet am I most so now: for since this morn

I have been much perplexed and

sorely tried Upon one point which you shall now

decide.

Some years ago, a friend into my

care

Some jewels gave — rich, precious

gems they were; But having given them in my charge,

this friend Did afterward nor come for them, nor

send,

But left them in my keeping for so long.

That now it almost seems to me a wrong

That he should suddenly arrive today,

To take those jewels, which he left, away.

What think you? Shall I freely yield them back,

And with no murmuring ?—so henceforth to lack

Those gems myself, which I had learned to see

Almost as mine for ever, mine in fee."

"What question can be here? Your own true heart Must needs advise you of the only part:

That may be claimed again which was but lent.

And should be yielded with no discontent.

Nor surely can we find herein a

wrong,

that it was left us to enjoy it long."

"Good is the word," she answered;

"may we now And evermore that it is good allow!" And, rising, to an inner chamber led, And there she showed him, stretched

upon one bed. Two children pale: and he the jewels

knew,

Which God had lent him, and resumed anew.

PATIENCE.

Be patient! oh, be patient! Put your ear against the earth;

Listen there how noiselessly the germ o' the seed has birth —

How noiselessly and gently it upheaves its little way,

Till it parts the scarcely broken ground, and the blade stands up in the day.

Be patient! oh, be patient! The germs of mighty thought

Must have their silent undergrowth, must underground be wrought;

But as sure as there's a power that makes the grass appear,

Our land shall be green with liberty, the blade-time shall be here.

Be patient! oh, be patient — go and

watch the wheat ears grow — So imperceptibly that ye can mark

nor change nor throe — Day after day, day after day, till the

ear is fully grown, And then again day after day, till the

ripened field is brown.

Be patient! oh, be patient! — though

yet our hopes are green, The harvest-fields of freedom shall

be crowned with sunny sheen. Be ripening! be ripening! — mature

your silent way. Till the whole broad land is tongued

with fire ou freedom's harvest

day!

HAPPINESS IN LITTLE THINGS OF THE I'llESENT.

We live not in our moments or our years:

The present we fling from us like the rind

Of some sweet future, which we after find

Bitter to taste, or bind that in with fears,

And water it beforehand with our tears —

Vain tears for that which never may arrive;

Meanwhile the joy whereby we ought to live,

Neglected, or unheeded, disappears. Wiser it were to welcome and make ours

Whate'er of good, though small, the

present brings — Kind greetings, sunshine, song of

birds, and flowers. With a child's pure delight in little

things;

And of the griefs unborn to rest secure.

Knowing that mercy ever will endure.

THE ERMINE.

To miry places me the hunters drive, Where I my robes of purest white

must stain; Then yield I, nor for life will longer

strive,

For spotless death, ere spotted life, is gain.

THE BEES.

We light on fruits and flowers, and purest things; For if on carcases or aught unclean, When homeward we returned, with mortal stings Would slay us the keen watchers round our queen.

THE NIGHTINGALE.

Leaning my bosom on a pointed thorn,

I bleed, and bleeding sing my

sweetest strain: For sweetest songs of saddest hearts

are born, And who may here dissever love

and pain?

THE SNAKE.

Myself I force some narrowest passage through, Leaving my old and wrinkled skin behind.

And issuing forth in splendor of my new:

Hard entrance into life all creatures find.

THE TIGER.

Hearing sweet music, as in fell despite,

Himself the tiger doth in pieces tear:

The melody of other men's delight There are, alas! who can as little bear.

« 上一頁繼續 »