Page images
PDF
EPUB

And Fame her trumpet blew
Before him, wrapp'd him in her purple state,
And made him mark for all the shafts of Fate

That henceforth round him few.

Though he may yield, Hard press'd, and wounded fall

Forsaken on the field ;

His regal vestments soild,
His crown of half its jewels spoild;

He is a king for all.

Had he but stood aloof!
Had he array'd himself in armour proof

Against temptation's darts !
So yearn the good; so those the world calls

wise,
With vain presumptious hearts
Triumphant moralise.

Of martyr-woe
A sacred shadow on his memory rests ;

Tears have not ceased to flow;
Indignant grief yet stirs impetuous breasts

To think above that noble soul brought low, That wise and soaring spirit foolid, enslaved

Thus, thus he had been saved !

It might not be!
That heart of harmony

Had been too rudely rent ;
Its silver chords, which any hand could wound,
By no hand could be tuned
Save by the Maker of the instrument,
Its every string who knew,
And from profaning touch his heavenly gift

withdrew.

fain would prove

he sung

Regretful love His

country By grateful honours lavish'd on his

grave;
Would fain redeem her blame
That he so little at her hands can claim,

Who unrewarded gave
To her his life-bought gift of song and fame.

The land he trod
Hath now become a place of pilgrimage,

Where dearer are the daisies of the sod
That could his song engage.
The hoary hawthorn, wreathed

Above the bank on which his limbs he flung, While some sweet plaint he breathed ;

The streams he wander'd near, The maidens whom he loved, the

songs All, all are dear!

The arch-blue eyes

Arch, but for love's disguiseOf Scotland's daughters soften at his strain ; Her hardy sons sent forth across the main To drive the ploughshare through earth's virgin

soils, Lighten with it their toils; And sister-lands have learned to love the tongue In which such songs are sung.

For doth not song

To the whole world belong?
Is it not given wherever tears can fall,
Wherever hearts can melt, or blushes glow,
Or mirth and sadness mingle as they flow,

A heritage to all ? At the age of thirty-six the once fashionable and admired poetess, L. E. L., died, in the first year

of

her marriage, under very tragic and mysterious circumstances, at Cape Coast Castle, the dreary solitude of which she painfully felt, and where her last verses to her English friends were written, full of yearning love, amidst which it is easy to detect an ominous gloom :

I seem to stand beside a grave,

And stand by it alone. To my mind there is deep truth, pointing a moral for many such bruised and broken lives as the foregoing, in Robert Browning's profound thoughts, supposed to be said by the inventor of

the organ.

Therefore to whom turn I but to Thee, the ineffable

Namę? Builder and Maker, Thou, of houses not made

with hands; What, have fear of change from Thee, who art

ever the same? Doubt that Thy power can fill the heart that

Thy power expands ? There shall never be one lost good! What was,

shall live as before ; The evil is null, is nought, is silence implying

sound; What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so

much good more, On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a

perfect round. All we have will’d, or hoped, or dream'd of good,

shall exist; Not-its semblance, but itself; no beauty, nor

good power Whose voice has gone forth, but each survives for

the melodist When eternity affirms the conception of an hour; The high that proved too high, the heroic for earth

too hard, The passion that left the ground to lose itself in

the sky,

Are music sent up to God by the lover and the

bard; Enough that He heard it once; we shall hear it

by-and-by.

a

And what is our failure here but a triumph's evi

dence For the fulness of the days? Have we wither'd

or agonized ? Why else was the pause prolong’d, but that singing

might issue thence? Why rush'd the discords in, but that harmony

should be prized Sorrow is hard to bear, and doubt is slow to clear;

Each sufferer says his say, his scheme of the weal

and woe;

But God has a few of us, whom He whispers in the

ear;

The rest may reason and welcome: 'tis we

musicians know.

The fatal epoch we are considering is not fatal, but, on the contrary, very bright and cheering, to some poets—amongst them to the rising American Saxe, who is far from believing that man was made

to mourn.

LINES ON MY THIRTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY.

Ah me! the moments will not stay!
Another year

has rolld away;
And June (the second) scores the line
That tells me I am thirty-nine!

As thus I haste the milestones by,
I mark the numbers with a sigh;
And yet 'tis idle to repine
I've come so soon to thirty-nine.
Oh! few that roam this world of ours,
To feel its charms and pluck its flowers,
Have trod a brighter path than mine
From blithe thirteen to thirty-nine.
Health, home, and friends (life's solid part),
A merry laugh, a fresh young heart,
Poetic dreams, and love divine-
Have I not these at thirty-nine ?
O Time! forego thy wonted spite,
And lay thy future lashes light ;
And, trust me, I will not repine
At twice the count of thirty-nine !

J. GODFREY SAXE. At the age of forty-one, in 1835, died that admirable woman and admired poetess, Mrs. Felicia Hemans. Over her grave were inscribed some lines from one of her own dirges :

Calm on the bosom of thy God,

Fair Spirit, rest thee now!
Even while with us thy footstep trod,

His seal was on thy brow.
Dust to its narrow house beneath!

Soul to its place on high!
They that have seen thy look in death

No more may fear to die. Contemplating her serene departure, and that of other noble women who have been diligent workers, and have left their mark on our annals, and have pointed us the way upwards, we feel that

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »