Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE LADY'S YES.

“ YES

ES!” I answer'd you last night;

“No!” this morning, Sir, I say. Colours, seen by candle-light,

Will not look the same by day.

When the tabors play'd their best,

Lamps above, and laughs belowLove me sounded like a jest,

Fit for Yes or fit for No!

Call me false, or call me free

Vow, whatever light may shine, No man on thy face shall see

Any grief for change on mine.

Yet the sin is on us both

Time to dance is not to woo— Wooer light makes fickle troth

Scorn of me recoils on you !

Learn to win a lady's faith

Nobly, as the thing is high; Bravely, as for life and death

With a loyal gravity.

Lead her from the festive boards,

Point her to the starry skies, Guard her, by your faithful words,

Pure from courtship’s flatteries.

By your truth she shall be true

Ever true, as wives of yorem And her Yes, once said to you, SHALL be Yes for evermore.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

A LAMENT.

S

WIFTER far than summer's flight,

Swifter far than youth's delight,
Swifter far than happy night,

Art thou come, art thou gone:
As the earth when leaves are dead,
As the night when sleep is sped,
As the heart when joy is fled,

I am left lone, alone.
The swallow Summer comes again,
The owlet Night resumes her reign,
But the wild swan Youth is fain

To fly with thee, false as thou.
My heart each day desires the morrow,
Sleep itself is turn’d to sorrow,
Vainly would my winter borrow

Sunny leaves from any bough.

Lilies for a bridal bed,
Roses for a matron's head,
Violets for a maiden dead,

Pansies let my flowers be:
On the living grave I bear
Scatter them without a tear ;
Let no friend, however dear,
Waste one hope, one fear for me.

SHELLEY. THE FORGING OF THE ANCHOR.

COME

IOME, see the Dolphin's anchor forged—'tis

at a white heat now : The bellows ceased, the flames decreased—though

on the forge's brow The little flames still fitfully play through the

sable mound, And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths

ranking round, All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands

only bareSome rest upon their sledges here, some work the

windlass there.

The windlass strains the tackle chains, the black

mound heaves below, And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at

every throe:

It rises, roars, rends all outright—0, Vulcan, what

a glow! 'Tis blinding white, 'tis blasting bright—the high

sun shines not so! The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery

fearful show ; The roof-ribs swarth, the candent hearth, the ruddy

lurid row Of smiths that stand, an ardent band, like men

before the foe. As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sail

ing monster, slow Sinks on the anvil—all about the faces fiery grow. “ Hurrah !" they shout, “ leap out—leap out;"

bang, bang the sledges go : Hurrah! the jetted lightnings are hissing high

and lowA hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing

blow, The leathern mail rebounds the hail, the rattling

cinders strow The ground around : at every bound the swelter

ing fountains flow, And thick and loud the swinking crowd at every

stroke pant“ ho!” Leap out, leap out, my masters; leap out and lay

on load! Let's forge a goodly anchor-a bower thick and

broad; For a heart of oak is hanging on every blow, I

bode, And I see the good ship riding, all in a perilous

roadThe low reef roaring on her lee—the roll of ocean

pour'd From stem to stern, sea after sea; the mainmast

by the board; The bulwarks down, the rudder gone, the boats

stove at the chains ! But courage still, brave mariners—the bower yet

remains, And not an inch to flinch he deigns, save when ye

pitch sky high; Then moves his head, as though he said, “ Fear

nothing—here am I.” Swing in your strokes in order, let foot and hand

keep time; Your blows make music sweeter far than any

steeple's chime.

But, while you sling your sledges, sing and let

the burthen be, The anchor is the anvil king, and royal craftsmen

we!

Strike in, strike in—the sparks begin to dull their

rustling red; Our hammers ring with sharper din, our work will

soon be sped. Our anchor soon must change his bed of fiery rich

array For a hammock at the roaring bows, or an oozy

couch of clay ; Our anchor soon must change the lay of merry

craftsmen here, For the yeo-heave-o', and the heave-away, and the

sighing seaman's cheer; When, weighing slow, at eve they go-far, far

from love and home; And sobbing sweethearts, in a row, wail o'er the

ocean foam. In livid and obdurate gloom he darkens down at

last;

A shapely one he is, and strong, as e'er from cat

was cast. O trusted and trustworthy guard, if thou hadst

life like me,

What pleasures would thy toils reward beneath

the deep green sea ! O deep Sea-diver, who might then behold such

sights as thou? The hoary-monster's palaces ! methinks what joy

'twere now To go plumb plunging down amid the assembly of

the whales, And feel the churn'd sea round me boil beneath

their scourging tails !

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »