Page images


THE hours are past, love,

Oh, fled they not too fast, love! Those happy hours, when down the mountain-side We saw the rosy mists of morning glide, And, hand in hand, went forth upon our way, Full of young life and hope, to meet the day. The hours are past, love,

Oh, fled they not too fast, love!

Those sunny hours, when from the midday heat
We sought the waterfall with loitering feet,
And o'er the rocks that lock the gleaming pool,
Crept down into its depths, so dark and cool.

The hours are past, love,

Oh, fled they not too fast, love!

Those solemn hours, when through the violet sky,
Alike without a cloud, without a ray,
The round red autumn moon came glowingly,
While o'er the leaden waves our boat made way.

The hours are past, love,

Oh, fled they not too fast, love!

Those blessed hours when the bright day was past, And in the world we seem'd to wake alone, When heart to heart beat throbbingly and fast, And love was melting our two souls in one.


O SERIOUS eyes! how is it that the light,

The burning rays, that mine pour into ye, Still find ye cold, and dead, and dark as night— O lifeless eyes! can ye not answer me ? O lips! whereon mine own so often dwell, Hath love's warm, fearful, thrilling touch no spell To waken sense in ye?-O misery!— O breathless lips! can ye not speak to me? Thou soulless mimicry of life; my tears

Fall scalding over thee; in vain, in vain ; I press thee to my heart, whose hopes and fears Are all thine own; thou dost not feel the strain. O thou dull image! wilt thou not reply To my fond prayers and wild idolatry?


THERE's not a fibre in my trembling frame

That does not vibrate when thy step draws near, There's not a pulse that throbs not when I hear Thy voice, thy breathing, nay, thy very name. When thou art with me every sense seems dull, And all I am, or know, or feel, is thee; My soul grows faint, my veins run liquid flame, And my bewilder'd spirit seems to swim

In eddying whirls of passion, dizzily. When thou art gone there creeps into my heart A cold and bitter consciousness of pain: The light, the warmth of life, with thee depart, And I sit dreaming o'er and o'er again Thy greeting clasp, thy parting look and tone; And suddenly I wake-and am alone.

[blocks in formation]


NIGHT in her dark array
Steals o'er the ocean,
And with departed day

Hush'd seems its motion
Slowly o'er yon blue coast

Onward she's treading, Till its dark line is lost,

'Neath her veil spreading. The bark on the rippling deep Hath found a pillow,

And the pale moonbeams sleep
On the green billow.

Bound by her emerald zone
Venice is lying,

And round her marble crown
Night winds are sighing.

From the high lattice now
Bright eyes are gleaming,
That seem on night's dark brow,
Brighter stars beaming.
Now o'er the blue lagune

Light barks are dancing,
And 'neath the silver moon

Swift oars are glancing. Strains from the mandolin Steal o'er the water, Echo replies between

To mirth and laughter. O'er the wave seen afar, Brilliantly shining, Gleams like a fallen star Venice reclining.


RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES is a native of Yorkshire, and was born about the year 1806. On the completion of his education at Cambridge he travelled a considerable time on the Continent, and soon after his return home was elected a member of the House of Commons, for Pontefract. He has voted in Parliament with the Tories, but has won little distinction as a politician.

The poetical works of Mr. MILNES are Memorials of a Tour in Greece, published in 1834, Poems of Many Years, in 1838, Poetry for the People, in 1840, and Palm Leaves, in 1844. The last volume was written during a tour through Egypt and the Levant in 1842 and 1843, and is an attempt to instruct the western world in oriental modes of thought and feeling, by a series of poems in the oriental spirit, not an unsuccessful effort, but one with precedents, both in England and on the Continent. A complete edition of his writings, in four volumes, has recently been published in London by Mr. Moxon. I believe none of them have been reprinted in this country.


WHEN from the key-stone of the arch of life
Man his ascent with earnest eyes surveys,
Sums and divides the steps of peace and strife,
And numbers o'er his good and evil days,-
If then, as well may be, he stand alone,

How will his heart recall the youthful throng, Who leap'd with helping hands from stone to stone, And cheer'd the progress with their choral song! How will sad memory point where, here and there, Friend after friend, by falsehood or by fate, From him or from each other parted were,

And love sometimes become the nurse of hate.

Yet at this hour no feelings dark or fierce,

No harsh desire to punish or condemn, Through the grave silence of the past can pierce,— Reproach, if such there be, is not for them. Rather, he thinks, he held not duly dear

Love, the best gift that man on man bestows, While round his downward path, recluse and drear, He feels the chill, indifferent shadows close. Old limbs, once broken, hardly knit together,Seldom old hearts with other hearts combine; Suspicion coarsely weighs the fancy's feather; Experience tests and mars the sense divine;


In Leucas, one of his earlier productions, Mr. MILNES discloses his poetical theory. Reproaching SAPPHо, he says,

"Poesy, which in chaste repose abides,

As in its atmosphere; that placid flower Thou hast exposed to passion's fiery tides." With him poetry is the expression of beauty, not of passion, and no one more fully realizes his own ideal in his works, which are serene and contemplative, and pervaded by a true and genial philosophy. They are unequal, but there is about them that indescribable charm which indicates genuineness of feeling. This is particularly observable in the pieces having reference to the affections. The simplicity of the incidents portrayed, and the seeming artlessness of the diction, sometimes remind us of WORDSWORTH, but there is a point and meaning in his effusions which makes him occasionally superior to the author of the Excursion in pathos, however much he may at times fall below him in philosophical sentiment. Probably no one among the younger poets of England has founded a more enduring or more enviable reputation.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

And then I shall receive my part
Of everlasting treasure,

In that just world where each man's heart
Will be his only measure.


GENTLY supported by the ready aid

Of loving hands, whose little work of toil Her grateful prodigality repaid

With all the benediction of her smile,
She turn'd her failing feet
To the soft pillow'd seat,

Dispensing kindly greetings all the while.
Before the tranquil beauty of her face

I bow'd in spirit, thinking that she were
A suffering angel, whom the special grace
Of God intrusted to our pious care,

That we might learn from her
The art to minister

To heavenly beings in seraphic air.
There seem'd to lie a weight upon her brain,

That ever press'd her blue-vein'd eyelids down,
But could not dim her lustrous eyes with pain,
Nor seem her forehead with the faintest frown:
She was as she were proud,
So young, to be allow'd

To follow Him who wore the thorny crown. Nor was she sad, but over every mood,

To which her lightly-pliant mind gave birth, Gracefully changing, did a spirit brood, Of quiet gaiety, and serenest mirth; And thus her voice did flow, So beautifully low,

A stream whose music was no thing of earth. Now long that instrument has ceased to sound,

Now long that gracious form in earth has lain Tended by nature only, and unwound

Are all those mingled threads of love and pain; So let me weep and bend

My head, and wait the end, Knowing that God creates not thus in vain.


In reverence will we speak of those that woo
The ear Divine with clear and ready prayer;
And, while their voices cleave the Sabbath air,
Know their bright thoughts are winging heaven-
ward too.

Yet many a one-the latchet of whose shoe" These might not loose-will often only dare Lay some poor words between him and despair— "Father, forgive! we know not what we do."

For, as Christ pray'd, so echoes our weak heart, Yearning the ways of God to vindicate, But worn and wilder'd by the shows of fate, Of good oppress'd and beautiful defiled,

Dim alien force, that draws or holds apart From its dear home that wandering spirit-child.


THE words that trembled on your lips
Were utter'd not-I know it well;
The tears that would your eyes eclipse

Were check'd and smother'd ere they fell: The looks and smiles I gain'd from you

Were little more than others won, And yet you are not wholly true,

Nor wholly just what you have done. You know, at least you might have known, That every little grace you gave,— Your voice's somewhat lower'd tone,

Your hand's faint shake or parting wave,Your every sympathetic look

At words that chanced your soul to touch, While reading from some favourite book, Were much to me-alas, how much! You might have seen-perhaps you sawHow all of these were steps of hope On which I rose, in joy and awe,

Up to my passion's lofty scope; How after each, a firmer tread

I planted on the slippery ground, And higher raised my venturous head, And ever new assurance found. May be, without a further thought,

It only pleased you thus to please, And thus to kindly feelings wrought

You measured not the sweet degrees; Yet, though you hardly understood

Where I was following at your call, You might I dare to say you shouldHave thought how far I had to fall.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »