Page images

Some may boast a richer prize
Under pride and wealth's disguise;
None a fonder offering bore

Than this of mine to thee;

And can true love wish for more?
Surely not, Mary Lee!




What hid'st thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious Main?
-Pale glistening pearls, and rainbow-colour'd shells,
Bright things which gleam unreck'd of, and in vain.
--Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!

We ask not such from thee.

Yet more, the Depths have more!-What wealth untold
Far down, and shining through their stillness lies!
Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
Won from ten thousand royal Argosies.

-Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful Main;
Earth claims not those again!

Yet more, the Depths have more! Thy waves have roll'd
Above the cities of a world gone by!

Sand hath fill'd up the palaces of old,
Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry!
-Dash o'er them, Ocean! in thy scornful play,
Man yields them to decay!

Yet more! the Billows and the Depths have more
High hearts and brave are gather'd to thy breast!
They hear not now the booming waters roar,
The battle-thunders will not break their rest,
-Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave-
Give back the true and brave !

Give back the lost and lovely! those for whom
The place was kept at board and hearth so long,
The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
And the vain yearning woke 'midst festal song!
Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'erthrown,
-But all is not thine own!

To thee the love of woman hath gone down,
Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head,
O'er youth's bright locks and beauty's flowery crown;
-Yet must thou hear a voice-Restore the dead!
Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee,
Restore the Dead, thou Sea!



Wake, thou that sleepest in enchanted bowers,
Lest these lost years should haunt thee on the night
When death is waiting for thy numbered hours
To take their swift and everlasting flight;

Wake, ere the earth-born charm unnerve thee quite,
And be thy thoughts to work divine addressed;
Do something-do it soon-with all thy might;
An angel's wing would droop if long at rest,
And God himself, inactive, were no longer blessed.
Some high or humble enterprise of good
Contemplate, till it shall possess thy mind,
Become thy study, pastime, rest, and food,
And kindle in thy heart a flame refined.
Pray Heaven for firmness thy whole soul to bind
To this thy purpose-to begin, pursue,

With thoughts all fixed, and feelings purely kind Strength to complete, and with delight review, And grace to give the praise where all is ever due. CCCXXV. BARRY CORNWALL [Bryan Waller Procter], 1794-1842.


The Falcon is a noble bird,

And when his heart of hearts is stirr'd,
He'll seek the eagle, though he run

Into his chamber near the sun.

Never was there brute or bird,

Whom the woods or mountains heard,

That could force a fear or care

From him, the Arab of the air!

To-day he sits upon a wrist,

Whose blue veins a queen has kiss'd,

And on him falls a sterner eye
Than he can face where'er he fly,
Though he scale the summit cold
Of the Grimsel, vast and old,—
Though he search yon sunless stream,
That threads the forest like a dream.
Ah, noble soldier! noble bird!
Will your names be ever heard,-
Ever seen in future story,
Crowning it with deathless glory?
Peace, ho!-the master's eye is drawn
Away unto the bursting dawn!
Arise, thou bird of birds, arise,
And seek thy quarry in the skies!

2. LIFE.

Day dawned-Within a curtain'd room,
Filled to faintness with perfume,
A lady lay at point of doom.

Day closed-A child had seen the light;
But for the lady, fair and bright,
She rested in undreaming night.

Spring rose. The lady's grave was green;
And near it oftentimes was seen
A gentle boy with thoughtful mien.
Years fled-He wore a manly face,
And struggled in the world's rough race,
And won, at last, a lofty place.

And then-he died! Behold, before ye,
Humanity's poor sum and story;
Life-Death-and all that is of glory.



Birds, birds, ye are beautiful things,


With your earth-treading feet and your cloud-cleaving Where shall man wander, and where shall he dwell, Beautiful birds, that ye come not as well?

Ye have nests on the mountain all rugged and stark, Ye have nests in the forest all tangled and dark,



Ye build and ye brood 'neath the cottagers' eaves,
And ye sleep on the sod 'mid the bonnie green leaves.
Ye hide in the heather, ye lurk in the brake,
Ye dive in the sweet flags that shadow the lake:
Ye skim where the stream parts the orchard-decked land,
Ye dance where the foam sweeps the desolate strand.
Beautiful birds! ye come thickly around, [ground;
When the bud's on the branch, and the snow's on the
Ye come when the richest of roses flush out,
And ye come when the yellow leaf eddies about.
Beautiful birds! how the schoolboy remembers
The warblers that chorused his holiday tune;
The Robin that chirped in the frosty Decembers,
The blackbird that whistled through flower-crowned
That schoolboy remembers his holiday ramble, [June.

When he pulled every blossom of palm he could see,
When his finger was rais'd as he stopp'd in the bramble,
With "hark! there's the cuckoo; how close he must be."




It is the spot I came to seek

My fathers' ancient burial-place,

Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak,
Withdrew our wasted race.

It is the spot-I know it well-
Of which our old traditions tell.

For here the upland bank sends out
A ridge toward the river side;

I know the shaggy hills about,

The meadows smooth and wide

The plains, that toward the southern sky
Fenced east and west by mountains lie.
A white man, gazing on the scene,
Would say a lovely spot was here,
And praise the lawns so fresh and green.
Between the hills so sheer.

I like it not-I would the plain
Lay in its tall old groves again.

[ocr errors][merged small]

The sheep are on the slopes around,
The cattle in the meadows feed,
And labourers turn the crumbling ground,
Or drop the yellow seed,

And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
Whirl the bright chariot o'er the way.
Methinks it were a nobler sight

To see these vales in woods arrayed,
Their summits in the golden light,
Their trunks in grateful shade;
And herds of deer, that bounding go
O'er rills and prostrate trees below.
And then to mark the lord of all,

The forest hero, trained to wars,
Quivered and plumed, and lithe and tall,
And seamed with glorious scars,
Walk forth, amid his reign, to dare
The wolf, and grapple with the bear.
This bank, in which the dead were laid,
Was sacred when its soul was ours;
Hither the artless Indian maid

Brought wreaths of beads and flowers,
And the grey chief and gifted seer
Worshipped the God of thunders here.
But now the wheat is green and high
On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
And scattered in the furrows lie

The weapons of his rest;

And there, in the loose sand is thrown
Of his large arm the mouldering bone.

Ah! little thought the strong and brave,
Who bore their lifeless chieftain forth,
Or the young wife, that weeping gave
Her first-born to the earth-

That the pale race, who waste us now,
Among their bones should guide the plough.

They waste us-ay, like April snow,

In the warm noon we shrink away;

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »