Page images
PDF
EPUB

CCCLXX. CHARLES MACKAY, 1812

1. TUBAL-CAIN.
Old Tubal-Cain was a man of might,

In the days when earth was young;
By the fierce red light of his furnace bright

The strokes of his hammer rung ;
And he lifted high his brawny hand

On the iron glowing clear,
Till the sparks rushed out in scarlet showers,

As he fashioned the sword and spear.
And he sang : “ Hurra for my handiwork !

Hurra for the spear and sword ! Hurra for the hand that shall wield them well,

For he shall be king and lord !”
To Tubal-Cain came many a one,

As he wrought by his roaring fire,
And each one prayed for a strong steel blade

As the crown of his desire :
And he made them weapons sharp and strong,

Till they shouted loud for glee,
And gave him gifts of pearls and gold,

And spoils of the forest free.
And they sang : “Hurra for Tubal-Cain,

Who hath given us strength anew !
Hurra for the smith, hurra for the fire,

And hurra for the metal true!”
But a sudden change came o'er his heart
Ere the setting of the sun,

,
And Tubal-Cain was filled with pain

For the evil he had done;
He saw that men, with rage and hate,

Made war upon their kind,
That the land was red with the blood they shed,

In their lust for carnage blind.
And he said, “ Alas ! that ever I made,

Or that skill of mine should plan,
The spear and the sword for men whose joy

Is to slay their fellow-man!"
And for many a day old Tubal-Cain

Sat brooding o'er his woe;

а

a

[ocr errors]

And sang :

And his hand forbore to smite the ore,

And his furnace smoulder'd low.
But he rose at last with a cheerful face,

And a bright courageous eye,
And bared his strong right arm for work,

While the quick flames mounted high.
And he sang :

“ Hurra for my handiwork !"
And the red sparks lit the air ;
“ Not alone for the blade was the bright steel made;"

And he fashioned the first ploughshare.
And men, taught wisdom from the past,

In friendship joined their hands,
Hung the sword in the hall, the spear on the wall,
And ploughed the willing lands;

“ Hurra for Tubal-Cain !
Our staunch good friend is he;
And for the ploughshare and the plough

To him our praise shall be.
But while oppression lifts its head,

Or a tyrant would be lord,
Though we may thank him for the plough,
We'll not forget the sword !”

2. ENGLAND.
There's a land, a dear land, where the rights of the free
Though firm as the earth, are as wide as the sea ;
Where the primroses bloom and the nightingales sing,
And the honest poor man is as good as a king.

Showery, flowery,

Tearful, cheerful
England, wave-guarded and green to the shore !

West land, best land,

Thy land, my land !
Glory be with her and peace evermore.
There's a land, a dear land, where our vigour of soul
Is fed by the tempests that blow from the pole;
Where å slave cannot breathe or invader presume
To ask for more earth than will cover his tomb.

Sea land, free land,
Fairest, rarest

a

Home of brave men and the girls they adore!

Fearless, peerless,

Thy land, my land ! Glory be with her and peace evermore! CCCLXXI. WILL. EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN,

1813

IONE.

O’er her husband sat Ione bending

Marble-like and marble-hued he lay ;
Underneath her raven locks descending,

Paler seem'd his face and ashen grey ;
And so white his brow, White and cold as snow-

Husband! Gods! his soul has passed away!
Raise ye up the pile with gloomy shadow;

Heap it with the mournful cypress-bough!
And they raised the pile upon the meadow,

And they heaped the mournful cypress too; And they laid the dead On his funeral bed,

And they kindled up the flames below. CCCLXXII. ROBERT NICOLL, 1814–1837

WILD FLOWERS.

Beautiful things ye are, where'er ye grow!

The wild red-rose—the speedwell's peeping eyesOur own blue-bell-the daisy, that doth rise Wherever sunbeams fall or winds do blow; And thousands more, of blessed forms and dyes

I love

ye

all! Beautiful nurslings of the early dew,

Fanned in your loveliness by every breeze,

And shaded o’er by green and arching trees : I often wished that I were one of you, Dwelling afar upon the grassy leas

I love

ye

all ! Beautiful children of the glen and dell—

The dingle deep--the moorland stretching wide,
And of the mossy fountain's sedgy side !
Ye o'er my heart have thrown a lovesome spell;
And though the wordling, scorning, may deride-

I love ye all !

CCCLXXIII. PHILIP JAMES BAILEY, 1816–

1. THE EARTH. 'Tis earth shall lead destruction ; she shall endThe stars shall wonder why she comes no more On her accustomed orbit, and the sun Miss one of his apostle lights ; the

moon, An orphan orb, shall seek for earth for aye, Through time's untrodden depths, and find her not; No more shall morn out of the holy east Stream o'er the ambient air her level light, Nor evening, with her spectral fingers, draw Her star-spread curtain round the head of earth : Her footsteps never thence again shall grace The blue sublime of heaven.

2. RIGHTS AND WRONGS.

A worm hath rights
A king cannot despoil him of, nor sin ;
Yet wrongs are things necessitate, like wants,
And oft are well permitted to best ends.
A double error sometimes sets us right.

CCCLXXIV. WILLIS, 1817

THE PAINTER.

Parrhasius stood, gazing forgetfully Upon his canvas. There Prometheus lay, Chained to the cold rocks of Mount Caucasus, The vulture at his vitals, and the links Of the lame Lemnian festering in his flesh ; And, as the painter's mind felt through the dim, Rapt mystery, and plucked the shadows wild Forth with its reaching fancy, and with form And colour clad them, his fine, earnest eye Flashed with a passionate fire, and the quick curl Of his thin nostril, and his quivering lip, Were like the winged god's, breathing from his flight.

Bring me the captive now ! My hand feels skilful, and the shadows lift From my waked spirit airily and swift; * Parrhasius, the Athenian painter, put to death a slave that he might better represent the agonies of nature in his grand work Prometheus, which he was then painting

CC

And I could paint the bow
Upon the bended heavens, around me play
Colours of such divinity to-day.

Ha! bind him on his back !
Look! as Prometheus in my picture hert-
Quick-or he faints !-stand with the cordial near !

Now bend him to the rack !
Press down the poisoned links into his flesh !
And tear agape that healing wound afresh!

So-let him writhe! How long
Will he live thus ? Quick, my good pencil, now!
What a fine

agony
works
upon

his brow!
Ha! grey-haired, and so strong!
How fearfully he stifles that short moan !
Gods! if I could but paint a dying groan!

‘Pity'thee! So I do!
I pity the dumb victim at the altar;
But does the robed priest for his pity falter ?

I'd rack thee, though I knew
A thousand lives were perishing in thine :
What were ten thousand to a fame like mine?

· Hereafter ?' Ay, hereafter !
A whip to keep a coward to his track !
What gave Death ever from his kingdom back

To check the sceptic's laughter ? Come from the grave to-morrow, with that story, And I

may take some softer path to glory.

No, no, old man; we die
E'en as the flowers, and we shall breathe away
Our life upon the chance wind, e'en as they.

Strain well thy fainting eye;
For, when that bloodshot quivering is o'er,
The light of heaven will never reach thee more.

Yet there's a deathless name--
A spirit that the smothering vault shall spurn,
And, like a steadfast planet, mount and burn;

And though its crown of flame
Consumed

my

brain to ashes as it won me, By all the fiery stars! I'd pluck it on me.

[ocr errors]

a

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »