Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

But not till Time has calm'd the ruffled breast
Are these fond dreams of happiness confest;
Not till the rushing winds forget to rave
Is Heaven's sweet smile reflected on the wave.

From Guinea's coast pursue the lessening sail,
And catch the sounds that sadden every gale.
Tell, if thou canst, the sum of sorrows there;
Mark the fix'd gaze, the wild and frenzied glare,
The racks of thought, and freezings of despair!
But pause not then-beyond the western wave,
Go, view the captive barter'd as a slave!
Crush'd till his high heroic spirit bleeds,
And from his nerveless frame indignantly recedes.

Yet here, even here, with pleasures long resign’d,
Lo! Memory bursts the twilight of the mind.
Her dear delusions soothe his sinking soul
When the rude scourge assumes its base control;
And o'er Futurity's blank page diffuse
The full reflection of her vivid hues.
'Tis but to die, and then to weep no more,
Then will he wake on Congo's distant shore;
Beneath his plantain's ancient shade, renew
The simple transports that with freedom flew;
Catch the cool breeze that musky evening blows,
And quaff the palm's rich nectar as it glows;
The oral tale of elder time rehearse,
And chant the rude traditionary verse
With those, the loved companions of his youth,
When life was luxury and friendship truth.

The same.

CONCLUSION.
Hail, Memory, hail! in thy exhaustless mine
From age to age unnumber'd treasures shine!
Thought and her shadowy brood thy call obey,
And Place and Time are subject to thy sway!
Thy pleasures most we feel when most alone;
The only pleasures we can call our own.
Lighter than air Hope's summer visions die,
If but a fleeting cloud obscure the sky;
If but a beam of soher Reason play,
Lo, Fancy's fairy frost-work melts away!
But can the wiles of Art, the grasp of Power,
Snatch the rich relics of a well-spent hour?
These, when the trembling spirit wings her flight,
Pour round her path a stream of living light;
And gild those pure and perfect realms of rest,
Where Virtue triumphs and her sons are blest !

The same.

HUMAN LIFE.

The lark has sung his carol in the sky,
The bees have humim'd their noontide lullaby ;

1

Still in the vale the village bells ring round,
Still in Llewellyn hall the jests resound;
For now the caudle-cup is circling there,
Now, glad at heart, the gossips breathe their prayer,
And, crowding, stop the cradle to admire
The babe, the sleeping image of his sire.
A few short years, and then these sounds shall hail
The day again, and gladness fill the vale;
So soon the child a youth, the youth a man,
Eager to run the race his fathers ran.
Then the huge ox shall yield the broad sirloin;
The ale, now brew'd, in floods of amber shine;
And basking in the chimney's ample blaze,
'Mid many a tale told of his boyish days,
The nurse shall cry, of all her ills beguiled,
"'Twas on these knees he sat so oft and smiled."

And soon again shall music swell the breeze ;
Soon, issuing forth, shall glitter through the trees
Vestures of nuptial white; and hymns be sung,
And violets scatter'd round; and old and young,
In every cottage-porch, with garlands green,
Stand still to gaze, and, gazing, bless the scene;
While her dark eyes declining, by his side,
Moves in her virgin vail the gentle bride.

And once, alas! nor in a distant hour,
Another voice shall come from yonder tower;
When in dim chambers long black weeds are seen,
And weepings heard where only joy has been ;
When, by his children borne, and from his door,
Slowly departing to return no more,
He rests in holy earth with them that went before.

And such is human life; so gliding on,
It glimmers like a meteor, and is gone!
Yet is the tale, brief though it be, as strange,
As full, methinks, of wild and wondrous change,
As any that the wandering tribes require,
Stretch'd in the desert round their evening fire;
As any sung of old, in hall or bower,
To minstrel-harps at midnight's witching hour!

[blocks in formation]

The hour arrives, the moment wish'd and fear'd; The child is born, by many a pang endear d. And now the mother's ear has caught his cry; Oh grant the cherub to her asking eye! He comes—she clasps him. To her bosom press’d, He drinks the balm of life and drops to rest.

Her by her smile how soon the stranger knows! How soon by his the glad discovery shows! As to her lips she lifts the lovely boy, What answering looks of sympathy and joy! He walks-he speaks. In many a broken word His wants, his wishes, and his griefs are heard.

And ever, ever to her lap he flies,
When rosy Sleep comes on with sweet surprise.
Lock'd in her arms, his arms across her flung,
(That name most dear for ever on his tongue,)
As with soft accents round her neck he clings,
And, cheek to cheek, her lulling song she sings,
How blest to feel the beatings of his heart,
Breathe his sweet breath, and kiss for kiss impart;
Watch o’er his slumbers like the brooding dove,
And, if she can, exhaust a mother's love!

But soon a nobler task demands her care,
Apart she joins his little hands in prayer,
Telling of Him who sees in secret there :
And now the volume on her knee has caught
His wandering eye—now many a written thought
Never to die, with many a lisping sweet,
His moving, murmuring lips endeavor to repeat.'

Human Life.

PÆSTUM."

From my youth upward have I long'd to tread
This classic ground; and am 1 here at last ?
Wandering at will through the long porticos,
And catching, as through some majestic grove,
Now the blue ocean, and now, chaos-like,
Mountains and mountain-gulfs, and, halfway up,
Towns like the living rock from which they grew ?
A cloudy region, black and desolate,
Where once a slave withstood a world in arms.

The air is sweet with violets, running wild
'Mid broken friezes and fallen capitals;
Sweet as when Tully, writing down his thoughts,
Those thoughts so precious and so lately lost,
(Turning to thee, divine philosophy,
Èver at hand to calm his troubled soul,)
Sail'd slowly by, two thousand years ago,
For Athens; when a ship, if north-east winds
Blew from the Pastan gardens, slack'd her course.

On as he moved along the level shore,
These temples, in their splendor eminent
'Mid arcs and obelisks, and domes and towers,
Reflecting back the radiance of the west,
Well might he dream of glory! Now, coild up,
The serpent sleeps within them; the she-wolf
Suckles her young; and as alone I stand

In this, the nobler pile, the elements
Of earth and air its only floor and covering,
How solemn is the stillness! Nothing stirs
Save the shrill-voiced cicala flitting round
On the rough pediment to sit and sing;
Or the green lizard rustling through the grass,
And up the fluted shaft with short, quick spring,
To vanish in the chinks that time has made.

Italy.

GINEVRA.

She was an only child-her name Ginevra, -
The joy, the pride of an indulgent father;
And in her fifteenth year became a bride,
Marrying an only son, Francesco Doria,
Her playmate from her birth, and her first love.

Just as she looks there in her bridal dress,
She was all gentleness, all gayety,
Her pranks the favorite theme of every tongue.
But now the day was come, the day, the hour;
Now frowning, smiling, for the hundredth time,
The nurse, that ancient lady, preach'd decorum;
And, in the lustre of her youth, she gave
Her hand, with her heart in it, to Francesco.

Great was the joy; but at the nuptial feast,
When all sate down, the bride herself was wanting,
Nor was she to be found ! Her father cried,
66'Tis but to make a trial of our love !"
And fill’d his glass to all; but his hand shook,
And soon from guest to guest the panic spread.
'Twas but that instant she had left Francesco,
Laughing, and looking back, and flying still,
Her ivory tooth imprinted on his finger.
But now, alas! she was not to be found;
Nor from that hour could any thing be guess'd,
But that she was not!

Weary of his life, Francesco flew to Venice, and, embarking, Flung it away in battle with the Turks. Orsini lived; and long might you have seen An old man wandering as in quest of somethingSomething he could not find-he knew not what. When he was gone, the house remained awhile Silent and tenantless, then went to strangers.

Full fifty years were past and all forgotten, When on an idle day, a day of search 'Mid the old lumber in the gallery, That mouldering chest was noticed; and 'twas said, By one as young, as thoughtless as Ginevra, “Why not remove it from its lurking place ?" 'Twas done as soon as said ; but on the way It burst, it fell; and lo! a skeleton,

With here and there a pearl, an emerald stone,
A golden clasp, clasping a shred of gold.
All else had perishd-save a wedding-ring
And a small seal, her mother's legacy,
Engraven with a name, the name of both,
“Ginevra.”

There then had she found a grave!
Within that chest had she conceal'd herself,
Fluttering with joy, the happiest of the happy;
When a spring-lock, that lay in ambush there,
Fasten'd her down for ever!

A WISH.

Mine be a cot beside the hill;

A beehive's hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook that turns a mill,

With many a fall, shall linger near.
The swallow oft beneath my thatch

Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

And share my meal, a welcome guest.
Around my ivied porch shall spring

Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;
And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing

In russet gown and apron blue.
The village church, among the trees,

Where first our marriage vows were given,
With merry peals shall swell the breeze,

And point with taper spire to heaven.

JAMES MONTGOMERY, 1771.

JAMES MONTGOMERY, the author of the “Wanderer of Switzerland," “ The West Indies," and other poems, was the son of a Moravian minister, and was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire, Scotland, on the 4th of November, 1771. When ho was six years old, his parents went as missionaries to the West Indies, placing

« AnteriorContinuar »