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NoT they alone are the departed,
Who have laid them down to sleep
In the grave narrow and lonely,
Not for them only do I vigils keep,
Not for them only am I heavy-hearted,
Not for them only!
Many, many, there are many Who no more are with me here, As cherished, as beloved as any Whom I have seen upon the bier. I weep to think of those old faces, To see them in their grief or mirth; I weep for there are empty places Around my heart's once crowded hearth; The cold ground doth not cover them, The grass hath not grown over them, Yet are they gone from me on earth;O! how more bitter is this weeping, Than for those lost ones who are sleeping Where sun will shine and flowers blow, Where gentle winds will whisper low, And the stars have them in their keeping! Wherefore from me who loved you so, O! wherefore did ye go?
I have shed full many a tear,
I have wrestled oft in prayer —
do not come again;
How could anything so dear,
How could anything so fair,
Vanish like the summer rain?
No, no, it cannot be,
But ye are still with me!
Thou art not there!
When the shadow of Night's wings
Hath darkened all the Earth,
I listen for thy gambolings
Beside the cheerful hearth
Thou art not there!
I listen to the far-off bell,
I murmur o'er the little songs
Which thou didst love so well,
Pleasant memories come in throngs
And mine eyes are blurred with tears,
But no glimpse of thee appears:
Lonely am I in the Winter, lonely in the Spring,
Summer and Harvest bring no trace of thee
Oh! whither, whither art thou wandering,
Thou who didst once so cleave to me?
All my longing prayers are spoken,
And felt, ah, woe is me, in vain!
Oh, childish hopes and childish fancies,
Whither have ye fled away?
I long for you in mournful trances,
I long for you by night and day;
Beautiful thoughts that once were mine,
Might I but win you back once more,
Might ye about my being twine
And cluster as ye did of yore!
O! do not let me pray in vain
How good and happy I should be,
How free from every shade of pain,
If ye would come again to me!
O, come again! come, come again!
Hath the sun forgot its brightness,
Have the stars forgot to shine,
That they bring not their wonted lightness
To this weary heart of mine?
"T is not the sun that shone on thee,
Happy childhood, long ago—
Not the same stars silently
Looking on the same bright snow
Not the same that Love and I
Together watched in days gone by!
No, not the same, alas for me!
Would God that those who early went To the house dark and low,
For whom our mourning heads were bent,
For whom our steps were slow;
O, would that these alone had left us,
That Fate of these alone had reft us,
Would God indeed that it were so!
Many leaves too soon must wither,
Many flowers too soon must die,
Many bright ones wandering hither,
We know not whence, we know not why,
Like the leaves and like the flowers,
Vanish, ere the summer hours,
That brought them to us, have gone by.
O for the hopes and for the feelings,
Childhood, that I shared with thee-
The high resolves, the bright revealings
Of the soul's might, which thou gav'st me,
Gentle Love, woe worth the day,
Woe worth the hour when thou wert born,
Woe worth the day thou fled'st away·
A shade across the wind-waved corn-
A dewdrop falling from the leaves.
Chance-shaken in a summer's morn!
Woe, woe is me! my sick heart grieves,
Companionless and anguish-worn!
I know it well, our manly years
Must be baptized in bitter tears;
Full many fountains must run dry
That youth has dreamed for long hours by,
Choked by convention's siroc blast
Or drifting sands of many cares;
Slowly they leave us all at last,
And cease their flowing unawares.
ANACREON of the meadow,
Drunk with the joy of spring!
Beneath the tall pine's voiceful shadow
I lie and drink thy jargoning;
My soul is full with melodies,
One drop would overflow it,
And send the tears into mine eyes-
But what car'st thou to know it?
Thy heart is free as mountain air,
And of thy lays thou hast no care,
Scattering them gayly everywhere,
Happy, unconscious poet!
Upon a tuft of meadow grass, While thy loved-one tends the nest, Thou swayest as the breezes pass, Unburthening thine o'erfull breast Of the crowded songs that fill it, Just as joy may choose to will it. Lord of thy love and liberty, The blithest bird of merry May, Thou turnest thy bright eyes on me, That say as plain as eye can say "Here sit we, here in the summer weather, I and my modest mate together; Whatever your wise thoughts may be, Under that gloomy old pine tree, We do not value them a feather."
Now, leaving earth and me behind,
Thou beatest up against the wind,
Or, floating slowly down before it,
Above thy grass-hid nest thou flutterest
And thy bridal love-song utterest,
Raining showers of music o'er it,
Weary never, still thou trillest,
As of moss-rimmed water-brooks
Murmuring through pebbly nooks
In quiet summer days.
My heart with happiness thou fillest,
I seem again to be a boy
Watching thee, gay, blithesome lover,
O'er the bending grass-tops hover,
Quivering thy wings for joy.
There's something in the apple-blossom,
The greening grass and bobolink's song,
That wakes again within my bosom
Feelings which have slumbered long.
As long, long years ago I wandered,
I seem to wander even yet,
The hours the idle school-boy squandered,
The man would die ere he 'd forget.
O hours that frosty eld deemed wasted,
Nodding his gray head toward my books,
I dearer prize the lore I tasted
With you, among the trees and brooks,
Than all that I have gained since then
From learned books or study-withered men!
Nature, thy soul was one with mine,
And, as a sister by a younger brother
Is loved, each flowing to the other,
Such love for me was thine.
Or wert thou not more like a loving mother
With sympathy and loving power to heal,
Against whose heart my throbbing heart I'd lay
And moan my childish sorrows all away,
Till calm and holiness would o'er me steal?
Was not the golden sunset a dear friend?
Found I no kindness in the silent moon,
And the green trees, whose tops did sway and bend,
Low singing evermore their pleasant tune?
Felt I no heart in dim and solemn woods.
No loved-one's voice in lonely solitudes?
Yes, yes! unhoodwinked then my spirit's eyes,
Blind leaders had not taught me to be wise.
Dear hours! which now again I over-live, Hearing and seeing with the ears and eyes