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And strive to keep me out of sight,
Because I am not fair;
The glad ones often give a glance,
As I am sitting lonely there,
That asks me why I do not dance —
Because I am not fair.
And if to smile on them I dare, For that my heart with love runs o'er, They say: "What is she laughing for?" Because I am not fair;
Love scorned or misinterpreted-
It is the hardest thing to bear;
I often wish that I were dead,
Because I am not fair.
My grave will be so lone and bare, I fear to think of those dark hours, For none will plant it o'er with flowers, Because I am not fair;
They will not in the summer come
And speak kind words above me there;
To me the grave will be no home,
Because I am not fair.
NEARER to thy mother-heart,
Simple Nature, press me,
Let me know thee as thou art,
Fill my soul and bless me!
I have loved thee long and well,
I have loved thee heartily;
Shall I never with thee dwell,
Never be at one with thee?
Inward, inward to thy heart, Kindly Nature, take me, Lovely even as thou art, Full of loving make me! Thou knowest naught of dead-cold forms, Knowest naught of littleness, Lifeful Truth thy being warms, Majesty and earnestness.
Homeward, homeward to thy heart,
Dearest Nature, call me;
Let no halfness, no mean part,
Any longer thrall me!
I will be thy lover true,
I will be a faithful soul,
Then circle me, then look me through,
Fill me with the mighty Whole.
ALL things are sad:
go and ask of Memory,
That she tell sweet tales to me
To make me glad;
And she takes me by the hand,
Leadeth to old places,
Showeth the old faces
In her hazy mirage-land;
O, her voice is sweet and low,
And her eyes are fresh to mine
As the dew
The half-unfolded Eglantine,
Long ago, long ago!
But I feel that I am only
Yet more sad, and yet more lonely!
Then I turn to blue-eyed Hope, And beg of her that she will ope Her golden gates for me;
She is fair and full of grace,
But she hath the form and face
Of her mother Memory;
Clear as air her glad voice ringeth,
Joyous are the songs she singeth,
Yet I hear them mournfully;-
They are songs her mother taught her,
Crooning to her infant daughter,
As she lay upon her knee.
Many little ones she bore me,
Woe is me! in by-gone hours,
Who danced along and sang before me,
Scattering my way with flowers;
One by one
They are gone,
And their silent graves are seen,
Shining fresh with mosses green,
Where the rising sunbeams slope
O'er the dewy land of Hope.
But, when sweet Memory faileth,
And Hope looks strange and cold;
When youth no more availeth,
And Grief grows over bold;
When softest winds are dreary,
And summer sunlight weary,
And sweetest things uncheery
We know not why:
When the crown of our desires
Weighs upon the brow and tires,
And we would die,
Die for, ah! we know not what,
Something we seem to have forgot,
Something we had, and now have not; -
When the present is a weight
And the future seems our foe,
And with shrinking eyes we wait,
As one who dreads a sudden blow
In the dark, he knows not whence; When Love at last his bright eye closes,
And the bloom upon his face,
That lends him such a living grace,
Is a shadow from the roses
Wherewith we have decked his bier,
Because he once was passing dear;
When we feel a leaden sense
Of nothingness and impotence,
Till we grow mad
Then the body saith,
"There's but one true faith;
All things are sad!"
PLEASANT thoughts come wandering,
When thou art far, from thee to me;
On their silver wings they bring
A very peaceful ecstasy,
A feeling of eternal spring;
So that Winter half forgets
Everything but that thou art,
And, in his bewildered heart,
Dreameth of the violets,
Or those bluer flowers that ope,
Flowers of steadfast love and hope,
Watered by the living wells,
Of memories dear, and dearer prophecies,
When young spring forever dwells
In the sunshine of thine eyes.
I have most holy dreams of thee,
All night I have such dreams;
And, when I awake, reality
No whit the darker seems;
Through the twin gates of Hope and Memory
They pour in crystal streams
From out an angel's calmèd eyes,
Who, from twilight till sunrise,
Far away in the upper deep,
Poised upon his shining wings,
Over us his watch doth keep,
And, as he watcheth, ever sings.
Through the still night I hear him sing,
Down-looking on our sleep;
I hear his clear, clear harp-strings ring,
And, as the golden notes take wing,
Gently downward hovering,
For very joy I weep;
He singeth songs of holy Love,
That quiver through the depths afar,
Where the blessèd spirits are,
And lingeringly from above
Shower till the morning star
His silver shield hath buckled on
And sentinels the dawn alone,
Quivering his gleamy spear
Through the dusky atmosphere.
Almost, my love, I fear the morn, When that blessèd voice shall cease, Lest it should leave me quite forlorn, Stript of my snowy robe of peace; And yet the bright reality
Is fairer than all dreams can be, For, through my spirit, all day long, Ring echoes of that angel-song In melodious thoughts of thee; And well I know it cannot die Till eternal morn shall break, For, through life's slumber, thou and I Will keep it for each other's sake, And it shall not be silent when we wake.
OUR fathers fought for Liberty,
They struggled long and well, History of their deeds can tell But did they leave us free?
Are we free from vanity,
Free from pride, and free from self, Free from love of power and pelf, From everything that 's beggarly?