« ПретходнаНастави »
was an obscure hole, his only visible auxiliary What humble hands unbar those gates of a negro boy, and his supporters a few very insignificant persons of all colors.” — Letter of
Through which the splendors of the New H. G. Otis. This significant sentence printed at its head
Day burst ! gave the key-note to the following poem, but it is interesting to read the characterization of
What ! shall one monk, scarce known beGarrison drawn by Mr. Lowell at this same time,
yond his cell, in a letter to C. F. Briggs dated March 26, 1848.
Front Rome's far-reaching bolts, and “I do not agree with the abolitionists in their
scorn her frown ? disunion and non-voting theories. They treat Brave Luther answered Yes; that thunideas as ignorant persons do cherries. They
der's swell think them unwholesome unless they are swal- Rocked Europe, and discharmed the lowed, stones and all. Garrison is so used to
triple crown. standing alone that, like Daniel Boone, he moves away as the world creeps up to him, and
Whatever can be known of earth we know, goes farther into the wilderness. He considers every step a step forward, though it be over the
Sneered Europe's wise men, in their
snail-shells curled; edge of a precipice. But, with all his faults (and they are the faults of his position) he is a No! said one man in Genoa, and that No great and extraordinary man.
His work may
Out of the darkness summoned this New be over, but it has been a great work. ... I
World. respect Garrison (respect does not include love). Remember that Garrison was so long in a posi- Who is it will not dare himself to trust ? tion where he alone was right and all the world
Who is it hath not strength to stand wrong, that such a position has created in him
alone ? a habit of mind which may remain, though
Who is it thwarts and bilks the inward circumstances have wholly changed. Indeed a mind of that cast is essential to a Reformer.
MUST ? Luther was as infallible as any man that ever
He and his works, like sand, from earth held St. Peter's keys.” Letters I. 125, 126.
are blown. In a small chamber, friendless and un- Men of a thousand shifts and wiles, look seen,
here ! Toiled o'er his types one poor, unlearned See one straightforward conscience put
young man; The place was dark, unfurnitured, and To win a world; see the obedient sphere mean;
By bravery's simple gravitation drawn ! Yet there the freedom of a race began.
Shall we not heed the lesson taught of old, Help came but slowly ; surely no man And by the Present's lips repeated still, yet
In our own single manhood to be bold, Put lever to the heavy world with less: Fortressed in conscience and impregnable What need of help ? He knew how types
will ? were set, He had a dauntless spirit, and a press.
We stride the river daily at its spring,
Nor, in our childish thoughtlessness, Such earnest natures are the fiery pith,
foresee The compact nucleus, round which sys- What myriad vassal streams shall tribute
bring, Mass after mass becomes inspired there- How like an equal it shall greet the sea.
with, And whirls impregnate with the central O small beginnings, ye are great and strong, glow.
Based on a faithful heart and weariless
brain ! O Truth ! O Freedom ! how are ye still | Ye build the future fair, ye conquer wrong, born
Ye earn the crown, and wear it not in In the rude stable, in the manger nurst !
ON THE DEATH OF CHARLES
ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF DR.
The Martyr Torrey was the name applied to this clergyman, who gave up his professional life in order to devote himself to the antislavery cause in Maryland. He was demned to long imprisonment for aiding in the escape of slaves, but died in the penitentiary, May, 1846, of disease brought on by ill usage. His body was taken to Boston, and the funeral made a profound impression on the community. WOE worth the hour when it is crime
To plead the poor dumb bondman's cause, When all that inakes the heart sublime, The glorious throbs that conquer time,
Are traitors to our cruel laws !
Truth needs no champions: in the infinite
deep Of everlasting Soul her strength abides, From Nature's heart her mighty pulses
leap, Through Nature's veins her strength,
But Evil's triumphs are her endless loss,
The prodigal soul from want and sorrow
home, And Eden ope her gates to Adam's seed.
No power can die that ever wrought for Farewell! good man, good angel now ! Truth;
this hand Thereby a law of Nature it became,
Soon, like thine own, shall lose its cunAnd lives unwithered in its blithesome ning too; youth,
Soon shall this soul, like thine, bewildered When he who called it forth is but a
stand, Then leap to thread the free, unfathomed
blue: Therefore I cannot think thee wholly gone;
The better part of thee is with us still; When that day comes, oh, may this hand Thy soul its hampering clay aside hath thrown,
Busy, like thine, for Freedom and the And only freer wrestles with the III.
Oh, may this soul, like thine, be ever bold Thou livest in the life of all good things; To face dark Slavery's encroaching What words thou spak’st for Freedom blight !
shall not die; Thou sleepest not, for now thy Love hath This laurel-leaf I cast upon thy bier; wings
Let worthier hands than these thy wreath To soar where hence thy Hope could intwine; hardly fly.
Upon thy hearse I shed no useless tear,
For us weep rather thou in calm divine ! And often, from that other world, on this Some gleams from great souls gone be
fore may shine, To shed on struggling hearts a clearer bliss, TO THE MEMORY OF HOOD And clothe the Right with lustre more divine.
ANOTHER star 'neath Time's horizon
dropped, Thou art not idle: in thy higher sphere To gleam o'er unknown lands and seas;
Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks, Another heart that beat for freedom And strength to perfect what it dreamed stopped, of here
What mournful words are these ! Is all the crown and glory that it asks.
0 Love Divine, that claspest our tired For sure, in Heaven's wide chambers, there
earth, is room
And lullest it upon thy heart, For love and pity, and for helpful deeds; Thon knowest how much a gentle soul is Else were our summons thither but a doom
worth To life more vain than this in clayey To teach men what thou art ! weeds.
His was a spirit that to all thy poor From off the starry mountain-peak of song, Was kind as slumber after pain:
Thy spirit shows me, in the coming time, Why ope so soon thy heaven-deep Quiet's An earth unwithered by the foot of wrong,
door A race revering its own soul sublime. And call him home again ? What wars, what martyrdoms, what crimes, Freedom needs all her poets: it is they may come,
Who give her aspirations wings, Thou knowest not, nor I; but God will And to the wiser law of music sway lead
Her wild imaginings.
Yet thou hast called him, nor art thou un
kind, O Love Divine, for 't is thy will That gracious natures leave their love be
hind To work for Mercy still.
His epitaph shall mock the short-lived
stone, No lichen shall its lines efface, He needs these few and simple lines
alone To mark his resting-place:“Here lies a Poet. Stranger, if to thee
His claim to memory be obscure, If thou wouldst learn how truly great was
he, Go, ask it of the poor."
Let laurelled marbles weigh on other
tombs, Let anthems peal for other dead, Rustling the bannered depth of minster
THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL
This poem was written apparently early in 1848, for in a letter to Mr. Briggs, dated February 1 of that year, Lowell, referring to it, says: “The new poem I spoke of is a sort of a story, and more likely to be popular than what I write generally. Maria thinks very highly of it. I shall probably publish it by itself next summer.” The poem was published in the middle of December, 1848, and in an exuberant letter to Mr. Briggs shortly after it appeared, Lowell wrote: “ Last night ...I walked to Watertown over the snow with the new moon before me and a sky exactly like that in Page's evening landscape. Orion was rising behind me, and, as I stood on the hill just before you enter the village, the stillness of the fields around me was delicious, broken only by the tinkle of a little brook which runs too swiftly for Frost to catch it. My picture of the brook in Sir Launfal was drawn from it.” The following note was prefixed to the poem by its author.
out of which Jesus partook of the Last Supper with his disciples. It was brought into Eng. land by Joseph of Arimathea, and remained there, an object of pilgrimage and adoration, for many years in the keeping of his lineal descendants. It was incumbent upon those who had charge of it to be chaste in thought, word, and deed; but one of the keepers having broken this condition, the Holy Grail disappeared. From that time it was a favorite enterprise of the knights of Arthur's court to go in search of it. Sir Galahad was at last successful in finding it, as may be read in the seventeenth book of the Romance of King Arthur. Tennyson has made Sir Galahad the subject of one of the most exquisite of his poems.
The plot (if I may give that name to any. thing so slight) of the following poem is my own, and, to serve its purposes, I have enlarged the circle of competition in search of the miraculous cup in such a manner as to include, not only other persons than the heroes of the Round Table, but also a period of time subsequent to the supposed date of King Arthur's reign.
According to the mythology of the Romancers, the San Greal, or Holy Grail, was the cup
PRELUDE TO PART FIRST
Not only around our infancy
OVER his keys the musing organist,
Beginning doubtfully and far away, First lets his fingers wander as they list, And builds a bridge from Dreamland for
his lay: Then, as the touch of his loved instrument Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws his
theme, First guessed by faint auroral flushes sent
Along the wavering vista of his dream.
Over our manhood bend the skies;
Against our fallen and traitor lives The great winds utter prophecies; With our faint hearts the mountain
strives; Its arms outstretched, the druid wood
Waits with its benedicite;
And to our age's drowsy blood
Comes flooding back with a ripply cheer, Still shouts the inspiring sea.
Into every bare inlet and creek and
bay; Earth gets its price for what Earth gives Now the heart is so full that a drop over
fills it, us; The beggar is taxed for a corner to die We are happy now because God wills it; in,
No matter how barren the past may have The priest hath his fee who comes and been, shrives us,
'T is enough for us now that the leaves are We bargain for the graves we lie in;
green; At the devil's booth are all things sold, We sit in the warm shade and feel right Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
swell; Bubbles we buy with a whole soul's task- We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help ing:
knowing 'T is heaven alone that is given away,
That skies are clear and grass is grow’T is only God may be had for the ask
The breeze comes whispering in our ear, No price is set on the lavish summer;
That dandelions are blossoming near, June may be had by the poorest comer. That maize has sprouted, that streams
are flowing, And what is so rare as a day in June ? That the river is bluer than the sky, Then, if ever, come perfect days;
That the robin is plastering his house hard Then Heaven tries earth if it be in tune,
by ; And over it softly her warm ear lays; And if the breeze kept the good news Whether we look, or whether we listen,
back, We hear life murmur, or see it glisten; For other couriers we should not lack; Every clod feels a stir of might,
We could guess it all by yon heifer's An instinct within it that reaches and
And hark! how clear bold chanticleer, And, groping blindly above it for light, Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers; Tells all in his lusty crowing!
Thrilling back over hills and valleys; Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
'T is as easy now for the heart to be And there's never a leaf nor a blade too
As for grass to be green or skies to be To be some happy creature's palace;
blue, The little bird sits at his door in the sun, 'T is the natural way of living:
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves, Who knows whither the clouds have fled ? And lets his illumined being o'errun
In the unscarred heaven they leave no With the deluge of summer it receives; wake; His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings, And the eyes forget the tears they have And the heart in her dumb breast flutters
shed, and sings;
The heart forgets its sorrow and ache; He sings to the wide world, and she to her The soul partakes the season's youth, nest,
And the sulphurous rifts of passion and In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and smooth,
Like burnt-out craters healed with snow. Now is the high-tide of the year,
What wonder if Sir Launfal now