Слике страница


[ocr errors]



Save as some tree, which, in a sudden

blast, Sheddeth those blossoms, that are weakly “For this true nobleness I seek in vain, grown,

In woman and in man I find it not; Upon the air, but keepeth every one

I almost weary of my earthly lot, Whose strength gives warrant of good fruit My life-springs are dried up with burning at last:

pain.' So thou hast shed some blooms of gayety, Thou find'st it not? I pray thee look But never one of steadfast cheerfulness;

again, Nor hath thy knowledge of adversity Look inward through the depths of thine Robbed thee of any faith in happiness,

own soul. But rather cleared thine inner eyes to see How is it with thee ? Art thou sound and How many simple ways there are to bless.

whole ? Doth narrow search show thee no earthly

stain ? What were I, Love, if I were stripped of

BE NOBLE ! and the nobleness that lies thee,

In other men, sleeping, but never dead, If thine eyes shut me out whereby I live,

Will rise in majesty to meet thine own; Thou, who unto my calmer soul dost give

Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes, Knowledge, and Truth, and holy Mystery,

Then will pure light around thy path be Wherein Truth mainly lies for those who


And thou wilt nevermore be sad and lone. Beyond the earthly and the fugitive, Who in the grandeur of the soul believe, And only in the Infinite are free ?

TO THE SPIRIT OF KEATS Without thee I were naked, bleak, and bare

GREAT soul, thou sittest with me in my As yon dead cedar on the sea-cliff's brow;

room, And Nature's teachings, which come to me

Uplifting me with thy vast, quiet eyes,

On whose full orbs, with kindly lustre, lies now, Common and beautiful as light and air, The twilight warmth of ruddy emberWould be as fruitless as a stream which still

gloom: Slips through the wheel of some old ruined | Thy clear, strong tones will oft bring sudmill.

den bloom III

Of hope secure, to him who lonely cries,

Wrestling with the young poet's agonies, I would not have this perfect love of ours Neglect and scorn, which seem à certain Grow from a single root, a single stem,

doom: Bearing no goodly fruit, but only flowers Yes! the few words which, like great That idly hide life's iron diadem:

thunder-drops, It should grow alway like that Eastern Thy large heart down to earth shook doubttree

fully, Whose limbs take root and spread forth Thrilled by the inward lightning of its constantly;

might, That love for one, from which there doth Serene and pure, like gushing joy of light, not spring

Shall track the eternal chords of Destiny, Wide love for all, is but a worthless thing. After the moon-led pulse of ocean stops. Not in another world, as poets prate, Dwell we apart above the tide of things, High floating o'er earth's clouds on faery Great Truths are portions of the soul of wings;

man; But our pure love doth ever elevate Great souls are portions of Eternity; Into a holy bond of brotherhood

Each drop of blood that e'er through true All earthly things, making them pure and heart ran good.

With lofty message, ran for thee and me;



bath rung


For God's law, since the starry song began, Therefore shalt thou be ever fair and free,
Hath been, and still forevermore must be, And in thine every motion musical

deed which shall outlast Time's As summer air, majestic as the sea,

A mystery to those who creep and crawl Must spur the soul to be erect and free; Through Time, and part it from Eternity. Slave is no word of deathless lineage

sprung; Too many noble souls have thought and My Love, I have no fear that thou shouldst died,

die; Too many mighty poets lived and sung, Albeit I ask no fairer life than this, And our good Saxon, from lips purified Whose numbering-clock is still thy gentle With martyr-fire, throughout the world


While Time and Peace with hands enToo long to have God's holy cause denied.

lockëd fly;
Yet care I not where in Eternity

We live and love, well knowing that there is I Ask not for those thoughts, that sudden No backward step for those who feel the leap

bliss From being's sea, like the isle-seeming Of Faith as their most lofty yearnings Kraken,

high: With whose great rise the ocean all is

Love hath so purified my being's core, shaken

Meseems I scarcely should be startled, And a heart-tremble quivers through the

even, deep;

To find, some morn, that thou hadst gone Give me that growth which some perchance

before; deem sleep,

Since, with thy love, this knowledge too Wherewith the steadfast coral-stems uprise,

was given, Which, by the toil of gathering energies,

Which each calm day doth strengthen Their upward way into clear sunshine more and more, keep,

That they who love are but one step from Until, by Heaven's sweetest influences,

Slowly and slowly spreads a speck of green
Into a pleasant island in the seas,
Where, mid tall palms, the cane-roofed

I CANNOT think that thou shouldst pass home is seen,


Whose life to mine is an eternal law,
And wearied men shall sit at sunset's hour,
Hearing the leaves and loving God's dear

A piece of nature that can have no flaw,

A new and certain sunrise every day;

But, if thou art to be another ray
About the Sun of Life, and art to live

Free from what part of thee was fugitive,

The debt of Love I will more fully pay, MAIDEN, when such a soul as thine is born,

Not downcast with the thought of thee so

high, The morning - stars their ancient music

But rather raised to be a nobler man, make, And, joyful, once again their song awake,

And more divine in my humanity, Long silent now with melancholy scorn;

As knowing that the waiting eyes which And thou, not mindless of so blest a morn, By no least deed its barmony shalt break,

My life are lighted by a purer being, But shalt to that high chime thy footsteps

And ask high, calm-browed deeds, with it take,

agreeing Through life's most darksome passes unforlorn;

THERE never yet was flower fair in vain, Therefore from thy pure faith thou shalt Let classic poets rhyme it as they will; not fall,

The seasons toil that it may blow again,






hide away


And summer's heart doth feel its every ill; Rounded itself into a full-orbed sun!
Nor is a true soul ever born for vaught; How have our lives and wills (as haply erst
Wherever any such hath lived and died, They were, ere this forgetfulness begun)
There hath been something for true free- Through all their earthly distances out-
dom wrought,

burst, Some bulwark levelled on the evil side: And melted, like two rays of light in one ! Toil on, tben, Greatness ! thou art in the right,

XIV However narrow souls may

call thee wrong;


sight, And so thon shalt be in the world's erelong;

These sonnets, XIV-XIX, when printed in

The Democratic Review for May, 1842, bore For worldlings cannot, struggle as they

merely the title Sonnets. may, From man's great soul one great thought As the broad ocean endlessly upheaveth,

With the majestic beating of his heart,
The mighty tides, whereof its rightful part
Each sea-wide bay and little weed receiv-


So, through his soul who earnestly believeth,

Life from the universal Heart doth flow, The bope of Truth grows stronger, day by Whereby some conquest of the eternal day;

Woe, I hear the soul of Man around me waking, By instinct of God's nature, he achieveth: Like a great sea, its frozen fetters break- A fuller pulse of this all-powerful beauty ing,

Into the poet's gulf-like heart doth tide, And flinging up to heaven its sunlit spray, And he more keenly feels the glorious duty Tossing huge continents in scornful play, Of serving Truth, despised and crucified, And crushing them, with din of grinding Happy, unknowing sect or creed, to rest, thunder,

And feel God flow forever through his That makes old emptinesses stare in won

breast. der; The memory of a glory passed away Lingers in every heart, as, in the shell,

THE SAME CONTINUED Resounds the bygone freedom of the sea, And every hour new signs of promise tell, ONCE hardly in a cycle blossometh That the great soul shall once again be free, A flower-like soul ripe with the seeds of For bigh, and yet more high, the murmurs song, swell

A spirit foreordained to


wrong, Of inward strife for truth and liberty. Whose divine thoughts are natural as


Who the old Darkness thickly scattereth BELOVED, in the noisy city here,

With starry words, that shoot prevailing The thought of thee can make all turmoil light cease;

Into the deeps, and wither, with the blight Around my spirit, folds thy spirit clear Of serene Truth, the coward heart of Its still, soft arms, and circles it with

Death: peace;

Woe, if snch spirit thwart its errand high, There is no room for any doubt or fear And mock with lies the longing soul of In souls so overfilled with love's increase,

man ! There is no memory of the bygone year Yet one age longer must true Culture lie, But growth in heart's and spirit's perfect Soothing her bitter fetters as she can,

Until new messages of love ontstart How bath our love, half nebulous at first, At the next beating of the infinite Heart.






The love of all things springs from love of

one; Wider the soul's horizon hourly grows, And over it with fuller glory flows The sky-like spirit of God; a hope begun In doubt and darkness 'neath a fairer sun Cometh to fruitage, if it be of Truth; And to the law of meekness, faith, and

ruth, By inward sympathy, shall all be won: This thou shouldst know, who, from the

painted feature Of shifting Fashion, couldst thy brethren

Unto the love of ever-youthful Nature,
And of a beanty fadeless and eterne;
And always 't is the saddest sight to see
An old man faithless in Humanity.

To the great Soul only are all things

known; Present and future are to her as past, While she in glorious madness doth fore

cast That perfect bud, which seems a flower

full-blown To each new Prophet, and yet always opes Fuller and fuller with each day and hour, Heartening the soul with odor of fresh

bopes, And longings high, and gushings of wide

power, Yet never is or shall be fully blown Save in the forethought of the Eternal One.



THE SAME CONTINUED A POET cannot strive for despotism; His harp falls sbattered; for it still must be The instinct of great spirits to be free, And the sworn foes of cunning barbarism: He who has deepest searched the wide

abysm Of that life-givivg Soul which men call

fate, Knows that to put more faith in lies and

hate Than truth and love is the true atheism: Upward the sonl forever turns her eyes: The next hour always sbames the hour be

fore; One beauty, at its highest, prophesies That by whose side it shall seem mean and

poor; No Godlike thing knows aught of less and

less, But widens to the boundless Perfectness.

THE SAME CONCLUDED Far 'yond this narrow parapet of Time, With eyes uplift, the poet's soul should

look Into the Endless Promise, nor should brook One prying doubt to shake his faith sub

lime; To him the earth is ever in ber prime And dewiness of morning; be can see Good lying hid, from all eternity, Within the teeming womb of sin and

crime; His soul should not be cramped by any bar, His nobleness should be so Godlike high, That his least deed is perfect as a star, His common look majestic as the sky, And all o'erflooded with a light from far, Undimmed by clouds of weak mortality.


TO M. O. S. Mary Orne Story, sister to William Wetmore Story, afterward married to George Ticknor Curtis. MARY, since first I knew thee, to this hour, My love hath deepened, with my wiser



THE SAME CONTINUED THEREFORE think not the Past is wise

alone, For Yesterday knows nothing of the Best, And thou shalt love it only as the nest Whence glory-wingëd things to Heaven

have flown:

Of what in Woman is to reverence;
Thy clear heart, fresh as e'er was forest-

flower, Still opens more to me its beauteous

dower; But let praise hush, Love asks no

evidence To prove itself well-placed; we know not



It gleans the straws that thatch its humble As loath to fall out of those happy skies; bower:

Yet sure, my love, thou art most like to We can but say we found it in the heart,

May, Spring of all sweetest thoughts, arch foe of That comes with steady sun when April blame,

dies. Sower of flowers in the dusty mart, Pure vestal of the poet's holy flame,

XXIII This is enough, and we have done our part

WENDELL PHILLIPS If we but keep it spotless as it came.

He stood upon the world's broad thresh

old; wide OUR love is not a fading, earthly flower: The din of battle and of slaughter rose; Its wingëd seed dropped down from Para- He saw God stand upon the weaker side, dise,

That sank in seeming loss before its foes: And, nursed by day and night, by sun and Many there were who made great haste shower,

and sold Doth momently to fresher beauty rise: Unto the cunning enemy their swords, To us the leafless autumn is not bare, He scorned their gifts of fame, and power, Nor winter's rattling boughs lack lusty

and gold, green.

And, underneath their soft and flowery Our summer hearts make summer's ful


Heard the cold serpent hiss; therefore he No leaf, or bud, or blossom may be seen:

went For nature's life in love's deep life doth lie, And humbly joined him to the weaker Love, — whose forgetfulness is beauty's part, death,

Fanatic named, and fool, yet well content Whose mystic key these cells of Thou and I So he could be the nearer to God's heart, Into the infinite freedom openeth,

And feel its solemn pulses sending blood And makes the body's dark and narrow Through all the widespread veins of endgrate

less good. The wide-flung leaves of Heaven's own


ness, where


[blocks in formation]


They pass me by like shadows, crowds on

crowds, THESE rugged, wintry days I scarce could Dim ghosts of men, that hover to and fro, bear,

Hugging their bodies round them like thin Did I not know that, in the early spring,

shrouds When wild March winds upon their er- Wherein their souls were buried long ago: rands sing,

They trampled on their youth, and faith, Thou wouldst return, bursting on this still

and love, air,

They cast their hope of human-kind away, Like those same winds, when, startled from With Heaven's clear messages they madly their lair,

strove, They hunt up violets, and free swift brooks And conquered, — and their spirits turned From icy cares, even as thy clear looks

to clay: Bid my heart bloom, and sing, and break Lo! how they wander round the world,

all care: When drops with welcome rain the April Whose ever-gaping maw by such is fed, day,

Gibbering at living men, and idly rave, My flowers shall find their April in thine “We only truly live, but ye are dead." eyes,

Alas! poor fools, the anointed eye may Save there the rain in dreamy clouds doth

trace stay,

A dead soul's epitaph in every face !

their grave,

« ПретходнаНастави »