Слике страница
PDF
ePub

The low west-wind creeps panting up the

shore To be at rest among the flowers; Full of rest, the green moss lifts,

As the dark waves of the sea Draw in and out of rocky rifts,

Calling solemnly to thee With voices deep and bollow, –

"To the shore Follow! Oh, follow ! To be at rest forevermore!

Forevermore !”

Lean over the side and see
The leaden eye of the sidelong shark

Upturnëd patiently,
Ever waiting there for thee:
Look down and see those shapeless forms,

Which ever keep their dreamless sleep

Far down within the gloomy deep,
And only stir themselves in storms,
Rising like islands from beneath,
And snorting through the angry spray,
As the frail

vessel perisheth
In the whirls of their unwieldy play;

Look down! Look down ! Upon the seaweed, slimy and dark, That waves its arms so lank and brown,

Beckoning for thee ! Look down beneath thy wave-worn bark

Into the cold depth of the sea !
Look down! Look down !

Thus, on Life's lonely sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sad, from far and near,
Ever singing full of fear,
Ever singing dreadfully.

Look how the gray old Ocean
From the depth of his heart rejoices,
Heaving with a gentle motion,
When he hears our restful voices;
List how he sings in an undertone,
Chiming with our melody;
And all sweet sounds of earth and air
Melt into one low voice alone,
That murmurs over the weary sea,
And seems to sing from everywhere, -
“ Here mayst thou harbor peacefully,
Here mayst thou rest from the aching oar;

Turn thy curved prow ashore,
And in our green isle rest forevermore !

Forevermore!”
And Echo half wakes in the wooded hill,

And, to her heart so calm and deep,

Murmurs over in her sleep,
Doubtfully pausing and murmuring still,

Evermore!”
Thus, on Life's weary sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,
Ever singing low and clear,
Ever singing longingly.

Is it not better here to be,
Than to be toiling late and soon ?
In the dreary night to see
Nothing but the blood-red moon
Go up and down into the sea;
Or, in the loneliness of day,

To see the still seals only
Solemnly lift their faces gray,

Making it yet more lonely? Is it not better than to hear Only the sliding of the wave Beneath the plank, and feel so near A cold and lonely grave, A restless grave, where thou shalt lie Even in death unquietly ? Look down beneath thy wave-worn bark,

Here all is pleasant as a dream;
The wind scarce shaketh down the dew,
The green grass floweth like a stream

Into the ocean's blue;

Listen! Oh, listen !
Here is a gush of many streams,

A song of many birds,
And every wish and longing seems
Lulled to a numbered flow of words,

Listen! Oh, listen !
Here ever hum the golden bees
Underneath full-blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers

crowned; So smooth the sand, the yellow sand, That thy keel will not grate as it touches

the land;
All around with a slumberous sound,
The singing waves slide up the strand,
And there, where the smooth, wet pebbles be,
The waters gurgle longingly,
As if they fain would seek the shore,
To be at rest from the ceaseless roar,
To be at rest forevermore,

Forevermore.
Thus, on Life's gloomy sea,
Heareth the marinere
Voices sweet, from far and near,

Ever singing in his ear,
“Here is rest and peace for thee !”

IRENÉ

Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feeling
As when I read in God's own holy book.

a

a

The indirect as well as direct references to A graciousness in giving that doth make Maria White are frequent in these early poems. The small'st gift greatest, and a sense Lowell, in a letter to G. B. Loring shortly after this poem appeared, wrote:

“ Maria fills my

most meek

Of worthiness, that doth not fear to take ideal and I satisfy hers, and I mean to live

From others, but which always fears to as one beloved by such a woman should live. She is every way noble. People have called speak Irené a beautiful piece of poetry. And so it is.

Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's It owes all its beauty to her.”

sake;

The deep religion of a thankful heart, HERS is a spirit deep, and crystal-clear; Which rests instinctively in Heaven's clear Calmly beneath her earnest face it lies,

law Free without boldness, meek without a With a full peace, that never can depart fear,

From its own steadfastness; a holy awe Quicker to look than speak its sympathies; For holy things, - not those which men Far down into her large and patient eyes

call holy, I gaze, deep-drinking of the infinite, But such as are revealëd to the eyes As, in the mid-watch of a clear, still night, Of a true woman's soul bent down and I look into the fathomless blue skies.

lowly

Before the face of daily mysteries; So circled lives she with Love's holy | A love that blossoms soon, but ripens light,

slowly That from the shade of self she walketh To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, free;

Enduring with a firmness that defies The garden of her soul still keepeth she All shallow tricks of circumstance and An Eden where the snake did never enter;

time, She hath a natural, wise sincerity,

By a sure insight knowing where to cling, A simple truthfulness, and these have lent And where it clingeth never withering; her

These are Irene's dowry, which no fate A dignity as moveless as the centre; Can shake from their serene, deep-builded So that no influence of our earth can stir

state. Her steadfast courage, nor can take away The holy peacefulness, which night and In-seeing sympathy is hers, which chasday,

teneth Unto her queenly soul doth minister. No less than loveth, scorning to be bound

With fear of blame, and yet which ever Most gentle is she; her large charity

hasteneth (An all unwitting, childlike gift in her) To pour the balm of kind looks on the Not freer is to give than meek to bear;

wound, And, though herself not unacquaint with If they be wounds which such sweet teachcare,

ing makes, Hath in her heart wide room for all that Giving itself a pang for others' sakes; be,

No want of faith, that chills with sidelong Her heart that hath no secrets of its own,

eye, But open is as eglantine full blown. Hath she ; no jealousy, no Levite pride Cloudless forever is her brow serene, That passeth by upon the other side; Speaking calm hope and trust within her, For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. whence

Right from the hand of God her spirit Welleth a noiseless spring of patience, That keepeth all her life so fresh, so green

Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten And full of holiness, that every look,

whence The greatness of her woman's soul reveal- It came, nor wandered far from thence, ing,

But laboreth to keep her still the same,

came

a

Near to her place of birth, that she may In thy chamber thou sittest alone, not

Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone ! Soil her white raiment with an earthly spot.

The world is happy, the world is wide,

Kind hearts are beating on every side; Yet sets she not her soul so steadily Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled Above, that she forgets her ties to earth, Alone in the shell of this great world ? But her whole thought would almost seem Why should we any more be alone ? to be

Alone, alone, ah woe! alone! How to make glad one lowly human hearth;

Oh, 't is a bitter and dreary word, For with a gentle courage she doth strive The saddest by man's ear ever heard ! In thought and word and feeling so to live We each are young, we each have a heart, As to make earth next heaven; and her Why stand we ever coldly apart? heart

Must we forever, then, be alone ? Herein doth show its most exceeding worth, Alone, alone, ah woe! alone! That, bearing in our frailty her just part, She hath not shrunk from evils of this life, But hath gone calmly forth into the strife, WITH A PRESSED FLOWER And all its sins and sorrows bath withstood With lofty strength of patient womanhood: This little blossom from afar For this I love her great soul more than Hath come from other lands to thine; all,

For, once, its white and drooping star That, being bound, like us, with earthly Could see its shadow in the Rhine.

thrall, She walks so bright and heaven-like there- Perchance some fair-haired German maid in,

Hath plucked one from the selfsame stalk, Too wise, too meek, too womanly, to sin. And numbered over, half afraid,

Its petals in her evening walk. Like a lone star through riven stormclouds seen

“ He loves me, loves me not,” she cries; By sailors, tempest-tost upon the sea,

“ He loves me more than earth or heaven!” Telling of rest and peaceful heavens nigh, And then glad tears have filled her eyes Unto

my soul her star-like soul hath been, To find the number was uneven.
Her sight as full of hope and calm to
me;

And thou must count its petals well,
For she unto herself hath builded high Because it is a gift from me;
A home serene, wherein to lay her head, And the last one of all shall tell
Earth's noblest thing, a Woman perfected. Something I've often told to thee.

[blocks in formation]

Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me, For Christ's sweet sake and charity !

Her glorious fancies come from far,
Beneath the silver evening-star,
And yet her heart is ever near.

A little of thy steadfastness,
Rounded with leafy gracefulness,
Old oak, give me,
That the world's blasts may round me blow,
And I yield gently to and fro,
While my stout-hearted trunk below
And firm-set roots unshaken be.

Great feelings hath she of ber own,
Which lesser souls may never know;
God giveth them to her alone,
And sweet they are as any tone
Wherewith the wind may choose to blow.

Yet in herself she dwelleth not,
Although no home were half so fair;
No simplest duty is forgot,
Life hath no dim and lowly spot
That doth not in her sunshine share.

Some of thy stern, unyielding might,
Enduring still through day and night
Rude tempest-shock and withering blight,
That I may keep at bay
The changeful April sky of chance
And the strong tide of circumstance,
Give me, old granite gray.
Some of thy pensiveness serene,
Some of thy never-dying green,
Put in this scrip of mine,
That griefs may fall like snow-flakes light,
And deck me in a robe of white,
Ready to be an angel bright,
O sweetly mournful pine.

She doeth little kindnesses,
Which most leave undone, or despise:
For naught that sets one heart at ease,
And giveth happiness or peace,
Is low-esteemëd in her eyes.

а

A little of thy merriment,
Of thy sparkling, light content,
Give me, my cheerful brook,
That I may still be full of glee
And gladsomeness, where'er I be,
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me
In some neglected nook.

She hath no scorn of common things,
And, though she seem of other birth,
Round us her heart intwines and clings,
And patiently she folds her wings
To tread the humble paths of earth.
Blessing she is : God made her so,
And deeds of week-day holiness
Fall from her noiseless as the snow,
Nor hath she ever chanced to know
That aught were easier than to bless.

She is most fair, and thereunto
Her life doth rightly harmonize;
Feeling or thought that was not true
Ne'er made less beautiful the blue
Unclouded heaven of her eyes.

Ye have been very kind and good
To me, since I've been in the wood;
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart;
But good-by, kind friends, every one,
I've far to go ere set of sun;
Of all good things I would have part,
The day was high ere I could start,
And so my journey 's scarce begun.

She is a woman: one in whom
The spring-time of her childish years
Hath never lost its fresh perfume,
Though knowing well that life hath room
For many blights and many tears.

Heaven help me! how could I forget
To beg of thee, dear violet !
Some of thy modesty,
That blossoms here as well, unseen,
As if before the world thou 'dst been,
Oh, give, to strengthen me.

I love her with a love as still
As a broad river's peaceful might,
Which, by high tower and lowly mill,
Seems following its own wayward will,
And yet doth ever flow aright.

MY LOVE

Not as all other women are
Is she that to my soul is dear;

And, on its full, deep breast serene,
Like quiet isles my duties lie;
It flows around them and between,

And makes them fresh and fair and green, Sweet homes wherein to live and die.

SUMMER STORM

UNTREMULOUS in the river clear, Toward the sky's image, hangs the imaged

bridge;

So still the air that I can hear The slender clarion of the unseen midge; Out of the stillness, with a gathering

creep, Like rising wind in leaves, which now de

creases, Now lulls, now swells, and all the while

increases, The huddling trample of a drove of

sheep Tilts the loose planks, and then as gradu

ally ceases In dust on the other side ; life's emblem

deep, A confused noise between two silences, Finding at last in dust precarious peace. On the wide marsh the purple-blossomed

grasses Soak up the sunshine; sleeps the brim

ming tide, Save when the wedge-shaped wake in siOf some slow water-rat, whose sinuous

glide Wavers the sedge's emerald shade from

side to side; But up the west, like a rock-shivered surge, Climbs a great cloud edged with sun

whitened spray; Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o'er its

verge, And falling still it seems, and yet it

climbs alway.
Suddenly all the sky is hid

As with the shutting of a lid,
One by one great drops are falling

Doubtful and slow,
Down the pane they are crookedly crawl-

ing,

And the wind breathes low; Slowly the circles widen on the river,

Widen and mingle, one and all;
Here and there the slenderer flowers

shiver,
Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall.

Now on the hills I hear the thunder mutter,

The wind is gathering in the west; The upturned leaves first whiten and flutter,

Then droop to a fitful rest;
Up from the stream with sluggish flap

Struggles the gull and floats away; Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder-clap,

We shall not see the sun go down to-day: Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh,

And tramples the grass with terrified feet, The startled river turns leaden and harsh, You can hear the quick heart of the

tempest beat.

Look ! look! that livid flash ! And instantly follows the rattling thunder, As if some cloud-crag, split asunder,

Fell, splintering with a ruinous crash, On the Earth, which crouches in silence

under; And now a solid gray wall of rain Shuts off the landscape, mile by mile; For a breath's space I see the blue wood

again, And ere the next heart-beat, the wind

hurled pile, That seemed but now a league aloof, Bursts crackling o'er the sun-parched

roof; Against the windows the storm comes dash

ing, Through tattered foliage the hail tears

crashing,

The blue lightning flashes,

The rapid hail clashes,
The white waves are tumbling,

And, in one baffled roar,
Like the toothless sea mumbling

A rock-bristled shore,
The thunder is rumbling

And crashing and crumbling,
Will silence return nevermore ?

lence passes

a

Hush! Still as death,

The tempest holds his breath

As from a sudden will;
The rain stops short, but from the eaves
You see it drop, and hear it from the

leaves,
All is so bodingly still;

Again, now, now, again
Plashes the rain in heavy gouts,

The crinkled lightning
Seems ever brightening,

And loud and long

« ПретходнаНастави »