« ПретходнаНастави »
[The following lines are founded upon the well-known scruple of Jews and Mussulmans against trampling on paper, lest the name of God may be destined to be written on it, or be so already.)
The things of Earth and Sea, and Sky
Are formed to move in harmony;
The mighty waters of the Deep,
Moon-led, all night their measures keep,
Not more when in her smile they sleep,
And cradle-trusting ships,
Than when she looks on stormier waves,
Or hides in interlunar caves, *
Or slumbers in eclipse.
The clouds sink down in gentle showers,
The Earth smiles back with opening flowers,
And all below and all above,
Proclaim the general law of Love.
If Nature, neither dumb nor blind,
In ordered currents roll,
Shall God be alien from the mind,
The undying human soul ?
In various climes, with many a speech,
Each race a stranger unto each,
Each soul within itself contained,
With secrets hid, and feelings feigned, -
Though some reflect the image bright,
And some seem lost in lifelong night, -
Far-seeing sage, or earth-bound thrall,
The will of God is guiding all.
And if there be a godless heart,
A sea without a moon,
It lives but to stagnate apart,
A tideless, sad lagoon.
* “ The sun to me is dark,
And silent as the moon,
When she deserts the night,
Hid in her vacant, interlunar caves."
Nor yet to peace, and wished-for end
All moon-led currents run,
And not all blest those souls that blend
Their Heaven-led impulses, and tend
Thus surely into one.
Creation, not without a law,
Yet groaning deep with inward flaw,
Wears out her doom ; the happy few
In meek submission who pursue
Through good and ill, the heavenly rule,
And make their hearts a watchful school,
These few are blest; the many, goaded on
By Passion, till their sense of God is gone,
Or at the best, exists but as a fear
Of wrath to come, a longing not more clear-
Seem lost to us; yet not to us is given
To mark the ways, or read the signs, of Heaven.
Let none despise his brother ; deeds are done
Daily, between this poor Earth and the Sun,
Which still assert unconquerable good
Though little seen, and rarely understood
And keep the truth unveiled from pole to pole,
That God is fountain of the human soul.
Once, in the heat of youthful blood,
Athirst for love and fame,
Journeying afar, by field and flood
To an Eastern land I came.
Along the low and sandy beach
The sea, with a murmur low and strange,
Ran, white with surf, no eye could reach
The end of the foamy range.
Ran white with surf; and no soft turf
Came, fringing that wild shore,
But ruins vast their shadows cast,
And told of generations past,
Whose dying ears had heard the immemorial roar.
A ruined city! but here and there
A street, a mosque, a fort,
A belt of palm-trees crossed the air
To render yet more grim and bare
That old abandoned port.
I saw the forests, far inland
Stretched sullenly on either hand;
Whose wild inhabitants again
Had gained their old domain from men.
The Elephants are browsing there
Beneath some archway's ebon shade,
And the fierce tigress has her lair
In the royal colonnade.
The few poor hinds, who sought to gain
A niggard living from the soil,
Oft leave the river-horse their grain
And curse their useless toil : While gaunt hyænas nightly trooping down, With demon-laughter scare the sleeping town.
The sun was high as I sprang to land
And stood upon the burning sand :
“God knows," I cried, “His ways are still Concealed from human ken;
How this alternate good and ill
Falls on the tribes of men.
This place so populous and great,
So blazed in ancient story,
How sunken now and desolate!
How fallen from her glory!"
“Peace to the stranger !"-
The ancient greeting on mine ear-
“ Needs not in words, my lord, to tell
The man I seek is here,
For on your youthful cheek there glows
The vermil of the western rose."
I looked upon the seemly dress,
The ample turban's fold,
The beard of silver fleeciness,
Upon his breast that rolled :
The eagle features of the face
The form of dignity and grace;
Alas ! how sunk the haughty race
The Merchant-Princes of the place !
We toiled amid the brooding beats,
The stifling silence of the streets ;
The very dogs had sought the shade,
While strength remained to crawl,
No living creature movement made
Save where the salamanders played
About the blinding wall.
No human frame could live, and bear
The furnace of that fiery air.
But help was nigh, not far before
Appeared the friendly merchant's door,-
A portico whose depth of gloom
Lay 'neath a high protecting dome.-
We hurried on, but when one pace
Had brought us to the resting-place,
My guide stopped short ; and turning round,
Lifted, bending low his head,
A scrap of paper from the ground;
And, " See, my son," he said
As in the porch at length we stood,-
“Sinners are we, but One is good,
This fluttering shred, we know not whence it came,
How shall its future fate be clear,
Perhaps to-morrow, even here,
Some hand shall trace the great Elohim's name.”
“Oh, if the meanest things appear ”
(My words broke forth without control)
“For His sake precious thus and dear,
How shall the greatest, wisest here
Despise a human soul !
No hearts to our dim sight are shown,
But Thou art wise and great alone,
Tuou knowest, blessed LORD, thine own.”
“Thou turnest away thy face, and they are troubled.**
BEHOLD! an earthly Heaven, a realm of air,
Where, in their highest sweeps, the eagles show
Their backs below us, glancing in the sun.
Far off the plains lie, basking in the flood
Of distance, till their outlines fade ; their fields,
Their streams, their trees, their wooded hills are lost
Little by little, till at length they melt,
And the horizon meets the sky, like Ocean's.
Whence are these tender hues, these lights and shades,
Upon the nearer monntains ; what this haze,
This blue transparent film, in which I see
The farther dells dim-floating, glen to peak
Clad in the glory of the Centuries,
Half-hidden, half-revealed, like God's own truth
We cannot wholly see, and yet we feel ?
Is it in us, not them, the splendour dwells ?
Is it Imagination's self-wrought cheat
That robes them with a radiance not their own ?
Ah see! the clouds draw up, and veil the plain,
The light forsakes the shadows of the woods,
The lightnings stream, the thunders roar, the rain
Bursts fiercely forth; the outer world departs ;
I stand alone amid the general gloom.
Where now the splendour of the scene ? where now
The pride, the pleasure of the sensuous eye
That called itself Creator? It is real,
The glory that we see on Nature's face,
And by celestial influence comes and goes.
H. G. K.