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Ah me, ah me! when erst I lay
In that child's-nest so greenly wrought,
I laugh'd unto myself and thought
The time will pass away."

And still I laugh'd, and did not fear
But that, whene'er was past away
The childish time, some happier play
My womanhood would cheer.

I knew the time would pass away;
And yet, beside the rose-tree wail,
Dear God, how seldom, if at all
Did I look up to pray!

The time is past:-and now that grows
The cypress high among the trees,
And I behold white sepulchres
As well as the white rose,-

When wiser, meeker thoughts are given,
And I have learnt to lift my face,
Reminded how earth's greenest place
The colour draws from heaven;-

It something saith for earthly pain,
But more for Heavenly promise free,
That I who was, would shrink to be
That happy child again.

E. B. Browning

VII

BLACKMWORE MAIDENS

The primwrose in the sheäde do blow,
The cowslip in the zun,

The thyme upon the down do grow,
The clote where streams do run;
An' where do pretty maïdens grow
An' blow, but where the tow'r
Do rise among the bricken tuns,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.

If

you could zee their comely gaït,
An' pretty feäces' smiles,

A-trippèn on so light o' waïght,
An' steppen off the stiles;
A-gwaïn to church, as bells do swing
An' ring 'ithin the tow'r,

You'd own the pretty maïdens' pleäce
Is Blackmwore by the Stour.

If you vrom Wimborne took your road,
To Stower or Paladore,

An' all the farmers' housen show'd
Their daughters at the door;
You'd cry to bachelors at hwome-
'Here, come; 'ithin an hour
You'll vind ten maïdens to your mind,
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'

An' if you look'd 'ithin their door,
To zee 'em in their pleäce,
A-doèn housework up avore
Their smilèn mother's feäce;
You'd cry- Why, if a man would wive
An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r,
Then let en look en out a wife
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'

As I upon my road did pass
A school-house back in May,
There out upon the beäten grass
Wer maïdens at their play;
An' as the pretty souls did tweil
An' smile, I cried, 'The flow'r
O' beauty, then, is still in bud
In Blackmwore by the Stour.'

W. Barnes

VIII

LITTLE SOPHY BY THE SEASIDE

Young Sophy leads a life without alloy
Of pain; she dances in the stormy air;
While her pink sash and length of golden hair
With answering motion time her step of joy!

Now turns she through that seaward gate of heaven,
That opens on the sward above the cliff,-
Glancing a moment at each barque and skiff,
Along the roughening waters homeward driven;

Shoreward she hies, her wooden spade in hand,
Straight down to childhood's ancient field of play,
To claim her right of common in the land
Where little edgeless tools make easy way—
A right no cruel Act shall e'er gainsay,
No greed dispute the freedom of the sand.

C. Tennyson-Turner

IX

THE PET NAME

I have a name, a little name,
Uncadenced for the ear,
Unhonour'd by ancestral claim,
Unsanctified by prayer and psalm,
The solemn font anear.

It never did, to pages wove
For gay romance, belong,
It never dedicate did move
As 'Sacharissa,' unto love—
'Orinda,' unto song.

Though I write books, it will be read
Upon the leaves of none,

And afterward, when I am dead,
Will ne'er be graved for sight or tread,
Across my funeral stone.

This name, whoever chance to call,
Perhaps your smile, may win;
Nay, do not smile! mine eyelids fall
Over mine eyes, and feel withal
The sudden tears within.

Is there a leaf that greenly grows
Where summer meadows bloom,
But gathereth the winter snows,
And changeth to the hue of those,
If lasting till they come ?

Is there a word, or jest, or game,
But time encrusteth round
With sad associate thoughts the same?
And so to me my very name
Assumes a mournful sound.

My brother gave that name to me
When we were children twain ;
When names acquired baptismally
Were hard to utter, as to see
That life had any pain.

No shade was on us then, save one
Of chestnuts from the hill-

And through the wood our laugh did run
As part thereof! The mirth being done,
He calls me by it still.

Nay, do not smile! I hear in it
What none of you can hear !
The talk upon the willow seat,
The bird and wind that did repeat
Around, our human cheer.

I hear the birthday's noisy bliss,
My sisters' woodland glee,-
My father's praise, I did not miss,
When stooping down he cared to kiss
The poet at his knee ;-

And voices, which to name me, aye
Their tenderest tones were keeping !—
To some, I never more can say
An answer, till God wipes away

In heaven, these drops of weeping.

My name to me a sadness wears;
No murmurs cross my mind:
Now God be thank'd for these thick tears,
Which show, of those departed years,
Sweet memories left behind!

Now God be thank'd for years enwrought
With love which softens yet!
Now God be thank'd for every thought
Which is so tender, it hath caught
Earth's guerdon of regret !

The earth may sadden, not remove,
Our love divinely given;

And e'en that mortal grief shall prove

The immortality of love

And lead us nearer Heaven.

E. B. Browning

X

THE TOYS

My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
I struck him, and dismiss'd

With hard words and unkiss'd,

His Mother, who was patient, being dead.

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