Слике страница

To change nd change is life, to move and never rest ;

Not what we are, but what we hope, is best.
The wild, free woods make no man halt or blind ;

Cities rob men of eyes and hands and feet,

Patching one whole of many incomplete;
The general preys upon the individual mind,

And each alone is helpless as the wind.
Each man is some man's servant; every soul

Is by some other's presence quite discrowned ;

Each owes the next through all the imperfect round, Yet not with mutual help; each man is his own goal,

And the whole earth must stop to pay his toll.
Here, life the undiminished man demands;

New faculties stretch out to meet new wants,

What Nature asks, that Nature also grants;
Here man is lord, not drudge, of eyes and feet and hands,

And to his life is knit with hourly bands.
Come out, then, from the old thoughts and old ways,

Before you harden to a crystal cold

Which the new life can shatter, but not mould; Freedom for you still waits, still, looking backward, stays,

But widens still the irretrievable space.

Of all the myriad moods of mind

That through the soul come thronging,
Which one was e'er so dear, so kind,

So beautiful as Longing ?
The thing we long for, that we are

For one transcendent moment,
Before the Present poor and bare

Can make its sneering comment.
Still, through our paltry stir and strife,

Glows down the wished Ideal,
And Longing moulds in clay what Life

Carves in the marble Real;
To let the new life in, we know,

Desire must ope the portal ;-
Perhaps the longing to be so

Helps make the soul immortal.
Longing is God's fresh heavenward will

With our poor earthward striving;
We quench it that we may be still

Content with merely living;

But, would we learn that heart's full scope

Which we are hourly wronging,
Our lives must climb from hope to hope

And realize our longing.
Ah! let us hope that to our praise

Good God not only reckons
The moments when we tread His ways,

But when the spirit beckons,-
That some slight good is also wrought

Beyond self-satisfaction,
When we are simply good in thought,

Howe'er we fail in action.




As, flake by flake, the beetling avalanches

Build up their imminent crags of noiseless snow, Till some chance thrill the loosened ruin launches

And the blind havoc leaps unwarned below,
So grew and gathered through the silent years

The madness of a People, wrong by wrong.
There seemed no strength in the dumb toiler's tears-

No strength in suffering ;-but the Past was strong: The brute despair of trampled centuries

Leaped up with one hoarse yell and snapped its bands

Groped for its right with horny, callous hands, And stared around for God with bloodshot eyes.

What wonder if those palms were all too hard For nice distinctions—if that mænad throng

They whose thick atmosphere no bard
Had sħivered with the lightning of his song,

Brutes with the memories and desires of men,
Whose chronicles were writ with iron pen,
In the crooked shoulder and the forehead low-

Set wrong to balance wrong,
And physicked woe with woe ?

[ocr errors]

They did as they were taught; not theirs the blame,
If men who scattered firebrands reaped the flame:
They trampled Peace beneath their savage feet,

And by her golden tresses drew
Mercy along the pavement of the street.

0, Freedom ! Freedom ! is thy morning-dew

So gory red ? Alas, thy light had ne'er

Shone in upon the chaos of their lair! They reared to thee such symbol as they knew,

And worshipped it with flame and blood,

A Vengeance, axe in hand, that stood Holding a tyrant's head up by the clotted hair.


What wrongs the Oppressor suffered, these we know;

These have found piteous voice in song and prose ; But for the Oppressed, their darkness and their woe,

Their grinding centuries,—what Muse had those ? Though hall and palace had nor eyes nor ears,

Hardening a people's heart to senseless stone, Thou knowest them, O Earth, that drank their tears,

0 Heaven, that heard their inarticulate moan! They noted down their fetters, link by link; Coarse was the hand that scrawled, and red the ink;

Rude was their score, as suits unlettered men,Notched with a headsman's axe upon a block : What marvel if, when came the avenging shock,

'Twas Ate, not Urania, held the pen ?


With eye averted and an anguished frown,

Loathingly glides the Muse through scenes of strife, Where, like the heart of Vengeance up and down,

Throbs in its framework the blood-muffled knife ; Slow are the steps of Freedom, but her feet

Turn never backward : hers no bloody glare ; Her light is calm, and innocent, and sweet,

And where it enters there is no despair : Not first on palace and cathedral spire Quivers and gleams that unconsuming fire;

While these stand black against her morning skies, The peasant sees it leap from peak to peak

Along his hills; the craftsman's burning eyes Own with cool tears its influence mother-meek;

It lights the poet's heart up like a star ;

Ah! while the tyrant deemed it still afar,
And twined with golden threads his futile snare,
That swift, convicting glow all round him ran;
'Twas close beside

him there, Sunrise whose Memnon is the

of man.


O Broker-King, is this thy wisdom's fruit?

A dynasty plucked out as 'twere a weed


Grown rankly in a night, that leaves no seed! Could eighteen years strike down no deeper root ?

But now thy vulture eye was turned on Spain,
A shout from Paris, and thy crown falls off,

Thy race has ceased to reign,
And thou become a fugitive and scoff:

Slippery the feet that mount by stairs of gold,
And weakest of all fences one of steel;

Go and keep school again like him of old, The Syracusan tyrant;-thou mayest feel Royal amid a birch-swayed commonweal!

Not long can he be ruler who allows

His time to run before him; thou wast naught Soon as the strip of gold about thy brows

Was no more emblem of the People's thought: Vain were thy bayonets against the foe

Thou hadst to cope with ; thou didst wage War not with Frenchmen merely ;-no,

Thy strife was with the Spirit of the Age, The invisible Spirit whose first breath divino

Scattered thy frail endeavour, And, like poor last year's leaves, whirled thee and thine

Into the Dark forever!


Is here no triumph ? Nay, what though
The yellow blood of Trade meanwhile should pour

Along its arteries a shrunken flow,
And the idle canvas droop around the shore ?

These do not make a state,
Nor keep it great;

I think God made
The earth for man, not trade;
And where each humblest human creature
Can stand, no more suspicious or afraid,

Erect and kingly in his right of nature,
To heaven and earth knit with harmonious ties, –

Where I behold the exultation
Of manhood glowing in those eyes

That had been dark for ages,

Or only lit with bestial loves and ragesThere I behold a Nation :

The France which lies
Between the Pyrenees and Rhine

Is the least part of France;
I see her rather in the soul whose shine
Burns through the craftsman's grimy countenance,

In the new energy divine

Of Toil's enfranchised glance.


And if it be a dream,If the great Future be the little Past 'Neath a new mask, which drops and shows at last

The same weird, mocking face to balk and blast, Yet, Muse, a gladder measure suits the theme,

And the Tyrtæan harp

Loves notes more resolute and sharp, Throbbing, as throbs the bosom, hot and fast:

Such visions are of morning,

Theirs is no vague forewarning,
The dreams which nations dream come true,

And shape the world anew;

If this be a sleep,

Make it long, make it deep,
O Father, who sendest the harvests men reap!

While Labor so sleepeth

His sorrow is gone,
No longer he weepeth,
But smileth and steepeth

His thoughts in the dawn;
He heareth Hope yonder

Rain, lark-like, her fancies,
His dreaming hands wander

'Mid heart's-ease and pansies ;
''Tis a dream! 'Tis a vision !

Shrieks Mammon aghast;
• The day's broad derision

Will chase it at last;
Ye are mad, ye have taken
A slumbering kraken

For firm land of the Past!'
Ah! if he awaken,

God shield us all then,
If this dream rudely shaken

Shall cheat him again !


Since first I heard our North wind blow,
Since first I saw Atlantic throw
On our fierce rocks his thunderous snow,

I loved thee, Freedom; as a boy
The rattle of thy shield at Marathon

Did with a Grecian joy
Through all my pulses run

« ПретходнаНастави »