Слике страница

His slender sail
Ne'er felt the gale ;
He did but float a little way,
And, putting to the shore
While yet 'twas early day,
Went calmly on his way,
To dwell with us no more!
No jarring did he feel,
No grating on his ressel's keel;
A strip of silver sand
Mingled the waters with the land
Where he was seen no more :
O stern word-Nevermore !

Full short his journey was; no dust
Of earth unto his sandals clave;
The weary weight that old men must,
He bore not to the grave.
He seemed a cherub who had lost his way
And wandered hither, so his stay
With us was short, and 'twas most meet
That he should be no delver in earth's clod,
Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet
To stand before his God:
O blest word-Evermore!


THE sea is lonely, the sea is dreary,
The sea is restless and uneasy;
Thou seekest quiet, thou art weary,
Wandering thou knowest not whither ;-
Our little isle is green and breezy,
Come and rest thee! O come hither ;
Come to this peaceful home of ours,

Where evermore
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 hollow,

• To the shore
Follow! O, follow !
To be at rest for evermore !

For evermore!'


[ocr errors]


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 under-tone,
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 harbour peacefully,
Here mayst thou rest from the aching oar;

Turn thy curvéd prow ashore,
And in our green isle rest for evermore !

For evermore!'
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,


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,

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

Upturnéd 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 lilee 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 drearfully.
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! O, 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! O, listen!
Here ever hum the golden bees
Underneath full-blossomed trees,
At once with glowing fruit and flowers crowned ;-
The sand is so smooth, 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 for evermore,

For evermore.

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!'


Hers is a spirit deep, and crystal-clear;
Calmly beneath her earnest face it lies,
Free without boldness, meek without a fear,
Quicker to look than speak its sympathies ;
Far down into her large and patient eyes
I gaze, deep-drinking of the infinite,
As, in the mid-watch of a clear, still night,
I look into the fathomless blue skies.

So circled lives she with Love's holy light,
That from the shade of self she walketh free;

garden of her soul still keepeth she
An Eden where the snake did never enter;
She hath a natural, wise sincerity,
A simple truthfulness, and these have lent her
A dignity as moveless as the centre;
So that no influence of earth can stir
Her steadfast courage, nor can take away
The holy peacefulness, which, night and day
Unto her queenly soul doth minister.

Most gentle is she; her large charity
(An all unwitting, childlike gift in her)
Not freer is to give than meek to bear;
And, though herself not unacquaint with care,
Hath in her heart wide room for all that be,
Her heart that hath no secrets of its own,
But open is as eglantine full blown.
Cloudless for ever is her brow serene,
Speaking calm hope and trust within her, whence
Welleth a noiseless spring of patience,
That keepeth all her life so fresh, so green
And full of holiness, that every look,
The greatness of her woman's soul revealing,
Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feeling
As when I read in God's own holy book.

A graciousness in giving that doth make
The small'st gift greatest, and a sense most meek
Of worthiness, that doth not fear to take
From others, but which always fears to speak
Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's sake;-

[ocr errors]

The deep religion of a thankful heart,
Which rests instinctively in Heaven's law
With a full peace, that never can depart
From its own steadfastness ;-a holy awe
For holy things,—not those which men call holy,
But such as are revealed to the eyes
Of a true woman's soul bent down and lowly
Before the face of daily mysteries ;-
A love that blossoms soon, but ripens slowly
To the full goldenness of fruitful prime,
Enduring with a firmness that defies
All shallow tricks of circumstance and time,
By a sure insight knowing where to cling,
And where it clingeth never withering ;--
These are Irene's dowry, which no fate
Can shake from their serene, deep-builded state.

In-seeing sympathy is hers, which chasteneth
No less than loveth, scorning to be bound
With fear of blame, and yet which ever hasteneth
To pour the balm of kind looks on the wound,
If they be wounds which such sweet teaching makes,
Giving itself a pang for others' sakes;
No want of faith, that chills with sidelong eye,
Hath she; no jealousy, no Levite pride
That passeth by upon the other side ;
For in her soul there never dwelt a lie.
Right from the hand of God her spirit came
Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten whence
It came, nor wandered far from thence,
But laboureth to keep her still the same,
Near to her place of birth, that she may not
Soil her white raiment with an earthly spot.

Yet sets she not her soul so steadily
Above, that she forgets her ties to earth,
But her whole thought would almost seem to be
How to make glad one lowly human hearth;
For with a gentle courage she doth strive
In thought and word and feeling so to live
As to make earth next heaven; and her heart
Herein doth show its most exceeding worth,
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,
And all its sins and sorrows hath withstood
With lofty strength of patient womanhood:


[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »