Слике страница

Never did rock or stream or tree lay claim with better right
To all the adorning sympathies of shadow and of light;
And, in that forest petrified, as forester there dwells
Stout Herman, the old sacristan, sole lord of all its bells.
Surge leaping after surge, the fire roared onward red as blood
Till half of Hamburg lay engulfed beneath the eddying flood;
For miles away, the fiery spray poured down its deadly rain,
And back and forth the billows sucked, and paused, and burst

From square to square with tiger leaps panted the lustful fire,
The air to leeward shuddered with the gasps of its desire ;
And church and palace, which even now stood whelmed but

to the knee, Lift their black roofs like breakers lone amid the whirling sea. Up in his tower old Herman sat and watched with quiet look; His soul had trusted God too long to be at last forsook ; He could not fear, for surely God a pathway would unfold Through this red sea for faithful hearts, as once He did of old. But scarcely can he cross himself, or on his good saint call, Before the sacrilegious flood o'erleaped the churchyard wall ; And, ere a pater half was said, 'mid smoke and crackling glare, His island tower scarce juts its head above the wide despair. Upon the peril's desperate peak his heart stood up sublime ; His first thought was for God above, his next was for his chime; 'Sing now and make your voices heard in hymns of praise,'

cried he, As did the Israelites of old, safe walking through the sea ! Through this red sea our God hath made the pathway safe

to shore; Our promised land stands full in sight; shout now as ne'er

before!' And as the tower came crushing down, the bells, in clearaccord, Pealed forth the grand old German hymn,—All good souls,

praise the Lord !


I saw a sower walking slow

Across the earth from east to west;
His hair was white as mountain snow,

His head drooped forward on his breast,

[ocr errors]

With shrivelled hands he flung his seed,

Nor ever turned to look behind; Of sight or sound he took no heed;

It seemed he was both deaf and blind. His dim face showed no soul beneath,

Yet in my heart I felt a stir, As if I looked upon the sheath

That once had clasped Excalibur. I heard, as still the seed he cast,

How, crooning to himself, he sung•I saw again the holy Past,

The happy days when I was young. · Then all was wheat without a tare,

Then all was righteous, fair, and true; And I am he whose thoughtful care

Shall plant the Old World in the New. • The fruitful


I scatter free,
With busy hand, while all men sleep;
In Europe now, from sea to sea,

The nations bless me as they reap.'
Then I looked back along his path,

And heard the clash of steel on steel, Where man faced man, in deadly wrath,

While clanged the tocsin's hurrying peal. The sky with burning towns flared red,

Nearer the noise of fighting rolled, And brothers' blood, by brothers shed,

Crept, curdling, over pavements cold. Then marked I how each germ of truth

Which through the dotard's fingers ran Was mated with a dragon's tooth,

Whence there sprang up an armed man. I shouted, but he could not hear;

Made signs, but these he could not see; And still, without a doubt or fear,

Broadcast he scattered anarchy. Long to my straining ears the blast

Brought faintly back the words he sung :'I sow again the holy Past,

The happy days when I was young.'

[ocr errors]

SISTERS two, all praise to you,
With your faces pinched and blue
To the poor man you've been true

From of old :
You can speak the keenest word,
You are sure of being heard,
From the point you're never stirred,

Hunger and cold !
Let sleek statesmen temporise;
Palsied are their shifts and lies
When they meet your bloodshot eyes,

Grim and bold;
Policy you set at nought,
In their traps you'll not be caught,
You're too honest to be bought,

Hunger and cold!
Bolt and bar the palace-door;
While the mass of men are poor,
Naked truth grows more and more

You had never yet, I guess,
Any praise for bashfulness,
You can visit sans court-dress,

Hunger and cold !
While the music fell and rose,
And the dance reeled to its close,
Where her round of costly woes

Fashion strolled,
I beheld with shuddering fear
Wolves' eyes through the windows peer;
Little dream they you are near,

Hunger and cold!
When the toiler's heart you clutch,
Conscience is not valued much,
He recks not a bloody smutch

On his gold:
Everything to you defers,
You are potent reasoners,
At your whisper Treason stirs,

Hunger and Cold!

Rude comparisons you draw,
Words refuse to sate your maw,
Your gaunt limbs the cobweb law

Cannot hold :
You're not clogged with foolish pride,
But can seize a right denied ;
Somehow God is on your side,

Hunger and Coid!
You respect no hoary wrong
More for having triumphed long;
Its past victims, haggard throng,

From the mould
You unbury: swords and spears
Weaker are than poor men's tears.
Weaker than your silent years,

Hunger and Cold!
Let them guard both hall and bower;
Through the window you will glower,
Patient till your reckoning hour

Shall be tolled :
Cheeks are pale, but hands are red,
Guiltless blood may chance be shed,
But ye must and will be fed,

Hunger and Cold !
God has plans man must not spoil,
Some were made to starve and toil,
Some to share the wine and oil,

We are told:
Devil's theories are these,
Stifling hope and love and peace,
Framed your hideous lusts to please,

Hunger and Cold !
Scatter ashes on thy head,
Tears of burning sorrow shed,
Earth! and be by pity led

To Love's fold;
Ere they block the very door
With lean corpses of the poor,
And will hush for nought but gore-

Hunger and Cold!


What boot your houses and your lands?

In spite of close-drawn deed and fence, Like water, 'twixt your cheated hands, They slip into the graveyard's sands

And mock your ownership’s pretence. How shall you speak to urge your right,

Choked with that soil for which you lust?
The bit of clay, for whose delight
You grasp, is mortgaged, too; Death might

Foreclose this very day in dust.
Fence as you please, this plain poor man,

Whose only fields are in his wit,
Who shapes the world, as best he can,
According to God's higher plan,

Owns you and fences as is fit.
Though yours the rents, his incomes wax

By right of eminent domain ;
From factory tall to woodman's axe,
All things on earth must pay their tax,

To feed his hungry heart and brain.
He takes you from your easy chair,

And what he plans, that you must do;
You sleep in down, eat dainty fare-
He mounts his crazy garret-stair

And starves, the landlord over you.
Feeding the clods your idlesse drains,

You make more green six feet
His fruitful word, like suns and rains,
Partakes the seasons' bounteous pains,

And toils to lighten human toil.
Your lands, with force or cunning got,

Shrink to the measure of the grave;
But Death himself abridges not
The tenures of almighty thought,

The titles of the wise and brave.


« ПретходнаНастави »