Слике страница
PDF
ePub

That all paths to the Father lead
Where Self the feet have spurned.

And, as the mystic aisles I pace,

By aureoled workmen built, Lives ending at the Cross I trace Alike through grace and guilt; One Mary bathes the blessed feet With ointment from her eyes, With spikenard one, and both are sweet, For both are sacrifice.

Moravian hymn and Roman chant

In one devotion blend,
To speak the soul's eternal want

Of Him, the inmost friend;
One prayer soars cleansed with martyr

fire,

One choked with sinner's tears, In heaven both meet in one desire, And God one music hears.

Whilst thus I dream, the bells clash out Upon the Sabbath air,

Each seems a hostile faith to shout,

A selfish form of prayer;
My dream is shattered, yet who knows
But in that heaven so near
These discords find harmonious close
In God's atoning ear?

O chime of sweet Saint Charity,
Peal soon that Easter morn
When Christ for all shall risen be,
And in all hearts new-born!
That Pentecost when utterance clear
To all men shall be given,
When all shall say My Brother here,
And hear My Son in heaven!

THE PARTING OF THE WAYS.

WHO hath not been a poet? Who hath not,

With life's new quiver full of winged years,

Shot at a venture, and then, following

on,

Stood doubtful at the Parting of the Ways?

There once I stood in dream, and as I paused,

Looking this way and that, came forth

to me

The figure of a woman veiled, that said, "My name is Duty, turn and follow me";

Something there was that chilled me in her voice;

I felt Youth's hand grow slack and cold in mine,

As if to be withdrawn, and I replied : "O, leave the hot wild heart within my breast!

Duty comes soon enough, too soon comes Death;

This slippery globe of life whirls of itself, Hasting our youth away into the dark; These senses, quivering with electric heats,

Too soon will show, like nests on wintry boughs

Obtrusive emptiness, too palpable wreck, Which whistling north-winds line with downy snow

Sometimes, or fringe with foliaged rime, Thither the singing birds no more rein vain,

turn."

Then glowed to me a maiden from the left,

With bosom half disclosed, and naked

arms

More white and undulant than necks of

swans;

And all before her steps an influence ran Warn as the whispering South that opens buds

And swells the laggard sails of Northern May.

"I am called Pleasure, come with me!" she said,

Then laughed, and shook out sunshine from her hair,

Not only that, but, so it seemed, shook

out

All memory too, and all the moonlit past,

Old loves, old aspirations, and old dreams,

More beautiful for being old and gone.

So we two went together; downward sloped

The path through yellow meads, or so I dreamed,

Yellow with sunshine and young green, but I

Saw naught nor heard, shut up in one close joy;

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

And palters with a feigned necessity,
Bargaining with itself to be content;
Let me behold thy face."

The Form replied: "Men follow Duty, never overtake; Duty nor lifts her veil nor looks behind.” But, as she spake, a loosened lock of hair

Slipped from beneath her hood, and I, who looked

To see it gray and thin, saw amplest gold;

Not that dull metal dug from sordid earth,

But such as the retiring sunset flood Leaves heaped on bays and capes of island cloud.

"O Guide divine," I prayed, "although not yet

I may repair the virtue which I feel Gone out at touch of untuned things and foul

With draughts of Beauty, yet declare how soon!"

"Faithless and faint of heart," the voice returned,

"Thou see'st no beauty save thou make it first;

Man, Woman, Nature, each is but a glass

Where the soul sees the image of herself,

Visible echoes, offsprings of herself.

elled up;

her eyes,

But, since thou need'st assurance of how | Since last, dear friend, I clasped your soon,

hand, Wait till that angel comes who opens And stood upon the impoverished land, all,

Watching the steamer down the bay. The reconciler, he who lifts the veil, The reuniter, the rest-bringer, Death.”

I held the token which you gave,

While slowly the smoke-pennon curled I waited, and methought he came; but O'er the vague rim 'tween sky and wave, how,

and shut the distance like a grave, Or in what shape, I doubted, for no Leaving me in the colder world.

sign, By touch or mark, he gave me as he The old worn world of hurry and heat, passed :

The young, fresh world of thought and Only I knew a lily that I held

scope, Snapt short below the head and shriv. While you, where beckoning billows

fleet Then turned my Guide and looked at Climb far sky-beaches still and sweet, me unveiled,

Sank wavering down the ocean-slope. And I beheld no face of matron stern, But that enchantment I had followed You sought the new world in the old,

I found the old work in the new, erst, Only more fair, more clear to eye and All that our human hearts can hold, brain,

The inward world of deathless mould, Heightened and chastened by a house. The same that Father Adam knew.

hold charın ; She smiled, and “ Which is fairer," said | He needs no ship to cross the tide,

Who, in the lives about him, sees "The hag's unreal Florimel or mine?” Fair window-prospects opening wide

O'er history's fields on every side,

To Ind and Egypt, Rome and Greece. ALADDIN.

Whatever moulds of varions brain When I was a beggarly boy,

E'er shaped the world to weal or woe, And lived in a cellar damp,

Whatever empires' wax and wane, I had not a friend nor a toy,

To him that hath not eyes in vain,
But I had Aladdin's lamp;

Our village-microcosm can show.
When I could not sleep for cold,
I had fire enough in my brain,

Come back our ancient walks to tread, And builded, with roofs of gold, Dear haunts of lost or scattered friends, My beautiful castles in Spain ! Old Harvard's scholar-factories red,

Where song and smoke and laughter Since then I have toiled day and night,

sped I have money and power good store,

The nights to proctor-haunted ends. But I'd give all my lamps of silver bright,

Constant are all our former loves, For the one that is mine no more ; Unchanged the icehouse-giruled pond, Take, Fortune, whatever you choose,

Its hemlock glooms, its shadowy coves, You gave, and may snatch again ; Where floats the coot and never moves, I have nothing 't would pain me to lose, Its slopes of long-tamed green beyond. For I own no more castles in Spain !

Our old familiars are not laid,

Though snapt our wands and sunk our AN INVITATION.

books;

They beckon, not to be gainsaid, Nine years have slipt like hour-glass Where, round broad meads that mowers sand

wade, From life's still-emptying globe away, The Charles his steel-blue sickle crooks.

more

Where, as the cloudbergs eastward blow, | Against the beach's yellow zone,
From glow to gloom the hillsides shift Curl slow, and plunge forever in.
Their plumps of orchard-trees arow,
Their lakes of rye that wave and flow,

And, as we watch those canvas towers Their snowy whiteweed's summer drift. That lean along the horizon's rim,

“Sail on," I'll say ; “may sunniest There have we watched the West unfurl

hours A cloud Byzantium newly born,

Convoy you from this land of ours, With flickering spires and comes of Since from my side you bear not him!”

pearl, And vapory surfs that crowd and curl For years thrice three, wise Horace said, Into the sunset's Golden Horn.

A poem rare let silence bind ;

And love may ripen in the shade, There, as the flaming occident

Like ours, for nine long seasons laid Burned slowly down to ashes gray,

In deepest arches of the inind. Night pitched o'erhead her silent tent,

Come back! Not ours the Old World's And glimmering gold from Hespersprent Upon the darkened river lay,

good, The Old World's ill, thank God, not

ours ; Where a twin sky but just before Derpened, and doubleswallowsskimmed,

But here, far better understood, And, from a visionary shore,

The days enforce our native mood, Hung visioned trees, that more and And challenge all our manlier powers. Grew dusk as those above were dimmed. That first my tottering footsteps trod ;

Kindlier to me the place of birth

There may be fairer spots of earth, Then eastward saw we slowly grow But all their glories are not worth Clear-edged the lines of roof and spire, The virtue of the native sod. While great elm-masses blacken slow, And linden-ricks their round heads Thence climbs an influence more benign show

Through pulse and nerve, through heart Against a flush of widening fire.

and brain;

Sacred to me those fibres fine Doubtful at first and far away,

That first clasped earth. O, ne'er be The moon-flood creeps more wide and mine wiile ;

The alien sun and alien rain! Up a ridged beach of cloudy gray, Curved round the east as round a bay, These nourish not like homelier glows It slips and spreads its gradual tide. Or waterings of familiar skies,

And nature fairer bloonis bestow's Then suddenly, in lurid mood,

On the heaped hush of wintry snows, The moon looins large o'er town and in pastures dear to childhood's eyes

field As upon Adam, red like blood,

Than where Italian earth receives "Tween him and Eden's happy wood,

The partial sunshine's ampler boons, Glared the commissioned angel's shield. Where vines carve friezes 'neath the

eaves, Or let us seek the seaside, there

And, in dark firmaments of leaves,
To wander idly as we list,

The orange lifts its golden moons.
Whether, on rocky headlands bare,
Sharp cedar-horns, like breakers, tear
The trailing fringes of gray mist,

THE NOMADES.
Or whether, under skies full flown, What Nature makes in any mood
The brightening surfs, with foamy din, To me is warranted for good,
Their breeze-caught forelocks backward Though long before I learned to see
blown,

She did not set us moral theses,

And scorned to have her sweet caprices The beach-bird on its pearly verge
Strait-waistcoated in you or me.

Follows and Hies the whispering surge,

While, in his tent, the rock-stayed shell I, who take root and firmly cling, Awaits the flood's star-timed vibrations, Thought tixedness the only thing; And both, the flutter and the patience, Why Nature made the butterflies, The sauntering poet loves them well. (Those dreams of wings that float and hover

Fulfil so much of God's decree At noon the slumberous poppies over,)

As works its problemi out in thee, Was something hidden from mine eyes, Nor dream that in thy breast alone

The conscience of the changeful seasons,

The Will that in the planets reasons Till once, upon a rock's brown bosom,

With space-wide logic, has its throne. Bright as a thorny cactus-blossom, I saw a butterfly at rest;

Thy virtue makes not vice of mine, Then first of both I felt the beauty; Unlike, but none the less divine; The airy whim, the grim-set duty, Thy toil adorns, not chides, my play; Each from the other took its best. Nature of sameness is so chary,

With such wild whim the freakish fairy
C'learer it grew than winter sky Picks presents for the christening-day.
That Nature still had reasons why;
And, shifting sudden as a breeze,
My faney found no satisfaction,

SELF-STUDY.
No antithetic sweet attraction,
So great as in the Nomades.

A PRESENCE both by night and day,

That made my life seem just begun, Scythians, with Nature not at strife,

Yet scarce a presence, rather say Light Arabs of our complex life,

The warning aureole of one. They build no houses, plant no mills

And yet I felt it everywhere ; To utilize Time's sliding river,

Walked I the woodland's aisles along, Content that it flow waste forever,

It seemed to brush me with its hair; If they, like it, may have their wills.

Bathed I, I heard a mermaid's song. An hour they pitch their shifting tents How sweet it was! A buttercup In thoughts, in feelings, and events; Could hold for me a day's delight, Beneath the palın-trees, on the grass, A bird could lift my fancy up They sing, they dance, make love, and to ether free from cloud or blight.

chatter, Vex the grim temples with their clatter, Who was the nymph? Nay, I will see, And make Truth's fount their looking Methought, and I will know her near; glass.

If such, divined, her charm can be,

Seen and possessed, how triply dear! A picnic life; from love to love, From faith to faith they lightly move,

So every magic art I tried, And yet, hard-eyed philosopher,

And spells as numberless as sand, The thightiest maid that ever hovered

Until, one evening, by my side To me your thought-webs fine discoy

I saw her glowing fulness stand. ered,

I turned to clasp her, but “ Farewell," No lens to see them through like her.

Parting she sighed, “ we meet no more;

Not by my hand the curtain fell So witchingly her finger-tips

That leaves you conscious, wise, and To Wisdom, as away she trips,

poor. She kisses, waves such swpet farewells To Duty, as she laughs To-morrow!" “Since you have found me out, I go; That both from that mad contrast bor- Another lover I must find,

Content his happiness to know, A perfectness found nowhere else. Nor strive its secret to unwind.”

66

row

« ПретходнаНастави »