Слике страница
[graphic][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

This way and that he lets him fly,

A sunbeam-shuttle, then to die

Thy high-heaped canvas yearning!


Lands him, with cool aplomb, at Thou first reveal'st to us thy face


The friend who gave our board such gust, Life's care may he o'erstep it half, And, when Death hooks him, as he must, He'll do it handsomely, I trust,

And John H-write his epitaph!

O, born beneath the Fishes' sign,

Of constellations happiest, May he somewhere with Walton dine, May Horace send him Massic wine,

And Burns Scotch drink, the nappiest!

And when they come his deeds to weigh,
And how he used the talents his,
One trout-scale in the scales he'll lay
(If trout had scales), and 't will outsway
The wrong side of the balances.


SPIRIT, that rarely comest now
And only to contrast my gloom,
Like rainbow-feathered birds that


A moment on some autumn bough
That, with the spurn of their farewell,
Sheds its last leaves, thou once didst

With me year-long, and make intense
To boyhood's wisely vacant days
Their fleet but all-sufficing grace

Of trustful inexperience,

While soul could still transfigure sense, And thrill, as with love's first caress, At life's mere unexpectedness.

Days when my blood would leap and


As full of sunshine as a breeze,

Or spray tossed up by Summer seas That doubts if it be sea or sun! Days that flew swiftly like the band

That played in Grecian games at strife, And passed from eager hand to hand

The onward-dancing torch of life! Wing-footed! thou abid'st with him Who asks it not; but he who hath Watched o'er the waves thy waning path,

Shall nevermore behold returning

Turned o'er the shoulder's parting grace, A moment glimpsed, then seen



Thou whose swift footsteps we can trace Away from every mortal door.

Nymph of the unreturning feet,

How may I win thee back? But no, I do thee wrong to call thee so; 'Tis I am changed, not thou art fleet : The man thy presence feels again, Not in the blood, but in the brain, Spirit, that lov'st the upper air Serene and passionless and rare,

Such as on mountain heights we find
And wide-viewed uplands of the

Or such as scorns to coil and sing
Round any but the eagle's wing

Of souls that with long upward beat Have won an undisturbed retreat Where, poised like winged victories, They mirror in relentless eyes

The life broad-basking 'neath their feet,

Man ever with his Now at strife,

Pained with first gasps of earthly air, Then praying Death the last to spare, Still fearful of the ampler life.

Not unto them dost thou consent
Who, passionless, can lead at ease
A life of unalloyed content

A life like that of land-locked seas,
Who feel no elemental gush
Of tidal forces, no fierce rush

Of storm deep-grasping scarcely spent
"Twixt continent and continent.
Such quiet souls have never known
Thy truer inspiration, thou

Who lov'st to feel upon thy brow Spray from the plunging vessel thrown Grazing the tusked lee shore, the cliff That o'er the abrupt gorge holds its breath,

Where the frail hair-breadth of an if Is all that sunders life and death: These, too, are cared-for, and round these Bends her mild crook thy sister Peace; These in unvexed dependence lie,

Each 'neath his strip of household sky; O'er these clouds wander, and the blue Hangs motionless the whole day through;

Stars rise for them, and moons grow | There's One hath swifter feet than


And lessen in such tranquil wise
As joys and sorrows do that rise

Within their nature's sheltered marge; Their hours into each other flit

Like the leaf-shadows of the vine And fig-tree under which they sit, And their still lives to heaven incline With an unconscious habitude,

Unhistoried as smokes that rise From happy hearths and sight elude In kindred blue of morning skies.

Wayward! when once we feel thy lack, 'T is worse than vain to woo thee back!

Yet there is one who seems to be Thine elder sister, in whose eyes A faint far northern light will rise Sometimes, and bring a dream of thee; She is not that for which youth hoped, But she hath blessings all her own, Thoughts pure as lilies newly oped,

And faith to sorrow given alone:
Almost I deem that it is thou
Come back with graver matron brow,
With deepened eyes and bated breath,
Like one that somewhere hath met

But "No," she answers, "I am she
Whom the gods love, Tranquillity:

That other whom you seek forlorn
Half earthly was; but I am born
Of the immortals, and our race
Wears still some sadness on its face:

He wins me late, but keeps me long, Who, dowered with every gift of passion, In that fierce flame can forge and fashion

Of sin and self the anchor strong; Can thence compel the driving force Of daily life's mechanic course, Nor less the nobler energies Of needful toil and culture wise; Whose soul is worth the tempter's lure Who can renounce, and yet endure, To him I come, not lightly wooed, But won by silent fortitude."



WAIT a little do we not wait? Louis Napoleon is not Fate, Francis Joseph is not Time;


[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

System for all, and rights for none, “The earth,” they murmur, “is the Despots atop, a wild clan below,

tomb Such is the Gaul fron, long ago ;

That vainly sought his life to prison;
Wash the black from the Ethiop's face, Why grovel longer in the gloom?
Wash the past out of man or race ! He is not here; he hatli arisen."

Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !
Lachesis, twist! nd, Atropos, sever! More life for me where he hath lain
In the shadow, year out, year in, Hidden while ye believed him dead,
The silent headsman waits forever. Than in cathedrals cold and vain,

Built on loose sands of It is said. 'Neath Gregory's throne a spider swings, My search is for the living gold ; And snares the people for the kings ;

Him I desire who dwells recluse,
“ Luther is dead ; old quarrels puss;
The stake's black scars are healed with And not his image worn and old,

Day-servant of our sordid use,
grass" ;
So dreamers prate ; did man ere live
Saw priest or woman yet forgive ?

If him I find not, yet I find
But Luther's broom is left, and eyes

The ancient joy of cell and church, Peep o'er their creeds to where it lies.

The glimpse, the surety undefined, Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !

The unquenched ardor of the search. Lachesis, twist! and, Atropos, sever! In the shadow, year out, year in,

Happier to chase a flying goal The silent headsman waits forever.

Than to sit counting laurelled gains,
To gness the Soul within the soul

Than to be lord of what remains.
Smooth sails the ship of either realın,
Kaiser and Jesuit at the helm;

Hide still, best Good, in subtile wise, We look down the depths, and mark Beyond my nature's utmost scope; Silent workers in the dark

Be ever absent from mine eyes
Building slow the sharp-tusked reefs, To be twice present in my hope !
Old instincts hardening to new beliefs ;
Patience a little ; learn to wait;
Hours are long on the clock of Fate.
Spin, spin, Clotho, spin !

Lachesis, twist ! and, Atropos, sever !
Darkness is strong, and so is Sin,

HOW A STUDENT IN SEARCH OF THE But only God endures forever!



NEN, AND WHAT CAME THEREOF. Down mid the tangled roots of things

I SWAM with undulation soft,

Adrift on Vischer's ocean, That coil abont the central fire, seek for that which giveth wings

And, from my cock boat up aloft,

Sent down my mental plummet oft To stoop, not soar, to my desire.

In hope to reach a notion.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« ПретходнаНастави »