Слике страница
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Erelong by lake and rivulet side
The summer roses paled and died,

And Autumn's fingers shed
The maple's leaves of red.

Through the long gold-hazed afternoon,
Alone, but for the diving loon,

The partridge in the brake,
The black duck on the lake,

Beneath the shadow of the ash
Sat man and maid by Attitash;

And earth and air made room
Fo: human hearts to bloom.

Soft spread the carpets of the sod,
And scarlet-oak and golden-rod

With blushes and with smiles

Lit up the forest aisles.
The mellow light the lake aslant,
The pebbled margin's ripple-chant,

Attempered and low-toned,
The tender mystery owned.

And through the dream the lovers dreamed
Sweet sounds stole in and soft lights areamed;

The sunshine seemed to bless,
The air was a caress.

Not she who lightly laughed is there,
With scornful toss of midnight hair,

Her dark, disdainful eyes,
And proud lip worldly-wise.

Her haughty vow is still unsaid,
But all she dreamed and coveted

Wears, half to her surprise,
The youthful farmer's guise !

With more than all her old-time pride
She walks the rye-field at his side,

Careless of cot or hall,
Since love transfigures all.

Rich beyond dreams, the vantage-ground
Of life is gained; her hands have found

The talisman of old
That changes all to gold.

While she who could for love dispense
With all its glittering accidents,

And trust her heart alone,
Finds love and gold her own.

What wealth can buy or art can build
Awaits her; but her cup is filled

Even now unto the brim;
Her world is love and him !

Of the remaining poems in this volume, we instance, as expressive of a devotion the most self-abasing and the most deity-reposing, uttered in language of the purest pretic grace and melody,

THE ETERNAL GOODNESS.

O FRIENDS! with whom my feet have trod

The quiet aisles of prayer,
Glad witness to your zeal for God

And love of man I bear.

I trace your lines of argument;

Your logic linked and strong
I weigh as one who dreads dissent,

And fears a doubt as wrong.

But still my human hands are weak

To hold your iron creeds ;
Against the words ye bid me speak

My heart within me pleads.

Who fathoms the Eternal Thought?

Who talks of scheme and plan?
The Lord is God! He needeth not

The poor device of man.

I walk with bare, hushed feet the ground

Ye tread with boldness shod;
I dare not fix with mete and bound

The love and power of God.

Ye praise His justice; even such

His pitying love I deem:
Ye seek a king; I fain would touch

The robe that hath no seam.

Ye see the curse which overbroods

A world of pain and loss; I hear our Lord's beatitudes

And prayer upon the cross.
More than your schoolmen teach, within

Myself, alas! I know;
Too dark ye cannot paint the sin,

Too small the merit show.

I bow my forehead to the dust,

I veil mine eyes for shame,
And urge, in trembling self-distrust,

A prayer without a claim.
I see the wrong that round me lies,

I feel the guilt within;
I hear, with groan and travail-cries,

The world confess its sin.

Yet, in the maddening maze of things,

And tossed by storm and flood,
To one fixed stake my spirit clings:

I know that God is good!

Not mine to look where cherubim

And seraphs may not see;
But nothing can be good in Him

Which evil is in me.

The wrong that pains my soul below

I dare not throne above:
I know not of His hate,-I know

His goodness and His love.

I dimly guess from blessings known

Of greater out of sight,
And, with the chastened Psalmist, own

His judgments too are right.

I long for household voices gone,

For vanished smiles I long,
But God hath led my dear ones on,

And He can do no wrong.

I know not what the future hath

Of marvel or surprise,
Assured alone that life and death

His mercy underlies.

And if my heart and Aesh are weak

To bear an untried pain,
The bruised reed He will not break,

But strengthen and sustain.

No offering of my own I have,

Nor works my faith to prove;
I can but give the gifts He gave,

And plead His love for love.

And so beside the Silent Sea

I wait the muffled oar;
No harm from Him can come to me

On ocean or on shore.

I know not where His islands lift

Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift

Beyond His love and care.

O brothers ! if my faith is vain,

If hopes like these betray,
Pray for me that my feet may gain

The sure and safer way.

And Thou, O Lord! by whom are seen

Thy creatures as they be,
Forgive mo if too close I lean

My human heart on Thee!

The next of Whittier's works was Among the Hills, and Other Poems. In the poem giving name to this work, a

« ПретходнаНастави »