« ПретходнаНастави »
“While all around has felt decay,
We rose in ever-living prime,
Beneath the crumbling step of Time.
“When often by our feet has past
Some biped, Nature's walking whim, Say, have we trimmed one awkward shape,
Or lopped away one crooked limb ?
on, fair Science; soon to thee Shall Nature yield her idle boast; Her vulgar fingers formed a tree,
But thou hast trained it to a post.
“Go paint the birch's silver rind,
And quilt the peach with softer down; Up with the willow's trailing threads,
Off with the sunflower's radiant crown!
'Go plant the lily on the shore,
And set the rose among the waves, And bid the tropic bud unbind
Its silken zone in arctic caves ;
“Bring bellows for the panting winds,
Hang up a lantern by the moon, And give the nightingale a fife,
And lend the eagle a balloon! “I cannot smile,-the tide of scorn,
That rolled through every bleeding vein, Comes kindling fiercer as it flows
Back to its burning source again.
"Again in every quivering leaf
That moment's agony I feel, When limbs, that spurned the northern blast,
Shrunk from the sacrilegious steel.
“A curse upon the wretch who dared
To crop us with his felon saw! May every fruit his lip shall taste
Lie like a bullet in his maw.
“In every julep that he drinks,
May gout, and bile, and headache be;
May colic mingle with his tea.
· May nightsnade cluster round his path,
And thistles shoot, and brambles cling;
And dogwood burn, and nettles sting.
“On him may never shadow fall,
When fever racks his throbbing brow,
To hang him on my highest bough!”
She spoke;—the morning's herald beam
Sprang from the bosom of the sea,
In sadness to her wounded tree.
Concerning these verses the author adds: “A little poem, on a similar occasion, may be found in the works of Swift, from which, perhaps, the idea was borrowed; althoug! I was as much surprised as amused to meet with it some time after writing the preceding lines.” /Holmes next turned his mind, as yet not sure of its pref: erence, to medicine, and in the prosecution of this study visited Paris in 1833. Three years later he returned to his home and took his medical degree. The same year he delivered before the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Society
POETRY: A METRICAL ESSAY.
. . THERE breathes no being but has some pretence
The freeman, casting with unpurchased hand
If glorious visions, born for all mankind,
Home of our childhood! how affection clings And hovers round thee with her seraph wings ! Dearer thy hills, though clad in autumn brown, Than fairest summits which the cedars crown! Sweeter the fragrance of thy summer breeze Than all Arabia breathes along the seas ! The stranger's gale wafts home the exile's sigh, For the heart's temple is its own blue sky!
O happiest they, whose early love unchanged, Hopes undissolved, and friendship unrestrained, Tired of her wanderings, still can deign to see Love, hopes, and friendship, centering all in theol
And thou, my village! as again I tread Amidst thy living, and above thy dead; Though some fair playmates guard with chaster fears Their cheeks, grown holy with the lapse of years; Though with the dust some reverend locks may blend Where life's last mile-stone marks the journey's end ; On every bud the changing year recalls, The brightening glance of morning memory falls, Still following onward as the months unclose The balmy lilac or the bridal rose; And still shall follow, till they sink once more Beneath the snow-drifts of the frozen shore, As when my bark, long tossing in the gale, Furled in her port her tempest-rended sail !
What shall I give thee? Can a simple lay, Flung on thy bosom like a girl's bouquet, Do more than deck thee for an idle hour, Then fall unheeded, fading like the flower? Yet, when I trod, with footsteps wild and free, The crackling leaves beneath yon linden-tree, Panting from play, or dripping from the stream, How bright the visions of my boyish dream! Or, modest Charles, along thy broken edge, Black with soft ooze and fringed with arrowy sedge, As once I wandered in the morning sun, With reeking sandal and superfluous gun; How oft, as Fancy whispered in the gale, Thou wast the Avon of her flattering tale! Ye hills, whose foliage, fretted on the skies, Prints shadowy arches on their evening dyes, How should my song with holiest charm invest Each dark ravine and forest-lifting crest! How clothe in beauty each familiar scene, Till all was classic on my native green!
As the drained fountain, filled with autumn leaves, The field swept naked of its garnered sheaves ;
So wastes at noon the promise of our dawn,
Yet hear the lay of one whose natal star
This poem, of which the above is a mere fragment, together with The Cambridge Churchyard, The Last Leaf, My Aunt, and Old Ironsides, constituted a part of his first volume. The last-named poem, now accepted as a national lyric, is accredited with having preserved from demolition the old frigate “Constitution," so famed in the war of 1812 for her victories over the “Guerriere" and "Java":
Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
That banner in the sky;
And burst the cannon's roar;--
Shall sweep the clouds no more!
Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
And waves were white below,
Or know the conquered knee;-
The eagles of the sea !
( better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
And there should be her grave;