Слике страница

MAN'S MORTALITY. The original of the following beautiful poem is found in an Irish MS. in Trinity College, Dublin. There is reason to think that the poem was written by one of those primitive Christian bards in the reign of King Diarmid, about the year 554, und was sung or chanted at the last grand national asse’ably of kings, chieftains, und bards, ever held in the famous Halls of Tara. The translation is by the learned Dr. O'Donnovan.

Like as the damask rose you seo,
Or like a blossom on a tree,
Or like the dainty flower in May,
Or like the morning to the day,
Or like the sun, or like the shade,
Or like the gourd which Jonas had;
Even such is man, whose thread is spun,
Drawn out and out, and so is done.

The rose withers, the blossom blasteth,
The flower fades, the morning hasteth,
The sun sets, the shadow flies,

The gourd consumes, the man-he dies.
Like to the grass that's newly sprung,
Or like a tale that's new begun,
Or like the bird that's here to-day,
Or like the pearly dew in May,
Or like an hour, or like a span,
Or like the singing of a swan;
Even such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.

The grass withers, the tale is ended,
The bird is flown, the dew's ascended,
The hour is short, the span not long,

The swan's near death, man's life is dona
Like to the bubble in the brook,
Or in a glass much like a look,
Or like the shuttle in weaver's hand,
Or like the writing on the sand,
Or like a thought, or like a dream,
Or like the gliding of the stream;
Even such is man, who lives by breath,
Is here, now there, in life and death.

The bubble's out, the look forgot,
The shuttle 's flung, the writing's bloto
The thought is past, the dreaın is gone

The water's glide, man's life is done.
Like to an arrow from the bow,
Or like swift course of water flow,
Or like that time 'twixt food and eb,
Or like the spider's tender web,

Or like a race, or like a goal,
Or like the dealing of a dole;
Even such is man, whose brittle state
Is always subject into fate.

The arrow shot, the flood soon spent,
The time no time, the web soon rent,
The race soon run, the goal soon won,

The dole soon dealt, man's life soon done.
Like to the lightning from the sky,
Or like a post that quick doth hie,
Or like a quaver in a song,
Or like a journey three days long,
Or like snow when summer's come,
Or like the pear, or like the plum;
Even such is man, who heaps up sorrow,
Lives but this day, and dies to-morrow.

The lightning's past, the post must go,
The song is short, the journey so,
The pear doth rot, the plum doth fall,
The snow dissolves, and so must all.


Great Garibaldi, through the streets one day,

Passing triumphant, while admiring throngs,

With acclamations and exultant songs,
For the uncrowned kingly man made way-
Met one poor knave 'neath burden bowed,
Indifferent to the hero and the crowd.
His zealous followers would have driven aside

The sorry creature, but that good man said,

Stretching a kind hand o'er the suffering head, “Respect the burden.” Then, majestic-eyed, He paused, and passed on, no one saying him nay; The heavy laden also went his way. Thou happy soul, who travelest like a king

Along the rose-strewn pathway of thy lot,

Respect the burden. Thou may'st see it or not, For one heart is to another a sealed thing, Laughter there is that hideth sobs or moans; Firm footsteps can leave blood prints on the stones Respect the burden, whatsoe'er it be;

Whether loud outcries vex the startled air,

Or in dumb agony of loss, despair Lifts her still face, so like tranquillity

Though each strained heartstring quivers, never shrinks, “Let this cup pass from me!" then stoops and drinks. Oh, heavy burden! Why 'tis borne and how

None know save those who bear; and Him whose hand

Has laid it on the shoulder and said, “Stand
Stand upright! Take this chrism upon thy brow,
My own anointed! Sore thy load may be;
But know-beneath it thou art carrying Me.”


It was long before the cable stretched across the ocean, when the steamers did not make such rapid runs from continent to continent, that the ship Atlantic was missing. She had been due in New York for some days, and the people began to despair. “The Atlantic has not been heard from yet!” “What news from the Atlantic on Exchange?”.

“None.” Telegraph dispatches came in from all quarters. "Any news from the Atlantic ?And the word thrilled along the wires to the hearts of those who had no friends on board. “No."

Day after day passed, and people began to be excited when the booming of the guns told that a ship was coming up the Narrows. People went out upon the Battery and Castle Garden with their spy-glasses; but it was a British ship, the Union Jack was flying; they watched her come to her moorings and their hearts sank within them.

“Any news from the Atlantic.?
“Has not the Allantic arrived ?"

“She sailed fifteen days before we did, and we have heard nothing from her." and the people said, “there is no use hoping against hope, she has gone, like the President. She has made her last port."

Day after day passed, and those who had friends on board began to make


mourning. Day after day passed, and the captain's wife was so ill that the doctor said she would die, if suspense were not removed.

Day after day passed, and men looked at one another and Baid, “Ah, it is a sad thing about the Atlantic.!"

At length one bright and beautiful morning the guns boomed across the bay, and a ship was seen coming into port. Down went the people to the Battery and Castle Garden. It was a British ship again, and their hearts seemed to die within them. But up she came, making a ridge of white foam before her, and you could hear a heavy sigh from that orowd, as if it were the last hope dying out. Men looked at one another blankly; by and by some one cried out, “She has passed her moorings, she is steaming up the river.”

Then they wiped away the dimness of grief and watched the vessel. Round she came most gallantly, and as she passed the immense crowds on the wharves and at Castle Garden, the crew hoisted flags from trucks to mainchains. An officer leaped upon the paddle-box, put his trumpet to his lips, and cried out, “The Atlantic is safe. She has put into port for repairs !"

Then such a shout! Oh, how they shouted! Shout ! shout! shout! “The Atlantic is safe !"

Bands of music paraded the streets, telegraph wires worked all night long, “The Atlantic is safe," bringing joy to millions of hearts; and yet not one in a hundred thousand of those who rejoiced had a friend or relative on board that steamer. It was sympathy with the sorrows of others, with whom they had no tie in common, save that which God created vihen he made of one blood all the nations of the earth, and permitted us, as brethren, to call him the common Father of us all.


“Oh, ever thus from childhood's hour

I've seen my fondest hopes decay!"
I never had a dog, nor cow, or

Hen, that laid an egg a day,
But what was marked and tuck away!

I never raised a suckin' pig,

To glad me with its suiny eye,
But when it growed up fat and big,

Or fit to roast or bile or fry,
I couldn't find it in the sty!

The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl; And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

Was ridged inch deep with pearl. From sheds new roofed with Carrara

Caine Chanticleer's muffled crow; The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down;

And still fluttered down the snow.
I stood and watched by the window

The noiseless work of the sky,
And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,

Like brown leaves whirling by.
I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn,

Where a little headstone stood;
How the flakes were folding it gently,

As did robins the babes in the wood. Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, “ Father, who makes it snow ?! And I told of the good All-father,

Who cares for us here below.
Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky,
That arched o’er our first great sorrow,

When that mound was heaped so high.
I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from that cloud like snow, Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of our deep-plunged woe. And again to the child I whispered,

The snow that husheth all, Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall.” Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;

And she, kissing back, could not know, That my kiss was given to her sister,

Folded close under deepening snow.

« ПретходнаНастави »