Слике страница


Or the sweet coming of the evening star,
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day,
And seeming ever best and fairest now;
A love that doth not kneel for what it seeks,
But faces Truth and Beauty as their peer,
Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts
By a clear sense of inward nobleness;
A love that in its object findeth not
All grace and beauty, and enough to sate
Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good
Found there, it sees but Heaven-granted types
Of good and beauty in the soul of man,
And traces, in the simplest heart that beats,
A family-likeness to its chosen one,
That claims of it the rights of brotherhood.
For love is blind but with the fleshly eye,
That so its inner sight may be more clear;
And outward shows of beauty only so
Are needful at the first, as is a hand
To guide and to uphold an infant's steps:
Great spirits need them not: their earnest look
Pierces the body's mask of thin disguise,
And beauty ever is to them revealed,
Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump of clay,
With arms outstretched and eager face ablaze,
Yearning to be but understood and loved.


THY Voice is like a fountain,
Leaping up in clear moonshine;
Silver, silver, ever mounting,

Ever sinking,

Without thinking,

To that brimful heart of thine.

Every sad and happy feeling,

Thou hast had in bygone years,
Through thy lips come stealing, stealing,
Clear and low;

All thy smiles and all thy tears
In thy voice awaken,

And sweetness, wove of joy and woe,

From their teaching it hath taken :

Feeling and music move together,
Like a swan and shadow ever
Heaving on a sky-blue river
In a day of cloudless weather.




It hath caught a touch of sadness,
Yet it is not sad;

It hath tones of clearest gladness,
Yet it is not glad;

A dim, sweet, twilight voice it is
Where to-day's accustomed blue
Is over-grayed with memories,
With starry feelings quivered through.
Thy voice is like a fountain

Leaping up in sunshine bright,
And I never weary counting
Its clear droppings, lone and single,
Or when in one full gush they mingle,
Shooting in melodious light.

Thine is music such as yields
Feelings of old brooks and fields,
And, around this pent-up room,
Sheds a woodland, free perfume:
O, thus for ever sing to me!
O, thus for ever!

The green, bright grass of childhood bring to me,
Flowing like an emerald river,

And the bright blue skies above!
O, sing them back, as fresh as ever,
Into the bosom of my love,-
The sunshine and the merriment,
The unsought, evergreen content,
Of that never cold time,

The joy, that, like a clear breeze, went
Through and through the old time!
Peace sits within thine eyes,
With white hands crossed in joyful rest,
While, through thy lips and face, arise
The melodies from out thy breast;

She sits and sings,

With folded wings

And white arms crost,

Weep not for passed things,
They are not lost:

The beauty which the summer time
O'er thine opening spirit shed,
The forest oracles sublime

That filled thy soul with joyous dread,

The scent of every smallest flower
That made thy heart sweet for an hour,-
Yea, every holy influence,

Flowing to thee, thou knewest not whence,
In thine eyes to-day is seen,

Fresh as it hath ever been;

Promptings of Nature, beckonings sweet,
Whatever led thy childish feet,
Still will linger unawares
The guiders of thy silver hairs;
Every look and every word

Which thou givest forth to-day,
Tell of the singing of the bird

Whose music stilled thy boyish play.' Thy voice is like a fountain,

Twinkling up in sharp starlight,

When the moon behind the mountain
Dims the low East with faintest white,
Ever darkling,

Ever sparkling,

We know not if 'tis dark or bright;

But, when the great moon hath rolled round,
And, sudden-slow, its solemn power
Grows from behind its black, clear-edged bound,
No spot of dark the fountain keepeth,
But, swift as opening eyelids, leapeth

Into a waving silver flower.


My soul was like the sea,
Before the moon was made,
Moaning in vague immensity,
Of its own strength afraid,
Unrestful and unstaid.

Through every rift it foamed in vain,
About its earthly prison,
Seeking some unknown thing in pain,
And sinking restless back again,
For yet no moon had risen:

Its only voice a vast dumb moan,
Of utterless anguish speaking,

It lay unhopefully alone,

And lived but in an aimless seeking.
So was my soul; but when 'twas full
Of unrest to o'erloading,
A voice of something beautiful
Whispered a dim foreboding,



[ocr errors]

And yet so soft, so sweet, so low,
It had not more of joy than woe;
And as the sea doth oft lie still,
Making its waters meet,
As if by an unconscious will,
For the moon's silver feet,

So lay my soul within mine eyes

When thou, its guardian moon, didst rise.
And now, howe'er its waves above

May toss and seem uneaseful,
One strong, eternal law of Love,
With guidance sure and peaceful,
As calm and natural as breath,

Moves its great deeps through life and death.



THICK-RUSHING, like an ocean vast
Of bisons the far prairie shaking,
The notes crowd heavily and fast
As surfs, one plunging while the last
Draws seaward from its foamy breaking.

Or in low murmurs they began,
Rising and rising momently,

As o'er a harp Æolian

A fitful breeze, until they ran

Up to a sudden ecstasy.

And then, like minute drops of rain

Ringing in water silverly,

They lingering dropped and dropped again,
Till it was almost like a pain

To listen when the next would be.


TO M. L.

A LILY thou wast when I saw thee first,
A lily-bud not opened quite,


That hourly grew more pure and white,
By morning, and noontide, and evening nursed:
In all of nature thou hadst thy share;
Thou wast waited on

By the wind and sun;

The rain and the dew for thee took care;
It seemed thou never couldst be more fair.

A lily thou wast when I saw thee first,
A lily-bud; but O, how strange,
How full of wonder was the change,

When, ripe with all sweetness, thy full bloom burst!
How did the tears to my glad eyes start,
When the woman-flower

Reached its blossoming hour,

And I saw the warm deeps of thy golden heart!
Glad death may pluck thee, but never before
The gold dust of thy bloom divine

Hath dropped from thy heart into mine,
To quicken its faint germs of heavenly lore;
For no breeze comes nigh thee but carries away
Some impulses bright

Of fragrance and light,

Which fall upon souls that are lone and astray,
To plant fruitful hopes of the flower of day.

[ocr errors]


I WOULD more natures were like thine,
That never casts a glance before,-
Thou Hebe, who thy heart's bright wine
So lavishly to all dost pour,

That we who drink forget to pine,

And can but dream of bliss in store.

Thou canst not see a shade in life;
With sunward instinct thou dost rise,
And, leaving clouds below at strife,
Gazest undazzled at the skies,
With all their blazing splendours rife,
A songful lark with eagle's eyes.

Thou wast some foundling whom the Hours,

Nursed, laughing, with the milk of Mirth

Some influence more gay than ours

Hath ruled thy nature from its birth,

As if thy natal stars were flowers

That shook their seeds round thee on earth.

And thou, to lull thine infant rest,

Wast cradled like an Indian child; All pleasant winds from south and west With lullabies thine ears beguiled, Rocking thee in thine oriole's nest,

Till Nature looked at thee and smiled

« ПретходнаНастави »