« AnteriorContinuar »
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
field sleeps in the sun;
Their heads never raising ; There are forty feeding like one!
Her suit no faltering scruples checked ;
I left her, and pursued my way;
Like an army defeated
On the top of the bare hill ;
There's joy in the mountains ;
Blue sky prevailing ;
The Other wore a rimless crown
Yet they, so blithe of heart, seemed fit
Men, Women, Children, yea the frame
Of the whole Spectacle the same! Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light, Now deep and red, the colouring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls. -Twelve hours, twelve bouvteous hours, are gone while I Have been a Traveller under open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here !
Outshining like a visible God
Rehold the mighty Moon! this way
She looks as if at them--but they Regard not her :-oh better wrong and strife, ( By nature transient) than such torpid life;
Life which the very stars reprove
As on their silent tasks they move !
And breeding suffers them to be;
Before me as the Wanderer stood,
Where are they now, those wanton Boys ?
And, when America was free From battle and from jeopardy, He 'cross the ocean came.
With hues of genius on his cheek
moon, the glory of the sun, And streams that murmur as they run, Had been his dearest joy.
And waken a releuting smile
He was a lovely Youth! I
guess The panther in the wilderness Was not so fair as he; And, when he chose to sport and play, No dolphin ever was so gay Upon the tropic sea.
Among the Indians he had fought; And with him many tales he brought Of pleasure and of fear; Such tales as told to any Maid By such a Youth, in the green shade, Were perilous to hear. He told of Girls—a happy rout! Who quit their fold with dance and shout, Their pleasant Indian Town, To gather strawberries all day long; Returning with a choral song When daylight is gone down. He spake of plants divine and strange That every hour their blossoms change, Ten thousand lovely bues' With budding, fading, faded flowers They stand the wonder of the bowers From morn to evening dews. He told of the Magnolia,' spread High as a cloud, high over head! The Cypress and her spire; -Of flowers that with one scarlet gleam? Cover a hundred leagues, and seem To set the hills on fire.
RUTH. When Ruth was left half desolate, Her Father took another Mate; And Ruth, not seven years old, A slighted Child, at her own will Went wandering over dale and hill, la thoughtless freedom bold. And she had made a Pipe of straw, And from that oaten Pipe could draw All sounds of winds and floods; lad built a Bower
green, As if she from her birth had been An Infant of the woods.
The Youth of green savannabs spake,
Beneath her Father's roof, alone
And then he said, « How sweet it were
« What days and what sweet years! Ah me! Our life were lise indeed, with thee So passed in quict bliss,
From Indian blood you deem him sprung:
: This splendid appearance of these scarlet flowers, which are scattered with such profusion over the Bills in the Southern parts of North America, is frequently mentioned by Bartram in bis Travels.
And there she sang tumultuous songs,
Such small machinery as she turned
Yet sometimes milder hours she knew,
Farewell! and when thy days are told,
When Ruth three seasons thus had lain,
« With sacrifice before the rising morn And where it liked her best she sought
Vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired; Her shelter and her bread.
And from the infernal Gods, mid shades forlorn,
Of night, my slaughtered Lord have I required : Among the fields she breathed again:
Celestial pily I again implore; —
Restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore!»
So speaking, and by fervent love endowed
With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands; Under the greenwood tree.
While, like the Sun emerging from a Cloud,
Her countenance brightens—and her eye expands; The engines of her pain, the tools
Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows; That shaped her sorrow, rocks and pools,
And she expects the issue in repose.
O terror! what hath she perceived 1-0 Joy!
What doth she look on ?- whom doth she behold? Which had been done to her.
Ber Hero slain upon the beach of Troy?
Bis vital presence-his corporeal mould? A Barn her winter bed supplies;
It is--if sense deceive her not- 't is He! But, till the warmth of summer skies
And a God leads him-winged Mercury! And summer days is gone, (And all do in this tale agree)
Mild Hermes spake—and touched her with his wand She sleeps beneath the greenwood tree,
That calms all fear, «Such grace hath crowned thy prayer, And other home hath none.
Laodamia! that at Jove's command
Thy Husband walks the paths of upper air : An innocent life, yet far astray!
He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space;
Accept the gift, behold him face to face !»
Forth sprang the impassioned Queen her Lord to clasp; Of mind, than body's wretchedness,
Again that consummation she essayed; From damp, and rain, and cold.
But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp
often as that eager grasp was made. If she is pressed by want of food,
The Phantom parts--but parts to re-unite,
And re-assume his place before her sight.
« Protesilàus, lo! thy guide is gone! Where up and down with easy pace
Confirm, I pray, the Vision with thy voice: The borsemen-travellers ride.
This is our Palace,-yonder is thy throne : That oaten Pipe of hers is mute,
Speak, and the floor thou tread'st on will rejoice.
Not to appal me bave the Gods bestowed
This precious boon, -and blest a sad Abode.»
« Great Jove, Laodamia! doth not leave
His gifts in perfect :-Spectre though I be,
I am not sent to scare thee or deceive; I, too, have passed her on the hills
But in reward of thy fidelity. Setting her little water-mills
And something also did my worth obtain ; By spouts and fountains wild
For fearless virtue bringeth boundless gain. The Tone is a River of Somersetsbire, at no'great distance from the Quantock Hills. These Hills, wbich are alluded to a few Stan- That the first Greek who touched the Trojan strand
« Thou know'st, the Delphic oracle foretold was below, are extremely beautiful, and in most places richly coTered with coppice woods.
Should die; but me the threat could not withhold:
A generous cause a Victim did demand;
Of all that is most beauteous—imaged there And forth I leapt upon the sandy plain;
In happier beauty; more pellucid streams, A self-devoted Chief— by Hector slaio.»
An ampler ether, a diviner air,
And fields invested with purpureal gleams; « Supreme of Heroes-bravest, noblest, best!
Climes which the Sun, who sheds the brightest day Thy matchless courage I bewail no more,
Earth knows, is all unworthy to survey.
Yet there the Soul shall enter which hath earned
« The end of man's existence I discerned,
Who from ignoble games and revelry « But thou, though capable of sternest deed,
Could draw, when we had parted, vain delight Wert kind as resolute, and good as brave;
While tears were thy best pastime,-day and night : And he, whose power restores thee, hath decreed That thou should'st cheat the malice of the grave; « And while my youthful peers, before my eyes, Redundant are thy locks, thy lips as fair
(Each Hero following his peculiar beni) As when their breath enriched Thessalian air.
Prepared themselves for glorious enterprise
By martial sports,-or, seated in the tent,
What time the fleet at Aulis lay enchained.
« The wished-for wind was given :-1 then revolved Jove frowned in heaven; the conscious Parcæ threw The oracle, upon the silent sea ; Upon those roseate lips a Stygian bue.
And, if no wortbier led the way, resolved
That, of a thousand vessels, mine should be « This visage tells thee that my doom is past :
The foremost prow in pressing to the strand, -
Mine the first blood that tinged the Trojan sand.
« Yet bitter, oft-times bitter, was the pang Those raptures duly-Erebus disdains :
When of thy loss I thought, beloved Wife! Calm pleasures there abide--majestic pains.
On thee too fondly did my meinory hang,
And on the joys we shared in mortal life, « Be taught, O faithful Consort, to control
The paths which we had trod- these fountains, flowers, Rebellious passion : for the Gods approve
My new-planned Cities, and unfinished Towers.
« But should suspense permit the Foe to cry, Thy transports moderate; and meekly mourn
* Behold they tremble!-haughty their array, When I depart, for brief is my sojourn— »
Yet of their number no one dares to die!'
In soul I swept the indignity away: « Ah, wherefore?-Did not Hercules by force
Old frailties then recurred :--but lofty though, Wrest from the guardian Monster of the tomb
In act embodied, my deliverance wrought. Alcestis, a reanimated Corse, Given back to dwell on earth in vernal bloom? « And thou, though strong in love, art all too weak Medca's spells dispersed the weight of years,
In reason, in self-government too slow; And son stood a Youth 'mid youthful peers.
I counsel thee by fortitude to seek
Our blest re-union in the shades below. « The Gods to us are merciful-and they
The invisible world with thee hath sympathized;
Be thy affections raised and solemnized.
« Learn by a mòrtal yearning to ascend Is love, though oft to agony distrest,
Towards a higher object. --Love was giveo,
For this the passion to excess was driven
Round the dear Shade she would have clung-iis vain, Brought from a pensive though a happy place. The hours are past—too brief had they been years;
And him no mortal effort can detain : He spake of love, such love as Spirits feel
Swift, cow'rd the realms that know not earthly day, In worlds whose course is equable and pure;
He through the portal takes his silent way,
And on the palace floor a lifeless corse she lay.
By no weak pity might the Gods be moved ;
She who thus perished not without the crime