Imágenes de páginas


(Dans les moments de la vie où la réflexion devient plus calme et plus profonde, od l'intérêt et l'avarice parlent moins haut que la raison, dans les instants de chagrin domestique, de maladie, et de péril de mort, les nobles se repentirent de posséder des serfs, comme d'une chose peu agréable à Dieu, qui avait créé tous les hommes à son image.]


In his chamber, weak and dying, | “ Wassail for the kingly stranger
Was the Norman baron lying;

Born and cradled in a manger !
Loud, without, the tempest thundered, | King, like David, priest, like Aaron,
And the castle-turret shook.

Christ is born to set us free !"
In this fight was Death the gainer,

And the lightning showed the sainted Spite of vassal and retainer,

l'igures on the casement painted, And the lands his sires had plundered,

And exclaimed the shuddering baron,
Written in the Doomsday Book.

"Miserere, Domine !" By his bed a monk was seated,

In that bour of deep contrition, Who in a humble voice repeated

He beheld, with clearer vision,
Many a prayer and pater-noster,

Through all outward show and fashion,
From the missal on his knee ;

Justice, the Avenger, rise.
And, amid the tempest pealing,

All the pomp of earth had vanished, Sounds of bells came faintly stealing,

Falsehood and deceit were banished, Bells, that, from the neighbouring klos Reason spake more loud than passion, ter,

And the truth wore no disguise.
Rang for the Nativity.
In the hall, the serf and vassal

Every vassal of his banner,
Held, that night, their Christmas was-

Every serf born to his manor, sail;

All those wronged and wretcbed crea

tures Many a carol, old and saintly, Sang the minstrels and the waits.

By his hand were freed again. And so loud these Saxon gleemen

And, as on the sacred missal

He recorded their dismissal,
Sang to slaves the songs of freemen,
That the storm was heard but faintly,

Death relaxed his iron features, · Knocking at the castle-gates.

And the monk replied, “Amen!" Till at length the lays they chanted

Many centuries have been numbered Reached the chamber terror-haunted,

Since in death the baron slumbered Where the monk, with accents holy,

By the convent's sculptured portal, Whispered at the baron's ear.

Mingling with the common dust : Tears upon his eyelids glistened,

But the good deer, through the ages As he paused awhile and listened,

Living in historic pages,
And the dying baron slowly

Brighter grows and gleams immortal,
Turned bis weary head to hear.

Unconsumed by moth or rust.

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WHEN the summer harvest was gathered in,
And the sheaf of the gleaner grew white and thin,
And the plonghshare was in its furrow left,
Where the stubble land had been lately cleft,
An Indian hunter, with unstrung bow,
Looked down where the valley lay stretched below
He was a stranger there, and all that day
Had been out on the hills, a perilous way,
But the foot of the deer was far and fleet,
And the wolf kept aloof from the hunter's feet,
And bitter feelings passed o'er him then,
As he stood by the populous haunts of men.
The winds of autumn came over the woods,
As the sun stole out from their solitudes;
The moss was white on the maple's trunk,
And dead from its arms the pale vine shrunk,
And ripened the mellow fruit hung, and red
Where the trees withered leaves around it shed.
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,
And the sickle cut down the yellow corn;
The mower sung loud by the meadow side,
Where the mists of evening were spreading wide;
And the voice of the herdsman came up the lea,
And the dance went round by the greenwood tree.
Then the hunter turned away from that scene,
Where the home of his fathers once had been,
And heard, by the distant and measured stroke,
That the woodman hewed down the giant oak-
And burning thoughts flashed over his mind,
Of the white man's faith, and love unkind.
The moon of the harvest grew high and bright,
As her golden horn pierced the cloud of white, -
A footstep was heard in the rustling brake,
Where the beech overshadowed the misty lake,
And a mourning voice, and a plunge from shore,
And the hunter was seen on the hills no more.
When years had passed on, by that still lake side,
The fisher looked down through the silver tide,
And there, on the smooth yellow sand displayed,
A skeleton wasted and white was laid,
And 'twas seen, as the waters moved deep and slow,
That the hand was still grasping a hunter's bow.

RAIN IN SUMMER. How beautiful is the rain !

Near at hand, After the dust and heat,

From under the sheltering trees, In the broad and fiery street,

The farmer sees In the narrow lane,

His pastures, and his fields of grain, How beautiful is the rain !

As they bend their tops How it clatters along the roofs,

To the numberless beating drops Like the tramp of hoofs !

Of the incessant rain. How it gushes and struggles out

He counts it as no sin From the throat of the overflowing spout!

That he sees therein Across the window pane

Only his own thrift and gain. It pours and pours;

These, and far more than these, And swift and wide,

The Poet sees With a muddy tide,

He can behold
Like a river down the gutter roars Aquarius old
The rain, the welcome rain !

Walking the fenceless fieids of air,
The sick man from his chamber looks And from each ample fold
At the twisted brooks ;

Of the clouds about him rolled
He can feel the cool

Scattering everywhere Breath of each little pool;

The showery rain, His fevered brain

As the farmer scatters his grain. Grows calm again,

He can behold And he breathes a blessing on the rain.

Things manifold From the neighbouring school

That have not yet been wholly told, Come the boys,

Have not been wholly sung nor said. With more than their wonted noise For his thought, that never stops, And commotion ;

Follows the water drops And down the wet streets

Down to the graves of the dead, Sail their mimic fleets,

Down through chasms and gulfs proTill the treacherous pool

found, Engulfs them in its whirling

To the dreary fountain-head And turbulent ocean.

Of lakes and rivers underground; In the country, on every side

And sees them, when the rain is done, Where far and wide,

On the bridge of colours seven
Like a leopard's tawny and spotted bide. Climbing up once more to heaven,
Stretches the plain,

Opposite the setting sun.
To the dry grass and the drier grain

Thus the Seer, How welcome is the rain !

With vision clear, In the furrowed land

Sees forms appear and disappear, The toilsome and patient oxen stand ; In the perpetual round of strange, Lifting the yoke-encumbered head, Mysterious change With their dilated nostrils spread, From birth to death, from death to birth, They silently inhale

From earth to heaven, from heaven to The clover-scented gale,

earth; And the vapours that arise

Till glimpses more sublime
From the well-watered and smoking soil. Of things, unseen before,
For this rest in the furrow after toil Unto his wondering eyes reveal
Their large and lustrous eyes

The Universe, as an immeasurable wheel Seem to thank the Lord,

Turning for evermore More than man's spoken word

In the rapid and rushing river of Time.


DEAR child! how radiant on thy mother's knee, With merry-making eyes and jocund smiles, Thou gazest at the painted tiles, Whose figures grace, With many a grotesque form and face, The ancient chimney of thy nursery! The lady with the gay macaw, The dancing girl, the brave bashaw With bearded lip and chin; And, leaning idly o'er his gate, Beneath the imperial fan of state, The Chinese mandarin. With what a look of proud command Thou shakest in thy little hand The coral rattle with its silver bells, Making a merry tune! Thousands of years in Indian seas That coral grew, by slow degrees, Until some deadly and wild monsoon Dashed it on Coromandel's sand! Those silver bells Reposed of yore, As shapeless ore, Far down in the deep-sunken wells Of darksome mines, In some obscure and sunless place, Beneath huge Chimborazo's base, Or Potosí's o'erhanging pines ! And thus for thee, O little child, Through many a danger and escape, The tall ships passed the stormy cape; For thee in foreign lands remote, Beneath the burning, tropic clime, The Indian peasant, chasing the wild goat, Himself as swift and wild, In falling, clutched the frail arbute, The fibres of whose shallow root, Uplifted from the soil, betrayed The silver veins beneath it laid, The buried treasures of the pirate, Time. But, lo! thy door is left ajar! Thou hearest footsteps from afar! And, at the sound, Thon turnest round

With quick and questioning eyes,
Like one, who, in a foreign land,
Beholds on every hand
Some source of wonder and surprise !
And, restlessly, impatiently,
Thou strivest, strugglest, to be free.
The four walls of thy nursery
Are now like prison walls to thee.
No more thy mother's smiles,
No more the painted tiles,
Delight thee, nor the playthings on the floor
That won thy little, beating heart before;
Thou strugglest for the open door.
Through these once solitary halls
Thy pattering footstep falls.
The sound of thy merry voice
Makes the old walls
Jubilant, and they rejoice
With the joy of thy young heart,
O'er the light of whose gladness
No shadows of sadness
From the sombre background of memory start.
Once, ah, once, within these walls,
One whom memory oft recalls,
The Father of his Country, dwelt.
And yonder meadows broad and damp
The fires of the besieging camp
Encircled with a burning belt.
Up and down these echoing stairs,
Heavy with the weight of cares,
Sounded his majestic tread;
Yes, within this very room
Sat he in those hours of gloom,
Weary both in heart and head.
But what are these grave thoughts to thee ?
Out, out! into the open air!
Thy only dream is liberty,
Thou carest little how or where.
I see thee eager at thy play,
Now shouting to the apples on the tree,
With cheeks as round and red as they;
And now among the yellow stalks,
Among the flowering shrubs and plants,
As restless as the bee.
Along the garden walks,
The tracks of thy small carriage-wheels I trace,
And see at every turn how they efface

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