Imágenes de páginas

From the hundred chimneys of the village,
Like the Afreet in the Arabian story,

Smoky columns
Tower aloft into the air of amber.
At the window winks the flickering fire-light;
Here and there the lamps of evening glimmer,

Social watch-fires
Answering one another through the darkness.
On the hearth the lighted logs are glowing,
And like Ariel in the cloven pine-tree

For its freedom
Groans and sighs the air imprisoned in them.
By the tireside there are old men seated,
Seeing ruined cities in the ashes,

Asking sadly
Of the Past what it can ne er restore them.
By the fireside there are youthful dreamers,
Building castles fair, with stately stairways,

Asking blindly
Of the Future what it cannot give them.
By the fireside tragedies are acted
In whose scenes appear two actors only,

Wife and husband,
And above them God the sole spectator.
By the fireside there are peace and comfort,
Wives and children, with fair, thoughtful faces,

Waiting, watching
For a well-known footstep in the passage.
Each man's chimney is his Golden Milestone,
Is the central point from which he measures

Every distance
Through the gateways of the world around him.
In his farthest wanderings still he sees it;
Hears the talking flame, the answering night-wind,

As he heard them
When he sat with those who were, but are not.
Happy he whom neither wealth nor fashion,
Nor the march of the encroaching city,

Drives an exile
From the hearth of his ancestral homestead.
We may build more splendid habitations,
Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures,

But we cannot
Buy with gold the old associations !

THIS song of mine

But Catawba wine
Is a Song of the Vine,

Has a taste more divine,
To be sung by the glowing embers | More dulcet, delicious, and dreamy.
Of wayside inns,

There grows no vine
When the rain begins

By the haunted Rhine,
To darken the drear Novembers.

By Danube or Guadalquivir,
It is not a song

Nor on island or cape,
Of the Scuppernong,

That bears such a grape
From warm Carolinian valleys, As grows by the Beautiful River.
Nor the Isabel

Drugged is their juice
And the Muscadel
That bask in our garden alleys.

For foreign use,

When shipped o'er the reeling Atlantic,
Nor the red Mustang,

To rack our brains
Whose clusters hang

With the fever pains,
O'er the waves of the Colorado, That have driven the Old World
And the fiery flood

frantic. Of whose purple blood

To the sewers and sinks
Has a dash of Spanish bravado.

With all such drinks,
For richest and best

And after thein tumble the mixer ;
Is the wine of the West,

For a poison malign
That grows by the Beautiful River ; Is such Borgia wine,
Whose sweet perfume

Or at best but a Devil's Elixir.
Fills all the room

While pure as a spring
With a benison on the giver.

Is the wine I sing.
And as hollow trees

And to praise it, one needs but name it;
Are the haunts of bees,

For Catawba wine
For ever going and coming ;

Has need of no sign,
So this crystal hive

No tavern-bush to proclaim it.
Is all alive

And this Song of the Vine,
With a swarming and buzzing and

This greeting of mine, humming.

The winds and the birds shall deliver
Very good in its way

To the Queen of the West,
Is the Verzenay,

In her garlands dressed,
Or the Sillery soft and creamy; on the banks of the Beautiful River.


DAYBREAK. A WIND came up out of the sea,

It touched the wood-bird's folded wing, And said, “O mists, make room for And said, “O bird, awake and sing."

And o'er the farnis, “O chanticleer, It bailed the ships, and cried, “Sail | | Your clarion blow; the day is near."

It whispered to the fields of corn, Ye mariners, the night is gone."

“ Bow down, and hail the coming morn." And hurried landward far away,

It shouted through the belfry-tower, Crying, “Awake! it is the day.”

“Awake, O bell! proclaim the hour.” It said unto the forest, “Shout! It crossed the churchyard with a sigh, Hang all your leafy banners out!” | And said, “Not yet I in quiet lie.”



WHENE'ER a noble deed is wrought, Pass through the glimmering gloom,
Whene'er is spoken a noble thought, And flit from room to room.
Our hearts, in glad surprise,

And slow, as in a dream of bliss,
To higher levels rise.

The speechless sufferer turns to kiss The tidal wave of deeper souls

Her shadow, as it falls
Into our inmost being rolls,

Upon the darkening walls.
And lifts us unawares
Out of all meaner cares.

As if a door in heaven should be

Opened and then closed suddenly,
Honour to those whose words or deeds i The vision came and went,
Thus help us in our daily needs,

The light shone and was spent.
And by their overflow
Raise us from what is low !

On England's annals, through the long

Hereafter of her speech and song,
Thus thought I, as by night I read That light its rays shall cast
Of the great army of the dead,

From portals of the past.
The trenches cold and damp,
The starved and frozen camp,-

A Lady with a Lamp shall stand

In the great history of the land,
The wounded from the battle-plain, A noble type of good,
In dreary hospitals of pain,

Heroic womanhood.
The cheerless corridors,
The cold and stony floors.

Nor even shall be wanting here

The palm, the lily, and the spear, Lo! in that house of misery

The symbols that of yore A lady with a lamp I see

Saint Filomena bore.


May 28, 1857. It was fifty years ago,

And whenever the way seemed long, In the pleasant month of May, Or bis heart began to fail, In the beautiful Pays de Vaud,

She would sing a more wonderful song, A child in its cradle lay.

Or tell a more marvellous tale. And Nature, the old nurse, took So she keeps him still a child, The child upon her knee,

And will not let him go, Saying: “Here is a story-book Though at times his heart beats wild

Thy Father has written for thee.” For the beautiful Pays de Vaud; 6. Come, wander with me," she said, Though at times he hears in his dreams

“Into regions yet untrod; | The Ranz des Vaches of old, And read what is still unread

And the rush of mountain streams In the manuscripts of God.”

From glaciers clear and cold ; And he wandered away and away And the mother at home says, “Hark!

With Nature, the dear old nurse, For bis voice I listen and yearn ; Who sang to him night and day | It is growing late and dark, The rhymes of the universe.

And my boy does not return !”



OTHERE, the old sea-captain, | “Of Iceland and of Greenland,
Who dwelt in Helgoland,

And the stormy Hebrides,
To King Alfred, the Lover of Truth, | And the undiscovered deep ;-
Brought a snow-white walrus-tooth, I could not eat nor sleep
Which he held in his brown right for thinking of those seas.

“To the northward stretched the de. His figure was tall and stately,

sert, Like a boy's his eye appeared ;

How far I fain would know; His hair was yellow as hay,

So at last I sallied forth, But threads of a silvery grey

And three days sailed due north, Gleamed in his tawny beard.

As far as the whale-ships go. Hearty and hale was Othere,

“To the west of me was the ocean, His cheek had the colour of oak;

To the right the desolate shore,
With a kind of laugh in his speech, But I did not slacken sail
Like the sea-tide on a beach,

For the walrus or the whale,
As unto the king he spoke.

Till after three days more.
And Alfred, King of the Saxons, “The days grew longer and longer,
Had a book upon his knees,

Till they became as one,
And wrote down the wondrous tale And southward through the haze
Of him who was first to sail

I saw the sullen blaze
Into the Arctic seas.

Of the red midnight sun. “So far I live to the northward, “ And then uprose before me, No man lives north of me;

Upon the water's edge, To the east are wild mountain-chains,

The huge and haggard shape And beyond them meres and plains ; Of that unknown North Cape, To the westward all is sea.

Whose form is like a wedge. “ So far I live to the northward, “The sea was rough and stormy,

From the harbour of Skeringes-hale, The tempest howled and wailed, If you only sailed by day,

And the sea-fog, like a ghost, With a fair wind all the way,

Haunted that dreary coast, More than a month would you sail. But onward still I sailed. “I own six hundred reindeer,

“Four days I steered to eastward, With sheep and swine beside;

Four days without a night : I have tribute from the Finns,

Round in a fiery ring Whalebone and reindeer-skins,

Went the great sun, O King, And ropes of walrus-hide.

With red and lurid light.”

“I ploughed the land with horses,

But my heart was ill at ease,
For the old seafaring men
Came to me now and then,

With their sagas of the seas;

Here Alfred, King of the Saxons,

Ceased writing for a wbile ;
And raised his eyes from his book,
With a strange and puzzled look,

And an incredulous smile.

| We killed of them threescore,

And dragged them to the strand !"

Here Alfred, the Truth-Teller,

Suddenly closed his book,
And lifted his blue eyes,
With doubt and strange surmise

Depicted in their look.

But Othere, the old sea-captain,

He neither paused nor stirred,
Till the King listened, and then
Once more took up his pen,

And wrote down every word.
" And now the land,” said Othere,

“ Bent south ward suddenly, And I followed the curving shore, And ever soutbward bore

Into a nameless sea.
“And there we hunted the walrus,

The narwhale, and the seal;
Ha ! 'twas a noble game!
And like the lightning's flame

Flew our harpoons of steel.
There were six of us all together,

Norsemen of Helgoland;
In two days and no more

And Othere the old sea-captain

Stared at him wild and weird,
Then smiled, till his shining teeth
Gleamed white from underneath

His tawny, quivering beard.

And to the King of the Saxons,

In witness of the truth,
Raising his noble head,
He stretched his brown hand, and said,

“Behold this walrus-tooth !"


COME to me, Oye children !

Ere their sweet and tender juices
Por I hear you at your play,

Have been hardened into wood,
And the questions that perplexed me
Have vanished quite away.

That to the world are children ;

| Through them it feels the glow Ye open the eastern windows,

Of a brighter and sunnier climate
That look towards the sun,

Than reaches the trunks below.
Where thoughts are singing swallows,
And the brooks of morning run.

Come to me, Oye children !

And whisper in my ear In your hearts are the birds and the What the birds and the winds are singsunshine,

In your thoughts the brooklet's flow, In your sunny atmosphere.
But in mine is the wind of Autumn,
And the first fall of the snow.

For what are all our contrivings,

| And the wisdom of our books, Ah! what would the world be to us, When compared with your caresses, If the children were no more?

And the gladness of your looks ?
We should dread the desert behind us
Worse than the dark before.

Ye are better than all the ballads

That ever were sung or said ;
What the leaves are to the forest, For ye are living poems,
With light and air for food,

And all the rest are dead.

« AnteriorContinuar »