Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Whose quiet beauty o'er my soul through distant years will come, Yet what but as the dead, to thee, shall I be then, my home?

Not as the dead !--no, not the dead! we speak of them-we

keep Their names, like light that must not fade, within our bosoms

deep; We hallow even the lyre they touched, we love the lay they sung,

pass with softer steps the place they filled our band among ! But I depart, like sound, like dew, like aught that leaves on earth No trace of sorrow or delight, no memory of its birth! I go!--the echo of the rock a thousand songs may swell, When mine is a forgotten voice.-Woods, mountains, home, fare

well !

We

And farewell, mother! I have borne in lonely silence long,
But now the current of my soul grows passionate and strong;
And I will speak! though but the wind that wanders through the

sky,
And but the dark deep-rustling pines, and rolling streams reply.
Yes! I will speak! within my breast whate'er hath seemed to be,
There lay a hidden fount of love, that would have gushed for

thee! Brightly it would have gushed, but thou—my mother ! thou hast

thrown Back on the forests and the wilds what should have been thine

own.

LINES WRITTEN ON A STARRY NIGHT.

Ye distant, beautiful, and glowing stars,
That thus have twinkled 'neath the wings of night
So many countless years, all radiant still,
But silent as the grave !-How many hearts,
Yearning, like mine, to know your holy birth,
Have questioned you in vain! ye shine, and shine,
But answer not a word. Why is it thus?
Why are your vast circumferences lessened
By intervening cold and lifeless space ?
In the wide ocean's waves that roll between,
The music of your motions too is lost;
Or if some meditative holy ear
Catch the sweet cadence flowing from above,
It is so soft, so faint, so exquisite,
It rather vibrates through the listening soul
Than trembles on the ear! 'T is heavenly sweet
To see you gem the spacious firmament,
Like fiery brilliants set in ebony !
To gaze upon you, hung like beacons out
Upon the margin of another world,
Inviting us on high, is ecstasy !
But yet ye are so distant, and your round
And bright immenseness so diminutived,
That a light sparrow's wing, nay, a frail leaf,
While trembling to the passing breath of night,
If interposed, can shut your brightness out,
Eclipse you for a moment from our eyes !
A leaf eclipse the world! But oh! 'tis thus
Even in our world itself: the veriest trash,
The hidden mischief of the secret earth,
Ancestry, title, blood, if hurled between
The
gem

of genius forming in the mine
And the sun's fostering ray, will intercept
The glorious, bright, and necessary fire,
And let the jewel perish in the womb
Of grand prolific Nature. But there are

Spirits of fire, that will shine out at last, And blaze, and kindle others. These delight In the lone musing hour to roam the earth ; To listen to the music of the trees; Or if perchance the nightingale be near, Pouring her sweet and solitary song, They love to hear her lay. With such as these 'T is sweet to hold communion. Though the world And fates of life forbid a closer tie, Yet we can gaze upon the selfsame stars As Byron in his Grecian skiff was wont To view at midnight, or which livelier Moore Translates into his soft and glowing song. Nay, more—those very stars in elder time, Sparkling with purer light in the clear sky Of Greece, perhaps were those that Homer saw, And deemed so beautiful, that even the gods Might dwell in them with pride. O holy Night! If thou canst wake so many luminous dreams, Call up such recollections; bring the past, The present, and the future, into one Immortal feeling ; from thine influence Let me draw inspiration; let me mount Thy mystic atmosphere ; and let the shapes Of heroes, gods, and poets, in the clouds Meet my impassioned gaze! My soul is dark, And wild, and wayward; and the silver moon Shooting her rays upon the misty deep, Or sleeping on the frowning battlement Of some time-stricken solitary tower That rises in the desert, seems more bright, And grand, and glorious, than the glaring sun Shining upon the open haunts of men.

A PICTURE.

BY PERCY BYSSHE SHELLEY.

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in Evening's ear,
Were discord to the speaking quietude
That
wraps

this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which Love has spread
Above the sleeping world. Yon gentle hills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow;
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend,
So stainless, that their white and glittering spires
Tinge not the moon's pure beam; yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that ’rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace;— all form a scene
Where musing Solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness ;
Where silence undisturbed might watch alone,
So cold, so bright, so still!

The orb of day,
In southern climes, o'er ocean's waveless field
Sinks sweetly smiling: not the faintest breath
Steals o'er the unruffled deep; the clouds of eve
Reflect unmoved the lingering beam of day;
And Vesper's image on the western main
Is beautifully still. To-morrow comes:
Cloud upon cloud, in dark and deepening mass,
Roll o'er the blackened waters ; the deep roar
Of distant thunder mutters awfully;
Tempest unfolds its pinions o'er the gloom
That shrouds the boiling surge; the pitiless fiend,
With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey;
The torn deep yawns- the vessel finds a grave
Beneath its jagged gulf.

K

Ah! whence yon glare That fires the arch of heaven !- that dark red smoke Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round ! Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals In countless echoes through the mountains ring, Startling pale Midnight on her starry throne ! Now swells the intermingling din; the jar, Frequent and frightful, of the bursting bomb; The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout, The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men Inebriate with rage!-Loud and more loud The discord grows; till pale Death shuts the scene, And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws His cold and bloody shroud. Of all the men Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there, In proud and vigorous health — of all the hearts That beat with anxious life at sunset there How few survive, how few are beating now! All is deep silence, like the fearful calm That slumbers in the storm's protentous pause ; Save when the frantic wail of widowed love Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay Wrapt round its struggling powers.

The grey morn Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphurous smoke Before the icy wind slow rolls away, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood, Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path Of the outsallying victors : far behind Black ashes note where their proud city stood. Within yon forest is a gloomy glen – Each tree which guards its darkness from the day, Waves o'er a warrior's tomb.

« PředchozíPokračovat »