Obrázky stránek

And a hymn in his heart, to yon pure bright sphere,

To warble it out in his Maker's ear.

Ever, my child, be thy morn's first lays

Tuned, like the lark's, to thy Maker's praise.

What is that, mother?—

The Dove, my son,—

And that low, sweet voice, like the widow's moan,
Is flowing out from her gentle breast,
Constant and pure, by that lonely nest,
As the wave is poured from some crystal urn,
For her distant dear one's quick return.
Ever, my son, be thou like the dove,—
In friendship as faithful, as constant in love.

What is that, mother ?—

The Eagle, boy,

Proudly careering his course of joy,

Firm, in his own mountain vigour relying,
Breasting the dark storm, the red bolt defying;
His wing on the wind, and his eye on the sun,
He swerves not a hair, but bears onward, right on.
Boy, may the eagle's flight ever be thine,

Onward and upward, true to the line.

What is that, mother?—

The Swan, my love,—

He is floating down from his native grove,
No loved one now, no nestling nigh;
He is floating down by himself to die.

Death darkens his eye, and unplumes his wings,
Yet the sweetest song is the last he sings.
Live so, my love, that when death shall come,
Swan-like and sweet it may waft thee home.



ONE morning (raw it was and wet,

A foggy day in winter time)

A woman on the road I met,

Not old, though something past her prime;
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.
The ancient spirit is not dead;

Old times, thought I, are breathing there;
Proud was I that my country bred

Such strength, a dignity so fair:

She begged an alms, like one in poor estate,
I looked at her again, nor did my pride abate.

When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
"What is it," said I, "that you bear,
Beneath the covert of your cloak,
Protected from this cold damp air?"

She answered, soon as she the question heard, "A simple burthen, Sir, a little singing-bird."

And, thus continuing, she said,

"I had a son, who many a day Sailed on the seas, but he is dead;

In Denmark he was cast away:

And I have travelled weary miles to see

If aught which he had owned might still remain for me.

The bird and cage they both were his :

'Twas my son's bird; and neat and trim He kept it: many voyages

This singing-bird had gone with him;

When last he sailed, he left the bird behind;

From bodings, as might be, that hung upon his mind.

He to a fellow-lodger's care
Had left it, to be watched and fed,
And pipe its song in safety;-there
I found it when my son was dead;

And now, God help me for my little wit!

I bear it with me, Sir;-he took so much delight in it."



I SEE before me the gladiator lie ;
He leans upon his hand,—his manly brow
Consents to death, but conquers agony,
And his drooped head sinks gradually low;
And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow
From the red gash, fall heavy, one by one,

Like the first of a thunder-shower; and now

The arena swims around him- he is gone,

Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won.

He heard it, but he heeded not-his eyes
Were with his heart, and that was far away;
He recked not of the life he lost nor prize,
But where his rude hut by the Danube lay,
There were his young barbarians all at play,
There was their Dacian mother-he, their sire,
Butchered to make a Roman holiday.

All this rushed with his blood. Shall he expire,
And unavenged?-Arise! ye Goths, and glut your ire!




UPON his royal throne he sat,
In a monarch's thoughtful mood;
Attendants on his regal state
His servile courtiers stood,

With foolish flatteries, false and vain,
To win his smile, his favour gain.

They told him e'en the mighty deep
His kingly sway confessed;
That he could bid its billows leap
Or still its stormy breast!

He smiled contemptuously, and cried,
"Be then my boasted empire tried!"

Down to the ocean's sounding shore
The proud procession came,
To see its billows' wild uproar

King Canute's power proclaim;
Or, at his high and dread command,
In gentle murmurs kiss the strand.

Not so, thought he, their noble king,
As his course he seaward sped ;-
And each base slave, like a guilty thing,
Hung down his conscious head ;-
He knew the ocean's Lord on high!
They, that he scorned their senseless lie.

His throne was placed by ocean's side,
He lifted his sceptre there;
Bidding, with tones of kingly pride,
The waves their strife forbear :-

And, while he spoke his royal will,
All but the winds and waves were still.

Louder the stormy blast swept by,
In scorn of his idle word;

The briny deep its waves tossed high,
By his mandate undeterred,
As threatening, in their angry play,
To sweep both king and court away.

The monarch, with upbraiding look,
Turned to the courtly ring;

But none the kindling eye could brook,
Even of his earthly king;

For in that wrathful glance they see
A mightier monarch wronged than he!
Canute thy regal race is run;

Thy name had passed away,
But for the meed this tale hath won
Which never shall decay:
Its meek, unperishing renown,
Outlasts thy sceptre and thy crown.

The Persian, in his mighty pride,
Forged fetters for the main ;
And when its floods his power defied,
Inflicted stripes as vain ;—

But it was worthier far of thee
To know thyself, than rule the sea!



THERE is a land, of every land the pride,
Beloved by Heaven o'er all the world beside;
Where brighter suns dispense serener light,
And milder moons emparadise the night;

« PředchozíPokračovat »