Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Live happy; tend thy flowers; be tended by
My blessing ! Should my Shadow cross thy thoughts
Too sadly for thy peace, remand it thou
For calmer hours to Memory's darkest hold,
If not to be forgotten—not at once—
Not all forgotten. Should it cross thy dreams,
O might it come like one that looks content,
With quiet eyes unfaithful to the truth,
And point thee forward to a distant light,
Or seem to lift a burthen from thy heart
And leave thee freer, till thou wake refreshed,
Then when the first low matin-chirp hath grown
Full quire, and morning driven her plow of pearl
Far furrowing into light the mounded rack,
Beyond the fair green field and eastern sea.

[ocr errors]

WELL, you shall have that song which Leonard
It was last summer on a tour in Wales: [wrote:
Old James was with me: we that day had been
Up Snowdon; and I wished for Leonard there,
And found him in Llanberis: then we crost
Between the lakes, and clambered half way up
The counter side; and that same song of his
He told me ; for I bantered him, and swore
They said he lived shut up within himself,
A tongue-tied Poet in the feverous days,
That, setting the how much before the how,
Cry, like the daughters of the horse-leech, “Give,
Cram us with all,” but count not me the herd
To which, “They call me what they will,” he said:
“But I was born too late: the fair new forms,
That float about the threshold of an age,
Like truths of Science waiting to be caught—
Catch me who can, and make the catcher crowned—
Are taken by the forelock. Let it be.

But if you care indeed to listen, hear
These measured words, my work of yestermorn.
“We sleep and wake and sleep, but all things
move ; -
The Sun flies forward to his brother Sun:
The dark Earth follows wheeled in her ellipse:
And human things returning on themselves
Move onward, leading up the golden year.
“Ah, though the times when some new thought
can bud
Are but as poets' seasons when they flower,
Yet seas that daily gain upon the shore
Have ebb and flow conditioning their march,
And slow and sure comes up the golden year.
“When wealth no more shall rest in mounded
heaps, -
But smit with freer light shall slowly melt
In many streams to fatten lower lands,
And light shall spread, and man be liker man
Through all the season of the golden year.
“Shall eagles not be eagles? wrens be wrens?
If all the world were falcons, what of that ?
The wonder of the eagle were the less,
But he not less the eagle. Happy days
Roll onward, leading up the golden year.
“Fly, happy, happy sails, and bear the Press;
Fly happy with the mission of the Cross;
Knit land to land, and blowing havenward.
With silks, and fruits, and spices, clear of toll,
Enrich the markets of the golden year.
“But we grow old. Ah when shall all men's
good
Be each man's rule, and universal Peace
Lie like a shaft of light across the land,
And like a lane of beams athwart the sea,
Through all the circle of the golden year 2”
Thus far he flowed, and ended; whereupon
“Ah, folly! ” in mimic cadence answered James—
“Ah, folly! for it lies so far away,

Not in our time, nor in our children's time,
'Tis like the second world to us that live,
"Twere all as one to fix our hopes on Heaven
As on this vision of the golden year.”
With that he struck his staff against the rocks
And broke it, James, you know him, old, but
full
Of force and choler, and firm upon his feet,
And like an oaken stock in winter woods,
O'erflourished with the hoary clematis:
Then added, all in heat :
“What Stuff is this 2
Old writers pushed the happy season back,-
The more fools they, we forward: dreamers both:
You most, that in an age, when every hour
Must sweat her sixty minutes to the death,
Live on, God love us, as if the seedsman, rapt
Upon the teeming harvest, should not dip
His hand into the bag : but well I know
That unto him who works, and feels he works,
This same grand year is ever at the doors.”
He spoke ; and, high above, I heard them blast
The steep slate-quarry, and the great echo flap
And buffet round the hills from bluff to bluff.

U L Y S S E S.

IT little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me I cannot rest from travel: I will drink Life to the lees: all times I have enjoyed Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those That loved me, and alone; on shore, and when Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades

Vext the dim sea: I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known ; cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
*I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fadeo
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use ! .
As though to breathe were life. Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge, like a sinking starr-
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
This is my son, mine own *†.
To whom I leave the sceptre and the isle—
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfil
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good,
Most blameless is he, centred in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.
There lies the port: the vessel puffs her sail:
There gloom the dark broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought
- with me— -
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the Sunshine, and opposed

Free hearts, free foreheads—you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the
dee
Moans od with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom Wé Kâew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we
are ;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

[ocr errors]

CoMRADEs, leave me here a little, while as yet ’tis early morn:

Leave me here, and when you want me, sound upon the bugle-horn.

"Tis the place, and all around it, as of old, the curlews call.

Dreary gleams about the moorland flying over Locksley Hall;

« PředchozíPokračovat »