Is it the tender star of love ?

The star of love and dreams ?
Oh, no! from that blue tent above,

A hero's armour gleams.
And earnest thoughts within me rise,

When I behold afar,
Suspended in the evening skies,

The shield of that red star.
O star of strength! I see thee stand

And smile upon my pain ;
Thou beckonest with thy mailèd hand,

And I am strong again.
Within my breast there is no light,

But the cold light of stars ;
I give the first watch of the night

To the red planet Mars.
The star of the unconquered will,

He rises in my breast,
Serene, and resolute, and still,

And calm, and self-possessed. And thou, too, whosoe'er thou art,

That readest this brief psalm,
As one by one thy hopes depart,

Be resolute and calm.
Oh, fear not in a world like this,

And thou shalt know ere long,
Know how sublime a thing it is
To suffer and be strong.

HENRY W. LONGFELLOW. The Well of Jacob. H ERE, after Jacob parted from his brother,

His daughters linger'd round this well, new

made; Here, seventeen centuries after came another,

And talk'd with JESUS, wondering and afraid. Here, other centuries past, the emperor's mother

Shelter'd its waters with a temple's shade. Here, mid the fallen fragments, as of old, The girl her pitcher dips within its waters cold.

And JACOB's race grew strong for many an hour,

Then torn beneath the Roman eagle lay ; The Roman’s vast and earth-controlling power

Has crumbled like these shafts and stones away; But still the waters, fed by dew and shower,

Come up, as ever, to the light of day, And still the maid bends downward with her urn, Well pleased to see its glass her lovely face re


And those few words of truth, first utter'd here,

Have sunk into the human soul and heart; A spiritual faith dawns bright and clear,

Dark creeds and ancient mysteries depart; The hour for God's true worshippers draws near;

Then mourn not o'er the wrecks of earthly art: Kingdoms may fall, and human works decay, Nature moves on unchanged-Truths never pass away.


The Future Life. ARE there (still more amazing) who resist A The rising thought? who smother in its birth The glorious truth? who struggle to be brutes ? Who through this bosom-barrier burst their way, And with reversed ambition strive to sink ? Who labour downwards through the opposing

powers Of instinct, reason, and the world against them, To dismal hopes, and shelter in the shock Of endless night? night darker than the graves ? Who fight the proofs of immortality ? To contradict them see all nature rise! What object, what event, the moon beneath, But argues, or endears an after scene? To reason proves, or weds it to desire ? All things proclaim it needful, some advance One precious step beyond, and prove it sure. A thousand arguments swarm round my pen, From heaven, and earth, and man. Indulge al

few, By nature as her common habit worn. Thou! whose all-providential eye surveys, Whose hand directs, whose spirit fills and warms Creation, and holds empire far beyond! Eternity's inhabitant august! Of two eternities amazing Lord ! One past ere man's, or angel's, had begun; Aid, while I rescue from the foes' assault, Thy glorious immortality in man!


The Possession of the True Felicities. W ITH aspect mild, and elevated eye,

W Behold him seated on a mount serene, Above the fogs of sense, and passion's storm ; All the black cares, and tumults, of this life, Like harmless thunders, breaking at his feet, Excite his pity, not impair his peace. Earth's genuine sons, the sceptred, and the slave, A mingled mob! a wandering herd! he sees, Bewilder'd in the vale; in all unlike! His full reverse in all! what higher praise ? What stronger demonstration of the right?

The present all their care; the future, his. When public welfare calls, or private want, They give to fame; his bounty he conceals. Their virtues varnish nature; his exalt. Mankind's esteem they court; and he, his own.

Theirs, the wild chase of false felicities;
His, the compos’d possession of the true.
Alike throughout is his consistent peace,
All of one colour, and an even thread;
While party-colour'd shreds of happiness,
With hideous gaps between, patch up for them
A madman's robe; each puff of fortune blows
The tatters by, and shows their nakedness.

He sees with other eyes than theirs: where they
Behold a sun, he spies a Deity :
What makes them only smile, makes him adore.
Where they see mountains, he but atoms sees;
An empire, in his balance, weighs a grain.

They things terrestrial worship, as divine:
His hopes immortal blow them by, as dust,
That dims his sight and shortens his survey,
Which longs, in infinite, to lose all bound.
Titles and honours (if they prove his fate)
He lays aside to find his dignity;
No dignity they find in aught besides.
They triumph in externals (which conceal
Man's real glory), proud of an eclipse.
Himself too much he prizes to be proud,
And nothing thinks so great in man, as man.
Too dear he holds his interest, to neglect
Another’s welfare, or his right invade;
Their interest, like a lion, lives on prey.
They kindle at the shadow of a wrong;
Wrong he sustains with temper, looks on Heaven,
Nor stoops to think his injurer his foe;
Nought, but what wounds his virtue, wounds his

A cover'd heart their character defends;
A cover'd heart denies him half his praise.
With nakedness his innocence agrees ;
While their broad foliage testifies their fall,
Their no-joys end, where his full feast begins :
His joys create, theirs murder, future bliss.
To triumph in existence, his alone;
And his alone, triumphantly to think
His true existence is not yet begun.
His glorious course was, yesterday, complete;
Death, then, was welcome; yet life still is sweet.


« VorigeDoorgaan »