« VorigeDoorgaan »
And to that motion tune his wanton song
Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve, And you, my friends ! farewell, a short farewell! We have been loitering long and pleasantly, And now for our dear homes.—That strain again! Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe, Who, capable of no articulate sound, Mars all things with his imitative lisp, How he would place his hand beside his ear, His little hand, the small forefinger up, And bid us listen! And I deem it wise To make him Nature's play-mate. He knows well The evening-star! and once, when he awoke In most distressful mood (some inward pain Had made up that strange thing, an infant's
dream-) I hurried with him to our orchard-plot, And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once, Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently, While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped
tears, Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well !It is a father's tale: But if that Heaven Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up Familiar with these songs, that with the night He may associate joy.-Once more, farewell, Sweet Nightingale ! Once more, my friends ! fare
FROST AT MIDNIGHT.
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry
But O! how oft, How oft at school, with most believing mind, Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower, Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day, So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure falling on mine ear
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm, Fill up the interspersed vacancies And momentary pauses of the thought! My babe so beautiful ! it thrills my heart With tender gladness, thus to look at thee, And think that thou shalt learn far other lore And in far other scenes! For I was reared In the great city, pent 'mid cloisters dim, And saw naught lovely but the sky and stars. But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds, Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible Of that eternal language, which thy God Utters, who from eternity doth teach Himself in all, and all things in himself. Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
THE THREE GRAVES.
A FRAGMENT OF A SEXTON'S TALE.
[The Author has published the following humble fragment, encouraged by the decisive recommendation of more than one of our most celebrated living Poets. The lan. guage was intended to be dramatic; that is, saited to the narrator ; and the metre corresponds to the homeliness of the diction. It is therefore presented as the fragment, not of a Poem, but of a common Ballad-tale. Whether this is sufficient to justify the adoption of such a style, in any metrical composition not professedly ludicrous, the Author is himself in some doubt. At all events, it is not presented as poetry, and it is in no way connected with the Author's judgment concerning poetic diction. Its merits, if any, are exclusively psychological. The story which must be supposed to have been narrated in the first and second parts is as follows.
Edward, a young farmer, meets at the house of Ellen her bosom-friend Mary, and commences an acquaintance, which ends in a mutual attachment. With her consent, and by the advice of their common friend Ellen, he announces his hopes and intentions to Mary's mother, a
widow-woman bordering on her fortieth year, and from constant health, the possession of a competent property, and from having had no other children but Mary and an. other daughter (the father died in their infancy), retaining, for the greater part, her personal attractions and comeliness of appearance ; but a woman of low education and violent temper
The auswer which she at once returned to Edward's application was remarkable—“Well, Edward! you are a handsome young fellow, and you shall have my daughter." From this time all their wooing passed under the mother's eye; and, in fine, she became herself enamored of her future son-in-law, and practised every art, both of endearment and of calumny, to transfer his affections from her daughter to herself. (The outlines of the Tale are positive facts, and of no very distant date, though the author has purposely altered the names and the scene of action, as well as invented the characters of the parties and the detail of the incidents.) Edward, however, though perplexed by her strange detractions from her daughter's good qualities, yet in the innocence of his own heart still mistaking her increasing fondness for motherly affection; she at length overcome by her miserable passion, after much abuse of Mary's temper and moral tendencies, exclaimed with violent emotion—"O Edward ! indeed, indeed, she is not fit for you—she has not a heart to love you as you deserve. It is I that love you! Marry me, Edward! and I will this very day settle all my property on you.” The Lover's eyes were now opened ; and thus taken by surprise, whether from the effect of the horror which he felt, acting as it were hysterically on his nervous system, or that at the first moment he lost the sense of the guilt of the proposal in the feeling of its strangeness and absurdity, he fuug her from him and burst into a fit of laughter. Irritated by this almost to frenzy, the woman fell on her knees, and in a loud voice that approached to a scream, she prayed for a curse both on him and on her own child. Mary happened to be in the room directly above them, heard Edward's laugh, and her mother's blasphemous prayer, and fainted away. He, hearing the fall, ran up stairs, and taking her in his arms, carried her off to Ellen's home ; and after some fruitless attempts on