Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

V.

And is not War a youthful king,
A stately hero clad in mail?
Beneath his footsteps laurels spring;

Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail Their friend, their playmate! and his bold bright

eye

Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.

VI.

"Tell this in some more courtly scene,

To maids and youths in robes of state!
I am a woman poor and mean,

And therefore is my soul elate. War is a ruffian, all with guilt defiled, That from the aged father tears his child!

VII.

"A murderous fiend, by fiends adored, He kills the sire and starves the son; The husband kills, and from her board Steals all his widow's toil had won; Plunders God's world of beauty; rends away All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.

VIII.

"Then wisely is my soul elate,

That strife should vanish, battle cease:

I'm poor and of a low estate,

The Mother of the Prince of Peace.

Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn:

Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is*

born,"

HUMAN LIFE.

ON THE DENIAL OF IMMORTALITY.

IF F dead, we cease to be; if total gloom
Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
As summer-guests, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being! If the breath

Be life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death;

O Man! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes!

Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,

She formed with restless hands unconsciously! Blank accident! nothing's anomaly !

If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state, Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears, The counter-weights!-Thy laughter and thy tears Mean but themselves, each fittest to create, And to repay the other! Why rejoices

Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good?
Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood?
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of image, ghost of ghostly elf,

That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold?
Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self?
Be sad! be glad! be neither! seek, or shun!
Thou hast no reason why! Thou can'st have none;
Thy being's being is a contradiction.

MOLES.

-THEY shrink in, as Moles

(Nature's mute monks, live mandrakes of the ground)

Creep back from Light-then listen for its sound; See but to dread, and dread they know not whyThe natural alien of their negative eye.

THE VISIT OF THE GODS.

IMITATED FROM SCHILLER.

NE

[EVER, believe me,
Appear the Immortals,
Never alone:

Scarce had I welcomed the sorrow-beguiler,
Iacchus! but in came boy Cupid the smiler:
Lo! Phoebus the inglorious descends from his
throne !

They advance, they float in, the Olympians all!
With divinities fills my
Terrestrial hall!//

How shall I yield you
Due entertainment,
Celestial quire?

Me rather, bright guests! with your wings of upbuoyance,

Bear aloft to your homes, to your banquets of

joyance,

That the roofs of Olympus may echo my lyre!
Hah! we mount! on their pinions they waft up my

soul!

O give me the nectar!

O fill me the bowl!
Give him the nectar!
Pour out for the poet,
Hebe! pour free !

Quicken his eyes with celestial dew,
That Styx the detested no more he may view,
And like one of us gods may conceit him to be!
Thanks, Hebe! I quaff it! Io Paan, I cry!
The wine of the Immortals
Forbids me to die!

ELEGY,

IMITATED FROM ONE OF AKENSIDE'S BLANK-VERSE

INSCRIPTIONS.

NEAR
EAR the lone pile with ivy overspread,
Fast by the rivulet's sleep-persuading sound,
Where " sleeps the moonlight" on yon verdant bed :
O humbly press that consecrated ground!

For there does Edmund rest, the learned swain! And there his spirit most delights to rove: Young Edmund! famed for each harmonious strain, And the sore wounds of ill-requited love.

Like some tall tree that spreads its branches wide, And loads the west-wind with its soft perfume, His manhood blossomed till the faithless pride

Of fair Matilda sank him to the tomb.

But soon did righteous Heaven her guilt pursue! Where'er with wildered step she wandered pale, Still Edmund's image rose to blast her view,

Still Edmund's voice accused her in each gale.

With keen regret, and conscious guilt's alarms,
Amid the pomp of affluence she pined;
Nor all that lured her faith from Edmund's arms
Could lull the wakeful horror of her mind.

Go, Traveller! tell the tale with sorrow fraught:
Some tearful maid perchance, or blooming youth,
May hold it in remembrance; and be taught
That riches cannot pay for Love or Truth.

SEPARATION.

A SWORDED man whose trade is blood,

In grief, in anger, and in fear, Through jungle, swamp, and torrent flood, I seek the wealth you hold so dear!

The dazzling charm of outward form,

The power of gold, the pride of birth,
Have taken Woman's heart by storm-
Usurp'd the place of inward worth.

Is not true Love of higher price

Than outward Form, though fair to see,
Wealth's glittering fairy-dome of ice,
Or echo of proud ancestry?—

O! Asra, Asra! could'st thou see
Into the bottom of my heart,
There's such a mine of Love for thee,
As almost might supply desert!

(This separation is, alas!

Too great a punishment to bear;

« VorigeDoorgaan »