Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Ye bind the deep with your secret zone,
The ocean is seald and the surge a stone ;
Fresh wreaths from the coral pavement spring,
Like the terrac'd pride of Assyria's king ;
The turf looks green where the breakers roll’d;
O'er the whirlpool ripens the rind of gold;
The sea-snatch'd isle is the home of men,
And mountains exult where the wave hath been.

But why do ye plant, 'neath the billows dark,
The wrecking reef for the gallant bark ?
There are snares enough on the tented field,
'Mid the blossom'd sweets that the valleys yield ;
There are serpents to coil, ere the flowers are up;
There's a poison-drop in man's purest cup,
There are foes that watch for his cradle-breath,
And why need ye sow the floods with death ?
With mouldering bones the deeps are white,
From the ice-clad pole to the tropics bright; -
The mermaid hath twisted her fingers cold
With the mesh of the sea-boy's curls of gold,
And the gods of ocean have frown'd to see
The mariner's bed in their halls of glee ;
Hath earth no graves, that thus ye must spread
The boundless sea for the thronging dead ?
Ye build ye build — but ye enter not in,
Like the tribes whom the desert devour'd in their

sin,
From the land of promise ye fade and die,
Ere its verdure gleams forth on your every eye,
As the kings of the cloud-crown'd pyramid
Their noteless bones in oblivion hid:
Ye slumber unmark'd ʼmid the desolate main,
While the wonder and pride of your works remain.

MRS. SIGOURNEY. DIOCLESIAN AT SALONA, !

Take back these vain insignia of command,
Crown, truncheon, golden eagle, - baubles all;
And robe of Tyrian dye, to me a pall :
And be for ever alien to my hand,
Though laurel-wreath'd, war's desolating brand.
I would have friends, not courtiers, in my hall;
Wise books, learn'd converse, beauty free from

thrall,
And leisure for good deeds 2, thoughtfully plann'd.
Farewell, thou garish world! thou Italy,
False widow of departed liberty !
I scorn thy base caresses. Welcome the roll
Between us, of my own bright Adrian sea!
Welcome these wilds, from whose bold heights my

soul Looks down on your degenerate Capitol !

SIR AUBREY DE VERE.

1 On being solicited by Maximian to re-assume the imperial purple, Dioclesian rejected the offer with a smile of pity, calmly observing, that if he could show Maximian the cabbages wbich he had planted with his own hands at Salona, he should no longer be urged to relinquish the enjoyment of happiness for the pursuit of power.

: « And leave us leisure to be good.” - Gray

THE ALPS.

ABOVE me are the Alps,
The palaces of Nature, whose vast walls
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And thron’d Eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche the thunderbolt of snow !
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,

Gather around these summits, as to show How earth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below.

BYRON.

TO THE MOON.

SWEET Moon, if, like Crotona’s sage!,

By any spell my hand could dare
To make thy disk its ample page,

And write my thoughts, my wishes there;
How many a friend, whose careless eye
Now wanders o'er that starry sky,
Should smile, upon thy orb to meet
The recollection, kind and sweet,
The reveries of fond regret,
The promise never to forget,
And all my heart and soul would send
To many a dear lov'd, distant friend !

MOORE.

· Pythagoras, who was supposed to have the power of writing upon the moon by the means of a magic mirror.

THE FAMILY PICTURE.

With work in hand, perchance some fairy cap
To deck the little stranger yet to come;
One rosy boy struggling to mount her lap-
The eldest studious with a book or map;
Her timid girl beside, with a faint bloom,
Conning some tale; while with no gentle tap
Yon chubby urchin beats his mimic drum,
Nor heeds the doubtful frown her eyes assume.
So sits the mother! with her fondest smile
Regarding her sweet little-ones the while :
And he, the happy man ; to whom belong
These treasures, feels their living charm beguile
All mortal care; and eyes the prattling throng
With rapture-rising heart, and a thanksgiving tongue.

SIR AUBREY DE VERE.

SUMMONS OF THE ETRUSCAN LEAGUE.

East and west and south and north

The messengers ride fast,
And tower and town and cottage

Have heard the trumpet's blast.

1 Etruria was divided into twelve principal states, all situated between the Arno and the Tiber, and named after its principal city. Each of these states formed an independent community, governed by its own prince, called in the Etruscan language Lucumo, but they all leagued together for the general good, and submitted to the authority of one supreme sovereign, as in the case of Porsena of Clusium. The cities that formed the Etruscan league were Volscinii, Clusium, Cortona, Perusia, Arretium, Falerii, Tarquinii, Volaterræ, Rusellæ, Vetulonii, Cære, and Veii: others omit some of the above list, and substitute Luna, Fæsula, and Populonium.

Shame on the false Etruscan

Who lingers in his home, While Porsena of Clusium 1

Is on the march for Rome.

The horsemen and the footmen

Are pouring in amain
From many a stately market-place,

From many a fruitful plain ;
From many a lonely hamlet,

Which, hid by beech and pine, Like an eagle's nest, hangs on the crest

Of purple Apennine; From lowly Volaterræ ,

Where scowls the far-fam'd hold Pild by the hands of giants

For godlike kings of old ; From sea-girt Populonia 3,

Whose sentinels descry Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops

Fringing the southern sky;

i Clusium, now called Chiusi, is built upon a hill above the valley of the Clanis (the modern Chiana), and was one of the most distinguished of the Etruscan cities.

8 Volaterræ- now called Volterra, near Sienna, celebrated for its ancient walls, most of the stones of which are six feet in length, and are set without mortar, in horizontal layers.

3 Populonia stood on a high promontory that, projecting far into the sea, formed a kind of peninsula. It had a commodious harbour, a quay, and a well-furnished arsenal, and was consequently of great importance to the Etruscans, and a place of great trade. Large quantities of copper were imported from the island of Elba, and the people of Populonia made implements of copper and brass in the earliest agés. Afterwards, when the copper mines began to fail, and iron was discovered in large quantities in Elba, they fabricated arms and utensils of iron. The ruins of Populonia, consisting of a part of the wall, are to be seen to the north of Piombino the port is called Porto Baratto.

« VorigeDoorgaan »