Images de page
PDF
ePub

Saying, We are twins in death, proud Sun! Thy face is cold, thy race is run,

"Tis Mercy bids thee go ; For thou ten thousand thousand years Hast seen the tide of human tears,

That shall no longer flow,

What though beneath thee man put forth

His pomp, his pride, his skill;
And arts that made fire, flood, and earth,

The vassals of his will ?--
Yet mourn I not thy parted sway,
Thou dim discrowned king of day;

For all those trophied arts
And triumphs that beneath thee sprang,
Heald not a passion or a pang

Entail'd on human hearts.

Go, let oblivion's curtain fall

Upon the stage of men,
Nor with thy rising beams recall

Life's tragedy again :
Its piteous pageants bring not back,
Nor waken flesh, upon the rack

Of pain anew to writhe;
Stretch'd in disease's shapes abhorr'd,
Or mown in battle by the sword,

Like grass beneath the scythe.

Ev'n I am weary in

yon

skies To watch thy fading fire;

Test of all sumless agonies,

Behold not me expire.
My lips that speak thy dirge of death
Their rounded gasp and gurgling breath

To see thou shalt not boast.
The eclipse of Nature spreads my pall,
The majesty of Darkness shall

Receive my parting ghost !

This spirit shall return to Him

Who gave its heavenly spark;
Yet think not, Sun, it shall be dim

When thou thyself art dark !
No! it shall live again, and shine
In bliss unknown to beams of thine,

By him recall’d to breath,
Who captive led captivity,
Who robb’d the grave of Victory,

And took the sting from Death!

Go, Sun, while Mercy holds me up

On Nature's awful waste
To drink this last and bitter cup

Of grief that man shall taste-
Go, tell the night that hides thy face,
Thou saw'st the last of Adam's race,

On Earth's sepulchral clod,
The darkening universe defy
To quench his Immortality,

Or shake his trust in God !

1823. A DREAM.

WELL may sleep present us fictions,

Since our waking moments teem With such fanciful convictions

As make life itself a dream. Half our daylight faith 's a fable;

Sleep disports with shadows too,
Seeming in their turn as stable

As the world we wake to view.
Ne'er by day did Reason's mint
Give my thoughts a clearer print
Of assured reality,
Than was left by Phantasy
Stamp'd and colour'd on my sprite,
In a dream of yesternight.

In a bark, methought, lone steering,

I was cast on Ocean's strife;
This, 'twas whisperd in my hearing,

Meant the sea of life.
Sad regrets from past existence

Came like gales of chilling breath;

Shadow'd in the forward distance

Lay the land of Death.
Now seeming more, now less remote,
On that dim-seen shore, methought,
I beheld two hands a space
Slow unshroud a spectre's face;
And my flesh's hair upstood,
'Twas mine own similitude.-

But my soul revived at seeing

Ocean, like an emerald spark, Kindle, while an air-dropt being

Smiling steer'd my bark
Heaven-like-yet he look'd as human

As supernal beauty can,
More compassionate than woman,

Lordly more than man.
And as some sweet clarion's breath
Stirs the soldier's scorn of death
So his accents bade me brook
The spectre's eyes of icy look,
Till it shut them--turn'd its head,
Like a beaten foe, and fled.

“ Types not this,” I said, “ fair spirit !

That my death hour is not come? Say, what days shall I inherit ?

Tell my soul their sum.” "No," he said, “yon phantom's aspect, Trust me would appall thee worse, Held in clearly measured prospect:

Ask not for a curse! Make not, for I overhear Thine unspoken thoughts as clear As thy mortal ear could catch The close-brought tickings of a watchMake not the untold request That's now revolving in thy breast.

'Tis to live again, remeasuring

Youth's years, like a scene rehearsed, In thy second life-time treasuring

Knowledge from the first.
Hast thou felt, poor self-deceiver!

Life's career so void of pain,
As to wish its fitful fever

New begun again? Could experience, ten times thine, Pain from Being disentwine Threads by Fate together spun? Could thy flight Heaven's lightning shun? No, nor could thy foresight's glance 'Scape the myriad shafts of Chance.

Wouldst thou bear again Love's trouble

Friendship's death-dissever'd ties; Toil to grasp or miss the bubble

Of Ambition's prize ?

« PrécédentContinuer »