Imagini ale paginilor



HIS mortal body of a thousand days Now fills, O Burns, a space in thine own room,

Where thou didst dream alone on budded bays,

Happy and thoughtless of thy day of doom!
My pulse is warm with thine own Barley-bree,
My head is light with pledging a great soul,
My eyes are wandering, and I cannot see,
Fancy is dead and drunken at its goal;
Yet can I stamp my foot upon thy floor,
Yet can I ope thy window-sash to find
The meadow thou hast tramped o'er and o'er,-
Yet can I think of thee till thought is blind,-
Yet can I gulp a bumper to thy name,-
O smile among the shades, for this is fame!



LD MEG she was a gipsy,

And lived upon the moors:

Her bed it was the brown heath turf,
And her house was out of doors.

Her apples were swart blackberries,

Her currants, pods o' broom;

Her wine was dew of the wild white rose,
Her book a church-yard tomb.

Her brothers were the craggy hills

Her sisters larchen trees;

Alone with her great family

She lived as she did please.

[ocr errors]

No breakfast had she many a morn,

No dinner many a noon,

And, 'stead of supper, she would stare
Full hard against the moon.

But every morn, of woodbine fresh
She made her garlanding,

And, every night, the dark glen yew
She wove, and she would sing.
And with her fingers, old and brown,
She plaited mats of rushes,

And gave them to the cottagers
She met among the bushes.

Old Meg was brave as Margaret Queen,
And tall as Amazon;

An old red blanket cloak she wore,
A ship-hat had she on :

God rest her aged bones somewhere!
She died full long agone!



EARKEN, thou craggy ocean-pyramid, Give answer by thy voice-the seafowls' screams!

When were thy shoulders mantled in

huge streams?

When from the sun was thy broad forehead hid?
How long is't since the mighty Power bid

Thee heave to airy sleep from fathom dreams--
Sleep in the lap of thunder or sunbeams-
Or when grey clouds are thy cold coverlid!

Thou answer'st not; for thou art dead asleep.
Thy life is but two dead eternities,

The last in air, the former in the deep!

First with the whales, last with the eagle-skies! Drown'd wast thou till an earthquake made thee steep,

Another cannot wake thy giant-size !


HERE is a charm in footing slow across a silent plain,

Where patriot battle had been fought, where glory had the gain;

There is a pleasure on the heath, where Druids old have been,

Where mantles grey have rustled by, and swept the nettled green;

There is a joy in every spot made known in times

of old,

New to the feet although each tale a hundred times be told;

There is a deeper joy than all, more solemn in the heart.

More parching to the tongue than all, of more divine a smart,

When weary steps forget themselves upon a pleasant turf,

Upon hot sand, or flinty road, or sea-shore iron


Toward the castle or the cot, where long ago was


One who was great through mortal days, and died of fame unshorn.

Light heather-bells may tremble then,-but they are far away;

Wood-lark may sing from sandy fern,—the Sun may hear his lay;

Runnels may kiss the grass on shelves and shallows clear,

But their low voices are not heard, tho' come on travels drear;

Blood-red the sun may set behind black mountain


Blue tides may sluice and drench their time in caves and weedy creeks,

Eagles may seem to sleep wing-wide upon the air, Ring-doves may fly convulsed across to some high cedared lair,—

But the forgotten eye is still fast lidded to the ground,

As palmer's that with weariness mid-desert shrine hath found.

At such a time the soul's a child, in childhood is the brain,

Forgotten is the worldly heart,-alone it beats in vain!

Aye, if a madman could have leave to pass a healthful day,

To tell his forehead's swoon and faint, when first began decay,

He might make tremble many a one, whose spirit had gone forth

To find a Bard's low cradle-place about the silent north!

Scanty the hour, and few the steps, beyond the bourn of care!

Beyond the sweet and bitter world,-beyond it unaware'

Scanty the hour, and few the steps,-because a longer stay

Would bar return and make a man forget his mortal way!

O horrible! to lose the sight of well-remember'd face,

Of Brother's eyes, of Sister's brow,-constant to every place,

Filling the air as on we move with portraiture intense,

More warm than those heroic tints that pain a painter's sense,

When shapes of old come striding by, and visages

of old,

Locks shining black, hair scanty grey, and passions manifold!

No, no, that horror cannot be! for at the cable's


Man feels the gentle anchor pull, and gladdens in its strength :

One hour, half idiot, he stands by mossy waterfall,

But in the very next he reads his soul's memorial; He reads it on the mountain's height, where chance he may sit down,

Upon rough marble diadem, that hill's eternal


Yet be his anchor e'er so fast, room is there for

a prayer,

That man may never lose his mind in mountains black and bare;

That he may stray, league after league, sɔme great birthplace to find,

And keep his vision clear from speck, his inward sight unblind.

« ÎnapoiContinuă »