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Years have been tombed, Adhemar, since we met, Sorrow and change have brooded o'er my way— Thine image floated o'er me night and day, Like some lone-wandering star that could not set. I've sought in other climes for other friends To quench the fire that on love's altar burns For ever: but to thee my spirit tends Constant as magnet to Alru'ba turns. Beneath the stars I've wrapped me up in dreams, And talked with phantoms till the morning light; I have run races with the laughing streams, And sung with birds from early dawn till night, To wean my heart and win my thoughts from thee— But thou wert still my star, my sun, my Deity.
Long have I left the world, each dazzling scene Of joy, and mirth, and hall of gayety, To seek in solitude tranquillity, If soul so tost can ever he serene; From vulgar eyes my bosom's woe to screen, And strive, beloved one, if such thing can he, To rend the chain that binds my life to thee— All tears and pinings banish—and again To mingle in the world as proud and gay. But here, week after week, and year I stay Feeding my heart upon its hoarded sighs— The memory of thy form and radiant eyes, Which woke the plaintive spirit of my lyre, And kindled in my breast a never-dying fire.
A Thousand times I've vowed to say farewell—
A thousand times that word's died on my lip—
A thousand times resolved no more to sip
The cup, in which delicious poisons dwell.
A thousand times I've striven the storm to quell
That in this desolated breast doth rave,
And sworn to cool my heart in Lethe's wave—
Against all bonds of Cupid to rebel;
But such resolves like morning mist depart,
And, like Prometheus on his rocky peak,
Writhing beneath the eagle's slakeless beak,
I feel the vulture gnawing at my heart;
And to its fangs my bosom have resigned,
Till death in mercy shall my chain unbind.
SONNETS WRITTEN AFTER ADIIEMAR'S DEATH.
THE NEWS OF ADIIEMAR'S DEATH.
Woe's me! my pulse stands still! Adhemar's dead! I read it in the Journal of this morn, That was to me by brawling newsboy borne. Mine eye fell on the telegraphic head, And running down the column swift as hawk Darts preyward, midway halted, while a shudder Shot through my heart, as through a ship whose rudder Strikes suddenly against a coral rock. "After three weeks," it ran, "of agony, Precisely fifteen minutes ere eleven Adhemar's spirit passed away to heaven, Enwrapped in mantle of serenity; To-morrow, as the sun goes to his bed, The knell will call him to the city of the dead.
WHO ADHEMAR WAS.
"He was a lawyer—in the noon of youth; His eagle thoughts like pinioned arrows flew Into his theme, and pierced it through and through: Clove Falsehood down, and raised up trembling Truth, Upon the wings of eloquence he lifted Up with his soul, star-soaring souls of crowds, And with these eaglets swept beyond the clouds, Till 'gainst the azure brow of heaven they drifted. He was a genius—lofty—generous—kind— A genius of that high volcanic order That hurls its lava forth in wild disorder, And with its rockets strikes the planets blind." I read it through—and from my hand, like lead, The paper fell—and left me rigid, as if dead.