Sidor som bilder

But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents passed into the skies.
And now, farewell! - Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine;

And, while the wings of Fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.



Smooth, snail, list'n'd, list'ns, list'n'st, spear, spleen, spring, asps, clasp'd, stead, strong, tastes, tast'st.


To the Past. W. C. BRYANT.

THOU unrelenting Past!

Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
And fetters, sure and fast,

Hold all that enters thy unbreathing reign.

Far in thy realm withdrawn,

Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom;
And glorious ages gone

Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.

Childhood, with all its mirth,

Youth, ― manhood,

age, that draws us to the ground,

And last, man's life on earth,

Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.

Thou hast my better years,

Thou hast my early friends-the good-the kind, Yielded to thee with tears

The venerable form - the exalted mind.

[ocr errors]

My spirit yearns to bring

The lost ones back-yearns with desire intense, And struggles hard to wring

Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.

In vain — thy gates deny

All passage, save to those who hence depart;
Nor to the streaming eye

Thou giv'st them back — nor to the broken heart.

In thy abysses hide.

Beauty and excellence unknown to thee
Earth's wonder and her pride

Are gathered, as the waters to the sea;

Labors of good to man, Unpublished charity, unbroken faithLove, that 'midst grief began,

And grew with years, and faltered not in death.

[ocr errors]

Full many a mighty name

Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered;
With thee are silent fame,

Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.

Thine, for a space, are they —


Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last;
Thy gates shall yet give way,

Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!

All that of good and fair

Has gone into thy womb, from earliest time,
Shall then come forth, to wear
The glory and the beauty of its prime.

They have not perished—no!

Kind words, remembered voices, once so sweet,
Smiles, radiant long ago,

And features, the great soul's apparent seat;

All shall come back, each tie
Of pure affection shall be knit again;
Alone shall evil die,

And sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.

And then shall I behold

Him, by whose kind paternal side I sprung,
And her, who, still and cold,

Fills the next grave- the beautiful and young.


Better Moments. N. P. WILLIS.

My mother's voice! how often creep
Its accents o'er my lonely hours!
Like healing sent on wings of sleep,

Or dew to the unconscious flowers.
I can forget her melting prayer

While leaping pulses madly fly;



Length'n, length'n'd, length'n'dst, length'ns, truths, throne, smooth'd. smooths, smooth'st.

But in the still, unbroken air,
Her gentle tones come stealing by,
And years, and sin, and manhood, flee,
And leave me at my mother's knee.

The book of nature, and the print

Of beauty on the whispering sea, Give aye to me some lineament

Of what I have been taught to be.
My heart is harder, and perhaps

My manliness hath drunk up tears,
And there's a mildew in the lapse
Of a few miserable years;
But nature's book is even yet
With all my mother's lessons writ.

I have been out, at eventide,

Beneath a moonlit sky of spring, When earth was garnished like a bride, And Night had on her silver wingWhen bursting leaves, and diamond grass, And waters leaping to the light, And all that make the pulses pass

With wilder fleetness, thronged the night; When all was beauty-then have I,

With friends on whom my love is flung, Like myrrh on winds of Araby,

Gazed up where evening's lamp is hung.

And when the beauteous spirit there
Flung over me its golden chain,
My mother's voice came on the air,

Like the light dropping of the rain,
Showered on me from some silver star:

Then, as on childhood's bended knee,

I've poured her low and fervent prayer,
That our eternity might be

To rise in heaven, like stars at night,
And tread a living path of light.

I have been on the dewy hills,

When night was stealing from the dawn, And mist was on the waking rills,

And tints were delicately drawn
In the gray east, — when birds were waking,
With a slow murmur, in the trees,
And melody by fits was breaking

Upon the whisper of the breeze; -
And this when I was forth, perchance,
As a worn reveller from the dance;

And when the sun sprang gloriously And freely up, and hill and river

Were catching, upon wave and tree, The subtile arrows from his quiver;

I say, a voice has thrilled me then,

Heard on the still and rushing light, Or creeping from the silent glen,


Like words from the departing night, — Hath stricken me, and I have pressed

On the wet grass my fevered brow, And, pouring forth the earliest,

First prayer with which I learned to bow, Have felt my mother's spirit rush

[merged small][ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »