Obrázky na stránke

In the Hardtwald, beside Carlsruhe,

March 12, 1856.

rugged oak


THOUSANDS of acres of loose, sandy soil,
Covered with ancient forest
In its third century's growth, Scotch fir gigantic,
Wide-spreading beech, tall poplar, elm and hornbeam;
And réd pine with its graceful, hanging boughs
Where many a bush -tailed squirrel cradled swings,
Pruning the branches with a gardener's skill,
And the ground strowing with rejected fragments
Of the pink, tender, terebinthine buds.
Here on this mossy bank o'erspread with dry,
Crisp oak-leaves, let us stretch us, in the sun,
Where the still leafless hazel overhead
Dangles her golden catkins, and the lank
Male willow bends him toward his silvery bride.
And see, my Katharine, 'tis the butterfly,
The spring's first butterfly, has come to gréet us,
And balances itself upon the soft,
Velvety, yellow tuft of yon Carline.
Poor thing! it takes this sunny twelfth of March
For genial April's all-reviving ray:
No wonder; these dry leaves are hot in the sun,
And the whole depth of the wood shuts out the North.
The ant too ventures forth and would be busy;
The heavy-cuirassed beetle awkward lumbers
Over the loose sand, where it 's carpeted
Thick with the withered needles of the pine;
And, on its slender and elastic stilts,
The huge field-spider passes harmlessly

From blade to blade of short, white, sapless grass,
That by no bend acknowledges his tread.

[ocr errors]

Where were ye, all the icy winter through,
Mute, innocent burghers of these pillared aisles?
Where slept ye, the long night and sunless day?
Safe in what subterraneous cell beneath
What drifted snów-wreath ? wrapped in what dry leaf?
Sheltered behind what loosening scale of bark?
The tiny spark of life that slumbered through
Those dreary hours, take heed ye lose not now,
Too much relying on the cheerier season;
The same bright sun that waked ye from your sleep,
Has waked your enemies too. From the bare bough
Of yonder tasseled alder sings the thrush
Notes, not of friendship to your helpless tribes,
And, on the great oaks of the neighbouring alley,
Tap-tap, tap-tap went, two full hours this morning,
The murderous woodpecker's strong, sharp bill.
Ah! why has Nature willed, through all her realms,
War, rapine, violence, and bloodshed? why
Must this one's life be that one's death, ah why?
Why are we not all brethren, as all children,
The selfsame parent's children? why, ah why?
Tell me that, wise men, and I 'll think ye wise;
Tell me that, Nature, and I 'll think thee good,
As good and kind as now I think thee cruel.
Come, come, my child; we must with this March sun
Not too long stay coquetting: toward the city,
And Goethe's or diviner Schiller's page.
To solemn Evening and more solemn Night
We leave thee, Hardtwald! and thy habitants
With the next sunny noon we come again.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“OLD father Time, he loves thee so,"

Thus I once to my Muse, "To grant thee aught thou ask'st of him,

Methinks, he 'll not refuse.

“So to him go, and stroke his beard,

And call him kind and good: My bacon he may surely spare,

Who has the whole world for food."

Off went to Time th' ambassadress,

And stroked his beard and chin, And begged and prayed, and vowed and swore

To eat me were a sin.

“All I can do to please," said Time,

"I 'll do for love of thee, I 'll eat thy friend the last of all

That 's a great stretch for me."

Back posting then the maid told how

She had won her suit, for I Should live until the time Time's self

For want of food must die.

Then, to be


we did not chaunt My Muse and I, that night Ulysses, Time and Polypheme,

Until the morning light!

CARLSRUHE, May 14, 1856.

“O my luve 's like the red, red rose,

That 's newly sprung in June: O my luve 's like the melodie,

That 's sweetly played in tune."

I DEARLY love the red,


rose, That 's newly blown in June: I dearly love the melody,

That 's sweetly played in tune.

But twice as much I dearly love

The rose on Mary's cheek,
And twice as much I dearly love

To hear my Mary speak.

For like her voice no music fills

My heart and soul with glee,
And like herself there 's in the world

No red, red rose for me.

CARLSRUHE, March 7, 1856.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

BLESSED be the man who first invented chairs!
And doubly blessed, the man who beds invented!
But blessed above them both and praised for ever,
By sick and well, young, old, and rich and poor,
By grave and gay, and ignorant and learned,
By lazy and by idle and by tired,
And most, by all who love, like me, to loll,
The livelong day through, trilling maudlin verses,
Th’ ingenious man,

if man indeed he were
And not divine, who first invented thee,
Half bed, half chair, delicious, spring-stuffed sofa!
Stretched at my ease on thee, I envy not
Turkish divan or carpet, kingly throne,
Or lectulus of Pliny or Lucullus
In Ostian villa or by Pausilippo;
Nay, envy scarce the hyacinthine couch
- From which, half raised upon his elbow, Adam
Leaned over Eve, enamoured, kissed her cheek,
And bade her waken out of her first sleep
And greet a second day in paradise.
My Muse's visits I receive on thee,
Semi-recumbent, make her sit beside me,
And chat and banter with her to no end.
On thee I make my toilet, sit on thee
And eat and drink, and stretch me out to sleep.
Thou art my bed, my prie- dieu, chair and stool,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PredošláPokračovať »