Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

And let the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound !
We in thought will join your throng,

Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day

Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,

In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
Think not of any severing of our loves !
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they ;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day

Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep

for tears.
WORDSWORTH.--Abr.

THE WORTH OF HOURS.

So should we live, that every hour
May die as dies the natural flower,
A self-reviving thing of power;
That every thought and every deed
May hold within itself the seed
Of future good and future meed;
Esteeming sorrow, whose employ
Is to develope, not destroy,
Far better than a barren joy.

MILNES.

EXCELSIOR.

The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth,

who bore 'mid snow and ice, A banner with the strange device,

Excelsior !
His brow was sad ! his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,

Excelsior!
In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

Excelsior!
Try not the pass,” the old man said
“ Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!”
And loud that clarion voice replied,

Excelsior!
Oh stay,” the maiden said, “and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast !"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye,
But still he answered with a sigh,

Excelsior!
“ Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche !"
This was the peasant's last good night,
A voice replied far up the height,

Excelsior!
At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer.
A voice cried through the startled air,

Excelsior!
A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice,
The banner with the strange device,

Excelsior!
There in the twilight cold and grey,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay;
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

Excelsior!

BEN ADHEM.

“We know we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.''

1 John iii. 14. "He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God

whom he hath not seen ?"-1 John iv. 20.

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase !)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room-
Making it rich and like a lily in bloom-
An angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou ?” The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?said Abou. “ Nay, not so,"
Replied the angel. Ahou spoke more low,
But cheerily still, and said, “ I pray thee then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”
The angel wrote and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had bless'd,
And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

LEIGH HUNT.

THE GRAND CURE FOR HUMAN WOES. The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows, and the crimes of humanity, all lie in that one word, love. It is the divine vitality that every where produces and restores life. To each and every one of us, it gives the power of working miracles, if we will. From the highest to the lowest, all feel its influence, all acknowledge its sway. Even the poor despised donkey is changed by its magic influence. When coerced and beaten, he is vicious, obstinate, and stupid. With the peasantry of Spain he is & petted favourite, almost an inmate of the household. The children bid him welcome home, and the wife feeds him from her hands. He knows them all, and he loves them all, for he feels in his inmost heart that they all love him. He will follow his master, and come and go at his bidding, like a faithful dog; and he delights to take the baby on his back, and walk him round gently on the greensward. His intellect expands, too, in the sunshine of affection; and he that is called the stupidest' of animals becomes sagacious. A Spanish peasant had for many years carried milk into Madrid, to supply a set of customers. Every morning he and his donkey, with loaded panniers, trudged the well known road. At last the peasant became very ill, and had no one to send to market.

His wife proposed to send the faithful animal by himself. The panniers were accordingly filled with canisters of milk; an inscription, written by the priest, requested customers to measure their own milk, and return the vessels; and the donkey was instructed to set off with his load. He went, and returned in due time with empty canisters; and this he continued to do for several days. The house-bells in Madrid are usually so constructed that you pull downward to make them ring. The peasant afterwards learned that his sagacious animal stopped before the door of every customer, and after waiting what he deemed sufficient time, pulled the bell with his mouth. If affectionate treatment will thus idealise the donkey, what may it not do! Assuredly there is no limit to its power. It can banish crime, and make this earth an Eden.

Maria Child's Letters from New York,

As from the bosom of her mystic fountains,

Nile's sacred waters flow on to the main,
Flooding

each vale enclosed amidst the mountains,
From Ethiopian hills to Egypt's plain :
So from the bosom of the Fount of Love,

A golden stream of sympathy is gushing;
And winding, first thro’ intellect above,

Then throp each vale of mortal mind is rushing;
Sweeping the heart of iceberg and of stone,

Purging humanity of every blindness,
Melting all spirits earthly into one,
And leaving holiness and joy—'TIS KINDNESS.

D. K. LEE.

Were half the power that fills the world with terror,

Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
Given to redeem the human mind from error,

There were no need of arsenals nor forts.
The warrior's name by all would be abhorred!

And every nation that should lift again
Its hand against a brother, on its forehead

Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain!
Down the dark future, through long generations,

The sounds of war grow fainter, and then cease,
And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,

I hear, once more, the voice of Christ say, Peace!”
Peace! and no longer from its brazen portals,

The blast of War's great trumpet shakes the skies !
But, beautiful as songs of the immortals,
The holy melodies of love arise.

LONGFELLOW

ELEGY WRITTEN IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.*

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea,
The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,

And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,

And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds :

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,

The moping owl does to the moon complain
Of such as, wandering near her secret bower,

Molest her ancient solitary reign.

(Hark! how the sacred calm that breathes around,

Bids every fierce tumultuous passion cease;
In still small accents whispering from the ground,

A grateful earnest of eternal peace.]

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap,
Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,

The swallow twittering from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,

No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,

Or busy housewife ply her evening care;
No children run to lisp their sire's return,

Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,

Their furrow oft the stubhorn glebe has broke :
How jocund did they drive their team a-field !

How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!

* This is considered the finest Elegy in any language. It has been termed " exquisite and most thoroughly English”—" tasteful, expressive and touching"--" a rich storehouse for rich and apt quotations”-and “unequalled for the skill with which the pathetic and picturesque are combined."

« PredošláPokračovať »