Obrázky na stránke

Let not Ambition mock their useless toil,

Their homely joys and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile

The short and simple annals of the poor.*
The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour;

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.
Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,

If Memory o’er their tomb no trophies raise,
Where through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault

The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.
Can storied urn, or animated bust,

Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,

Or Flattery soothe the dull cold ear of Death?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid

Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,

Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre :
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,

Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble rage,

And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene

The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear :
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,

And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that, with dauntless breast,

The little tyrant of his fields withstood,
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,

Some Cromwell heedless of his country's good.t
The applause of listening senates to command,

The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,

And read their history in a nation's eyes,

* In the early editions, the following beautiful stanza was inserted here:

The thoughtless world to majesty may bow,

Exalt the brave, and idolize success;
But more to innocence their safety owe,

Than power or genius e'er conspired to bless. + This line has been altered, as the real character of Cromwell was not properly known when the Author was living.

Their lot forbade: nor circumscribed alone

Their growing virtues, but their crimes confined; Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,

And shut the gates of mercy on mankind.

Far from the mad’ning crowd's ignoble strife,

Their sober wishes never learn’d to stray ; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life

They kept the noiseless tenor of their way:

Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect,

Some frail memorial still erected nigh,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck’d,

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh.

Their names, their years, spelt by the unletter'd Muse,

The place of fame and elegy supply; And many holy texts around she strews,

That teach the rustic moralist to die.

For who, to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,

This pleasing anxious being e'er resign’d, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,

Nor cast one longing, lingering look beliind ?

On some fond breast the parting soul relies,

Some pious drops the closing eye requires; E'en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,

E’en in our ashes live their wonted fires.



I had a little daughter,

And she was given to me
To lead me gently backward

To the heavenly Father's knee,
That I, by the force of nature,

Might in some dim wise divine
The depth of his infinite patience

To this wayward soul of mine.
I know not how others saw her,

But to me she was wholly fair,
And the light of heaven she came from

Gleamed from her eyes and her hair.
Alas! she was here scarce a twelve-month,

And it hardly seem'd a day,
When a troop of wandering angels
Stole my little daughter away.


In this dull world we cheat ourselves and one another of innocent pleasures by the score, through very carelessness and apathy. Courted day after day by happy memories, we rudely brush them off with the stern material present. Invited to help in rendering joyful many a patient heart, we neglect the little that might have done it, and continually deprive creation of its share of kindness from us. The humble friend encouraged by your frankness – equals made to love you, and superiors gratified by attention and respect, looking out to benefit you kindly-how many pleasures here for one hand to gather; how many blessings for one heart to give! Instead of this what have we rife about the world?. Frigid compliment, reserve, selfishness, for every one is struggling for his own ends. This is all false, all bad : it is the slavery chain of custom rivetted by the foolishness of fashion. There are always persons who have nothing to recommend them but externals, such as their looks, dresses, rank and riches; and in order to exalt the honour of these, they combine to set a compact seal of silence upon the heart and mind. Turn the tables on them ye real gentlemen! speak freely, live warmly, look cheerfully, laugh heartily, explain frankly, exhort zealously, admire liberally, advise earnestly, and thus be not ashamed to show you have a heart. If some cold and selfish worldling greet your social efforts with a sneer, repay him with a good humoured smile; for you possess treasures to which he is an utter stranger.-TUPPER.--Adap.



This illustrious island which was once the luminary of the Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived the benefits of knowledge, and the blessings of religion. To abstract the mind from all local emotion would be impossible if it were endeavoured, and would be foolish if it were possible. Whatever draws us from the power of our senses-whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, advances us in the dignity of thinking beings. Far from me and from my friends be such frigid philosophy as may conduct us, indifferent and unmoved, over any ground which has been dignified by wisdom, bravery or virtue. That man is little to be envied, whose patriotism would not gain force upon the plain of Marathon, or whose piety would not grow warmer among the ruins of Iona.

* St. Columba was a native of Ireland, and landed at Iona in 564, with 12 pious followers called Culdees. He built a monastery, and, along with the Culdees, devoted his life to the dissemination of the Christian religion.


[ocr errors]

I said to sorrow's awful storm,
That beat against my breast,
Rage on! thou may'st destroy this form,

And lay it low at rest;
But still the spirit that now brooks

Thy tempest raging high
Undaunted, on its fury looks

With steadfast eye.”

I said to penury's meagre train,

“Come on! your threats I brave; My last poor life-drop you may drain,

And crush me to the grave; Yet still the spirit that endures

Shall brave your force the while, And meet each cold, hard grasp of yours,

With calmest smile."

I said to cold neglect and scorn,

“ Pass on! I heed you not; Ye may pursue me till my form

And being are forgot;
Yet still the spirit which you see,

Undaunted by your wiles,
Draws from its own nobility

Its high born smiles."

I said to friendship's menaced blow,

“Strike deep! my heart shall bear, Thou can'st but add one bitter woe

To those already there;
Yet still the spirit that sustains

This last severe distress,
Shall smile upon its keenest pains,

Nor seek redress.”

I said to death's uplifted dart,

“ Aim sure! oh, why delay? Thou wilt not find a fearful heart

A weak, reluctant prey;
For still the spirit, firm and free,

Triumphant in the last dismay,
Wrapt in its own eternity,

Shall smiling pass away.”


There is an evil and a good

In every soul, unknown to thee-
A darker or a brighter mood

Than aught thine eye can ever see;
Words, actions faintly mark the whole
That lies within a human soul.
Perhaps thy sterner mind condemns

Some brother-mind that, reasoning less,
The tide of error slowly stems

In pain, in love, in weariness :
Thou call'st him weak; he may be so,
What made him weak thou canst not know !


Not in the solitude
Alone may man commune with Heaven, or see

Only in savage wood
And sunny vale the present Deity;

Or only hear His voice
Where the winds whisper and the waves rejoice.

Even here do I behold
Thy steps, Almighty !-here, amidst the crowd

Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur deep and loud-

Choking the ways that wind
'Mongst the proud piles, the work of humankind.

Thy golden sunshine comes
From the round heaven, and on their dwellings lies,

And lights their inner homes;
For them thou fill'st with air the unbounded skies,

And givest them the stores
Of ocean, and the harvests of its shores.

Thy spirit is around,
Quickening the restless mass that sweeps along;

And this eternal sound-
Voices and footfalls of the numberless throng

Like the resounding sea,
Or like the rainy tempests—speaks of Thee.

And when the hours of rest
Come, like a calm upon the mid-sea brine,

Hushing its billowy breast,
The quiet of that moment too is thine;

It breathes of Him who keeps
The vast and helpless city while it sleeps. BRYANT.

« PredošláPokračovať »