Obrázky na stránke



having certain proverbs thrown in All these the courtier would have asked,

but fear our teeth about enough being as

Palsied his utterance as the man drew good as a feast.

And the Ring's Master, after one brief " The royal sage—the Master of the Ring,

gaze, Solomon-once upon a morn in spring, Looked on with more of trouble than By Kedron, in his garden's rosiest walk, Was loitering, with a pleasant griest in talk.

"Oh Solomon :-oh 'friend !-Lord of the A man of awful presence, but with face

Ring, Yet undiscerned, was seen within the I cannot bear the horror of this thing.' place.

* Help with thy mighty power! Wish me, The stranger seemed, to judge him by his dress,

On the remotest mountain of Cathay.' One of mean sort, a dweller with distress, Solomon wished, and the man vanished. Or some poor pilgrim;—but the steps

Straight he took

On came the stranger with his orbs of Bespoke an inward greatness, and his look

And looking harshly on the King, said heOpened a page in a tremendous book. • What meant that man here wasting time How he got there—what wanted-who

with thee? could be

I was to fetch him ere the close of day That ventured thus to beard such privacy; From the remotest mountain of Cathay;' Whether some mighty Spirit of the Ring, Solomon said, bowing him to the groundAnd, if so, why he thus should daunt the * Angel of Death, there shall the man be

King ?

I pray,




BITTER was the tale I dreaded,

Grief of heart for evermore,
When, from years of weary travel,

Landing on my native shore,
I sought out the ancient village

And the well-remembered door.
Long it was since any tidings

Reached me wandering o'er the wave,
And my soul for certain knowledge,

Though it held a curse, did crave-
Though the melancholy answer

Only echoed of the grave.
I had left three little children

In the years of long ago,
But past joy is present sorrow;

Painfully the seasons flow-
Who am I to be delivered

From the broken hopes below?
I had left an angel woman

Guardian of the tender three-
Is she dead or is she living?

Is her spirit true to me?
Well I know that many winters

Cannot change her constancy.
And I sought the well-loved cottage,

Skirted by the poplar tall ;
Waited by the garden-wicket,

Listening to the waterfall;
And I caught the pleasant odour

Of the jasmine on the wall.

Then I entered, and she knew me,

And sank fainting in my arms.
On her face I saw imprinted

Midnight watchings, pain, alarms.
And her children clustered round me,
Undivided, free from harms.




The broad advances of material power,
The onward sweep of intellectual good,
And nations moving into manhood new
Through wisdom and authentic civil change-
O soul-expansive creed ! O faith to stir
The individual breast with hopes divine,
And breathe forgetfulness of private wrong!
But when I asked myself what these have done,
What failed to do, I felt as if an air,
Steady and chill, from some waste wilderness,
Swept cold across the chambers of my heart;
For through the heavy multitudinous roll,
Heard underneath the noises of the hour
From Life's dark hollows, as I thought, a cry
Unheeded, inarticulate, went up,
Which forcibly found words within my breast :-

Still we suffer wrongs untold,

Robbed of peace and joy and health,
Slowly slain, both young and old,

For the rich man's greed of wealth.
How long shall our hearths lie cold ?
How long shall our lives be sold ?
Rise, ye men of nobler mould,

Say it shall not be for ever!
Vainly doth the poor man groan,
Vainly doth he speak his grief.

till thy days be flown
Seek not, save in death, relief!
It is thus they mock his moan,
While they take from him his own,
Leaving him the grave alone,

Where to sleep at rest for ever!
Shall there not deep vengeance fall

On the tyrants pitiless,
Holding cursed festival

In a people's heaviness ?
Vengeance late or soon will fall
On the oppressors one and all,
Covering, like a funeral pall,

These iniquities for ever!
O would that all men who have eyes to see,
Who feel the earthquake heaving in its chains,
Would lay to heart the remedy of things
Disjointed, ere they perish, and would turn

* Work on,

Where lies the one hope of the groaning earth!
Nor will I doubt my country shall find help-
Not in the selfishness of social war,
State agitations, and the building up
A Babel of unripe democracies ;
But in the charity of man to man;
In the acknowledgment of common blood
Drawn from a common Father; in the sense
Of Christ's desert wherein we all are rich,
And of our own wherein we all are poor.
This is that touch of nature which will make
The whole world kin, and bring "the golden year.”
And God be thanked that many to this end
Are working, by the unfaithful and inert
Derided, not defeated, and, though faint,
Pursuing; the laborious pioneers
Who point the scope of elemental Right;
Who make the rough ways smooth, the crooked straight;
Who lift the valleys even with the hills,
And on a secret anvil, hour by hour,
Unforge the fetters of Humanity!



In strength there ever dwells of right

Some quality of noble name,
Which through base uses keeps alight

A remnant of celestial flame,
And cannot leave him wholly vile

Within whose breast it takes abode, Since this one spot, this little isle,

Must still retain the stamp of God. In Him who, not of kings the heir,

Carves out a crown by kingly work, Must needs be that some virtue rare,

Some godlike moral grace, doth lurk.
This, shining forth, shall colour lend

To wrong, or questionable act,
Till the world dreams a righteous end
Where only sophists can defend,

And Faith becomes the slave of Fact.
Yet is it an effeminate thing,

A woman-weakness, still to crave
For works that make the world to ring,
Or setting up some idol-king

For violence pronounce him brave.
For stronger far, and in their strength

More honourably due to fame,
Are they who through the stormy length

Of combat kept a flawless name;
Who, reddened to the brows with strife,

Have nourished hearts not cruel still ; Men who, though widely taking life,

Shed blood for conscience' sake, not will ;

Who sheathed the sword when peace might be,

And, bravely glad, confessed it gain;
In whose severe sublimity

Envy detects no fatal stain ;
Men of a perfect mould ; and such,

Who knew themselves and knew their time,
We cannot honour over-much

In story or in rhyme.
Strong is the statesman who can wield

A nation to his single will,
Teach its blind passions how to yield,

And lordly destinies fulfil ;
Who to one point, whate'er befall,

Makes every shapely purpose bend, Becoming all things unto all,

So he may gain an end. Yet greater oft is ill success

Later in time they reap applause Whom factions could not ban nor bless;

Found brave enough to lose a cause; Who, ʼmid a grovelling race and prone,

Walked honestly erect and proud, Who dared not lie to gain a throne,

Nor struck their colours to the crowd. Such shall not lack renown till when

Cometh an iron age at last, Sneering at all that makes us men,

Cursed with contemnings of the Past;
Who, reaping where they have not sown,

Wax selfish in their base degree ;
Who think the breath they breathe their own,

And slur the light by which they see.
This is the noblest strength to seek,

And fadeless still the crown remains, Which once He wore who, strongly weak,

On Calvary was wrung with pains. To suffer, and without complaint,

Makes grandeur more divine than all ; This to high places lifts the faint ;

This is the hero's coronal. To wither in a dark disgrace

Which half a word might wipe away, And clothed with calumny to face

Contempt and hatred day by day, Because the half-word that would change

Our destiny were best unsaidO wide and elevated range

Of hearts to worthy interests wed !
So blest the fame-regardless thought,

Which, to divine attractions true,
Feels that the life which hath been taught
To suffer hath been taught to do!





“MY DEAR LAD” thus wrote consumere nati, seeing that, for the Mr Sheara way—“I was truly glad most part, they subsisted entirely to receive tidings of you, and more upon

drink. What could we do with especially from your own hand. For a lad who would neither read nor though you have been long away work, and never came home to his from us, you are by no means forgot- bed until three o'clock in the mornten, at least by me, and I have often ing? I thought the best thing was caught myself wondering, when I to send him away from such graceless ought to have been doing something company, and to get him a situation else (possibly attending to a sermon), where, at all events, he would be comwhat on earth had become of Norman pelled to attend for certain hours ; Sinclair, the steadiest lad I ever had but it would seem from your account in hand, but also the queerest in so that he has louped from the fryingfar as regarded his notions for the pan into the fire, and got into the future. For a time I heard some- hands of the Jews, for whose converthing about you from your old guar. sion I would sincerely pray, and even dian, Ned Mather ; but he became cheerfully subscribe, if I thought that tired of Edinburgh, where his ac- on becoming Christians they would quaintances were gradually dying cease to be discounters of bills. Mr out, and about three years ago set- Littlewoo must just make up his tled down in some remote part of mind to advance whatever is necesGalloway, where good fishing is to be sary to clear his gowk of a son. His had, since when he has given no case is a hard one, for I don't think token of existence. I always thought he has saved much, having an expenthat you would make a spoon or spoil sive family. What with dinners and a horn (which, by the way, is but a balls and pic-nics (in spite of which stupid proverb, because if you don't none of the Misses have got married), make a spoon, the horn of course they must have muddled away an must be spoiled); but you know very awful deal of money. I know I well what I mean; and I really am de- should not like to have to pay the lighted to hear that you have got on haberdasher's account for the last 80 well, and prophesy even better twelvemonth. things for the time to come.

“ It will not be necessary that I “ With regard to that poor de- should write to James Littlewoo immented creature, Jamie Littlewoo, it mediately, as I expect to be in London will be my duty to tell his father in the course of a fortnight, when I what you have communicated, and shall ascertain the amount of his liato concert measures for saving the bilities, and consider how they may idiot from absolute ruin. I am the be discharged. I should not have more bound to do this, because it thought of coming to London at this was partly through my advice that he season of the year, but, like every one was sent to London, for giving which else, I have got mixed up in railway I am now like to eat my fingers from matters, and have to look after the vexation. But I did it all for the interests of some clients, in a bill best. We could make nothing of him which is now depending in Parliahere. He could neither settle down ment. This railway mania is the most in the office, nor study for the bar, extraordinary movement that I can but took up with idle officers and dis- recollect. It has taken possession of sipated ne'erdoweels, of whom it can well-nigh everybody in Edinburgh. hardly be said that they were fruges Advocates, writers, doctors, citizens,

« PredošláPokračovať »