Obrázky na stránke



EE, as the prettiest graves will do in time,

Our poet's wants the freshness of its prime; Spite of the sexton's browsing horse, the sods Have struggled through its binding osier-rods; Headstone and half-sunk footstone lean awry, Wanting the brickwork promised by and by ; How the minute gray lichens, plate o'er plate, Have softened down the crisp-cut name and date !

[blocks in formation]


AY but you, who do not love her,

Is she not pure gold, my mistress? Holds earth aught, — speak truth, — above her?

Aught like this tress, see, and this tress,

And this last fairest tress of all
So fair, see, ere I let it fall!

Because, you spend your lives in praising;

To praise, you search the wide world over; So, why not witness, calmly gazing,

If earth holds aught — speak truth — above her? Above this tress, and this I touch But cannot praise, I love so much!


You know. we French stormed Ratisbon :


A mile or so away
On a little mound, Napoléon

Stood on our storming-day;
With neck out-thrust, you fancy how,

Legs wide, arms locked behind,
As if to balance the prone brow

Oppressive with its mind.

Just as perhaps he mused, “My plans

That soar, to earth may fall,
Let once my army-leader, Lannes,

Waver at yonder wall,”
Out 'twixt the battery-smokes there flew

A rider, bound on bound
Full-galloping; nor bridle drew

Until he reached the mound.

Then off there flung in smiling joy,

And held himself erect
By just his horse's mane, a boy:

You hardly could suspect

(So tight he kept his lips compressed,

Scarce any blood came through)
You looked twice ere you saw his breast

Was all but shot in two.


“Well,” cried he, “ Emperor, by God's grace

We've got you Ratisbon !
The Marshal's in the market-place,

And you 'll be there anon

To see your flag-bird flap his vans

Where I, to heart's desire, Perched him!” The Chief's eye flashed; his plans

Soared up again like fire.

The Chief's eye flashed; but presently

Softened itself, as sheathes A film the mother eagle's eye

When her bruised eaglet breathes : “ You ’re wounded !” “Nay,” his soldier's pride

Touched to the quick, he said : “I'm killed, Sire !” And, his Chief beside,

Smiling, the boy fell dead.


[ocr errors]

ORNING, evening, noon, and night,
“Praise God,” sang Theocrite.

Then to his poor trade he turned,
By which the daily meal was earned.

Hard he labored, long and well;
O’er his work the boy's curls fell :

But ever, at each period,
He stopped and sang, “ Praise God.”

Then back again his curls he threw,
And cheerful turned to work anew.

Said Blaise, the listening monk, “Well done;
I doubt not thou art heard, my son:

As well as if thy voice to-day
Were praising God, the Pope's great way.
This Easter Day, the Pope at Rome
Praises God from Peter's dome.”
Said Theocrite, “Would God that I
Might praise Him, that great way, and die!”
Night passed, day shone,
And Theocrite was gone.
With God a day endures alway,
A thousand years are but a day.
God said in Heaven, “ Nor day nor night
Now brings the voice of my delight.”
Then Gabriel, like a rainbow's birth,
Spread his wings and sank to earth ;
Entered in flesh, the empty cell,
Lived there, and played the craftsman well:
And morning, evening, noon, and night,
Praised God in place of Theocrite.

And from a boy, to youth he grew :
The man put off the stripling's hue :

The man matured and fell away
Into the season of decay :

And ever o'er the trade he bent,
And ever lived on earth content.

(He did God's will; to him, all one If on the earth or in the sun.)

God said, “ A praise is in mine ear;
There is no doubt in it, no fear :

« PredošláPokračovať »