Page images
PDF
EPUB

She is a married matron long ago
With nations at her side; her milk doth flow
Each year; but thee no husband dares to tame;

Thy wild will is thine own

Thy sole and virgin throne -Thy mood is ever changing - thy resolve the same.

Sunlight and moonlight minister to thee;
O'er the broad circle of the shoreless sea
Heaven's two great lights forever set and rise,

While the round vault above

In vast and silent love
Is gazing down upon thee with his hundred eyes.

All night thou utterest forth thy solemn moan,
Counting the weary minutes all alone;
Then in the morning thou dost calmly lie

Deep blue, ere yet the sun

His day's work hath begun,
Under the opening windows of the golden sky.

The spirit of the mountain looks on thee
Over a hundred hills: quaint shadows flee
Across thy marbled mirror: brooding lie

Storm mists of infant cloud,

With a sight-baffling shroud Mantling the gray blue islands in the western sky.

Sometimes thou liftest up thine hands on high
Into the tempest-cloud that blurs the sky,
Holding rough dalliance with the fitful blast;

Whose stiff breath whistling shrill

Pierces with deadly chill The wet crew feebly clinging to their shattered mast.

Foam-white along the border of the shore
Thine onward-leaping billows plunge and roar;
While o'er the pebbly ridges slowly glide

Cloaked figures, dim and gray

Through the thick mist of spray,
Watchers for some struck vessel in the boiling tide.

- Daughter and darling of remotest eld-
Time's childhood and Time's age thou hast beheld;
His arm is feeble, and his eye is dim;

He tells old tales again

He wearies of long pain,
Thou art as at the first — thou journey'dst not with him.

ALFRED THE GREAT

ALFRED THE GREAT. Born at Wantage, Berkshire, A.D. 849; died October 28, 201. As King of the West Saxons, A.D. 871-901, he not only waged war with the invading Danes, but instituted both judicial and educational reforms. The King translated Bede's “History of the Church in England,” Boethius's “Consolation of Philosophy,” Gregory's “Pastoral Care” and “Dialogues," directed the preparation of the "Saxon Chronicle," and was an original contributor to the thought of his age. Alfred was the creator of English prose; the language in which he wrote being so literally the basis of English, that three-fourths of his Anglo-Saxon words now survive in English speech. He formed thus an English literature five hundred years before the time of Chaucer.

A FYTTE OF DESPAIR

Alas! in how grim

A gulf of despair,
Dreary and dim

For sorrow and care,
My mind toils along

When the waves of the world
Stormy and strong

Against it are hurl'd.

When in such strife

My mind will forget
Its light and its life

In worldly regret,

And through the night

Of this world doth grope
Lost to the light

Of heavenly hope.

Thus it hath now

Befallen my mind
I know no more how

God's goodness to find,
But groan in my grief

Troubled and tost,
Needing relief

For the world I have lost.

A PSALM TO GOD

O THOU, that art Maker of heaven and earth,
Who steerest the stars and hast given them birth,
Forever Thou reignest upon Thy high throne,
And turnest all swiftly the heavenly zone.

Thou, by Thy strong holiness, drivest from far
In the way that Thou willest each worshiping star;
And, through thy great power, the sun from the night
Drags darkness away by the might of her light.

The moon, at Thy word, with his pale shining rays
Softens and shadows the stars as they blaze,
And even the Sun of her brightness bereaves
Whenever

upon

her too closely he cleaves.

So also the Morning and Evening Star
Thou makest to follow the Sun from afar,
To keep in her pathway each year evermore,
And go as she goeth in guidance before.
Behold too, O Father, Thou workest aright
To summer hot day-times of long-living light,
To winter all wondrously orderest wise
Short seasons of sunshine with frost on the skies.

1. -- 5

Thou givest the trees a south-westerly breeze,
Whose leaves the swart storm in its fury did seize
By winds flying forth from the east and the north
And scattered and shattered all over the earth.

On earth and in heaven each creature and kind
Hears Thy behest with might and with mind,
But Man and Man only, who oftenest still
Wickedly worketh against Thy wise will.

Forever Almighty One, Maker and Lord,
On us, wretched earthworms, Thy pity be pour'd;
Why wilt Thou that welfare to sinners should wend,
But lettest weird ill the unguilty ones rend?

Evil men sit, each on earth's highest seat,
Trampling the holy ones under their feet;
Why good should go crookedly no man can say,
And bright deeds in crowds should lie hidden away.

The sinner at all times is scorning the just,
The wiser in right, and the worthier of trust;
Their leasing for long while with fraud is beclad;
And oaths that are lies do no harm to the bad.

O Guide, if Thou wilt not steer fortune amain
But lettest her rush so self-will'd and so vain,
I know that the worldly will doubt of Thy might,
And few among men in Thy rule will delight.

My Lord, overseeing all things from on high
Look down on mankind with mercy's mild eye,
In wild waves of trouble they struggle and strive,
Then spare the poor earthworms, and save them alive!

!

WILLIAM ALLINGHAM

WILLIAM ALLINGHAM, a genial and lovable Irish poet. Born in Ballyshannon, Donegal County, Ireland, 1828; died at Hampstead, 1889. He was for some time editor of Fraser's Magazine. His works are contained in sixteen volumes.

ROBIN REDBREAST

A CHILD'S SONG

GOOD-BYE, good-bye to Summer!

For Summer's nearly done;
The garden smiling faintly,

Cool breezes in the sun;
Our thrushes now are silent,

Our swallows flown away, —
But Robin's here, in coat of brown,

And scarlet breastknot gay.
Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!
Robin sings so sweetly

In the falling of the year.

Bright yellow, red, and orange,

The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian Princes,

But soon they'll turn to Ghosts;
The leathery pears and apples

Hang russet on the bough;
It's Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,

'Twill soon be winter now.
Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!
And what will this poor Robin do?

For pinching days are near.

The fireside for the cricket,

The wheatstack for the mouse,
When trembling night winds whistle

And moan all round the house;

« PreviousContinue »