« PreviousContinue »
5. Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
From my home and my weeping friends never to part; My little ones kissed me a thousand times o’er, And
wife sobbed aloud in her fullness of heart.
6. “ Stay, stay with us - rest, thou art weary and worn:”
And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay ; But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
There is a sweetness in woman's decay,
When the light of beauty is fading away,
When the bright enchantment of youth is gone,
And the tint that glowed, and the eye that shone
And darted around its glance of power,
And the lip that vied with the sweetest flower,
That ever in Pæstum's garden blew,
Or ever was steeped in fragrant dew,
When all that was bright and fair, is fled,
But the loveliness lingering round the dead.
Oh! there is a sweetness in beauty's close,
Like the perfume scenting the withered rose;
For a nameless charm around her plays,
And her eyes are kindled with hallowed rays,
And a veil of spotless purity
Has mantled her cheek with its heavenly dye,
Like a cloud whereon the queen of night
Has poured her softest tint of light;
And there is a blending of white and blue,
Where the purple blood is melting through
The snow of her pale and tender cheek;
And there are tones, thạt sweetly speak
Of a spirit, who longs for a purer day,
And is ready to wing her flight away.
In the flush of youth and spring of feeling,
When life, like a sunny stream, is stealing
Its silent steps through a flowery path,
And all the endearments that pleasure hath
Are poured from her full, o'erflowing horn,
When the rose of enjoyment conceals no thorn,
In her lightness of heart, to the cheery song
The maiden may trip in the dance along,
And think of the passing moment, that lies,
Like a fairy dream, in her dazzled eyes,
And yield to the present, that charms around
With all that is lovely in sight and sound,
Where a thousand pleasing phantoms flit,
With the voice of mirth, and the burst of wit,
And the music that steals to the bosom's core,
And the heart in its fullness flowing o'er
With a few big drops, that are soon repressed,
For short is the stay of grief in the breast:
In this enlivened and gladsome hour
The spirit may burn with a brighter power;
But dearer the calm and quiet day,
When the heaven-sick soul is stealing away.
From “ The Discourse of the Wanderer.”—WORDSWORTH.
Ah! why in age
Do we revert so fondly to the walks
Of Childhood but that there the Soul discerns
The dear memorial footsteps unimpaired
Of her own native vigor — but for this,
That it is given her thence in age to hear
Reverberations, and a choral
Commingling with the incense that ascends
Undaunted, towards the imperishable heavens,
From her own lonely altar? — Do not think
That Good and Wise will ever be allowed,
Though strength decay, to breathe in such estate
As shall divide them wholly from the stir
Of hopeful nature. Rightly is it said
That man descends into the Vale of years;
Yet have I thought that we might also speak,
And not presumptuously, I trust, of Age,
As of a final Eminence, though bare
In aspect and forbidding, yet a Point
On which 't is not impossible to sit
In awful sovereignty — a place of power-
A Throne, which may be likened unto his,
Who, in some placid day in summer, looks
Down from a mountain-top, — say one of those
High peaks, that bound the Vale where now we are.
Faint and diminished to the gazing eye,
Forest and field, and hill and dale appear,
With all the shapes upon their surface spread.
But, while the gross and visible frame of things
Relinquishes its hold upon the sense,
Yea, almost on the mind itself, and seems
All unsubstantialized, - how loud the voice
Of waters, with invigorated peal
From the full River in the vale below,
Ascending !- For on that superior height
Who sits, is disencumbered from the press
Of near obstructions, and is privileged
To breathe in solitude above the host
Of ever-humming insects, ʼmid thin air
That suits not them. The murmur of the leaves,
Many and idle, touches not his ear;
This he is freed from, and from thousand notes
Not less unceasing, not less vain than these, –
By which the finer passages of sense
Are occupied ; and the Soul, that would incline
To listen, is prevented or deterred.
1. Night is the time for rest;
How sweet, when labors close,
To gather round an aching breast
The curtain of repose,
Stretch the tired limbs, and lay the head
Upon our own delightful bed !
2. Night is the time for dreams;
The gay romance of life,
When truth that is and truth that seems,
Blend in fantastic strife;
Ah! visions less beguiling far
Than waking dreams by daylight are !
3. Night is the time to weep;
To wet with unseen tears Those
graves of memory where sleep The joys of other years ; Hopes that were angels in their birth, But perished young, like things on earth!
4. Night is the time to watch;
On ocean's dark expanse To hail the Pleiades, or catch
The full moon's earliest glance, That brings unto the homesick mind All we have loved and left behind.
5. Night is the time to muse;
Then from the eye the soul
Takes flight, and with expanding views
Beyond the starry pole,
Descries athwart the abyss of night
The dawn of uncreated light.
6. Night is the time to pray;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away;
So will his followers do, -
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
7. Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace, Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease: Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign To parting friends -such death be mine!