« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
#tould the gift I offer here Might graces from thy favor take, And, seen through Friendship's atmosphere, On softened lines and coloring, wear The unaccustomed light of beauty, for thy sake.
Few leaves of Fancy's spring remain:
But what I have I give to thee,— The o'er-sunned bloom of summer's plain, And paler flowers, the latter rain Calls from the westering slooe of life's autumnal lea.
Above the fallen groves of green,
Where youth's enchanted forest stood, Dry root and mossed trunk between, A sober after-growth is seen, As springs the pine where falls the gay-leafed maple wood 1
Yet birds will sing, and breezes play
Their leaf-harps in the sombre tree; And through the bleak and wintry day It keeps its steady green alway,— 80, even my after-thoughts may have a charm for thee.
Art's perfect forms no moral need,
And beauty is its own excuse ;*
But for the dull and flowerless weed
Some healing virtue still must plead,
And the rough ore must find its honors in its use. So haply these, my simple lays
Of homely toil, may serve to show The orchard bloom and tasselled maize That skirt and gladden duty's ways, The unsung beauty hid life's common things below
Haply from them the toiler, bent
Above his forge or plough, may gain A manlier spirit of content, And feel that life is wisest spent Where the strong working hand makes strong tha working brain.
The doom which to the guilty pair
Without the walls of Eden came, Transforming sinless ease to care And rugged toil, no more shall bear The burden of old crime, or mark of primal shame.
A blessing now—a curse no more;
Since He, whose name we breathe witfi awe, The coarse mechanic vesture wore,— A poor man toiling with the poor,, In labor, as in prayer, fulfilling the same law
SONGS OF LABOR.
The sky is ruddy in the East,
The earth is gray below, And, spectral in the river-mist,
The ship's white timbers show.
And grating saw begin;
The mallet to the pin 1
Hark!—roars the bellows, blast on blast,
The sooty smithy jars,
Are fading with the stars.
Beside that flashing forge;
The groaning anvil scourge.
From far-off hills, the panting team
For us is toiling near;
Their island barges steer.
In forests old and still,—
Falls crashing down his hill.
Up !—up!—In nobler toil than ours
No craftsmen bear a part:
The slaves of human Art.
And drive the treenails free;
Shall tempt the searching sea!
Where'er the keel of our good ship
The sea's rough field shall plough— Where'er her tossing spars shall drip
With salt-spray caught below—
Her helm obey his hand,
As if they trod the land.
Her oaken ribs the vulture-beak
Of Northern ice may peel;
May grate along her keel;
We give to wind and wave,
Or sink, the sailor's grave!
Ho!—strike away the bars and blocks,
And set the good ship free! Why lingers on these dusty rocks
The young bride of the sea?
In graceful beauty now 1
Sinks down her virgin prow!
God bless her! wheresoe'er the breeze
Her snowy wing shall fan, Aside the frozen Hebrides,