Изображения страниц

Night's candles are burnt out, and

jocund day Stands tiptoe on the misty moun

tain-tops; I must be gone and live, or stay and die.


Yet him for this my love no whit

disdaineth; Suns of the world may stain, when heaven's sun staineth.




This castle hath a pleasant seat; the

air Nimbly and sweetly recommends it

self Unto our gentle senses.

This guest of summer, The temple-haunting martlet, does

approve, By his lov'd mansionry, that the

heaven's breath Smells wooingly here: no jutty,

frieze, buttress, Nor coigne of vantage, but this bird

hath made His pendent bed, and procreant cra

dle: Where they Most breed and haunt, I have ob

serv'd the air Is delicate.


.. ONCE we built our fortress

where you see Yon group of spruce-trees sidewise

on the line Where the horizon to the eastward

bounds, A point selected by sagacious art, Where all at once we viewed the

Vermont hills, And the long outlines of the moun

tain-ridge, Ever-renewing, changeful every

hour. Strange, a few cubits raised above

the plain, And a few tables of resistless stone Spread round us, with that rich de

lightful air, Draping high altars in cerulean

space, Could thus enchant the being that

we are ! Those altars, where the airy element Flows o'er in new perfection, and re

veals Its constant lapsing (never stillness

all), As a mother's kiss, touching the

bright spruce-foliage; And in her wise distilment the soft

rain, Trickling below the sphagnum that

o'erlays The plateau's slope, is led to the ra

vine, And 'electrified by her pure

breath, As if in truth the living water famed Recorded in John's mythus, who

first dashed Ideal baptism on Jordan's sliore.


[ocr errors]

FULL many a glorious morning have

I seen Flatter the mountain-tops with sove

reign eye, Kissing with golden face the mead

ows green, Gilding pale streams with heavenly

alchemy. Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his vis

age hide, Stealing unseen to west with this

disgrace: Even so my sun one early morn did

shine With all triumphant splendor on my

brow; But out! alack! he was but one hour

mine, The region cloud hath mask'd him

from me now.

In this sweet solitude, the Moun

tain's life, At morn and eve, at rise and hush of

day, I heard the wood-thrush sing in the

white spruce, The living water, the enchanted air

[blocks in formation]

Nor wearied yet when generations

fade. The crystal air, the hurrying light,

the night, Always the day that never seems to

end, Always the night whose day does

never set; One harvest and one reaper, ne'er

too ripe, Sown by the self-preserver, free from

mould, And builded in these granaries of

heaven, This ever-living purity of air, In these perpetual centres of repose Still softly rocked."



and pray,

On the mountain-peak I marked the sage at sunset, where

he mused, Forth looking on the continent of

hills; While from his feet the five long

granite spurs That bind the centre to the valley's

side (The spokes from this strange mid

dle to the wheel) Stretched in the fitful torrent of the

gale, Bleached on the terraces of leaden

cloud And passages of light, Sierras long In archipelagoes of mountain sky, Where it went wandering all the

livelong year. He spoke not, yet methought I

heard him say, “All day and night the same; in

sun or shade, In summer flames, and the jagged,

biting knife That hardy winter splits upon the

cliff, From earliest time the same. One mother and one father brought

us forth Thus gazing on the summits of the


And here the hermit sat, and told

his beads, And stroked his flowing locks, red

as the fire, Summed up his tale of moon and

sun and star: How blest are we,” he deemed,

“ who so comprise The essence of the whole, and of

ourselves, As in a Venice flask of lucent shape, Ornate of gilt Arabic, and inscribed With Suras from Time's Koran, live More than half grateful for the glit

tering prize, Human existence! If I note my

powers, So poor and frail a toy, the insect's

prey, Itched by a berry, festered by a

plum, The very air infecting my thin

frame With its malarial trick, whom every

day Rushes upon and hustles to the

grave, Yet raised by the great love that

broods o'er all Responsive, to a height beyond all

thought." He ended as the nightly prayer and

fast Summoned him inward. But I sat

and heard

The night-hawks rip the air above

my head, Till midnight, o'er the warm, dry,

dewless rocks; And saw the blazing dog-star droop

his fire, And the low comet, trailing to the

south, Bend his reverted gaze, and leave us free.


Unutterable love, Sound needed

none, Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank The spectacle; sensation, soul, and

form All melted into him; they swallowed

up His animal being; in them did he live, And by them did he live; they were

his life. In such access of mind, in such

high hour Of visitation from the living God, Thought was not; in enjoyment it

expired. No thanks he breathed, he proffered

no request; Rapt into still communion that tran

scends The imperfect offices of prayer and

praise, His mind was a thanksgiving to the

power That made him; it was blessedness and love.


“ HERE let us live, and spend away

our lives," Said once Fortunio, “ while below,

absorbed, The riotous careering race of man, Intent on gain or war, pour out

their news. Let us bring in a chosen company, Like that the noblest of our beaute

ous maids Might lead, – unequalled Margaret,

herself The summary of good for all our state; Composedly thoughtful, genial, yet

reserved, Pure as the wells that dot the ra

vine's bed, And lofty as the stars that pierce

her skies. Here shall she reign triumphant,

and preside With gentle prudence o'er the camp's

wild mood, Summoning forth much order from

what else Surely must prove unsound.”




O THEN what soul was his, when, on

COME on, sir; here's the place:

stand still. - How fearful And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eye so

low! The crows and choughs, that wing

the midway air, Show scarce

so gross as beetles: half way down Hangs one that gathers samphire;

dreadful trade! Methinks he seems no bigger than

his head: The fishermen, that walk upon the

beach, Appear like mice; and yond' tall

anchoring bark Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a

buoy Almost too small for sight: the

murmuring surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles

chafes, Cannot be heard so high:- I'll look Lest my brain turn, and the deficient

sight Topple downı headlong.


the tops

Of the high mountains, he beheld

the sun Rise up, and bathe the world in

light! He looked Ocean and earth, the solid frame of

earth And ocean's liquid mass, beneath

him lay In gladness and deep joy. The

clouds were touched, And in their silent faces did he


no more;


CALM and still light on yon great

plain That sweeps with all its autumn

bowers, And crowded farms and lessening

towers, To mingle with the bounding main.


And crested lark, doth his division

run. The yellow bees the air with mur

mur fill, The finches carol and the turtles

bill;Whose power is this? What god ? Behold a King, Whose presence maketh this perpet

ual spring, The glories of which spring grow in

that bower, And are the marks and beauties of his power.

BEN Jonson.



WHILE from the purpling east de

parts The star that led the dawn, Blithe Flora from her couch up

starts, For May is on the lawn. A quickening hope, a freshening glee,

Foreran the expected power, Whose first-drawu breath, from bush

and tree,
Shakes off that pearly shower.

WHENCE is it that the air so sudden

clears, And all things in a moment turn so

mild ? Whose breath or beams have got

proud Earth with child Of all the treasure that great Na

ture's worth, And makes her every minute to bring

forth? How comes it winter is so quite

forced hence And locked up under ground ? That

every sense Hath several objects, trees have got

their heads, The fields their coats, that now the

shining meads Do boast the paince, the lily, and

the rose, And every flower doth laugh as

Zephyr blows ? That seas are now more even than

the land; The rivers run as smoothèd by his

hand; Only their heads are crisped by his

stroke. How plays the yearling, with his

brow scarce broke, Now in the open grass, and frisking

lambs Make wanton salts about their dry

sucked dams, Who to repair their bags do rob the

fields. How is't each bough a several mu

sic yields ? The lusty throstle, early nightin

gale, Accord in tune though vary in their

tale. The chirping swallow, called forth

by the sun,

[blocks in formation]

Queen art thou still for each gay

plant Where the slim wild deer roves; And served in depths where fishes

haunt Their own mysterious groves.

Nay! not so much as out of bed;
When all the birds have matins

And sung their thankful hymns;

'tis sin, Nay, profanation to keep in, When as a thousand virgins on this

day Spring, sooner than the lark, to

fetch in May.

And if, on this thy natal morn,

The pole, from which thy name Hath not departed, stands forlorn

Of song and dance and game, Still from the village-green a vow

Aspires to thee addrest, Wherever peace is on the brow,

Or love within the breast.

Yes! where love nestles thou canst

The soul to love the more;
Hearts also shall thy lessons reach

That never loved before.
Stript is the haughty one of pride,

The baslıful freed from fear,
While rising, like the ocean-tide,

In flows the joyous year.

Rise, and put on your foliage, and

be seen To come forth, like the spring-time

fresh and green, And sweet as Flora. Take no

For jewels for your gowne or

Feare not, the leaves will strew

Gems in abundance upon you; Besides, the childhood of the day

has kept, Against you come, some orient pearls

unwept. Come, and receive them while the

light Hangs on the dew-locks of the

night; And Titan on the eastern hill Retires himself, or else stands

stiil Till you come forth. Wash, dresse,

be briete in praying; Few beads are best, when once we

go a-Maying.

Hush, feeble lyre! weak words, re

fuse The service to prolong! To yon exulting ihrush the Muse

Intrusts the imperfect song;
His voice shall chant, in accents

Throughout the livelong day,
Till the first silver star appear,
The sovereignty of May.




GET up, get up, for shame; the

blooming Morn Upon her wings presents the god

unshorn. See how Aurora throws her fair Fresh-quilted colors through the

air; Get up, sweet slug-a-bed, and see The dew bespangling herb and

tree. Each flower has wept, and bow'd

toward the east, Above an hour since, yet you not


Come, my Corinna, come; and com

ing, mark How each field turns a street, each

street a park
Made green, and trimm'd with

trees; see how
Devotion gives each house

Or branch; each porch, each doore,

ere this, An ark, a tabernacle is, Made up of white-thorn neatly

interwove; As if here were those cooler shades

of love. Aud sin no more, as we have done,

by staying; But, my Corinna, come, let's go a-Maying


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »