Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

NATIONAL STRENGTH.

155

To these true younglings of the wilderness :
A happy sight, a sight of heart's content !

For blithe were they
As swallows, wheeling in the summer sky

At close of day;
As insects, when on high
Their mazy dance they thread,

In myriads overhead,
Where sunbeams through the thinner foliage

gleam,
Or spin in rapid circles as they play,

Where winds are still,
Upon the surface of the unrippled stream :
Yea, gamesome in their innocence were they
As lambs in fragrant pasture, at their will

The udder when to press,
. They run for hunger less
Than joy, and very love, and wantonness.

SOUTHEY

NATIONAL STRENGTH. What is it makes a nation truly great ? Her sons; her sons alone; not theirs, but they ! Glory and gold are vile as wind and clay, Unless the hands that grasp them consecrate. And what is that in man, by which a state Is clad in splendour like the noontide day? Virtue: Dominion ebbs, and Arts betray; Virtue alone abides. But what is that

156 THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH with us. Which Virtue's self doth rest on; that which

yields her Light for her feet, and daily heavenly bread ; Which from demoniac pride and madness shields

her,

And storms that most assail the loftiest head?
The Christian's humble faith — that faith which

cheers The orphan's quivering heart, and stays the wi

dow's tears.

AUBREY DE VERE.

THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH WITH US.

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers ;
Little we see in nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away—a sordid boon!
The sea, that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds, that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gather'd now like sleeping flowers ;
For this, for every thing we are out of tune;
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan, suckled in a creed out-worn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn-
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

WORDSWORTH.

WRITTEN AT SUNRISE ON WESTMINSTER

BRIDGE. Earth has not any thing to shew more fair : Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty : This city now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning: silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie Open unto the fields and to the sky, Al bright and glittering in the smokeless air. Never did sun more beautifully steep In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill ; Ne'er saw I, never felt a calm so deep! The river glideth at his own sweet will: Ah me, the very houses seem asleep, And all that mighty heart is lying still !

WORDSWORTH.

WORK WITHOUT HOPE.

The Poet in Despondency. All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their

lair— The bees are stirring—birds are on the wingAnd Winter slumbering in the open air Wears on his face a dream of spring! And I the while the sole unbusy thing, Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.

MUSIC.

158 Yet well I ken the banks where amaranths blow, Have traced the fount whence streams of nectar

flow. Bloom, Oye amaranths, bloom for whom ye may, For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, away ! With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll : And would you learn the spells that drowse my

soul? Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve, And Hope without an object cannot live.

S. T. COLERIDGE.

MUSIC.

LORENZO. How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank ! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears; soft stillness, and the night, Become the touches of sweet harmony. Sit, Jessica : look, how the floor of heaven Is thick inlay'd with patines of bright gold ; There's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st But in his motion like an angel sings, Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims. Such harmony is in immortal souls, But whilst this muddy vesture of decay Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn, With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear, And draw her home with music.

[blocks in formation]

JESSICA.
I am never merry when I hear sweet music.

LORENZO.
The reason is, your spirits are attentive :
For do but note a wild and wanton herd,
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing

loud, Which is the high condition of their blood; If they perchance but hear a trumpet sound, Or any air of music touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze By the sweet power of music : therefore the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and

floods ; Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, But Music for the time doth change his nature: The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ; The motions of his spirit are dull as night, And his affections dark as Erebus; Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

SHAKS PERE.

TIME.
“ Why sitt'st thou by that ruin'd hall,

Thou aged carle, so stern and grey ?
Dost thou its former pride recall,

Or ponder how it pass’d away ?”!

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »