Billeder på siden



Earth may smile like Eden round,

Heaven may open blue,
Child of sullied parentage

Gives not back their hue.

“ Stream, that feed'st the lake, there beams

On thee a living sun ;
Rapid, dark, thou rushest by ;

Wouldst thou doom outrun?

Hoarsely thus the hurrying wave

Answered, foaming on,
“Suns may beam, or skies may

I may stay for none.

“I am fed by those that draw

From depths hid from me
Their mysterious energies,

And I am not free.

* Peaceful mission is not mine;

Springs that give me life
Burst from this strange earth, as if

Born with inward strife.”

· Turbid lake, thou must flow on,

There is no redress,
And the river fed by thee

Know unworthiness."

Ignorant, I grieved to see

Nothing could be pure,
All must be as all had been,

While it should endure.



[ocr errors]

I came again, a river,

Princely, calm, and clear,
Flowed from out the troubled lake,

Like pure love from fear.

Heaven and earth were showed therein,

The dark source defiled
To the ocean's large embrace

Sent a noble child.


DEEP, deep within the ocean's breast

A coral isle was shrined,
Round which light, water-swayèd nymphs

Float with white arms entwined.

The centre of this little isle

Was fixed a stony tree;
An outer growth encircled this,

Like foliage, quiveringly.

In rigid pride the coral stone

Surveyed its firm estate,
And said, with gratulating tone,

“I floated, too, of late.

" But now no chance or change can come

To me ; mature in form,
I take my place with things of fate ;

I cool no more nor warm.

[blocks in formation]

“ Yes, I have been the sport of waves,

And like this mass around
I toiled and felt, - nor knew the rest,

Blest Neptune! which I 've found.

" Come, all of ye Sea-Nymphs, admire
My beautiful repose !"

Out gushed the voice of one Sea-Nymph, —

" Give me the form which grows.

“ I better please myself to watch

Life than a handsome death,
And, born of a quick element,

Like something which has breath.


“So, I 'll just feast my eyes

On what


you, And never tire of watching this

Till it grows stony too."

How in the ocean's deepest depth

Is human life repeated !
By coral beds, who've done with change,

How hardly youth is greeted !

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Eyes not down-dropped nor over-bright, but fed

With the clear-pointed flame of chastity,
Clear, without heat, undying, tended by

Pure vestal thoughts in the translucent fane

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Of her still spirit, - locks not wide dispread,
Madonna-wise on either side her head, -

Sweet lips, whereon perpetually did reign
The summer calm of golden charity,
Were fixed shadows of thy fixèd mood,

Reverèd Isabel, the crown and head,
The stately flower of female fortitude,

Of perfect wifehood and pure lowlihead.
The intuitive decision of a bright
And thorough-edged intellect, to part

Error from crime, a prudence to withhold,

The laws of marriage charactered in gold
Upon the blanchèd tablets of her heart, -
A love still burning upward, giving light
To read those laws, – an accent very low
In blandishment, but a most silver flow

Of subtle-paced counsel in distress,
Right to the heart and brain, though undescried,

Winning its way with extreme gentleness
Thro' all the outworks of suspicious pride,-
A courage to endure and to obey,-
A hate of gossip parlance, and of sway,
Crowned Isabel, thro' all her placid life,
The queen of marriage, a most perfect wife.
The mellowed reflex of a winter moon,
A clear stream flowing with a muddy one,
Till in its onward current it absorbs
With swifter movement and in purer light

The vexed eddies of its wayward brother,-
A leaning and upbearing parasite,
Clothing the stem, which else had fallen quite,
With clustered flower-bells and ambrosial orbs

Of rich fruit-bunches leaning on each other,
Shadow forth thee : the world hath not


[blocks in formation]

(Though all her fairest forms are types of thee, And thou of God in thy great charity) Of such a finished, chastened purity.

SUNDAY. - Herbert.

O DAY most calm, most bright!
The fruit of this, the next world's bud;
The endorsement of supreme delight,
Writ by a friend, and with his blood;
The couch of time ; care's balm and bay:-
The week were dark but for thy light;

Thy torch doth show the way.

The other days and thou
Make up one man; whose face thou art,
Knocking at heaven with thy brow :
The working days are the back-part ;
The burden of the week lies there,
Making the whole to stoop and bow,

Till thy release appear.

Man had straight forward gone
To endless death. But thou dost pull
And turn us round, to look on one,
Whom, if we were not very dull,
We could not choose but look on still ;
Since there is no place so alone

The which he doth not fill.

Sundays the pillars are
On which heaven's palace archèd lies :

« ForrigeFortsæt »