« ForrigeFortsæt »
Green hues that dappled all the glade, More softly gleamed with shifting Gray rocks that lay in awful sleep. dyes,
And flushing drank the blissful sound. • And over all a sky was spread Of woodland violet's deepest glow, “ The trees were piles of trembling Whilo amber pale and ruby red
flame, Hung o'er the aerial hills below. The rocks like diamonds heaped the 16.
sod, “ And ʼmid this sky without a moon Each star a living eye became, Great beaming stars of golden blaze, And all, methought, were eyes of God. Like flaming garlands thickly strewn,
27. Filled all the world with pearly rays. “ The stream that shimmered down 17.
the hill - Then o'er my head a sound I knew In waves of clearest crimson ran; Of many swift and gentle wings; And thatsweetsinger, brightening still, Sweet airy music o'er me flew, Grew lovelier far than man. And seemed to wheel in blended rings. 18.
“ His words upon the glowing stream “ And sooner then than eye could Sank melting down, and borne along see
Upon the mingled floods of dream With life the earth and skies o'er- All floated in accord to song. flowed,
29. And grass and rock, and hill and tree, « The world was changed around me, Ten thousand radiant beings showed. 19.
To arches, rock, and tree were grown; “O'Twas Angels all, a dazzling throng, I stood amid a pillared hall, With wings of rose and golden down, Beneath a roof of carven stone. With hair of sunbeams pale and long, To each bright face a streaming crown.
“ The windows beamed with many a. 20.
hue “ They floated o'er the trees and Of living forms in smooth array ; rocks,
Again those Angel hosts I knew, They sat o'er all the grassy dell, And through them shot the light of They hid the hills in glancing flocks, And seemed amid the stars to dwell. 21.
“ They twinkling shone with radiance “ And One to me, the nearest there,
keen, Upon a brown and craggy steep, With eyes whose brightness dazzled Raised úp toward heaven a face so mine ; fair,
And thousands round the walls were With inmost joy I longed to weep.
With hands upraised in prayer di“ He held a branch of darkest yew
vine. That dropped with glittering tears of
- Before me, 'mid a depth of gloom, And loud he sang a song that drew I mark'd one high enormous shade, All things around beneath the strain. And him I knew, compelled by whom 23.
His giant hand I first obeyed. “ He sang of love, and death, and life,
33. And worlds and hearts, the homes of “Like some great dusky crag he these ;
towered, Of peace that conquers every strife, In cloudy folds involved and dim ; Of grief whose pang the spirit frees; As midnight's darkest heaven he 24.
lowered, « Of all that is, and journeys on The world's whole strength reposed From worst of ill to best of good;
in him. For not a moment e'er is gone But in the next survives renewed. « But, oh! a form before him lay, 25.
And watch o'er this he seemed to “ And while he sang, the earth and keep; skies,
'Twas Henry's form in twilight gray, And all those countless forms around That corpse-like slept an icy sleep.
VOL. XLIV, NO, CCLXXIII,
42. ~ And when that frozen face I saw, “ Above him poured a blaze of light, So calm, so chill, without a breath, And, looking whence it flowed, The giant shape I knew with awe, The boundless form was dazzling And owned the king was Death. '
The darkness round him glowed. " The dread lips moved; a voice there
6 Like God he sat, serene and mild, Like midnight wind in trees :
In snowy whiteness clad ; All shook around, as waves a flame. His face with sunlike glory smiled, Beneath a gusty breeze.
And made all being glad. 37.
44. " I claim my own,' the Shadow said; “No roof was there; the stars of heaven If any answers, No!
Were shining round his head, His life must ransom this, my dead, And o'er his brow a Crown of Seven Who thus shall 'scape from wo.' Their wondrous lustre shed. 38.
45. " O'er all those Angel faces fell « In circling lines the Angel race, A sad and helpless gloom ;
A world of lights, rose high ; The building seemed a mouldering And joy shone bright in every face, cell,
And love in every eye. A dark and misty tomb.
“ But Angels' looks were nought to “ Then loud I spake, with swelling me, voice,
Who saw beside me clear To him thiy respite give,
My licury's eyes, that now could ser, And hear my swist and willing choice Nor taught me more to fear. To die that he may live.'
" No voice of God or Angel spoke, “ Before the lowly bier I knelt, And I was Henry's own; And kissed the lips and eyes,
But when upon my bed I woke,
" But still I saw his fondest gaze, “There dawned again my Henry's look, Who bade affright be dumb ; And feebly met my view;
And, filled with peacefullest amaze, With sighs and throbs his bosom shook, I knew my end was come." His eyes my presence knew.
Upon the spring-clad fields and woods,
The smooth sweet airis blowing round,
It skims above the flat green meadow,
These live not now, for all is dead
Along the hill it drives the shadow,
20. Upon a bench before his door And, lo! at last the old man's gaze He sits, with weak and staring eyes, Is brightened with a gleam of sense, He sits and looks, for straight before A butterfly all yellow plays The grave that holds his daughter Above the grave, nor wanders thence. lies.
And see, below the flutterer's dance, If any come with him to speak, From earth a streak of colour springIn dull harsh words he bids them go; ing; For this strong earth he seems too It is the primrose leaves that glance,
To him bis daughter's presence bringFor breathing life too cramped and ing. slow. 11.
To her 'twas May's most precious A gnawing rage, an aimless heat,
flower, Have scored and set his grating face; That well she loved, and tended oft ; His eyes like ghosts the gazer greet, Its pale stars filled her hawthorn bower The guards of misery's dwelling-place. With clustering fancies mild and soft. 12.
23. A sun-dial pillar left alone,
She strewed it o'er her mother's grave, On which no dial meets the eye ; Its grace with Henry loved to note; A black mill-wheel with grass o'er. To Simon oft the flower she gave, grown
And fixed it in his Sunday coat. That hears no water trickle by ;
And now, with gradual change of heart, Dark palsied mass of severed rock, He saw it peep above the sod Deaf, blind, and sere to sun and rain; Where she was laid: it seemed to start A shattered gravestone's time-worn A special sign for him from God.
block That only shows the name of_Jane. An hour he sat, and marked it well,
Then rose and would behold it near ; 'Tis thus he'sits from hour to hour, His face no more was hard and fell, Amid the breeze beneath the sky; No more the man was numbed and And still, when beats the noisy shower, drear. The cottage doorway keeps him dry.
Another hour upon his staff With open door he shelters there, He leant, and pored above the grave; A pace behind his outward seat; He gave at length a silent laugh, And, fixed upon his old arm-chair, And seemed to grasp some purpose Looks through the rain from his re brave. treat.
Then eager tow'rd his house he went, Upon his daughter's grave he stares, And took his old and idle spade, As if her form he thought would rise, And round his fields with fixed intent For all to him the semblance wears He walked, and many pauses made. Of mist that has his daughter's eyes.
And where below the hedge-row shade He heeds not passing beast nor men, A little tuft of primrose grew, Nor wain at hand, nor distant plough; He dug it with his churchyard spade, Not e'en a burial draws his ken
As if 'twere gold that thence he drew. He is no longer Sexton now.
And so with sods of yellow flowers But while, like some gray stump, he He filled his basket full and gay, sits,
And baek in evening's quiet hours Dried up at root, and shorn of all, Towards the church he took his way. Still nature round him works and
Beside the grave of Jane he stood, And fills and lights her festival. And round it smoothly dug the ground;
With clods as many as he could, And e'en around his daughter's grave, He made a primrose border round. Where Life for him in Death is cold,
31. Fair growth goes on, and grasses wave, His work was done, and brightly sank. And coloured flies their revels hold. The day's last light upon his head ;
The flowers that kindred beauty drank,
43. And all was peace around the dead. He tended still the primrose flowers, 32.
He decked with them his Mary's And while by day the man had wrought, And while by night awake he lay, In what to him were Sabbath hours He felt within a flow of thought On Henry's grave he set them round. Serene, that led him still to pray. 33.
And sometimes when a funeral came, Before him now his daughter came With pensive eyes the train he saw; In all her truth, as if alive;
Bareheaded stood, and so would claim Now child, now woman, still the same, His share in others' grief and awe. And made his purest heart revive.
But once 'twas more than this. There He thought how after Henry died
died She strove and toiled with earnest will, A worn-out widow's only good, To each small task her heart applied, A daughter, all her help and pride, Though Death within was strengthen- Who toiled to gain their daily food. ing still.
Who saw their state might well conHow week on week, 'mid humble calm, fess And zealous heed that would not sleep, Such boundless want was strange to She found her suffering's holiest balm
see, In suffering's lowest silent deep. For little can the rich man guess 36.
The poor man's utter poverty. And so she wore away. The night
47. In which she went to Henry's home And when the burial all was o'er, Had seized her all with chilly blight, And there the mother stayed alone, And warmth again would never come. With fingers clasped, and weeping 37.
sore, She laid her down, but not to rest, She stood, for every hope was gone. For feverish dreams besieged her bed ; And, with too many thoughts oppressed, But Simon crept in silence there, It seemed that thought itself was fled. And stretched his hand beneath her 38.
view, But now with steadfast voice and eye That held five golden pieces fair, She met her father's wandering gaze, More wealth than e'er before slie And told of visions bright and high
knew. Strange visions told in darkling phrase.
“ The aching heart it cannot heal, Then swift she sank; she could not I know," he said, “nor give you rest; speak,
But thus you will not have to feel But lay a pale, unmoving clod,
The pangs that seize the helpless At last she said, with utterance weak, breast.” “ Remembering me, remember God!” 40.
Few words she said, and went away, The thought of this, of her, of all But lighter heart that eve he bore That she to him had been before, Than he for many a weary day Began within his heart to call,
Perchance had ever felt before. And open wide its inmost door.
Next day began with sunbright dawn, Though seventy winters gathering still And soon to tend the grave he went ; Had choked with ice some sacred cells, From toil by sultry heat withdrawn, He felt within him now a thrill . He felt his strength was overspent. That thawed the solid icicles.
- 52, 42.
He sank to earth in quiet sleep, From morning's burst to soothing eve Beside the grave his head he laid, He loitered near the hallowed spot; And in that slumber soft and deep And tbough he never ceased to grieve, He died below the Yew-tree shade. The pangs of grief he now forgot.
THOUGHTS ON ORPHEUS.
Oy, the blessing upon and through to a dying sound ; and Alcestis fell out the whole man, of the first real, back in the shade, fainting upon the warm, green light, and genial glow supporting arm of a scarce distinguishof Spring! Not as it is seen in towns, able figure; and the music was also giving but a more brazen face to brick Gluck's, “ Le pur cara è a me la presumption, but as it steals gently vita." We awoke—the vision passed upon the country, amid rocks and -Oh, that it would return! trees, into the deep shade, like a long. But here is the most substantive premourned spirit returning re-embodied sence of it still before us. Here lie the from the dead, bearing at once the sun-lit pages worthy of such illuminatwofold charm of earthly and Elysian tion -- Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, Orloveliness. Such was Alcestis - Al- pheus, Shakspeare; and, apart, what cestis! the restored Alcestis! We is this modest volume? Elion! His have been reading the beautiful tale tale, too, is of Orpheus - it is a the volume of Euripides is open upon dream. We must, however, keep up the now growing grass-our scholars, our character of Master, and hear whose youthful, hopeful hearts, drew our class. The tale of Orpheus is, in from the gentle Greek generosity, doubtless, the original of the plays. and the sweet passion, even hence in. And how simple the story is ! Or. cipient, and soon ready to burst the pheus, a man-more, a poet-a husbud, and open with the promise of band-more, an adoring husbandperfect love our scholars have bound. loses his wife. Lyre in hand, he deed away like young fawns stricken, scends to the infernal regions, and by not unconscious of the pleasing wound; his art of song obtains the boon h and we, lying upon the sunny green, seeks-her restoration, but upon th) saw them upon the verge of the shade, condition that he must not look back the dark eye, as it were, of the deep in the passage to the upper world. dell before us—and a change came He is overcome by his love, and reo'er them and us. Is it dream or gards not the condition. He looks vision? They have robed behind the back, and she is lost to him—for ever! trees, and bearded too--they present Here all is tragic, for Orpheus himus with their tasks—we take them self is torn to pieces by the Bacchants graciously. - So— they are signed, whose love he scorns. How could Euripides - Shakspeare – Alcestis - this tale have arisen but from a dream ? the Winter's Tale. Then two come how often does the blessedness of up behind them, and look over their sleep restore! — Then the waking—the shoulders. We know them instinc. looking back and what utter desolatively-Virgil and (vid; and there tion is there of the heart! As Wordsleans the melancholy Orpheus be worth says of his Lucy, “ Oh! the neath the caverned rock; and deep difference to me," a fully exact transin its hollow are dimly seen Eurydice lation of the passage in Euripides of and Alcestis in parting embrace, and the exclamation of the husband of one with head averted, and in deeper Alcestis--Tohj yag tò pécor. shadow-Alcestis bending forwards, Admetus. — 12 cxñece dépewr, fws and half in a reflected mysterious
sicia.ow; light. Then came another, and took
Πώς δ' οίκήσω, μεταπίπτοντος up the lyre which Orpheus had left unheeded beside him. He struck; it
Δαίμονος και οι μοι" πολύ γαρ το was Gluck's “ Euridice:" “ Che farò
uitor. senza Euridice dove andrò senza il It is a domestic reality, and has sunk mio ben ?" Oh, the heart-piercing deep in all its possible wo into many sounds! Orpheus started up and a fond heart - thence how forlorn! rushed into the deepest wood, and the There is not among ancient fables one voice of his moaning was lost in the of deeper interest, nor set off with indistinct howling of the dimly moving greater variety in the picturesque detigers that followed the incantation of velopement of its scenery and action, his wo. Then did the measure change the dramatic pieces of the Greek,