Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

Bell! thou soundest merrily;
Tellest thou at evening!

Bed-time draweth nigh!
Bell! thou soundest mournfully;
Tellest thou the bitter

Parting hath gone by!

Say! how canst thou mourn?
How canst thou rejoice?

Thou art but metal dull!
And yet all our sorrowings,
And all our rejoicings,

Thou dost feel them all!

God hath wonders many,
Which we cannot fathom,

Placed within thy form!
When the heart is sinking,
Thou alone canst raise it,
Trembling in the storm!

THE CASTLE BY THE SEA.

FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.

"Hast thou seen that lordly castle, That Castle by the Sea,

Golden and red above it

The clouds float gorgeonsly.

"And fain it would stoop downward To the mirrored wave below; And fain it would soar upward

In the evening's crimson glow."

"Well have I seen that castle, That Castle by the Sea,

And the moon above it standing,
And the mist rise solemnly.

"The winds and the waves of ocean,

Had they a merry chime!

Didst thou hear, from those lofty chambers, The harp and the minstrel's rhyme?"

"The winds and the waves of ocean, They rested quietly;

But I heard on the gale a sound of wail, And tears came to mine eye."

"And sawest thou on the turrets
The King and his royal bride ?
And the wave of their crimson mantles?
And the golden crown of pride?

"Led they not forth, in rapture,
A beauteous maiden there?
Resplendent as the morning sun,
Beaming with golden hair?"

"Well saw I the ancient parents, Without the crown of pride;

They were moving slow, in weeds of woe, No maiden was by their side!"

JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER. (b 1807 d 1892).

BARBARA FRIETCHIE.

Up from the meadows rich with corn,
Clear in the cool September morn,

The clustered spires of Frederick stand
Green-walled by the hills of Maryland.

Round about them orchards sweep,
Apple and peach tree fruited deep,

Fair as the garden of the Lord
To the eyes of the famished rebel horde,

On that pleasant morn of the early fall When Lee marched over the mountain-wall,

Over the mountains winding down,
Horse and foot, into Frederick town.

Forty flags with their silver stars,
Forty flags with their crimson bars,

Flapped in the morning wind: the sun
Of noon looked down, and saw not one.

Up rose old Barbara Frietchie then,
Bowed with her fourscore years and ten;

Bravest of all in Frederick town,
She took up the flag the men hauled down;

In her attic window the staff she set,
To show that one heart was loyal yet.

Up the street came the rebel tread,
Stonewall Jackson riding ahead.

Under his slouched hat left and right
He glanced the old flag met his sight.

:

"Halt!"-the dust-brown ranks stood fast. "Fire! "-out blazed the rifle-blast.

It shivered the window, pane and sash;
It rent the banner with seam and gash.

Quick, as it fell, from the broken staff
Dame Barbara snatched the silken scarf.

She leaned far out on the window-sill,
And shook it forth with a royal will.

"Shoot, if you must, this old grey head, But spare your country's flag," she said.

A shade of sadness, a blush of shame,
Over the face of the leader came;

The nobler nature within him stirred
To life at that woman's deed and word:

"Who touches a hair of yon gray head Dies like a dog! March on!" he said.

All day long through Frederick street
Sounded the tread of marching feet:

All day long that free flag tost
Over the heads of the rebel host.

Ever its torn folds rose and fell
On the loyal winds that loved it well;
And through the hill-gaps sunset light
Shone over it with a warm good-night.

Barbara Frietchie's work is o'er,
And the Rebel rides on his raids no more.

Honour to her! and let a tear
Fall, for her sake, on Stonewall's bier.

Over Barbara Frietchie's grave,
Flag of Freedom and Union, wave!

Peace and order and beauty draw
Round thy symbol of light and law;

And ever the stars above look down
On thy stars below in Frederick town!

CONDUCTOR BRADLEY.

Conductor Bradley, (always may his name
Be said with reverence!) as the swift doom came,
Smitten to death, a crushed and mangled frame,

Sank, with the brake he grasped just where he stood. To do the utmost that a brave man could,

And die, if needful, as a true man should.

Men stooped above him; women dropped their tears
On that poor wreck beyond all hopes or fears,
Lost in the strength and glory of his years.

What heard they? Lo! the ghastly lips of pain,
Dead to all thought save duty's, moved again :
"Put out the signals for the other train!"

No nobler utterance since the world began
From lips of saint or martyr ever ran,
Electric, through the sympathies of man.

Ah me! how poor and noteless seem to this
The sick-bed dramas; of self-consciousness,
Our sensual fears of pain and hopes of bliss!

O grand, supreme endeavour! Not in vain
That last brave act of failing tongue and brain!
Freighted with life the downward rushing train,

Following the wrecked one, as wave follows wave, Obeyed the warning which the dead lips gave. Others he saved, himself he could not save.

Nay, the lost life was saved. He is not dead
Who in his record still the earth shall tread
With God's clear aureole shining round his head.

« ForrigeFortsæt »