« ForrigeFortsæt »
That way no more ! and ill beseems it me,
Nor do thou,
Eve following eve, Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home Is sweetest ! moments for their own sake hail'd And more desired, more precious, for thy song, In silence listening, like a devout child, My soul lay passive, by thy various strain Driven as in surges now beneath the stars, With momentary stars of my own birth, Fair constellated foam, still darting off Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea, Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon.
And when–O Friend ! my comforter and guide ! Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength !.
Thy long sustained Song finally closed,
A CHRISTMAS CAROL.*
THE shepherds went their hasty way,
And found the lowly stable-shed
And now they check'd their eager tread,
They told her how a glorious light,
Streaming from a heavenly throng, Around them shone, suspending night!
While sweeter than a mother's song, Blest Angels heralded the Saviour's birth, Glory to God on high ! and Peace on Earth.
And closer still the Babe she prest;
* Morning Post, December 25, 1799.
And while she cried, the Babe is mine!
The milk rush'd faster to her breast :
Poor, simple, and of low estate !
O why should this thy soul elate ? Sweet music's loudest note, the poet's story,-Didst thou ne'er love to hear of fame and glory?
And is not War a youthful king,
A stately hero clad in mail ? Beneath his footsteps laurels spring ;
Him Earth's majestic monarchs hail Their friend, their playmate ! and his bold bright
eye Compels the maiden's love-confessing sigh.
“Tell this in some more courtly scene,
To maids and youths in robes of state !
And therefore is my soul elate.
* A ruffian thief with gore defiled-1799.
"A murderous fiend, * by fiends adored,
He kills the sire and starves the son; The husband kills, and from her board
Steals all his widow's toil had won; Plunders God's world of beauty ; rends away All safety from the night, all comfort from the day.
That strife should vanish, battle cease :
and of a low estate, The Mother of the Prince of Peace. Joy rises in me, like a summer's morn: Peace, Peace on Earth! the Prince of Peace is born.”
[ix. Strange prophecy ! could half the screams
Of half the men that since have died To realize War's kingly dreams
Have risen at once in one vast tide, The choral music of Heaven's multitude Had been o'erpower'd and lost amid the uproar
rude ! ]
THE VIRGIN'S CRADLE-HYMN. [About thirteen years ago or more, travelling through the middle parts of Germany, I saw a little print of the Virgin and Child in the small public-house
† Courier, August 30, 1811.
of a Catholic village with the following beautiful Latin
Quæ tam dulcem somnum videt,
Blande, veni, somnule.
Sleep, sweet babe ! my cares beguiling :
Sleep, my darling, tenderly!
Come, soft slumber, balmily!
TRANSLATION OF A PASSAGE
IN OTTFRIED'S METRICAL PARAPHRASE
[This paraphrase, written about the time of Charlemagne, is by no means deficient in occasional passages of considerable poetic merit. There is a flow and a tender enthusiasm in the following lines which even in the translation will not, I flatter myself, fail to interest the reader. Ottfried is describing the circum
* Printed in Biographia Literaria, London, 1817, i. 204.