Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

60.—THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.

H. W. LONGFELLOW.

[See page 173.]
A MIST was driving down the British Channel,

The day was just begun,
And through the window-panes, on floor and panel,

Streamed the red autumn sun.

It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon,

And the white sails of ships;
And, from the frowning rampart, the black cannon

Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hythe, and Dover,

Were all alert that day,
To see the French war-steamers speeding over,

When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,

Their cannon, through the night,
Holding their breath, had watched, in grim defiance,

The sea-coast opposite.

And now they roared at drum-beat from their stations

On every citadel;
Each answering each, with morning salutations,

That all was well.

And down the coast, all taking up the burden,

Replied the distant forts,
As if to summon from his sleep the Warden

And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,

No drum-beat from the wall,
No morning gun from the black fort's embrazure,

Awaken with its call !

No more, surveying with an eye impartial

The long line of the coast,
Shall the gaunt figure of the old Field-Marshal

Be seen upon his post !
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,

In sombre harness mailed,
Dreaded of man, and surnamed the Destroyer,

The rampart wall has scaled.

He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,

The dark and silent room,
And as he entered, darker grew, and deeper,

The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,

But smote the Warden hoar :
Ah! what a blow! that made all England tremblə
And
groan

from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,

The sun rose bright o’erhead;
Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated

That a great man was dead.

61.-CASA WAPPY.

DAVID MACBETH MOIR. [Very familiar to the readers of “Blackwood's Magazine,” under the signature of “Delta,” the poems of this writer were always read with pleasure. By profession a surgeon, he still devoted much of his time to literature, and from the age of nineteen, when he first published a small volume of poems, to his death in 1851, his name was seldom absent from his favourite magazine. Besides his poems, he published " The Life of Mansie Wauch," a tale embodying the humorous side of the Scottish character, “Outlines on the Ancient History of Medicine,” and “Six Lectures on the Poetic Literature of the last half century.” He was born at Musselburgh in 1798.]

And hast thou sought thy heavenly home,

Our fond, dear boy ?
The realms where sorrow dare not come,

Where life is joy ?
Pure at thy death as at thy birth,
Thy spirit caught no taint from earth;
Even by its bliss we mete our dearth,

Casa Wappy!
Despair was in our last farewell,

As closed thine eye;
Tears of our anguish may not tell,

When thou didst die;
Words may not paint our grief for thee,
Sighs are but bubbles on the sea
Of our unfathomed agony,

Casa Wappy!
Thou wert a vision of delight,

To bless us given;
Beauty embodied to our sight,

A type of heaven;
So dear to us thou wert, thou art
Even less thine own self than a part
Of mine and of thy mother's heart,

Casa Wappy!

[blocks in formation]

Thy bright brief day knew no decline,

'Twas cloudless joy;
Sunrise and night alone were thine,

Beloved boy!
This morn beheld thee blithe and gay,
That found thee prostrate in decay,
And, ere a third shone, clay was clay,

Casa Wappy!
Gem of our hearth, our household pride,

Earth's undefiled;
Could love have saved, thou hadst not died,

Our dear, sweet child !
Humbly we bow to fate's decree ;
Yet had we hoped that time should see
Thee mourn for us, not us for thee,

Casa Wappy!
Do what I may, go where I will,

Thou meet'st my sight;
There dost thou glide before me still —

A form of light!
I feel thy breath upon my cheek-
I see thee smile, I hear thee speak-
Till, oh! my heart is like to break,

Casa Wappy!
Methinks thou smil'st before me now,

With glance of stealth;
The hair thrown back from thy full brow

In buoyant health :
I see thine eyes' deep violet light,
Thy dimpled cheek carnationed bright,
Thy clasping arms so round and white,

Casa Wappy!
The nursery shows thy pictured wall,

Thy bat, thy bow,
Thy cloak and bonnet, club and ball;

But where art thou ?
A corner holds thine empty chair,
Thy playthings idly scattered there,
But speak to us of our despair,

Casa Wappy!
Even to the last thy every word-

To glad, to grieve-
Was sweet as sweetest song of bird

On summer's eve;
In outward beauty undecayed,
Death o'er thy spirit cast no shade,
And like the rainbow thou didst fade,

Casa Wappy!

We mourn for thee when blind blank night

The chamber fills ;
We pine for thee when morn's first light

Reddens the hills ;
The sun, the moon, the stars, the sea,
All, to the wallflower and wild pea,
Are changed-we saw the world through thee,

Casa Wappy! And though, perchance, a smile may gleam

Of casual mirth,
It doth not own, whate'er may seem,

An inward birth;
We miss thy small step on the stair;
We miss thee at thine evening prayer,
All night we miss thee, everywhere,

Casa Wappy! Snows muffled earth when thou didst go,

In life's spring bloom,
Down to the appointed house below,

The silent tomb.
But now the green leaves of the tree,
The cuckoo and the “busy bee,”
Return-but with them bring not thee,

Casa Wappy! 'Tis so; but can it be (while flowers

Revive again)
Man's doom, in death that we and ours

For aye remain?
Oh! can it be, that o'er the grave
The grass renewed, should yearly wave,
Yet God forget our child to save ?

Casa Wappy! It cannot be: for were it so,

Thus man could die;
Life were a mockery, thought were woe,

And truth a lie;
Heaven were a coinage of the brain,
Religion frenzy, virtue vain,
And all our hopes to meet again,

Casa Wappy! Then be to us, oh! dear lost child !

With beam of love,
A star, death's uncongenial wild

Smiling above;
Soon, soon thy little feet have trod
The skyward path, the seraph's road,
That led thee back from man to God,

Casa Wappy!

[blocks in formation]

Yet ’tis sweet balm to our despair,

Fond, fairest boy,
That heaven is God's, and thou art there,

With Him in joy:
There past are death and all its woes,
There beauty's stream for ever flows,
And pleasure's day no sunset knows,

Casa Wappy!
Farewell, then—for a while, farewell-

Pride of my heart !
It cannot be that long we dwell,

Thus torn apart:
Time's shadows like the shuttle flee:
And, dark howe'er life's night may be,
Beyond the grave I'll meet with thee,

Casa Wappy!

a

:

62.-POPE'S WILLOW.

JAMES MONTGOMERY. [James Montgomery was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire, November 4, 1771. He commenced his literary career at the age of twenty as a newspaper editor. His principal poems are, “The Ocean,” “ The West Indies,” “The World before the Flood,” “Greenland,” and “The Pelican Island.” In his later years he wrote a number of very beautiful “ Original Hymns.” Died at Sheffield, 1854.]

ERE Pope resign'd his tuneful breath,

And made the turf his pillow,
The minstrel hung his harp in death

Upon the drooping willow;
'That willow, from Euphrates' strand,
Had sprung beneath his training hand.
Long, as revolving seasons flew,

From youth to age it flourish’d,
By vernal winds and star-light dew,

By showers and sunbeams nourish'd;
And while in dust the poet slept,
The willow o'er his ashes wept.
Old Time beheld its silvery head,

With graceful grandeur towering,
Its pensile boughs profusely, spread,

The breezy lawn embowering,
Till arch'd around, there seemd to shoot,
A grove

of scions from one root.
Thither, at summer noon, he view'd

The lovely Nine retreating,

« ForrigeFortsæt »