Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

the elevatory agencies, motionless and chill, shall sleep within their profound depths to awaken no more, and should the sea still continue to impel its currents and to roll its waves, every continent and island would at length disappear, and again, as of old, "when the fountains of the great deep were broken up,"

"A shoreless ocean tumble round the globe."

Hugh Miller.

LXXXL—THE MOUNTAIN WANDERER'S

RETURN.

i.

THE soul cannot survive alone,
And hate will die, like other things;
I felt an ebbing in my rage,
I hungered for the sound of one,
Just one familiar word,—
Yearned but to hear my fellow speak,
Or sound of woman's mellow tone,
As beats the wild, imprisoned bird,
That long nor kind nor mate has heard,
With bleeding wings
And panting beak
Against its iron cage.

n.
I saw a low-roofed rancho lie,
Far, far below, at set of sun,
Along the foot-hills crisp and dun—
A lone sweet star in lower sky;
Saw children sporting to and fro,
The busy housewife come and go,
And white cows come at her command,
And none looked larger than my hand.
Then worn and torn, and tanned and brown,
And heedless all, I hastened down,
A wanderer wandering long and late,
I stood before the rustic gate.

Two little girls, with brown feet bare,
And tangled, tossing, yellow hair,
Played on the green, fantastic dressed.
Around a great Newfoundland brute
That lay half-resting on his breast;
And with his red mouth opened wide
Would make believe that he would bite,
As they assailed him left and right,
And then sprang to the other side,
And filled with shouts the willing air.
Oh, sweeter far than lyre or lute
To my then hot and thirsty heart,
And better self so wholly mute,
Were those sweet voices calling there.

IV.

Though some sweet scenes my eyes have seen, Some melody my soul has heard, No song of any maid or bird, Or splendid wealth of tropic scene, Or scene or song of anywhere, Has my impulsive soul so stirred, Or touched and thrilled my every part, Or filled me with such sweet delight, As those young angels sporting there.

v.

The dog at sight of me arose,
And nobly stood, with lifted nose,
Afront the children, now so still,
And staring at me with a will.
"Come in, come in," the rancher cried,
As here and there the housewife hied;
-' Sit down, sit down, you travel late.
What news of politics or war?
And are you tired? Go you far?
And where you from? Be quick, my Kate,
This boy is sure in need of food."
The little children close bv stood.

And watched and gazed inquiringly,
Then came and climbed upon my knee.

VI.

"That there's my ma," the eldest said, And laughed and tossed her pretty head; And then, half bating of her joy, "Have you a ma, you stranger bo^ ?— And there hangs Carlo on the wall As large as life; that mother drew With berry stains upon a shred Of tattered tent; but hardly you Would know the picture his at all, For Carlo's black, and this is red."

TO.

Again she laughed, and shook her head,
And showered curls all out of place;
Then sudden sad, she raised her face
To mine, and tenderly she said,
"Have you, like us, a pretty home?
Have you, like me, a dog and toy?
Where do you live, and whither roam?
And where's your pa, poor stranger boy?"

vm.

It seemed so sweetly out of place Again to meet my fellow-man, I gazed and gazed upon his face As something I had never seen. The melody of woman's voice Fell on my ear as falls the rain Upon the weary, waiting plain. I heard, and drank and drank again, As earth with cracked lips drinks the rain, In green to revel and rejoice. I ate with thanks my frugal food, The first returned for many a day. I had met kindness by the way 1 I had at last encountered good?

I sought my couch, but not to sleep;
New thoughts were coursing strong and deep
My wild impulsive passion-heart;
I could not rest; my heart was moved,
My iron will forgot its part,
And I wept like a child reproved.
Never was Christian more devout,
Never was lowlier heart than mine,
Never has pious Moslem yet,
When bearded Muezzin's holy shout
Has echoed afar from minaret,
Knelt lowlier down to saint or shrine,
Than knelt that penitent soul of mine.

x.
I lay and pictured me a life
Afar from cold reproach or stain,
Or annals dark of blood and strife,
From deadly perils or heart-pain;
And at the breaking of the morn
I swung my arms from off the horn,
And turned to other scenes and lands
With lightened heart and whitened hands.

Joaquin Miller.

LXXXII— ENGLAND'S WAR WITH FRANCE AND AMERICA.

TOU have now two wars before you, of which you must choose one, for both you cannot support. The war against America has hitherto been carried on against her alone, unassisted by any ally; notwithstanding she stood alone, you have been obliged uniformly to increase your exertions, and to push your efforts in the end to the extent of your power, without being able to bring it to any favorable issue. You have exerted all your force hitherto without effect, and you cannot now divide a force found already inadequate to its object.

2. My opinion is for withdrawing your forces from America entirely, for a defensive war you never can think of; a defensive war would ruin this nation at any time and in any circumstances. An offensive war is pointed out as proper for this country; our situation points it out, and the spirit of the nation impels us to attack rather than defense: attack France, then, for she is your object. The nature of the war with her is quite different. The war against America is against your own countrymen—you have stopped me from saying against your fellow-subjecte; that against France is against your inveterate enemy and rival.

3. Every blow you strike in America is against yourselves; it is against all ideas of reconciliation, and against your own interest, though you should be able, as you never will, to force them to submit. Every stroke against France is of advantage to you; the more you lower the scale in which France lies in the balance, the more your own rises, and the more the Americans will be detached from her as useless to them. Even your own victories over America are in favor of France, from what they must cost you in men and money. Your victories over France will be felt by her ally. America must be conquered in France; France never can be conquered in America.

4. The war of the Americans is a war of passion; it is of such a nature as to be supported by the most powerful virtues—love of liberty and of country; and, at the same time, by those passions in the human heart which give courage, strength, and perseverance to man—the spirit of revenge for the injuries you have done them; of retaliation for the hardships you have inflicted on them; and oi opposition to the unjust powers you have exercised over them.

5. Everything combines to animate them to this war. and such a war is without end; for, whatever obstinacy enthusiasm ever inspired man with, you will now find it ir America. No matter what gives birth to that enthusiasm.

V

« ForrigeFortsæt »