« PreviousContinue »
By the fireside tragedies are acted
In whose scenes appear two actors only,
Wife and husband,
By the fireside there are peace and comfort,
Each man's chimney is his Golden Mile-stone;
In his farthest wanderings still he sees it;
Hears the talking flame, the answering night-wind,
As he heard them
Happy he whom neither wealth nor fashion,
Drives an exile
We may build more splendid habitations,
Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures,
But we cannot
THE JEWISH CEMETERY AT NEWPORT.
How strange it seems! These Hebrews in their graves,
Silent beside the never-silent waves,
The trees are white with dust, that o'er their sleep
While underneath such leafy tents they keep
And these sepulchral stones, so old and brown,
Seem like the tablets of the Law, thrown down
The very names recorded here are strange,
Alvares and Kivera interchange
With Abraham and Jacob of old times.
"Blessed be God! for He created Death!"
The mourners said, " and Death is rest and peace ;" Then added, in the certainty of faith,
"And giveth Life that never more shall cease."
Closed are the portals of their Synagogue,
No Kabbi reads the ancient Decalogue
Gone are the living, but the dead remain,
Scattering its bounty, like a summer rain,
Still keeps their graves and their remembrance green.
How came they here? What burst of Christian hate,
What persecution, merciless and blind, Drove o'er the sea—that desert desolate—
These Ishmaels and Hagars of mankind?They lived in narrow streets and lanes obscure,
Taught in the school of patience to endure
All their lives long, with the unleavened bread
And bitter herbs of exile and its fears, The wasting famine of the heart they fed,
And slaked its thirst with marah of their tears.
Anathema maranatha! was the cry
That rang from town to town, from street to street; At every gate the accursed Mordecai
Was mocked and jeered, and spurned by Christian feet.
Pride and humiliation hand in hand
Walked with them through the world where'er they went; Trampled and beaten were they as the sand,
And yet unshaken as the continent.
For in the background figures vague and vast
And all the great traditions of the Past
The mystic volume of the world they read,
Spelling it backward, like a Hebrew book,
But ah! what once has been shall be no more.
The groaning earth in travail and in pain Brings forth its races, but does not restore,
And the dead nations never rise again.
In the Valley of the Vire
Still is seen an ancient mill,
Far above it, on the steep,
Ruined stands the old Chateau;