Page images
PDF
EPUB

SONNET.

All Nature ministers to Hope. The snow
Of sluggard Winter, bedded on the hill,
And the small tinkle of the frozen rill-
The swoln flood's sullen roar, the storms that go
With crash, and howl, and horrid voice of woe,
Making swift passage for their lawless will —
All prophecy of good. The hungry trill
Of the lone birdie, cowering close below
The dripping eaves—it hath a kindly feeling,
And cheers the life that lives for milder hours.
Why, then, since Nature still is busy healing,
And Time, the waster, his own work concealing,
Decks every grave with verdure and with flowers,
Why should Despair oppress immortal powers?

BY A FRIEND.

I have heard thy sweet voice in the song,

And listened with delight-
I've seen thee in the glittering throng,

The fairest mid'st the bright-
I've mark'd thee smile on gallants gay,

And envied them the lot,
While from the crowd I turn'd away,

Alone regarded not.

Oh, Lady! it were vain, I own,

To hope for charms like thine !
The brow that would beseem a crown

Will frown on love like mine :
That form of light—that heavenly face,

Those eyes of sweetest hue,
Were form'd some kingly throne to grace,

And not for me to sue.

Yet, though forbidden by despair

The dream of happier hours
As once I wreath'd thy sunny hair

With Summer's brightest flowers-
I'll follow still, with love unseen,

Thy smile, thy voice's tone;
My heart shall own no other queen,

But worship thee alone.

POIETES APOIETES.

No hope have I to live a deathless name,

A power immortal in the world of mind, A sun to light with intellectual flame,

The universal soul of human kind.

Not mine the skill in memorable phrase,

The hidden truths of passion to reveal, To bring to light the intermingling ways,

By which unconscious motives darkling steal.

To show how forms the sentient heart affect,

How thoughts and feelings mutually combine, How oft the pure, impassive intellect

Shares the mischances of his mortal shrine.

Nor can I summons from the dark abyss

Of time, the spirit of forgotten things, Bestow unfading life on transient bliss—

Bid memory live with “ healing on its wings.”

Oh give a substance to the haunting shades,

Whose visitation shames the vulgar earth, Before whose light the ray of morning fades,

And hollow yearning chills the soul of mirth.

I have no charm to renovate the youth

Of old authentic dictates of the heart,
To wash the wrinkles from the face of Truth,

And out of Nature form creative Art.

Divinest Poesy !—'tis thine to make

Age young-youth old-to baffle tyrant Time, From antique strains the hoary dust to shake,

And with familiar grace to crown new rhyme.

Long have I loved thee-long have loved in vain,

Yet large the debt my spirit owes to thee, Thou wreath’d'st my first hours in a rosy chain,

Rocking the cradle of my infancy.

The lovely images of earth and sky

From thee I learn'd within my soul to treasure ; And the strong magic of thy minstrelsy

Charms the world's tempest to a sweet, sad measure.

Nor Fortune's spite-nor hopes that once have been

Hopes which no power of Fate can give again, Not the sad sentence—that my life must wean

From dear domestic joys—nor all the train.

Of pregnant ills—and penitential harms

That dog the rear of youth unwisely wasted, Can dim the lustre of thy stainless charms,

Or sour the sweetness that in thee I tasted.

R

FROM PETRARCH.

Se lamentar augelli, o verdi fronde.

The birds piped mournfully; the dark green leaves
Moved, sweetly trembling, to the summer breeze,-
And deep and low, the lucid rill, that weaves
Its murmuring mazes in the flowery leas,
Warbled along its old monotonies :-
Such blended sounds my reckless ear received,
And hearing, heard not,—while my spirit grieved,
Loving its grief, and feeding its disease.
A mournful strain I conn'd—when she for whom
I vext my soul, because she was conceal'd,
Shone forth on high, to wondering sense reveald :-
“Why ever thus,” said she, “thy days consume ?
Dying, I live,—and when I closed my eyes
They opend to the light of Paradise.”

« PreviousContinue »