Page images



THE Soul of man is larger than the sky,
Deeper than ocean-or the abysmal dark
Of the unfathom'd centre. Like that Ark,
Which in its sacred hold uplifted high,
O'er the drown'd hills, the human family,
And stock reserved of every living kind,
So, in the compass of the single mind,
The seeds and pregnant forms in essence lie,

That make all worlds. Great Poet 'twas thy art,
To know thyself, and in thyself to be
Whate'er love, hate, ambition, destiny,
Or the firm, fatal purpose of the heart,
Can make of Man. Yet thou wert still the same,
Serene of thought, unhurt by thy own flame.


WHY should I murmur at my lot forlorn?
The self-same Fate that doom'd me to be poor
Endues me with a spirit to endure

All, and much more, than is or has been borne
By better men, of want, or worldly scorn.
My soul has faith, my body has the nerve
To brave the penance that my sins deserve.
And yet my helpless state I deeply mourn :
Well could I bear to be deserted quite,-
Less should I blame my fortune were it
But taking all, it yet hath left me friends,
For whom I needs must mourn the wayward spite
That hides my purpose in an empty purse,
Since what I grateful wish, in wishing ends.



WHAT can a poor man do but love and pray?
But if his love be selfish, then his prayer,
Like noisome vapour melts in vacant air.
I am a debtor, and I cannot pay.
The alms which drop upon the public way,—
The casual tribute of the good and fair,
`With the keen, thriftless avarice of despair
I seize, and live thereon from day to day,
Ingrate and purposeless.—And yet not so:
The mere mendicity of self contempt
Has not so far debased me, but I know
The faith, the hope, the piety, exempt
From worldly doubt, to which my all I owe.
Since I have nothing, yet I bless the thought,-
Best are they paid whose earthly wage is nought.


WHAT is young Passion but a gusty breeze
Ruffling the surface of a shallow flood?
A vernal motion of the vital blood,
That sweetly gushes from a heart at ease,
As sugared sap in spicy-budding trees?

And tho' a wish be born with every morrow,
And fondest dreams full oft are types of sorrow,

Eyes that can smile may weep just when they please.
But adult Passion, centred far within,

Hid from the moment's venom and its balm,
Works with the fell inherency of sin,

Nor feels the joy of morn, nor evening calm:
For morn nor eve can change that fiery gloom
That glares within the spirit's living tomb.



"Solo e pensoso i piu deserti campi."

LONELY and pensive o'er the lonely strand,
"With wandering steps and slow," I loiter on,
My eyes at watch, to warn me to be gone
If mark of human foot impress the sand :
Else would my piteous plight be rudely scann'd,
And curious folk would stare to see the wan
And deathlike images of joy foregone,
And how I inly waste like smouldering brand;
Or I would fain believe the tangled wood
Which girds the small field on the mountain side
The one sole witness to my crazy mood:
But ah! what sandy waste, or forest dim,
My haunt obscure from love can ever hide?
Where'er I think, I converse hold with him.

« PreviousContinue »