Imágenes de páginas

The wildness of the storm hath pass'd; the rain
Drips from the wet leaves only, and the sky,
With its deep azure beauty, gleams again
Through the rent clouds; the sunken wind swells by,
With a low sobbing; and the clouds, heap'd high,
With the rich moonbeams' streaming flood of light
Pour'd full upon them, swell before the eye

Like distant snow-clad mountains. Night! O night! Thou art most glorious ! most beautifully bright!

Away and away to memory's land !
To seize the past with a daring hand,
And bear it back from oblivion's bowers,
To brighten again this dull world of ours.
There's many a walk beneath summer skies,
Starry and blue. as some earthly eyes;
There's many an eve by the winter's hearth,
Sparkling all over with friendship and mirth.
There's many a ramble through wood and glen,
Away from the sight and the haunts of men ;
There's climbing of rocks, and gathering flowers,
And watching the stream through summer showers.
There's many an hour that quickly went,
In the boughs of the old hill grape-vine spent ;
There's many a ride, and many a walk,
And many a theme of friendly talk.
How freshly comes to the spirit back,
The merry light of its early track !
But let it pass, for around my brow
Far deeper thoughts are gathering now.
I have learn’d too much of woe and wrong,
Of hearts all crush'd by oppression strong,
To deem the earth, as in other days,
A fairy theme for a poet's lays.

How may I linger within the bowers,
Bedight with memory's fairy flowers,
While woman's cry, as she drains the cup
Of her bitter lot, to the sky goes up ?

How may I joy in my better fate,
While her heart is bleeding and desolate ?
Or give my thoughts to their blissful dreams,
While no bright ray on her darkness gleams ?



'Twas sunset upon Spain. The sky of June
Bent o'er her airy hills, and on their tops,
The mountain cork-trees caught the fading light
Of a resplendent day. The painter threw
His pencil down, and with a glance of pride
Upon his beautiful and finish'd work,
Went from his rooms. And Juan stood alone
Gazing upon the canvas, with his arms
Folded across his bosom, and his eye
Filld with deep admiration, till a shade
Of earnest thought stole o'er it. With a sigh,
He turn'd away, and leaning listlessly
Against the open casement, look'd abroad.
The cool fresh breezes of the evening came,
To bathe his temples with the scented breath

orange blossoms; and the carolld song
of the light-hearted muleteer, who climb'd
The mountain pass—the tinkling of the bells,
That cheer'd his dumb companions on their way-
The passing vesper chime--the song of birds-
And the soft hum of insects—soothingly
Stole in with blended sweetness to his ear.
And then the scene ! ’t was of Spain's loveliest ;
Mountain and forest, emerald pasture slopes,
Dark olive groves, and bowers of lemon-trees ;
Vineyards, and tangled glens, the swift cascade,
Leaping from rock to rock, the calm bright stream,

The castle, and the peasant hut, were there,
All group'd in one bright landscape. Juan gazed,
Until the spirit of its beauty pass'd,
Like some fine subtle influence to his heart,
Filling it with rich thoughts. He had not known
The teachings of Philosophy, nor fed
The cravings of his spirit, from the page
of intellectual glory; but his eye
Had been unseald by Nature, and his mind
Was full of nice perceptions; and a love,
Deep and intense, for what was beautiful,
Thrill'd like vitality around his heart,
With an ennobling influence.

He had stood
Beside the easel, day by day, to feed
The pallet of the Painter with the hues
That lived upon the canvas, and had watch'd
The fine and skilful touch, that made a thing
Of magic of the pencil, till he caught
The o'ermastering glow of spirit, and he long'd
So to pour out his soul, and give the forms
Of beauty, that were thronging it, to life.
Such thoughts were on him now. His fine form lean'd
Earnestly forward, and within his eye
There flash'd a tremulous glory, and his hand
Was press'd upon his heart, as if to quell
Its hopeless longings—for he was a slave!
The bended brow, o'er which the gathering blood
Rush'd burningly, as bitter tears sprang out
From under his closed eyelids, wore the stain
Of Afric's lineage :--and, alas for him !
His master was the haughtiest lord of all
Castile's proud nobles, and Paresa knew
That even his life would scarce suffice to pay
The forfeit of the daring, that should seek,
With the profaning fingers of a slave,
To grasp the meed of genius.

Yet his

eye, When he uncover'd it, was calm and bright, And his curl'd lip set faintly in the strength Of his fix'd purpose.

Day by day, he gave
His spirit to the glorious dreams that throng'd
Around it, and pursued his secret toil,
Feeding his mind with its own fervid thoughts,
Till he had won its brightest images
Within his grasp.

At length his task was done.
The last nice touch was given, and he laid
His pencil by, and scann'd it, o'er and o'er,
With a keen gaze, and turn'd away, and still
Again resumed his scrutiny severe,
Till satisfied at last, with trembling hand
He bore it to its station.

'T was the hour
At which the king was often wont to seek
The chambers of the artist, and the slave
Knew that the monarch had a painter's heart,
And critic's eye for beauty, and to him,
He had resolved to trust his fate.

They came-
The monarch and the painter; and the breath
Rush'd quick and tremulous from Juan's lips,
As they pass'd slowly round, with brief remark
Of praise or censure, till at length the king
Stood forth alone, and check'd his loitering step.
“ Turn me this canvas." And Paresa did
His bidding silently, and stood aside
To wait his destiny of life or death.
Long gazed the king in silence—but his limbs
Lost their loose careless tension, and his eye
Lit gradually up, and the fine curve
Of his expanded nostril and curl'd lip
Breathed with a kindling spirit.- Beautiful !"
At last he murmur'd—“Oh, how beautiful!"
And Juan, with a glance of conscious pride
He could not conquer, even while he lay
A suppliant at Philip's feet, confess'd
The guilt of having won a monarch's praise.

'Twas a star-lit eve-and Juan stood once more
Alone, but not in sadness; on his brow,
His free, enfranchised brow, there linger'd yet
The glow of triumph, soften'd in his eye,
By the sweet tear of gratitude. His heart
Was full to overflowing, and when words
At last broke forth, almost insensibly
He moulded them to song:
p" Look on me stars ! pour down your light

Deep, deep, into my very soul ;
There is no darkness there to-night,

No bondage with its dread control.
What blessedness it is to gaze

On all that God has made so fair,
And feel no blight within to raise,

O'er all a cloud of dull despair.
“ Free! free! yet I will leave thee not,

Thou who hast burst my galling chain !
To love thee, serve thee, be my lot,

Till death shall chill my throbbing vein.
The past, with all its grief and shane,

Shall be annull’d by memory now;
But not the hour when Freedom's name

Was written on my burning brow.”


MOTHER'S FAREWELL. May God have mercy on thee, son, for man's stern heart hath

none ! My gentle boy, my beautiful, my loved and only one! I would the bitter tears that steep thy young and grief-doom'd

head, Were springing from a broken heart, that mourn'd thee with the


And yet how often have I watch'd above thine infant sleep, With love whose gushing tenderness strove vainly not to weep,

« AnteriorContinuar »