Imágenes de páginas

Its foam is scattered on the margent bound,
Skirting the darksome wood. But list! the hum
Of industry, the rattling hammer's sound,
Files whizzing, creaking sluices, echoed come
On the fast-travelling breeze! O no! no noise
Is heard around, but thy majestic voice!
When the mad storm-wind tears the oak asunder,
In thee its shivered fragments find their tomb;
When rocks are riven by the bolt of thunder,
As sands they sink into thy mighty womb:
The ice that would imprison thy proud tide,
Like bits of broken glåss is scattered wide.
The fierce wolf prowls around thee-there he stands
Listening-not fearful, for he nothing fears:
His red eyes burn like fury-kindled brands,
Like bristles o'er him his coarse fur he rears ;
Howling, thy dreadful roar he oft repeats,
And, more ferocious, hastes to bloodier feats.
The wild stag hears thy falling waters' sound,
And tremblingly flies forward-o'er his back
He bends his stately horns—the noiseless ground
His hurried feet impress not—and his track
Is lost amidst the tumult of the breeze,
And the leaves falling from the rustling trees.
The wild horse 'thee approaches in his turn:
He chānges not his proudly rapid stride,
His mane stands up erect-his nostrils burn-
He snorts-he pricks his ears—and starts aside;
Then madly rushing forward to thy steep,
He dashes down into thy torrents deep.
Beneath the cedar, in abstraction sunk,
Close to thine awful pile of majesty,
On yonder old and mouldering moss-bound trunk,

That hangs upon the cliff's rude edge, I see
An old man, on whose forehead* winter's snow
Is scattered, and his hand supports his brow.
The lănce, the sword, the ample shield beneath,
Lie at his feet obscured by spreading rust;
· His căsque is circled by an ivy wreath-
Those arms were once his country's pride and trust

* Pron. for-běd.

And yet upon his golden breast-plate plays
The gentle brightness of the sunset rays.
He sits, and muses on the rapid stream,
While deep thoughts struggling from his bosom rise :
“Emblem of man! here brightly pictured seem
The world's gay scenery and its păgeantries ;

Which, as delusive as thy shining wave,
1 Glow for the proud, the coward and the slave.

So is our little stream of life poured out
In the wild turbulence of passion : so,
Midst glory's glănce and victory's thunder-shout,
The joys of life in hurried exile gom
Till hope's fair smile, and beauty's ray of light,
Are shrouded in the griefs and storms of night.
Day after day prepares the funeral shroud;
The world is gray with age :-the striking hour
Is but an echo of death's summons loud-
The jarring of the dark grave's prison-door:
Into its deep abyss-devouring all-
Kings and the friends of kings alike must fall."

O glory! glory! mighty one on earth!
How justly irnaged in this waterfall!
So wild and furious in thy sparkling birth,
Dashing thy torrents down, and dazzling all ;
Sublimely breaking from thy glorious height,
Majestic, thundering, beautiful and bright.
How many a wondering eye is turned to thee,
In admiration lost ;-shortsighted men!
Thy furious wave gives no fertility;
Thy waters, hurrying fiercely through the plain,
Bring nought but děvastation and distress,
And leave the flowery vale a wilderness.
O fairer, lovelier is the modest rill,
Watering with steps serene the field, the grove
Its gentle voice as sweet and soft and still,
As shepherd's pipe, or song of youthful love.
It has no thundering torrent, but it flows
Unwearied, scattering blessings as it goes.
To the wild mountain let the wanderer come,
And, resting on the turf, look round and see,

With saddened eye, the green and grăssy tomb,
And hear its monitory language : he
He sleeps below, not famed in war alone;
The great, the good, the generous

minded one.





O! what is human glory, human pride?
What are man's triumphs when they brightest seem ?
What art thou, mighty one! though deified ?
Methuselah's long pilgrimage, a dream;
Our age is but a shade, our life a tale,
A vacant fancy, or a păssing gale,
Or nothing ! 'Tis a heavy hollow ball,
Suspended on a slender, subtile* hair,
And filled with storm-winds, thunders, passions, all
Struggling within in furious tumult there.
Strange mystery! man's gentlest breath can shake it,
And the light zephyrs are enough to break it.
But a few hours, or moments, and beneath
Empires are buried in a night of gloom :
The very elements are leagued with death,
A breath sends giants to their lonely tomb.
Where is the mighty one? He is not found,
His dust lies trampled in the noiseless ground!

[blocks in formation]

But gratitude still lives, and loves to cherish
The pātriot's virtues, while the soul of song
In sacred tones, that never, never perish,
Fame's everlăsting thunder bears along.
The lyre has an eternal voice-of all
That's holy, holiest is the good man's pall.
List then, ye worldly waterfalls ! Vain men,
Whose brains are dizzy with ambition, bright
Your swords—your garments flowery like a plain
In the spring time-if truth be your delight,
And virtue your devotion, let your sword
Be bared alone at wisdom's sacred word.
Roar, roar, thou waterfall ! lift up thy voice
Even to the clouded regions of the skies :
Thy brightness and thy beauty may rejoice,
Thy music charms the ears, thy light the eyes,
Joy-giving torrent ! sweetest memory
Receives a freshness and a strength from thee.

* Pron, sub'til.

Roll on! no clouds shall on thy waters lie
Darkling: no gloomy thunder-tempest break
Over thy face : let the black night-dews fly
Thy smiles, and sweetly let thy murmurs speak
In distance and in nearness: be it thine
To bless with usefulness, with beauty shine,
Thou pārent of the waterfall! proud river !
Thou northern thunderer, Suna! hurrying on
In mighty torrent from the heights, and ever
Sparkling with glory in the gladdened sun,
Now dashing from the mountain to the plain,
And scattering purple fire and sapphire rain.
'Tis momentary ve'hemence; thy course
Is calm and soft and silent: clear and deep
Thy stately waters roll: in the proud force
of unpretending majesty, they sweep
The sideless marge, and brightly, tranquilly
Bear their rich tributes to the grateful sea.
Thy stream, by baser waters unalloyed,
Washes the golden banks that o'er thee smile ;
Until the clear Onega drinks its tide,
And swells while welcoming the glorious spoil :
O what a sweet and soul-composing scene,
Clear as the cloudless heavens, and as serene !


Scene from Percy's Masque.-HILLHOUSE.

SCENE.-A high-wood walk in a park. The towers of Warkworth castle, in Northumberland, seen over the trees.

Enter ARTHUR, in a huntsman's dress.

Arthur. HERE let me pause, and breathe awhile, and wipe These servile drops from off my burning brow. Amidst these venerable trees, the air Seems hallowed by the breath of other times.Companions of my fathers ! ye have marked Their generations pass. Your giant arms Shadowed their youth, and proudly canopied Their silver hairs, when, ripe in years and glory,

These walks they trod to meditate on heaven.
What warlike păgeants have ye seen! what trains
Of captives, and what heaps of spoil! what pomp,
When the victorious chief, war's tempest o'er,
In Warkworth's bowers unbound his panoply!
What floods of splendor, bursts of joc'und din,
Startled the slumbering tenants of these shades
When night awoke the tumult of the feast,
The song of damsels and the sweet-toned lyre !
Then, princely Percy reigned amidst his halls,
Champion, and Judge, and Father of the North.
O, days of ancient grandeur! are ye gone ?
For ever gone? Do these same scenes behold
His offspring here, the hireling of a foe!
O, that I knew my fate! that I could read
The destiny that heaven has marked for me !

Enter a Forester.
For. A benison upon thee, gentle huntsman !
Whose towers are these that overlook the wood ?

Ar. Earl Westmoreland's.

For. The Nev’ille's towers I seek.
By dreams I learn, and prophecies most strange,
A noble youth lurks here, whose horoscope
Declares him fated to amazing deeds.

Ar. (starting back) Douglas !

Doug. Now do I clasp thee, Percy; and I swear By my dear soul, and by the blood of Douglas, Linked to thy side, through every chance, I go, Till here thou rul'st, or death and night end all.

Per. Amazement! Whence ?-or how

Doug. And didst thou think Thus to elude me?

Per. Answer how thou found'st me. What miracle directed here thy steps ?

Doug. Where should I look for thee, but in the post Where birth, fame, fortune, wrongs, and honor call thee? Returning from the Isles, I found thee gone. A while in doubt, each circumstance I weighed; Thy difficulties, wrongs, and daring spirit; The gay delusive show, so long maintained To lull observers; then set forth, resolved Never to enter more my native towers Till I had found and searched thee to the soul.

Per. Still must I wonder; for so dark a cloud

« AnteriorContinuar »