Imagens da página

Upon an ampler dunghill trod,

| And most, of sterling worth, is what Crow'd lustier late and early,

Our own experience preaches.
Sipt wine from silver, praising God,
And raked in golden barley.

Ah, let the rusty theme alone!

We know not what we know. A private life was all his joy,

But for my pleasant hour, 't is gone, Till in a court he saw

'T is gone, and let it go. A something-pottle-bodied boy,

'T is gone : a thousand such have slipt That knuckled at the taw :

Away from my embraces, Hestoop'dand clutch'd him, fairand good, And fall'n into the dusty crypt Flew over roof and casement :

Of darken'd forms and faces. His brothers of the weather stood Stock-still for sheer amazement. Go, therefore, thou ! thy betters went

Long since, and came no more ; But he, by farmstead, thorpe and spire, | With peals of genial clamor sent And follow'd with acclaims,

From many a tavern-door, A sign to many a staring shire,

With twisted quirks and happy hits, Came crowing over Thames.

From misty men of letters ;
Right down by smoky Paul's they bore, The tavern-hours of mighty wits —

Till, where the street grows straiter, Thine elders and thy betters.
One fix'd for ever at the door,
And one became head-waiter.

Hours, when the Poet's words and looks

Had yet their native glow :

Nor yet the fear of little books But whither would my fancy go ?

Had made him talk for show ; How out of place she makes

But, all his vast heart sherris-warmd, The violet of a legend blow

He flash'd his random speeches ; Among the chops and steaks ! Ere days, that deal in ana, swarm’d 'T is but a steward of the can,

His literary leeches.
One shade more plump than common;
As just and mere a serving-man

So mix for ever with the past,
As any, born of woman.

Like all good things on earth!

For should I prize thee, couldst then I ranged too high : what draws me down

last, Into the common day?

At half thy real worth? Is it the weight of that half-crown, I hold it good, good things should pass : Which I shall have to pay ?

With time I will not quarrel : For, something duller than at first, It is but yonder empty glass Nor wholly comfortable,

That makes me maudlin-moral.
I sit (my empty glass reversed),
And thrumming on the table : Head-waiter of the chop-house here,

To which I most resort,
Half fearful that, with self at strife I too must part: I hold thee dear
I take myself to task ;

For this good pint of port.
Lest of the fulness of my life

For this, thou shalt from all things suck I leave an empty flask :

Marrow of mirth and laughter;
For I had hope, by something rare, And, wheresoe'er thou move, good luck
To prove myself a poet :

Shall fling her old shoe after.
But, while I plan and plan, my hair
Is gray before I know it.

But thou wilt never move from hence,

The sphere thy fate allots :
So fares it since the years began, Thy latter days increased with pence
Till they be gatherd up;

Go down among the pots :
The truth, that Hies the flowing can, Thou battenest by the greasy gleam
Will haunt the vacant cup :

In haunts of hungry sinners,
And others' follies teach us not,

Old boxes, larded with the steam Nor much their wisdom teaches ; 1 Of thirty thousand dinners.

We fret, we fume, would shift our skins, | Ah shameless ! for he did but sing
Would quarrel with our lot ;

A song that pleased us from its worth; Thy care is, under polish'd tins,

No public life was his on earth, To serve the hot-and-hot ;

No blazon'd statesman he, nor king. To come and go, and come again, Returning like the pewit,

He gave the people of his best : And watch'd by silent gentlemen,

His worst he kept, his best he gave. That trifle with the cruet.

My Shakespeare's curse on clown and

knave Live long, ere from thy topmost head Who will not let his ashes rest!

The thick-set hazel dies; Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread | Who make it seem more sweet to be The corners of thine eyes :

The little life of bank and brier, Live long, nor feel in head or chest The bird that pipes his lone desire Our changeful equinoxes,

And dies unheard within his tree,
Till mellow Death, like some late guest,
Shall call thee from the boxes.

Than he that warbles long and loud

And drops at Glory's temple-gates, But when he calls, and thou shalt cease For whom the carrion vulture waits To pace the gritted floor,

| To tear his heart before the crowd ! And, laying down an unctuous lease

Of life, shalt earn no inore;
No carved cross-bones, the types of Death,

Shall show thee past to Heaven : TO E. L., ON HIS TRAVELS IN But carved cross-pipes, and, underneath,

GREECE. A pint-pot, neatly graven.

ILLYRIAN woodlands, echoing falls

! Of water, sheets of summer glass, TO

| The long divine Peneïan pass,

The vast Akrokeraunian walls,
"Cursed be he that moves my bones."
Shakespeare's Epitaph.

Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair,

With such a pencil, such a pen, You might have won the Poet's name,

You shadow forth to distant inen, If such be worth the winning now,

I read and felt that I was there :
And gain'd a laurel for your brow
Of sounder leaf than I can claim ;

And trust me while I turn'd the page, But you have made the wiser choice,

And track'd you still on classic ground, A life that moves to gracious ends

I grew in gladness till I found Thro' troops of unrecording friends,

My spirits in the golden age. A deedful life, a silent voice :

For me the torrent ever pour'd And you have miss'd the irreverent doom ! And glisten'd - here and there alone Of those that wear the Poet's crown :

The broad-limb'd Gods at randon Hereafter, neither knave nor clown

thrown Shall hold their orgies at your tomb.

By fountain-urns ; -- and Naiads oar'd

For now the Poet cannot die

Nor leave his music as of old,

But round him ere he scarce be cold Begins the scandal and the cry :

A glimmering shoulder under gloom

Of cavern pillars ; on the swell

The silver lily heaved and fell ; | And many a slope was rich in bloom

“Proclaim the faults he would not show: From him that on the mountain lea

Break lock and seal : betray the trust : By dancing rivulets fed his flocks,

Keep nothing sacred : 't is but just 1 To him who sat upon the rocks, The many-headed beast should know.” And iluted to the morning sea.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][merged small]

“As God is above,” said Alice the nurse, | Down stept Lord Ronald from his tower: “I speak the truth : you are my child. “O Lady Clare, you shame your worth!

Why come you drest like a village maid, “The old Earl's daughter died at my That are the flower of the earth ?

breast; I speak the truth, as I live by bread! |“If I come drest like a village maid, I buried her like my own sweet child, I am but as my fortunes are : And put my child in her stead."

I am a beggar born,” she said,

“And not the Lady Clare.” “Falsely, falsely have ye done, O mother," she said, “if this be true,

“Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald,

“For I am yours in word and in deed. To keep the best man under the sun

| Play me no tricks," said Lord Ronald, So many years from his due."

«Your riddle is hard to read.” “Nay now, my child,” said Alice the and proudly stood she up ! nurse,

Her heart within her did not fail : “But keep the secret for your life, she look'd into Lord Ronald's eyes, And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,

And told him all her nurse's tale. When you are man and wife.”

He laugh'd a laugh of merry scorn : “ If I'm a beggar born,” she said,

He turn'd and kiss'd her where sho "I will speak out, for I dare not lie.

stood : Pull off, pull off, the brooch of gold, “If you are not the heiress born,

And fling the diamond necklace by." | And I,” said he, “the next in blood

“Nay now, my child,” said Alice the “ If you are not the heiress born, nurse,

| And I," said he, “the lawful heir, “But keep the secret all ye can." We two will wed to-morrow morn, She said, “Not so: but I will know And you shall still be Lady Clare."

If there be any faith in man."


“Nay now, what faith ?” said Alice the

nurse, “ The man will cleave unto his right.” “ And he shall have it," the lady replied,

“ Tho' I should die to-night."

“Yet give one kiss to your mother dear !

Alas, my child, I sinn'd for thee.” “O mother, mother, mother,” she said,

“So strange it seems to me.

“Yet here's a kiss for my mother dear,

My mother dear, if this be so, And lay your hand upon my head,

And bless me, mother, ere I go.”

In her ear he whispers gayly,

“If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watch'd thee daily,

And I think thou lov'st me well." She replies, in accents fainter,

There is none I love like thee." He is but a landscape-painter,

And a village maiden she.
He to lips, that fondly falter,

Presses his without reproof:
Leads her to the village altar,

And they leave her father's roof. I can make no marriage present :

Little can I give my wife.
Love will make our cottage pleasant,

And I love thee more than life."
They by parks and lodges going

See the lorilly castles stand :
Summer woods, about them blowing,

Made a murmur in the land.
From deep thought himself he rouses

Says to her that loves him well,
“Let us see these handsome houses

Where the wealthy nobles dwell."

She clad herself in a russet gown,

She was no longer Lady Clare :
She went by dale, and she went by down,

With a single rose in her hair.
The lily-white doe Lord Ronald had

Leapt up from where she lay,
Dropt her head in the maiden's hand,

And follow'd her all the way.

So she goes by him attended,

Faint she grew, and ever fainter, Hears him lovingly converse,

And she murmur'd, “O, that he Sees whatever fair and splendid

Were once more that landscape-painter, Lay betwixt his home and hers; Which did win my heart from me!" Parks with oak and chestnut shady, So she droop'd and droop'd before him, Parks and order'd gardens great,

Fading slowly from his side : Ancient homes of lord and lady,

Three fair children first she bore him, Built for pleasure and for state.

Then before her time she died. All he shows her makes him dearer : Weeping, weeping late and early, Evermore she seems to gaze

Walking up and pacing down, On that cottage growing nearer, | Deeply mourn'd the Lord of Burleigh, Where they twain will spend their Burleigh-house by Stamford-town. days.

And he came to look upon her, O but she will love him truly !

And he look'd at her and said, He shall have a cheerful home; “Bring the dress and put it on her, She will order all things duly,

That she wore when she was wed." When beneath his roof they come. Then her people, softly treading, Thus her heart rejoices greatly,

Bore to earth her body, drest Till a gateway she discerns

In the dress that she was wed in,
With armorial bearings stately,

That her spirit might have rest.
And beneath the gate she turns ;
Sees a mansion more majestic
Than all those she saw before :

SIR LAUNCELOT AND QUEEN Many a gallant gay domestic

Bows before him at the door.

And they speak in gentle murmur,
When they answer to his call,

LIKE souls that balance joy and pain, While he treads with footstep firmer,

With tears and smiles from heaven again Leading on from hall to hall.

The maiden Spring upon the plain And, while now she wonders blindly,

Came in a sun-lit fall of rain. Nor the meaning can divine,

In crystal vapor everywhere Proudly turns he round and kindly,

Blue isles of heaven laugh'd between, “All of this is mine and thine.'

And far, in forest-deeps unseen, Here he lives in state and bounty,

The topmost elmtree gather'd green Lord of Burleigh, fair and free,

From draughts of balmy air. Not a lord in all the county

Sometimes the linnet piped his song: Is so great a lord as he.

Sometimes the throstle whistled strong: All at once the color flushes

Sometimes the sparhawk, wheel'd along, Her sweet face from brow to chin :

Hush'd all the groves from fear of wrong: As it were with shame she blushes,

| By grassy capes with fuller sound And her spirit changed within.

In curves the yellowing river ran,
Then her countenance all over
Pale again as death did prove :

And drooping chestnut-buds began

To spread into the perfect fan,
But he clasp'd her like a lover,

Above the teeming ground.
And he cheer'd her soul with love.
So she strove against her weakness,

Then, in the boyhood of the year,
Tho' at times her spirit sank :

Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere Shaped her heart with woman's meekness Rode thro' the coverts of the deer, To all duties of her rank :

With blissful treble ringing clear. And a gentle consort made he,

She seem'd a part of joyous Spring : And her gentle mind was such

A gown of grass-green silk she wore, That she grew a noble lady,

Buckled with golden clasps before ; And the people loved her much.

A light-green tuft of plumes she bore But a trouble weigh'd upon her,

Closed in a golden ring.
And perplex'd her, night and morn,
With the burden of an honor

Now on some twisted ivy-net,
Unto which she was not born. | Now by some tinkling rivulet,

« AnteriorContinuar »