Imagens da página
PDF

IN MEMORIA M.

Strong Son of God, imunortal Love, l IN MEMORIA M.

Whom we, that have not seen thy face,
By faith, and faith alone, embrace,

A. H. H.
Believing where we cannot prove;

OBIIT MDCCCXXXIII.
Thine are these orbs of light and shade;

I.
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest Death ; and lo, thy foot

I held it truth, with him who sings Is on the skull which thou hast made.

To one clear harp in divers tones,

I That men may rise on stepping-stones Thou wilt not leave us in the dust : Of their dead selves to higher things.

Thou madest man, he knows not why ;
He thinks he was not made to die ;

But who shall so forecast the years And thou hast made him : thou art just. | And find in loss a gain to match ?

Or reach a hand thro' time to catch Thou seemest human and divine, The far-off interest of tears?

The highest, holiest manhood, thou : |
Our wills are ours, we know not how;

Let Loveclasp Grief lest both be drown'd, Our wills are ours, to make them thine.

Let darkness keep her raven gloss :

Ah, sweeter to be drunk with loss, Our little systems have their day; To dance with death, to beat the ground,

They have their day and cease to be :
They are but broken lights of thee,

Than that the victor Hours should scorn And thou, O Lord, art more than they. |

The long result of love, and boast,

“Behold the man that loved and lost, We have but faith : we cannot know; But all he was is overworn."

For knowledge is of things we see;
And yet we trust it comes from thee,

II.
A beam in darkness : let it grow. Oun Yew, which graspest at the stones

That name the under-lying, dead, Let knowledge grow from more to more,

Thy fibres net the dreamless head, But more of reverence in us dwell ;

Thy roots are wrapt about the bones. That mind and soul, according well, May make one music as before,

The seasons bring the flower again, But vaster. We are fools and slight ;

And bring the firstling to the flock;

And in the dusk of thee, the clock We mock thee when we do not fear :|

: Beats out the little lives of men. But help thy foolish ones to bear ; Help thy vain worlds to bear thy light. O not for thee the glow, the bloom,

| Who changest not in any gale, Forgive what seem'd my sin in me ;

Nor branding summer suns avail What seem'd my worth since I began ; To touch thy thousand years of gloom :

For merit lives from man to man, And not from man, O Lord, to thee.

| And gazing on thee, sullen tree,

Sick for thy stubborn hardihood, forgive my grief for one removed,

| I seem to fail from out my blood Thy creature, whom I found so fair.

And grow incorporate into thee.
I trust he lives in thee, and there
I find him worthier to be loved.
Forgive these wild and wandering cries, O SORROW, cruel fellowship,

Confusions of a wasted youth; | O Priestess in the vaults of Death,

Forgive them where they fail in truth, 0 sweet and bitter in a breath, And in thy wisdom make me wise. TWhat whispers from thy lying lip?

III.

"The stars," she whispers, “blindly run; | That loss is common would not make A web is wov'n across the sky;

My own less bitter, rather more : From out waste places comes a cry, Too common! Never morning wore And murmurs from the dying sun : To evening, but some heart did break. “And all the phantom, Nature, stands ---- O father, wheresoe'er thou be, With all the music in her tone,

Who pledgest now thy gallant son ; A hollow echo of my own, -

A shot, ere half thy draught be done, A hollow form with empty hands." Hath stillid the life that beat from thee. And shall I take a thing so blind,

O mother, praying God will save Embrace her as my natural good ;

Thy sailor, — while thy head is bow'd, Or crush her, like a vice of blood,

His heavy-shotted hammock-shroud Upon the threshold of the mind ?

Drops in his vast and wandering grave. IV.

Ye know no more than I who wrought To Sleep I give my powers away ;

At that last hour to please him well ; My will is bondsman to the dark ; Who mused on all I had to tell I sit within a helmless bark,

| And something written, something And with my heart I muse and say :

thought;
O heart, how fares it with thee now, Expecting still his advent home ;

That thou shouldst fail from thy desire, And ever met him on his way
Who scarcely darest to inquire,

With wishes, thinking, here to-day, “What is it makes me beat so low?" Or here to-morrow will he come. Something it is which thou hast lost,

O somewhere, meek unconscious dove, Some pleasure from thine early years. That sittest ranging golden hair ;

Break, thou deep vase of chilling tears, | And glad to find thyself so fair, That grief hath shaken into frost !

Poor child, that waitest for thy love ! Such clouds of nameless trouble cross For now her father's chimney glows All night below the darken'd eyes ;

In expectation of a guest ; With morning wakes the will, and cries,

And thinking “this will please him “ Thou shalt not be the fool of loss.”

best,'

She takes a riband or a rose ; v. | SOMETIMES hold it half a sin

For he will see them on to-night; To put in words the grief I feel ; And with the thought her color burns ;

For words, like Nature, half reveal And, having left the glass, she turns And half conceal the Soul within. Once more to set a ringlet right;

But, for the unquiet heart and brain,

A use in measured language lies ;

The sad mechanic exercise,
Like dull narcotics, numbing pain.

And, even when she turn'd, the curse

Had fallen, and her future Lord

Was drown'd in passing thro' the ford, Or kill'd in falling from his horse.

In words, like weeds, I'll wrap me o'er,

Like coarsest clothes against the cold;

But that large grief which these enfold Is given in outline and no more.

what to her shall be the end ?
And what to me remains of good ?

To her, perpetual maidenhood,
And unto me no second friend.

VI.

VII. Onewrites, that “Other friends remain," Dark house, by which once more I stand

That “ Loss is common to the race"- Here in the long unlovely street, And common is the commonplace, Doors, where my heart was used to beat And vacant chaff well meant for grain. So quickly, waiting for a hand,

A hand that can be clasp'd no more, - Sphere all your lights around, above; Behold me, for I cannot sleep,

Sleep, gentle heavens, before the prow; And like a guilty thing I creep

Sleep, gentle winds, as he sleeps now, At earliest morning to the door.

My friend, the brother of my love; He is not here ; but far away

My Arthur, whom I shall not see The noise of life begins again, | Till all my widow'd race be run ;

And ghastly thro' the drizzling rain Dear as the mother to the son, On the bald street breaks the blank day. More than my brothers are to me.

VIII.

X. A HAPPY lover who has come

I HEAR the noise about thy keel ; To look on her that loves him well, I hear the bell struck in the night ; Who 'lights and rings the gateway bell,

I see the cabin-window bright; And learns her gone and far from home;

I see the sailor at the wheel. He saddens, all the magic light

Thou bringest the sailor to his wife, Dies off at once from bower and hall. And travell d men from foreign lands; And all the place is dark, and all

And letters unto trembling hands; The chambers emptied of delight :

And, thy dark freight, a vanish'd life. So find I every pleasant spot

So bring him : we have idle dreams : In which we two were wont to meet,

This look of quiet flatters thus The field, the chamber, and the street,

Our home-bred fancies : 0 to us, For all is dark where thou art not.

The fools of habit, sweeter seems

To rest beneath the clover sod,
Yet as that other, wandering there
In those deserted walks, may find

That takes the sunshine and the rains, A flower beat with rain and wind,

| Or where the kneeling hamlet drains Which once she fosterd up with care;

| The chalice of the grapes of God;

Than if with thee the roaring wells So seems it in my deep regret,

Should gulf him fathom-deep in brine; O my forsaken heart, with thee

And hands so often clasp'd in nine, And this poor flower of poesy

Should toss with tangle and with shells. Which little cared for fades not yet.

XI.
But since it pleased a vanish'd eye,

CALM is the morn without a sound,
I go to plant it on his tomb,
That if it can it there may bloom,

Calm as to suit a calmer grief,
Or dying, there at least may die.

And only thro’ the faded leaf

The chestnut pattering to the ground : ix.

Calm and deep peace on this 'high wold, Fair ship, that from the Italian shore And on these dews that drench the furze, Sailest the placid ocean-plains

And all the silvery gossamers With my lost Arthur's loved remains, That twinkle into green and gold : Spread thy full wings, and waft him o'er.

Calm and still light on yon great plain So draw him home to those that mourn That sweeps with all its autumn bowers, In vain ; a favorable speed

And crowded farms and lessening Ruffle thy mirror'd mast, and lead

towers, Thro' prosperous floods his holy urn. To mingle with the bounding main :

All night no ruder air perplex

Calm and deer peace in this wide air, Thy sliding keel, till Phosphor, bright These leaves that redden to the fall;

As our pure love, thro' early light And in my heart, if calm at all, Shall gliminer on the dewy decks. "If any calm, a calm despair :

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

Calm on the seas, and silver sleep, And forward dart again, and play

And waves that sway themselves in rest, About the prow, and back return

And dead calm in that noble breast | To where the body sits, and learn, Which heaves but with the heaving deep. That I have been an hour away.

[ocr errors]

XIII. Lo, as a dove when up she springs | TEARS of the widower, when he sees

To bear thro' Heaven a tale of woe, A late-lost form that sleep reveals,

Some dolorous message knit below And moves his doubtful arms, and feels The wild pulsation of her wings; Her place is empty, fall like these ; Like her I go ; I cannot stay ;

Which weep a loss for ever new, I leave this mortal ark behind,

A void where heart on heart reposed; A weight of nerves without a mind,

And, where warm hands have prest and And leave the cliffs, and haste away

closed, O'er ocean-mirrors rounded large,

Silence, till I be silent too.
And reach the glow of southern skies,
And see the sails at distance rise,

Which weep the comrade of my choice, And linger weeping on the marge,

An awful thought, a life removed,

| The human-hearted man I loved, And saying; “Comes he thus, my friend? A Spirit, not a breathing voice.

Is this the end of all my care ?"

And circle moaning in the air : | Come Time, and teach me, many years, “Is this the end ? Is this the end?" I do not suffer in a dream ;

day,

For now so strange do these things seem, | That rises upward always higher, Mine eyes have leisure for their tears; And onward drags a laboring breast,

And topples round the dreary west, My fancies time to rise on wing, A looming bastion fringed with fire.

And glance about the approaching sails,
As tho' they brought but merchants'

XVI.
bales,

| What words are these have fall’n from me! And not the burden that they bring. Can calm despair and wild unrest

Be tenants of a single breast,
XIV.

Or sorrow such a changeling be?
If one should bring me this report,
That thou hadst touch'd the land to- | Or doth she only seem to take

The touch of change in calm or storm ; And I went down unto the quay, But knows no more of transient form And found thee lying in the port;

In her deep self, than some dead lake And standing, muffled round with woe,

That holds the shadow of a lark

Hung in the shadow of a heaven?
Should see thy passengers in rank
Come stepping lightly down the plank,

Or has the shock, so harshly given,

Confused me like the wuhappy bark And beckoning unto those they know;

| That strikes by night a craggy shelf, And if along with these should come

And staygers blindly ere she sink? The man I held as half-divine;

And stunn'd me from my powertoihink Should strike a sudden hand in mine, And ask a thousand things of home;

| And all my knowledge of myself; And I should tell him all my pain,

And made me that delirious man

Whose fancy fuses old and new, And how my life had droop'd of late,

And flashes into false and true,
And he should sorrow o'er my state and mingles all without a plan ?
And marvel what possess'd any brain ;

XVII.
And I perceived no touch of change,
No hint of death in all his frame,

Thou comest, much wept for : such a But found him all in all the same,

breeze I should not feel it to be strange.

Compell’d thy canvas, and my prayer

Was as the whisper of an air

To breathe thee over lonely seas. TO-NIGHT the winds begin to rise

For I in spirit saw thee move And roar from yonder dropping day: 1

Thro' circles of the bounding sky, The last red leaf is whirl'd away,

Week after week : the days go by : The rooks are blown about the skies ;

Come quick, thou bringest all I love.

[ocr errors]

The forest crack'd, the waters curl'd,

The cattle huddled on the lea;

And wildly dash'd on tower and tree The sunbeam strikes along the world :

| Henceforth, wherever thou mayst roam,

My blessing, like a line of light,

is on the waters day and night,
| And like a beacon guards thee home.

And but for fancies, which aver

That all thy motions gently pass

Athwart a plane of molten glass,
I scarce could brook the strain and stir

So may whatever tempest mars

Mid-ocean, spare thee, sacred bark ;

And balmy drops in summer dark
Slide from the bosom of the stars.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »