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Is it well to wish thee happy ? — having known Never! though my mortal summers to such length me; to decline
of years should come On a range of lower feelings and a narrower heart As the many-wintered crow that leads the clang than mine!
ing rookery home.
Yet it shall be: thou shalt lower to his level day Where is comfort ? in division of the records of by day,
the mind ? What is fine within thee growing coarse to sym- Can I part her from herself, and love her, as I pathize with clay.
knew her, kind ?
As the husband is, the wife is; thou art mated I remember one that perished ; sweetly did she with a clown,
speak and move; And the grossness of his nature will have weight Such a one do I remember, whom to look at was to drag thee down.
He will hold thee, when his passion shall have Can I think of her as dead, and love her for the spent its novel force,
love she bore ? Something better than his dog, a little dearer than No, — she never loved me truly ; love is love for
What is this ? his eyes are heavy, — think not Comfort ? comfort scorned of devils ! this is truth they are glazed with wine.
the poet sings, Go to him ; it is thy duty, — kiss him ; take his That a sorrow's crown of sorrow is remembering hand in thine.
It may be my lord is weary, that his brain is Drug thy memories, lest thou learn it, lest thy overwrought,
heart be put to proof, Soothe him with thy finer fancies, touch him with Nn the dead, unhappy night, and when the rain thy lighter thought.
is on the roof.
He will answer to the purpose, easy things to un- Like a dog, he hunts in dreams ; and thou art derstand,
staring at the wall, Better thou wert dead before me, though I slew Where the dying night-lamp flickers, and the thee with my hands.
shadows rise and fall.
Better thou and I were lying, hidden from the Then a hand shall pass before thee, pointing to heart's disgrace,
his drunken sleep, Rolled in one another's arms, and silent in a last To thy widowed marriage-pillows, to the tears embrace.
that thou wilt weer. Cursed be the social wants that sin against the Thou shalt hear the “Never, never,” whispered strength of youth !
by the phantom years, Cursed be the social lies that warp us from the And a song from out the distance in the ringing living truth !
of thine ears; Cursed be the sickly forms that err from honest And an eye shall vex thee, looking ancient kind. nature's rule !
ness on thy pain. Cursed be the gold that gilds the straitened fore- Turn thee, turn thee on thy pillow ; get thee to head of the fool!
thy rest again. Well — 't is well that I should bluster !– Hadst Nay, but nature brings thee solace ; for a tender thou less hy proved,
voice will cry ; Would to God — for I had loved thee more than 'T is a purer life than thine, a lip to drain thy ever wife was loved.
Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears Baby lips will laugh me down ; my latest rival but bitter fruit ?
brings thee rest, I will pluck it from my bosom, though my heart Baby fingers, waxen touches, press me from the be at the root.
0, the child too clothes the father with a dear- | And his spirit leaps within him to be gone beness not his due.
fore him then, Half is thine and half is his : it will be worthy Underneath the light he looks at, in among
the of the two.
throngs of men ;
0, I see thee old and formal, fitted to thy petty Men, my brothers, men the workers, ever reappart,
ing something new : With a little hoard of maxims preaching down a That which they have done but earnest of the daughter's heart.
things that they shall do : “They were dangerous guides the feelings—she For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could herself was not exempt
see, Truly, she herself had suffered" — Perish in thy Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder self-contempt !
that would be ; Overlive it — lower yet — be happy! wherefore Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of should I care?
magic sails, I myself must mix with action, lest I wither by Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with despair.
costly bales ; What is that which I should turn to, lighting Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there upon days like these ?
rained a ghastly dew Every door is barred with gold, and opens but to From the nations' airy navies grappling in the golden keys.
central blue; Every gate is thronged with suitors, all the Far along the world-wide whisper of the southmarkets overflow.
wind rushing warm, I have but an angry fancy : what is that which I With the standards of the peoples plunging through should do ?
the thunder-storm; I had been content to perish, falling on the foe- Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and the man's ground,
battle-flags were furled When the ranks are rolled in vapor, and the In the parliament of man, the federation of the winds are laid with sound.
world. But the jingling of the guinea helps the hurt There the common sense of most shall hold a that honor feels,
fretful realm in awe, And the nations do but murmur, snarling at each And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in uni. other's heels.
versal law. Can I but relive in sadness? I will turn that So I triumphed ere my passion sweeping through
me left me dry, Hide me from my deep emotion, O thou won Left me with the palsied heart, and left me with drous mother-age !
the jaundiced eye ; Make me feel the wild pulsation that I felt be- Eye, to which all order festers, all things here are fore the strife,
out of joint. When I heard my days before me, and the tu. Science moves, but slowly slowly, creeping on mult of my life;
from point to point : Yearning for the large excitement that the com- Slowly comes a hungry people, as a lion, creeping years would yield,
ing nigher, Fager-hearted as a boy when first he leaves his Glares at one that nods and winks behind a slowly father's field,
And at night along the dusky highway near and Yet I doubt not through the ages one increasing nearer drawn,
purpose runs, Sees in heaven the light of London flaring like a And the thoughts of men are widened with the dreary dawn;
process of the suns.
What is that to him that reaps not harvest of his | Droops the heavy-blossomed bower, hangs the youthful joys,
heavy-fruited tree, Though the deep heart of existence beat forever Summer isles of Eden lyingin dark-purple spheres
like a boy's ?
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers; and I There, methinks, would be enjoyment more than linger on the shore,
in this march of mind And the individual withers, and the world is more in the steamship, in the railway, in the thoughts and more.
that shake mankind.
Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers, and he There the passions, cramped no longer, shall have bears a laden breast,
scope and breathing-space; Full of sad experience moving toward the still- | I will take some savage woman, she shall rear my ness of his rest.
Hark! my merry comrades call me, sounding on Iron-jointed, supple-sinewed, they shall dive, and the bugle horn, —
they shall run, They to whom my foolish passion were a target Catch the wild goat by the hair, and hurl their for their scorn ;
lances in the sun,
Shall it not be scorn to me to harp on such a Whistle back the parrot's call, and leap the rainmouldered string?
bows of the brooks, I am shamed through all my nature to have loved Not with blinded eyesight poring over miserable so slight a thing.
books — .
Weakness to be wroth with weakness ! woman's Fool, again the dream, the fancy! but I know my pleasure, woman's pain
words are wild, Nature made them blinder motions bounded in a But I count the gray barbarian lower than the shallower brain ;
Woman is the lesser man, and all thy passions, I, to herd with narrow foreheads, vacant of our matched with mine,
glorious gains, Are as moonlight unto sunlight, and as water Like a beast with lower pleasures, like a beast unto wine
with lower pains !
Here at least, where nature sickens, nothing. Ah Mated with a squalid savage, — what to me were for some retreat
sun or clime ? Deep in yonder shining Orient, where my life 1, the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of began to beat !
time, — Where in wild Mahratta-battle fell my father, I, that rather held it better men should perish evil-starred;
one by one, I was left a trampled orphan, and a selfish uncle's Than that earth should stand at gaze like Joshua's ward.
moon in Ajalon!
Or to burst all links of habit, – there to wander Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, far away,
forward let us range ; On from island unto island at the gateways of the Let the great world spin forever down the ringday, —
ing grooves of change. Larger constellations burning, mellow moons and Through the shadow of the globe we sweep into happy skies,
the younger day : Breadths of tropic shade and palms in cluster, Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of knots of Paradise.
Never comes the trader, never floats an European Mother-age, (for mine I knew not,) help me as flag, —
when life begun, Slides the bird o'er lustrous woodland, swings the Rift the hills, and roll the waters, flash the lighttrailer from the crag, –
nings, weigh the sun,
0, I see the crescent promise of my spirit hath | O, had he whispered, when his sweetest kiss not set;
Was warm upon my mouth in fancied bliss, Ancient founts of inspiration well through all my He had kissed another woman even as this, fancy yet.
It were less bitter! Sometimes I could weep Howsoever these things be, a long farewell to To be thus cheated, like a child asleep ; Locksley Hall !
Were not my anguish far too dry and deep. Now for me the woods may wither, now for me the roof-tree fall,
So I built my house upon another's ground;
Mocked with a heart just caught at the rebound, Comes a vapor from the margin, blackening over A cankered thing that looked so firm and sound. heath and holt,
And when that heart grew colder, — colder still, Cramming all the blast before it, in its breast a thunderbolt.
1, ignorant, tried all duties to fulfil,
Blaming my foolish pain, exacting will, Let it fall on Locksley Hall, with rain or hail, or fire or snow;
All, — anything but him. It was to be
The full draught others drink up carelessly
I and my children never shall be shamed :
He is a just man, — he will live unblamed.
Only - O God, O God, to cry for bread,
And get a stone! Daily to lay my head
Upon a bosom where the old love 's dead !
Dead ?- Fool! It never lived. It only stirred So, the truth's out. I'll grasp it like a snake,
Galvanic, like an hour-cold corpse. None heard : It will not slay me. My heart shall not break
So let me bury it without a word.
He'll keep that other woman from my sight. None say, he gave me less than honor claimed,
I only know that it was his delight Except - one trifle scarcely worth being named
As his was mine ; I only know he stands The heart. That's gone. The corrupt dead might Pale, at the touch of their long-severed hands, be
Then to a flickering smile his lips commands, As easily raised up, breathing, — fair to see, As he could bring his whole heart back to me. Lest I should grieve, or jealous anger show.
He need not. When the ship's gone down, I trow, I never sought him in coquettish sport,
We little reck whatever wind may blow.
No world's laugh or world's taunt, no pity of I only loved him, -any woman would :
friends But shut my love up till he came and sued,
Or sneer of foes, with this my torment blends. Then poured it o'er his dry life like a flood.
None knows, none heeds. I have a little pride; I was so happy I could make him blest!
Enough to stand up, wifelike, by his side, So happy that I was his first and best,
With the same smile as when I was his bride, A3 he mine, — when he took me to his breast.
And I shall take his children to my arms; Ah me! if only then he had been true!
They will not miss these fading, worthless charms; If for one little year, a month or two,
Their kiss — ah! unlike his — all pain disarms. He had given me love for love, as was my
And haply as the solemn years go by, Or had he told me, ere the deed was done,
He will think sometimes, with regretful sigh, He only raised me to his heart's dear throne –
The other woman was less true than I. Poor substitute - because the queen was gone !
DINAH MARIA MULOCK.
IN A YEAR.
NEVER any more
While I live,
Mine may strive,
Was it something said,
Something done, Vexed him ? was it touch of hand,
Turn of head?
When I sewed or drew,
First of all
Then he heard.
Sitting by my side,
At my feet,
Touched the sweet.
Sweet to him.
'Speak, - I love thee best !"
He exclaimed, “Let thy love my own foretell.”
I confessed : “Clasp my heart on thine
Now unblamed, Since upon thy soul as well
Was it wrong to own,
His alone ?
I gave these.
- To be just, And the passion I had raised
But Enoch yearned to see her face again ; “If I might look on her sweet face again And know that she is happy.” So the thought Haunted and harassed him, and drove him forth At evening when the dull November day Was growing duller twilight, to the hill. There he sat down gazing on all below : There did a thousand memories roll upon him, Unspeakable for sadness. By and by The ruddy square of comfortable light, Far-blazing from the rear of Philip's house, Allured him, as the beacon-blaze allures The bird of passage, till he madly strikes Against it, and beats out his weary life.
For Philip's dwelling fronted on the street, The latest house to landward ; but behind, With one small gate that opened on the waste, Flourished a little garden square and walled : And in it throve an ancient evergreen, A yewtree, and all round it ran a walk Of shingle, and a walk divided it: But Enoch shunned the middle walk and stole