« AnteriorContinuar »
Dreams dawn and fly, friends smile and die
Like spring flowers;
Our vaunted life is one long funeral.
Men dig graves with bitter tears
For their dead hopes; and all,
Mazed with doubts and sick with fears,
Count the hours.
We count the hours! These dreams of ours,
False and hollow,
Do we go hence and find they are not dead?
Joys we dimly apprehend,
Faces that smiled and fled,
Hopes born here, and born to end,
Shall we follow?
[The Strayed Reveller etc. 1849.] OTHERS abide our question. Thou art free. We ask and ask—Thou smilest and art still, Out-topping knowledge. For the loftiest hill, Who to the stars uncrowns his majesty, Planting his stedfast footsteps in the sea, Making the heaven of heavens his dwelling-place, Spares but the cloudy border of his base To the foil'd searching of mortality; And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure, Didst tread on earth unguess'd at.-Better so!
All pains the immortal spirit must endure,
All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow,
Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
[Fraser's Magazine 1850.]
GOETHE in Weimar sleeps, and Greece,
Long since, saw Byron's struggle cease.
But one such death remain'd to come;
The last poetic voice is dumb-
We stand to-day by Wordsworth's tomb.
When Byron's eyes were shut in death,
We bow'd our head and held our breath.
He taught us little; but our soul
Had felt him like the thunder's roll.
With shivering heart the strife we saw
Of passion with eternal law;
And yet with reverential awe
We watch'd the fount of fiery life
Which served for that Titanic strife.
When Goethe's death was told, we said:
Sunk, then, is Europe's sagest head.
Physician of the iron age,
Goethe has done his pilgrimage.
He took the suffering human race,
He read each wound, each weakness clear;
And struck his finger on the place,
And said: Thou ailest here, and here !
He look'd on Europe's dying hour
Of fitful dream and feverish power;
His eye plunged down the weltering strife,
The turmoil of expiring life-
He said: The end is everywhere,
Art still has truth, take refuge there!
And he was happy, if to know
Causes of things, and far below
His feet to see the lurid flow
Of terror, and insane distress,
And headlong fate, be happiness.
And Wordsworth!-Ah, pale ghosts, rejoice!
For never has such soothing voice
Been to your shadowy world convey'd,
Since erst, at morn, some wandering shade
Heard the clear song of Orpheus come
Through Hades, and the mournful gloom.
Wordsworth has gone from us--and ye,
Ah, may ye feel his voice as we!
He too upon a wintry clime
Had fallen-on this iron time
Of doubts, disputes, distractions, fears.
He found us when the age had bound
Our souls in its benumbing round;
He spoke, and loosed our heart in tears.
He laid us as we lay at birth
On the cool flowery lap of earth,
Smiles broke from us and we had ease;
The hills were round us, and the breeze
Went o'er the sun-lit fields again;
Our foreheads felt the wind and rain.
Our youth return'd; for there was shed
On spirits that had long been dead,
Spirits dried up and closely furld,
The freshness of the early world.
Ah! since dark days still bring to light
Man's prudence and man's fiery might,
Time may restore us in his course
Goethe's sage mind and Byron's force;
But where will Europe's latter hour
Again find Wordsworth's healing power?
Others will teach us how to dare,
And against fear our breast to steel;
Others will strengthen us to bear-
But who, ah! who, will make us feel?
The cloud of mortal destiny,
Others will front it fearlessly-
But who, like him, will put it by?
Keep fresh the grass upon his grave, ,
O Rotha, with thy living wave!
Sing him thy best! for few or none
Hears thy voice right, now he is gone.
[Zuerst als Gesang des Callicles im Drama “Empedocles on Etna”, 1852; als selbständiges Gedicht unter obigem Titel in den "Selected
Not here, O Apollo!
Are haunts meet for thee.
But, where Helicon breaks down
In cliff to the sea,
Where the moon-silver'd inlets
Send far their light voice
Up the still vale of Thisbe,
O speed, and rejoice!
On the sward at the cliff-top
Lie strewn the white flocks;
On the cliff-side the pigeons
Roost deep in the rocks.
In the moonlight the shepherds,
Soft lull'd by the rills,
Lie wrapt in their blankets
Asleep on the hills.
- What forms are these coming So white through the gloom? What garments out-glistening The gold-flower'd broom?
What sweet-breathing presence
Out-perfumes the thyme?
What voices enrapture
The night's balmy prime?-
'Tis Apollo comes leading
His choir, the Nine.
-The leader is fairest,
But all are divine.
They are lost in the hollows!
They stream up again!
What seeks on this mountain
The glorified train?-
They bathe on this mountain,
In the spring by their road;
Then on to Olympus,
Their endless abode.
-Whose praise do they mention ? Of what is it told ?What will be for ever; What was from of old.