Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

And the only word there spoken

Was the whisper'd word, “ Lenore !" This I whisper'd, and an echo

Murmur'd back the word, “ Lenore !"
Merely this, and nothing more.

Then into the chamber turning,
All my soul within me burning,
Soon I heard again a tapping

Somewhat louder than before.
"Surely,” said I, " surely that is
Something at my window lattice;
Let me see, then, what thereat is,

And this mystery explore.
Let my heart be still a moment,

And this mystery explore ;

'Tis the wind, and nothing more!" Open here I flung the shutter, When, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepp'd a stately raven

Of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; Not an instant stopp'd or stay'd he ; But, with mien of lord or lady,

Perch'd above my chamber doorPerch'd upon a bust of Pallas

Just above my chamber door
Perch'd, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling
My sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum

Of the countenance it wore,
" Though thy crest be shorn and shaven,
Thon," I said, “ art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven,

Wandering from the Nightly shoreTell me what thy lordly name is

On the Night's Plutonian shore "

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
Much I marvell'd this ungainly
Fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning-

Little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing
That no living human being
Ever yet was bless’d with seeing

Bird above his chamber door
Bird or beast upon the sculptured

Bust above his chamber door,
With such name as “Nevermore."

Startled at the stillness broken
By reply so aptly spoken,
“Doubtless," said i, "what it utters

It is only stock and store
Caught from some unhappy master
Whom unmerciful Disaster
Follow'd fast and follow'd faster,

Till his songs one burden bore-
Till the dirges of his Hope the

Melancholy burden bore

Of. Nevermore,'—of. Nevermore.'”
But the raven still beguiling
All my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheel'd a cushion'd seat in

Front of bird and bust and door ;
Then upon the velvet sinking,
I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking

What this ominous bird of yore-
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly,

Gaunt and ominous bird of yore

Meant in croaking “Nevermore."
This I sat engaged in guessing,
But no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now

Burn'd into my bosom's core ;
This and more I sat divining,
With my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining

That the lamplight gloated o'er;. But whose velvet violet lining

With the lamplight gloating o'er,

She shall press, ah, never more! Then, methought, the air grew denser, Perfumed from an unseen censer, Swung by angels whose faint foot-falls

Tinkled on the tufted floor. “Wretch,” ! cried, “thy God hath lent

thee, By these angels he hath sent thee Respite-respite and nepenthe

From thy memories of Lenore ! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe,

And forget this lost Lenore !"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore.”
“Prophet !” said I, “ thing of evil !
Prophet still, if bird or devil !
Whether tempter sent, or whether

Tempest toss'd thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted,
On this desert land enchanted
On this home by Horror haunted-

Tell me truly, I implore-
Is there—is there balm in Gilead ?

Tell me-tell me, I implore!"

Quoth the raven, “ Nevermore."
" Prophet !” said I, “ thing of evil-
Prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that heaven that bends above us-

By that God we both adóre-
Tell this soul with sorrow laden
If, within the distant Aidenn,

[ocr errors]

But the raven sitting lonely
On the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in

That one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he utter'd-
Not a feather then he flutter'd-
Till I scarcely more than mutter'd

" Other friends have flown before On the morrow he will leave me, As my hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, “Nevermore.”

It writhes !-it writhes !-with mortal pangs,

The mimes become its food,
And the angels sob at vermin fangs

In human gore imbued.
Out-out are the lights

out all ! And, over each quivering form, The curtain, a funeral pall,

Comes down with a rush of a storm,
And the angels, all pallid and wan,

Uprising, unveiling, affirm
That the play is the tragedy, “Man,"
Its hero the Conqueror Worm.

Edgar A. Poe.-Born 1811, Died 1849.

It shall clasp a sainted maiden

Whom the angels name LenoreClasp a rare and radiant maiden

Whom the angels name Lenore."

Quoth the raven, “Nevermore."
“ Be that word our sign of parting,
Bird or fiend !" I shriek'd, upstarting-
“Get thee back into the tempest

And the Night's Plutonian shore !
Leave no black plame as a token
Of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken ! -

Quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart,

And take thy form from off my door !"

Quoth the raven, "Nevermore."
And the raven, never flitting,
Still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas

Just above my chamber door ;
And his eyes have all the seeming
Of a demon that is dreaming,'.
And the lamplight o'er him streaming

Throws his shadow on the floor ;
And my soul from out that shadow

That lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted-nevermore!

Edgar A. Poe.-Born 1811, Died 1849.

1908.—THE CONQUEROR WORM. Lo! 'tis a gala night

Within the lonesome latter years ! An angel throng, bewing'd, bedight

In veils, and drown'd in tears,
Sit in a theatre, to see

A play of hopes and fears,
While the orchestra breathes fitfully

The music of the spheres.
Mimes, in the form of God on high,

Mutter and mumble low,
And hither and thither fly-

Mere puppets they, who come and go At bidding of vast formless things

That shift the scenery to and fro,
Flapping from out their Condor wings

Invisible Woe!
That motley drama !-oh, be sure

It shall not be forgot!
With its Phantom chased for evermore,

By a crowd that seize it not, Through a circle that ever returneth in

To the self-same spot, And much of Madness, and more of Sin,

And Horror the soul of the plot. But see, amid the mimic rout,

A crawling shape intrude ! A blood-red thing that writhes from out

The scenic solitude !

1909.-MARY. What though the name is old and oft

repeated, What though a thousand beings bear it

now, And true hearts oft the gentle word' have

greetedWhat though 'tis hallow'd by a poet's

vow? We ever love the rose, and yet its blooming

Is a familiar rapture to the eye ; And yon bright star we hail, although its

looming Age after age has lit the northern sky, As starry beams o'er troubled billows stealing,

As garden odours to the desert blown,
In bosoms faint a gladsome hope revealing,

Like patriot music or affection's tone-
Thus, thus, for aye, the name of Mary spoken

By lips or text, with magic-like control, The course of present thought has quickly

broken, And stirr'd the fountains of my inmost

soul. The sweetest tales of human weal and sorrow,

The fairest trophies of the limner's fame, To my fond fancy, Mary, seem to borrow

Celestial halos from thy gentle name: The Grecian artist glean'd from many faces,

And in a perfect whole the parts combined, So have I counted o'er dear woman's graces

To form the Mary of my ardent mind. And marvel not I thus call my ideal

We inly paint as we would have things beThe fanciful springs ever from the real,

As Aphrodite rose from out the sea. Who smiled upon me kindly day by day,

In a far land where I was sad and lone ? Whose presence now is my delight away ?

Both angels must the same bless'd title own. What spirits round my weary way are flying.

What fortunes on my future life await, Like the mysterious hymns the winds are

sighing, Are all unknown-in trust I bide my fate; .

But if one blessing I might crave from An Eldorado in the grass have found,
Heaven,

Which not the rich earth's ample round 'Twould be that Mary should my being May match in wealth-thou art more dear cheer,

to me Hang o'er me when the chord of life is riven, Than all the prouder summer-blooms may Be my dear household word, and my last be. accent here.

Gold such as thine ne'er drew the Spanish Henry T. Tuckerman,-Born 1813.

prow Through the primeval hush of Indian seas,

Nor wrinkled the lean brow

Cf age, to rob the lover's heart of ease ; 1910.-FLORENCE.

'Tis the Spring's largess, which she scatters

now Princes, when soften'd in thy sweet embrace,

To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand,

Though most hearts never understand Yearn for no conquest but the realm of grace,

To take it at God's valoe, but pass by And thus redeem'd, Lorenzo's fair domain

The offer'd wealth with unrewarded eye. Smiled in the light of Art's propitious reign. Delightful Florence! though the northern Thou art my trophies and mine Italy; gale

To look at thee unlocks a warmer clime; Will sometimes rave around thy lovely vale,

The eyes thou givest me Can I forget how softly Autumn threw Are in the heart, and heed not space or time: Beneath thy skies her robes of ruddy hue, Not in mid June the golden-cuirass'd bee Through what long days of balminess and Feels a more summer-like, warm ravishment peace,

In the white lily's breezy tint, From wintry bonds spring won thy mild His conquer'd Sybaris, than I, when first release ?

From the dark green thy yellow circles Along the Arno then I loved to pass,

burst. And watch the violets peeping from the grass, Mark the grey kine each chestnut grove

Then think I of deep shadows on the grassbetween,

Of meadows where in sun the cattle graze, Startle the pheasants on the lawny green,

Where, as the breezes pass, Or down long vistas hail the mountain snow,

The gleaming rushes lean a thousand waysLike lofty shrines the purple clouds below.

Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy mass, Within thy halls, when veil'd the sunny rays,

Or whiten in the wind-of waters wlue Marvels of art await the ardent gaze,

That from the distance sparkle through And liquid words from lips of beauty start,

Some woodland gap--and of a sky above, With social joy to warm the stranger's heart.

Where one white cloud like a stray lamb

doth move. How beautiful at moonlight's hallow'd hour, Thy graceful bridges, and celestial tower !

My childhood's earliest thoughts are link'a The girdling hills enchanted seem to hang

with thee; Round the fair scene whence modern genius The sight of thee calls back the robin's song, sprang ;

Who, from the dark old tree O'er the dark ranges of thy palace walls

Beside the door, sang clearly all day long, The silver beam on dome and cornice falls;

And I, secure in childish piety, The statues cluster'd in thy ancient square, Listen'd as if I heard an angel sing Like mighty spirits print the solemn air ;

With news from heaven, which he did Silence meets beauty with nnbroken reign,

bring Save when invaded by a choral strain,

Fresh every day to my untainted ears, Whose distant cadence falls upon the ear, When birds and flowers and I were happy To fill the bosom with poetic cheer!

peers. Henry T. Tuckerman.-Born 1813.

How like a prodigal doth Nature seem, When thou, for all thy gold, so common art!

Thou teachest me to deem

More sacredly of every human heart, 1911.-TO THE DANDELION.

Since each reflects in joy its scanty gleam Dear common flower, that grow'st beside

Of heaven, and could some wondrous secret the way,

show, Fringing the dusty road with harmless gold,

Did we but pay the love we owe,

And with a child's undoubting wisdom look First pledge of blithesome May, Which children pluck, and, full of pride, up

On all these living pages of God's book. hold,

James R. Lowell.-Born 1819. High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoy'd that

they

1912.—THE POET.

And still his deathless words of light are

swimming In the old days of awe and keen-eyed wonder, Serene throughout the great, deep infinite The Poet's song with blood-warm truth was Of human soul, unwaning and undimming, rife;

To cheer and guide the mariner at night. He saw the mysteries which circle under But now the Poet is an empty rhymer,

The outward shell and skin of daily life. Who lies with idle elbow on the grass, Nothing to him were fleeting time and fashion, And fits his singing, like a cunning timer, His soul was led by the eternal law;

To all men's prides and fancies as they There was in him no hope of fame, no passion, pass.

But with calm, godlike eyes, he only saw. Not his the song, which, in its metre holy, He did not sigh o'er heroes dead and buried, Chimes with the music of the eternal

Chief mourner at the Golden Age's hearse, stars, Nor deem that souls whom Charon grim had Humbling the tyrant, lifting up the lowly, ferried

And sending sun through the soul's prisonAlone were fitting themes of epic verse :

bars. He could believe the promise of to-morrow, Maker no more,-0, no! unmaker rather,

And feel the wondrous meaning of to-day; For he unmakes who doth not all put forth He had a deeper faith in holy sorrow

The power given by our loving Father Than the world's seeming loss could take To show the body's dross, the spirit's away.

worth. To know the heart of all things was his duty, Awake! great spirit of the ages olden ! All things did sing to him to make him Shiver the mists that hide thy starry lyre, wise,

And let man's soul be yet again beholden And, with a sorrowful and conquering beauty, To thee for wings to soar to her desire.

The soul of all look'd grandly from his eyes. 0, prophesy no more to-morrow's splendour, He gazed on all within him and without him, Be no more shame-faced to speak out for

He watch'd the flowing of Time's steady tide, Truth, And shapes of glory floated all about him, Lay on her altar all the gushings tender,

And whisper'd to him, and he prophesied. The hope, the fire, the loving faith of youth ! Than all men he more fearless was and freer, O, prophesy no more the Maker's coming,

And all his brethren cried with one accord, - Say not his onward footsteps thou canst “Behold the holy man! Behold the Seer!

hear Him who hath spoken with the unseen In the dim void, like to the awful humming Lord !”

Of the great wings of some new-lighted He to his heart with large embrace had taken sphere! The universal sorrow of mankind,

0, prophesy no more, but be the Poet! And, from that root, a shelter never shaken, This longing was but granted unto thee

The tree of wisdom grew with sturdy rind. That, when all beauty thou couldst feel and He could interpret well the wondrous voices know it,

Which to the calm and silent spirit come; That beauty in its highest thou couldst be. He knew that the One Soul no more rejoices O, thou who moanest, tost with sealike long

In the star's anthem than the insect's hum. ings, He in his heart was ever meek and humble, Who dimly hearest voices call on thee,

And yet with kindly pomp his numbers ran, Whose soul is overfill’d with mighty throng. As he foresaw how all things false should ings crumble

Of love, and fear, and glorious agony, Before the free uplifted soul of man: Thou of the toil-strung hands and iron sinews And, when he was made full to overflowing And soul by Mother Earth with freedom

With all the loveliness of heaven and earth, fed, Out rush'd his song, like molten iron glowing, In whom the hero-spirit yet continues, To show God sitting by the humblest The old free nature is not chain'd or dead, hearth.

Arouse ! let thy soul break in music-thunder, With calmest courage he was ever ready Let loose the ocean that is in thee pent, To teach that action was the truth of Pour forth thy hope, thy fear, thy love, thy thought,

wonder, And, with strong arm and purpose firm and And tell the age what all its signs have steady,

meant. The anchor of the drifting world he Where'er thy wilder'd crowd of brethren wrought,

jostles, So did he make the meanest man partaker Where'er there lingers but a shade of wrong,

Of all his brother-gods unto him gave; There still is need of martyrs and apostles, All souls did reverence him and name him There still are texts for never-dying song; Maker,

From age to age man's still aspiring spirit And when he died heap'd temples on his Finds wider scope and sees with clearer grave.

eyes,

tain

And thon in larger measure dost inherit This, this is he for whom the world is waiting What made thy great forerunners free and To sing the beatings of its mighty heart, wise.

I'oo long hath it been patient with the grating Sit thou enthronèd where the Poet's moun Of scrannel-pipes, and heard it misnamed

Art. Above the thunder lifts its silent peak, To him the smiling soul of man shall listen, And roll thy songs down like a gathering foun Laying awhile its crown of thorns aside, tain,

And once again in every eye shall glisten That all may drink and find the rest they The glory of a nature satisfied. seek.

His verse shall have a great, commanding Sing! there shall silence grow in earth and motion, heaven,

Heaving and swelling with a melody A silence of deep awe and wondering ; Learnt of the sky, the river, and the ocean, For, listening gladly, bend the angels, even And all the pure, majestic things that be. To hear a mortal like an angel sing. Awake, then, thou ! we pine for thy great

presence Among the toil-worn poor my soul is seeking To make us feel the soul once more sublime,

For one to bring the Maker's name to light, We are of far too infinite an essence To be the voice of that almighty speaking To rest contented with the lies of Time.

Which every age demands to do it right. Speak out! and, lo! a hush of deepest wonder Proprieties our silken bards environ ;

Shall sink o'er all his many-voiced scene, He who would be the tongue of this wide As when a sudden burst of rattling thunder land

Shatters the blueness of a sky serene. Must string his harp with chords of sturdy iron

J. R. Lowell.-Born 1819. And strike it with a toil-embrowned hand; One who hath dwelt with Nature well-at

tended, Who hath learnt wisdom from her mystic books,

1913.—THE SIRENS. Whose soul with all her countless lives hath The sea is lonely, the sea is dreary, blended,

The sea is restless and uneasy ;
So that all beauty awes us in his looks ; Thou seekest quiet, thou art weary,
Who not with body's waste his soul hath

Wandering thou knowest not whither ;pamper'd,

Our little isle is green and breezy, Who as the clear north-western wind is Come and rest thee! O come hither! free,

Come to this peaceful home of ours, Who walks with Forin's observances

Where evermore unhamper'd,

The low west wind creeps panting up the And follows the One Will obediently ;

shore Whose eyes, like windows on a breezy summit, To be at rest among the flowers ;

Control a lovely prospect every way; Full of rest, the green moss lifts, Who doth not sound God's sea with earthly As the dark waves of the sea plummet,

Draw in and out of rocky rifts,
And find a bottom still of worthless clay; Calling solemnly to thee
Who heeds not how the lower gusts are work With voices deep and hollow,-
ing,

" To the shore
Knowing that one sure wind blows on above, Follow ! O follow!
And sees, beneath the foulest faces lurking, To be at rest for evermore!
One God-built shrine of reverence and love;

For evermore!"
Who sees all stars that wheel their shining
marches

Look how the grey old Ocean
Around the centre fix'd of Destiny,

From the depth of his heart rejoices,
Where the encircling soul serene o'erarches Heaving with a gentle motion,
The moving globe of being, like a sky ;

When he hears our restful voices;
Who feels that God and Heaven's great deeps List how he sings in an undertone,

Chiming with our melody;
Him to whose heart his fellow-man, is nigh, And all sweet sounds of earth and air
Who doth not hold his soul's own freedom Melt into one low voice alone,
dearer

That murmurs over the weary sea, -
Than that of all his brethren, low or high ; And seems to sing from everywhere,
Who to the right can feel himself the truer “Here mayest thou harbour peacefully,

For being gently patient with the wrong, Here mayest thou rest from the aching oar; Who sees a brother in the evildoer,

Turn thy curvèd prow ashore, And finds in Love the heart's blood of his And in our green isle rest for evermore! song :

For evermore!”

are near

« AnteriorContinuar »