Page images


Below me, there, is the village, and looks how quiet and small!

And yet bubbles o'er like a city, with gossip, scandal, and spite;

And Jack on his ale-house bench has as many lies

as a Czar;

And here on the landward side, by a red rock, glimmers the Hall;

And up in the high Hall-garden I see her pass

like a light;

But sorrow seize me if ever that light be my

leading star!


When have I bow'd to her father, the wrinkled

head of the race?

I met her abroad with her brother, but not to her

brother I bow'd;

I bow'd to his lady-sister as she rode by on

the moor;

But the fire of a foolish pride flash'd over her

beautiful face.

O child, you wrong your beauty, believe it, in being so proud;

Your father has wealth well-gotten, and I am

[blocks in formation]

I keep but a man and a maid, ever ready to slander

and steal;

I know it, and smile a hard-set smile, like a stoic, or like

A wiser epicurean, and let the world have its


For nature is one with rapine, a harm no preacher

can heal;

The Mayfly is torn by the swallow, the sparrow

spear'd by the shrike,

And the whole little wood where I sit is a world

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

We are puppets, Man in his pride, and Beauty fair

in her flower;

Do we move ourselves, or are moved by an unseen

[blocks in formation]

That pushes us off from the board, and others ever


Ah yet, we cannot be kind to each other here for

an hour;

We whisper, and hint, and chuckle, and grin at a

brother's shame;

However we brave it out, we men are a little



A monstrous eft was of old the Lord and Master

of Earth,

For him did his high sun flame, and his river

billowing ran,

And he felt himself in his force to be Nature's

crowning race.

As nine months go to the shaping an infant ripe

for his birth,

So many a million of

of man:

ages have gone to the making

He now is first, but is he the last? is he not too



The man of science himself is fonder of glory, and


An eye well-practised in nature, a spirit bounded

and poor;

The passionate heart of the poet is whirl'd into

folly and vice.

I would not marvel at either, but keep a temperate


For not to desire or admire, if a man could learn

it, were more

Than to walk all day like the sultan of old in a

garden of spice.


For the drift of the Maker is dark, an Isis hid by

the veil.

Who knows the ways of the world, how God will bring them about?

Our planet is one, the suns are many, the world

Shall I

is wide.


if a Poland fall? shall I shriek if a

Hungary fail?

« PreviousContinue »