Изображения страниц

The lord is hay, the peasant grass,
One dry, and one the living tree.
Genius with my boughs shall flourish,
Want and cold our roots shall nourish.
Who liveth by the ragged pine
Foundeth a heroic line;
Who liveth in the palace-hall
Waneth fast and spendeth all.
He goes to my savage haunts,
With his chariot and his care;
My twilight realm he disenchants,
And finds his prison there.

"What prizes the town and the tower?
Only what the pine-tree yields,-
Sinew that subdued the fields,

The wild-eyed boy who in the woods
Chants his hymn to hill and floods,
Whom the city's poisoning spleen
Made not pale, or fat, or lean,

Whom the rain and the wind purgeth,
Whom the dawn and the day-star urgeth,
In whose cheek the rose-leaf blusheth,
In whose feet the lion rusheth,

Iron arms and iron mould,

That know not fear, fatigue, or cold.
I give my rafters to his boat,

My billets to his boiler's throat,
And I will swim the ancient sea
To float my child to victory,
And grant to dwellers with the pine
Dominion o'er the palm and vine.
Westward I ope the forest-gates;
The train along the railroad skates;
It leaves the land behind, like ages past,
The foreland flows to it in river fast.
Missouri I have made a mart,

I teach Iowa Saxon art.

Who leaves the pine-tree leaves his friend, Unnerves his strength, invites his end.

Cut a bough from my parent stem,
And dip it in thy porcelain ware ;—
A little while each russet gem

Will swell and rise with wonted grace,
But, when it seeks enlarged supplies,
The orphan of the forest dies.

"Whoso walketh in solitude, And inhabiteth the wood,

Choosing light, wave, rock, and bird,
Before the money-loving herd,

Into that forester shall pass

From these companions power and grace.

Clean shall he be without, within,

From the old adhering sin;
Love shall he, but not adulate,
The all-fair, the all-embracing Fate,
All ill dissolving in the light
Of his triumphant piercing sight.
Not vain, sour, nor frivolous,
Not mad, athirst, nor garrulous;

Grave, chaste, contented, though retired,
And of all other men desired.

On him the light of star and moon
Shall fall with purer radiance down ;

All constellations of the sky

Shed their virtue through his eye.
Him Nature giveth for defence
His formidable innocence;

The mountain-sap, the shells, the sea,
All spheres, all stones, his helpers be.
He shall never be old,

Nor his fate shall be foretold;
He shall see the speeding year,
Without wailing, without fear.
He shall be happy in his love,
Like to like shall joyful prove.
He shall be happy whilst he wooes
Muse-born a daughter of the Muse;
But if with gold she bind her hair,

And deck her breast with diamond,
Take off thine eyes, thy heart forbear,
Though thou lie alone on the ground.
The robe of silk in which she shines,
It was woven of many sins,
And the shreds

Which she sheds

In the wearing of the same,
Shall be grief on grief,

And shame on shame.

"Heed the old oracles,
Ponder my spells;

Song wakes in my pinnacles
When the wind swells.

Soundeth the prophetic wind,

The shadows shake on the rock behind,

And the countless leaves of the pine are strings Tuned to the lay the wood-god sings.

Hearken! hearken!

If thou wouldst know the mystic song
Chanted when the sphere was young;
Aloft, abroad, the pean swells,--
O wise man, hear'st thou half it tells ?
O wise man hear'st thou the least part?
'Tis the chronicle of art.

To the open ear it sings

The early genesis of things;
Of tendency through endless ages,

Cf star-dust and star-pilgrimages,

Of rounded worlds, of space, and time,

Of the old flood's subsiding slime,

Of chemic matter, force, and form,

Of poles and powers, cold, wet, and warm;
The rushing metamorphosis,

Dissolving all that fixture is,

Melts things that be to things that seem,
And solid nature to a dream.

Oh listen to the under-song,
The ever-old, the ever-young,

And, far within those cadent pauses,
The chorus of the ancient Causes.
Delights the dreadful destiny
To fling his voice into the tree,
And shock thy weak ear with a note
Breathed from the everlasting throat.
In music he repeats the pang
Whence the fair flock of nature sprang.
O mortal! thy ears are stones;
These echoes are laden with tones
Which only the pure can hear.

Thou canst not catch what they recite

· Of Fate and Will, of Want and Right, Of man to come, of human life,

Of Death and Fortune, Growth and Strife."

Once again the pine-tree sung;

[ocr errors]

Speak not thy speech my boughs among,
Put off thy years, wash in the breeze,—
My hours are peaceful centuries.
Talk no more with feeble tongue;
No more the fool of space and time,
Come weave with mine a nobler rhyme.
Only thy Americans

Can read thy line, can meet thy glance;
But the runes that I rehearse

Understands the universe.

The least breath my boughs which tossed Brings again the Pentecost;


every soul it soundeth clear

In a voice of solemn cheer,

'Am I not thine? are not these thine?
And they reply, 'For ever mine.'
My branches speak Italian,
English, German, Basque, Castilian,
Mountain speech to Highlanders,
Ocean tongues to islanders,

To Fin, and Lap, and swart Malay,
To each his bosom-secret say.

"Come learn with me the fatal song
Which knits the world in music strong,
Whereto every bosom dances,
Kindled with courageous fancies.
Come lift thine eyes to lofty rhymes
Of things with things, of times with times,
Primal chimes of sun and shade,
Of sound and echo, man and maid;
The land reflected in the flood;
Body with shadow still pursued.
For Nature beats in perfect tune,
And rounds with rhyme her every rune,
Whether she work in land or sea,
Or hide underground her alchemy.
Thou canst not wave thy staff in air,
Or dip thy paddle in the lake,

But it carves the bow of beauty there,

And the ripples in rhymes the oar forsake.

The wood is wiser far than thou:

The wood and wave each other know.

Not unrelated, unaffied,

But to each thought and thing allied,
Is perfect Nature's every part,
Rooted in the mighty heart.

But thou, poor child! unbound, unrhymed,
Whence camest thou, misplaced, mistimed?
Whence, O thou orphan and defrauded?
Is thy land peeled, thy realm marauded?
Who thee divorced, deceived, and left?
Thee of thy faith who hath bereft,
And torn the ensigns from thy brow,

And sunk the immortal eye so low?

Thy cheek too white, thy form too slender,
Thy gait too slow, thy habits tender,
For royal man; they thee confess

An exile from the wilderness,—

The hills where health with health agrees,
And the wise soul expels disease.
Hark! in thy ear I will tell the sign
By which thy hurt thou mayst divine.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »