Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

“A maiden knight — to me is given

Such hope, I know not fear;
I yearn to breathe the airs of heaven

That often meet me here.
I muse on joy that will not cease,

Pure spaces clothed in living beams,
Pure lilies of eternal peace,

Whose odours haunt my dreams;
And, stricken by an angel's hand,

This mortal armor that I wear,
This weight and size, this heart and eyes,
Are touched, are turned to finest air.”

SIR GALAHAD.— Tennyson.

Pentameter.

“ All my life grows sweet, I know not how to name it; from behind

Comes up a murmur voluble and fleet
Of mingling voices,- some were harsh, some kind,

But all are turned to gentleness, the wind
That bears them onwards hath so soft a wing,

As if it were a Dove unused to bring Aught but a loving message; so Earth sends

One only question on it from the track Where I have passed, “Friends, friends ? we part as friends ?'

And all my soul takes up and sendeth back One word for echo and for answer, · Friends.'”

PAX IN NOVISSIMO.- Miss Greenwell.

“ Daughter of Faith, awake, arise, illume

The dread unknown, the chaos of the tomb;
Melt and dispel, ye spectre doubts that roll
Cimmerian darkness o'er the parting soul!
Fly, like the moon-eyed herald of Dismay,
Chased on his night-steed by the star of day !
The strife is o’er,—the pangs of Nature close,
And life's last rapture triumphs o'er her woes.

PLEASURES OF HOPE.- Campbell.

I cannot go
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns;
From seeming evil still educing good,

66

. And better tience again, and better still,
In infinite progression. — But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light ineffable !
Come, then, expressive silence, muse his praise.”

HYMN ON THE SEASONS.— Thomson.

[merged small][ocr errors]

“ How can I teach your children gentleness,

And mercy to the weak, and reverence
For Life, which, in its weakness or excess,

Is still a gleam of God's omnipotence,
Or Death, which, seeming darkness, is no less

The selfsame light, although averted hence,
When by your laws, your actions, and your speech,
You contradict the very things I teach ?”

THE BIRDS OF KILLINGWORTH.— - Longfellow.

Hexameter.
Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.”

EVANGELINE. —- Longfellow. “When the heart goes before, like a lamp, and illumines the path.

way, Many things are made clear, that else lie hidden in darkness.

Talk not of wasted affection, affection never was wasted ;
If it enrich not the heart of another, its waters, returning
Back to their springs, like the rain, shall fill them full of refresh-

ment;
That which the fountain sends forth returns again to the fountain.
Patience; accomplish thy labor; accomplish thy work of affection!
Sorrow and silence are strong, and patient endurance is godlike.
Therefore accomplish thy labor of love, till the heart is made

godlike,
Purified, strengthened, perfected, and rendered more worthy of

heaven!” Ibid.

“ Take from henceforth, as guides in the paths of existence,
Prayer, with her eyes raised to heaven, and Innocence, bride of

man's childhood.
Innocence, child beloved, is a guest from the world of the blessed,
Beautiful, and in her hand a lily ; on life's roaring billows
Swings she in safety, she heedeth them not, in the ship she is

sleeping

Calmly she gazes around in the turmoil of men; in the desert
Angels descend and minister unto her; she herself knoweth
Naught of her glorious attendance; but follows faithful and

humble, Follows so long as she may her friend ; 0 do not reject her, For she cometh from God and she holdeth the keys of the heavens.”

CHILDREN OF THE LORD'S SUPPER.- Bishop Tegnér.

)

Dimeter, Trimeter, Tetrameter, Pentameter, and Hexameter, “Sweet Echo, sweetest nymph, that liv'st unseen

Within thy airy shell,

By slow Meander's margent green,
And in the violet-embroider'd vale,

Where the love-lorn nightingale
Nightly to thee her sad song mourneth well;
Canst thou not tell me of a gentle pair

That likest thy Narcissus are ?

0, if thou have
Hid them in some flow'ry cave,

Tell me but where,
Sweet queen of parly, daughter of the sphere;

So may'st thou be translated to the skies,
And give resounding grace to all heaven's harmonies.”

COMUS.— Milton.

Heptameter. “Love took up the harp of Life, and smote on all the chords with

might; Smote the chord of Self, that, trembling, passed in music out of sight.”

LOCKSLEY HALL. Tennyson. “Sit not like a mourner, Brother! by the grave of that dear Past,

Throw the Present! 'tis thy servant only when 'tis overcast, –
Give battle to the leaguéd world, if thou ’rt worthy, truly brave,
Thou shalt make the hardest circumstance a helper or a slave,
As when thunder wraps the setting sun, he struggles, glows with

ire, Rifts the gloom with golden furrows, with a hundred bursts of

fire, Melts the black and thunderous masses to a sphere of rosy light, Then on edge of glowing heaven smiles in triumph on the night.”

LIFE DRAMA. — Alexander Smith.

[ocr errors]

Octameter.

“Fear not! hopes no strength could warrant to the feeblest faith

are given; Looking forward strains the eyesight, — looking upward opens heaven."

ON A BAPTISM. – Mrs. Charles.

As before stated, this measure is usually divided, each verse making two of tetrameter.

The chief faults which usually occur in the reading of poetry have been thus classified by Prof. Russell:

Too rapid utterance, by which the effect of the verse is lost to the ear; this general hurry of the voice abridges the pauses, and sacrifices every characteristic beauty of the metre :

A plain and dry articulation, which, though sufficiently distinct for meaning, withholds the appropriate tone of poetry, neglecting to accommodate the voice to emotion and rhythm.

A mouthing and chanting tone, producing the effect of bombast and of mock solemnity. This error consists in carrying prolongation and swell to excess, and causing the style of reading or recitation to be that of extravagance and caricature, rather than of solemn emotion.

A want of true time, appearing in the disproportion of syllables to each other, and to their places, as component parts of metrical feet, -- in the irregular and varying succession of the different parts of a line, as compared with each other, in the want of correctness and symmetry in the pauses, whether as compared with each other, or the average rate of utterance.

A mechanical obserrance of the harmonic pauses, without regard to meaning.

Literal and uniform reading according to the rhythm, without regard to emphasis.

Let it be remembered then, that poetry should be read more slowly than prose, with a moderate prolongation of vowel and liquid sounds, - with a slight degree of musical utterance, — in exact time, as prescribed by the emotion expressed in given passages, and by the nature of the verse. The utterance should indicate the metre, but should never render it prominent.

SELECTIONS,

DESIGNED FOR SINGLE RECITATIONS - NOT FOR READING IN CLASSES.

[blocks in formation]

Beautiful Evelyn Hope is dead !

Sit and watch by her side an hour.
That is her book-shelf, this her bed ;

She plucked that piece of geranium flower,
Beginning to die too, in the glass.

Little has yet been changed, I think :
The shutters are shut, no light may pass

Save two long rays through the hinge's chink.
Sixteen years old when she died !

Perhaps she had scarcely heard my name;
It was not her time to love ; beside,

Her life had many a hope and aim,
Duties enough, and little cares,

And now was quiet, now astir,
Till God's hand beckoned unawares,

And the sweet white brow is all of her.

Is it too late then, Evelyn Hope ?

What, your soul was pure and true,
The good stars met in your horoscope,

Made you of spirit, fire and dew,
And just because I was thrice as old,

And our paths in the world diverged so wide,
Each was nought to each, must I be told ?

We were fellow-mortals, nought beside ?

No, indeed! for God above

Is great to grant, as mighty to make,
And creates the love to reward the love:

I claim you still, for my own love's sake!
Delayed it may be for more lives yet,

Through worlds I shall traverse, not a few:
Much is to learn and much to forget

Ere the time be come for taking you.

But the time will come, - at last it will,

When, Evelyn Hope, what meant, I shall say,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »