Изображения страниц

A little pain when the beck grows wider

“Cross to me now, for her wavelets swell :" “I may not cross”—and the voice beside her

Faintly reacheth, though heeded well.

No backward path; ah! no returning :

No second crossing that ripple's flow : “Come to me now, for the west is burning:

Come ere it darkens.”—“Ah, no! ah, no!"

Then cries of pain, and arms outreaching

The beck grows wider and swift and deep; Passionate words as of one beseeching

The loud beck drowns them: we walk and weep.


A yellow moon in splendor drooping,

A tired queen with her state oppressed, Low by rushes and sword-grass stooping,

Lies she soft on the waves at rest.

The desert heavens have felt her sadness;

Her earth will weep her some dewy tears ; The wild beck ends her tune of gladness,

And goeth stilly as soul that fears.

We two walk on in our grassy places,

On either marge of the moonlit flood, With the moon's own sadness in our faces,

Where joy is withered, blossom and bud.


A shady freshness, chafers whirring,

A little piping of leaf-hid birds; A flutter of wings, a fitful stirring,

A cloud to the eastward snowy as curds.



Bare grassy slopes, where the kids are tethered,

Round valleys like nests all ferny-lined ; Round hills, with fluttering tree-tops feathered,

Swell high in their freckled robes behind.

A rose-flush tender, a thrill, a quiver,

When golden gleams to the tree-tops glide; A flashing edge for the milk-white river,

The beck, a river— with still sleek tide.

Broad and white, and polished as silver,

On she goes under fruit-laden trees; Sunk in leafage cooeth the culver,

And 'plaineth of love's disloyalties.

Glitters the dew, and shines the river;

Up comes the lily and dries her bell ; But two are walking apart forever,

And wave their hands for a mute farewell.


A braver swell, a swifter sliding;

The river hasteth, her banks recede ; Wing-like sails on her bosom gliding

Bear down the lily and drown the reed.

Stately prows are rising and bowing

(Shouts of mariners winnow the air) And level sands for banks endowing

The tiny green ribbon that showed so fair.

While, O my heart ! as white sails shiver,

And crowds are passing, and banks stretch wide, How hard to follow, with lips that quiver,

That moving speck on the far-off side !

Farther, farther-I see it-know it

My eyes brim over, it melts away: Only my heart to my heart shall show it,

As I walk desolate day by day.


And yet I know past all doubting, truly,

A knowledge greater than grief can dimI know, as he loved, he will love me duly,

Yea, better-e'en better than I love him ;

And as I walk by the vast calm river,

The awful river so dread to see, say, “ Thy breadth and thy depth forever Are bridged by his thoughts that cross to me.”


To-day and To-morrow. HIGH hopes that burn like stars sublime,

Go down the heavens of freedom ;
And true hearts perish in the time

We bitterliest need 'em !
But never sit we down and say,

There's nothing left but sorrow,”
We walk the Wilderness to-day-

The Promised Land to-morrow.

Our birds of song are silent now;

There are no flowers blooming ! But lise burns in the frozen bough,

And Freedom's spring is coming! And Freedom's tide comes up alway,

Though we may strand in sorrow; And our good bark, aground to-day,

Shall float again to-morrow !



Through all the long, drear night of years

The people's cry ascendeth,
And earth is wet with blood and tears,

But our meek suffering endeth !
The few shall not forever sway,

The many toil in sorrow :
The Powers of hell are strong to-day,

But Christ shall rise to-morrow !

Though hearts brood o'er the past, our eyes

With smiling futures glisten:
For lo ! our day bursts up the skies-

Lean out our souls and listen !
The world rolls Freedom's radiant way,

And ripens with her sorrow :
Keep heart! who bear the cross to-day

Shall wear the crown to-morrow !

O, Youth, flame-earnest, still aspire

With energies immortal!
To many a heaven of desire

Our yearning opes a portal !
And though Age wearies by the way,

And hearts break in the furrow,
We'll sow the golden grain to-day-

The harvest comes to-morrow !

Build up heroic lives, and all

Be like the sheathen saber,
Ready to flash out at God's call-

O! Chivalry of labor !
Triumph and Toil are twins-and aye

Joy suns the cloud of sorrow;
And 't is the martyrdom to-day
Brings victory to-morrow !


The Present.


O not crouch to-day, and worship

The old Past whose life is fled: Hush your voice with tender reverence;

Crowned he lies, but cold and dead : For the Present reigns our monarch,

With an added weight of hours : Honor her, for she is mighty!

Honor her, for she is ours !

See, the shadows of his heroes

Girt around her cloudy throne; Every day the ranks are strengthened

By great hearts to him unknown; Noble things the great Past promised;

Holy dreams, both strange and new; But the Present shall fulfill them,

What he promised, she shall do.

She inherits all his treasures,

She is heir to all his fame;
And the light that lightens round her

Is the luster of his name.
She is wise with all his wisdom,

Living on his grave she stands,
On her brow she bears his laurels,

And his harvest in her hands.

Coward, can she reign and conquer

If we thus her glory dim ? Let us fight for her as nobly

As our fathers fought for him. God, who crowns the dying ages,

Bids her rule and us obey :Bids us cast our lives before her, Bids us serve the great To-day.


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »