Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Than that which bends above the eastern hills.
As o'er the verdant waste I glide my steed,
Among the high, rank grass that sweeps his sides,
The hollow beating of his footstep seems

A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here —
The dead of other days?— and did the dust
Of these fair solitudes once stir with life
And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
That overlook the rivers, or that rise

In the dim forest, crowded with old oaks,
Answer. A race that long has passed away
Built them; a disciplined and populace race
Heaped, with long toil, the earth, while yet the
Greek

Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms

Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock

The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
Nourished their harvests; here their herds were fed,
When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
And bowed his manèd shoulder to the yoke.
All day this desert murmured with their toils,
Till twilight blushed, and lovers walked and wooed
In a forgotten language, and old tunes,

From instruments of unremembered form,

Gave the soft winds a voice.

- WILLIAM CULLEN BRyant.

14. NATURE.

As a fond mother, when the day is o'er,
Leads by the hand her little child to bed,
Half willing, half reluctant to be led,
And leave his broken playthings on the floor,
Still gazing at them through the open door,
Nor wholly reassured and comforted

By promises of others in their stead,

Which, though more splendid, may not please him

more;

So Nature deals with us, and takes away

Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently that we go

Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand

How far the unknown transcends the what we

know.

-H. W. LONGFELLOW.

15. THE VOICE OF SPRING.

I come, I come! ye have called me long;
I come o'er the mountains, with light and song.
Ye may trace my step o'er the waking earth
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass.

I have breathed on the South, and the chestnut

flowers

By thousands have burst from the forest bowers,
And the ancient graves and the fallen fanes
Are veiled with wreaths on Italian plains;
But it is not for me, in my hour of bloom,
To speak of the ruin or the tomb!

I have looked o'er the hills of the stormy North,
And the larch has hung all his tassels forth;
The fisher is out on the sunny sea,

And the reindeer bounds o'er the pastures free,
And the pine has a fringe of softer green,

And the moss looks bright, where my step has

been.

I have sent through the wood-paths a glowing sigh,
And called out each voice of the deep blue sky,
From the night-bird's lay through the starry time,
In the groves of the soft Hesperian clime;
To the swan's wild note by the Iceland lakes,
When the dark fir-branch into verdure breaks.

From the streams and founts I have loosed the

chain;

They are sweeping on to the silvery main,

They are flashing down from the mountain brows, They are flinging spray o'er the forest boughs, They are bursting fresh from their sparry caves, And the earth resounds with the joy of waves.

-FELICIA HEMANS.

16. MARCH.

I.

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,

The lake doth glitter,

The green field sleeps in the sun :
The oldest and youngest

Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,

Their heads never raising;
There are forty feeding like one!

II.

Like an army defeated,
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill

On the top of the bare hill;
The ploughboy is whooping anon, anon.
There's joy in the mountains;
There's life in the fountains ;;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing;

The rain is over and gone!

[blocks in formation]

17. 'THE SUMMER MONTHS.

They come, the merry summer months
Of beauty, song, and flowers;

They come, the gladsome months that bring
Thick leafiness to bowers.

Up, up, my heart, and walk abroad;
Fling cark and care aside :
Seek silent hills, or rest thyself
Where peaceful waters glide;

The grass is soft: its velvet touch
Is grateful to the hand;

And, like the kiss of maiden love,
The breeze is sweet and bland; ;

The daisy and the buttercup
Are nodding courteously:

It stirs their blood with kindest love
To bless and welcome thee.

But soft! Mine ear upcaught a sound:
From yonder wood it came;

The spirit of the dim green glade
Did breathe his own glad name.

Yes, it is he, the hermit-bird,
That apart from all his kind

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »