Изображения страниц

What he knows he hides, not vaunts.
Knowledge this man prizes best
Seems fantastic to the rest;

Pondering shadows, colours, clouds,
Grass-buds, and caterpillars' shrouds,
Boughs on which the wild bees settle,
Tints that spot the violet's petal,
Why Nature loves the number five,
And why the star-form she repeats.
Lover of all things alive,
Wonderer at all he meets,
Wonderer chiefly at himself,-
Who can tell him what he is,
Or how meet in human elf
Coming and past eternities?

And such I knew, a forest seer,
A minstrel of the natural year,
Forteller of the vernal ides,

Wise harbinger of spheres and tides,
A lover true who knew by heart
Each joy the mountain-dales impart ;
It seemed that Nature could not raise
A plant in any secret place,

In quaking bog, on snowy hill,
Beneath the grass that shades the rill,
Under the snow, between the rocks,
In damp fields known to bird and fox,
But he would come in the very hour
It opened in its virgin bower,
As if a sunbeam showed the place,
And tell its long-descended race.

It seemed as if the breezes brought him,
It seemed as if the sparrows taught him,
As if by secret sight he knew
Where in far fields the orchis grew.
There are many events in the field
Which are not shown to common eyes,
But all her shows did Nature yield

To please and win this pilgrim wise.
He saw the partridge drum in the woods,
He heard the woodcock's evening hymn,
He found the tawny thrush's broods,
And the shy hawk did wait for him.
What others did at distance hear,
And guessed within the thicket's gloom,
Was showed to this philosopher,

And at his bidding seemed to come.

In unploughed Maine, he sought the lumberer's gang,
Where from a hundred lakes young rivers sprang;
He trod the unplanted forest-floor, whereon
The all-seeing sun for ages hath not shone,
Where feeds the mouse, and walks the surly bear,
And up the tall mast runs the woodpecker.
He saw, beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
The slight Linnæa hang its twin-born heads,
And blessed the monument of the man of flowers,
Which breathes his sweet fame through the Northern

He heard when in the grove, at intervals,

With sudden roar the aged pine-tree falls,—

One crash, the death-hymn of the perfect tree,
Declares the close of its green century.

Low lies the plant to whose creation went
Sweet influence from every element ;

Whose living towers the years conspired to build,
Whose giddy top the morning loved to gild.
Through these green tents, by eldest Nature dressed,
He roamed, content alike with man and beast.
Where darkness found him, he lay glad at night;
There the red morning touched him with its light.
Three moons his great heart him a hermit made,
So long he roved at will the boundless shade.
The timid it concerns to ask their way,
And fear what foe in caves and swamps can stray,
To make no step until the event is known,
And ills to come as evils past bemoan.

Not so the wise; no coward watch he keeps,
To spy what danger on his pathway creeps.
Go where he will, the wise man is at home,
His hearth the earth,—his hall the azure dome;
Where his clear spirit leads him, there's his road,
By God's own light illumined and foreshowed.

'Twas one of the charmèd days
When the genius of God doth flow,
The wind may alter twenty ways,
A tempest cannot blow:


may blow north, it still is warm;
Or south, it still is clear;

Or east, it smells like a clover farm;
Or west, no thunder fear.

The musing peasant lowly great
Beside the forest-water sate :

The rope-like pine-root crosswise grown
Composed the net-work of his throne;
The wide lake edged with sand and grass
Was burnished to a floor of glass,
Painted with shadows green and proud
Of the tree and of the cloud.

He was the heart of all the scene,
On him the sun looked more serene;
To hill and cloud his face was known,
It seemed the likeness of their own.
They knew by secret sympathy
The public child of earth and sky.
"You ask," he said, "what guide
Me through trackless thickets led,
Through thick-stemmed woodlands rough and


I found the waters' bed:

I travelled grateful by their side,

Or through their channel dry;

They led me through the thicket damp,

Through brake and fern, the beaver's camp,
Through beds of granite cut my road,

And their resistless friendship showed.
The falling waters led me,

The foodful waters fed me,

And brought me to the lowest land,
Unerring to the ocean-sand.

The moss upon the forest bark

Was pole-star when the night was dark;
The purple berries in the wood
Supplied me necessary food.
For Nature ever faithful is

To such as trust her faithfulness.
When the forest shall mislead me,
When the night and morning lie,
When sea and land refuse to feed me,
"Twill be time enough to die;
Then will yet my mother yield
A pillow in her greenest field,
Nor the June flowers scorn to cover
The clay of their departed lover."


As sunbeams stream through liberal space, And nothing jostle or displace,

So waved the pine-tree through my thought, And fanned the dreams it never brought.

"Whether is better, the gift or the donor? Come to me,"

Quoth the pine-tree,

"I am the giver of honour.

My garden is the cloven rock,

And my manure the snow,

And drifting sand-heaps feed my stock
In summer's scorching glow.

Ancient or curious,

Who knoweth aught of us?

Old as Jove,

Old as Love,

Who of me

Tells the pedigree?

Only the mountains old,
Only the waters cold,
Only moon and star
My coevals are.

Ere the first fowl sung

My relenting boughs among,
Ere Adam wived,

Ere Adam lived,

Ere the duck dived,

Ere the bees hived,

Ere the lion roared,
Ere the eagle soared,

Light and heat, land and sea,
Spake unto the oldest tree.
Glad in the sweet and secret aid
Which matter unto matter paid,
The water flowed, the breezes fanned.
The tree confined the roving sand,
The sunbeam gave me to the sight,
The tree adorned the formless light
And once again

O'er the grave of men

We shall talk to each other again
Of the old age behind,

Of the time out of mind

Which shall come again.

"Whether is better, the gift or the donor? Come to me,"

Quoth the pine-tree,

"I am the giver of honour.

He is great who can live by me;

The rough and bearded forester

Is better than the lord;

God fills the scrip and canister,
Sin piles the loaded board.
The lord is the peasant that was,
The peasant the lord that shall be;

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »