صور الصفحة
PDF
[graphic][merged small]

1

Then sees it not, for boughs that intervene;

Or as we see the moon sometimes revealed
Through drifting clouds, and then again
concealed,
So I behold the scene.

There are two guests at table now;
The king, deposed and older grown,
No longer occupies the throne, — •
The crown is on his sister's brow;
A Princess from the Fairy Isles,
The very pattern girl of girls,
All covered and embowered in curls,
Rose-tinted from the Isle of Flowers,
And sailing with soft, silken sails
From far-off Dreamland into ours.
Above their bowls with rims of blue
Four azure eyes of deeper hue
Are looking, dreamy with delight;
Limpid as planets that emerge
Above the ocean's rounded verge,
Soft-shining through the summer
night.

Steadlast they gaze, yet nothing see
Beyond the horizon of their bowls;
Nor care they for the world that rolls
With all its freight of troubled souls
Into the days that are to be.

V.

Agaim the tossing boughs shut out the scene,

Again the drifting vapors intervene, And the moon's pallid disk is hidden quite;

And now I see the table wider grown,
As round a pebble into water thrown
Dilates a ring of light.

I see the table wider grown,

I see it garlanded with guests,

As if fair Ariadne's Crown

Out of the sky had fallen down;

Maidens within whose tender breasts

A thousand restless hopes and fears,

Forth reaching to the coming years,

Flutter awhile, then quiet lie,

Like timid birds that fain would fly,

But do not dare to leave their nests;—

And youths, who in their strength elate

Challenge the van and front of fate,

Eager as champions to be

In the divine knight-errantry

Of youth, that travels sea and land

Seeking adventures, or pursues,
Through cities, and through solitudes
Frequented by the lyric Muse,
The phantom with the beckoning hand,
That still allures and still eludes.
O sweet illusions of the brain!
O sudden thrills of fire and frost!
The world is bright while ye remain,
And dark and dead when ye are lost I

VI.

The meadow-brook, that seemeth to

stand still, Quickens its current as it nears the mill; And so the stream of Time that lin

gereth

In level places, and so dull appears, Runs with a swifter current as it nears The gloomy mills of Death.

And now, like the magician's scroll,

That in the owner's keeping shrinks

With every wish he speaks or thinks,

Till the last wish consumes the whole,

The table dwindles, and again

I see the two alone remain.

The crown of stars is broken in parts;

Its jewels, brighter than the day,

Have one by one been stolen away

To shine in other homes and hearts.

One is a wanderer now afar

In Ceylon or in Zanzibar,

Or sunny regions of Cathay;

And one is in the boisterous camp

Mhl clink of arms and horses' tramp,

And battle's terrible array.

I see the patient mother read,

With aching heart, of wrecks that float

Disabled on those seas remote,

Or of some great heroic deed

On battle-fields, wherethousands bleed

To lift one hero into fame.

Anxious she bends her graceful head

Above these chronicles of pain,

And trembles with a secret dread

Lest there among the drowned or slain

She find the one beloved name.

VII.

After a day of cloud and wind and rain Sometimes "the setting suu breaks out again,

And, touching all the darksome woods with light, Smiles on the fields, until they laugh and sing,

Then like a ruby from the horizon's ring
Drops down into the night.

What see I now? The night is fair,
The storm of grief, the clouds of care,
The wind, the rain, have passed away;
The lamps are lit, the fires burn bright,
The house is full of life and light:
It is the Golden Wedding day.
The guests come thronging in once more,
Quick footsteps sound along the floor,
The trooping children crowd the stair,
And in and out and everywhere
Flashes along the corridor
The sunshine of their golden hair.

On the round table in the hall
Another Ariadne's Crown
Out of the sky hath fallen down;
More than one Monarch of the Moon
Is dramming with his silver spoon;
The light of love shines over all.

O fortunate, O happy day!
The people sing, the people say.
The ancient bridegroom and the bride,
Smiling contented and serene
Upon the blithe, bewildering scene,
Behold, well pleased, on every side
Their forms and features multiplied,
As the reflection of a light
Between two burnished mirrorsgleams,
Or lamps upon a bridge at night
Stretch on and on before the sight,
Till the long vista endless seems.

MORITURI SALUTAMUS.

POEM FOR THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CLASS OF I825
IN BOWDOIN COLLEGE

Tempora labuntur, tacitisque senescimiis annts,
Et fugiunt freno non remnrante dies.

Ovid, Fastorum., Lib. vi.

"O C/EKATC, we who are about to die Salute yon !" was the gladiators' cry In the arena, standing face to face With death and with the Roman populace.

O ye familiar scenes, — ye groves of pine,

That once were mine and are no longer mine, —

Thou river, widening through the meadows green

To the vast sea, so near and yet unseen, —

Ye halls, in whose seclusion and repose Phantoms of fame, like exhalations, rose And vanished, — we who are about to die

Salute you ; earth and air and sea and sky.

And the Imperial Sun that scatters down

His sovereign splendors upon grove and town.

Ye do not answer us! ye do not hear! We are forgotten ; and in your austere And calm-indifference, ye little care Whether we come or go, or whence or where.

What passing generations fill these halls,

What passing voices echo from these walls,

Ye heed not; we are only as the blast, A moment heard, and then forever past.

Not so the teachers who in earlier days Led our bewildered feet through learning's maze; They answer us — alas! what have I said?

What greetings come there from the voiceless dead?

What salutation, welcome, or reply?

What pressure from the hands that lifeless lie?

They are no longer here ; they all aro gone

[graphic][merged small]
« السابقةمتابعة »