Зображення сторінки
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Mildew and blast on his unshelter'd head;

As lions fierce, as forest-cedars tall, His brain was smitten by the sun at noon,

And terrible as torrents in their fall, [hurid, His heart was wither'd by the cold night-moon. Headlong from rocks through vales and vineyards

These men of prey laid waste the eastern world. “ 'Twas Cain, the sire of nations ;-Jubal knew His kindred looks, and tremblingly withdrew;

They taught their tributary hordes to wield (field,

The sword, red-flaming, through the death-strown He, darting like the blaze of sudden fire,

With strenuous arm the uprooted rock to throw, Leap'd o'er the space between, and grasp'd the lyre:

Glance the light arrow from the bounding bow, Sooner with life the struggling bard would part,

Whirl the broad shield to meet the darted stroke, And ere the fiend could tear it from his heart,

And stand to combat, like the unyielding oak. He hurl'd his hand, with one tremendous stroke,

Then eye from eye with fell suspicion turn'd, O'er all the strings; whence in a whirlwind broke

In kindred breasts unnatural hatred burn'd; Such tones of terror, dissonance, despair,

Brother met brother in the lists of strife, As till that hour had never jarr'd in air.

The son lay lurking for the father's life; Astonish'd into marble at the shock,

With rabid instinct, men who never knew Backward stood Cain, unconscious as a rock,

Each other's face before, each other slew; Cold, breathless, motionless through all his frame;

All tribes, all nations learn'd the fatal art, But soon his visage quicken’d into flame,

And every hand was arm’d to pierce a heart. When Jubal's hand the crashing jargon changed

Nor man alone the giant's might subdued ; To melting harmony, and nimbly ranged

- The camel, wean'd from quiet solitude, From chord to chord, ascending sweet and clear,

Grazed round their camps, or slow along the road,
Then rolling down in thunder on the ear;

Midst marching legions, bore the servile load.
With power the pulse of anguish to restrain,
And charm the evil spirit from the brain.

With flying forelock and dishevell'd mane,

They caught the wild steed prancing o'er the plain, “ Slowly recovering from that trance profound, For war or pastime rein'd his fiery force; Bewilder'd, touch'd, transported with the sound, Fleet as the wind he stretch'd along the course, Cain view'd himself, the bard, the earth, the sky, Or loudly neighing at the trumpet's sound, While wonder flash'd and faded in his eye,

With hoofs of thunder smote the indented ground. And reason, by alternate frenzy crost,

The enormous elephant obey'd their will, Now seem'd restored, and now for ever lost.

And, tamed to cruelty with direst skill, So shines the moon, by glimpses, through her

Roar'd for the battle, when he felt the goad,

And his proud lord his sinewy neck bestrode,
When windy darkness rides upon the clouds, Through crashing ranks resistless havoc bore,
Till through the blue, serene, and silent night, And writhed his trunk, and bathed his tusks in gore.
She reigns in full tranquillity of light.
Jubal, with eager hope, beheld the chace

“ Thus while the giants trampled friends and foes, Of strange emotions hurrying o'er his face,

Amongst their tribe a mighty chieftain rose;
And waked his noblest numbers, tocontroul His birth mysterious, but traditions tell
The tide and tempest of the maniac's soul;

What strange events his infancy befell.
Through many a maze of melody they flew,
They rose like incense, they distillid like dew,

“ A Goatherd fed his flock on many a steep, Pour'd through the sufferer's breast delicious balm, Where Eden's rivers swell the southern deep; And soothed remembrance till remorse grew calm,

A melancholy man, who dwelt alone, Till Cain forsook the solitary wild,

Yet far abroad his evil fame was known, Led by the minstrel like a weaned child.

The first of woman born, that might presume
O! had you seen him to his home restored,

To wake the dead bones mouldering in the tomb,
How young and old ran forth to meet their lord;
How friends and kindred on his neck did fall,

And, from the gulph of uncreated night,
Weeping aloud, while Cain outwept them all:

Call phantoms of futurity to light. But hush !—thenceforward when recoiling care

'Twas said his voice could stay the falling flood, Lower'd on his brow, and sadden'd to despair,

Eclipse the sun, and turn the moon to blood, The lyre of Jubal, with divinest art,

Roll back the planets on their golden cars, Repell’d the demon, and revived his heart.

And from the firmament unfix the stars. Thus song, the breath of heaven, had power to bind

Spirits of fire and air, of sea and land, In chains of harmony the mightiest mind;

Came at his call, and flew at his command; Thus music's empire in the soul began,

His spells so potent, that his changing breath
The first-born poet ruled the first-born man.”

Open’d or shut the gates of life and death.
O'er nature's powers he claim'd supreme controul,
And held communion with all nature's soul:
The name and place of every herb he knew,
Its healing balsam, or pernicious dew:
The meanest reptile, and the noblest birth
Of ocean's caverns, or the living earth,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

THE GIANT CHIEFTAIN. “ When war, that self-inflicted


of man, His boldest crime and bitterest curse,-began ;

[ocr errors][merged small]

Obey'd his mandate:-Lord of all the rest,

Till sky and water wide around were spread; Man more than all his hidden art confess’d,

-Straight to the sun he thought his voyage led, Cringed to his face, consulted, and revered

With shouts of transport hail'd its setting light, His oracles,--detested him and fear'd.

And follow'd all the long and lonely night:

But ere the morning-star expired, he found
“ Once by the river, in a waking dream,

His stranded bark once more on earthly ground.
He stood to watch the ever-running stream, Tears, wrung from secret shame, suffused his eyes,
In which, reflected upward to his eyes,

When in the east he saw the sun arise: [burn'd
He giddily look'd down upon the skies,

Pride quickly check'd them :

- young

ambition For thus he feign'd in his ecstatic mood

For bolder enterprize, as he return'd.
To summon divination from the flood.
His steady view a floating object cross'd;

“ Through snares and deaths pursuing fame and

His eye pursued it till the sight was lost.-

He scorn'd his flock from that adventurous hour,
An outcast infant in a fragile bark !
The river whirl'd the willow-woven ark

And, leagued with monsters of congenial birth,
Down tow'rds the deep; the tide returning bore

Began to scourge and subjugate the earth.

Meanwhile the sons of Cain, who will’d the soil,
The little voyager unharm'd to shore:
Him in his cradle-ship securely bound

By noble arts had learn’d to lighten toil;
With swathing skins at eve the Goatherd found.

Wisely their scatter'd knowledge he combined ;
Nurst by that foster-sire, austere and rude,

Yet had an hundred years matured his mind, Midst rocks and glens, in savage solitude,

Ere with the strength that laid the forest low,
Among the kids, the rescued foundling grew,

And skill that made the iron furnace glow,
Nutrition from whose shaggy dams he drew,

His genius launch'd the keel, and sway'd the helm,
Till baby-curls his broader temples crown’d,

(His throne and sceptre on the watry realm,) And torrid suns his flexile limbs embrown'd:

While from the tent of his expanded sail,
Then as he sprang from green to florid age,

He eyed the heavens and flew before the gale,
And rose to giant stature, stage by stage,

The first of men whose courage knew to guide He roam'd the vallies with his browsing fock,

The bounding vessel through the refluent tide.
And leapt in joy of youth from rock to rock,

Then swore the giant, in his pride of soul,
Climb'd the sharp precipice's steepest breast,

To range the universe from pole to pole,
To seize the eagle brooding on her nest,

Rule the remotest nations with his nod,
And rent his way through matted woods, to tear

To live a hero, and to die a god.”
The skulking panther from his hidden lair.
A trodden serpent, horrible and vast,

Sprang on the heedless rover as he pass'd;
Limb lock'd o'er limb, with many a straitening fold

'Tis sunset: to the firmament serene
Of orbs inextricabiy involved, he rollid

The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene:
On earth in vengeance, broke the twisted toils, Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold
Strangled the hissing fiend, and wore the spoils. Girds the blue hemisphere; above unroll'd
With hardy exercise, and cruel art,

The keen clear air grows palpable to sight,
To nerve the frame, and petrify the heart,

Embodied in a fush of crimson light,
The wizard train'd his pupil, from a span,

Through which the evening star, with mildergleam,
To thrice the bulk and majesty of man. [grace,

Descends to meet her image in the stream.
His limbs were sinewy strength; commanding

Far in the east, what spectacle unknown
And dauntless spirit sparkled in his face;

Allures the eye to gaze on it alone?
His arm could pluck the lion from his prey,

-Amidst black rocks, that lift on either hand
And hold the horn'd rhinoceros at bay,

Their countless peaks, and mark receding land;
His feet o'er highest hills pursue the hind,

Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas,
Or tire the ostrich buoyant on the wind.

That shine around the arctic Cyclades;

Amidst a coast of dreariest continent,
“ Yet 'twas the stripling's chief delight to brave In many a shapeless promontory rent;
The river's wrath, and wrestle with the wave; -O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories spread,
When torrent rains had swoln the furious tide,

The Ice-Blink rears its undulated head,
Light on the foamy surge he loved to ride;

On which the sun, beyond th' horizon shrined,
When calm and clear the stream was wont to flow, Hath left his richest garniture behind ;
Fearless he dived to search the caves below.

Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge,
His childhood's story, often told, had wrought

O'er fix'd and fluid strides the Alpine bridge,
Sublimest hopes in his aspiring thought.

Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye
-Once on a cedar, from its mountain throne

Hewn from cerulean quarries of the sky;
Pluckt by the tempest forth he sail'd alone,

With glacier-battlements, that crowd the spheres,
And reach'd the gulph ;-with eye of eager fire,

The slow creation of six thousand years,
And Alushing cheek, he watch'd the shores tire, Amidst immensity it towers sublime,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« She was a phantom of delight.WORDSWORTE.

Were Belor


TI That

W Lips And





In Whi

From age


In w SUT

-Winter's eternal palace, built by Time:

Greenland their world, and all was strange beside; All human structures by his touch are borne Elsewhere they wander'd; here they lived and died. Down to the dust;-mountains themselves are worn At length a swarthy tribe, without a name, With his light footsteps; here for ever grows,

Unknown the point of windward whence they came; Amid the region of unmelting snows,

The power by which stupendous gulphs they cros'd, A monument; where every flake that falls

Or compass'd wilds of everlasting frost, Gives adamantine firmness to the walls.

Alike mysterious ;-found their sudden way The sun beholds no mirror in his race,

To Greenland; pour'd along the western bay That shews a brighter image of his face;

Their straggling families; and seized the soil The stars, in their nocturnal vigils, rest

For their domain, the ocean for their spoil. Like signal fires on its illumined crest;

Skraellings the Normans callid these hordes in scorn, The gliding moon around the ramparts wheels,

That seem'd created on the spot,-though born And all its magic lights and shades reveals; In trans-Atlantic climes, and thither brought Beneath, the tide with idle fury raves

By paths as covert as the birth of thought;
To undermine it through a thousand caves;

They were at once;—the swallow-tribes in spring
Rent from its roof, though thundering fragments oft Thus daily multiply upon the wing,
Plunge to the gulph, immoveable aloft,

As if the air, their element of flight,
in air, o'er sea, on land,

Brought forth new broods from darkness every night;
Its turrets heighten and its piers expand.

Slipt from the secret hand of Providence, Midnight hath told his hour; the moon, yet young, They come we see not how, nor know we whence. Hangs in the argent west her bow unstrung;

A stunted, stern, uncouth, amphibious stock, Larger and fairer, as her lustre fades,

Hewn from the living marble of the rock, Sparkle the stars amidst the deepening shades: Or sprung from mermaids, and in ocean's bed, Jewels more rich than night's regalia gem

With ores and seals, in sunless caverns bred, The distant Ice-Blink's spangled diadem;

They might have held, from unrecorded time, Like a new morn from orient darkness, there

Sole patrimony in that hideous clime,
Phosphoric splendours kindle in mid air,

So lithe their limbs, so fenced their frames to bear
As though from heaven's self-opening portals came The intensest rigours of the polar air;
Legions of spirits in an orb of flame,

Nimble, and muscular, and keen to run
-Flame, that from every point an arrow sends, The rein-deer down a circuit of the sun;
Far as the concave firmament extends :

To climb the slippery cliffs, explore their cells, Spun with the tissue of a million lines,

And storm and sack the sea-birds' citadels; Glistening like gossamer the welkin shines:

In bands, through snows, the mother-bear to trace, The constellations in their pride look pale

Slay with their darts the cubs in her embrace, Through the quick trembling brilliance of that veil: And while she lick'd their bleeding wounds, to brate Then suddenly converged, the meteors rush Her deadliest vengeance in her in most care: O'er the wide south; one deep vermilion blush Train'd with inimitable skill to float, O'erspreads Orion glaring on the flood,

Each, balanced in his bubble of a boat,
And rabid Sirius foams through fire and blood;

With dexterous paddle steering through the spray,
Again the circuit of the pole they range,
Motion and figure every moment change,
Through all the colours of the rainbow run,
Or blaze like wrecks of a dissolving sun;
Wide ether burns with glory, conflict, flight,
And the glad ocean dances in the light.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

With poised harpoon to strike his plunging prey,
As though the skiff, the seaman, car, and dart
Were one compacted body, by one heart
With instinct, motion, pulse empower'd to ride,
A human Nautilus upon the tide;
Or with a fleet of Kayaks to assail
The desperation of the stranded whale,
When wedged 'twixt jagged rocks he writhes und
In agony among the ebbing shoals,
Lashing the waves to foam; until the flood,
From wounds, like geysers, seems a bath of blood,
Echo all night dumb-pealing to his roar,
Till morn beholds him slain along the shore.



Ages had seen the vigourous race, that sprung
From Norway's stormy forelands, rock'd when young
In ocean's cradle, hardening as they rose
Like mountain-pines amidst perennial snows;
-Ages had seen these sturdiest sons of Time
Strike root and flourish in that ruffian clime,
Commerce with lovelier lands and wealthier hold,
Yet spurn the lures of luxury and gold;
Beneath the umbrage of the Gallic vine,
For moonlight snows and cavern-shelter pine;
Turn from Campanjan fields a lofty eye
To gaze upon the glorious Alps, and sigh,
Remembering Greenland; more and more endear'd,
As far and farther from its shores they steer'd;


Image of oue, who lived of yore!

Hail to that lovely mien,
Once quick and conscious;--now no more

On land or ocean seen!

Were all earth's breathing forms to pass

But not extinct, they hold their way,
Before me in Agrippa's glass,

In glory through the sky:
Many as fair as thou might be,

Spirits, from bondage thus set free,
But oh! not one,-not one like thee.

Vanish amidst immensity,

Where human thought, like human sight,
Thou art no child of fancy ;—thou

Fails to pursue their trackless flight.
The very look dost wear,
That gave enchantment to a brow,

Somewhere within created space,
Wreathed with luxuriant hair;

Could I explore that round,
Lips of the morn embathed in dew,

In bliss, or woe, there is a place,
And eyes of evening's starry blue;

Where she might still be found;
of all who e'er enjoy'd the sun,

And oh! unless those eyes deceive,
Thou art the image of but one.

I may, I must, I will believe,

That she, whose charms so meekly glow,
And who was she, in virgin prime,

what she only seem'd below
And May of womanhood,
Whose roses here, unpluck'd by time,

An angel in that glorious realm,
In shadowy tints have stood;

Where God himself is king:
While many a winter's withering blast

-But awe and fear, that overwhelm
Hath o'er the dark cold chamber pass'd,

Presumption, check my wings
In which her once-resplendent form

Nor dare imagination look
Slumber'd to dust beneath the storm?

Upon the symbols of that book,

Wherein eternity enrolls
of gentle blood ;-upon her birth

The judgments on departed souls.
Consenting planets smiled,
And she had seen those days of mirth,

Of her of whom these pictured lines
That frolic round the child;

A faint resemblance form;
To bridal bloom her strength had sprung,

_Fair as the second rainbow shines
Behold her beautiful and young!

Aloof amid the storm;
Lives there a record, whic hath told,

Of her this “ shadow of a shade"
That she was wedded, widow'd, old ?

Like its original must fade,

And she, forgotten when unseen,
How long her date, 'twere vain to guess :

Shall be as if she ne'er had been.
The pencil's cunning art
Can but a single glance express,

Ab! then, perchance, this dreaming strain,
One motion of the heart;

Of all that e'er I sung,
A smile, a blush,-a transient grace

A lorn memorial may remain,
Of air, and attitude, and face

When silent lies my tongue,
One passion's changing colour mix;

When shot the meteor of my fame,
One moment's flight for ages fix.

Lost the vain echo of my name,
Her joys and griefs, alike in vain,

This leaf, this fallen leaf, may be
Would fancy here recall;

The only trace of her and me.
Her throbs of ecstacy or pain

With one who lived of old, my song
Lull'd in oblivion all;

In lowly cadence rose;
With her, methinks, life's little hour

To one who is unborn, belong
Pass'd like the fragrance of a flower,

The accents of its close:
That leaves upon the vernal wind

Ages to come, with courteous ear,
Sweetness we ne'er again may find.

Some youth my warning voice may hear;
Where dwelt she ?--Ask yon aged tree,

And voices from the dead should be
Whose boughs embower the lawn,

The warnings of eternity.
Whether the birds' wild minstrelsy

When these weak lines thy presence greet,
Awoke her here at dawn;

Reader! if I am blest,
Whether beneath its youthful shade,

Again, as spirits, may we meet
At noon, in infancy she play'd;

In glory and in rest:
- If from the oak no answer come,

If not, and I have lost my way,--
Of her all oracles are dumb.

Here part we;--go not thou astray;
The dead are like the stars by day;

No tomb, no verse my story tell!
-Withdrawn from mortal eye,

Once, and for ever, fare thee well,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]




[merged small][ocr errors]

Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
With the wild world I dwelt in, is a thing
Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.
This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing
To waft me from distraction; once I loved
Torp ocean's roar, but thy soft murmuring

Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved, That I with stern delights should e'er have been so


Not Inc His HE

A truth, which through our being then doth melt
And purifies from self: it is a tone,
The soul and source of music, which makes known
Eternal harmony, and sheds a charm,
Like to the fabled Cytherea's zone,

Binding all things with beauty ;-'twould disarm The spectre Death, had he substantial power to barn.

Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak
Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take
A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seek
The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
Upreard of human hands. Come, and compare
Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth or Greek,

With Nature's realms of worsbip, earth and air, Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy pray'r!


00 W


It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellow'd and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken’d Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep; and drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore,
Of Aowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear

Drops the light drip of the suspended oar, Orchirps the grasshopperone good-night carol more;

[merged small][ocr errors]

He is an evening reveller, who makes
His life an infancy, and sings his fill;
At intervals, some bird from out the brakes
Starts into voice a moment, then is still.
There seems a floating whisper on the hill,
But that is fancy, for the starlight dews
All silently their tears of love instil,

Weeping themselves away, till they infuse Deep into Nature's breast the spirit of her hues.

The sky is changed !-and such a change! Oh

night, And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong, Yet lovely in your strength, as is the light Of a dark eye in woman ! far along, From peak to peak, the rattling crags among Leaps the live thunder! not from one lone cloud, But every mountain now hath found a tongue,

And Jura answers, through her misty shroud, Back to the joyous Alps, who call to her aloud!

And this is in the night:- Most glorious night!
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,-
A portion of the tempest and of thee!
How the lit lake shines, a phosphoric sea,
And the big rain comes dancing to the earth!
And now again 'tis black,—and now, the glee



Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires,—'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o'erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create

In us such love and reverence from afar,
That fortune, fame, power, life, have named them-

selves a star.

Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirti, Asif they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake'sbirth.

The morn is up again, the dewy morn, With breath all incense, and with cheek all bloom, Laughing the clouds away with playful scora, And living as if earth contain'd no tomb,And glowing into day: we may resume The march of our existence: and thus I, Still on thy shores, fair Lemao! may find room And food for meditation, nor pass by

All heaven and earth are still-though notin sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep :-
All heaven and earth are still: from the high host
Of stars, to the lull'd lake and mountain-coast,
All is concenter'd in a life intense;
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,

But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and defence.

Then stirs the feeling infinite, so felt
la solitude, where we are least alone;


Thy trees take root in Love; the snows above

« НазадПродовжити »