Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Perhaps no guilt your pris'ner knows

Although for ciime arraigned,
And provts may cluster thickly round

By circumstance maintained ;
Ile may be innocent and stand

Before his Maker's sight
A spotless one, more pure than you,

Who THINK you act the right.
And can ye give him life again,

Or mete him right for wrong,
If future time should prove the guilt

May somewhere else belong?
Then, VÁRE ye swing your Brother's forin

Iligh up in Heaven's free itir', When time may tell, in innocent

Has been suspended there?

Suppose he did it-and suppose

Your priests around him placed, Teaching, repentance may atone,

And sinners may be gracedSuppose he does repent, and lies

Washed clean before the throne, Becomes a saint, and purified,

And Heav'n he feels his own;
With anxious zeal his spirit craves

To till life's little span
With calling all to turn, and see

God's love to guilty Man.
And wiro, than he once sunk in sin

Can more that love portray?
Who preach more truly--singers turn,

Crime may be washed away?
Then, could ye hang that saint reileenied

High up in Heaven's free air?
Is earth so full of righteons ones

That ye have some to spare?
And where your Father merey showed,

Can ye no mercy slow?
Ilave ve ne'er siun'd, that ye must thus

Deal the avenging blow?
But, if repentance should not cone

Before his hour of doom,
If, unregenerate you shonli send

Your Brother to the tomb,
Think you that ye will guiltless stand

Before your Father's eye?
Did ye not MURDER when ye said

Your prisoner should die?
Or are your prison-houses full?

Jlave ye no room for one?

Is bread so scant ye cannot feed

'Till life's short course is run ? Ilave ye not bolts and bars enough

To hold the victim fast,
When burglars with their thousand wiles

Are there securely cast?
And are ye sure, no changing fate

May give to you uis place?
Are you so sanctified in good

Ye cannot fall from grace?
Can no temptation have the pow'r

To urge the hasty blow?
Ilave ye so conquered evil thoughts

That sin no more ye know?
Or may not circumstances charge

Your innocence with crime?
Full oft we know it has been thus

From immemorial time,
Then, by the danger all must share

That his may be our lot,
By all the bonds of human kind

Aid to wipe out this blot!
Cease not from striving, till our law

Is clear from bloody stain,
And REFORMATION, -- NOT REVENGE, —

In principle sustain !

MAUD MULLER.-J. G. Whillier.

MAUD MULLER, on a summer's day,
Raked the meadow sweet with hay.
Beneath her torn hat glowed the wealth
Of simple beauty and rustic health.
Singing, she wrought, and her merry glee
The mock-bird echoed from his tree.
But, when she glanced to the far-off town,
White from its hill-slope looking down,
The sweet song died, and a vague inrest
And a nameless longing filled her breast-
A wish, that she hardly dared to own,
For something better than she had known.
The Judge rode slowly down the lane,
Smoothing his horse's chestnut mane.

He drew his bridle in the shade
Of the apple-trees, to greet the maid,
And ask a draught from the spring that flowed
Through the meadow across the road.

She stooped where the cool spring bubbled up,
And filled for him her small tin cup,
And blushed as she gave it, looking down
On her feet so bare, and her tattered gown.
“Thanks !" said the Judge, “a sweeter draught

From a fairer hand was never quatled.”
He spoke of the grass and flowers and trees,
Of the singing birds and the humming bees;
Then talked of the haying, and wondercil whether
The cloud in the west would bring foul weather.
And Maud forgot her brier-torn gown,
And her graceful ankles bare and brown;
And listened, while a pleased surprise
Looked from her long-lashed hazel eyes.
At last, like one who for delay
Seeks a vain excuse, he rode away.
Maud Muller looked and sighed : “ Al, me!
That I the Judge's bride might be!
“ He would dress me up in silks so fine,

And praise and toast me at his wine. “My father should wear a broadcloth coat;

My brother should sail a painted boat. “I'd dress my mother so grand and gay;

And the baby should have a new toy each day. “And I'd feed the hungry and clothe the poor, And all should bless me who left our door."

"No doubtful balance of rights and wrongs,
Nor weary lawyers with endless tongues,
But low of cattle and song of birds,
And health and quiet and loving words.
But he thought of his sisters proud and cold,
And his mother vain of her rank and gold.
So, closing his heart, the Judge rode on,
And Maud was left in the field alone.
But the lawyers smiled that afternoon,
When he hummed in court an old love-tune;
And the young girl mused beside the well,
Til the rain on the unraked clover fell.
He wedded a wife of richest dower,
Who lived for fashion, as he for power.
Yet oft, in his marble hearth's bright glow,
He watched a picture come and go:
And sweet Mand Muller's bazel eyes
Looked out in their innocent surprise.
Oft, when the wine in his glass was red,
He longed for the wayside well instead;
And closed his eyes on his garnished rooms,
To dream of meadows and clover-blooms.

And the proud man sighed, with a secret pain;
"Ah, that I were free again !
“Free as when I rode that day,
Where the barefoot maiden raked her hay."
She wedded a man unlearned and poor,
And many children played round her door.
But care and sorrow, and childbirth pain,
Lest their traces on heart and brain.
And oft, when the summer sun shone hot
On the new-mown hay in the meadow lot,
And she heard the little spring brook fall
Over the roadside, through the wall,
In the shade of the apple-trce again
She saw a rider draw his rein.
And, gazing down with timid grace,
She felt his pleased eyes read her face,

Sometimes her narrow kitchen walls
Stretched away into stately halls;
The weary wheel to a spinnet turned,
The tallow candle an astral burned,
And for him who sat by the chimney lug,
Dozing and grunnbling o'er pipe and mus,
A manly forn at her side she saw,
And joy was duty and love was law.
Then she took up her burden of life again,
Saying only, “It might have been.”
Alas for maiden, alas for Judge,
For richi repiner and household drudge!
God pity them both! and pity us all,
Who vainly the dreams of youth recall.
For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: “ It might have been l'
Ah, well! for us all some sweet hope lies
Deeply buried from human eyes;
And, in the hereafter, angels may
Roll the stone from its grave away!

THANATOPSIS.- W. C. Bryant.

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds Communion with her visible forms, she speaks A various language: for his giver hours She has a voice of gladness, and a smile And eloquence of beauty; and she glides Into his darker musings, with a mild And gentle sympathy, that steals away Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts Of the last bitter hour come like a blight Over thy spirit, and sad images Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall, And breathless darkness, and the narrow house, Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,Go forth under the open sky, and list To Nature's teachings, while from all aroundEarth and her waters, and the depths of airComes a still voice-Yet a few days, and thee The all-beholding sun shall see no more

« ZurückWeiter »