Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

I did not mean it should be so,

And yet I might have known
That hearts that live as close as ourg

Can never keep their own.
But we are fallen on evil times,

And, do whate'er I may,
My heart grows sad about the war,

And sadder every day.
I think about it when I work,

And when I try to rest,
And never more than when your head

Is pillowed on my breast;
For then I see the camp-fires blaze,

And sleeping men around,
Who turn their faces towards their homes,

And dream upon the ground.
I think about the dear, brave boys,

My mates in other years,
Who pine for home and those they love,

Till I am choked with tears.
With shouts and cheers they marched away

On glory's shining track,
But, ah! how long, how long they stay!

How few of them come back !

One sleeps beside the Tennessee,

And one beside the James,
And one fought on a gallant ship,

And perished in its flames.
And some, struck down by fell disease,

Are breathing out their life ;
And others, maimed by cruel wounds,

Have left the deadly strife.
Ah, Marty! Marty! only think

Of all the boys have done And suffered in this weary war!

Brave heroes, every one!
O, often, often in the night,

I hear their voices call:
Come on and help us! Is it right

That we should bear it all?
And when I kneel and try to pray,

My thoughts are never free,
But cling to those who toil and fight

And die for you and me.
And when I pray for victory,

It seems almost a sin
To fold my hands and ask for what

I will not help to win.

O, do not cling to me and cry,

For it will break my heart;
I'm sure you'd rather have me die

Than not to bear my part.
You think that some should stay at home

To care for those away;
But still I'm helpless to decide

If I should go or stay.
For, Marty, all the soldiers.love,

And all are loved again;
And I am loved, and love perhaps,

No more than other men.
I cannot tell-I do not know-

Which way my duty lies,
Or where the Lord would have me build

My fire of sacrifice.
I feel-I know-I am not mean;

And though I seem to boast,
I'm sure that I would give my life

To those who need it most.
Perhaps the Spirit will reveal

That which is fair and right;
So, Marty, let us humbly knees

And pray to Heaven for light.

Peace in the clover-scented air,

And stars within the dome;
And, underneath, in dim repose,

A plain New England home.
Within, a widow in her weeds,

From whom all joy is flown,
Who kneels among her sleeping babes,

And weeps and prays alone!

THE CLOSING YEAR.-By George D. Prentice. "Tis midnight's holy hour,--and silence now Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds The bell's deep tones are swelling,-'tis the knell of the departed year. No funeral train Is sweeping past ; yet, on the stream and wood, With melancholy light, the moon-beanis rest Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred As by a mouruer's sigh; and on yon cloud

That Noats so still and placidly throug!ı lieaven,
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand,
Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form,
And Winter with its aged locks,--and breathe,
In mournful cadences that come abroad
Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail,
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year,
Gone from thic Earth forever.

'Tis a time
For memory and for tears. Within the deep,
Still chambers of the heart, a spectre dim,
Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time
lleard from the tomb of ages, points its cold
And solemn finger to the beautiful
And holy visions that have passed away,
And left no shadow of their loveliness
On the dead waste of life. That specire lifts
The coffin-lid of Hope, and Joy, and Love,
And, bending mournfully above the pale,
Sweet forms, that slumber there, scaiters dead nowers
O'er what has passed to nothingness.

The year

Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng
Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow,
Its shadow in each heart. In its swilt course,
It waved its scepter o'er the beautiful,-
And they are not. It laid its pallid liand
Upon the strong man,--and the hanghty form
Is fallen, and the flashing eye is dim.
It trod the hall of revelry, where throngel
The bright and joyous,--and the tearsul wail
Of stricken ones, is heard where erst the song
And reckless shout resounded.

It passed o'er
The battle-plain, where sword, and spear, and shiel!
Flashed in the light of mid-day,--and the strength
Of serried hosts, is shivered, and the grass,
Green from the soil of carnage, waves above
The crushed and moldering skeleton. It came,
And faded like a wreath of mist at eve;
Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air,
It heralded its millions to their home
In the dim land of dreams.

Remorseless Time!
Fierce spirit of the glass and seythe !-what power
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt
His iron heart to pity? On, still on,
He presses, and forever. The proud bird,
The condor of the Andes, that can soar

To

rest upon

His rushing pinions.

Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
The rury of the northern I[urricane,
And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home,
Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down

his mountain crag,--but Time knows not the weight of sleep or weariness, And night's deep darkness has no chain to bind

Revolutions sweep O'er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast Of dreaming sorrow,-cities rise and sink Like bubbles on the water,-fiery isles Spring blazing from the Ocean, and go back To their mysterious caverns,-- Mountains rear To heaven iheir bald and blackened cliffs, and bow Their tall heads to the plain,-new Empires rise, Gathering the strength of hoary centuries, And rush down like the Alpine avalanche, Startling the nations, -and the very stars, Yon bright and burning blazonry of God, Glitter a while in their eternal depths, And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train, Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away To darkle in the trackless void,- Yet, Tin.e, Time, the tomb-builder, holds his fierce career, Dark, stern, all-pitiless, and pauses not Amid the mighty vrecks that strew inis path, To sit and mice, like other conquerors Upon the fearíul ruin he has wrought.

SELECT PASSAGES IN VERSE.
TELL ON SWITZERLAND.-J. S. Knowles.
ONCE Switzerland was free! With what a pride
I used to walk these hills,-look up to Heaven,
And bless God that it was so! It was free
lirom end to end, from cliff to lake 'twas free!
Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks,
And plough our valleys, without asking leave;
Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow

very presence of the regal sun!
How happy was I in it

, then! I loved Its very storms. Ay, often have I sat my

boat at night, when midway o'er the lake, The stars went out, and down the mountain gorge The wind came roaring, I have sat and eyed The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head, And think I had no master sa e his own.

In

In

SONNET.

The honey-bee that wanders all day long

The field, the woodland, and the garden o'er,

To gather in his fragrant winter store, Humming in calm content his quiet song, Sucks not alone the rose's glowing breast,

The lily's dainty cup, the violet's lips,

But from all rank and noisome weeds he sips The single drop of sweetness ever pressed Within the poison chalice. Thus, if we

Seek only to draw forth the hidden sweet

In all the varied human flowers we meet,
In the wide garden of Humanity,
And, like the bee, if home the spoil we bear,
Hived in our hearts it turns to nectar there.

SEEING AND NOT SEEING.-C. T. Brooks.
The one with yawning made reply:
“What have we seen ?-Not much have I !
Trees, meadows, mountains, groves, and streams,
Blue sky and clouds, and sunny gleams.”
The other, smiling, said the same;
But with face transfigured and eye of Name:

Trees, meadows, mountains, groves, and streams!
Blue sky and cloud, and sunny gleams!"

HAMLET TO HIS MOTIDER.

:-Shakspeure. Look here, upon this picture, and on this; The counterfeit presentment of two brothers. See what a grace was seated on this brow:Ilyperion's curls; the front of Jove himself; An eye like Mars, to threaten and command; A station like the herald Mercury, New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill; A combination, and a form, indeed, Where every god did seem to set his seal, To give the world assurance of a man. This was your husband.--Look you, now, what follows: Here is vour husband: like a mildewder.

« ZurückWeiter »