Abbildungen der Seite

Winter giveth the fields and the trees so old

Their beards of icicles and snow;
And the rain it raineth so fast and cold,

We must cover over the embers low;
And, snugly housed from the wind and weather,
Mope like birds that are changing feather.
But the storm retires, and the sky grows clear,
When thy merry step draws near!

Winter maketh the sun in the gloomy sky

Wrap him 'round with a mantle of cloud;
But, Heaven be praised! thy step is nigh ;

Thou tearest away the mournful shroud,
And the Earth looks bright, and Winter surly,
Who has toiled for naught, both late and early,
Is banished afar by the new-born year,

When thy merry step draws near!
Translation by H. W. LONGFELLOW. Charles, DUKE OF ORLEANS, 1891-1467.


When winter winds are piercing chill,

And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill

That overbrows the lonely vale.
O’er the bare upland, and away

Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,

And gladden those deep solitudes

Where, twisted round the barren oak,

The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the silence broke,

The crystal icicle is hung.

Where from their frozen urns, mute springs

Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,

And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,

When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,

And the song ceased not with the day,

But still wild music is abroad,

Pale, desert woods ! within your crowd ; And gathering winds in hoarse accord

Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs, and wintry winds ! my ear

Has grown familiar with your song ;
I hear it in the opening year-
I listen, and it cheers me long.



Sad soul-dear heart, O why repine ?

The melancholy tale is plain ;
The leaves of spring, the summer flowers

Have bloomed and died again.

The sweet and silver-sandaled Dew,

Which, like a maiden, fed the flowers, Hath waned into the beldame Frost,

And walked amid our bowers.

Some buds there were-sad hearts, be still!

Which looked awhile unto the sky, Then breathed but once or lived, to tell

How sweetest things may die !

And some must blight where many bloom ;

But, blight or bloom, the fruit must fall!
Why sigh for spring or summer flowers,

Since winter gathers all ?
He gathers all--but chide him not ;

He wraps them in his mantle cold,
And folds them close, as best he can,

For he is blind and old.

Sad soul-dear heart, no more repine

The tale is beautiful and plain : Surely as winter taketh all,

The spring shall bring again.





F there were beings who lived in the depths of the earth, in dwell


possessed in rich abundance by those whom we esteem fortunate; and if these beings could receive tidings of the power and might of the gods, and could then emerge from their hidden dwellings through the open tissures of the earth, to the places which we inhabit; if they could sud. denly behold the earth, and the sea, and the vault of heaven ; could recognize the expanse of the cloudy firmament, and the might of the winds of heaven, and admire the sun in its majesty, beauty, and radi. ant effulgence; and, lastly, when night vailed the earth in darkness, they could behold the starry heavens, the changing moon, and the stars rising and setting in the unvarying course ordained from eternity, they would surely exclaim, " There are gods, and such great things must be the work of their hands."

Translation froin HUMBOLDT'S "Cosmos."

[ocr errors]



God said, Be gather'd now, ye waters under heav'n, Into one place, and let dry land appear. Immediately the mountains huge appear Emergent, and their broad backs upheave Into the clouds, their tops ascend the sky. So high as heav'd the tumid hills, so low Down sunk a hollow bottom, broad and deep, Capacious bed of waters : thither they Hasted with glad precipitance, uprollid As drops on dust conglobing from the dry : Part rise in crystal wall, or ridge direct, For haste; such flight the great command imprest On the swift floods ; as armies at the call Of trumpet (for of armies thou hast heard) Troop to their standard, so the wat’ry throng, Wave rolling after wave, where way they found; If steep, with torrent rapture, if through plain, Soft-ebbing; nor withstood them rock or hill, But they, or under ground, or circuit wide With serpent error wand'ring, found their way, And on the washy ooze deep channels wore, Easy, ere God had bid the ground be dry, All but within those banks, where rivers now Stream, and perpetual draw their humid train. The dry land Earth, and the great receptacle Of congregated waters he call'd Seas; And saw that it was good, and said, Let th' earth Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed, And fruit-tree yielding fruit after her kind; Whose seed is in herself upon the earth. He scarce had said, when the bare earth, till then Desert and bare, unsightly, unadornd, Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad Her universal face with pleasant green; Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flower'd, Opining their various colors, and made gay Her bosom smelling sweet; and these scarce blown, Forth flourish'd thick the clust'ring vine, forth crept The swelling gourd, up stood the corny reed Embattl'd in her field ; and th' humble shrub,

[ocr errors]

And bush with frizzled hair implicit : last
Rose, as in dance, the stately trees, and spread
Their branches hung with copious fruit, or gemm'd
Their blossoms : with high wood the hills were crown'd;
With tufts the valleys and each fountain side,
With borders ’long the rivers : that earth now
Seem'd like to heav'n, a seat where Gods might dwell
Or wander with delight, and love to haunt
Her sacred shades.

John MILTON, 1608-1674.


Harp! lift thy voice on high,
And run in rapid numbers o'er the face
Of Nature's scenery ; and there were day
And night, and rising suns, and setting suns;
And clouds that seemed like chariots of saints,
By fiery coursers drawn-as brightly head
As if the glorious, lusty, golden locks
Of thousand cherubims had been shorn off,
And on the temples hung of morn and even ;
And there were moons, and stars, and darkness streaked
With light; and voice of tempest heard secure.
And there were seasons coming evermore,
And going still--all fair and always new,
With bloom, and fruit, and fields of hoary grain.
And there were hills of flocks, and groves of song ;
And flowery streams, and garden walks embowered,
Where side by side the rose and lily bloomed.
And sacred founts, wild hills, and moonlight glens ;
And forests vast, fair lawns, and lovely oaks,
And little willows sipping at the brook ;
Old wizard haunts, and dancing seats of mirth;
Gay, festive bowers, and palaces in dust;
Dark owlet nooks, and caves, and belted rocks;
And winding valleys, roofed with pendent shade ;
And tall and perilous cliffs, that overlooked
The breath of Ocean, sleeping on his waves.
Sounds, sights, smells, tastes; the heaven and earth, profuse
In endless sweets, above all praise of song:
For not to use alone did Providence
Abound, but large example gave to man

« ZurückWeiter »