ページの画像
PDF
ePub

A TALE OF PARAGUAY.

CANTO II.

VOL. VII.

D

A TALE OF PARAGUAY.

CANTO II.

1.
O Thou who listening to the Poet's song
Dost yield thy willing spirit to his sway,
Look not that I should painfully prolong
The sad narration of that fatal day
With tragic details : all too true the lay!
Nor is my purpose e'er to entertain
The heart with useless grief; but as I

may, Blend in my calm and meditative strain Consolatory thoughts, the balm for real pain.

2. O Youth or Maiden, whosoe'er thou art, Safe in my guidance may thy spirit be; I wound not wantonly the tender heart: And if sometimes a tear of sympathy Should rise, it will from bitterness be free ... Yea, with a healing virtue be endued, As thou in this true tale shalt hear from me

Of evils overcome, and grief subdued, And virtues springing up like flowers in solitude.

3. The unhappy Monnema when thus bereft Sunk not beneath the desolating blow. Widow'd she was: but still her child was left; For him must she sustain the weight of woe, Which else would in that hour have laid her low. Nor wish'd she now the work of death complete: Then only doth the soul of woman know

Its proper strength, when love and duty meet; Invincible the heart wherein they have their seat.

4.
The seamen who upon some coral reef
Are cast amid the interminable main,
Still cling to life, and hoping for relief
Drag on their days of wretchedness and pain.
In turtle shells they hoard the scanty rain,
And eat its flesh, sun-dried for lack of fire,
Till the weak body can no more sustain

Its wants, but sinks beneath its sufferings dire ; Most miserable man who sees the rest expire !

5. He lingers there while months and years go by: And holds his hope though months and years have

past;
And still at morning round the farthest sky,
And still at eve his eagle glance is cast,
If there he may behold the far-off mast
Arise, for which he hath not ceased to pray.
And if perchance a ship should come at last,
And bear him from that dismal bank

away, He blesses God that he hath lived to see that day.

[ocr errors]

6.
So strong a hold hath life upon the soul,
Which sees no dawning of eternal light,
But subject to this mortal frame's controul,
Forgetful of its origin and right,
Content in bondage dwells and utter night.
By worthier ties was this poor mother bound
To life ; even while her grief was at the height,

Then in maternal love support she found,
And in maternal cares a healing for her wound.

7.
For now her hour is come: a girl is born,
Poor infant, all unconscious of its fate,
How passing strange, how utterly forlorn!
The genial season served to mitigate
In all it might their sorrowful estate,
Supplying to the mother at her door
From neighbouring trees which bent beneath their

weight,
A full supply of fruitage now mature,
So in that time of need their sustenance was sure.

8.
Nor then alone, but alway did the Eye
Of Mercy look upon that lonely bower.
Days past,and weeks; and months andyears went by,
And never evil thing the while had power
To enter there. The boy in sun and shower
Rejoicing in his strength to youthhed grew;
And Mooma, that beloved girl, a dower

Of gentleness from bounteous nature drew,
With all that should the heart of womankind imbue.

« 前へ次へ »