ページの画像
PDF
ePub

Drive not here to me
Flocks of other doves.
Ah ! of all thy doves
None can comfort me,
Only he, the father
Of my little ones."

Translated by J. G. PERCIVAL

THE DYING SWAN.

The plain was grassy, wild, and bare,
Wide, wild, and open to the air,
Which had built up everywhere

An under-roof of doleful gray.
With an inner voice the river ran,
A down it floated a dying swan,
Which loudly did lament.
It was the middle of the day.

Ever the weary wind went on
And shook the reed-tops as it went.

Some blue peaks in the distance rose,
And white against the cold-white sky
Shone out their crowning snows.

One willow over the river wept,
And shook the wave as the wind did sigh ;
Above in the wind was the swallow,
Chasing itself at its own wild will,
And far through the marish green and still

The tangled water-courses slept,
Shot over with purple, and green, and yellow.

The wild swan's death-hymn took the soul

Of that waste place with joy
Hidden in sorrow; at first to the ear
The warble was low, and full, and clear ;

And floating about the under-sky,
Prevailing in weakness, the coronach stole
Sometimes afar, and sometimes anear;

But anon her awful jubilant voice,
With a music strange and manifold,
Flowed forth on a carol free and bold;

As when a mighty people rejoice
With shawms, and with cymbals, and harps of gold,
And the tumult of their acclaim is rolled

Through the open gates of the city afar,
To the shepherd who watcheth the evening star.
And the creeping mosses and clambering weeds,

And the willow-branches hoar and dank,
And the wavy swell of the soughing reeds,

And the wave-worn horns of the echoing bank,
And the silvery marish flowers that throng,
The desolate creeks and pools among,
Were flooded over with eddying song.

ALFRED TENSIsox.

THE TWA CORBIES.

OLD SCOTTISH BALLAD.

As I gaed doun by yon house-en',
Twa corbies there were sittand their lane.
The tane unto the tother sae,
“O where shall we gae dine to-day ?”

“ | down beside yon new-faun birk,
There lies a new-slain knicht,
Nae livin kens that he lies there,
But his horse, his hounds, and his lady fair.
“ His horse is to the huntin gone,
His hounds to bring the wild deer hame;
His lady's taen another mate;
Sae we may make our dinner swate.

“ () we'll sit on his bonnie briest-bane,
And we'll pyke out his bonnie grey e'en ;
Wi ae lock o' his gowden hair
We'll theek our nest when it blaws bare.

“ Mony a ane for him maks mane,
But nane sall ken where he is gane;
Ower his banes, when they are bare,
The wind sall blaw for evermair !"

Anonymous, about 1600.

THE RED-BREAST IN SEPTEMBER.

The morning mist is clear'd away,

Yet still the face of heaven is gray,
Nor yet th' autumnal breeze has stirr'd the grove,

Faded, yet full, a paler green

Skirts soberly the tranquil scene,
The red-breast warbles round this leafy cove.

Sweet messenger of calm decay,

Saluting sorrow as you may,
As one still bent to make, or find the best,

In thee, and in this quiet mead

The lesson of sweet peace I read, Rather in all to be resign'd than blest.

'Tis a low chant, according well

With the soft solitary knell, As homeward from some grave belov'd we turn,

Or by some holy death-bed dear,

Most welcome to the chasten'd ear Of her whom Heaven is teaching how to mourn.

O cheerful, tender strain! the heart

That duly bears with you its part, Singing so thankful to the dreary blast,

Though gone and spent its joyous prime,

And on the world's autumnal time
Mid withered hues, and sere, its lot be cast,

That is the heart for thoughtful seer,

Watching, in trance nor dark nor clear, Th’ appalling Future as it nearer draws;

His spirit calm’d the storm to meet,

Feeling the Rock beneath his feet, And tracing through the cloud th' eternal Cause.

John KEBLE.

10*

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

THE
PHE “ Fate of the Butterfly” is one of the most charming

of Spenser's lesser poems; and as it is seldom met with on American bookshelves, it has been inserted entire, or at least with the exception of a verse or two, in the present volume.

Familiar as we are with them, we seldom bear in mind how much the more pleasing varieties of the insect race add to the beauty and interest of the earth. Setting aside the important question of their different uses, and the appropriate tasks allotted to each-forgetting for the moment what we owe to the bee, and the silkworm, and the coral insect, with others of the same class--we are very apt to underrate them even as regards the pleasure and gratification they afford us. The utter absence of insect life is one of the most striking characteristics of our Northern American winters. Let us suppose for a moment that something of the same kind were

to mark one single summer of our lives--that the hum of the bee, the drone of the beetle, the chirrup of cricket, locust, and katydid, the noiseless flight of gnat, moth, and butterfly, and the flash of the firefly, were suddenly to cease from the days and nights of June-suppose a magic sleep to fall upon them all; let their tiny but wonderful forms vanish from their usual haunts ; let their ceaseless, cheery chant of day and night be hushed, should we not be oppressed with the strange stillness ? Should we not look wistfully about for more than one familiar creature? The gardens and the meadows would in very sooth scarce seem themselves without this lesser world of insect life, moving in busy, gay, unobtrusive variety among the plants they love ; and we may well believe that we should gladly welcome back the lowliest of the beetles, and the most humble of the moths which have so often crossed our path.

MUIOPOTMOS;

OR, THE FATE OF THE BUTTERFLIE.

DEDICATED TO THE MOST FAIRE AND VERTCOUS LADIE, THE LADIE CARKY.

I sing of deadly dolorous debate,
Stir'd up through wrathfull Nemesis despight,
Betwixt two mightie ones of great estate,
Drawne into armes, and proofe of mortall fight,
Through prowd ambition and hart-swelling hate,
Whilst neither could the others greater might
And sdeignfull scorne endure; that from small iarre
Their wraths at length broke into open warre.
The roote whereof and tragicall effect,
Vouchsafe, O thou the mournfulst Muse of nyne,
That wont'st the tragick stage for to direct,
In funerall complaints and wailefull tyne,
Reveale to me, and all the meanes detect,
Through which sad Clarion did at last decline
To lowest wretchednes : And is there then
Such rancour in the harts of mightie men?
Of all the race of silver-winged Flies
Which doo possesse the empire of the aire,
Betwixt the centred earth, and azure skies,
Was none more favourable, nor more faire,

« 前へ次へ »