Puslapio vaizdai
[blocks in formation]

Some legend low and long,
Slow as the summer song
Of the dull Deep.

Some legend long and low,
Whose equal ebb and flow
To and fro creep

On the dim marge of gray
'Tween the soul's night and day,
Washing "awake" away
Into" asleep."

Some legend low and long,
Never so weak or strong
As to let go

While it can hold this heart
Withouten sigh or smart,
Or as to hold this heart
When it sighs "No."

Some long low swaying song,
As the sway'd shadow long
Sways to and fro

Where, thro' the crowing cocks,
And by the swinging clocks,
Some weary mother rocks
Some weary woe.

Sing up and down to me
Like a dream-boat at sea,
So, and still so,

Float through the "then" and "when,"
Rising from when to then,
Sinking from then to when
While the waves go.

Low and high, high and low,
Now and then, then and now,
Now, now;

And when the now is then, and when the

then is now,

And when the low is high, and when the high is low,

[blocks in formation]

George Meredith



ALL other joys of life he strove to warm, And magnify, and catch them to his lip; But they had suffer'd shipwreck with the ship,

And gaz'd upon him sallow from the storm.
Or if Delusion came, 't was but to show
The coming minute mock the one that went.
Cold as a mountain in its star-pitch'd tent
Stood high Philosophy, less friend than foe;
Whom self-caged Passion, from its prison-

Is always watching with a wondering hate.
Not till the fire is dying in the grate,
Look we for any kinship with the stars.
Oh, wisdom never comes when it is gold,
And the great price we pay for it full worth!
We have it only when we are half earth:
Little avails that coinage to the old !


AT dinner she is hostess, I am host. Went the feast ever cheerfuller? She keeps

The topic over intellectual deeps

In buoyancy afloat. They see no ghost. With sparkling surface-eyes we ply the ball:

It is in truth a most contagious game; HIDING THE SKELETON shall be its name. Such play as this the devils might appall! But here's the greater wonder; in that


Enamor'd of our acting and our wits,
Admire each other like true hypocrites.
Warm-lighted glances, Love's Ephemeræ,
Shoot gayly o'er the dishes and the wine.
We waken envy of our happy lot.
Fast, sweet, and golden, shows our mar-

Dear guests, you now have seen Love's corpse-light shine!


THEY say that Pity in Love's service dwells,
A porter at the rosy temple's gate.
I miss'd him going: but it is my fate
To come upon him now beside his wells;

Whereby I know that I Love's temple leave,
And that the purple doors have clos'd behind.
Poor soul! if in those early days unkind
Thy power to sting had been but power to

We now might with an equal spirit meet,
And not be match'd like innocence and vice.
She for the Temple's worship has paid price,
And takes the coin of Pity as a cheat.
She sees thro' simulation to the bone :
What's best in her impels her to the worst.
Never, she cries, shall Pity soothe Love's

Or foul hypocrisy for truth atone!


WE saw the swallows gathering in the sky, And in the osier-isle we heard their noise. We had not to look back on summer joys, Or forward to a summer of bright dye; But in the largeness of the evening earth Our spirits grew as we went side by side. The hour became her husband, and my bride. Love that had robb'd us so, thus bless'd our dearth!

The pilgrims of the year wax'd very loud
In multitudinous chatterings, as the flood
Full brown came from the west, and like
pale blood

Expanded to the upper crimson cloud.
Love, that had robb'd us of immortal things,
This little moment mercifully gave,
And still I see across the twilight wave
The swan sail with her young beneath her


PITCH here the tent, while the old horse grazes:

By the old hedge-side we 'll halt a stage. It's nigh my last above the daisies :

My next leaf 'll be man's blank page. Yes, my old girl! and it's no use crying: Juggler, constable, king, must bow. One that outjuggles all 's been spying

Long to have me, and he has me now.

We've travell'd times to this old common :
Often we've hung our pots in the gorse.
We've had a stirring life, old woman!
You, and I, and the old gray horse.

Races, and fairs, and royal occasions,

Found us coming to their call: Now they'll miss us at our stations : There's a Juggler outjuggles all !

Up goes the lark, as if all were jolly!

Over the duck-pond the willow shakes. Easy to think that grieving 's folly,

When the hand's firm as driven stakes! Ay! when we're strong, and braced, and manful,

Life's a sweet fiddle; but we 're a batch Born to become the Great Juggler's han'ful:

Balls he shies up, and is safe to catch.

Here's where the lads of the village cricket; I was a lad not wide from here; Couldn't I whip off the bale from the wicket?

Like an old world those days appear! Donkey, sheep, geese, and thatch'd alehouse I know them!

They are old friends of my halts, and


Somehow, as if kind thanks I owe them: Juggling don't hinder the heart's esteem.

Juggling 's no sin, for we must have victual; Nature allows us to bait for the fool. Holding one's own makes us juggle no little;

But, to increase it, hard juggling's the rule.

You that are sneering at my profession,

Have n't you juggled a vast amount ? There's the Prime Minister, in one Session,

Juggles more games than my sins 'll


I've murder'd insects with mock thunder:

Conscience, for that, in men don't quail. I've made bread from the bump of wonder:

That's my business, and there's my tale. Fashion and rank all prais'd the professor; Ay! and I've had my smile from the Queen :

Bravo, Jerry! she meant: God bless her! Ain't this a sermon on that scene?

I've studied men from my topsy-turvy
Close, and, I reckon, rather true.
Some are fine fellows: some, right scurvy:
Most, a dash between the two.

But it's a woman, old girl, that makes me
Think more kindly of the race;
And it's a woman, old girl, that shakes me
When the Great Juggler I must face.

We two were married, due and legal :
Honest we've liv'd since we've been one.
Lord! I could then jump like an eagle :

You danced bright as a bit o' the sun. Birds in a May-bush we were! right merry!

All night we kiss'd—we juggled all day. Joy was the heart of Juggling Jerry! Now from his old girl he's juggled away.

It's past parsons to console us :

No, nor no doctor fetch for me : I can die without my bolus;

Two of a trade, lass, never agree! Parson and Doctor!- don't they love rarely,

Fighting the devil in other men's fields ! Stand up yourself and match him fairly; Then see how the rascal yields !

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

HE rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake,
All intervolv'd and spreading wide,
Like water-dimples down a tide
Where ripple ripple overcurls
And eddy into eddy whirls;
A press of hurried notes that run
So fleet they scarce are more than one,
Yet changingly the trills repeat
And linger ringing while they fleet,
Sweet to the quick o' the ear, and dear
To her beyond the handmaid ear,
Who sits beside our inner springs,
Too often dry for this he brings,
Which seems the very jet of earth
At sight of sun, her music's mirth,
As up he wings the spiral stair,
A song of light, and pierces air
With fountain ardor, fountain play,
To reach the shining tops of day,
And drink in everything discern'd
An ecstasy to music turn'd,
Impell'd by what his happy bill
Disperses; drinking, showering still,
Unthinking save that he may give
His voice the outlet, there to live
Renew'd in endless notes of glee,
So thirsty of his voice is he,

For all to hear and all to know
That he is joy, awake, aglow,
The tumult of the heart to hear
Through pureness filter'd crystal-clear,
And know the pleasure sprinkled bright
By simple singing of delight,

Shrill, irreflective, unrestrain'd,
Rapt, ringing, on the jet sustain'd
Without a break, without a fall,
Sweet-silvery, sheer lyrical,
Perennial, quavering up the chord
Like myriad dews of sunny sward
That trembling into fulness shine,
And sparkle dropping argentine;
Such wooing as the ear receives
From zephyr caught in choric leaves
Of aspens when their chattering net
Is flush'd to white with shivers wet;
And such the water-spirit's chime
On mountain heights in morning's prime,
Too freshly sweet to seem excess,
Too animate to need a stress;
But wider over many heads
The starry voice ascending spreads,
Awakening, as it waxes thin,
The best in us to him akin;
And every face to watch him rais'd,
Puts on the light of children prais'd,
So rich our human pleasure ripes
When sweetness on sincereness pipes,
Though nought be promis'd from the seas,
But only a soft-ruffling breeze
Sweep glittering on a still content,
Serenity in ravishment.

For singing till his heaven fills,
'Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup,
And he the wine which overflows
To lift us with him as he goes:
The woods and brooks, the sheep and kine
He is, the hills, the human line,
The meadows green, the fallows brown,
The dreams of labor in the town;
He sings the sap, the quicken'd veins ;
The wedding song of sun and rains
He is, the dance of children, thanks
Of sowers, shout of primrose-banks,
And eye of violets while they breathe ;
All these the circling song will wreathe,
And you shall hear the herb and tree,
The better heart of men shall see,
Shall feel celestially, as long

As you crave nothing save the song.

Was never voice of ours could say
Our inmost in the sweetest way,
Like yonder voice aloft, and link
All hearers in the song they drink :
Our wisdom speaks from failing blood,
Our passion is too full in flood,
We want the key of his wild note
Of truthful in a tuneful throat,
The song seraphically free
Of taint of personality,

So pure that it salutes the suns
The voice of one for millions,
In whom the millions rejoice
For giving their one spirit voice.

Yet men have we, whom we revere,
Now names, and men still housing here,
Whose lives, by many a battle-dint
Defaced, and grinding wheels on flint,
Yield substance, though they sing not,


For song our highest heaven to greet:
Whom heavenly singing gives us new,
Enspheres them brilliant in our blue,
From firmest base to farthest leap,
Because their love of Earth is deep,
And they are warriors in accord
With life to serve and pass reward,
So touching purest and so heard
In the brain's reflex of yon bird;
Wherefore their soul in me, or mine,
Through self-forgetfulness divine,
In them, that song aloft maintains,
To fill the sky and thrill the plains
With showerings drawn from human stores,
As he to silence nearer soars,
Extends the world at wings and dome,
More spacious making more our home,
Till lost on his aërial rings

In light, and then the fancy sings.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


How smiles he at a generation rank'd
In gloomy noddings over life! They pass.
Not he to feed upon a breast unthank'd,
Or eye a beauteous face in a crack'd glass.
But he can spy that little twist of brain
Which mov'd some weighty leader of the

Unwitting 't was the goad of personal pain,
To view in curs'd eclipse our Mother's mind,
And show us of some rigid harridan
The wretched bondmen till the end of time.
O liv'd the Master now to paint us Man,
That little twist of brain would ring a chime

« AnkstesnisTęsti »