Puslapio vaizdai

For, as the opening lines of “Sunrise " inform us, In my sleep I was fain of their fellow

ship, fain Of the live oaks, the marsh, and the main. The little green leaves would not let me

alone in my sleep. An oft-quoted touch of tenderness. and fancy is taken from “ Corn: " The leaves that wave against my cheek


Like women's hands; the embracing

bows express A subtlety of mighty tenderness; The copse depths into little noises start, That sound anon like beatings of a heart, Anon like talk 'twixt lips not far apart.

The “ Hymns of the Marshes” afford abundant examples of his larger, more thoughtful manner. Peculiarly characteristic of his tolerant, worshipful nature is this: Oh, what is abroad in the marsh and the

terminal sea ? Somehow my soul seems suddenly free From the weighing of fate and the sad discussion of sin,

By the length and the breadth and the

sweep of the marshes of Glynn. Ye marshes, how candid and simple and

nothing-withholding and free Ye publish yourselves to the sky and

offer yourselves to the sea! Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and

the rains and the sun, Ye spread and span like the catholic man

who hath mightily won God out of knowledge and good out of

infinite pain And sight out of blindness and purity out

of stain.

As the marsh hen secretly builds on the

watery sod, Behold, I will build me a nest on the

greatness of God: I will fly in the greatness of God as the

marsh hen flies In the freedom that fills all the space

'twixt the marsh and the skies: By so many roots as the marsh grass

sends in the sod, I will heartily lay me a-hold

greatness of God: O, like to the greatness of God is the

greatness within The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of Glynn.

on the

Lanier's poetry appeals rather to meditative minds than to those delighting in pictorial effects. “The Song of the Chattahoochee” is characteristically less picturesque than “ The Brook." But in “Sunrise” Lanier presents a picture of remarkable brilliance and fascination, though it does seem " to stand on tiptoe here and there with the desire to express the inexpressible.”

[ocr errors]

Oh, what if a sound should be made!
Oh, what if a bound should be laid
To this bow-and-spring tension of beauty

and silence a-springTo the bend of beauty the bow, or the

hold of silence the string! I fear me, I fear me yon dome of diaph

anous gleam Will break as a bubble o'erblown in a

dreamYon dome of too-tenuous tissues of space

and of night. Overweighted with stars, overfreighted

with light, Oversated with beauty and silence, will


But a bubble that broke in a dream,

If a bound of degree to this grace be


Or a sound or a motion made.

But no: it is made: list! Somewheremystery, where?

In the leaves ? in the air? In my heart? is a motion made: 'Tis a motion of dawn, like a flicker of

shade on shade. In the leaves 'tis palpable: low multitu

dinous stirring Upwinds through the woods; the little

ones, softly conferring, Have settled my lord's to be looked for;

so; they are still; But the air and my heart and the earth

are a-thrillAnd look where the wild duck sails round

the bend of the riverAnd look where a passionate shiver Expectant is bending the blades Of the marsh grass in serial shimmers

and shadesAnd invisible wings, fast fleeting, fast


Are beating The dark overhead as my heart beats

and steady and free Is the ebb tide flowing from marsh to sea(Run home, little streams,


your lapfuls of stars and dreams)And a sailor unseen is hoisting a-peak, For list, down the inshore curve of the

creek How merrily flutters the sailAnd lo! in the East! Will the East un

veil? The East is unveiled, the East hath con

fessed A flush: 'tis dead; 'tis alive; 'tis dead ere

the West Was aware of it: nay, 'tis abiding, 'tis

unwithdrawn: Have a care, sweet Heaven! 'Tis Dawn! Lanier felt in his innermost heart that

How dark, how dark soever the race that

must needs be run, I am lit with the sun.

With enkindled gaze and calmly unafraid he therefore sings his life

brink of the grave: Oh, never the mast-high run of the seas

song on the


Of traffic shall hide thee, Never the hell-covered smoke of the fac


Hide thee,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »