Page images
PDF
EPUB

As I bitterly look back upon the last of memory's

pages, For the saddest of the leaflets that my life can ever

know.

As I sit here at the organ, I can think upon my sorrow, With the eastern oriel changing from its purple into

gray, And the hopelessness of living for the wearisome to

morrow, Gives a sadder, deeper meaning to the doom of yester

day.

a

For but yestermorn I boasted of a passion in quiescence, Though my heart was yearning toward her, I could

leave my love untold; Till she won me into speaking by the glory of her

presence, Like a dream of Mary Mother by some master-hand

of old.

She had summoned me to teach her, and I felt the

fascination Of her gracious bearing thrill me with a spell un

known before ; And my music sounded harshly to the perfect modu

lation Of the low voice that will haunt me in my dreaming

evermore.

And through all the realms of music we went day by

day, now speeding From the mighty strains of Handel to the passion of

Mozart;

And I told my love in music, and she heard it, all

unheeding That the lowly organ-master could possess a human

heart.

She stood

up
beside the

organ,

and her white throat in her singing Took a fuller curve, and brighter shone the nimbus

of her hair; And so sang she to my playing, till the bell above us

swinging Brought my dear task to an ending with the eventime

[ocr errors]

of prayer.

She was cruel in her beauty, as she bent her down

above me,

And a bright tear born of music fell and glistened on

the keys, And I wove a dream Elysian of her learning so to love me, That no thought of shame could touch her 'neath her

old ancestral trees.

Did she scorn me for my meanness, when I set my heart

upon her ?

There are ancient tombs engraven with the legends of

her race : Love is old, and love is noble, and can never bring

dishonor, Though the blood of knightly fathers runs to flush a

maiden's face.

And yestreen I dared to tell her of my love, and she

departed, With her small hand's queenly gesture, as she smiled

away my speech;

She had proffered friendship’s snowdrops, she was ever

tender-hearted, But the roses of her loving they hung far beyond my

reach.

She will mate with but her equals ; men of ancient

names and stately Will have power to win her kisses, and my lowly

claim must yield; They will never stoop to worship as I've worshiped,

loving greatly, Though my ancestors have fallen not upon the

foughten field.

Fair the future spreads before her, will it ever bring

repentance For an honest love rejected, for a stricken heart and

sore ?

Shall I ever dare to ask her for remission of my sen

tence ? But my music makes an answer with a hopeless

« Never more.”

66

And I think on that great master who, when life was

swiftly fleeting, Wrote the sad sepulchral music ere he bowed his

noble head, That from all the saints in glory should bring sure and

kindly greeting; And for my lost love a requiem I play, as for the dead. And I cling unto my music for the solace man's unkindness Has denied me, since my comrades greet my story

with a smile;

There are loves, they say, in plenty, and they marvel at

my blindness; But the man who's seen the sun's face sees no other for

a while.

Now the vast cathedral darkens, and the night comes

slowly creeping From the altar round the arches that o'erhang the

chancel side ; And I leave the saints in silence as they solemnly lie

sleeping, And to-morrow brings the gladness of the holy Christ.

mas-tide.

And at Matins as aforetime I shall take

my

humble station, In the rood-loft, at the service that we sing on

Christmas Day; While the anthem peals around me, and the Church's

jubilation Gives good-will to all men, chanting “In excelsis gloria.”

H. SAVILE CLARKE.

DESTINY OF AMERICA.

SEAR

YEARCH creation round, where can you find a coun.

try that presents so sublime a view, so interesting an anticipation? Who shall say for what purpose mysterious Providence may not have designed her! Who shall say that when in its follies or its crimes, the Old World may have buried all the pride of its power, and all the pomp of its civilization, human nature may not find its destined renovation in the New! When its temples and its trophies shall have moldered into dust,when the glories of its name shall be but the legend of tradition, and the light of its achievements live only in song, philosophy will revive again in the sky of her Franklin, and glory rekindle at the urn of her Washington.

Is this the vision of romantic fancy? Is it even im probable? I appeal to history! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the allusions of ambition realized, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all the achievements of successful heroism, or all the establishments of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions ? Alas, Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate! So thought Palmyra—where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman! In his hurried march, Time has but looked at their imagined immortality, and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps ! The days of their glory are as if they had never been ; and the island that was then a speck, rude and neglected, in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards! Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent as she appears, may not one day be what Athens

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »