« PreviousContinue »
In silence ripen, fall, and cease:
How sweet it were, hearing the downward stream,
Dear is the memory of our wedded lives,
Let what is broken so remain.
But, propt on beds of amaranth and moly,
VIII. The Lotos blooms below the barren peak : The Lotos blows by every winding creek: All day the wind breathes low with mellower tone: Through every hollow cave and alley lone Round and round the spicy downs the yellow Lotus-dust
is blown. We have had enough of action, and of motion we,
Rolled to starboard, rolled to larboard, when the surge
was seething free, Where the wallowing monster spouted his foam-fountains
in the sea. Let us swear an oath, and keep it with an equal mind, In the hollow Lotos-land to live and lie reclined On the hills like gods together, careless of mankind. For they lie beside their nectar, and the bolts are hurled Far below them in the valleys, and the clouds are lightly
curled Round their golden houses, girdled with the gleaming
world; Where they smile in secret, looking over wasted lands, Blight and famine, plague and earthquake, roaring deeps,
and fiery sands, Clanging fights, and flaming towns, and sinking ships, and
praying hands. But they smile, they find a music centred in a doleful
song Steaming up, a lamentation and an ancient tale of wrong, Like a tale of little meaning, though the words are strong; Chanted from an ill-used race of men that cleave the soil, Sow the seed, and reap the harvest with enduring toil, Storing yearly little dues of wheat, and wine, and oil; Till they perish and they suffer, — some, 't is whispered
-- down in hell Suffer endless anguish, others in Elysian valleys dwell, Resting weary limbs at last on beds of asphodel. Surely, surely, slumber is more sweet than toil, the shore Than labor in the deep mid-ocean, wind and wave and oar; O rest ye, brother mariners, we will not wander more.
THE play is done, — the curtain drops,
Slow falling to the prompter's bell; SEE A moment yet the actor stops,
And looks around, to say farewell. It is an irksome word and task ;
And, when he 's laughed and said his say, He shows, as he removes the mask,
A face that 's anything but gay.
One word, ere yet the evening ends, –
Let's close it with a parting rhyme;
As fits the merry Christmas-time;
That fate erelong shall bid you play ;
A kindly greeting go alway!
Good-night!—I'd say the griefs, the joys,
Just hinted in this mimic page,
The triumphs and defeats of boys,
Are but repeated in our age;
Your hopes more vain, than those of men, — Your pangs or pleasures of fifteen
At forty-five played o’er again.
I'd say we suffer and we strive
Not less nor more as men than boys, — With grizzled beards at forty-five,
As erst at twelve in corduroys; And if, in time of sacred youth,
We learned at home to love and pray, Pray Heaven that early love and truth
May never wholly pass away.
And in the world, as in the school,
I'd say how fate may change and shift, — The prize be sometimes with the fool,
The race not always to the.swift ;
The great man be a vulgar clown,
The kind cast pitilessly down.
Who knows the inscrutable design ?
Blessed be He who took and gave! Why should your mother, Charles, not mine,
Be weeping at her darling's grave ? We bow to Heaven that willed it so,
That darkly rules the fate of all,