« PreviousContinue »
He stood grey with age in the robe of a Dervise,
As a King awe-compelling, And the cold of his eye like the diamond was bright, As if years from the hardness had fashioned the light: “A draught from thy spring for the way-weary Dervise,
And rest in thy dwelling.'
And my herds gave the milk and my tent gave the shelter;
And the stranger spell bound me With his tales, all the night of the far world of wonder, Of the ocean of Oman with pearls gleaming under ; And I thought, 'O how mean are the tents' simple shelter
And the valleys around me!'
I seized as I listened, in fancy, the treasures
By Afrites conceal'd;
Than Ormus can yield.
Morn came, and I went with my guest thro' the gorges
In the rock hollow'd; The flocks bleated low as I passed them ungrieving, The almond-buds strewed the sweet earth I was leaving; Slowly went Age thro' the gloom of the gorges,
Lightly Youth follow'd.
We won thro' the Pass—the Unknown lay before me,
Sun-lighted and wide;
Still keep by my side ?'
• Hope and Wisdom soon part; be it so,' said the Dervise,
My mission is done.' As he spoke, came the gleam of the crescent and spear, Chimed the bells of the camel more sweet and more near; "Go and march with the caravan, youth,' sighed the Dervise,
•Fare thee well!'-he was gone.
What profits to speak of the wastes I have traversed
Since that early time? One by one the procession, replacing the guide, Have dropped on the sands or have strayed from my side; And I hear never more in the solitudes traversed
The camel-bell's chime.
How oft I have yearned for the old happy valley,
But the sands have no track; He who scorned what is near must advance to the far, Who forsaketh the landmark must march by the star And the steps that once part from the peace of the valley
Can never come back.
So on, ever on, spreads the path of the Desert,
How narrow content, and how infinite knowledge !
Lost vale and lost maiden!
Was it worth Aden?
Sir E Bulwer Lytton.
A Pilgrim o'er a waste and barren way,
No bright enchantments now perplex my view,
Wild are the storms which gather round my head,
Lady Page Wood.
O’er the level plains, where mountains greet me as I go,
War his weary watch was keeping, I have crushed his spear;
Power had won a throne of glory: where is now his fame ?
I have heard the heifer lowing o'er the wild wave's bed;
W. M. Praed.
HUMAN LIFE'S MYSTERY.
We sow the glebe, we reap the corn,
We build the house where we may rest, · And then, at moments, suddenly, We look up to the great wide sky, Enquiring wherefore we were born
For earnest or for jest?
The senses folding thick and dark
About the stifled soul within, . We guess diviner things beyond, And yearn to them with yearning fond; We strike out blindly to the mark
Believed in, but not seen.
We vibrate to the pant and thrill
Wherewith Eternity has curled
Expands from world to world.
And in the tumult and excess
Of act and passion under sun,
Through all things that are done.