Page images
PDF
EPUB

By such degrees to joy they come,

And are so long withstood,
So slowly they receive the sum,

It hardly does them good.

'Tis cruel to prolong a pain;

And to defer a joy,
Believe me, gentle Celemene,

Offends the winged boy.

An hundred thousand oaths your fears

Perhaps would not remove; And, if I gazed a thousand years,

I could no deeper love.

Sir Charles Sedley. SIREN'S SONG

Steer hither, steer, your winged pines,

All beaten mariners,
Here lie Love's undiscover'd mines,

A prey to passengers;
Perfumes far sweeter than the best
Which make the phoenix' urn and nest,

Fear not your ships,
Nor any to oppose you, save our lips;

But come on shore
Where no joy dies till love hath gotten more.

For swelling waves, our panting breasts,

Where never storms arise,
Exchange; and be awhile our guests:

For stars, gaze on our eyes.
The compass, love shall hourly sing,
And as he goes about the ring,

We will not miss
To tell each point he nameth with a kiss.

Browne. THE NEREIDS.

Beloved the last; Beloved the most!

With willing arms and brow benign Receive a bosom tempest-tost,

And bid it ever beat to thine.

The Nereid maids, in days of yore,
Saw the lost pilot loose the helm,

Saw the wreck blacken all the shore,
And every wave some head o'erwhelm.

Afar, the youngest of the train
Beheld (but feared and aided not)

A minstrel from the billowy main
Borne breathless near her coral grot.

Then terror fled, and pity rose —

'Ah me!' she cried, ' I come too late!

Rather than not have soothed his woes, I would, but may not, share his fate.' EVENING ON THE SHOKE.

139

She raised his hand: 'What hand like this

Could reach the heart athwart the lyre!
What lips like these return my kiss,
"Or breathe incessant, soft desire!'

From eve to morn, from mom to eve,
She gazed his features o'er and o'er:

And those who love and who believe,
May hear her sigh along the shore.

W. S. Landor.

EVENING ON THE SHORE.

The baffled tides retiring from the land,

Lay bare the beach, and steal the sea-weed's life, And all is silence, save the gentle strife

Of the spent waters with the yielding sand.

On the tall cliff the dying sunlight glows,

And stains with dolphin hues the waveless bay, — The stars peep forth that lead the night's array

Where in mid-heaven the deep'ning purple grows.

How cool an eve attends this burning day!

How sweet a peace the troubled wave subdues!

Oh troubled, burning heart! canst thou refuse To be as calmly hush'd to rest as they?

W. H. Hurlbut.

EVENING VOLUNTARY.

The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest,
And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest;
Air slumbers—wave with wave no longer strives,
Only a heaving of the deep survives,
A tell-tale motion! soon will it be laid,
And by the tide alone the water swayed.
Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild,
Of light with shade in beauty reconciled, —
Such is the prospect far as sight can range,
The soothing recompense, the welcome change.
Where now the ships that drove before the blast,
Threatened by angry breakers as they passed,
And by a train of flying clouds bemocked,
Or in the hollow surge at anchor rocked
As on a bed of death? Some lodge in peace,
Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease,
And some, too heedless of past danger, court
Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port;
But near, or hanging sky and sea between,
Not one of all these winged powers is seen,
Seen in her course, nor mid this quiet heard;
Yet, oh! how gladly would the air be stirred

« PreviousContinue »