« PreviousContinue »
Try not the Pass !” the old man said ; “Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide !”
Excelsior! “Beware the pine-tree's withered branch !
Beware the awful avalanche!”
LESSON 38.—THE BRIDGE. I STOOD on the bridge at midnight,
As the clocks were striking the hour, And the moon rose o'er the city,
Behind the dark church-tower.
I saw her bright reflection
In the waters under me, Like a golden goblet falling
And sinking into the sea. And far in the hazy distance
Of that lovely night in June, The blaze of the flaming furnace
Gleamed redder than the moon. Among the long, black rafters
The wavering shadows lay, And the current that came from the ocean
Seemed to lift and bear them away ; As, sweeping and eddying through them,
Rose the belated tide,
The sea-weed floated wide.
Among the wooden piers,
That filled my eyes with tears.
In the days that had gone by,
And gazed on that wave and sky !
I had wished that the ebbing tide Would bear me away on its bosom
O'er the ocean wild and wide! For my
heart was hot and restless, And my life was full of care, And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.
It is buried in the sea ;
Throws its shadow over me.
Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers, Like the odour of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.
Of care-encumbered men,
Have crossed the bridge since then.
Still passing to and fro,
And the old subdued and slow !
As long as the river flows,
As long as life has woes ;
And its shadows shall appear,
And its wavering image here.—Longfellow.
LESSON 39.—THE POET'S CALL.
And winds were soft and low,
Alternate come and go;
No sunlight from above,
The shadows hardly move.
I lay upon the ground; His hoary arms uplifted he,
And all the broad leaves over me
With one continuous sound :-
The feelings of a dream,-
O’er meadow, lake, and stream.
Bright visions, came to me,
into the summer sky, Where the sailing clouds went by,
Like ships upon
Ere Fancy has been quell’d;
And chronicles of Eld. And, loving still these quaint old themes,
Even in the city's throng
The holy land of song
The spring, clothed like a bride,
I sought the woodlands wide.
It was a sound of joy !
As if I were a boy;
And ever whispered, mild and low,
“ Come, be a child once more !”
Into the woodlands hoar;
Into the solemn wood,
Like one in prayer I stood.
Of tall and sombrous pines ; Abroad their fan-like branches grew, And, where the sunshine darted through, Spread a vapour soft and blue,
In long and sloping lines.
Like a fast-falling shower,
As once upon the flower.
Ye were so sweet and wild !
Thou art no more a child !
Watered by living springs ;
Its clouds are angels' wings. • Learn, that henceforth thy song shall be,
Not mountains capped with snow, Nor forests sounding like the sea,