« PreviousContinue »
Green, gold, and red are floating all around me;
They are the flowers the angel scattereth.
Or, mother, are they given alone in death?
Why dost thou clasp me as if I were going?
Why dost thou press thy cheek thus unto mine? Thy cheek is hot, and yet thy tears are flowing;
I will, dear mother, will be always thine! Do not thus sigh-it marreth my reposing;
And if thou weep, then I must weep with thee! 0, I am tired—my weary eyes are closing;
Look, mother, look! the angel kisseth me!
THE APOLLO BELVIDERE.-HENRY TIEODORE TUCKERMAN.
It was a day of festival in Rome, And to the splendid temple of her saint, Many a brilliant equipage swept on; Brave cavaliers reined their impetuous steeds, While dark-robed priests and bright-eyed peasants strolled, Through groups of citizens in gay attire. The suppliant moan of the blind mendicant, Blent with the huckster's cry, the urchin's shout, The clash of harness, and the festive cheer. Beneath the colonnade ranged the Swiss guards, With polished halberds-an anomaly, Of mountain lineage, and yet hirelings ! In the midst rose the majestic obelisk; Quarried in Egypt, centuries by-gone; And, on either side, gushed up refreshingly The lofty fountains, flashing in the sun, And breathing, o'er the din, a whisper soft, Yet finely musical as childhood's laugh. Here a stranger stood in mute observance; There an artist leaned, and pleased his eye With all the features of the shifting scene, Striving to catch its varying light and shadeThe mingled-tints of brilliancy and gloom. Through the dense crowd a lovely maiden pressed With a calm brow, an eagerness of air, And an eye exultant with high purpose. The idle courtier checked his ready jest, And backward stepped in reverence, as she passed; The friar turned and blessed her fervently, Reading the joy in her deep look of love, That visits pilgrims when their shrine is won. To the rich chambers of the Vatican
She hurried thoughtfully, nor turned to muse
“They tell me thou art stone,
Stern, passionless, and chill,
And feeling's holy thrill ;
The paragon of art,
But not to win the heart.
• Vain as their own light vows,
And soulless as their gaze,
By such ignoble praise !
Language disdains to roll,
The beamings of the soul.
That, gazing, e'en as now,
On thy majestic brow-
And drew me to thy side,
And hailed me as a bride.
Like thine own arrow, bigb,
Amid the boundless sky:
Our way seemed walled with radiant gems,
As fell the starry gleams,
Gave back their silver beams.
"Sphere-music, too, stole by
In the fragrant zephyr's play,
Across our trackless way:
Thy glowing tresses flung;
A golden band they clung.
"Methought thou didst impart
The mysteries of earth,
Of thy celestial birth;
Exultingly we trod;
The genius of a god!
“Proud one! 'twas but a dream;
For here again thou art,
My passion stricken heart.
And heave a single sigh-
One word were ecstasy!
“Still mute? Then must I yield;
This fire will scathe my breast;
To an eternal rest.
With the exalted grace,
The godlike in thy face. "Thou wilt relent at last,
And turn thy love-lit eye
To bless me ere I die.
Farewell, immortal youth!
The martyr to her truth!"
A VISION OF THE VATICAN.–FRANCES ANNE KEMBLE.
In the great palace halls, where dwell the gods
I heard a voice filling the vaulted roof;
The heart that uttered it seem'd sorrow proof, And, clarion-like, it might have made the clods
Of the dead valley start to sudden life,
And, coming towards me, lo! a woman past,
Her face was shining as the morning bright,
And her feet fell in steps so strong and light,
She seem'd instinct with beauty and with power,
“Transfigur'd from the gods' abode I come,
When at the portal, smiling she did turn,
And, looking back thro' the vast halls profound,
Re-echoing with her song's triumphant sound, She bow'd her head, and said, "I shall return!"
Then raised her face, all radiant with delight,
HAGAR IN THE WILDERNESS.-N. P. WILLIS.
The morning broke. Light stole upon the clouds
its walls lined with the choicest pictures of Raphael, and every spare nook filled with statues of the most exquisite workmanship, and that I were to learn that neither man, woman, nor child ever cast an eye at these miracles of art, how should I feel their privation; how should I want to open their eyes, and to help them to comprehend and feel the loveliness and grandeur which in vain courted their notice! But every
husbandman is living in sight of the works of a diviner Artist; and how much would his existence be elevated, could he see the glory which shines forth in their forms, hues, proportions, and moral expression! I have spoken only of the beauty of nature, but how much of this mysterious charm is found in the elegant arts, and especially in literature? The best books have most beauty. The greatest truths are wronged if not linked with beauty, and they win their way most surely and deeply into the soul when arrayed in this their natural and fit attire. Now, no man receives the true culture of a man, in whom the sensibility to the beautiful is not cherished; and I know of no condition in life from which it should be excluded. Of all luxuries this is the cheapest and most at hand; and it seems to me to be most important to those conditions, where coarse labor tends to give a grossness to the mind. From the diffusion of the sense of beauty in ancient Greece, and of the taste for music in modern Germany, we learn that the people at large may partake of refined gratifications, which have hitherto been thought to be necessarily restricted to a few.
TAE POET OF THE FUTURE.-ALEXANDER SMITH
I have a strain of a departed bard;