« PreviousContinue »
The very lowest of them all
Doth act an angel's part,
Unto the listening heart.
In Eden's flowery shades,
Amid its silent glades-
On fiery mission driven,
Along the floor of heaven :
One anthem near and far-
As through the cloud the star-
Upon immortal ears-
The music of the spheres.
49.-AN OLD MAN'S IDYLL.
RICHARD REALF. [Richard Realf was born at Uckfield, in Sussex, in 1835. His poetica! talents attracting the attention of a lady at Brighton, in whose service he resided, she was induced to publish for him a volume of his poems, " Guesses at the Beautiful,” by which he obtained some local repute. Since then he appears to have led a roving life ; he was with John Brown at Harper's Ferry, was reported dead, returned to England, and after being seen at several places in his native county, suddenly disappeared.]
By the waters of Life we sat together,
Hand in hand, in the golden days
When skies were purple and breath was praise-
And the birds kept tune to the songs which ran
And trees with voices Æolian.
I and my darling, unafraid ;
The burdens of Being on us weighed.
An Old Man's Idyll.
And love's sweet miracles o'er us threw
Mantles of joy outlasting Time, And up
from the rosy morrows grew A sound that seemed like a marriage chime.
In the gardens of Life we strayed together,
And the luscious apples were ripe and red,
Swooned with the fragrance which they shed.
in the air a sense of wings Awed us tenderly while we talked
Softly in sacred communings.
In the meadows of Life we strayed together,
Watching the waving harvests grow; And under the benison of the Father
Our hearts, like the lambs, skipped to and fro. And the cowslips, hearing our low replies,
Broidered fairer the emerald banks : And glad tears shone in the daisies' eyes,
And the timid violet glistened thanks.
Who was with us, and what was round us,
Neither myself nor my darling guessed; Only we knew that something crowned us
Out from the heavens with crowns of rest; Only we knew that something bright
Lingered lovingly where we stood, Clothed with the incandescent light
Of something higher than humanhood.
O the riches love doth inherit!
Ah, the alchemy which doth change Dross of body and dregs of spirit
Into sanctities rare and strange! My flesh is feeble and dry and old,
My darling's beautiful hair is grey ; But our elixir and precious gold
Laugh at the footsteps of decay.
Harms of the world have come unto us,
Cups of sorrow we yet shall drain ;
Wonderful rainbows in the rain.
And the sun is setting behind the hills;
my darling does not fear to die, And I am happy in what God wills.
So we sit by our household fires together,
Dreaming the dreams of long ago; Then it was balmy summer weather,
And now the valleys are laid in snow. Icicles hang from the slippery eaves,
The wind blows cold, 'tis growing late; Well, well! we have garnered all our sheaves,
I and my darling, and we wait.
No bosom trembles for thy doom,
No mourner wipes a tear;
The sledge is all thy bier!
So soon, so sad, to part,
Your hunter-garb was trim,
That bound your manly limb!
Those limbs in fetters bound;
The midnight hammer sound.
The guiltless to pursue !
He could not injure you!
The Three Fishers.
A long adieu !—but where shall fly
Thy widow all forlorn,
Regards my woe with scorn?
And hate thy orphan boy!
The form of Gilderoy.
That wraps thy mouldering clay,
And sigh my heart away!
51.-THREE FISHERS WENT SAILING.
THE REV. CHARLES KINGSLEY. [The Rev. Charles Kingsley was born, 1819, at Holme Vicarage, near Dart
He was educated at King's College, London, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He abandoned the law for the Church, and became the rector of Eversley, Hampshire. His writings are very numerous, and include “The Saint's Tragedy,” 1848; “ Alton Locke," a novel, 1850; “ Yeast, a Problem, 1851 ; “Westward Ho," a novel ; Glaucus, or the Wonders of the Shore ;" " Andromeda," and other poems (1858), &c. &c. He is the editor of “Macmillan's Magazine," and professor of Literature in Cambridge University. Still living.]
THREE fishers went sailing out into the West,
Out into the West as the sun went down;
And the children stood watching them out of the town:
And they trimm'd the lamps as the sun went down;
And the night-rack came rolling up ragged and brown;
And the harbour-bar be moaning.
In the morning gleam, as the tide went down,
For those who will never come home to the town.
And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.
52.-THE MOTHER'S LAMENT.
[See page 153.]
bed with flowers :
, A prop for
my faint heart, a stay in my pilgrimage : My darling, my darling, God takes back his gift againAnd my heart may be broken, but ne'er shall my will complain.
53.-NAPOLEON'S MIDNIGHT REVIEW.
MERY AND BARTHELEMY.
The drummer woke and rose,
Forth on his rounds he goes.
The drumsticks patly fall,
Reveillé and roll-call.
So deep it echoes round,
Start to life at the sound.
Both they in farthest North
Stiff in the ice that lay,
Beneath Italian clay ;