« PreviousContinue »
KIND solace in a dying hour!
Such, father, is not now my themeI will not madly deem thy power
Of earth may shrive me of the sin
Unearthly pride hath revelled in-
Its fount is holier, more divine:
But such is not a gift of thine.*
Know thou the secret of a spirit
Bowed from its wild pride into shame. O yearning heart, I did inherit
Thy withering portion with the fame.
* Here we have traces enough of the influences of Byronism on the poet's youth. Those were the days when the "teethgrinding, glass-eyed lone Caloyer,” to use CARLYLE's words, was the ideal of the rising generation.-ED.
The searing glory which hath shone
I claimed and won usurpingly.
The heritage of a kingly mind, And a proud spirit which hath striven
Triumphantly with human kind.
On mountain soil I first drew life:
The mists of the Taglay have shed
Nightly their dews upon my head;
So late from heaven—that dew-it fell
('Mid dreams of an unholy night) Upon me with the touch of hell;
While the red flashing of the light From clouds that hung, like banners, o'er,
Appeared to my half-closing eye
The pageantry of monarchy;
Of human battle, where my voice, My own voice, silly child ! was swelling
(Oh, how my spirit would rejoice, And leap within me at the cry!) The battle-cry of victory!
The rain came down upon my head
Unsheltered; and the heavy wind
Rendered me mad and deaf and blind. It was but man, I thought, who shed
Laurels upon me; and the rush, The torrent of the chilly air, Gurgled within my ear the crush
Of empires—with the captive's prayer, The hum of suitors, and the tone Of flattery round a sovereign's throne.
Usurped a tyranny which men
My innate nature—be it so:
Burned with a still intenser glow
E'en then, who knew this iron heart
Some page of early lore upon,
To fantasies-with none.
'Twas such as angel minds above
Might envy; her young heart the shrine On which my ev'ry hope and thought Were incense: then a goodly gift,
For they were childish and upright, Pure as her young example taught: Why did I leave it, and, adrift,
Trust to the fire within for light?
We grew in age and love together,
Roaming the forest and the wild;
And, when the friendly sunshine smiled,
Young Love's first lesson is the heart;
For ʼmid that sunshine and those smiles, When, from our little cares apart,
And laughing at her girlish wiles,
And pour my spirit out in tears-
No need to quiet any fears