Anne Brontë

.
.
    Biographical information

  1. A Fragment
  2. A Hymn
  3. A Prayer
  4. A Prisoner In A Dungeon Deep
  5. A Reminiscence
  6. A Voice From The Dungeon
  7. A Word To The 'Elect'
  8. A Word To The Calvinists
  9. Alexander And Zenobia
  10. An Orphan's Lament
  11. Appeal
  12. Call Me Away
  13. Confidence
  14. Despondency
  15. Dreams
  16. Farewell
  17. Fluctuations
  18. Fragment
  19. Gloomily The Clouds Are Sailing
  20. Home
  21. If This Be All
  22. In Memory Of A Happy Day In February
  23. Last Lines
  24. Lines Composed In A Wood On A Windy Day
  25. Lines Inscribed On The Wall Of A Dungeon In The Southern P Of I
  26. Lines Written At Thorp Green
  27. Lines Written From Home
  28. Memory
  29. Mirth And Mourning
  30. Monday Night May 11th 1846 / Domestic Peace
  31. Music On Christmas Morning
  32. My God! O Let Me Call Thee Mine!
  33. My Soul Is Awakened
  34. Night
  35. Oh, They Have Robbed Me Of The Hope
  36. Parting Address From Z.Z. To A.E.
  37. Past Days
  38. Power Of Love
  39. Retirement
  40. Self Communion
  41. Self-Congratulation
  42. Severed And Gone, So Many Years
  43. Song: We know where deepest lies the snow/a>
  44. Song: Come to the banquet
  45. Stanzas
  46. The Arbour
  47. The Bluebell
  48. The Captive Dove
  49. The Captive's Dream
  50. The Consolation
  51. The Doubter's Prayer
  52. The Narrow Way
  53. The North Wind
  54. The Parting
  55. The Penitent
  56. The Student's Serenade




    Biographical information

      Name: Anne Brontë
      Place and date of birth: Thornton, West Riding of Yorkshire (England); January 17, 1820
      Place and date of death: Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire (England); May 28, 1849 (aged 29)

    Up

      A Fragment

        A Fragment by Anne Bronte
        'Maiden, thou wert thoughtless once
        Of beauty or of grace,
        Simple and homely in attire
        Careless of form and face.
        Then whence this change, and why so oft
        Dost smooth thy hazel hair?
        And wherefore deck thy youthful form
        With such unwearied care?
        'Tell us ­- and cease to tire our ears
        With yonder hackneyed strain ­-
        Why wilt thou play those simple tunes
        So often o'er again?'
        'Nay, gentle friends, I can but say
        That childhood's thoughts are gone.
        Each year its own new feelings brings
        And years move swiftly on,

        And for these little simple airs,
        I love to play them o'er ­-
        So much I dare not promise now
        To play them never more.'
        I answered and it was enough;
        They turned them to depart;
        They could not read my secret thoughts
        Nor see my throbbing heart.

        I've noticed many a youthful form
        Upon whose changeful face
        The inmost workings of the soul
        The gazer's eye might trace.
        The speaking eye, the changing lip,
        The ready blushing cheek,
        The smiling or beclouded brow
        Their different feelings speak.

        But, thank God! you might gaze on mine
        For hours and never know
        The secret changes of my soul
        From joy to bitter woe.
        Last night, as we sat round the fire
        Conversing merrily,
        We heard without approaching steps
        Of one well known to me.

        There was no trembling in my voice,
        No blush upon my cheek,
        No lustrous sparkle in my eyes,
        Of hope or joy to speak;
        But O my spirit burned within,
        My heart beat thick and fast.
        He came not nigh ­- he went away
        And then my joy was past.

        And yet my comrades marked it not,
        My voice was still the same;
        They saw me smile, and o'er my face ­-
        No signs of sadness came;
        They little knew my hidden thoughts
        And they will never know
        The anguish of my drooping heart,
        The bitter aching woe!

      Up

      A Hymn

        Eternal power of earth and air,
        Unseen, yet seen in all around,
        Remote, but dwelling everywhere,
        Though silent, heard in every sound.
        If e'er thine ear in mercy bent
        When wretched mortals cried to thee,
        And if indeed thy Son was sent
        To save lost sinners such as me.

        Then hear me now, while kneeling here;
        I lift to thee my heart and eye
        And all my soul ascends in prayer;
        O give me -­ give me Faith I cry.

        Without some glimmering in my heart,
        I could not raise this fervent prayer;
        But O a stronger light impart,
        And in thy mercy fix it there!

        While Faith is with me I am blest;
        It turns my darkest night to day;
        But while I clasp it to my breast
        I often feel it slide away.

        Then cold and dark my spirit sinks,
        To see my light of life depart,
        And every fiend of Hell methinks
        Enjoys the anguish of my heart.

        What shall I do if all my love,
        My hopes, my toil, are cast away,
        And if there be no God above
        To hear and bless me when I pray?

        If this be vain delusion all,
        If death be an eternal sleep,
        And none can hear my secret call,
        Or see the silent tears I weep.

        O help me God! for thou alone
        Canst my distracted soul relieve;
        Forsake it not -- it is thine own,
        Though weak yet longing to believe.

        O drive these cruel doubts away
        And make me know that thou art God;
        A Faith that shines by night and day
        Will lighten every earthly load.

        If I believe that Jesus died
        And waking rose to reign above,
        Then surely Sorrow, Sin and Pride
        Must yield to peace and hope and love.

        And all the blessed words he said
        Will strength and holy joy impart,
        A shield of safety o'er my head,
        A spring of comfort in my heart.

      Up

      A Prayer

        My God (oh, let me call Thee mine,
        Weak, wretched sinner though I be),
        My trembling soul would fain be Thine;
        My feeble faith still clings to Thee.

        Not only for the Past I grieve,
        The Future fills me with dismay;
        Unless Thou hasten to relieve,
        Thy suppliant is a castaway.

        I cannot say my faith is strong,
        I dare not hope my love is great;
        But strength and love to Thee belong;
        Oh, do not leave me desolate!

        I know I owe my all to Thee;
        Oh, TAKE the heart I cannot give!
        Do Thou my strength--my Saviour be,
        And MAKE me to Thy glory live.

      Up

      A Prisoner In A Dungeon Deep

        A prisoner in a dungeon deep
        Sat musing silently;
        His head was rested on his hand,
        His elbow on his knee.
        Turned he his thoughts to future times
        Or are they backward cast?
        For freedom is he pining now
        Or mourning for the past?

        No, he has lived so long enthralled
        Alone in dungeon gloom
        That he has lost regret and hope,
        Has ceased to mourn his doom.

        He pines not for the light of day
        Nor sighs for freedom now;
        Such weary thoughts have ceased at length
        To rack his burning brow.

        Lost in a maze of wandering thoughts
        He sits unmoving there;
        That posture and that look proclaim
        The stupor of despair.

        Yet not for ever did that mood
        Of sullen calm prevail;
        There was a something in his eye
        That told another tale.

        It did not speak of reason gone,
        It was not madness quite;
        It was a fitful flickering fire,
        A strange uncertain light.

        And sooth to say, these latter years
        Strange fancies now and then
        Had filled his cell with scenes of life
        And forms of living men.

        A mind that cannot cease to think
        Why needs he cherish there?
        Torpor may bring relief to pain
        And madness to despair.

        Such wildering scenes, such flitting shapes
        As feverish dreams display:
        What if those fancies still increase
        And reason quite decay?

        But hark, what sounds have struck his ear;
        Voices of men they seem;
        And two have entered now his cell;
        Can this too be a dream?

        'Orlando, hear our joyful news:
        Revenge and liberty!
        Your foes are dead, and we are come
        At last to set you free.'

        So spoke the elder of the two,
        And in the captive's eyes
        He looked for gleaming ecstasy
        But only found surprise.

        'My foes are dead! It must be then
        That all mankind are gone.
        For they were all my deadly foes
        And friends I had not one.'

      Up

      A Reminiscence

        Yes, thou art gone ! and never more
        Thy sunny smile shall gladden me ;
        But I may pass the old church door,
        And pace the floor that covers thee.

        May stand upon the cold, damp stone,
        And think that, frozen, lies below
        The lightest heart that I have known,
        The kindest I shall ever know.

        Yet, though I cannot see thee more,
        'Tis still a comfort to have seen ;
        And though thy transient life is o'er,
        'Tis sweet to think that thou hast been ;

        To think a soul so near divine,
        Within a form so angel fair,
        United to a heart like thine,
        Has gladdened once our humble sphere.

      Up

      A Voice From The Dungeon

        I'm buried now; I've done with life;
        I've done with hate, revenge and strife;
        I've done with joy, and hope and love
        And all the bustling world above.
        Long have I dwelt forgotten here
        In pining woe and dull despair;
        This place of solitude and gloom
        Must be my dungeon and my tomb.

        No hope, no pleasure can I find:
        I am grown weary of my mind;
        Often in balmy sleep I try
        To gain a rest from misery,

        And in one hour of calm repose
        To find a respite from my woes,
        But dreamless sleep is not for me
        And I am still in misery.

        I dream of liberty, 'tis true,
        But then I dream of sorrow too,
        Of blood and guilt and horrid woes,
        Of tortured friends and happy foes;

        I dream about the world, but then
        I dream of fiends instead of men;
        Each smiling hope so quickly fades
        And such a lurid gloom pervades

        That world -- that when I wake and see
        Those dreary phantoms fade and flee,
        Even in my dungeon I can smile,
        And taste of joy a little while.

        And yet it is not always so;
        I dreamt a little while ago
        That all was as it used to be:
        A fresh free wind passed over me;

        It was a pleasant summer's day,
        The sun shone forth with cheering ray,
        Methought a little lovely child
        Looked up into my face and smiled.

        My heart was full, I wept for joy,
        It was my own, my darling boy;
        I clasped him to my breast and he
        Kissed me and laughed in childish glee.

        Just them I heard in whisper sweet
        A well known voice my name repeat.
        His father stood before my eyes;
        I gazed at him in mute surprise,

        I thought he smiled and spoke to me,
        But still in silent ecstasy
        I gazed at him; I could not speak;
        I uttered one long piercing shriek.

        Alas! Alas! That cursed scream
        Aroused me from my heavenly dream;
        I looked around in wild despair,
        I called them, but they were not there;
        The father and the child are gone,
        And I must live and die alone.

      Up

      A Word To The 'Elect'

        You may rejoice to think yourselves secure;
        You may be grateful for the gift divine --
        That grace unsought, which made your black hearts pure,
        And fits your earth-born souls in Heaven to shine.
        But, is it sweet to look around, and view
        Thousands excluded from that happiness,
        Which they deserved, at least, as much as you, --
        Their faults not greater, nor their virtues less?

        And, wherefore should you love your God the more,
        Because to you alone his smiles are given;
        Because he chose to pass the many o'er,
        And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?

        And, wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove,
        Because for ALL the Saviour did not die?
        Is yours the God of justice and of love
        And are your bosoms warm with charity?

        Say, does your heart expand to all mankind?
        And, would you ever to your neighbour do --
        The weak, the strong, the enlightened, and the blind -­
        As you would have your neighbour do to you?

        And, when you, looking on your fellow-men,
        Behold them doomed to endless misery,
        How can you talk of joy and rapture then? --
        May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

        That none deserve eternal bliss I know;
        Unmerited the grace in mercy given:
        But, none shall sink to everlasting woe,
        That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.

        And, Oh! there lives within my heart
        A hope, long nursed by me;
        (And, should its cheering ray depart,
        How dark my soul would be!)

        That as in Adam all have died,
        In Christ shall all men live;
        And ever round his throne abide,
        Eternal praise to give.

        That even the wicked shall at last
        Be fitted for the skies;
        And, when their dreadful doom is past,
        To life and light arise.

        I ask not, how remote the day,
        Nor what the sinner's woe,
        Before their dross is purged away;
        Enough for me, to know

        That when the cup of wrath is drained,
        The metal purified,
        They'll cling to what they once disdained,
        And live by Him that died.

      Up

      A Word To The Calvinists

        You may rejoice to think yourselves secure,
        You may be grateful for the gift divine,
        That grace unsought which made your black hearts pure
        And fits your earthborn souls in Heaven to shine.
        But is it sweet to look around and view
        Thousands excluded from that happiness,
        Which they deserve at least as much as you,
        Their faults not greater nor their virtues less?

        And wherefore should you love your God the more
        Because to you alone his smiles are given,
        Because He chose to pass the many o'er
        And only bring the favoured few to Heaven?

        And wherefore should your hearts more grateful prove
        Because for all the Saviour did not die?
        Is yours the God of justice and of love
        And are your bosoms warm with charity?

        Say does your heart expand to all mankind
        And would you ever to your neighbour do,
        -- The weak, the strong, the enlightened and the blind -­
        As you would have your neighbour do to you?

        And, when you, looking on your fellow men
        Behold them doomed to endless misery,
        How can you talk of joy and rapture then?
        May God withhold such cruel joy from me!

        That none deserve eternal bliss I know:
        Unmerited the grace in mercy given,
        But none shall sink to everlasting woe
        That have not well deserved the wrath of Heaven.

        And, O! there lives within my heart
        A hope long nursed by me,
        (And should its cheering ray depart
        How dark my soul would be)

        That as in Adam all have died
        In Christ shall all men live
        And ever round his throne abide
        Eternal praise to give;

        That even the wicked shall at last
        Be fitted for the skies
        And when their dreadful doom is past
        To life and light arise.

        I ask not how remote the day
        Nor what the sinner's woe
        Before their dross is purged away,
        Enough for me to know

        That when the cup of wrath is drained,
        The metal purified,
        They'll cling to what they once disdained,
        And live by Him that died.

      Up

      Alexander And Zenobia

        Fair was the evening and brightly the sun
        Was shining on desert and grove,
        Sweet were the breezes and balmy the flowers
        And cloudless the heavens above.
        It was Arabia's distant land
        And peaceful was the hour;
        Two youthful figures lay reclined
        Deep in a shady bower.

        One was a boy of just fourteen
        Bold beautiful and bright;
        Soft raven curls hung clustering round
        A brow of marble white.

        The fair brow and ruddy cheek
        Spoke of less burning skies;
        Words cannot paint the look that beamed
        In his dark lustrous eyes.

        The other was a slender girl,
        Blooming and young and fair.
        The snowy neck was shaded with
        The long bright sunny hair.

        And those deep eyes of watery blue,
        So sweetly sad they seemed.
        And every feature in her face
        With pensive sorrow teemed.

        The youth beheld her saddened air
        And smiling cheerfully
        He said, 'How pleasant is the land
        Of sunny Araby!

        'Zenobia, I never saw
        A lovelier eve than this;
        I never felt my spirit raised
        With more unbroken bliss!

        'So deep the shades, so calm the hour,
        So soft the breezes sigh,
        So sweetly Philomel begins
        Her heavenly melody.

        'So pleasant are the scents that rise
        From flowers of loveliest hue,
        And more than all -- Zenobia,
        I am alone with you!

        Are we not happy here alone
        In such a healthy spot?'
        He looked to her with joyful smile
        But she returned it not.

        'Why are you sorrowful?' he asked
        And heaved a bitter sigh,
        'O tell me why those drops of woe
        Are gathering in your eye.'

        'Gladly would I rejoice,' she said,
        'But grief weighs down my heart.
        'Can I be happy when I know
        Tomorrow we must part?

        'Yes, Alexander, I must see
        This happy land no more.
        At break of day I must return
        To distant Gondal's shore.

        'At morning we must bid farewell,
        And at the close of day
        You will be wandering alone
        And I shall be away.

        'I shall be sorrowing for you
        On the wide weltering sea,
        And you will perhaps have wandered here
        To sit and think of me.'

        'And shall we part so soon?' he cried,
        'Must we be torn away?
        Shall I be left to mourn alone?
        Will you no longer stay?

        'And shall we never meet again,
        Hearts that have grown together?
        Must they at once be rent away
        And kept apart for ever?'

        'Yes, Alexander, we must part,
        But we may meet again,
        For when I left my native land
        I wept in anguish then.

        'Never shall I forget the day
        I left its rocky shore.
        We thought that we had bid adieu
        To meet on earth no more.

        'When we had parted how I wept
        To see the mountains blue
        Grow dimmer and more distant -- till
        They faded from my view.

        'And you too wept -- we little thought
        After so long a time,
        To meet again so suddenly
        In such a distant clime.

        'We met on Grecia's classic plain,
        We part in Araby.
        And let us hope to meet again
        Beneath our Gondal's sky.'

        'Zenobia, do you remember
        A little lonely spring
        Among Exina's woody hills
        Where blackbirds used to sing,

        'And when they ceased as daylight faded
        From the dusky sky
        The pensive nightingale began
        Her matchless melody?

        'Sweet bluebells used to flourish there
        And tall trees waved on high,
        And through their ever sounding leaves
        The soft wind used to sigh.

        'At morning we have often played
        Beside that lonely well;
        At evening we have lingered there
        Till dewy twilight fell.

        'And when your fifteenth birthday comes,
        Remember me, my love,
        And think of what I said to you
        In this sweet spicy grove.

        'At evening wander to that spring
        And sit and wait for me;
        And 'ere the sun has ceased to shine
        I will return to thee.

        'Two years is a weary time
        But it will soon be fled.
        And if you do not meet me -- know
        I am not false but dead.'

        * * *

        Sweetly the summer day declines
        On forest, plain, and hill
        And in that spacious palace hall
        So lonely, wide and still.

        Beside a window's open arch,
        In the calm evening air
        All lonely sits a stately girl,
        Graceful and young and fair.

        The snowy lid and lashes long
        Conceal her downcast eye,
        She's reading and till now I have
        Passed unnoticed by.

        But see she cannot fix her thoughts,
        They are wandering away;
        She looks towards a distant dell
        Where sunny waters play.

        And yet her spirit is not with
        The scene she looks upon;
        She muses with a mournful smile
        On pleasures that are gone.

        She looks upon the book again
        That chained her thoughts before,
        And for a moment strives in vain
        To fix her mind once more.

        Then gently drops it on her knee
        And looks into the sky,
        While trembling drops are shining in
        Her dark celestial eye.
        And thus alone and still she sits
        Musing on years gone by.

        Till with a sad and sudden smile
        She rises up to go;
        And from the open window springs
        On to the grass below.

        Why does she fly so swiftly now
        Adown the meadow green,
        And o'er the gently swelling hills
        And the vale that lies between?

        She passes under giant trees
        That lift their arms on high
        And slowly wave their mighty boughs
        In the clear evening sky,

        And now she threads a path that winds
        Through deeply shaded groves
        Where nought is heard but sighing gales
        And murmuring turtle doves.

        She hastens on through sunless gloom
        To a vista opening wide;
        A marble fountain sparkles there
        With sweet flowers by its side.

        At intervals in the velvet grass
        A few old elm trees rise,
        While a warm flood of yellow light
        Streams from the western skies.

        Is this her resting place? Ah, no,
        She hastens onward still,
        The startled deer before her fly
        As she ascends the hill.

        She does not rest till she has gained
        A lonely purling spring,
        Where zephyrs wave the verdant trees
        And birds in concert sing.

        And there she stands and gazes round
        With bright and searching eye,
        Then sadly sighing turns away
        And looks upon the sky.

        She sits down on the flowery turf
        Her head drooped on her hand;
        Her soft luxuriant golden curls
        Are by the breezes fanned.

        A sweet sad smile plays on her lips;
        Her heart is far away,
        And thus she sits till twilight comes
        To take the place of day.

        But when she looks towards the west
        And sees the sun is gone
        And hears that every bird but one
        To its nightly rest is flown,

        And sees that over nature's face
        A sombre veil is cast
        With mournful voice and tearful eye
        She says, 'The time is past!

        'He will not come! I might have known
        It was a foolish hope;
        But it was so sweet to cherish
        I could not yield it up.

        'It may be foolish thus to weep
        But I cannot check my tears
        To see in one short hour destroyed
        The darling hope of years.

        'He is not false, but he was young
        And time rolls fast away.
        Has he forgotten the vow he made
        To meet me here today?

        'No. If he lives he loves me still
        And still remembers me.
        If he is dead -- my joys are sunk
        In utter misery.

        'We parted in the spicy groves
        Beneath Arabia's sky.
        How could I hope to meet him now
        Where Gondal's breezes sigh?

        'He was a shining meteor light
        That faded from the skies,
        But I mistook him for a star
        That only set to rise.

        'And with a firm yet trembling hand
        I've clung to this false hope;
        I dared not surely trust in it
        Yet would not yield it up.

        'And day and night I've thought of him
        And loved him constantly,
        And prayed that Heaven would prosper him
        Wherever he might be.

        'He will not come; he's wandering now
        On some far distant shore,
        Or else he sleeps the sleep of death
        And cannot see me more!

        'O, Alexander, is it thus?
        Did we but meet to part?
        Long as I live thy name will be
        Engraven on my heart.

        'I shall not cease to think of thee
        While life and thought remain,
        For well I know that I can never
        See thy like again!'

        She ceases now and dries her tears
        But still she lingers there
        In silent thought till night is come
        And silver stars appear.

        But lo! a tall and stately youth
        Ascends the grassy slope;
        His bright dark eyes are glancing round,
        His heart beats high with hope.

        He has journyed on unweariedly
        From dawn of day till now,
        The warm blood kindles in his cheek,
        The sweat is on his brow.

        But he has gained the green hill top
        Where lies that lonely spring,
        And lo! he pauses when he hears
        Its gentle murmuring.

        He dares not enter through the trees
        That veil it from his eye;
        He listens for some other sound
        In deep anxiety.

        But vainly -- all is calm and still;
        Are his bright day dreams o'er?
        Has he thus hoped and longed in vain,
        And must they meet no more?

        One moment more of sad suspense
        And those dark trees are past;
        The lonely well bursts on his sight
        And they are met at last!

      Up

      An Orphan's Lament

        She's gone -- and twice the summer's sun
        Has gilt Regina's towers,
        And melted wild Angora's snows,
        And warmed Exina's bowers.
        The flowerets twice on hill and dale
        Have bloomed and died away,
        And twice the rustling forest leaves
        Have fallen to decay,

        And thrice stern winter's icy hand
        Has checked the river's flow,
        And three times o'er the mountains thrown
        His spotless robe of snow.

        Two summers springs and autumns sad
        Three winters cold and grey --
        And is it then so long ago
        That wild November day!

        They say such tears as children weep
        Will soon be dried away,
        That childish grief however strong
        Is only for a day,

        And parted friends how dear soe'er
        Will soon forgotten be;
        It may be so with other hearts,
        It is not thus with me.

        My mother, thou wilt weep no more
        For thou art gone above,
        But can I ever cease to mourn
        Thy good and fervent love?

        While that was mine the world to me
        Was sunshine bright and fair;
        No feeling rose within my heart
        But thou couldst read it there.

        And thou couldst feel for all my joys
        And all my childish cares
        And never weary of my play
        Or scorn my foolish fears.

        Beneath thy sweet maternal smile
        All pain and sorrow fled,
        And even the very tears were sweet
        Upon thy bosom shed.

        Thy loss can never be repaired;
        I shall not know again
        While life remains, the peaceful joy
        That filled my spirit then.

        Where shall I find a heart like thine
        While life remains to me,
        And where shall I bestow the love
        I ever bore for thee?

      Up

      Appeal

        Oh, I am very weary,
        Though tears no longer flow;
        My eyes are tires of weeping,
        My heart is sick of woe;

        My life is very lonely,
        My days pass heavily,
        I'm wearing of repining,
        Wilt thou not come to me?

        Oh, didst thou know my longings
        For thee, from day to day,
        My hopes, so often blighted,
        Thou wouldst not thus delay!

      Up

      Call Me Away

        Call me away; there's nothing here,
        That wins my soul to stay;
        Then let me leave this prospect drear,
        And hasten far away.
        To our beloved land I'll flee,
        Our land of thought and soul,
        Where I have roved so oft with thee,
        Beyond the world's control.

        I'll sit and watch those ancient trees,
        Those Scotch firs dark and high;
        I'll listen to the eerie breeze,
        Among their branches sigh.

        The glorious moon shines far above;
        How soft her radiance falls,
        On snowy heights, and rock, and grove;
        And yonder palace walls!

        Who stands beneath yon fir trees high?
        A youth both slight and fair,
        Whose bright and restless azure eye
        Proclaims him known to care,
        Though fair that brow, it is not smooth;
        Though small those features, yet in sooth
        Stern passion has been there.

        Now on the peaceful moon are fixed
        Those eyes so glistening bright,
        But trembling teardrops hang betwixt,
        And dim the blessed light.

        Though late the hour, and keen the blast,
        That whistles round him now,
        Those raven locks are backward cast,
        To cool his burning brow.

        His hands above his heaving breast
        Are clasped in agony --
        'O Father! Father! let me rest!
        And call my soul to thee!

        I know 'tis weakness thus to pray;
        But all this cankering care --
        This doubt tormenting night and day
        Is more than I can bear!

        With none to comfort, none to guide
        And none to strengthen me.
        Since thou my only friend hast died --
        I've pined to follow thee!
        Since thou hast died! And did he live
        What comfort could his counsel give --
        To one forlorn like me?

        Would he my Idol's form adore --
        Her soul, her glance, her tone?
        And say, "Forget for ever more
        Her kindred and thine own;
        Let dreams of her thy peace destroy,
        Leave every other hope and joy
        And live for her alone"?'

        He starts, he smiles, and dries the tears,
        Still glistening on his cheek,
        The lady of his soul appears,
        And hark! I hear her speak --

        'Aye, dry thy tears; thou wilt not weep --
        While I am by thy side --
        Our foes all day their watch may keep
        But cannot thus divide
        Such hearts as ours; and we tonight
        Together in the clear moon's light
        Their malice will deride.

        No fear our present bliss shall blast
        And sorrow we'll defy.
        Do thou forget the dreary past,
        The dreadful future I.'

        Forget it? Yes, while thou art by
        I think of nought but thee,
        'Tis only when thou art not nigh
        Remembrance tortures me.

        But such a lofty soul to find,
        And such a heart as thine,
        In such a glorious form enshrined
        And still to call thee mine --
        Would be for earth too great a bliss,
        Without a taint of woe like this,
        Then why should I repine?

      Up
      Confidence

        Oppressed with sin and woe,
        A burdened heart I bear,
        Opposed by many a mighty foe:
        But I will not despair.
        With this polluted heart
        I dare to come to Thee,
        Holy and mighty as Thou art;
        For Thou wilt pardon me.

        I feel that I am weak,
        And prone to every sin:
        But Thou who giv'st to those who seek,
        Wilt give me strength within.

        Far as this earth may be
        From yonder starry skies;
        Remoter still am I from Thee:
        Yet Thou wilt not despise.

        I need not fear my foes,
        I need not yield to care,
        I need not sink beneath my woes:
        For Thou wilt answer prayer.

        In my Redeemer's name,
        I give myself to Thee;
        And all unworthy as I am
        My God will cherish me.

        O make me wholly Thine!
        Thy love to me impart,
        And let Thy holy spirit shine
        For ever on my heart!

      Up

      Despondency

        I have gone backward in the work,
        The labour has not sped,
        Drowsy and dark my spirit lies,
        Heavy and dull as lead.
        How can I rouse my sinking soul
        From such a lethargy?
        How can I break these iron chains,
        And set my spirit free?

        There have been times when I have mourned,
        In anguish o'er the past;
        And raised my suppliant hands on high,
        While tears fell thick and fast,

        And prayed to have my sins forgiven
        With such a fervent zeal,
        An earnest grief --- a strong desire
        That now I cannot feel!

        And vowed to trample on my sins,
        And called on Heaven to aid
        My spirit in her firm resolves
        And hear the vows I made.

        And I have felt so full of love,
        So strong in spirit then,
        As if my heart would never cool
        Or wander back again.

        And yet, alas! how many times
        My feet have gone astray,
        How oft have I forgot my God,
        How greatly fallen away!

        My sins increase, my love grows cold,
        And Hope within me dies,
        And Faith itself is wavering now,
        O how shall I arise!

        I cannot weep but I can pray,
        Then let me not despair;
        Lord Jesus, save me lest I die,
        And hear a wretch's prayer.

      Up

      Dreams

        While on my lonely couch I lie,
        I seldom feel myself alone,
        For fancy fills my dreaming eye
        With scenes and pleasures of its own.
        Then I may cherish at my breast
        An infant's form beloved and fair,
        May smile and soothe it into rest
        With all a Mother's fondest care.

        How sweet to feel its helpless form
        Depending thus on me alone!
        And while I hold it safe and warm
        What bliss to think it is my own!

        And glances then may meet my eyes
        That daylight never showed to me;
        What raptures in my bosom rise,
        Those earnest looks of love to see,

        To feel my hand so kindly prest,
        To know myself beloved at last,
        To think my heart has found a rest,
        My life of solitude is past!

        But then to wake and find it flown,
        The dream of happiness destroyed,
        To find myself unloved, alone,
        What tongue can speak the dreary void?

        A heart whence warm affections flow,
        Creator, thou hast given to me,
        And am I only thus to know
        How sweet the joys of love would be?

      Up

      Farewell

        Farewell to thee! but not farewell
        To all my fondest thoughts of thee:
        Within my heart they still shall dwell;
        And they shall cheer and comfort me.
        O, beautiful, and full of grace!
        If thou hadst never met mine eye,
        I had not dreamed a living face
        Could fancied charms so far outvie.

        If I may ne'er behold again
        That form and face so dear to me,
        Nor hear thy voice, still would I fain
        Preserve, for aye, their memory.

        That voice, the magic of whose tone
        Can wake an echo in my breast,
        Creating feelings that, alone,
        Can make my tranced spirit blest.

        That laughing eye, whose sunny beam
        My memory would not cherish less; --
        And oh, that smile! whose joyous gleam
        Nor mortal language can express.

        Adieu, but let me cherish, still,
        The hope with which I cannot part.
        Contempt may wound, and coldness chill,
        But still it lingers in my heart.

        And who can tell but Heaven, at last,
        May answer all my thousand prayers,
        And bid the future pay the past
        With joy for anguish, smiles for tears?

      Up

      Fluctuations

        What though the sun had left my sky;
        To save me from despair
        The blessed moon arose on high,
        And shone serenely there.
        I watched her, with a tearful gaze,
        Rise slowly o'er the hill,
        While through the dim horizon's haze
        Her light gleamed faint and chill.

        I thought such wan and lifeless beams
        Could ne'er my heart repay,
        For the bright sun's most transient gleams
        That cheered me through the day:

        But as above that mist's control
        She rose, and brighter shone,
        I felt her light upon my soul;
        But now -- that light is gone!

        Thick vapours snatched her from my sight,
        And I was darkling left,
        All in the cold and gloomy night,
        Of light and hope bereft:

        Until, methought, a little star
        Shone forth with trembling ray,
        To cheer me with its light afar --
        But that, too, passed away.

        Anon, an earthly meteor blazed
        The gloomy darkness through;
        I smiled, yet trembled while I gazed --
        But that soon vanished too!

        And darker, drearier fell the night
        Upon my spirit then; --
        But what is that faint struggling light?
        Is it the Moon again?

        Kind Heaven! increase that silvery gleam,
        And bid these clouds depart,
        And let her soft celestial beam
        Restore my fainting heart!

      Up

      Fragment

        Yes I will take a cheerful tone
        And feign to share their heartless glee,
        But I would rather weep alone
        Than laugh amid their revelry.

      Up

      Gloomily The Clouds Are Sailing

        Gloomily the clouds are sailing
        O'er the dimly moonlit sky;
        Dolefully the wind is wailing;
        Not another sound is nigh;
        Only I can hear it sweeping
        Heathclad hill and woodland dale,
        And at times the nights's sad weeping
        Sounds above its dying wail.

        Now the struggling moonbeams glimmer;
        Now the shadows deeper fall,
        Till the dim light, waxing dimmer,
        Scarce reveals yon stately hall.

        All beneath its roof are sleeping;
        Such a silence reigns around
        I can hear the cold rain steeping
        Dripping roof and plashy ground.

        No: not all are wrapped in slumber;
        At yon chamber window stands
        One whose years can scarce outnumber
        The tears that dew his clasped hands.

        From the open casement bending
        He surveys the murky skies,
        Dreary sighs his bosom rending;
        Hot tears gushing from his eyes.

        Now that Autumn's charms are dying,
        Summer's glories long since gone,
        Faded leaves on damp earth lying,
        Hoary winter striding on, --

        'Tis no marvel skies are lowering,
        Winds are moaning thus around,
        And cold rain, with ceaseless pouring,
        Swells the streams and swamps the ground;

        But such wild, such bitter grieving
        Fits not slender boys like thee;
        Such deep sighs should not be heaving
        Breasts so young as thine must be.

        Life with thee is only springing;
        Summer in thy pathway lies;
        Every day is nearer bringing
        June's bright flowers and glowing skies.

        Ah, he sees no brighter morrow!
        He is not too young to prove
        All the pain and all the sorrow
        That attend the steps of love.

      Up

      Home

        How brightly glistening in the sun
        The woodland ivy plays!
        While yonder beeches from their barks
        Reflect his silver rays.
        That sun surveys a lovely scene
        From softly smiling skies;
        And wildly through unnumbered trees
        The wind of winter sighs:

        Now loud, it thunders o'er my head,
        And now in distance dies.
        But give me back my barren hills
        Where colder breezes rise;

        Where scarce the scattered, stunted trees
        Can yield an answering swell,
        But where a wilderness of heath
        Returns the sound as well.

        For yonder garden, fair and wide,
        With groves of evergreen,
        Long winding walks, and borders trim,
        And velvet lawns between;

        Restore to me that little spot,
        With grey walls compassed round,
        Where knotted grass neglected lies,
        And weeds usurp the ground.

        Though all around this mansion high
        Invites the foot to roam,
        And though its halls are fair within --
        Oh, give me back my home!

      Up

      If This Be All

        O God! if this indeed be all
        That Life can show to me;
        If on my aching brow may fall
        No freshening dew from Thee, --
        If with no brighter light than this
        The lamp of hope may glow,
        And I may only dream of bliss,
        And wake to weary woe;

        If friendship's solace must decay,
        When other joys are gone,
        And love must keep so far away,
        While I go wandering on, --

        Wandering and toiling without gain,
        The slave of others' will,
        With constant care, and frequent pain,
        Despised, forgotten still;

        Grieving to look on vice and sin,
        Yet powerless to quell
        The silent current from within,
        The outward torrent's swell:

        While all the good I would impart,
        The feelings I would share,
        Are driven backward to my heart,
        And turned to wormwood, there;

        If clouds must ever keep from sight
        The glories of the Sun,
        And I must suffer Winter's blight,
        Ere Summer is begun;

        If life must be so full of care,
        Then call me soon to Thee;
        Or give me strength enough to bear
        My load of misery.

      Up

      In Memory Of A Happy Day In February

        Blessed be Thou for all the joy
        My soul has felt today!
        O let its memory stay with me
        And never pass away!
        I was alone, for those I loved
        Were far away from me,
        The sun shone on the withered grass,
        The wind blew fresh and free.

        Was it the smile of early spring
        That made my bosom glow?
        'Twas sweet, but neither sun nor wind
        Could raise my spirit so.

        Was it some feeling of delight,
        All vague and undefined?
        No, 'twas a rapture deep and strong,
        Expanding in the mind!

        Was it a sanguine view of life
        And all its transient bliss­-
        A hope of bright prosperity?
        O no, it was not this!

        It was a glimpse of truth divine
        Unto my spirit given
        Illumined by a ray of light
        That shone direct from heaven!

        I felt there was a God on high
        By whom all things were made.
        I saw His wisdom and his power
        In all his works displayed.

        But most throughout the moral world
        I saw his glory shine;
        I saw His wisdom infinite,
        His mercy all divine.

        Deep secrets of his providence
        In darkness long concealed
        Were brought to my delighted eyes
        And graciously revealed.

        But while I wondered and adored
        His wisdom so divine,
        I did not tremble at his power,
        I felt that God was mine.

        I knew that my Redeemer lived,
        I did not fear to die;
        Full sure that I should rise again
        To immortality.

        I longed to view that bliss divine
        Which eye hath never seen,
        To see the glories of his face
        Without the veil between.

      Up

      Last Lines

        A dreadful darkness closes in
        On my bewildered mind;
        O let me suffer and not sin,
        Be tortured yet resigned.

        Through all this world of whelming mist
        Still let me look to Thee,
        And give me courage to resist
        The Tempter till he flee.

        Weary I am -- O give me strength
        And leave me not to faint;
        Say Thou wilt comfort me at length
        And pity my complaint.

        I've begged to serve Thee heart and soul,
        To sacrifice to Thee
        No niggard portion, but the whole
        Of my identity.

        I hoped amid the brave and strong
        My portioned task might lie,
        To toil amid the labouring throng
        With purpose pure and high.

        But Thou hast fixed another part,
        And Thou hast fixed it well;
        I said so with my breaking heart
        When first the anguish fell.

        For Thou hast taken my delight
        And hope of life away,
        And bid me watch the painful night
        And wait the weary day.

        The hope and the delight were Thine;
        I bless Thee for their loan;
        I gave Thee while I deemed them mine
        Too little thanks, I own.

        Shall I with joy Thy blessings share
        And not endure their loss?
        Or hope the martyr's crown to wear
        And cast away the cross?

        These weary hours will not be lost,
        These days of passive misery,
        These nights of darkness anguish tost
        If I can fix my heart on Thee.

        Weak and weary though I lie,
        Crushed with sorrow, worn with pain,
        Still I may lift to Heaven mine eyes
        And strive and labour not in vain,

        That inward strife against the sins
        That ever wait on suffering;
        To watch and strike where first begins
        Each ill that would corruption bring,

        That secret labour to sustain
        With humble patience every blow,
        To gather fortitude from pain
        And hope and holiness from woe.

        Thus let me serve Thee from my heart
        Whatever be my written fate,
        Whether thus early to depart
        Or yet awhile to wait.

        If Thou shouldst bring me back to life
        More humbled I should be;
        More wise, more strengthened for the strife,
        More apt to lean on Thee.

        Should Death be standing at the gate
        Thus should I keep my vow;
        But, Lord, whate'er my future fate
        So let me serve Thee now.

      Up

      Lines Composed In A Wood On A Windy Day

        My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring
        And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
        For above and around me the wild wind is roaring,
        Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.
        The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
        The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
        The dead leaves, beneath them, are merrily dancing,
        The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky.

        I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
        The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray;
        I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing,
        And hear the wild roar of their thunder today!

      Up

      Lines Inscribed On The Wall Of A Dungeon In The Southern P Of I

        Though not a breath can enter here,
        I know the wind blows fresh and free;
        I know the sun is shining clear,
        Though not a gleam can visit me.
        They thought while I in darkness lay,
        'Twere pity that I should not know
        How all the earth is smiling gay;
        How fresh the vernal breezes blow.

        They knew, such tidings to impart
        Would pierce my weary spirit through,
        And could they better read my heart,
        They'd tell me, she was smiling too.

        They need not, for I know it well,
        Methinks I see her even now;
        No sigh disturbs her bosom's swell,
        No shade o'ercasts her angel brow.

        Unmarred by grief her angel voice,
        Whence sparkling wit, and wisdom flow:
        And others in its sound rejoice,
        And taste the joys I must not know,

        Drink rapture from her soft dark eye,
        And sunshine from her heavenly smile;
        On wings of bliss their moments fly,
        And I am pining here the while!

        Oh! tell me, does she never give --
        To my distress a single sigh?
        She smiles on them, but does she grieve
        One moment, when they are not by?

        When she beholds the sunny skies,
        And feels the wind of heaven blow;
        Has she no tear for him that lies
        In dungeon gloom, so far below?

        While others gladly round her press
        And at her side their hours beguile,
        Has she no sigh for his distress
        Who cannot see a single smile

        Nor hear one word nor read a line
        That her beloved hand might write,
        Who banished from her face must pine
        Each day a long and lonely night?

      Up

      Lines Written At Thorp Green

        That summer sun, whose genial glow
        Now cheers my drooping spirit so
        Must cold and distant be,
        And only light our northern clime
        With feeble ray, before the time
        I long so much to see.
        And this soft whispering breeze that now
        So gently cools my fevered brow,
        This too, alas, must turn --
        To a wild blast whose icy dart
        Pierces and chills me to the heart,
        Before I cease to mourn.

        And these bright flowers I love so well,
        Verbena, rose and sweet bluebell,
        Must droop and die away.
        Those thick green leaves with all their shade
        And rustling music, they must fade
        And every one decay.

        But if the sunny summer time
        And woods and meadows in their prime
        Are sweet to them that roam --
        Far sweeter is the winter bare
        With long dark nights and landscapes drear
        To them that are at Home!

      Up

      Lines Written From Home

        Though bleak these woods, and damp the ground
        With fallen leaves so thickly strown,
        And cold the wind that wanders round
        With wild and melancholy moan;
        There is a friendly roof, I know,
        Might shield me from the wintry blast;
        There is a fire, whose ruddy glow
        Will cheer me for my wanderings past.

        And so, though still, where'er I go,
        Cold stranger-glances meet my eye;
        Though, when my spirit sinks in woe,
        Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh;

        Though solitude, endured too long,
        Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
        Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue,
        And overclouds my noon of day;

        When kindly thoughts, that would have way,
        Flow back discouraged to my breast; --
        I know there is, though far away,
        A home where heart and soul may rest.

        Warm hands are there, that, clasped in mine,
        The warmer heart will not belie;
        While mirth, and truth, and friendship shine
        In smiling lip and earnest eye.

        The ice that gathers round my heart
        May there be thawed; and sweetly, then,
        The joys of youth, that now depart,
        Will come to cheer my soul again.

        Though far I roam, that thought shall be
        My hope, my comfort, everywhere;
        While such a home remains to me,
        My heart shall never know despair!

      Up

      Memory

        Brightly the sun of summer shone,
        Green fields and waving woods upon,
        And soft winds wandered by;
        Above, a sky of purest blue,
        Around, bright flowers of loveliest hue,
        Allured the gazer's eye.
        But what were all these charms to me,
        When one sweet breath of memory
        Came gently wafting by?
        I closed my eyes against the day,
        And called my willing soul away,
        From earth, and air, and sky;

        That I might simply fancy there
        One little flower -- a primrose fair,
        Just opening into sight;
        As in the days of infancy,
        An opening primrose seemed to me
        A source of strange delight.

        Sweet Memory! ever smile on me;
        Nature's chief beauties spring from thee,
        Oh, still thy tribute bring!
        Still make the golden crocus shine
        Among the flowers the most divine,
        The glory of the spring.

        Still in the wall-flower's fragrance dwell;
        And hover round the slight blue bell,
        My childhood's darling flower.
        Smile on the little daisy still,
        The buttercup's bright goblet fill
        With all thy former power.

        For ever hang thy dreamy spell
        Round mountain star and heather bell,
        And do not pass away
        From sparkling frost, or wreathed snow,
        And whisper when the wild winds blow,
        Or rippling waters play.

        Is childhood, then, so all divine?
        Or Memory, is the glory thine,
        That haloes thus the past?
        Not all divine; its pangs of grief,
        (Although, perchance, their stay be brief,)
        Are bitter while they last.

        Nor is the glory all thine own,
        For on our earliest joys alone
        That holy light is cast.
        With such a ray, no spell of thine
        Can make our later pleasures shine,
        Though long ago they passed.

      Up

      Mirth And Mourning

        'O cast away your sorrow; --
        A while, at least, be gay!
        If grief must come tomorrow,
        At least, be glad today!
        'How can you still be sighing
        When smiles are everywhere?
        The little birds are flying
        So blithely through the air;

        'The sunshine glows so brightly
        O'er all the blooming earth;
        And every heart beats lightly, --
        Each face is full of mirth.'

        'I always feel the deepest gloom
        When day most brightly shines:
        When Nature shows the fairest bloom,
        My spirit most repines;

        'For, in the brightest noontide glow,
        The dungeon's light is dim;
        Though freshest winds around us blow,
        No breath can visit him.

        'If he must sit in twilight gloom,
        Can I enjoy the sight
        Of mountains clad in purple bloom,
        And rocks in sunshine bright? --

        'My heart may well be desolate, --
        These tears may well arise
        While prison wall and iron grate
        Oppress his weary eyes.'

        'But think of him tomorrow,
        And join your comrades now; --
        That constant cloud of sorrow
        Ill suits so young a brow.

        'Hark, how their merry voices
        Are sounding far and near!
        While all the world rejoices
        Can you sit moping here?'

        'When others' hearts most lightly bound
        Mine feels the most oppressed;
        When smiling faces greet me round
        My sorrow will not rest:

        'I think of him whose faintest smile
        Was sunshine to my heart,
        Whose lightest word could care beguile
        And blissful thoughts impart;

        'I think how he would bless that sun,
        And love this glorious scene;
        I think of all that has been done,
        And all that might have been.

        'Those sparkling eyes, that blessed me so,
        Are dim with weeping now;
        And blighted hope and burning woe
        Have ploughed that marble brow.

        'What waste of youth, what hopes destroyed,
        What days of pining care,
        What weary nights of comfort void
        Art thou condemned to bear!

        'O! if my love must suffer so --
        And wholly for my sake --
        What marvel that my tears should flow, --
        Or that my heart should break!'

      Up

      Monday Night May 11th 1846 / Domestic Peace

        Why should such gloomy silence reign;
        And why is all the house so drear,
        When neither danger, sickness, pain,
        Nor death, nor want have entered here?
        We are as many as we were
        That other night, when all were gay,
        And full of hope, and free from care;
        Yet, is there something gone away.

        The moon without as pure and calm
        Is shining as that night she shone;
        but now, to us she brings no balm,
        For something from our hearts is gone.

        Something whose absence leaves a void,
        A cheerless want in every heart.
        Each feels the bliss of all destroyed
        And mourns the change - but each apart.

        The fire is burning in the grate
        As redly as it used to burn,
        But still the hearth is desolate
        Till Mirth and Love with Peace return.

        'Twas Peace that flowed from heart to heart
        With looks and smiles that spoke of Heaven,
        And gave us language to impart
        The blissful thoughts itself had given.

        Sweet child of Heaven, and joy of earth!
        O, when will Man thy value learn?
        We rudely drove thee from our hearth,
        And vainly sigh for thy return.

      Up

      Music On Christmas Morning

        Music I love -­ but never strain
        Could kindle raptures so divine,
        So grief assuage, so conquer pain,
        And rouse this pensive heart of mine -­
        As that we hear on Christmas morn,
        Upon the wintry breezes borne.
        Though Darkness still her empire keep,
        And hours must pass, ere morning break;
        From troubled dreams, or slumbers deep,
        That music kindly bids us wake:
        It calls us, with an angel's voice,
        To wake, and worship, and rejoice;

        To greet with joy the glorious morn,
        Which angels welcomed long ago,
        When our redeeming Lord was born,
        To bring the light of Heaven below;
        The Powers of Darkness to dispel,
        And rescue Earth from Death and Hell.

        While listening to that sacred strain,
        My raptured spirit soars on high;
        I seem to hear those songs again
        Resounding through the open sky,
        That kindled such divine delight,
        In those who watched their flocks by night.

        With them, I celebrate His birth -­
        Glory to God, in highest Heaven,
        Good-will to men, and peace on Earth,
        To us a Saviour-king is given;
        Our God is come to claim His own,
        And Satan's power is overthrown!

        A sinless God, for sinful men,
        Descends to suffer and to bleed;
        Hell must renounce its empire then;
        The price is paid, the world is freed,
        And Satan's self must now confess,
        That Christ has earned a Right to bless:

        Now holy Peace may smile from heaven,
        And heavenly Truth from earth shall spring:
        The captive's galling bonds are riven,
        For our Redeemer is our king;
        And He that gave his blood for men
        Will lead us home to God again.

      Up

      My God! O Let Me Call Thee Mine!

        My God! O let me call Thee mine!
        Weak wretched sinner though I be,
        My trembling soul would fain be Thine,
        My feeble faith still clings to Thee,
        My feeble faith still clings to Thee.
        Not only for the past I grieve,
        The future fills me with dismay;
        Unless Thou hasten to relieve,
        I know my heart will fall away,
        I know my heart will fall away.

        I cannot say my faith is strong,
        I dare not hope my love is great;
        But strength and love to Thee belong,
        O, do not leave me desolate!
        O, do not leave me desolate!

        I know I owe my all to Thee,
        O, take this heart I cannot give.
        Do Thou my Strength my Saviour be;
        And make me to Thy glory live!
        And make me to Thy glory live!

      Up

      My Soul Is Awakened

        My soul is awakened, my spirit is soaring,
        And carried aloft on the wings of the breeze;
        For, above, and around me, the wild wind is roaring
        Arousing to rapture the earth and the seas.

        The long withered grass in the sunshine is glancing,
        The bare trees are tossing their branches on high;
        The dead leaves beneath them are merrily dancing,
        The white clouds are scudding across the blue sky.

        I wish I could see how the ocean is lashing
        The foam of its billows to whirlwinds of spray,
        I wish I could see how its proud waves are dashing
        And hear the wild roar of their thunder today!

      Up

      Night

        I love the silent hour of night,
        For blissful dreams may then arise,
        Revealing to my charmed sight
        What may not bless my waking eyes!
        And then a voice may meet my ear
        That death has silenced long ago;
        And hope and rapture may appear
        Instead of solitude and woe.

        Cold in the grave for years has lain
        The form it was my bliss to see,
        And only dreams can bring again
        The darling of my heart to me.

      Up

      Oh, They Have Robbed Me Of The Hope

        Oh, they have robbed me of the hope
        My spirit held so dear;
        They will not let me hear that voice
        My soul delights to hear.
        They will not let me see that face
        I so delight to see;
        And they have taken all thy smiles,
        And all thy love from me.

        Well, let them seize on all they can: --
        One treasure still is mine, --
        A heart that loves to think on thee,
        And feels the worth of thine.

      Up

      Parting Address From Z.Z. To A.E.

        O weep not, love! each tear that springs
        In those dear eyes of thine,
        To me a keener suffering brings
        Than if they flowed from mine.
        And do not droop! however drear
        The fate awaiting thee.
        For my sake, combat pain and care,
        And cherish life for me!

        I do not fear thy love will fail,
        Thy faith is true I know;
        But O! my love! thy strength is frail
        For such a life of woe.

        Were't not for this, I well could trace
        (Though banished long from thee)
        Life's rugged path, and boldly face
        The storms that threaten me.

        Fear not for me -­ I've steeled my mind
        Sorrow and strife to greet,
        Joy with my love I leave behind,
        Care with my friends I meet.

        A mother's sad reproachful eye,
        A father's scowling brow -­
        But he may frown, and she may sigh;
        I will not break my vow!

        I love my mother, I revere
        My sire, but doubt not me.
        Believe that Death alone can tear
        This faithful heart from thee.

      Up

      Past Days

        'Tis strange to think, there was a time
        When mirth was not an empty name,
        When laughter really cheered the heart,
        And frequent smiles unbidden came,
        And tears of grief would only flow
        In sympathy for others' woe;
        When speech expressed the inward thought,
        And heart to kindred heart was bare,
        And Summer days were far too short
        For all the pleasures crowded there,
        And silence, solitude, and rest,
        Now welcome to the weary breast --

        Were all unprized, uncourted then --
        And all the joy one spirit showed,
        The other deeply felt again;
        And friendship like a river flowed,
        Constant and strong its silent course,
        For nought withstood its gentle force:

        When night, the holy time of peace,
        Was dreaded as the parting hour;
        When speech and mirth at once must cease,
        And Silence must resume her power;
        Though ever free from pains and woes,
        She only brought us calm repose;

        And when the blessed dawn again
        Brought daylight to the blushing skies,
        We woke, and not reluctant then,
        To joyless labour did we rise;
        But full of hope, and glad and gay,
        We welcomed the returning day.

      Up

      Power Of Love

        Love, indeed thy strength is mighty
        Thus, alone, such strife to bear --
        Three 'gainst one, and never ceasing --
        Death, and Madness, and Despair!
        'Tis not my own strength has saved me;
        Health, and hope, and fortitude,
        But for love, had long since failed me;
        Heart and soul had sunk subdued.

        Often, in my wild impatience,
        I have lost my trust in Heaven,
        And my soul has tossed and struggled,
        Like a vessel tempest-driven;

        But the voice of my beloved
        In my ear has seemed to say --
        'O, be patient if thou lov'st me!'
        And the storm has passed away.

        When outworn with weary thinking,
        Sight and thought were waxing dim,
        And my mind began to wander,
        And my brain began to swim,

        Then those hands outstretched to save me
        Seemed to call me back again --
        Those dark eyes did so implore me
        To resume my reason's reign,

        That I could not but remember
        How her hopes were fixed on me,
        And, with one determined effort,
        Rose, and shook my spirit free.

        When hope leaves my weary spirit --
        All the power to hold it gone --
        That loved voice so loudly prays me,
        'For my sake, keep hoping on,'

        That, at once my strength renewing,
        Though Despair had crushed me down,
        I can burst his bonds asunder,
        And defy his deadliest frown.

        When, from nights of restless tossing,
        Days of gloom and pining care,
        Pain and weakness, still increasing,
        Seem to whisper 'Death is near,'

        And I almost bid him welcome,
        Knowing he would bring release,
        Weary of this restless struggle --
        Longing to repose in peace,

        Then a glance of fond reproval
        Bids such selfish longings flee
        And a voice of matchless music
        Murmurs 'Cherish life for me!'

        Roused to newborn strength and courage,
        Pain and grief, I cast away,
        Health and life, I keenly follow,
        Mighty Death is held at bay.

        Yes, my love, I will be patient!
        Firm and bold my heart shall be:
        Fear not -- though this life is dreary,
        I can bear it well for thee.

        Let our foes still rain upon me
        Cruel wrongs and taunting scorn;
        'Tis for thee their hate pursues me,
        And for thee, it shall be borne!

      Up

      Retirement

        O, let me be alone a while,
        No human form is nigh.
        And may I sing and muse aloud,
        No mortal ear is by.
        Away! ye dreams of earthly bliss,
        Ye earthly cares begone:
        Depart! ye restless wandering thoughts,
        And let me be alone!

        One hour, my spirit, stretch thy wings,
        And quit this joyless sod,
        Bask in the sunshine of the sky,
        And be alone with God!

      Up

      Self Communion

        'The mist is resting on the hill;
        The smoke is hanging in the air;
        The very clouds are standing still:
        A breathless calm broods everywhere.
        Thou pilgrim through this vale of tears,
        Thou, too, a little moment cease
        Thy anxious toil and fluttering fears,
        And rest thee, for a while, in peace.'

        'I would, but Time keeps working still
        And moving on for good or ill:
        He will not rest or stay.
        In pain or ease, in smiles or tears,
        He still keeps adding to my years
        And stealing life away.
        His footsteps in the ceaseless sound
        Of yonder clock I seem to hear,
        That through this stillness so profound
        Distinctly strikes the vacant ear.
        For ever striding on and on,
        He pauses not by night or day;
        And all my life will soon be gone
        As these past years have slipped away.
        He took my childhood long ago,
        And then my early youth; and lo,
        He steals away my prime!
        I cannot see how fast it goes,
        But well my inward spirit knows
        The wasting power of time.'

        'Time steals thy moments, drinks thy breath,
        Changes and wastes thy mortal frame;
        But though he gives the clay to death,
        He cannot touch the inward flame.
        Nay, though he steals thy years away,
        Their memory is left thee still,
        And every month and every day
        Leaves some effect of good or ill.
        The wise will find in Memory's store
        A help for that which lies before
        To guide their course aright;
        Then, hush thy plaints and calm thy fears;
        Look back on these departed years,
        And, say, what meets thy sight?'

        'I see, far back, a helpless child,
        Feeble and full of causeless fears,
        Simple and easily beguiled
        To credit all it hears.
        More timid than the wild wood-dove,
        Yet trusting to another's care,
        And finding in protecting love
        Its only refuge from despair, -­
        Its only balm for every woe,
        The only bliss its soul can know; -­
        Still hiding in its breast.
        A tender heart too prone to weep,
        A love so earnest, strong, and deep
        It could not be expressed.

        Poor helpless thing! what can it do
        Life's stormy cares and toils among; -­
        How tread this weary desert through
        That awes the brave and tires the strong?
        Where shall it centre so much trust
        Where truth maintains so little sway,
        Where seeming fruit is bitter dust,
        And kisses oft to death betray?
        How oft must sin and falsehood grieve
        A heart so ready to believe,
        And willing to admire!
        With strength so feeble, fears so strong,
        Amid this selfish bustling throng,
        How will it faint and tire!

        That tender love so warm and deep,
        How can it flourish here below?
        What bitter floods of tears must steep
        The stony soil where it would grow!
        O earth! a rocky breast is thine ­
        A hard soil and a cruel clime,
        Where tender plants must droop and pine,
        Or alter with transforming time.
        That soul, that clings to sympathy,
        As ivy clasps the forest tree,
        How can it stand alone?
        That heart so prone to overflow
        E'en at the thought of others' woe,
        How will it bear its own?

        How, if a sparrow's death can wring
        Such bitter tear-floods from the eye,
        Will it behold the suffering
        Of struggling, lost humanity?
        The torturing pain, the pining grief,
        The sin-degraded misery,
        The anguish that defies relief?'

        'Look back again ­- What dost thou see?'

        'I see one kneeling on the sod,
        With infant hands upraised to Heaven,
        A young heart feeling after God,
        Oft baffled, never backward driven.
        Mistaken oft, and oft astray,
        It strives to find the narrow way,
        But gropes and toils alone:
        That inner life of strife and tears,
        Of kindling hopes and lowering fears
        To none but God is known.
        'Tis better thus; for man would scorn
        Those childish prayers, those artless cries,
        That darkling spirit tossed and torn,
        But God will not despise!
        We may regret such waste of tears
        Such darkly toiling misery,
        Such 'wildering doubts and harrowing fears,
        Where joy and thankfulness should be;
        But wait, and Heaven will send relief.
        Let patience have her perfect work:
        Lo, strength and wisdom spring from grief,
        And joys behind afflictions lurk!

        It asked for light, and it is heard;
        God grants that struggling soul repose
        And, guided by His holy word,
        It wiser than its teachers grows.
        It gains the upward path at length,
        And passes on from strength to strength,
        Leaning on Heaven the while:
        Night's shades departing one by one,
        It sees at last the rising sun,
        And feels his cheering smile.
        In all its darkness and distress
        For light it sought, to God it cried;
        And through the pathless wilderness,
        He was its comfort and its guide.'

        'So was it, and so will it be:
        Thy God will guide and strengthen thee;
        His goodness cannot fail.
        The sun that on thy morning rose
        Will light thee to the evening's close,
        Whatever storms assail.'

        'God alters not; but Time on me
        A wide and wondrous change has wrought:
        And in these parted years I see
        Cause for grave care and saddening thought.
        I see that time, and toil, and truth,
        An inward hardness can impart, -­
        Can freeze the generous blood of youth,
        And steel full fast the tender heart.'

        'Bless God for that divine decree! -­
        That hardness comes with misery,
        And suffering deadens pain;
        That at the frequent sight of woe
        E'en Pity's tears forget to flow,
        If reason still remain!
        Reason, with conscience by her side,
        But gathers strength from toil and truth;
        And she will prove a surer guide
        Than those sweet instincts of our youth.
        Thou that hast known such anguish sore
        In weeping where thou couldst not bless,
        Canst thou that softness so deplore -­
        That suffering, shrinking tenderness?
        Thou that hast felt what cankering care
        A loving heart is doomed to bear,
        Say, how canst thou regret
        That fires unfed must fall away,
        Long droughts can dry the softest clay,
        And cold will cold beget?'

        'Nay, but 'tis hard to feel that chill
        Come creeping o'er the shuddering heart.
        Love may be full of pain, but still,
        'Tis sad to see it so depart, -­
        To watch that fire whose genial glow
        Was formed to comfort and to cheer,
        For want of fuel, fading so,
        Sinking to embers dull and drear, -­
        To see the soft soil turned to stone
        For lack of kindly showers, -­
        To see those yearnings of the breast,
        Pining to bless and to be blessed,
        Drop withered, frozen one by one,
        Till, centred in itself alone,
        It wastes its blighted powers.

        Oh, I have known a wondrous joy
        In early friendship's pure delight, -­
        A genial bliss that could not cloy -­
        My sun by day, my moon by night.
        Absence, indeed, was sore distress,
        And thought of death was anguish keen,
        And there was cruel bitterness
        When jarring discords rose between;
        And sometimes it was grief to know
        My fondness was but half returned.
        But this was nothing to the woe
        With which another truth was learned: -­
        That I must check, or nurse apart,
        Full many an impulse of the heart
        And many a darling thought:
        What my soul worshipped, sought, and prized,
        Were slighted, questioned, or despised; -­
        This pained me more than aught.
        And as my love the warmer glowed
        The deeper would that anguish sink,
        That this dark stream between us flowed,
        Though both stood bending o'er its brink;
        Until, as last, I learned to bear
        A colder heart within my breast;
        To share such thoughts as I could share,
        And calmly keep the rest.
        I saw that they were sundered now,
        The trees that at the root were one:
        They yet might mingle leaf and bough,
        But still the stems must stand alone.

        O love is sweet of every kind!
        'Tis sweet the helpless to befriend,
        To watch the young unfolding mind,
        To guide, to shelter, and defend:
        To lavish tender toil and care,
        And ask for nothing back again,
        But that our smiles a blessing bear
        And all our toil be not in vain.
        And sweeter far than words can tell
        Their love whose ardent bosoms swell
        With thoughts they need not hide;
        Where fortune frowns not on their joy,
        And Prudence seeks not to destroy,
        Nor Reason to deride.

        Whose love may freely gush and flow,
        Unchecked, unchilled by doubt or fear,
        For in their inmost hearts they know
        It is not vainly nourished there.
        They know that in a kindred breast
        Their long desires have found a home,
        Where heart and soul may kindly rest,
        Weary and lorn no more to roam.
        Their dreams of bliss were not in vain,
        As they love they are loved again,
        And they can bless as they are blessed.

        O vainly might I seek to show
        The joys from happy love that flow!
        The warmest words are all too cold
        The secret transports to unfold
        Of simplest word or softest sigh,
        Or from the glancing of an eye
        To say what rapture beams;
        One look that bids our fears depart,
        And well assures the trusting heart.
        It beats not in the world alone -­
        Such speechless rapture I have known,
        But only in my dreams.

        My life has been a morning sky
        Where Hope her rainbow glories cast
        O'er kindling vapours far and nigh:
        And, if the colours faded fast,
        Ere one bright hue had died away
        Another o'er its ashes gleamed;
        And if the lower clouds were grey,
        The mists above more brightly beamed.
        But not for long; ­- at length behold,
        Those tints less warm, less radiant grew;
        Till but one streak of paly gold
        Glimmered through clouds of saddening hue.
        And I am calmly waiting, now,
        To see that also pass away,
        And leave, above the dark hill's brow,
        A rayless arch of sombre grey.'

        'So must it fare with all thy race
        Who seek in earthly things their joy:
        So fading hopes lost hopes shall chase
        Till Disappointment all destroy.
        But they that fix their hopes on high
        Shall, in the blue-refulgent sky,
        The sun's transcendent light,
        Behold a purer, deeper glow
        Than these uncertain gleams can show,
        However fair or bright.
        O weak of heart! why thus deplore
        That Truth will Fancy's dreams destroy?
        Did I not tell thee, years before,
        Life was for labour, not for joy?
        Cease, selfish spirit, to repine;
        O'er thine own ills no longer grieve;
        Lo, there are sufferings worse than thine,
        Which thou mayst labour to relieve.
        If Time indeed too swiftly flies,
        Gird on thine armour, haste, arise,
        For thou hast much to do; ­-
        To lighten woe, to trample sin,
        And foes without and foes within
        To combat and subdue.
        Earth hath too much of sin and pain:
        The bitter cup -­ the binding chain
        Dost thou indeed lament?
        Let not thy weary spirit sink;
        But strive -­ not by one drop or link
        The evil to augment.
        Strive rather thou, by peace and joy,
        The bitter poison to destroy,
        The cruel chain to break.
        O strive! and if thy strength be small,
        Strive yet the more, and spend it all
        For Love and Wisdom's sake!'

        'O I have striven both hard and long
        But many are my foes and strong.
        My gains are light -­ my progress slow;
        For hard's the way I have to go,
        And my worst enemies, I know,
        Are these within my breast;
        And it is hard to toil for aye, -­
        Through sultry noon and twilight grey
        To toil and never rest.'

        'There is a rest beyond the grave,
        A lasting rest from pain and sin,
        Where dwell the faithful and the brave;
        But they must strive who seek to win.'
        "Show me that rest -­ I ask no more.
        Oh, drive these misty doubts away;
        And let me see that sunny shore,
        However far away!
        However wide this rolling sea,
        However wild my passage be,
        Howe'er my bark be tempest tossed,
        May it but reach that haven fair,
        May I but land and wander there,
        With those that I have loved and lost:
        With such a glorious hope in view,
        I'll gladly toil and suffer too.
        Rest without toil I would not ask;
        I would not shun the hardest task:
        Toil is my glory -­ Grief my gain,
        If God's approval they obtain.
        Could I but hear my Saviour say, -­
        "I know thy patience and thy love;
        How thou hast held the narrow way,
        For my sake laboured night and day,
        And watched, and striven with them that strove;
        And still hast borne, and didst not faint," -­
        Oh, this would be reward indeed!'

        'Press forward, then, without complaint;
        Labour and love -­ and such shall be thy meed.'

      Up

      Self-Congratulation

        Ellen, you were thoughtless once
        Of beauty or of grace,
        Simple and homely in attire,
        Careless of form and face;
        Then whence this change? and wherefore now
        So often smooth your hair?
        And wherefore deck your youthful form
        With such unwearied care?
        Tell us -­ and cease to tire our ears
        With that familiar strain -­
        Why will you play those simple tunes
        So often, o'er again?
        'Indeed, dear friends, I can but say
        That childhood's thoughts are gone;
        Each year its own new feelings brings,
        And years move swiftly on:

        'And for these little simple airs --
        I love to play them o'er
        So much -­ I dare not promise, now,
        To play them never more.'
        I answered -­ and it was enough;
        They turned them to depart;
        They could not read my secret thoughts,
        Nor see my throbbing heart.

        I've noticed many a youthful form,
        Upon whose changeful face
        The inmost workings of the soul
        The gazer well might trace;
        The speaking eye, the changing lip,
        The ready blushing cheek,
        The smiling, or beclouded brow,
        Their different feelings speak.

        But, thank God! you might gaze on mine
        For hours, and never know
        The secret changes of my soul
        From joy to keenest woe.
        Last night, as we sat round the fire
        Conversing merrily,
        We heard, without, approaching steps
        Of one well known to me!

        There was no trembling in my voice,
        No blush upon my cheek,
        No lustrous sparkle in my eyes,
        Of hope, or joy, to speak;
        But, oh! my spirit burned within,
        My heart beat full and fast!
        He came not nigh -­ he went away -­
        And then my joy was past.

        And yet my comrades marked it not:
        My voice was still the same;
        They saw me smile, and o'er my face
        No signs of sadness came.
        They little knew my hidden thoughts;
        And they will never know
        The aching anguish of my heart,
        The bitter burning woe!

      Up

      Severed And Gone, So Many Years

        Severed and gone, so many years!
        And art thou still so dear to me,
        That throbbing heart and burning tears
        Can witness how I cling to thee?
        I know that in the narrow tomb
        The form I loved was buried deep,
        And left, in silence and in gloom,
        To slumber out its dreamless sleep.

        I know the corner where it lies,
        Is but a dreary place of rest:
        The charnel moisture never dries
        From the dark flagstones o'er its breast,

        For there the sunbeams never shine,
        Nor ever breathes the freshening air,
        ­- But not for this do I repine;
        For my beloved is not there.

        O, no! I do not think of thee
        As festering there in slow decay: ­-
        'Tis this sole thought oppresses me,
        That thou art gone so far away.

        For ever gone; for I, by night,
        Have prayed, within my silent room,
        That Heaven would grant a burst of light
        Its cheerless darkness to illume;

        And give thee to my longing eyes,
        A moment, as thou shinest now,
        Fresh from thy mansion in the skies,
        With all its glories on thy brow.

        Wild was the wish, intense the gaze
        I fixed upon the murky air,
        Expecting, half, a kindling blaze
        Would strike my raptured vision there, --

        A shape these human nerves would thrill,
        A majesty that might appal,
        Did not thy earthly likeness, still,
        Gleam softly, gladly, through it all.

        False hope! vain prayer! it might not be
        That thou shouldst visit earth again.
        I called on Heaven --­ I called on thee,
        And watched, and waited --­ all in vain.

        Had I one shining tress of thine,
        How it would bless these longing eyes!
        Or if thy pictured form were mine,
        What gold should rob me of the prize?

        A few cold words on yonder stone,
        A corpse as cold as they can be -­
        Vain words, and mouldering dust, alone -­
        Can this be all that's left of thee?

        O, no! thy spirit lingers still
        Where'er thy sunny smile was seen:
        There's less of darkness, less of chill
        On earth, than if thou hadst not been.

        Thou breathest in my bosom yet,
        And dwellest in my beating heart;
        And, while I cannot quite forget,
        Thou, darling, canst not quite depart.

        Though, freed from sin, and grief, and pain
        Thou drinkest now the bliss of Heaven,
        Thou didst not visit earth in vain;
        And from us, yet, thou art not riven.

        Life seems more sweet that thou didst live,
        And men more true that thou wert one:
        Nothing is lost that thou didst give,
        Nothing destroyed that thou hast done.

        Earth hath received thine earthly part;
        Thine heavenly flame has heavenward flown;
        But both still linger in my heart,
        Still live, and not in mine alone.

      Up

      Song: We know where deepest lies the snow

        We know where deepest lies the snow,
        And where the frost-winds keenest blow,
        O'er every mountain's brow,
        We long have known and learnt to bear
        The wandering outlaw's toil and care,
        But where we late were hunted, there
        Our foes are hunted now.
        We have their princely homes, and they
        To our wild haunts are chased away,
        Dark woods, and desert caves.
        And we can range from hill to hill,
        And chase our vanquished victors still;
        Small respite will they find until
        They slumber in their graves.

        But I would rather be the hare,
        That crouching in its sheltered lair
        Must start at every sound;
        That forced from cornfields waving wide
        Is driven to seek the bare hillside,
        Or in the tangled copse to hide,
        Than be the hunter's hound.

      Up

      Song: Come to the banquet

        Come to the banquet -- triumph in your songs!
        Strike up the chords -- and sing of Victory!
        The oppressed have risen to redress their wrongs;
        The Tyrants are o'erthrown; the Land is free!
        The Land is free! Aye, shout it forth once more;
        Is she not red with her oppressors' gore?
        We are her champions -- shall we not rejoice?
        Are not the tyrants' broad domains our own?
        Then wherefore triumph with a faltering voice;
        And talk of freedom in a doubtful tone?
        Have we not longed through life the reign to see
        Of Justice, linked with Glorious Liberty?

        Shout you that will, and you that can rejoice
        To revel in the riches of your foes.
        In praise of deadly vengeance lift you voice,
        Gloat o'er your tyrants' blood, you victims' woes.
        I'd rather listen to the skylarks' songs,
        And think on Gondal's, and my Father's wrongs.

        It may be pleasant, to recall the death
        Of those beneath whose sheltering roof you lie;
        But I would rather press the mountain heath,
        With naught to shield me from the starry sky,
        And dream of yet untasted victory --
        A distant hope -- and feel that I am free!

        O happy life! To range the mountains wild,
        The waving woods -- or Ocean's heaving breast,
        With limbs unfettered, conscience undefiled,
        And choosing where to wander, where to rest!
        Hunted, oppressed, but ever strong to cope --
        With toils, and perils -- ever full of hope!

        'Our flower is budding' -- When that word was heard
        On desert shore, or breezy mountain's brow,
        Wherever said -- what glorious thoughts it stirred!
        'Twas budding then -- Say has it blossomed now?
        Is this the end we struggled to obtain?
        O for the wandering Outlaw's life again!

      Up

      Stanzas

        Oh, weep not, love! each tear that springs
        In those dear eyes of thine,
        To me a keener suffering brings,
        Than if they flowed from mine.
        And do not droop! however drear
        The fate awaiting thee;
        For my sake combat pain and care,
        And cherish life for me!

        I do not fear thy love will fail;
        Thy faith is true, I know;
        But, oh, my love! thy strength is frail
        For such a life of woe.

        Were't not for this, I well could trace
        (Though banished long from thee,)
        Life's rugged path, and boldly face
        The storms that threaten me.

        Fear not for me -­ I've steeled my mind
        Sorrow and strife to greet;
        Joy with my love I leave behind,
        Care with my friends I meet.

        A mother's sad reproachful eye,
        A father's scowling brow -­
        But he may frown and she may sigh:
        I will not break my vow!

        I love my mother, I revere
        My sire, but fear not me­
        Believe that Death alone can tear
        This faithful heart from thee.

      Up

      The Arbour

        I'll rest me in this sheltered bower,
        And look upon the clear blue sky
        That smiles upon me through the trees,
        Which stand so thickly clustering by;
        And view their green and glossy leaves,
        All glistening in the sunshine fair;
        And list the rustling of their boughs,
        So softly whispering through the air.

        And while my ear drinks in the sound,
        My winged soul shall fly away;
        Reviewing long departed years
        As one mild, beaming, autumn day;

        And soaring on to future scenes,
        Like hills and woods, and valleys green,
        All basking in the summer's sun,
        But distant still, and dimly seen.

        Oh, list! 'tis summer's very breath
        That gently shakes the rustling trees -­
        But look! the snow is on the ground -­
        How can I think of scenes like these?

        'Tis but the frost that clears the air,
        And gives the sky that lovely blue;
        They're smiling in a winter's sun,
        Those evergreens of sombre hue.

        And winter's chill is on my heart -­
        How can I dream of future bliss?
        How can my spirit soar away,
        Confined by such a chain as this?

      Up

      The Bluebell

        A fine and subtle spirit dwells
        In every little flower,
        Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
        With more or less of power.
        There is a silent eloquence
        In every wild bluebell
        That fills my softened heart with bliss
        That words could never tell.

        Yet I recall not long ago
        A bright and sunny day,
        'Twas when I led a toilsome life
        So many leagues away;

        That day along a sunny road
        All carelessly I strayed,
        Between two banks where smiling flowers
        Their varied hues displayed.

        Before me rose a lofty hill,
        Behind me lay the sea,
        My heart was not so heavy then
        As it was wont to be.

        Less harassed than at other times
        I saw the scene was fair,
        And spoke and laughed to those around,
        As if I knew no care.

        But when I looked upon the bank
        My wandering glances fell
        Upon a little trembling flower,
        A single sweet bluebell.

        Whence came that rising in my throat,
        That dimness in my eye?
        Why did those burning drops distil --
        Those bitter feelings rise?

        O, that lone flower recalled to me
        My happy childhood's hours
        When bluebells seemed like fairy gifts
        A prize among the flowers,

        Those sunny days of merriment
        When heart and soul were free,
        And when I dwelt with kindred hearts
        That loved and cared for me.

        I had not then mid heartless crowds
        To spend a thankless life
        In seeking after others' weal
        With anxious toil and strife.

        'Sad wanderer, weep those blissful times
        That never may return!'
        The lovely floweret seemed to say,
        And thus it made me mourn.

      Up

      The Captive Dove

        Poor restless dove, I pity thee;
        And when I hear thy plaintive moan,
        I mourn for thy captivity,
        And in thy woes forget mine own.

        To see thee stand prepared to fly,
        And flap those useless wings of thine,
        And gaze into the distant sky,
        Would melt a harder heart than mine.

        In vain-in vain! Thou canst not rise:
        Thy prison roof confines thee there;
        Its slender wires delude thine eyes,
        And quench thy longings with despair.

        Oh, thou wert made to wander free
        In sunny mead and shady grove,
        And, far beyond the rolling sea,
        In distant climes, at will to rove!

        Yet, hadst thou but one gentle mate
        Thy little drooping heart to cheer,
        And share with thee thy captive state,
        Thou couldst be happy even there.

        Yes, even there, if, listening by,
        One faithful dear companion stood,
        While gazing on her full bright eye,
        Thou mightst forget thy native wood.

        But thou, poor solitary dove,
        Must make, unheard, thy joyless moan;
        The heart, that Nature formed to love,
        Must pine, neglected, and alone.

      Up

      The Captive's Dream

        Methought I saw him but I knew him not;
        He was so changed from what he used to be,
        There was no redness on his woe-worn cheek,
        No sunny smile upon his ashy lips,
        His hollow wandering eyes looked wild and fierce,
        And grief was printed on his marble brow,
        And O I thought he clasped his wasted hands,
        And raised his haggard eyes to Heaven, and prayed
        That he might die -- I had no power to speak,
        I thought I was allowed to see him thus;
        And yet I might not speak one single word;
        I might not even tell him that I lived
        And that it might be possible if search were made,
        To find out where I was and set me free,
        O how I longed to clasp him to my heart,
        Or but to hold his trembling hand in mine,
        And speak one word of comfort to his mind,
        I struggled wildly but it was in vain,
        I could not rise from my dark dungeon floor,
        And the dear name I vainly strove to speak,
        Died in a voiceless whisper on my tongue,
        Then I awoke, and lo it was a dream!
        A dream? Alas it was reality!
        For well I know wherever he may be
        He mourns me thus -- O heaven I could bear
        My deadly fate with calmness if there were
        No kindred hearts to bleed and break for me!

      Up

      The Consolation

        Though bleak these woods and damp the ground
        With fallen leaves so thickly strewn,
        And cold the wind that wanders round
        With wild and melancholy moan,
        There is a friendly roof I know
        Might shield me from the wintry blast;
        There is a fire whose ruddy glow
        Will cheer me for my wanderings past.

        And so, though still where'er I roam
        Cold stranger glances meet my eye,
        Though when my spirit sinks in woe
        Unheeded swells the unbidden sigh,

        Though solitude endured too long
        Bids youthful joys too soon decay,
        Makes mirth a stranger to my tongue
        And overclouds my noon of day,

        When kindly thoughts that would have way
        Flow back discouraged to my breast
        I know there is, though far away
        A home where heart and soul may rest.

        Warm hands are there that clasped in mine
        The warmer heart will not belie,
        While mirth and truth and friendship shine
        In smiling lip and earnest eye.

        The ice that gathers round my heart
        May there be thawed; and sweetly then
        The joys of youth that now depart
        Will come to cheer my soul again.

        Though far I roam, this thought shall be
        My hope, my comfort everywhere;
        While such a home remains to me
        My heart shall never know despair.

      Up

      The Doubter's Prayer

        Eternal Power, of earth and air!
        Unseen, yet seen in all around,
        Remote, but dwelling everywhere,
        Though silent, heard in every sound.
        If e'er thine ear in mercy bent,
        When wretched mortals cried to Thee,
        And if, indeed, Thy Son was sent,
        To save lost sinners such as me:

        Then hear me now, while, kneeling here,
        I lift to thee my heart and eye,
        And all my soul ascends in prayer,
        Oh, give me -­ give me Faith! I cry.

        Without some glimmering in my heart,
        I could not raise this fervent prayer;
        But, oh! a stronger light impart,
        And in Thy mercy fix it there.

        While Faith is with me, I am blest;
        It turns my darkest night to day;
        But while I clasp it to my breast,
        I often feel it slide away.

        Then, cold and dark, my spirit sinks,
        To see my light of life depart;
        And every fiend of Hell, methinks,
        Enjoys the anguish of my heart.

        What shall I do, if all my love,
        My hopes, my toil, are cast away,
        And if there be no God above,
        To hear and bless me when I pray?

        If this be vain delusion all,
        If death be an eternal sleep,
        And none can hear my secret call,
        Or see the silent tears I weep!

        Oh, help me, God! For thou alone
        Canst my distracted soul relieve;
        Forsake it not: it is thine own,
        Though weak, yet longing to believe.

        Oh, drive these cruel doubts away;
        And make me know, that Thou art God!
        A faith, that shines by night and day,
        Will lighten every earthly load.

        If I believe that Jesus died,
        And, waking, rose to reign above;
        Then surely Sorrow, Sin, and Pride,
        Must yield to Peace, and Hope, and Love.

        And all the blessed words He said
        Will strength and holy joy impart:
        A shield of safety o'er my head,
        A spring of comfort in my heart.

      Up

      The Narrow Way

        Believe not those who say
        The upward path is smooth,
        Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way
        And faint before the truth.
        It is the only road
        Unto the realms of joy;
        But he who seeks that blest abode
        Must all his powers employ.

        Bright hopes and pure delights
        Upon his course may beam,
        And there amid the sternest heights,
        The sweetest flowerets gleam; --

        On all her breezes borne
        Earth yields no scents like those;
        But he, that dares not grasp the thorn
        Should never crave the rose.

        Arm, arm thee for the fight!
        Cast useless loads away:
        Watch through the darkest hours of night;
        Toil through the hottest day.

        Crush pride into the dust,
        Or thou must needs be slack;
        And trample down rebellious lust,
        Or it will hold thee back.

        Seek not thy treasure here;
        Waive pleasure and renown;
        The World's dread scoff undaunted bear,
        And face its deadliest frown.

        To labour and to love,
        To pardon and endure,
        To lift thy heart to God above,
        And keep thy conscience pure, --

        Be this thy constant aim,
        Thy hope and thy delight, --
        What matters who should whisper blame,
        Or who should scorn or slight?

        What matters -- if thy God approve,
        And if within thy breast,
        Thou feel the comfort of his love,
        The earnest of his rest?

      Up

      The North Wind

        That wind is from the North, I know it well;
        No other breeze could have so wild a swell.
        Now deep and loud it thunders round my cell,
        The faintly dies,
        And softly sighs,
        And moans and murmurs mournfully.
        I know its language; thus is speaks to me --
        'I have passed over thy own mountains dear,
        Thy northern mountains -- and they still are free,
        Still lonely, wild, majestic, bleak and drear,
        And stern and lovely, as they used to be
        When thou, a young enthusiast,
        As wild and free as they,
        O'er rocks and glens and snowy heights
        Didst often love to stray.

        I've blown the wild untrodden snows
        In whirling eddies from their brows,
        And I have howled in caverns wild
        Where thou, a joyous mountain child,
        Didst dearly love to be.
        The sweet world is not changed, but thou
        Art pining in a dungeon now,
        Where thou must ever be;
        No voice but mine can reach thine ear,
        And Heaven has kindly sent me here,
        To mourn and sigh with thee,
        And tell thee of the cherished land
        Of thy nativity.'

        Blow on, wild wind, thy solemn voice,
        However sad and drear,
        Is nothing to the gloomy silence
        I have had to bear.

        Hot tears are streaming from my eyes,
        But these are better far
        Than that dull gnawing tearless [time]
        The stupor of despair.

        Confined and hopeless as I am,
        O speak of liberty,
        O tell me of my mountain home,
        And I will welcome thee.

      Up

      The Parting

        1

        The chestnut steed stood by the gate
        His noble master's will to wait,
        The woody park so green and bright
        Was glowing in the morning light,
        The young leaves of the aspen trees
        Were dancing in the morning breeze.
        The palace door was open wide,
        Its lord was standing there,
        And his sweet lady by his side
        With soft dark eyes and raven hair.
        He smiling took her wary hand
        And said, 'No longer here I stand;
        My charger shakes his flowing mane
        And calls me with impatient neigh.
        Adieu then till we meet again,
        Sweet love, I must no longer stay.'

        2

        'You must not go so soon,' she said,
        'I will not say farewell.
        The sun has not dispelled the shade
        In yonder dewy dell;
        Dark shadows of gigantic length
        Are sleeping on the lawn;
        And scarcely have the birds begun
        To hail the summer morn;
        Then stay with me a little while,'
        She said with soft and sunny smile.

        3

        He smiled again and did not speak,
        But lightly kissed her rosy cheek,
        And fondly clasped her in his arms,
        Then vaulted on his steed.
        And down the park's smooth winding road
        He urged its flying speed.
        Still by the door his lady stood
        And watched his rapid flight,
        Until he came to a distant wood
        That hid him from her sight.
        But ere he vanished from her view
        He waved to her a last adieu,
        Then onward hastily he steered
        And in the forest disappeared.

        4

        The lady smiled a pensive smile
        And heaved a gently sigh,
        But her cheek was all unblanched the while
        And tearless was her eye.
        'A thousand lovely flowers,' she said,
        'Are smiling on the plain.
        And ere one half of them are dead,
        My lord will come again.
        The leaves are waving fresh and green
        On every stately tree,
        And long before they die away
        He will return to me!' --
        Alas! Fair lady, say not so;
        Thou canst not tell the weight of woe
        That lies in store for thee.

        5

        Those flowers will fade, those leaves will fall,
        Winter will darken yonder hall;
        Sweet spring will smile o'er hill and plain
        And trees and flowers will bloom again,
        And years will still keep rolling on,
        But thy beloved lord is gone.
        His absence thou shalt deeply mourn,
        And never smile on his return.

      Up

      The Penitent

        I mourn with thee and yet rejoice
        That thou shouldst sorrow so;
        With Angel choirs I join my voice
        To bless the sinner's woe.
        Though friends and kindred turn away
        And laugh thy grief to scorn,
        I hear the great Redeemer say
        'Blessed are ye that mourn'.

        Hold on thy course nor deem it strange
        That earthly cords are riven.
        Man may lament the wondrous change
        But 'There is joy in Heaven'!

      Up

      The Student's Serenade

        I have slept upon my couch,
        But my spirit did not rest,
        For the labours of the day
        Yet my weary soul opprest;
        And, before my dreaming eyes
        Still the learned volumes lay,
        And I could not close their leaves,
        And I could not turn away.

        But I oped my eyes at last,
        And I heard a muffled sound;
        'Twas the night-breeze, come to say
        That the snow was on the ground.

        Then I knew that there was rest
        On the mountain's bosom free;
        So I left my fevered couch,
        And I flew to waken thee!

        I have flown to waken thee --
        For, if thou wilt not arise,
        Then my soul can drink no peace
        From these holy moonlight skies.

        And, this waste of virgin snow
        To my sight will not be fair,
        Unless thou wilt smiling come,
        Love, to wander with me there.

        Then, awake! Maria, wake!
        For, if thou couldst only know
        How the quiet moonlight sleeps
        On this wilderness of snow,

        And the groves of ancient trees,
        In their snowy garb arrayed,
        Till they stretch into the gloom
        Of the distant valley's shade;

        I know thou wouldst rejoice
        To inhale this bracing air;
        Thou wouldst break thy sweetest sleep
        To behold a scene so fair.

        O'er these wintry wilds, alone,
        Thou wouldst joy to wander free;
        And it will not please thee less,
        Though that bliss be shared with me.

      Up

Page Views


Unknown Authors

Other links

   Other links
Great famous poets | Grandes poetas famosos | Contacto: Monika Lekanda