« PreviousContinue »
To find the long-hair'd mermaidens; or, hard by icy
lands, To wrestle with the sea-serpent upon cerulean sands. O broad-armed Fisher of the deep, whose sports can
equal thine ? The Dolphin weighs a thousand tons that tugs thy cable
line; And night by night 'tis thy delight, thy glory day by
day, Through sable sea and breakers white, the giant game
to playBut shamer of our little sports! forgive the name I gaveA fisher's joy is to destroy, thine office is to save. O lodger in the sea-kings' halls, couldst thou but under
stand Whose be the white bones by thy side, or who that
dripping band, Slow swaying in the heaving wave, that round about
thee bend, With sounds like breakers in a dream blessing their
ancient friend Oh, couldst thou know what heroes glide with larger
steps round thee, Thine iron side would swell with pride; thou’dst leap
within the sea !
Give honour to their memories who left the pleasant
strand, To shed their blood so freely for the love of Father
churchyard grave, So freely, for a restless bed amid the tossing wave-Or, though our anchor may not be all I have fondly
sung, Honour him for their memory whose bones he grows among.
(By permission of the Author.)
ECHO AND THE RICH MAN.
“And Echo caught faintly the sound as it fell.”—Byron.
“O, Echo! I am very sad
Though prhaps, in all the county, There's no one's more cause to be glad,
And grateful for God's bounty ! But when the poor beset my path
Instead of words of honey, Should I not, rather in my wrath, Display some parsimony ? ”
Echo: "Display some purse o' money!" “They Fortune bitterly condemn,
Who on them seldom chucks her eye! But say, should I give ought to them, Because I find their luck's
Assist their humbler station ?
Echo: “Be moved to add a ration!'
That they for beds must litters make ! But they've of life some sweets, I'm sureThey seldom do their bitters take ! ”
Echo: “They seldom do their bit o' steak! Then if they're cold, what's that to me?
I act as common sense acts:Send coals ? do works of charityAnd carry out intense acts ?”
Echo: Carry out in ten sacks !" Whilst I my tea sip-on their knees
They plead, -say food's a rarity!
But what should I do—at my ease-
Echo: “Spare a tea !
Why, I'd my flight to Mecca wing,
words ! You do but give an echoing ?”
Echo: “Do but give a neck or wing !”
Endure a gaol's probation,
Echo: “Stop the Debtors' Station !”
A salve to heal each sore ?
Echo : “ The way to open a door ! ”
Misfortune seldom quickly fears,
shall have your cycle of
Grudge me my better living ?
TO A MOSQUITO.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT. [Mr. Bryant was born at Cummington, Massachusetts, U.S.A., on the 3rd of November, 1794. He is the father of the American poets, and was the first among them to establish a widely-sj reputation. While, however, we freely admit that the melodious flow of his verse, and the vigour and compactness of his language, prove him a perfect master of his art, his thoughts and his style bear evidence that it was from the study of the best English writers that his soul was attuned to song. What we look for in vain among most of the poets of America is individuality of thought and expression, something that has its counterpart in nature, and is not the result of a skilful adaptation of the old machinery, however ingenious and complicated it may be. It is precisely this individuality that makes Longfellow the most popular and most appreciated of the American poets in this country ;-he is the least like any of our own.
Bryant was brought up for the bar, and followed his profession from 1815 to 1825. In the latter year he married and removed to New York, where he became one of the editors of the “New York Monthly Review.” In 1832 he published a complete edition of his poems, and a copy of it reaching Washington Irving, who was then in London, he obtained for it re-publication in this country. Mr. Bryant visited Europe in 1834. Since 1836 his time has been chiefly occupied by his duties as editor of the “New York Evening Post."']
Fair insect ! that, with thread-like legs spread out,
And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing, Does murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
In pitiless ears full many a plaintive thing, And tell how little our large veins should bleed, Would we but yield them to thy bitter need. Unwillingly, I own, and, what is worse,
Full angrily men hearken to thy plaint; Thou gettest many a brush, and many a curse,
For saying thou art gaunt, and starved, and faint: Even the old beggar, while he asks for food, Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could. I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween,
Has not the honour of so proud a birth-
The offspring of the gods, though born on earth ;
And when, at length, thy gauzy wings grew strong, Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung,
Rose in the sky, and bore thee soft along;
Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence,
Came the deep murmur of its throng of men, And as its grateful odours met thy sense,
They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen. Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.
At length thy pinions fluttered in Broadway
Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed, By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray
Shone through the snowy veils, like stars thro' mist; And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin, Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin. Sure these were sights to touch an anchorite!
What! do I hear thy slender voice complain?
As if it brought the memory of pain;
What sayst thou, slanderer !-rouge makes thee sick ?
And China bloom at best is sorry food ?
Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood ?
That bloom was made to look at, not to touch;
To worship, not approach, that radiant white; And well might sudden vengeance light on such
As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite. Thou shouldst have gazed at distance and admired, Murmured thy adoration, and retired.