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I am the daughter of the earth and water,
And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the
of the ocean and shores :
I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when, with never a stain,
The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams,
the blue dome of air-
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again.
40.-COW PER’S GRAVE.
ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.
[See page 142.]
It is a place where poets crowned may feel the heart's decaying-
It is a place where happy saints may weep amid their praying:
Yet let the grief and humbleness, as low as silence, languish!
Earth surely now may give her calm to whom she gave her anguish.
O poets ! from a maniac's tongue was poured the deathless singing!
O Christians ! at your cross of hope a hopeless bard was clinging!
O men! this man in brotherhood your weary paths beguiling,
Groaned inly while he taught you peace, and died while ye were
smiling! And now, what time ye all may read through dimming tears his story, How discord on the music fell, and darkness on the glory, And how when, one by one, sweet sounds and wandering lights
departed, He wore no less a loving face because so broken-hearted : He shall be strong to sanctify the poet's high vocation ; And bow the meekest Christian down in meeker adoration : Nor ever shall he be, in praise, by wise or good forsaken, Named softly as the household name of one whom God hath taken. With quiet sadness and no gloom I learn to think upon nim, With meekness that is gratefulness to God whose heaven hath won
himWho suffered once the madness-cloud to His own love to blind him, But gently led the blind along where breath and bird could find him, And wrought within his shattered brain, such quick poetic senses As hills have language for, and stars, harmonious influences ! The pulse of dew upon the grass kept his within its number, And silent shadows from the trees refreshed him like a slumber.
Wild timid hares were drawn from woods to share his home-caresses,
Uplooking to his human eyes with sylvan tendernesses;
The very world, by God's constraint, from falsehood's ways
Its women and its men became beside him true and loving.
But while in blindness he remained unconscious of the guiding,
And things provided came without the sweet sense of providing,
He testified this solemn truth though phrenzy desolated-
Nor man nor nature satisfy, whom only God created!
Like a sick child that knoweth not his mother whilst she blesses
And drops upon his burning brow the coolness of her kisses ;
That turns his fevered eyes around—“My mother! where's my
As if such tender words and looks could come from any
The fever gone, with leaps of heart he sees her bending o'er him, Her face all pale from watchful love, the unweary love she bore him! Thus woke the poet from the dream his life's long fever gave him, Beneath those deep pathetic Eyes, which closed in death to save him !
Thus? oh, not thus ! no type of earth could image that awaking, Wherein he scarcely heard the chant of seraphs round him
breaking, Or felt the new immortal throb of soul from body parted, But felt those eyes alone, and knew, “ My Saviour! not deserted !"
Deserted! who hath dreamt that when the cross in darkness rested,
Upon the Victim's hidden face no love was manifested ?
What frantic hands outstretched have e'er the atoning drops
averted ? What tears have washed them from the soul, that one should be
Deserted! God could separate from His own essence rather,
And Adam's sins have swept between the righteous Son and
Yea, once, Immanuel's orphaned cry his universe hath shaken-
It went up single, echoless, “ My God, I am forsaken !"
It went up from the Holy's lips amid his lost creation,
That, of the lost, no son should use those words of desolation,
That earth's worst phrenzies, marring hope, should mar not hope's
And I, on Cowper’s grave, should see his rapture in a vision !
(By permission of Messrs. Chapman and Hall.)
J. E. CARPENTER.
“ COME to the land where slavery reigns,
To shatter the fetters and burst the chains ;
There's a noble ship in the sheltering bay,
It waits but for me, and we're hence-away!
My crew, they love not this gloomy shore,
We must be ploughing the sea once more.
“ Come, though I speed to the burning skies,
Where the slave, bow'd down, on the parch'd earth lies;
Where the slave-ship steals o'er the lurid main,
With her pirate crew, for ungodly gain.
'Tis a noble work, and my heart beats now
For a glimpse of that hated vessel's prow.
“ There's a land that boasts of its good free will,
But the stripes with its stars are blended still.
Come !—chase the foul traders from ev'ry sea,
Till the proud earth owns all her people free;
And e'en that land is free-in name-
Shall look on her past with a pang of shame.
“ There is one dark spot on the wave afar,
But to us it shall be as a guiding-star;
Come! there's a clank of the black man's chain,
Calling me back to the distant main;
Shatter those fetters,-away! with me-
Why should the earth not all be free p”
“ Mariner !-thine is the lot to be
Borne on the ocean, loving the free;
But not for me is the wave's loud roar,
Though I am weary of this cold shore.
Though thou tellest things I grieve to hear,
More gloomy and sad is the prospect here.
· I've read of the land where slavery reigns;
I've heard men speak of the negro's chains
I am not deaf to the voice of woe,
I hear it, too frequent, wherever I go!
You go to the slave,—but you leave behind
White slaves-fetter'd in body and mind !
They wear not the chain, nor the festering ring,
But they sell themselves-and for what they'll bring;
And many a strong man bows his head,
And toils for less than his daily bread,
And pines for a bowl of the negro's rice,
For he earns it not in his—market price.
“ The negro toils ’neath the scorching sun,
But he sees him set when the day is done :
Mariner! thousands of white men here
Never behold his golden cheer;
Hewing the mines in the earth's dark cell,
Day is all night where the white slaves dwell.
Digging and delving through life that we
May scatter our wealth, and shout, “ we're free;'
A mind-blighted, limb-twisted, barbarous race,
Born for their loathsome hiding-place.
Slavery! boast not its race is o'er,
For it dwelleth close to the good man's door.
“ Slavery! Mark ye that chimney tall,
Those narrow windows in that high wall!
See ye those wheels that go round and round,
With ever the same sharp whizzing sound :
A hundred children, when daylight's fled,
Go hence,—but not one to a child's happy bed.
“There's slavery there, in that dim-lighted room,
While the streets are shrouded in midnight gloom;
In the fair young form, who, with swimming eyes,
By the glare of the lamp her needle plies;
On-on-no rest! she must toil away,
Till the task is done, for the coming day.
'Slavery! is it the same dark tale
“On the Afric shôre,—in the English gaol ?
Liberty! is it an empty sound?
Or hath it no meaning on British ground ?
Oh! the gaol is the refuge the white slave's got,
Tho' he'd covet, without it, the negro's lot.
“Then, mariner, hence ! and God prosper thee,
And strengthen thine arm against slavery !
But when thou art far on some alien strand,
Give back thy thoughts to thy native land;
pray that the galling chain be riven,
That the white man's wealth to his kind has given."
EDGAR ALLAN POE. [Poe was born at Baltimore, U.S.A., about the year 1811, and left destitute when a mere child by his parents, who were strolling players. Adopted and sent to school by a Virginian planter, Mr. Allan, he was from the first ungrateful and unmanageable. He was expelled from a military academy in which Mr. Allan placed him ; he enlisted in the army, then deserted and picked up a precarious living by contributing to American periodicals. His genius
made him many friends, but he kept none; he deceived and disgraced all he came in contact with; he was morbidly reckless, and his diseased imagination is reflected in his writings. He seems to have written as he lived, in a dream of intoxication, in which despondency alternated with savage hilarity, and in which nothing real had a part. He died October 7, 1849, in a hospital at Baltimore.]
HEAR the sledges with the bells—
What a world of merriment their melody foretells !
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle,
In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle
All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight.
Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme,
To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells-
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.
Hear the mellow wedding bells,
Golden bells !
What a world of happiness their harmony foretells;
Through the balmy air of night
How they ring out their delight!
From the molten-golden notes,
And all in tune,
What a liquid ditty floats
To the turtle-dove that listens, while she gloats
On the moon !
Oh, from out the sounding cells,
What a gush of euphony voluminously wells !
How it swells !
How it dwells
On the Future! how it tells
Of the rapture that impels
To the swinging and the ringing
Of the bells, bells, bells,
Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
To the rhyming and the chiming of the bells !
Hear the loud alarum bells-
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells !
In the startled ear of night
How they. scream out their affright!
Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune,