« ForrigeFortsett »
The cattle of the hills were in the shade,
And the bright plumage of the Orient lay
On beating bosoms in her spicy trees.
It was an hour of rest! but Hagar found
No shelter in the wilderness, and on
She kept her weary way, until the boy
Hung down his head, and open'd his parch'd lips
For water; but she could not give it him.
She laid him down beneath the sultry sky-
For it was better than the close, hot breath
Of the thick pines—and tried to comfort him;
But he was sore athirst, and his blue eyes
Were dim and bloodshot, and he could not know
Why God denied him water in the wild.
She sat a little longer, and he grew
Ghastly and faint, as if he would have died.
It was too much for her. She lifted him,
And bore him further on, and laid his head
Beneath the shadow of a desert-shrub;
And, shrouding up her face, she went away,
And sat to watch, where he could see her not,
Till he should die; and, watching him, she mourn'd:-
“God stay thee in thine agony, my boy:
I cannot see thee die; I cannot brook
Upon thy brow to look,
And see death settle on my cradle-joy.
How have I drunk the light of thy blue eye!
And could I see thee die ?
“I did not dream of this when thou wast straying,
Like an unbound gazelle, among the flowers;
Or wiling the soft hours,
By the rich gush of water-sources playing,
Then sinking weary to thy smiling sleep,
So beautiful and deep.
“Oh, no! and when I watch'd by thee the while,
And saw thy bright lip curling in thy dream,
And thought of the dark stream
In my own land of Egypt, the far Nile,
How pray'd I that my father's land might be
An heritage for thee! “And now the grave for its cold breast hath won thee! And thy white, delicate limbs the earth will press;
And, oh! my last caress
Must feel thee cold, for a chill hand is on thee.
How can I leave my boy, so pillow'd there
Upon his clustering hair!"
She stood beside the well her God had given
To gush in that deep wilderness, and bathed
The forehead of her child until be laughid
In his reviving happiness, and lisp'd
His infant thought of gladness at the sight
of the cool plashing of his mother's hand.
I love to look on a scene like this,
Of wild and careless play,
And persuade myself that I am not old
And my locks are not yet gray;
For it stirs the blood in an old man's heart,
And makes his pulses fly,
To catch the thrill of a happy voice,
And the light of a pleasant eye.
I have walk'd the world for fourscore years;
And they say that I am old, That my heart is ripe for the reaper, Death,
And my years are wellnigh told. It is very true; it is very true;
I'm old, and “I 'bide my time:"
But my heart will leap at a scene like this,
And I half renew my prime.
Play on, play on; I am with you there,
In the midst of your merry ring;
I can feel the thrill of the daring jump,
And the rush of the breathless swing.
I hide with you in the fragrant hay,
And I whoop the smother'd call,
And my feet slip up on the seedy floor,
And I care not for the fall.
I am willing to die when my time shall come,
And I shall be glad to go;
For the world at best is a weary place,
And my pulse is getting low :
But the grave is dark, and the heart will fail
In treading its gloomy way;
And it wiles my heart from its dreariness
To see the young so gay.
Love knoweth every form of air,
And every shape of earth,
And comes, unbidden, everywhere,
Like thought's mysterious birth.
The moonlit sea and the sunset sky
Are written with Love's words, And you hear his voice unceasingly,
Like song, in the time of birds.
He peeps into the warrior's heart
From the tip of a stooping plume,
And the serried spears, and the many men,
May not deny him room.
He'll come to his tent in the weary night,
And be busy in his dream,
And he'll float to his eye in the morning light,
Like a fay on a silver beam.
He hears the sound of the hunter's gun,
And rides on the echo back,
And sighs in his ear like a stirring leaf,
And flits in his woodland track.
The shade of the wood, and the sheen of the river,
The cloud, and the open sky,-
He will haunt them all with his subtle quiver,
Like the light of your very eye.
The fisher hangs over the leaning boat,
And ponders the silver sea,
For Love is under the surface hid,
And a spell of thought has he:
He heaves the wave like a bosom sweet,
And speaks in the ripple low,
Till the bait is gone from the crafty line,
And the hook hangs bare below.
He blurs the print of the scholar's book,
And intrudes in the maiden's prayer,
And profanes the cell of the holy man
In the shape of a lady fair.
In the darkest night, and the bright daylight,
In earth, and sea, and sky,
In every home of human thought,
Will Love be lurking nigh.
I have enough, O God! My heart to-night
Runs over with its fulness of content;
And as I look out on the fragrant stars,
And from the beauty of the night take in
My priceless portion,-yet myself no more
Than in the universe a grain of sand, -
I feel His glory who could make a world,
Yet in the lost depths of the wilderness
Leave not a flower unfinish'd!
Rich, though poor!
My low-roofd cottage is this hour a heaven,
Music is in it,—and the song she sings,
That sweet-voiced wife of mine, arrests the ear
Of my young child awake upon her knee;
And with his calm eye on his master's face,
My noble hound lies couchant; and all here-
All in this little home, yet boundless heaven-
Are, in such love as I have power to give,
Blessed to overflowing.
Thou, who look'st
Upon my brimming heart this tranquil eve,