Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 127.djvu/782

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THE STRANGERS GRAVE, ETC.


THE STRANGER'S GRAVE.

He sleeps within a nameless grave,
Where spring's luxuriant blossoms wave,
For summer's reign is nigh.
The solitude around his tomb
Is beautiful as Eden's bloom
Ere beauty learned to die.
 
Her fairest and most fragrant flowers
Kind May in bright profusion showers
Upon that lovely spot;
Where the sick heart and weary head
Rest in their last dark, narrow bed,
Forgetting and forgot.

No drooping mourners kneel beside
That lonely grave at eventide.
And bathe them with their tears;
But oft the balmy dews of night
Lave it in pity, when the light
Of kindling stars appears.

No loved ones breathe the holy prayer,
But nature's incense fills the air,
And seeks the distant sky.
Her artless hymn the song-bird sings.
The dreamy hum of insect wings,
Are prayers that never die.

Chambers' Journal.




THE ANSWER OF Q. HORATIUS FLACCUS
TO A ROMAN "ROUND-ROBIN".

Good friends, you urge my odes grow trite,
And that of worthless station,
Of fleeting youth and joy, I write
With endless iteration.

But say, in mortals, base or great,
Have you a change detected?
Are they, when victors, less elate.
When vanquished, less dejected?

Do they no more in mundane mire
For golden garbage scramble?
Or, but companioned with the lyre,
Up twisting Anio ramble?
 
Hath Fortune ceased to prove a jade?
Hath favour waxed less fickle?
Hath shamed Bellona dropped her blade,
Or Death put up his sickle?

Doth age no longer rime the hair?
Finds Virtue always supper?
Or, when cit. rides, a knight, doth Care
No more bestride the crupper?
 
Do not the rosy hours wax pale.
New loves old loves disherit;
And sleight of golden showers prevail
'Gainst Danae's brazen turret?

Sooth, verbum sap. But then, Jove knows!
Men are not wise, but foolish;
Whether they scan Soracte's snows,
Or those near Ballachulish.

Still, still they hug the bestial sty,
And have not changed one wee bit;
Unpleasing truth, which "Repeti-
Ta decies {non) placebit."

Ask such to share my Sabine meal!
And twine the parsley classic!
For such to break the Manlian seal,
And liberate my Massic!

A pretty tale! Why, ken you not,
Good friends, as lately showed I,
In verse already you've forgot, —
Profanum vulgus odi?

Fair maid, or minister, I dine.
Toast Rome or Alma Venus:
When Lydia will not kiss my wine,
Why, then, I ask Mæcenas.

For such and self the chords I strike
Of wisdom, love, and scorning;
And if the world my themes mislike,
Well, — gentlemen, good-morning!

Alfred Austin.
Spectator.




SIMILITUDES.

Sublimely calm — her only wish to know
In her unswerving glance nor fear nor ruth,
Reckless how sun may shine, or storms may blow.
Stands, like an adamantine statue, Truth.

See, in the kindling east that cloudlet grey.
Touched by the dawn, a heavenly gem appears;
Thus Hope floats lucent in life's early ray,
Thus, too, or yet 'tis noon, oft falls in tears.

Full many a mimic part doth Love sustain
And aptly act in aspect, mien, and breath;
But his chief characters are Grief and Pain,
And often, too, he shows himself as Death.

O'er rugged roads doth Reason slow advance,
Pondering each step with face to earth inclined,
Yet sometimes will he raise a longing glance,
And list Faith's wordless promise on the wind.

J. S. D.
Spectator.