Open main menu

Page:Littell's Living Age - Volume 134.djvu/328

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
322
VARIATIONS, ETC.


VARIATIONS.
I. — OUTWARD BOUND.

Floating, floating, from dawn to dusk,
Till the pearly twilight dies,
And the mists float up from the sapphire sea
And cloud all the sapphire skies.
Floating, floating, while golden stars
Seem to float in a sea overhead,
And starry lights from a sea below
Glow orange, and purple, and red;
Till we seem floating out from the sea of life,
The tempests of passion, the storm-winds of strife —
Out into strange, mysterious space,
Till God shall find us a landing-place.

Drifting, drifting, to lands unknown,
From a world of love and care,
Drifting away to a home untried
And a heart that is waiting there.
O ship, sail, swiftly! O waters deep,
Bear me safe to that haven unknown,
Safe to the tender love that waits
To be forever my own!
Till we drift away from the sea of life,
The tempests of passion, the storm-winds of strife,
Out to a haven, out to a shore
Where life is love for evermore.


II. — SPRING IS HERE.

Exultant in the grey, uncertain light,
Out of a dream the bird-voice seemed to break,
As if it rang from woods and fields of home,
Proclaiming, "Spring is here. Awake! awake!"
No mateless wanderer, I said, would roam
So far from sheltering copse and meadows bright,
Some prisoned thrush is trying thus to drown
Memories of love and spring that haunt him yet.
O restless songster! crying to be free,
Dost thou remember love and liberty —
And I forget?

I know where gold lent-lilies wave afield,
Where April keeps her white ungathered store
Of violets, where the trembling cuckoo-flowers
Fringe the brown roots of budding sycamore;
Green nooks where birds between the spring-tide showers
Make passionate music; where old pastures yield
Their cowslip bells to little children's hands:
Ah, weary bird! these are but shadow lands.
Then the dawn showed me where, unfaltering,
A thrush unfettered on a blackened tree
Thrilled these wild strains of love and ecstasy
In praise of spring.
Good Words.C. Brooke




THE RIGHT HON. SIR GEORGE MELLISH,

LORD JUSTICE OF APPEAL.

Born 1814. Died, June 15, 1877.

From his youth up a martyr on the rack
Of unearned suffering that most wills had tamed,
And turned a nature less heroic back
From strenuous effort, pitied and unblamed.

But, quenching sense in spirit, he so strove,
That early manhood found him early wise,
A sage in whom, as pain o'ercame not love,
Strong soul weak body bore on high emprize.

Till on the judgment-seat, as on the way
That led up to its honors, he was seen,
Bearing the heat and burden of his day,
Of soul unruffled, patient, and serene;

With a sweet sadness putting pain aside,
To bend his ripened judgment to the cause,
And turn the clear light of his mind to guide
His brethren through our labyrinthine laws.

When men, in after times, would have held up
The glass of all that a great judge should be,
The face of Mellish, with his bitter cup
Beside him, let the Bar of England see!




JUNE.

An English wife, whose passage o'er the line
That severs maid from matron leaves its trace
In wiser innocence and chastened grace;
With queenly eyes, love loyal, frank, benign,
That warm, unheating, and unglittering shine;
A touch of cool bright color on her face,
A shape that curves part hide and part define, —
Figures our June, the summer's resting-place.
Promise is perfected, without excess;
The leaf fulfilled, the flower not overblown,
The beams of noontide in this kindly zone
Bless, and burn not; half-tints of pink and pearl
Shimmer from wild-rose cluster, woodbine whorl;
The wavy woods are dim for leafiness.
Spectator.H. G. Hewlett




A WOMAN'S "NO."

He spoke to her with manly word, —
With honest speech and slow;
She felt she loved him as she heard,
But yet she answered "No."

She saw him rise, she saw him stand,
As staggering from a blow;
She could have kissed his trembling hand,
But still she answered "No."

And so he goes — to come no more!
But let him only go,
Her voice will call him from the door —
Who trusts a woman's "No"?
Good Words.F. James.