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386

TWO SONNETS, ETC.


TWO SONNETS.


HER LAUREATE.

I am, indeed, no theme with you for song —
A poet you, yet not for me your praise —
You crowned another woman with your bays,
Lifting your voice to heaven, triumphant, strong,
And fear by future rhymes to do her wrong:
If I should walk beside you in your ways
An echo would pursue us from old days,
And men would say, "He loved once, and for long!
So now without great love he is content,
Since she is dead for whom he used to sing,
And daily needs demand their aliment."
Thus some poor bird who strives with broken wing
To soar, then stoops, strength gone and glad life spent,
To any hand that his scant food will bring.



HEREAFTER.

In after years a twilight ghost shall fill
With shadowy presence all thy waiting room —
From lips of air thou canst not kiss the bloom,
Yet at old kisses will thy pulses thrill,
And the old longing that thou couldst not kill,
Feeling her presence in the gathering gloom,
Will mock thee with the hopelessness of doom,
While she stands there and smiles, serene and still.
Thou canst not vex her then with passion's pain;
Call, and the silence will thy call repeat,
But she will smile there with cold lips and sweet,
Forgetful of old tortures, and the chain
That once she wore — the tears she wept in vain
At passing from her threshold of thy feet.

Louise Chandler Moulton.
Macmillan's Magazine.




A CHILD'S HEART.

BY THE REV. FREDERICK LANGBRIDGE.

Give me thy heart, O little child!
Just for one golden hour;
Thine eyes by passion undefiled,
Thy soft cheek's peachy dower.
Give me thy curls that float and fall
In tangles sweet and wild;
But more than all, oh, more than all,
Give me thy heart, O child!
O glad child’s heart!

Give me thy heart of careless sun,
And I will give to thee
My present schemes, my triumphs won,
My dreams that might not be,
My precious hoard of garnered thought
Piled in the fruitful years,
My worldly wisdom, dearly bought
With blood, and toil, and tears,
O glad child's heart!

He gives his curls a saucy shake
And blithely darts away;
Not all the promises I make
Will tempt the child to stay.
For if he lent for one sweet hour
That priceless boon I lack,
Full well he knows no earthly power
Could make me give it back —
O glad child's heart!

Sunday Magazine.




IN A MEADOW.

How may a grateful mortal speak his thanks
For such a day as this? The rillet plays
Between a paradise of lilied banks;
Cool, sheltered by a million moving sprays.
The early sweets of life, that long had been
Forgotten in the darkened days of pain,
Come back to give old charms to each new scene,
And withered hopes, like trees, grow green again.

Midmost the leafage of the bending lane,
Half hid in shade, half shining in the sun,
Rumbles the heavy, rocking farmer's wain;
And after it barefooted children run
To cheer the wagoner, and reach the hay
Plucked by the hedges; and old women sit
To knit in silence and to nod away
The hours on cottage-steps with noon-light lit.

Cassell's Magazine.Guy Roslyn.




A ROOM.

In Florence, sacred to a great man's fame
Remains the room of Michael Angelo,
Wherein we softly breathe, with motion slow,
As if a spirit might intrusion blame.
Could it be yesterday he sketched the same
Sad Dies Iræ[1] all the world doth know,
Each touch itself a monument of woe;
Or are we captive to an ancient name?
Time's periods move with still increasing might
Of reverence, for the man whose cunning hand,
Direct from his soul's impulse, opened sight
To blind imaginations, whose command
Removed the hanging veil of Day and Night,
Where Death and Time are vanquished from the land.

Athenæum.J. W. Inchbold.

  1. The sketch for the "Last Judgment" is (or was till recently) there.