« הקודםהמשך »
THE FUTURE LIFE.
I WONDER what the future life will be ?
[man's Whether the flitting shadows love endears, Which haunt the ruined pile of memory, [sbrines
Will throw themselves beyond the stretch of years, [this And there take beauteous shapes, and be to me [nor seem, but be
A source of constant joy, and not of tears. How often slumbering memory wakes, to weep
For hours o'er some unnoticed, transient thing, Which, sudden, roused it from its trance-like sleep,
To live a little heaven. How oft we sing The song of other days, when hope did sweep
Its sanguine hand across life's firmer string! [Her
But now the wrecks of years lie scattered round, [time
Mere nothings which the wind may drive away ;
Be set in forms that never shall decay ?
[-round still rings in music which my heart-strings play? (Whose ringing The aspect of a cloud, or song of bird, [glory
Some floating strain of witching melody,
The shadows on the brook, the gnarlèd tree,
Ah, in the breast fierce passion's smouldering fires
Still live, and wait but slightest touch to blaze ; [by Then make a wreck of holiest desires,
And stern resolves to their foundations raze; While in its arms the fairer-blooming life expires,
Pierced to the heart by its consuming rays.
Will these deep-buried loves again revive ?
Will passion's fires be quenched? Will discipline Of faith and virtue in that sphere survive?
Will all those objects that touch thoughts within, (stir Be ever present to preserve alive
The joy that rises up through years of sin ?
Fair hopes that budded in the days of youth,
The colder blasts of manhood's winter blight; And vows, though daughters of eternal truth,
Lay round me dead,-slain in a single night : Will these re-live, untouched by hand of ruth,
And shall I cherish them with fond delight ?
[live them o'er
Oh, had I wings ! how swiftly would I flee,
And linger round that life beyond our ken !
So youth we spend in longings to be men :
[quickly come “ Quickly come, Lord Jesus ; even so, Amen.” [Lord Jesus,
Far there our utmost thought may wing and sweep
Through yon immensity of space; thence rise, (vast immensities
To higher plains, where wing of seraph plies
Still wondering where the home of Godhead lies. DIAMOND.
The form of verse in which C. S. bas chosen to cast his poem is difficult to manage, and requires attention to its recurrences before it can be taken into the mind. The chime is unfamiliar, but when read lovingly it gains upon one. Consistency and condensation might here, too, have been advisably employed, especially in stan. zas three and four. The verses must have cost considerable trouble, and no little skill in word-building is noticeable in the " lofty rhyme.” We think there are poetic gleams amid the darkness of his spirit which enable us to bid him hope, work, think, and wait.
O BECKONING maiden! whose deep-searching eyes [heart
Have thrilled me to the soul-whose voice has sought
That thou might'st pluck therefrom pure poesy.
Me thus, and with thy yearnings haunt my soul ? (daunt
Or shalt thou give me strength, or make me free? (Wilt thou not
Although my years are few, yet thou art old
Unto my sight, for in my dreams thy form
At first thou wert a shadow without name,
Life, love, and light grew strong, and I felt fonder
[saw far off
Together towards that bill we walked ; and lo! [but
Two spirits flew around us—hope and fear, One cheered me on and urged me aye to go,
[full And wished that thou and hope from me were gone; [friendly grasp But thou stood'st forth and took my hand in thine, [Thou stood'st
with While hope, with songs of love, still cheered me on,
Though fear oft hovered near, and pained me sore. (still
Now I have gained a hillock on the hill,
But, as I look above, the heights increase,
Still makes my soul enthusiast, though fear
Shrieks out, and points to distant darkness, seen
“ The future? Ah ! 'tis bright while I am near."
O onward-urging fame! but thou art strong;
O hope omnipotent! if thou art kind
To joys, for love of immortality ?
To crush our aims, and cause us pain, by being
From thy stern thrall ? Ah, would that I were free!
We interpose for variety's sake some verse in a lighter measure, and a simpler theme. These lines are just of the sort to which memory gives interest, because association aids the signification. They have a lilt, caught from the winds of the Mearns.
[Suggested on a plant of white heather being found by an excursion party on Ker-loch Hill, a ridge of the Grampians, in Kincardineshire. It is a somewhat rare plant in a wild state.]
QUEEN of the purple mountain side,
“What art thou doing there ?"
Bathes in her light
With tenderest ray
She seems to say,
We like the spirit and admire the heartiness of W. D. in the piece which follows, and gladly give place to his good wishes :
GOD BLESS OUR WORKING MEN.
God bless our noble working men,
Who work on rail or road;
And on each one's abode!
We quote next a good many stanzas which might have been much better expressed if they had been diligently compressed, and had the author kept one idea more persistently before him. The topic, and the spirit in which the verses are conceived, commend themselves to our sympathies; and we would gladly have given a higher opinion had we been honestly able. Religious poetry above all others should be intense, compact, clear, and telling. In it any. thing more is vain. The stanzas enclosed in brackets appear to us to break the continuity of the poem, and the capital point made in the opening of the fourth verse is not effectively sustained. Ought not the tenth verse to have been transformed somewhat thus ?