Imagens das páginas



CARK! what sound mine ear doth mock ?

'Tis the merry cuckoo clock,
Chiming like the very bird
In earliest days of summer heard,
With her two notes reiterated ;
Lonely bird—a voice unmated.

When the huge cathedral bell
Flings its undulating knell
From a central heart of sound,
To circle all the city round,
Where the shadowy watchmen creep
By the houses lapped in sleep ;
Knell that flies o'er palace towers,
And penetrates to inmost bowers,
And leaves within the haunted ear
Of lonely fireside listener
Something of fantastic fear
With its iron stern vibration ;
Cuckoo-clock, the salutation

Of thy admonitory ditty
Soothes me in the pent-up city,
With thine own peculiar greeting ;
And thus the hours, for ever fleeting,
Are onward cheated and beguiled
To die in music of the wild.

Cuckoo-clock, thy rural summons
Calls me to heathery thorn-grown commons,
Hazel-brakes, and beechen groves,
Where thy feathered namesake roves ;
And bids me summer scenes remember
In the month of drear December.
And when fierce dreams


the bed
Of pain and sickness rack the head,
Since thy clear note is ever telling
Of sunshine, and of life outwelling,
There is no distressful warning
In thy alarum, but a dawning
And a promise of renewal
Of healthful power, life's dearest jewel.

And O! what charms thy tuneful shock, All unconscious cuckoo-clock, Had for that child of sweetest features, A seraph now with seraph creatures.

and stay

How often would she

pause In the midst of all her play, At the very noontide hour, Held by thy spell of pleasing power, With eager eyes, and lips apart, Answering to her fluttering heart, That did within her bosom knock; Unmoved the while as marble block, She gazed upon thee, cuckoo clock, Like a votary come from far For response oracular, Till with sudden click and jar Thy mysterious doors should sunder With a sight and sound of wonder. Were the curious craftsman near, German, or stout Hollander, Who wrought thy wheels, and bade thee tell Each hour with voice instead of bell, A mile or twain he would be running To see such triumph of his cunning.

How oft temptation's sorest trials Environ those enchanting dials, That even the soberest hearts entrammel, With gold enchased, and flowered enamel : But thy wooden aspect homely,

In unison with all that's comely,
Speaks of regulated duty
By a charm surpassing beauty.
Of vocal mechanism the sweetest,
Thanks for the lesson thou repeatest;
Thanks for the never-failing stock
Of feelings that thou dost unlock,
Merry, voiceful cuckoo-clock.





ALK not to me of funeral rites, of dismal tombs

of earth; This form, these colours bright, declare this cup was

made for mirth. A health to all! to living friends I pledge this goblet's


And next, to those who smiled and wept three thousand

years ago!

This relic brings their joys and griefs to mingle with

our own, Though fabling time for centuries on centuries has flown: I seem to see their marriage feasts, the bridegroom and

the maid ; And new in earth with his crown of gold the warrior

grandly laid.

How! laid in earth ? aye, laid in earth : what thoughts

can here affright?

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »