Imagens das páginas
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ALOFT upon an old basaltic


In vain, in vain beneath his feet we flung The reddening roses! All in vain we pour'd

The golden wine, and round the shining board

Sent the toast circling, till the rafters rung

With the thrice-tripled honors of the


Scarce the buds wilted and the voices


Ere the pure light that sparkled in his


Which, scalp'd by keen winds that de- Bright as auroral fires in Southern skies,

fend the Pole,

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Faded and faded! And the brave young


That the relentless Arctic winds had


Of all its vital heat, in that long quest For the lost captain, now within his breast

More and more faintly throbb'd. His was the victory; but as his grasp Closed on the laurel crown with eager clasp,

Death launch'd a whistling dart; And ere the thunders of applause were


His bright eyes closed for ever on the sun! Too late, too late the splendid prize he won In the Olympic race of Science and of Art!

Like to some shatter'd berg that, pale and lone,

Drifts from the white North to a tropic zone,

And in the burning day
Wastes peak by peak away,
Till on some rosy even
It dies with sunlight blessing it; so he
Tranquilly floated to a Southern sea,
And melted into heaven.

He needs no tears, who lived a noble life; We will not weep for him who died so well,

But we will gather round the hearth, and tell

The story of his strife;

Such homage suits him well,

Better than funeral pomp or passing


What tale of peril and self-sacrifice!
Prison'd amid the fastnesses of ice,

With hunger howling o'er the wastes of


No grander episode doth chivalry hold

In all its annals, back to Charlemagne, Than that lone vigil of unceasing pain,

Night lengthening into months, the rav- Faithfully kept through hunger and

enous floe

Crunching the massive ships, as the white bear

Crunches his prey. The insufficient share Of loathsome food,

The lethargy of famine, the despair Urging to labor, nervelessly pursued, Toil done with skinny arms, and faces hued

Like pallid masks, while dolefully behind. Glimmer'd the fading embers of a mind! That awful hour, when through the pros

trate band

Delirium stalk'd, laying his burning hand Upon the ghastly foreheads of the crew. The whispers of rebellion, faint and few At first, but deepening ever till they grew

Into black thoughts of murder; such the throng

Of horrors bound the hero. High the song Should be that hymns the noble part he play'd!

Sinking himself, yet ministering aid

To all around him. By a mighty will Living defiant of the wants that kill, Because his death would seal his comrades' fate;

Cheering with ceaseless and inventive


Those Polar waters, dark and desolate.
Equal to every trial, every fate,

He stands, until Spring, tardy with relief,

Unlocks the icy gate,

And the pale prisoners thread the world

once more,

To the steep cliffs of Greenland's pastoral shore

Bearing their dying chief.

Time was when he should gain his spurs of gold

From royal hands, who woo'd the knightly state;

The knell of old formalities is toll'd,
And the world's knights are now self-


through cold,

By the good Christian knight, ELISHA KANE!



DIED AUGUST 15, 1880.
"With fairest flowers,
While summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,
I'll sweeten thy sad grave."

AND oh, to think the sun can shine,

The birds can sing, the flowers can bloom, And she, whose soul was all divine, Be darkly mouldering in the tomb; That o'er her head the night-wind sighs,

And the sad cypress droops and moans; That night has veiled her glorious eyes,

And silence hushed her heavenly tones;

That those sweet lips no more can smile,
Nor pity's tender shadows chase,
With many a gentle, child-like wile,
The rippling laughter o'er her face;
That dust is on the burnished gold

That floated round her royal head;
That her great heart is dead and cold-
Her form of fire and beauty dead!

Roll on, gray earth and shining star,
And coldly mock our dreams of bliss;
There is no glory left to mar,
Nor any grief so black as this!



THE Lady Mary Villiers lies

Under this stone: With weeping eyes
The parents that first gave her breath.
And their sad friends, laid her in earth
If any of them, reader, were
Known unto thee, shed a tear:
Or if thyself possess a gem,
As dear to thee as this to them;

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THESE to His memory-since he held them dear,

Perchance as finding there unconsciously
Some image of himself—I dedicate,
I dedicate, I consecrate with tears-
These Idylls.

And indeed He seems to me Scarce other than my own ideal knight, 'Who reverenced his conscience as his king;

Whose glory was redressing human wrong; Who spake no slander, no, nor listen'd to it:

Who loved one only, and who clave to her-"

Her-over all whose realms to their last isle,

Commingled with the gloom of imminent


The shadow of His loss drew like eclipse, Darkening the world. We have lost him:

he is gone:

We know him now: all narrow jealousies
Are silent; and we see him as he moved,
How modest, kindly, all-accomplish'd,

With what sublime repression of himself,
And in what limits, and how tenderly;
Not swaying to this faction or to that;
Not making his high place the lawless

Of wing'd ambitions, nor a vantage


For pleasure; but thro' all this tract of


Wearing the white flower of a blameless life,

Before a thousand peering littlenesses,

In that fierce light which beats upon a throne,

And blackens every blot: for where is he,
Who dares foreshadow for an only son
A lovelier life, a more unstain'd, than

Or how should England, dreaming of his sons,

Hope more for these than some inherit


Of such a life, a heart, a mind as thine,

Thou noble Father of her Kings to be, Laborious for her people and her poorVoice in the rich dawn of an ampler dayFar-sighted summoner of War and Waste To fruitful strifes and rivalries of peaceSweet Nature gilded by the gracious gleam Of letters, dear to Science, dear to Art, Dear to thy land and ours, a Prince indeed,

Beyond all titles, and a household name, Hereafter, thro' all times, Albert the Good?

Break not, O woman's heart, but still endure;

Break not, for thou art Royal, but endure, Remembering all the beauty of that star Which shone so close beside Thee, that ye made

One light together, but has pass'd, and leaves The Crown a lonely splendor.

May all love, His love, unseen but felt, o'ershadow Thee,

The love of all Thy sons encompass Thee, The love of all Thy daughters cherish


The love of all Thy people comfort Thee, Till God's love set Thee at his side again.



You lay a wreath on murder'd Lincoln's bier,

You, who with mocking pencil wont to


Broad for the self-complaisant British sneer,

His length of shambling limb, his furrow'd face,

His gaunt, gnarl'd hands, his unkempt, bristling hair,

His garb uncouth, his bearing ill at ease, His lack of all we prize as debonair,

Of power or will to shine, of art to please;

You, whose smart pen back'd up the pencil's laugh,

Judging each step as though the way

were plain;

Reckless, so it could point its paragraph, Of chief's perplexity or people's pain,

Beside this corpse, that bears for windingsheet

The Stars and Stripes he lived to rear


Between the mourners at his head and feet, Say, scurrile jester, is there room for you? Yes: he had lived to shame me from my


To lame my pencil and confute my pen; To make me own this hind of princes peer, This rail-splitter, a true-born king of


My shallow judgment I had learn'd to rue, Noting how to occasion's height he rose ; How his quaint wit made home-truth seem

more true;

How, iron-like, his temper grew by blows;

How humble, yet how hopeful he could be;

How in good fortune and in ill the same; Nor bitter in success, nor boastful he,

Thirsty for gold, nor feverish for fame.

He went about his work, such work as few Ever had laid on head and heart and hand,

As one who knows, where there's a task to do,

Man's honest will must Heaven's good grace command;

Who trusts the strength will with the burden grow,

That God makes instruments to work his will,

If but that will we can arrive to know,

The rapid that o'erbears the boatman's toil,

The prairie hiding the mazed wanderer's tracks,

The ambush'd Indian, and the prowling bear,

Such were the deeds that help'd his youth to train :

Rough culture, but such trees large fruit may bear,

If but their stocks be of right girth and grain.

So he grew up, a destined work to do,
And lived to do it; four long-suffering


Ill fate, ill feeling, ill report lived through, And then he heard the hisses change to


The taunts to tribute, the abuse to praise, And took both with the same unwaver

ing mood,

Till, as he came on light, from darkling days,

And seem'd to touch the goal from where he stood,

A felon hand, between the goal and him, Reach'd from behind his back, a trigger


And those perplex'd and patient eyes were dim,

Those gaunt, long-laboring limbs were laid to rest.

The words of mercy were upon his lips, Forgiveness in his heart and on his pen,

Nor tamper with the weights of good When this vile murderer brought swift

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