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“ All heaven and earth are still, — though not in sleep,
But breathless, as we grow when feeling most;
And silent, as we stand in thoughts too deep: -
All heaven and earth are still: From the high host
Of stars to the lulled lake, and mountain coast,
All is concenter'd in a life intense,
Where not a beam, nor air, nor leaf is lost,
But hath a part of being, and a sense
Of that which is of all Creator and Defence.” — Byron.
“How beautiful is night!
A dewy freshness fills the silent air;
No mist obscures, nor cloud, nor speck, nor stain,
Breaks the serene of heaven:
In full-orbed glory, yonder moon divine
Rolls through the dark-blue depths.
Beneath her steady ray
The desert-circle spreads,
Like the round ocean, girdled with the sky.
How beautiful is night!” – Southey. “ It is the hush of night, and all between
Thy margin and the mountains, dusk, yet clear,
Mellow'd and mingling, yet distinctly seen,
Save darken'd Jura, whose capt heights appear
Precipitously steep; and, drawing near,
There breathes a living fragrance from the shore
Of flowers yet fresh with childhood; on the ear
Drops the light drip of the suspended oar,
Or chirps the grasshopper one good-night carol more."-Byron.
“Ye stars! which are the poetry of heaven!
If in your bright leaves we would read the fate
Of men and empires, — 'tis to be forgiven,
That in our aspirations to be great,
Our destinies o’erleap their mortal state,
And claim a kindred with you; for ye are
A beauty and a mystery, and create
In us such love and reverence from afar, That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves a star.”
Ibid. “Now came still evening on, and Twilight grey Had in her sober livery all things clad; Silence arcompanied : for beast and bird
They to their grassy couch, these to their nests,
Were slunk, all but the wakeful nightingale;
She all night long her amorous descant sung;
Silence was pleased: now glowed the firmament
With living sapphires : Hesperus, that led
The starry host, rode brightest, till the Moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length,
Apparent queen, unveiled her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw.” — Milton.
“ Let us speak low, the Infant is asleep.
The frosty hills grow sharp, the day is near,
And Phosphor with his taper comes to peep
Into the cradle of the new-born year ;
Hush! the Infant is asleep;
Monarch of the Day and Night,
Whisper, yet it is not light,
The Infant is asleep.
“ Those arms shall crush great serpents ere to-morrow,
His closed eyes shall wake to laugh and weep;
His lips shall curl with mirth and writhe with sorrow,
And charm up Truth and Beauty from the deep ;
Softly, softly, let us keep
Our vigils ; visions cross his rest,
Prophetic pulses stir his breast,
Although he be asleep.”
THE BIRTH OF THE YEAR. Frederick Tennyson.
“ 'Tis midnight's holy hour, and silence now
Is brooding like a gentle spirit o'er
The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds
The bell's deep tones are swelling, — 'tis the knell
Of the departed year. No funeral train
Is sweeping past; yet, on the stream and wood,
With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest
Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred
As by a mourner's sigh; and on yon cloud
That floats so still and placidly through heaven,
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand,-
Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form,
And Winter, with his aged locks, - and breathe
In mournful cadences that come abroad
Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail,
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year
Gone from the Earth forever."
The Dirge or THE YEAR. – G. D. Prentice.
“No war, or battle's sound,
Was heard the world around -
The idle spear and shield were high up hung;
The hooked chariot stood
Unstain'd with hostile blood;
The trumpet spake not to the armed throng;
And kings sat still with awful eye,
As if they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by.
“But peaceful was the night
Wherein the Prince of Light
His reign of peace upon the earth began;
The winds, with wonder whist,
Smoothly the waters kissed,
Whispering new joys to the mild ocean,
Who now hath quite forgot to rave,
While birds of calm sit brooding on the charmed wave.”
HYMN ON THE MORNING OF CHRIST'S NATIVITY. - Milton.
“ Hearken, hearken!
God speaketh in thy soul!
Saying, “O thou that movest
With feeble paces o'er this earth of mine,
To break beside the fount thy golden bowl
Filled with salt tears from out thy mournful eyne,-
Direct them upward to my heaven, and see
My right hand hold thine immortality
In an eternal grasping! Thou that lovest
The songful birds and grasses underfoot,
And eke what tombs shall hide and change pollute --
I am the end of love! - give love to me!
O thou that sinnest, grace doth more abound
Than all thy sin ! sit still beneath my rood,
And count the droppings of my victim-blood,
And seek none other sound!'
“ Hearken! hearken.
Shall we hear the lapsing river
And our brother's sighing, ever,
And not the voice of God ?”
" Ascension morn! I hear the bells
Ring from the village far away;
How solemnly that music tells
The mystic story of the day!
Fainter and fainter come the chimes,
As though they melted into air,
Like voices of the ancient times,
Like whispers of ascending prayer!
So sweet and gentle sound they yet
That I, who never bend the knee,
Can listen on and half forget
That heaven's bright door is shut for me.
Yes, universal as the dew,
Which falls alike on field and fen,
Comes the wide summons to the true,
The false, the best and worst of men.”
BOTHWELL. — Aytoun.
“ Hush! is he sleeping ?
They say that men have slept upon the cross ;
So why not he? ... Thanks, Lord! I hear him breathe
And he will preach thy word to-morrow! - save?
Souls, crowds, for Thee! And they will know his worth?
Years hence - poor things, they know not what they do! -
And crown him martyr; and his name will ring?
Through all the shores of earth, and all the stars?
Whose eyes are sparkling through their tears to see
His triumph - Preacher! Martyr! - Ah-- and me?
If they must couple my poor name with his,
Let them tell all the truth — say how I loved him?
And tried to damn him by that love! Oh Lord !
Returning good for evil! and was this
The payment I deserved for such a sin ?
To hang here on my cross, and look at him?
Until we kneel before Thy throne in heaven!”
St. Maura. – Kingsley. “Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest, In sort of wakeful swoon, perplexed she lay, Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppressed Her smoothéd limbs and soul fatigued away; Flown, like a thought, until the morrow day; Blissfully havened both from joy and pain;
Clasped, like a missal, where swart Paynims pray,
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again."
THE EVE OF ST. AGNES. - Keata,
“She sleeps : her breathings are not heard
In palace chambers far apart.
The fragrant tresses are not stirred
That lie upon her charmed heart.
She sleeps : on either hand upswells
The gold-fringed pillow lightly prest:
She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells
A perfect form in perfect rest.”
THE SLEEPING BEAUTY. — Tennyson. “Eftsoons they heard a most melodious sound
Of all that might delight a dainty ear.
Such as, at once, might not on living ground,
Save in this paradise be heard elsewhere:
Right hard it was for wight which did it hear
To weet what manner music that might be,
For all that pleasing is to living ear
Was there consorted in one harmony;
Birds, voices, instruments, winds, waters, all agree.
“ The joyous birds, shrouded in cheerful shade
Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet :
Th' angelical, soft, trembling voices made
To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
The silver sounding instruments did meet
With the base murmurs of the water's fall;
The water's fall, with difference discreet,
Now soft, now loud, unto the winds did call;
The gentle, warbling wind, low answered to all.”
THE FAERIE QUEENE. — Spenser.
The different kinds or varieties of stress are the Radical, Vanishing, Median, Compound, and Thorough Stress.
Radical Stress is stress placed on the radical movement, or first part of the sound.