« PreviousContinue »
SONNETS OF THE SOUTHLAND.
LAND of the pine and cypress, where the shades Of tropic forests that no seasons know
Are wed to heralds from the realms of snow; Where blooms the laurel while the jessamine braids Its golden wreaths, and in dim everglades
Elegiac banners tremble to and fro;
Where dark palmettoes wave, and missletoe Gives waxen verdure when the summer fades; O land, wherein the mocker builds his nest
And chants his oracles, and loud adores, Where silent marshes clasp the curving shores; Thou gracious land, give us the largess blest Of chosen souls who lean on Nature's breast While in their ear her mysteries she pours.
In vernal hedgerows blooms the eglantine
Upon a sheltered bank while fancy strays
And perfumed air and shimmering splendor lies In feeless bounty 'neath benignant skies. Thus reverent Nature sings her orisons And shows her secrets to the anointed ones Who win to read them with anointed eyes.
A land of old renown on History's page,
We bury but the dead. So let it be!
The Past is safe! With chastened gladness we Will bid its virtues still the heart inspire. Only the dross doth yield to furnace fire. What ought to live hath immortality.
A land of nameless graves where heroes sleep
And never moistened eyes may come to weep.
And thoughts of North and South do vainly turn
For the last loving word, the final kiss.
Land of the Future! Lift thy forehead high!
O Morning Land! From dreaming slumbers wake!
More than Excalibur in might, and dare
Chivalric graces still the world doth need
For peaceful conquests over pride and greed.
Peace be within thy borders! May the rude
May lofty motive lower aims preclude,
And Bethlehem's echoing song with cadence fine
May peaceful homes and fireside pleasures be
O kindly land, with trustfulness, as friend
Thou larger land! Home of us all thou art!
And while we hold our native country dear,
To human brotherhood; that all who fill God's family may share the birthright still. May largest loves add lustre to her fame The while we hush the noise of strife and blame In grateful songs of glory and good will.
Truly the new is older than the old.
It hath but slept awhile, enwrapped in mist; But waking earth the sunlight warm hath kissed, And all the hills are decked in robes of gold. Larger horisons now our eyes behold;
Delusive fogs no more our way resist, The far-off future doth our hopes enlist And lengthening vistas to our view unfold. In vain in narrow bounds is knowledge pent; When God gives light in vain our ways we hide; Our finite wills check not the ocean tide; Unto our wanderings truth can ne'er be bent But her straight bands of love and wisdom blent Our rapt obedient souls will safely guide. MARY H. LEONARD. -For The Magazine of Poetry.
TO MARIE B-.
FOR thee was always my awakening thought,
O friend! forgive me for my dream of bliss.
The salt sea-sand? What joy hast thou in this:
Say! Must I die, to prove that I can live?
Shall this be so? E'en this? And all my love
Oh! it is like the death of dearest kin,
To wake and find the fancies of the brain. Sear'd and confused! We languish in the strain Of some lost music, and we find within, Deep in the heart, the record of sin,
The thrill thereof, and all the blissful pain.
For it is deadly sin to love too well,
And unappeased, unhonor'd, unbesought,
I am the worst of men to love the best
All this is true. I know it. I am he.
I am that man. I am the hated friend Who once received a smile, and sought to mend His soul with hope. O tyrant! by the plea Of all thy grace, do thou accept from me At least the notes that know not to offend.
See! I will strike again the major chord
Of that great song, which, in his early days, Beethoven wrote; and thine shall be the praise, And thine the frenzy like a soldier's sword Flashing therein; and thine, O thou adored
And bright true Lady! all the poet's lays.