Page images

As I bitterly look back upon the last of memory's


For the saddest of the leaflets that my life can ever


As I sit here at the organ, I can think upon my sorrow, With the eastern oriel changing from its purple into


And the hopelessness of living for the wearisome to


Gives a sadder, deeper meaning to the doom of yester


For but yestermorn I boasted of a passion in quiescence, Though my heart was yearning toward her, I could

leave my love untold;

Till she won me into speaking by the glory of her presence,

Like a dream of Mary Mother by some master-hand of old.

She had summoned me to teach her, and I felt the fascination

Of her gracious bearing thrill me with a spell unknown before;

And my music sounded harshly to the perfect modulation

Of the low voice that will haunt me in my dreaming


And through all the realms of music we went day by day, now speeding

From the mighty strains of Handel to the passion of Mozart;

And I told my love in music, and she heard it, all unheeding

That the lowly organ-master could possess a human heart.

She stood up beside the organ, and her white throat in her singing

Took a fuller curve, and brighter shone the nimbus of her hair;

And so sang she to my playing, till the bell above us swinging

Brought my dear task to an ending with the eventime of prayer.

She was cruel in her beauty, as she bent her down above me,

And a bright tear born of music fell and glistened on

the keys,

And I wove a dream Elysian of her learning so to love me, That no thought of shame could touch her 'neath her

old ancestral trees.

Did she scorn me for my meanness, when I set my heart upon her?

There are ancient tombs engraven with the legends of

her race:

Love is old, and love is noble, and can never bring dishonor,

Though the blood of knightly fathers runs to flush a maiden's face.

And yestreen I dared to tell her of my love, and she departed,

With her small hand's queenly gesture, as she smiled away my speech;

She had proffered friendship's snowdrops, she was ever tender-hearted,

But the roses of her loving they hung far beyond my reach.

She will mate with but her equals; men of ancient names and stately

Will have power to win her kisses, and my lowly claim must yield;

They will never stoop to worship as I've worshiped, loving greatly,

Though my ancestors have fallen not upon the foughten field.

Fair the future spreads before her, will it ever bring repentance

For an honest love rejected, for a stricken heart and


Shall I ever dare to ask her for remission of my sentence?

But my music makes an answer with a hopeless "Never more."

And I think on that great master who, when life was swiftly fleeting,

Wrote the sad sepulchral music ere he bowed his

noble head,

That from all the saints in glory should bring sure and kindly greeting;

And for my lost love a requiem I play, as for the dead.

And I cling unto my music for the solace man's unkindness Has denied me, since my comrades greet my story with a smile;

There are loves, they say, in plenty, and they marvel at my blindness;

But the man who's seen the sun's face sees no other for a while.

Now the vast cathedral darkens, and the night comes slowly creeping

From the altar round the arches that o'erhang the chancel side;

And I leave the saints in silence as they solemnly lie sleeping,

And to-morrow brings the gladness of the holy Christ、 mas-tide.

And at Matins as aforetime I shall take my humble station,

In the rood-loft, at the service that we sing on

Christmas Day;

While the anthem peals around me, and the Church's jubilation

Gives good-will to all men, chanting "In excelsis gloria."



NEARCH creation round, where can you find a coun


try that presents so sublime a view, so interesting an anticipation? Who shall say for what purpose mysterious Providence may not have designed her! Who shall say that when in its follies or its crimes, the Old World may have buried all the pride of its power, and all the pomp of its civilization, human nature may

not find its destined renovation in the New! When its temples and its trophies shall have moldered into dust,when the glories of its name shall be but the legend of tradition, and the light of its achievements live only in song, philosophy will revive again in the sky of her Franklin, and glory rekindle at the urn of her Washington.

Is this the vision of romantic fancy? Is it even improbable? I appeal to history! Tell me, thou reverend chronicler of the grave, can all the allusions of ambition realized, can all the wealth of a universal commerce, can all the achievements of successful heroism, or all the establishments of this world's wisdom, secure to empire the permanency of its possessions? Alas, Troy thought so once; yet the land of Priam lives only in song! Thebes thought so once; yet her hundred gates have crumbled, and her very tombs are but as the dust they were vainly intended to commemorate! So thought Palmyra-where is she? So thought the countries of Demosthenes and the Spartan; yet Leonidas is trampled by the timid slave, and Athens insulted by the servile, mindless, and enervate Ottoman! In his hurried march, Time has but looked at their imagined immortality, and all its vanities, from the palace to the tomb, have, with their ruins, erased the very impression of his footsteps! The days of their glory are as if they had never been; and the island that was then a speck, rude and neglected, in the barren ocean, now rivals the ubiquity of their commerce, the glory of their arms, the fame of their philosophy, the eloquence of their senate, and the inspiration of their bards! Who shall say, then, contemplating the past, that England, proud and potent as she appears, may not one day be what Athens

« PreviousContinue »