Poetry Monster

English Poetry. Edmund Clarence Stedman. Hawthorne. Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман.

Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)


⁠Harp of New England song,
That even in slumber tremblest with the touch
⁠Of poets who like the four winds from thee waken
All harmonies that to thy strings belong,—
Say, wilt thou blame the younger hands too much
⁠Which from thy laurelled resting-place have taken
Thee, crowned-one, in their hold? There is a name
⁠Should quicken thee! No carol Hawthorne sang,
Yet his articulate spirit, like thine own,
⁠Made answer, quick as flame,
⁠To each breath of the shore from which he sprang,
⁠And prose like his was poesy's high tone.

⁠By measureless degrees
Star follows star throughout the rounded night.
⁠Far off his path began, yet reached the near
Sweet influences of the Pleiades,—
A portion and a sharer of the light
⁠That shall so long outlast each burning sphere.
Beneath the shade and whisper of the pines
⁠Two youths were fostered in the Norseland air;
One found an eagle's plume, and one the wand
⁠Wherewith a seer divines:
⁠Now but the Minstrel lingers of that pair,—
⁠The rod has fallen from the mage's hand.

⁠Gray on thy mountain height,
More fair than wonderland beside thy streams,
⁠Thou with the splendors twain of youth and age,
This was the son who read thy heart aright,
Of whom thou wast beholden in his dreams,—
⁠The one New-Englander! Upon whose page
Thine offspring still are animate, and move
⁠Adown thy paths, a quaint and stately throng:
Grave men of God who made the olden law,
⁠Fair maidens, meet for love,—
⁠All living types that to the coast belong
⁠Since Carver from the prow thy headland saw.

⁠What should the master be
Who to the world New-England's self must render,
⁠Her best interpreter, her very own?
How spake the brooding Mother, strong and tender,
Back-looking through her youth betwixt the moan
⁠Of forests and the murmur of the sea?
"Thou too," she said, "must first be set aside
⁠To keep my ancient vigil for a space,—
Taught by repression, by the combating
⁠With thine own pride of pride,
⁠An unknown watcher in a lonely place
⁠With none on whom thine utterance to fling."

⁠But first of all she fed
Her heart's own favorite upon the store
⁠Of precious things she treasures in her woods,
Of charm and story in her valleys spread.
For him her whispering winds and brooks that pour
⁠Made ceaseless music in the solitudes;
The manifold bright surges of her deep
⁠Gave him their light. Within her voice's call
She lured him on, by roadways overhung
⁠With elms, that he might keep
⁠Remembrance of her legends as they fall
⁠Her shaded walks and gabled roofs among.

⁠Within the mists she drew,
Anon, his silent footsteps, as her own
⁠Were led of old, until he came to be
An eremite, whose life the desert knew,
And gained companionship in dreams alone.
⁠The world, it seemed, had naught for such as he,—
For one who in his heart's deep wilderness
⁠Shrunk darkling, and, whatever wind might blow,
Found no quick use for potent hands and fain,
⁠No chance that might express
⁠To humankind the thoughts which moved him so.
⁠O, deem not those long years were quite in vain!

⁠For his was the brave soul
Which, touched with fire, dwells not on whatsoever
⁠Its outer senses hold in their intent,
But, sleepless even in sleep, must gather toll
Of dreams which pass like barks upon the river
⁠And make each vision Beauty's instrument;
That from its own love Love's delight can tell,
⁠And from its own grief guess the shrouded Sorrow;
From its own joyousness of Joy can sing;
⁠That can predict so well
⁠From its own dawn the lustre of to-morrow,
⁠The whole flight from the flutter of the wing.

⁠And his the gift which sees
A revelation and a tropic sign
⁠In the lone passion-flower, and can discover
The likeness of the far Antipodes,
Though but a leaf is stranded from the brine;
⁠His the fine spirit which is so true a lover
Of sovran Art, that all the becks of life
⁠Allure it not until the work be wrought.
Nay, though the shout and smoke of combat rose,
⁠He, through the changeful strife,
⁠Eternal loveliness more closely sought,
⁠And Beauty's changeless law and sure repose.

⁠Was it not well that one—
One, if no more—should meditate aloof,
⁠Though not for naught the time's heroic quarrel,
From what men rush to do and what is done.
He little knew to join the web and woof
⁠Whereof slow Progress weaves her rich apparel,
But toward the Past half longing turned his head.
⁠His deft hand dallied with its common share
Of human toil, nor sought new loads to lift
⁠But held itself, instead,
⁠All consecrate to uses that make fair,
⁠By right divine of his mysterious gift.

⁠How should the world discern
The artist's self, save through the fine creation
⁠Of his rare moment? How, but from his song,
The unfettered spirit of the minstrel learn?
Yet on this one the stars had set the station
⁠Which to the chief romancer should belong:
Child of the Beautiful! whose regnant brow
⁠She made her canopy, and from his eyes
Looked outward with a steadfast purple gleam.
⁠Who saw him marvelled how
⁠The soul of that impassioned ray could lie
⁠So calm beyond,—unspoken all its dream.

⁠What sibyl to him bore
The secret oracles that move and haunt?
⁠At night's dread noon he scanned the enchanted glass,
Ay, and himself the warlock's mantle wore,
Nor to the thronging phantoms said Avaunt,
⁠But waved his rod and bade them rise and pass;
Till thus he drew the lineaments of men
⁠Who fought the old colonial battles three,
Who with the lustihood of Nature warred
⁠And made her docile,—then
⁠Wrestled with Terror and with Tyranny,
⁠Twin wardens of the scaffold and the sword.

⁠He drew his native land,
The few and rude plantations of her Past,
⁠Fringed by the beaches of her sounding shore;
Her children, as he drew them, there they stand;
There, too, her Present, with an outline cast
⁠Still from the shape those other centuries wore.
Betimes the orchards and the clover-fields
⁠Change into woods o'ershadowing a host
That winds along the Massachusetts Path;
⁠The sword of Standish shields
⁠The Plymouth band, and where the lewd ones boast
⁠Stern Endicott pours out his godly wrath.

⁠Within the Province House
The ancient governors hold their broidered state,—
⁠Still gleam the lights, the shadows come and go;
Here once again the powdered guests carouse,
The masquerade lasts on, the night is late.
⁠Thrice waves a mist-invoking wand, and lo,
What troubled sights! What summit bald and steep
⁠Where stands a ladder 'gainst the accursed tree?
What dark processions thither slowly climb?
⁠Anon, what lost ones keep
⁠Their midnight tryst with forms that evil be,
⁠Around the witch-fire in the forest grim!

⁠Clearly the master's plan
Revealed his people, even as they were,
⁠The prayerful elder and the winsome maid,
The errant roisterer, the Puritan,
Dark Pyncheon, mournful Hester,—all are there.
⁠But none save he in our own time so laid
His summons on man's spirit; none but he,
⁠Whether the light thereof were clear or clouded,
Thus on his canvas fixed the human soul,
⁠The thoughts of mystery,
⁠In deep hearts by this mortal guise enshrouded,
⁠Wild hearts that like the church-bells ring and toll.

⁠Two natures in him strove
Like day with night, his sunshine and his gloom.
⁠To him the stern forefathers' creed descended,
The weight of some inexorable Jove
Prejudging from the cradle to the tomb;
⁠But therewithal the lightsome laughter blended
Of that Arcadian sweetness undismayed
⁠Which finds in Love its law, and graces still
The rood, the penitential symbol worn,—
⁠Which sees, beyond the shade,
⁠The Naiad nymph of every rippling rill,
⁠And hears quick Fancy wind her wilful horn.

⁠What if he brooded long
On Time and Fate,—the ominous progression
⁠Of years that with Man's retributions frown,—
The destinies which round his footsteps throng,—
Justice, that heeds not Mercy's intercession,—
⁠Crime, on its own head calling vengeance down,—
Deaf Chance and blind, that, like the mountain-slide
⁠Puts out Youth's heart of fire and all is dark!
What though the blemish which, in aught of earth,
⁠The maker's hand defied,
⁠Was plain to him,—the one evasive mark
⁠Wherewith Death stamps us for his own at birth!

⁠Ah, none the less we know
He felt the imperceptible fine thrill
⁠With which the waves of being palpitate,
Whether in ecstasy of joy or woe,
And saw the strong divinity of Will
⁠Bringing to halt the stolid tramp of Fate;
Nor from his work was ever absent quite
⁠The presence which, o'ercast it as we may,
Things far beyond our reason can suggest:
⁠There was a drifting light
⁠In Donatello's cell,—a fitful ray
⁠Of sunshine came to hapless Clifford's breast.

⁠Into such blossom brake
Our northern hedge, that neither mortal sadness
⁠Nor the drear thought of lives that strive and fail,
Nor any hues its sombre leaves might take
From clouded skies, could overcome its gladness
⁠Or in the blessing of its shade prevail.
Fresh sprays it yielded them of Merry Mount
⁠For wedding wreaths; blithe Phœbe with the sweet
Pure flowers her promise to her lover gave:
⁠Beside it, from a fount
⁠Where Pearl and Pansie plashed their innocent feet,
⁠A brook ran on and kissed Zenobia's grave.

⁠Silent and dark the spell
Laid on New England by the frozen North;
⁠Long, long the months,—and yet the Winter ends,
The snow-wraiths vanish, and rejoicing well
The dandelions from the grass leap forth,
⁠And Spring through budding birch and willow sends
Her wind of Paradise. And there are left
⁠Poets to sing of all, and welcome still
The robin's voice, the humble-bee's wise drone;
⁠Nor are we yet bereft
⁠Of one whose sagas ever at his will
⁠Can answer back the ocean, tone for tone.

⁠But he whose quickened eye
Saw through New England's life her inmost spirit,—
⁠Her heart, and all the stays on which it leant,—
Returns not, since he laid the pencil by
Whose mystic touch none other shall inherit!
⁠What though its work unfinished lies? Half-bent
The rainbow's arch fades out in upper air;
⁠The shining cataract half-way down the height
Breaks into mist; the haunting strain, that fell
⁠On listeners unaware,
⁠Ends incomplete, but through the starry night
⁠The ear still waits for what it did not tell.

Edmund Clarence Stedman’s other poems:

  1. Sumter
  2. Israel Freyer’s Bid for Gold
  3. The Diamond Wedding
  4. The Lord’s-Day Gale
  5. Cousin Lucrece

Poems of other poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Henry Longfellow (Генри Лонгфелло) Hawthorne («How beautiful it was, that one bright day»)

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