Frederic Henry Hedge.

Metrical translations and poems online

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The king commands, the page retires,
The page returns, the king requires
The aged man to enter.

" God greet ye, lords and ladies gay !

What wealth of starry lustre !
Star upon star in rich array,

Who names each shining cluster ?
Amid such wealth and pomp sublime
Shut, shut, mine eyes ! this is no time

To gaze in stupid wonder."

He closed his eyes, he struck a chord,
A brave old ditty played he,

Looked boldly on each noble lord,
And in her lap each lady.

The king, delighted with the strain,

Commanded that a golden chain
Reward the honored singer.

; * The golden chain give not to me,

Bestow it on thy Ritter,
Who bears the palm of chivalry

Where hostile lances glitter.
Bestow it on thy Chancellor,
And be one golden burden more

To other burdens added-


" My song is like the woodbird s note,
An unbought, careless burden ;

The lay that gushes from the throat
Is all-sufficient guerdon.

But might I choose, this choice were mine,

A beaker of the richest wine,
A golden beaker bring me ! "

The beaker brought, the minstrel quaffed :

" Oh balmy cup of blessing !
And blessed the house, in such a draught

A common boon possessing !
When fortune smiles, then think of me,
And thank ye God as heartily

As I for this now thank ye."



NIGHT, the love I owe a brother

I to thee may give ;
Sister s love, demand no other,

For it makes me grieve.
All thy coming, all thy going,

Tranquil I would see,
Nor with silent grief o erflowing,
Meaningless to me.


And he hears with anguish smarting,

Mounts his trusty steed,
With a wild embrace departing,

Though his bosom bleed.
At his summons round him rally

All his Switzer-band,
With the cross bedecked they sally

To the Holy Land.

There great feats of valor glorious

Prove a hero s arm,
And his pennon waves victorious

Where the foemen swarm.
And the Toggenburger s daring

Scares the Saracen,
But the wound, his bosom tearing,

Will not heal again.

One long year he bore the sorrow,

He could bear no more ;
Peace from war he could not borrow,

Quits the Paynim shore.
Sees a ship with canvas swelling,

Hastes from Joppa s strand
To the clime which holds her dwelling,

Which her breath has fanned.

To her hall the pilgrim hies him,
Knocketh at her gate,

38 SCranstotons

Thunder-tidings there surprise him,

He has come too late.
" She you seek is consecrated,

All with veil and vows
Yesterday with God was mated,

Now is Heaven s spouse."

Then the knight renounced forever

Castle, sword, and spear,
Saw his unused armor never,

Nor his charger dear.
From the Toggenburg descended

Fares he forth unknown ;
Limbs that once with steel were splendid

Now the hair-cloth own.

Far removed from war and glory

He hath built his home
Where from out the lindens hoary

Shows the convent s dome.
There he sat when morn was gleaming,

Sat till close of day ;
Eyes with fond expectance beaming

Watched he there alway;

Looked to where the convent glistened

Ancient trees among ;
Toward her casement looked and listened

Till the casement swung,


Till the loved one he discovered,

Till her image mild
Bending o er the valley hovered,

On the valley smiled.

Solaced then, nor further wooing,

Laid himself to rest,
Trusting, with the day ensuing,

To be newly blest.
Every other hope resigning,

While the years went round,
Thus he waited unrepining

For the casement s sound;

Till the loved one he discovered,

Till her image mild
Bending o er the valley hovered,

On the valley smiled.
Thus one morning found him lying

Cold in death s embrace ;
Toward her casement still, in dying,

Gazed the tranquil face.


40 2Dran0latton0


IFE S first beams were bright around


When I left my father s cot,
Breaking every tie that bound me
To that dear and hallowed spot.

Childish hopes and youthful pleasures,
Freely I renounced them all;

Went in quest of nobler treasures,
Trusting to a higher call.

For to me a voice had spoken,

And a Spirit seemed to say :
Wander forth, the path is broken,

Yonder, eastward lies thy way.

Rest not till a golden portal

Thou hast reached, there enter in;
And what thou hast prized as mortal,

There, immortal life shall win.

Evening came, and morn succeeded ;

On I sped and never tired ;
Cold, nor heat, nor storm I heeded ;

Boundless hope my soul inspired.


Giant cliffs rose up before me,
Horrid wilds around me lay ;

O er the cliffs my spirit bore me ;
Through the wilds I forced my way ;

Came to where a mighty river
Eastward rolled its sullen tide ;

Forth I launched with bold endeavor :
" Pilgrim stream, be thou my guide ! "

It hath brought me to the ocean
Now, upon the wide, wide sea,

Where s the land of my devotion?
What I seek seems still to flee.

Woe is me ! no path leads thither;

Earth s horizons still retreat ;
Yonder never will come hither,

Sea and sky will never meet !




ROM this vale with hills o ertower-


From these mists in which I pine,
From these skies forever lowering,
Could I flee, what joy were mine !

Sunny slopes that smile " Come hither ! "

Ever-blooming fields I see,
Had I wings to waft me thither,

Thither straight my course would be.

Harmonies I hear resounding,

Tones that breathe a heavenly calm,

And the breezes there abounding
Waft towards me fragrant balm.

Golden fruits I see inviting,
Glowing mid the leafy shades,

And those blooming flowers no blighting
Breath of icy winter fades.

Neath that sunshine ever glowing

Life, how lovely and how fair !
And upon those hilltops blowing

Oh how fresh must be the air !

Cranslations 43

But the flood that rolls between me

And the land for which I sigh
Fiercely sweeps ; my heart within me

Trembles as it rushes by.

Lo ! a skiff, I see it nearing,

What if pilot there be none !
Swift aboard ! no danger fearing,

Inspiration bears it on.

Dare and trust, whate er betide thee,
From the gods no pledge demand,

T is a wonder that must guide thee
Would st thou win the wonder-land.



AW ST thou a castle fair ?

Yon castle by the sea ;
Golden and rosy there
The clouds float gorgeously.

And fain it would descend

Into the wave below,
And fain would it soar and .blend

With the evening s crimson glow.


Yon castle have I viewed,

Yon castle by the sea ;
The moon above it stood

And the mists hung heavily.

The wind and the heaving sea
Sounded they fresh and strong ?

From the Hall came notes of glee,
Harping and festive song ?

The winds and the waters all

Rested in slumber deep,
And I heard from the groaning Hall

Music that made me weep.

Saw st thou the king and his spouse
Walking there side by side,

The diadem on their brows,
And their mantles waving wide ?

Led they their cherished one
With joy, a daughter fair,

Resplendent as the sun

In the light of her golden hair ?

Well saw I the royal pair,
But without the crown I wot ;


Dark mourning weeds they wear.
The maiden saw I not.



DREAMED not long ago
I stood on a rocky steep,
On a cliff by the ocean s strand,
And I looked far over the land,
And down on the glorious deep.

Beneath me, in gallant trim,

A stately bark lay moored,
The surge its dark side laving,
Gayly its flag was waving,

And a pilot stood on board.

And behold there came from the mountains

A merry, merry band ;
Bedecked with garlands bright,
They seemed like spirits of light,

As they tripped along the strand.

" Say, pilot, wilt thou take us ? "
" What nymphs be ye so gay ? "


" Earth s Joys and Pleasures are we,
From earth we fain would flee,
Oh, bear us from earth away ! "

Then the pilot he bade them enter ;

And they entered one by one.
" But tell me, are here all ?
Are none left in bower or hall ? "

And they answered, " None."

Away then ! the bark unmoored,

Leaped gayly from the anchor s thrall,
And away she sped with a glorious motion,
And I saw them vanish over the ocean,
Earth s Joys and Pleasures all.



M tossed and driven to and fro ;
A few hours more and I shall meet

The maid than whom earth holds no

Heart ! my heart, why throb st thou so ?


But the Hours they are lazy folk,
Leisurely their slow steps dragging,
Yawning, creeping, lingering, lagging,
Come ! hurry on, you lazy folk !

With hurry and worry I m driven and chased,
But the Hours were never in love, I judge,
And so they conspire and wreak their grudge
By secretly mocking lover s haste.



E whose soul s prophetic feeling,
Softly through his senses stealing,

Warns him that his end is nigh,
At the gate of Mercy kneeling

Let him place his trust on high.
God our refuge and defence
God shall ease his going hence.

See ye how the east is sparkling ?
Hear ye angel voices singing

To the newborn morning s ray ?
Ye who long have wandered darkling,
Welcome death, deliverance bringing,

Gracious messenger of day.


Give him friendly salutation,
*He your friendship will repay,

Change to joy your lamentation ;
Such hath been his wont alway.

He whose soul s prophetic feeling,
Softly o er his senses stealing,

Warns him that his end is nigh, -
At the gate of Mercy kneeling

Let him place his trust on high.
God our refuge and defence
God will ease his going hence.


HAT gleams from yon wood in the

bright sunshine ?

Hear it nearer and nearer sound

It moveth along in a lowering line,
And wailing horns their shrill notes combine,

The hearer with terror astounding.
Ask you whence those black horsemen ? what

meaneth their race ?
That is Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.

SDranstations 49

What is it that flits through the forest shade,
From mountain to mountain stealing ?

Now it lurks in a darkling ambuscade,

Now the wild hurrah and the cannonade
O er the fallen Frank are pealing.

Ask you whence those black huntsmen ? what
game do they trace ?

That is Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.

Where yon vineyards bloom, where the Rhine-
waves dash,
The tyrant had sought him a cover,

But sudden and swift, like the lightning s

The avenger plunges, the billows flash,

And his strong arms have ferried him over.

Ask you why those black swimmers the Rhine
embrace ?

That is Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.

What conflict rages in yonder glen ?

What meaneth the broadswords clashing ?
T is the conflict of iron-hearted men,
And the watch-fires of freedom are kindled


The heavens are red with their flashing.
Ask ye who those black warriors ? what foe

do they face ?
That is Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.


Who yonder are smiling farewell to the light,
Where the foe breathes his last execration ?
Death s shadows have swathed their brows in

But their hearts are true, and their souls are


They have seen their country s salvation.
Ask ye who are those struggling in Death s

embrace ?
That was Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.

Ay, the wild chase and the German chase,

Let tyrants and hangmen shun it.
But mourn not for us who have run our race,
The country is free, and the day dawns apace,
What though with our lives we have won it ?
And be it proclaimed from race to race,
That was Liitzow s wild and desperate chase.



MIGHTY fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing,

Our helper He, amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing ;


For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe ;
His craft and power are great,
And armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing,

Were not the right man on our side,
The man of God s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be ?

Christ Jesus, it is He,

Lord Sabaoth His name,

From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,

Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed

His truth to triumph through us.
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not at him,
His rage we can endure,
For lo ! his doom is sure,

One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers
No thanks to them abideth ;


The spirit and the gifts are ours,
Through Him who with us sideth.

Let goods and kindred go,

This mortal life also ;

The body they may kill,

God s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.



ORTY years have rolled away,
Friends, since we who meet to-day
Entered on the world s highway,
In eighteen twenty-five.

Forty years of manhood s strain,
Forty years of joy and pain,
Crown us as we meet again,
.Class of " Twenty-five."

Hear your class-day spokesman say,
Not in Greek or Latin, nay !
But in plain vernacula,
Welcome " Twenty-five ! "

Poems? S3

Welcome, classmates, one and all !
Let the mask of rigor fall,
Hearty mirth once more recall,
Merry " Twenty-five ! "

Forty times hath summer bloomed,
Forty times hath winter gloomed,
Forty years have not consumed
All of " Twenty-five."

Yet, thinned locks and visage sere
Witness, Time hath forayed here ;
Thinned by death your ranks appear,
Class of " Twenty-five."

Peace ! to those who with us trod
Long since Alma s classic sod,
Cherished classmates gone to God,
Friends of " Twenty-five."

Health ! to those who still remain :
Jocund heart and active brain,
Living, still will we maintain,
We of " Twenty-five."

Living, still we trust to grow,
Still survives in us the glow
Kindled forty years ago,
In eighteen twenty-five,


Forty years have sped since we
Walked in learning s first " Degree " ;
Forty more, and where will be
The class of " Twenty-five " ?



NCE more we meet as in our prime,

Old comrades tried and true ;

Once more recall the golden time

When life and hope were new.

The Past returns, it reappears !

The ancient fountains flow,
And steals across these fifty years

A breath of long-ago.

Our Alma Mater, health to her !

Tis in her name we meet ;
But oh, how changed from what we were

When sitting at her feet !

Her children still, however changed

In this our life s decline,
The fifty years have not estranged

Our hearts from "old lang syne."


Our ranks are thinned : the half are gone

Who shared our college-day ;
Earth s trials o er, they Ve journeyed on-

The unknown endless way.

To us is given a longer date,

But " Time is on the wing " ;
We heed his flight, nor idly wait

Whatever life may bring ;

But gird us for the daily fight

With daily cares and foes,
Till comes the long mysterious night

And all our labors close.

Come when it will that night of death !

While flesh and heart survive,
We 11 cherish to our latest breath

The class of Twenty-five.




HAT magic spell detains the laggard

A willing loiterer in this haunted


See, from the Zodiac due, the Archer near
Essays in vain with nipping shaft to sear
Valdarno s breast secure in leafy mail.
The frolic rose still dances on its spray,
Staid Autumn apes the jocund airs of May,
And Boboli is bright with summer cheer.
Declare, ye sages ! Delia Crusca, say,
What witchery defies the season s sway
Where yet the Bear beholds his subject

sphere ?

T is glory makes eternal summer here.
Let ground less hallowed own the year s


Flush with her fathers fame, Firenze flowers



ATH this world without me wrought
Other substance than my thought ?
Lives it by my sense alone,
Or by essence of its own ?

Doth yon fire-ball, poised in air,

Hang by my permission there ?

Are the clouds that wander by

But the offspring of mine eye,

Born with every glance I cast,

Perishing when that is past ?

And those thousand, thousand eyes

Scattered through the twinkling skies,

Do they draw their life from mine,

Or of their own beauty shine ?

Now I close my eyes, my ears,

And creation disappears ;

Yet if I but will the view,

All creation lives anew ;

Or more wonderful within

New creations do begin,

Hues more bright, and forms more rare

Than the world of sense doth wear,

Pass before the inner eye,

Born of its own sufficiency.


Visions come and visions go ;
What is substance ? what is show ?
Is the world of sense more stable
Than the world which dreamers fable ?
Will its life, with mine begun,
Vanish quite when that is done ?
Or another consciousness
With the self-same forms impress ?
Will those stars no longer blaze
When these eyes have ceased to gaze ?
And the joy of things be o er
When these pulses beat no more ?

Thought ! that in me stirs and lives,

Life to all things living gives,

Art thou not thyself, perchance,

But the universe in trance ?

A reflection inward flung

By that world thou fanciedst sprung

From thyself, thyself a dream ;

Of the world s thinking thou the theme ?

Be it thus, or be thy ray

Offspring of interior day,

Thought ! through thee alone for me

Hath this world reality.

Therefore in thee will I live,

To thee all my being give,

Losing still that I may find

This bounded self in boundless mind.



HE stars are watching at their posts
And raining silence from the

Thus guarded by the heavenly

Earth closes her day-wearied eye.

A reign of holy quietness

Replaces the imperious light,
And Nature s grateful tribes confess

The calm beatitude of night :

When from the Arctic pit up : streams
The Boreal fire s portentous glare,

And bursting into arrowy streams,
Hurls horrid splendors on the air.

The embattled meteors scale the arch,
And toss their lurid banners wide ;

Heaven reels with their tempestuous march
And quivers in the flashing tide.

Against the everlasting stars,.
Against the old empyreal Right,


They vainly wage their anarch wars,
In vain they urge their fatuous light.

The skies may flash, and meteors glare,
And Hell invade the spheral school ;

But Law and Love are sovereign there,
And Sirius and Orion rule.

The stars are watching at their posts,

Again the silences prevail ;
The meteor crew, like guilty ghosts,

Have slunk to the " infernal jail."

The truths of God forever shine

Though Error glare and Falsehood rage ;
The cause of Order is divine,

And Wisdom rules from age to age.

Faith, Hope, and Love, your time abide !

Let Hades marshal all his hosts,
The heavenly forces with you side ;

The stars are watching at their posts.

6 1


WAS the day when God s Anointed
Died for us the death appointed

Bleeding on the guilty cross,
Day of darkness, day of terror,
Deadly fruit of ancient error,
Nature s fall and Eden s loss.

Haste, prepare the bitter chalice !
Gentile hate and Jewish malice

Lift the royal victim high,
Like the serpent wonder-gifted
Which the prophet once uplifted,

For a sinful world to die !

Conscious of the deed unholy,
Nature s pulses beat more slowly,

And the sun his light denied ;
Darkness wrapped the sacred city,
And the earth with fear and pity

Trembled, when the Just One died.

It is finished, Man of sorrows !
From Thy cross our nature borrows
Strength to bear and conquer thus.


While exalted there we view Thee,
Mighty Sufferer, draw us to Thee,
Sufferer victorious !

Not in vain for us uplifted,
Man of sorrows, wonder-gifted,

May that sacred symbol be !
High and hoar amid the ages,
Guide of heroes and of sages,

May it guide us still to Thee !

Still to Thee, whose love unbounded
Sorrow s deep for us hath sounded,

Perfected by conflicts sore.
Glory to Thy cross forever !
Star that points our high endeavor

Whither Thou hast gone before.


LEST be the light that shows the


And blest the way the light has
shown !

We welcome the victorious day,
And every faithless fear disown.


A tyrant God, and Hell s despair,
No more becloud our earthly lives,

The heavens are wide, and room is there
For every soul that upward strives.

In love to God and love to man
Our simple creed finds ample scope ;

Secure in God s unerring plan,
We walk by faith, are saved by hope.

Begone, ye spectres of the night

That once enthralled the darkened soul !

Our watchword be the inward light,
The onward march, the endless goal !


ENEATH Thy hammer, Lord ! I lie

With contrite spirit prone :
Oh, mould me till to self I die
And live to Thee alone.

With frequent disappointments sore

And many a bitter pain,
Thou laborest at my being s core

Till I be formed again.


Smite, Lord ! Thine hammer s needful wound

My baffled hopes confess,
Thine anvil is the sense profound

Of mine own nothingness.

Smite ! till from all its idols free,

And filled with love divine,
My heart shall know no good but Thee

And have no will but Thine.


From the " New England Magazine."

SINGLE star how bright,

From earth-mists free,
In heaven s deep shrine its image

burns !

Star of the morn, my spirit yearns
To be with thee.

Lord of the desert sky !

Night s last, lone heir,
Benign thou smilest from on high,
Pure, calm, as if an angel s eye

Were watching there.


Nor wholly vain I deem

The Magian plan,

That, sphered in thee, a spirit reigns
Who knows this earth, and kindly deigns
To succor man.

Gone are thy glittering peers,

Quenched each bright spark,
Save where some pale sun s lingering ghost,
Dull remnant of a scattered host,
Still spots the dark.

But thou, propitious star,
Night s youngest born,
Wilt not withdraw thy steady light
Till bursts on yonder snow-clad height
The rosy morn.

Fair orb ! I love to watch

Thy tranquil ray ;

Emblem art thou of Hope that springs
When joys are fled, and dreaming brings

The better day.

So when from my life s course

Its joys are riven,

Rise o er the death-mists gathering dun,
Herald of an eternal sun,

Rise hope of Heaven !



OME sing the olden song once more !

The Christmas carol sing ;
From mouth to mouth, from shore to

Let earth her tribute bring.

Though nigh two thousand years have sped,

The tale is ever fresh,
Of woman born, in humble shed,

The word of God made flesh.

With guiding star and angels song
Heaven greets the waiting earth,

And sages come and shepherds throng
To view the wondrous birth.

There see fulfilled those prophet-dreams,

That Hebrew vision old ;
From Bethlehem s stall a glory streams

That makes the future gold.

A golden future, health and peace

To all beneath the sun ;
A time when wars and wrongs shall cease

And heaven and earth be one ;


Be this our trust, through long delay
With no weak doubts defiled,

And be in all our hearts to-day
New born the eternal Child 1





LOVE the soft, delicious hours
Of days when Spring is in its birth,
The azure-tinted skies rain showers
Of warmth and splendor on the earth.
The ice still lingers in the valley,
The hills are bathed in sunny blue,
And forth from home the maidens sally,
And children s plays begin anew.

And I, on yonder hill-top standing,
Behold it all in still delight,
My heart with yearnings pure expanding
From which no wish is born outright.
A child I seem, and Nature s toying
Contents me with its tranquil charms,
Her calm and restful mood enjoying,
My soul lies cradled in her arms.


I love the soft, delicious hours

When neath the sun s yet cheering ray

Age says Farewell to fields and flowers ;

Then Nature holds high holiday.

No more bedecked with bud and blossom,

Her active forces stir no more,

In silence gathered to her bosom,

Her depths profound she broodeth o er.

The soul that late felt such elation,
Now sinks, from lofty soaring, low,
It learns a sad renunciation,
And memory contents it now.
So sweet the silence all attending,
So great its charm within the breast,
That I would gladly be descending
Within my grave to lie at rest.



SMITH was standing in his booth,

Mid pearls and jewels fine :
" The brightest jewel here, in sooth,
Art thou to me, Helena,
Thou dearest daughter mine ! "


A gallant knight there entered, with

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Online LibraryFrederic Henry HedgeMetrical translations and poems → online text (page 2 of 4)