Frederic Henry Hedge.

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Why ponder thus eternally ?

Yet dare I scold ? I, ancient dreamer,
Am after all " a piece of " thee,

Thou ever-loitering, lingering Schemer.



FLEE away from sunlight glowing
In thy pale, shadowy world to roam,
Refreshment streams, a fountain


Its source thy light in heaven s dome.
Thou, o er the hills thy glory trailing,
Art to some hidden longing kin,
The tree-tops with thy splendor veiling,
Thou hoverest the flowers Queen.

Intrusive is day s garish splendor,
That prying, all things hid would know,


The meadows greet thee tearful, tender,
To thee confide a secret woe.
And, kissed awake by night- winds breathing,
The quiet flowers their leaves unroll,
Shadows with shadows mingling, wreathing,
All dream-like thoughts possess the soul.

Ay, let all clear illumination

The daylight s flooding brilliance own ;

A weird, presaging revelation

Is born of moonlit nights alone.

When neath the stars from flower to flower

The night-moth flits in twilight forth,

Then can be learned the secret power

That weaves a spell twixt heaven and earth.

Things firm dissolve and melt, and level
All strong unyielding barriers seem,
While all the good as well as evil
Is but the fabric of a dream,
The proud man s scorn, the poor man s wailing,
Triumphant crime, virtue maligned,
And with compassion, full, unfailing,
The breast is filled for human-kind.




AROSE from my couch in the night,

in the night,

I could not rest quiet, and straight
The streets with their watchmen I left in my

My footfall was light in the night, in the


As I passed through the Gothic arched gate

The millstream rushed past at the foot of the

I leaned o er the bridge and looked down
ward ;

Beneath me the water was plainly in sight

Plashing soft, plashing light, in the night, in
the night,

Ne er turning, but aye speeding onward.

And over me wandered, unnumbered and


The stars with their music eternal,
Among them the moon in the heavens thus


i io

Lent a. mild, chastened light in the night, in

the night,
To the far-reaching splendor supernal.

I looked up on high in the night, in the night,

Looked down to the waters below me,

Oh, woe for the days so misspent in their

flight !
Let thy pang be more light in the night, in

the night,

Remorse ! whose loud throb would undo me.


H, did the cheek alone grow worn
As fly the years away !
But this it is that makes me mourn,
The heart too must decay.

And when the pride of youth s gone by,
And eyes are bright no more,
The heart where hopes were warm and high
Forgets it loved of yore.



Although the lips again may dare
To utter song and jest,
T is but the verdure false and fair
In which a grave is dressed.

Night comes, and with the night comes pain,

Vain are our pleasures all;

The heart now yearns for tears again,

But tears come not at call.

We are so poor, so worn our ways,
And yet we scarce know why,
We only feel the heart decays,
Our joy s a dream gone by.



OFTLY dreams the summer night,
Where cool founts are flowing
I have watched the first faint light
Of the day-star glowing.

Last night through the evening air,
After its declining,
In the west a vapor rare
Golden still was shining.


Through the night it soared on high
All the north illuming,
Tinged with red the eastern sky
For the morning s coming.

Dewdrops glisten, pearl on pearl,
On the grass and flowers,
Light mists, rising as they curl,
Tell of sultry hours.

Deeper down on towers I see
Brighter light is breaking ;
In the foliage fitfully
Songs of joy are waking.

Lo ! from heaven a lacing streak
Through the foliage cleaving ;
Day about my chin and cheek
Sunny webs is weaving.

And I see thy tissues bright
All the world enshrining,
As my heart thou fillest quite,
Golden sunlight shining.

O er my head commingling roll
Airs and sounds most tender,
Hopes and faiths that fill the soul
Gleam in flaming splendor.

^Translations 113

Full and free, let drink who may,
Draughts from heaven come streaming,
For anew the perfect day
Bright again is beaming !



N dreams once more I found me
Beside my father s cot,
With joy I gazed around me
O er each familiar spot.

The breezes softly sighing,

Through green leaves whispered low,

And blossom-flakes were flying

About my breast and brow.

I woke, o er forests beaming,
The pale moon dimly shone,
And neath its silver gleaming,
Behold ! a land unknown.
I gazed ; from tree-tops flying,
The snowflakes fluttered light,
Snow on the land was lying,
With age my hair was white.




1 14 2Dran$latton$


(ROUND the tree, now leafless, bare,
The cunning ivy-wreaths are twining,
They whisper dreams of springtide

When health may come to all now pining.

Ah, will it come, that springtide fair,
Once more the tree in verdure wreathing ?
My heart s the tree, all leafless, bare,
The ivy in my songs is breathing.



HEN autumn brings its harvests,
When spring fills all the grove,
Comes many a tender vision,
My secret soul to move.

In spring, when all the forest
Renews its foliage fair,
And winds toss snowy blossoms
And fragrance on the air,


In spring I d fain be searching
For what seems lost and gone,
I know not if t is violets,
Or eyes that brightly shone.

In autumn, when the heavens
Glow in my beaker bright,
And to the south the swallow
First wings his airy flight,
In autumn fain I d ponder
On all the days of yore :
On sunny youth now vanished ?
On joys that are no more ?



CARCE blue once more the skies are


When forth to fare again I m yearn

At morn allure the meadows green,
At eve the stars in heaven burning.

How fresh they are ! how full.of cheer,
Far o er the land the spring winds blowing;

n6 SDranstetions

To heaven arise in evening clear

The spires and roofs in sunset glowing.

Within me, longing, trembling, throng
Mysterious tones by thousands surging,
As if, borne on the lark s clear song,
My soul its course would fain be urging.

Ah, love of roving ! scorn of rest !
Elsewhere to wander ever striving,
Thou only free st the mortal breast,
Thou only giv st the joy of living.



HE day declines, the sun sinks low,
Forest and hills are gleaming,
Through clouds with gorgeous tints


The farewell rays are streaming.
A yearning wakens as the splendor falls ;
Ah, how it lures and calls :

Westward !

A night of woe and wailing,
Here, round us closes cold the night,
The silver moon, the stars soft light

Black, scurrying clouds are veiling.
Oppression, phantom-like the soul appalls,

And Freedom flees and calls :

Westward !

For Westward lies the sacred sea

Whereon the ships are tossing,
While o er its billows steadily

The wandering birds are crossing.
A vision, bright with hope, the heart enthralls;

Ah, how it lures and calls :

Westward !

Beyond the sea, in that far land,

Primeval grove and river
Their Maker s praise from strand to strand

Chant gloriously forever ;
And breath of freemen through the free air

falls ;
Ah, how it lures and calls :

Westward !




AR o er the snowcapped mountain


The golden sun of morning,
The jewels of its brilliant rays
Its royal brows adorning.

Ah, world, how fair art thou to sight,
In early morning beaming,
When beauty wakes on every height,
And in each vale lies dreaming.

To beauty s radiant behest
The blue depths yield obedience,
The russet East, the glowing West,
To her own due allegiance.

The birds, to bring her greetings sweet,
Aloft, towards heaven are flying,
While decked in smiles, low at her feet
The whole broad earth is lying.

Sweet girls, fair dames, a beauteous band,
As priestesses attend her,
While, warders on her ramparts, stand
Brave gallants to defend her.

2Dran0lation$ 1 19

Ah, light of beauty ! Thy warm kiss
A rapturous awe inspires ;
As in the eyes of love, the bliss
I find in sunlight s fires.



HEN the shades of night are flying
Ere the East is flushed with red,

Lo ! the mountain lake is lying
Grave and gloomy, black and dead.

Cold, gray rocks lie scattered round it,
Midst them rise the hemlocks hoar,

Dun and marshy meadows bound it,
Flat and sedgy is its shore.

Though no bird as yet is singing,
In my dreams this desert bare

Is with song already ringing,
And the sunshine fills the air.


120 SDranstoions


SEA, neath evening s light
Beside thy quiet shore
My bitter woe takes flight,
I feel at peace once more.

The heart forgets again

The strife with which t was filled,

And every cry of pain

To melody is stilled.

Scarce is the soul s calm rest
Stirred by a gentle woe,
As o er the sea s smooth breast
A white-sailed ship may go.



IS three-and-thirty years to-day
Since last I saw the main,

Still stands this tower unchanged

Here ever is my chain ;


For they have pent the Admiral

Far from the light of day,
Save for a loop-hole in the wall

Whence falls a feeble ray.
Tis not the blackness of my days

That so oppresses me,
As that on thee I cannot gaze,

My sacred, deep-blue sea.

I cannot hear the breakers dash,

Nor the sea-mew shrieking shrill,
And if my fetters did not clash

All would be deathly still.
They built the tower far from shore,

Where not a wave is heard,
No boatswain pipes, no tempests roar,

No shot the blast e er stirred.
T is not the silence of night around

That so oppresses me,
T is that I cannot hear thy sound,

My deep loud-thundering sea !

My shrivelling form is bent and old,
My veins are parched and dry,

My hands shall ne er the matchlock hold,
Or battle-axe swing on high.

The flag up to the top-mast runs,
Her broadside full is shown,


And when my brave lads point the guns

The devil claims his own.
Not that I waste in dungeon night

Now so oppresses me,
As that on thee I cannot fight,

My battle-belabored sea !

Ha ! up and at them ! board the wreck !

Once more your shot let fall !
Ha ! ship to ship and deck to deck !

And I the Admiral !
To fall in fight thus, hand to hand !

Here, sick and worn I lie,
To languish like a fish on land,

And like a dog to die !
Not wasting, inch by inch, my rest

Of life so tortures me,
As not to die on thy broad breast,

My own oft-conquered sea.

The vessel mourns, and sadly flaps

Her sail, a widowed dame,
While for a pall the flag enwraps

The hero s mortal frame;
In the sea it sinks from its mirrored breast

That trembles in sacred dread,
Whilst I deep buried in earth must rest,

With never a shot o er my head.


Not life forespent in dungeon deep

Now so oppresses me,
As that in Thy arms I may not sleep,

Thou hero s grave my Sea !



HAT clothes the earth in light afresh,
Bids nature s incense rise,
And makes the simplest verdant field
A robe of gorgeous dyes ?
Turns pebbles into precious stones,
To pearls the brook s clear flow,
And brightly lies on all the earth ?
The sunlight s golden glow.

Ah, doubly happy he for whom
Life s sunlight also glows,
Who, free to wander where he will,
Through field and forest goes.
And as the lark exulting soars,
Repeats the song below,
For brightly lies on all the earth
The sunlight s golden glow.


And though thy day-star sink in gloom,

Though all within be night,

Ah, look abroad o er God s fair realm,

Where all is gay and bright ;

And light will shine within that heart

Which grief has stricken low,

When brightly lies on all the earth

The sunlight s golden glow.



HE garish day afar is driven,
The quiet night around us lies,
And in the spacious vault of heaven
A thousand twinkling stars arise.
And where the earth and sky uniting
Present a misty, cloud-like band,
The silver moon is mildly lighting
With gentle ray the dusky land.

In all the air a blessing hovers,
It speeds abroad the wide world through,
Like gentlest kiss of happy lovers,
When heart to heart makes answer true.

translations? 125

In fervent prayer to heaven ascending,
It rises as on angels wings,
And o er some distant dear one bending
Sweet cradling songs of love it sings.

While thus abroad its way tis winging,
All fain its messenger would be,
The birds proclaim it in their singing,
T is told by every rustling tree.
It flashes in the heavens o er us,
And on the earth, both^near and far,
The streams begin to gleam before us,
While star is telling it to star.

Ah, night, in which such spirits meet us,
In silver moonlight, summer air !
Ah, night, in which such voices greet us,
Wafted from blossoms everywhere !
Ah, summer night, so restful ever !
So rich in peace, from heaven above !
Though distance two fond hearts may sever,
Thou wilt unite them both in love.




O ! the Spring is reappearing !
Fresh young leaves and sunshine


Every ear her voice is hearing,
Every eye drinks in her light.
All is blossoming and blowing,
Boughs are waving, brooks are flowing,
And the heart lies open wide,
Springtime ! Springtime ! Golden tide !

From the very rocks outpouring
Songs of spring fly forth, away
O er the streams and meadows soaring,
O er the hills with blossoms gay.
Here at home must I be staying
Though abroad I d fain be straying,
Yet while arches blue the sky,
I will sing, sing joyously.

Whatsoe er may be denied me,
Wheresoe er by fate I m thrown,
Whether weal or woe betide me,
These, I know, I still may own :


Courage high, a soul unshaken,
And a heart where songs awaken,
Love of what to life belongs,
Golden life, poured forth in songs.





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