Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Vi.

Round every hearth, may Household Words

Like these fainiliar be-
Heart-gushing as the song of birds,

As pure, as glad, as free!
And never may they fail to bring

A kind return from those
To whom our best affections cling,

From childhood to life's close !

[ocr errors][merged small]

By those who yearn for gentler times—

For life-endearing days,
May he who charm'd us with “THE CHIMES"

Be crown'd with household bays,
His “ Household Words " familiar be

In cot and lordly hall, And on his spirit's energy

No household shadow fall !

VIII.

Our household words-sweet household words

Oh, who the spell disowns
That round about the bosom girds

From their familiar tones ?

In childhood, or in after-life,

Oh, ever bless'd be ye
Who mingle not unhallow'd strife

With their sweet melody |

NOTE.

The preceding lines were suggested by Mr. Charles Dickens's new periodical, “ Household Words."

OUR CITY'S SHAME.

NOTES OF A PEDESTRIAN.

I HAVE gone forth, and mark'd with sicken'd eye
Our houseless poor upon our pavements lie,
Fainting and wailing at some poor-house gate
That frown'd denial on their wretched state :
Young men and old, women, and children rest,
Alike unshelter'd, on the earth's cold breast,
Girls, whose young lives thus left the prey of lust,
Forth on “our streets ” are pitilessly thrust,
Or left to crouch, unshelter'd and unfed,
'Midst that poor group, in common mis’ry wed;
And, as I 've gazed upon that breathing mass
Of human woe, I 've seen the rich man pass
Regardless by, and wonder'd in my soul
If such distressing facts are past control ?

[ocr errors]

I've follow'd the proud step, that spurn'd the ground
Whereon the roofless poor sleep's solace found,
To some luxurious dome, where viands rare
Were spread to tempt each pamper'd palate there,
Where rank and wealth had met, of Want to talk,
While past the very door they'd see it stalk
And deem its form a counterfeit pretence,
Dress'd in the borrow'd robes of indigence,
And so feast on, and deem their duty done
To the poor fasting, wretched, roofless one!
And, as I've gazed upon that pompous throng,
My heart has sigh’d—“How long, O Lord, how long ?
How long exposed shall, houseless, wretches lie,

In this vast capital of wealth and pride;
While millions under heavy burthens sigh,

And state rolls on with unabated tide ?
How long shall feeble age and untaught youth

Upbraid us for their woes and blasted name,
And manhood's wild despair, with voice of truth,

Proclaim its darkest deeds our city's shame ?”

SCORN-OR TEARS ?

A CONFLICT.

WHERE art thou that wouldst bid me stifle tears
Thou mocking demon of the spirit's caves-
Remorseless Scorn ?- Thou pulseless spectre king,
Thou sword-defying sprite, come forth 1-stand up-
Up-up !-and be confest, that I may see
What in thee lies to wield such wondrous might
O'er the wild torrent that now swells

my

soul !Ay! stem it if thou canst, and take my

thanks; For it is past my skill to check its course ; And thou wert fain to boast the pow'r I lack !

So: now I see thee, dread and haugłty king,
Swaying with frozen sceptre o'er thy realm-
The injured heart, turning its streams to ice,
Blighting its verdure with thy with’ring breath,

« AnteriorContinua »