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Lazarus, Emma

· EMMA LAZARUS: GRIEF · Emma Lazarus: Storm · Emma Lazarus: Sympathy · Emma Lazarus: Regret · Emma Lazarus: Loneliness · Emma Lazarus: Longing · Emma Lazarus: HEROES · Emma Lazarus: Youth · Emma Lazarus: Dreams · Emma Lazarus: Dreams

EMMA LAZARUS: GRIEF

EMMALAZARUS04

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Grief

 

There is a hungry longing in the soul,

A craving sense of emptiness and pain,

She may not satisfy nor yet control,

For all the teeming world looks void and vain.

No compensation in eternal spheres,

She knows the loneliness of all her years.

 

There is no comfort looking forth nor back,

The present gives the lie to all her past.

Will cruel time restore what she doth lack?

Why was no shadow of this doom forecast?

Ah! she hath played with many a keen-edged thing;

Naught is too small and soft to turn and sting.

 

In the unnatural glory of the hour,

Exalted over time, and death, and fate,

No earthly task appears beyond her power,

No possible endurance seemeth great.

She knows her misery and her majesty,

And recks not if she be to live or die.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Storm

EMMALAZARUS05

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Storm

 

Serene was morning with clear, winnowed air,

But threatening soon the low, blue mass of cloud

Rose in the west, with mutterings faint and rare

At first, but waxing frequent and more loud.

Thick sultry mists the distant hill-tops shroud;

The sunshine dies; athwart black skies of lead

Flash noiselessly thin threads of lightning red.


Breathless the earth seems waiting some wild blow,

Dreaded, but far too close to ward or shun.

Scared birds aloft fly aimless, and below

Naught stirs in fields whence light and life are gone,

Save floating leaves, with wisps of straw and down,

Upon the heavy air; ‘neath blue-black skies,

Livid and yellow the green landscape lies.

 

And all the while the dreadful thunder breaks,

Within the hollow circle of the hills,

With gathering might, that angry echoes wakes,

And earth and heaven with unused clamor fills.

O’erhead still flame those strange electric thrills.

A moment more,–behold! yon bolt struck home,

And over ruined fields the storm hath come!

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Sympathy

EMMALAZARUS01

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Sympathy

 

It comes not in such wise as she had deemed,

Else might she still have clung to her despair.

More tender, grateful than she could have dreamed,

Fond hands passed pitying over brows and hair,

And gentle words borne softly through the air,

Calming her weary sense and wildered mind,

By welcome, dear communion with her kind.

 

Ah! she forswore all words as empty lies;

What speech could help, encourage, or repair?

Yet when she meets these grave, indulgent eyes,

Fulfilled with pity, simplest words are fair,

Caressing, meaningless, that do not dare

To compensate or mend, but merely soothe

With hopeful visions after bitter Truth.

 

One who through conquered trouble had grown wise,

To read the grief unspoken, unexpressed,

The misery of the blank and heavy eyes,–

Or through youth’s infinite compassion guessed

The heavy burden,–such a one brought rest,

And bade her lay aside her doubts and fears,

While the hard pain dissolved in blessed tears.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Regret

EMMALAZARUS01

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Regret

 

Thin summer rain on grass and bush and hedge,

Reddening the road and deepening the green

On wide, blurred lawn, and in close-tangled sedge;

Veiling in gray the landscape stretched between

These low broad meadows and the pale hills seen

But dimly on the far horizon’s edge.

 

In these transparent-clouded, gentle skies,

Wherethrough the moist beams of the soft June sun

Might any moment break, no sorrow lies,

No note of grief in swollen brooks that run,

No hint of woe in this subdued, calm tone

Of all the prospect unto dreamy eyes.

 

Only a tender, unnamed half-regret

For the lost beauty of the gracious morn;

A yearning aspiration, fainter yet,

For brighter suns in joyous days unborn,

Now while brief showers ruffle grass and corn,

And all the earth lies shadowed, grave, and wet;

 

Space for the happy soul to pause again

From pure content of all unbroken bliss,

To dream the future void of grief and pain,

And muse upon the past, in reveries

More sweet for knowledge that the present is

Not all complete, with mist and clouds and rain.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Loneliness

EMMALAZARUS04

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Loneliness

 

All stupor of surprise hath passed away;

She sees, with clearer vision than before,

A world far off of light and laughter gay,

Herself alone and lonely evermore.

Folk come and go, and reach her in no wise,

Mere flitting phantoms to her heavy eyes.

 

All outward things, that once seemed part of her,

Fall from her, like the leaves in autumn shed.

She feels as one embalmed in spice and myrrh,

With the heart eaten out, a long time dead;

Unchanged without, the features and the form;

Within, devoured by the thin red worm.

 

By her own prowess she must stand or fall,

This grief is to be conquered day by day.

Who could befriend her? who could make this small,

Or her strength great? she meets it as she may.

A weary struggle and a constant pain,

She dreams not they may ever cease nor wane.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Longing

EMMALAZARUS02

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Longing

 

Look westward o’er the steaming rain-washed slopes,

Now satisfied with sunshine, and behold

Those lustrous clouds, as glorious as our hopes,

Softened with feathery fleece of downy gold,

In all fantastic, huddled shapes uprolled,

Floating like dreams, and melting silently,

In the blue upper regions of pure sky.


The eye is filled with beauty, and the heart

Rejoiced with sense of life and peace renewed;

And yet at such an hour as this, upstart

Vague myriad longing, restless, unsubdued,

And causeless tears from melancholy mood,

Strange discontent with earth’s and nature’s best,

Desires and yearnings that may find no rest.


Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: HEROES

EMMALAZARUS05

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

HEROES


In rich Virginian woods,

The scarlet creeper reddens over graves,

Among the solemn trees enlooped with vines;

Heroic spirits haunt the solitudes,–

The noble souls of half a million braves,

Amid the murmurous pines.


Ah! who is left behind,

Earnest and eloquent, sincere and strong,

To consecrate their memories with words

Not all unmeet? with fitting dirge and song

To chant a requiem purer than the wind,

And sweeter than the birds?


Here, though all seems at peace,

The placid, measureless sky serenely fair,

The laughter of the breeze among the leaves,

The bars of sunlight slanting through the trees,

The reckless wild-flowers blooming everywhere,

The grasses’ delicate sheaves,–

 

Nathless each breeze that blows,

Each tree that trembles to its leafy head

With nervous life, revives within our mind,

Tender as flowers of May, the thoughts of those

Who lie beneath the living beauty, dead,–

Beneath the sunshine, blind.

 

For brave dead soldiers, these:

Blessings and tears of aching thankfulness,

Soft flowers for the graves in wreaths enwove,

The odorous lilac of dear memories,

The heroic blossoms of the wilderness,

And the rich rose of love.

 

But who has sung their praise,

Not less illustrious, who are living yet?

Armies of heroes, satisfied to pass

Calmly, serenely from the whole world’s gaze,

And cheerfully accept, without regret,

Their old life as it was,

 

With all its petty pain,

Its irritating littleness and care;

They who have scaled the mountain, with content

Sublime, descend to live upon the plain;

Steadfast as though they breathed the mountain-air

Still, wheresoe’er they went.

 

They who were brave to act,

And rich enough their action to forget;

Who, having filled their day with chivalry,

Withdraw and keep their simpleness intact,

And all unconscious add more lustre yet

Unto their victory.

 

On the broad Western plains

Their patriarchal life they live anew;

Hunters as mighty as the men of old,

Or harvesting the plenteous, yellow grains,

Gathering ripe vintage of dusk bunches blue,

Or working mines of gold;

 

Or toiling in the town,

Armed against hindrance, weariness, defeat,

With dauntless purpose not to serve or yield,

And calm, defiant, they struggle on,

As sturdy and as valiant in the street,

As in the camp and field.

 

And those condemned to live,

Maimed, helpless, lingering still through suffering years,

May they not envy now the restful sleep

Of the dear fellow-martyrs they survive?

Not o’er the dead, but over these, your tears,

O brothers, ye may weep!

 

New England fields I see,

The lovely, cultured landscape, waving grain,

Wide haughty rivers, and pale, English skies.

And lo! a farmer ploughing busily,

Who lifts a swart face, looks upon the plain,–

I see, in his frank eyes,


The hero’s soul appear.

Thus in the common fields and streets they stand;

The light that on the past and distant gleams,

They cast upon the present and the near,

With antique virtues from some mystic land,

Of knightly deeds and dreams.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Youth

EMMALAZARUS02

Emma Lazarus

(1849 – 1887)

 

Youth

 

Sweet empty sky of June without a stain,

Faint, gray-blue dewy mists on far-off hills,

Warm, yellow sunlight flooding mead and plain,

That each dark copse and hollow overfills;

The rippling laugh of unseen, rain-fed rills,

Weeds delicate-flowered, white and pink and gold,

A murmur and a singing manifold.

 

 

The gray, austere old earth renews her youth

With dew-lines, sunshine, gossamer, and haze.

How still she lies and dreams, and veils the truth,

While all is fresh as in the early days!

What simple things be these the soul to raise

To bounding joy, and make young pulses beat,

With nameless pleasure finding life so sweet.

 

 

On such a golden morning forth there floats,

Between the soft earth and the softer sky,

In the warm air adust with glistening motes,

The mystic winged and flickering butterfly,

A human soul, that hovers giddily

Among the gardens of earth’s paradise,

Nor dreams of fairer fields or loftier skies.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Dreams

lazarus

Emma Lazarus

(1849-1887)

 

Dreams

 

A dream of lilies: all the blooming earth,

A garden full of fairies and of flowers;

Its only music the glad cry of mirth,

While the warm sun weaves golden-tissued hours;

Hope a bright angel, beautiful and true

As Truth herself, and life a lovely toy,

Which ne’er will weary us, ne’er break, a new

Eternal source of pleasure and of joy.

 

A dream of roses: vision of Loves tree,

Of beauty and of madness, and as bright

As naught on earth save only dreams can be,

Made fair and odorous with flower and light;

A dream that Love is strong to outlast Time,

That hearts are stronger than forgetfulness,

The slippery sand than changeful waves that climb,

The wind-blown foam than mighty waters’ stress.

 

A dream of laurels: after much is gone,

Much buried, much lamented, much forgot,

With what remains to do and what is done,

With what yet is, and what, alas! is not,

Man dreams a dream of laurel and of bays,

A dream of crowns and guerdons and rewards,

Wherein sounds sweet the hollow voice of praise,

And bright appears the wreath that it awards.

 

A dream of poppies, sad and true as Truth,-

That all these dreams were dreams of vanity;

And full of bitter penitence and ruth,

In his last dream, man deems ’twere good to die;

And weeping o’er the visions vain of yore,

In the sad vigils he doth nightly keep,

He dreams it may be good to dream no more,

And life has nothing like Death’s dreamless sleep.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


Emma Lazarus: Dreams

lazerusemma 01

Emma Lazarus

(1849–1887)

Dreams

 

A dream of lilies: all the blooming earth,

A garden full of fairies and of flowers;

Its only music the glad cry of mirth,

While the warm sun weaves golden-tissued hours;

Hope a bright angel, beautiful and true

As Truth herself, and life a lovely toy,

Which ne’er will weary us, ne’er break, a new

Eternal source of pleasure and of joy.

 

A dream of roses: vision of Loves tree,

Of beauty and of madness, and as bright

As naught on earth save only dreams can be,

Made fair and odorous with flower and light;

A dream that Love is strong to outlast Time,

That hearts are stronger than forgetfulness,

The slippery sand than changeful waves that climb,

The wind-blown foam than mighty waters’ stress.

 

A dream of laurels: after much is gone,

Much buried, much lamented, much forgot,

With what remains to do and what is done,

With what yet is, and what, alas! is not,

Man dreams a dream of laurel and of bays,

A dream of crowns and guerdons and rewards,

Wherein sounds sweet the hollow voice of praise,

And bright appears the wreath that it awards.

 

A dream of poppies, sad and true as Truth,—

That all these dreams were dreams of vanity;

And full of bitter penitence and ruth,

In his last dream, man deems ’twere good to die;

And weeping o’er the visions vain of yore,

In the sad vigils he doth nightly keep,

He dreams it may be good to dream no more,

And life has nothing like Death’s dreamless sleep.

 

Emma Lazarus poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: - Archive Tombeau de la jeunesse, Archive K-L, Lazarus, Emma


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