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James Russell Lowell (Джеймс Расселл Лоуэлл)


A Dirge


  Poet! lonely is thy bed,
  And the turf is overhead--
    Cold earth is thy cover;
  But thy heart hath found release,
  And it slumbers full of peace
  'Neath the rustle of green trees
  And the warm hum of the bees,
    Mid the drowsy clover;
  Through thy chamber, still as death,
  A smooth gurgle wandereth,
  As the blue stream murmureth
    To the blue sky over.
  Three paces from the silver strand,
  Gently in the fine, white sand,
  With a lily in thy hand,
    Pale as snow, they laid thee;
  In no coarse earth wast thou hid,
  And no gloomy coffin-lid
    Darkly overweighed thee.
  Silently as snow-flakes drift,
  The smooth sand did sift and sift
    O'er the bed they made thee;
  All sweet birds did come and sing
  At thy sunny burying--
  Choristers unbidden,
  And, beloved of sun and dew,
  Meek forget-me-nots upgrew
  Where thine eyes so large and blue
   'Neath the turf were hidden.

  Where thy stainless clay doth lie,
  Blue and open is the sky,
  And the white clouds wander by,
  Dreams of summer silently
    Darkening the river;
  Thou hearest the clear water run;
  And the ripples every one,
  Scattering the golden sun,
    Through thy silence quiver;
  Vines trail down upon the stream,
  Into its smooth and glassy dream
    A green stillness spreading,
  And the shiner, perch, and bream
  Through the shadowed waters gleam
   'Gainst the current heading.

  White as snow, thy winding sheet
  Shelters thee from head to feet,
    Save thy pale face only;
  Thy face is turned toward the skies,
  The lids lie meekly o'er thine eyes,
  And the low-voiced pine-tree sighs
    O'er thy bed so lonely.
  All thy life thou lov'dst its shade:
  Underneath it thou art laid,
    In an endless shelter;
  Thou hearest it forever sigh
  As the wind's vague longings die
  In its branches dim and high--
  Thou hear'st the waters gliding by
    Slumberously welter.

  Thou wast full of love and truth,
  Of forgiveness and ruth--
  Thy great heart with hope and youth
    Tided to o'erflowing.
  Thou didst dwell in mysteries,
  And there lingered on thine eyes
  Shadows of serener skies,
  Awfully wild memories,
    That were like foreknowing;
  Through the earth thou would'st have gone,
  Lighted from within alone,
  Seeds from flowers in Heaven grown
    With a free hand sowing.

  Thou didst remember well and long
  Some fragments of thine angel-song,
  And strive, through want of woe and wrong,
    To win the world unto it;
  Thy sin it was to see and hear
  Beyond To-day's dim hemisphere--
  Beyond all mists of hope and fear,
  Into a life more true and clear,
    And dearly thou didst rue it;
  Light of the new world thou hadst won,
  O'erflooded by a purer sun--
  Slowly Fate's ship came drifting on,
  And through the dark, save thou, not one
    Caught of the land a token.
  Thou stood'st upon the farthest prow,
  Something within thy soul said "Now!"
  And leaping forth with eager brow,
    Thou fell'st on shore heart-broken.

  Long time thy brethren stood in fear;
  Only the breakers far and near,
  White with their anger, they could hear;
  The sounds of land, which thy quick ear
    Caught long ago, they heard not.
  And, when at last they reached the strand,
  They found thee lying on the sand
  With some wild flowers in thy hand,
    But thy cold bosom stirred not;
  They listened, but they heard no sound
  Save from the glad life all around
    A low, contented murmur.
  The long grass flowed adown the hill,
  A hum rose from a hidden rill,
  But thy glad heart, that knew no ill
  But too much love, lay dead and still--
  The only thing that sent a chill
    Into the heart of summer.

  Thou didst not seek the poet's wreath
    But too soon didst win it;
  Without 'twas green, but underneath
  Were scorn and loneliness and death,
  Gnawing the brain with burning teeth,
    And making mock within it.
  Thou, who wast full of nobleness,
  Whose very life-blood 'twas to bless,
    Whose soul's one law was giving,
  Must bandy words with wickedness,
  Haggle with hunger and distress,
  To win that death which worldliness
    Calls bitterly a living.

  "Thou sow'st no gold, and shalt not reap!"
  Muttered earth, turning in her sleep;
  "Come home to the Eternal Deep!"
  Murmured a voice, and a wide sweep
  Of wings through thy soul's hush did creep,
    As of thy doom o'erflying;
  It seem'd that thy strong heart would leap
  Out of thy breast, and thou didst weep,
    But not with fear of dying;
  Men could not fathom thy deep fears,
  They could not understand thy tears,
  The hoarded agony of years
    Of bitter self-denying.
  So once, when high above the spheres
  Thy spirit sought its starry peers,
  It came not back to face the jeers
    Of brothers who denied it;
  Star-crowned, thou dost possess the deeps
  Of God, and thy white body sleeps
  Where the lone pine forever keeps
    Patient watch beside it.

  Poet! underneath the turf,
    Soft thou sleepest, free from morrow,
  Thou hast struggled through the surf
    Of wild thoughts and want and sorrow.
  Now, beneath the moaning pine,
    Full of rest, thy body lieth,
  While far up is clear sunshine,
  Underneath a sky divine,
    Her loosed wings thy spirit trieth;
  Oft she strove to spread them here,
  But they were too white and clear
  For our dingy atmosphere.

  Thy body findeth ample room
  In its still and grassy tomb
    By the silent river;
  But thy spirit found the earth
  Narrow for the mighty birth
    Which it dreamed of ever;
  Thou wast guilty of a rhyme
  Learned in a benigner clime,
  And of that more grievous crime,
  An ideal too sublime
  For the low-hung sky of Time.

  The calm spot where thy body lies
  Gladdens thy soul in Paradise,
    It is so still and holy;
  Thy body sleeps serenely there,
  And well for it thy soul may care,
  It was so beautiful and fair,
    Lily white so wholly.
  From so pure and sweet a frame
  Thy spirit parted as it came,
    Gentle as a maiden;
  Now it lieth full of rest--
  Sods are lighter on its breast
  Than the great, prophetic guest
    Wherewith it was laden.



James Russell Lowell's other poems:
  1. The Lost Child
  2. The Lover
  3. “Goe, Little Booke!“
  4. Song (All things are sad)
  5. To E. W. G.


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

  • Alfred Tennyson (Альфред Теннисон) A Dirge ("Now is done thy long day's work")
  • Percy Shelley (Перси Шелли) A Dirge ("Rough wind, that moanest loud")
  • Madison Cawein (Мэдисон Кавейн) A Dirge ("Life has fled; she is dead")
  • Amy Levy (Эми Леви) A Dirge ("”Mein Herz, mein Herz ist traurig")
  • Menella Smedley (Менелла Смедли) A Dirge ("Let her rest!")
  • Ella Wilcox (Элла Уилкокс) A Dirge ("Death and a dirge at midnight;")
  • Thomas Parsons (Томас Парсонс) A Dirge ("Slowly tread, and gently bear")

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