Once more ye waver dreamily before me,
Forms that so early cheered my troubled eyes!
To hold you fast doth still my heart implore me?
Still bid me clutch the charm that lures and flies?
Ye crowd around! come, then, hold empire o’er me,
As from the mist and haze of thought ye rise;
The magic atmosphere, your train enwreathing,
Through my thrilled bosom youthful bliss is breathing.
Ye bring with you the forms of hours Elysian,
And shades of dear ones rise to meet my gaze;
First Love and Friendship steal upon my vision
Like an old tale of legendary days;
Sorrow renewed, in mournful repetition,
Runs through life’s devious, labyrinthine ways;
And, sighing, names the good (by Fortune cheated
Of blissful hours!) who have before me fleeted.
These later songs of mine, alas! will never
Sound in their ears to whom the first were sung!
Scattered like dust, the friendly throng forever!
Mute the first echo that so grateful rung!
To the strange crowd I sing, whose very favor
Like chilling sadness on my heart is flung;
And all that kindled at those earlier numbers
Roams the wide earth or in its bosom slumbers.
And now I feel a long-unwonted yearning
For that calm, pensive spirit-realm, to-day;
Like an Aeolian lyre, (the breeze returning,)
Floats in uncertain tones my lisping lay;
Strange awe comes o’er me, tear on tear falls burning,
The rigid heart to milder mood gives way!
What I possess I see afar off lying,
And what I lost is real and undying.
IN THE THEATRE.
Manager. Dramatic Poet. Merry Person.
Manager. You who in trouble and distress
Have both held fast your old allegiance,
What think ye? here in German regions
Our enterprise may hope success?
To please the crowd my purpose has been steady,
Because they live and let one live at least.
The posts are set, the boards are laid already,
And every one is looking for a feast.
They sit, with lifted brows, composed looks wearing,
Expecting something that shall set them staring.
I know the public palate, that’s confest;
Yet never pined so for a sound suggestion;
True, they are not accustomed to the best,
But they have read a dreadful deal, past question.
How shall we work to make all fresh and new,
Acceptable and profitable, too?
For sure I love to see the torrent boiling,
When towards our booth they crowd to find a place,
Now rolling on a space and then recoiling,
Then squeezing through the narrow door of grace:
Long before dark each one his hard-fought station
In sight of the box-office window takes,
And as, round bakers’ doors men crowd to escape starvation,
For tickets here they almost break their necks.
This wonder, on so mixed a mass, the Poet
Alone can work; to-day, my friend, O, show it!