Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882 / Portland, Maine)

Two Sonnets From The Spanish Of Francisco De Medrano


Causa la vista el artificio humano, etc.


The works of human artifice soon tire
The curious eye; the fountain's sparkling rill,
And gardens, when adorned by human skill,
Reproach the feeble hand, the vain desire.
But oh! the free and wild magnificence
Of Nature in her lavish hours doth steal,
In admiration silent and intense,
The soul of him who hath a soul to feel.
The river moving on its ceaseless way,
The verdant reach of meadows fair and green,
And the blue hills that bound the sylvan scene,--
These speak of grandeur, that defies decay,--
Proclaim the Eternal Architect on high,
Who stamps on all his works his own eternity.

II. THE TWO HARVESTS


Yo vi romper aquestas vegas Ilanas, etc.


But yesterday those few and hoary sheaves
Waved in the golden harvest; from the plain
I saw the blade shoot upward, and the grain
Put forth the unripe ear and tender leaves.
Then the glad upland smiled upon the view,
And to the air the broad green leaves unrolled,
A peerless emerald in each silken fold,
And on its palm a pearl of morning dew.
And thus sprang up and ripened in brief space
All that beneath the reaper's sickle died,
All that smiled beauteous in the summer-tide,
And what are we? a copy of that race,
The later harvest of a longer year!
And oh! how many fall before the ripened ear.

Submitted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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