Wiersze - Helen Hunt Jackson

Helen Maria Hunt Jackson

poetka, pisarka
  • Data i miejsce urodzenia: 15 październik 1830, Amherst, Massachusetts
  • Data i miejsce śmierci: 12 sierpień 1885, San Francisco, California
  • Narodowosć: amerykańska
Helen Maria Hunt Jackson - poetka, pisarka


WITH what a childish and short-sighted sense
Fear seeks for safety; recons up the days
Of danger and escape, the hours and ways
Of death; it breathless flies the pestilence;
It walls itself in towers of defence;
By land, by sea, against the storm it lays
Down barriers; then, comforted, it says:
"This spot, this hour is safe." Oh, vain pretence!
Man born of man knows nothing when he goes;
The winds blow where they list, and will disclose
To no man which brings safety, which brings risk.
The mighty are brought low by many a thing
Too small to name. Beneath the daisy's disk
Lies hid the pebble for the fatal sling. Helen Hunt Jackson


They bade me cast the thing away,

 They pointed to my hands all bleeding,

 They listened not to all my pleading;

 The thing I meant I could not say;

 I knew that I should rue the day

 If once I cast that thing away.

 I grasped it firm, and bore the pain;

 The thorny husks I stripped and scattered;

 If I could reach its heart, what mattered

 If other men saw not my gain,

 Or even if I should be slain?

 I knew the risks; I chose the pain.

 O, had I cast that thing away,

 I had not found what most I cherish,

 A faith without which I should perish,--

 The faith which, like a kernel, lay

 Hid in the husks which on that day

 My instinct would not throw away!


WHAT freeman knoweth freedom? Never he
Whose father's father through long lives have reigned
O'er kingdoms which mere heritage attained.
Though from his youth to age he roam as free
As winds, he dreams not freedom's ecstacy.
But he whose birth was in a nation chained
For centuries; where every breath was drained
From breasts of slaves which knew not there could be
Such thing as freedom,--he beholds the light
Burst, dazzling; though the glory blind his sight
He knows the joy. Fools laugh because he reels
And weilds confusedly his infant will;
The wise man watching with a heart that feels Says: "Cure for freedom's harms is freedom still."

Habeas Corpus

Habeas Corpus
 My body, eh? Friend Death, how now?

 Why all this tedious pomp of writ?

 Thou hast reclaimed it sure and slow

 For half a century bit by bit.

 In faith thou knowest more to-day

 Than I do, where it can be found!

 This shrivelled lump of suffering clay,

 To which I am now chained and bound,

 Has not of kith or kin a trace

 To the good body once I bore;

 Look at this shrunken, ghastly face:

 Didst ever see that face before?

 Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;

 Thy only fault thy lagging gait,

 Mistaken pity in thy heart

 For timorous ones that bid thee wait.

 Do quickly all thou hast to do,

 Nor I nor mine will hindrance make;

 I shall be free when thou art through;

 I grudge thee nought that thou must take!

 Stay! I have lied; I grudge thee one,

 Yes, two I grudge thee at this last,--

 Two members which have faithful done

 My will and bidding in the past.

 I grudge thee this right hand of mine;

 I grudge thee this quick-beating heart;

 They never gave me coward sign,

 Nor played me once the traitor`s part.

 I see now why in olden days

 Men in barbaric love or hate

 Nailed enemies` hands at wild crossways,

 Shrined leaders` hearts in costly state:

 The symbol, sign and instrument

 Of each soul`s purpose, passion, strife,

 Of fires in which are poured and spent

 Their all of love, their all of life.

 O feeble, mighty human hand!

 O fragile, dauntless human heart!

 The universe holds nothing planned

 With such sublime, transcendent art!

 Yes, Death, I own I grudge thee mine

 Poor little hand, so feeble now;

 Its wrinkled palm, its altered line,

 Its veins so pallid and so slow --

* * * (Unfinished here.)

 Ah, well, friend Death, good friend thou art;

 I shall be free when thou art through.

 Take all there is -- take hand and heart;

 There must be somewhere work to do.


The golden-rod is yellow;

 The corn is turning brown;

 The trees in apple orchards

 With fruit are bending down.

 The gentian`s bluest fringes

 Are curling in the sun;

 In dusty pods the milkweed

 Its hidden silk has spun.

 The sedges flaunt their harvest,

 In every meadow nook;

 And asters by the brook-side

 Make asters in the brook,

 From dewy lanes at morning

 The grapes` sweet odors rise;

 At noon the roads all flutter

 With yellow butterflies.

 By all these lovely tokens

 September days are here,

 With summer`s best of weather,

 And autumn`s best of cheer.

 But none of all this beauty

 Which floods the earth and air

 Is unto me the secret

 Which makes September fair.

 `T is a thing which I remember;

 To name it thrills me yet:

 One day of one September

 I never can forget.

1 2 ››