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Title: Poetical Works of William Cullen Bryant - Household Edition
Author: Bryant, William Cullen, 1794-1878
Language: English
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POETICAL WORKS

OF

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

_HOUSEHOLD EDITION._

[Illustration]

NEW YORK:
D. APPLETON AND COMPANY,
1, 3, AND 5 BOND STREET.
LONDON:   16 LITTLE BRITAIN.
1880.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1854, by W. C.
BRYANT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Southern District of New York.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by W. C.
BRYANT, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.

ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1878, by D. APPLETON
& CO., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.



WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.


The ancestry of William Cullen Bryant might have been inferred from the
character of his writings, which reflect whatever is best and noblest in
the life and thought of New England. It was a tradition that the first
Bryant of whom there is any account in the annals of the New World came
over in the Mayflower, but the tradition is not authenticated. What is
known of this gentleman, Mr. Stephen Bryant, is that he came over from
England, and that he was at Plymouth, Massachusetts, as early as 1632.
He married Abigail Shaw, who had emigrated with her father, and who bore
him several children between 1650 and 1665, it is to be presumed at
Plymouth, of which town he was chosen constable in 1663. Stephen Bryant
had a son named Ichabod, who was the father of Philip Bryant, who was
born in 1732. Philip Bryant married Silence Howard, the daughter of Dr.
Abiel Howard, of West Bridgewater, whose profession he adopted, being a
practitioner in medicine in North Bridgewater. He was the father of nine
children, one of whom, Peter Bryant, born in 1767, succeeded him in his
profession. Young Dr. Bryant became enamored of Miss Sarah Snell, the
daughter of Mr. Ebenezer Snell, of Bridgewater, who removed his family
to Cummington, whither he was followed by his future son-in-law, who
married the lady of his love in 1792. Two years later, on the 3d of
November, there was born to him a man-child, who was to win, and to
leave,

  "One of the few immortal names
    That were not born to die."

Dr. Bryant was proud of his profession; and in the hope, no doubt, that
his son would become a shining light therein, he perpetuated at his
christening the name of a great medical authority, who had departed this
life four years before--William Cullen. Dr. Bryant was the last of his
family to practise the healing art; for Nature, wiser than he, early
determined the future course of Master William Cullen Bryant. He was not
to be a doctor, but a poet. A poet, that is, if he lived to be anything;
for the chances were against his living at all. The lad was exceedingly
frail, and had a head the immensity of which troubled his anxious
father. How to reduce it to the normal size was a puzzle which Dr.
Bryant solved in a spring of clear, cold water, which burst out of the
ground on or near his homestead, and into which the child was immersed
every morning, head and all, by two of Dr. Bryant's students--kicking
lustily, we may be sure, at this matutinal dose of hydropathy.

William Cullen Bryant came of Mayflower stock, his mother being a
descendant of John Alden; and the characteristics of his family
included some of the sterner qualities of the Puritans. Grandfather
Snell was a magistrate, and, without doubt a severe one, for the period
was not one which favored leniency to criminals. The whipping-post was
still extant in Massachusetts, and the poet remembered that it stood
about a mile from his early home at Cummington, and that he once saw a
young fellow of eighteen who had received forty lashes as a punishment
for a theft he had committed. It was, he thought, the last example of
corporal punishment inflicted by law in that neighborhood, though the
whipping-post remained in its place for several years, a possible terror
to future evildoers. "Spare the rod, spoil the child," was the Draconian
code then; and the rod, in the shape of a little bundle of birchen
twigs, bound together with a small cord, was generally suspended on a
nail against the wall in the kitchen, and was as much a part of the
necessary furniture as the crane that hung in the fireplace or the
shovel and tongs.

Magistrate Snell was a disciplinarian of the stricter sort; and as he
and his wife resided with Dr. Bryant and his family, the latter stood in
awe of him, so much so that young William Cullen was prevented from
feeling anything like affection for him. It was an age of repression,
not to say oppression, for children, who had few rights that their
elders were bound to respect. To the terrors of the secular arm were
added the deeper terrors of the spiritual law, for the people of that
primitive period were nothing if not religious. The minister was the
great man, and his bodily presence was a restraint upon the unruly, and
the ruly too, for that matter. The lines of our ancestors did not fall
in pleasant places as far as recreations were concerned; for they were
few and far between, consisting, for the most part, of militia musters,
"raisings," corn-huskings, and singing-schools, diversified with the
making of maple sugar and cider. Education was confined to the three
R's, though the children of wealthy parents were sent to colleges as
they now are. It was not a genial social condition, it must be
confessed, to which William Cullen Bryant was born, though it might have
been worse but for his good father, who was in many respects superior to
his rustic neighbors. A broad-shouldered, muscular gentleman, proud of
his strength, his manners were gentle and reserved, his disposition was
serene, and he was fond of society. He was not without political
distinction, for he was elected to the Massachusetts House of
Representatives for several terms, and afterward to the State Senate,
and he associated with the cultivated circles of Boston both as a
legislator and a physician.

William Cullen Bryant was fortunate in his father, who, if he was
disappointed when he found that his son was born to be a follower of
Apollo and not of Æsculapius, kept his disappointment to himself, and
encouraged the lad in his poetical attempts. We have the authority of
the poet himself that his father taught his youth the art of verse, and
that he offered him to the Muses in the bud of life. His first efforts
were several clever "Enigmas," in imitation of the Latin writers, a
translation from Horace, and a copy of verses which were written in his
twelfth year, to be recited at the close of the winter school, "in the
presence of the Master, the Minister of the parish, and a number of
private gentlemen." They were printed on the 18th of March, 1807, in the
_Hampshire Gazette_, from which these particulars are derived, and which
was favored with other contributions from the pen of "C. B."

The juvenile poems of William Cullen Bryant are as clever as those of
Chatterton, Pope, and Cowley; but they are in no sense original, and it
would have been strange if they had been. There was no original writing
in America at the time they were written; and if there had been, it
would hardly have commended itself to the old-fashioned taste of Dr.
Bryant, to whom Pope was still a power in poetry, as Addison, no doubt,
was in prose. It was natural, therefore, that he should offer his boy to
the strait-laced Muses of Queen Anne's time; that the precocious boy
should lisp in heroic couplets, and that he should endeavor to be
satirical. Politics were running high in the first decade of the present
century, and the favorite bug-bear in New England was President
Jefferson, who in 1807 had laid an embargo on American shipping, in
consequence of the decrees of Napoleon, and the British orders in
council in relation thereto. This act was denounced, and by no one more
warmly than by Master Bryant, who made it the subject of a satire, which
was published in Boston in 1808. It was entitled "The Embargo; or,
Sketches of the Times," and was printed for the purchasers, who were
found in sufficient numbers to exhaust the first edition. It is said to
have been well received, but doubts were expressed as to whether the
author was really a youth of thirteen. His friends came to his rescue in
an "Advertisement," which was prefixed to a second edition of his
little _brochure_, published in the following year, and certified to his
age from their personal knowledge of himself and his family. They also
certified to his extraordinary talents, though they should prefer to
have him judged by his works, without favor or affection. They concluded
by stating that the printer was authorized to disclose their names and
places of residence.

The early poetical exercises of William Cullen Bryant, like those of all
young poets, were colored by the books which he read. Among these were
the works of Pope, as I have already intimated, and, no doubt, the works
of Cowper and Thomson. The latter, if they were in the library of Dr.
Bryant, do not appear to have impressed his son at this time; nor,
indeed, does any English poet except Pope, so far as we can judge from
his contributions to the _Hampshire Gazette_, which were continued from
time to time. They were bookish and patriotic; one, which was written at
Cummington on the 8th of January, 1810, being "The Genius of Columbia;"
and another, "An Ode for the Fourth of July, 1812," to the tune of "Ye
Gentlemen of England." These productions are undeniably clever, but they
are not characteristic of their writer, nor of the nature which
surrounded his birthplace, with which he was familiar, and of which he
was a close observer, as his poetry was soon to disclose.

He entered Williams College, in Williamstown, Mass., in his sixteenth
year, and remained there until 1812, distinguishing himself for aptness
and industry in classical learning and polite literature. At the end of
two years he withdrew, and commenced the study of law, first with Judge
Howe, of Worthington, and afterward with Mr. William Baylies, of
Bridgewater. So far he had written nothing but clever amateur verse; but
now, in his eighteenth year, he wrote an imperishable poem. The
circumstances under which it was composed have been variously stated,
but they agree in the main particulars, and are thus given in "The
Bryant Homestead Book" (1870), apparently on authentic information: "It
was here at Cummington, while wandering in the primeval forests, over
the floor of which were scattered the gigantic trunks of fallen trees,
mouldering for long years, and suggesting an indefinitely remote
antiquity, and where silent rivulets crept along through the carpet of
dead leaves, the spoil of thousands of summers, that the poem entitled
'Thanatopsis' was composed. The young poet had read the poems of Kirke
White, which, edited by Southey, were published about that time, and a
small volume of Southey's miscellaneous poems; and some lines of those
authors had kindled his imagination, which, going forth over the face of
the inhabitants of the globe, sought to bring under one broad and
comprehensive view the destinies of the human race in the present life,
and the perpetual rising and passing away of generation after generation
who are nourished by the fruits of its soil, and find a resting-place in
its bosom." We should like to know what lines in Southey and Kirke White
suggested "Thanatopsis," that they might be printed in letters of gold
hereafter.

When the young poet quitted Cummington to begin his law studies, he left
the manuscript of this incomparable poem among his papers in the house
of his father, who found it after his departure. "Here are some lines
that our William has been writing," he said to a lady to whom he showed
them. She read them, and, raising her eyes to the face of Dr. Bryant,
burst into tears--a tribute to the genius of his son in which he was not
ashamed to join. Blackstone bade his Muse a long adieu before he turned
to wrangling courts and stubborn law; and our young lawyer intended to
do the same (for poetry was starvation in America seventy years ago),
but habit and nature were too strong for him. There is no difficulty in
tracing the succession of his poems, and in a few instances the places
where they were written, or with which they concerned themselves.
"Thanatopsis," for example, was followed by "The Yellow Violet," which
was followed by the "Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood," and the
song beginning "Soon as the glazed and gleaming snow." The exquisite
lines "To a Waterfowl" were written at Bridgewater, in his twentieth
year, where he was still pursuing the study of law, which appears to
have been distasteful to him. The concluding stanza sank deeply into a
heart that needed its pious lesson:

          "He who, from zone to zone,
  Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
  _In the long way that I must tread alone,_
          _Will lead my steps aright._"

The lawyer-poet had a long way before him, but he did not tread it
alone; for, after being admitted to the bar in Plymouth, and practising
for a time in Plainfield, near Cummington, he removed to Great
Barrington, in Berkshire, where he saw the dwelling of the Genevieve of
his chilly little "Song," his Genevieve being Miss Frances Fairchild of
that beautiful town, whom he married in his twenty-seventh year, and who
was the light of his household for nearly half a century. It was to her,
the reader may like to know, that he addressed the ideal poem beginning
"O fairest of the rural maids" (_circa_ 1825), "The Future Life" (1837),
and "The Life that Is" (1858); and her memory and her loss are tenderly
embalmed in one of the most touching of his later poems, "October,
1866."

"Thanatopsis" was sent to the _North American Review_ (whether by its
author or his father we are not told), and with such a modest, not to
say enigmatical, note of introduction, that its authorship was left in
doubt. The _Review_ was managed by a club of young literary gentlemen,
who styled themselves "The North American Club," two of whose members,
Mr. Richard Henry Dana and Mr. Edward Tyrrel Channing, were considered
its editors. Mr. Dana read the poem carefully, and was so surprised at
its excellence that he doubted whether it was the production of an
American, an opinion in which his associates are understood to have
concurred. While they were hesitating about its acceptance, he was told
that the writer was a member of the Massachusetts Senate; and, the
Senate being then in session, he started immediately from Cambridge for
Boston. He reached the State House, and inquired for Senator Bryant. A
tall, middle-aged man, with a business-like look, was pointed out to
him. He was satisfied that he could not be the poet he sought, so he
posted back to Cambridge without an introduction. The story ends here,
and rather tamely; for the original narrator forgot, or perhaps never
knew, that Dr. Bryant was a member of the Senate, and that it was among
the possibilities that _he_ was the Senator with a similar name.
American poetry may be said to have commenced in 1817 with the September
number of the _North American Review_, which contained "Thanatopsis" and
the "Inscription for the Entrance of a Wood," the last being printed as
a "Fragment." Six months later, in March, 1818, the impression which
"Thanatopsis" created was strengthened by the appearance of the lines
"To a Waterfowl," and the "Version of a Fragment of Simonides."

Mr. Bryant's literary life may now be said to have begun, though he
depended upon the practice of his profession for his daily bread. He
continued his contributions to the _North American Review_ in the shape
of prose papers on literary topics, and maintained the most friendly
relations with its conductors; notably so with Mr. Dana, who was seven
years his elder, and who possessed, like himself, the accomplishment of
verse. At the suggestion of this poetical and critical brother, he was
invited to deliver a poem before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard
College--an honor which is offered only to those who have already made a
reputation, and are likely to reflect credit on the Society as well as
on themselves. He accepted, and in 1821 wrote his first poem of any
length, "The Ages," which still remains the best poem of the kind that
was ever recited before a college society either in this country or in
England; grave, stately, thoughtful, presenting in animated,
picturesque stanzas a compact summary of the history of mankind. A young
Englishman of twenty-one--Thomas Babington Macaulay--delivered in the
same year a poem on "Evening," before the students of Trinity College,
Cambridge; and it is instructive to compare his conventional heroics
with the spirited Spenserian stanzas of William Cullen Bryant.

The lines "To a Waterfowl," which were written at Bridgewater in 1815,
were followed by "Green River," "A Winter Piece," "The West Wind," "The
Burial-Place," "Blessed are they that mourn," "No man knoweth his
Sepulchre," "A Walk at Sunset," and "The Hymn to Death."

These poems, which cover a period of six busy years, are interesting to
the poetic student as examples of the different styles of their writer,
and of the changing elements of his thoughts and feelings. "Green
River," for example, is a momentary revealment of his shy temperament
and his daily pursuits. Its glimpses of nature are charming, and his
wish to be beside its waters is the most natural one in the world. The
young lawyer is not complimentary to his clients, whom he styles "the
dregs of men," while his pen, which does its best to serve them, becomes
"a barbarous pen." He is dejected, but a visit to the river will restore
his spirits; for, as he gazes upon its lonely and lovely stream,

  "An image of that calm life appears
  That won my heart in my greener years."

"A Winter Piece" is a gallery of woodland pictures which anything of the
kind in the language. "A Walk at Sunset" is notable in that it is the
first poem in which we see (faintly, it must be confessed) the
aboriginal element, which was soon to become a prominent one in Mr.
Bryant's poetry. It was inseparable from the primeval forests of the New
World, but he was the first to perceive its poetic value. The "Hymn to
Death"--stately, majestic, consolatory--concludes with a touching
tribute to the worth of his good father, who died while he was writing
it, at the age of fifty-four. The year 1821 was an important one to Mr.
Bryant, for it witnessed the publication of his first collection of
verse, his marriage, and the death of his father.

The next four years of Mr. Bryant's life were more productive than any
that had preceded them, for he wrote upward of thirty poems during that
time. The aboriginal element was creative in "The Indian Girl's Lament,"
"An Indian Story," "An Indian at the Burial-Place of his Fathers," and,
noblest of all, "Monument Mountain;" the Hellenic element predominated
in "The Massacre at Scio" and "The Song of the Greek Amazon;" the
Hebraic element touched him lightly in "Rizpah" and the "Song of the
Stars;" and the pure poetic element was manifest in "March," "The
Rivulet" (which, by the way, ran through the grounds of the old
homestead at Cummington), "After a Tempest," "The Murdered Traveler,"
"Hymn to the North Star," "A Forest Hymn," "O fairest of the rural
maids," and the exquisite and now most pathetic poem, "June." These
poems and others not specified here, if read continuously and in the
order in which they were composed, show a wide range of sympathies, a
perfect acquaintance with many measures, and a clear, capacious,
ever-growing intellect. They are all distinctive of the genius of their
author, but neither exhibits the full measure of his powers. We can say
of none of them, "The man who wrote this will never write any better."

The publication of Mr. Bryant's little volume of verse was indirectly
the cause of his adopting literature as a profession. It was warmly
commended, and by no one more so than by Mr. Gulian C. Verplanck, in the
columns of the _New York American_. He was something of a literary
authority at the time, a man of fortune and college-bred, known in a
mild way as the author of an anniversary discourse delivered before the
New York Historical Society in 1818, of a political satire entitled "The
Bucktail Bards," and later of an "Essay on the Doctrine of Contracts."
Among his friends was Mr. Henry D. Sedgwick, a summer neighbor, so to
speak, of Mr. Bryant's, having a country-house at Stockbridge, a few
miles from Great Barrington, and a house in town, which was frequented
by the _literati_ of the day, such as Verplanck, Halleck, Percival,
Cooper, and others of less note. An admirer of Mr. Bryant, Mr. Sedgwick
set to work, with the assistance of Mr. Verplanck, to procure him
literary employment in New York, in order to enable him to escape his
hated bondage to the law; and he was appointed assistant editor of a
projected periodical called the _New York Review and Athenæum Magazine_.
The at last enfranchised lawyer dropped his barbarous pen, closed his
law-books, and in the winter or spring of 1825 removed with his
household to New York. The projected periodical was started, as these
sanguine ventures always are, with fair hopes of success. It was well
edited, and its contributors were men of acknowledged ability. The June
number contained two poems which ought to have made a great hit. One was
"A Song of Pitcairn's Island;" the other was "Marco Bozzaris." There was
no flourish of trumpets over them, as there would be now; the writers
merely prefixed their initials, "B." and "H." The reading public of New
York were not ready for the _Review_, which had been projected for their
mental enlightenment; so, after about a year's struggle, it was merged
in the _New York Literary Gazette_, which began its mission about four
years before. This magazine shared the fate of its companion in a few
months, when it was consolidated with the _United States Literary
Gazette_, which in two months was swallowed up in the _United States
Review_. The honor of publishing and finishing the last was shared by
Boston and New York. Profit in these publications there was none, though
Bryant, Halleck, Willis, Dana, Bancroft, and Longfellow wrote for them.
Too good, or not good enough, they lived and died prematurely. Mr.
Bryant's success as a metropolitan man of letters was not brilliant so
far; but there were other walks than those of pure literature open to
him, as to others, and into one of the most bustling of these he entered
in his thirty-second year. In other words, he became one of the editors
of the _Evening Post_. Henceforth he was to live by journalism.

Journalism, though an exacting pursuit, leaves its skillful followers a
little leisure in which to cultivate literature. It the heyday of those
ephemeral trifles, Annuals, and Mr. Bryant found time to edit one, with
the assistance of his friend Mr. Verplanck, and his acquaintance Mr.
Robert C. Sands (who, by the way, was one of the editors of the
_Commercial Advertiser_), and a very creditable work it was. His
contributions to "The Talisman" included some of his best poems. Poetry
was the natural expression of his genius--a fact which he could never
understand, for it always seemed to him that prose was the natural
expression of all mankind. His prose was, and always continued to be,
masterly. Its earliest examples, outside of his critical papers in the
_North American Review_ and other periodicals (and outside of the
_Evening Post_, of course), are two stories entitled "Medfield" and "The
Skeleton's Cave," contributed by him to "Tales of the Glauber Spa"
(1832)--a collection of original stories by Mr. James K. Paulding, Mr.
Verplanck, Mr. Sands, Mr. William Leggett, and Miss Catharine Sedgwick.
Three years before (1828) he had become the chief editor of the _Evening
Post_. Associated with him was Mr. Leggett, who had shown some talent as
a writer of sketches and stories, and who had failed, like himself, in
conducting a critical publication, for which his countrymen were not
ready. He made a second collection of his poems at this time (1832), a
copy of which was sent by Mr. Verplanck to Mr. Washington Irving, who
was then, what he had been for years, the idol of English readers, and
not without weight with the Trade. Would he see if some English house
would not reprint it? No leading publisher nibbled at it, not even
Murray, who was Mr. Irving's publisher; but an obscure bookseller named
Andrews finally agreed to undertake it, if Mr. Irving would put his
valuable name on the title-page as the editor. He was not acquainted
with Mr. Bryant, but he was a kind-hearted, large-souled gentleman, who
knew good poetry when he saw it, and he consented to "edit" the book. He
was not a success in the estimation of Andrews, who came to him one day,
by no means a merry Andrew, and declared that the book would ruin him
unless one or more changes were made in the text. What was amiss in it?
He turned to the "Song of Marion's Men," and stumbled over an obnoxious
couplet in the first stanza:

  "The British soldier trembles
  When Marion's name is told."

"That won't do at all, you know." The absurdity of the objection must
have struck the humorist comically; but as he wanted the volume
republished, he good-naturedly saved the proverbial valor of the British
soldier by changing the first line to

  "The foeman trembles in his camp,"

and the tempest in a teapot was over, as far as England was concerned.
Not as far as the United States was concerned, however; for when the
circumstance became known to Mr. Leggett, he excoriated Mr. Irving for
his subserviency to a bloated aristocracy, and so forth. Mr. John Wilson
reviewed the book in _Blackwood's Magazine_ in a half-hearted way,
patronizing the writer with his praise.

The poems that Mr. Bryant wrote during the first seven years of his
residence in New York (some forty in number, not including translations)
exhibited the qualities which distinguished his genius from the
beginning, and were marked by characteristics which were rather acquired
than inherited. In other words, they were somewhat different from those
which were written at Great Barrington. The Hellenic element was still
visible in "The Greek Partisan" and "The Greek Boy," and the aboriginal
element in "The Disinterred Warrior." The large imagination of "The Hymn
to the North Star" was radiant in "The Firmament," and in "The Past."
Ardent love of nature found expressive utterance in "Lines on Revisiting
the Country," "The Gladness of Nature," "A Summer Ramble," "A Scene on
the Banks of the Hudson," and "The Evening Wind." The little book of
immortal dirges had a fresh leaf added to it in "The Death of the
Flowers," which was at once a pastoral of autumn and a monody over a
beloved sister. A new element appeared in "The Summer Wind," and was
always present afterward in Mr. Bryant's meditative poetry--the
association of humanity with nature--a calm but sympathetic recognition
of the ways of man and his presence on the earth. The power of
suggestion and of rapid generalization, which was the key-note of "The
Ages," lived anew in every line of "The Prairies," in which a series of
poems present themselves to the imagination as a series of pictures in a
gallery--pictures in which breadth and vigor of treatment and exquisite
delicacy of detail are everywhere harmoniously blended, and the unity of
pure Art is attained. It was worth going to the ends of the world to be
able to write "The Prairies."

Confiding in the discretion of his associate Mr. Leggett, and anxious to
escape from his daily editorial labors, Mr. Bryant sailed for Europe
with his family in the summer of 1834. It was his intention to perfect
his literary studies while abroad, and to devote himself to the
education of his children; but his intention was frustrated, after a
short course of travel in France, Germany, and Italy, by the illness of
Mr. Leggett, whose mistaken zeal in the advocacy of unpopular measures
had seriously injured the _Evening Post_. He returned in haste early in
1836, and devoted his time and energies to restoring the prosperity of
his paper. Nine years passed before he ventured to return to Europe,
though he managed to visit certain portions of his own country. His
readers tracked his journeys through the letters which he wrote to the
_Evening Post_, and which were noticeable for justness of observation
and clearness of expression. A selection from Mr. Bryant's foreign and
home letters was published in 1852, under the title of "Letters of a
Traveler."

The life of a man of letters is seldom eventful. There are, of course,
exceptions to the rule; for literature, like other polite professions,
is never without its disorderly followers. It is instructive to trace
their careers, which are usually short ones; but the contemplation of
the calm, well-regulated, self-respecting lives of the elder and wiser
masters is much more satisfactory. We pity the Maginns, and Mangans, and
Poes, whom we have always with us; but we admire and reverence such
writers as Wordsworth, and Thackeray, and Bryant, who dignify their high
calling. The last thirty years of the life of Mr. Bryant were devoid of
incidents, though one of them (1866) was not without the supreme
sorrow--death. He devoted himself to journalism as conscientiously as if
he still had his spurs to win, discussing all public questions with
independence and fearlessness; and from time to time, as the spirit
moved him, he added to our treasures of song, contributing to the
popular magazines of the period, and occasionally issuing these
contributions in separate volumes. He published "The Fountain and Other
Poems" in 1842; "The White-Footed Deer and Other Poems" in 1844; a
collected edition of his poems, with illustrations by Leutze, in 1846;
an edition in two volumes in 1855; "Thirty Poems" in 1866; and in 1876 a
complete illustrated edition of his poetical writings. To the honors
which these volumes brought him he added fresh laurels in 1870 and 1871
by the publication of his translation of the "Iliad" and the
"Odyssey"--a translation which was highly praised both at home and
abroad, and which, if not the best that the English language is capable
of, is, in many respects, the best which any English-writing poet has
yet produced.

There comes a day in the intellectual lives of most poets when their
powers cease to be progressive and productive, or are productive only in
the forms to which they have accustomed themselves, and which have
become mannerisms. It was not so with Mr. Bryant. He enjoyed the
dangerous distinction of proving himself a great poet at an early age;
he preserved this distinction to the last, for the sixty-four years
which elapsed between the writing of "Thanatopsis" and the writing of
"The Flood of Years" witnessed no decay of his poetic capacities, but
rather the growth and development of trains of thought and forms of
verse of which there was no evidence in his early writings. His
sympathies were enlarged as the years went on, and the crystal clearness
of his mind was colored with human emotions.

To Bryant, beyond all other modern poets, the earth was a theatre upon
which the great drama of life was everlastingly played. The remembrance
of this fact is his inspiration in "The Fountain," "An Evening Revery,"
"The Antiquity of Freedom," "The Crowded Street," "The Planting of the
Apple-Tree," "The Night Journey of a River," "The Sower," and "The Flood
of Years." The most poetical of Mr. Bryant's poems are, perhaps, "The
Land of Dreams," "The Burial of Love," "The May Sun sheds an Amber
Light," and "The Voice of Autumn;" and they were written in a succession
of happy hours, and in the order named. Next to these pieces, as
examples of pure poetry, should be placed "Sella" and "The Little People
of the Snow," which are exquisite fairy fantasies. The qualities by
which Mr. Bryant's poetry are chiefly distinguished are serenity and
gravity of thought; an intense though repressed recognition of the
mortality of mankind; an ardent love for human freedom; and unrivaled
skill in painting the scenery of his native land. He had no superior in
this walk of poetic art--it might almost be said no equal, for his
descriptions of nature are never inaccurate or redundant. "The
Excursion" is a tiresome poem, which contains several exquisite
episodes. Mr. Bryant knew how to write exquisite episodes, and to omit
the platitudes through which we reach them in other poets.

It is not given to many poets to possess as many residences as Mr.
Bryant, for he had three--a town-house in New York, a country-house,
called "Cedarmere," at Roslyn, Long Island, and the old homestead of the
Bryant family at Cummington. He passed the winter months in New York,
and the summer and early autumn months at his country-houses. No
distinguished man in America was better known by sight than he.

  "O good gray head that all men knew"

rose unbidden to one's lips as he passed his fellow-pedestrians in the
streets of the great city, active, alert, with a springing step and a
buoyant gait. He was seen in all weathers, walking down to his office in
the morning, and back to his house in the afternoon--an observant
antiquity, with a majestic white beard, a pair of sharp eyes, and a face
which, noticed closely, recalled the line of the poet:

  "A million wrinkles carved his skin."

Mr. Bryant had a peculiar talent, in which the French excel--the talent
of delivering discourses upon the lives and writings of eminent men; and
he was always in request after the death of his contemporaries.

Beginning with a eulogy on his friend Cole, the painter, who died in
1848, he paid his well-considered tributes to the memory of Cooper and
Irving, and assisted at the dedication in the Central Park of the Morse,
Shakespeare, Scott, and Halleck monuments. His addresses on those
occasions, and others that might be named, were models of justice of
appreciation and felicity of expression. His last public appearance was
at the Central Park, on the afternoon of May 29, 1878, at the unveiling
of a statue to Mazzini. It was an unusually hot day, and after
delivering his address, which was remarkable for its eloquence, he
accompanied General James Grant Wilson, an acquaintance of some years'
standing, to his residence in East Seventy-fourth street. General Wilson
reached his door with Mr. Bryant leaning on his arm; he took a step in
advance to open the inner door, and while his back was turned the poet
fell, striking his head on the stone platform of the front steps. It was
his death-blow; for, though he recovered his consciousness sufficiently
to converse a little, and was able to ride to his own house with General
Wilson, his fate was sealed. He lingered until the morning of the 12th
of June, when his capacious spirit passed out into the Unknown. Two days
later all that was mortal of him was buried beside the grave of his wife
at Roslyn.

Such was the life and such the life-work of William Cullen Bryant.

R. H. STODDARD.


TO THE READER.


The poems in this volume follow each other in the order in which they
were written, it being believed that this arrangement would be as
satisfactory to the reader as any classification founded on the nature
of the subjects or their mode of treatment.



CONTENTS.


POEMS:                                                              PAGE
The Ages                                                              11
Thanatopsis                                                           21
The Yellow Violet                                                     23
Inscription for the Entrance to a Wood                                24
Song                                                                  26
To a Waterfowl                                                        26
Green River                                                           27
A Winter Piece                                                        29
The West Wind                                                         33
The Burial-place--A Fragment                                          34
"Blessed are they that Mourn"                                         35
"No Man knoweth his Sepulchre"                                        36
A Walk at Sunset                                                      37
Hymn to Death                                                         39
The Massacre at Scio                                                  43
The Indian Girl's Lament                                              44
Ode for an Agricultural Celebration                                   46
Rizpah                                                                47
The Old Man's Funeral                                                 49
The Rivulet                                                           50
March                                                                 53
Consumption                                                           54
An Indian Story                                                       54
Summer Wind                                                           57
An Indian at the Burial-place of his Fathers                          58
Song                                                                  61
Hymn of the Waldenses                                                 62
Monument Mountain                                                     63
After a Tempest                                                       66
Autumn Woods                                                          68
Mutation                                                              70
November                                                              70
Song of the Greek Amazon                                              71
To a Cloud                                                            72
The Murdered Traveller                                                73
Hymn to the North Star                                                74
The Lapse of Time                                                     75
Song of the Stars                                                     77
A Forest Hymn                                                         79
"Oh Fairest of the Rural Maids"                                       82
"I broke the Spell that held me long"                                 83
June                                                                  83
A Song of Pitcairn's Island                                           86
The Firmament                                                         86
"I cannot forget with what Fervid Devotion"                           88
To a Mosquito                                                         89
Lines on Revisiting the Country                                       91
The Death of the Flowers                                              92
Romero                                                                93
A Meditation on Rhode Island Coal                                     95
The New Moon                                                          98
October                                                               99
The Damsel of Peru                                                   100
The African Chief                                                    101
Spring in Town                                                       103
The Gladness of Nature                                               105
The Disinterred Warrior                                              106
Midsummer                                                            107
The Greek Partisan                                                   108
The Two Graves                                                       109
The Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus                                 111
A Summer Ramble                                                      113
A Scene on the Banks of the Hudson                                   115
The Hurricane                                                        116
William Tell                                                         118
The Hunter's Serenade                                                118
The Greek Boy                                                        120
The Past                                                             121
"Upon the Mountain's Distant Head"                                   123
The Evening Wind                                                     124
"When the Firmament Quivers with Daylight's Young Beam"              125
"Innocent Child and Snow-white Flower"                               126
To the River Arve                                                    126
To Cole, the Painter, departing for Europe                           127
To the Fringed Gentian                                               128
The Twenty-second of December                                        129
Hymn of the City                                                     129
The Prairies                                                         130
Song of Marion's Men                                                 134
The Arctic Lover                                                     135
The Journey of Life                                                  137

TRANSLATIONS:

Version of a Fragment of Simonides                                   138
From the Spanish of Villegas                                         139
Mary Magdalen. (From the Spanish of Bartolomé Leonardo de Argensola) 139
The Life of the Blessed. (From the Spanish of Luis Ponce de Leon)    140
Fatima and Raduan. (From the Spanish)                                142
Love and Folly. (From La Fontaine)                                   143
The Siesta. (From the Spanish)                                       144
The Alcayde of Molina. (From the Spanish)                            145
The Death of Aliatar. (From the Spanish)                             146
Love in the Age of Chivalry. (From Peyre Vidal, the Troubadour)      148
The Love of God. (From the Provençal of Bernard Rascas)              149
From the Spanish of Pedro de Castro y Añaya                          150
Sonnet. (From the Portuguese of Semedo)                              161
Song. (From the Spanish of Iglesias)                                 151
The Count of Greiers. (From the German of Uhland)                    152
The Serenade. (From the Spanish)                                     153
A Northern Legend. (From the German of Uhland)                       155
The Paradise of Tears. (From the German of N. Müller)                156
The Lady of Castle Windeck. (From the German of Chamisso)            157

LATER POEMS:

To the Apennines                                                     159
Earth                                                                160
The Knight's Epitaph                                                 163
The Hunter of the Prairies                                           165
Seventy-six                                                          166
The Living Lost                                                      168
Catterskill Falls                                                    169
The Strange Lady                                                     172
"Earth's Children Cleave to Earth"                                   176
The Hunter's Vision                                                  176
The Green Mountain Boys                                              178
A Presentiment                                                       179
The Child's Funeral                                                  180
The Battle-field                                                     181
The Future Life                                                      183
The Death of Schiller                                                184
The Fountain                                                         185
The Winds                                                            188
The Old Man's Counsel                                                191
In Memory of William Leggett                                         193
An Evening Revery                                                    194
The Painted Cup                                                      196
A Dream                                                              197
The Antiquity of Freedom                                             198
The Maiden's Sorrow                                                  200
The Return of Youth                                                  201
A Hymn of the Sea                                                    203
Noon. (From an unfinished Poem)                                      205
The Crowded Street                                                   206
The White-footed Deer                                                208
The Waning Moon                                                      210
The Stream of Life                                                   212
The Unknown Way                                                      212
"Oh Mother of a Mighty Race"                                         214
The Land of Dreams                                                   215
The Burial of Love                                                   217
"The May Sun sheds an Amber Light"                                   218
The Voice of Autumn                                                  219
The Conqueror's Grave                                                220
The Planting of the Apple-Tree                                       222
The Snow-Shower                                                      225
A Rain-Dream                                                         226
Robert of Lincoln                                                    229
The Twenty-seventh of March                                          231
An Invitation to the Country                                         232
Song for New-Year's Eve                                              234
The Wind and Stream                                                  235
The Lost Bird. (From the Spanish of Carolina Coronado de Perry)      236
The Night-Journey of a River                                         237
The Life that Is                                                     240
Song.--"These Prairies Glow with Flowers"                            241
A Sick-Bed                                                           242
The Song of the Sower                                                244
The New and the Old                                                  249
The Cloud on the Way                                                 250
The Tides                                                            252
Italy                                                                253
A Day-Dream                                                          255
The Ruins of Italica. (From the Spanish of Rioja) 257
Waiting by the Gate                                                  260
Not Yet                                                              262
Our Country's Call                                                   263
The Constellations                                                   265
The Third of November, 1861                                          266
The Mother's Hymn                                                    267
Sella                                                                268
The Fifth Book of Homer's Odyssey.--Translated                       282
The Little People of the Snow                                        297
The Poet                                                             306
The Path                                                             308
The Return of the Birds                                              310
"He hath put all Things under His Feet"                              312
My Autumn Walk                                                       313
Dante                                                                315
The Death of Lincoln                                                 316
The Death of Slavery                                                 317
Hymn.--"Receive thy Sight"                                           319
A Brighter Day                                                       320
Among the Trees                                                      321
May Evening                                                          325
October, 1866                                                        327
The Order of Nature. (From Boethius de Consolatione)                 329
Tree-Burial                                                          330
A Legend of the Delawares                                            332
A Lifetime                                                           336
The Two Travellers                                                   341
Christmas in 1875. (Supposed to be written by a Spaniard)            343
The Flood of Years                                                   344
Our Fellow-Worshippers                                               348

NOTES                                                                350



POEMS.



  THE AGES


  I.

    When to the common rest that crowns our days,
    Called in the noon of life, the good man goes,
    Or full of years, and ripe in wisdom, lays
    His silver temples in their last repose;
    When, o'er the buds of youth, the death-wind blows
    And blights the fairest; when our bitter tears
    Stream, as the eyes of those that love us close,
    We think on what they were, with many fears
  Lest goodness die with them, and leave the coming years.


  II.

    And therefore, to our hearts, the days gone by,
    When lived the honored sage whose death we wept,
    And the soft virtues beamed from many an eye,
    And beat in many a heart that long has slept--
    Like spots of earth where angel-feet have stepped,
    Are holy; and high-dreaming bards have told
    Of times when worth was crowned, and faith was kept,
    Ere friendship grew a snare, or love waxed cold--
  Those pure and happy times--the golden days of old.


  III.

    Peace to the just man's memory; let it grow
    Greener with years, and blossom through the flight
    Of ages; let the mimic canvas show
    His calm benevolent features; let the light
    Stream on his deeds of love, that shunned the sight
    Of all but heaven, and in the book of fame
    The glorious record of his virtues write
    And hold it up to men, and bid them claim
  A palm like his, and catch from him the hallowed flame.


  IV.

    But oh, despair not of their fate who rise
    To dwell upon the earth when we withdraw!
    Lo! the same shaft by which the righteous dies,
    Strikes through the wretch that scoffed at mercy's law
    And trode his brethren down, and felt no awe
    Of Him who will avenge them. Stainless worth,
    Such as the sternest age of virtue saw,
    Ripens, meanwhile, till time shall call it forth
  From the low modest shade, to light and bless the earth.


  V.

    Has Nature, in her calm, majestic march,
    Faltered with age at last? does the bright sun
    Grow dim in heaven? or, in their far blue arch,
    Sparkle the crowd of stars, when day is done,
    Less brightly? when the dew-lipped Spring comes on,
    Breathes she with airs less soft, or scents the sky
    With flowers less fair than when her reign begun?
    Does prodigal Autumn, to our age, deny
  The plenty that once swelled beneath his sober eye?


  VI.

    Look on this beautiful world, and read the truth
    In her fair page; see, every season brings
    New change, to her, of everlasting youth;
    Still the green soil, with joyous living things,
    Swarms, the wide air is full of joyous wings,
    And myriads, still, are happy in the sleep
    Of ocean's azure gulfs, and where he flings
    The restless surge. Eternal Love doth keep,
  In his complacent arms, the earth, the air, the deep.


  VII.

    Will then the merciful One, who stamped our race
    With his own image, and who gave them sway
    O'er earth, and the glad dwellers on her face,
    Now that our swarming nations far away
    Are spread, where'er the moist earth drinks the day,
    Forget the ancient care that taught and nursed
    His latest offspring? will he quench the ray
    Infused by his own forming smile at first,
  And leave a work so fair all blighted and accursed?


  VIII.

    Oh, no! a thousand cheerful omens give
    Hope of yet happier days, whose dawn is nigh.
    He who has tamed the elements, shall not live
    The slave of his own passions; he whose eye
    Unwinds the eternal dances of the sky,
    And in the abyss of brightness dares to span
    The sun's broad circle, rising yet more high,
    In God's magnificent works his will shall scan--
  And love and peace shall make their paradise with man.


  IX.

    Sit at the feet of History--through the night
    Of years the steps of virtue she shall trace,
    And show the earlier ages, where her sight
    Can pierce the eternal shadows o'er their face;--
    When, from the genial cradle of our race,
    Went forth the tribes of men, their pleasant lot
    To choose, where palm-groves cooled their dwelling-place,
    Or freshening rivers ran; and there forgot
  The truth of heaven, and kneeled to gods that heard them not.


  X.

    Then waited not the murderer for the night,
    But smote his brother down in the bright day,
    And he who felt the wrong, and had the might,
    His own avenger, girt himself to slay;
    Beside the path the unburied carcass lay;
    The shepherd, by the fountains of the glen,
    Fled, while the robber swept his flock away,
    And slew his babes. The sick, untended then,
  Languished in the damp shade, and died afar from men.


  XI.

    But misery brought in love; in passion's strife
    Man gave his heart to mercy, pleading long,
    And sought out gentle deeds to gladden life;
    The weak, against the sons of spoil and wrong,
    Banded, and watched their hamlets, and grew strong;
    States rose, and, in the shadow of their might,
    The timid rested. To the reverent throng,
    Grave and time-wrinkled men, with locks all white,
  Gave laws, and judged their strifes, and taught the way of right;


  XII.

    Till bolder spirits seized the rule, and nailed
    On men the yoke that man should never bear,
    And drave them forth to battle. Lo! unveiled
    The scene of those stern ages! What is there?
    A boundless sea of blood, and the wild air
    Moans with the crimsoned surges that entomb
    Cities and bannered armies; forms that wear
    The kingly circlet rise, amid the gloom,
  O'er the dark wave, and straight are swallowed in its womb.


  XIII.

    Those ages have no memory, but they left
    A record in the desert--columns strown
    On the waste sands, and statues fallen and cleft,
    Heaped like a host in battle overthrown;
    Vast ruins, where the mountain's ribs of stone
    Were hewn into a city; streets that spread
    In the dark earth, where never breath has blown
    Of heaven's sweet air, nor foot of man dares tread
    The long and perilous ways--the Cities of the Dead!


  XIV.

    And tombs of monarchs to the clouds up-piled--
    They perished, but the eternal tombs remain--
    And the black precipice, abrupt and wild,
    Pierced by long toil and hollowed to a fane;--
    Huge piers and frowning forms of gods sustain
    The everlasting arches, dark and wide,
    Like the night-heaven, when clouds are black with rain.
    But idly skill was tasked, and strength was plied,
  All was the work of slaves to swell a despot's pride.


  XV.

    And Virtue cannot dwell with slaves, nor reign
    O'er those who cower to take a tyrant's yoke;
    She left the down-trod nations in disdain,
    And flew to Greece, when Liberty awoke,
    New-born, amid those glorious vales, and broke
    Sceptre and chain with her fair youthful hands:
    As rocks are shivered in the thunder-stroke.
    And lo! in full-grown strength, an empire stands
  Of leagued and rival states, the wonder of the lands.


  XVI.

    Oh, Greece! thy flourishing cities were a spoil
    Unto each other; thy hard hand oppressed
    And crushed the helpless; thou didst make thy soil
    Drunk with the blood of those that loved thee best;
    And thou didst drive, from thy unnatural breast,
    Thy just and brave to die in distant climes;
    Earth shuddered at thy deeds, and sighed for rest
    From thine abominations; after-times,
  That yet shall read thy tale, will tremble at thy crimes!


  XVII.

    Yet there was that within thee which has saved
    Thy glory, and redeemed thy blotted name;
    The story of thy better deeds, engraved
    On fame's unmouldering pillar, puts to shame
    Our chiller virtue; the high art to tame
    The whirlwind of the passions was thy own;
    And the pure ray, that from thy bosom came,
    Far over many a land and age has shone,
  And mingles with the light that beams from God's own throne.


  XVIII.

    And Rome--thy sterner, younger sister, she
    Who awed the world with her imperial frown--
    Rome drew the spirit of her race from thee,
    The rival of thy shame and thy renown.
    Yet her degenerate children sold the crown
    Of earth's wide kingdoms to a line of slaves;
    Guilt reigned, and woe with guilt, and plagues came down,
    Till the North broke its floodgates, and the waves
  Whelmed the degraded race, and weltered o'er their graves.


  XIX.

    Vainly that ray of brightness from above,
    That shone around the Galilean lake,
    The light of hope, the leading star of love,
    Struggled, the darkness of that day to break;
    Even its own faithless guardians strove to slake,
    In fogs of earth, the pure ethereal flame;
    And priestly hands, for Jesus' blessed sake,
    Were red with blood, and charity became,
  In that stern war of forms, a mockery and a name.


  XX.

    They triumphed, and less bloody rites were kept
    Within the quiet of the convent-cell;
    The well-fed inmates pattered prayer, and slept,
    And sinned, and liked their easy penance well.
    Where pleasant was the spot for men to dwell,
    Amid its fair broad lands the abbey lay,
    Sheltering dark orgies that were shame to tell,
    And cowled and barefoot beggars swarmed the way,
  All in their convent weeds, of black, and white, and gray.


  XXI.

    Oh, sweetly the returning muses' strain
    Swelled over that famed stream, whose gentle tide
    In their bright lap the Etrurian vales detain,
    Sweet, as when winter storms have ceased to chide,
    And all the new-leaved woods, resounding wide,
    Send out wild hymns upon the scented air.
    Lo! to the smiling Arno's classic side
    The emulous nations of the West repair,
  And kindle their quenched urns, and drink fresh spirit there.


  XXII.

    Still, Heaven deferred the hour ordained to rend
    From saintly rottenness the sacred stole;
    And cowl and worshipped shrine could still defend
    The wretch with felon stains upon his soul;
    And crimes were set to sale, and hard his dole
    Who could not bribe a passage to the skies;
    And vice, beneath the mitre's kind control,
    Sinned gayly on, and grew to giant size,
  Shielded by priestly power, and watched by priestly eyes.


  XXIII.

    At last the earthquake came--the shock, that hurled
    To dust, in many fragments dashed and strown,
    The throne, whose roots were in another world,
    And whose far-stretching shadow awed our own.
    From many a proud monastic pile, o'erthrown,
    Fear-struck, the hooded inmates rushed and fled;
    The web, that for a thousand years had grown
    O'er prostrate Europe, in that day of dread
  Crumbled and fell, as fire dissolves the flaxen thread.


  XXIV.

    The spirit of that day is still awake,
    And spreads himself, and shall not sleep again;
    But through the idle mesh of power shall break
    Like billows o'er the Asian monarch's chain;
    Till men are filled with him, and feel how vain,
    Instead of the pure heart and innocent hands,
    Are all the proud and pompous modes to gain
    The smile of Heaven;--till a new age expands
  Its white and holy wings above the peaceful lands.


  XXV.

    For look again on the past years;--behold,
    How like the nightmare's dreams have flown away
    Horrible forms of worship, that, of old,
    Held, o'er the shuddering realms, unquestioned sway:
    See crimes, that feared not once the eye of day,
    Rooted from men, without a name or place:
    See nations blotted out from earth, to pay
    The forfeit of deep guilt;--with glad embrace
  The fair disburdened lands welcome a nobler race.


  XXVI.

    Thus error's monstrous shapes from earth are driven;
    They fade, they fly--but Truth survives their flight;
    Earth has no shades to quench that beam of heaven;
    Each ray that shone, in early time, to light
    The faltering footstep in the path of right,
    Each gleam of clearer brightness shed to aid
    In man's maturer day his bolder sight,
    All blended, like the rainbow's radiant braid,
  Pour yet, and still shall pour, the blaze that cannot fade.


  XXVII.

    Late, from this Western shore, that morning chased
    The deep and ancient night, which threw its shroud
    O'er the green land of groves, the beautiful waste,
    Nurse of full streams, and lifter-up of proud
    Sky-mingling mountains that o'erlook the cloud.
    Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear,
    Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud
    Amid the forest; and the bounding deer
  Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yelled near.


  XXVIII.

    And where his willing waves yon bright blue bay
    Sends up, to kiss his decorated brim,
    And cradles, in his soft embrace, the gay
    Young group of grassy islands born of him,
    And crowding nigh, or in the distance dim,
    Lifts the white throng of sails, that bear or bring
    The commerce of the world;--with tawny limb,
    And belt and beads in sunlight glistening,
  The savage urged his skiff like wild bird on the wing.


  XXIX.

    Then all this youthful paradise around,
    And all the broad and boundless mainland, lay
    Cooled by the interminable wood, that frowned
    O'er mount and vale, where never summer ray
    Glanced, till the strong tornado broke his way
    Through the gray giants of the sylvan wild;
    Yet many a sheltered glade, with blossoms gay
    Beneath the showery sky and sunshine mild,
  Within the shaggy arms of that dark forest smiled.


  XXX.

    There stood the Indian hamlet, there the lake
    Spread its blue sheet that flashed with many an oar,
    Where the brown otter plunged him from the brake,
    And the deer drank: as the light gale flew o'er,
    The twinkling maize-field rustled on the shore;
    And while that spot, so wild, and lone, and fair,
    A look of glad and guiltless beauty wore,
    And peace was on the earth and in the air,
  The warrior lit the pile, and bound his captive there.


  XXXI.

    Not unavenged--the foeman, from the wood,
    Beheld the deed, and, when the midnight shade
    Was stillest, gorged his battle-axe with blood;
    All died--the wailing babe--the shrinking maid
    And in the flood of fire that scathed the glade,
    The roofs went down; but deep the silence grew,
    When on the dewy woods the day-beam played;
    No more the cabin-smokes rose wreathed and blue,
  And ever, by their lake, lay moored the bark canoe.


  XXXII.

    Look now abroad--another race has filled
    These populous borders--wide the wood recedes,
    And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled;
    The land is full of harvests and green meads;
    Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds,
    Shine, disembowered, and give to sun and breeze
    Their virgin waters; the full region leads
    New colonies forth, that toward the western seas
  Spread, like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees.


  XXXIII.

    Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
    Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
    A limit to the giant's unchained strength,
    Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?
    On, like the comet's way through infinite space.
    Stretches the long untravelled path of light,
    Into the depths of ages; we may trace,
    Afar, the brightening glory of its flight,
  Till the receding rays are lost to human sight.


  XXXIV.

    Europe is given a prey to sterner fates,
    And writhes in shackles; strong the arms that chain
    To earth her struggling multitude of states;
    She too is strong, and might not chafe in vain
    Against them, but might cast to earth the train
    That trample her, and break their iron net.
    Yes, she shall look on brighter days and gain
    The meed of worthier deeds; the moment set
  To rescue and raise up, draws near--but is not yet.


  XXXV.

    But thou, my country, thou shalt never fall,
    Save with thy children--thy maternal care,
    Thy lavish love, thy blessings showered on all--
    These are thy fetters--seas and stormy air
    Are the wide barrier of thy borders, where,
    Among thy gallant sons who guard thee well,
    Thou laugh'st at enemies: who shall then declare
    The date of thy deep-founded strength, or tell
  How happy, in thy lap, the sons of men shall dwell?



  THANATOPSIS.


    To him who in the love of Nature holds
  Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
  A various language; for his gayer hours
  She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
  And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
  Into his darker musings, with a mild
  And healing sympathy, that steals away
  Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
  Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
  Over thy spirit, and sad images
  Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
  And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
  Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
  Go forth, under the open sky, and list
  To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
  Earth and her waters, and the depths of air--
  Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee
  The all-beholding sun shall see no more
  In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
  Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
  Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
  Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
  Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
  And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
  Thine individual being, shalt thou go
  To mix for ever with the elements,
  To be a brother to the insensible rock
  And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
  Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
  Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.

    Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
  Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
  Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
  With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings,
  The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
  Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
  All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
  Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,--the vales
  Stretching in pensive quietness between;
  The venerable woods--rivers that move
  In majesty, and the complaining brooks
  That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
  Old Ocean's gray and melancholy waste,--
  Are but the solemn decorations all
  Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
  The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
  Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
  Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
  The globe are but a handful to the tribes
  That slumber in its bosom.--- Take the wings
  Of morning, pierce the Barean wilderness,
  Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
  Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
  Save his own dashings--yet the dead are there:
  And millions in those solitudes, since first
  The flight of years began, have laid them down
  In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone,
  So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
  In silence from the living, and no friend
  Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
  Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
  When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
  Plod on, and each one as before will chase
  His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
  Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
  And make their bed with thee. As the long train
  Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
  The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
  In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
  The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man--
  Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
  By those, who in their turn shall follow them.

    So live, that when thy summons comes to join
  The innumerable caravan, which moves
  To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
  His chamber in the silent halls of death,
  Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
  Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
  By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
  Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
  About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.



  THE YELLOW VIOLET.


  When beechen buds begin to swell,
    And woods the blue-bird's warble know.
  The yellow violet's modest bell
    Peeps from the last year's leaves below.

  Ere russet fields their green resume,
    Sweet flower, I love, in forest bare,
  To meet thee, when thy faint perfume
    Alone is in the virgin air.

  Of all her train, the hands of Spring
    First plant thee in the watery mould.
  And I have seen thee blossoming
    Beside the snow-bank's edges cold.

  Thy parent sun, who bade thee view
    Pale skies, and chilling moisture sip,
  Has bathed thee in his own bright hue,
    And streaked with jet thy glowing lip.

  Yet slight thy form, and low thy seat,
    And earthward bent thy gentle eye,
  Unapt the passing view to meet,
  When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh.

  Oft, in the sunless April day,
    Thy early smile has stayed my walk;
  But midst the gorgeous blooms of May,
    I passed thee on thy humble stalk.

  So they, who climb to wealth, forget
    The friends in darker fortunes tried.
  I copied them--but I regret
    That I should ape the ways of pride.

  And when again the genial hour
    Awakes the painted tribes of light,
  I'll not o'erlook the modest flower
    That made the woods of April bright.



  INSCRIPTION FOR THE ENTRANCE TO A WOOD.


    Stranger, if thou hast learned a truth which needs
  No school of long experience, that the world
  Is full of guilt and misery, and hast seen
  Enough of all its sorrows, crimes, and cares,
  To tire thee of it, enter this wild wood
  And view the haunts of Nature. The calm shade
  Shall bring a kindred calm, and the sweet breeze
  That makes the green leaves dance, shall waft a balm
  To thy sick heart. Thou wilt find nothing here
  Of all that pained thee in the haunts of men,
  And made thee loathe thy life. The primal curse
  Fell, it is true, upon the unsinning earth,
  But not in vengeance. God hath yoked to guilt
  Her pale tormentor, misery. Hence, these shades
  Are still the abodes of gladness; the thick roof
  Of green and stirring branches is alive
  And musical with birds, that sing and sport
  In wantonness of spirit; while below
  The squirrel, with raised paws and form erect,
  Chirps merrily. Throngs of insects in the shade
  Try their thin wings and dance in the warm beam
  That waked them into life. Even the green trees
  Partake the deep contentment; as they bend
  To the soft winds, the sun from the blue sky
  Looks in and sheds a blessing on the scene.
  Scarce less the cleft-born wild-flower seems to enjoy
  Existence, than the wingèd plunderer
  That sucks its sweets. The mossy rocks themselves,
  And the old and ponderous trunks of prostrate trees
  That lead from knoll to knoll a causey rude
  Or bridge the sunken brook, and their dark roots,
  With all their earth upon them, twisting high,
  Breathe fixed tranquillity. The rivulet
  Sends forth glad sounds, and tripping o'er its bed
  Of pebbly sands, or leaping down the rocks,
  Seems, with continuous laughter, to rejoice
  In its own being. Softly tread the marge,
  Lest from her midway perch thou scare the wren
  That dips her bill in water. The cool wind,
  That stirs the stream in play, shall come to thee.
  Like one that loves thee nor will let thee pass
  Ungreeted, and shall give its light embrace.



  SONG.


  Soon as the glazed and gleaming snow
    Reflects the day-dawn cold and clear,
  The hunter of the West must go
    In depth of woods to seek the deer.

  His rifle on his shoulder placed,
    His stores of death arranged with skill,
  His moccasins and snow-shoes laced--
    Why lingers he beside the hill?

  Far, in the dim and doubtful light,
    Where woody slopes a valley leave,
  He sees what none but lover might,
    The dwelling of his Genevieve.

  And oft he turns his truant eye,
    And pauses oft, and lingers near;
  But when he marks the reddening sky,
    He bounds away to hunt the deer.



  TO A WATERFOWL.


      Whither, midst falling dew,
  While glow the heavens with the last steps of day,
  Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue
      Thy solitary way?

      Vainly the fowler's eye
  Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
  As, darkly seen against the crimson sky,
      Thy figure floats along.

      Seek'st thou the plashy brink
  Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
  Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
      On the chafed ocean-side?

      There is a Power whose care
  Teaches thy way along that pathless coast--
  The desert and illimitable air--
      Lone wandering, but not lost.

      All day thy wings have fanned,
  At that far height, the cold, thin atmosphere,
  Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
      Though the dark night is near.

      And soon that toil shall end;
  Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,
  And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend,
      Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

      Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
  Hath swallowed up thy form; yet, on my heart
  Deeply has sunk the lesson thou hast given,
      And shall not soon depart.

      He who, from zone to zone,
  Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
  In the long way that I must tread alone,
      Will lead my steps aright.



  GREEN RIVER.


    When breezes are soft and skies are fair,
  I steal an hour from study and care,
  And hie me away to the woodland scene,
  Where wanders the stream with waters of green,
  As if the bright fringe of herbs on its brink
  Had given their stain to the waves they drink;
  And they, whose meadows it murmurs through,
  Have named the stream from its own fair hue.
    Yet pure its waters--its shallows are bright
  With colored pebbles and sparkles of light,
  And clear the depths where its eddies play,
  And dimples deepen and whirl away,
  And the plane-tree's speckled arms o'ershoot
  The swifter current that mines its root,
  Through whose shifting leaves, as you walk the hill,
  The quivering glimmer of sun and rill
  With a sudden flash on the eye is thrown,
  Like the ray that streams from the diamond-stone.
  Oh, loveliest there the spring days come,
  With blossoms, and birds, and wild-bees' hum;
  The flowers of summer are fairest there,
  And freshest the breath of the summer air;
  And sweetest the golden autumn day
  In silence and sunshine glides away.

    Yet, fair as thou art, thou shunnest to glide,
  Beautiful stream! by the village side;
  But windest away from haunts of men,
  To quiet valley and shaded glen;
  And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill,
  Around thee, are lonely, lovely, and still,
  Lonely--save when, by thy rippling tides,
  From thicket to thicket the angler glides;
  Or the simpler comes, with basket and book,
  For herbs of power on thy banks to look;
  Or haply, some idle dreamer, like me,
  To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee,
  Still--save the chirp of birds that feed
  On the river cherry and seedy reed,
  And thy own wild music gushing out
  With mellow murmur of fairy shout,
  From dawn to the blush of another day,
  Like traveller singing along his way.

    That fairy music I never hear,
  Nor gaze on those waters so green and clear,
  And mark them winding away from sight,
  Darkened with shade or flashing with light,
  While o'er them the vine to its thicket clings,
  And the zephyr stoops to freshen his wings,
  But I wish that fate had left me free
  To wander these quiet haunts with thee,
  Till the eating cares of earth should depart,
  And the peace of the scene pass into my heart;
  And I envy thy stream, as it glides along
  Through its beautiful banks in a trance of song.

    Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
  And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen,
  And mingle among the jostling crowd,
  Where the sons of strife are subtle and loud--
  I often come to this quiet place,
  To breathe the airs that ruffle thy face,
  And gaze upon thee in silent dream,
  For in thy lonely and lovely stream
  An image of that calm life appears
  That won my heart in my greener years.



  A WINTER PIECE.


    The time has been that these wild solitudes,
  Yet beautiful as wild, were trod by me
  Oftener than now; and when the ills of life
  Had chafed my spirit--when the unsteady pulse
  Beat with strange flutterings--I would wander forth
  And seek the woods. The sunshine on my path
  Was to me as a friend. The swelling hills,
  The quiet dells retiring far between,
  With gentle invitation to explore
  Their windings, were a calm society
  That talked with me and soothed me. Then the chant
  Of birds, and chime of brooks, and soft caress
  Of the fresh sylvan air, made me forget
  The thoughts that broke my peace, and I began
  To gather simples by the fountain's brink,
  And lose myself in day-dreams. While I stood
  In Nature's loneliness, I was with one
  With whom I early grew familiar, one
  Who never had a frown for me, whose voice
  Never rebuked me for the hours I stole
  From cares I loved not, but of which the world
  Deems highest, to converse with her. When shrieked
  The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
  And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades.
  That met above the merry rivulet.
  Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still; they seemed
  Like old companions in adversity.
  Still there was beauty in my walks; the brook,
  Bordered with sparkling frost-work, was as gay
  As with its fringe of summer flowers. Afar,
  The village with its spires, the path of streams
  And dim receding valleys, hid before
  By interposing trees, lay visible
  Through the bare grove, and my familiar haunts
  Seemed new to me. Nor was I slow to come
  Among them, when the clouds, from their still skirts,
  Had shaken down on earth the feathery snow,
  And all was white. The pure keen air abroad,
  Albeit it breathed no scent of herb, nor heard
  Love-call of bird nor merry hum of bee,
  Was not the air of death, Bright mosses crept
  Over the spotted trunks, and the close buds,
  That lay along the boughs, instinct with life,
  Patient, and waiting the soft breath of Spring,
  Feared not the piercing spirit of the North.
  The snow-bird twittered on the beechen bough,
  And 'neath the hemlock, whose thick branches bent
  Beneath its bright cold burden, and kept dry
  A circle, on the earth, of withered leaves,
  The partridge found a shelter. Through the snow
  The rabbit sprang away. The lighter track
  Of fox, and the raccoon's broad path, were there,
  Crossing each other. From his hollow tree
  The squirrel was abroad, gathering the nuts
  Just fallen, that asked the winter cold and sway
  Of winter blast, to shake them from their hold.

    But Winter has yet brighter scenes--he boasts
  Splendors beyond what gorgeous Summer knows;
  Or Autumn with his many fruits, and woods
  All flushed with many hues. Come when the rains
  Have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice,
  While the slant sun of February pours
  Into the bowers a flood of light. Approach!
  The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps,
  And the broad arching portals of the grove
  Welcome thy entering. Look! the massy trunks
  Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
  Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
  Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
  That glimmer with an amethystine light.
  But round the parent-stem the long low boughs
  Bend, in a glittering ring, and arbors hide
  The glassy floor. Oh! you might deem the spot
  The spacious cavern of some virgin mine,
  Deep in the womb of earth--where the gems grow,
  And diamonds put forth radiant rods and bud
  With amethyst and topaz--and the place
  Lit up, most royally, with the pure beam
  That dwells in them. Or haply the vast hall
  Of fairy palace, that outlasts the night,
  And fades not in the glory of the sun;--
  Where crystal columns send forth slender shafts
  And crossing arches; and fantastic aisles
  Wind from the sight in brightness, and are lost
  Among the crowded pillars. Raise thine eye;
  Thou seest no cavern roof, no palace vault;
  There the blue sky and the white drifting cloud
  Look in. Again the wildered fancy dreams
  Of spouting fountains, frozen as they rose,
  And fixed, with all their branching jets, in air,
  And all their sluices sealed. All, all is light;
  Light without shade. But all shall pass away
  With the next sun. From numberless vast trunks
  Loosened, the crashing ice shall make a sound
  Like the far roar of rivers, and the eve
  Shall close o'er the brown woods as it was wont.

    And it is pleasant, when the noisy streams
  Are just set free, and milder suns melt off
  The plashy snow, save only the firm drift
  In the deep glen or the close shade of pines--
  'Tis pleasant to behold the wreaths of smoke
  Roll up among the maples of the hill,
  Where the shrill sound of youthful voices wakes
  The shriller echo, as the clear pure lymph,
  That from the wounded trees, in twinkling drops,
  Falls, mid the golden brightness of the morn,
  Is gathered in with brimming pails, and oft,
  Wielded by sturdy hands, the stroke of axe
  Makes the woods ring. Along the quiet air,
  Come and float calmly off the soft light clouds,
  Such as you see in summer, and the winds
  Scarce stir the branches. Lodged in sunny cleft,
  Where the cold breezes come not, blooms alone
  The little wind-flower, whose just opened eye
  Is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at--
  Startling the loiterer in the naked groves
  With unexpected beauty, for the time
  Of blossoms and green leaves is yet afar.
  And ere it comes, the encountering winds shall oft
  Muster their wrath again, and rapid clouds
  Shade heaven, and bounding on the frozen earth
  Shall fall their volleyed stores, rounded like hail
  And white like snow, and the loud North again
  Shall buffet the vexed forest in his rage.



  THE WEST WIND.


  Beneath the forest's skirt I rest,
    Whose branching pines rise dark and high,
  And hear the breezes of the West
    Among the thread-like foliage sigh.

  Sweet Zephyr! why that sound of woe?
    Is not thy home among the flowers?
  Do not the bright June roses blow,
    To meet thy kiss at morning hours?

  And lo! thy glorious realm outspread--
    Yon stretching valleys, green and gay,
  And yon free hill-tops, o'er whose head
    The loose white clouds are borne away.

  And there the full broad river runs,
    And many a fount wells fresh and sweet,
  To cool thee when the mid-day suns
    Have made thee faint beneath their heat.

  Thou wind of joy, and youth, and love;
    Spirit of the new-wakened year!
  The sun in his blue realm above
    Smooths a bright path when thou art here.

  In lawns the murmuring bee is heard,
    The wooing ring-dove in the shade;
  On thy soft breath, the new-fledged bird
    Takes wing, half happy, half afraid.

  Ah! thou art like our wayward race;--
    When not a shade of pain or ill
  Dims the bright smile of Nature's face,
    Thou lov'st to sigh and murmur still.



  THE BURIAL-PLACE.

  A FRAGMENT.


  Erewhile, on England's pleasant shores, our sires
  Left not their churchyards unadorned with shades
  Or blossoms, but indulgent to the strong
  And natural dread of man's last home, the grave,
  Its frost and silence--they disposed around,
  To soothe the melancholy spirit that dwelt
  Too sadly on life's close, the forms and hues
  Of vegetable beauty. There the yew,
  Green ever amid the snows of winter, told
  Of immortality, and gracefully
  The willow, a perpetual mourner, drooped;
  And there the gadding woodbine crept about,
  And there the ancient ivy. From the spot
  Where the sweet maiden, in her blossoming years
  Cut off, was laid with streaming eyes, and hands
  That trembled as they placed her there, the rose
  Sprung modest, on bowed stalk, and better spoke
  Her graces, than the proudest monument.
  There children set about their playmate's grave
  The pansy. On the infant's little bed,
  Wet at its planting with maternal tears,
  Emblem of early sweetness, early death,
  Nestled the lowly primrose. Childless dames,
  And maids that would not raise the reddened eye--
  Orphans, from whose young lids the light of joy
  Fled early--silent lovers, who had given
  All that they lived for to the arms of earth,
  Came often, o'er the recent graves to strew
  Their offerings, rue, and rosemary, and flowers.

    The pilgrim bands who passed the sea to keep
  Their Sabbaths in the eye of God alone,
  In his wide temple of the wilderness,
  Brought not these simple customs of the heart
  With them. It might be, while they laid their dead
  By the vast solemn skirts of the old groves,
  And the fresh virgin soil poured forth strange flowers
  About their graves; and the familiar shades
  Of their own native isle, and wonted blooms,
  And herbs were wanting, which the pious hand
  Might plant or scatter there, these gentle rites
  Passed out of use. Now they are scarcely known,
  And rarely in our borders may you meet
  The tall larch, sighing in the burial-place,
  Or willow, trailing low its boughs to hide
  The gleaming marble. Naked rows of graves
  And melancholy ranks of monuments
  Are seen instead, where the coarse grass, between,
  Shoots up its dull green spikes, and in the wind
  Hisses, and the neglected bramble nigh,
  Offers its berries to the schoolboy's hand,
  In vain--they grow too near the dead. Yet here,
  Nature, rebuking the neglect of man,
  Plants often, by the ancient mossy stone,
  The brier-rose, and upon the broken turf
  That clothes the fresher grave, the strawberry plant
  Sprinkles its swell with blossoms, and lays forth
  Her ruddy, pouting fruit....



  "BLESSED ARE THEY THAT MOURN."


  Oh, deem not they are blest alone
    Whose lives a peaceful tenor keep;
  The Power who pities man, hath shown
    A blessing for the eyes that weep.

  The light of smiles shall fill again
    The lids that overflow with tears;
  And weary hours of woe and pain
    Are promises of happier years.

  There is a day of sunny rest
    For every dark and troubled night:
  And grief may hide an evening guest,
    But joy shall come with early light.

  And thou, who, o'er thy friend's low bier,
    Dost shed the bitter drops like rain,
  Hope that a brighter, happier sphere
    Will give him to thy arms again.

  Nor let the good man's trust depart,
    Though life its common gifts deny,--
  Though with a pierced and bleeding heart
    And spurned of men, he goes to die.

  For God hath marked each sorrowing day
    And numbered every secret tear,
  And heaven's long age of bliss shall pay
    For all his children suffer here.



  "NO MAN KNOWETH HIS SEPULCHRE."


  When he, who, from the scourge of wrong,
    Aroused the Hebrew tribes to fly,
  Saw the fair region, promised long,
    And bowed him on the hills to die;

  God made his grave, to men unknown,
    Where Moab's rocks a vale infold,
  And laid the aged seer alone
    To slumber while the world grows old.

  Thus still, whene'er the good and just
    Close the dim eye on life and pain,
  Heaven watches o'er their sleeping dust
    Till the pure spirit comes again.

  Though nameless, trampled, and forgot,
    His servant's humble ashes lie,
  Yet God hath marked and sealed the spot,
    To call its inmate to the sky.



  A WALK AT SUNSET.


    When insect wings are glistening in the beam
      Of the low sun, and mountain-tops are bright,
    Oh, let me, by the crystal valley-stream,
      Wander amid the mild and mellow light;
  And while the wood-thrush pipes his evening lay,
  Give me one lonely hour to hymn the setting day.

    Oh, sun! that o'er the western mountains now
      Go'st down in glory! ever beautiful
    And blessed is thy radiance, whether thou
      Colorest the eastern heaven and night-mist cool,
  Till the bright day-star vanish, or on high
  Climbest and streamest thy white splendors from mid-sky.

    Yet, loveliest are thy setting smiles, and fair,
      Fairest of all that earth beholds, the hues,
    That live among the clouds, and flush the air,
      Lingering and deepening at the hour of dews.
  Then softest gales are breathed, and softest heard
  The plaining voice of streams, and pensive note of bird.

    They who here roamed, of yore, the forest wide,
      Felt, by such charm, their simple bosoms won;
    They deemed their quivered warrior, when he died,
      Went to bright isles beneath the setting sun;
  Where winds are aye at peace, and skies are fair,
  And purple-skirted clouds curtain the crimson air.

    So, with the glories of the dying day,
      Its thousand trembling lights and changing hues,
    The memory of the brave who passed away
      Tenderly mingled;--fitting hour to muse
  On such grave theme, and sweet the dream that shed
  Brightness and beauty round the destiny of the dead.

    For ages, on the silent forests here,
      Thy beams did fall before the red man came
    To dwell beneath them; in their shade the deer
      Fed, and feared not the arrow's deadly aim.
  Nor tree was felled, in all that world of woods,
  Save by the beaver's tooth, or winds, or rush of floods.

    Then came the hunter tribes, and thou didst look,
       For ages, on their deeds in the hard chase,
    And well-fought wars; green sod and silver brook
       Took the first stain of blood; before thy face
  The warrior generations came and passed,
  And glory was laid up for many an age to last.

    Now they are gone, gone as thy setting blaze
       Goes down the west, while night is pressing on,
    And with them the old tale of better days,
       And trophies of remembered power, are gone.
  Yon field that gives the harvest, where the plough
  Strikes the white bone, is all that tells their story now.

    I stand upon their ashes in thy beam,
       The offspring of another race, I stand,
    Beside a stream they loved, this valley-stream;
       And where the night-fire of the quivered band
  Showed the gray oak by fits, and war-song rung,
  I teach the quiet shades the strains of this new tongue.

    Farewell! but thou shalt come again--thy light
       Must shine on other changes, and behold
    The place of the thronged city still as night--
       States fallen--new empires built upon the old--
  But never shalt thou see these realms again
  Darkened by boundless groves, and roamed by savage men.



  HYMN TO DEATH.


    Oh! could I hope the wise and pure in heart
  Might hear my song without a frown, nor deem
  My voice unworthy of the theme it tries,--
  I would take up the hymn to Death, and say
  To the grim power, The world hath slandered thee
  And mocked thee. On thy dim and shadowy brow
  They place an iron crown, and call thee king
  Of terrors, and the spoiler of the world,
  Deadly assassin, that strik'st down the fair,
  The loved, the good--that breathest on the lights
  Of virtue set along the vale of life,
  And they go out in darkness. I am come,
  Not with reproaches, not with cries and prayers,
  Such as have stormed thy stern, insensible tar
  From the beginning; I am come to speak
  Thy praises. True it is, that I have wept
  Thy conquests, and may weep them yet again,
  And thou from some I love wilt take a life
  Dear to me as my own. Yet while the spell
  Is on my spirit, and I talk with thee
  In sight of all thy trophies, face to face,
  Meet is it that my voice should utter forth
  Thy nobler triumphs; I will teach the world
  To thank thee. Who are thine accusers?--Who?
  The living!--they who never felt thy power,
  And know thee not. The curses of the wretch
  Whose crimes are ripe, his sufferings when thy hand
  Is on him, and the hour he dreads is come,
  Are writ among thy praises. But the good--
  Does he whom thy kind hand dismissed to peace,
  Upbraid the gentle violence that took off
  His fetters, and unbarred his prison-cell?

    Raise then the hymn to Death. Deliverer!
  God hath anointed thee to free the oppressed
  And crush the oppressor. When the armed chief,
  The conqueror of nations, walks the world,
  And it is changed beneath his feet, and all
  Its kingdoms melt into one mighty realm--
  Thou, while his head is loftiest and his heart
  Blasphemes, imagining his own right hand
  Almighty, thou dost set thy sudden grasp
  Upon him, and the links of that strong chain
  Which bound mankind are crumbled; thou dost break
  Sceptre and crown, and beat his throne to dust.
  Then the earth shouts with gladness, and her tribes
  Gather within their ancient bounds again.
  Else had the mighty of the olden time,
  Nimrod, Sesostris, or the youth who feigned
  His birth from Libyan Ammon, smitten yet
  The nations with a rod of iron, and driven
  Their chariot o'er our necks. Thou dost avenge,
  In thy good time, the wrongs of those who know
  No other friend. Nor dost thou interpose
  Only to lay the sufferer asleep,
  Where he who made him wretched troubles not
  His rest--thou dost strike down his tyrant too.
  Oh, there is joy when hands that held the scourge
  Drop lifeless, and the pitiless heart is cold.
  Thou too dost purge from earth its horrible
  And old idolatries;--from the proud fanes
  Each to his grave their priests go out, till none
  Is left to teach their worship; then the fires
  Of sacrifice are chilled, and the green moss
  O'ercreeps their altars; the fallen images
  Cumber the weedy courts, and for loud hymns,
  Chanted by kneeling multitudes, the wind
  Shrieks in the solitary aisles. When he
  Who gives his life to guilt, and laughs at all
  The laws that God or man has made, and round
  Hedges his seat with power, and shines in wealth,--
  Lifts up his atheist front to scoff at Heaven,
  And celebrates his shame in open day,
  Thou, in the pride of all his crimes, cutt'st off
  The horrible example. Touched by thine,
  The extortioner's hard hand foregoes the gold
  Wrung from the o'er-worn poor. The perjurer,
  Whose tongue was lithe, e'en now, and voluble
  Against his neighbor's life, and he who laughed
  And leaped for joy to see a spotless fame
  Blasted before his own foul calumnies,
  Are smit with deadly silence. He, who sold
  His conscience to preserve a worthless life,
  Even while he hugs himself on his escape,
  Trembles, as, doubly terrible, at length,
  Thy steps o'ertake him, and there is no time
  For parley, nor will bribes unclench thy grasp.
  Oft, too, dost thou reform thy victim, long
  Ere his last hour. And when the reveller,
  Mad in the chase of pleasure, stretches on,
  And strains each nerve, and clears the path of life
  Like wind, thou point'st him to the dreadful goal,
  And shak'st thy hour-glass in his reeling eye,
  And check'st him in mid course. Thy skeleton hand
  Shows to the faint of spirit the right path,
  And he is warned, and fears to step aside.
  Thou sett'st between the ruffian and his crime
  Thy ghastly countenance, and his slack hand
  Drops the drawn knife. But, oh, most fearfully
  Dost thou show forth Heaven's justice, when thy shafts
  Drink up the ebbing spirit--then the hard
  Of heart and violent of hand restores
  The treasure to the friendless wretch he wronged.
  Then from the writhing bosom thou dost pluck
  The guilty secret; lips, for ages sealed,
  Are faithless to their dreadful trust at length,
  And give it up; the felon's latest breath
  Absolves the innocent man who bears his crime;
  The slanderer, horror-smitten, and in tears,
  Recalls the deadly obloquy he forged
  To work his brother's ruin. Thou dost make
  Thy penitent victim utter to the air
  The dark conspiracy that strikes at life,
  And aims to whelm the laws; ere yet the hour
  Is come, and the dread sign of murder given.

    Thus, from the first of time, hast thou been found
  On virtue's side; the wicked, but for thee,
  Had been too strong for the good; the great of earth
  Had crushed the weak for ever. Schooled in guile
  For ages, while each passing year had brought
  Its baneful lesson, they had filled the world
  With their abominations; while its tribes,
  Trodden to earth, imbruted, and despoiled,
  Had knelt to them in worship; sacrifice
  Had smoked on many an altar, temple-roofs
  Had echoed with the blasphemous prayer and hymn:
  But thou, the great reformer of the world,
  Tak'st off the sons of violence and fraud
  In their green pupilage, their lore half learned--
  Ere guilt had quite o'errun the simple heart
  God gave them at their birth, and blotted out
  His image. Thou dost mark them flushed with hope,
  As on the threshold of their vast designs
  Doubtful and loose they stand, and strik'st them down.

         *       *       *       *       *

    Alas! I little thought that the stern power,
  Whose fearful praise I sang, would try me thus
  Before the strain was ended. It must cease--
  For he is in his grave who taught my youth
  The art of verse, and in the bud of life
  Offered me to the Muses. Oh, cut off
  Untimely! when thy reason in its strength,
  Ripened by years of toil and studious search,
  And watch of Nature's silent lessons, taught
  Thy hand to practise best the lenient art
  To which thou gavest thy laborious days,
  And, last, thy life. And, therefore, when the earth
  Received thee, tears were in unyielding eyes
  And on hard cheeks, and they who deemed thy skill
  Delayed their death-hour, shuddered and turned pale
  When thou wert gone. This faltering verse, which thou
  Shalt not, as wont, o'erlook, is all I have
  To offer at thy grave--this--and the hope
  To copy thy example, and to leave
  A name of which the wretched shall not think
  As of an enemy's, whom they forgive
  As all forgive the dead. Rest, therefore, thou
  Whose early guidance trained my infant steps--
  Rest, in the bosom of God, till the brief sleep
  Of death is over, and a happier life
  Shall dawn to waken thine insensible dust.

    Now thou art not--and yet the men whose guilt
  Has wearied Heaven for vengeance--he who bears
  False witness--he who takes the orphan's bread,
  And robs the widow--he who spreads abroad
  Polluted hands in mockery of prayer,
  Are left to cumber earth. Shuddering I look
  On what is written, yet I blot not out
  The desultory numbers; let them stand,
  The record of an idle revery.



  THE MASSACRE AT SCIO.


  Weep not for Scio's children slain;
    Their blood, by Turkish falchions shed,
  Sends not its cry to Heaven in vain
    For vengeance on the murderer's head.

  Though high the warm red torrent ran
    Between the flames that lit the sky,
  Yet, for each drop, an armèd man
    Shall rise, to free the land, or die.

  And for each corpse, that in the sea
    Was thrown, to feast the scaly herds,
  A hundred of the foe shall be
    A banquet for the mountain-birds.

  Stern rites and sad shall Greece ordain
    To keep that day along her shore,
  Till the last link of slavery's chain
    Is shattered, to be worn no more.



  THE INDIAN GIRL'S LAMENT.


  An Indian girl was sitting where
    Her lover, slain in battle, slept;
  Her maiden veil, her own black hair,
    Came down o'er eyes that wept;
  And wildly, in her woodland tongue,
  This sad and simple lay she sung:

  "I've pulled away the shrubs that grew
    Too close above thy sleeping head,
  And broke the forest-boughs that threw
    Their shadows o'er thy bed,
  That, shining from the sweet southwest,
  The sunbeams might rejoice thy rest.

  "It was a weary, weary road
    That led thee to the pleasant coast,
  Where thou, in his serene abode,
    Hast met thy father's ghost;
  Where everlasting autumn lies
  On yellow woods and sunny skies.

  "'Twas I the broidered mocsen made,
    That shod thee for that distant land;
  'Twas I thy bow and arrows laid
    Beside thy still cold hand;
  Thy bow in many a battle bent,
  Thy arrows never vainly sent.

  "With wampum-belts I crossed thy breast,
    And wrapped thee in the bison's hide,
  And laid the food that pleased thee best,
    In plenty, by thy side,
  And decked thee bravely, as became
  A warrior of illustrious name.

  "Thou'rt happy now, for thou hast passed
    The long dark journey of the grave,
  And in the land of light, at last,
    Hast joined the good and brave;
  Amid the flushed and balmy air,
  The bravest and the loveliest there.

  "Yet, oft to thine own Indian maid
    Even there thy thoughts will earthward stray--
  To her who sits where thou wert laid,
    And weeps the hours away,
  Yet almost can her grief forget,
  To think that thou dost love her yet.

  "And thou, by one of those still lakes
    That in a shining cluster lie,
  On which the south wind scarcely breaks
    The image of the sky,
  A bower for thee and me hast made
  Beneath the many-colored shade.

  "And thou dost wait and watch to meet
    My spirit sent to join the blessed,
  And, wondering what detains my feet
    From that bright land of rest,
  Dost seem, in every sound, to hear
  The rustling of my footsteps near."



  ODE FOR AN AGRICULTURAL CELEBRATION.


  Far back in the ages,
    The plough with wreaths was crowned;
  The hands of kings and sages
    Entwined the chaplet round;
  Till men of spoil disdained the toil
    By which the world was nourished,
  And dews of blood enriched the soil
    Where green their laurels flourished.
  --Now the world her fault repairs--
    The guilt that stains her story;
  And weeps her crimes amid the cares
    That formed her earliest glory.

  The proud throne shall crumble,
    The diadem shall wane,
  The tribes of earth shall humble
    The pride of those who reign;
  And War shall lay his pomp away;--
    The fame that heroes cherish,
  The glory earned in deadly fray
    Shall fade, decay, and perish.
  Honor waits, o'er all the earth,
    Through endless generations,
  The art that calls her harvest forth,
    And feeds th' expectant nations.



RIZPAH.

And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged
them in the hill before the Lord; and they fell all seven together, and
were put to death in the days of the harvest, in the first days, in the
beginning of barley-harvest.

And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth, and spread it for her
upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until the water dropped
upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to
rest upon them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 2 SAMUEL,
xxi. 10.


    Hear what the desolate Rizpah said,
  As on Gibeah's rocks she watched the dead.
  The sons of Michal before her lay,
  And her own fair children, dearer than they:
  By a death of shame they all had died,
  And were stretched on the bare rock, side by side.
  And Rizpah, once the loveliest of all
  That bloomed and smiled in the court of Saul,
  All wasted with watching and famine now,
  And scorched by the sun her haggard brow,
  Sat mournfully guarding their corpses there,
  And murmured a strange and solemn air;
  The low, heart-broken, and wailing strain
  Of a mother that mourns her children slain:

    "I have made the crags my home, and spread
  On their desert backs my sackcloth bed;
  I have eaten the bitter herb of the rocks,
  And drunk the midnight dew in my locks;
  I have wept till I could not weep, and the pain
  Of the burning eyeballs went to my brain.
  Seven blackened corpses before me lie,
  In the blaze of the sun and the winds of the sky.
  I have watched them through the burning day,
  And driven the vulture and raven away;
  And the cormorant wheeled in circles round,
  Yet feared to alight on the guarded ground.
  And when the shadows of twilight came,
  I have seen the hyena's eyes of flame,
  And heard at my side his stealthy tread,
  But aye at my shout the savage fled:
  And I threw the lighted brand to fright
  The jackal and wolf that yelled in the night.

    "Ye were foully murdered, my hapless sons,
  By the hands of wicked and cruel ones;
  Ye fell, in your fresh and blooming prime,
  All innocent, for your father's crime.
  He sinned--but he paid the price of his guilt
  When his blood by a nameless hand was spilt;
  When he strove with the heathen host in vain,
  And fell with the flower of his people slain,
  And the sceptre his children's hands should sway
  From his injured lineage passed away.

    "But I hoped that the cottage-roof would be
  A safe retreat for my sons and me;
  And that while they ripened to manhood fast,
  They should wean my thoughts from the woes of the past;
  And my bosom swelled with a mother's pride,
  As they stood in their beauty and strength by my side,
  Tall like their sire, with the princely grace
  Of his stately form, and the bloom of his face.

    "Oh, what an hour for a mother's heart,
  When the pitiless ruffians tore us apart!
  When I clasped their knees and wept and prayed,
  And struggled and shrieked to Heaven for aid,
  And clung to my sons with desperate strength,
  Till the murderers loosed my hold at length,
  And bore me breathless and faint aside,
  In their iron arms, while my children died.
  They died--and the mother that gave them birth
  Is forbid to cover their bones with earth.

    "The barley-harvest was nodding white,
  When my children died on the rocky height,
  And the reapers were singing on hill and plain,
  When I came to my task of sorrow and pain.
  But now the season of rain is nigh,
  The sun is dim in the thickening sky,
  And the clouds in sullen darkness rest
  Where he hides his light at the doors of the west.
  I hear the howl of the wind that brings
  The long drear storm on its heavy wings;
  But the howling wind and the driving rain
  Will beat on my houseless head in vain:
  I shall stay, from my murdered sons to scare
  The beasts of the desert, and fowls of air."



  THE OLD MAN'S FUNERAL.


  I saw an aged man upon his bier,
    His hair was thin and white, and on his brow
  A record of the cares of many a year;--
    Cares that were ended and forgotten now.
  And there was sadness round, and faces bowed,
  And woman's tears fell fast, and children wailed aloud.

  Then rose another hoary man and said,
    In faltering accents, to that weeping train:
  "Why mourn ye that our aged friend is dead?
    Ye are not sad to see the gathered grain,
  Nor when their mellow fruit the orchards cast,
  Nor when the yellow woods let fall the ripened mast.

  "Ye sigh not when the sun, his course fulfilled,
    His glorious course, rejoicing earth and sky,
  In the soft evening, when the winds are stilled,
    Sinks where his islands of refreshment lie,
  And leaves the smile of his departure, spread
  O'er the warm-colored heaven and ruddy mountain head.

  "Why weep ye then for him, who, having won
    The bound of man's appointed years, at last,
  Life's blessings all enjoyed, life's labors done,
    Serenely to his final rest has passed;
  While the soft memory of his virtues, yet,
  Lingers like twilight hues, when the bright sun is set?

  "His youth was innocent; his riper age
    Marked with some act of goodness every day;
  And watched by eyes that loved him, calm and sage,
    Faded his late declining years away.
  Meekly he gave his being up, and went
  To share the holy rest that waits a life well spent.

  "That life was happy; every day he gave
    Thanks for the fair existence that was his;
  For a sick fancy made him not her slave,
    To mock him with her phantom miseries.
  No chronic tortures racked his aged limb,
  For luxury and sloth had nourished none for him.

  "And I am glad that he has lived thus long,
    And glad that he has gone to his reward;
  Nor can I deem that Nature did him wrong,
    Softly to disengage the vital cord.
  For when his hand grew palsied, and his eye
  Dark with the mists of age, it was his time to die."



  THE RIVULET.


    This little rill, that from the springs
  Of yonder grove its current brings,
  Plays on the slope awhile, and then
  Goes prattling into groves again,
  Oft to its warbling waters drew
  My little feet, when life was new.
  When woods in early green were dressed,
  And from the chambers of the west
  The warm breezes, travelling out,
  Breathed the new scent of flowers about,
  My truant steps from home would stray,
  Upon its grassy side to play,
  List the brown thrasher's vernal hymn,
  And crop the violet on its brim,
  With blooming cheek and open brow,
  As young and gay, sweet rill, as thou.

    And when the days of boyhood came,
  And I had grown in love with fame,
  Duly I sought thy banks, and tried
  My first rude numbers by thy side.
  Words cannot tell how bright and gay
  The scenes of life before me lay.
  Then glorious hopes, that now to speak
  Would bring the blood into my cheek,
  Passed o'er me; and I wrote, on high,
  A name I deemed should never die.

    Years change thee not. Upon yon hill
  The tall old maples, verdant still,
  Yet tell, in grandeur of decay,
  How swift the years have passed away,
  Since first, a child, and half afraid,
  I wandered in the forest shade.
  Thou, ever-joyous rivulet,
  Dost dimple, leap, and prattle yet;
  And sporting with the sands that pave
  The windings of thy silver wave,
  And dancing to thy own wild chime,
  Thou laughest at the lapse of time.
  The same sweet sounds are in my ear
  My early childhood loved to hear;
  As pure thy limpid waters run;
  As bright they sparkle to the sun;
  As fresh and thick the bending ranks
  Of herbs that line thy oozy banks;
  The violet there, in soft May dew,
  Comes up, as modest and as blue;
  As green amid thy current's stress,
  Floats the scarce-rooted watercress;
  And the brown ground-bird, in thy glen,
  Still chirps as merrily as then.

    Thou changest not--but I am changed
  Since first thy pleasant banks I ranged;
  And the grave stranger, come to see
  The play-place of his infancy,
  Has scarce a single trace of him
  Who sported once upon thy brim.
  The visions of my youth are past--
  Too bright, too beautiful to last.
  I've tried the world--it wears no more
  The coloring of romance it wore.
  Yet well has Nature kept the truth
  She promised in my earliest youth.
  The radiant beauty shed abroad
  On all the glorious works of God,
  Shows freshly, to my sobered eye,
  Each charm it wore in days gone by.

    Yet a few years shall pass away,
  And I, all trembling, weak, and gray,
  Bowed to the earth, which waits to fold
  My ashes in the embracing mould,
  (If haply the dark will of Fate
  Indulge my life so long a date),
  May come for the last time to look
  Upon my childhood's favorite brook.
  Then dimly on my eye shall gleam
  The sparkle of thy dancing stream;
  And faintly on my ear shall fall
  Thy prattling current's merry call;
  Yet shalt thou flow as glad and bright
  As when thou met'st my infant sight.

    And I shall sleep--and on thy side,
  As ages after ages glide,
  Children their early sports shall try,
  And pass to hoary age and die.
  But thou, unchanged from year to year,
  Gayly shalt play and glitter here;
  Amid young flowers and tender grass
  Thy endless infancy shall pass;
  And, singing down thy narrow glen,
  Shalt mock the fading race of men.



  MARCH.


  The stormy March is come at last,
    With wind, and cloud, and changing skies;
  I hear the rushing of the blast,
    That through the snowy valley flies.

  Ah, passing few are they who speak,
    Wild, stormy month! in praise of thee;
  Yet though thy winds are loud and bleak,
    Thou art a welcome month to me.

  For thou, to northern lands, again
    The glad and glorious sun dost bring,
  And thou hast joined the gentle train
    And wear'st the gentle name of Spring.

  And, in thy reign of blast and storm,
    Smiles many a long, bright, sunny day,
  When the changed winds are soft and warm,
    And heaven puts on the blue of May.

  Then sing aloud the gushing rills
    In joy that they again are free,
  And, brightly leaping down the hills,
    Renew their journey to the sea.

  The year's departing beauty hides
    Of wintry storms the sullen threat;
  But in thy sternest frown abides
    A look of kindly promise yet.

  Thou bring'st the hope of those calm skies,
    And that soft time of sunny showers,
  When the wide bloom, on earth that lies,
    Seems of a brighter world than ours.



  CONSUMPTION.


  Ay, thou art for the grave; thy glances shine
    Too brightly to shine long; another Spring
  Shall deck her for men's eyes--but not for thine--
    Sealed in a sleep which knows no wakening.
  The fields for thee have no medicinal leaf,
    And the vexed ore no mineral of power;
  And they who love thee wait in anxious grief
    Till the slow plague shall bring the fatal hour.
  Glide softly to thy rest then; Death should come
    Gently, to one of gentle mould like thee,
  As light winds wandering through groves of bloom
    Detach the delicate blossom from the tree.
  Close thy sweet eyes, calmly, and without pain;
    And we will trust in God to see thee yet again.



  AN INDIAN STORY.


  "I know where the timid fawn abides
    In the depths of the shaded dell,
  Where the leaves are broad and the thicket hides,
  With its many stems and its tangled sides,
    From the eye of the hunter well.

  "I know where the young May violet grows,
    In its lone and lowly nook,
  On the mossy bank, where the larch-tree throws
  Its broad dark bough, in solemn repose,
    Far over the silent brook.

  "And that timid fawn starts not with fear
    When I steal to her secret bower;
  And that young May violet to me is dear,
  And I visit the silent streamlet near,
    To look on the lovely flower."

  Thus Maquon sings as he lightly walks
    To the hunting-ground on the hills;
  'Tis a song of his maid of the woods and rocks,
  With her bright black eyes and long black locks,
    And voice like the music of rills.

  He goes to the chase--but evil eyes
    Are at watch in the thicker shades;
  For she was lovely that smiled on his sighs,
  And he bore, from a hundred lovers, his prize,
    The flower of the forest maids.

  The boughs in the morning wind are stirred,
    And the woods their song renew,
  With the early carol of many a bird,
  And the quickened tune of the streamlet heard
    Where the hazels trickle with dew.

  And Maquon has promised his dark-haired maid,
    Ere eve shall redden the sky,
  A good red deer from the forest shade,
  That bounds with the herd through grove and glade,
    At her cabin-door shall lie.

  The hollow woods, in the setting sun,
    Ring shrill with the fire-bird's lay;
  And Maquon's sylvan labors are done,
  And his shafts are spent, but the spoil they won
    He bears on his homeward way.

  He stops near his bower--his eye perceives
    Strange traces along the ground--
  At once to the earth his burden he heaves;
  He breaks through the veil of boughs and leaves;
    And gains its door with a bound.

  But the vines are torn on its walls that leant,
    And all from the young shrubs there
  By struggling hands have the leaves been rent,
  And there hangs on the sassafras, broken and bent,
    One tress of the well-known hair.

  But where is she who, at this calm hour,
    Ever watched his coming to see?
  She is not at the door, nor yet in the bower;
  He calls--but he only hears on the flower
    The hum of the laden bee.

  It is not a time for idle grief,
    Nor a time for tears to flow;
  The horror that freezes his limbs is brief--
  He grasps his war-axe and bow, and a sheaf
    Of darts made sharp for the foe.

  And he looks for the print of the ruffian's feet
    Where he bore the maiden away;
  And he darts on the fatal path more fleet
  Than the blast hurries the vapor and sleet
    O'er the wild November day.

  'Twas early summer when Maquon's bride
    Was stolen away from his door;
  But at length the maples in crimson are dyed,
  And the grape is black on the cabin-side--
    And she smiles at his hearth once more.

  But far in the pine-grove, dark and cold,
    Where the yellow leaf falls not,
  Nor the autumn shines in scarlet and gold,
  There lies a hillock of fresh dark mould,
    In the deepest gloom of the spot.

  And the Indian girls, that pass that way,
    Point out the ravisher's grave;
  "And how soon to the bower she loved," they say,
  "Returned the maid that was borne away
    From Maquon, the fond and the brave."



  SUMMER WIND.


    It is a sultry day; the sun has drunk
  The dew that lay upon the morning grass;
  There is no rustling in the lofty elm
  That canopies my dwelling, and its shade
  Scarce cools me. All is silent, save the faint
  And interrupted murmur of the bee,
  Settling on the sick flowers, and then again
  Instantly on the wing. The plants around
  Feel the too potent fervors: the tall maize
  Rolls up its long green leaves; the clover droops
  Its tender foliage, and declines its blooms.
  But far in the fierce sunshine tower the hills,
  With all their growth of woods, silent and stern,
  As if the scorching heat and dazzling light
  Were but an element they loved. Bright clouds,
  Motionless pillars of the brazen heaven--
  Their bases on the mountains--their white tops
  Shining in the far ether--fire the air
  With a reflected radiance, and make turn
  The gazer's eye away. For me, I lie
  Languidly in the shade, where the thick turf,
  Yet virgin from the kisses of the sun,
  Retains some freshness, and I woo the wind
  That still delays his coming. Why so slow,
  Gentle and voluble spirit of the air?
  Oh, come and breathe upon the fainting earth
  Coolness and life. Is it that in his caves
  He hears me? See, on yonder woody ridge,
  The pine is bending his proud top, and now
  Among the nearer groves, chestnut and oak
  Are tossing their green boughs about. He comes;
  Lo, where the grassy meadow runs in waves!
  The deep distressful silence of the scene
  Breaks up with mingling of unnumbered sounds
  And universal motion. He is come,
  Shaking a shower of blossoms from the shrubs,
  And bearing on their fragrance; and he brings
  Music of birds, and rustling of young boughs,
  And sound of swaying branches, and the voice
  Of distant waterfalls. All the green herbs
  Are stirring in his breath; a thousand flowers,
  By the road-side and the borders of the brook,
  Nod gayly to each other; glossy leaves
  Are twinkling in the sun, as if the dew
  Were on them yet, and silver waters break
  Into small waves and sparkle as he comes.



  AN INDIAN AT THE BURIAL-PLACE OF HIS
  FATHERS.


  It is the spot I came to seek--
    My father's ancient burial-place,
  Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak,
    Withdrew our wasted race.
  It is the spot--I know it well---
  Of which our old traditions tell.

  For here the upland bank sends out
    A ridge toward the river-side;
  I know the shaggy hills about,
    The meadows smooth and wide,
  The plains, that, toward the southern sky,
  Fenced east and west by mountains lie.

  A white man, gazing on the scene,
    Would say a lovely spot was here,
  And praise the lawns, so fresh and green,
    Between the hills so sheer.
  I like it not--I would the plain
  Lay in its tall old groves again.

  The sheep are on the slopes around,
    The cattle in the meadows feed,
  And laborers turn the crumbling ground,
    Or drop the yellow seed,
  And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
  Whirl the bright chariot o'er the way.

  Methinks it were a nobler sight
    To see these vales in woods arrayed,
  Their summits in the golden light,
    Their trunks in grateful shade,
  And herds of deer that bounding go
  O'er hills and prostrate trees below.

  And then to mark the lord of all,
    The forest hero, trained to wars,
  Quivered and plumed, and lithe and tall,
    And seamed with glorious scars,
  Walk forth, amid his reign, to dare
  The wolf, and grapple with the bear.

  This bank, in which the dead were laid,
    Was sacred when its soil was ours;
  Hither the silent Indian maid
    Brought wreaths of beads and flowers,
  And the gray chief and gifted seer
  Worshipped the god of thunders here.

  But now the wheat is green and high
    On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
  And scattered in the furrows lie
    The weapons of his rest;
  And there, in the loose sand, is thrown
  Of his large arm the mouldering bone.

  Ah, little thought the strong and brave
    Who bore their lifeless chieftain forth--
  Or the young wife that weeping gave
    Her first-born to the earth,
  That the pale race, who waste us now,
  Among their bones should guide the plough.

  They waste us--ay--like April snow
    In the warm noon, we shrink away;
  And fast they follow, as we go
    Toward the setting day--
  Till they shall fill the land, and we
  Are driven into the Western sea.

  But I behold a fearful sign,
    To which the white men's eyes are blind;
  Their race may vanish hence, like mine,
    And leave no trace behind,
  Save ruins o'er the region spread,
  And the white stones above the dead.

  Before these fields were shorn and tilled,
    Full to the brim our rivers flowed;
  The melody of waters filled
    The fresh and boundless wood;
  And torrents dashed and rivulets played,
  And fountains spouted in the shade.

  Those grateful sounds are heard no more,
    The springs are silent in the sun;
  The rivers, by the blackened shore,
    With lessening current run;
  The realm our tribes are crushed to get
  May be a barren desert yet.



  SONG.


  Dost thou idly ask to hear
    At what gentle seasons
  Nymphs relent, when lovers near
    Press the tenderest reasons?
  Ah, they give their faith too oft
    To the careless wooer;
  Maidens' hearts are always soft:
    Would that men's were truer!

  Woo the fair one when around
    Early birds are singing;
  When, o'er all the fragrant ground,
    Early herbs are springing:
  When the brookside, bank, and grove,
    All with blossoms laden,
  Shine with beauty, breathe of love,--
    Woo the timid maiden.

  Woo her when, with rosy blush,
    Summer eve is sinking;
  When, on rills that softly gush,
    Stars are softly winking;
  When through boughs that knit the bower
    Moonlight gleams are stealing;
  Woo her, till the gentle hour
    Wake a gentler feeling.

  Woo her when autumnal dyes
    Tinge the woody mountain;
  When the dropping foliage lies
    In the weedy fountain;
  Let the scene, that tells how fast
    Youth is passing over,
  Warn her, ere her bloom is past,
    To secure her lover.

  Woo her when the north winds call
    At the lattice nightly;
  When, within the cheerful hall,
    Blaze the fagots brightly;
  While the wintry tempest round
    Sweeps the landscape hoary,
  Sweeter in her ear shall sound
    Love's delightful story.



  HYMN OF THE WALDENSES.


  Hear, Father, hear thy faint afflicted flock
  Cry to thee, from the desert and the rock;
  While those, who seek to slay thy children, hold
  Blasphemous worship under roofs of gold;
  And the broad goodly lands, with pleasant airs
  That nurse the grape and wave the grain, are theirs.

  Yet better were this mountain wilderness,
  And this wild life of danger and distress--
  Watchings by night and perilous flight by day,
  And meetings in the depths of earth to pray--
  Better, far better, than to kneel with them,
  And pay the impious rite thy laws condemn.

  Thou, Lord, dost hold the thunder; the firm land
  Tosses in billows when it feels thy hand;
  Thou dashest nation against nation, then
  Stillest the angry world to peace again.
  Oh, touch their stony hearts who hunt thy sons--
  The murderers of our wives and little ones.

  Yet, mighty God, yet shall thy frown look forth
  Unveiled, and terribly shall shake the earth.
  Then the foul power of priestly sin and all
  Its long-upheld idolatries shall fall.
  Thou shalt raise up the trampled and oppressed,
  And thy delivered saints shall dwell in rest.



  MONUMENT MOUNTAIN.


    Thou who wouldst see the lovely and the wild
  Mingled in harmony on Nature's face,
  Ascend our rocky mountains. Let thy foot
  Fail not with weariness, for on their tops
  The beauty and the majesty of earth,
  Spread wide beneath, shall make thee to forget
  The steep and toilsome way. There, as thou stand'st,
  The haunts of men below thee, and around
  The mountain-summits, thy expanding heart
  Shall feel a kindred with that loftier world
  To which thou art translated, and partake
  The enlargement of thy vision. Thou shalt look
  Upon the green and rolling forest-tops,
  And down into the secrets of the glens,
  And streams that with their bordering thickets strive
  To hide their windings. Thou shalt gaze, at once,
  Here on white villages, and tilth, and herds,
  And swarming roads, and there on solitudes
  That only hear the torrent, and the wind,
  And eagle's shriek. There is a precipice
  That seems a fragment of some mighty wall,
  Built by the hand that fashioned the old world,
  To separate its nations, and thrown down
  When the flood drowned them. To the north, a path
  Conducts you up the narrow battlement.
  Steep is the western side, shaggy and wild
  With mossy trees, and pinnacles of flint,
  And many a hanging crag. But, to the east,
  Sheer to the vale go down the bare old cliffs--
  Huge pillars, that in middle heaven upbear
  Their weather-beaten capitals, here dark
  With moss, the growth of centuries, and there
  Of chalky whiteness where the thunderbolt
  Has splintered them. It is a fearful thing
  To stand upon the beetling verge, and see
  Where storm and lightning, from that huge gray wall,
  Have tumbled down vast blocks, and at the base
  Dashed them in fragments, and to lay thine ear
  Over the dizzy depth, and hear the sound
  Of winds, that struggle with the woods below,
  Come up like ocean murmurs. But the scene
  Is lovely round; a beautiful river there
  Wanders amid the fresh and fertile meads,
  The paradise he made unto himself,
  Mining the soil for ages. On each side
  The fields swell upward to the hills; beyond,
  Above the hills, in the blue distance, rise
  The mountain-columns with which earth props heaven.

    There is a tale about these reverend rocks,
  A sad tradition of unhappy love,
  And sorrows borne and ended, long ago,
  When over these fair vales the savage sought
  His game in the thick woods. There was a maid,
  The fairest of the Indian maids, bright-eyed,
  With wealth of raven tresses, a light form,
  And a gay heart. About her cabin-door
  The wide old woods resounded with her song
  And fairy laughter all the summer day.
  She loved her cousin; such a love was deemed,
  By the morality of those stern tribes,
  Incestuous, and she struggled hard and long
  Against her love, and reasoned with her heart,
  As simple Indian maiden might. In vain.
  Then her eye lost its lustre, and her step
  Its lightness, and the gray-haired men that passed
  Her dwelling, wondered that they heard no more
  The accustomed song and laugh of her, whose looks
  Were like the cheerful smile of Spring, they said,
  Upon the Winter of their age. She went
  To weep where no eye saw, and was not found
  Where all the merry girls were met to dance,
  And all the hunters of the tribe were out;
  Nor when they gathered from the rustling husk
  The shining ear; nor when, by the river's side,
  They pulled the grape and startled the wild shades
  With sounds of mirth. The keen-eyed Indian dames
  Would whisper to each other, as they saw
  Her wasting form, and say, _The girl will die_.

    One day into the bosom of a friend,
  A playmate of her young and innocent years,
  She poured her griefs. "Thou know'st, and thou alone,"
  She said, "for I have told thee, all my love,
  And guilt, and sorrow. I am sick of life.
  All night I weep in darkness, and the morn
  Glares on me, as upon a thing accursed,
  That has no business on the earth. I hate
  The pastimes and the pleasant toils that once
  I loved; the cheerful voices of my friends
  Sound in my ear like mockings, and, at night,
  In dreams, my mother, from the land of souls,
  Calls me and chides me. All that look on me
  Do seem to know my shame; I cannot bear
  Their eyes; I cannot from my heart root out
  The love that wrings it so, and I must die."

    It was a summer morning, and they went
  To this old precipice. About the cliffs
  Lay garlands, ears of maize, and shaggy skins
  Of wolf and bear, the offerings of the tribe
  Here made to the Great Spirit, for they deemed,
  Like worshippers of the elder time, that God
  Doth walk on the high places and affect
  The earth-o'erlooking mountains. She had on
  The ornaments with which her father loved
  To deck the beauty of his bright-eyed girl,
  And bade her wear when stranger warriors came
  To be his guests. Here the friends sat them down,
  And sang, all day, old songs of love and death,
  And decked the poor wan victim's hair with flowers,
  And prayed that safe and swift might be her way
  To the calm world of sunshine, where no grief
  Makes the heart heavy and the eyelids red.
  Beautiful lay the region of her tribe
  Below her--waters resting in the embrace
  Of the wide forest, and maize-planted glades
  Opening amid the leafy wilderness.
  She gazed upon it long, and at the sight
  Of her own village peeping through the trees,
  And her own dwelling, and the cabin roof
  Of him she loved with an unlawful love,
  And came to die for, a warm gush of tears
  Ran from her eyes. But when the sun grew low
  And the hill shadows long, she threw herself
  From the steep rock and perished. There was scooped,
  Upon the mountain's southern slope, a grave;
  And there they laid her, in the very garb
  With which the maiden decked herself for death,
  With the same withering wild-flowers in her hair.
  And o'er the mould that covered her, the tribe
  Built up a simple monument, a cone
  Of small loose stones. Thenceforward all who passed,
  Hunter, and dame, and virgin, laid a stone
  In silence on the pile. It stands there yet.
  And Indians from the distant West, who come
  To visit where their fathers' bones are laid,
  Yet tell the sorrowful tale, and to this day
  The mountain where the hapless maiden died
  Is called the Mountain of the Monument.



  AFTER A TEMPEST.


    The day had been a day of wind and storm,
    The wind was laid, the storm was overpast,
    And stooping from the zenith, bright and warm,
    Shone the great sun on the wide earth at last.
    I stood upon the upland slope, and cast
    Mine eye upon a broad and beauteous scene,
    Where the vast plain lay girt by mountains vast,
    And hills o'er hills lifted their heads of green,
  With pleasant vales scooped out and villages between.

    The rain-drops glistened on the trees around,
    Whose shadows on the tall grass were not stirred,
    Save when a shower of diamonds, to the ground,
    Was shaken by the flight of startled bird;
    For birds were warbling round, and bees were heard
    About the flowers; the cheerful rivulet sung
    And gossiped, as he hastened oceanward;
    To the gray oak the squirrel, chiding, clung,
  And chirping from the ground the grasshopper upsprung.

    And from beneath the leaves that kept them dry
    Flew many a glittering insect here and there,
    And darted up and down the butterfly,
    That seemed a living blossom of the air,
    The flocks came scattering from the thicket, where
    The violent rain had pent them; in the way
    Strolled groups of damsels frolicsome and fair;
    The farmer swung the scythe or turned the hay,
  And 'twixt the heavy swaths his children were at play.

    It was a scene of peace--and, like a spell,
    Did that serene and golden sunlight fall
    Upon the motionless wood that clothed the fell,
    And precipice upspringing like a wall,
    And glassy river and white waterfall,
    And happy living things that trod the bright
    And beauteous scene; while far beyond them all,
    On many a lovely valley, out of sight,
  Was poured from the blue heavens the same soft golden light.

    I looked, and thought the quiet of the scene
    An emblem of the peace that yet shall be,
    When o'er earth's continents, and isles between,
    The noise of war shall cease from sea to sea,
    And married nations dwell in harmony;
    When millions, crouching in the dust to one,
    No more shall beg their lives on bended knee,
    Nor the black stake be dressed, nor in the sun
  The o'erlabored captive toil, and wish his life were done.

    Too long, at clash of arms amid her bowers
    And pools of blood, the earth has stood aghast,
    The fair earth, that should only blush with flowers
    And ruddy fruits; but not for aye can last
    The storm, and sweet the sunshine when 'tis past.
    Lo, the clouds roll away--they break--they fly,
    And, like the glorious light of summer, cast
    O'er the wide landscape from the embracing sky,
  On all the peaceful world the smile of heaven shall lie.



  AUTUMN WOODS.


      Ere, in the northern gale,
  The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
  The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
      Have put their glory on.

      The mountains that infold,
  In their wide sweep, the colored landscape round,
  Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,
      That guard the enchanted ground.

      I roam the woods that crown
  The uplands, where the mingled splendors glow,
  Where the gay company of trees look down
      On the green fields below.

      My steps are not alone
  In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
  Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strown
      Along the winding way.

      And far in heaven, the while,
  The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
  Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile--
      The sweetest of the year.

      Where now the solemn shade,
  Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
  So grateful, when the noon of summer made
      The valleys sick with heat?

      Let in through all the trees
  Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright;
  Their sunny colored foliage, in the breeze,
      Twinkles, like beams of light.

      The rivulet, late unseen,
  Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
  Shines with the image of its golden screen,
      And glimmerings of the sun.

      But 'neath you crimson tree,
  Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
  Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
      Her blush of maiden shame.

      Oh, Autumn! why so soon
  Depart the hues that make thy forests glad,
  Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
      And leave thee wild and sad!

      Ah! 'twere a lot too blest
  Forever in thy colored shades to stray;
  Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
      To roam and dream for aye;

      And leave the vain low strife
  That makes men mad--the tug for wealth and power--
  The passions and the cares that wither life,
      And waste its little hour.



  MUTATION.


  They talk of short-lived pleasure--be it so--
    Pain dies as quickly: stern, hard-featured pain
  Expires, and lets her weary prisoner go.
    The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;
    And after dreams of horror, comes again
  The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
    Oblivion, softly wiping out the stain,
  Makes the strong secret pangs of shame to cease:
  Remorse is virtue's root; its fair increase
    Are fruits of innocence and blessedness:
  Thus joy, o'erborne and bound, doth still release
    His young limbs from the chains that round him press.
  Weep not that the world changes--did it keep
  A stable, changeless state, 'twere cause indeed to weep.



  NOVEMBER.


  Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
    One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,
  Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,
    Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
  One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
    And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
  And the blue gentian-flower, that, in the breeze,
    Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
  Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
    Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
  The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
    And man delight to linger in thy ray.
  Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
  The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.



  SONG OF THE GREEK AMAZON.


  I buckle to my slender side
    The pistol and the scimitar,
  And in my maiden flower and pride
    Am come to share the task of war.
  And yonder stands the fiery steed,
    That paws the ground and neighs to go,
  My charger of the Arab breed--
    I took him from the routed foe.

  My mirror is the mountain-spring,
    At which I dress my ruffled hair;
  My dimmed and dusty arms I bring,
    And wash away the blood-stain there.
  Why should I guard from wind and sun
    This cheek, whose virgin rose is fled?
  It was for one--oh, only one--
    I kept its bloom, and he is dead.

  But they who slew him--unaware
    Of coward murderers lurking nigh--
  And left him to the fowls of air,
    Are yet alive--and they must die!
  They slew him--and my virgin years
    Are vowed to Greece and vengeance now.
  And many an Othman dame, in tears,
    Shall rue the Grecian maiden's vow.

  I touched the lute in better days,
    I led in dance the joyous band;
  Ah! they may move to mirthful lays
    Whose hands can touch a lover's hand.
  The march of hosts that haste to meet
    Seems gayer than the dance to me;
  The lute's sweet tones are not so sweet
    As the fierce shout of victory.



  TO A CLOUD.


  Beautiful cloud! with folds so soft and fair,
    Swimming in the pure quiet air!
  Thy fleeces bathed in sunlight, while below
    Thy shadow o'er the vale moves slow;
  Where, midst their labor, pause the reaper train,
    As cool it comes along the grain.
  Beautiful cloud! I would I were with thee
    In thy calm way o'er land and sea;
  To rest on thy unrolling skirts, and look
    On Earth as on an open book;
  On streams that tie her realms with silver bands,
    And the long ways that seam her lands;
  And hear her humming cities, and the sound
    Of the great ocean breaking round.
  Ay--I would sail, upon thy air-borne car,
    To blooming regions distant far,
  To where the sun of Andalusia shines
    On his own olive-groves and vines,
  Or the soft lights of Italy's clear sky
    In smiles upon her ruins lie.
  But I would woo the winds to let us rest
    O'er Greece, long fettered and oppressed,
  Whose sons at length have heard the call that comes
    From the old battle-fields and tombs,
  And risen, and drawn the sword, and on the foe
    Have dealt the swift and desperate blow,
  And the Othman power is cloven, and the stroke
    Has touched its chains, and they are broke.
  Ay, we would linger, till the sunset there
    Should come, to purple all the air,
  And thou reflect upon the sacred ground
    The ruddy radiance streaming round.
  Bright meteor! for the summer noontide made!
    Thy peerless beauty yet shall fade.
  The sun, that fills with light each glistening fold,
    Shall set, and leave thee dark and cold:
  The blast shall rend thy skirts, or thou mayst frown
    In the dark heaven when storms come down;
  And weep in rain, till man's inquiring eye
    Miss thee, forever, from the sky.



  THE MURDERED TRAVELLER.


  When Spring, to woods and wastes around,
    Brought bloom and joy again,
  The murdered traveller's bones were found,
    Far down a narrow glen.

  The fragrant birch, above him, hung
    Her tassels in the sky;
  And many a vernal blossom sprung,
    And nodded careless by.

  The red-bird warbled, as he wrought
    His hanging nest o'erhead,
  And fearless, near the fatal spot,
    Her young the partridge led.

  But there was weeping far away,
    And gentle eyes, for him,
  With watching many an anxious day,
    Were sorrowful and dim.

  They little knew, who loved him so,
    The fearful death he met,
  When shouting o'er the desert snow,
    Unarmed, and hard beset;--

  Nor how, when round the frosty pole
    The northern dawn was red,
  The mountain-wolf and wild-cat stole
    To banquet on the dead;

  Nor how, when, strangers found his bones,
    They dressed the hasty bier,
  And marked his grave with nameless stones,
    Unmoistened by a tear.

  But long they looked, and feared, and wept,
    Within his distant home;
  And dreamed, and started as they slept,
    For joy that he was come.

  Long, long they looked--but never spied
    His welcome step again,
  Nor knew the fearful death he died
    Far down that narrow glen.



  HYMN TO THE NORTH STAR.


       The sad and solemn night
    Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires;
       The glorious host of light
    Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
  All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
  Her constellations come, and climb the heavens, and go.

       Day, too, hath many a star
    To grace his gorgeous reign, as bright as they:
       Through the blue fields afar,
    Unseen, they follow in his flaming way:
  Many a bright lingerer, as the eve grows dim,
  Tells what a radiant troop arose and set with him.

       And thou dost see them rise,
    Star of the Pole! and thou dost see them set.
       Alone, in thy cold skies,
    Thou keep'st thy old unmoving station yet,
  Nor join'st the dances of that glittering train,
  Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main.

       There, at morn's rosy birth,
    Thou lookest meekly through the kindling air,
       And eve, that round the earth
    Chases the day, beholds thee watching there;
  There noontide finds thee, and the hour that calls
  The shapes of polar flame to scale heaven's azure walls.

       Alike, beneath thine eye,
    The deeds of darkness and of light are gone;
       High toward the starlit sky
    Towns blaze, the smoke of battle blots the sun,
  The night storm on a thousand hills is loud,
  And the strong wind of day doth mingle sea and cloud.

       On thy unaltering blaze
    The half-wrecked mariner, his compass lost,
       Fixes his steady gaze,
    And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast;
  And they who stray in perilous wastes, by night,
  Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their footsteps right.

       And, therefore, bards of old,
    Sages and hermits of the solemn wood,
       Did in thy beams behold
    A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
  That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
  The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.



  THE LAPSE OF TIME.


  Lament who will, in fruitless tears,
    The speed with which our moments fly;
  I sigh not over vanished years,
    But watch the years that hasten by.

  Look, how they come--a mingled crowd
    Of bright and dark, but rapid days;
  Beneath them, like a summer cloud,
    The wide world changes as I gaze.

  What! grieve that time has brought so soon
    The sober age of manhood on!
  As idly might I weep, at noon,
    To see the blush of morning gone.

  Could I give up the hopes that glow
    In prospect like Elysian isles;
  And let the cheerful future go,
    With all her promises and smiles?

  The future!--cruel were the power
    Whose doom would tear thee from my heart,
  Thou sweetener of the present hour!
    We cannot--no--we will not part.

  Oh, leave me, still, the rapid flight
    That makes the changing seasons gay,
  The grateful speed that brings the night,
    The swift and glad return of day;

  The months that touch, with added grace,
    This little prattler at my knee,
  In whose arch eye and speaking face
    New meaning every hour I see;

  The years, that o'er each sister land
    Shall lift the country of my birth,
  And nurse her strength, till she shall stand
    The pride and pattern of the earth:

  Till younger commonwealths, for aid,
    Shall cling about her ample robe,
  And from her frown shall shrink afraid
    The crowned oppressors of the globe.

  True--time will seam and blanch my brow--
    Well--I shall sit with aged men,
  And my good glass will tell me how
    A grizzly beard becomes me then.

  And then, should no dishonor lie
    Upon my head, when I am gray,
  Love yet shall watch my fading eye,
    And smooth the path of my decay.

  Then haste thee, Time--'tis kindness all
    That speeds thy wingèd feet so fast:
  Thy pleasures stay not till they pall,
    And all thy pains are quickly past.

  Thou fliest and bear'st away our woes,
    And as thy shadowy train depart,
  The memory of sorrow grows
    A lighter burden on the heart.



  THE SONG OF THE STARS.


  When the radiant morn of creation broke,
  And the world in the smile of God awoke,
  And the empty realms of darkness and death
  Were moved through their depths by his mighty breath,
  And orbs of beauty and spheres of flame
  From the void abyss by myriads came--
  In the joy of youth as they darted away,
  Through the widening wastes of space to play,
  Their silver voices in chorus rang,
  And this was the song the bright ones sang:

  "Away, away, through the wide, wide sky,
  The fair blue fields that before us lie--
  Each sun with the worlds that round him roll,
  Each planet, poised on her turning pole;
  With her isles of green, and her clouds of white,
  And her waters that lie like fluid light.

  "For the source of glory uncovers his face,
  And the brightness o'erflows unbounded space,
  And we drink as we go to the luminous tides
  In our ruddy air and our blooming sides:
  Lo, yonder the living splendors play;
  Away, on our joyous path, away!

  "Look, look, through our glittering ranks afar,
  In the infinite azure, star after star,
  How they brighten and bloom as they swiftly pass!
  How the verdure runs o'er each rolling mass!
  And the path of the gentle winds is seen,
  Where the small waves dance, and the young woods lean.

  "And see, where the brighter day-beams pour,
  How the rainbows hang in the sunny shower;
  And the morn and eve, with their pomp of hues,
  Shift o'er the bright planets and shed their dews;
  And 'twixt them both, o'er the teeming ground,
  With her shadowy cone the night goes round!

  "Away, away! in our blossoming bowers,
  In the soft airs wrapping these spheres of ours,
  In the seas and fountains that shine with morn,
  See, Love is brooding, and Life is born,
  And breathing myriads are breaking from night,
  To rejoice, like us, in motion and light.

  "Glide on in your beauty, ye youthful spheres,
  To weave the dance that measures the years;
  Glide on, in the glory and gladness sent
  To the furthest wall of the firmament--
  The boundless visible smile of Him
  To the veil of whose brow your lamps are dim."



  A FOREST HYMN.


    The groves were God's first temples. Ere man learned
  To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave,
  And spread the roof above them--ere he framed
  The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
  The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
  Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down,
  And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
  And supplication. For his simple heart
  Might not resist the sacred influences
  Which, from the stilly twilight of the place,
  And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven
  Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound
  Of the invisible breath that swayed at once
  All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed
  His spirit with the thought of boundless power
  And inaccessible majesty. Ah, why
  Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
  God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
  Only among the crowd, and under roofs
  That our frail hands have raised? Let me, at least,
  Here, in the shadow of this aged wood,
  Offer one hymn--thrice happy, if it find
  Acceptance in His ear.

            Father, thy hand
  Hath reared these venerable columns, thou
  Didst weave this verdant roof. Thou didst look down
  Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose
  All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun,
  Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze,
  And shot toward heaven. The century-living crow
  Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died
  Among their branches, till, at last, they stood,
  As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark,
  Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold
  Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults,
  These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride
  Report not. No fantastic carvings show
  The boast of our vain race to change the form
  Of thy fair works. But thou art here--thou fill'st
  The solitude. Thou art in the soft winds
  That run along the summit of these trees
  In music; thou art in the cooler breath
  That from the inmost darkness of the place
  Comes, scarcely felt; the barky trunks, the ground,
  The fresh moist ground, are all instinct with thee.
  Here is continual worship;--Nature, here,
  In the tranquillity that thou dost love,
  Enjoys thy presence. Noiselessly, around,
  From perch to perch, the solitary bird
  Passes; and yon clear spring, that, midst its herbs,
  Wells softly forth and wandering steeps the roots
  Of half the mighty forest, tells no tale
  Of all the good it does. Thou hast not left
  Thyself without a witness, in the shades,
  Of thy perfections. Grandeur, strength, and grace
  Are here to speak of thee. This mighty oak--
  By whose immovable stem I stand and seem
  Almost annihilated--not a prince,
  In all that proud old world beyond the deep,
  E'er wore his crown as loftily as he
  Wears the green coronal of leaves with which
  Thy hand has graced him. Nestled at his root
  Is beauty, such as blooms not in the glare
  Of the broad sun. That delicate forest flower,
  With scented breath and look so like a smile,
  Seems, as it issues from the shapeless mould,
  An emanation of the indwelling Life,
  A visible token of the upholding Love,
  That are the soul of this great universe.

    My heart is awed within me when I think
  Of the great miracle that still goes on,
  In silence, round me--the perpetual work
  Of thy creation, finished, yet renewed
  Forever. Written on thy works I read
  The lesson of thy own eternity.
  Lo! all grow old and die--but see again,
  How on the faltering footsteps of decay
  Youth presses--ever gay and beautiful youth
  In all its beautiful forms. These lofty trees
  Wave not less proudly that their ancestors
  Moulder beneath them. Oh, there is not lost
  One of earth's charms: upon her bosom yet,
  After the flight of untold centuries,
  The freshness of her far beginning lies
  And yet shall lie. Life mocks the idle hate
  Of his arch-enemy Death--yea, seats himself
  Upon the tyrant's throne--the sepulchre,
  And of the triumphs of his ghastly foe
  Makes his own nourishment. For he came forth
  From thine own bosom, and shall have no end.

    There have been holy men who hid themselves
  Deep in the woody wilderness, and gave
  Their lives to thought and prayer, till they outlived
  The generation born with them, nor seemed
  Less aged than the hoary trees and rocks
  Around them;--and there have been holy men
  Who deemed it were not well to pass life thus.
  But let me often to these solitudes
  Retire, and in thy presence reassure
  My feeble virtue. Here its enemies,
  The passions, at thy plainer footsteps shrink
  And tremble and are still. O God! when thou
  Dost scare the world with tempests, set on fire
  The heavens with falling thunderbolts, or fill,
  With all the waters of the firmament,
  The swift dark whirlwind that uproots the woods
  And drowns the villages; when, at thy call,
  Uprises the great deep and throws himself
  Upon the continent, and overwhelms
  Its cities--who forgets not, at the sight
  Of these tremendous tokens of thy power,
  His pride, and lays his strifes and follies by?
  Oh, from these sterner aspects of thy face
  Spare me and mine, nor let us need the wrath
  Of the mad unchained elements to teach
  Who rules them. Be it ours to meditate,
  In these calm shades, thy milder majesty,
  And to the beautiful order of thy works
  Learn to conform the order of our lives.



  "OH FAIREST OF THE RURAL MAIDS."


  Oh fairest of the rural maids!
  Thy birth was in the forest shades;
  Green boughs, and glimpses of the sky,
  Were all that met thine infant eye.

  Thy sports, thy wanderings, when a child,
  Were ever in the sylvan wild;
  And all the beauty of the place
  Is in thy heart and on thy face.

  The twilight of the trees and rocks
  Is in the light shade of thy locks;
  Thy step is as the wind, that weaves
  Its playful way among the leaves.

  Thine eyes are springs, in whose serene
  And silent waters heaven is seen;
  Their lashes are the herbs that look
  On their young figures in the brook.

  The forest depths, by foot unpressed,
  Are not more sinless than thy breast;
  The holy peace, that fills the air
  Of those calm solitudes, is there.



  "I BROKE THE SPELL THAT HELD ME LONG."


  I broke the spell that held me long,
  The dear, dear witchery of song.
  I said, the poet's idle lore
  Shall waste my prime of years no more,
  For Poetry, though heavenly born,
  Consorts with poverty and scorn.

  I broke the spell--nor deemed its power
  Could fetter me another hour.
  Ah, thoughtless! how could I forget
  Its causes were around me yet?
  For wheresoe'er I looked, the while,
  Was Nature's everlasting smile.

  Still came and lingered on my sight
  Of flowers and streams the bloom and light,
  And glory of the stars and sun;--
  And these and poetry are one.
  They, ere the world had held me long,
  Recalled me to the love of song.



  JUNE.


  I gazed upon the glorious sky
       And the green mountains round,
  And thought that when I came to lie
       At rest within the ground,
  'Twere pleasant, that in flowery June,
  When brooks send up a cheerful tune,
       And groves a joyous sound,
  The sexton's hand, my grave to make,
  The rich, green mountain-turf should break.

  A cell within the frozen mould,
       A coffin borne through sleet,
  And icy clods above it rolled,
       While fierce the tempests beat--
  Away!--I will not think of these--
  Blue be the sky and soft the breeze,
       Earth green beneath the feet,
  And be the damp mould gently pressed
  Into my narrow place of rest.

  There through the long, long summer hours,
       The golden light should lie,
  And thick young herbs and groups of flowers
       Stand in their beauty by.
  The oriole should build and tell
  His love-tale close beside my cell;
       The idle butterfly
  Should rest him there, and there be heard
  The housewife bee and humming-bird.

  And what if cheerful shouts at noon
       Come, from the village sent,
  Or songs of maids, beneath the moon
       With fairy laughter blent?
  And what if, in the evening light,
  Betrothèd lovers walk in sight
       Of my low monument?
  I would the lovely scene around
  Might know no sadder sight nor sound.

  I know that I no more should see
       The season's glorious show,
  Nor would its brightness shine for me,
       Nor its wild music flow;
  But if, around my place of sleep,
  The friends I love should come to weep,
       They might not haste to go.
  Soft airs, and song, and light, and bloom
  Should keep them lingering by my tomb.

  These to their softened hearts should bear
       The thought of what has been,
  And speak of one who cannot share
       The gladness of the scene;
  Whose part, in all the pomp that fills
  The circuit of the summer hills,
       Is that his grave is green;
  And deeply would their hearts rejoice
  To hear again his living voice.



  A SONG OF PITCAIRN'S ISLAND.


  Come, take our boy, and we will go
       Before our cabin-door;
  The winds shall bring us, as they blow,
       The murmurs of the shore;
  And we will kiss his young blue eyes,
  And I will sing him, as he lies,
       Songs that were made of yore:
  I'll sing, in his delighted ear,
  The island lays thou lov'st to hear.

  And thou, while stammering I repeat,
       Thy country's tongue shalt teach;
  'Tis not so soft, but far more sweet
       Than my own native speech:
  For thou no other tongue didst know,
  When, scarcely twenty moons ago,
       Upon Tahete's beach,
  Thou cam'st to woo me to be thine,
  With many a speaking look and sign.

  I knew thy meaning--thou didst praise
       My eyes, my locks of jet;
  Ah! well for me they won thy gaze,
       But thine were fairer yet!
  I'm glad to see my infant wear
  Thy soft blue eyes and sunny hair,
       And when my sight is met
  By his white brow and blooming cheek,
  I feel a joy I cannot speak.

  Come, talk of Europe's maids with me,
       Whose necks and cheeks, they tell,
  Outshine the beauty of the sea,
       White foam and crimson shell.
  I'll shape like theirs my simple dress,
  And bind like them each jetty tress,
       A sight to please thee well;
  And for my dusky brow will braid
  A bonnet like an English maid.

  Come, for the soft low sunlight calls,
       We lose the pleasant hours;
  'Tis lovelier than these cottage walls,--
       That seat among the flowers.
  And I will learn of thee a prayer,
  To Him who gave a home so fair,
       A lot so blest as ours--
  The God who made, for thee and me,
  This sweet lone isle amid the sea.



  THE FIRMAMENT.


  Ay! gloriously thou standest there,
    Beautiful, boundless firmament!
  That, swelling wide o'er earth and air,
    And round the horizon bent,
  With thy bright vault, and sapphire wall,
  Dost overhang and circle all.

  Far, far below thee, tall gray trees
    Arise, and piles built up of old,
  And hills, whose ancient summits freeze
    In the fierce light and cold.
  The eagle soars his utmost height,
  Yet far thou stretchest o'er his flight.

  Thou hast thy frowns--with thee on high
    The storm has made his airy seat,
  Beyond that soft blue curtain lie
    His stores of hail and sleet.
  Thence the consuming lightnings break,
  There the strong hurricanes awake.

  Yet art thou prodigal of smiles--
    Smiles, sweeter than thy frowns are stern.
  Earth sends, from all her thousand isles,
    A shout at their return.
  The glory that comes down from thee,
  Bathes, in deep joy, the land and sea.

  The sun, the gorgeous sun is thine,
    The pomp that brings and shuts the day,
  The clouds that round him change and shine,
    The airs that fan his way.
  Thence look the thoughtful stars, and there
  The meek moon walks the silent air.

  The sunny Italy may boast
    The beauteous tints that flush her skies,
  And lovely, round the Grecian coast,
    May thy blue pillars rise.
  I only know how fair they stand
  Around my own beloved land.

  And they are fair--a charm is theirs,
    That earth, the proud green earth, has not,
  With all the forms, and hues, and airs,
    That haunt her sweetest spot.
  We gaze upon thy calm pure sphere,
  And read of Heaven's eternal year.

  Oh, when, amid the throng of men,
    The heart grows sick of hollow mirth,
  How willingly we turn us then
    Away from this cold earth,
  And look into thy azure breast,
  For seats of innocence and rest!



  "I CANNOT FORGET WITH WHAT FERVID
  DEVOTION."


  I cannot forget with what fervid devotion
    I worshipped the visions of verse and of fame;
  Each gaze at the glories of earth, sky, and ocean,
    To my kindled emotions, was wind over flame.

  And deep were my musings in life's early blossom,
    Mid the twilight of mountain-groves wandering long;
  How thrilled my young veins, and how throbbed my full bosom,
    When o'er me descended the spirit of song!

  'Mong the deep-cloven fells that for ages had listened
    To the rush of the pebble-paved river between,
  Where the kingfisher screamed and gray precipice glistened,
    All breathless with awe have I gazed on the scene;

  Till I felt the dark power o'er my reveries stealing,
    From the gloom of the thicket that over me hung,
  And the thoughts that awoke, in that rapture of feeling,
    Were formed into verse as they rose to my tongue.

  Bright visions! I mixed with the world, and ye faded,
    No longer your pure rural worshipper now;
  In the haunts your continual presence pervaded,
    Ye shrink from the signet of care on my brow.

  In the old mossy groves on the breast of the mountains,
    In deep lonely glens where the waters complain,
  By the shade of the rock, by the gush of the fountain,
    I seek your loved footsteps, but seek them in vain.

  Oh, leave not forlorn and forever forsaken,
    Your pupil and victim to life and its tears!
  But sometimes return, and in mercy awaken
    The glories ye showed to his earlier years.



  TO A MOSQUITO.


  Fair insect! that, with threadlike legs spread out,
    And blood-extracting bill and filmy wing,
  Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about,
    In pitiless ears full many a plaintive thing,
  And tell how little our large veins would bleed,
  Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.

  Unwillingly, I own, and, what is worse,
    Full angrily men hearken to thy plaint;
  Thou gettest many a brush, and many a curse,
    For saying thou art gaunt, and starved, and faint;
  Even the old beggar, while he asks for food,
  Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could.

  I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween,
    Has not the honor of so proud a birth,--
  Thou com'st from Jersey meadows, fresh and green,
    The offspring of the gods, though born on earth;
  For Titan was thy sire, and fair was she,
  The ocean-nymph that nursed thy infancy.

  Beneath the rushes was thy cradle swung,
    And when at length thy gauzy wings grew strong,
  Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung,
    Rose in the sky and bore thee soft along;
  The south wind breathed to waft thee on the way,
  And danced and shone beneath the billowy bay.

  Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence
    Came the deep murmur of its throng of men,
  And as its grateful odors met thy sense,
    They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen.
  Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight
  Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.

  At length thy pinions fluttered in Broadway--
    Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed
  By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray
    Shone through the snowy veils like stars through mist;
  And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin,
  Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin.

  Sure these were sights to touch an anchorite!
    What! do I hear thy slender voice complain?
  Thou wailest when I talk of beauty's light,
    As if it brought the memory of pain:
  Thou art a wayward being--well--come near,
  And pour thy tale of sorrow in my ear.

  What sayest thou--slanderer!--rouge makes thee sick?
    And China bloom at best is sorry food?
  And Rowland's Kalydor, if laid on thick,
    Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood?
  Go! 'twas a just reward that met thy crime--
  But shun the sacrilege another time.

  That bloom was made to look at, not to touch;
    To worship, not approach, that radiant white;
  And well might sudden vengeance light on such
    As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite.
  Thou shouldst have gazed at distance and admired,
  Murmured thy adoration, and retired.

  Thou'rt welcome to the town; but why come here
    To bleed a brother poet, gaunt like thee?
  Alas! the little blood I have is dear,
    And thin will be the banquet drawn from me.
  Look round--the pale-eyed sisters in my cell,
  Thy old acquaintance, Song and Famine, dwell.

  Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood
    Enriched by generous wine and costly meat;
  On well-filled skins, sleek as thy native mud,
    Fix thy light pump and press thy freckled feet.
  Go to the men for whom, in ocean's halls,
  The oyster breeds, and the green turtle sprawls.

  There corks are drawn, and the red vintage flows
    To fill the swelling veins for thee, and now
  The ruddy cheek and now the ruddier nose
    Shall tempt thee, as thou flittest round the brow;
  And when the hour of sleep its quiet brings,
  No angry hands shall rise to brush thy wings.



  LINES ON REVISITING THE COUNTRY.


  I stand upon my native hills again,
    Broad, round, and green, that in the summer sky
  With garniture of waving grass and grain,
    Orchards, and beechen forests, basking lie,
  While deep the sunless glens are scooped between,
  Where brawl o'er shallow beds the streams unseen.

  A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near,
    And ever-restless feet of one, who, now,
  Gathers the blossoms of her fourth bright year;
    There plays a gladness o'er her fair young brow
  As breaks the varied scene upon her sight,
  Upheaved and spread in verdure and in light.

  For I have taught her, with delighted eye,
    To gaze upon the mountains,--to behold,
  With deep affection, the pure ample sky
    And clouds along its blue abysses rolled,
  To love the song of waters, and to hear
  The melody of winds with charmèd ear.

  Here, have I 'scaped the city's stifling heat,
    Its horrid sounds, and its polluted air,
  And, where the season's milder fervors beat,
    And gales, that sweep the forest borders, bear
  The song of bird and sound of running stream,
  Am come awhile to wander and to dream.

  Ay, flame thy fiercest, sun! thou canst not wake,
    In this pure air, the plague that walks unseen.
  The maize-leaf and the maple-bough but take,
    From thy strong heats, a deeper, glossier green.
  The mountain wind, that faints not in thy ray,
  Sweeps the blue steams of pestilence away.

  The mountain wind! most spiritual thing of all
    The wide earth knows; when, in the sultry tune,
  He stoops him from his vast cerulean hall,
    He seems the breath of a celestial clime!
  As if from heaven's wide-open gates did flow
  Health and refreshment on the world below.



  THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.


  The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
  Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sere.
  Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
  They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit's tread;
  The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
  And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.

  Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately sprang and stood
  In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
  Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race of flowers
  Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
  The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
  Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.

  The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long ago,
  And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
  But on the hills the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
  And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
  Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
  And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.

  And now, when comes the calm mild day, as still such days will come,
  To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home;
  When the sound of dropping nuts is heard,
          though all the trees' added are still,
  And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill,
  The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late he bore,
  And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

  And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
  The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
  In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forests cast the leaf,
  And we wept that one so lovely should have a life so brief:
  Yet not unmeet it was that one, like that young friend of ours,
  So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.



  ROMERO.


  When freedom, from the land of Spain,
    By Spain's degenerate sons was driven,
  Who gave their willing limbs again
    To wear the chain so lately riven;
  Romero broke the sword he wore--
    "Go, faithful brand," the warrior said,
  "Go, undishonored, never more
    The blood of man shall make thee red.
    I grieve for that already shed;
  And I am sick at heart to know,
  That faithful friend and noble foe
  Have only bled to make more strong
  The yoke that Spain has worn so long.
  Wear it who will, in abject fear--
    I wear it not who have been free;
  The perjured Ferdinand shall hear
    No oath of loyalty from me."
  Then, hunted by the hounds of power,
    Romero chose a safe retreat,
  Where bleak Nevada's summits tower
    Above the beauty at their feet.
  There once, when on his cabin lay
  The crimson light of setting day,
  When, even on the mountain's breast,
  The chainless winds were all at rest,
  And he could hear the river's flow
  From the calm paradise below;
  Warmed with his former fires again
  He framed this rude but solemn strain:


  I.

    "Here will I make my home--for here at least I see,
  Upon this wild Sierra's side, the steps of Liberty;
  Where the locust chirps unscared beneath the unpruned lime,
  And the merry bee doth hide from man the spoil of the mountain-thyme;
  Where the pure winds come and go, and the wild-vine strays at will,
  An outcast from the haunts of men, she dwells with Nature still.


  II.

    "I see the valleys, Spain! where thy mighty rivers run,
  And the hills that lift thy harvests and vineyards to the sun,
  And the flocks that drink thy brooks and sprinkle all the green,
  Where lie thy plains, with sheep-walks seamed, and olive-shades between:
  I see thy fig-trees bask, with the fair pomegranate near,
  And the fragrance of thy lemon-groves can almost reach me here.


  III.

    "Fair--fair--but fallen Spain! 'tis with a swelling heart,
  That I think on all thou mightst have been, and look at what thou art;
  But the strife is over now, and all the good and brave,
  That would have raised thee up, are gone, to exile or the grave.
  Thy fleeces are for monks, thy grapes for the convent feast,
  And the wealth of all thy harvest-fields for the pampered lord and priest.


  IV.

  "But I shall see the day--it will come before I die--
  I shall see it in my silver hairs, and with an age-dimmed eye;
  When the spirit of the land to liberty shall bound,
  As yonder fountain leaps away from the darkness of the ground:
  And to my mountain-cell, the voices of the free
  Shall rise as from the beaten shore the thunders of the sea."



  A MEDITATION ON RHODE ISLAND COAL.


  "Decolor, obscurus, vilis, non ille repexam
  Cesariem regum, non candida virginis ornat
  Colla, nec insigni splendet per cingula morsu
  Sed nova si nigri videas miracula saxi,
  Tune superat pulchroa cultus et quicquid Eois
  Indus litoribus rubra scrutatur in alga."

  CLAUDIAN.


  I sat beside the glowing grate, fresh heaped
    With Newport coal, and as the flame grew bright
  --The many-colored flame--and played and leaped,
    I thought of rainbows, and the northern light,
  Moore's Lalla Rookh, the Treasury Report,
  And other brilliant matters of the sort.

  And last I thought of that fair isle which sent
    The mineral fuel; on a summer day
  I saw it once, with heat and travel spent,
    And scratched by dwarf-oaks in the hollow way.
  Now dragged through sand, now jolted over stone--
  A rugged road through rugged Tiverton.

  And hotter grew the air, and hollower grew
    The deep-worn path, and horror-struck, I thought,
  Where will this dreary passage lead me to?
    This long dull road, so narrow, deep, and hot?
  I looked to see it dive in earth outright;
  I looked--but saw a far more welcome sight.

  Like a soft mist upon the evening shore,
    At once a lovely isle before me lay,
  Smooth, and with tender verdure covered o'er,
    As if just risen from its calm inland bay;
  Sloped each way gently to the grassy edge,
  And the small waves that dallied with the sedge.

  The barley was just reaped; the heavy sheaves
    Lay on the stubble-field; the tall maize stood
  Dark in its summer growth, and shook its leaves,
    And bright the sunlight played on the young wood--
  For fifty years ago, the old men say,
  The Briton hewed their ancient groves away.

  I saw where fountains freshened the green land,
    And where the pleasant road, from door to door,
  With rows of cherry-trees on either hand,
    Went wandering all that fertile region o'er--
  Rogue's Island once--but when the rogues were dead,
  Rhode Island was the name it took instead.

  Beautiful island! then it only seemed
    A lovely stranger; it has grown a friend.
  I gazed on its smooth slopes, but never dreamed
    How soon that green and quiet isle would send
  The treasures of its womb across the sea,
  To warm a poet's room and boil his tea.

  Dark anthracite! that reddenest on my hearth,
    Thou in those island mines didst slumber long;
  But now thou art come forth to move the earth,
    And put to shame the men that mean thee wrong:
  Thou shalt be coals of fire to those that hate thee,
  And warm the shins of all that underrate thee.

  Yea, they did wrong thee foully--they who mocked
    Thy honest face, and said thou wouldst not burn;
  Of hewing thee to chimney-pieces talked,
    And grew profane, and swore, in bitter scorn,
  That men might to thy inner caves retire,
  And there, unsinged, abide the day of fire.

  Yet is thy greatness nigh. I pause to state,
    That I too have seen greatness--even I--
  Shook hands with Adams, stared at La Fayette,
    When, barehead, in the hot noon of July,
  He would not let the umbrella be held o'er him,
  For which three cheers burst from the mob before him.

  And I have seen--not many months ago--
    An eastern Governor in chapeau bras
  And military coat, a glorious show!
    Ride forth to visit the reviews, and ah!
  How oft he smiled and bowed to Jonathan!
  How many hands were shook and votes were won!

  'Twas a great Governor; thou too shalt be
    Great in thy turn, and wide shall spread thy fame
  And swiftly; furthest Maine shall hear of thee,
    And cold New Brunswick gladden at thy name;
  And, faintly through its sleets, the weeping isle
  That sends the Boston folks their cod shall smile.

  For thou shalt forge vast railways, and shalt heat
    The hissing rivers into steam, and drive
  Huge masses from thy mines, on iron feet,
    Walking their steady way, as if alive,
  Northward, till everlasting ice besets thee,
  And South as far as the grim Spaniard lets thee.

  Thou shalt make mighty engines swim the sea,
    Like its own monsters--boats that for a guinea
  Will take a man to Havre--and shalt be
    The moving soul of many a spinning-jenny,
  And ply thy shuttles, till a bard can wear
  As good a suit of broadcloth as the mayor.

  Then we will laugh at winter when we hear
    The grim old churl about our dwellings rave:
  Thou, from that "ruler of the inverted year,"
    Shalt pluck the knotty sceptre Cowper gave,
  And pull him from his sledge, and drag him in,
  And melt the icicles from off his chin.



  THE NEW MOON.


  When, as the garish day is done,
  Heaven burns with the descended sun,
       'Tis passing sweet to mark,
  Amid that flush of crimson light,
  The new moon's modest bow grow bright,
       As earth and sky grow dark.

  Few are the hearts too cold to feel
  A thrill of gladness o'er them steal,
       When first the wandering eye
  Sees faintly, in the evening blaze,
  That glimmering curve of tender rays
       Just planted in the sky.

  The sight of that young crescent brings
  Thoughts of all fair and youthful things--
       The hopes of early years;
  And childhood's purity and grace,
  And joys that like a rainbow chase
       The passing shower of tears.

  The captive yields him to the dream
  Of freedom, when that virgin beam
       Comes out upon the air;
  And painfully the sick man tries
  To fix his dim and burning eyes
       On the sweet promise there.

  Most welcome to the lover's sight
  Glitters that pure, emerging light;
       For prattling poets say,
  That sweetest is the lovers' walk,
  And tenderest is their murmured talk,
       Beneath its gentle ray.

  And there do graver men behold
  A type of errors, loved of old,
       Forsaken and forgiven;
  And thoughts and wishes not of earth
  Just opening in their early birth,
       Like that new light in heaven.



  OCTOBER.


  Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
    When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
    And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
  And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
  Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
    In the gay woods and in the golden air,
    Like to a good old age released from care,
  Journeying, in long serenity, away.
  In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
    Might wear out life like thee, mid bowers and brooks,
    And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
  And music of kind voices ever nigh;
  And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
  Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.



  THE DAMSEL OF PERU.


  Where olive-leaves were twinkling in every wind that blew,
  There sat beneath the pleasant shade a damsel of Peru.
  Betwixt the slender boughs, as they opened to the air,
  Came glimpses of her ivory neck and of her glossy hair;
  And sweetly rang her silver voice, within that shady nook,
  As from the shrubby glen is heard the sound of hidden brook.

  'Tis a song of love and valor, in the noble Spanish tongue,
  That once upon the sunny plains of old Castile was sung;
  When, from their mountain-holds, on the Moorish rout below,
  Had rushed the Christians like a flood, and swept away the foe.
  Awhile that melody is still, and then breaks forth anew
  A wilder rhyme, a livelier note, of freedom and Peru.

  For she has bound the sword to a youthful lover's side,
  And sent him to the war the day she should have been his bride,
  And bade him bear a faithful heart to battle for the right,
  And held the fountains of her eyes till he was out of sight.
  Since the parting kiss was given, six weary months are fled,
  And yet the foe is in the land, and blood must yet be shed.

  A white hand parts the branches, a lovely face looks forth,
  And bright dark eyes gaze steadfastly and sadly toward the north.
  Thou look'st in vain, sweet maiden, the sharpest sight would fail
  To spy a sign of human life abroad in all the vale;
  For the noon is coming on, and the sunbeams fiercely beat,
  And the silent hills and forest-tops seem reeling in the heat.

  That white hand is withdrawn, that fair sad face is gone,
  But the music of that silver voice is flowing sweetly on,
  Not as of late, in cheerful tones, but mournfully and low,--
  A ballad of a tender maid heart-broken long ago,
  Of him who died in battle, the youthful and the brave,
  And her who died of sorrow, upon his early grave.

  And see, along that mountain-slope, a fiery horseman ride;
  Mark his torn plume, his tarnished belt, the sabre at his side.
  His spurs are buried rowel-deep, he rides with loosened rain,
  There's blood upon his charger's flank and foam upon the mane.
  He speeds him toward the olive-grove, along that shaded hill!
  God shield the helpless maiden there, if he should mean her ill!

  And suddenly that song has ceased, and suddenly I hear
  A shriek sent up amid the shade, a shriek--but not of fear.
  For tender accents follow, and tender pauses speak
  The overflow of gladness, when words are all too weak;
  "I lay my good sword at thy feet, for now Peru is free,
  And I am come to dwell beside the olive-grove with thee."



  THE AFRICAN CHIEF.


  Chained in the market-place he stood,
    A man of giant frame,
  Amid the gathering multitude
    That shrunk to hear his name--
  All stern of look and strong of limb,
    His dark eye on the ground:--
  And silently they gazed on him,
    As on a lion bound.

  Vainly, but well that chief had fought,
    He was a captive now,
  Yet pride, that fortune humbles not,
    Was written on his brow.
  The scars his dark broad bosom wore
    Showed warrior true and brave;
  A prince among his tribe before,
    He could not be a slave.

  Then to his conqueror he spake:
    "My brother is a king;
  Undo this necklace from my neck,
    And take this bracelet ring,
  And send me where my brother reigns,
    And I will fill thy hands
  With store of ivory from the plains,
    And gold-dust from the sands."

  "Not for thy ivory nor thy gold
    Will I unbind thy chain;
  That bloody hand shall never hold
    The battle-spear again.
  A price that nation never gave
    Shall yet be paid for thee;
  For thou shalt be the Christian's slave,
    In lands beyond the sea."

  Then wept the warrior chief, and bade
    To shred his locks away;
  And one by one, each heavy braid
    Before the victor lay.
  Thick were the platted locks, and long,
    And closely hidden there
  Shone many a wedge of gold among
    The dark and crispèd hair.

  "Look, feast thy greedy eye with gold
    Long kept for sorest need;
  Take it--thou askest sums untold--
    And say that I am freed.
  Take it--my wife, the long, long day,
    Weeps by the cocoa-tree,
  And my young children leave their play,
    And ask in vain for me."

  "I take thy gold, but I have made
    Thy fetters fast and strong,
  And ween that by the cocoa-shade
    Thy wife will wait thee long."
  Strong was the agony that shook
    The captive's frame to hear,
  And the proud meaning of his look
    Was changed to mortal fear.

  His heart was broken--crazed his brain:
    At once his eye grew wild;
  He struggled fiercely with his chain,
    Whispered, and wept, and smiled;
  Yet wore not long those fatal bands,
    And once, at shut of day,
  They drew him forth upon the sands,
    The foul hyena's prey.



  SPRING IN TOWN.


  The country ever has a lagging Spring,
    Waiting for May to call its violets forth,
  And June its roses; showers and sunshine bring,
    Slowly, the deepening verdure o'er the earth;
  To put their foliage out, the woods are slack,
  And one by one the singing-birds come back.

  Within the city's bounds the time of flowers
    Comes earlier. Let a mild and sunny day,
  Such as full often, for a few bright hours,
    Breathes through the sky of March the airs of May,
  Shine on our roofs and chase the wintry gloom--
  And lo! our borders glow with sudden bloom.

  For the wide sidewalks of Broadway are then
    Gorgeous as are a rivulet's banks in June,
  That overhung with blossoms, through its glen,
    Slides soft away beneath the sunny noon,
  And they who search the untrodden wood for flowers
  Meet in its depths no lovelier ones than ours.

  For here are eyes that shame the violet,
    Or the dark drop that on the pansy lies,
  And foreheads, white, as when in clusters set,
    The anemones by forest-mountains rise;
  And the spring-beauty boasts no tenderer streak
  Than the soft red on many a youthful cheek.

  And thick about those lovely temples lie
    Locks that the lucky Vignardonne has curled,
  Thrice happy man! whose trade it is to buy,
    And bake, and braid those love-knots of the world;
  Who curls of every glossy color keepest,
  And sellest, it is said, the blackest cheapest.

  And well thou mayst--for Italy's brown maids
    Send the dark locks with which their brows are dressed,
  And Gascon lasses, from their jetty braids,
    Crop half, to buy a ribbon for the rest;
  But the fresh Norman girls their tresses spare,
  And the Dutch damsel keeps her flaxen hair.

  Then, henceforth, let no maid nor matron grieve,
    To see her locks of an unlovely hue,
  Frouzy or thin, for liberal art shall give
    Such piles of curls as Nature never knew.
  Eve, with her veil of tresses, at the sight
  Had blushed, outdone, and owned herself a fright.

  Soft voices and light laughter wake the street,
    Like notes of woodbirds, and where'er the eye
  Threads the long way, plumes wave, and twinkling feet
    Fall light, as hastes that crowd of beauty by.
  The ostrich, hurrying o'er the desert space,
  Scarce bore those tossing plumes with fleeter pace.

  No swimming Juno gait, of languor born,
    Is theirs, but a light step of freest grace,--
  Light as Camilla's o'er the unbent corn,--
    A step that speaks the spirit of the place,
  Since Quiet, meek old dame, was driven away
  To Sing Sing and the shores of Tappan Bay.

  Ye that dash by in chariots! who will care
    For steeds or footmen now? ye cannot show
  Fair face, and dazzling dress, and graceful air,
    And last edition of the shape! Ah, no,
  These sights are for the earth and open sky,
  And your loud wheels unheeded rattle by.



  THE GLADNESS OF NATURE.


  Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
    When our mother Nature laughs around;
  When even the deep blue heavens look glad,
    And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground?

  There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
    And the gossip of swallows through all the sky;
  The ground-squirrel gayly chirps by his den,
    And the wilding bee hums merrily by.

  The clouds are at play in the azure space
    And their shadows at play on the bright-green vale,
  And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
    And there they roll on the easy gale.

  There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
    There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree,
  There's a smile on the fruit, and a smile on the flower,
    And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.

  And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
    On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray,
  On the leaping waters and gay young isles;
    Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.



  THE DISINTERRED WARRIOR.


  Gather him to his grave again,
    And solemnly and softly lay,
  Beneath the verdure of the plain,
    The warrior's scattered bones away.
  Pay the deep reverence, taught of old,
    The homage of man's heart to death;
  Nor dare to trifle with the mould
    Once hallowed by the Almighty's breath.

  The soul hath quickened every part--
    That remnant of a martial brow,
  Those ribs that held the mighty heart,
    That strong arm--strong no longer now.
  Spare them, each mouldering relic spare,
    Of God's own image; let them rest,
  Till not a trace shall speak of where
    The awful likeness was impressed.

  For he was fresher from the hand
    That formed of earth the human face,
  And to the elements did stand
    In nearer kindred than our race.
  In many a flood to madness tossed,
    In many a storm has been his path;
  He hid him not from heat or frost,
    But met them, and defied their wrath.

  Then they were kind--the forests here,
    Rivers, and stiller waters, paid
  A tribute to the net and spear
    Of the red ruler of the shade.
  Fruits on the woodland branches lay,
    Roots in the shaded soil below;
  The stars looked forth to teach his way;
    The still earth warned him of the foe.

  A noble race! but they are gone,
    With their old forests wide and deep,
  And we have built our homes upon
    Fields where their generations sleep.
  Their fountains slake our thirst at noon,
    Upon their fields our harvest waves,
  Our lovers woo beneath their moon--
    Then let us spare, at least, their graves.



  MIDSUMMER.


  A power is on the earth and in the air
    From which the vital spirit shrinks afraid,
    And shelters him, in nooks of deepest shade,
  From the hot steam and from the fiery glare.
  Look forth upon the earth--her thousand plants
    Are smitten; even the dark sun-loving maize
    Faints in the field beneath the torrid blaze;
  The herd beside the shaded fountain pants;
  For life is driven from all the landscape brown;
    The bird has sought his tree, the snake his den,
    The trout floats dead in the hot stream, and men
  Drop by the sun-stroke in the populous town;
    As if the Day of Fire had dawned, and sent
    Its deadly breath into the firmament.



  THE GREEK PARTISAN.


  Our free flag is dancing
    In the free mountain air,
  And burnished arms are glancing,
    And warriors gathering there;
  And fearless is the little train
    Whose gallant bosoms shield it;
  The blood that warms their hearts shall stain
    That banner, ere they yield it.
  --Each dark eye is fixed on earth,
    And brief each solemn greeting;
  There is no look nor sound of mirth,
    Where those stern men are meeting.

  They go to the slaughter
    To strike the sudden blow,
  And pour on earth, like water,
    The best blood of the foe;
  To rush on them from rock and height,
    And clear the narrow valley,
  Or fire their camp at dead of night,
    And fly before they rally.
  --Chains are round our country pressed,
    And cowards have betrayed her,
  And we must make her bleeding breast
    The grave of the invader.

  Not till from her fetters
    We raise up Greece again,
  And write, in bloody letters,
    That tyranny is slain,--
  Oh, not till then the smile shall steal
    Across those darkened faces,
  Nor one of all those warriors feel
    His children's dear embraces.
  --Reap we not the ripened wheat,
    Till yonder hosts are flying,
  And all their bravest, at our feet,
    Like autumn sheaves are lying.



  THE TWO GRAVES.


    'Tis a bleak wild hill, but green and bright
  In the summer warmth and the mid-day light;
  There's the hum of the bee and the chirp of the wren
  And the dash of the brook from the alder-glen.
  There's the sound of a bell from the scattered flock,
  And the shade of the beech lies cool on the rock,
  And fresh from the west is the free wind's breath;--
  There is nothing here that speaks of death.

    Far yonder, where orchards and gardens lie,
  And dwellings cluster, 'tis there men die,
  They are born, they die, and are buried near,
  Where the populous graveyard lightens the bier.
  For strict and close are the ties that bind
  In death the children of human-kind;
  Yea, stricter and closer than those of life,--
  'Tis a neighborhood that knows no strife.
  They are noiselessly gathered--friend and foe--
  To the still and dark assemblies below.
  Without a frown or a smile they meet,
  Each pale and calm in his winding-sheet;
  In that sullen home of peace and gloom,
  Crowded, like guests in a banquet-room.

    Yet there are graves in this lonely spot,
  Two humble graves,--but I meet them not.
  I have seen them,--eighteen years are past
  Since I found their place in the brambles last,--
  The place where, fifty winters ago
  An aged man in his locks of snow,
  And an aged matron, withered with years,
  Were solemnly laid!--but not with tears.
  For none, who sat by the light of their hearth,
  Beheld their coffins covered with earth;
  Their kindred were far, and their children dead,
  When the funeral-prayer was coldly said.

    Two low green hillocks, two small gray stones,
  Rose over the place that held their bones;
  But the grassy hillocks are levelled again,
  And the keenest eye might search in vain,
  'Mong briers, and ferns, and paths of sheep,
  For the spot where the aged couple sleep.

    Yet well might they lay, beneath the soil
  Of this lonely spot, that man of toil,
  And trench the strong hard mould with the spade,
  Where never before a grave was made;
  For he hewed the dark old woods away,
  And gave the virgin fields to the day;
  And the gourd and the bean, beside his door,
  Bloomed where their flowers ne'er opened before;
  And the maize stood up, and the bearded rye
  Bent low in the breath of an unknown sky.

    'Tis said that when life is ended here,
  The spirit is borne to a distant sphere;
  That it visits its earthly home no more,
  Nor looks on the haunts it loved before.
  But why should the bodiless soul be sent
  Far off, to a long, long banishment?
  Talk not of the light and the living green!
  It will pine for the dear familiar scene;
  It will yearn, in that strange bright world, to behold
  The rock and the stream it knew of old.

    'Tis a cruel creed, believe it not!
  Death to the good is a milder lot.
  They are here,--they are here,--that harmless pair,
  In the yellow sunshine and flowing air,
  In the light cloud-shadows that slowly pass,
  In the sounds that rise from the murmuring grass.
  They sit where their humble cottage stood,
  They walk by the waving edge of the wood,
  And list to the long-accustomed flow
  Of the brook that wets the rocks below,
  Patient, and peaceful, and passionless,
  As seasons on seasons swiftly press,
  They watch, and wait, and linger around,
  Till the day when their bodies shall leave the ground.



  THE CONJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND VENUS.


    I would not always reason. The straight path
  Wearies us with the never-varying lines,
  And we grow melancholy. I would make
  Reason my guide, but she should sometimes sit
  Patiently by the way-side, while I traced
  The mazes of the pleasant wilderness
  Around me. She should be my counsellor,
  But not my tyrant. For the spirit needs
  Impulses from a deeper source than hers,
  And there are motions, in the mind of man,
  That she must look upon with awe. I bow
  Reverently to her dictates, but not less
  Hold to the fair illusions of old time--
  Illusions that shed brightness over life,
  And glory over Nature. Look, even now,
  Where two bright planets in the twilight meet,
  Upon the saffron heaven,--the imperial star
  Of Jove, and she that from her radiant urn
  Pours forth the light of love. Let me believe,
  Awhile, that they are met for ends of good,
  Amid the evening glory, to confer
  Of men and their affairs, and to shed down
  Kind influence. Lo! they brighten as we gaze,
  And shake out softer fires! The great earth feels
  The gladness and the quiet of the time.
  Meekly the mighty river, that infolds
  This mighty city, smooths his front, and far
  Glitters and burns even the rocky base
  Of the dark heights that bound him to the west;
  And a deep murmur, from the many streets,
  Rises like a thanksgiving. Put we hence
  Dark and sad thoughts awhile--there's time for them
  Hereafter--on the morrow we will meet,
  With melancholy looks, to tell our griefs,
  And make each other wretched; this calm hour,
  This balmy, blessed evening, we will give
  To cheerful hopes and dreams of happy days,
  Born of the meeting of those glorious stars.

    Enough of drought has parched the year, and scared
  The land with dread of famine. Autumn, yet,
  Shall make men glad with unexpected fruits.
  The dog-star shall shine harmless: genial days
  Shall softly glide away into the keen
  And wholesome cold of winter; he that fears
  The pestilence, shall gaze on those pure beams,
  And breathe, with confidence, the quiet air.

    Emblems of power and beauty! well may they
  Shine brightest on our borders, and withdraw
  Toward the great Pacific, marking out
  The path of empire. Thus in our own land,
  Ere long, the better Genius of our race,
  Having encompassed earth, and tamed its tribes,
  Shall sit him down beneath the farthest west,
  By the shore of that calm ocean, and look back
  On realms made happy.

            Light the nuptial torch,
  And say the glad, yet solemn rite, that knits
  The youth and maiden. Happy days to them
  That wed this evening!--a long life of love,
  And blooming sons and daughters! Happy they
  Born at this hour, for they shall see an age
  Whiter and holier than the past, and go
  Late to their graves. Men shall wear softer hearts,
  And shudder at the butcheries of war,
  As now at other murders.

            Hapless Greece!
  Enough of blood has wet thy rocks, and stained
  Thy rivers; deep enough thy chains have worn
  Their links into thy flesh; the sacrifice
  Of thy pure maidens, and thy innocent babes,
  And reverend priests, has expiated all
  Thy crimes of old. In yonder mingling lights
  There is an omen of good days for thee.
  Thou shalt arise from midst the dust and sit
  Again among the nations. Thine own arm
  Shall yet redeem thee. Not in wars like thine
  The world takes part. Be it a strife of kings,--
  Despot with despot battling for a throne,--
  And Europe shall be stirred throughout her realms,
  Nations shall put on harness, and shall fall
  Upon each other, and in all their bounds
  The wailing of the childless shall not cease.
  Thine is a war for liberty, and thou
  Must fight it single-handed. The old world
  Looks coldly on the murderers of thy race,
  And leaves thee to the struggle; and the new,--
  I fear me thou couldst tell a shameful tale
  Of fraud and lust of gain;--thy treasury drained,
  And Missolonghi fallen. Yet thy wrongs
  Shall put new strength into thy heart and hand,
  And God and thy good sword shall yet work out,
  For thee, a terrible deliverance.



  A SUMMER RAMBLE.


  The quiet August noon has come;
    A slumberous silence fills the sky,
  The fields are still, the woods are dumb,
    In glassy sleep the waters lie.

  And mark yon soft white clouds that rest
    Above our vale, a moveless throng;
  The cattle on the mountain's breast
    Enjoy the grateful shadow long.

  Oh, how unlike those merry hours,
    In early June, when Earth laughs out,
  When the fresh winds make love to flowers,
    And woodlands sing and waters shout.

  When in the grass sweet voices talk,
    And strains of tiny music swell
  From every moss-cup of the rock,
    From every nameless blossom's bell.

  But now a joy too deep for sound,
    A peace no other season knows,
  Hushes the heavens and wraps the ground,
    The blessing of supreme repose.

  Away! I will not be, to-day,
    The only slave of toil and care,
  Away from desk and dust! away!
    I'll be as idle as the air.

  Beneath the open sky abroad,
    Among the plants and breathing things,
  The sinless, peaceful works of God,
    I'll share the calm the season brings.

  Come, thou, in whose soft eyes I see
    The gentle meanings of thy heart,
  One day amid the woods with me,
    From men and all their cares apart.

  And where, upon the meadow's breast,
    The shadow of the thicket lies,
  The blue wild-flowers thou gatherest
    Shall glow yet deeper near thine eyes.

  Come, and when mid the calm profound,
    I turn, those gentle eyes to seek,
  They, like the lovely landscape round,
    Of innocence and peace shall speak.

  Rest here, beneath the unmoving shade,
    And on the silent valleys gaze,
  Winding and widening, till they fade
    In yon soft ring of summer haze.

  The village trees their summits rear
    Still as its spire, and yonder flock
  At rest in those calm fields appear
    As chiselled from the lifeless rock.

  One tranquil mount the scene o'erlooks--
    There the hushed winds their sabbath keep,
  While a near hum from bees and brooks
    Comes faintly like the breath of sleep.

  Well may the gazer deem that when,
    Worn with the struggle and the strife,
  And heart-sick at the wrongs of men,
    The good forsakes the scene of life;

  Like this deep quiet that, awhile,
    Lingers the lovely landscape o'er,
  Shall be the peace whose holy smile
   Welcomes him to a happier shore.



  A SCENE ON THE BANKS OF THE HUDSON.


  Cool shades and dews are round my way,
  And silence of the early day;
  Mid the dark rocks that watch his bed,
  Glitters the mighty Hudson spread,
  Unrippled, save by drops that fall
  From shrubs that fringe his mountain wall;
  And o'er the clear still water swells
  The music of the Sabbath bells.

  All, save this little nook of land,
  Circled with trees, on which I stand;
  All, save that line of hills which lie
  Suspended in the mimic sky--
  Seems a blue void, above, below,
  Through which the white clouds come and go;
  And from the green world's farthest steep
  I gaze into the airy deep.

  Loveliest of lovely things are they,
  On earth, that soonest pass away.
  The rose that lives its little hour
  Is prized beyond the sculptured flower.
  Even love, long tried and cherished long,
  Becomes more tender and more strong
  At thought of that insatiate grave
  From which its yearnings cannot save.

  River! in this still hour thou hast
  Too much of heaven on earth to last;
  Nor long may thy still waters lie,
  An image of the glorious sky.
  Thy fate and mine are not repose,
  And ere another evening close,
  Thou to thy tides shalt turn again,
  And I to seek the crowd of men.



  THE HURRICANE.


    Lord of the winds! I feel thee nigh,
  I know thy breath in the burning sky!
  And I wait, with a thrill in every vein,
  For the coming of the hurricane!

    And lo! on the wing of the heavy gales,
  Through the boundless arch of heaven he sails;
  Silent and slow, and terribly strong,
  The mighty shadow is borne along,
  Like the dark eternity to come;
  While the world below, dismayed and dumb,
  Through the calm of the thick hot atmosphere,
  Looks up at its gloomy folds with fear.

    They darken fast; and the golden blaze
  Of the sun is quenched in the lurid haze,
  And he sends through the shade a funeral ray--
  A glare that is neither night nor day,
  A beam that touches, with hues of death,
  The clouds above and the earth beneath.
  To its covert glides the silent bird,
  While the hurricane's distant voice is heard
  Uplifted among the mountains round,
  And the forests hear and answer the sound.

    He is come! he is come! do ye not behold
  His ample robes on the wind unrolled?
  Giant of air! we bid thee hail!--
  How his gray skirts tops in the whirling gale;
  How his huge and writhing arms are bent
  To clasp the zone of the firmament,
  And fold at length, in their dark embrace,
  From mountain to mountain the visible space.

    Darker--still darker! the whirlwinds bear
  The dust of the plains to the middle air:
  And hark to the crashing, long and loud,
  Of the chariot of God in the thunder-cloud!
  You may trace its path by the flashes that start
  From the rapid wheels where'er they dart,
  As the fire-bolts leap to the world below,
  And flood the skies with a lurid glow.

    What roar is that?--'tis the rain that breaks
  In torrents away from the airy lakes,
  Heavily poured on the shuddering ground,
  And shedding a nameless horror round.
  Ah! well-known woods, and mountains, and skies,
  With the very clouds!--ye are lost to my eyes.

  I seek ye vainly, and see in your place
  The shadowy tempest that sweeps through space,
  A whirling ocean that fills the wall
  Of the crystal heaven, and buries all
  And I, cut off from the world, remain
  Alone with the terrible hurricane.



  WILLIAM TELL.


  Chains may subdue the feeble spirit, but thee,
    TELL, of the iron heart! they could not tame!
    For thou wert of the mountains; they proclaim
  The everlasting creed of liberty.
  That creed is written on the untrampled snow,
    Thundered by torrents which no power can hold,
    Save that of God, when He sends forth His cold,
  And breathed by winds that through the free heaven blow.
  Thou, while thy prison-walls were dark around,
    Didst meditate the lesson Nature taught,
    And to thy brief captivity was brought
  A vision of thy Switzerland unbound.
    The bitter cup they mingled, strengthened thee
    For the great work to set thy country free.



  THE HUNTER'S SERENADE.


  Thy bower is finished, fairest!
    Fit bower for hunter's bride,
  Where old woods overshadow
    The green savanna's side.
  I've wandered long, and wandered far,
    And never have I met,
  In all this lovely Western land,
    A spot so lovely yet.
  But I shall think it fairer
    When thou art come to bless,
  With thy sweet smile and silver voice,
    Its silent loveliness.

  For thee the wild-grape glistens
    On sunny knoll and tree,
  The slim papaya ripens
    Its yellow fruit for thee.
  For thee the duck, on glassy stream,
    The prairie-fowl shall die;
  My rifle for thy feast shall bring
    The wild-swan from the sky.
  The forest's leaping panther,
    Fierce, beautiful, and fleet,
  Shall yield his spotted hide to be
    A carpet for thy feet.

  I know, for thou hast told me,
    Thy maiden love of flowers;
  Ah, those that deck thy gardens
    Are pale compared with ours.
  When our wide woods and mighty lawns
    Bloom to the April skies,
  The earth has no more gorgeous sight
    To show to human eyes.
  In meadows red with blossoms,
    All summer long, the bee
  Murmurs, and loads his yellow thighs,
    For thee, my love, and me.

  Or wouldst thou gaze at tokens
    Of ages long ago--
  Our old oaks stream with mosses,
    And sprout with mistletoe;
  And mighty vines, like serpents, climb
    The giant sycamore;
  And trunks, o'erthrown for centuries,
    Cumber the forest floor;
  And in the great savanna,
    The solitary mound,
  Built by the elder world, o'erlooks
    The loneliness around.

  Come, thou hast not forgotten
    Thy pledge and promise quite,
  With many blushes murmured,
    Beneath the evening light.
  Come, the young violets crowd my door,
    Thy earliest look to win,
  And at my silent window-sill
    The jessamine peeps in.
  All day the red-bird warbles
    Upon the mulberry near,
  And the night-sparrow trills her song
    All night, with none to hear.



  THE GREEK BOY.


  Gone are the glorious Greeks of old,
      Glorious in mien and mind;
  Their bones are mingled with the mould,
      Their dust is on the wind;
  The forms they hewed from living stone
  Survive the waste of years, alone,
  And, scattered with their ashes, show
  What greatness perished long ago.

  Yet fresh the myrtles there; the springs
      Gush brightly as of yore;
  Flowers blossom from the dust of kings,
      As many an age before.
  There Nature moulds as nobly now,
  As e'er of old, the human brow;
  And copies still the martial form
  That braved Platæa's battle-storm.

  Boy! thy first looks were taught to seek
       Their heaven in Hellas' skies;
  Her airs have tinged thy dusky cheek,
       Her sunshine lit thine eyes;
  Thine ears have drunk the woodland strains
  Heard by old poets, and thy veins
  Swell with the blood of demigods,
  That slumber in thy country's sods.

  Now is thy nation free, though late;
       Thy elder brethren broke--
  Broke, ere thy spirit felt its weight--
       The intolerable yoke.
  And Greece, decayed, dethroned, doth see
  Her youth renewed in such as thee:
  A shoot of that old vine that made
  The nations silent in its shade.



  THE PAST.


       Thou unrelenting Past!
  Strong are the barriers round thy dark domain,
       And fetters, sure and fast,
  Hold all that enter thy unbreathing reign.

       Far in thy realm withdrawn,
  Old empires sit in sullenness and gloom,
       And glorious ages gone
  Lie deep within the shadow of thy womb.

       Childhood, with all its mirth,
  Youth, Manhood, Age that draws us to the ground,
       And last, Man's Life on earth,
  Glide to thy dim dominions, and are bound.

       Thou hast my better years;
  Thou hast my earlier friends, the good, the kind,
       Yielded to thee with tears--
  The venerable form, the exalted mind.

       My spirit yearns to bring
  The lost ones back--yearns with desire intense,
       And struggles hard to wring
  Thy bolts apart, and pluck thy captives thence.

       In vain; thy gates deny
  All passage save to those who hence depart;
       Nor to the streaming eye
  Thou giv'st them back--nor to the broken heart.

       In thy abysses hide
  Beauty and excellence unknown; to thee
       Earth's wonder and her pride
  Are gathered, as the waters to the sea;

       Labors of good to man,
  Unpublished charity, unbroken faith,
       Love, that midst grief began,
  And grew with years, and faltered not in death.

       Full many a mighty name
  Lurks in thy depths, unuttered, unrevered;
       With thee are silent fame,
  Forgotten arts, and wisdom disappeared.

       Thine for a space are they--
  Yet shalt thou yield thy treasures up at last:
       Thy gates shall yet give way,
  Thy bolts shall fall, inexorable Past!

       All that of good and fair
  Has gone into thy womb from earliest time,
       Shall then come forth to wear
  The glory and the beauty of its prime.

       They have not perished--no!
  Kind words, remembered voices once so sweet,
       Smiles, radiant long ago,
  And features, the great soul's apparent seat.

       All shall come back; each tie
  Of pure affection shall be knit again;
       Alone shall Evil die,
  And Sorrow dwell a prisoner in thy reign.

       And then shall I behold
  Him, by whose kind paternal side I sprung,
       And her, who, still and cold,
  Fills the next grave--the beautiful and young.



  "UPON THE MOUNTAIN'S DISTANT HEAD."


  Upon the mountain's distant head,
    With trackless snows forever white,
  Where all is still, and cold, and dead,
    Late shines the day's departing light.

  But far below those icy rocks,
    The vales, in summer bloom arrayed,
  Woods full of birds, and fields of flocks,
    Are dim with mist and dark with shade.

  'Tis thus, from warm and kindly hearts,
    And eyes where generous meanings burn,
  Earliest the light of life departs,
    But lingers with the cold and stern.



  THE EVENING WIND.


  Spirit that breathest through my lattice, thou
    That cool'st the twilight of the sultry day,
  Gratefully flows thy freshness round my brow;
    Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
  Riding all day the wild blue waves till now,
    Roughening their crests, and scattering high their spray,
  And swelling the white sail. I welcome thee
  To the scorched land, thou wanderer of the sea!

  Nor I alone; a thousand bosoms round
    Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
  And languid forms rise up, and pulses bound
    Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
  And, languishing to hear thy grateful sound,
    Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the sight.
  Go forth into the gathering shade; go forth,
  God's blessing breathed upon the fainting earth!

  Go, rock the little wood-bird in his nest,
    Curl the still waters, bright with stars, and rouse
  The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
    Summoning from the innumerable boughs
  The strange, deep harmonies that haunt his breast:
    Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly bows
  The shutting flower, and darkling waters pass,
  And where the o'ershadowing branches sweep the grass.

  The faint old man shall lean his silver head
    To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child asleep,
  And dry the moistened curls that overspread
    His temples, while his breathing grows more deep;
  And they who stand about the sick man's bed,
    Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
  And softly part his curtains to allow
  Thy visit, grateful to his burning brow.

  Go--but the circle of eternal change,
    Which is the life of Nature, shall restore,
  With sounds and scents from all thy mighty range,
    Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once more;
  Sweet odors in the sea-air, sweet and strange,
    Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the shore;
  And, listening to thy murmur, he shall deem
  He hears the rustling leaf and running stream.



  "WHEN THE FIRMAMENT QUIVERS WITH
  DAYLIGHT'S YOUNG BEAM."


  When the firmament quivers with daylight's young beam,
    And the woodlands awaking burst into a hymn,
  And the glow of the sky blazes back from the stream,
    How the bright ones of heaven in the brightness grow dim!

  Oh! 'tis sad, in that moment of glory and song,
    To see, while the hill-tops are waiting the sun,
  The glittering band that kept watch all night long
    O'er Love and o'er Slumber, go out one by one:

  Till the circle of ether, deep, ruddy, and vast,
    Scarce glimmers with one of the train that were there;
  And their leader, the day-star, the brightest and last,
    Twinkles faintly and fades in that desert of air.

  Thus, Oblivion, from midst of whose shadow we came,
    Steals o'er us again when life's twilight is gone;
  And the crowd of bright names, in the heaven of fame,
    Grow pale and are quenched as the years hasten on.

  Let them fade--but we'll pray that the age, in whose flight,
    Of ourselves and our friends the remembrance shall die,
  May rise o'er the world, with the gladness and light
    Of the morning that withers the stars from the sky.



  "INNOCENT CHILD AND SNOW-WHITE FLOWER."


  Innocent child and snow-white flower!
  Well are ye paired in your opening hour.
  Thus should the pure and the lovely meet,
  Stainless with stainless, and sweet with sweet.

  White as those leaves, just blown apart;
  Are the folds of thy own young heart;
  Guilty passion and cankering care
  Never have left their traces there.

  Artless one! though thou gazest now
  O'er the white blossom with earnest brow,
  Soon will it tire thy childish eye;
  Fair as it is, thou wilt throw it by.

  Throw it aside in thy weary hour,
  Throw to the ground the fair white flower;
  Yet, as thy tender years depart,
  Keep that white and innocent heart.



  TO THE RIVER ARVE.

  SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN AT A HAMLET NEAR THE FOOT OF
  MONT BLANC.


  Not from the sands or cloven rocks,
    Thou rapid Arve! thy waters flow;
  Nor earth, within her bosom, locks
    Thy dark unfathomed wells below.
  Thy springs are in the cloud, thy stream
    Begins to move and murmur first
  Where ice-peaks feel the noonday beam,
    Or rain-storms on the glacier burst.

  Born where the thunder and the blast
    And morning's earliest light are born,
  Thou rushest swoln, and loud, and fast,
    By these low homes, as if in scorn:
  Yet humbler springs yield purer waves;
    And brighter, glassier streams than thine,
  Sent up from earth's unlighted caves,
    With heaven's own beam and image shine.

  Yet stay; for here are flowers and trees;
    Warm rays on cottage-roofs are here;
  And laugh of girls, and hum of bees,
    Here linger till thy waves are clear.
  Thou heedest not--thou hastest on;
    From steep to steep thy torrent falls;
  Till, mingling with the mighty Rhone,
    It rests beneath Geneva's walls.

  Rush on--but were there one with me
    That loved me, I would light my hearth
  Here, where with God's own majesty
    Are touched the features of the earth.
  By these old peaks, white, high, and vast,
    Still rising as the tempests beat,
  Here would I dwell, and sleep, at last,
    Among the blossoms at their feet.



  TO COLE, THE PAINTER, DEPARTING FOR EUROPE.


  Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies;
       Yet, COLE! thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand
       A living image of our own bright land,
  Such as upon thy glorious canvas lies;
  Lone lakes--savannas where the bison roves--
       Rocks rich with summer garlands--solemn streams--
       Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams--

  Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves.
  Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,
       But different--everywhere the trace of men,
       Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
  To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.
       Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
       But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.



  TO THE FRINGED GENTIAN.


  Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,
  And colored with the heaven's own blue,
  That openest when the quiet light
  Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

  Thou comest not when violets lean
  O'er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
  Or columbines, in purple dressed,
  Nod o'er the ground-bird's hidden nest.

  Thou waitest late and com'st alone,
  When woods are bare and birds are flown,
  And frosts and shortening days portend
  The aged year is near his end.

  Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
  Look through its fringes to the sky,
  Blue--blue--as if that sky let fall
  A flower from its cerulean wall.

  I would that thus, when I shall see
  The hour of death draw near to me,
  Hope, blossoming within my heart,
  May look to heaven as I depart.



  THE TWENTY-SECOND OF DECEMBER.


  Wild was the day; the wintry sea
    Moaned sadly on New-England's strand,
  When first the thoughtful and the free,
    Our fathers, trod the desert land.

  They little thought how pure a light,
    With years, should gather round that day;
  How love should keep their memories bright,
    How wide a realm their sons should sway.

  Green are their bays; but greener still
    Shall round their spreading fame be wreathed,
  And regions, now untrod, shall thrill
    With reverence when their names are breathed.

  Till where the sun, with softer fires,
    Looks on the vast Pacific's sleep,
  The children of the pilgrim sires
    This hallowed day like us shall keep.



  HYMN OF THE CITY.


       Not in the solitude
  Alone may man commune with Heaven, or see,
       Only in savage wood
  And sunny vale, the present Deity;
       Or only hear his voice
  Where the winds whisper and the waves rejoice.

       Even here do I behold
  Thy steps, Almighty!--here, amidst the crowd
       Through the great city rolled,
  With everlasting murmur deep and loud--
       Choking the ways that wind
  'Mongst the proud piles, the work of human kind.

       Thy golden sunshine comes
  From the round heaven, and on their dwellings lies
       And lights their inner homes;
  For them thou fill'st with air the unbounded skies,
       And givest them the stores
  Of ocean, and the harvests of its shores.

       Thy Spirit is around,
  Quickening the restless mass that sweeps along;
       And this eternal sound--
  Voices and footfalls of the numberless throng--
       Like the resounding sea,
  Or like the rainy tempest, speaks of Thee.

       And when the hour of rest
  Comes, like a calm upon the mid-sea brine,
       Hushing its billowy breast--
  The quiet of that moment too is thine;
       It breathes of Him who keeps
  The vast and helpless city while it sleeps.



  THE PRAIRIES.


    These are the gardens of the Desert, these
  The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
  For which the speech of England has no name--
  The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
  And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
  Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch,
  In airy undulations, far away,
  As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
  Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
  And motionless forever.--Motionless?--
  No--they are all unchained again. The clouds
  Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
  The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
  Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
  The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South!
  Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
  And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on high,
  Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not--ye have played
  Among the palms of Mexico and vines
  Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
  That from the fountains of Sonora glide
  Into the calm Pacific--have ye fanned
  A nobler or a lovelier scene than this?
  Man hath no power in all this glorious work:
  The hand that built the firmament hath heaved
  And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes
  With herbage, planted them with island groves,
  And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor
  For this magnificent temple of the sky--
  With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
  Rival the constellations! The great heavens
  Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love,--
  A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue,
  Than that which bends above our eastern hills.

    As o'er the verdant waste I guide my steed,
  Among the high rank grass that sweeps his sides
  The hollow beating of his footstep seems
  A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
  Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here--
  The dead of other days?--and did the dust
  Of these fair solitudes once stir with life
  And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
  That overlook the rivers, or that rise
  In the dim forest crowded with old oaks,
  Answer. A race, that long has passed away,
  Built them;--a disciplined and populous race
  Heaped, with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek
  Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms
  Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock
  The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
  Nourished their harvests, here their herds were fed,
  When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,
  And bowed his manèd shoulder to the yoke.
  All day this desert murmured with their toils,
  Till twilight blushed, and lovers walked, and wooed
  In a forgotten language, and old tunes,
  From instruments of unremembered form,
  Gave the soft winds a voice. The red man came--
  The roaming hunter tribes, warlike and fierce,
  And the mound-builders vanished from the earth.
  The solitude of centuries untold
  Has settled where they dwelt. The prairie-wolf
  Hunts in their meadows, and his fresh-dug den
  Yawns by my path. The gopher mines the ground
  Where stood their swarming cities. All is gone;
  All--save the piles of earth that hold their bones,
  The platforms where they worshipped unknown gods,
  The barriers which they builded from the soil
  To keep the foe at bay--till o'er the walls
  The wild beleaguerers broke, and, one by one,
  The strongholds of the plain were forced, and heaped
  With corpses. The brown vultures of the wood
  Flocked to those vast uncovered sepulchres,
  And sat unscared and silent at their feast.
  Haply some solitary fugitive,
  Lurking in marsh and forest, till the sense
  Of desolation and of fear became
  Bitterer than death, yielded himself to die.
  Man's better nature triumphed then. Kind words
  Welcomed and soothed him; the rude conquerors
  Seated the captive with their chiefs; he chose
  A bride among their maidens, and at length
  Seemed to forget--yet ne'er forgot--the wife
  Of his first love, and her sweet little ones,
  Butchered, amid their shrieks, with all his race.

    Thus change the forms of being. Thus arise
  Races of living things, glorious in strength,
  And perish, as the quickening breath of God
  Fills them, or is withdrawn. The red man, too,
  Has left the blooming wilds he ranged so long,
  And nearer to the Rocky Mountains, sought
  A wilder hunting-ground. The beaver builds
  No longer by these streams, but far away,
  On waters whose blue surface ne'er gave back
  The white man's face--among Missouri's springs,
  And pools whose issues swell the Oregon--
  He rears his little Venice. In these plains
  The bison feeds no more. Twice twenty leagues
  Beyond remotest smoke of hunter's camp,
  Roams the majestic brute, in herds that shake
  The earth with thundering steps--yet here I meet
  His ancient footprints stamped beside the pool.

    Still this great solitude is quick with life.
  Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
  They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
  And birds, that scarce have learned the fear of man,
  Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground,
  Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
  Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee,
  A more adventurous colonist than man,
  With whom he came across the eastern deep,
  Fills the savannas with his murmurings,
  And hides his sweets, as in the golden age,
  Within the hollow oak. I listen long
  To his domestic hum, and think I hear
  The sound of that advancing multitude
  Which soon shall fill these deserts. From the ground
  Comes up the laugh of children, the soft voice
  Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
  Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds
  Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain
  Over the dark brown furrows. All at once
  A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream,
  And I am in the wilderness alone.



  SONG OF MARION'S MEN.


  Our band is few but true and tried,
    Our leader frank and bold;
  The British soldier trembles
    When Marion's name is told.
  Our fortress is the good greenwood,
    Our tent the cypress-tree;
  We know the forest round us,
    As seamen know the sea.
  We know its walls of thorny vines,
    Its glades of reedy grass,
  Its safe and silent islands
    Within the dark morass.

  Woe to the English soldiery
    That little dread us near!
  On them shall light at midnight
    A strange and sudden fear:
  When, waking to their tents on fire,
    They grasp their arms in vain,
  And they who stand to face us
    Are beat to earth again;
  And they who fly in terror deem
    A mighty host behind,
  And hear the tramp of thousands
    Upon the hollow wind.

  Then sweet the hour that brings release
    From danger and from toil:
  We talk the battle over,
    And share the battle's spoil.
  The woodland rings with laugh and shout,
    As if a hunt were up,
  And woodland flowers are gathered
    To crown the soldier's cup.
  With merry songs we mock the wind
    That in the pine-top grieves,
  And slumber long and sweetly
    On beds of oaken leaves.

  Well knows the fair and friendly moon
    The band that Marion leads--
  The glitter of their rifles,
    The scampering of their steeds.
  'Tis life to guide the fiery barb
    Across the moonlight plain;
  'Tis life to feel the night-wind
    That lifts the tossing mane.
  A moment in the British camp--
    A moment--and away
  Back to the pathless forest,
    Before the peep of day.

  Grave men there are by broad Santee,
    Grave men with hoary hairs;
  Their hearts are all with Marion,
    For Marion are their prayers.
  And lovely ladies greet our band
    With kindliest welcoming,
  With smiles like those of summer,
    And tears like those of spring.
  For them we wear these trusty arms,
    And lay them down no more
  Till we have driven the Briton,
    Forever, from our shore.



  THE ARCTIC LOVER.


  Gone is the long, long winter night;
    Look, my belovèd one!
  How glorious, through his depths of light,
    Rolls the majestic sun!
  The willows, waked from winter's death,
  Give out a fragrance like thy breath--
    The summer is begun!

  Ay, 'tis the long bright summer day:
    Hark to that mighty crash!
  The loosened ice-ridge breaks away--
    The smitten waters flash;
  Seaward the glittering mountain rides,
  While, down its green translucent sides,
    The foamy torrents dash.

  See, love, my boat is moored for thee
    By ocean's weedy floor--
  The petrel does not skim the sea
    More swiftly than my oar.
  We'll go where, on the rocky isles,
  Her eggs the screaming sea-fowl piles
    Beside the pebbly shore.

  Or, bide thou where the poppy blows,
    With wind-flowers frail and fair,
  While I, upon his isle of snow,
    Seek and defy the bear.
  Fierce though he be, and huge of frame,
  This arm his savage strength shall tame,
    And drag him from his lair.

  When crimson sky and flamy cloud
    Bespeak the summer o'er,
  And the dead valleys wear a shroud
    Of snows that melt no more,
  I'll build of ice thy winter home,
  With glistening walls and glassy dome,
    And spread with skins the floor.

  The white fox by thy couch shall play;
    And, from the frozen skies,
  The meteors of a mimic day
    Shall flash upon thine eyes.
  And I--for such thy vow--meanwhile
  Shall hear thy voice and see thy smile.
    Till that long midnight flies.



  THE JOURNEY OF LIFE.


  Beneath the waning moon I walk at night,
    And muse on human life--for all around
  Are dim uncertain shapes that cheat the sight,
    And pitfalls lurk in shade along the ground,
  And broken gleams of brightness, here and there,
  Glance through, and leave unwarmed the death-like air.

  The trampled earth returns a sound of fear--
    A hollow sound, as if I walked on tombs;
  And lights, that tell of cheerful homes, appear
    Far off, and die like hope amid the glooms.
  A mournful wind across the landscape flies,
  And the wide atmosphere is full of sighs.

  And I, with faltering footsteps, journey on,
    Watching the stars that roll the hours away,
  Till the faint light that guides me now is gone,
    And, like another life, the glorious day
  Shall open o'er me from the empyreal height,
  With warmth, and certainty, and boundless light.



  TRANSLATIONS.



  VERSION OF A FRAGMENT OF SIMONIDES.


  The night winds howled, the billows dashed
    Against the tossing chest,
  As Danaë to her broken heart
    Her slumbering infant pressed.

  "My little child"--in tears she said--
    "To wake and weep is mine,
  But thou canst sleep--thou dost not know
    Thy mother's lot, and thine.

  "The moon is up, the moonbeams smile--
    They tremble on the main;
  But dark, within my floating cell,
    To me they smile in vain.

  "Thy folded mantle wraps thee warm,
    Thy clustering locks are dry;
  Thou dost not hear the shrieking gust,
    Nor breakers booming high.

  "As o'er thy sweet unconscious face
    A mournful watch I keep,
  I think, didst thou but know thy fate,
    How thou wouldst also weep.

  "Yet, dear one, sleep, and sleep, ye winds,
    That vex the restless brine--
  When shall these eyes, my babe, be sealed
    As peacefully as thine!"



  FROM THE SPANISH OF VILLEGAS.


       'Tis sweet, in the green Spring,
  To gaze upon the wakening fields around;
       Birds in the thicket sing,
  Winds whisper, waters prattle from the ground.
       A thousand odors rise,
  Breathed up from blossoms of a thousand dyes.

       Shadowy, and close, and cool,
  The pine and poplar keep their quiet nook;
       Forever fresh and full,
  Shines, at their feet, the thirst-inviting brook;
       And the soft herbage seems
  Spread for a place of banquets and of dreams.

       Thou, who alone art fair,
  And whom alone I love, art far away.
       Unless thy smile be there,
  It makes me sad to see the earth so gay;
       I care not if the train
  Of leaves, and flowers, and zephyrs go again.



  MARY MAGDALEN.

  FROM THE SPANISH OF BARTOLOME LEONARDO DE ARGENSOLA.


  Blessed, yet sinful one, and broken-hearted!
    The crowd are pointing at the thing forlorn,
       In wonder and in scorn!
  Thou weepest days of innocence departed;
    Thou weepest, and thy tears have power to move
       The Lord to pity and love.

  The greatest of thy follies is forgiven,
    Even for the least of all the tears that shine
       On that pale cheek of thine.
  Thou didst kneel down, to Him who came from heaven,
    Evil and ignorant, and thou shalt rise
       Holy, and pure, and wise.

  It is not much that to the fragrant blossom
    The ragged brier should change, the bitter fir
       Distil Arabian myrrh;
  Nor that, upon the wintry desert's bosom,
    The harvest should rise plenteous, and the swain
       Bear home the abundant grain.

  But come and see the bleak and barren mountains
    Thick to their tops with roses; come and see
       Leaves on the dry dead tree.
  The perished plant, set out by lining fountains,
    Grows fruitful, and its beauteous branches rise,
       Forever, toward the skies.



  THE LIFE OF THE BLESSED.

  FROM THE SPANISH OF LUIS PONCE DE LEON.


       Region of life and light!
  Land of the good whose earthly toils are o'er!
       Nor frost nor heat may blight
       Thy vernal beauty, fertile shore,
  Yielding thy blessed fruits for evermore.

       There, without crook or sling,
  Walks the good shepherd; blossoms white and red
       Round his meek temples cling;
       And to sweet pastures led,
  The flock he loves beneath his eye is fed.

       He guides, and near him they
  Follow delighted, for he makes them go
       Where dwells eternal May,
       And heavenly roses blow,
  Deathless, and gathered but again to grow.

       He leads them to the height
  Named of the infinite and long-sought Good,
       And fountains of delight;
       And where his feet have stood
  Springs up, along the way, their tender food.

       And when, in the mid skies,
  The climbing sun has reached his highest bound,
       Reposing as he lies,
       With all his flock around,
  He witches the still air with numerous sound.

       From his sweet lute flow forth
  Immortal harmonies, of power to still
       All passions born of earth,
       And draw the ardent will
  Its destiny of goodness to fulfil.

       Might but a little part,
  A wandering breath of that high melody,
       Descend into my heart,
       And change it till it be
  Transformed and swallowed up, oh love, in thee!

       Ah! then my soul should know,
  Beloved! where thou liest at noon of day,
       And from this place of woe
       Released, should take its way
  To mingle with thy flock and never stray.



  FATIMA AND RADUAN.

  FROM THE SPANISH.


  Diamante falso y fingido,
  Engastado en pedernal, etc.

  "False diamond set in flint! hard heart in haughty breast!
  By a softer, warmer bosom the tiger's couch is prest.
  Thou art fickle as the sea, thou art wandering as the wind,
  And the restless ever-mounting flame is not more hard to bind.
  If the tears I shed were tongues, yet all too few would be
  To tell of all the treachery that thou hast shown to me.
  Oh! I could chide thee sharply--but every maiden knows
  That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.

  "Thou hast called me oft the flower of all Granada's maids,
  Thou hast said that by the side of me the first and fairest fades;
  And they thought thy heart was mine, and it seemed to every one
  That what thou didst to win my love, for love of me was done.
  Alas! if they but knew thee, as mine it is to know,
  They well might see another mark to which thine arrows go;
  But thou giv'st me little heed--for I speak to one who knows
  That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes.

  "It wearies me, mine enemy, that I must weep and bear
  What fills thy heart with triumph, and fills my own with care.
  Thou art leagued with those that hate me, and ah! thou know'st I feel
  That cruel words as surely kill as sharpest blades of steel.
  'Twas the doubt that thou wert false that wrung my heart with pain;
  But, now I know thy perfidy, I shall be well again.
  I would proclaim thee as thou art--but every maiden knows
  That she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes."

  Thus Fatima complained to the valiant Raduan,
  Where underneath the myrtles Alhambra's fountains ran.
  The Moor was inly moved, and blameless as he was,
  He took her white hand in his own, and pleaded thus his cause:
  "Oh lady, dry those star-like eyes--their dimness does me wrong;
  If my heart be made of flint, at least 'twill keep thy image long.
  Thou hast uttered cruel words--but I grieve the less for those,
  Since she who chides her lover, forgives him ere he goes."



  LOVE AND FOLLY.

  FROM LA FONTAINE.


  Love's worshippers alone can know
    The thousand mysteries that are his;
  His blazing torch, his twanging bow,
    His blooming age are mysteries.
  A charming science--but the day
    Were all too short to con it o'er;
  So take of me this little lay,
    A sample of its boundless lore.

  As once, beneath the fragrant shade
    Of myrtles fresh in heaven's pure air,
  The children, Love and Folly, played,
    A quarrel rose betwixt the pair.
  Love said the gods should do him right--
    But Folly vowed to do it then,
  And struck him, o'er the orbs of sight,
    So hard he never saw again.

  His lovely mother's grief was deep,
    She called for vengeance on the deed;
  A beauty does not vainly weep,
    Nor coldly does a mother plead.
  A shade came o'er the eternal bliss
    That fills the dwellers of the skies;
  Even stony-hearted Nemesis,
    And Rhadamanthus, wiped their eyes.

  "Behold," she said, "this lovely boy,"
    While streamed afresh her graceful tears--
  "Immortal, yet shut out from joy
    And sunshine, all his future years.
  The child can never take, you see,
    A single step without a staff--
  The hardest punishment would be
    Too lenient for the crime by half."

  All said that Love had suffered wrong,
    And well that wrong should be repaid;
  Then weighed the public interest long,
    And long the party's interest weighed.
  And thus decreed the court above:
    "Since Love is blind from Folly's blow,
  Let Folly be the guide of Love,
    Where'er the boy may choose to go."



  THE SIESTA.

  FROM THE SPANISH.

  Vientecico murmurador,
  Que lo gozas y andas todo, etc.


  Airs, that wander and murmur round,
    Bearing delight where'er ye blow!
  Make in the elms a lulling sound,
    While my lady sleeps in the shade below.

  Lighten and lengthen her noonday rest,
    Till the heat of the noonday sun is o'er.
  Sweet be her slumbers! though in my breast
    The pain she has waked may slumber no more.

  Breathing soft from the blue profound,
    Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
  Make in the elms a lulling sound,
    While my lady sleeps in the shade below.

  Airs! that over the bending boughs,
    And under the shade of pendent leaves,
  Murmur soft, like my timid vows
    Or the secret sighs my bosom heaves--

  Gently sweeping the grassy ground,
    Bearing delight where'er ye blow,
  Make in the elms a lulling sound,
    While my lady sleeps in the shade below.



  THE ALCAYDE OF MOLINA.

  FROM THE SPANISH.


  To the town of Atienza, Molina's brave Alcayde,
  The courteous and the valorous, led forth his bold brigade.
  The Moor came back in triumph, he came without a wound,
  With many a Christian standard, and Christian captive bound.
  He passed the city portals, with swelling heart and vain,
  And toward his lady's dwelling he rode with slackened rein;
  Two circuits on his charger he took, and at the third,
  From the door of her balcony Zelinda's voice was heard.
  "Now if thou wert not shameless," said the lady to the Moor,
  "Thou wouldst neither pass my dwelling, nor stop before my door.
  Alas for poor Zelinda, and for her wayward mood,
  That one in love with peace should have loved a man of blood!
  Since not that thou wert noble I chose thee for my knight,
  But that thy sword was dreaded in tournay and in fight.
  Ah, thoughtless and unhappy! that I should fail to see
  How ill the stubborn flint and the yielding wax agree.
  Boast not thy love for me, while the shrieking of the fife
  Can change thy mood of mildness to fury and to strife.
  Say not my voice is magic--thy pleasure is to hear
  The bursting of the carbine, and shivering of the spear.
  Well, follow thou thy choice--to the battle-field away,
  To thy triumphs and thy trophies, since I am less than they.
  Thrust thy arm into thy buckler, gird on thy crooked brand,
  And call upon thy trusty squire to bring thy spears in hand.
  Lead forth thy band to skirmish, by mountain and by mead,
  On thy dappled Moorish barb, or thy fleeter border steed.
  Go, waste the Christian hamlets, and sweep away their flocks,
  From Almazan's broad meadows to Siguenza's rocks.
  Leave Zelinda altogether, whom thou leavest oft and long,
  And in the life thou lovest, forget whom thou dost wrong.
  These eyes shall not recall thee, though they meet no more thine own,
  Though they weep that thou art absent, and that I am all alone."
  She ceased, and turning from him her flushed and angry cheek,
  Shut the door of her balcony before the Moor could speak.



  THE DEATH OF ALIATAR.

  FROM THE SPANISH.


  'Tis not with gilded sabres
    That gleam in baldricks blue,
  Nor nodding plumes in caps of Fez,
    Of gay and gaudy hue--
  But, habited in mourning weeds,
    Come marching from afar,
  By four and four, the valiant men
    Who fought with Aliatar.
  All mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.

  The banner of the Phoenix,
    The flag that loved the sky,
  That scarce the wind dared wanton with,
    It flew so proud and high--
  Now leaves its place in battle-field,
    And sweeps the ground in grief,
  The bearer drags its glorious folds
    Behind the fallen chief,
  As mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.

  Brave Aliatar led forward
    A hundred Moors to go
  To where his brother held Motril
    Against the leaguering foe.
  On horseback went the gallant Moor,
    That gallant band to lead;
  And now his bier is at the gate,
    From which he pricked his steed.
  While mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.

  The knights of the Grand Master
    In crowded ambush lay;
  They rushed upon him where the reeds
    Were thick beside the way;
  They smote the valiant Aliatar,
    They smote the warrior dead,
  And broken, but not beaten, were
    The gallant ranks he led.
  Now mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.

  Oh! what was Zayda's sorrow,
    How passionate her cries!
  Her lover's wounds streamed not more free
    Than that poor maiden's eyes.
  Say, Love--for didst thou see her tears--
    Oh, no! he drew more tight
  The blinding fillet o'er his lids
    To spare his eyes the sight.
  While mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.

  Nor Zayda weeps him only,
    But all that dwell between
  The great Alhambra's palace walls
    And springs of Albaicin.
  The ladies weep the flower of knights,
    The brave the bravest here;
  The people weep a champion,
    The Alcaydes a noble peer.
  While mournfully and slowly
    The afflicted warriors come,
  To the deep wail of the trumpet,
    And beat of muffled drum.



  LOVE IN THE AGE OF CHIVALRY.

  FROM PEYRE VIDAL, THE TROUBADOUR.


  The earth was sown with early flowers,
    The heavens were blue and bright--
  I met a youthful cavalier
    As lovely as the light.
  I knew him not--but in my heart
    His graceful image lies,
  And well I marked his open brow,
    His sweet and tender eyes,
  His ruddy lips that ever smiled,
    His glittering teeth betwixt,
  And flowing robe embroidered o'er,
    With leaves and blossoms mixed.
  He wore a chaplet of the rose;
    His palfrey, white and sleek,
  Was marked with many an ebon spot,
    And many a purple streak;
  Of jasper was his saddle-bow,
    His housings sapphire stone,
  And brightly in his stirrup glanced
    The purple calcedon.
  Fast rode the gallant cavalier,
    As youthful horsemen ride;
  "Peyre Vidal! know that I am Love,"
    The blooming stranger cried;
  "And this is Mercy by my side,
    A dame of high degree;
  This maid is Chastity," he said,
    "This squire is Loyalty."



  THE LOVE OF GOD.

  FROM THE PROVENÇAL OF BERNARD RASCAS.


    All things that are on earth shall wholly pass away,
  Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.
  The forms of men shall be as they had never been;
  The blasted groves shall lose their fresh and tender green;
  The birds of the thicket shall end their pleasant song,
  And the nightingale shall cease to chant the evening long;
  The kine of the pasture shall feel the dart that kills,
  And all the fair white flocks shall perish from the hills.
  The goat and antlered stag, the wolf and the fox,
  The wild-boar of the wood, and the chamois of the rocks,
  And the strong and fearless bear, in the trodden dust shall lie;
  And the dolphin of the sea, and the mighty whale, shall die.
  And realms shall be dissolved, and empires be no more,
  And they shall bow to death, who ruled from shore to shore;
  And the great globe itself, so the holy writings tell,
  With the rolling firmament, where the starry armies dwell,
  Shall melt with fervent heat--they shall all pass away,
  Except the love of God, which shall live and last for aye.



  FROM THE SPANISH OF PEDRO DE CASTRO Y
  AÑAYA.


  Stay rivulet, nor haste to leave
    The lovely vale that lies around thee.
  Why wouldst thou be a sea at eve,
    When but a fount the morning found thee?

  Born when the skies began to glow,
    Humblest of all the rock's cold daughters,
  No blossom bowed its stalk to show
    Where stole thy still and scanty waters.

  Now on the stream the noonbeams look,
    Usurping, as thou downward driftest,
  Its crystal from the clearest brook,
    Its rushing current from the swiftest.

  Ah! what wild haste!--and all to be
    A river and expire in ocean.
  Each fountain's tribute hurries thee
    To that vast grave with quicker motion.

  Far better 'twere to linger still
    In this green vale, these flowers to cherish,
  And die in peace, an aged rill,
    Than thus, a youthful Danube, perish.



  SONNET.

  FROM THE PORTUGUESE OF SEMEDO.


  It is a fearful night; a feeble glare
    Streams from the sick moon in the o'erclouded sky;
    The ridgy billows, with a mighty cry,
  Rush on the foamy beaches wild and bare;
  No bark the madness of the waves will dare;
    The sailors sleep; the winds are loud and high.
    Ah, peerless Laura! for whose love I die,
  Who gazes on thy smiles while I despair?
    As thus, in bitterness of heart, I cried,
  I turned, and saw my Laura, kind and bright,
    A messenger of gladness, at my side;
  To my poor bark she sprang with footstep light,
    And as we furrowed Tago's heaving tide,
  I never saw so beautiful a night.



  SONG.

  FROM THE SPANISH OF IGLESIAS.


  Alexis calls me cruel:
    The rifted crags that hold
  The gathered ice of winter,
    He says, are not more cold.

  When even the very blossoms
    Around the fountain's brim,
  And forest-walks, can witness
    The love I bear to him.

  I would that I could utter
    My feelings without shame,
  And tell him how I love him,
    Nor wrong my virgin fame.

  Alas! to seize the moment
    When heart inclines to heart,
  And press a suit with passion,
    Is not a woman's part.

  If man come not to gather
    The roses where they stand,
  They fade among their foliage;
    They cannot seek his hand.



  THE COUNT OF GREIERS.

  FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.


  At morn the Count of Greiers before his castle stands;
  He sees afar the glory that lights the mountain-lands;
  The horned crags are shining, and in the shade between
  A pleasant Alpine valley lies beautifully green.

  "Oh, greenest of the valleys, how shall I come to thee!
  Thy herdsmen and thy maidens, how happy must they be!
  I have gazed upon thee coldly, all lovely as thou art,
  But the wish to walk thy pastures now stirs my inmost heart."

  He hears a sound of timbrels, and suddenly appear
  A troop of ruddy damsels and herdsmen drawing near:
  They reach the castle greensward, and gayly dance across;
  The white sleeves flit and glimmer, the wreaths and ribbons toss.

  The youngest of the maidens, slim as a spray of spring,
  She takes the young count's fingers, and draws him to the ring;
  They fling upon his forehead a crown of mountain flowers,
  "And ho, young Count of Greiers! this morning thou art ours!"

  Then hand in hand departing, with dance and roundelay,
  Through hamlet after hamlet, they lead the Count away.
  They dance through wood and meadow, they dance across the linn,
  Till the mighty Alpine summits have shut the music in.

  The second morn is risen, and now the third is come;
  Where stays the Count of Greiers? has he forgot his home?
  Again the evening closes, in thick and sultry air;
  There's thunder on the mountains, the storm is gathering there.

  The cloud has shed its waters, the brook comes swollen down;
  You see it by the lightning--a river wide and brown.
  Around a struggling swimmer the eddies dash and roar,
  Till, seizing on a willow, he leaps upon the shore.

  "Here am I cast by tempests far from your mountain-dell.
  Amid our evening dances the bursting deluge fell.
  Ye all, in cots and caverns, have 'scaped the water-spout,
  While me alone the tempest overwhelmed and hurried out.

  "Farewell, with thy glad dwellers, green vale among the rocks!
  Farewell the swift sweet moments, in which I watched thy flocks!
  Why rocked they not my cradle in that delicious spot,
  That garden of the happy, where Heaven endures me not?

  "Rose of the Alpine valley! I feel, in every vein,
  Thy soft touch on my fingers; oh, press them not again!
  Bewitch me not, ye garlands, to tread that upward track,
  And thou, my cheerless mansion, receive thy master back."



  THE SERENADE.

  FROM THE SPANISH.


  If slumber, sweet Lisena!
    Have stolen o'er thine eyes,
  As night steals o'er the glory
    Of spring's transparent skies;

  Wake, in thy scorn and beauty,
    And listen to the strain
  That murmurs my devotion,
    That mourns for thy disdain.

  Here, by thy door at midnight,
    I pass the dreary hour,
  With plaintive sounds profaning
    The silence of thy bower;

  A tale of sorrow cherished
    Too fondly to depart,
  Of wrong from love the flatterer
    And my own wayward heart.

  Twice, o'er this vale, the seasons
    Have brought and borne away
  The January tempest,
    The genial wind of May;

  Yet still my plaint is uttered,
    My tears and sighs are given
  To earth's unconscious waters,
    And wandering winds of heaven.

  I saw, from this fair region,
    The smile of summer pass,
  And myriard frost-stars glitter
    Among the russet grass.

  While winter seized the streamlets
    That fled along the ground,
  And fast in chains of crystal
    The truant murmurers bound.

  I saw that to the forest
    The nightingales had flown,
  And every sweet-voiced fountain
    Had hushed its silver tone.

  The maniac winds, divorcing
    The turtle from his mate,
  Raved through the leafy beeches,
    And left them desolate.

  Now May, with life and music,
    The blooming valley fills,
  And rears her flowery arches
    For all the little rills.

  The minstrel bird of evening
    Comes back on joyous wings,
  And, like the harp's soft murmur,
    Is heard the gush of springs.

  And deep within the forest
    Are wedded turtles seen,
  Their nuptial chambers seeking,
    Their chambers close and green.

  The rugged trees are mingling
    Their flowery sprays in love;
  The ivy climbs the laurel,
    To clasp the boughs above.

  They change--but thou, Lisena,
    Art cold while I complain:
  Why to thy lover only
    Should spring return in vain?



  A NORTHERN LEGEND.

  FROM THE GERMAN OF UHLAND.


  There sits a lovely maiden,
    The ocean murmuring nigh;
  She throws the hook, and watches;
    The fishes pass it by.

  A ring, with a red jewel,
    Is sparkling on her hand;
  Upon the hook she binds it,
    And flings it from the land.

  Uprises from the water
    A hand like ivory fair.
  What gleams upon its finger?
    The golden ring is there.

  Uprises from the bottom
    A young and handsome knight;
  In golden scales he rises,
    That glitter in the light.

  The maid is pale with terror--
    "Nay, Knight of Ocean, nay,
  It was not thou I wanted;
    Let go the ring, I pray."

  "Ah, maiden, not to fishes
    The bait of gold is thrown;
  Thy ring shall never leave me,
    And thou must be my own."



  THE PARADISE OF TEARS.

  FROM THE GERMAN OF N. MÜELLER.


  Beside the River of Tears, with branches low,
  And bitter leaves, the weeping-willows grow;
  The branches stream like the dishevelled hair
  Of women in the sadness of despair.

  On rolls the stream with a perpetual sigh;
  The rocks moan wildly as it passes by;
  Hyssop and wormwood border all the strand,
  And not a flower adorns the dreary land.

  Then comes a child, whose face is like the sun,
  And dips the gloomy waters as they run,
  And waters all the region, and behold
  The ground is bright with blossoms manifold.

  Where fall the tears of love the rose appears,
  And where the ground is bright with friendship's tears,
  Forget-me-not, and violets, heavenly blue,
  Spring, glittering with the cheerful drops like dew.

  The souls of mourners, all whose tears are dried,
  Like swans, come gently floating down the tide,
  Walk up the golden sands by which it flows,
  And in that Paradise of Tears repose.

  There every heart rejoins its kindred heart;
  There in a long embrace that none may part,
  Fulfilment meets desire, and that fair shore
  Beholds its dwellers happy evermore.



  THE LADY OF CASTLE WINDECK.

  FROM THE GERMAN OF CHAMISSO.


  Rein in thy snorting charger!
    That stag but cheats thy sight;
  He is luring thee on to Windeck,
    With his seeming fear and flight.

  Now, where the mouldering turrets
    Of the outer gate arise,
  The knight gazed over the ruins
    Where the stag was lost to his eyes.

  The sun shone hot above him;
    The castle was still as death;
  He wiped the sweat from his forehead,
    With a deep and weary breath.

  "Who now will bring me a beaker
    Of the rich old wine that here,
  In the choked-up vaults of Windeck,
    Has lain for many a year?"

  The careless words had scarcely
    Time from his lips to fall,
  When the lady of Castle Windeck,
    Came round the ivy-wall.

  He saw the glorious maiden
    In her snow-white drapery stand,
  The bunch of keys at her girdle,
    The beaker high in her hand.

  He quaffed that rich old vintage;
    With an eager lip he quaffed;
  But he took into his bosom
    A fire with the grateful draught.

  Her eyes' unfathomed brightness!
    The flowing gold of her hair!
  He folded his hands in homage,
    And murmured a lover's prayer.

  She gave him a look of pity,
    A gentle look of pain;
  And, quickly as he had seen her,
    She passed from his sight again.

  And ever, from that moment,
    He haunted the ruins there,
  A sleepless, restless wanderer,
    A watcher with despair.

  Ghost-like and pale he wandered,
    With a dreamy, haggard eye;
  He seemed not one of the living,
    And yet he could not die.

  'Tis said that the lady met him,
    When many years had past,
  And kissing his lips, released him
    From the burden of life at last.



  LATER POEMS.



  TO THE APENNINES.


  Your peaks are beautiful, ye Apennines!
    In the soft light of these serenest skies;
  From the broad highland region, black with pines,
    Fair as the hills of Paradise they rise,
  Bathed in the tint Peruvian slaves behold
  In rosy flushes on the virgin gold.

  There, rooted to the aërial shelves that wear
    The glory of a brighter world, might spring
  Sweet flowers of heaven to scent the unbreathed air,
    And heaven's fleet messengers might rest the wing
  To view the fair earth in its summer sleep,
  Silent, and cradled by the glimmering deep.

  Below you lie men's sepulchres, the old
    Etrurian tombs, the graves of yesterday;
  The herd's white bones lie mixed with human mould,
    Yet up the radiant steeps that I survey
  Death never climbed, nor life's soft breath, with pain,
  Was yielded to the elements again.

  Ages of war have filled these plains with fear;
    How oft the hind has started at the clash
  Of spears, and yell of meeting armies here,
    Or seen the lightning of the battle flash
  From clouds, that rising with the thunder's sound,
  Hung like an earth-born tempest o'er the ground!

  Ah me! what armèd nations--Asian horde,
    And Libyan host, the Scythian and the Gaul
  Have swept your base and through your passes poured,
    Like ocean-tides uprising at the call
  Of tyrant winds--against your rocky side
  The bloody billows dashed, and howled, and died!

  How crashed the towers before beleaguering foes,
    Sacked cities smoked and realms were rent in twain;
  And commonwealths against their rivals rose,
    Trode out their lives and earned the curse of Cain!
  While, in the noiseless air and light that flowed
  Round your fair brows, eternal Peace abode.

  Here pealed the impious hymn, and altar-flames
    Rose to false gods, a dream-begotten throng,
  Jove, Bacchus, Pan, and earlier, fouler names;
    While, as the unheeding ages passed along,
  Ye, from your station in the middle skies,
  Proclaimed the essential Goodness, strong and wise.

  In you the heart that sighs for freedom seeks
    Her image; there the winds no barrier know,
  Clouds come and rest and leave your fairy peaks;
    While even the immaterial Mind, below,
  And Thought, her wingèd offspring, chained by power,
  Pine silently for the redeeming hour.



  EARTH.


    A midnight black with clouds is in the sky;
  I seem to feel, upon my limbs, the weight
  Of its vast brooding shadow. All in vain
  Turns the tired eye in search of form; no star
  Pierces the pitchy veil; no ruddy blaze,
  From dwellings lighted by the cheerful hearth,
  Tinges the flowering summits of the grass.
  No sound of life is heard, no village hum,
  Nor measured tramp of footstep in the path,
  Nor rush of wind, while, on the breast of Earth,
  I lie and listen to her mighty voice:
  A voice of many tones--sent up from streams
  That wander through the gloom, from woods unseen
  Swayed by the sweeping of the tides of air,
  From rocky chasms where darkness dwells all day,
  And hollows of the great invisible hills,
  And sands that edge the ocean, stretching far
  Into the night--a melancholy sound!

    O Earth! dost thou too sorrow for the past
  Like man thy offspring? Do I hear thee mourn
  Thy childhood's unreturning hours, thy springs
  Gone with their genial airs and melodies,
  The gentle generations of thy flowers,
  And thy majestic groves of olden time,
  Perished with all their dwellers? Dost thou wail
  For that fair age of which the poets tell,
  Ere yet the winds grew keen with frost, or fire
  Fell with the rains or spouted from the hills,
  To blast thy greenness, while the virgin night
  Was guiltless and salubrious as the day?
  Or haply dost thou grieve for those that die--
  For living things that trod thy paths awhile,
  The love of thee and heaven--and now they sleep
  Mixed with the shapeless dust on which thy herds
  Trample and graze? I too must grieve with thee,
  O'er loved ones lost. Their graves are far away
  Upon thy mountains; yet, while I recline
  Alone, in darkness, on thy naked soil,
  The mighty nourisher and burial-place
  Of man, I feel that I embrace their dust.

    Ha! how the murmur deepens! I perceive
  And tremble at its dreadful import. Earth
  Uplifts a general cry for guilt and wrong,
  And heaven is listening. The forgotten graves
  Of the heart-broken utter forth their plaint.
  The dust of her who loved and was betrayed,
  And him who died neglected in his age;
  The sepulchres of those who for mankind
  Labored, and earned the recompense of scorn;
  Ashes of martyrs for the truth, and bones
  Of those who, in the strife for liberty,
  Were beaten down, their corses given to dogs,
  Their names to infamy, all find a voice.
  The nook in which the captive, overtoiled,
  Lay down to rest at last, and that which holds
  Childhood's sweet blossoms, crushed by cruel hands,
  Send up a plaintive sound. From battle-fields,
  Where heroes madly drave and dashed their hosts
  Against each other, rises up a noise,
  As if the armèd multitudes of dead
  Stirred in their heavy slumber. Mournful tones
  Come from the green abysses of the sea--
  A story of the crimes the guilty sought
  To hide beneath its waves. The glens, the groves,
  Paths in the thicket, pools of running brook,
  And banks and depths of lake, and streets and lanes
  Of cities, now that living sounds are hushed,
  Murmur of guilty force and treachery.

    Here, where I rest, the vales of Italy
  Are round me, populous from early time,
  And field of the tremendous warfare waged
  'Twixt good and evil. Who, alas! shall dare
  Interpret to man's ear the mingled voice
  That comes from her old dungeons yawning now
  To the black air, her amphitheatres,
  Where the dew gathers on the mouldering stones,
  And fanes of banished gods, and open tombs,
  And roofless palaces, and streets and hearths
  Of cities dug from their volcanic graves?
  I hear a sound of many languages,
  The utterance of nations now no more,
  Driven out by mightier, as the days of heaven
  Chase one another from the sky. The blood
  Of freemen shed by freemen, till strange lords
  Came in their hour of weakness, and made fast
  The yoke that yet is worn, cries out to heaven.

    What then shall cleanse thy bosom, gentle Earth,
  From all its painful memories of guilt?
  The whelming flood, or the renewing fire,
  Or the slow change of time?--that so, at last,
  The horrid tale of perjury and strife,
  Murder and spoil, which men call history,
  May seem a fable, like the inventions told
  By poets of the gods of Greece. O thou,
  Who sittest far beyond the Atlantic deep,
  Among the sources of thy glorious streams,
  My native Land of Groves! a newer page
  In the great record of the world is thine;
  Shall it be fairer? Fear, and friendly Hope,
  And Envy, watch the issue, while the lines,
  By which thou shalt be judged, are written down.



  THE KNIGHT'S EPITAPH.


    This is the church which Pisa, great and free,
  Reared to St. Catharine. How the time-stained walls,
  That earthquakes shook not from their poise, appear
  To shiver in the deep and voluble tones
  Rolled from the organ! Underneath my feet
  There lies the lid of a sepulchral vault.
  The image of an armèd knight is graven
  Upon it, clad in perfect panoply--
  Cuishes, and greaves, and cuirass, with barred helm,
  Grauntleted hand, and sword, and blazoned shield.
  Around, in Gothic characters, worn dim
  By feet of worshippers, are traced his name,
  And birth, and death, and words of eulogy.
  Why should I pore upon them? This old tomb,
  This effigy, the strange disusèd form
  Of this inscription, eloquently show
  His history. Let me clothe in fitting words
  The thoughts they breathe, and frame his epitaph:

    "He whose forgotten dust for centuries
  Has lain beneath this stone, was one in whom
  Adventure, and endurance, and emprise,
  Exalted the mind's faculties and strung
  The body's sinews. Brave he was in fight,
  Courteous in banquet, scornful of repose,
  And bountiful, and cruel, and devout,
  And quick to draw the sword in private feud,
  He pushed his quarrels to the death, yet prayed
  The saints as fervently on bended knees
  As ever shaven cenobite. He loved
  As fiercely as he fought. He would have borne
  The maid that pleased him from her bower by night
  To his hill castle, as the eagle bears
  His victim from the fold, and rolled the rocks
  On his pursuers. He aspired to see
  His native Pisa queen and arbitress
  Of cities; earnestly for her he raised
  His voice in council, and affronted death
  In battle-field, and climbed the galley's deck,
  And brought the captured flag of Genoa back,
  Or piled upon the Arno's crowded quay
  The glittering spoils of the tamed Saracen.
  He was not born to brook the stranger's yoke,
  But would have joined the exiles that withdrew
  Forever, when the Florentine broke in
  The gates of Pisa, and bore off the bolts
  For trophies--but he died before that day.

    "He lived, the impersonation of an age
  That never shall return. His soul of fire
  Was kindled by the breath of the rude time
  He lived in. Now a gentler race succeeds,
  Shuddering at blood; the effeminate cavalier,
  Turning his eyes from the reproachful past,
  And from the hopeless future, gives to ease,
  And love, and music, his inglorious life."



  THE HUNTER OF THE PRAIRIES.


  Ay, this is freedom!--these pure skies
    Were never stained with village smoke:
  The fragrant wind, that through them flies,
    Is breathed from wastes by plough unbroke.
  Here, with my rifle and my steed,
    And her who left the world for me,
  I plant me, where the red deer feed
    In the green desert--and am free.

  For here the fair savannas know
    No barriers in the bloomy grass;
  Wherever breeze of heaven may blow,
    Or beam of heaven may glance, I pass.
  In pastures, measureless as air,
    The bison is my noble game;
  The bounding elk, whose antlers tear
    The branches, falls before my aim.

  Mine are the river-fowl that scream
    From the long stripe of waving sedge;
  The bear that marks my weapon's gleam,
    Hides vainly in the forest's edge;
  In vain the she-wolf stands at bay;
    The brinded catamount, that lies
  High in the boughs to watch his prey,
    Even in the act of springing, dies.

  With what free growth the elm and plane
    Fling their huge arms across my way,
  Gray, old, and cumbered with a train
    Of vines, as huge, and old, and gray!
  Free stray the lucid streams, and find
    No taint in these fresh lawns and shades;
  Free spring the flowers that scent the wind
    Where never scythe has swept the glades.

  Alone the Fire, when frost-winds sere
    The heavy herbage of the ground,
  Gathers his annual harvest here,
    With roaring like the battle's sound,
  And hurrying flames that sweep the plain,
    And smoke-streams gushing up the sky:
  I meet the flames with flames again,
    And at my door they cower and die.

  Here, from dim woods, the aged past
    Speaks solemnly; and I behold
  The boundless future in the vast
    And lonely river, seaward rolled.
  Who feeds its founts with rain and dew?
    Who moves, I ask, its gliding mass,
  And trains the bordering vines, whose blue
    Bright clusters tempt me as I pass?

  Broad are these streams--my steed obeys,
    Plunges, and bears me through the tide.
  Wide are these woods--I thread the maze
    Of giant stems, nor ask a guide.
  I hunt till day's last glimmer dies
    O'er woody vale and grassy height;
  And kind the voice and glad the eyes
    That welcome my return at night.



  SEVENTY-SIX.


  What heroes from the woodland sprung,
    When, through the fresh-awakened land,
  The thrilling cry of freedom rung,
  And to the work of warfare strung
    The yeoman's iron hand!

  Hills flung the cry to hills around,
    And ocean-mart replied to mart,
  And streams, whose springs were yet unfound,
  Pealed far away the startling sound
    Into the forest's heart.

  Then marched the brave from rocky steep,
    From mountain-river swift and cold;
  The borders of the stormy deep,
  The vales where gathered waters sleep,
    Sent up the strong and bold,--

  As if the very earth again
    Grew quick with God's creating breath,
  And, from the sods of grove and glen,
  Rose ranks of lion-hearted men
    To battle to the death.

  The wife, whose babe first smiled that day,
    The fair fond bride of yestereve,
  And aged sire and matron gray,
  Saw the loved warriors haste away,
    And deemed it sin to grieve.

  Already had the strife begun;
    Already blood, on Concord's plain,
  Along the springing grass had run,
  And blood had flowed at Lexington,
    Like brooks of April rain.

  That death-stain on the vernal sward
    Hallowed to freedom all the shore;
  In fragments fell the yoke abhorred--
  The footstep of a foreign lord
    Profaned the soil no more.



  THE LIVING LOST.


  Matron! the children of whose love,
    Each to his grave, in youth have passed;
  And now the mould is heaped above
    The dearest and the last!
  Bride! who dost wear the widow's veil
  Before the wedding flowers are pale!
  Ye deem the human heart endures
  No deeper, bitterer grief than yours.

  Yet there are pangs of keener woe,
    Of which the sufferers never speak,
  Nor to the world's cold pity show
    The tears that scald the cheek,
  Wrung from their eyelids by the shame
  And guilt of those they shrink to name,
  Whom once they loved with cheerful will,
  And love, though fallen and branded, still.

  Weep, ye who sorrow for the dead,
    Thus breaking hearts their pain relieve,
  And reverenced are the tears they shed,
    And honored ye who grieve.
  The praise of those who sleep in earth,
  The pleasant memory of their worth,
  The hope to meet when life is past,
  Shall heal the tortured mind at last.

  But ye, who for the living lost
    That agony in secret bear,
  Who shall with soothing words accost
    The strength of your despair?
  Grief for your sake is scorn for them
  Whom ye lament and all condemn;
  And o'er the world of spirits lies
  A gloom from which ye turn your eyes.



  CATTERSKILL FALLS.


  Midst greens and shades the Catterskill leaps,
    From cliffs where the wood-flower clings;
  All summer he moistens his verdant steeps,
    With the sweet light spray of the mountain-springs,
  And he shakes the woods on the mountain-side,
  When they drip with the rains of autumn-tide.

  But when, in the forest bare and old,
    The blast of December calls,
  He builds, in the starlight clear and cold,
    A palace of ice where his torrent falls,
  With turret, and arch, and fretwork fair,
  And pillars blue as the summer air.

  For whom are those glorious chambers wrought,
    In the cold and cloudless night?
  Is there neither spirit nor motion of thought
    In forms so lovely, and hues so bright?
  Hear what the gray-haired woodmen tell
  Of this wild stream and its rocky dell.

  'Twas hither a youth of dreamy mood,
    A hundred winters ago,
  Had wandered over the mighty wood,
    When the panther's track was fresh on the snow,
  And keen were the winds that came to stir
  The long dark boughs of the hemlock-fir.

  Too gentle of mien he seemed and fair,
    For a child of those rugged steeps;
  His home lay low in the valley where
    The kingly Hudson rolls to the deeps;
  But he wore the hunter's frock that day,
  And a slender gun on his shoulder lay.

  And here he paused, and against the trunk
    Of a tall gray linden leant,
  When the broad clear orb of the sun had sunk,
    From his path in the frosty firmament,
  And over the round dark edge of the hill
  A cold green light was quivering still.

  And the crescent moon, high over the green,
    From a sky of crimson shone,
  On that icy palace, whose towers were seen
    To sparkle as if with stars of their own,
  While the water fell with a hollow sound,
  'Twixt the glistening pillars ranged around.

  Is that a being of life, that moves
    Where the crystal battlements rise?
  A maiden watching the moon she loves,
    At the twilight hour, with pensive eyes?
  Was that a garment which seemed to gleam
  Betwixt the eye and the falling stream?

  'Tis only the torrent tumbling o'er,
    In the midst of those glassy walls,
  Gushing, and plunging, and beating the floor
    Of the rocky basin in which it falls.
  'Tis only the torrent--but why that start?
  Why gazes the youth with a throbbing heart?

  He thinks no more of his home afar,
    Where his sire and sister wait.
  He heeds no longer how star after star
    Looks forth on the night as the hour grows late.
  He heeds not the snow-wreaths, lifted and cast
  From a thousand boughs, by the rising blast.

  His thoughts are alone of those who dwell
    In the halls of frost and snow,
  Who pass where the crystal domes upswell
    From the alabaster floors below,
  Where the frost-trees shoot with leaf and spray,
  And frost-gems scatter a silvery day.

  "And oh that those glorious haunts were mine!"
    He speaks, and throughout the glen
  Thin shadows swim in the faint moonshine,
    And take a ghastly likeness of men,
  As if the slain by the wintry storms
  Came forth to the air in their earthly forms.

  There pass the chasers of seal and whale,
    With their weapons quaint and grim,
  And hands of warriors in glittering mail,
    And herdsmen and hunters huge of limb;
  There are naked arms, with bow and spear,
  And furry gauntlets the carbine rear.

  There are mothers--and oh how sadly their eyes
    On their children's white brows rest!
  There are youthful lovers--the maiden lies,
    In a seeming sleep, on the chosen breast;
  There are fair wan women with moonstruck air,
  The snow-stars necking their long loose hair.

  They eye him not as they pass along,
    But his hair stands up with dread,
  When he feels that he moves with that phantom throng,
    Till those icy turrets are over his head,
  And the torrent's roar as they enter seems
  Like a drowsy murmur heard in dreams.

  The glittering threshold is scarcely passed,
    When there gathers and wraps him round
  A thick white twilight, sullen and vast,
    In which there is neither form nor sound;
  The phantoms, the glory, vanish all,
  With the dying voice of the waterfall.

  Slow passes the darkness of that trance,
    And the youth now faintly sees
  Huge shadows and gushes of light that dance
    On a rugged ceiling of unhewn trees,
  And walls where the skins of beasts are hung,
  And rifles glitter on antlers strung.

  On a couch of shaggy skins he lies;
    As he strives to raise his head,
  Hard-featured woodmen, with kindly eyes,
    Come round him and smooth his furry bed,
  And bid him rest, for the evening star
  Is scarcely set and the day is far.

  They had found at eve the dreaming one
    By the base of that icy steep,
  When over his stiffening limbs begun
    The deadly slumber of frost to creep,
  And they cherished the pale and breathless form,
  Till the stagnant blood ran free and warm.



  THE STRANGE LADY.


  The summer morn is bright and fresh, the birds are darting by,
  As if they loved to breast the breeze that sweeps the cool clear sky;
  Young Albert, in the forest's edge, has heard a rustling sound,
  An arrow slightly strikes his hand and falls upon the ground.

  A dark-haired woman from the wood comes suddenly in sight;
  Her merry eye is full and black, her cheek is brown and bright;
  Her gown is of the mid-sea blue, her belt with beads is strung,
  And yet she speaks in gentle tones, and in the English tongue.

  "It was an idle bolt I sent, against the villain crow;
  Fair sir, I fear it harmed thy hand; beshrew my erring bow!"
  "Ah! would that bolt had not been spent! then, lady, might I wear
  A lasting token on my hand of one so passing fair!"

  "Thou art a flatterer like the rest, but wouldst thou take with me
  A day of hunting in the wild beneath the greenwood tree,
  I know where most the pheasants feed, and where the red-deer herd,
  And thou shouldst chase the nobler game, and I bring down the bird."

  Now Albert in her quiver lays the arrow in its place,
  And wonders as he gazes on the beauty of her face:
  "Those hunting-grounds are far away, and, lady, 'twere not meet
  That night, amid the wilderness, should overtake thy feet."

  "Heed not the night; a summer lodge amid the wild is mine--
  'Tis shadowed by the tulip-tree, 'tis mantled by the vine;
  The wild-plum sheds its yellow fruit from fragrant thickets nigh,
  And flowery prairies from the door stretch till they meet the sky.

  "There in the boughs that hide the roof the mock-bird sits and sings,
  And there the hang-bird's brood within its little hammock swings;
  A pebbly brook, where rustling winds among the hopples sweep,
  Shall lull thee till the morning sun looks in upon thy sleep."

  Away, into the forest depths by pleasant paths they go,
  He with his rifle on his arm, the lady with her bow,
  Where cornels arch their cool dark boughs o'er beds of winter-green,
  And never at his father's door again was Albert seen.

  That night upon the woods came down a furious hurricane,
  With howl of winds and roar of streams, and beating of the rain;
  The mighty thunder broke and drowned the noises in its crash;
  The old trees seemed to fight like fiends beneath the lightning flash.

  Next day, within a mossy glen, 'mid mouldering trunks were found
  The fragments of a human form upon the bloody ground;
  White bones from which the flesh was torn, and locks of glossy hair;
  They laid them in the place of graves, yet wist not whose they were.

  And whether famished evening wolves had mangled Albert so,
  Or that strange dame so gay and fair were some mysterious foe,
  Or whether to that forest-lodge, beyond the mountains blue,
  He went to dwell with her, the friends who mourned him never knew.



  LIFE.


  Oh Life! I breathe thee in the breeze,
    I feel thee bounding in my veins,
  I see thee in these stretching trees,
    These flowers, this still rock's mossy stains.

  This stream of odors flowing by
    From clover-field and clumps of pine,
  This music, thrilling all the sky,
    From all the morning birds, are thine.

  Thou fill'st with joy this little one,
    That leaps and shouts beside me here,
  Where Isar's clay-white rivulets run
    Through the dark woods like frighted deer.

  Ah! must thy mighty breath, that wakes
    Insect and bird, and flower and tree,
  From the low-trodden dust, and makes
    Their daily gladness, pass from me--

  Pass, pulse by pulse, till o'er the ground
    These limbs, now strong, shall creep with pain,
  And this fair world of sight and sound
    Seem fading into night again?

  The things, oh LIFE! thou quickenest, all
    Strive upward toward the broad bright sky,
  Upward and outward, and they fall
    Back to earth's bosom when they die.

  All that have borne the touch of death,
    All that shall live, lie mingled there,
  Beneath that veil of bloom and breath,
    That living zone 'twixt earth and air.

  There lies my chamber dark and still,
    The atoms trampled by my feet
  There wait, to take the place I fill
    In the sweet air and sunshine sweet.

  Well, I have had my turn, have been
    Raised from the darkness of the clod,
  And for a glorious moment seen
    The brightness of the skirts of God;

  And knew the light within my breast,
    Though wavering oftentimes and dim,
  The power, the will, that never rest,
    And cannot die, were all from him.

  Dear child! I know that thou wilt grieve
    To see me taken from thy love,
  Wilt seek my grave at Sabbath eve
    And weep, and scatter flowers above.

  Thy little heart will soon be healed,
    And being shall be bliss, till thou
  To younger forms of life must yield
    The place thou fill'st with beauty now.

  When we descend to dust again,
    Where will the final dwelling be
  Of thought and all its memories then,
    My love for thee, and thine for me?



  "EARTH'S CHILDREN CLEAVE TO EARTH."


  Earth's children cleave to Earth--her frail
    Decaying children dread decay.
  Yon wreath of mist that leaves the vale
    And lessens in the morning ray--
  Look, how, by mountain rivulet,
    It lingers as it upward creeps,
  And clings to fern and copsewood set
    Along the green and dewy steeps:
  Clings to the flowery kalmia, clings
    To precipices fringed with grass,
  Dark maples where the wood-thrush sings,
    And bowers of fragrant sassafras.
  Yet all in vain--it passes still
    From hold to hold, it cannot stay,
  And in the very beams that fill
    The world with glory, wastes away,
  Till, parting from the mountain's brow,
    It vanishes from human eye,
  And that which sprung of earth is now
    A portion of the glorious sky.



  THE HUNTER'S VISION.


  Upon a rock that, high and sheer,
    Rose from the mountain's breast,
  A weary hunter of the deer
    Had sat him down to rest,
  And bared to the soft summer air
  His hot red brow and sweaty hair.

  All dim in haze the mountains lay,
    With dimmer vales between;
  And rivers glimmered on their way
    By forests faintly seen;
  While ever rose a murmuring sound
  From brooks below and bees around.

  He listened, till he seemed to hear
    A strain, so soft and low,
  That whether in the mind or ear
    The listener scarce might know.
  With such a tone, so sweet, so mild,
  The watching mother lulls her child.

  "Thou weary huntsman," thus it said,
    "Thou faint with toil and heat,
  The pleasant land of rest is spread
    Before thy very feet,
  And those whom thou wouldst gladly see
  Are waiting there to welcome thee."

  He looked, and 'twixt the earth and sky,
    Amid the noontide haze,
  A shadowy region met his eye,
    And grew beneath his gaze,
  As if the vapors of the air
  Had gathered into shapes so fair.

  Groves freshened as he looked, and flowers
    Showed bright on rocky bank,
  And fountains welled beneath the bowers,
    Where deer and pheasant drank.
  He saw the glittering streams, he heard
  The rustling bough and twittering bird.

  And friends, the dead, in boyhood dear
    There lived and walked again,
  And there was one who many a year
    Within her grave had lain,
  A fair young girl, the hamlet's pride--
  His heart was breaking when she died:

  Bounding, as was her wont, she came
    Right toward his resting-place,
  And stretched her hand and called his name
    With that sweet smiling face.
  Forward with fixed and eager eyes,
  The hunter leaned in act to rise:

  Forward he leaned, and headlong down
    Plunged from that craggy wall;
  He saw the rocks, steep, stern, and brown,
    An instant, in his fall;
  A frightful instant--and no more,
  The dream and life at once were o'er.



  THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS.


  I.

  Here halt we our march, and pitch our tent
    On the rugged forest-ground,
  And light our fire with the branches rent
    By winds from the beeches round.
  Wild storms have torn this ancient wood,
    But a wilder is at hand,
  With hail of iron and rain of blood,
    To sweep and waste the land.


  II.

  How the dark wood rings with our voices shrill,
    That startle the sleeping bird!
  To-morrow eve must the voice be still,
    And the step must fall unheard.
  The Briton lies by the blue Champlain,
    In Ticonderoga's towers,
  And ere the sun rise twice again,
    Must they and the lake be ours.


  III.

  Fill up the bowl from the brook that glides
    Where the fire-flies light the brake;
  A ruddier juice the Briton hides
    In his fortress by the lake.
  Build high the fire, till the panther leap
    From his lofty perch in flight,
  And we'll strengthen our weary arms with sleep
  For the deeds of to-morrow night.



  A PRESENTIMENT.


  "Oh father, let us hence--for hark,
    A fearful murmur shakes the air;
  The clouds are coming swift and dark;--
    What horrid shapes they wear!
  A wingèd giant sails the sky;
  Oh father, father, let us fly!"

  "Hush, child; it is a grateful sound,
    That beating of the summer shower;
  Here, where the boughs hang close around,
    We'll pass a pleasant hour,
  Till the fresh wind, that brings the rain,
  Has swept the broad heaven clear again."

  "Nay, father, let us haste--for see,
    That horrid thing with hornèd brow--
  His wings o'erhang this very tree,
    He scowls upon us now;
  His huge black arm is lifted high;
  Oh father, father, let us fly!"

  "Hush, child;" but, as the father spoke,
    Downward the livid firebolt came,
  Close to his ear the thunder broke,
    And, blasted by the flame,
  The child lay dead; while dark and still
  Swept the grim cloud along the hill.



  THE CHILD'S FUNERAL.


  Fair is thy sight, Sorrento, green thy shore,
    Black crags behind thee pierce the clear blue skies;
  The sea, whose borderers ruled the world of yore,
    As clear and bluer still before thee lies.

  Vesuvius smokes in sight, whose fount of fire,
    Outgushing, drowned the cities on his steeps;
  And murmuring Naples, spire o'ertopping spire,
    Sits on the slope beyond where Virgil sleeps.

  Here doth the earth, with flowers of every hue,
    Prank her green breast when April suns are bright;
  Flowers of the morning-red, or ocean-blue,
    Or like the mountain-frost of silvery white.

  Currents of fragrance, from the orange-tree,
    And sward of violets, breathing to and fro,
  Mingle, and, wandering out upon the sea,
    Refresh the idle boatsman where they blow.

  Yet even here, as under harsher climes,
    Tears for the loved and early lost are shed;
  That soft air saddens with the funeral-chimes,
    Those shining flowers are gathered for the dead.

  Here once a child, a smiling playful one,
    All the day long caressing and caressed,
  Died when its little tongue had just begun
    To lisp the names of those it loved the best.

  The father strove his struggling grief to quell,
    The mother wept as mothers use to weep,
  Two little sisters wearied them to tell
    When their dear Carlo would awake from sleep.

  Within an inner room his couch they spread,
    His funeral-couch; with mingled grief and love,
  They laid a crown of roses on his head,
    And murmured, "Brighter is his crown above."

  They scattered round him, on the snowy sheet,
    Laburnum's strings of sunny-colored gems,
  Sad hyacinths, and violets dim and sweet,
    And orange-blossoms on their dark-green stems.

  And now the hour is come, the priest is there;
    Torches are lit and bells are tolled; they go,
  With solemn rites of blessing and of prayer,
    To lay the little one in earth below.

  The door is opened; hark! that quick glad cry;
    Carlo has waked, has waked, and is at play;
  The little sisters laugh and leap, and try
    To climb the bed on which the infant lay.

  And there he sits alive, and gayly shakes
    In his full hands the blossoms red and white,
  And smiles with winking eyes, like one who wakes
    From long deep slumbers at the morning light.



  THE BATTLE-FIELD.


  Once this soft turf, this rivulet's sands,
    Were trampled by a hurrying crowd,
  And fiery hearts and armèd hands
    Encountered in the battle-cloud.

  Ah! never shall the land forget
    How gushed the life-blood of her brave--
  Gushed, warm with hope and courage yet,
    Upon the soil they fought to save.

  Now all is calm, and fresh, and still;
    Alone the chirp of flitting bird,
  And talk of children on the hill,
    And bell of wandering kine, are heard.

  No solemn host goes trailing by
    The black-mouthed gun and staggering wain;
  Men start not at the battle-cry,
    Oh, be it never heard again!

  Soon rested those who fought; but thou
    Who minglest in the harder strife
  For truths which men receive not now,
    Thy warfare only ends with life.

  A friendless warfare! lingering long
    Through weary day and weary year,
  A wild and many-weaponed throng
    Hang on thy front, and flank, and rear.

  Yet nerve thy spirit to the proof,
    And blench not at thy chosen lot.
  The timid good may stand aloof,
    The sage may frown--yet faint thou not.

  Nor heed the shaft too surely cast,
    The foul and hissing bolt of scorn;
  For with thy side shall dwell, at last,
    The victory of endurance born.

  Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again;
    Th' eternal years of God are hers;
  But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
    And dies among his worshippers.

  Yea, though thou lie upon the dust,
    When they who helped thee flee in fear,
  Die full of hope and manly trust,
    Like those who fell in battle here.

  Another hand thy sword shall wield,
    Another hand the standard wave,
  Till from the trumpet's mouth is pealed
    The blast of triumph o'er thy grave.



  THE FUTURE LIFE.


  How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps
    The disembodied spirits of the dead,
  When all of thee that time could wither sleeps
    And perishes among the dust we tread?

  For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain
    If there I meet thy gentle presence not;
  Nor hear the voice I love, nor read again
    In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.

  Will not thy own meek heart demand me there?
    That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given--
  My name on earth was ever in thy prayer,
    And wilt thou never utter it in heaven?

  In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind,
    In the resplendence of that glorious sphere,
  And larger movements of the unfettered mind,
    Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here?

  The love that lived through all the stormy past,
    And meekly with my harsher nature bore,
  And deeper grew, and tenderer to the last,
    Shall it expire with life, and be no more?

  A happier lot than mine, and larger light,
    Await thee there, for thou hast bowed thy will
  In cheerful homage to the rule of right,
    And lovest all, and renderest good for ill.

  For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell
    Shrink and consume my heart, as heat the scroll;
  And wrath has left its scar--that fire of hell
    Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.

  Yet, though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,
    Wilt thou not keep the same beloved name,
  The same fair thoughtful brow, and gentle eye,
    Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate, yet the same?

  Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,
    The wisdom that I learned so ill in this--
  The wisdom which is love--till I become
    Thy fit companion in that land of bliss?



  THE DEATH OF SCHILLER.


  'Tis said, when Schiller's death drew nigh,
    The wish possessed his mighty mind,
  To wander forth wherever lie
    The homes and haunts of humankind.

  Then strayed the poet, in his dreams,
    By Rome and Egypt's ancient graves;
  Went up the New World's forest-streams,
    Stood in the Hindoo's temple-caves;

  Walked with the Pawnee, fierce and stark,
    The sallow Tartar, midst his herds,
  The peering Chinese, and the dark
    False Malay, uttering gentle words.

  How could he rest? even then he trod
    The threshold of the world unknown;
  Already, from the seat of God,
    A ray upon his garments shone;--

  Shone and awoke the strong desire
    For love and knowledge reached not here,
  Till, freed by death, his soul of fire
    Sprang to a fairer, ampler sphere.



  THE FOUNTAIN.


    Fountain, that springest on this grassy slope,
  Thy quick cool murmur mingles pleasantly,
  With the cool sound of breezes in the beech,
  Above me in the noontide. Thou dost wear
  No stain of thy dark birthplace; gushing up
  From the red mould and slimy roots of earth
  Thou flashest in the sun. The mountain-air,
  In winter, is not clearer, nor the dew
  That shines on mountain-blossom. Thus doth God
  Bring, from the dark and foul, the pure and bright.

    This tangled thicket on the bank above
  Thy basin, how thy waters keep it green!
  For thou dost feed the roots of the wild-vine
  That trails all over it, and to the twigs
  Ties fast her clusters. There the spice-bush lifts
  Her leafy lances; the viburnum there,
  Paler of foliage, to the sun holds up
  Her circlet of green berries. In and out
  The chipping-sparrow, in her coat of brown,
  Steals silently lest I should mark her nest.

    Not such thou wert of yore, ere yet the axe
  Had smitten the old woods. Then hoary trunks
  Of oak, and plane, and hickory, o'er thee held
  A mighty canopy. When April winds
  Grew soft, the maple burst into a flush
  Of scarlet flowers. The tulip-tree, high up,
  Opened, in airs of June, her multitude
  Of golden chalices to humming-birds
  And silken-wingèd insects of the sky.

    Frail wood-plants clustered round thy edge in spring;
  The liver-leaf put forth her sister blooms
  Of faintest blue. Here the quick-footed wolf,
  Passing to lap thy waters, crushed the flower
  Of sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem
  The red drops fell like blood. The deer, too, left
  Her delicate footprint in the soft moist mould,
  And on the fallen leaves. The slow-paced bear,
  In such a sultry summer noon as this,
  Stopped at thy stream, and drank, and leaped across.

    But thou hast histories that stir the heart
  With deeper feeling; while I look on thee
  They rise before me. I behold the scene
  Hoary again with forests; I behold
  The Indian warrior, whom a hand unseen
  Has smitten with his death-wound in the woods,
  Creep slowly to thy well-known rivulet,
  And slake his death-thirst. Hark, that quick fierce cry
  That rends the utter silence! 'tis the whoop
  Of battle, and a throng of savage men
  With naked arms and faces stained like blood,
  Fill the green wilderness; the long bare arms
  Are heaved aloft, bows twang and arrows stream;
  Each makes a tree his shield, and every tree
  Sends forth its arrow. Fierce the fight and short,
  As is the whirlwind. Soon the conquerors
  And conquered vanish, and the dead remain
  Mangled by tomahawks. The mighty woods
  Are still again, the frighted bird comes back
  And plumes her wings; but thy sweet waters run
  Crimson with blood. Then, as the sun goes down,
  Amid the deepening twilight I descry
  Figures of men that crouch and creep unheard,
  And bear away the dead. The next day's shower
  Shall wash the tokens of the fight away.

    I look again--a hunter's lodge is built,
  With poles and boughs, beside thy crystal well,
  While the meek autumn stains the woods with gold,
  And sheds his golden sunshine. To the door
  The red-man slowly drags the enormous bear
  Slain in the chestnut-thicket, or flings down
  The deer from his strong shoulders. Shaggy fells
  Of wolf and cougar hang upon the walls,
  And loud the black-eyed Indian maidens laugh,
  That gather, from the rustling heaps of leaves,
  The hickory's white nuts, and the dark fruit
  That falls from the gray butternut's long boughs.

    So centuries passed by, and still the woods
  Blossomed in spring, and reddened when the year
  Grew chill, and glistened in the frozen rains
  Of winter, till the white man swung the axe
  Beside thee--signal of a mighty change.
  Then all around was heard the crash of trees,
  Trembling awhile and rushing to the ground,
  The low of ox, and shouts of men who fired
  The brushwood, or who tore the earth with ploughs;
  The grain sprang thick and tall, and hid in green
  The blackened hill-side; ranks of spiky maize
  Rose like a host embattled; the buckwheat
  Whitened broad acres, sweetening with its flowers
  The August wind. White cottages were seen
  With rose-trees at the windows; barns from which
  Came loud and shrill the crowing of the cock;
  Pastures where rolled and neighed the lordly horse,
  And white flocks browsed and bleated. A rich turf
  Of grasses brought from far o'ercrept thy bank,
  Spotted with the white clover. Blue-eyed girls
  Brought pails, and dipped them in thy crystal pool;
  And children, ruddy-cheeked and flaxen-haired,
  Gathered the glistening cowslip from thy edge.

    Since then, what steps have trod thy border! Here
  On thy green bank, the woodman of the swamp
  Has laid his axe, the reaper of the hill
  His sickle, as they stooped to taste thy stream.
  The sportsman, tired with wandering in the still
  September noon, has bathed his heated brow
  In thy cool current. Shouting boys, let loose
  For a wild holiday, have quaintly shaped
  Into a cup the folded linden-leaf,
  And dipped thy sliding crystal. From the wars
  Returning, the plumed soldier by thy side
  Has sat, and mused how pleasant 'twere to dwell
  In such a spot, and be as free as thou,
  And move for no man's bidding more. At eve
  When thou wert crimson with the crimson sky,
  Lovers have gazed upon thee, and have thought
  Their mingled lives should flow as peacefully
  And brightly as thy waters. Here the sage,
  Gazing into thy self-replenished depth,
  Has seen eternal order circumscribe
  And bound the motions of eternal change,
  And from the gushing of thy simple fount
  Has reasoned to the mighty universe.

    Is there no other change for thee, that lurks
  Among the future ages? Will not man
  Seek out strange arts to wither and deform
  The pleasant landscape which thou makest green?
  Or shall the veins that feed thy constant stream
  Be choked in middle earth, and flow no more
  For ever, that the water-plants along
  Thy channel perish, and the bird in vain
  Alight to drink? Haply shall these green hills
  Sink, with the lapse of years, into the gulf
  Of ocean waters, and thy source be lost
  Amidst the bitter brine? Or shall they rise,
  Upheaved in broken cliffs and airy peaks,
  Haunts of the eagle and the snake, and thou
  Gush midway from the bare and barren steep?



  THE WINDS.


  I.

  Ye winds, ye unseen currents of the air,
    Softly ye played a few brief hours ago;
  Ye bore the murmuring bee; ye tossed the air
    O'er maiden cheeks, that took a fresher glow;
  Ye rolled the round white cloud through depths of blue;
  Ye shook from shaded flowers the lingering dew;
  Before you the catalpa's blossoms flew,
    Light blossoms, dropping on the grass like snow.

  II.

  What change is this! Ye take the cataract's sound;
    Ye take the whirlpool's fury and its might;
  The mountain shudders as ye sweep the ground;
    The valley woods lie prone beneath your flight.
  The clouds before you shoot like eagles past;
  The homes of men are rocking in your blast;
  Ye lift the roofs like autumn leaves, and cast,
    Skyward, the whirling fragments out of sight.

  III.

  The weary fowls of heaven make wing in vain,
    To escape your wrath; ye seize and dash them dead;
  Against the earth ye drive the roaring rain;
    The harvest-field becomes a river's bed;
  And torrents tumble from the hills around,
  Plains turn to lakes, and villages are drowned,
  And wailing voices, midst the tempest's sound,
    Rise, as the rushing waters swell and spread.

  IV.

  Ye dart upon the deep, and straight is heard
    A wilder roar, and men grow pale, and pray;
  Ye fling its floods around you, as a bird
    Flings o'er his shivering plumes the fountain's spray.
  See! to the breaking mast the sailor clings;
  Ye scoop the ocean to its briny springs,
  And take the mountain-billow on your wings,
    And pile the wreck of navies round the bay.

  V.

  Why rage ye thus?--no strife for liberty
    Has made you mad; no tyrant, strong through fear,
  Has chained your pinions till ye wrenched them free,
    And rushed into the unmeasured atmosphere;
  For ye were born in freedom where ye blow;
  Free o'er the mighty deep to come and go;
  Earth's solemn woods were yours, her wastes of snow,
    Her isles where summer blossoms all the year.

  VI.

  O ye wild winds! a mightier Power than yours
    In chains upon the shore of Europe lies;
  The sceptred throng whose fetters he endures
    Watch his mute throes with terror in their eyes;
  And armèd warriors all around him stand,
  And, as he struggles, tighten every band,
  And lift the heavy spear, with threatening hand,
    To pierce the victim, should he strive to rise.

  VII.

  Yet oh, when that wronged Spirit of our race
    Shall break, as soon he must, his long-worn chains,
  And leap in freedom from his prison-place,
    Lord of his ancient hills and fruitful plains,
  Let him not rise, like these mad winds of air,
  To waste the loveliness that time could spare,
  To fill the earth with woe, and blot her fair
    Unconscious breast with blood from human veins.

  VIII.

  But may he like the spring-time come abroad,
    Who crumbles winter's gyves with gentle might,
  When in the genial breeze, the breath of God,
    The unsealed springs come spouting up to light;
  Flowers start from their dark prisons at his feet,
  The woods, long dumb, awake to hymnings sweet,
  And morn and eve, whose glimmerings almost meet,
    Crowd back to narrow bounds the ancient night



  THE OLD MAN'S COUNSEL.


    Among our hills and valleys, I have known
  Wise and grave men, who, while their diligent hands
  Tended or gathered in the fruits of earth,
  Were reverent learners in the solemn school
  Of Nature. Not in vain to them were sent
  Seed-time and harvest, or the vernal shower
  That darkened the brown tilth, or snow that beat
  On the white winter hills. Each brought, in turn,
  Some truth, some lesson on the life of man,
  Or recognition of the Eternal mind
  Who veils his glory with the elements.

    One such I knew long since, a white-haired man,
  Pithy of speech, and merry when he would;
  A genial optimist, who daily drew
  From what he saw his quaint moralities.
  Kindly he held communion, though so old,
  With me a dreaming boy, and taught me much
  That books tell not, and I shall ne'er forget.

    The sun of May was bright in middle heaven,
  And steeped the sprouting forests, the green hills,
  And emerald wheat-fields, in his yellow light.
  Upon the apple-tree, where rosy buds
  Stood clustered, ready to burst forth in bloom,
  The robin warbled forth his full clear note
  For hours, and wearied not. Within the woods,
  Whose young and half transparent leaves scarce cast
  A shade, gay circles of anemones
  Danced on their stalks; the shad-bush, white with flowers,
  Brightened the glens; the new-leaved butternut
  And quivering poplar to the roving breeze
  Gave a balsamic fragrance. In the fields
  I saw the pulses of the gentle wind
  On the young grass. My heart was touched with joy
  At so much beauty, flushing every hour
  Into a fuller beauty; but my friend,
  The thoughtful ancient, standing at my side,
  Gazed on it mildly sad. I asked him why.

    "Well mayst thou join in gladness," he replied,
  "With the glad earth, her springing plants and flowers,
  And this soft wind, the herald of the green
  Luxuriant summer. Thou art young like them,
  And well mayst thou rejoice. But while the flight
  Of seasons fills and knits thy spreading frame,
  It withers mine, and thins my hair, and dims
  These eyes, whose fading light shall soon be quenched
  In utter darkness. Hearest thou that bird?"

    I listened, and from midst the depth of woods
  Heard the love-signal of the grouse, that wears
  A sable ruff around his mottled neck;
  Partridge they call him by our northern streams,
  And pheasant by the Delaware. He beat
  His barred sides with his speckled wings, and made
  A sound like distant thunder; slow the strokes
  At first, then fast and faster, till at length
  They passed into a murmur and were still.

    "There hast thou," said my friend, "a fitting type
  Of human life. 'Tis an old truth, I know,
  But images like these revive the power
  Of long familiar truths. Slow pass our days
  In childhood, and the hours of light are long
  Betwixt the morn and eve; with swifter lapse
  They glide in manhood, and in age they fly;
  Till days and seasons flit before the mind
  As flit the snow-flakes in a winter storm,
  Seen rather than distinguished. Ah! I seem
  As if I sat within a helpless bark,
  By swiftly-running waters hurried on
  To shoot some mighty cliff. Along the banks
  Grove after grove, rock after frowning rock,
  Bare sands and pleasant homes, and flowery nooks,
  And isles and whirlpools in the stream, appear
  Each after each, but the devoted skiff
  Darts by so swiftly that their images
  Dwell not upon the mind, or only dwell
  In dim confusion; faster yet I sweep
  By other banks, and the great gulf is near.

    "Wisely, my son, while yet thy days are long,
  And this fair change of seasons passes slow,
  Gather and treasure up the good they yield--
  All that they teach of virtue, of pure thoughts
  And kind affections, reverence for thy God
  And for thy brethren; so when thou shalt come
  Into these barren years, thou mayst not bring
  A mind unfurnished and a withered heart."

    Long since that white-haired ancient slept--but still,
  When the red flower-buds crowd the orchard-bough,
  And the ruffed grouse is drumming far within
  The woods, his venerable form again
  Is at my side, his voice is in my ear.



  IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM LEGGETT.


  The earth may ring, from shore to shore,
    With echoes of a glorious name,
  But he, whose loss our tears deplore,
    Has left behind him more than fame.

  For when the death-frost came to lie
    On Leggett's warm and mighty heart,
  And quench his bold and friendly eye,
    His spirit did not all depart.

  The words of fire that from his pen
    Were flung upon the fervid page,
  Still move, still shake the hearts of men,
    Amid a cold and coward age.

  His love of truth, too warm, too strong
    For Hope or Fear to chain or chill,
  His hate of tyranny and wrong,
    Burn in the breasts he kindled still.



  AN EVENING REVERY.


    The summer day is closed--the sun is set:
  Well they have done their office, those bright hours,
  The latest of whose train goes softly out
  In the red west. The green blade of the ground
  Has risen, and herds have cropped it; the young twig
  Has spread its plaited tissues to the sun;
  Flowers of the garden and the waste have blown
  And withered; seeds have fallen upon the soil,
  From bursting cells, and in their graves await
  Their resurrection. Insects from the pools
  Have filled the air awhile with humming wings,
  That now are still for ever; painted moths
  Have wandered the blue sky, and died again;
  The mother-bird hath broken for her brood
  Their prison shell, or shoved them from the nest,
  Plumed for their earliest flight. In bright alcoves,
  In woodland cottages with barky walls,
  In noisome cells of the tumultuous town,
  Mothers have clasped with joy the new-born babe.
  Graves by the lonely forest, by the shore
  Of rivers and of ocean, by the ways
  Of the thronged city, have been hollowed out
  And filled, and closed. This day hath parted friends
  That ne'er before were parted; it hath knit
  New friendships; it hath seen the maiden plight
  Her faith, and trust her peace to him who long
  Had wooed; and it hath heard, from lips which late
  Were eloquent of love, the first harsh word,
  That told the wedded one her peace was flown.
  Farewell to the sweet sunshine! One glad day
  Is added now to Childhood's merry days,
  And one calm day to those of quiet Age.
  Still the fleet hours run on; and as I lean,
  Amid the thickening darkness, lamps are lit,
  By those who watch the dead, and those who twine
  Flowers for the bride. The mother from the eyes
  Of her sick infant shades the painful light,
  And sadly listens to his quick-drawn breath.

    O thou great Movement of the Universe,
  Or Change, or Flight of Time--for ye are one!
  That bearest, silently, this visible scene
  Into night's shadow and the streaming rays
  Of starlight, whither art thou bearing me?
  I feel the mighty current sweep me on,
  Yet know not whither. Man foretells afar
  The courses of the stars; the very hour
  He knows when they shall darken or grow bright;
  Yet doth the eclipse of Sorrow and of Death
  Come unforewarned. Who next, of those I love,
  Shall pass from life, or, sadder yet, shall fall
  From virtue? Strife with foes, or bitterer strife
  With friends, or shame and general scorn of men--
  Which who can bear?--or the fierce rack of pain--
  Lie within my path? Or shall the years
  Push me, with soft and inoffensive pace,
  Into the stilly twilight of my age?
  Or do the portals of another life
  Even now, while I am glorying in my strength,
  Impend around me? Oh! beyond that bourne,
  In the vast cycle of being which begins
  At that dread threshold, with what fairer forms
  Shall the great law of change and progress clothe
  Its workings? Gently--so have good men taught--
  Gently, and without grief, the old shall glide
  Into the new; the eternal flow of things,
  Like a bright river of the fields of heaven,
  Shall journey onward in perpetual peace.



  THE PAINTED CUP.


    The fresh savannas of the Sangamon
  Here rise in gentle swells, and the long grass
  Is mixed with rustling hazels. Scarlet tufts
  Are glowing in the green, like flakes of fire;
  The wanderers of the prairie know them well,
  And call that brilliant flower the Painted Cup.

    Now, if thou art a poet, tell me not
  That these bright chalices were tinted thus
  To hold the dew for fairies, when they meet
  On moonlight evenings in the hazel-bowers,
  And dance till they are thirsty. Call not up,
  Amid this fresh and virgin solitude,
  The faded fancies of an elder world;
  But leave these scarlet cups to spotted moths
  Of June, and glistening flies, and humming-birds,
  To drink from, when on all these boundless lawns
  The morning sun looks hot. Or let the wind
  O'erturn in sport their ruddy brims, and pour
  A sudden shower upon the strawberry-plant,
  To swell the reddening fruit that even now
  Breathes a slight fragrance from the sunny slope.

    But thou art of a gayer fancy. Well--
  Let then the gentle Manitou of flowers,
  Lingering amid the bloomy waste he loves,
  Though all his swarthy worshippers are gone--
  Slender and small, his rounded cheek all brown
  And ruddy with the sunshine; let him come
  On summer mornings, when the blossoms wake,
  And part with little hands the spiky grass,
  And touching, with his cherry lips, the edge
  Of these bright beakers, drain the gathered dew.



  A DREAM.


  I had a dream--a strange, wild dream--
    Said a dear voice at early light;
  And even yet its shadows seem
    To linger in my waking sight.

  Earth, green with spring, and fresh with dew,
    And bright with morn, before me stood;
  And airs just wakened softly blew
    On the young blossoms of the wood.

  Birds sang within the sprouting shade,
    Bees hummed amid the whispering grass,
  And children prattled as they played
    Beside the rivulet's dimpling glass.

  Fast climbed the sun: the flowers were flown,
    There played no children in the glen;
  For some were gone, and some were grown
    To blooming dames and bearded men.

  'Twas noon, 'twas summer: I beheld
    Woods darkening in the flush of day,
  And that bright rivulet spread and swelled,
    A mighty stream, with creek and bay.

  And here was love, and there was strife,
    And mirthful shouts, and wrathful cries,
  And strong men, struggling as for life,
    With knotted limbs and angry eyes.

  Now stooped the sun--the shades grew thin;
    The rustling paths were piled with leaves,
  And sunburnt groups were gathering in,
    From the shorn field, its fruits and sheaves.

  The river heaved with sullen sounds;
    The chilly wind was sad with moans;
  Black hearses passed, and burial-grounds
    Grew thick with monumental stones.

  Still waned the day; the wind that chased
    The jagged clouds blew chiller yet;
  The woods were stripped, the fields were waste;
    The wintry sun was near his set.

  And of the young, and strong, and fair,
    A lonely remnant, gray and weak,
  Lingered, and shivered to the air
    Of that bleak shore and water bleak.

  Ah! age is drear, and death is cold!
    I turned to thee, for thou wert near,
  And saw thee withered, bowed, and old,
    And woke all faint with sudden fear.

  'Twas thus I heard the dreamer say,
    And bade her clear her clouded brow;
  "For thou and I, since childhood's day,
    Have walked in such a dream till now.

  "Watch we in calmness, as they rise,
    The changes of that rapid dream,
  And note its lessons, till our eyes
    Shall open in the morning beam."



  THE ANTIQUITY OF FREEDOM.


    Here are old trees, tall oaks, and gnarléd pines,
  That stream with gray-green mosses; here the ground
  Was never trenched by spade, and flowers spring up
  Unsown, and die ungathered. It is sweet
  To linger here, among the flitting birds
  And leaping squirrels, wandering brooks, and winds
  That shake the leaves, and scatter, as they pass,
  A fragrance from the cedars, thickly set
  With pale-blue berries. In these peaceful shades--
  Peaceful, unpruned, immeasurably old--
  My thoughts go up the long dim path of years,
  Back to the earliest days of liberty.

    O FREEDOM! thou art not, as poets dream,
  A fair young girl, with light and delicate limbs,
  And wavy tresses gushing from the cap
  With which the Roman master crowned his slave
  When he took off the gyves. A bearded man,
  Armed to the teeth, art thou; one mailéd hand
  Grasps the broad shield, and one the sword; thy brow,
  Glorious in beauty though it be, is scarred
  With tokens of old wars; thy massive limbs
  Are strong with struggling. Power at thee has launched
  His bolts, and with his lightnings smitten thee;
  They could not quench the life thou hast from heaven;
  Merciless Power has dug thy dungeon deep,
  And his swart armorers, by a thousand fires,
  Have forged thy chain; yet, while he deems thee bound,
  The links are shivered, and the prison-walls
  Fall outward; terribly thou springest forth,
  As springs the flame above a burning pile,
  And shoutest to the nations, who return
  Thy shoutings, while the pale oppressor flies.

    Thy birthright was not given by human hands:
  Thou wert twin-born with man. In pleasant fields,
  While yet our race was few, thou sat'st with him,
  To tend the quiet flock and watch the stars,
  And teach the reed to utter simple airs.
  Thou by his side, amid the tangled wood,
  Didst war upon the panther and the wolf,
  His only foes; and thou with him didst draw
  The earliest furrow on the mountain-side,
  Soft with the deluge. Tyranny himself,
  Thy enemy, although of reverend look,
  Hoary with many years, and far obeyed,
  Is later born than thou; and as he meets
  The grave defiance of thine elder eye,
  The usurper trembles in his fastnesses.

    Thou shalt wax stronger with the lapse of years
  But he shall fade into a feebler age--
  Feebler, yet subtler. He shall weave his snares
  And spring them on thy careless steps, and clap
  His withered hands, and from their ambush call
  His hordes to fall upon thee. He shall send
  Quaint maskers, wearing fair and gallant forms
  To catch thy gaze, and uttering graceful words
  To charm thy ear; while his sly imps, by stealth,
  Twine round thee threads of steel, light thread on thread
  That grow to fetters; or bind down thy arms
  With chains concealed in chaplets. Oh! not yet
  Mayst thou unbrace thy corslet, nor lay by
  Thy sword; nor yet, O Freedom! close thy lids
  In slumber; for thine enemy never sleeps,
  And thou must watch and combat till the day
  Of the new earth and heaven. But wouldst thou rest
  Awhile from tumult and the frauds of men,
  These old and friendly solitudes invite
  Thy visit. They, while yet the forest-trees
  Were young upon the unviolated earth,
  And yet the moss-stains on the rock were new,
  Beheld thy glorious childhood, and rejoiced.



  THE MAIDEN'S SORROW.


  Seven long years has the desert rain
    Dropped on the clods that hide thy face;
  Seven long years of sorrow and pain
    I have thought of thy burial-place;

  Thought of thy fate in the distant West,
    Dying with none that loved thee near,
  They who flung the earth on thy breast
    Turned from the spot without a tear.

  There, I think, on that lonely grave,
    Violets spring in the soft May shower;
  There, in the summer breezes, wave
    Crimson phlox and moccasin-flower.

  There the turtles alight, and there
    Feeds with her fawn the timid doe;
  There, when the winter woods are bare,
    Walks the wolf on the crackling snow.

  Soon wilt thou wipe my tears away;
    All my task upon earth is done;
  My poor father, old and gray,
    Slumbers beneath the churchyard stone.

  In the dreams of my lonely bed,
    Ever thy form before me seems,
  All night long I talk with the dead,
    All day long I think of my dreams.

  This deep wound that bleeds and aches,
    This long pain, a sleepless pain--
  When the Father my spirit takes,
    I shall feel it no more again.



  THE RETURN OF YOUTH.


  My friend, thou sorrowest for thy golden prime,
    For thy fair youthful years too swift of flight;
  Thou musest, with wet eyes, upon the time
    Of cheerful hopes that filled the world with light--

  Years when thy heart was bold, thy hand was strong,
    And quick the thought that moved thy tongue to speak,
  And willing faith was thine, and scorn of wrong
    Summoned the sudden crimson to thy cheek.

  Thou lookest forward on the coming days,
    Shuddering to feel their shadow o'er thee creep;
  A path, thick-set with changes and decays,
    Slopes downward to the place of common sleep;
  And they who walked with thee in life's first stage,
    Leave one by one thy side, and, waiting near,
  Thou seest the sad companions of thy age--
    Dull love of rest, and weariness and fear.

  Yet grieve thou not, nor think thy youth is gone,
    Nor deem that glorious season e'er could die.
  Thy pleasant youth, a little while withdrawn,
    Waits on the horizon of a brighter sky;
  Waits, like the morn, that folds her wings and hides
    Till the slow stars bring back her dawning hour;
  Waits, like the vanished spring, that slumbering bides
    Her own sweet time to waken bud and flower.

  There shall he welcome thee, when thou shalt stand
    On his bright morning hills, with smiles more sweet
  Than when at first he took thee by the hand,
    Through the fair earth to lead thy tender feet.
  He shall bring back, but brighter, broader still,
    Life's early glory to thine eyes again,
  Shall clothe thy spirit with new strength, and fill
    Thy leaping heart with warmer love than then.

  Hast thou not glimpses, in the twilight here,
    Of mountains where immortal morn prevails?
  Comes there not, through the silence, to thine ear
    A gentle rustling of the morning gales;
  A murmur, wafted from that glorious shore,
    Of streams that water banks forever fair,
  And voices of the loved ones gone before,
    More musical in that celestial air?



  A HYMN OF THE SEA.


    The sea is mighty, but a mightier sways
  His restless billows. Thou, whose hands have scooped
  His boundless gulfs and built his shore, thy breath,
  That moved in the beginning o'er his face,
  Moves o'er it evermore. The obedient waves
  To its strong motion roll, and rise and fall.
  Still from that realm of rain thy cloud goes up,
  As at the first, to water the great earth,
  And keep her valleys green. A hundred realms
  Watch its broad shadow warping on the wind,
  And in the dropping shower, with gladness hear
  Thy promise of the harvest. I look forth
  Over the boundless blue, where joyously
  The bright crests of innumerable waves
  Glance to the sun at once, as when the hands
  Of a great multitude are upward flung
  In acclamation. I behold the ships
  Gliding from cape to cape, from isle to isle,
  Or stemming toward far lands, or hastening home
  From the Old World. It is thy friendly breeze
  That bears them, with the riches of the land,
  And treasure of dear lives, till, in the port,
  The shouting seaman climbs and furls the sail.

    But who shall bide thy tempest, who shall face
  The blast that wakes the fury of the sea?
  O God! thy justice makes the world turn pale,
  When on the armèd fleet, that royally
  Bears down the surges, carrying war, to smite
  Some city, or invade some thoughtless realm,
  Descends the fierce tornado. The vast hulks
  Are whirled like chaff upon the waves; the sails
  Fly, rent like webs of gossamer; the masts
  Are snapped asunder; downward from the decks,
  Downward are slung, into the fathomless gulf,
  Their cruel engines; and their hosts, arrayed
  In trappings of the battle-field, are whelmed
  By whirlpools, or dashed dead upon the rocks.
  Then stand the nations still with awe, and pause
  A moment, from the bloody work of war.

    These restless surges eat away the shores
  Of earth's old continents; the fertile plain
  Welters in shallows, headlands crumble down,
  And the tide drifts the sea-sand in the streets
  Of the drowned city. Thou, meanwhile, afar
  In the green chambers of the middle sea,
  Where broadest spread the waters and the line
  Sinks deepest, while no eye beholds thy work,
  Creator! thou dost teach the coral-worm
  To lay his mighty reefs. From age to age,
  He builds beneath the waters, till, at last,
  His bulwarks overtop the brine, and check
  The long wave rolling from the southern pole
  To break upon Japan. Thou bidd'st the fires,
  That smoulder under ocean, heave on high
  The new-made mountains, and uplift their peaks,
  A place of refuge for the storm-driven bird.
  The birds and wafting billows plant the rifts
  With herb and tree; sweet fountains gush; sweet airs
  Ripple the living lakes that, fringed with flowers,
  Are gathered in the hollows. Thou dost look
  On thy creation and pronounce it good.
  Its valleys, glorious in their summer green,
  Praise thee in silent beauty, and its woods,
  Swept by the murmuring winds of ocean, join
  The murmuring shores in a perpetual hymn.



  NOON.

  FROM AN UNFINISHED POEM.


    'Tis noon. At noon the Hebrew bowed the knee
  And worshipped, while the husbandmen withdrew
  From the scorched field, and the wayfaring man
  Grew faint, and turned aside by bubbling fount,
  Or rested in the shadow of the palm.

    I, too, amid the overflow of day,
  Behold the power which wields and cherishes
  The frame of Nature. From this brow of rock
  That overlooks the Hudson's western marge,
  I gaze upon the long array of groves,
  The piles and gulfs of verdure drinking in
  The grateful heats. They love the fiery sun;
  Their broadening leaves grow glossier, and their sprays
  Climb as he looks upon them. In the midst,
  The swelling river, into his green gulfs,
  Unshadowed save by passing sails above,
  Takes the redundant glory, and enjoys
  The summer in his chilly bed. Coy flowers,
  That would not open in the early light,
  Push back their plaited sheaths. The rivulet's pool,
  That darkly quivered all the morning long
  In the cool shade, now glimmers in the sun;
  And o'er its surface shoots, and shoots again,
  The glittering dragon-fly, and deep within
  Run the brown water-beetles to and fro.

    A silence, the brief sabbath of an hour,
  Reigns o'er the fields; the laborer sits within
  His dwelling; he has left his steers awhile,
  Unyoked, to bite the herbage, and his dog
  Sleeps stretched beside the door-stone in the shade.
  Now the gray marmot, with uplifted paws,
  No more sits listening by his den, but steals
  Abroad, in safety, to the clover-field,
  And crops its juicy blossoms. All the while
  A ceaseless murmur from the populous town
  Swells o'er these solitudes: a mingled sound
  Of jarring wheels, and iron hoofs that clash
  Upon the stony ways, and hammer-clang,
  And creak of engines lifting ponderous bulks,
  And calls and cries, and tread of eager feet,
  Innumerable, hurrying to and fro.
  Noon, in that mighty mart of nations, brings
  No pause to toil and care. With early day
  Began the tumult, and shall only cease
  When midnight, hushing one by one the sounds
  Of bustle, gathers the tired brood to rest.

    Thus, in this feverish time, when love of gain
  And luxury possess the hearts of men,
  Thus is it with the noon of human life.
  We, in our fervid manhood, in our strength
  Of reason, we, with hurry, noise, and care,
  Plan, toil, and strive, and pause not to refresh
  Our spirits with the calm and beautiful
  Of God's harmonious universe, that won
  Our youthful wonder; pause not to inquire
  Why we are here; and what the reverence
  Man owes to man, and what the mystery
  That links us to the greater world, beside
  Whose borders we but hover for a space.



  THE CROWDED STREET.


  Let me move slowly through the street,
    Filled with an ever-shifting train,
  Amid the sound of steps that beat
    The murmuring walks like autumn rain.

  How fast the flitting figures come!
    The mild, the fierce, the stony face;
  Some bright with thoughtless smiles, and some
    Where secret tears have left their trace.

  They pass--to toil, to strife, to rest;
    To halls in which the feast is spread;
  To chambers where the funeral guest
    In silence sits beside the dead.

  And some to happy homes repair,
    Where children, pressing cheek to cheek,
  With mute caresses shall declare
    The tenderness they cannot speak.

  And some, who walk in calmness here,
    Shall shudder as they reach the door
  Where one who made their dwelling dear,
    Its flower, its light, is seen no more.

  Youth, with pale cheek and slender frame,
    And dreams of greatness in thine eye!
  Go'st thou to build an early name,
    Or early in the task to die?

  Keen son of trade, with eager brow!
    Who is now fluttering in thy snare?
  Thy golden fortunes, tower they now,
    Or melt the glittering spires in air?

  Who of this crowd to-night shall tread
    The dance till daylight gleam again?
  Who sorrow o'er the untimely dead?
    Who writhe in throes of mortal pain?

  Some, famine-struck, shall think how long
    The cold dark hours, how slow the light;
  And some, who flaunt amid the throng,
    Shall hide in dens of shame to-night.

  Each, where his tasks or pleasures call,
    They pass, and heed each other not.
  There is who heeds, who holds them all,
    In His large love and boundless thought.

  These struggling tides of life that seem
    In wayward, aimless course to tend,
  Are eddies of the mighty stream
    That rolls to its appointed end.



  THE WHITE-FOOTED DEER.


  It was a hundred years ago,
    When, by the woodland ways,
  The traveller saw the wild-deer drink,
    Or crop the birchen sprays.

  Beneath a hill, whose rocky side
    O'erbrowed a grassy mead,
  And fenced a cottage from the wind,
    A deer was wont to feed.

  She only came when on the cliffs
    The evening moonlight lay,
  And no man knew the secret haunts
    In which she walked by day.

  White were her feet, her forehead showed
    A spot of silvery white,
  That seemed to glimmer like a star
    In autumn's hazy night.

  And here, when sang the whippoorwill,
    She cropped the sprouting leaves,
  And here her rustling steps were heard
    On still October eves.

  But when the broad midsummer moon
    Rose o'er that grassy lawn,
  Beside the silver-footed deer
    There grazed a spotted fawn.

  The cottage dame forbade her son
    To aim the rifle here;
  "It were a sin," she said, "to harm
    Or fright that friendly deer.

  "This spot has been my pleasant home
    Ten peaceful years and more;
  And ever, when the moonlight shines,
    She feeds before our door.

  "The red-men say that here she walked
    A thousand moons ago;
  They never raise the war-whoop here,
    And never twang the bow.

  "I love to watch her as she feeds,
    And think that all is well
  While such a gentle creature haunts
    The place in which we dwell."

  The youth obeyed, and sought for game
    In forests far away,
  Where, deep in silence and in moss,
    The ancient woodland lay.

  But once, in autumn's golden time
    He ranged the wild in vain,
  Nor roused the pheasant nor the deer,
    And wandered home again.

  The crescent moon and crimson eve
    Shone with a mingling light;
  The deer, upon the grassy mead,
    Was feeding full in sight.

  He raised the rifle to his eye,
    And from the cliffs around
  A sudden echo, shrill and sharp,
    Gave back its deadly sound.

  Away, into the neighboring wood,
    The startled creature flew,
  And crimson drops at morning lay
    Amid the glimmering dew.

  Next evening shone the waxing moon
    As brightly as before;
  The deer upon the grassy mead
    Was seen again no more.

  But ere that crescent moon was old,
    By night the red-men came,
  And burnt the cottage to the ground,
    And slew the youth and dame.

  Now woods have overgrown the mead,
    And hid the cliffs from sight;
  There shrieks the hovering hawk at noon,
    And prowls the fox at night.



  THE WANING MOON.


  I've watched too late; the morn is near;
    One look at God's broad silent sky!
  Oh, hopes and wishes vainly dear,
    How in your very strength ye die!

  Even while your glow is on the cheek,
    And scarce the high pursuit begun,
  The heart grows faint, the hand grows weak,
    The task of life is left undone.

  See where, upon the horizon's brim,
    Lies the still cloud in gloomy bars;
  The waning moon, all pale and dim,
    Goes up amid the eternal stars.

  Late, in a flood of tender light,
    She floated through the ethereal blue,
  A softer sun, that shone all night
    Upon the gathering beads of dew.

  And still thou wanest, pallid moon!
    The encroaching shadow grows apace;
  Heaven's everlasting watchers soon
    Shall see thee blotted from thy place.

  Oh, Night's dethroned and crownless queen!
    Well may thy sad, expiring ray
  Be shed on those whose eyes have seen
    Hope's glorious visions fade away.

  Shine thou for forms that once were bright,
    For sages in the mind's eclipse,
  For those whose words were spells of might,
    But falter now on stammering lips!

  In thy decaying beam there lies
    Full many a grave on hill and plain,
  Of those who closed their dying eyes
    In grief that they had lived in vain.

  Another night, and thou among
    The spheres of heaven shalt cease to shine,
  All rayless in the glittering throng
    Whose lustre late was quenched in thine.

  Yet soon a new and tender light
    From out thy darkened orb shall beam,
  And broaden till it shines all night
    On glistening dew and glimmering stream.



  THE STREAM OF LIFE.


  Oh silvery streamlet of the fields,
    That flowest full and free,
  For thee the rains of spring return,
    The summer dews for thee;
  And when thy latest blossoms die
    In autumn's chilly showers,
  The winter fountains gush for thee,
    Till May brings back the flowers.

  Oh Stream of Life! the violet springs
    But once beside thy bed;
  But one brief summer, on thy path,
    The dews of heaven are shed.
  Thy parent fountains shrink away,
    And close their crystal veins,
  And where thy glittering current flowed
    The dust alone remains.



  THE UNKNOWN WAY.


  A burning sky is o'er me,
    The sands beneath me glow,
  As onward, onward, wearily,
    In the sultry morn I go.

  From the dusty path there opens,
    Eastward, an unknown way;
  Above its windings, pleasantly,
    The woodland branches play.

  A silvery brook comes stealing
    From the shadow of its trees,
  Where slender herbs of the forest stoop
    Before the entering breeze.

  Along those pleasant windings
    I would my journey lay,
  Where the shade is cool and the dew of night
    Is not yet dried away.

  Path of the flowery woodland!
    Oh whither dost thou lead,
  Wandering by grassy orchard-grounds,
    Or by the open mead?

  Goest thou by nestling cottage?
    Goest thou by stately hall,
  Where the broad elm droops, a leafy dome,
    And woodbines flaunt on the wall?

  By steeps where children gather
    Flowers of the yet fresh year?
  By lonely walks where lovers stray
    Till the tender stars appear?

  Or haply dost thou linger
    On barren plains and bare,
  Or clamber the bald mountain-side
    Into the thinner air?--

  Where they who journey upward
    Walk in a weary track,
  And oft upon the shady vale
    With longing eyes look back?

  I hear a solemn murmur,
    And, listening to the sound,
  I know the voice of the mighty Sea,
    Beating his pebbly bound.

  Dost thou, oh path of the woodland!
    End where those waters roar,
  Like human life, on a trackless beach,
    With a boundless Sea before?



  "OH MOTHER OF A MIGHTY RACE."


  Oh mother of a mighty race,
  Yet lovely in thy youthful grace!
  The elder dames, thy haughty peers,
  Admire and hate thy blooming years.
            With words of shame
  And taunts of scorn they join thy name.

  For on thy cheeks the glow is spread
  That tints thy morning hills with red;
  Thy step--the wild-deer's rustling feet
  Within thy woods are not more fleet;
            Thy hopeful eye
  Is bright as thine own sunny sky.

  Ay, let them rail--those haughty ones,
  While safe thou dwellest with thy sons.
  They do not know how loved thou art,
  How many a fond and fearless heart
            Would rise to throw
  Its life between thee and the foe.

  They know not, in their hate and pride,
  What virtues with thy children bide;
  How true, how good, thy graceful maids
  Make bright, like flowers, the valley-shades;
            What generous men
  Spring, like thine oaks, by hill and glen;--

  What cordial welcomes greet the guest
  By thy lone rivers of the West;
  How faith is kept, and truth revered,
  And man is loved, and God is feared,
            In woodland homes,
  And where the ocean border foams.

  There's freedom at thy gates and rest
  For Earth's down-trodden and opprest,
  A shelter for the hunted head,
  For the starved laborer toil and bread.
            Power, at thy bounds,
  Stops and calls back his baffled hounds.

  Oh, fair young mother! on thy brow
  Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
  Deep in the brightness of the skies
  The thronging years in glory rise,
            And, as they fleet,
  Drop strength and riches at thy feet.

  Thine eye, with every coming hour,
  Shall brighten, and thy form shall tower;
  And when thy sisters, elder born,
  Would brand thy name with words of scorn,
            Before thine eye,
  Upon their lips the taunt shall die.



  THE LAND OF DREAMS.


  A mighty realm is the Land of Dreams,
    With steeps that hang in the twilight sky,
  And weltering oceans and trailing streams,
    That gleam where the dusky valleys lie.

  But over its shadowy border flow
    Sweet rays from the world of endless morn,
  And the nearer mountains catch the glow,
    And flowers in the nearer fields are born.

  The souls of the happy dead repair,
    From their bowers of light, to that bordering land,
  And walk in the fainter glory there,
    With the souls of the living hand in hand.

  One calm sweet smile, in that shadowy sphere,
    From eyes that open on earth no more--
  One warning word from a voice once dear--
    How they rise in the memory o'er and o'er!

  Far off from those hills that shine with day,
    And fields that bloom in the heavenly gales
  The Land of Dreams goes stretching away
    To dimmer mountains and darker vales.

  There lie the chambers of guilty delight,
    There walk the spectres of guilty fear,
  And soft low voices, that float through the night,
    Are whispering sin in the helpless ear.

  Dear maid, in thy girlhood's opening flower,
    Scarce weaned from the love of childish play!
  The tears on whose cheeks are but the shower
    That freshens the blooms of early May!

  Thine eyes are closed, and over thy brow
    Pass thoughtful shadows and joyous gleams,
  And I know, by thy moving lips, that now
    Thy spirit strays in the Land of Dreams.

  Light-hearted maiden, oh, heed thy feet!
    O keep where that beam of Paradise falls:
  And only wander where thou mayst meet
    The blessed ones from its shining walls!

  So shalt thou come from the Land of Dreams,
    With love and peace to this world of strife:
  And the light which over that border streams
    Shall lie on the path of thy daily life.



  THE BURIAL OF LOVE.


  Two dark-eyed maids, at shut of day,
  Sat where a river rolled away,
  With calm sad brows and raven hair,
  And one was pale and both were fair.

  Bring flowers, they sang, bring flowers unblown,
  Bring forest-blooms of name unknown;
  Bring budding sprays from wood and wild,
  To strew the bier of Love, the child.

  Close softly, fondly, while ye weep,
  His eyes, that death may seem like sleep,
  And fold his hands in sign of rest,
  His waxen hands, across his breast.

  And make his grave where violets hide,
  Where star-flowers strew the rivulet's side,
  And bluebirds in the misty spring
  Of cloudless skies and summer sing.

  Place near him, as ye lay him low,
  His idle shafts, his loosened bow,
  The silken fillet that around
  His waggish eyes in sport he wound.

  But we shall mourn him long, and miss
  His ready smile, his ready kiss,
  The patter of his little feet,
  Sweet frowns and stammered phrases sweet;

  And graver looks, serene and high,
  A light of heaven in that young eye,
  All these shall haunt us till the heart
  Shall ache and ache--and tears will start.

  The bow, the band shall fall to dust,
  The shining arrows waste with rust,
  And all of Love that earth can claim,
  Be but a memory and a name.

  Not thus his nobler part shall dwell
  A prisoner in this narrow cell;
  But he whom now we hide from men,
  In the dark ground, shall live again:

  Shall break these clods, a form of light,
  With nobler mien and purer sight,
  And in the eternal glory stand,
  Highest and nearest God's right hand.



  "THE MAY SUN SHEDS AN AMBER LIGHT."


  The May sun sheds an amber light
    On new-leaved woods and lawns between;
  But she who, with a smile more bright,
    Welcomed and watched the springing green,
                 Is in her grave,
                 Low in her grave.

  The fair white blossoms of the wood
    In groups beside the pathway stand;
  But one, the gentle and the good,
    Who cropped them with a fairer hand,
                 Is in her grave,
                 Low in her grave.

  Upon the woodland's morning airs
    The small birds' mingled notes are flung;
  But she, whose voice, more sweet than theirs,
    Once bade me listen while they sung,
                 Is in her grave,
                 Low in her grave.

  That music of the early year
    Brings tears of anguish to my eyes;
  My heart aches when the flowers appear;
    For then I think of her who lies
                 Within her grave,
                 Low in her grave.



  THE VOICE OF AUTUMN.


  There comes, from yonder height,
    A soft repining sound,
  Where forest-leaves are bright,
  And fall, like flakes of light,
                 To the ground.

  It is the autumn breeze,
    That, lightly floating on,
  Just skims the weedy leas,
  Just stirs the glowing trees,
                 And is gone.

  He moans by sedgy brook,
    And visits, with a sigh,
  The last pale flowers that look,
  From out their sunny nook,
                 At the sky.

  O'er shouting children flies
    That light October wind,
  And, kissing cheeks and eyes,
  He leaves their merry cries
                 Far behind,

  And wanders on to make
    That soft uneasy sound
  By distant wood and lake,
  Where distant fountains break
                 From the ground.

  No bower where maidens dwell
    Can win a moment's stay;
  Nor fair untrodden dell;
  He sweeps the upland swell,
                 And away!

  Mourn'st thou thy homeless state?
    O soft, repining wind!
  That early seek'st and late
  The rest it is thy fate
                 Not to find.

  Not on the mountain's breast,
    Not on the ocean's shore,
  In all the East and West:
  The wind that stops to rest
                 Is no more.

  By valleys, woods, and springs,
    No wonder thou shouldst grieve
  For all the glorious things
  Thou touchest with thy wings
                 And must leave.



  THE CONQUEROR'S GRAVE.


  Within this lowly grave a Conqueror lies,
    And yet the monument proclaims it not,
  Nor round the sleeper's name hath chisel wrought
    The emblems of a fame that never dies,--
  Ivy and amaranth, in a graceful sheaf,
  Twined with the laurel's fair, imperial leaf.
         A simple name alone,
         To the great world unknown,
  Is graven here, and wild-flowers, rising round,
  Meek meadow-sweet and violets of the ground,
    Lean lovingly against the humble stone.
  Here, in the quiet earth, they laid apart
    No man of iron mould and bloody hands,
  Who sought to wreak upon the cowering lands
    The passions that consumed his restless heart;
  But one of tender spirit and delicate frame,
         Gentlest, in mien and mind,
         Of gentle womankind,
  Timidly shrinking from the breath of blame:
  One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made
    Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May,
  Yet at the thought of others' pain, a shade
  Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.

  Nor deem that when the hand that moulders here
  Was raised in menace, realms were chilled with fear,
    And armies mustered at the sign, as when
  Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy East--
      Gray captains leading bands of veteran men
  And fiery youths to be the vulture's feast.
  Not thus were waged the mighty wars that gave
  The victory to her who fills this grave:
         Alone her task was wrought,
         Alone the battle fought;
  Through that long strife her constant hope was staid
  On God alone, nor looked for other aid.

  She met the hosts of Sorrow with a look
    That altered not beneath the frown they wore,
  And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took,
    Meekly, her gentle rule, and frowned no more.
  Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,
         And calmly broke in twain
         The fiery shafts of pain,
  And rent the nets of passion from her path.
    By that victorious hand despair was slain.
  With love she vanquished hate and overcame
  Evil with good, in her Great Master's name.
  Her glory is not of this shadowy state,
    Glory that with the fleeting season dies;
  But when she entered at the sapphire gate
    What joy was radiant in celestial eyes!
  How heaven's bright depths with sounding welcome rung,
  And flowers of heaven by shining hands were flung!
         And He who, long before,
         Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore,
  The Mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,
  Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat;
  He who returning, glorious, from the grave,
  Dragged Death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave.

  See, as I linger here, the sun grows low;
    Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near.
  Oh, gentle sleeper, from thy grave I go
    Consoled though sad, in hope and yet in fear.
         Brief is the time, I know,
         The warfare scarce begun;
  Yet all may win the triumphs thou hast won.
  Still flows the fount whose waters strengthened thee,
    The victors' names are yet too few to fill
  Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory,
    That ministered to thee, is open still.



  THE PLANTING OF THE APPLE-TREE.


    Come, let us plant the apple-tree.
  Cleave the tough greensward with the spade;
  Wide let its hollow bed be made;
  There gently lay the roots, and there
  Sift the dark mould with kindly care,
    And press it o'er them tenderly,
  As, round the sleeping infant's feet,
  We softly fold the cradle-sheet:
    So plant we the apple-tree.

    What plant we in this apple-tree?
  Buds, which the breath of summer days
  Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
  Boughs where the thrush, with crimson breast,
  Shall haunt and sing and hide her nest;
    We plant, upon the sunny lea,
  A shadow for the noontide hour,
  A shelter from the summer shower,
    When we plant the apple-tree.

    What plant we in this apple-tree?
  Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
  To load the May-wind's restless wings,
  When, from the orchard-row, he pours
  Its fragrance through our open doors;
    A world of blossoms for the bee,
  Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
  For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
    We plant with the apple-tree.

    What plant we in this apple-tree?
  Fruits that shall swell in sunny June,
  And redden in the August noon,
  And drop, when gentle airs come by,
  That fan the blue September sky,
    While children come, with cries of glee,
  And seek them where the fragrant grass
  Betrays their bed to those who pass,
    At the foot of the apple-tree.

    And when, above this apple-tree,
  The winter stars are quivering bright,
  And winds go howling through the night,
  Girls, whose young eyes o'erflow with mirth,
  Shall peel its fruit by cottage-hearth,
    And guests in prouder homes shall see,
  Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine
  And golden orange of the line,
    The fruit of the apple-tree.

    The fruitage of this apple-tree
  Winds and our flag of stripe and star
  Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
  Where men shall wonder at the view,
  And ask in what fair groves they grew;
    And sojourners beyond the sea
  Shall think of childhood's careless day,
  And long, long hours of summer play,
    In the shade of the apple-tree.

    Each year shall give this apple-tree
  A broader flush of roseate bloom,
  A deeper maze of verdurous gloom,
  And loosen, when the frost-clouds lower,
  The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower.
    The years shall come and pass, but we
  Shall hear no longer, where we lie,
  The summer's songs, the autumn's sigh,
    In the boughs of the apple-tree.

    And time shall waste this apple-tree.
  Oh, when its aged branches throw
  Thin shadows on the ground below,
  Shall fraud and force and iron will
  Oppress the weak and helpless still?
    What shall the tasks of mercy be,
  Amid the toils, the strifes, the tears
  Of those who live when length of years
    Is wasting this little apple-tree?

    "Who planted this old apple-tree?"
  The children of that distant day
  Thus to some aged man shall say;
  And, gazing on its mossy stem,
  The gray-haired man shall answer them:
    "A poet of the land was he,
  Born in the rude but good old times;
  'Tis said he made some quaint old rhymes,
    On planting the apple-tree."



  THE SNOW-SHOWER.


  Stand here by my side and turn, I pray,
    On the lake below thy gentle eyes;
  The clouds hang over it, heavy and gray,
    And dark and silent the water lies;
  And out of that frozen mist the snow
  In wavering flakes begins to flow;
                 Flake after flake
  They sink in the dark and silent lake.

  See how in a living swarm they come
    From the chambers beyond that misty veil;
  Some hover awhile in air, and some
    Rush prone from the sky like summer hail.
  All, dropping swiftly or settling slow,
  Meet, and are still in the depths below;
                 Flake after flake
  Dissolved in the dark and silent lake.

  Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
    Come floating downward in airy play,
  Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
    That whiten by night the milky way;
  There broader and burlier masses fall;
  The sullen water buries them all--
                 Flake after flake--
  All drowned in the dark and silent lake.

  And some, as on tender wings they glide
    From their chilly birth-cloud, dim and gray,
  Are joined in their fall, and, side by side,
    Come clinging along their unsteady way;
  As friend with friend, or husband with wife,
  Makes hand in hand the passage of life;
                 Each mated flake
  Soon sinks in the dark and silent lake.

  Lo! while we are gazing, in swifter haste
    Stream down the snows, till the air is white
  As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
    They fling themselves from their shadowy height.
  The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
  What speed they make, with their grave so nigh;
                 Flake after flake,
  To lie in the dark and silent lake!

  I see in thy gentle eyes a tear;
    They turn to me in sorrowful thought;
  Thou thinkest of friends, the good and dear,
    Who were for a time, and now are not;
  Like these fair children of cloud and frost,
  That glisten a moment and then are lost,
                 Flake after flake--
  All lost in the dark and silent lake.

  Yet look again, for the clouds divide;
    A gleam of blue on the water lies;
  And far away, on the mountain-side,
    A sunbeam falls from the opening skies,
  But the hurrying host that flew between
  The cloud and the water, no more is seen;
                 Flake after flake,
  At rest in the dark and silent lake.



  A RAIN-DREAM.


  These strifes, these tumults of the noisy world,
  Where Fraud, the coward, tracks his prey by stealth,
  And Strength, the ruffian, glories in his guilt,
  Oppress the heart with sadness. Oh, my friend,
  In what serener mood we look upon
  The gloomiest aspects of the elements
  Among the woods and fields! Let us awhile,
  As the slow wind is rolling up the storm,
  In fancy leave this maze of dusty streets,
  Forever shaken by the importunate jar
  Of commerce, and upon the darkening air
  Look from the shelter of our rural home.
    Who is not awed that listens to the Rain,
  Sending his voice before him? Mighty Rain!
  The upland steeps are shrouded by thy mists;
  Thy shadow fills the hollow vale; the pools
  No longer glimmer, and the silvery streams
  Darken to veins of lead at thy approach.
  O mighty Rain! already thou art here;
  And every roof is beaten by thy streams,
  And, as thou passest, every glassy spring
  Grows rough, and every leaf in all the woods
  Is struck, and quivers. All the hill-tops slake
  Their thirst from thee; a thousand languishing fields,
  A thousand fainting gardens, are refreshed;
  A thousand idle rivulets start to speed,
  And with the graver murmur of the storm
  Blend their light voices as they hurry on.
    Thou fill'st the circle of the atmosphere
  Alone; there is no living thing abroad,
  No bird to wing the air nor beast to walk
  The field; the squirrel in the forest seeks
  His hollow tree; the marmot of the field
  Has scampered to his den; the butterfly
  Hides under her broad leaf; the insect crowds,
  That made the sunshine populous, lie close
  In their mysterious shelters, whence the sun
  Will summon them again. The mighty Rain
  Holds the vast empire of the sky alone.
    I shut my eyes, and see, as in a dream,
  The friendly clouds drop down spring violets
  And summer columbines, and all the flowers
  That tuft the woodland floor, or overarch
  The streamlet:--spiky grass for genial June,
  Brown harvests for the waiting husbandman,
  And for the woods a deluge of fresh leaves.
    I see these myriad drops that slake the dust,
  Gathered in glorious streams, or rolling blue
  In billows on the lake or on the deep,
  And bearing navies. I behold them change
  To threads of crystal as they sink in earth
  And leave its stains behind, to rise again
  In pleasant nooks of verdure, where the child,
  Thirsty with play, in both his little hands
  Shall take the cool, clear water, raising it
  To wet his pretty lips. To-morrow noon
  How proudly will the water-lily ride
  The brimming pool, o'erlooking, like a queen,
  Her circle of broad leaves! In lonely wastes,
  When next the sunshine makes them beautiful,
  Gay troops of butterflies shall light to drink
  At the replenished hollows of the rock.
    Now slowly falls the dull blank night, and still,
  All through the starless hours, the mighty Rain
  Smites with perpetual sound the forest-leaves,
  And beats the matted grass, and still the earth
  Drinks the unstinted bounty of the clouds--
  Drinks for her cottage wells, her woodland brooks--
  Drinks for the springing trout, the toiling bee,
  And brooding bird--drinks for her tender flowers,
  Tall oaks, and all the herbage of her hills.
    A melancholy sound is in the air,
  A deep sigh in the distance, a shrill wail
  Around my dwelling. 'Tis the Wind of night;
  A lonely wanderer between earth and cloud,
  In the black shadow and the chilly mist,
  Along the streaming mountain-side, and through
  The dripping woods, and o'er the plashy fields,
  Roaming and sorrowing still, like one who makes
  The journey of life alone, and nowhere meets
  A welcome or a friend, and still goes on
  In darkness. Yet a while, a little while,
  And he shall toss the glittering leaves in play,
  And dally with the flowers, and gayly lift
  The slender herbs, pressed low by weight of rain,
  And drive, in joyous triumph, through the sky,
  White clouds, the laggard remnants of the storm.



  ROBERT OF LINCOLN.


  Merrily swinging on brier and weed,
    Near to the nest of his little dame,
  Over the mountain-side or mead,
    Robert of Lincoln is telling his name:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Snug and safe is that nest of ours,
  Hidden among the summer flowers.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,
    Wearing a bright black wedding-coat;
  White are his shoulders and white his crest.
    Hear him call in his merry note:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Look, what a nice new coat is mine,
  Sure there was never a bird so fine.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,
    Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,
  Passing at home a patient life,
    Broods in the grass while her husband sings:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Brood, kind creature; you need not fear
  Thieves and robbers while I am here.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Modest and shy as a nun is she;
    One weak chirp is her only note.
  Braggart and prince of braggarts is he,
    Pouring boasts from his little throat:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Never was I afraid of man;
  Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can!
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Six white eggs on a bed of hay,
    Flecked with purple, a pretty sight!
  There as the mother sits all day,
    Robert is singing with all his might:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Nice good wife, that never goes out,
  Keeping house while I frolic about.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Soon as the little ones chip the shell,
    Six wide mouths are open for food;
  Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well,
    Gathering seeds for the hungry brood.
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  This new life is likely to be
  Hard for a gay young fellow like me.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Robert of Lincoln at length is made
    Sober with work, and silent with care;
  Off is his holiday garment laid,
    Half forgotten that merry air:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  Nobody knows but my mate and I
  Where our nest and our nestlings lie.
                 Chee, chee, chee.

  Summer wanes; the children are grown;
    Fun and frolic no more he knows;
  Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone;
    Off he flies, and we sing as he goes:
       Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,
       Spink, spank, spink;
  When you can pipe that merry old strain,
  Robert of Lincoln, come back again.
                 Chee, chee, chee.



  THE TWENTY-SEVENTH OF MARCH.


    Oh, gentle one, thy birthday sun should rise
  Amid a chorus of the merriest birds
  That ever sang the stars out of the sky
  In a June morning. Rivulets should send
  A voice of gladness from their winding paths,
  Deep in o'erarching grass, where playful winds,
  Stirring the loaded stems, should shower the dew
  Upon the grassy water. Newly-blown
  Roses, by thousands, to the garden-walks
  Should tempt the loitering moth and diligent bee.
  The longest, brightest day in all the year
  Should be the day on which thy cheerful eyes
  First opened on the earth, to make thy haunts
  Fairer and gladder for thy kindly looks.
    Thus might a poet say; but I must bring
  A birthday offering of an humbler strain,
  And yet it may not please thee less. I hold
  That 'twas the fitting season for thy birth
  When March, just ready to depart, begins
  To soften into April. Then we have
  The delicatest and most welcome flowers,
  And yet they take least heed of bitter wind
  And lowering sky. The periwinkle then,
  In an hour's sunshine, lifts her azure blooms
  Beside the cottage-door; within the woods
  Tufts of ground-laurel, creeping underneath
  The leaves of the last summer, send their sweets
  Up to the chilly air, and, by the oak,
  The squirrel-cups, a graceful company,
  Hide in their bells, a soft aërial blue--
  Sweet flowers, that nestle in the humblest nooks
  And yet within whose smallest bud is wrapped
  A world of promise! Still the north wind breathes
  His frost, and still the sky sheds snow and sleet;
  Yet ever, when the sun looks forth again,
  The flowers smile up to him from their low seats.
    Well hast thou borne the bleak March day of life.
  Its storms and its keen winds to thee have been
  Most kindly tempered, and through all its gloom
  There has been warmth and sunshine in thy heart;
  The griefs of life to thee have been like snows,
  That light upon the fields in early spring,
  Making them greener. In its milder hours,
  The smile of this pale season, thou hast seen
  The glorious bloom of June, and in the note
  Of early bird, that comes a messenger
  From climes of endless verdure, thou hast heard
  The choir that fills the summer woods with song.
    Now be the hours that yet remain to thee
  Stormy or sunny, sympathy and love,
  That inextinguishably dwell within
  Thy heart, shall give a beauty and a light
  To the most desolate moments, like the glow
  Of a bright fireside in the wildest day;
  And kindly words and offices of good
  Shall wait upon thy steps, as thou goest on,
  Where God shall lead thee, till thou reach the gates
  Of a more genial season, and thy path
  Be lost to human eye among the bowers
  And living fountains of a brighter land.

  _March_, 1855.



  AN INVITATION TO THE COUNTRY.


  Already, close by our summer dwelling,
    The Easter sparrow repeats her song;
  A merry warbler, she chides the blossoms--
    The idle blossoms that sleep so long.

  The bluebird chants, from the elm's long branches,
    A hymn to welcome the budding year.
  The south wind wanders from field to forest,
    And softly whispers, "The Spring is here."

  Come, daughter mine, from the gloomy city,
    Before those lays from the elm have ceased;
  The violet breathes, by our door, as sweetly
    As in the air of her native East.

  Though many a flower in the wood is waking,
    The daffodil is our doorside queen;
  She pushes upward the sward already,
    To spot with sunshine the early green.

  No lays so joyous as these are warbled
    From wiry prison in maiden's bower;
  No pampered bloom of the green-house chamber
    Has half the charm of the lawn's first flower.

  Yet these sweet sounds of the early season,
    And these fair sights of its sunny days,
  Are only sweet when we fondly listen,
    And only fair when we fondly gaze.

  There is no glory in star or blossom
    Till looked upon by a loving eye;
  There is no fragrance in April breezes
    Till breathed with joy as they wander by.

  Come, Julia dear, for the sprouting willows,
    The opening flowers, and the gleaming brooks,
  And hollows, green in the sun, are waiting
    Their dower of beauty from thy glad looks.



  A SONG FOR NEW-YEAR'S EVE.


  Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay--
    Stay till the good old year,
  So long companion of our way,
    Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One little hour, and then away.

  The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
    Has now no hopes to wake;
  Yet one hour more of jest and song
    For his familiar sake.
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One mirthful hour, and then away.

  The kindly year, his liberal hands
    Have lavished all his store.
  And shall we turn from where he stands,
    Because he gives no more?
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One grateful hour, and then away.

  Days brightly came and calmly went,
    While yet he was our guest;
  How cheerfully the week was spent!
    How sweet the seventh day's rest!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One golden hour, and then away.

  Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
    Beneath the coffin-lid:
  What pleasant memories we keep
    Of all they said and did!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One tender hour, and then away.

  Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
    And leaves our sphere behind.
  The good old year is with the past;
    Oh be the new as kind!
          Oh stay, oh stay,
  One parting strain, and then away.



  THE WIND AND STREAM.


  A brook came stealing from the ground;
    You scarcely saw its silvery gleam
  Among the herbs that hung around
    The borders of the winding stream,
  The pretty stream, the placid stream,
  The softly-gliding, bashful stream.

  A breeze came wandering from the sky,
    Light as the whispers of a dream;
  He put the o'erhanging grasses by,
    And softly stooped to kiss the stream,
  The pretty stream, the flattered stream,
  The shy, yet unreluctant stream.

  The water, as the wind passed o'er,
    Shot upward many a glancing beam,
  Dimpled and quivered more and more,
    And tripped along, a livelier stream,
  The flattered stream, the simpering stream,
  The fond, delighted, silly stream.

  Away the airy wanderer flew
    To where the fields with blossoms teem,
  To sparkling springs and rivers blue,
    And left alone that little stream,
  The flattered stream, the cheated stream,
  The sad, forsaken, lonely stream.

  That careless wind came never back;
    He wanders yet the fields, I deem,
  But, on its melancholy track,
    Complaining went that little stream,
  The cheated stream, the hopeless stream,
  The ever-murmuring, mourning stream.



  THE LOST BIRD.

  FROM THE SPANISH OF CAROLINA CORONADO DE PERRY.


      My bird has flown away,
  Far out of sight has flown, I know not where.
      Look in your lawn, I pray,
      Ye maidens, kind and fair,
  And see if my beloved bird be there.

      His eyes are full of light;
  The eagle of the rock has such an eye;
      And plumes, exceeding bright,
      Round his smooth temples lie,
  And sweet his voice and tender as a sigh.

      Look where the grass is gay
  With summer blossoms, haply there he cowers;
      And search, from spray to spray,
      The leafy laurel-bowers,
  For well he loves the laurels and the flowers.

      Find him, but do not dwell,
  With eyes too fond, on the fair form you see,
      Nor love his song too well;
      Send him, at once, to me,
  Or leave him to the air and liberty.

      For only from my hand
  He takes the seed into his golden beak,
      And all unwiped shall stand
      The tears that wet my cheek,
  Till I have found the wanderer I seek.

      My sight is darkened o'er,
  Whene'er I miss his eyes, which are my day,
      And when I hear no more
      The music of his lay,
  My heart in utter sadness faints away.



  THE NIGHT JOURNEY OF A RIVER.


  Oh River, gentle River! gliding on
  In silence underneath the starless sky!
  Thine is a ministry that never rests
  Even while the living slumber. For a time
  The meddler, man, hath left the elements
  In peace; the ploughman breaks the clods no more;
  The miner labors not, with steel and fire,
  To rend the rock, and he that hews the stone,
  And he that fells the forest, he that guides
  The loaded wain, and the poor animal
  That drags it, have forgotten, for a time,
  Their toils, and share the quiet of the earth.
    Thou pausest not in thine allotted task,
  Oh darkling River! Through the night I hear
  Thy wavelets rippling on the pebbly beach;
  I hear thy current stir the rustling sedge,
  That skirts thy bed; thou intermittest not
  Thine everlasting journey, drawing on
  A silvery train from many a woodland spring
  And mountain-brook. The dweller by thy side,
  Who moored his little boat upon thy beach,
  Though all the waters that upbore it then
  Have slid away o'er night, shall find, at morn,
  Thy channel filled with waters freshly drawn
  From distant cliffs, and hollows where the rill
  Comes up amid the water-flags. All night
  Thou givest moisture to the thirsty roots
  Of the lithe willow and o'erhanging plane,
  And cherishest the herbage of thy bank,
  Spotted with little flowers, and sendest up
  Perpetually the vapors from thy face,
  To steep the hills with dew, or darken heaven
  With drifting clouds, that trail the shadowy shower.
    Oh River! darkling River! what a voice
  Is that thou utterest while all else is still--
  The ancient voice that, centuries ago,
  Sounded between thy hills, while Rome was yet
  A weedy solitude by Tiber's stream!
  How many, at this hour, along thy course,
  Slumber to thine eternal murmurings,
  That mingle with the utterance of their dreams!
  At dead of night the child awakes and hears
  Thy soft, familiar dashings, and is soothed,
  And sleeps again. An airy multitude
  Of little echoes, all unheard by day,
  Faintly repeat, till morning, after thee,
  The story of thine endless goings forth.
    Yet there are those who lie beside thy bed
  For whom thou once didst rear the bowers that screen
  Thy margin, and didst water the green fields;
  And now there is no night so still that they
  Can hear thy lapse; their slumbers, were thy voice
  Louder than Ocean's, it could never break.
  For them the early violet no more
  Opens upon thy bank, nor, for their eyes,
  Glitter the crimson pictures of the clouds,
  Upon thy bosom, when the sun goes down.
  Their memories are abroad, the memories
  Of those who last were gathered to the earth,
  Lingering within the homes in which they sat,
  Hovering above the paths in which they walked,
  Haunting them like a presence. Even now
  They visit many a dreamer in the forms
  They walked in, ere at last they wore the shroud.
  And eyes there are which will not close to dream,
  For weeping and for thinking of the grave,
  The new-made grave, and the pale one within.
  These memories and these sorrows all shall fade,
  And pass away, and fresher memories
  And newer sorrows come and dwell awhile
  Beside thy borders, and, in turn, depart.
    On glide thy waters, till at last they flow
  Beneath the windows of the populous town,
  And all night long give back the gleam of lamps,
  And glimmer with the trains of light that stream
  From halls where dancers whirl. A dimmer ray
  Touches thy surface from the silent room
  In which they tend the sick, or gather round
  The dying; and a slender, steady beam
  Comes from the little chamber, in the roof
  Where, with a feverous crimson on her cheek,
  The solitary damsel, dying, too,
  Plies the quick needle till the stars grow pale.
  There, close beside the haunts of revel, stand
  The blank, unlighted windows, where the poor,
  In hunger and in darkness, wake till morn.
  There, drowsily, on the half-conscious ear
  Of the dull watchman, pacing on the wharf,
  Falls the soft ripple of the waves that strike
  On the moored bark; but guiltier listeners
  Are nigh, the prowlers of the night, who steal
  From shadowy nook to shadowy nook, and start
  If other sounds than thine are in the air.
    Oh, glide away from those abodes, that bring
  Pollution to thy channel and make foul
  Thy once clear current; summon thy quick waves
  And dimpling eddies; linger not, but haste,
  With all thy waters, haste thee to the deep,
  There to be tossed by shifting winds and rocked
  By that mysterious force which lives within
  The sea's immensity, and wields the weight
  Of its abysses, swaying to and fro
  The billowy mass, until the stain, at length,
  Shall wholly pass away, and thou regain
  The crystal brightness of thy mountain-springs.



  THE LIFE THAT IS.


  Thou, who so long hast pressed the couch of pain,
    Oh welcome, welcome back to life's free breath--
  To life's free breath and day's sweet light again,
    From the chill shadows of the gate of death!

  For thou hadst reached the twilight bound between
    The world of spirits and this grosser sphere;
  Dimly by thee the things of earth were seen,
    And faintly fell earth's voices on thine ear.

  And now, how gladly we behold, at last,
    The wonted smile returning to thy brow!
  The very wind's low whisper, breathing past,
    In the light leaves, is music to thee now.

  Thou wert not weary of thy lot; the earth
    Was ever good and pleasant in thy sight;
  Still clung thy loves about the household hearth,
    And sweet was every day's returning light.

  Then welcome back to all thou wouldst not leave,
    To this grand march of seasons, days, and hours;
  The glory of the morn, the glow of eve,
    The beauty of the streams, and stars, and flowers;

  To eyes on which thine own delight to rest;
    To voices which it is thy joy to hear;
  To the kind toils that ever pleased thee best,
    The willing tasks of love, that made life dear.

  Welcome to grasp of friendly hands; to prayers
    Offered where crowds in reverent worship come,
  Or softly breathed amid the tender cares
    And loving inmates of thy quiet home.

  Thou bring'st no tidings of the better land,
    Even from its verge; the mysteries opened there
  Are what the faithful heart may understand
    In its still depths, yet words may not declare.

  And well I deem, that, from the brighter side
    Of life's dim border, some o'erflowing rays
  Streamed from the inner glory, shall abide
    Upon thy spirit through the coming days.

  Twice wert thou given me; once in thy fair prime,
    Fresh from the fields of youth, when first we met,
  And all the blossoms of that hopeful time
    Clustered and glowed where'er thy steps were set.

  And now, in thy ripe autumn, once again
    Given back to fervent prayers and yearnings strong,
  From the drear realm of sickness and of pain
    When we had watched, and feared, and trembled long.

  Now may we keep thee from the balmy air
    And radiant walks of heaven a little space,
  Where He, who went before thee to prepare
    For His meek followers, shall assign thy place.

  CASTELLAMARE, _May_, 1858.



  SONG.

  "THESE PRAIRIES GLOW WITH FLOWERS."


  These prairies glow with flowers,
    These groves are tall and fair,
  The sweet lay of the mocking-bird
    Rings in the morning air;
  And yet I pine to see
    My native hill once more,
  And hear the sparrow's friendly chirp
    Beside its cottage-door.

  And he, for whom I left
    My native hill and brook,
  Alas, I sometimes think I trace
    A coldness in his look!
  If I have lost his love,
    I know my heart will break;
  And haply, they I left for him
    Will sorrow for my sake.



  A SICK-BED.


  Long hast thou watched my bed,
    And smoothed the pillow oft
  For this poor, aching head,
    With touches kind and soft.

  Oh! smooth it yet again,
    As softly as before;
  Once--only once--and then
    I need thy hand no more.

  Yet here I may not stay,
    Where I so long have lain,
  Through many a restless day
    And many a night of pain.

  But bear me gently forth
    Beneath the open sky,
  Where, on the pleasant earth,
    Till night the sunbeams lie.

  There, through the coming days,
    I shall not look to thee
  My weary side to raise,
    And shift it tenderly.

  There sweetly shall I sleep;
    Nor wilt thou need to bring
  And put to my hot lip
    Cool water from the spring;

  Nor wet the kerchief laid
    Upon my burning brow;
  Nor from my eyeballs shade
    The light that wounds them now;

  Nor watch that none shall tread,
    With noisy footstep, nigh;
  Nor listen by my bed,
    To hear my faintest sigh,

  And feign a look of cheer,
    And words of comfort speak,
  Yet turn to hide the tear
    That gathers on thy cheek.

  Beside me, where I rest,
    Thy loving hands will set
  The flowers that please me best--
    Moss-rose and violet.

  Then to the sleep I crave
    Resign me, till I see
  The face of Him who gave
    His life for thee and me.

  Yet, with the setting sun,
    Come, now and then, at eve,
  And think of me as one
    For whom thou shouldst not grieve;

  Who, when the kind release
    From sin and suffering came,
  Passed to the appointed peace
    In murmuring thy name.

  Leave at my side a space,
    Where thou shalt come, at last,
  To find a resting-place,
    When many years are past.



  THE SONG OF THE SOWER.

  I.

  The maples redden in the sun;
    In autumn gold the beeches stand;
  Rest, faithful plough, thy work is done
    Upon the teeming land.
  Bordered with trees whose gay leaves fly
  On every breath that sweeps the sky,
  The fresh dark acres furrowed lie,
    And ask the sower's hand.
  Loose the tired steer and let him go
  To pasture where the gentians blow,
  And we, who till the grateful ground,
  Fling we the golden shower around.


  II.

  Fling wide the generous grain; we fling
  O'er the dark mould the green of spring.
  For thick the emerald blades shall grow,
  When first the March winds melt the snow,
  And to the sleeping flowery below,
      The early bluebirds sing.
  Fling wide the grain; we give the fields
    The ears that nod in summer's gale,
  The shining stems that summer gilds,
    The harvest that o'erflows the vale,
  And swells, an amber sea, between
  The full-leaved woods, its shores of green.
  Hark! from the murmuring clods I hear
  Glad voices of the coming year;
  The song of him who binds the grain,
  The shout of those that load the wain,
  And from the distant grange there comes
    The clatter of the thresher's flail,
  And steadily the millstone hums
    Down in the willowy vale.


  III.

  Fling wide the golden shower; we trust
  The strength of armies to the dust.
  This peaceful lea may haply yield
  Its harvest for the tented field.
  Ha! feel ye not your fingers thrill,
    As o'er them, in the yellow grains,
  Glide the warm drops of blood that fill,
    For mortal strife, the warrior's veins;
  Such as, on Solferino's day,
  Slaked the brown sand and flowed away--
  Flowed till the herds, on Mincio's brink,
  Snuffed the red stream and feared to drink;--
  Blood that in deeper pools shall lie,
    On the sad earth, as time grows gray,
  When men by deadlier arts shall die,
  And deeper darkness blot the sky
      Above the thundering fray;
  And realms, that hear the battle-cry,
      Shall sicken with dismay;
  And chieftains to the war shall lead
  Whole nations, with the tempest's speed,
      To perish in a day;--
  Till man, by love and mercy taught,
  Shall rue the wreck his fury wrought,
      And lay the sword away!
  Oh strew, with pausing, shuddering hand,
  The seed upon the helpless land,
  As if, at every step, ye cast
  The pelting hail and riving blast.


  IV.

  Nay, strew, with free and joyous sweep,
    The seed upon the expecting soil;
  For hence the plenteous year shall heap
    The garners of the men who toil.
  Strew the bright seed for those who tear
  The matted sward with spade and share,
  And those whose sounding axes gleam
  Beside the lonely forest-stream,
      Till its broad banks lie bare;
  And him who breaks the quarry-ledge,
    With hammer-blows, plied quick and strong,
  And him who, with the steady sledge,
    Smites the shrill anvil all day long.
  Sprinkle the furrow's even trace
    For those whose toiling hands uprear
  The roof-trees of our swarming race,
    By grove and plain, by stream and mere;
  Who forth, from crowded city, lead
    The lengthening street, and overlay
  Green orchard-plot and grassy mead
    With pavement of the murmuring way.
  Cast, with full hands the harvest cast,
  For the brave men that climb the mast,
  When to the billow and the blast
    It swings and stoops, with fearful strain,
  And bind the fluttering mainsail fast,
    Till the tossed bark shall sit, again,
    Safe as a sea-bird on the main.


  V.

  Fling wide the grain for those who throw
  The clanking shuttle to and fro,
  In the long row of humming rooms,
    And into ponderous masses wind
  The web that, from a thousand looms,
    Comes forth to clothe mankind.
  Strew, with free sweep, the grain for them,
    By whom the busy thread
  Along the garment's even hem
    And winding seam is led;
  A pallid sisterhood, that keep
    The lonely lamp alight,
  In strife with weariness and sleep,
    Beyond the middle night.
  Large part be theirs in what the year
  Shall ripen for the reaper here.


  VI.

  Still, strew, with joyous hand, the wheat
  On the soft mould beneath our feet,
      For even now I seem
  To hear a sound that lightly rings
  From murmuring harp and viol's strings,
      As in a summer dream.
  The welcome of the wedding-guest,
    The bridegroom's look of bashful pride,
    The faint smile of the pallid bride,
  And bridemaid's blush at matron's jest,
  And dance and song and generous dower,
  Are in the shining grains we shower.


  VII.

  Scatter the wheat for shipwrecked men,
  Who, hunger-worn, rejoice again
    In the sweet safety of the shore,
  And wanderers, lost in woodlands drear,
  Whose pulses bound with joy to hear
    The herd's light bell once more.
    Freely the golden spray be shed
  For him whose heart, when night comes down
  On the close alleys of the town,
    Is faint for lack of bread.
  In chill roof-chambers, bleak and bare,
  Or the damp cellar's stifling air,
  She who now sees, in mute despair,
      Her children pine for food,
  Shall feel the dews of gladness start
  To lids long tearless, and shall part
  The sweet loaf with a grateful heart,
      Among her thin pale brood.
  Dear, kindly Earth, whose breast we till!
  Oh, for thy famished children, fill,
      Where'er the sower walks,
  Fill the rich ears that shade the mould
  With grain for grain, a hundredfold,
      To bend the sturdy stalks.


  VIII.

  Strew silently the fruitful seed,
    As softly o'er the tilth ye tread,
  For hands that delicately knead
    The consecrated bread--
  The mystic loaf that crowns the board.
  When, round the table of their Lord,
      Within a thousand temples set,
  In memory of the bitter death
  Of Him who taught at Nazareth,
      His followers are met,
  And thoughtful eyes with tears are wet,
    As of the Holy One they think,
  The glory of whose rising yet
    Makes bright the grave's mysterious brink.


  IX.

    Brethren, the sower's task is done.
  The seed is in its winter bed.
  Now let the dark-brown mould be spread,
    To hide it from the sun,
  And leave it to the kindly care
  Of the still earth and brooding air,
  As when the mother, from her breast,
  Lays the hushed babe apart to rest,
  And shades its eyes, and waits to see
  How sweet its waking smile will be.
  The tempest now may smite, the sleet
  All night on the drowned furrow beat,
  And winds that, from the cloudy hold,
  Of winter breathe the bitter cold,
  Stiffen to stone the mellow mould,
      Yet safe shall lie the wheat;
  Till, out of heaven's unmeasured blue,
    Shall walk again the genial year,
  To wake with warmth and nurse with dew
    The germs we lay to slumber here.


  X.

  Oh blessed harvest yet to be!
    Abide thou with the Love that keeps,
  In its warm bosom, tenderly,
    The Life which wakes and that which sleeps.
  The Love that leads the willing spheres
  Along the unending track of years,
  And watches o'er the sparrow's nest,
  Shall brood above thy winter rest,
  And raise thee from the dust, to hold
    Light whisperings with the winds of May,
  And fill thy spikes with living gold,
    From summer's yellow ray;
  Then, as thy garners give thee forth,
    On what glad errands shalt thou go,
  Wherever, o'er the waiting earth,
    Roads wind and rivers flow!
  The ancient East shall welcome thee
  To mighty marts beyond the sea,
  And they who dwell where palm-groves sound
  To summer winds the whole year round,
  Shall watch, in gladness, from the shore,
  The sails that bring thy glistening store.



  THE NEW AND THE OLD.


  New are the leaves on the oaken spray,
    New the blades of the silky grass;
  Flowers, that were buds but yesterday,
    Peep from the ground where'er I pass.

  These gay idlers, the butterflies,
    Broke, to-day, from their winter shroud;
  These light airs, that winnow the skies,
    Blow, just born, from the soft, white cloud.

  Gushing fresh in the little streams,
    What a prattle the waters make!
  Even the sun, with his tender beams,
    Seems as young as the flowers they wake.

  Children are wading, with cheerful cries,
    In the shoals of the sparkling brook;
  Laughing maidens, with soft, young eyes,
    Walk or sit in the shady nook.

  What am I doing, thus alone,
    In the glory of Nature here,
  Silver-haired, like a snow-flake thrown
    On the greens of the springing year?

  Only for brows unploughed by care,
    Eyes that glisten with hope and mirth,
  Cheeks unwrinkled, and unblanched hair,
    Shines this holiday of the earth.

  Under the grass, with the clammy clay,
    Lie in darkness the last year's flowers,
  Born of a light that has passed away,
    Dews long dried and forgotten showers.

  "Under the grass is the fitting home,"
    So they whisper, "for such as thou,
  When the winter of life is come,
    Chilling the blood, and frosting the brow."



  THE CLOUD ON THE WAY.


  See, before us, in our journey, broods a mist upon the ground;
  Thither leads the path we walk in, blending with that gloomy bound.
  Never eye hath pierced its shadows to the mystery they screen;
  Those who once have passed within it never more on earth are seen.
  Now it seems to stoop beside us, now at seeming distance lowers,
  Leaving banks that tempt us onward bright with summer-green and flowers.
  Yet it blots the way forever; there our journey ends at last;
  Into that dark cloud we enter, and are gathered to the past.
  Thou who, in this flinty pathway, leading through a stranger-land,
  Passest down the rocky valley, walking with me hand in hand,
  Which of us shall be the soonest folded to that dim Unknown?
  Which shall leave the other walking in this flinty path alone?
  Even now I see thee shudder, and thy cheek is white with fear,
  And thou clingest to my side as comes that darkness sweeping near.
  "Here," thou sayst, "the path is rugged,
          sown with thorns that wound the feet;
  But the sheltered glens are lovely, and the rivulet's song is sweet;
  Roses breathe from tangled thickets; lilies bend from ledges brown;
  Pleasantly between the pelting showers the sunshine gushes down;
  Dear are those who walk beside us, they whose looks and voices make
  All this rugged region cheerful, till I love it for their sake.
  Far be yet the hour that takes me where that chilly shadow lies,
  From the things I know and love, and from the sight of loving eyes!"
  So thou murmurest, fearful one; but see, we tread a rougher way;
  Fainter glow the gleams of sunshine that upon the dark rocks play;
  Rude winds strew the faded flowers upon the crags o'er which we pass;
  Banks of verdure, when we reach them, hiss with tufts of withered grass.
  One by one we miss the voices which we loved so well to hear;
  One by one the kindly faces in that shadow disappear.
  Yet upon the mist before us fix thine eyes with closer view;
  See, beneath its sullen skirts, the rosy morning glimmers through.
  One whose feet the thorns have wounded passed that barrier and came back,
  With a glory on His footsteps lighting yet the dreary track.
  Boldly enter where He entered; all that seems but darkness here,
  When thou once hast passed beyond it, haply shall be crystal-clear.
  Viewed from that serener realm, the walks of human life may lie,
  Like the page of some familiar volume, open to thine eye;
  Haply, from the o'erhanging shadow, thou mayst stretch an unseen hand,
  To support the wavering steps that print with blood the rugged land.
  Haply, leaning o'er the pilgrim, all unweeting thou art near,
  Thou mayst whisper words of warning or of comfort in his ear
  Till, beyond the border where that brooding mystery bars the sight,
  Those whom thou hast fondly cherished stand with thee in peace and light.



  THE TIDES.


  The moon is at her full, and, riding high,
       Floods the calm fields with light;
  The airs that hover in the summer-sky
       Are all asleep to-night.

  There comes no voice from the great woodlands round
       That murmured all the day;
  Beneath the shadow of their boughs the ground
       Is not more still than they.

  But ever heaves and moans the restless Deep;
       His rising tides I hear,
  Afar I see the glimmering billows leap;
       I see them breaking near.

  Each wave springs upward, climbing toward the fair
       Pure light that sits on high--
  Springs eagerly, and faintly sinks, to where
       The mother-waters lie.

  Upward again it swells; the moonbeams show
       Again its glimmering crest;
  Again it feels the fatal weight below,
       And sinks, but not to rest.

  Again and yet again; until the Deep
       Recalls his brood of waves;
  And, with a sullen moan, abashed, they creep
       Back to his inner caves.

  Brief respite! they shall rush from that recess
       With noise and tumult soon,
  And fling themselves, with unavailing stress,
       Up toward the placid moon.

  O restless Sea, that, in thy prison here,
       Dost struggle and complain;
  Through the slow centuries yearning to be near
       To that fair orb in vain;

  The glorious source of light and heat must warm
       Thy billows from on high,
  And change them to the cloudy trains that form
       The curtain of the sky.

  Then only may they leave the waste of brine
       In which they welter here,
  And rise above the hills of earth, and shine
       In a serener sphere.



  ITALY.


  Voices from the mountains speak,
    Apennines to Alps reply;
  Vale to vale and peak to peak
    Toss an old-remembered cry:
           "Italy
           Shall be free!"
  Such the mighty shout that fills
  All the passes of her hills.

  All the old Italian lakes
    Quiver at that quickening word;
  Como with a thrill awakes;
    Garda to her depths is stirred;
           Mid the steeps
           Where he sleeps,
  Dreaming of the elder years,
  Startled Thrasymenus hears.

  Sweeping Arno, swelling Po,
    Murmur freedom to their meads.
  Tiber swift and Liris slow
    Send strange whispers from their reeds.
           "Italy
           Shall be free!"
  Sing the glittering brooks that slide,
  Toward the sea, from Etna's side.

  Long ago was Gracchus slain;
    Brutus perished long ago;
  Yet the living roots remain
    Whence the shoots of greatness grow;
           Yet again,
           Godlike men,
  Sprung from that heroic stem,
  Call the land to rise with them.

  They who haunt the swarming street,
    They who chase the mountain-boar,
  Or, where cliff and billow meet,
    Prune the vine or pull the oar,
           With a stroke
           Break their yoke;
  Slaves but yestereve were they--
  Freemen with the dawning day.

  Looking in his children's eyes,
    While his own with gladness flash,
  "These," the Umbrian father cries,
    "Ne'er shall crouch beneath the lash!
           These shall ne'er
           Brook to wear
  Chains whose cruel links are twined
  Round the crushed and withering mind."

  Monarchs! ye whose armies stand
    Harnessed for the battle-field!
  Pause, and from the lifted hand
    Drop the bolts of war ye wield.
           Stand aloof
           While the proof
  Of the people's might is given;
  Leave their kings to them and Heaven!

  Stand aloof, and see the oppressed
    Chase the oppressor, pale with fear,
  As the fresh winds of the west
    Blow the misty valleys clear.
           Stand and see
           Italy
  Cast the gyves she wears no more
  To the gulfs that steep her shore.



  A DAY-DREAM.


  A day-dream by the dark-blue deep;
    Was it a dream, or something more?
  I sat where Posilippo's steep,
    With its gray shelves, o'erhung the shore.

  On ruined Roman walls around
    The poppy flaunted, for 'twas May;
  And at my feet, with gentle sound,
    Broke the light billows of the bay.

  I sat and watched the eternal flow
    Of those smooth billows toward the shore,
  While quivering lines of light below
    Ran with them on the ocean-floor:

  Till, from the deep, there seemed to rise
    White arms upon the waves outspread,
  Young faces, lit with soft blue eyes,
    And smooth, round cheeks, just touched with red.

  Their long, fair tresses, tinged with gold,
    Lay floating on the ocean-streams,
  And such their brows as bards behold--
    Love-stricken bards--in morning dreams.

  Then moved their coral lips; a strain
    Low, sweet and sorrowful, I heard,
  As if the murmurs of the main
    Were shaped to syllable and word.

  "The sight thou dimly dost behold,
    Oh, stranger from a distant sky!
  Was often, in the days of old,
    Seen by the clear, believing eye.

  "Then danced we on the wrinkled sand,
    Sat in cool caverns by the sea,
  Or wandered up the bloomy land,
    To talk with shepherds on the lea.

  "To us, in storms, the seaman prayed,
    And where our rustic altars stood,
  His little children came and laid
    The fairest flowers of field and wood.

  "Oh woe, a long, unending woe!
    For who shall knit the ties again
  That linked the sea-nymphs, long ago,
    In kindly fellowship with men?

  "Earth rears her flowers for us no more;
    A half-remembered dream are we;
  Unseen we haunt the sunny shore,
    And swim, unmarked, the glassy sea.

  "And we have none to love or aid,
    But wander, heedless of mankind,
  With shadows by the cloud-rack made,
    With moaning wave and sighing wind.

  "Yet sometimes, as in elder days,
    We come before the painter's eye,
  Or fix the sculptor's eager gaze,
    With no profaner witness nigh.

  "And then the words of men grow warm
    With praise and wonder, asking where
  The artist saw the perfect form
    He copied forth in lines so fair."

  As thus they spoke, with wavering sweep
    Floated the graceful forms away;
  Dimmer and dimmer, through the deep,
    I saw the white arms gleam and play.

  Fainter and fainter, on mine ear,
    Fell the soft accents of their speech,
  Till I, at last, could only hear
    The waves run murmuring up the beach.



  THE RUINS OF ITALICA.

  FROM THE SPANISH OF RIOJA.


  I.

  Fabius, this region, desolate and drear,
    These solitary fields, this shapeless mound,
    Were once Italica, the far-renowned;
  For Scipio, the mighty, planted here
  His conquering colony, and now, o'erthrown,
  Lie its once-dreaded walls of massive stone,
       Sad relics, sad and vain,
       Of those invincible men
       Who held the region then.
  Funereal memories alone remain
    Where forms of high example walked of yore.
  Here lay the forum, there arose the fane--
    The eye beholds their places, and no more.
  Their proud gymnasium and their sumptuous baths
  Resolved to dust and cinders, strew the paths;
  Their towers, that looked defiance at the sky,
  Fallen by their own vast weight, in fragments lie.


  II.

  This broken circus, where the rock-weeds climb,
    Flaunting with yellow blossoms, and defy
    The gods to whom its walls were piled so high,
  Is now a tragic theatre, where Time
  Acts his great fable, spreads a stage that shows
  Past grandeur's story and its dreary close.
       Why, round this desert pit,
       Shout not the applauding rows
       Where the great people sit?
  Wild beasts are here, but where the combatant;
    With his bare arms, the strong athleta where?
  All have departed from this once gay haunt
    Of noisy crowds, and silence holds the air.
  Yet, on this spot, Time gives us to behold
  A spectacle as stern as those of old.
  As dreamily I gaze, there seem to rise,
  From all the mighty ruin, wailing cries.


  III.

  The terrible in war, the pride of Spain,
    Trajan, his country's father, here was born;
  Good, fortunate, triumphant, to whose reign
    Submitted the far regions, where the morn
  Rose from her cradle, and the shore whose steeps
  O'erlooked the conquered Gaditanian deeps.
       Of mighty Adrian here,
       Of Theodosius, saint,
       Of Silius, Virgil's peer,
  Were rocked the cradles, rich with gold, and quaint
  With ivory carvings; here were laurel-boughs
  And sprays of jasmine gathered for their brows,
    From gardens now a marshy, thorny waste.
  Where rose the palace, reared for Cæsar, yawn
    Foul rifts to which the scudding lizards haste.
  Palaces, gardens, Cæsars, all are gone,
  And even the stones their names were graven on.


  IV.

  Fabius, if tears prevent thee not, survey
    The long-dismantled streets, so thronged of old,
  The broken marbles, arches in decay,
    Proud statues, toppled from their place and rolled
  In dust, when Nemesis, the avenger, came,
    And buried, in forgetfulness profound,
       The owners and their fame.
       Thus Troy, I deem, must be,
       With many a mouldering mound;
  And thou, whose name alone remains to thee,
  Rome, of old gods and kings the native ground;
  And thou, sage Athens, built by Pallas, whom
  Just laws redeemed not from the appointed doom.
  The envy of earth's cities once wert thou--
  A weary solitude and ashes now!
  For Fate and Death respect ye not; they strike
  The mighty city and the wise alike.


  V.

  But why goes forth the wandering thought to frame
    New themes of sorrow, sought in distant lands?
    Enough the example that before me stands;
  For here are smoke-wreaths seen, and glimmering flame,
  And hoarse lamentings on the breezes die;
  So doth the mighty ruin cast its spell
       On those who near it dwell.
       And under night's still sky,
       As awe-struck peasants tell,
  A melancholy voice is heard to cry,
    "Italica is fallen!" the echoes then
    Mournfully shout "Italica" again.
  The leafy alleys of the forest nigh
    Murmur "Italica," and all around,
    A troop of mighty shadows, at the sound
  Of that illustrious name, repeat the call,
  "Italica!" from ruined tower and wall.



  WAITING BY THE GATE.


  Beside a massive gateway built up in years gone by,
  Upon whose top the clouds in eternal shadow lie,
  While streams the evening sunshine on quiet wood and lea,
  I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me.

  The tree-tops faintly rustle beneath the breeze's flight,
  A soft and soothing sound, yet it whispers of the night;
  I hear the wood-thrush piping one mellow descant more,
  And scent the flowers that blow when the heat of day is o'er.

  Behold, the portals open, and o'er the threshold, now,
  There steps a weary one with a pale and furrowed brow;
  His count of years is full, his allotted task is wrought;
  He passes to his rest from a place that needs him not.

  In sadness then I ponder how quickly fleets the hour
  Of human strength and action, man's courage and his power.
  I muse while still the wood-thrush sings down the golden day,
  And as I look and listen the sadness wears away.

  Again the hinges turn, and a youth, departing, throws
  A look of longing backward, and sorrowfully goes;
  A blooming maid, unbinding the roses from her hair,
  Moves mournfully away from amid the young and fair.

  O glory of our race that so suddenly decays!
  O crimson flush of morning that darkens as we gaze!
  O breath of summer blossoms that on the restless air
  Scatters a moment's sweetness, and flies we know not where!

  I grieve for life's bright promise, just shown and then withdrawn;
  But still the sun shines round me: the evening bird sings on,
  And I again am soothed, and, beside the ancient gate,
  In this soft evening sunlight, I calmly stand and wait.

  Once more the gates are opened; an infant group go out,
  The sweet smile quenched forever, and stilled the sprightly shout.
  O frail, frail tree of Life, that upon the greensward strows
  Its fair young buds unopened, with every wind that blows!

  So come from every region, so enter, side by side,
  The strong and faint of spirit, the meek and men of pride.
  Steps of earth's great and mighty, between those pillars gray,
  And prints of little feet, mark the dust along the way.

  And some approach the threshold whose looks are blank with fear,
  And some whose temples brighten with joy in drawing near,
  As if they saw dear faces, and caught the gracious eye
  Of Him, the Sinless Teacher, who came for us to die.

  I mark the joy, the terror; yet these, within my heart,
  Can neither wake the dread nor the longing to depart;
  And, in the sunshine streaming on quiet wood and lea,
  I stand and calmly wait till the hinges turn for me.



  NOT YET.


  Oh country, marvel of the earth!
    Oh realm to sudden greatness grown!
  The age that gloried in thy birth,
    Shall it behold thee overthrown?
  Shall traitors lay that greatness low?
  No, land of Hope and Blessing, No!

  And we, who wear thy glorious name,
    Shall we, like cravens, stand apart,
  When those whom thou hast trusted aim
    The death-blow at thy generous heart?
  Forth goes the battle-cry, and lo!
  Hosts rise in harness, shouting, No!

  And they who founded, in our land,
    The power that rules from sea to sea,
  Bled they in vain, or vainly planned
    To leave their country great and free?
  Their sleeping ashes, from below,
  Send up the thrilling murmur, No!

  Knit they the gentle ties which long
    These sister States were proud to wear,
  And forged the kindly links so strong
    For idle hands in sport to tear?
  For scornful hands aside to throw?
  No, by our fathers' memory, No!

  Our humming marts, our iron ways,
    Our wind-tossed woods on mountain-crest,
  The hoarse Atlantic, with its bays,
    The calm, broad Ocean of the West,
  And Mississippi's torrent-flow,
  And loud Niagara, answer, No!

  Not yet the hour is nigh when they
    Who deep in Eld's dim twilight sit,
  Earth's ancient kings, shall rise and say,
    "Proud country, welcome to the pit!
  So soon art thou, like us, brought low!"
  No, sullen group of shadows, No!

  For now, behold, the arm that gave
    The victory in our fathers' day,
  Strong, as of old, to guard and save--
    That mighty arm which none can stay--
  On clouds above and fields below,
  Writes, in men's sight, the answer, No!

  _July_, 1861.



  OUR COUNTRY'S CALL.


  Lay down the axe; fling by the spade;
    Leave in its track the toiling plough;
  The rifle and the bayonet-blade
    For arms like yours were fitter now;
  And let the hands that ply the pen
    Quit the light task, and learn to wield
  The horseman's crooked brand, and rein
    The charger on the battle-field.

  Our country calls; away! away!
    To where the blood-stream blots the green.
  Strike to defend the gentlest sway
    That Time in all his course has seen.
  See, from a thousand coverts--see,
    Spring the armed foes that haunt her track;
  They rush to smite her down, and we
    Must beat the banded traitors back.

  Ho! sturdy as the oaks ye cleave,
    And moved as soon to fear and flight,
  Men of the glade and forest! leave
    Your woodcraft for the field of fight.
  The arms that wield the axe must pour
    An iron tempest on the foe;
  His serried ranks shall reel before
    The arm that lays the panther low.

  And ye, who breast the mountain-storm
    By grassy steep or highland lake,
  Come, for the land ye love, to form
    A bulwark that no foe can break.
  Stand, like your own gray cliffs that mock
    The whirlwind, stand in her defence;
  The blast as soon shall move the rock
    As rushing squadrons bear ye thence.

  And ye, whose homes are by her grand
    Swift rivers, rising far away,
  Come from the depth of her green land,
    As mighty in your march as they;
  As terrible as when the rains
    Have swelled them over bank and bourne
  With sudden floods to drown the plains
    And sweep along the woods uptorn.

  And ye, who throng, beside the deep,
    Her ports and hamlets of the strand,
  In number like the waves that leap
    On his long-murmuring marge of sand--
  Come like that deep, when, o'er his brim,
    He rises, all his floods to pour,
  And flings the proudest barks that swim,
    A helpless wreck, against the shore!

  Few, few were they whose swords of old
    Won the fair land in which we dwell;
  But we are many, we who hold
    The grim resolve to guard it well.
  Strike, for that broad and goodly land,
    Blow after blow, till men shall see
  That Might and Right move hand in hand,
    And glorious must their triumph be!

  _September_, 1861.



  THE CONSTELLATIONS.


  O Constellations of the early night,
  That sparkled brighter as the twilight died,
  And made the darkness glorious! I have seen
  Your rays grow dim upon the horizon's edge,
  And sink behind the mountains. I have seen
  The great Orion, with his jewelled belt,
  That large-limbed warrior of the skies, go down
  Into the gloom. Beside him sank a crowd
  Of shining ones. I look in vain to find
  The group of sister-stars, which mothers love
  To show their wondering babes, the gentle Seven.
  Along the desert space mine eyes in vain
  Seek the resplendent cressets which the Twins
  Uplifted in their ever-youthful hands.
  The streaming tresses of the Egyptian Queen
  Spangle the heavens no more. The Virgin trails
  No more her glittering garments through the blue.
  Gone! all are gone! and the forsaken Night,
  With all her winds, in all her dreary wastes,
  Sighs that they shine upon her face no more
    Now only here and there a little star
  Looks forth alone. Ah me! I know them not,
  Those dim successors of the numberless host
  That filled the heavenly fields, and flung to earth
  Their quivering fires. And now the middle watch
  Betwixt the eve and morn is past, and still
  The darkness gains upon the sky, and still
  It closes round my way. Shall, then, the Night
  Grow starless in her later hours? Have these
  No train of flaming watchers, that shall mark
  Their coming and farewell? O Sons of Light!
  Have ye then left me ere the dawn of day
  To grope along my journey sad and faint?
    Thus I complained, and from the darkness round
  A voice replied--was it indeed a voice,
  Or seeming accents of a waking dream
  Heard by the inner ear? But thus it said:
  O Traveller of the Night! thine eyes are dim
  With watching; and the mists, that chill the vale
  Down which thy feet are passing, hide from view
  The ever-burning stars. It is thy sight
  That is so dark, and not the heavens. Thine eyes,
  Were they but clear, would see a fiery host
  Above thee; Hercules, with flashing mace,
  The Lyre with silver chords, the Swan uppoised
  On gleaming wings, the Dolphin gliding on
  With glistening scales, and that poetic steed,
  With beamy mane, whose hoof struck out from earth
  The fount of Hippocrene, and many more,
  Fair clustered splendors, with whose rays the Night
  Shall close her march in glory, ere she yield,
  To the young Day, the great earth steeped in dew.
    So spake the monitor, and I perceived
  How vain were my repinings, and my thought
  Went backward to the vanished years and all
  The good and great who came and passed with them,
  And knew that ever would the years to come
  Bring with them, in their course, the good and great,
  Lights of the world, though, to my clouded sight,
  Their rays might seem but dim, or reach me not.



  THE THIRD OF NOVEMBER, 1861.


  Softly breathes the west-wind beside the ruddy forest,
    Taking leaf by leaf from the branches where he flies.
  Sweetly streams the sunshine, this third day of November,
    Through the golden haze of the quiet autumn skies.

  Tenderly the season has spared the grassy meadows,
    Spared the potted flowers that the old world gave the new.
  Spared the autumn-rose and the garden's group of pansies,
    Late-blown dandelions and periwinkles blue.

  On my cornice linger the ripe black grapes ungathered;
    Children fill the groves with the echoes of their glee,
  Gathering tawny chestnuts, and shouting when beside them
    Drops the heavy fruit of the tall black-walnut tree.

  Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and crimson,
    Yet our full-leaved willows are in their freshest green.
  Such a kindly autumn, so mercifully dealing
    With the growths of summer, I never yet have seen.

  Like this kindly season may life's decline come o'er me;
    Past is manhood's summer, the frosty months are here;
  Yet be genial airs and a pleasant sunshine left me,
    Leaf, and fruit, and blossom, to mark the closing year!

  Dreary is the time when the flowers of earth are withered;
    Dreary is the time when the woodland leaves are cast--
  When, upon the hillside, all hardened into iron,
    Howling, like a wolf, flies the famished northern blast.

  Dreary are the years when the eye can look no longer
    With delight on Nature, or hope on human kind;
  Oh, may those that whiten my temples, as they pass me,
    Leave the heart unfrozen, and spare the cheerful mind!



  THE MOTHER'S HYMN.


  Lord, who ordainest for mankind
    Benignant toils and tender cares!
  We thank Thee for the ties that bind
    The mother to the child she bears.

  We thank Thee for the hopes that rise,
    Within her heart, as, day by day,
  The dawning soul, from those young eyes,
    Looks, with a clearer, steadier ray.

  And grateful for the blessing given
    With that dear infant on her knee,
  She trains the eye to look to heaven,
    The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee.

  Such thanks the blessed Mary gave,
    When, from her lap, the Holy Child,
  Sent from on high to seek and save
    The lost of earth, looked up and smiled.

  All-Gracious! grant, to those that bear
    A mother's charge, the strength and light
  To lead the steps that own their care
    In ways of Love, and Truth, and Right.



  SELLA.


  Hear now a legend of the days of old--
  The days when there were goodly marvels yet,
  When man to man gave willing faith, and loved
  A tale the better that 'twas wild and strange.
    Beside a pleasant dwelling ran a brook
  Scudding along a narrow channel, paved
  With green and yellow pebbles; yet full clear
  Its waters were, and colorless and cool,
  As fresh from granite rocks. A maiden oft
  Stood at the open window, leaning out,
  And listening to the sound the water made,
  A sweet, eternal murmur, still the same,
  And not the same; and oft, as spring came on,
  She gathered violets from its fresh moist bank,
  To place within her bower, and when the herbs
  Of summer drooped beneath the mid-day sun,
  She sat within the shade of a great rock,
  Dreamily listening to the streamlet's song.
    Ripe were the maiden's years; her stature showed
  Womanly beauty, and her clear, calm eye
  Was bright with venturous spirit, yet her face
  Was passionless, like those by sculptor graved
  For niches in a temple. Lovers oft
  Had wooed her, but she only laughed at love,
  And wondered at the silly things they said.
  'Twas her delight to wander where wild-vines
  O'erhang the river's brim, to climb the path
  Of woodland streamlet to its mountain-springs,
  To sit by gleaming wells and mark below
  The image of the rushes on its edge,
  And, deep beyond, the trailing clouds that slid
  Across the fair blue space. No little fount
  Stole forth from hanging rock, or in the side
  Of hollow dell, or under roots of oak;
  No rill came trickling, with a stripe of green,
  Down the bare hill, that to this maiden's eye
  Was not familiar. Often did the banks
  Of river or of sylvan lakelet hear
  The dip of oars with which the maiden rowed
  Her shallop, pushing ever from the prow
  A crowd of long, light ripples toward the shore.
    Two brothers had the maiden, and she thought,
  Within herself: "I would I were like them;
  For then I might go forth alone, to trace
  The mighty rivers downward to the sea,
  And upward to the brooks that, through the year,
  Prattle to the cool valleys. I would know
  What races drink their waters; how their chiefs
  Bear rule, and how men worship there, and how
  They build, and to what quaint device they frame,
  Where sea and river meet, their stately ships;
  What flowers are in their gardens, and what trees
  Bear fruit within their orchards; in what garb
  Their bowmen meet on holidays, and how
  Their maidens bind the waist and braid the hair.
  Here, on these hills, my father's house o'erlooks
  Broad pastures grazed by flocks and herds, but there
  I hear they sprinkle the great plains with corn
  And watch its springing up, and when the green
  Is changed to gold, they cut the stems and bring
  The harvest in, and give the nations bread.
  And there they hew the quarry into shafts,
  And pile up glorious temples from the rock,
  And chisel the rude stones to shapes of men.
  All this I pine to see, and would have seen,
  But that I am a woman, long ago."
    Thus in her wanderings did the maiden dream,
  Until, at length, one morn in early spring,
  When all the glistening fields lay white with frost,
  She came half breathless where her mother sat:
  "See, mother dear," she said, "what I have found,
  Upon our rivulet's bank; two slippers, white
  As the midwinter snow, and spangled o'er
  With twinkling points, like stars, and on the edge
  My name is wrought in silver; read, I pray,
  Sella, the name thy mother, now in heaven,
  Gave at my birth; and sure, they fit my feet!"
  "A dainty pair," the prudent matron said,
  "But thine they are not. We must lay them by
  For those whose careless hands have left them here;
  Or haply they were placed beside the brook
  To be a snare. I cannot see thy name
  Upon the border--only characters
  Of mystic look and dim are there, like signs
  Of some strange art; nay, daughter, wear them not."
    Then Sella hung the slippers in the porch
  Of that broad rustic lodge, and all who passed
  Admired their fair contexture, but none knew
  Who left them by the brook. And now, at length,
  May, with her flowers and singing birds, had gone,
  And on bright streams and into deep wells shone
  The high, midsummer sun. One day, at noon,
  Sella was missed from the accustomed meal.
  They sought her in her favorite haunts, they looked
  By the great rock and far along the stream,
  And shouted in the sounding woods her name.
  Night came, and forth the sorrowing household went
  With torches over the wide pasture-grounds,
  To pool and thicket, marsh and briery dell,
  And solitary valley far away.
  The morning came, and Sella was not found.
  The sun climbed high; they sought her still; the noon,
  The hot and silent noon, heard Sella's name,
  Uttered with a despairing cry, to wastes
  O'er which the eagle hovered. As the sun
  Stooped toward the amber west to bring the close
  Of that sad second day, and, with red eyes,
  The mother sat within her home alone,
  Sella was at her side. A shriek of joy
  Broke the sad silence; glad, warm tears were shed,
  And words of gladness uttered. "Oh, forgive,"
  The maiden said, "that I could e'er forget
  Thy wishes for a moment. I just tried
  The slippers on, amazed to see them shaped
  So fairly to my feet, when, all at once,
  I felt my steps upborne and hurried on
  Almost as if with wings. A strange delight,
  Blent with a thrill of fear, o'ermastered me,
  And, ere I knew, my splashing steps were set
  Within the rivulet's pebbly bed, and I
  Was rushing down the current. By my side
  Tripped one as beautiful as ever looked
  From white clouds in a dream; and, as we ran,
  She talked with musical voice and sweetly laughed.
  Gayly we leaped the crag and swam the pool,
  And swept with dimpling eddies round the rock,
  And glided between shady meadow-banks.
  The streamlet, broadening as we went, became
  A swelling river, and we shot along
  By stately towns, and under leaning masts
  Of gallant barks, nor lingered by the shore
  Of blooming gardens; onward, onward still,
  The same strong impulse bore me, till, at last,
  We entered the great deep, and passed below
  His billows, into boundless spaces, lit
  With a green sunshine. Here were mighty groves
  Far down the ocean-valleys, and between
  Lay what might seem fair meadows, softly tinged
  With orange and with crimson. Here arose
  Tall stems, that, rooted in the depths below,
  Swung idly with the motions of the sea;
  And here were shrubberies in whose mazy screen
  The creatures of the deep made haunt. My friend
  Named the strange growths, the pretty coralline,
  The dulse with crimson leaves, and, streaming far,
  Sea-thong and sea-lace. Here the tangle spread
  Its broad, thick fronds, with pleasant bowers beneath;
  And oft we trod a waste of pearly sands,
  Spotted with rosy shells, and thence looked in
  At caverns of the sea whose rock-roofed halls
  Lay in blue twilight. As we moved along,
  The dwellers of the deep, in mighty herds,
  Passed by us, reverently they passed us by,
  Long trains of dolphins rolling through the brine,
  Huge whales, that drew the waters after them,
  A torrent-stream, and hideous hammer-sharks,
  Chasing their prey. I shuddered as they came;
  Gently they turned aside and gave us room."
    Hereat broke in the mother: "Sella dear,
  This is a dream, the idlest, vainest dream."
    "Nay, mother, nay; behold this sea-green scarf,
  Woven of such threads as never human hand
  Twined from the distaff. She who led my way
  Through the great waters, bade me wear it home,
  A token that my tale is true. 'And keep,'
  She said, 'the slippers thou hast found, for thou,
  When shod with them, shalt be like one of us,
  With power to walk at will the ocean-floor,
  Among its monstrous creatures, unafraid,
  And feel no longing for the air of heaven
  To fill thy lungs, and send the warm, red blood
  Along thy veins. But thou shalt pass the hours
  In dances with the sea-nymphs, or go forth,
  To look into the mysteries of the abyss
  Where never plummet reached. And thou shalt sleep
  Thy weariness away on downy banks
  Of sea-moss, where the pulses of the tide
  Shall gently lift thy hair, or thou shalt float
  On the soft currents that go forth and wind
  From isle to isle, and wander through the sea.'
    "So spake my fellow-voyager, her words
  Sounding like wavelets on a summer shore,
  And then we stopped beside a hanging rock,
  With a smooth beach of white sands at its foot,
  Where three fair creatures like herself were set
  At their sea-banquet, crisp and juicy stalks,
  Culled from the ocean's meadows, and the sweet
  Midrib of pleasant leaves, and golden fruits
  Dropped from the trees that edge the southern isles,
  And gathered on the waves. Kindly they prayed
  That I would share their meal, and _I _partook
  With eager appetite, for long had been
  My journey, and I left the spot refreshed.
    "And then we wandered off amid the groves
  Of coral loftier than the growths of earth;
  The mightiest cedar lifts no trunk like theirs,
  So huge, so high toward heaven, nor overhangs
  Alleys and bowers so dim. We moved between
  Pinnacles of black rock, which, from beneath,
  Molten by inner fires, so said my guide,
  Gushed long ago into the hissing brine,
  That quenched and hardened them, and now they stand
  Motionless in the currents of the sea
  That part and flow around them. As we went,
  We looked into the hollows of the abyss,
  To which the never-resting waters sweep
  The skeletons of sharks, the long white spines
  Of narwhal and of dolphin, bones of men
  Shipwrecked, and mighty ribs of foundered barks.
  Down the blue pits we looked, and hastened on.
    "But beautiful the fountains of the sea
  Sprang upward from its bed: the silvery jets
  Shot branching far into the azure brine,
  And where they mingled with it, the great deep
  Quivered and shook, as shakes the glimmering air
  Ahove a furnace. So we wandered through
  The mighty world of waters, till at length
  I wearied of its wonders, and my heart
  Began to yearn for my dear mountain-home.
  I prayed my gentle guide to lead me back
  To the upper air. 'A glorious realm,' I said,
  'Is this thou openest to me; but I stray
  Bewildered in its vastness; these strange sights
  And this strange light oppress me. I must see
  The faces that I love, or I shall die.'
    "She took my hand, and, darting through the waves
  Brought me to where the stream, by which we came,
  Rushed into the main ocean. Then began
  A slower journey upward. Wearily
  We breasted the strong current, climbing through
  The rapids, tossing high their foam. The night
  Came down, and in the clear depth of a pool,
  Edged with o'erhanging rock, we took our rest
  Till morning; and I slept, and dreamed of home
  And thee. A pleasant sight the morning showed;
  The green fields of this upper world, the herds
  That grazed the bank, the light on the red clouds,
  The trees, with all their host of trembling leaves,
  Lifting and lowering to the restless wind
  Their branches. As I woke, I saw them all
  From the clear stream; yet strangely was my heart
  Parted between the watery world and this,
  And as we journeyed upward, oft I thought
  Of marvels I had seen, and stopped and turned,
  And lingered, till I thought of thee again;
  And then again I turned and clambered up
  The rivulet's murmuring path, until we came
  Beside the cottage-door. There tenderly
  My fair conductor kissed me, and I saw
  Her face no more. I took the slippers off.
  Oh! with what deep delight my lungs drew in
  The air of heaven again, and with what joy
  I felt my blood bound with its former glow;
  And now I never leave thy side again!"
    So spoke the maiden Sella, with large tears
  Standing in her mild eyes, and in the porch
  Replaced the slippers. Autumn came and went;
  The winter passed; another summer warmed
  The quiet pools; another autumn tinged
  The grape with red, yet while it hung unplucked,
  The mother ere her time was carried forth
  To sleep among the solitary hills.
    A long, still sadness settled on that home
  Among the mountains. The stern father there
  Wept with his children, and grew soft of heart,
  And Sella, and the brothers twain, and one
  Younger than they, a sister fair and shy,
  Strewed the new grave with flowers, and round it set
  Shrubs that all winter held their lively green.
  Time passed; the grief with which their hearts were wrung
  Waned to a gentle sorrow. Sella, now,
  Was often absent from the patriarch's board;
  The slippers hung no longer in the porch;
  And sometimes after summer nights her couch
  Was found unpressed at dawn, and well they knew
  That she was wandering with the race who make
  Their dwelling in the waters. Oft her looks
  Fixed on blank space, and oft the ill-suited word
  Told that her thoughts were far away. In vain
  Her brothers reasoned with her tenderly:
  "Oh leave not thus thy kindred!" so they prayed;
  "Dear Sella, now that she who gave us birth
  Is in her grave, oh go not hence, to seek
  Companions in that strange cold realm below,
  For which God made not us nor thee, but stay
  To be the grace and glory of our home."
  She looked at them with those mild eyes and wept,
  But said no word in answer, nor refrained
  From those mysterious wanderings that filled
  Their loving hearts with a perpetual pain.
    And now the younger sister, fair and shy,
  Had grown to early womanhood, and one
  Who loved her well had wooed her for his bride,
  And she had named the wedding-day. The herd
  Had given its fatlings for the marriage-feast;
  The roadside garden and the secret glen
  Were rifled of their sweetest flowers to twine
  The door-posts, and to lie among the locks
  Of maids, the wedding-guests, and from the boughs
  Of mountain-orchards had the fairest fruit
  Been plucked to glisten in the canisters.
    Then, trooping over hill and valley, came
  Matron and maid, grave men and smiling youths,
  Like swallows gathering for their autumn flight,
  In costumes of that simpler age they came,
  That gave the limbs large play, and wrapped the form
  In easy folds, yet bright with glowing hues
  As suited holidays. All hastened on
  To that glad bridal. There already stood
  The priest prepared to say the spousal rite,
  And there the harpers in due order sat,
  And there the singers. Sella, midst them all,
  Moved strangely and serenely beautiful,
  With clear blue eyes, fair locks, and brow and cheek
  Colorless as the lily of the lakes,
  Yet moulded to such shape as artists give
  To beings of immortal youth. Her hands
  Had decked her sister for the bridal hour
  With chosen flowers, and lawn whose delicate threads
  Vied with the spider's spinning. There she stood
  With such a gentle pleasure in her looks
  As might beseem a river-nymph's soft eyes
  Gracing a bridal of the race whose flocks
  Were pastured on the borders of her stream.
    She smiled, but from that calm sweet face the smile
  Was soon to pass away. That very morn
  The elder of the brothers, as he stood
  Upon the hillside, had beheld the maid,
  Emerging from the channel of the brook,
  With three fresh water-lilies in her hand,
  Wring dry her dripping locks, and in a cleft
  Of hanging rock, beside a screen of boughs,
  Bestow the spangled slippers. None before
  Had known where Sella hid them. Then she laid
  The light-brown tresses smooth, and in them twined
  The lily-buds, and hastily drew forth
  And threw across her shoulders a light robe
  Wrought for the bridal, and with bounding steps
  Ran toward the lodge. The youth beheld and marked
  The spot and slowly followed from afar.
    Now had the marriage-rite been said; the bride
  Stood in the blush that from her burning cheek
  Glowed down the alabaster neck, as morn
  Crimsons the pearly heaven half-way to the west.
  At once the harpers struck their chords; a gush
  Of music broke upon the air; the youths
  All started to the dance. Among them moved
  The queenly Sella with a grace that seemed
  Caught from the swaying of the summer sea.
  The young drew forth the elders to the dance,
  Who joined it half abashed, but when they felt
  The joyous music tingling in their veins,
  They called for quaint old measures, which they trod
  As gayly as in youth, and far abroad
  Came through the open windows cheerful shouts
  And bursts of laughter. They who heard the sound
  Upon the mountain footpaths paused and said,
  "A merry wedding." Lovers stole away
  That sunny afternoon to bowers that edged
  The garden-walks, and what was whispered there
  The lovers of these later times can guess.
    Meanwhile the brothers, when the merry din
  Was loudest, stole to where the slippers lay,
  And took them thence, and followed down the brook
  To where a little rapid rushed between
  Its borders of smooth rock, and dropped them in.
  The rivulet, as they touched its face, flung up
  Its small bright waves like hands, and seemed to take
  The prize with eagerness and draw it down.
  They, gleaming through the waters as they went,
  And striking with light sound the shining stones,
  Slid down the stream. The brothers looked and watched,
  And listened with full beating hearts, till now
  The sight and sound had passed, and silently
  And half repentant hastened to the lodge.
    The sun was near his set; the music rang
  Within the dwelling still, but the mirth waned;
  For groups of guests were sauntering toward their homes
  Across the fields, and far, on hillside paths,
  Gleamed the white robes of maidens. Sella grew
  Weary of the long merriment; she thought
  Of her still haunts beneath the soundless sea,
  And all unseen withdrew and sought the cleft
  Where she had laid the slippers. They were gone!
  She searched the brookside near, yet found them not.
  Then her heart sank within her, and she ran
  Wildly from place to place, and once again
  She searched the secret cleft, and next she stooped
  And with spread palms felt carefully beneath
  The tufted herbs and bushes, and again,
  And yet again, she searched the rocky cleft.
  "Who could have taken them?" That question cleared
  The mystery. She remembered suddenly
  That when the dance was in its gayest whirl,
  Her brothers were not seen, and when, at length,
  They reappeared, the elder joined the sports
  With shouts of boisterous mirth, and from her eye
  The younger shrank in silence. "Now, I know
  The guilty ones," she said, and left the spot,
  And stood before the youths with such a look
  Of anguish and reproach that well they knew
  Her thought, and almost wished the deed undone.
    Frankly they owned the charge: "And pardon us;
  We did it all in love; we could not bear
  That the cold world of waters and the strange
  Beings that dwell within it should beguile
  Our sister from us." Then they told her all;
  How they had seen her stealthily bestow
  The slippers in the cleft, and how by stealth
  They took them thence and bore them down the brook,
  And dropped them in, and how the eager waves
  Gathered and drew them down; but at that word
  The maiden shrieked--a broken-hearted shriek--
  And all who heard it shuddered and turned pale
  At the despairing cry, and "They are gone,"
  She said, "gone--gone forever! Cruel ones!
  'Tis you who shut me out eternally
  From that serener world which I had learned
  To love so well. Why took ye not my life?
  Ye cannot know what ye have done!" She spake
  And hurried to her chamber, and the guests
  Who yet had lingered silently withdrew.
    The brothers followed to the maiden's bower,
  But with a calm demeanor, as they came,
  She met them at the door. "The wrong is great,"
  She said, "that ye have done me, but no power
  Have ye to make it less, nor yet to soothe
  My sorrow; I shall bear it as I may,
  The better for the hours that I have passed
  In the calm region of the middle sea.
  Go, then. I need you not." They, overawed,
  Withdrew from that grave presence. Then her tears
  Broke forth a flood, as when the August cloud,
  Darkening beside the mountain, suddenly
  Melts into streams of rain. That weary night
  She paced her chamber, murmuring as she walked,
  "O peaceful region of the middle sea!
  O azure bowers and grots, in which I loved
  To roam and rest! Am I to long for you,
  And think how strangely beautiful ye are,
  Yet never see you more? And dearer yet,
  Ye gentle ones in whose sweet company
  I trod the shelly pavements of the deep,
  And swam its currents, creatures with calm eyes
  Looking the tenderest love, and voices soft
  As ripple of light waves along the shore,
  Uttering the tenderest words! Oh! ne'er again
  Shall I, in your mild aspects, read the peace
  That dwells within, and vainly shall I pine
  To hear your sweet low voices. Haply now
  Ye miss me in your deep-sea home, and think
  Of me with pity, as of one condemned
  To haunt this upper world, with its harsh sounds
  And glaring lights, its withering heats, its frosts,
  Cruel and killing, its delirious strifes,
  And all its feverish passions, till I die."
    So mourned she the long night, and when the morn
  Brightened the mountains, from her lattice looked
  The maiden on a world that was to her
  A desolate and dreary waste. That day
  She passed in wandering by the brook that oft
  Had been her pathway to the sea, and still
  Seemed, with its cheerful murmur, to invite
  Her footsteps thither. "Well mayst thou rejoice,
  Fortunate stream!" she said, "and dance along
  Thy bed, and make thy course one ceaseless strain
  Of music, for thou journeyest toward the deep,
  To which I shall return no more." The night
  Brought her to her lone chamber, and she knelt
  And prayed, with many tears, to Him whose hand
  Touches the wounded heart and it is healed.
  With prayer there came new thoughts and new desires.
  She asked for patience and a deeper love
  For those with whom her lot was henceforth cast,
  And that in acts of mercy she might lose
  The sense of her own sorrow. When she rose
  A weight was lifted from her heart. She sought
  Her couch, and slept a long and peaceful sleep.
  At morn she woke to a new life. Her days
  Henceforth were given to quiet tasks of good
  In the great world. Men hearkened to her words,
  And wondered at their wisdom and obeyed,
  And saw how beautiful the law of love
  Can make the cares and toils of daily life.
    Still did she love to haunt the springs and brooks
  As in her cheerful childhood, and she taught
  The skill to pierce the soil and meet the veins
  Of clear cold water winding underneath,
  And call them forth to daylight. From afar
  She bade men bring the rivers on long rows
  Of pillared arches to the sultry town,
  And on the hot air of the summer fling
  The spray of dashing fountains. To relieve
  Their weary hands, she showed them how to tame
  The rushing stream, and make him drive the wheel
  That whirls the humming millstone and that wields
  The ponderous sledge. The waters of the cloud,
  That drench the hillside in the time of rains,
  Were gathered, at her bidding, into pools,
  And in the months of drought led forth again,
  In glimmering rivulets, to refresh the vales,
  Till the sky darkened with returning showers.
    So passed her life, a long and blameless life,
  And far and near her name was named with love
  And reverence. Still she kept, as age came on,
  Her stately presence; still her eyes looked forth
  From under their calm brows as brightly clear
  As the transparent wells by which she sat
  So oft in childhood. Still she kept her fair
  Unwrinkled features, though her locks were white.
  A hundred times had summer, since her birth,
  Opened the water-lily on the lakes,
  So old traditions tell, before she died.
  A hundred cities mourned her, and her death
  Saddened the pastoral valleys. By the brook,
  That bickering ran beside the cottage-door
  Where she was born, they reared her monument.
  Ere long the current parted and flowed round
  The marble base, forming a little isle,
  And there the flowers that love the running stream,
  Iris and orchis, and the cardinal-flower,
  Crowded and hung caressingly around
  The stone engraved with Sella's honored name.



  THE FIFTH BOOK OF HOMER'S ODYSSEY.

  TRANSLATED.


  Aurora, rising from her couch beside
  The famed Tithonus, brought the light of day
  To men and to immortals. Then the gods
  Came to their seats in council. With them came
  High-thundering Jupiter, among them all
  The mightiest. Pallas, mindful of the past,
  Spoke of Ulysses and his many woes,
  Grieved that he still was with the island-nymph.
    "Oh, father Jove, and all ye blessed ones
  Who live forever! let not sceptred king,
  Henceforth, be gracious, mild, and merciful,
  And righteous; rather be he deaf to prayer,
  And prone to deeds of wrong, since no one now
  Remembers the divine Ulysses more
  Among the people over whom he ruled,
  Benignly, like a father. Still he lies,
  Weighed down by many sorrows, in the isle
  And dwelling of Calypso, who so long
  Constrains his stay. To his dear native land
  Depart he cannot; ship, arrayed with oars,
  And seamen has he none, to bear him o'er
  The breast of the broad ocean. Nay, even now,
  Against his well-beloved son a plot
  Is laid, to slay him as he journeys home
  From Pylos the divine, and from the walls
  Of famous Sparta, whither he had gone
  To gather tidings of his father's fate."
    Then answered her the ruler of the storms:
  "My child, what words are these that pass thy lips?
  Was not thy long-determined counsel this,
  That, in good time, Ulysses should return,
  To be avenged? Guide, then, Telemachus,
  Wisely, for thou canst, that, all unharmed,
  He reach his native land, and, in their barks,
  Homeward the suitor-train retrace their way."
    He spake, and turned to Hermes, his dear son:
  "Hermes, for thou, in this, my messenger
  Art, as in all things, to the bright-haired nymph
  Make known my steadfast purpose, the return
  Of suffering Ulysses. Neither gods
  Nor men shall guide his voyage. On a raft,
  Made firm with bands, he shall depart and reach,
  After long hardships, on the twentieth day,
  The fertile shore of Scheria, on whose isle
  Dwell the Pheacians, kinsmen of the gods.
  They like a god shall honor him, and thence
  Send him to his loved country in a ship,
  With ample gifts of brass and gold, and store
  Of raiment--wealth like which he ne'er had brought
  From conquered Ilion, had he reached his home
  Safely, with all his portion of the spoil.
  So is it preordained, that he behold
  His friends again, and stand once more within
  His high-roofed palace, on his native soil."
    He spake; the herald Argicide obeyed,
  And hastily beneath his feet he bound
  The fair, ambrosial, golden sandals, worn
  To bear him over ocean like the wind,
  And o'er the boundless land. His wand he took,
  Wherewith he softly seals the eyes of men,
  And opens them at will from sleep. With this
  In hand, the mighty Argos-queller flew,
  And lighting on Pieria, from the sky
  Plunged downward to the deep, and skimmed its face
  Like hovering sea-mew, that on the broad gulfs
  Of the unfruitful ocean seeks her prey,
  And often dips her pinions in the brine.
  So Hermes flew along the waste of waves.
    But when he reached that island, far away,
  Forth from the dark-blue ocean-swell he stepped
  Upon the sea-beach, walking till he came
  To the vast cave in which the bright-haired nymph
  Made her abode. He found the nymph within.
  A fire blazed brightly on the hearth, and far
  Was wafted o'er the isle the fragrant smoke
  Of cloven cedar, burning in the flame,
  And cypress-wood. Meanwhile, in her recess,
  She sweetly sang, as busily she threw
  The golden shuttle through the _web _she wove.
  And all about the grotto alders grew,
  And poplars, and sweet-smelling cypresses,
  In a green forest, high among whose boughs
  Birds of broad wing, wood-owls and falcons, built
  Their nests, and crows, with voices sounding far,
  All haunting for their food the ocean-side.
  A vine, with downy leaves and clustering grapes,
  Crept over all the cavern-rock. Four springs
  Poured forth their glittering waters in a row,
  And here and there went wandering side by side.
  Around were meadows of soft green, o'ergrown
  With violets and parsley. 'Twas a spot
  Where even an Immortal might, awhile,
  Linger, and gaze with wonder and delight.
  The herald Argos-queller stood, and saw,
  And marvelled: but as soon as he had viewed
  The wonders of the place, he turned his steps,
  Entering the broad-roofed cave. Calypso there,
  The glorious goddess, saw him as he came,
  And knew him, for the ever-living gods
  Are to each other known, though one may dwell
  Far from the rest. Ulysses, large of heart,
  Was not within. Apart, upon the shore,
  He sat and sorrowed, where he oft, in tears
  And sighs and vain repinings, passed the hours,
  Gazing with wet eyes on the barren deep.
  Now, placing Hermes on a shining seat
  Of state, Calypso, glorious goddess, said:
    "Thou of the golden wand, revered and loved,
  What, Hermes, brings thee hither? Passing few
  Have been thy visits. Make thy pleasure known,
  My heart enjoins me to obey, if aught
  That thou commandest be within my power.
  But first accept the offerings due a guest."
    The goddess, speaking thus, before him placed
  A table where the heaped ambrosia lay,
  And mingled the red nectar. Ate and drank
  The herald Argos-queller, and, refreshed,
  Answered the nymph, and made his message known:
    "Art thou a goddess, and dost ask of me,
  A god, why came I hither? Yet, since thou
  Requirest, I will truly tell the cause.
  I came unwillingly at Jove's command,
  For who, of choice, would traverse the wide waste
  Of the salt ocean, with no city near,
  Where men adore the gods with solemn rites
  And chosen hecatombs? No god has power
  To elude or to resist the purposes
  Of ægis-bearing Jove. With thee abides,
  He bids me say, the most unhappy man
  Of all who round the city of Priam waged
  The battle through nine years, and, in the tenth,
  Laying it waste, departed for their homes.
  But in their voyage, they provoked the wrath
  Of Pallas, who called up the furious winds
  And angry waves against them. By his side
  Sank all his gallant comrades in the deep.
  Him did the winds and waves drive hither. Him
  Jove bids thee send away with speed, for here
  He must not perish, far from all he loves.
  So is it preordained that he behold
  His friends again, and stand once more within
  His high-roofed palace, on his native soil."
    He spoke; Calypso, glorious goddess, heard,
  And shuddered, and with wingèd words replied:
    "Ye are unjust, ye gods, and, envious far
  Beyond all other beings, cannot bear
  That ever goddess openly should make
  A mortal man her consort. Thus it was
  When once Aurora, rosy-fingered, took
  Orion for her husband; ye were stung,
  Amid your blissful lives, with envious hate,
  Till chaste Diana, of the golden throne,
  Smote him with silent arrows from her bow,
  And slew him in Ortygia. Thus, again,
  When bright-haired Ceres, swayed by her own heart,
  In fields which bore three yearly harvests, met
  Iasion as a lover, this was known
  Ere long to Jupiter, who flung from high
  A flaming thunderbolt, and laid him dead.
  And now ye envy me, that with me dwells
  A mortal man. I saved him, as he clung,
  Alone, upon his floating keel, for Jove
  Had cloven, with a bolt of fire from heaven,
  His galley in the midst of the black sea,
  And all his gallant comrades perished there.
  Him kindly I received; I cherished him,
  And promised him a life that ne'er should know
  Decay or death. But, since no god has power
  To elude or to withstand the purposes
  Of ægis-bearing Jove, let him depart,
  If so the sovereign moves him and commands,
  Over the barren deep. I send him not;
  For neither ship arrayed with oars have I,
  Nor seamen, o'er the boundless waste of waves
  To bear him hence. My counsel I will give,
  And nothing will I hide that he should know,
  To place him safely on his native shore."
    The herald Argos-queller answered her:
  "Dismiss him thus, and bear in mind the wrath
  Of Jove, lest it be kindled against thee."
    Thus having said, the mighty Argicide
  Departed, and the nymph, who now had heard
  The doom of Jove, sought the great-hearted man,
  Ulysses. Him she found beside the deep,
  Seated alone, with eyes from which the tears
  Were never dried, for now no more the nymph
  Delighted him; he wasted his sweet life
  In yearning for his home. Night after night
  He slept constrained within the hollow cave,
  The unwilling by the fond, and, day by day,
  He sat upon the rocks that edged the shore,
  And in continual weeping and in sighs
  And vain repinings, wore the hours away,
  Gazing through tears upon the barren deep.
  The glorious goddess stood by him and spoke:
    "Unhappy! sit no longer sorrowing here,
  Nor waste life thus. Lo! I most willingly
  Dismiss thee hence. Rise, hew down trees, and bind
  Their trunks, with brazen clamps, into a raft,
  And fasten planks above, a lofty floor,
  That it may bear thee o'er the dark-blue deep.
  Bread will I put on board, water, and wine,
  Red wine, that cheers the heart, and wrap thee well
  In garments, and send after thee the wind,
  That safely thou attain thy native shore;
  If so the gods permit thee, who abide
  In the broad heaven above, and better know
  By far than I, and far more wisely judge."
    Ulysses, the great sufferer, as she spoke,
  Shuddered, and thus with wingèd words replied:
  "Some other purpose than to send me home
  Is in thy heart, oh goddess, bidding me
  To cross this frightful sea upon a raft,
  This perilous sea, where never even ships
  Pass with their rapid keels, though Jove bestow
  The wind that glads the seamen. Nay, I climb
  No raft, against thy wish, unless thou swear
  The great oath of the gods, that thou, in this,
  Dost meditate no other harm to me."
    He spake; Calypso, glorious goddess, smiled,
  And smoothed his forehead with her hand, and said:
    "Perverse! and slow to see where guile is not!
  How could thy heart permit thee thus to speak?
  Now bear me witness, Earth, and ye broad Heavens
  Above us, and ye waters of the Styx
  That flow beneath us, mightiest oath of all,
  And most revered by all the blessed gods,
  That I design no other harm to thee;
  But that I plan for thee and counsel thee
  What I would do were I in need like thine.
  I bear a juster mind; my bosom holds
  A pitying heart, and not a heart of steel."
    Thus having said, the glorious goddess moved
  Away with hasty steps, and where she trod
  He followed, till they reached the vaulted cave,
  The goddess and the hero. There he took
  The seat whence Hermes had just risen. The nymph
  Brought forth whatever mortals eat and drink
  To set before him. She, right opposite
  To that of Ulysses, took her seat,
  Ambrosia there her maidens laid, and there
  Poured nectar. Both put forth their hands, and took
  The ready viands, till at length the calls
  Of hunger and of thirst were satisfied;
  Calypso, glorious goddess, then began:
    "Son of Laertes, man of many wiles,
  High-born Ulysses! Thus wilt thou depart
  Home to thy native country? Then farewell;
  But, couldst thou know the sufferings Fate ordains
  For thee ere yet thou landest on its shore,
  Thou wouldst remain to keep this home with me,
  And be immortal, strong as is thy wish
  To see thy wife--a wish that, day by day,
  Possesses thee. I cannot deem myself
  In form or face less beautiful than she;
  For never with immortals can the race
  Of mortal dames in form or face compare."
    Ulysses, the sagacious, answered her:
  "Bear with me, gracious goddess; well I know
  All thou couldst say. The sage Penelope
  In feature and in stature comes not nigh
  To thee; for she is mortal, deathless thou
  And ever young; yet, day by day, I long
  To be at home once more, and pine to see
  The hour of my return. Even though some god
  Smite me on the black ocean, I shall bear
  The stroke, for in my bosom dwells a mind
  Patient of suffering; much have I endured,
  And much survived, in tempests on the deep,
  And in the battle; let this happen too."
    He spoke; the sun went down; the night came on,
  And now the twain withdrew to a recess
  Deep in the vaulted cave, where, side by side,
  They took their rest. But when the child of dawn,
  Aurora, rosy-fingered, looked abroad,
  Ulysses put his vest and mantle on;
  The nymph too, in a robe of silver white,
  Ample, and delicate, and beautiful,
  Arrayed herself, and round about her loins
  Wound a fair golden girdle, drew a veil
  Over her head, and planned to send away
  Magnanimous Ulysses. She bestowed
  A heavy axe, of steel, and double-edged,
  Well fitted to the hand, the handle wrought
  Of olive-wood, firm set and beautiful.
  A polished adze she gave him next, and led
  The way to a far corner of the isle,
  Where lofty trees, alders and poplars, stood,
  And firs that reach the clouds, sapless and dry
  Long since, and fitter thus to ride the waves.
  Then, having shown where grew the tallest trees,
  Calypso, glorious goddess, sought her home.
    Trees then he felled, and soon the task was done.
  Twenty in all he brought to earth, and squared
  Their trunks with the sharp steel, and carefully
  He smoothed their sides, and wrought them by a line.
  Calypso, gracious goddess, having brought
  Wimbles, he bored the beams, and, fitting them
  Together, made them fast with nails and clamps.
  As when some builder, skillful in his art,
  Frames, for a ship of burden, the broad keel,
  Such ample breadth Ulysses gave the raft.
  Upon the massy beams he reared a deck,
  And floored it with long planks from end to end.
  On this a mast he raised, and to the mast
  Fitted a yard; he shaped a rudder next,
  To guide the raft along her course, and round
  With woven work of willow-boughs he fenced
  Her sides against the dashings of the sea.
  Calypso, gracious goddess, brought him store
  Of canvas, which he fitly shaped to sails,
  And, rigging her with cords, and ropes, and stays,
  Heaved her with levers into the great deep.
    'Twas the fourth day; his labors now were done,
  And, on the fifth, the goddess from her isle
  Dismissed him, newly from the bath, arrayed
  In garments given by her, that shed perfumes.
  A skin of dark-red wine she put on board,
  A larger one of water, and for food
  A basket, stored with viands such as please
  The appetite. A friendly wind and soft
  She sent before. The great Ulysses spread
  His canvas joyfully, to catch the breeze,
  And sat and guided with nice care the helm,
  Gazing with fixed eye on the Pleiades,
  Boötes setting late, and the Great Bear,
  By others called the Wain, which, wheeling round,
  Looks ever toward Orion, and alone
  Dips not into the waters of the deep.
  For so Calypso, glorious goddess, bade
  That, on his ocean journey, he should keep
  That constellation ever on his left.
  Now seventeen days were in the voyage past,
  And on the eighteenth shadowy heights appeared,
  The nearest point of the Pheacian land,
  Lying on the dark ocean like a shield.
    But mighty Neptune, coming from among
  The Ethiopians, saw him. Far away
  He saw, from mountain-heights of Solyma,
  The voyager, and burned with fiercer wrath,
  And shook his head, and said within himself:
    "Strange! now I see the gods have new designs
  For this Ulysses, formed while I was yet
  In Ethiopia. He draws near the land
  Of the Pheacians, where it is decreed
  He shall o'erpass the boundary of his woes;
  But first, I think, he will have much to bear."
    He spoke, and round about him called the clouds
  And roused the ocean, wielding in his hand
  The trident, summoned all the hurricanes
  Of all the winds, and covered earth and sky
  At once with mists, while from above, the night
  Fell suddenly. The east wind and the south
  Rushed forth at once, with the strong-blowing west,
  And the clear north rolled up his mighty waves.
  Ulysses trembled in his knees and heart,
  And thus to his great soul, lamenting, said:
    "What will become of me? unhappy man!
  I fear that all the goddess said was true,
  Foretelling what disasters should o'ertake
  My voyage, ere I reach my native land.
  Now are her words fulfilled. Now Jupiter
  Wraps the great heaven in clouds and stirs the deep
  To tumult! Wilder grow the hurricanes
  Of all the winds, and now my fate is sure.
  Thrice happy, four times happy they, who fell
  On Troy's wide field, warring for Atreus' sons:
  O, had I met my fate and perished there,
  That very day on which the Trojan host,
  Around the dead Achilles, hurled at me
  Their brazen javelins! I had then received
  Due burial and great glory with the Greeks;
  Now must I die a miserable death."
    As thus he spoke, upon him, from on high,
  A huge and frightful billow broke; it whirled
  The raft around, and far from it he fell.
  His hands let go the rudder; a fierce rush
  Of all the winds together snapped in twain
  The mast; far off the yard and canvas flew
  Into the deep; the billow held him long
  Beneath the waters, and he strove in vain
  Quickly to rise to air from that huge swell
  Of ocean, for the garments weighed him down
  Which fair Calypso gave him. But, at length,
  Emerging, he rejected from his throat
  The bitter brine that down his forehead streamed.
  Even then, though hopeless with dismay, his thought
  Was on the raft, and, struggling through the waves,
  He seized it, sprang on board, and seated there
  Escaped the threatened death. Still to and fro
  The rolling billows drove it. As the wind
  In autumn sweeps the thistles o'er the field,
  Clinging together, so the blasts of heaven
  Hither and thither drove it o'er the sea.
  And now the south wind flung it to the north
  To buffet; now the east wind to the west.
    Ino Leucothea saw him clinging there,
  The delicate-footed child of Cadmus, once
  A mortal, speaking with a mortal voice;
  Though now within the ocean-gulfs, she shares
  The honors of the gods. With pity she
  Beheld Ulysses struggling thus distressed,
  And, rising from the abyss below, in form
  A cormorant, the sea-nymph took her perch
  On the well-banded raft, and thus she said:
    "Ah, luckless man, how hast thou angered thus
  Earth-shaking Neptune, that he visits thee
  With these disasters? Yet he cannot take,
  Although he seek it earnestly, thy life.
  Now do my bidding, for thou seemest wise.
  Laying aside thy garments, let the raft
  Drift with the winds, while thou, by strength of arm,
  Makest thy way in swimming to the land
  Of the Pheacians, where thy safety lies.
  Receive this veil and bind its heavenly woof
  Beneath thy breast, and have no further fear
  Of hardship or of danger. But, as soon
  As thou shalt touch the island, take it off,
  And turn away thy face, and fling it far
  From where thou standest, into the black deep."
    The goddess gave the veil as thus she spoke,
  And to the tossing deep went down, in form
  A cormorant; the black wave covered her.
  But still Ulysses, mighty sufferer,
  Pondered, and thus to his great soul he said:
    "Ah me! perhaps some god is planning here
  Some other fraud against me, bidding me
  Forsake my raft. I will not yet obey,
  For still far off I see the land in which
  'Tis said my refuge lies. This will I do,
  For this seems wisest. While the fastenings last
  That hold these timbers, I will keep my place
  And bide the tempest here. But when the waves
  Shall dash my raft in pieces, I will swim,
  For nothing better will remain to do."
    As he revolved this purpose in his mind,
  Earth-shaking Neptune sent a mighty wave,
  Horrid, and huge, and high, and where he sat
  It smote him. As a violent wind uplifts
  The dry chaff heaped upon a threshing-floor,
  And sends it scattered through the air abroad,
  So did that wave fling loose the ponderous beams.
  To one of these, Ulysses, clinging fast,
  Bestrode it, like a horseman on his steed;
  And now he took the garments off, bestowed
  By fair Calypso, binding round his breast
  The veil, and forward plunged into the deep,
  With palms outspread, prepared to swim. Meanwhile,
  Neptune beheld him, Neptune, mighty king,
  And shook his head, and said within himself:
    "Go thus, and, laden with mischances, roam
  The waters, till thou come among the race
  Cherished by Jupiter; but well I deem
  Thou wilt not find thy share of suffering light."
    Thus having spoke, he urged his coursers on,
  With their fair-flowing manes, until he came
  To Ægæ, where his glorious palace stands.
    But Pallas, child of Jove, had other thoughts.
  She stayed the course of every wind beside,
  And bade them rest, and lulled them into sleep,
  But summoned the swift north to break the waves,
  That so Ulysses, the high-born, escaped
  From death and from the fates, might be the guest
  Of the Pheacians, men who love the sea.
    Two days and nights, among the mighty waves
  He floated, oft his heart foreboding death,
  But when the bright-haired Eos had fulfilled
  The third day's course, and all the winds were laid,
  And calm was on the watery waste, he saw
  The land was near, as, lifted on the crest
  Of a huge swell, he looked with sharpened sight;
  And as a father's life preserved makes glad
  His children's hearts, when long time he has lain
  Sick, wrung with pain, and wasting by the power
  Of some malignant genius, till, at length,
  The gracious gods bestow a welcome cure;
  So welcome to Ulysses was the sight
  Of woods and fields. By swimming on he thought
  To climb and tread the shore, but when he drew
  So near that one who shouted could be heard
  From land, the sound of ocean on the rocks
  Came to his ear, for there huge breakers roared
  And spouted fearfully, and all around
  Was covered with the sea-foam. Haven here
  Was none for ships, nor sheltering creek, but shores
  Beetling from high, and crags and walls of rock.
  Ulysses trembled both in knees and heart,
  And thus, to his great soul, lamenting, said:
    "Now woe is me! as soon as Jove has shown
  What I had little hoped to see, the land,
  And I through all these waves have ploughed my way,
  I find no issue from the hoary deep.
  For sharp rocks border it, and all around
  Roar the wild surges; slippery cliffs arise
  Close to deep gulfs, and footing there is none,
  Where I might plant my steps and thus escape.
  All effort now were fruitless to resist
  The mighty billow hurrying me away
  To dash me on the pointed rocks. If yet
  I strive, by swimming further, to descry
  Some sloping shore or harbor of the isle,
  I fear the tempest, lest it hurl me back,
  Heavily groaning, to the fishy deep,
  Or huge sea-monster, from the multitude
  Which sovereign Amphitrite feeds, be sent
  Against me by some god, for well I know
  The power who shakes the shores is wroth with me."
    While he revolved these doubts within his mind,
  A huge wave hurled him toward the rugged coast.
  Then had his limbs been flayed, and all his bones
  Broken at once, had not the blue-eyed maid,
  Minerva, prompted him. Borne toward the rock,
  He clutched it instantly, with both his hands,
  And panting clung till that huge wave rolled by,
  And so escaped its fury. But it came,
  And smote him once again, and flung him far
  Seaward. As to the claws of polypus,
  Plucked from its bed, the pebbles thickly cling,
  So flakes of skin, from off his powerful hands,
  Were left upon the rock. The mighty surge
  O'erwhelmed him; he had perished ere his time,
  Hapless Ulysses, but the blue-eyed maid,
  Pallas, informed his mind with forecast. Straight
  Emerging from the wave that shoreward rolled,
  He swam along the coast and eyed it well,
  In hope of sloping beach or sheltered creek.
  But when, in swimming, he had reached the mouth
  Of a soft-flowing river, here appeared
  The spot he wished for, smooth, without a rock,
  And here was shelter from the wind. He felt
  The current's flow, and thus devoutly prayed:
    "Hear me, oh sovereign power, whoe'er thou art!
  To thee, the long-desired, I come. I seek
  Escape from Neptune's threatenings on the sea.
  The deathless gods respect the prayer of him
  Who looks to them for help, a fugitive,
  As I am now, when to thy stream I come,
  And to thy knees, from many a hardship past,
  Oh thou that here art ruler, I declare
  Myself thy suppliant; be thou merciful."
    He spoke; the river stayed his current, checked
  The billows, smoothed them, to a calm, and gave
  The swimmer a safe landing at his mouth.
  Then dropped his knees and sinewy arms, at once
  Unstrung, for faint with struggling was his heart.
  His body was all swoln; the brine gushed forth
  From mouth and nostrils; all unnerved he lay,
  Breathless and speechless; utter weariness
  O'ermastered him. But when he breathed again,
  And his flown senses had returned, he loosed
  The veil that Ino gave him from his breast,
  And to the salt flood cast it. A great wave
  Bore it far down the stream; the goddess there
  In her own hands received it. He, meanwhile,
  Withdrawing from the brink, lay down among
  The reeds, and kissed the harvest-bearing earth,
  And thus to his great soul, lamenting, said:
    "Ah me! what must I suffer more! what yet
  Will happen to me? If, by the river's side,
  I pass the unfriendly watches of the night,
  The cruel cold and dews that steep the bank
  May, in this weakness, end me utterly,
  For chilly blows the river-air at dawn.
  But should I climb this hill, to sleep within
  The shadowy wood, among their shrubs, if cold
  And weariness allow me, then I fear,
  That, while the pleasant slumbers o'er me steal,
  I may become the prey of savage beasts."
    Yet, as he longer pondered, this seemed best.
  He rose and sought the wood, and found it near
  The water, on a height, o'erlooking far
  The region round. Between two shrubs, that sprung
  Both from one spot, he entered--olive-trees,
  One wild, one fruitful. The damp-blowing wind
  Ne'er pierced their covert; never blazing sun
  Darted his beams within, nor pelting shower
  Beat through, so closely intertwined they grew.
  Here entering, Ulysses heaped a bed
  Of leaves with his own hands; he made it broad
  And high, for thick the leaves had fallen around.
  Two men and three, in that abundant store,
  Might bide the winter-storm, though keen the cold.
  Ulysses, the great sufferer, on his couch
  Looked and rejoiced, and placed himself within,
  And heaped the leaves high o'er him and around.
  As one who, dwelling in the distant fields,
  Without a neighbor near him, hides a brand
  In the dark ashes, keeping carefully
  The seeds of fire alive, lest he, perforce,
  To light his hearth must bring them from afar;
  So did Ulysses, in that pile of leaves,
  Bury himself, while Pallas o'er his eyes
  Poured sleep and closed his lids, that he might take,
  After his painful toils, the fitting rest.



  THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE SNOW.


    _Alice._--One of your old-world stories, Uncle John,
  Such as you tell us by the winter fire,
  Till we all wonder it is grown so late.
    _Uncle John._--The story of the witch that ground to death
  Two children in her mill, or will you have
  The tale of Goody Cutpurse?
    _Alice._--Nay now, nay;
  Those stories are too childish, Uncle John,
  Too childish even for little Willy here,
  And I am older, two good years, than he;
  No, let us have a tale of elves that ride,
  By night, with jingling reins, or gnomes of the mine,
  Or water-fairies, such as you know how
  To spin, till Willy's eyes forget to wink,
  And good Aunt Mary, busy as she is,
  Lays down her knitting.
    _Uncle John._--Listen to me, then.
  'Twas in the olden time, long, long ago,
  And long before the great oak at our door
  Was yet an acorn, on a mountain's side
  Lived, with his wife, a cottager. They dwelt
  Beside a glen and near a clashing brook,
  A pleasant spot in spring, where first the wren
  Was heard to chatter, and, among the grass,
  Flowers opened earliest; but when winter came,
  That little brook was fringed with other flowers,--
  White flowers, with crystal leaf and stem, that grew
  In clear November nights. And, later still,
  That mountain-glen was filled with drifted snows
  From side to side, that one might walk across;
  While, many a fathom deep, below, the brook
  Sang to itself, and leaped and trotted on
  Unfrozen, o'er its pebbles, toward the vale.
    _Alice._--A mountain-side, you said; the Alps, perhaps,
  Or our own Alleghanies.
    _Uncle John._--_Not _so fast,
  My young geographer, for then the Alps,
  With their broad pastures, haply were untrod
  Of herdsman's foot, and never human voice
  Had sounded in the woods that overhang
  Our Alleghany's streams. _I _think it was
  Upon the slopes of the great Caucasus,
  Or where the rivulets of Ararat
  Seek the Armenian vales. That mountain rose
  So high, that, on its top, the winter-snow
  Was never melted, and the cottagers
  Among the summer-blossoms, far below,
  Saw its white peaks in August from their door.
    One little maiden, in that cottage-home,
  Dwelt with her parents, light of heart and limb,
  Bright, restless, thoughtless, flitting here and there,
  Like sunshine on the uneasy ocean-waves,
  And sometimes she forgot what she was bid,
  As Alice does.
    _Alice._--Or Willy, quite as oft.
    _Uncle John._--But you are older, Alice, two good years,
  And should be wiser. Eva was the name
  Of this young maiden, now twelve summers old.
    Now you must know that, in those early times,
  When autumn days grew pale, there came a troop
  Of childlike forms from that cold mountain-top;
  With trailing garments through the air they came,
  Or walked the ground with girded loins, and threw
  Spangles of silvery frost upon the grass,
  And edged the brooks with glistening parapets,
  And built it crystal bridges, touched the pool,
  And turned its face to glass, or, rising thence,
  They shook from their full laps the soft, light snow,
  And buried the great earth, as autumn winds
  Bury the forest-floor in heaps of leaves.
    A beautiful race were they, with baby brows,
  And fair, bright locks, and voices like the sound
  Of steps on the crisp snow, in which they talked
  With man, as friend with friend. A merry sight
  It was, when, crowding round the traveller,
  They smote him with their heaviest snow-flakes, flung
  Needles of frost in handfuls at his cheeks,
  And, of the light wreaths of his smoking breath,
  Wove a white fringe for his brown beard, and laughed
  Their slender laugh to see him wink and grin
  And make grim faces as he floundered on.
    But, when the spring came on, what terror reigned
  Among these Little People of the Snow!
  To them the sun's warm beams were shafts of fire,
  And the soft south-wind was the wind of death.
  Away they flew, all with a pretty scowl
  Upon their childish faces, to the north,
  Or scampered upward to the mountain's top,
  And there defied their enemy, the Spring;
  Skipping and dancing on the frozen peaks,
  And moulding little snow-balls in their palms,
  And rolling them, to crush her flowers below,
  Down the steep snow-fields.
    _Alice._--That, too, must have been
  A merry sight to look at.
    _Uncle John._--You are right,
  But I must speak of graver matters now.
    Midwinter was the time, and Eva stood,
  Within the cottage, all prepared to dare
  The outer cold, with ample furry robe
  Close-belted round her waist, and boots of fur,
  And a broad kerchief, which her mother's hand
  Had closely drawn about her ruddy cheek.
  "Now, stay not long abroad," said the good dame,
  "For sharp is the outer air, and, mark me well,
  Go not upon the snow beyond the spot
  Where the great linden bounds the neighboring field."
    The little maiden promised, and went forth,
  And climbed the rounded snow-swells firm with frost
  Beneath her feet, and slid, with balancing arms,
  Into the hollows. Once, as up a drift
  She slowly rose, before her, in the way,
  She saw a little creature, lily-cheeked,
  With flowing flaxen locks, and faint blue eyes,
  That gleamed like ice, and robe that only seemed
  Of a more shadowy whiteness than her cheek.
  On a smooth bank she sat.
    _Alice._--She must have been
  One of your Little People of the Snow.
    _Uncle John._--She was so, and, as Eva now drew near,
  The tiny creature bounded from her seat;
  "And come," she said, "my pretty friend; to-day
  We will be playmates. I have watched thee long,
  And seen how well thou lov'st to walk these drifts,
  And scoop their fair sides into little cells,
  And carve them with quaint figures, huge-limbed men,
  Lions, and griffins. We will have, to-day,
  A merry ramble over these bright fields,
  And thou shalt see what thou hast never seen."
  On went the pair, until they reached the bound
  Where the great linden stood, set deep in snow,
  Up to the lower branches. "Here we stop,"
  Said Eva, "for my mother has my word
  That I will go no farther than this tree."
  Then the snow-maiden laughed: "And what is this?
  This fear of the pure snow, the innocent snow,
  That never harmed aught living? Thou mayst roam
  For leagues beyond this garden, and return
  In safety; here the grim wolf never prowls,
  And here the eagle of our mountain-crags
  Preys not in winter. I will show the way,
  And bring thee safely home. Thy mother, sure,
  Counselled thee thus because thou hadst no guide."
    By such smooth words was Eva won to break
  Her promise, and went on with her new friend,
  Over the glistening snow and down a bank
  Where a white shelf, wrought by the eddying wind,
  Like to a billow's crest in the great sea,
  Curtained an opening. "Look, we enter here."
  And straight, beneath the fair o'erhanging fold,
  Entered the little pair that hill of snow,
  Walking along a passage with white walls,
  And a white vault above where snow-stars shed
  A wintry twilight. Eva moved in awe,
  And held her peace, but the snow-maiden smiled,
  And talked and tripped along, as down the way,
  Deeper they went into that mountainous drift.
    And now the white walls widened, and the vault
  Swelled upward, like some vast cathedral-dome,
  Such as the Florentine, who bore the name
  Of heaven's most potent angel, reared, long since,
  Or the unknown builder of that wondrous fane,
  The glory of Burgos. Here a garden lay,
  In which the Little People of the Snow
  Were wont to take their pastime when their tasks
  Upon the mountain's side and in the clouds
  Were ended. Here they taught the silent frost
  To mock, in stem and spray, and leaf and flower,
  The growths of summer. Here the palm upreared
  Its white columnar trunk and spotless sheaf
  Of plume-like leaves; here cedars, huge as those
  Of Lebanon, stretched far their level boughs,
  Yet pale and shadowless; the sturdy oak
  Stood, with its huge gnarled roots of seeming strength,
  Fast anchored in the glistening bank; light sprays
  Of myrtle, roses in their bud and bloom,
  Drooped by the winding walks; yet all seemed wrought
  Of stainless alabaster; up the trees
  Ran the lithe jessamine, with stalk and leaf
  Colorless as her flowers. "Go softly on,"
  Said the snow-maiden; "touch not, with thy hand,
  The frail creation round thee, and beware
  To sweep it with thy skirts. Now look above.
  How sumptuously these bowers are lighted up
  With shifting gleams that softly come and go!
  These are the northern lights, such as thou seest
  In the midwinter nights, cold, wandering flames,
  That float with our processions, through the air;
  And here, within our winter palaces,
  Mimic the glorious daybreak." Then she told
  How, when the wind, in the long winter nights,
  Swept the light snows into the hollow dell,
  She and her comrades guided to its place
  Each wandering flake, and piled them quaintly up,
  In shapely colonnade and glistening arch,
  With shadowy aisles between, or bade them grow,
  Beneath their little hands, to bowery walks
  In gardens such as these, and, o'er them all,
  Built the broad roof. "But thou hast yet to see
  A fairer sight," she said, and led the way
  To where a window of pellucid ice
  Stood in the wall of snow, beside their path.
  "Look, but thou mayst not enter." Eva looked,
  And lo! a glorious hall, from whose high vault
  Stripes of soft light, ruddy and delicate green,
  And tender blue, flowed downward to the floor
  And far around, as if the aërial hosts,
  That march on high by night, with beamy spears,
  And streaming banners, to that place had brought
  Their radiant flags to grace a festival.
    And in that hall a joyous multitude
  Of these by whom its glistening walls were reared,
  Whirled in a merry dance to silvery sounds,
  That rang from cymbals of transparent ice,
  And ice-cups, quivering to the skilful touch
  Of little fingers. Round and round they flew,
  As when, in spring, about a chimney-top,
  A cloud of twittering swallows, just returned,
  Wheel round and round, and turn and wheel again,
  Unwinding their swift track. So rapidly
  Flowed the meandering stream of that fair dance,
  Beneath that dome of light. Bright eyes that looked
  From under lily-brows, and gauzy scarfs
  Sparkling like snow-wreaths in the early sun,
  Shot by the window in their mazy whirl.
  And there stood Eva, wondering at the sight
  Of those bright revellers and that graceful sweep
  Of motion as they passed her;--long she gazed,
  And listened long to the sweet sounds that thrilled
  The frosty air, till now the encroaching cold
  Recalled her to herself. "Too long, too long
  I linger here," she said, and then she sprang
  Into the path, and with a hurried step
  Followed it upward. Ever by her side
  Her little guide kept pace. As on they went,
  Eva bemoaned her fault: "What must they think--
  The dear ones in the cottage, while so long,
  Hour after hour, I stay without? I know
  That they will seek me far and near, and weep
  To find me not. How could I, wickedly,
  Neglect the charge they gave me?" As she spoke,
  The hot tears started to her eyes; she knelt
  In the mid-path. "Father! forgive this sin;
  Forgive myself I cannot"--thus she prayed,
  And rose and hastened onward. When, at last,
  They reached the outer air, the clear north breathed
  A bitter cold, from which she shrank with dread,
  But the snow-maiden bounded as she felt
  The cutting blast, and uttered shouts of joy,
  And skipped, with boundless glee, from drift to drift,
  And danced round Eva, as she labored up
  The mounds of snow. "Ah me! I feel my eyes
  Grow heavy," Eva said; "they swim with sleep;
  I cannot walk for utter weariness,
  And I must rest a moment on this bank,
  But let it not be long." As thus she spoke,
  In half formed words, she sank on the smooth snow,
  With closing lids. Her guide composed the robe
  About her limbs, and said: "A pleasant spot
  Is this to slumber in; on such a couch
  Oft have I slept away the winter night,
  And had the sweetest dreams." So Eva slept,
  But slept in death; for when the power of frost
  Locks up the motions of the living frame,
  The victim passes to the realm of Death
  Through the dim porch of Sleep. The little guide,
  Watching beside her, saw the hues of life
  Fade from the fair smooth brow and rounded cheek,
  As fades the crimson from a morning cloud,
  Till they were white as marble, and the breath
  Had ceased to come and go, yet knew she not
  At first that this was death. But when she marked
  How deep the paleness was, how motionless
  That once lithe form, a fear came over her.
  She strove to wake the sleeper, plucked her robe,
  And shouted in her ear, but all in vain;
  The life had passed away from those young limbs.
  Then the snow-maiden raised a wailing cry,
  Such as the dweller in some lonely wild,
  Sleepless through all the long December night,
  Hears when the mournful East begins to blow.
    But suddenly was heard the sound of steps,
  Grating on the crisp snow; the cottagers
  Were seeking Eva; from afar they saw
  The twain, and hurried toward them. As they came
  With gentle chidings ready on their lips,
  And marked that deathlike sleep, and heard the tale
  Of the snow-maiden, mortal anguish fell
  Upon their hearts, and bitter words of grief
  And blame were uttered: "Cruel, cruel one,
  To tempt our daughter thus, and cruel we,
  Who suffered her to wander forth alone
  In this fierce cold!" They lifted the dear child,
  And bore her home and chafed her tender limbs,
  And strove, by all the simple arts they knew,
  To make the chilled blood move, and win the breath
  Back to her bosom; fruitlessly they strove;
  The little maid was dead. In blank despair
  They stood, and gazed at her who never more
  Should look on them. "Why die we not with her?"
  They said; "without her, life is bitterness."
    Now came the funeral-day; the simple folk
  Of all that pastoral region gathered round
  To share the sorrow of the cottagers.
  They carved a way into the mound of snow
  To the glen's side, and dug a little grave
  In the smooth slope, and, following the bier,
  In long procession from the silent door,
  Chanted a sad and solemn melody:
    "Lay her away to rest within the ground.
  Yea, lay her down whose pure and innocent life
  Was spotless as these snows; for she was reared
  In love, and passed in love life's pleasant spring,
  And all that now our tenderest love can do
  Is to give burial to her lifeless limbs."
    They paused. A thousand slender voices round,
  Like echoes softly flung from rock and hill,
  Took up the strain, and all the hollow air
  Seemed mourning for the dead; for, on that day,
  The Little People of the Snow had come,
  From mountain-peak, and cloud, and icy hall,
  To Eva's burial. As the murmur died,
  The funeral-train renewed the solemn chant:
    "Thou, Lord, hast taken her to be with Eve,
  Whose gentle name was given her. Even so,
  For so Thy wisdom saw that it was best
  For her and us. We bring our bleeding hearts,
  And ask the touch of healing from Thy hand,
  As, with submissive tears, we render back
  The lovely and beloved to Him who gave."
    They ceased. Again the plaintive murmur rose.
  From shadowy skirts of low-hung cloud it came,
  And wide white fields, and fir-trees capped with snow,
  Shivering to the sad sounds. They sank away
  To silence in the dim-seen distant woods.
    The little grave was closed; the funeral-train
  Departed; winter wore away; the Spring
  Steeped, with her quickening rains, the violet-tufts,
  By fond hands planted where the maiden slept.
  But, after Eva's burial, never more
  The Little People of the Snow were seen
  By human eye, nor ever human ear
  Heard from their lips articulate speech again;
  For a decree went forth to cut them off,
  Forever, from communion with mankind.
  The winter-clouds, along the mountain-side,
  Rolled downward toward the vale, but no fair form
  Leaned from their folds, and, in the icy glens,
  And aged woods, under snow-loaded pines,
  Where once they made their haunt, was emptiness.
    But ever, when the wintry days drew near,
  Around that little grave, in the long night,
  Frost-wreaths were laid and tufts of silvery rime
  In shape like blades and blossoms of the field,
  As one would scatter flowers upon a bier.



  THE POET.


  Thou, who wouldst wear the name
    Of poet mid thy brethren of mankind,
  And clothe in words of flame
    Thoughts that shall live within the general mind!
  Deem not the framing of a deathless lay
  The pastime of a drowsy summer day.

  But gather all thy powers,
    And wreak them on the verse that thou dost weave,
  And in thy lonely hours,
    At silent morning or at wakeful eve,
  While the warm current tingles through thy veins,
  Set forth the burning words in fluent strains.

  No smooth array of phrase,
    Artfully sought and ordered though it be,
  Which the cold rhymer lays
    Upon his page with languid industry,
  Can wake the listless pulse to livelier speed,
  Or fill with sudden tears the eyes that read.

  The secret wouldst thou know
    To touch the heart or fire the blood at will?
  Let thine own eyes o'erflow;
    Let thy lips quiver with the passionate thrill;
  Seize the great thought, ere yet its power be past,
  And bind, in words, the fleet emotion fast.

  Then, should thy verse appear
    Halting and harsh, and all unaptly wrought,
  Touch the crude line with fear,
    Save in the moment of impassioned thought;
  Then summon back the original glow, and mend
  The strain with rapture that with fire was penned.

  Yet let no empty gust
    Of passion find an utterance in thy lay,
  A blast that whirls the dust
    Along the howling street and dies away;
  But feelings of calm power and mighty sweep,
  Like currents journeying through the windless deep.

  Seek'st thou, in living lays,
    To limn the beauty of the earth and sky?
  Before thine inner gaze
    Let all that beauty in clear vision lie;
  Look on it with exceeding love, and write
  The words inspired by wonder and delight.

  Of tempests wouldst thou sing,
    Or tell of battles--make thyself a part
  Of the great tumult; cling
    To the tossed wreck with terror in thy heart;
  Scale, with the assaulting host, the rampart's height,
  And strike and struggle in the thickest fight.

  So shalt thou frame a lay
    That haply may endure from age to age,
  And they who read shall say:
    "What witchery hangs upon this poet's page!
  What art is his the written spells to find
  That sway from mood to mood the willing mind!"



  THE PATH.


  The path we planned beneath October's sky,
    Along the hillside, through the woodland shade,
  Is finished; thanks to thee, whose kindly eye
    Has watched me, as I plied the busy spade;
  Else had I wearied, ere this path of ours
  Had pierced the woodland to its inner bowers.

  Yet, 'twas a pleasant toil to trace and beat,
    Among the glowing trees, this winding way,
  While the sweet autumn sunshine, doubly sweet,
    Flushed with the ruddy foliage, round us lay,
  As if some gorgeous cloud of morning stood,
  In glory, mid the arches of the wood.

  A path! what beauty does a path bestow
    Even on the dreariest wild! its savage nooks
  Seem homelike where accustomed footsteps go,
    And the grim rock puts on familiar looks.
  The tangled swamp, through which a pathway strays,
  Becomes a garden with strange flowers and sprays.

  See from the weedy earth a rivulet break
    And purl along the untrodden wilderness;
  There the shy cuckoo comes his thirst to slake,
    There the shrill jay alights his plumes to dress;
  And there the stealthy fox, when morn is gray,
  Laps the clear stream and lightly moves away.

  But let a path approach that fountain's brink,
    And nobler forms of life, behold! are there:
  Boys kneeling with protruded lips to drink,
    And slender maids that homeward slowly bear
  The brimming pail, and busy dames that lay
  Their webs to whiten in the summer ray.

  Then know we that for herd and flock are poured
    Those pleasant streams that o'er the pebbles slip;
  Those pure sweet waters sparkle on the board;
    Those fresh cool waters wet the sick man's lip;
  Those clear bright waters from the font are shed,
  In dews of baptism, on the infant's head.

  What different steps the rural footway trace!
    The laborer afield at early day;
  The schoolboy sauntering with uneven pace;
    The Sunday worshipper in fresh array;
  And mourner in the weeds of sorrow drest;
  And, smiling to himself, the wedding guest.

  There he who cons a speech and he who hums
    His yet unfinished verses, musing walk.
  There, with her little brood, the matron comes,
    To break the spring flower from its juicy stalk;
  And lovers, loitering, wonder that the moon
  Has risen upon their pleasant stroll so soon.

  Bewildered in vast woods, the traveller feels
    His heavy heart grow lighter, if he meet
  The traces of a path, and straight he kneels,
    And kisses the dear print of human feet,
  And thanks his God, and journeys without fear,
  For now he knows the abodes of men are near.
  Pursue the slenderest path across a lawn:
    Lo! on the broad highway it issues forth,
  And, blended with the greater track, goes on,
    Over the surface of the mighty earth,
  Climbs hills and crosses vales, and stretches far,
  Through silent forests, toward the evening star--

  And enters cities murmuring with the feet
    Of multitudes, and wanders forth again,
  And joins the climes of frost to climes of heat,
    Binds East to West, and marries main to main,
  Nor stays till at the long-resounding shore
  Of the great deep, where paths are known no more.

  Oh, mighty instinct, that dost thus unite
    Earth's neighborhoods and tribes with friendly bands,
  What guilt is theirs who, in their greed or spite,
    Undo thy holy work with violent hands,
  And post their squadrons, nursed in war's grim trade,
  To bar the ways for mutual succor made!



  THE RETURN OF THE BIRDS.


  I hear, from many a little throat,
    A warble interrupted long;
  I hear the robin's flute-like note,
    The bluebird's slenderer song.

  Brown meadows and the russet hill,
    Not yet the haunt of grazing herds,
  And thickets by the glimmering rill,
    Are all alive with birds.

  Oh choir of spring, why come so soon?
    On leafless grove and herbless lawn
  Warm lie the yellow beams of moon;
    Yet winter is not gone.

  For frost shall sheet the pools again;
    Again the blustering East shall blow--
  Whirl a white tempest through the glen,
    And load the pines with snow.

  Yet, haply, from the region where,
    Waked by an earlier spring than here,
  The blossomed wild-plum scents the air,
    Ye come in haste and fear.

  For there is heard the bugle-blast,
    The booming gun, the jarring drum,
  And on their chargers, spurring fast,
    Armed warriors go and come.

  There mighty hosts have pitched the camp
    In valleys that were yours till then,
  And Earth has shuddered to the tramp
    Of half a million men!

  In groves where once ye used to sing,
    In orchards where ye had your birth,
  A thousand glittering axes swing
    To smite the trees to earth.

  Ye love the fields by ploughmen trod;
    But there, when sprouts the beechen spray,
  The soldier only breaks the sod
    To hide the slain away.

  Stay, then, beneath our ruder sky;
    Heed not the storm-clouds rising black,
  Nor yelling winds that with them fly;
    Nor let them fright you back,--

  Back to the stifling battle-cloud,
    To burning towns that blot the day,
  And trains of mounting dust that shroud
    The armies on their way.

  Stay, for a tint of green shall creep
    Soon o'er the orchard's grassy floor,
  And from its bed the crocus peep
    Beside the housewife's door.

  Here build, and dread no harsher sound,
    To scare you from the sheltering tree,
  Than winds that stir the branches round,
    And murmur of the bee.

  And we will pray that, ere again
    The flowers of autumn bloom and die,
  Our generals and their strong-armed men
    May lay their weapons by.

  Then may ye warble, unafraid,
    Where hands, that wear the fetter now,
  Free as your wings shall ply the spade,
    And guide the peaceful plough.

  Then, as our conquering hosts return,
    What shouts of jubilee shall break
  From placid vale and mountain stern,
    And shore of mighty lake!

  And midland plain and ocean-strand
    Shall thunder: "Glory to the brave,
  Peace to the torn and bleeding land,
    And freedom to the slave!"

  _March_, 1864.



  "HE HATH PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS
  FEET."


  O North, with all thy vales of green!
    O South, with all thy palms!
  From peopled towns and fields between
    Uplift the voice of psalms;
  Raise, ancient East, the anthem high,
  And let the youthful West reply.

  Lo! in the clouds of heaven appears
    God's well-belovèd Son;
  He brings a train of brighter years:
    His kingdom is begun.
  He comes, a guilty world to bless
  With mercy, truth, and righteousness.

  Oh, Father! haste the promised hour
    When, at His feet, shall lie
  All rule, authority, and power,
    Beneath the ample sky;
  When He shall reign from pole to pole,
  The lord of every human soul;

  When all shall heed the words He said
    Amid their daily cares,
  And, by the loving life He led,
    Shall seek to pattern theirs;
  And He, who conquered Death, shall win
  The nobler conquest over Sin.



  MY AUTUMN WALK.


  On woodlands ruddy with autumn
    The amber sunshine lies;
  I look on the beauty round me,
    And tears come into my eyes.

  For the wind that sweeps the meadows
    Blows out of the far Southwest,
  Where our gallant men are fighting,
    And the gallant dead are at rest.

  The golden-rod is leaning,
    And the purple aster waves
  In a breeze from the land of battles,
    A breath from the land of graves.

  Full fast the leaves are dropping
    Before that wandering breath;
  As fast, on the field of battle,
    Our brethren fall in death.

  Beautiful over my pathway
    The forest spoils are shed;
  They are spotting the grassy hillocks
    With purple and gold and red.

  Beautiful is the death-sleep
    Of those who bravely fight
  In their country's holy quarrel,
    And perish for the Right.

  But who shall comfort the living,
    The light of whose homes is gone:
  The bride that, early widowed,
    Lives broken-hearted on;

  The matron whose sons are lying
    In graves on a distant shore;
  The maiden, whose promised husband
    Comes back from the war no more?

  I look on the peaceful dwellings
    Whose windows glimmer in sight,
  With croft and garden and orchard,
    That bask in the mellow light;

  And I know that, when our couriers
    With news of victory come,
  They will bring a bitter message
    Of hopeless grief to some.

  Again I turn to the woodlands,
    And shudder as I see
  The mock-grape's blood-red banner
    Hung out on the cedar-tree;

  And I think of days of slaughter,
    And the night-sky red with flames,
  On the Chattahoochee's meadows,
    And the wasted banks of the James.

  Oh, for the fresh spring-season,
    When the groves are in their prime;
  And far away in the future
    Is the frosty autumn-time!

  Oh, for that better season,
    When the pride of the foe shall yield,
  And the hosts of God and Freedom
    March back from the well-won field;

  And the matron shall clasp her first-born
    With tears of joy and pride;
  And the scarred and war-worn lover
    Shall claim his promised bride!

  The leaves are swept from the branches;
    But the living buds are there,
  With folded flower and foliage,
    To sprout in a kinder air.

  _October, _1864.



  DANTE.


  Who, mid the grasses of the field
    That spring beneath our careless feet,
  First found the shining stems that yield
    The grains of life-sustaining wheat:

  Who first, upon the furrowed land,
    Strewed the bright grains to sprout, and grow,
  And ripen for the reaper's hand--
    We know not, and we cannot know.

  But well we know the hand that brought
    And scattered, far as sight can reach,
  The seeds of free and living thought
    On the broad field of modern speech.

  Mid the white hills that round us lie,
    We cherish that Great Sower's fame,
  And, as we pile the sheaves on high,
    With awe we utter Dante's name.

  Six centuries, since the poet's birth,
    Have come and flitted o'er our sphere:
  The richest harvest reaped on earth
    Crowns the last century's closing year.

  1865.



  THE DEATH OF LINCOLN.


  Oh, slow to smite and swift to spare,
    Gentle and merciful and just!
  Who, in the fear of God, didst bear
    The sword of power, a nation's trust!

  In sorrow by thy bier we stand,
    Amid the awe that hushes all,
  And speak the anguish of a land
    That shook with horror at thy fall.

  Thy task is done; the bond are free:
    We bear thee to an honored grave,
  Whose proudest monument shall be
    The broken fetters of the slave.

  Pure was thy life; its bloody close
    Hath placed thee with the sons of light,
  Among the noble host of those
    Who perished in the cause of Right.

  _April_, 1865.



  THE DEATH OF SLAVERY.


  O thou great Wrong, that, through the slow-paced years,
    Didst hold thy millions fettered, and didst wield
    The scourge that drove the laborer to the field,
  And turn a stony gaze on human tears,
            Thy cruel reign is o'er;
            Thy bondmen crouch no more
  In terror at the menace of thine eye;
    For He who marks the bounds of guilty power,
  Long-suffering, hath heard the captive's cry,
    And touched his shackles at the appointed hour,
  And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they galled
  Stands in his native manhood, disenthralled.

  A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;
    Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymn of thanks;
    Our rivers roll exulting, and their banks
  Send up hosannas to the firmament!
            Fields where the bondman's toil
            No more shall trench the soil,
  Seem now to bask in a serener day;
    The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the airs
  Of heaven with more caressing softness play,
    Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
  A glory clothes the land from sea to sea,
  For the great land and all its coasts are free.

  Within that land wert thou enthroned of late,
    And they by whom the nation's laws were made,
    And they who filled its judgment-seats obeyed
  Thy mandate, rigid as the will of Fate.
            Fierce men at thy right hand,
            With gesture of command,
  Gave forth the word that none might dare gainsay;
    And grave and reverend ones, who loved thee not,
  Shrank from thy presence, and in blank dismay
    Choked down, unuttered, the rebellious thought;
  While meaner cowards, mingling with thy train,
  Proved, from the book of God, thy right to reign.

  Great as thou wert, and feared from shore to shore,
    The wrath of Heaven o'ertook thee in thy pride;
    Thou sitt'st a ghastly shadow; by thy side
  Thy once strong arms hang nerveless evermore.
            And they who quailed but now
            Before thy lowering brow,
  Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,
    And scoff at the pale, powerless thing thou art.
  And they who ruled in thine imperial name,
    Subdued, and standing sullenly apart,
  Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy reign,
  And shattered at a blow the prisoner's chain.

  Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not spare
    Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst part
    Husband and wife, and from the mother's heart
  Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek and prayer;
            Thy inner lair became
            The haunt of guilty shame;
  Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at thy side,
    Showed his red hands, nor feared the vengeance due.
  Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far and wide,
    A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
  Until the measure of thy sins at last
  Was full, and then the avenging bolt was cast!

  Go now, accursed of God, and take thy place
    With hateful memories of the elder time,
    With many a wasting plague, and nameless crime,
  And bloody war that thinned the human race;
            With the Black Death, whose way
            Through wailing cities lay,
  Worship of Moloch, tyrannies that built
    The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
  To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt--
    Death at the stake to those that held them not.
  Lo! the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
  Of the flown ages, part to yield thee room.

  I see the better years that hasten by
    Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
    Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
  The graves of those whom thou hast murdered lie.
            The slave-pen, through whose door
            Thy victims pass no more,
  Is there, and there shall the grim block remain
    At which the slave was sold; while at thy feet
  Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
    Moulder and rust by thine eternal seat.
  There, mid the symbols that proclaim thy crimes,
  Dwell thou, a warning to the coming times.

  _May_, 1866.



  "RECEIVE THY SIGHT."


  When the blind suppliant in the way,
    By friendly hands to Jesus led,
  Prayed to behold the light of day,
    "Receive thy sight," the Saviour said.

  At once he saw the pleasant rays
    That lit the glorious firmament;
  And, with firm step and words of praise,
    He followed where the Master went.

  Look down in pity, Lord, we pray,
    On eyes oppressed by moral night,
  And touch the darkened lids and say
    The gracious words, "Receive thy sight."

  Then, in clear daylight, shall we see
    Where walked the sinless Son of God;
  And, aided by new strength from Thee,
    Press onward in the path He trod.



  A BRIGHTER DAY.

  FROM THE SPANISH.


         Harness the impatient Years,
  O Time! and yoke them to the imperial car;
         For, through a mist of tears,
         The brighter day appears,
  Whose early blushes tinge the hills afar.

         A brighter day for thee,
  O realm! whose glorious fields are spread between
         The dark-blue Midland Sea
         And that immensity
  Of Western waters which once hailed thee queen!

         The fiery coursers fling
  Their necks aloft, and snuff the morning wind,
         Till the fleet moments bring
         The expected sign to spring
  Along their path, and leave these glooms behind.

         Yoke them, and yield the reins
  To Spain, and lead her to the lofty seat;
         But, ere she mount, the chains
         Whose cruel strength constrains
  Her limbs must fall in fragments at her feet.

         A tyrant brood have wound
  About her helpless limbs the steely braid,
         And toward a gulf profound
         They drag her, gagged and bound,
  Down among dead men's bones, and frost and shade.

         O Spain! thou wert of yore
  The wonder of the realms; in prouder years
         Thy haughty forehead wore,
         What it shall wear no more,
  The diadem of both the hemispheres.

         To thee the ancient Deep
  Revealed his pleasant, undiscovered lands;
         From mines where jewels sleep,
         Tilled plain and vine-clad steep,
  Earth's richest spoil was offered to thy hands.

         Yet thou, when land and sea
  Sent thee their tribute with each rolling wave,
         And kingdoms crouched to thee,
         Wert false to Liberty,
  And therefore art thou now a shackled slave.

         Wilt thou not, yet again,
  Put forth the sleeping strength that in thee lies,
         And snap the shameful chain,
         And force that tyrant train
  To flee before the anger in thine eyes?

         Then shall the harnessed Years
  Sweep onward with thee to that glorious height
         Which even now appears
         Bright through the mist of tears,
  The dwelling-place of Liberty and Light.

  _October_, 1867.



  AMONG THE TREES.


  Oh ye who love to overhang the springs,
  And stand by running waters, ye whose boughs
  Make beautiful the rocks o'er which they play,
  Who pile with foliage the great hills, and rear
  A paradise upon the lonely plain,
  Trees of the forest, and the open field!
  Have ye no sense of being? Does the air,
  The pure air, which I breathe with gladness, pass
  In gushes o'er your delicate lungs, your leaves,
  All unenjoyed? When on your winter's sleep
  The sun shines warm, have ye no dreams of spring?
  And when the glorious spring-time comes at last,
  Have ye no joy of all your bursting buds,
  And fragrant blooms, and melody of birds
  To which your young leaves shiver? Do ye strive
  And wrestle with the wind, yet know it not?
  Feel ye no glory in your strength when he,
  The exhausted Blusterer, flies beyond the hills,
  And leaves you stronger yet? Or have ye not
  A sense of loss when he has stripped your leaves,
  Yet tender, and has splintered your fair boughs?
  Does the loud bolt that smites you from the cloud
  And rends you, fall unfelt? Do there not run
  Strange shudderings through your fibres when the axe
  Is raised against you, and the shining blade
  Deals blow on blow, until, with all their boughs,
  Your summits waver and ye fall to earth?
  Know ye no sadness when the hurricane
  Has swept the wood and snapped its sturdy stems
  Asunder, or has wrenched, from out the soil,
  The mightiest with their circles of strong roots,
  And piled the ruin all along his path?

    Nay, doubt we not that under the rough rind,
  In the green veins of these fair growths of earth,
  There dwells a nature that receives delight
  From all the gentle processes of life,
  And shrinks from loss of being. Dim and faint
  May be the sense of pleasure and of pain,
  As in our dreams; but, haply, real still.

    Our sorrows touch you not. We watch beside
  The beds of those who languish or who die,
  And minister in sadness, while our hearts
  Offer perpetual prayer for life and ease
  And health to the belovèd sufferers.
  But ye, while anxious fear and fainting hope
  Are in our chambers, ye rejoice without.
  The funeral goes forth; a silent train
  Moves slowly from the desolate home; our hearts
  Are breaking as we lay away the loved,
  Whom we shall see no more, in their last rest,
  Their little cells within the burial-place.
  Ye have no part in this distress; for still
  The February sunshine steeps your boughs
  And tints the buds and swells the leaves within;
  While the song-sparrow, warbling from her perch,
  Tells you that spring is near. The wind of May
  Is sweet with breath of orchards, in whose boughs
  The bees and every insect of the air
  Make a perpetual murmur of delight,
  And by whose flowers the humming-bird hangs poised
  In air, and draws their sweets and darts away.
  The linden, in the fervors of July,
  Hums with a louder concert. When the wind
  Sweeps the broad forest in its summer prime,
  As when some master-hand exulting sweeps
  The keys of some great organ, ye give forth
  The music of the woodland depths, a hymn
  Of gladness and of thanks. The hermit-thrush
  Pipes his sweet note to make your arches ring;
  The faithful robin, from the wayside elm,
  Carols all day to cheer his sitting mate;
  And when the autumn comes, the kings of earth,
  In all their majesty, are not arrayed
  As ye are, clothing the broad mountain-side
  And spotting the smooth vales with red and gold;
  While, swaying to the sudden breeze, ye fling
  Your nuts to earth, and the brisk squirrel comes
  To gather them, and barks with childish glee,
  And scampers with them to his hollow oak.

    Thus, as the seasons pass, ye keep alive
  The cheerfulness of Nature, till in time
  The constant misery which wrings the heart
  Relents, and we rejoice with you again,
  And glory in your beauty; till once more
  We look with pleasure on your varnished leaves,
  That gayly glance in sunshine, and can hear,
  Delighted, the soft answer which your boughs
  Utter in whispers to the babbling brook.

    Ye have no history. I cannot know
  Who, when the hillside trees were hewn away,
  Haply two centuries since, bade spare this oak,
  Leaning to shade, with his irregular arms,
  Low-bent and long, the fount that from his roots
  Slips through a bed of cresses toward the bay--
  I know not who, but thank him that he left
  The tree to flourish where the acorn fell,
  And join these later days to that far time
  While yet the Indian hunter drew the bow
  In the dim woods, and the white woodman first
  Opened these fields to sunshine, turned the soil
  And strewed the wheat. An unremembered Past
  Broods, like a presence, mid the long gray boughs
  Of this old tree, which has outlived so long
  The flitting generations of mankind.

    Ye have no history. I ask in vain
  Who planted on the slope this lofty group
  Of ancient pear-trees that with spring-time burst
  Into such breadth of bloom. One bears a scar
  Where the quick lightning scored its trunk, yet still
  It feels the breath of Spring, and every May
  Is white with blossoms. Who it was that laid
  Their infant roots in earth, and tenderly
  Cherished the delicate sprays, I ask in vain,
  Yet bless the unknown hand to which I owe
  This annual festival of bees, these songs
  Of birds within their leafy screen, these shouts
  Of joy from children gathering up the fruit
  Shaken in August from the willing boughs.
    Ye that my hands have planted, or have spared,
  Beside the way, or in the orchard-ground,
  Or in the open meadow, ye whose boughs
  With every summer spread a wider shade,
  Whose herd in coming years shall lie at rest
  Beneath your noontide shelter? who shall pluck
  Your ripened fruit? who grave, as was the wont
  Of simple pastoral ages, on the rind
  Of my smooth beeches some beloved name?
  Idly I ask; yet may the eyes that look
  Upon you, in your later, nobler growth,
  Look also on a nobler age than ours;
  An age when, in the eternal strife between
  Evil and Good, the Power of Good shall win
  A grander mastery; when kings no more
  Shall summon millions from the plough to learn
  The trade of slaughter, and of populous realms
  Make camps of war; when in our younger land
  The hand of ruffian Violence, that now
  Is insolently raised to smite, shall fall
  Unnerved before the calm rebuke of Law,
  And Fraud, his sly confederate, shrink, in shame,
  Back to his covert, and forego his prey.



  MAY EVENING.


  The breath of Spring-time at this twilight hour
       Comes through the gathering glooms,
  And bears the stolen sweets of many a flower
       Into my silent rooms.

  Where hast thou wandered, gentle gale, to find
       The perfumes thou dost bring?
  By brooks, that through the wakening meadows wind,
       Or brink of rushy spring?

  Or woodside, where, in little companies,
       The early wild-flowers rise,
  Or sheltered lawn, where, mid encircling trees,
       May's warmest sunshine lies?

  Now sleeps the humming-bird, that, in the sun,
       Wandered from bloom to bloom;
  Now, too, the weary bee, his day's work done,
       Rests in his waxen room.

  Now every hovering insect to his place
       Beneath the leaves hath flown;
  And, through the long night hours, the flowery race
       Are left to thee alone.

  O'er the pale blossoms of the sassafras
       And o'er the spice-bush spray,
  Among the opening buds, thy breathings pass,
       And come embalmed away.

  Yet there is sadness in thy soft caress,
       Wind of the blooming year!
  The gentle presence, that was wont to bless
       Thy coming, is not here.

  Go, then; and yet I bid thee not repair,
       Thy gathered sweets to shed,
  Where pine and willow, in the evening air,
       Sigh o'er the buried dead.

  Pass on to homes where cheerful voices sound,
       And cheerful looks are cast,
  And where thou wakest, in thine airy round,
       No sorrow of the past.

  Refresh the languid student pausing o'er
       The learned page apart,
  And he shall turn to con his task once more
       With an encouraged heart.

  Bear thou a promise, from the fragrant sward,
       To him who tills the land,
  Of springing harvests that shall yet reward
       The labors of his hand.

  And whisper, everywhere, that Earth renews
       Her beautiful array,
  Amid the darkness and the gathering dews,
       For the return of day.



  OCTOBER, 1866.


  'Twas when the earth in summer glory lay,
    We bore thee to thy grave; a sudden cloud
  Had shed its shower and passed, and every spray
    And tender herb with pearly moisture bowed.

  How laughed the fields, and how, before our door,
    Danced the bright waters!--from his perch on high
  The hang-bird sang his ditty o'er and o'er,
    And the song-sparrow from the shrubberies nigh.

  Yet was the home where thou wert lying dead
    Mournfully still, save when, at times, was heard,
  From room to room, some softly-moving tread,
    Or murmur of some softly-uttered word.

  Feared they to break thy slumber? As we threw
    A look on that bright bay and glorious shore,
  Our hearts were wrung with anguish, for we knew
    Those sleeping eyes would look on them no more.

  Autumn is here; we cull his lingering flowers
    And bring them to the spot where thou art laid;
  The late-born offspring of his balmier hours,
    Spared by the frost, upon thy grave to fade.

  The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
    Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mould
  The purple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
    Drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold.

  And gorgeous as the morn, a tall array
    Of woodland shelters the smooth fields around;
  And guarded by its headlands, far away
    Sail-spotted, blue and lake-like, sleeps the sound.

  I gaze in sadness; it delights me not
    To look on beauty which thou canst not see;
  And, wert thou by my side, the dreariest spot
    Were, oh, how far more beautiful to me!

  In what fair region dost thou now abide?
    Hath God, in the transparent deeps of space,
  Through which the planets in their journey glide,
    Prepared, for souls like thine, a dwelling-place?

  Fields of unwithering bloom, to mortal eye
    Invisible, though mortal eye were near,
  Musical groves, and bright streams murmuring by,
    Heard only by the spiritual ear?

  Nay, let us deem that thou dost not withdraw
    From the dear places where thy lot was cast,
  And where thy heart, in love's most holy law,
    Was schooled by all the memories of the past.

  Here on this earth, where once, among mankind,
    Walked God's belovèd Son, thine eyes may see
  Beauty to which our dimmer sense is blind
    And glory that may make it heaven to thee.

  May we not think that near us thou dost stand
    With loving ministrations, for we know
  Thy heart was never happy when thy hand
    Was forced its tasks of mercy to forego!

  Mayst thou not prompt, with every coming day,
    The generous aim and act, and gently win
  Our restless, wandering thoughts to turn away
    From every treacherous path that ends in sin!



  THE ORDER OF NATURE.

  FROM BOETHIUS DE CONSOLATIONE.


  Thou who wouldst read, with an undarkened eye,
    The laws by which the Thunderer bears sway,
  Look at the stars that keep, in yonder sky,
    Unbroken peace from Nature's earliest day.

  The great sun, as he guides his fiery car,
    Strikes not the cold moon in his rapid sweep;
  The Bear, that sees star setting after star
    In the blue brine, descends not to the deep.

  The star of eve still leads the hour of dews;
    Duly the day-star ushers in the light;
  With kindly alternations Love renews
    The eternal courses bringing day and night.

  Love drives away the brawler War, and keeps
    The realm and host of stars beyond his reach;
  In one long calm the general concord steeps
    The elements, and tempers each to each.

  The moist gives place benignly to the dry;
    Heat ratifies a faithful league with cold;
  The nimble flame springs upward to the sky;
    Down sinks by its own weight the sluggish mould.

  Still sweet with blossoms is the year's fresh prime;
    Her harvests still the ripening Summer yields;
  Fruit-laden Autumn follows in his time,
    And rainy Winter waters still the fields.

  The elemental harmony brings forth
    And rears all life, and, when life's term is o'er,
  It sweeps the breathing myriads from the earth,
    And whelms and hides them to be seen no more:

  While the Great Founder, he who gave these laws,
    Holds the firm reins and sits amid his skies
  Monarch and Master, Origin and Cause,
    And Arbiter supremely just and wise.

  He guides the force he gave; his hand restrains
    And curbs it to the circle it must trace:
  Else the fair fabric which his power sustains
    Would fall to fragments in the void of space.

  Love binds the parts together, gladly still
    They court the kind restraint nor would be free;
  Unless Love held them subject to the Will
    That gave them being, they would cease to be.



  TREE-BURIAL.


  Near our southwestern border, when a child
  Dies in the cabin of an Indian wife,
  She makes its funeral-couch of delicate furs,
  Blankets and bark, and binds it to the bough
  Of some broad branching tree with leathern thongs
  And sinews of the deer. A mother once
  Wrought at this tender task, and murmured thus:
    "Child of my love, I do not lay thee down
  Among the chilly clods where never comes
  The pleasant sunshine. There the greedy wolf
  Might break into thy grave and tear thee thence,
  And I should sorrow all my life. I make
  Thy burial-place here, where the light of day
  Shines round thee, and the airs that play among
  The boughs shall rock thee. Here the morning sun,
  Which woke thee once from sleep to smile on me,
  Shall beam upon thy bed, and sweetly here
  Shall lie the red light of the evening clouds
  Which called thee once to slumber. Here the stars
  Shall look upon thee--the bright stars of heaven
  Which thou didst wonder at. Here too the birds,
  Whose music thou didst love, shall sing to thee,
  And near thee build their nests and rear their young
  With none to scare them. Here the woodland flowers,
  Whose opening in the spring-time thou didst greet
  With shouts of joy, and which so well became
  Thy pretty hands when thou didst gather them,
  Shall spot the ground below thy little bed.
    "Yet haply thou hast fairer flowers than these,
  Which, in the land of souls, thy spirit plucks
  In fields that wither not, amid the throng
  Of joyous children, like thyself, who went
  Before thee to that brighter world and sport
  Eternally beneath its cloudless skies.
  Sport with them, dear, dear child, until I come
  To dwell with thee, and thou, beholding me,
  From far, shalt run and leap into my arms,
  And I shall clasp thee as I clasped thee here
  While living, oh most beautiful and sweet
  Of children, now more passing beautiful,
  If that can be, with eyes like summer stars--
  A light that death can never quench again.
    "And now, oh wind, that here among the leaves
  Dost softly rustle, breathe thou ever thus
  Gently, and put not forth thy strength to tear
  The branches and let fall their precious load,
  A prey to foxes. Thou, too, ancient sun,
  Beneath whose eye the seasons come and go,
  And generations rise and pass away,
  While thou dost never change--oh, call not up,
  With thy strong heats, the dark, grim thunder-cloud,
  To smite this tree with bolts of fire, and rend
  Its trunk and strew the earth with splintered boughs.
  Ye rains, fall softly on the couch that holds
  My darling. There the panther's spotted hide
  Shall turn aside the shower; and be it long,
  Long after thou and I have met again,
  Ere summer wind or winter rain shall waste
  This couch and all that now remains of thee,
  To me thy mother. Meantime, while I live,
  With each returning sunrise I shall seem
  To see thy waking smile, and I shall weep;
  And when the sun is setting I shall think
  How, as I watched thee, o'er thy sleepy eyes
  Drooped the smooth lids, and laid on the round cheek
  Their lashes, and my tears will flow again;
  And often, at those moments, I shall seem
  To hear again the sweetly prattled name
  Which thou didst call me by, and it will haunt
  My home till I depart to be with thee."



  A LEGEND OF THE DELAWARES.


  The air is dark with cloud on cloud,
    And, through the leaden-colored mass,
  With thunder-crashes quick and loud,
    A thousand shafts of lightning pass.

  And to and fro they glance and go,
    Or, darting downward, smite the ground.
  What phantom arms are those that throw
    The shower of fiery arrows round?

  A louder crash! a mighty oak
    Is smitten from that stormy sky.
  Its stem is shattered by the stroke;
    Around its root the branches lie.

  Fresh breathes the wind; the storm is o'er;
    The piles of mist are swept away;
  And from the open sky, once more,
    Streams gloriously the golden day.

  A dusky hunter of the wild
    Is passing near, and stops to see
  The wreck of splintered branches piled
    About the roots of that huge tree.

  Lo, quaintly shaped and fairly strung,
    Wrought by what hand he cannot know,
  On that drenched pile of boughs, among
    The splinters, lies a polished bow.

  He lifts it up; the drops that hang
    On the smooth surface glide away:
  He tries the string, no sharper twang
    Was ever heard on battle-day.

  Homeward Onetho bears the prize:
    Who meets him as he turns to go?
  An aged chief, with quick, keen eyes,
    And bending frame, and locks of snow.

  "See, what I bring, my father, see
    This goodly bow which I have found
  Beneath a thunder-riven tree,
    Dropped with the lightning to the ground."

  "Beware, my son; it is not well"--
    The white-haired chieftain makes reply--
  "That we who in the forest dwell
    Should wield the weapons of the sky.

  "Lay back that weapon in its place;
    Let those who bore it bear it still,
  Lest thou displease the ghostly race
    That float in mist from hill to hill."

  "My father, I will only try
    How well it sends a shaft, and then,
  Be sure, this goodly bow shall lie
    Among the splintered boughs again."

  So to the hunting-ground he hies,
    To chase till eve the forest-game,
  And not a single arrow flies,
    From that good bow, with erring aim.

  And then he deems that they, who swim
    In trains of cloud the middle air,
  Perchance had kindly thoughts of him
    And dropped the bow for him to bear.

  He bears it from that day, and soon
    Becomes the mark of every eye,
  And wins renown with every moon
    That fills its circle in the sky.

  None strike so surely in the chase;
    None bring such trophies from the fight;
  And, at the council-fire, his place
    Is with the wise and men of might.

  And far across the land is spread,
    Among the hunter tribes, his fame;
  Men name the bowyer-chief with dread
    Whose arrows never miss their aim.

  See next his broad-roofed cabin rise
    On a smooth river's pleasant side,
  And she who has the brightest eyes
    Of all the tribe becomes his bride.

  A year has passed; the forest sleeps
    In early autumn's sultry glow;
  Onetho, on the mountain-steeps,
    Is hunting with that trusty bow.

  But they, who by the river dwell,
    See the dim vapors thickening o'er
  Long mountain-range and severing dell,
    And hear the thunder's sullen roar.

  Still darker grows the spreading cloud
    From which the booming thunders sound,
  And stoops and hangs a shadowy shroud
    Above Onetho's hunting-ground.

  Then they who, from the river-vale,
    Are gazing on the distant storm,
  See in the mists that ride the gale
    Dim shadows of the human form--

  Tall warriors, plumed, with streaming hair
    And lifted arms that bear the bow,
  And send athwart the murky air
    The arrowy lightnings to and fro.

  Loud is the tumult of an hour--
    Crash of torn boughs and howl of blast,
  And thunder-peal and pelting shower,
    And then the storm is overpast.

  Where is Onetho? what delays
    His coming? why should he remain
  Among the plashy woodland ways,
    Swoln brooks and boughs that drip with rain?

  He comes not, and the younger men
    Go forth to search the forest round.
  They track him to a mountain-glen,
    And find him lifeless on the ground.

  The goodly bow that was his pride
    Is gone, but there the arrows lie;
  And now they know the death he died,
    Slain by the lightnings of the sky.

  They bear him thence in awe and fear
    Back to the vale with stealthy tread;
  There silently, from far and near,
    The warriors gather round the dead.

  But in their homes the women bide;
    Unseen they sit and weep apart,
  And, in her bower, Onetho's bride
    Is sobbing with a broken heart.

  They lay in earth their bowyer-chief,
    And at his side their hands bestow
  His dreaded battle-axe and sheaf
    Of arrows, but without a bow.

  "Too soon he died; it is not well"--
    The old men murmured, standing nigh--
  "That we, who in the forest dwell,
    Should wield the weapons of the sky."



  A LIFETIME.


  I sit in the early twilight,
    And, through the gathering shade,
  I look on the fields around me
    Where yet a child I played.

  And I peer into the shadows,
    Till they seem to pass away,
  And the fields and their tiny brooklet
    Lie clear in the light of day.

  A delicate child and slender,
    With lock of light-brown hair,
  From knoll to knoll is leaping
    In the breezy summer air.

  He stoops to gather blossoms
    Where the running waters shine;
  And I look on him with wonder,
    His eyes are so like mine.

  I look till the fields and brooklet
    Swim like a vision by,
  And a room in a lowly dwelling
    Lies clear before my eye.

  There stand, in the clean-swept fireplace,
    Fresh boughs from the wood in bloom,
  And the birch-tree's fragrant branches
    Perfume the humble room.

  And there the child is standing
    By a stately lady's knee,
  And reading of ancient peoples
    And realms beyond the sea:

  Of the cruel King of Egypt
    Who made God's people slaves,
  And perished, with all his army,
    Drowned in the Red Sea waves;

  Of Deborah who mustered
    Her brethren long oppressed,
  And routed the heathen army,
    And gave her people rest;

  And the sadder, gentler story
    How Christ, the crucified,
  With a prayer for those who slew him,
    Forgave them as he died.

  I look again, and there rises
    A forest wide and wild,
  And in it the boy is wandering,
    No longer a little child.

  He murmurs his own rude verses
    As he roams the woods alone;
  And again I gaze with wonder,
    His eyes are so like my own.

  I see him next in his chamber,
    Where he sits him down to write
  The rhymes he framed in his ramble,
    And he cons them with delight.

  A kindly figure enters,
    A man of middle age,
  And points to a line just written,
    And 'tis blotted from the page.

  And next, in a hall of justice,
    Scarce grown to manly years,
  Mid the hoary-headed wranglers
    The slender youth appears.

  With a beating heart he rises,
    And with a burning cheek,
  And the judges kindly listen
    To hear the young man speak.

  Another change, and I see him
    Approach his dwelling-place,
  Where a fair-haired woman meets him,
    With a smile on her young face--

  A smile that spreads a sunshine
    On lip and cheek and brow;
  So sweet a smile there is not
    In all the wide earth now.

  She leads by the hand their first-born,
    A fair-haired little one,
  And their eyes as they meet him sparkle
    Like brooks in the morning sun.

  Another change, and I see him
    Where the city's ceaseless coil
  Sends up a mighty murmur
    From a thousand modes of toil.

  And there, mid the clash of presses,
    He plies the rapid pen
  In the battles of opinion,
    That divide the sons of men.

  I look, and the clashing presses
    And the town are seen no more,
  But there is the poet wandering
    A strange and foreign shore.

  He has crossed the mighty ocean
    To realms that lie afar,
  In the region of ancient story,
    Beneath the morning star.

  And now he stands in wonder
    On an icy Alpine height;
  Now pitches his tent in the desert
    Where the jackal yells at night;

  Now, far on the North Sea islands,
    Sees day on the midnight sky,
  Now gathers the fair strange fruitage
    Where the isles of the Southland lie.

  I see him again at his dwelling,
    Where, over the little lake,
  The rose-trees droop in their beauty
    To meet the image they make.

  Though years have whitened his temples,
    His eyes have the first look still,
  Save a shade of settled sadness,
    A forecast of coming ill.

  For in that pleasant dwelling,
    On the rack of ceaseless pain,
  Lies she who smiled so sweetly,
    And prays for ease in vain.

  And I know that his heart is breaking,
    When, over those dear eyes,
  The darkness slowly gathers,
    And the loved and loving dies.

  A grave is scooped on the hillside
    Where often, at eve or morn,
  He lays the blooms of the garden--
    He, and his youngest born.

  And well I know that a brightness
    From his life has passed away,
  And a smile from the green earth's beauty,
    And a glory from the day.

  But I behold, above him,
    In the far blue deeps of air,
  Dim battlements shining faintly,
    And a throng of faces there;

  See over crystal barrier
    The airy figures bend,
  Like those who are watching and waiting
    The coming of a friend.

  And one there is among them,
    With a star upon her brow,
  In her life a lovely woman,
    A sinless seraph now.

  I know the sweet calm features;
    The peerless smile I know,
  And I stretch my arms with transport
    From where I stand below.

  And the quick tears drown my eyelids,
    But the airy figures fade,
  And the shining battlements darken
    And blend with the evening shade.

  I am gazing into the twilight
    Where the dim-seen meadows lie,
  And the wind of night is swaying
    The trees with a heavy sigh.



  THE TWO TRAVELLERS.


  'Twas evening, and before my eyes
    There lay a landscape gray and dim--
  Fields faintly seen and twilight skies,
    And clouds that hid the horizon's brim.

  I saw--or was it that I dreamed?
    A waking dream?--I cannot say,
  For every shape as real seemed
    As those which meet my eyes to-day.

  Through leafless shrubs the cold wind hissed;
    The air was thick with falling snow,
  And onward, through the frozen mist,
    I saw a weary traveller go.

  Driven o'er the landscape, bare and bleak,
    Before the whirling gusts of air,
  The snow-flakes smote his withered cheek,
    And gathered on his silver hair.

  Yet on he fared through blinding snows,
    And murmuring to himself he said:
  "The night is near; the darkness grows,
    And higher rise the drifts I tread.

  "Deep, deep, each autumn flower they hide;
    Each tuft of green they whelm from sight;
  And they who journeyed by my side,
    Are lost in the surrounding night.

  "I loved them; oh, no words can tell
    The love that to my friends I bore;
  They left me with the sad farewell
    Of those who part to meet no more.

  "And I, who face this bitter wind
    And o'er these snowy hillocks creep,
  Must end my journey soon, and find
    A frosty couch, a frozen sleep."

  As thus he spoke, a thrill of pain
    Shot to my heart--I closed my eyes;
  But when I opened them again,
    I started with a glad surprise.

  'Twas evening still, and in the west
    A flush of glowing crimson lay;
  I saw the morrow there, and blest
    That promise of a glorious day.

  The waters, in their glassy sleep,
    Shone with the hues that tinged the sky,
  And rugged cliff and barren steep
    Gleamed with the brightness from on high.

  And one was there whose journey lay
    Into the slowly-gathering night;
  With steady step he held his way,
   O'er shadowy vale and gleaming height.

  I marked his firm though weary tread,
    The lifted eye and brow serene;
  And saw no shade of doubt or dread
    Pass o'er that traveller's placid mien.

  And others came, their journey o'er,
    And bade good-night, with words of cheer:
  "To-morrow we shall meet once more;
    'Tis but the night that parts us here."

  "And I," he said, "shall sleep ere long;
    These fading gleams will soon be gone;
  Shall sleep to rise refreshed and strong
    In the bright day that yet will dawn."

  I heard; I watched him as he went,
    A lessening form, until the light
  Of evening from the firmament
    Had passed, and he was lost to sight.



  CHRISTMAS IN 1875.

  SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN BY A SPANIARD.


       No trumpet-blast profaned
  The hour in which the Prince of Peace was born;
       No bloody streamlet stained
  Earth's silver rivers on that sacred morn;
       But, o'er the peaceful plain,
  The war-horse drew the peasant's loaded wain.

       The soldier had laid by
  The sword and stripped the corselet from his breast,
       And hung his helm on high--
  The sparrow's winter home and summer nest;
       And, with the same strong hand
  That flung the barbèd spear, he tilled the land.

       Oh, time for which we yearn;
  Oh, sabbath of the nations long foretold!
       Season of peace, return,
  Like a late summer when the year grows old,
       When the sweet sunny days
  Steeped mead and mountain-side in golden haze.

       For now two rival kings
  Flaunt, o'er our bleeding land, their hostile flags,
       And every sunrise brings
  The hovering vulture from his mountain-crags
       To where the battle-plain
  Is strewn with dead, the youth and flower of Spain.

       Christ is not come, while yet
  O'er half the earth the threat of battle lowers,
       And our own fields are wet,
  Beneath the battle-cloud, with crimson showers--
       The life-blood of the slain,
  Poured out where thousands die that one may reign.

       Soon, over half the earth,
  In every temple crowds shall kneel again
       To celebrate His birth
  Who brought the message of good-will to men,
       And bursts of joyous song
  Shall shake the roof above the prostrate throng.

       Christ is not come, while there
  The men of blood whose crimes affront the skies
       Kneel down in act of prayer,
  Amid the joyous strains, and when they rise
       Go forth, with sword and flame,
  To waste the land in His most holy name.

       Oh, when the day shall break
  O'er realms unlearned in warfare's cruel arts,
       And all their millions wake
  To peaceful tasks performed with loving hearts,
       On such a blessed morn,
  Well may the nations say that Christ is born.



  THE FLOOD OF YEARS.


  A mighty Hand, from an exhaustless Urn,
  Pours forth the never-ending Flood of Years,
  Among the nations. How the rushing waves
  Bear all before them! On their foremost edge,
  And there alone, is Life. The Present there
  Tosses and foams, and fills the air with roar
  Of mingled noises. There are they who toil,
  And they who strive, and they who feast, and they
  Who hurry to and fro. The sturdy swain--
  Woodman and delver with the spade--is there,
  And busy artisan beside his bench,
  And pallid student with his written roll.
  A moment on the mounting billow seen,
  The flood sweeps over them and they are gone.
  There groups of revellers whose brows are twined
  With roses, ride the topmost swell awhile,
  And as they raise their flowing cups and touch
  The clinking brim to brim, are whirled beneath
  The waves and disappear. I hear the jar
  Of beaten drums, and thunders that break forth
  From cannon, where the advancing billow sends
  Up to the sight long files of armèd men,
  That hurry to the charge through flame and smoke.
  The torrent bears them under, whelmed and hid
  Slayer and slain, in heaps of bloody foam.
  Down go the steed and rider, the plumed chief
  Sinks with his followers; the head that wears
  The imperial diadem goes down beside
  The felon's with cropped ear and branded cheek.
  A funeral-train--the torrent sweeps away
  Bearers and bier and mourners. By the bed
  Of one who dies men gather sorrowing,
  And women weep aloud; the flood rolls on;
  The wail is stifled and the sobbing group
  Borne under. Hark to that shrill, sudden shout,
  The cry of an applauding multitude,
  Swayed by some loud-voiced orator who wields
  The living mass as if he were its soul!
  The waters choke the shout and all is still.
  Lo! next a kneeling crowd, and one who spreads
  The hands in prayer--the engulfing wave o'ertakes
  And swallows them and him. A sculptor wields
  The chisel, and the stricken marble grows
  To beauty; at his easel, eager-eyed,
  A painter stands, and sunshine at his touch
  Gathers upon his canvas, and life glows;
  A poet, as he paces to and fro,
  Murmurs his sounding lines. Awhile they ride
  The advancing billow, till its tossing crest
  Strikes them and flings them under, while their tasks
  Are yet unfinished. See a mother smile
  On her young babe that smiles to her again;
  The torrent wrests it from her arms; she shrieks
  And weeps, and midst her tears is carried down.
  A beam like that of moonlight turns the spray
  To glistening pearls; two lovers, hand in hand,
  Rise on the billowy swell and fondly look
  Into each other's eyes. The rushing flood
  Flings them apart: the youth goes down; the maid
  With hands outstretched in vain, and streaming eyes,
  Waits for the next high wave to follow him.
  An aged man succeeds; his bending form
  Sinks slowly. Mingling with the sullen stream
  Gleam the white locks, and then are seen no more.
    Lo! wider grows the stream--a sea-like flood
  Saps earth's walled cities; massive palaces
  Crumble before it; fortresses and towers
  Dissolve in the swift waters; populous realms
  Swept by the torrent see their ancient tribes
  Engulfed and lost; their very languages
  Stifled, and never to be uttered more.
    I pause and turn my eyes, and looking back
  Where that tumultuous flood has been, I see
  The silent ocean of the Past, a waste
  Of waters weltering over graves, its shores
  Strewn with the wreck of fleets where mast and hull
  Drop away piecemeal; battlemented walls
  Frown idly, green with moss, and temples stand
  Unroofed, forsaken by the worshipper.
  There lie memorial stones, whence time has gnawed
  The graven legends, thrones of kings o'erturned,
  The broken altars of forgotten gods,
  Foundations of old cities and long streets
  Where never fall of human foot is heard,
  On all the desolate pavement. I behold
  Dim glimmerings of lost jewels, far within
  The sleeping waters, diamond, sardonyx,
  Ruby and topaz, pearl and chrysolite,
  Once glittering at the banquet on fair brows
  That long ago were dust, and all around
  Strewn on the surface of that silent sea
  Are withering bridal wreaths, and glossy locks
  Shorn from dear brows, by loving hands, and scrolls
  O'er written, haply with fond words of love
  And vows of friendship, and fair pages flung
  Fresh from the printer's engine. There they lie
  A moment, and then sink away from sight.
    I look, and the quick tears are in my eyes,
  For I behold in every one of these
  A blighted hope, a separate history
  Of human sorrows, telling of dear ties
  Suddenly broken, dreams of happiness
  Dissolved in air, and happy days too brief
  That sorrowfully ended, and I think
  How painfully must the poor heart have beat
  In bosoms without number, as the blow
  Was struck that slew their hope and broke their peace.
    Sadly I turn and look before, where yet
  The Flood must pass, and I behold a mist
  Where swarm dissolving forms, the brood of Hope,
  Divinely fair, that rest on banks of flowers,
  Or wander among rainbows, fading soon
  And reappearing, haply giving place
  To forms of grisly aspect such as Fear
  Shapes from the idle air--where serpents lift
  The head to strike, and skeletons stretch forth
  The bony arm in menace. Further on
  A belt of darkness seems to bar the way
  Long, low, and distant, where the Life to come
  Touches the Life that is. The Flood of Years
  Rolls toward it near and nearer. It must pass
  That dismal barrier. What is there beyond?
  Hear what the wise and good have said. Beyond
  That belt of darkness, still the Years roll on
  More gently, but with not less mighty sweep.
  They gather up again and softly bear
  All the sweet lives that late were overwhelmed
  And lost to sight, all that in them was good,
  Noble, and truly great, and worthy of love--
  The lives of infants and ingenuous youths,
  Sages and saintly women who have made
  Their households happy; all are raised and borne
  By that great current in its onward sweep,
  Wandering and rippling with caressing waves
  Around green islands with the breath
  Of flowers that never wither. So they pass
  From stage to stage along the shining course
  Of that bright river, broadening like a sea.
  As its smooth eddies curl along their way
  They bring old friends together; hands are clasped
  In joy unspeakable; the mother's arms
  Again are folded round the child she loved
  And lost. Old sorrows are forgotten now,
  Or but remembered to make sweet the hour
  That overpays them; wounded hearts that bled
  Or broke are healed forever. In the room
  Of this grief-shadowed present, there shall be
  A Present in whose reign no grief shall gnaw
  The heart, and never shall a tender tie
  Be broken; in whose reign the eternal Change
  That waits on growth and action shall proceed
  With everlasting Concord hand in hand.



  OUR FELLOW-WORSHIPPERS.


      Think not that thou and I
  Are here the only worshippers to day,
      Beneath this glorious sky,
  Mid the soft airs that o'er the meadows play;
      These airs, whose breathing stirs
  The fresh grass, are our fellow-worshippers.

      See, as they pass, they swing
  The censers of a thousand flowers that bend
      O'er the young herbs of spring,
  And the sweet odors like a prayer ascend,
      While, passing thence, the breeze
  Wakes the grave anthem of the forest-trees.

      It is as when, of yore,
  The Hebrew poet called the mountain-steeps,
      The forests, and the shore
  Of ocean, and the mighty mid-sea deeps,
      And stormy wind, to raise
  A universal symphony of praise.

      For, lo! the hills around,
  Gay in their early green, give silent thanks;
      And, with a joyous sound,
  The streamlet's huddling waters kiss their banks,
      And, from its sunny nooks,
  To heaven, with grateful smiles, the valley looks.

      The blossomed apple-tree,
  Among its flowery tufts, on every spray,
      Offers the wandering bee
  A fragrant chapel for his matin-lay;
      And a soft bass is heard
  From the quick pinions of the humming-bird.

      Haply--for who can tell?--
  Aerial beings, from the world unseen,
      Haunting the sunny dell,
  Or slowly floating o'er the flowery green,
      May join our worship here,
  With harmonies too fine for mortal ear.



NOTES.


Page 11.

POEM OF THE AGES.

In this poem, written and first printed in the year 1821, the author has
endeavored, from a survey of the past ages of the world, and of the
successive advances of mankind in knowledge, virtue, and happiness, to
justify and confirm the hopes of the philanthropist for the future
destinies of the human race.


Page 34.

THE BURIAL-PLACE.

The first half of this fragment may seem to the reader borrowed from the
essay on Rural Funerals in the fourth number of "The Sketch-book." The
lines were, however, written more than a year before that number
appeared. The poem, unfinished as it is, would hardly have been admitted
into this collection, had not the author been unwilling to lose what had
the honor of resembling so beautiful a composition.


Page 43.

THE MASSACRE AT SCIO.

This poem, written about the time of the horrible butchery of the
Sciotes by the Turks, in 1824, has been more fortunate than most
poetical predictions. The independence of the Greek nation which it
foretold, has come to pass, and the massacre, by inspiring a deeper
detestation of their oppressors, did much to promote that event.


Page 44.

  _Her maiden veil, her own black hair_, etc.

"The unmarried females have a modest falling down of the hair over the
eyes."--ELIOT.


Page 63.

MONUMENT MOUNTAIN.

The mountain called by this name is a remarkable precipice in Great
Barrington, overlooking the rich and picturesque valley of the
Housatonic, in the western part of Massachusetts. At the southern
extremity is, or was a few years since, a conical pile of small stones,
erected, according to the tradition of the surrounding country, by the
Indians, in memory of a woman of the Stockbridge tribe who killed
herself by leaping from the edge of the precipice. Until within a few
years past, small parties of that tribe used to arrive from their
settlement in the western part of the State of New York, on visits to
Stockbridge, the place of their nativity and former residence. A young
woman belonging to one of these parties related, to a friend of the
author, the story on which the poem of Monument Mountain is founded. An
Indian girl had formed an attachment for her cousin, which, according to
the customs of the tribe, was unlawful. She was, in consequence, seized
with a deep melancholy, and resolved to destroy herself. In company with
a female friend, she repaired to the mountain, decked out for the
occasion in all her ornaments, and, after passing the day on the summit
in singing with her companion the traditional songs of her nation, she
threw herself headlong from the rock, and was killed.


Page 78.

THE MURDERED TRAVELLER.

Some years since, in the month of May, the remains of a human body,
partly devoured by wild animals, were found in a woody ravine, near a
solitary road passing between the mountains west of the village of
Stockbridge. It was supposed that the person came to his death by
violence, but no traces could be discovered of his murderers. It was
only recollected that one evening, in the course of the previous winter,
a traveller had stopped at an inn in the village of West Stockbridge:
that he had inquired the way to Stockbridge; and that, in paying the
innkeeper for something he had ordered, it appeared that he had a
considerable sum of money in his possession. Two ill-looking men were
present, and went out about the same time that the traveller proceeded
on his journey. During the winter, also, two men of shabby appearance,
but plentifully supplied with money, had lingered for a while about the
village of Stockbridge. Several years afterward, a criminal, about to be
executed for a capital offence in Canada, confessed that he had been
concerned in murdering a traveller in Stockbridge for the sake of his
money. Nothing was ever discovered respecting the name or residence of
the person murdered.


Page 101.

_Chained in the market-place he stood_, etc.

The story of the African chief, related in this ballad, may be found in
the _African Repository_ for April, 1825. The subject of it was a
warrior of majestic stature, the brother of Yarradee, king of the Solima
nation. He had been taken in battle, and was brought in chains for sale
to the Rio Pongas, where he was exhibited in the market-place, his
ankles still adorned with massy rings of gold which he wore when
captured. The refusal of his captors to listen to his offers of ransom
drove him mad, and he died a maniac.


Page 111.

THE CONJUNCTION OF JUPITER AND VENUS.

This conjunction was said in the common calendars to have taken place on
the 2d of August, 1826. This, I believe, was an error, but the apparent
approach of the planets was sufficiently near for poetical purposes.


Page 116.

THE HURRICANE.

This poem is nearly a translation from one by Jose Maria de Heredia, a
native of the island of Cuba, who published at New York, about the year
1825, a volume of poems in the Spanish language.


Page 118.

WILLIAM TELL.

Neither this, nor any of the other sonnets in the collection, with the
exception of the one from the Portuguese, is framed according to the
legitimate Italian model, which, in the author's opinion, possesses no
peculiar beauty for an ear accustomed only to the metrical forms of our
own language. The sonnets in this collection are rather poems in
fourteen lines than sonnets.


Page 119.

_The slim papaya ripens_, etc.

Papaya--papaw, custard-apple. Flint, in his excellent work on the
Geography and History of the Western States, thus describes this tree
and its fruit:

"A papaw-shrub hanging full of fruits, of a size and weight so
disproportioned to the stem, and from under long and rich-looking
leaves, of the same yellow with the ripened fruit, and of an African
luxuriance of growth, is to us one of the richest spectacles that we
have ever contemplated in the array of the woods. The fruit contains
from two to six seeds like those of the tamarind, except that they are
double the size. The pulp of the fruit resembles egg-custard in
consistence and appearance. It has the same creamy feeling in the mouth,
and unites the taste of eggs, cream, sugar, and spice. It is a natural
custard, too luscious for the relish of most people."

Chateaubriand, in his Travels, speaks disparagingly of the fruit of the
papaw; but on the authority of Mr. Flint, who must know more of the
matter, I have ventured to make my Western lover enumerate it among the
delicacies of the wilderness.


Page 130.

  _The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye._

The prairies of the West, with an undulating surface, _rolling prairies,
_as they are called, present to the unaccustomed eye a singular
spectacle when the shadows of the clouds are passing rapidly over them.
The face of the ground seems to fluctuate and toss like billows of the
sea.


Page 131.

    _The prairie-hawk that, poised on high,
  Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not._

_I _have seen the prairie-hawk balancing himself in the air for hours
together, apparently over the same spot; probably watching his prey.


Page 131.

            _These ample fields
  Nourished their harvests._

The size and extent of the mounds in the valley of the Mississippi
indicate the existence, at a remote period, of a nation at once populous
and laborious, and therefore probably subsisting by agriculture.


Page 132.

            _The rude conquerors
  Seated the captive with their chiefs._

Instances ace not wanting of generosity like this among the North
American Indians toward a captive or survivor of a hostile tribe on
which the greatest cruelties had been exercised.


Page 134.

SONG OF MARION'S MEN.

The exploits of General Francis Marion, the famous partisan warrior of
South Carolina, form an interesting chapter in the annals of the
American Revolution. The British troops were so harassed by the
irregular and successful warfare which he kept up at the head of a few
daring followers, that they sent an officer to remonstrate with him for
not coming into the open field and fighting "like a gentleman and a
Christian."


Page 139.

MARY MAGDALEN.

Several learned divines, with much appearance of reason, in particular
Dr. Lardner, have maintained that the common notion respecting the
dissolute life of Mary Magdalen is erroneous, and that she was always a
person of excellent character. Charles Taylor, the editor of "Calmet's
Dictionary of the Bible" takes the same view of the subject.

The verses of the Spanish poet here translated refer to the "woman who
had been a sinner," mentioned in the seventh chapter of St. Luke's
Gospel, and who is commonly confounded with Mary Magdalen.


Page 142.

FATIMA AND RADUAN.

This and the following poems belong to that class of ancient Spanish
ballads, by unknown authors, called _Romances Moriscos_--Moriscan
Romances or ballads. They were composed in the fourteenth century, some
of them, probably, by the Moors, who then lived intermingled with the
Christians; and they relate the loves and achievements of the knights of
Granada.


Page 143.

LOVE AND FOLLY.--(FROM LA FONTAINE.)

This is rather an imitation than a translation of the poem of the
graceful French fabulist.


Page 146.

_These eyes shall not recall thee_, etc.

This is the very expression of the original--_No te llamarán mis ojos,
_etc. The Spanish poets early adopted the practice of calling a lady by
the name of the most expressive feature of her countenance, her eyes.
The lover styled his mistress "ojos bellos," beautiful eyes; "ojos
serenos," serene eyes. Green eyes seem to have been anciently thought a
great beauty in Spain, and there is a very pretty ballad by an absent
lover, in which he addressed his lady by the title of "green eyes;"
supplicating that he may remain in her remembrance:

  "¡Ay ojuelos verdes!
    Ay los mis ojuelos!
    Ay, hagan los cielos
  Que de mi te acuerdes!"


Page 147.

_Say, Love--for didst thou see her tears_, etc.

The stanza beginning with this line stands thus in the original:

  "Dilo tu, amor, si lo viste;
    ¡Mas ay! que de lastimado
  Diste otro nudo a la venda,
    Para no ver lo que la pasado."

I am sorry to find so poor a conceit deforming so spirited a composition
as this old ballad, but I have preserved it in the version. It is one of
those extravagances which afterward became so common in Spanish poetry,
when Gongora introduced the _estilo culto_, as it was called.


Page 148.

LOVE IN THE AGE OF CHIVALRY.

This personification of the passion of Love, by Peyre Vidal, has been
referred to as a proof of how little the Provençal poets were indebted
to the authors of Greece and Rome for the imagery of their poems.


Page 149.

THE LOVE OF GOD.--(FROM THE PROVENÇAL OF BERNARD RASCAS.)

The original of these lines is thus given by John of Nostradamus, in his
Lives of the Troubadours, in a barbarous Frenchified orthography:

  "Touta kausa mortala una fes perirá,
  Fors que l'amour de Dieu, que touiours durará.
  Tous nostres cors vendran essuchs, come fa l'eska,
  Lous Aubres leyssaran lour verdour tendra e fresca,
  Lous Ausselets del bosc perdran lour kant subtyeu,
  E non s'auzira plus lou Rossignol gentyeu.
  Lous Buols al Pastourgage, e las blankas fedettas
  Sent'ran lous agulhons de las mortals Sagettas,
  Lous crestas d'Aries fiers, Renards, e Loups espars
  Kabrols, Cervys, Chamous, Senglars de toutes pars,
  Lous Ours hardys e forts, seran poudra, e Arena.
  Lou Daulphin en la Mar, lou Ton, e la Balena,
  Monstres impetuous, Ryaumes, e Comtas,
  Lous Princes, e lous Reys, seran per mort domtas.
  E nota ben eysso káscun: la Terra granda,
  (Ou l'Escritura ment) lou fermament que branda,
  Prendra autra figura. Enfin tout perirá,
  Fors que l'Amour de Dieu, que touiours durará."


Page 150.

FROM THE SPANISH OF PEDRO DE CASTRO Y AÑAYA.

_Las Auroras de Diana_, in which the original of these lines is
contained, is, notwithstanding it was praised by Lope de Vega, one of
the worst of the old Spanish Romances, being a tissue of riddles and
affectations, with now and then a little poem of considerable beauty.


Page 160.

EARTH.

The author began this poem in rhyme. The following is the first draught
of it as far as he proceeded, in a stanza which he found it convenient
to abandon:

  A midnight black with clouds is on the sky;
    A shadow like the first original night
  Folds in, and seems to press me as I lie;
    No image meets the vainly wandering sight,
  And shot through rolling mists no starlight gleam
  Glances on glassy pool or rippling stream.

  No ruddy blaze, from dwellings bright within,
    Tinges the flowering summits of the grass;
  No sound of life is heard, no village din,
    Wings rustling overhead or steps that pass,
  While, on the breast of Earth at random thrown,
  I listen to her mighty voice alone.

  A voice of many tones: deep murmurs sent
    From waters that in darkness glide away,
  From woods unseen by sweeping breezes bent,
    From rocky chasms where darkness dwells all day,
  And hollows of the invisible hills around,
  Blent in one ceaseless, melancholy sound.

  O Earth! dost thou, too, sorrow for the past?
    Mourn'st thou thy childhood's unreturning hours,
  Thy springs, that briefly bloomed and faded fast,
    The gentle generations of thy flowers,
  Thy forests of the elder time, decayed
  And gone with all the tribes that loved their shade?

  Mourn'st thou that first fair time so early lost,
    The golden age that lives in poets' strains,
  Ere hail or lightning, whirlwind, flood, or frost
    Scathed thy green breast, or earthquakes whelmed thy plains,
  Ere blood upon the shuddering ground was spilt,
  Or night was haunted by disease and guilt?

  Or haply dost thou grieve for those who die?
    For living things that trod a while thy face,
  The love of thee and heaven, and now they lie
    Mixed with the shapeless dust the wild winds chase?
  I, too, must grieve, for never on thy sphere
  Shall those bright forms and faces reappear.

  Ha! with a deeper and more thrilling tone,
    Rises that voice around me: 'tis the cry
  Of Earth for guilt and wrong, the eternal moan
    Sent to the listening and long-suffering sky,
  I hear and tremble, and my heart grows faint,
  As midst the night goes up that great complaint.


Page 174.

  _Where Isar's clay-white rivulets run_
    _Through the dark woods like frighted deer._

Close to the city of Munich, in Bavaria, lies the spacious and beautiful
pleasure-ground, called the English Garden, in which these lines were
written, originally projected and laid out by our countryman, Count
Rumford, under the auspices of one of the sovereigns of the country.
Winding walks, of great extent, pass through close thickets and groves
interspersed with lawns; and streams, diverted from the river Isar,
traverse the grounds swiftly in various directions, the water of which,
stained with the clay of the soil it has corroded in its descent from
the upper country, is frequently of a turbid-white color.


Page 178.

THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS.

This song refers to the expedition of the Vermonters, commanded by Ethan
Allen, by whom the British fort of Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain, was
surprised and taken, in May, 1775.


Page 180.

THE CHILD'S FUNERAL.

The incident on which this poem is founded was related to the author
while in Europe, in a letter from an English lady. A child died in the
south of Italy, and when they went to bury it they found it revived and
playing with the flowers which, after the manner of that country, had
been brought to grace his funeral.


Page 184.

  _'Tis said, when Schiller's death drew nigh,
   The wish possessed his mighty mind,
  To wander forth wherever lie
   The homes and haunts of humankind._

Shortly before the death of Schiller, he was seized with a strong desire
to travel in foreign countries, as if his spirit had a presentiment of
its approaching enlargement, and already longed to expatiate in a wider
and more varied sphere of existence.


Page 185.

                      _The flower
  Of sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem
  The red drops fell like blood._

The _Sanguinaria Canadensis_, or blood-root, as it is commonly called,
bears a delicate white flower of a musky scent, the stem of which breaks
easily, and distils a juice of a bright-red color.


Page 191.

   _The shad-bush, white with flowers,
  Brightened the glens._

The small tree, named by the botanists _Aronia Botyrapium_, is called,
in some parts of our country, the shad-bush, from the circumstance that
it flowers about the time that the shad ascend the rivers in early
spring. Its delicate sprays, covered with white blossoms before the
trees are yet in leaf, have a singularly beautiful appearance in the
woods.


Page 192.

    _"There hast thou," said my friend, "a fitting type
  Of human life."_

I remember hearing an aged man, in the country, compare the slow
movement of time in early life, and its swift flight as it approaches
old age, to the drumming of a partridge or ruffed grouse in the
woods--the strokes falling slow and distinct at first, and following
each other more and more rapidly, till they end at last in a whirring
sound.


Page 194.

AN EVENING REVERY.--FROM AN UNFINISHED POEM.

This poem and that entitled "The Fountain," with one or two others in
blank verse, were intended by the author as portions of a larger poem.


Page 196.

    _The fresh savannas of the Sangamon
  Here rise in gentle suells, and the long grass
  Is mixed with rustling hazels. Scarlet tufts
  Are glowing in the green, like flakes of fire._

The Painted Cup, _Euchroma coccinea,_ or _Bartsia coccinea, _ grows in
great abundance in the hazel prairies of the Western States, where its
scarlet tufts make a brilliant appearance in the midst of the verdure.
The Sangamon is a beautiful river, tributary to the Illinois, bordered
with rich prairies.


Page 204.

  _The long wave rolling from the southern pole
  To break upon Japan._

"Breaks the long wave that at the pole began."--TENNENT'S _Anster Fair._


Page 205.

        _At noon the Hebrew bowed the knee
  And worshipped._

"Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud, and he
shall hear my voice."--_Psalm_ lv. 17.


Page 208.

THE WHITE-FOOTED DEER.

"During the stay of Long's Expedition at Engineer Cantonment, three
specimens of a variety of the common deer were brought in, having all
the feet white near the hoofs, and extending to those on the hind-feet
from a little above the spurious hoofs. This white extremity was
divided, upon the sides of the foot, by the general color of the leg,
which extends down near to the hoofs, leaving a white triangle in front,
of which the point was elevated rather higher than the spurious
hoofs."--GODMAN'S _Natural History_, vol. ii., p. 314.


Page 236.

THE LOST BIRD.

Readers who are acquainted with the Spanish language, may not be
displeased at seeing the original of this little poem:

EL PÁJARO PERDIDO.

  Huyó con vuelo incierto,
    Y de mis ojos ha desparecido.
  Mirad, si, á vuestro huerto,
    Mi pájaro querido,
    Niñas hermosas, por acaso ha huido.

  Sus ojos relucientes
    Son como los del águila orgullosa;
  Plumas resplandecientes,
    En la cabeza airosa,
    Lleva; y su voz es tierna y armoniosa.

  Mirad, si cuidadoso
    Junto á las flores se escondió en la grama.
  Ese laurel frondoso
    Mirad, rama por rama,
    Que él los laureles y los flores ama.

  Si le halláis, por ventura,
    No os enamore su amoroso acento;
  No os prende su hermosura;
    Volvédmele al momento;
    O dejadle, si no, libre en el viento.

  Por que su pico de oro
    Solo en mi mano toma la semilla;
  Y no enjugaré el lloro
    Que veis en mi mejilla,
    Hasta encontrar mi prófugo avecilla.

  Mi vista se oscurece,
    Si sus ojos no ve, que son mi día
  Mi ánima desfallece
    Con la melancolía
    De no escucharle ya su melodía.

The literature of Spain at the present day has this peculiarity, that
female writers have, in considerable number, entered into competition
with the other sex. One of the most remarkable of these, as a writer of
both prose and poetry, is Carolina Coronado de Perry, the author of the
little poem here given. The poetical literature of Spain has felt the
influence of the female mind in the infusion of a certain delicacy and
tenderness, and the more frequent choice of subjects which interest the
domestic affections. Concerning the verses of the lady already
mentioned, Don Juan Eugenio Hartzenbusch, one of the most accomplished
Spanish critics of the present day, and himself a successful dramatic
writer, says:

       *       *       *       *       *

"If Carolina Coronado had, through modesty, sent her productions from
Estremadura to Madrid under the name of a person of the other sex, it
would still have been difficult for intelligent readers to persuade
themselves that they were written by a man, or at least, considering
their graceful sweetness, purity of tone, simplicity of conception,
brevity of development, and delicate and particular choice of subject,
we should be constrained to attribute them to one yet in his early
youth, whom the imagination would represent as ingenuous, innocent, and
gay, who had scarce ever wandered beyond the flowery grove or pleasant
valley where his cradle was rocked, and where he has been lulled to
sleep by the sweetest songs of Francisea de la Torre, Garcilaso, and
Melendez."

       *       *       *       *       *

The author of the _Pájaro Perdido_, according to a memoir of her by
Angel Fernandez de los Rios, was born at Almendralejo, in Estremadura,
in 1823. At the age of nine years she began to steal from sleep, after a
day passed in various lessons, and in domestic occupations, several
hours every night to read the poets of her country, and other books
belonging to the library of the household, among which are mentioned, as
a proof of her vehement love of reading, the "Critical History of
Spain," by the Abbé Masuden, "and other works equally dry and prolix."
She was afterward sent to Badajoz, where she received the best education
which the state of the country, then on fire with a civil war, would
admit. Here the intensity of her application to her studies caused a
severe malady, which has frequently recurred in after-life. At the age
of thirteen years she wrote a poem entitled _La Palma_, which the author
of her biography declares to be worthy of Herrera, and which led
Espronceda, a poet of Estremadura, a man of genius, and the author of
several translations from Byron, whom he resembled both in mental and
personal characteristics, to address her an eulogistic sonnet. In 1843,
when she was but twenty years old, a volume of her poems was published
at Madrid, in which were included both that entitled _La Palma_ and the
one I have given in this note. To this volume Hartzenbusch, in his
admiration for her genius, prefaced an introduction.

The task of writing verses in Spanish is not difficult. Rhymes are
readily found, and the language is easily moulded into metrical forms.
Those who have distinguished themselves in this literature have
generally made their first essays in verse. What is remarkable enough,
the men who afterward figured in political life mostly began their
career as the authors of madrigals. A poem introduces the future
statesman to the public, as a speech at a popular meeting introduces the
candidate for political distinctions in this country. I have heard of
but one of the eminent Spanish politicians of the present time, who made
a boast that he was innocent of poetry; and if all that his enemies say
of him be true, it would have been well both for his country and his own
fame, if he had been equally innocent of corrupt practices. The
compositions of Carolina Coronado, even her earliest, do not deserve to
be classed with the productions of which I have spoken, and which are
simply the effect of inclination and facility. They possess the _mens
divinior_.

In 1852 a collection of poems of Carolina Coronado was brought out at
Madrid, including those which were first published. The subjects are of
larger variety than those which prompted her earlier productions; some
of them are of a religious cast, others refer to political matters. One
of them, which appears among the "Improvisations," is an energetic
protest against erecting a new amphitheatre for bull-fights. The spirit
in all her poetry is humane and friendly to the best interests of
mankind.

Her writings in prose must not be overlooked. Among them is a novel
entitled _Sigea_, founded on the adventures of Camoëns; another entitled
_Jarilla_, a beautiful story, full of pictures of rural life in
Estremadura, which deserves, if it could find a competent translator, to
be transferred to our language. Besides these there are two other novels
from her pen, _Paquita_ and _La Luz del Tejo_. A few years since
appeared, in a Madrid periodical, the _Semanario_, a series of letters
written by her, giving an account of the impressions received in a
journey from the Tagus to the Rhine, including a visit to England. Among
the subjects on which she has written, is the idea, still warmly
cherished in Spain, of uniting the entire peninsula under one
government. In an ably-conducted journal of Madrid, she has given
accounts of the poetesses of Spain, her contemporaries, with extracts
from their writings, and a kindly estimate of their respective merits.

Her biographer speaks of her activity and efficiency in charitable
enterprises, her interest in the cause of education, her visits to the
primary schools of Madrid, encouraging and rewarding the pupils, and her
patronage of the _escuela de parvules_, or infant school at Badajoz,
established by a society of that city, with the design of improving the
education of the laboring class.

It must have been not long after the publication of her poems, in 1852,
that Carolina Coronado became the wife of an American gentleman, Mr.
Horatio J. Perry, at one time our Secretary of Legation at the Court of
Madrid, afterward our _Chargé d'Affaires_, and now, in 1863, again
Secretary of Legation. Amid the duties of a wife and mother, which she
fulfils with exemplary fidelity and grace, she has neither forgotten nor
forsaken the literary pursuits which have given her so high a
reputation.


Page 257

THE RUINS OF ITALICA.

The poems of the Spanish author, Francisco de Rioja, who lived in the
first half of the seventeenth century, are few in number, but much
esteemed. His ode on the Ruins of Italica is one of the most admired of
these, but in the only collection of his poems which I have seen, it is
said that the concluding stanza, in the original copy, was deemed so
little worthy of the rest that it was purposely omitted in the
publication. Italica was a city founded by the Romans in the south of
Spain, the remains of which are still an object of interest.


Page 268.

SELLA.

Sella is the name given by the Vulgate to one of the wives of Lamech,
mentioned in the fourth chapter of the Book of Genesis, and called
Zillah in the corn-won English version of the Bible.


Page 282.

HOMER'S ODYSSEY, BOOK V., TRANSLATED.

It may be esteemed presumptuous in the author of this volume to attempt
a translation of any part of Homer in blank verse after that of Cowper.
It has always seemed to him, however, that Cowper's version had very
great defects. The style of Homer is simple, and he has been praised for
fire and rapidity of narrative. Does anybody find these qualities in
Cowper's Homer? If Cowper had rendered him into such English as he
employed in his "Task," there would be no reason to complain; but in
translating Homer he seems to have thought it necessary to use a
different style from that of his original work. Almost every sentence is
stiffened by some clumsy inversion; stately phrases are used when
simpler ones were at hand, and would have rendered the meaning of the
original better. The entire version has the appearance of being hammered
out with great labor, and as a whole it is cold and constrained; scarce
any thing seems spontaneous; it is only now and then that the translator
has caught the fervor of his author. Homer, of course, wrote in
idiomatic Greek, and, in order to produce either a true copy of the
original, or an agreeable poem, should have been translated into
idiomatic English.

I am almost ashamed, after this censure of an author whom, in the main,
I admire as much as I do Cowper, to refer to my own translation of the
Fifth Book of the Odyssey. I desire barely to say that I have endeavored
to give the verses of the old Greek poet at least a simpler presentation
in English, and one more conformable to the genius of our language.


Page 315.

  _The mock-grape's blood-red banner_, etc.

_Ampelopis_, mock-grape. I have here literally translated the botanical
name of the Virginia creeper--an appellation too cumbrous for verse.


Page 320.

A BRIGHTER DAY.

This poem was written shortly after the author's return from a visit to
Spain, and more than a twelvemonth before the overthrow of the
tyrannical government of Queen Isabella and the expulsion of the
Bourbons. It is not "from the Spanish" in the ordinary sense of the
phrase, but is an attempt to put into a poetic form sentiments and hopes
which the author frequently heard, during his visit to Spain, from the
lips of the natives. We are yet to see whether these expectations of an
enlightened government and national liberty are to become a reality
under the new order of things.


THE END.





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