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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 foot-print 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,
Gashed horribly with tomahawks. The 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
Bhall wash the tokens of the tight away.

I look again-the 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 bud the black-eyed Indian maidens laugh,
That gather, from the rusting 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 Swelled loud and shrill the cry of chanticleer; Pastures where rolled and neighed the lordly horse, And white flocks browsed and bleated. A rich turf or 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 faxen-haired, Gathered the glistening cowslip from thy edge.

Since then, what steps have trod thy border! Here, On thy green bank, the woodinan of the swamp Hlas laid his axe, the reaper of the hill His sickle, as they stooped to taste thy stream. The sportsnjan, 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
loto a cup the folded linden leaf,
And dipped thy sliding crystal. From the wars
Returning, the plumed soldier by thy side
Has sat, and brused how pleasant ’lwere to dweh
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 bind 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 Gusb midway from the bare and barren steep ?




PILLARS are fallen at thy feet,
Fanes quiver in the air,
A prostrate city is thy seat,
And thou alone art there.

No change comes o'er thy noble brow,
Though ruin is around thee;
Thine eyebeam burns as proudly now,
As when the laurel crowned thee.

It cannot bend thy lofty soul
Though friends and fame depart;
The car of fate may o'er thee roll,
Nor crush thy Roman heart.

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