« AnteriorContinuar »
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, and the Barcan desert pierce;
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 shalt fall
Unheeded by 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 favourite 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,
And the sweet babe, and the gray-haired 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, that 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.
When the summer harvest was gathered in,
And the sheaf of the gleaner grew white and thin,
And the ploughshare was in its furrow left,
Where the stubble land had been lately cleft,
An Indian hunter, with unstrung bow,
Looked down where the valley lay stretched below.
He was a stranger there, and all that day
Had been out on the hills, a perilous way,
But the foot of the deer was far and fleet,
And the wolf kept aloof from the hunter's feet,
And bitter feelings passed o'er him then,
· As he stood by the populous haunts of men.
The winds of Autumn came over the woods,
As the sun stole out from their solitudes.
The moss was white on the maple's trunk,
And dead from its arms the pale vine shrunk,
And ripened the mellow fruit hung, and red
Were the tree's withered leaves round it shed.
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,
And the sickle cut down the yellow corn-
The mower sung loud by the meadow side,
Where the mists of evening were spreading wide,
And the voice of the herdsman came up the lea,
And the dance went round by the greenwood tree.
Then the hunter turned away from that scene,
Where the home of his fathers once had been,
And heard by the distant and measured stroke,
That the woodman hewed down the giant oak,
And burning thoughts flashed over his mind
Of the white man's faith, and love unkind.
The moon of the harvest grew high and bright, As her golden horn pierced the cloud of white — A footstep was heard in the rustling brake, Where the beech overshadowed the misty lake, And a mourning voice and a plunge from shore; And the hunter was seen on the hills no more.
When years had passed on, by that still lake-side
The fisher looked down through the silver tide,
And there, on the smooth yellow sand displayed,
A skeleton wasted and white was laid,
And 't was seen, as the waters moved deep and slow,
That the hand was still grasping a hunter's bow,