« AnteriorContinuar »
And, when the eve is born,
In the blue lake the sky, o'er-reaching far,
Is hollowed out, and the moon dips her horn,
And twinkles many a star.
Inverted in the tide, Stand the gray rocks, and trembling shadows throw; And the fair trees look over, side by side,
And see themselves below.
Sweet April !-many a thought
Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;
Nor shall they fail, till, to its autumn brought,
Life's golden fruit is shed.
With what a glory comes and goes the year!
The buds of spring, those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times, enjoy
Life's newness, and earth's garniture spread out.
And when the silvery habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary. Through the trees
The golden robin moves. The purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
A winter bird, comes with its plaintive whistle,
And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud
From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings,
And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke,
Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail.
O what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed, and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves,
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings.
He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go
To his long resting place without a tear.
WOODS IN WINTER. WHEN Winter winds are piercing chill, Shrilly the skater's iron rings, And through the hawthorn blows the And voices fill the woodland side.
gale, With solemn feet I tread the hill
Alas ! how changed from the fair scene, That overbrows the lonely vale.
When birds sang out their mellow lay, D'er the bare upland, and away
And winds were soft, and woods were
green, Through the long reach of desert woods, The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And the song ceased not with the day. And gladden these deep solitudes. But still wild music is abroad, Where, twisted round the barren oak, i Pale, desert woods ! within your crowd; The summer vine in beauty clung,
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord, And summer winds the stillness broke, Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud. The crystal icicle is hung.
Chill airs and wintry winds ! my ear Where, from their frozen urns, mute Has grown familiar with your song ; springs
I hear it in the opening year,-
Pour out the river's gradual tide, ' I listen, and it cheers me long.
SUNRISE ON THE HILLS.
I STOOD upon the hills, when heaven's wide arch
Was glorious with the sun's returning march,
And woods were brightened, and soft gales
Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales.
The clouds were far beneath me ;-bathed in light,
They gathered mid-way round the wooded height,
And, in their fading glory, shone
Like hosts in battle overthrown,
As many a pinnacle, with shifting glance,
Through the grey mist thrust up its shattered lance,
And rocking on the cliff was left
The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft.
The veil of cloud was lifted, and below
Glowed the rich valley, and the river's flow
Was darkened by the forest's shade,
Or glistened in the white cascade;
Where upward, in the mellow blush of day,
The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral way.
I heard the distant waters dash,
I saw the current whirl and flash,-
And richly, by the blue lake's silver beach,
The woods were bending with a silent reach.
Then o'er the vale, with gentle swell,
The music of the village bell
Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills;
And the wild horn, whose voice the woodland fills,
Was ringing to the merry shout,
That faint and far the glen sent out,
Where, answering to the sudden shot, thin smoke,
Through thick-leaved branches, from the dingle broke.
If thou art worn and hard beset
With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget,
If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
Go to the woods and hills !-No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.
HYMN OF THE MORAVIAN NUNS OF BETHLEHEM,
AT THE CONSECRATION OF PULASKI'S BANNER.
When the dying flame of day
Through the chancel shot its ray,
Far the glimmering tapers shed
Faint light on the cowlèd head;
And the censor burning swung,
Where, before the altar, hung
The blood-red banner, that with prayer
Had been consecrated there.
And the nun's sweet hymn was heard the
Sung low in the dim, mysterious aisle.
“ Take thy banner! May it wave
Proudly o'er the good and brave;
When the battle's distant wail
Breaks the sabbath of our vale,
When the clarion's music thrills
To the hearts of these lone hills,
When the spear in conflict shakes,
And the strong lance shivering breaks. “ Take thy banner! and, beneath
The battle-cloud's encircling wreath, Guard it !-till our homes are free! Guard it !-God will prosper thee !
In the dark and trying hour,
In the breaking forth of power,
In the rush of steeds and men,
His right hand will shield thee then. “ Take thy banner! But, when night
Closes round the ghastly fight,
If the vanquished warrior bow,
Spare him !-By our holy vow,
By our prayers and many tears,
By the mercy that endears,
Spare him! - he our love hath
Spare him! - as thou wouldst be
“ Take thy banner!- and if e'er
Thou shouldst press the soldier's bier,
And the muffled drum should beat
To the tread of mournful feet,
Then this crimson flag shall be
Martial cloak and shroud for thee."
The warrior took that banner proud,
And it was his martial cloak and
On sunny slope and beechen swell, | A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
The shadowed light of evening fell; Covered the warrior, and within
And, where the maple's leaf was brown, Its heavy folds the weapons, made
With soft and silent lapse came down For the hard toils of war were laid ;
The glory, that the wood receives, The cuirass, woven of plaited reeds,
At sunset, in its brazen leaves.
And the broad belt of shells and bead: Far upward in the mellow light
Before, a dark-haired virgin train Rose the blue hills. One cloud of white, Chanted the death-dirge of the slain ; Around a far uplifted cone,
Behind, the long procession came In the warm blush of evening shone; Of hoary men and chiefs of fame, An image of the silver lakes,
With heavy hearts, and eyes of grief, By which the Indian's soul awakes. Leading the war-horse of their chief.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard Stripped of his proud and martial dress, Where the soft breath of evening stirred Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless, The tall, grey forest ; and a band With darting eye, and nostril spread, Of stern in heart, and strong in hand, And heavy and impatient tread, Came winding down beside the wave, He came; and oft that eye so proud To lay the red chief in his grave. Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They sang, that by his native bowers They buried the dark chief-they freed He stood in the last moon of flowers, Beside the grave his battle steed; And thirty snows had not yet shed And swift an arrow cleaved its way Their glory on the warrior's head; To his stern heart! One piercing neigh But, as the summer fruit decays, Arose,-and, on the dead man's plain, So died he in those naked days.
The rider grasps his steed again.
THE SPIRIT OF POETRY.
THERE is a quiet spirit in these woods,
That dwells where'er the gentle south wind blows;
Where, underneath the white-thorn, in the glade,
The wild-flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air,
The leaves above their sunny palms outspread.
With what a tender and impassioned voice
It fills the nice and délicate ear of thought,
When the fast-ushering star of Morning comes
O'er-riding the grey hills with golden scarf;
Or when the cowled and dusky-sandaled Eve,
In mourning weeds, from out the western gate,
Departs with silent pace! That spirit moves
In the green valley, where the silver brook,
From its full laver, pours the white cascade;
And, babbling low amid the tangled woods,
Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter.
And frequent, on the everlasting hills,
Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself
In all the dark embroidery of the storm,
And shouts the stern, strong wind. And here, amid
The silent majesty of these deep woods,
Its presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth,
As to the sunshine and the pure, bright air
Their tops the green trees lift. Hence gifted bards
Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades.
For them there was an eloquent voice in all
The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun,
The flowers, the leaves, the river on its way,
Blue skies, and silver clouds, and gentle winds,
The swelling upland, where the sidelong sun
Aslant the wooded slope, at evening, goes,-
Groves, through whose broken roof the sky looks in,
Mountain, and shattered cliff, and sunny vale,
The distant lake, fountains, and mighty trees,
In many a lazy syllable, repeating
Their old poetic legends to the wind.
And this is the sweet spirit, that doth fill
The world; and, in these wayward days of youth,
My busy fancy oft embodies it,
As a bright image of the light and beauty
That dwell in nature,-of the heavenly forms
We worship in our dreams, and the soft hues
That stain the wild bird's wing, and flush the clouds
When the sun sets. Within her eye
The heaven of April, with its changing light,
And when it wears the blue of May, is hung,
And on her lip the rich, red rose. Her hair
Is like the summer tresses of the trees,
When twilight makes them brown, and on her cheek
Blushes the richness of an autumn sky,
With ever-shifting beauty. Then her breath,
It is so like the gentle air of Spring,
As, from the morning's dewy flowers, it comes
Full of their fragrance, that it is a joy
To have it round us,-and her silver voice
Is the rich music of a summer bird,
Heard in the still night, with its passionate cadence.