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Whole villages of sand-roofed tents, That rise like golden domes Above the cavernous and secret homes Of wandering and nomadic tribes of ants. Ah, cruel little Tamerlane, Who, with thy'dreadful reign, Dost persecute and overwhelm These hapless Troglodytes of thy realm! What! tired already! with those suppliant looks, And voice more beautiful than a poet's books, Or murmuring sound of water as it flows, Thou comest back to parley with repose ! This rustic seat in the old apple-tree, With its o'erhanging golden canopy Of leaves illuminate with autumnal hues, And shining with the argent light of dews, Shall for a season be our place of rest. Beneath us, like an oriole's pendent nest, From which the laughing birds have taken wing, By thee abandoned, hangs thy vacant swing. Dream-like the waters of the river gleam; A sailless vessel drops adown the stream, And like it, to a sea as wide and deep, Thou driftest gently down the tides of sleep. O child! O new-born denizen Of life's great city! on thy head The glory of the morn is shed, Like a celestial benison ! Here at the portal thou dost stand, And with thy little hand Thou openest the mysterious gate Into the future's undiscovered land, I see its valves expand, As at the touch of Fate! Into those realms of love and hate, Into that darkness blank and drear, By some prophetic feeling taught, I launch the bold, adventurous thought, Freighted with hope and fear; As upon subterranean streams, In caverns unexplored and dark, Men sometimes launch a fragile bark, Laden with flickering fire, And watch its swift-receding beams, Until at length they disappear, And in the distant dark expire. By what astrology of fear or hope Dare I to cast thy horoscope !
Like the new moon thy life appears ;
Thy destiny remains untold;
THE OCCULTATION OF ORION.
I saw, as in a dream sublime,
Scattered across the midnight air
The moon was pallid, but not faint, And day, with all its hours of light, And beautiful as some fair saint, Was slowly sinking out of sight,
Serenely moving on her way While, opposite, the scale of night In hours of trial and dismay Silently with the stars ascended. As if she heard the voice of God,
Unharmed with naked feet she trod Like the astrologers of eld,
Upon the hot and burning stars, In that bright vision I bebeld
As on the glowing coals and bars Greater and deeper mysteries.
That were to prove her strength, and try I saw, with its celestial keys,
Her holiness and her purity.
Thus moving on, with silent pace, Rising through all its sevenfold bars, And triumph in her sweet, pale face, From earth unto the fixed stars.
She reached the station of Orion. And through the dewy atmosphere, | Agbast he stood in strange alarm ! Not only could I see, but hear,
And suddenly from his outstretched arm Its wondrous and harmonious strings, Down fell the red skin of the lion Its sweet vibration, sphere by sphere, Into the river at his feet. From Dian's circle light and near, His mighty club no longer beat Onward to vaster and wider rings, The forehead of the bull; but he Where, chanting through his beard of Reeled as of yore beside the sea, Snows,
When, blinded by Enopion, Majestic, mournful, Saturn goes, He sought the blacksmith at his forge, And down the sunless realms of space And, climbing up the mountain gorge, Reverberates the thunder of his bass. Fixed bis blank eyes upon the sun.
Beneath the sky's triumphal arch
Then, through the silence overhead,
TO THE DRIVING CLOUD.
GLOOMY and dark art thou, O chief of the mighty Omahas;
How canst thou walk these streets, who hast trod the green turf of
the prairies? How canst thou breathe this air, who hast breathed the sweet air of
the mountains ? Ah ! 'tis vain that with lordly looks of disdain thon dost challenge Looks of disdain in return, and question these walls and these pave
ments, Claiming the soil for thy hunting-grounds, while down-trodden millions Starve in the garrets of Europe, and cry from its caverns that they, too, Have been created heirs of the earth, and claim its division!
Back, then, back to thy woods in the regions west of the Wabash!
Hark! what murmurs arise from the heart of those mountainous
deserts ? Is it the cry of the Foxes and Crows, or the mighty Behemoth, Who, unharmed, on his tusks once caught the bolts of the thunder, And now lurks in his lair to destroy the race of the red man? Far more fatal to thee and thy race than the Crows and the Foxes, Far more fatal to thee and thy race than the tread of Behemoth, Lo! the big thunder-canoe, that steadily breasts the Missouri's Merciless current! and yonder, afar on the prairies, the camp-fires Gleam through the night; and the cloud of dust in the gray of the
daybreak Marks not the buffalo's track, nor the Mandan's dexterous horse-race; It is a caravan, whitening the desert where dwell the Camanches ! Ha! how the breath of these Saxons and Celts, like the blast of the
east-wind, Drifts evermore to the west the scanty smokes of thy wigwams!
I STOOD on the bridge at midnight, Would bear me away on its bosom
As the clocks were striking the hour, O'er the ocean wild and wide! And the moon rose o'er the city,
For my heart was hot and restless, Behind the dark church-tower.
And my life was full of care, I saw her bright reflection
And the burden laid upon me In the waters under me,
Seemed greater than I could bear. Like a golden goblet falling
But now it has fallen from me, And sinking into the sea.
It is buried in the sea ; And far in the hazy distance
And only the sorrow of others Of that lovely night in June,
Throws its shadow over me. The blaze of the flaming furnace
Yet whenever I cross the river, Gleamed redder than the moon.
On its bridge with wooden piers, Among the long, black rafters
Like the odour of brine from the ocean The wavering shadows lay,
Comes the thought of other years. And the current that came from the ocean
can And I think how many thousands Seemed to lift and bear them away ;
Of care-encumbered men, As, sweeping and eddying through them, Each bearing his burden of sorrow, Rose the belated tide,
Have crossed the bridge since then! And, streaming into the moonlight,
I see the long procession The sea-weed floated wide.
Still passing to and fro, And like those waters rushing
The young heart hot and restless, Among the wooden piers,
And the old subdued and slow. A flood of thoughts came o'er me
And for ever and for ever, That filled my eyes with tears.
As long as the river flows, How often, oh, how often,
As long as the heart has passions, In the days that had gone by,
As long as life has woes ; I had stood on that bridge at midnight,
The moon and its broken reflection And gazed on that wave and sky!
And its shadows shall appear, How often, oh, how often,
As the symbol of love in heaven, I had wished that the ebbing tide ! And its wavering image here.
The shades of night were falling fast,