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XVI. - THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
[Thomas Moore was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1779, and died in 1852. He was a very brilliant lyric poet and song writer. In the latter part of his life he wrote many prose works. When a very young man, he visited America, and the following poem was one of the results of that visit. The subjoined introduction is by the author.
“ They tell of a young man, who lost his mind upon the death of a girl he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from his friends, was never afterwards heard of. As he had frequently said in his ravings, that the girl was not dead, but gone to the Dismal Swamp, it is supposed he had wandered into that dreary wilderness, and had died of hunger, or been lost in some of its dreadful morasses.”
The Great Dismal Swamp is mostly in the north-eastern part of North Caro. lina, but extends into Virginia. It is thirty miles long, and about ten miles wide. Lake Drummond is in the centre, and is about twenty miles in circuit.)
1. “They made her a grave too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true;
She paddles her white canoe.
2. “And her firefly lamp I soon shall see,
And her paddle I soon shall hear;
When the footstep of Death is near.”
3. Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds;
His path was rugged and sore —
And man never trod before.
4. And when on the earth he sank to sleep,
If slumber his eyelids knew,
He lay where the deadly vine doth weep
The flesh with blistering dew.
6. And near him the she-wolf stirred the brake",
And the copper-snake breathed in his ear; Till, starting, he cried, from his dream awake, 60, when shall I see the dusky lake,
And the white canoe of my dear ?”
6. He saw the lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface played;
The name of the death-cold maid;
7. Till he hollowed a boat of the birchen bark,
Which carried him off from shore;
And the boat returned no more.
8. But oft, from the Indian hunter's camp,
This lover and maid so true
I FEN. A low land partly covered with 5 COP'PER-SNĀKE. A copperhead; • water; boggy land.
venomous serpent found in the I VEN'QM-oys. Poisonous ; noxious. | Southern States. STĒÉP. Soak ; imbue.
6 ME'TE-QR. A luminous body seen BRĀKE. A thicket of brambles, reeds, in the air, or floating over moist or ferns.
XVII.- WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE.
MORRIS. (George P. Morris, an American writer, was born October 10, 1802, and died July 6, 1864. He was one of the editors of the Home Journal, and was the author of many popular songs.]
1. WOODMAN, spare that tree;
Touch not a single bough;
And I'll protect it now.
That placed it near his cot;
Thy axe shall harm it not.
2. That old, familiar? tree,
Whose glory and renown
And wouldst thou hew it down?
Cut not its earth-bound ties;
Now towering to the skies.
3. When but an idle boy,
I sought its grateful shade;
Here, too, my sisters played.
My father pressed my hand :
But let that old oak stand.
4 My heartstrings round thee cling,
Close as thy bark, old friend!
And still thy branches bende
Old tree, the storm still brave !
And, woodman, leave the spot;
Thy axe shall harm it not.
I FÖRE'FÄ-THER An ancestor, as | 3 RE-NOWN'. Fame; high honor.
a grandfather, or great-grand- 4 Töw'ER-ING. Rising aloft. father.
15 Gůsh'ļNG. Flowing ; exuberant; im 2 FA-MILIAR. Well-known.
XVIII.- LOSS OF THE ARCTIC.
BEECHER. (Henry Ward Beecher is an eloquent clergyman and public lecturer, living in Brooklyn, New York. The steamer Arctic was lost by a collision with another vessel, in a voyage from Liverpool to New York, in September, 1854, and a great many persons perished.]
1. It was autumn. Hundreds had wended their way from pilgrimages '; - from Rome and its treasures of dead art, and its glory of living nature; from the sides of the Switzer's mountains; from the capitals of various nations; all of them saying in their hearts, We will wait for the September gales to have done with their equinoctial? fury, and then we will embark; we will slide across the appeased ocean, and in the gorgeous month of October we will greet our longed-for native land and our heart-loved homes.
2. And so the throng streamed along from Berlin, from Paris, from the Orient, converging upon London, still hastening towards the welcome ship, and narrowing, every day, the circle of engagements and preparations. They crowded aboard. Never had the Arctic borne such a host of passengers, nor passengers so nearly related to so many of us.
3. The hour was come. The signal ball fell at Greenwich.* It was noon also at Liverpool. The anchors were
* At the observatory in Greenwich (pronounced Gren'i), England, a signal ball falls every day precisely at noon.
weighed; the great hull swayed to the current; the national colors streamed abroad, as if themselves instinct with life and national sympathy. The bell strikes; the wheels revolve; the signal gun beats its echoes in upon every structure along the shore, and the Arctic glides joyfully forth from the Mersey,* and turns her prow to the winding channel, and begins her homeward run. The pilot stood at the wheel, and men saw him. Death sat upon the prow, and no eye beheld him. Whoever stood at the wheel in all the voyage, Death was the pilot that steered the craft, and none knew it. He neither revealed his presence nor whispered his errand.
4. And so hope was effulgent, and lithe 4 gayety disported' itself, and joy was with every guest. Amid all the inconveniences of the voyage, there was still that which hushed every murmur — “Home is not far away." And every morning it was still one night nearer home! Eight days had passed. They beheld that distant bank of mist that forever haunts the vast shallows of Newfoundland. † Boldly they made it ; and plunging in, its pliant wreaths wrapped them about. They shall never emerge. The last sunlight has flashed from that deck. The last voyage is done to ship and passengers. At noon there came, noiselessly stealing from the north, that fated instrument of destruction. In that mysterious shroud, that vast atmosphere of mist, both steamers were holding their way with rushing prow and roaring wheels, but invisible.
5. At a league's distance unconscious, and at nearer approach unwarned, — within hail, and bearing right towards each other, unseen, unfelt, — till in a moment more, emerging from the gray mists, the ill-omened Vesta dealt her deadly stroke to the Arctic. The death-blow was scarcely felt along the mighty hull. She neither reeled nor shivered. Neither commander nor officers deemed that they * Pronounced Mër'ze.
† Pronounced Nu'fund-lănd.