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With what a tender and impassioned voice
It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought,
When the fast-ushering star of morning comes
O'er-riding the gray 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 Howers, 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.
On sunny slope and beechen swell
The shadowed light of evening fell;
And, where the maple's leaf was brown,
With soft and silent lapse came down
The glory, that the wood receives
At sunset in its brazen leaves.
Far upward in the mellow light Rose the blue hills. One cloud of white, Around a far uplifted cone, In the warm blush of evening shone; An image of the silver lakes, By which the Indian's soul awakes.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard
Where the soft breath of evening stirred
The tall, gray forest; and a band
Of stern in heart, and strong in hand,
Came winding down beside the wave,
To lay the red chief in his grave.
They sang, that by his native bowers
He stood, in the last moon of flowers,
And thirsty snows had not yet shed
Their glory on the warrior's head;
But, as the summer fruit decays,
So died he in those naked days.
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Covered the warrior, and within
Its heavy folds the weapons, made
For the hard toils of war, were laid ;
The cuirass woven of plaited reeds,
And the broad belt of shells and beads.
Before, a dark-haired virgin train
Chanted the death-dirge of the slain;
Behind, the long procession came
Of hoary men and chiefs of fame,
With heavy hearts and eyes of grief,
Leading the war-horse of their chief.
Stripped of his proud and martial dress, Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless, With darting eye, and nostril spread, And heavy and impatient tread, He came; and oft that eye so proud Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They buried the dark chief; they freed Beside the grave his battle steed; And swift an arrow cleaved its way To his stern heart! One piercing neigh Arose,-and, on the dead man's plain, The rider grasps his steed again.
UNDER a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands; The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village-bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school
Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,
And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly
Like chaff from a threshing floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice
Singing in the village choir ;
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise !
He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.
Onward through life he goes ;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close ;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose. Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught! Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought!
THE rising Moon has hid the stars;
Her level rays, like golden bars,
Lie on the landscape green,
With shadows brown between.
And silver white the river gleams,
As if Diana, in her dreams,
Had dropt her silver bow
Upon the meadows low.
On such a tranquil night as this,
She woke Endymion with a kiss,
When, sleeping in the grové,
He dreamed not of her love.
Like Dian's kiss, unasked, unsought,
Love gives itself, but is not bought;
Nor voice nor sound betrays
Its deep, impassioned gaze.
It comes,-the beautiful, the free,
The crown of all humanity,
In silence and alone
To seek the elected one.
It lifts the boughs, whose shadows deep
Are Life's oblivion, the soul's sleep,
And kisses the closed eyes
Of him who slumbering lies.
O weary hearts! O slumbering eyes !
O drooping souls, whose destiñies
Are fraught with fear and pain!
Ye shall be loved again.
No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
But some heart; though unknown,
Responds unto his own.
Responds,-as if with unseen wings
An angel touched its quivering strings ;
And whispers, in its song,
“ Where hast thou stayed so long?"
THE TWO LOCKS OF HAIR.
FROM THE GERMAN OF PFIZER.
A YOUTH, light-hearted and content,
I wander through the world ;
Here, Arab-like, is pitched my tent,
And straight again is furled.
Yet oft I dream that once a wife
Close in my heart was locked, And in the sweet repose of life
A blessed child I rocked.
I wake! Away that dream,-away!
Too long did it remain!
So long, that both by night and day
It ever comes again.
The end lies ever in my thought;
To a grave so cold and deep
The mother beautiful was brought;
Then dropt the child asleep.
But now the dream is wholly o'er,
I bathe mine eyes and see; And wander through the world once more,
A youth so light and free.
Two locks, and they are wondrous fair,
Left me that vision mild;
The brown is from the mother's hair,
The blond is from the child.