Imágenes de páginas




LATE from this western shore, that morning chased
The deep and ancient night, that threw its shroud
O'er the green land of groves, the beautiful waste,
Nurse of full streams, and lifter up

of proud
Sky-mingling mountains that o'erlook the cloud.
Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear,
Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud
Amid the forest; and the bounding deer
Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yell’d near.

And where his willing waves yon bright blue bay
Sends up, to kiss his decorated brim,
And cradles, in his soft embrace, the
Young group

of grassy islands born of him,
And, crowding nigh, or in the distance dim,
Lifts the white throng of sails, that bear or bring
The commerce of the world ;-with tawny limb,

And belt and beads in sunlight glistening,
The savage urged his skiff like wild bird on the wing.

Then, all his youthful paradise around,
And all the broad and boundless mainland lay,
Cool'd by the interminable wood, that frown'd
O'er mound and vale, where never summer ray
Glanced, till the strong tornado broke his way
Through the gray giants of the sylvan wild;
Yet many a shelter'd glade, with blossoms gay,
Beneath the showery sky and sunshine mild,
Within the shaggy arms of that dark forest smiled.

There stood the Indian hamlet, there the lake
Spread its blue sheet that flash'd with many an oar,
Where the brown otter plunged him from the brake,
And the deer drank—as the light gale flew o'er,
The twinkling maize-field rustled on the shore;
And while that spot, so wild and lone and fair,
A look of glad and innocent beauty wore,

And peace was on the earth and in the air,
The warrior lit the pile, and bound his captive there:

Not unavenged-the foeman, from the wood,
Beheld the deed, and when the midnight shade
Was stillest, gorged his battle-axe with blood;
All died-the wailing babe—the shrieking maid-
And in the flood of fire that scathed the glade,
The roofs went down; but deep the silence grew,
When on the dewy woods the day-beam play'd;

No more the cabin smokes rose wreath'd and blue,
And ever, by their lake, lay moor’d the light canoe.

Look now abroad—another race has fill'd
These populous borders-wide the wood recedes,
And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tillid;
The land is full of harvests and green meads ;
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds,
Shine, disembower'd, and give to sun and breeze
Their virgin waters; the full region leads

New colonies forth, that toward the western seas
Spread, like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees.

Here the free spirit of mankind at length
Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant's unchain'd strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race.
Far, like the comet's way through infinite space,
Stretches the long untravell’d path of light
Into the depths of ages: we may trace,
Afar, the brightening glory of its flight,
Till the receding rays are lost to human sight.


WHITHER, midst falling dew,
While glow the heavens with the last steps of day
Far, through their rosy depths, dost thou pursue

Thy solitary way?

[ocr errors]

Vainly the fowler's eye
Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,

Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink

On the chafed ocean side ?

[ocr errors]

There is a Power, whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,--
The desert and illimitable air,

Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fann'd
At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere ;
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,

Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end,
Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest,

And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend

Soon o'er thy shelter'd nest.

Thou 'rt gone, the abyss of heaven
Hath swallow'd up thy form; yet on my heart
Deeply bath sunk the lesson thou hast given,

And shall not soon depart.

He, who, from zone to zone,
Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright.



The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds and naked woods and meadows brown and
Heap'd in the hollows of the grove the wither'd leaves lie dead,
They rustle to the eddying gust and to the rabbit's tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood top calls the crow, through all the gloomy

day. Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that lately

sprung and stood, In brighter light and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood! Alas! they all are in their graves—the gentle race of flowers Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours: The rain is falling where they lie—but the cold November

rain Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again. The windflower and the violet, they perish'd long ago, And the brier-rose and the orchis died, amid the summer's

glow; But on the hill the golden rod, and the aster in the wood, And the yellow sunflower by the brook in autumn beauty stood, Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the

plague on men, And the brightness of their smile was gone from upland, glade,

and glen. And now when comes the calm mild day—as still such days

will come,

To call the squirrel and the bee from out their winter home; When the sound of dropping nuts is heard, though all the

trees are still, And twinkle in the smoky light the waters of the rill, The south wind searches for the flowers whose fragrance late

he bore, And sighs to find them in the wood and by the stream no more.

And then I think of one who in her youthful beauty died,
The fair meek blossom that grew up and faded by my side.
In the cold moist earth we laid her, when the forest cast the

And we wept that one so lovely should have a lot so brief;
Yet not unmeet it was, that one, like that young friend of ours,
So gentle and so beautiful, should perish with the flowers.



The sad and solemn night
Has yet her multitude of cheerful fires;

The glorious hosts of light
Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires:
All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
Her constellations come, and round the heavens, and go.

Day, too, hath many a star grace


gorgeous reign, as bright as they :
Through the blue fields afar,,
Unseen they follow in his flaming way:
Many a bright lingerer, as the eve grows dim,
Tells what a radiant troop arose and set with him.

And thou dost see them rise,
Star of the Pole! and thou dost see them set.

Alone, in thy cold skies,
Thou keep'st thy old unmoving station yet,
Nor join'st the dances of that glittering train,
Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main.

There, at morn's rosy birth,
Thou lookést meekly through the kindling air,

And eve, that round the earth
Chases the day, beholds thee watching there;
There noontide finds thee, and the hour that calls
The shapes of polar flame to scale heaven's azure walls.

Alike, beneath thine eye,
The deeds of darkness and of light are done;

High towards the star-lit sky
Towns blaze-the smoke of battle blots the sun-
The night-storm on a thousand hills is loud-
And the strong wind of day doth mingle sea and cloud.

On thy unaltering blaze
The half-wreck'd mariner, his compass lost,

Fixes his steady gaze,
And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast;
And they who stray in perilous wastes, by night,
Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their footsteps right.


And, therefore, bards of old,
Sages, and hermits of the solemn wood,

Did in thy beams behold
A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.


Ere, in the northern gale,
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of autumn, all around our vale,

Have put their glory on.

The mountains that infold
In their wide sweep, the color'd landscape round,
Seem groups of giant kings in purple and gold,

That guard the enchanted ground.

I roam the woods that crown
The upland, where the mingled splendors glow,
Where the gay company of trees look down

On the green fields below.

My steps are not alone In these bright walks ; the sweet southwest at play, Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strown

Along the winding way.

And far in heaven, the while,
The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
Pours out on the fair eartli his quiet smile,-

The sweetest of the year.

Where now the solemn shade,
Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
So grateful, when the noon of summer made

The valleys sick with heat?

Let in through all the trees
Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright;
Their sunny-colour'd foliage, in the breeze,

Twinkles, like beams of light.

The rivulet, late unseen,
Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
Shines with the image of its golden screen,

And glimmerings of the sun.

But 'neath yon crimson tree,
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,

« AnteriorContinuar »