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Or, creeping from the silent glen
Like words from the departing night
Hath stricken me, and I have press'd
On the wet grass my fever'd brow,
And pouring forth the earliest
First prayer, with which I learn'd to bow,
Have felt my mother's spirit rush
Upon me as in by-past years,
And yielding to the blessed gush
Of my ungovernable tears,
Have risen up—the gay, the wild
As humble as a very child.
GROUP after group are gathering--such as prest
Once to their Saviour's arms, and gently laid Their cherub heads upon his shielding breast,
Though sterner souls the fond approach forbade ;Group after group glide on with noiseless tread,
And round Jehovah's sacred altar meet,
Where holy thoughts in infant hearts are bred,
And holy words their ruby lips repeat,
Oft with a chasten'd glance, in modulation sweet.
Yet some there are, upon whose childish brows
Wan poverty hath done the work of care;
Look up, ye sad ones ! 't is your Father's house
Beneath whose consecrated dome you are; More gorgeous robes ye see, and trappings rare,
And watch the gaudier forms that gaily move, And deem, perchance, mistaking as you are,
The “coat of many colors” proves His love, Whose sign is in the heart, and whose reward above.
And ye, blest labourers in this humble sphere,
To deeds of saint-like charity inclined, Who from your cells of meditation dear,
Come forth to guide the weak, untutor'd mind Yet ask no payment, save one smile refined
Of grateful love-one tear of contrite pain! Meekly ye forfeit to your rnission kind
The rest of earthly Sabbaihs. --Be your gain A sabbath without end, mid yon celestial plain.
Fair River! not unknown to classic song ;-
Which still in varying beauty roll'st along,
Where first thy infant fount is faintly seen,
A line of silver mid a fringe of green;
Or where, near towering rocks, thy bolder tide,
To win the giant-guarded pass, doth glide;
Or where, in azure mantle, pure and free,
Thou giv'st thy cool hand to the waiting sea ;—.
Though broader streams our sister realms may boast,
Herculean cities, and a prouder coast,
Yet, from the bound where hoarse St Lawrence roars
To where La Plata rocks the sounding shores;
From where the urns of slimy Nilus shine,
To the blue waters of the rushing Rhine;
Or where Ilissus glows like diamond spark,
Or sacred Ganges whelms its votaries dark,
No brighter skies the eye of day may see,
No soil more verdant, nor a race more free.
-See, where, amid their cultured vales, they stand,
The generous offspring of a simple land;
Too rough for flattery, and all fear above,
King, priest, and prophet, in the homes they love.
On equal laws their anchor'd hopes are stay'd,
By all interpreted, and all obey'd.
Alike the despot and the slave they hate,
And rise firm columns of a happy state.
To them content is bliss; and labour, health ;
And knowledge, power; and true religion, wealth.
The farmer, here, with honest pleasure secs
His orchards blushing to the fervid breeze,
His bleating flocks, the shearer's care who need,
His waving woods, the winter fire that feed,
His hardy steers, that break the yielding soil,
His patient sons, who aid their father's toil,
The ripening fields, for joyous harvest drest,
And the white spire that points a world of rest.
-His thrifty mate, solicitous to bear
An equal burden in the yoke of care,
With vigorous arm the flying shuttle heaves,
Or from the press the golden cheese receives;
Her pastime, when the daily task is o'er,
With apron clean, to seek her neighbour's door,
Partake the friendly feast, with social glow,
Exchange the news, and make the stocking grow;
Then, hale and cheerful, to her home repair,
When Sol's slant ray renews her evening care,
Press the full udder for her children's meal,
Rock the tired babe, or wake the tuneful wheel.
See, towards yon dome, where village science dwells,
What time the warning clock its summons swells,
What tiny feet the well known path explore,
And gaily gather from each sylvan door.
The new wean'd child, with murmur'd tone proceeds,
Whom her scarce taller baby-brother leads,
Transferr'd as burdens, that the house-wife's care
May tend the dairy, or the fleece prepare.
Light-hearted group! who gambol wild and high,
The daisy pluck, or chace the butterfly,
Till by some traveller's wheels aroused from play,
The stiff salute, with face demure, they pay,
Bare the curl'd brow, or stretch the ready hand,
The untutor'd homage of an artless land.
The stranger marks, amid the joyous line,
The little baskets whence they hope to dine;
And larger books, as if their dexterous art
Dealt most nutrition to the noblest part.
Long may it be, ere luxury teach the shame
To starve the mind, and bloat the unwieldy frame !
Scorn not this lowly race, ye sons of pride!
Their joys disparage, nor their hopes deride ;
From germs like these have mighty statesmen sprung,
Of prudent counsel, and persuasive tongue;
Bold patriot souls, who ruled the willing throng,
Their powerful nerves by early labour strong ;
Inventive minds, a nation's wealth that wrought,
And white-hair'd sages, skill'd in studious thought;
Chiefs, who the field of battle nobly trod,
And holy men, who fed the flock of God.
Here, mid the graves by time so sacred made,
The poor lost Indian slumbers in the shade ;
He, whose canoe with arrowy swiftness clave,
In ancient days, yon pure, cerulean wave;
Son of that spirit, whom in storms he traced,
Through darkness follow'd, and in death embraced,
He sleeps an outlaw, mid his forfeit land,
And grasps the arrow in his moulder'd hand.
Here too, those warrior sires with honour rest,
Who bared in freedom's cause the valiant breast,
Sprang from their half drawn furrow, as the cry
Of threaten'd liberty came thrilling by,
Look'd to their God, and rear'd in bulwark round
Breasts free from guile, and hands with toil embrown'd,
And bade a monarch's thousand banners yield-
Firm at the plough, and glorious in the field;
Lo! here they rest, who every danger braved,
Unmark’d, untrophied, mid the soil they saved.
-Round scenes like these, doth warm remembrance glide,
Where emigration rolls its ceaseless tide.
On western wilds, which thronging hordes explore,
Or ruder Erie's serpent-haunted shore,
Or far Huron, by unshorn forests crown'd,
Or red Missouri's unfrequented bound,
The exiled man, when midnight shades invade,
Couch'd in his hut, or camping on the glade,
Starts from his dream, to catch, in echoes clear,
The boatman's song that pleased his boyish ear;
While the sad mother, mid her children's mirth,
Paints with fond tears a parent's distant hearth,
Or charms her rustic babes, with tender tales
Of thee, blest River! and thy velvet vales;
Her native cot, where ripening berries swell,
The village school, and sabbath's holy bell;
And smiles to see the infant soul expand
With proud devotion for that father land.
Death found strange beauty on that cherub brow,
And dash'd it out. There was a tint of rose
On cheek and lip ;-he touch'd the veins with ice,
And the rose faded.-Forth from those blue eyes
There spoke a wishful tenderness,-a doubt
Whether to grieve or sleep, which Innocence
Alone can wear.
With ruthless haste he bound
The silken fringes of their curtaining lids
Forever. There had been a murmuring sound
With which the babe would claim its mother's ear,
Charming her even to tears. The spoiler set
His seal of silence. But there beam'd a smile
So fix'd and holy from that marble brow,-
Death gazed and left it there ;-he dared not steal
The signet-ring of heaven.
My boy, thou wilt dream the world is fair,
And thy spirit will sigh to roam,
And thou must go ;-but never when there,
Forget the light of home.
Though pleasure may smile with a ray more bright,
It dazzles to lead astray :
Like the meteor's flash 't will deepen the night,
When thou treadest the lonely way.
But the hearth of home has a constant flame,
And pure as vestal fire; 'T will burn, t' will burn, forever the same,
For nature feeds the pyre.
The sea of ambition is tempest tost,
And thy hopes may vanish like foam; But when sails are shiver'd and rudder lost,
Then look to the light of home. And there, like a star through the midnight cloud,
Thou shalt see the beacon bright, For never, till shining on thy shroud,
Can be quench'd its holy light.
The sun of fame 't will gild the name,
But the heart ne'er felt its ray ;
And fashion's smiles, that rich ones claim,
Are but beams of a wintry day.
And how cold and dim those beams must be,
Should life's wretched wanderer come! But my boy, when the world is dark to thee,
Then turn to the light of home.
When the summer harvest was gather'd in,
And the sheaf of the gleaner grew white and thin,
And the ploughshare was in its furrow left,
Where the stubble land had been lately cleft,
An Indian hunter, with unstrung bow,
Look'd down where the valley lay stretch'd below.
He was a stranger there, and all that day
Had been out on the hills, a perilous way,
But the foot of the deer was far and fleet,
And the wolf kept aloof from the hunter's feet,
And bitter feelings pass'd o'er him then,
As he stood by the populous haunts of men,