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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 OF AN INFANT.
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.
THE LIGHT OF HOME.
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.
THE INDIAN HUNTER.
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,
The winds of autumn came over the woods
As the sun stole out from their solitudes,
The moss was white on the maple's trunk,
And dead from its arms the pale vine shrunk,
And ripened the mellow fruit hung, and red,
Where the tree's wither'd leaves around it shed.
The foot of the reaper moved slow on the lawn,
And the sickle cut down the yellow corn,-
The mower sung loud by the meadow side,
Where the mists of evening were spreading wide,
And the voice of the herdsman came up the lea,
And the dance went round by the greenwood tree.
'Then the hunter turned away from that scene,
Where the home of his fathers once had been,
And heard by the distant and measured stroke,
That the woodman hew'd down the giant oak,
And burning thoughts flash'd over his mind
Of the white man's faith and love unkind.
The moon of the harvest grew high and bright, As her golden horn pierced the cloud of white,— A footstep was heard in the rustling brake, Where the beech overshadowed the misty lake, And a mourning voice and a plunge from shore; And the hunter was seen on the hills no more.
When years had pass'd on, by that still lake-side
The fisher look'd down through the silver tide,
And there, on the smooth yellow sand display'd,
A skeleton wasted and white was laid,
And t' was seen, as the waters moved deep and slow That the hand was still grasping a hunter's bow.
WOODS IN WINTER.
WHEN winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the white-thorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.
O'er the base upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sun-beams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.
On the gray maple's crusted bark
Its tender shoots the hoar-frost nips;
Whilst in the frozen fountain-hark!-
His piercing beak the bittern dips.
When, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,-
The crystal icicle is hung.
Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.
Alas how chang'd from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay;
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!
But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathered winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds, pipe loud.
Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year→→
I listen, and it cheers me long.
THE WINGED WORSHIPPERS.
GAY, guiltless pair,
What seek ye from the fields of heaven?
Ye have no need of prayer,
Ye have no sins to be forgiven.
Why perch ye here,
Where mortals to their Maker bend?
Can your pure spirits fear
The God ye never could offend?
Ye never knew
The crimes for which we come to weep:
Penance is not for you,
Blest wanderers of the upper deep.