« AnteriorContinuar »
3. But yet I cannot hate — O! there were hours
When I could hang forever on his eye,
And time, who stole with silent swiftness by,
Strewed, as he hurried on, his path with flowers.
4. I loved him then he loved me too. My heart Still finds its fondness kindle if he smile;
of our loves will ne'er depart;
And though he often sting me with a dart,
Venomed and barbed, and waste upon the vile
Caresses which his babe and mine should share,
Though he should spurn me, I will calmly bear
His madness; and should sickness come and lay
Its paralyzing hand upon him, then
I would, with kindness, all my wrongs repay,
Until the penitent should weep and say,
How injured and how faithful I had been !
1. Who will believe ? - not I — for in deceiving
Lies the dear charm of life's delightful dream ;
I cannot spare the luxury of believing
That all things beautiful are what they seem.
2. Who will believe that, with a smile whose blessing
Would, like the patriarch's, soothe a dying hour;
With voice as low, as gentle, and caressing,
As e'er won maiden's lip in moonlight bower;
With look like patient Job's, eschewing evil;
With motions graceful as a bird's in air;
Thou art, in sober truth, the veriest devil
That e'er clinched fingers in a captive's hair?
3. That in thy veins there springs a poison fountain, Deadlier than that which bathes the upas-tree; And in thy wrath, a nursing cat o' mountain Is calm as her babe's sleep compared with thee ?
4. And underneath that face like summer's ocean's, Its lip as moveless, and its cheek as clear, Slumbers a whirlwind of the heart's emotions, Love, hatred, pride, hope, sorrow — all, save fear. Love - for thy land, as if she were thy daughter, Her pipes in peace, her tomahawk in wars;
Hatred — of missionaries and cold water;
Pride — in thy rifle-trophies and thy scars ;
Hope — that thy wrongs will be by the Great Spirit
Remembered and revenged when thou art gone;
Sorrow that none are left thee to inherit
Thy name, thy fame, thy passions, and thy throne.
The Closing Year. — GEORGE D. PRENTICE.
1. 'Tis midnight's holy hour and silence now
Is brooding, like a gentle spirit, o'er
The still and pulseless world. Hark! on the winds
The bell's deep tones are swelling; 't is the knell
Of the departed year.
2. No funeral train
Is sweeping past; yet, on the stream and wood,
With melancholy light, the moonbeams rest,
Like a pale, spotless shroud; the air is stirred,
As by a mourner's sigh; and on yon cloud,
That floats so still and placidly through heaven,
The spirits of the seasons seem to stand,
Young Spring, bright Summer, Autumn's solemn form,
And Winter with his aged locks, and breathe
In mournful cadences, that come abroad
Like the far wind-harp's wild and touching wail,
A melancholy dirge o'er the dead year,
Gone from the earth forever.
3. T is a time For memory
and for tears. Within the deep,
Still chambers of the heart, a specter dim,
Whose tones are like the wizard voice of Time,
Heard from the tomb of ages, points its cold
And solemn finger to the beautiful
And holy visions that have passed away,
And left no shadow of their loveliness
On the dead waste of li
4. That specter lifts
The coffin-lid of hope, and joy, and love,
And, bending mournfully above the pale
Sweet forms that slumber there, scatters dead flowers
O'er what has passed to nothingness.
Has gone, and, with it, many a glorious throng
Of happy dreams. Its mark is on each brow,
Its shadow in each heart. In its swift course,
It waved its scepter o'er the beautiful
And they are not.
6. It laid its pallid hand
Upon the strong man -and the haughty form
Is fallen, and the flashing eye is dim.
It trod the hall of revelry, where thronged
The bright and joyous
and the tearful wail Of stricken ones is heard, where erst the song And reckless shout resounded.
7. It passed o'er
The battle-plain, where sword and spear and shield
Flashed in the light of midday — and the strength
Of serried hosts is shivered, and the grass,
Green from the soil of carnage, waves above
The crushed and moldering skeleton.
8. It came
And faded like a wreath of mist at eve;
Yet, ere it melted in the viewless air,
It heralded its millions to their home,
In the dim land of dreams.
9. Remorseless Time,
Fierce spirit of the glass and scythe, — what power
Can stay him in his silent course, or melt
His iron heart to pity ? On, still on
He presses, and forever.
10. The proud bird,
The condor of the Andes, that can soar
Through heaven's unfathomable depths, or brave
The fury of the northern hurricane,
And bathe his plumage in the thunder's home,
Furls his broad wings at nightfall, and sinks down
To rest upon his mountain-crag, – but Time
Knows not the weight of sleep or weariness,
And night's deep darkness has no claim to bind
His rushing pinion.
11. Revolutions sweep
O’er earth, like troubled visions o'er the breast
Of dreaming sorrow; cities rise and sink,
Like bubbles on the water; fiery isles
Spring, blazing, from the ocean, and go back
To their mysterious caverns; mountains rear
To heaven their bald and blackened cliffs, and bow
Their tall heads to the plain; now empires rise,
Gathering the strength of hoary centuries,
And rush down like the Alpine avalanche,
Startling the nations; and the very stars
Yon bright and burning blazonry of God
Glitter a while in their eternal depths,
And, like the Pleiad, loveliest of their train,
Shoot from their glorious spheres, and pass away,
To darkle in the trackless void.
12. Yet Time Time, the tomb-builder
holds its fierce career,
Dark, stern, all-pitiless, and pauses not
Amid the mighty wrecks that strew his path,
To sit and muse, like other conquerors,
Upon the fearful ruin he has wrought.
The Prairies. BRYANT.
1. As o'er the verdant waste I guide my steed,
Among the high, rank grass that sweeps his sides,
The hollow beating of his footstep seems
A sacrilegious sound. I think of those
Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here
The dead of other days?
- and did the dust
Of these fair solitudes once stir with life
And burn with passion?
2. Let the mighty mounds That overlook the rivers, or that rise In the dim forest, crowded with old oaks, Answer. A race that long has passed away Built them; - a disciplined and populous race Heaped, with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek Was hewing the Pentelicus * to forms Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock The glittering Parthenon.t These ample fields
Nourished their harvests; here their herds were fed,
When haply by their stalls the bison * lowed,
And bowed his maned shoulder to the yoke.
3. All day this desert murmured with their toils,
Till twilight blushed, and lovers walked, and wooed
In a forgotten language, and old tunes,
From instruments of unremembered form,
Gave the soft winds a voice.
4. The red man came,
The roaming hunter-tribes, warlike and fierce,
And the mound-builders vanished from the earth.
The solitude of centuries untold
Has settled where they dwelt. The prairie-wolf
Hunts in their meadows, and his fresh-dug den
Yawns by my path. The gopher t mines the ground
Where stood their swarming cities,
save the piles of earth that hold their bones,
The platforms where they worshiped unknown gods,
The barriers which they builded from the soil
To keep the foe at bay, till o'er the walls
The wild beleaguerers broke, and one by one
The strongholds of the plain were forced, and heaped
5. The brown vultures of the wood
Flocked to those vast, uncovered sepulchers,
And sat, unscared and silent, at their feast.
Haply some solitary fugitive,
Lurking in marsh and forest, till the sense
Of desolation and of fear became
Bitterer than death, yielded himself to die.
6. Man's better nature triumphed. Kindly words
Welcomed and soothed him; the rude conquerors
Seated the captive with their chiefs ; he chose
A bride among their maidens, and at length
Seemed to forget, — yet ne'er forgot, — the wife
Of his first love, and her sweet little ones,
Butchered, amid their shrieks, with all his race.
7. Thus change the forms of being. Thus arise
Races of living things, glorious in strength,
* Bison is the proper name of the animal in the prairies commonly called the Buffalo. The real buffalo is found in India.
+ The gopher is an animal about the size of a squirrel. It burrows in the earth, throwing up hillocks twelve or eighteen inches high. It is very mischievous in corn-fields and gardens.