Page images
PDF
EPUB

There 's quiet in the dcep :-
A bove, let tides and tempests rave,
And earth-born whirlwinds wake the wave ;
Above, let care and fear contend,
With sin and sorrow to the end :
Here, far beneath the tainted foam,
That frets above our peaceful home,
We dream in joy, and wake in love,
Nor know the rage that yells above.

There 's quiet in the deep.

ON THE LOSS OF PROFESSOR FISHER, OF YALE COLLEGE. The breath of air that stirs the harp's soft string,

Floats on to join the whirlwind and the storm; The drops of dew exhaled from flowers of spring,

Rise and assume the tempest's threatening form ; The first mild beam of morning's glorious sun,

Ere night, is sporting in the lightning's flash;
And the smooth stream, that flows in quiet on,

Moves but to aid the overwhelming dash
That wave and wind can muster, when the might

Of earth, and air, and sea, and sky unite.

So science whisper'd in thy charmed ear,

And radiant learning beckon'd thee away.
The breeze was music to thee, and the clear

Beam of thy morning promised a bright day.
And they have wreck'd thee !-But there is a shore

Where storms are hush'd, where tempests never rage; Where angry skies and blackening seas, no more

With gusty strength their roaring warfare wage.
By thee its peaceful margant shall be trod-
Thy home is Heaven, and thy friend is God.

THE FALLS OF NIAGARA.

The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain,
While I look upward to thee. It would seem
As if God pour'd thee from his “ hollow hand,”
And hung his bow upon thine awful front;
And spoke in that loud voice, which seem'd to him
Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake,
"The sound of many waters;" and had bade
Thy flood to chronicle the ages back,
And notch His centries in the eternal rocks.

Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we,
That hear the question of that voice sublime ?

Oh! what are all the notes that ever rung
From war's vain trumpet, by thy thundering side!
Yea, what is all the riot man can make
In his short life, to thy unceasing roar!
And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to Him,
Who drown'd a world, and heap'd the waters far
Above its loftiest mountains ?-a light wave,
That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.

FROM AN ADDRESS TO CONNECTICUT RIVER.
FROM that lone lake, the sweetest of the chain
That links the mountain to the mighty main,
Fresh from the rock and welling by the tree,
Rushing to meet and dare and breast the sea,
Fair, noble, glorious, river! in thy wave
The sunniest slopes and sweetest pastures lave,
The mountain torrent, with its wintry roar
Springs from its home and leaps upon thy shore ;-
The promontories love thee--and for this
Turn their rough cheeks and stay thee for thy kiss.
Stern, at thy source, thy northern Guardians stand,
Rude rulers of the solitary land,
Wild dwellers by thy cold sequester'd springs,
Of earth the feathers and of air the wings;
Their blasts have rock'd thy cradle, and in storni
Cover'd thy couch and swathed in snow thy form--
Yet, bless'd by all the elements that sweep
The clouds above, or the unfathom'd deep,
The purest breezes scent thy blooming hills,
The gentlest dews drop on thy eddying rills,
By the moss'd bank, and by the aged tree,
The silver streamlet smoothest glides to thee,
The young oak greets thee at the waters' edge,
Wet by the wave, though anchor'd in the ledge,
-_'T is there the otter dives, the beaver feeds,
Where pensive osiers dip their willowy weeds,
And there the wild-cat purs amid her brood,
And trains them, in the sylvan solitude,
To watch the squirrel's leap, or mark the mink
Paddling the water by thy quiet brink ;-
Or to out-gaze the gray owl in the dark,
Or hear the young fox practising to bark.

Dark as the frost-nipp'd leaves that strow'd the ground, The Indian hunter here his shelter found; Here cut his bow and shaped his arrows true, Here built his wigwam and his bark canoe, Spear'd the quick salmon leaping up the fall, And slew the deer without the rifle ball.

Here his young squaw her cradling tree would choose,
Singing her chant to hush her swart pappoose,
Here stain her quills and string her trinkets rude,
And weave her warrior's wampum in the wood.
-No more shall they thy welcome waters bless,
No more their forms thy moonlit banks shall press,
No more be heard, from mountain or from grove,
His whoop of slaughter, or her song of love.

*

Stream of my sleeping fathers! when the sound Of coming war echoed thy hills around, How did thy sons start forth from every glade, Snatching the musket where they left the spade. How did their mothers urge them to the fight, Their sisters tell them to defend the right,How bravely did they stand, how nobly fall, The earth their coffin and the turf their pallHow did the aged pastor light his eye, When, to his flock, he read the purpose high And stern resolve, whate'er the toil may be, To pledge life, name, famé, all--for Liberty. - Cold is the hand that penn'd that glorious pageStill in the grave the body of that sage Whose lip of eloquence and heart of zeal, Made patriots act and listening statesmen feelBrought thy Green Mountains down upon their foes, And thy white summits melted of their snows, While every vale to which his voice could come, Rang with the fife and echoed to the drum.

Bold River! better suited are thy waves To nurse the laurels clustering round their graves, Than many a distant stream, that soaks the mud Where thy brave sons have shed their gallant blood, And felt, beyond all other mortal pain, They ne'er should see their happy home again.

Thou had'st a poet once,-and he could tell,
Most tunefully, whate'er to thee befell,
Could fill each pastoral reed upon thy shore-
-But we shall hear his classic lays no more!
He loved thee, but he took his aged way,
By Erie's shore, and Perry's glorious day,
To where Detroit looks out amidst the wood,
Remote beside the dreary solitude.

Yet for his brow thy ivy leaf shall spread, Thy freshest myrtle lift its berried head, And our gnari'd Charter-oak put forth a bough, Whose leaves shall grace thy Trumbull's honor'd brow.

NATHANIEL P. WILLIS.

THE SOLDIER'S WIDOW.
Wo! for my vine-clad home!
That it should ever be so dark to me,
With its bright threshold, and its whispering tree!

That I should ever come,
Fearing the lonely echo of a tread,
Beneath the roof-tree of my glorious dead !

Lead on! my orphan boy!
Thy home is not so desolate to thee,
And the low shiver in the linden tree

May bring to thee a joy;
But, oh! how dark is the bright home before thee,
To her who with a joyous spirit bore thee !

Lead on! for thou art now
My sole remaining helper. God hath spoken,
And the strong heart I leaned upon is broken;

And I have seen his brow,
The forehead of my upright one, and just,
Trod by the hoof of battle to the dust.

He will not meet thee there
Who bless'd thee at the eventide, my son!
And when the shadows of the night steal on,

He will not call to prayer.
The lips that melted, giving thee to God,
Are in the icy keeping of the sod!

Aye, my own boy! thy sire
Is with the sleepers of the valley cast,
And the proud glory of my life hath past,

With his high glance of fire.
Wo! that the linden and the vine should bloom
And a just man be gather'd to the tomb !

BETTER MOMENTS.

[ocr errors]

My Mother's voice ! how often creeps

Its cadence on my lonely hours !
Like healing sent on wings of sleep,

Or dew to the unconscious flowers.
I can forget her melting prayer

While leaping pulses madly fly,
But in the still unbroken air
Her gentle tone comes stealing by,

[ocr errors]

And years, and sin, and manhood flee,
And leave me at my mother's knee.
The book of nature, and the print

Of beauty on the whispering sea,
Give aye to me some lineament

Of what I have been taught to be. My heart is harder, and perhaps

My manliness hath drunk up tears,
And there's a mildew in the lapse

Of a few miserable years-
But nature's book is even yet
With all my mother's lessons writ.
I have been out at eventide

Beneath a moonlight sky of spring,
When earth was garnish'd like a bride,

And night had on her silver wingWhen bursting leaves and diamond, rass,

* And waters leaping to the light, And all that makes the pulses pass

With wilder fleetness, throng'd the night When all was beauty-then have I

With friends on whom my love is flung Like myrrh on winds of Araby,

Gazed up where evening's lamp is hung. And when the beautiful spirit there,

Flung over me its golden chain, My mother's voice came on the air

Like the light-dropping of the rain-
And resting on some silver star

The spirit of a bended knee,
I've pour'd her low and fervent prayer

That our eternity might be
To rise in heaven like stars at night!
And tread a living path of light.
I have been on the dewy hills,

When night was stealing from the dawn, And mist was on the waking rills,

And tints were delicately drawn In the gray East-when birds were waking

With a low murmur in the trees, And melody by fits was breaking

Upon the whisper of the breeze, And this when I was forth, perchance As a worn reveller from the dance

And when the sun sprang gloriously And freely up, and hill and river

Were catching upon wave and tree The arrows from his subtle quiver

I say, a voice has thrill'd me then, Heard on the still and rushing light,

« PreviousContinue »