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I. Early and Uncollected Verses.

I am yielding to what seems, under the circumstances, almost a necessity, in adding to the pieces assigned for one rear son or another to the limbo of an appendix, some of my very earliest attempts at verse, which have been kept alive in the newspapers for the last half century. A few of them have even been printed in book form without my consent, and greatly to my annoyance, with all their accumulated errors of the press added to their original defects and crudity. I suppose they should have died a natural death long ago, but their feline tenacity of life seems to contradict the theory of the ‘survival of the fittest.’ I have consented, at my publishers' request, to take the poor vagrants home and give them a more presentable appearance, in the hope that they may at least be of some interest to those who are curious enough to note the weak beginnings of the graduate of a small country district school, sixty years ago. That they met with some degree of favor at that time may be accounted for by the fact that the makers of verse were then few in number, with little competition in their unprofitable vocation, and that the standard of criticism was not discouragingly high.

The earliest of the author's verses that found their way into print were published in the Newburyport Free Press, edited by William Lloyd Garrison, in 1826.

The Exile's Departure.

Fond scenes, which delighted my youthful existence,
     With feelings of sorrow I bid ye adieu—
A lasting adieu! for now, dim in the distance,
     The shores of Hibernia recede from my view. [334]
Farewell to the cliffs, tempest-beaten and gray,
     Which guard the lov'd shores of my own native land;
Farewell to the village and sail-shadow'd bay,
     The forest-crown'd hill and the water-wash'd strand.

I've fought for my country—I've brav'd all the dangers
     That throng round the path of the warrior in strife;
I now must depart to a nation of strangers,
     And pass in seclusion the remnant of life;
Far, far from the friends to my bosom most dear,
     With none to support me in peril and pain,
And none but the stranger to drop the sad tear
     On the grave where the heart-broken Exile is lain.

Friends of my youth! I must leave you forever,
     And hasten to dwell in a region unknown:—
Yet time cannot change, nor the broad ocean sever,
     Hearts firmly united and tried as our own.
Ah, no! though I wander, all sad and forlorn,
     In a far distant land, yet shall memory trace,
When far o'er the ocean's white surges I'm borne,
     The scene of past pleasures,—my own native places

Farewell shores of Erin, green land of my fathers:—
     Once more, and forever, a mournful adieu!
For round thy dim headlands the ocean-mist gathers,
     And shrouds the fair isle I no longer can view.
I go—but wherever my footsteps I bend,
     For freedom and peace to my own native isle,
And contentment and joy to each warm-hearted friend
     Shall be the heart's prayer of the lonely Exile!

Haverhill, 1825.

The Deity.

The Prophet stood
On the high mount, and saw the tempest cloud
Pour the fierce whirlwind from its reservoir
Of congregated gloom. The mountain oak,
Torn from the earth, heaved high its roots where once
Its branches waved. The fir-tree's shapely form,
Smote by the tempest, lashed the mountain's side.
Yet, calm in conscious purity, the Seer
Beheld the awful desolation, for
The Eternal Spirit moved not in the storm.

The tempest ceased. The caverned earthquake burst
Forth from its prison, and the mountain rocked
Even to its base. The topmost crags were thrown,
With fearful crashing, down its shuddering sides.
Unawed, the Prophet saw and heard; he felt [335]
Not in the earthquake moved the God of Heaven.
The murmur died away; and from the height,
Torn by the storm and shattered by the shock,
Rose far and clear, a pyramid of flame
Mighty and vast; the startled mountain deer
Shrank from its glare, and cowered within the shade;
The wild fowl shrieked—but even then the Seer
Untrembling stood and marked the fearful glow,
For Israel's God came not within the flame!

The fiery beacon sank. A still, small voice,
Unlike to human sound, at once conveyed
Deep awe and reverence to his pious heart.
Then bowed the holy man; his face he veiled
Within his mantle-and in meekness owned
The presence of his God, discerned not in
The storm, the earthquake, or the mighty flame.


The Vale of the Merrimac.

There are streams which are famous in history's story,
     Whose names are familiar to pen and to tongue,
Renowned in the records of love and of glory,
     Where knighthood has ridden and minstrels have sung:—
Fair streams throa more populous regions are gliding,
     Tower, temple, and palace their borders adorning,
With tall-masted ships on their broad bosoms riding,
     Their banners stretch'd out in the breezes of morning;
And their vales may be lovely and pleasant—but never
     Was skiff ever wafted, or wav'd a white sail
O'er a lovelier wave than my dear native river,
     Or brighter tides roll'd than in Merrimac's vale!

And fair streams may glide where the climate is milder,
     Where winter ne'er gathers and spring ever blooms,
And others may roll where the region is wilder,
     Their dark waters hid in some forest's deep gloom,
Where the thunder-scath'd peaks of Helvetia are frowning,
     And the Rhine's rapid waters encircle their bases,
Where the snows of long years are the hoary Alps crowning,
     And the tempest-charg'd vapor their tall tops embraces:—
There sure might be fix'd, amid scenery so frightful,
     The region of romance and wild fairy-tale,—
But such scenes could not be to my heart so delightful
     As the home of my fathers,—fair Merrimac's vale!
There are streams where the bounty of Providence musters
     The fairest of fruits by their warm sunny sides,
The vine bending low with the grape's heavy clusters,
     And the orange-tree waving its fruit o'er their tides:— [336]
But I envy not him whose lot has been cast there,
     For oppression is there—and the hand of the spoiler,
Regardless of justice or mercy, has past there,
     And made him a wretched and indigent toiler.
No—dearer to me are the scenes of my childhood,
     The moss-cover'd bank and the breeze-wafted sail,
The age-stinted oak and the green groves of wild-wood
     That wave round the borders of Merrimac's vale!

Oh, lovely the scene, when the gray misty vapor
     Of morning is lifted from Merrimac's shore;
When the fire-fly, lighting his wild gleaming taper,
     Thy dimly seen lowlands comes glimmering o'er;
When on thy calm surface the moonbeam falls brightly,
     And the dull bird of night is his covert forsaking,
When the whippoorwill's notes from thy margin sound lightly,
     And break on the sound which thy small waves are making,
O brightest of visions! my heart shall forever,
     Till memory shall perish and reason shall fail,
Still preference give to my own native river,
     The home of my fathers, and Merrimac's vale!



Hail, heavenly gift! within the human breast,
     Germ of unnumber'd virtues—by thy aid
The fainting heart, with riving grief opprest,
     Survives the ruin adverse scenes have made:
Woes that have wrung the bosom, cares that preyed
     Long on the spirit, are dissolv'd by thee—
Misfortune's frown, despair's disastrous shade,
     Ghastly disease, and pining poverty,
Thy influence dread, and at thy approach they flee.

Thy spirit led th' immortal Howard on;
     Nurtur'd by thee, on many a foreign shore
Imperishable fame, by virtue won,
     Adorns his memory, thoa his course is o'er;
Thy animating smile his aspect wore,
     To cheer the sorrow-desolated soul,
Compassion's balm in grief-worn hearts to pour,
     And snatch the prisoner from despair's control,
Steal half his woes away and lighter make the whole.

Green be the sod on Cherson's honor'd field,
     Where wraps the turf around his mouldering clay;
There let the earth her choicest beauties yield,
     And there the breeze in gentlest murmurs play;
There let the widow and the orphan stray,
     To wet with tears their benefactor's tomb; [337]
There let the rescued prisoner bend his way,
     And mourn o'er him, who in the dungeon's gloom
Had sought him and averted misery's fearful doom.

His grave perfum'd with heartfelt sighs of grief,
     And moistened by the tear of gratitude,—
Oh, how unlike the spot where war's grim chief
     Sinks on the field, in sanguine waves imbrued I
Who mourns for him, whose footsteps can be viewed
     With reverential awe imprinted near
The monument rear'd o'er the man of blood?
     Or who waste on it sorrow's balmy tear?
None! shame and misery rest alone upon his bier.

Offspring of heaven! Benevolence, thy pow'r
     Bade Wilberforce its mighty champion be,
And taught a Clarkson's ardent mind to soar
     O'er every obstacle, when serving thee:—
Theirs was the task to set the sufferer free,
     To break the bonds which bound th' unwilling slave,
To shed abroad the light of liberty,
     And leave to all the rights their Maker gave,
To bid the world rejoice o'er hated slavery's grave.

Diffuse thy charms, Benevolence! let thy light
     Pierce the dark clouds which ages past have thrown
Before the beams of truth—and nature's right,
     Inborn, let every hardened tyrant own;
On our fair shore, be thy mild presence known;
     And every portion of Columbia's land
Be as God's garden with thy blessings sown;
     Yea, o'er Earth's regions let thy love expand
Till all united are in friendship's sacred band!

Then in that hour of joy will be fulfilled
     The prophet's heart-consoling prophecy;
Then war's commotion shall on earth be stilled,
     And men their swords to other use apply;
Then Afric's injured sons no more shall try
     The bitterness of slavery's toil and pain,
Nor pride nor love of gain direct the eye
     Of stern oppression to their homes again;
But peace, a lasting peace, throughout the world shall reign.

9th mo., 1825.


Unfathomed deep, unfetter'd waste
     Of never-silent waves,
Each by its rushing follower chas'd,
     Through unillumin'd caves, [338]
And o'er the rocks whose turrets rude,
     E'en since the birth of time,
Have heard amid thy solitude
     The billow's ceaseless chime.

O'er what recesses, depths unknown,
     Dost thou thy waves impel,
Where never yet a sunbeam shone,
     Or gleam of moonlight fell?
For never yet did mortal eyes
     Thy gloom-wrapt deeps behold,
And naught of thy dread mysteries
     The tongue of man hath told.

What, though proud man presume to hold
     His course upon thy tide,
O'er thy dark billows uncontroll'd
     His fragile bark to guide—
Yet who, upon thy mountain waves,
     Can feel himself secure
While sweeping o'er thy yawning caves,
     Deep, awful and obscure?

But thou art mild and tranquil now—
     Thy wrathful spirits sleep,
And gentle billows, calm and slow,
     Across thy bosom sweep.
Yet where the dim horizon's bound
     Rests on thy sparkling bed,
The tempest-cloud, in gloom profound,
     Prepares its wrath to shed.

Thus, mild and calm in youth's bright hour
     The tide of life appears,
When fancy paints, with magic spell,
     The bliss of coming years;
But clouds will rise, and darkness bring
     O'er life's deceitful way,
And cruel disappointment fling
     Its shade on hope's dim ray.

1st mo., 1827.

The Sicilian Vespers.

Silence o'er sea and earth
     With the veil of evening fell,
Till the convent-tower sent deeply forth
     The chime of its vesper bell.
One moment—and that solemn sound
     Fell heavy on the ear; [339]
But a sterner echo passed around,
     And the boldest shook to hear.

The startled monks thronged up,
     In the torchlight cold and dim;
And the priest let fall his incense-cup,
     And the virgin hushed her hymn,
For a boding clash, and a clanging tramp,
     And a summoning voice were heard,
And fretted wall, and dungeon damp,
     To the fearful echo stirred.

The peasant heard the sound,
     As he sat beside his hearth;
And the song and the dance were hushed around,
     With the fire-side tale of mirth.
The chieftain shook in his banner'd hall,
     As the sound of fear drew nigh,
And the warder shrank from the castle wall,
     As the gleam of spears went by.

Woe! woe! to the stranger, then,
     At the feast and flow of wine,
In the red array of mailed men,
     Or bowed at the holy shrine;
For the wakened pride of an injured land
     Had burst its iron thrall,
From the plumed chief to the pilgrim band;
     Woe! woe! to the sons of Gaul!

Proud beings fell that hour,
     With the young and passing fair,
And the flame went up from dome and tower,
     The avenger's arm was there!
The stranger priest at the altar stood,
     And clasped his beads in prayer,
But the holy shrine grew dim with blood,
     The avenger found him there!

Woe! woe! to the sons of Gaul,
     To the serf and mailed lord;
They were gathered darkly, one and all,
     To the harvest of the sword:
And the morning sun, with a quiet smile,
     Shone out o'er hill and glen,
On ruined temple and smouldering pile,
     And the ghastly forms of men.

Ay, the sunshine sweetly smiled,
     As its early glance came forth,
It had no sympathy with the wild
     And terrible things of earth. [340]
And the man of blood that day might read,
     In a language freely given,
How ill his dark and midnight deed
     Became the calm of Heaven.

20th of 11th mo., 1828.

The spirit of the North.

Spirit of the frozen North,
     Where the wave is chained and still,
And the savage bear looks forth
     Nightly from his caverned hill!
Down from thy eternal throne,
     From thy land of cloud and storm,
Where the meeting icebergs groan,
     Sweepeth on thy wrathful form.

Spirit of the frozen wing!
     Dweller of a voiceless clime,
Where no coming on of spring,
     Gilds the weary course of time!
Monarch of a realm untrod,
     By the restless feet of men,
Where alone the hand of God,
     'Mid his mighty works hath been

Throned amid the ancient hills,
     Piled with undecaying snow,
Flashing with the path of rills,
     Frozen in their first glad flow;
Thou hast seen the gloomy north,
     Gleaming with unearthly light,
Spreading its pale banners forth,
     Checkered with the stars of night.

Thou hast gazed untrembling, where
     Giant forms of flame were driven,
Like the spirits of the air,
     Striding up the vault of heaven!
Thou hast seen that midnight glow,
     Hiding moon and star and sky,
And the icy hills below,
     Reddening to the fearful dye.

Dark and desolate and lone,
     Curtained with the tempest-cloud,
Drawn around thy ancient throne
     Like oblivion's moveless shroud,
Dim and distantly the sun
     Glances on thy palace walls,
But a shadow cold and dun
     Broods along its pillared halls.

[341] Lord of sunless depths and cold I
     Chainer of the northern sea!
At whose feet the storm is rolled,
     Who hath power to humble thee?
Spirit of the stormy north I
     Bow thee to thy Maker's nod;
Bend to him who sent thee forth,
     Servant of the living God.

1st month, 1829.

The Earthquake.

Calmly the night came down
     O'er Scylla's shatter'd walls;
How desolate that silent town!
     How tenantless the halls,
Where yesterday her thousands trod,
     And princes graced their proud abode!

Low, on the wet sea sand,
     Humbled in anguish now,
The despot, midst his menial band,
     Bent down his kingly brow;
And prince and peasant knelt in prayer,
     For grief had made them equal there.

Again as at the morn,
     The earthquake roll'd its can:
Lowly the castle-towers were borne,
     That mock'd the storms of war;
The mountain reeled, its shiver'd brow
     Went down among the waves below.

Up rose the kneelers then,
     As the wave's rush was heard:
The horror of those fated men
     Was uttered by no word.
But closer still the mother prest
     The infant to her faithful breast.

One long, wild shriek went up,
     Full mighty in despair;
As bow'd to drink death's bitter cup,
     The thousands gathered there;
And man's strong wail, and woman's cry
     Blent as the waters hurried by.

On swept the whelming sea;
     The mountains felt its shock,
As the long cry of agony
     Thrills throa their towers of rock; [342]
An echo round that fatal shore,
     The death wail of the sufferers bore.

The morning sun shed forth
     Its light upon the scene,
Where tower and palace strew'd the earth
     With wrecks of what had been.
But of the thousands who were gone,
     No trace was left, no vestige shown.


Judith at the tent of Holofernes.

Night was down among the mountains,
     In her dim and quiet manner,
Where Bethulia's silver fountains
     Gushed beneath the Assyrian banner.
Moonlight, o'er her meek dominion,
     As a mighty flag unfurled,
Like an angel's snowy pinion
     Resting on a darkened world!

Faintly rose the city's murmur,
     But the crowded camp was calm;
Girded in their battle armor,
     Each a falchion at his arm,
Lordly chief and weary vassal
     In the arms of slumber fell;
It had been a day of wassail,
     And the wine had circled well.

Underneath his proud pavilion
     Lay Assyria's champion,
Where the ruby's rich vermilion
     Shone beside the beryl-stone.
With imperial purple laden,
     Breathing in the perfumed air,
Dreams he of the Jewish maiden,
     With her dark and jewelled hair.

Who is she, the pale-browed stranger,
     Bending o'er that son of slaughter?
God be with thee in thy danger,
     Israel's lone and peerless daughter I
She hath bared her queenly beauty
     To the dark Assyrian's glance;
Now, a high and sterner duty
     Bids her to his couch advance.

Beautiful and pale she bendeth
     In her earnest prayer to Heaven i [343]
Look again, that maiden standeth
     In the strength her God has given!
Strangely is her dark eye kindled,
     Hot blood through her cheek is poured;
Lo, her every fear hath dwindled,
     And her hand is on the sword!

Upward to the flashing curtain,
     See, that mighty blade is driven,
And its fall!—tis swift and certain
     As the cloud-fire's track in heaven I
Down, as with a power supernal,
     Twice the lifted weapon fell;
Twice, his slumber is eternal—
     Who shall wake the infidel?

Sunlight on the mountains streameth
     Like an air-borne wave of gold;
And Bethulia's armor gleameth
     Round Judea's banner-fold.
Down they go, the mailed warriors,
     As the upper torrents sally
Headlong from their mountain-barriers
     Down upon the sleeping valley.

Rouse thee from thy couch, Assyrian!
     Dream no more of woman's smile;
Fiercer than the leaguered Tyrian,
     Or the dark-browed sons of Nile,
Foes are on thy slumber breaking,
     Chieftain to thy battle rise!
Vain the call—he will not waken—
     Headless on his couch he lies.

Who hath dimmed your boasted glory?
     What hath woman's weakness done?
Whose dark brow is up before ye,
     Blackening in the fierce-haired sun?
Lo! an eye that never slumbers
     Looketh in its vengeance down;
And the thronged and mailed numbers
     Wither at Jehovah's frown!



Metacom, or Philip, the chief of the Wampanoags, was the most powerful and sagacious Sachem who ever made war upon the English.

Red as the banner which enshrouds
     The warrior-dead, when strife is done, [344]
A broken mass of crimson clouds
     Hung over the departed sun.
The shadow of the western hill
     Crept swiftly down, and darkly still,
As if a sullen wave of night
     Were rushing on the pale twilight;
The forest-openings grew more dim,
     As glimpses of the arching blue
And waking stars came softly through
     The rifts of many a giant limb.
Above the wet and tangled swamp
     White vapors gathered thick and damp,
And through their cloudy curtaining
     Flapped many a brown and dusky wing—--
Pinions that fan the moonless dun,
     But fold them at the rising sun!

Beneath the closing veil of night,
     And leafy bough and curling fog,
With his few warriors ranged in sight—
     Scarred relics of his latest fight—
Rested the fiery Wampanoag.
     He leaned upon his loaded gun,
Warm with its recent work of death,
     And, save the struggling of his breath,
That, slow and hard and long-repressed,
     Shook the damp folds around his breast,
An eye that was unused to scan
     The sterner moods of that dark man!
Had deemed his tall and silent form
     With hidden passion fierce and warm,
With that fixed eye, as still and dark
     As clouds which veil their lightning spark,
That of some forest-champion,
     Whom sudden death had passed upon—
A giant frozen into stone!
     Son of the throned Sachem!—Thou,
The sternest of the forest kings,—
     Shall the scorned pale-one trample now,
Unambushed on thy mountain's brow,
     Yea, drive his vile and hated plough
Among thy nation's holy things,
     Crushing the warrior-skeleton
In scorn beneath his armed heel,
     And not a hand be left to deal
A kindred vengeance fiercely back,
     And cross in blood the Spoiler's track?

He turned him to his trustiest one,
     The old and war-tried Annawon—
“Brother!” —The favored warrior stood
     In hushed and listening attitude— [345]
“This night the Vision-Spirit hath
     Unrolled the scroll of fate before me;
And ere the sunrise cometh, Death
     Will wave his dusky pinion o'er me!
Nay, start not—well I know thy faith—
     Thy weapon now may keep its sheath;
But, when the bodeful morning breaks,
     And the green forest widely wakes
Unto the roar of English thunder,
     Then trusted brother, be it thine
To burst upon the foeman's line,
     And rend his serried strength asunder.
Perchance thyself and yet a few
     Of faithful ones may struggle through,
And, rallying on the wooded plain,
     Strike deep for vengeance once again,
And offer up in pale-face blood
     An offering to the Indian's God.”

A musket shot—a sharp, quick yell—
     And then the stifled groan of pain,
Told that another red man fell,—
     And blazed a sudden light again
Across that kingly brow and eye,
     Like lightning on a clouded sky,—
And a low growl, like that which thrills
     The hunter of the Eastern hills,
Burst through clenched teeth and rigid lip—
     And, when the great chief spoke again
His deep voice shook beneath its rein,
     As wrath and grief held fellowship.

“Brother I methought when as but now
     I pondered on my nation's wrong,
With sadness on his shadowy brow
     My father's spirit passed along!
He pointed to the far south-west,
     Where sunset's gold was growing dim,
And seemed to beckon me to him,
     And to the forests of the blest.—
My father loved the, white men, when
     They were but children, shelterless,
For his great spirit at distress
     Melted to woman's tenderness—
Nor was it given him to know
     That children whom he cherished then
Would rise at length, like armed men,
     To work is people's overthrow.
Yet thus it is;—the God before
     Whose awful shrine the pale ones bow
Hath frowned upon, and given o'er
     The red man to the stranger now!

[346] A few more moons, and there will be
     No gathering to the council tree;
The scorched earth—the blackened log—
     The naked bones of warriors slain,
Be the sole relics which remain
     Of the once mighty Wampanoag!
The forests of our hunting-land,
     With all their old and solemn green,
Will bow before the Spoiler's axe—
     The plough displace the hunter's tracks,
And the tall prayer-house steeple stand
     Where the Great Spirit's shrine hath been!

Yet, brother, from this awful hour
     The dying curse of Metacom
Shall linger with abiding power
     Upon the spoilers of my home.
The fearful veil of things to come,
     By Kitchtan's hand is lifted from
The shadows of the embryo years;
     And I can see more clearly through
Than ever visioned Powwah did,
     For all the future comes unbid
Yet welcome to my tranced view,
     As battle-yell to warrior-ears!
From stream and lake and hunting-hill
     Our tribes may vanish like a dream,
And even my dark curse may seem
     Like idle winds when Heaven is still,
No bodeful harbinger of ill;
     But, fiercer than the downright thunder,
When yawns the mountain-rock asunder,
     And riven pine and knotted oak
Are reeling to the fearful stroke,
     That curse shall work its master's will!
The bed of yon blue mountain stream
     Shall pour a darker tide than rain—
The sea shall catch its blood-red stain,
     And broadly on its banks shall gleam
The steel of those who should be brothers;
     Yea, those whom one fond parent nursed
Shall meet in strife, like fiends accursed,
     And trample down the once loved form,
While yet with breathing passion warm,
     As fiercely as they would another's! “

The morning star sat dimly on
     The lighted eastern horizon—
The deadly glare of levelled gun
     Came streaking through the twilight hame
And naked to its reddest blaze,
     A hundred warriors sprang in view;
One dark red arm was tossed on high, [347]
     One giant shout came hoarsely through
The clangor and the charging cry,
     Just as across the scattering gloom,
Red as the naked hand of Doom,
     The English volley hurtled by—
The arm—the voice of Metacom!—
     One piercing shriek--one vengeful yell,
Sent like an arrow to the sky,
     Told when the hunter-monarch fell!


Mount Agiochook.

The Indians supposed the White Mountains were the residence of powerful spirits, and in consequence rarely ascended them.

Gray searcher of the upper air,
     There's sunshine on thy ancient walls,
A crown upon thy forehead bare,
     A flash upon thy waterfalls.
A rainbow glory in the cloud
     Upon thine awful summit bowed,
The radiant ghost of a dead storm!
     And music from the leafy shroud
Which swathes in green thy giant form,
     Mellowed and softened from above
Steals downward to the lowland ear,
     Sweet as the first, fond dream of love
That melts upon the maiden's ear.

The time has been, white giant, when
     Thy shadows veiled the red man's home,
And over crag and serpent den,
     And wild gorge where the steps of men
In chase or battle might not come,
     The mountain eagle bore on high
The emblem of the free of soul,
     And, midway in the fearful sky,
Sent back the Indian battle cry,
     And answered to the thunder's roll

The wigwam fires have all burned out,
     The moccasin has left no track;
Nor wolf nor panther roam about
     The Saco and the Merrimac.
And thou, that liftest up on high
     Thy mighty barriers to the sky,
Art not the haunted mount of old,
     Where on each crag of blasted stone
Some dreadful spirit found his throne,
     And hid within the thick cloud fold, [348]
Heard only in the thunder's crash,
     Seen only in the lightning's flash,
When crumbled rock and riven branch
     Went down before the avalanche!

No more that spirit moveth there;
     The dwellers of the vale are dead;
No hunter's arrow cleaves the air;
     No dry leaf rustles to his tread.
The pale-face climbs thy tallest rock,
     His hands thy crystal gates unlock;
From steep to steep his maidens call,
     Light laughing, like the streams that fall
In music down thy rocky wall,
     And only when their careless tread
Lays bare an Indian arrow-head,
     Spent and forgetful of the deer,
Think of the race that perished here.

Oh, sacred to the Indian seer,
     Gray altar of the men of old!
Not vainly to the listening ear
     The legends of thy past are told,—
Tales of the downward sweeping flood,
     When bowed like reeds thy ancient wood;
Of armed hands, and spectral forms;
     Of giants in their leafy shroud,
And voices calling long and loud
     In the dread pauses of thy storms.
For still within their caverned home
     Dwell the strange gods of heathendom!


The Drunkard to his Bottle.

I was thinking of the temperance lyrics the great poet of Scotland might have written had he put his name to a pledge of abstinence, a thing unhappily unknown in his day. The result of my cogitation was this poor imitation of his dialect.

Hoot!—daur ye shaw ye're face again,
     Ye auld black thief oa purse an' brain?
For foul disgrace, for dool an' pain
     Ana shame I ban ye:
Wae's me, that e'er my lips have ta'en
     Your kiss uncanny!

Nae mair, auld knave, without a shillina
     To keep a starvina wight frae stealina [349]
Ye'll sena me hameward, blina and reelina
     Frae nightly swagger,
By wall an' post my pathway feelina,
     Wia mony a stagger.

Nae mair oa fights that bruise ana mangles
     Nae mair oa nets my feet to tangle,
Nae mair oa senseless brawl ana wrangle,
     Wia friena ana wife too,
Nae mair oa deavina din ana jangle
     My feckless life through.

Ye thievina, cheatina, auld Cheap Jack,
     Peddlina your poison brose, I crack
Your banes against my ingle-back
     Wia meikle pleasure.
Deil mend ye ia his workshop black,
     E'en at his leisure!

I'll brak ye're neck, ye foul auld sinner,
     I'll spill ye're bluid, ye vile beginner
Oa aa the ills ana aches that winna
     Quat saul ana body!
Gie me hale breeks ana weel-spread dinner
     Deil taka ye're toddy!

Nae mair wia witches' broo gane gyte,
     Gie me ance mair the auld delight
0' sittina wia my bairns in sight,
     The gude wife near,
The weel-spent day, the peacefua night,
     The mornina cheer!

Cock aa ye're heids, my bairns fua gleg,
     My winsome Robin, Jean, ana Meg,
For food and claes ye shall na beg
     A doited daddie.
Dance, auld wife, on your girl-day leg,
     Ye've founa your laddie!


The fair Quakeress.

She was a fair young girl, yet on her brow
No pale pearl shone, a blemish on the pure
And snowy lustre of its living light,
No radiant gem shone beautifully through
The shadowing of her tresses, as a star
Through the dark sky of midnight; and no wreath
Of coral circled on her queenly neck,
In mockery of the glowing cheek and lip,
Whose hue the fairy guardian of the flowers [350]
Might never rival when her delicate touch
Tinges the rose of springtime.

Save by her youthful charms, and with a garb
Simple as Nature's self, why turn to her
The proud and gifted, and the versed in all
The pageantry of fashion?

She hath not
Moved down the dance to music, when the hall
Is lighted up like sunshine, and the thrill
Of the light viol and the mellow flute,
And the deep tones of manhood, softened down
To very music melt upon the ear.—
She has not mingled with the hollow world
Nor tampered with its mockeries, until all
The delicate perceptions of the heart,
The innate modesty, the watchful sense
Of maiden dignity, are lost within
The maze of fashion and the din of crowds.

Yet Beauty hath its homage. Kings have bowed
From the tall majesty of ancient thrones
With a prostrated knee, yea, cast aside
The awfulness of time-created power
For the regardful glances of a child.
Yea, the high ones and powerful of Earth,
The helmed sons of victory, the grave
And schooled philosophers, the giant men
Of overmastering intellect, have turned
Each from the separate idol of his high
And vehement ambition for the low
Idolatry of human loveliness;
And bartered the sublimity of mind,
The godlike and commanding intellect
Which nations knelt to, for a woman's tear,
A soft-toned answer, or a wanton's smile.

And in the chastened beauty of that eye,
And in the beautiful play of that red lip,
And in the quiet smile, and in the voice
Sweet as the tuneful greeting of a bird
To the first flowers of springtime, there is more
Than the perfection of the painter's skill
Or statuary's moulding. Mind is there,
The pure and holy attributes of soul,
The seal of virtue, the exceeding grace
Of meekness blended with a maiden pride;
Nor deem ye that beneath the gentle smile,
And the calm temper of a chastened mind
No warmth of passion kindles, and no tide [351]
Of quick and earnest feeling courses on
From the warns heart's pulsations. There are springs
Of deep and pure affection, hidden now,
Within that quiet bosom, which but wait
The thrilling of some kindly touch, to flow
Like waters from the Desert-rock of old.



A dirge is wailing from the Gulf of storm-vexed Mexico,
To where through Pampas' solitudes the mighty rivers flow;
The dark Sierras hear the sound, and from each mountain rift,
Where Andes and Cordilleras their awful summits lift,
Where Cotopaxi's fiery eye glares redly upon heaven,
And Chimborazo's shattered peak the upper sky has riven;
From mount to mount, from wave to wave, a wild and long lament,
A sob that shakes like her earthquakes the startled continent!

A light dies out, a life is sped—the hero's at whose word
The nations started as from sleep, and girded on the sword;
The victor of a hundred fields where blood was poured like rain,
And Freedom's loosened avalanche hurled down the hosts of Spain,
The eagle soul on Junin's slope who showed his shouting men
A grander sight than Balboa saw from wave-washed Darien,
As from the snows with battle red died out the sinking sun,
And broad and vast beneath him lay a world for freedom won.

How died that victor? In the field with banners o'er him thrown,
With trumpets in his failing ear, by charging squadrons blown,
With scattered foemen flying fast and fearfully before him,
With shouts of triumph swelling round and brave men bending o'er him?
Not on his fields of victory, nor in his council hall,
The worn and sorrowing leader heard the inevitable call.
Alone he perished in the land he saved from slavery's ban,
Maligned and doubted and denied, a broken-hearted man!

Now let the New World's banners droop above the fallen chief,
And let the mountaineer's dark eyes be wet with tears of grief!
For slander's sting, for envy's hiss, for friendship hatred grown,
Can funeral pomp, and tolling bell, and priestly mass atone?
Better to leave unmourned the dead than wrong men while they live;
What if the strong man failed or erred, could not his own forgive?
O people freed by him, repent above your hero's tier:
The sole resource of late remorse is now his tomb to rear!


Isabella of Austria.

Isabella, Infanta of Parma, and consort of Joseph of Austria, predicted herown death, immediately after her marriage [352] with the Emperor. Amidst the gayety and splendor of Vienna and Presburg, she was reserved and melancholy; she believed that Heaven had given her a view of the future, and that her child, the namesake of the great Maria Theresa, would perish with her. Her prediction was fulfilled.

'Midst the palace bowers of Hungary, imperial Presburg's pride,
With the noble born and beautiful assembled at her side,
She stood beneath the summer heavens, the soft wind sighing on,
Stirring the green and arching boughs like dancers in the sun.
The beautiful pomegranate flower, the snowy orange bloom,
The lotus and the trailing vine, the rose's meek perfume,
The willow crossing with its green some statue's marble hair,
All that might charm the fresh young sense, or light the soul, was there!

But she, a monarch's treasured one, leaned gloomily apart,
With her dark eyes tearfully cast down, and a shadow on her heart.
Young, beautiful, and dearly loved, what sorrow hath she known?
Are not the hearts and swords of all held sacred as her own?
Is not her lord the kingliest in battle-field or tower?
The wisest in the council-hall, the gayest in the bower?
Is not his love as full and deep as his own Danube's tide?
And wherefore in her princely home weeps Isabel his bride?

She raised her jewelled hand, and flung her veiling tresses back,
Bathing its snowy tapering within their glossy black.
A tear fell on the orange leaves, rich gem and mimic blossom,
And fringed robe shook fearfully upon her sighing bosom.
‘Smile on, smile on,’ she murmured low, “for all is joy around,
Shadow and sunshine, stainless sky, soft airs, and blossomed ground.
Tis meet the light of heart should smile, when nature's smile is fair,
And melody and fragrance meet, twin sisters of the air.

But ask me not to share with you the beauty of the scene,
The fountain-fall, mosaic walk, and breadths of tender green;
And point not to the mild blue sky, or glorious summer sun,
I know how very fair is all the hand of God has done.
The hills, the sky, the sunlit cloud, the waters leaping forth,
The swaying trees, the scented flowers, the dark green robes of earth,—
I love them well, but I have learned to turn aside from all,
And nevermore my heart must own their sweet but fatal thrall.

And I could love the noble one whose mighty name I bear,
And closer to my breaking heart his princely image wear,
And I could love our sweet young flower, unfolding day by day,
And taste of that unearthly joy which mothers only may,—
But what am I to cling to these?—A voice is in my ear,
A shadow lingers at my side, the death-wail and the bier!
The cold and starless night of Death where day may never beam,
The silence and forgetfulness, the sleep that hath no dream!

[353] O God, to leave this fair bright world, and more then all to know
The moment when the Spectral One shall strike his fearful blow;
To know the day, the very hour, to feel the tide roll on,
To shudder at the gloom before and weep the sunshine gone;
To count the days, the few short days, of light and love and breath
Between me and the noisome grave, the voiceless home of death!
Alas!—if feeling, knowing this, I murmur at my doom,
Let not thy frowning, O my God! lend darkness to the tomb.

Oh, I have borne my spirit up, and smiled amidst the chill
Remembrance of my certain doom which lingers with me still;
I would not cloud my fair child's brow, nor let a tear-drop dim
The eye that met my wedded Lord's, lest it should sadden him;
But there are moments when the strength of feeling must have way,
That hidden tide of unnamed woe nor fear nor love can stay.
Smile on, smile on, light-hearted ones! Your sun of joy is high:
Smile on, and leave the doomed of Heaven alone to weep and die! “

A funeral chant was wailing through Vienna's holy pile,
A coffin with its gorgeous pall was borne along the aisle;
The drooping flags of many lands waved slow above the dead,
A mighty band of mourners came, a king was at its head,—
A youthful king, with mournful tread, and dim and tearful eye;
He scarce had dreamed that one so pure as his fair bride could die.
And sad and long above the throng the funeral anthem rung:
‘Mourn for the hope of Austria! Mourn for the loved and young!’

The wail went up from other lands, the valleys of the Hun,
Fair Parma with its orange bowers, and hills of vine and sun
The lilies of imperial France drooped as the sound went by,
The long lament of cloistered Spain was mingled with the cry.
The dwellers in Colorno's halls, the Slowak at his cave,
The bowed at the Escurial, the Magyar stoutly brave,
All wept the early stricken flower; and still the anthem rung:
‘Mourn for the pride of Austria! Mourn for the loved and young!’


The Fratricide.

He stood on the brow of the well-known hill,
Its few gray oaks moan'd over him still;
The last of that forest which cast the gloom
Of its shadow at eve o'er his childhood's home;
And the beautiful valley beneath him lay
With its quivering leaves, and its streams at play,
And the sunshine over it all the while
Like the golden shower of the Eastern isle.

He knew the rock with its fingering vine,
And its gray top touch'd by the slant sunshine,
And the delicate stream which crept beneath
Soft as the flow of an infant's breath; [354]
And the flowers which lean'd to the West wind's sigh,
Kissing each ripple which glided by;
And he knew every valley and wooded swell,
For the visions of childhood are treasured well.

Why shook the old man as his eye glanced down
That narrow ravine where the rude cliffs frown,
With their shaggy brows and their teeth of stone,
And their grim shade back from the sunlight thrown?
What saw he there save the dreary glen,
Where the shy fox crept from the eye of men,
And the great owl sat on the leafy limb
That the hateful sun might not look on him?

Fix'd, glassy, and strange was that old man's eye,
As if a spectre were stealing by,
And glared it still on that narrow dell
Where thicker and browner the twilight fell;
Yet at every sigh of the fitful wind,
Or stirring of leaves in the wood behind,
His wild glance wander'd the landscape o'er,
Then fix'd on that desolate dell once more.

Oh, who shall tell of the thoughts which ran
Through the dizzied brain of that gray old man?
His childhood's home, and his father's toil,
And his sister's kiss, and his mother's smile,
And his brother's laughter and gamesome mirth,
At the village school and the winter hearth;
The beautiful thoughts of his early time,
Ere his heart grew dark with its later crime.

And darker and wilder his visions came
Of the deadly feud and the midnight flame,
Of the Indian's knife with its slaughter red,
Of the ghastly forms of the scalpless dead,
Of his own fierce deeds in that fearful hour
When the terrible Brandt was forth in power,
And lie clasp'd his hands o'er his burning eye
To shadow the vision which glided by.

It came with the rush of the battle-storm—
With a brother's shaken and kneeling form,
And his prayer for life when a brother's arm
Was lifted above him for mortal harm,
And the fiendish curse, and the groan of death,
And the welling of blood, and the gurgling breath,
And the scalp torn off while each nerve could feel
The wrenching hand and the jagged steel!

And the old man groan'd—for he saw, again,
The mangled corse of his kinsman slain, [355]
As it lay where his hand had hurled it then,
At the shadow'd foot of that fearful glen!
And it rose erect, with the death-pang grim,
And pointed its bloodied finger at him!
And his heart grew cold—and the curse of Cain
Burn'd like a fire in the old man's brain.

Oh, had he not seen that spectre rise
On the blue of the cold Canadian skies?
From the lakes which sleep in the ancient wood,
It had risen to whisper its tale of blood,
And follow'd his bark to the sombre shore,
And glared by night through the wigwam door;
And here, on his own familiar hill,
It rose on his haunted vision still!

Whose corse was that which the morrow's sun,
Through the opening boughs, look'd calmly on?
There were those who bent o'er that rigid face
Who well in its darken'd lines might trace
The features of him who, a traitor, fled
From a brother whose blood himself had shed,
And there, on the spot where he strangely died,
They made the grave of the Fratricide!



I do not love thee, Isabel, and yet thou art most fair!
I know the tempting of thy lips, the witchcraft of thy hair,
The winsome smile that might beguile the shy bird from his tree;
But from their spell I know so well, I shake my manhood free.

I might have loved thee, Isabel; I know I should if aught
Of all thy words and ways had told of one unselfish thought;
If through the cloud of fashion, the pictured veil of art,
One casual flash had broken warm, earnest from the heart.

But words are idle, Isabel, and if I praise or blame,
Or cheer or warn, it matters not; thy life will be the same;
Still free to use, and still abuse, unmindful of the harm,
The fatal gift of beauty, the power to choose and charm.

Then go thy way, fair Isabel, nor heed that from thy train
A doubtful follower falls away, enough will still remain.
But what the long-rebuking years may bring to them or thee
No prophet and no prophet's son am I to guess or see.

I do not love thee, Isabel; I would as soon put on
A crown of slender frost-work beneath the heated sun, [356]
Or chase the winds of summer, or trust the sleeping sea,
Or lean upon a shadow as think of loving thee.



Bind up thy tresses, thou beautiful one,
Of brown in the shadow and gold in the sun!
Free should their delicate lustre be thrown
O'er a forehead more pure than the Parian stone;
Shaming the light of those Orient pearls
Which bind o'er its whiteness thy soft wreathing curls.

Smile, for thy glance on the mirror is thrown,
And the face of an angel is meeting thine own?
Beautiful creature, I marvel not
That thy cheek a lovelier tint hath caught;
And the kindling light of thine eye hath told
Of a dearer wealth than the miser's gold.

Away, away, there is danger here!
A terrible phantom is bending near:
Ghastly and sunken, his rayless eye
Scowls on thy loveliness scornfully,
With no human look, with no human breath,
He stands beside thee, the haunter, Death!

Fly! but, alas! he will follow still,
Like a moonlight shadow, beyond thy will;
In thy noonday walk, in thy midnight sleep,
Close at thy hand will that phantom keep;
Still in thine ear shall his whispers be;
Woe, that such phantom should follow thee!

In the lighted hall where the dancers go,
Like beautiful spirits, to and fro;
When thy fair arms glance in their stainless whites
Like ivory bathed in still moonlight;
And not one star in the holy sky
Hath a clearer light than thine own blue eye!

Oh, then, even then, he will follow thee,
As the ripple follows the bark at sea;
In the soften'd light, in the turning dance,
He will fix on thine his dead, cold glance;
The chill of his breath on thy cheek shall linger,
And thy warm blood shrink from his icy finger

And yet there is hope. Embrace it now,
While thy soul is open as thy brow;
While thy heart is fresh, while its feelings still
Gush clear as the unsoil'd mountain-rill; [357]
And thy smiles are free as the airs of spring,
Greeting and blessing each breathing thing.

When the after cares of thy life shall come,
When the bud shall wither before its bloom;
When thy soul is sick of the emptiness
And changeful fashion of human bliss;
When the weary torpor of blighted feeling
Over thy heart as ice is stealing;

Then, when thy spirit is turn'd above,
By the mild rebuke of the Chastener's love;
When the hope of that joy in thy heart is stirr'd,
Which eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard,
Then will that phantom of darkness be
Gladness, and promise, and bliss to thee.


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