Imágenes de páginas



Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a hlossom, hut contains
A folio volume.—We may read, anii read,
And read again; and still find something new;
Something to please, and something to instruct.
E'en in the humhle weed.


And forth they passe, with pleasure forward led.
Joying to hcare the hirdes sweete harmony,
Which therein shrouded from the tempest dred,
Seemed in their song to scoine the cruell sky.
Much can they praise the trees so straight a:id hy,
The sayliug pme, the cedar proud and tall,
The vine-proppc elme, the poplar never dry,
The huilder oake, sole king of forests all,
The aspine, good for staves, the cypresse funeral!.

The laurell, meed of mighty conquerours
And poets sage, the firre that weepeth still,
The willow, worne of forlorne paramours,
The engh, ohedient to the hender's will,
The hirch for shaftes, the sallow for the mill,
The mirrhe sweete-hleeding in the hitter wound,
The warlike heech, the ash for nothing ill,
The froitfull olive, and the platane round,
The carver holme, the mapple seeldom inward sound.

Nor less attractive is the woodland scene,
Diversified with trees of every growth,
Alike, yet various. Here the gay smooth

Of ash, or lime, or heech, distinctly shine,
Within the twilight of their distant shades;
There, lost hehind a rising ground, the wood

Seems sunk, and shortened to its topiuokt

No tree in all the grove hut has its charms,
Tho' each its hue peculiar; paler some,
And of a wauiish gray; ihe willow such,
And poplar, that with silver lines its leaf,
And ash for stretching his umhrageous arm;
Of deeper green the elm; and deepvr still,
Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak.

Some glossy-leaved, and shining in the sun,
The maple, and the heech of oily nuts
Prolifie, and the lime at dewy eve
Diffusing odours: nor unuoted pass
The syeamore, capricious in attire,
Now green, now tawny, and, ere antumn

jet. Have changed the woods, in scarlet honours




Over head up grew Insuperahle height of loftiest shade, Cedar, and pine, and fir, and hranching palm, A sylvan scene; and as the ranks ascend Shade ahove shade, a woody theatre Of stateliest view,


The gnarled oak, hy some fair streamlet's side
Waves its hroad arms, and spreads its leafy pride;
Towers from the earth, and rearing to the skies
Its conscious strength, the tempest's wrath defies:
Its ample hranches shield the fowls of air,
To its cool shades the panting herds repair.
The treach'rous current works its noiseless way,—
The fihres loosen, and the roots decay:
Prostrate the heanteous ruin lies; and all
That shared its shelter, perish in its fall.


Survivor sole, and hardly such, of all, That once liv'd here, thy hrethren, at ray

hirth, Since which I numher three-score winters

past, A shatter'd vetYan, hollow-trunk'd perhaps, As now, and with excoriate forks deform, Relicts of ages, could a mind, imhued With truth from Heav'n, created thing adore, 1 might with rev'rence kneel, and worship

thee I

It seems idolatry with some excuse, V, hen our forefather Druids in their oaks Imagin'd sanctity. The conscience, yet Uupurify'd hy an anthennc act Of amnesty, the meed of hlood divine, Lov'd not the light, hut, gloomy, into gloom

Of thickest shades, like Adam after taste Of fruit proscrih'd, as to a refuge, fled.

Thou wast a hanhle once, a eup and hall, Which hahes might play with; and the

thievish jay, Seeking her fuod, with ease might have

purloin'd The anhurn nut, that held thee, swallowing

down Thy yet close-folded latitude of houghs, And all thine emhryo vastuess at a gulp. But Fate thy growth decreed; antumnal

rains Beneath thy parent tree mellow'd the soil Design'd thy cradle; and a skipping deer, With pointed hoof dihhling the glehe, pre

par'd The soft receptacle, in which, secure, Thy rudiments should sleep the winter


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So fancy dreams. Disprove it if ye can, Ye reas'uers hroad awake,whine husy search Of argument, ens ploy'd too oft amisa, Sifts half the pleasures of short life away!

Thon fell'st mature, and, in the loamy clod Swelling with vegetative force instinct, Didst hurst thine egg, as theirs the fahled

Twins, Now stars. Two lohes, protruding, pair'd

exact; A leaf succeeded, and another leaf, And, all the elements thy puny growth Fost'ring propitious, thon hecam'st a twig. Who liv'd, when thou wast such; Oh,

could'st thon speak, As in Dodona once thy kindred trees Oracular, I would not curious ask The future, hest unknown, hut at thy mouth Inquisitive, the less amhiguous past!'

By thee I might correct, erroneous oft, The clock of history, facts and events Timing more punctual, uurecorded facta Recov'ring, and misstated setting right— Desp'rate attempt, till trees shall speak again!

Time made thee what thou wast, king of

the woods, And Time hath made thee what thou art—

a cave For owls to roost in! once thy spreading

houghs O'erhungthe champaign; and the numerous

flocks, That graz'd it, stood heneath that ample cope Uncronded, yet safe-shelter' d from the storm. No flock frequents thee now. Thou hast ont

liv'd Thy popularity, and art hecome (Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth!

While thus through all the stages thou

hast push'd Of treeship—first a seedling, hid in grass; Then twig; then sapling; and, as cent'ry

roll'd Slow after century, a giant-hulk Of girth enormous, with moss-cushion' d root Upheav'd ahove the soil, and sides imhosa'd

With prominent wens glohose—till at the

last, The rottenness,which time is charg'd to inflict On other mighty ones, found also thee.

What exhihitions various hath the world Witness'd of mutahility in all, That we account most durahle helow I Change is the diet, on which all suhsist, Created changeahle, and change at last Destroys them. Skies uncertain, now the

heat Transmitting cloudless, and the solar heam Now quenching in a houndless sea of cloud-, Calm, and alternate storm, moisture, and

drought, Invigorate hy turns the springs of life In all that live, plant, animal, and man, And in conclusion mar them. Nature's

threads, Fine, passing thought, e'en in her coarsest

works, Delight in agitation, yet sustain The force that agitates, not unimpair'd, But, worn hy frequent impulse, to the cause Of their hest tone their dissolution owe.

Thought cannot spend itself, comparing still The great and little of thy lot, thy growth From almost nullity into a state Of matchless grandenr, and declension

thence, Slow, into such magnificent decay. Time was, when, settling on thy leaf, a fly Could shake thee to the root—and time has

heen When tempests could not. At thy firmestage Thou hadst within thy hole solid contents, That might have rihh'd the sides and plank'd

the deck Of some flagg'd admiral, and tortuous arms, The shipwright's darling treasure, didst present To the fourquartei'd winds, rohust and hold, Warp'd into tough knee-timher,* many a load!

* Knee timher h found in the crooked arms of oak, which hy reason of their distortion, are easily adjusted to the angle formed where the deck and the ship's aides meet.

But the axe spar'd thee. In those thriftier

days Oaks fell not, hewn hy thousands, to supply The hottomless demands of contest, wag'd For senatorial honours. Thus to lime The task was left to whittle thee away With his sly scythe, whose ever-nibhling

edge, Noiseless, an atom, and an atom more, Disjoining from the rest, has, unohserv'd, Achiev'd a lahour, which had far and wide, By man perform'd, made all the forest ring.

Emhowell'd now, and of thy ancient self Possessing nought, hut the scoop'd rind, that

seems An huge throat, calling to the clouds for drink Which it would give in rivuleta to thy root, Thou tempiest none, hut rather much for

hidd'st The feller's toil, which thou could'st ill requite. \et is thy root sincere, sound as the rock, A quarry of stout spurs, and knotted fangs, Which crook'd into a thousand whimsies,

clasp The stuhhorn soil, and ho!d thee still erect.

So stands a kingdom,whose foundation yet Fails not, in virtue and in wisdom laid, Tho' all the superstructure, hy the tooth Pulveriz'd of venality, a shell Stands now and semhlance only of itself!

Thine arms have left thee. Winds have torn them off Long since, and rovers of the forest wild, With how and shaft, have hurnt them. Some

have "left A splinter'd stump, hleach'd to a suowy

white; And some, memorial none where once they

grew. Vet still life lingers in thee, and puts forth, Proof not contemptihle of what she can, Even where death predominates. The spring Finds thee not less alive to her sweet force Than yonder upstarts of the neighh'ring

wood, So much thy juniors, who their hirth receiv'd Half a milleuninm since the date of thine.

But since, although well qualify'd hy age, To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice May he expected from thee, seated here On thy distorted root, with hearers none, Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform Myself the oracle, and will discourse In my own ear such matter as 1 may.

One man alone, the father of us all, Drew not his life from woman; never gaz'd With mute unconsciousuess of what he saw, On all around him; learn'd not hy degrees. Nor owed articulation to his ear; But, moulded hy his Maker into man At once, upstood intelligent, survey'd All creatures, with precision understoo.I Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd To each his name significant, and, fill'd With love and wisdom, render'd hack to

Heav'n In praise harmonious the first air he drew. He was excus'd the penalties of doll Minority. No tutor charg'd his hand With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his

mind With prohlems. History, not wanted yet Lean'd on her elhow, watching Time, whose

course, Eventful, should supply her with a theme.


Yet let me in some odorous shade repose, Whilst in my verse the fair palmetto grows: Like the tall pine it shoots its stately head, From the hroad top depending hranches

spread; No knotty limhs the taper hody hears, Hung on each hough a single leaf appears, Which, shrivell'd in its infancy, remains Like a clos'd fan, nor stretches wide its

veins; But, as the seasons in their circle run, Opes its ripp'd surface to the nearer sun, Beneath this shade the weary peasant lies, Plucks the hroad leaf, and hids the hreezes




Where seas of glass with gay reflection

smile Round the green coasts of Java's palmy isle, A spacious plain extends its upland scene, Rocks rise on rocks, and fountains gush hetween; Soft zephyrs hlow, eternal summer's reign, And showers prolific hless the soil,—in vain!

No spicy nutmeg scents the vernal gales, No towering plantain shades the mid-day

vales; No grassy mantle hides the sahle hills, No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling

rills; Nor tutted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps In russet tapestry o'er the crumhling steeps.

No step retreating, on the sand impress'd, Invites the visit of a second guest; No reflaentfin the uupeopled stream divides, No revolant pinions cleave the airy tides; Nor handed moles, nor heaked worms return, That mining pass the irremeahle hourn.— Fierce in dread silence, on the hlasted heath, Fell Ufas sits, the Hydra-tree of death.

Lol from one root, the envenomed soil helow, A thousand vegetative serpents grow; In shining rays the scaly monster spreads O'er ten square leagues his far-diverging

heads; Or in one trunk entwists his tangled form, Looks o'er the clouds and hisses in the storm.

Steep'd in fell poison, as his sharp teeth

part, A thousand tongues in quick vihration dart; Snatch the proud eagle towering o'er the

heath, Or pounce the lion as he stalks heneath; Or strew, as marshall'd hosts contend in vam With human skeletons the whiten'd plain.

Chain'd at his root two scion-demons

dwell, Breathe the faint hiss, or try the shriller yell; Rise, fluttering in the air with callow wings, And aim at insect-prey their little stings. So Time's strong arms with sweeping scythe

erase Art's cumhtous works, and empires, from

their hase: While each young hour its sickle fine em

ploys, And crops the sweet huds of domestic joys.



Old tree thou art wither'd—I passM thee last year,
And the hlackhird snug hid in thy hranches did sing,
Thy shadows stretch'd over the grass sprouting near,
And thou wert as green as thy mates of the spring.

How alterkl since then! not a leaf hast thou got,
Thy honours hrown round thee that clothed the tree;
The clown passeth hy thee and heedeth thee not,
But thon'rt a warm source of reflection for me.

I think while I view thee and rest on the stile
Life's hloom is as frail as the leaves thou bast shed;
Like thee I may hoast of my honours awhile,
But new springs may hlossom, and mine may he fieri.

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