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To mountain winds the famish'd fox
Complains that Sol is slow,
O'er headlong steeps and gushing rocks
His royal robe to throw.
But here the lizard seeks the sun,
Here coils in light the snake;
And here the fire-tuft hath begun
Its beauteous nest to make.
Oh, then, while hums the earliest bee
Where verdure fires the plain,
Walk thou with me, and stoop to see
The glories of the lane !
For, oh, I love these banks of rock,
This roof of sky and tree,
These tufts, where sleeps the gloaming clock,
And wakes the earliest bee |
As spirits from eternal day
Look down on earth secure;
Gaze thou, and wonder, and survey
A world in miniature;
A world not scorn'd by Him who made
Even weakness by his might;
But solemn in his depth of shade,
And splendid in his light.
Light ! not alone on clouds afar
O'er storm-lov'd mountains spread,
Or widely teaching sun and star
Thy glorious thoughts are read;
Oh, no thou art a wondrous book,
To sky, and sea, and land—
A page on which the angels look,
Which insects understand 1
And here, oh, Light! minutely fair,
Divinely plain and clear,
Like splinters of a crystal hair,
Thy bright small hand is here.
Yon drop-fed lake, six inches wide,
Is Huron, girt with wood;
This driplet feeds Missouri's tide—
And that, Niagara's flood.
What tidings from the Andes brings
Yon line of liquid light,
That down from heav'n in madness flings
The blind foam of its might?
Do I not hear his thunder roll—
The roar that ne'er is still 2
"Tis mute as death !—but in my soul
It roars, and ever will.
What forests tall of tiniest moss
Clothe every little stone !
What pigmy oaks their foliage toss
O'er pigmy valleys lone !
With shade o'er shade, from ledge to ledge,
Ambitious of the sky,
They feather o'er the steepest edge
Of mountains mushroom high.
Oh, God of marvels who can tell
What myriad living things
On these grey stones unseen may dwell!
What nations, with their kings
I feel no shock, I hear no groan
While fate perchance o'erwhelms
Empires on this subverted stone—
A hundred ruin’d realms |
Lo! in that dot, some mite, like me,
Impell'd by woe or whim,
May crawl, some atoms' cliffs to see—
A tiny world to him
Lo! while he pauses, and admires
The works of nature's might,
Spurn'd by my foot, his world expires,
And all to him is night!
Oh, God of terrors what are we?—
Poor insects, spark'd with thought!
Thy whisper, Lord, a word from thee,
Could smite us into nought!
But shouldst thou Wreck our father-land,
And mix it with the deep,
Safe in the hollow of thine hand
Thy little ones would sleep.
Til E. DYING BOY TO THE SLOE BLOSSOM.
Before thy leaves thou com'st once more,
White blossom of the sloe
Thy leaves will come as heretofore;
But this poor heart, its troubles o'er,
Will then lie low.
A month at least before thy time
Thou com'st, pale flower, to me;
For well thou know'st the frosty rime
Will blast me ere my vernal prime,
No more to be.
Why here in winter No storm lours
O'er nature's silent shroud!
But blithe larks meet the sunny showers,
High o'er the doomed untimely flowers
In beauty bowed.
Sweet violets in the budding grove
Peep where the glad waves run;
The wren below, the thrush above,
Of bright to-morrow's joy and love
Sing to the sun.
And where the rose-leaf, ever bold,
Hears bees chaunt hymns to God,
The breeze-bowed palm, mossed o'er with gold,
Smiles o'er the well in summer cold,
And daisied sod.
But thou, pale blossom, thou art come,
And flowers in winter blow,
To tell me that the worm makes room
For me, her brother, in the tomb,
And thinks me slow.
For as the rainbow of the dawn
Foretels an eve of tears,
A sunbeam on the saddened lawn
! smile, and weep to be withdrawn
In early years.
Thy leaves will come! but songful spring
Will see no leaf of mine;
Her bells will ring, her bride's-maids sing,
When my young leaves are withering
Where no suns shine.
Oh, might I breathe morn's dewy breath,
When June's sweet Sabbaths chime !
But, thine before my time, oh, death !
I go where no flow'r blossometh,
Before my time.
Even as the blushes of the morn
Vanish, and long ere noon
The dew-drop dieth on the thorn,
So fair I bloomed; and was I born
To die as soon 2
To love my mother, and to die—
To perish in my bloom
Is this my sad, brief history !—
A tear dropped from a mother's eye
Into the tomb.
He lived and loved—will sorrow say—
By early sorrow tried;
He smiled, he sighed, he past away :
His life was but an April day,+
He loved, and died
My mother smiles, then turns away,
But turns away to weep :
They whisper round me—what they say
I need not hear, for in the clay
I soon must sleep.
O, love is sorrow ! sad it is
To be both tried and true ;
I ever trembled in my bliss:
Now there are farewells in a kiss,
They sigh adieu.
But woodbines flaunt when blue bells fade,
Where Don reflects the skies;
And many a youth in Shire-cliffs' shade
Will ramble where my boyhood played,
Though Alfred dies.
Then panting woods the breeze will feel,
And bowers, as heretofore,
Beneath their load of roses reel :
But I through woodbined lanes shall steal
No more, no more.
Well, lay me by my brother's side,
Where late we stood and wept;
For I was stricken when he died,—
I felt the arrow as he sighed
His last, and slept.
Stop, Mortal! Here thy brother lies,
The Poet of the poor,
His books were rivers, woods, and skies,
The meadow, and the moor;
His teachers were the torn heart's wail,
The tyrant, and the slave,
The street, the factory, the jail,
The palace—and the gravel
Sin met thy brother every where !
And is thy brother blamed
From passion, danger, doubt, and care,
He no exemption claim'd.
The meanest thing, earth's feeblest worm,
He fear'd to scorn or hate;
But, honouring in a peasant's form
The equal of the great.
He bless'd the Steward, whose wealth makes
The poor man's little more;
Yet loath'd the haughty wretch that takes
From plunder'd labour's store.