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SWIFTLY walk o'er the western wave,
Spirit of night!
Out of the misty eastern cave,
Where, all the long and lone day-light,
Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear,
Which make thee terrible and dear,
Swift be thy flight!
Wrap thy form in a mantle grey,
Star in-wrought !
Blind with thine hair the eyes of day;
Kiss her until she be wearied out;
Then wander o'er city, and sea, and land,
Touching all with thine opiate wand;
When I arose, and saw the dawn,
I sigh'd for thee! When light rode high, and the dew was gone, And noon lay heavy on flower and tree, And the weary day turn'd to his rest, Lingering like an unloved guest,
I sigh'd for thee.
LYRICAL, NARRATIVE, AND DESCRIPTIVE
When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate ;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted Child, at her own will
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom bold.
And she had made a Pipe of straw,
And from that oaten Pipe could draw
All sounds of winds and floods ;
Had built a Bower upon the green,
As if she from her birth had been
An Infant of the woods.
Beneath her Father's roof, alone
She seem'd to live; her thoughts her own ;
Herself her own delight:
Pleased with herself, nor sad nor gay,
She passed her time ; and in this way
Grew up to Woman's height.
There came a Youth from Georgia's shore-
A military Casque he wore
With splendid feathers drest;
He brought them from the Cherokees :
The feathers nodded in the breeze,
And made a gallant crest.
From Indian blood you deem him sprung:
Ah no! he spake the English tongue,
And bore a Soldier's name;
And, when America was free
From battle and from jeopardy,
He 'cross the ocean came.
With hues of genius on his cheek
In finest tones the Youth could speak.
-While he was yet a Boy,
The moon, the glory of the sun,
And streams that murmur as they run,
Had been his dearest joy.
He was a lovely Youth ! I guess
The panther in the wilderness
Was not so fair as he;
And, when he chose to sport and play,
No dolphin ever was so gay
Upon the tropic sea.
Among the Indians he had fought ;
And with him many tales he brought
Of pleasure and of fear;
Such tales as, told to any Maid
By such a Youth, in the green shade,
Were perilous to hear.
He told of Girls, a happy rout!
Who quit their fold with dance and shout,
Their pleasant Indian Town,
To gather strawberries all day long ;
Returning with a choral song
When daylight is gone down.
He spake of plants divine and strange
That every hour their blossoms change,
Ten thousand lovely hues !
With budding, fading, faded flowers,
They stand the wonder of the bowers
From morn to evening dews.
He told of the Magnolia, (a) spread
High as a cloud, high over head !
The Cypress and her spire,
-Of flowers (6) that with one scarlet gleam
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem
To set the hills on fire.
(a) Magnolia grandiflora.
(6) The splendid appearance of these scarlet flowers, which are scattered with such profusion over the hills in the southern parts of North America, is frequently mentioned by Bartram in his Travels.
The Youth of green savannahs spake,
And many an endless, endless lake,
With all its fairy crowds
Of islands, that together lie
As quietly as spots of sky
Among the evening clouds.
And then he said, “ How sweet it were
A fisher or a hunter there,
A gardener in the shade,
Still wandering with an easy mind
To build a household fire, and find
A home in every glade !
“ What days and what sweet years! Ah me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee
So passed in quiet bliss,
And all the while,” said he, “ to know
That we were in a world of wo,
On such an earth as this !"
And then he sometimes interwove
Dear thoughts about a Father's love ;
“ For there,” said he, “ are spun
Around the heart such tender ties,
That our own children to our eyes
Are dearer than the sun.
“ Sweet Ruth ! and could you go with me
My helpmate in the woods to be,
Our shed at night to rear ;
Or run, my own adopted Bride,
A sylvan Huntress at my side,
And driye the flying deer !