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The following Poem is intended to describe the mental conflicts, as well as outward sufferings of a Spaniard, who, flying from the religious persecutions of his own country in the 16th century, takes refuge with his child in a North American forest. The story is supposed to be related by himself amidst the wilderness which has afforded him an asylum.
THE voices of my home !-I hear them still !
They have been with me through the dreamy night-
The blessed household voices, wont to fill
My heart's clear depths with unalloy'd delight!
I hear them still, unchang’d :—though some from earth
Are music parted, and the tones of mirth—
Wild, silvery tones, that rang through days more bright!
Have died in others, yet to me they come,
Singing of boyhood back—the voices of my home!
They call me through this hush of woods, reposing
In the grey stillness of the summer morn,
They wander by when heavy flowers are closing,
And thoughts grow deep, and winds and stars are born ;
Ev'n as a fount's remember'd gushings burst
On the parch'd traveller in his hour of thirst,
E’en thus they haunt me with sweet sounds, till worn
By quenchless longings, to my soul I say-
Oh ! for the dove's swift wings, that I might flee away,
And find mine ark !-yet whither ?-I must bear
A yearning heart within me to the grave.
I am of those o'er whom a breath of air-
Just darkening in its course the lake's bright wave,
And sighing through the feathery canes-hath power
To call up shadows, in the silent hour,
From the dim past, as from a wizard's cave !
So must it be !—These skies above me spread,
Are they my own soft skies ?--Ye rest not here, my dead!
Ye far amidst the southern flowers lie sleeping,
Your graves all smiling in the sunshine clear,
Save one !-a blue, lone, distant main is sweeping
High o'er one gentle head-ye rest not here ! -
"Tis not the olive, with a whisper swaying,
Not thy low ripplings, glassy water, playing
Through my own chesnut groves, which fill mine ear;
But the faint echoes in my breast that dwell,
And for their birth-place moan, as moans the ocean-shell.2
Peace !-I will dash these fond regrets to earth,
Ev'n as an eagle shakes the cumbering rain
From his strong pinion. Thou that gav'st me birth,
And lineage, and once home,-my native Spain !
My own bright land-my father's land---my child's !
What hath thy son brought from thee to the wilds ?
He hath brought marks of torture and the chain,
Traces of things which pass not as a breeze,
A blighted name, dark thoughts, wrath, woe—thy gifts are
A blighted name I hear the winds of morn-
Their sounds are not of this !--I hear the shiver
Of the green reeds, and all the rustlings, borne
From the high forest, when the light leaves quiver :
Their sounds are not of this the cedars, waving,
Lend it no tone: His wide savannahs laving,
It is not murmur'd by the joyous river !
What part hath mortal name, where God alone
Speaks to the mighty waste, and through its heart is known?
Is it not much that I may worship Him,
With nought my spirit's breathings to control,
And feel His presence in the vast, and dim,
And whispery woods, where dying thunders roll
From the far cataracts ?—Shall I not rejoice
That I have learn’d at last to know His voice
From man's ?-I will rejoice !-my soaring soul
Now hath redeem'd her birth-right of the day,
And won, through clouds, to Him, her own unfetter'd way!