Page images
PDF

The small birds twitter, The lake doth glitter, The green field sleeps in the sun; The oldest and youngest Are at work with the strongest; The cattle are grazing, Their heads never raising; There are forty feeding like one!

Like an army defeated The Snow hath retreated, And now doth fare ill On the top of the bare hill; The Plough-boy is whooping—anon—anon: There's joy in the mountains; There 's life in the fountains; Small clouds are sailing, Blue sky prevailing; The rain is over and gone !

GIPSIES.

Yet are they here the same unbroken knot
Of human Beings, in the self-same spot'
Men, Women, Children, yea the frame
Of the whole Spectacle the same
Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light,
Now deep and red, the colouring of night;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls.
—Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours, are gone while I
Have been a Traveller under open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here !
The weary Sun betook himself to rest.
—Then issued Vesper from the fulgent West,
Outshining like a visible God
The glorious path in which he trod.
And now, ascending, after one dark hour
And one night's diminution of her power,
Rehold the mighty Moon! this way
She looks as if at them—but they
Regard not her :—oh better wrong and strife,
(By nature transient) than such torpid life;
Life which the very stars reprove
As on their silent tasks they move :
Yet, witness all that stirs in heaven or earth !
In scorn I speak not;-they are what their birth
And breeding suffers them to be;
Wild outcasts of society!

BEGGARS. Before me as the Wanderer stood, No bonnet screened her from the heat; Nor claimed she service from the hood Of a blue mantle, to her feet Depending with a graceful flow; Only she wore a cap pure as unsullied snow.

Her skin was of Egyptian brown;
Haughty as if her eye had seen
Its own light to a distance thrown,
She towered—fit person for a Queen,
To head those ancient Amazonian files;
Or ruling Bandit's wife among the Grecian Isles.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

And waken a releuting smile
When she encounters fraud or guile;
And sometimes ye can charm away
The inward mischief, or allay,
Ye, who within the blameless mind
Your favourite seat of empire find

They met me in a genial hour,
When universal nature breathed
As with the breath of one sweet flower,
A time to overrule the power
Of discontent, and check the birth
Of thoughts with better thoughts at strife,
The most familiar bane of life
Since parting Innocence bequeathed
Mortality to Earth!
Soft clouds, the whitest of the year,
Salled through the sky— the brooks ran clear;
The lambs from rock to rock were bounding;
With songs the budded groves resounding;
And to my heart is still endeared
The faith with which it then was cheered;
The faith which saw that gladsome pair
Walk through the fire with unsinged hair.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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.

lie 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, spread
High as a cloud, high over head :
The Cypress and her spire;
—Of flowers that with one scarlet gleam”
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem
To set the hills on fire.

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,

Magnolia grandiflora.

* The splendid appearance of these scarlet flowers, which are scattered with such profusion over the ilills in the Southern parts of North America, is frequently mentioned by Bartram in his Travels.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »