Page images


Sing, sing !-I might have knelt

And pray'd; I might have felt

Their breath upon my bosom and my brow.

I might have press'd to this COME to my breast, thou lone

Cold bosom, in my bliss, And weary bird !-one tone

Each long-lost form that ancient hearth beside; Of the rare music of my childhood !-dear

O heaven! I might have heard, Is that strange sound to me;

From living lips, one word, Dear is the memory

Thou mother of my childhood,-and have died. It brings my soul of many a parted year.

Nay, nay, 'tis sweet to weep, Again, yet once again,

Ere yet in death I sleep; O minstrel of the main!

It minds me I have been, and am again,Lo! festal face and form familiar throng

And the world wakes around; Unto my waking eye;

It breaks the madness bound, And voices of the sky

While I have dream'd, these ages, on my brain. Sing from these walls of death unwonted song. And sweet it is to love Nay, cease not, I would call,

Even this gentle dove, Thus, from the silent hall

This breathing thing from all life else apart:of the unlighted grave, the joys of old:

Ah! leave me not the gloom Beam on me yet once more,

Of my eternal tomb Ye blessed eyes of yore,

To bear alone-alone!-come to my heart, Startling life-blood through all my being cold. My bird !—Thou shalt go free;

And come, O come to me Ah ! cease not-phantoms fair

Again, when from the hills the spring-gale blows; Fill thick the dungeon's air;

So shall I learn, at least, They wave me from its gloom-I fly-I stand

One other year hath ceased, Again upon that spot,

And the long woe throbs lingering to its close. Which ne'er hath been forgot In all time's tears, my own green, glorious land!

WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING.* There, on each noon-bright hill,

By fount and flashing rill,
Slowly the faint flocks sought the breezy shade;

There gleam'd the sunset's fire,

It went within my inmost heart,
On the tall taper spire,
And windows low, along the upland glade.

The overhanging Arch to see,

The liquid stream became a part
Sing, sing!—I do not dream-

Of my internal harmony.
It is my own blue stream,
Far, far below, amid the balmy vale;

So gladly rush'd the full stream through,
I know it by the hedge

Pleased with the measure of its flow, Of rose-trees at its edge,

So burst the gladness on the view, Vaunting their crimson beauty to the gale:

It made a song of mirth below. There, there, mid clustering leaves,

Yet gray were those o'erarching stones,
Glimmer my father's eaves,

And sear and dry the fringing grass,
And the worn threshold of my youth beneath ; And mournful with remember'd tones
I know them by the moss,

That out of Autumn's bosom pass.
And the old elms that toss

And over it the heavy road, Their lithe arms up where winds the smoke's gray

Where creaks the wain with burden'd cheer, Sing, sing! I am not mad

But gaily from this low abode
Sing! that the visions glad , snow; Leapt out the merry brook so clear.
May smile that smiled, and speak that spake but

Then Nature said: My child, to thee,

From the gray arch shall beauty flow, * BENJAMIN B. THATCHER, author of "Indian Biogra

Thou art a pleasant thing to me, phy," "Indian Traits," and numerous contributions to

And freely in my meadows go. our periodical literature, died in Boston on the 14th of July, 1840, in the thirty-second year of his age. He was

Thy verse shall gush thus freely on, a native of Maine, and was educated at Bowdoin College, in that state.

Some poet yet may sit thereby, + One prisoner I saw there, who had been imprisoned And cheer bimself within the sun from his youth, and was said to be occasionally insane in My life has kindled in thine eye. consequence. He enjoyed no companionship (the keeper told me) but that of a beautiful tamed bird. or what name or clime it was, I know not--only that he called it * Mr. CHANNING is a nephew of the late Dr. W. E fondly, his dove, and seemed never happy but when it | CHANNING. He published a volunie of Poenis in 1843, sang to him.--MS. of a Tour through France.

and another in 1817.

[ocr errors]


In mirth did man the hours employ

Of that eternal spring; With song and dance, and shouts of joy,

Did hill and valley ring. No death-shot peal'd upon the ear, No painted warrior poised the spear, No stake-doom'd captive shook for fear;

No arrow left the string, Save when the wolf to earth was borne; From foeman's head no scalp was torn; Nor did the pangs of hate and scorn

The red man's bosom wring. Then waving fields of yellow corn Did our bless'd villages adorn.

TIIE BIRTH OF TIIUNDER. Look, white man, well on all around,

These hoary oaks, those boundless plains; Tread lightly; this is holy ground:

Here Thunder, awful spirit! reigns. Look on those waters far below,

So deep beneath the prairie sleeping, The summer sun's meridian glow

Scarce warms the sands their waves are heaping; And scarce the bitter blast can blow

In winter on their icy cover;
The Wind Sprite may not stoop so low,

But bows his head and passes over.
Perch'd on the top of yonder pine,

The heron's billow-searching eye

Can scarce his finny prey descry,
Glad leaping where their colours shine.
Those lakes, whose shores but now we trod,

Scars deeply on earth's bosom dinted,
Are the strong impress of a god,

By Thunder's giant foot imprinted. Nay, stranger, as I live, 't is truth!

The lips of those who never licd,
Repeat it daily to our youth.

Famed heroes, erst my nation's pride,
Beheld the wonder; and our sages
Gave down the tale to after ages.
Dost not believe though blooming fair

The flowerets court the breezes coy,
Though now the sweet-grass scents the air,
And sunny nature basks in joy,

It is not ever so.
Come when the lightning flashes,
Come when the forest crashes,

When shrieks of pain and wo
Break on thine ear-drum thick and fast,
From ghusts that shiver in the blast;
Then shalt thou know and bend the knee
Before the angry deity.
But now attend, while I unfold

The lore my brave forefathers taught:
As yet the storm, the heat, the cold,

The changing seasons had not brought, Famine was not; each tree and grot

Grew greener for the rain ; The wanton doe, the buffalo,

Blithe bounded on the plain.

Alas! that man will never learn
His good from evil to discern.
At length, by furious passions driven,

The Indian left his babes and wife,
And every blessing Gop has given,

To mingle in the deadly strife.
Fierce Wrath and haggard Envy soon
Achieved the work that War begun;
He left, unsought, the beast of chase,
And prey'd upon bis kindred race.
But He who rules the earth and skies,
Who watches every bolt that flies;
From whom all gifts, all blessings flow,
With grief beheld the scene below.
He wept; and, as the balmy shower

Refreshing to the ground descended,
Each drop gave being to a flower,

And all the hills in homage bended. “Alas!" the good Great Spirit said,

“Man merits not the climes I gave; Where'er a hillock rears its head,

He digs his brother's timeless grave:
To every crystal rill of water,
He gives the crimson stain of slaughter.
No more for him my brow shall wear

A constant, glad, approving smile;
Ah, no! my eyes must withering glare

On bloody hands and deeds of guile. Henceforth shall my lost children know The piercing wind, the blinding snow; The storm shall drench, the sun shall burn, The winter freeze them, each in turn. Henceforth their feeble frames shall feel A climate like their hearts of steel.”

* WILLIAM J. SNELLING, author of "Truth," a satire, and for many years a writer for the journals, died in Bog. ton, in 1819.

+ Twenty-eight miles from the Big Stone Lake, near the sources of the St. Peter's River, is a cluster of small lakes or ponds, lying much below the level of the surrounding prairie, and ornamented with an oak wood. The Dahcotahs enl. this plice The Nest of Thunder, and say that here Thunder was born. As soon as the infant spirit could go alone, he set out to see the world, and, at the first step, placed his foot upon a hill twenty-five miles distant; a rock on the top of which actually seems to bear the print of a gigantic human foot. The Indians call the hill Thunder's Tracks. The Nest of Thunder is, to this day, visited by the being whose birth it witnessed. He comes clad in a mantle of storms, and lightnings play round his head.

The moon that night withheld her light.
By fits, instead, a lurid glare
Illumed the skies; while mortal eyes
Were closed, and voices rose in prayer.

While the revolving sun

Three times his course might run, The dreadful darkness lasted. And all that time the red man's eye A sleeping spirit might espy, Upon a tree-top cradled high,

Whose trunk his breath had blasted. So long he slept, he grew so fast,

Beneath bis weight the gnarled oak Snapp'd, as the tempest snaps the mast.

It sell, and Thunder woke!

If cares arise--and cares will comeThy bosom is my softest home,

I'll lull me there to rest; And is there aught disturbs my fair? I'll bid her sigh out every care,

And lose it in my breast. Have I a wish?_'tis all her own; All hers and mine are rollid in one,

Our hearts are so entwined, That, like the ivy round the tree, Bound up in closest amity,

"T is death to be disjoin'd.


The world to its foundation shook,
The grisly bear his prey forsook,
The scowling heaven an aspect bore
That man had never seen before ;
The wolf in terror fled away,
And shone at last the light of day.
'Twas here he stood; these lakes attest
Where first WAW-KEE-an's footsteps press'd.
About his burning brow a cloud,

Black as the raven's wing, he wore;
Thick tempests wrapt him like a shroud,

Red lightnings in his hand he bore;
Like two bright suns his eyeballs shone,
His voice was like the cannon's tone;
And, where he breathed, the land became,
Prairie and wood, one sheet of flame.
Not long upon this mountain height

The first and worst of storms abode,
For, moving in his fearful might,

Abroad the God-begotten strode.
Afar, on yonder faint blue mound,
In the horizon's utmost bound,
At the first stride his foot he set;

The jarring world confess'd the shock.
Stranger! the track of Thunder yet

Remains upon the living rock.
The second step, he gain'd the sand
On far Superior's storm-beat strand :
Then with his shout the concave rung,
As up to heaven the giant sprung

On high, beside his sire to dwell;
But still, of all the spots on earth,
He loves the woods that gave him birth.-

Such is the tale our fathers tell.

FADED HOURS. 0! For my bright and faded hours

When life was like a summer stream, On whose gay banks the virgin flowers

Blush'd in the morning's rosy beam; Or danced upon the breeze that bare

Its store of rich perfume along, While the wood-robin pour'd on air

The ravishing delights of song. The sun look'd from his lofty cloud,

While flow'd its sparkling waters fair, And went upon his pathway proud,

And threw a brighter lustre there; And smiled upon the golden heaven,

And on the earth's sweet loveliness,
Where light, and joy, and song were given,

The glad and fairy scene to bless !
Ah! these were bright and joyous hours,

When youth awoke from boyhood's dream, To see life's Eden dress'd in flowers,

While young hope bask'd in morning's beam! And proffer'd thanks to Heaven above,

While glow'd his fond and grateful breast, Who spread for him that scene of love,

And made him so supremely blest ! That scene of love !-where hath it gone?

Where have its charms and beauty sped ? My hours of youth, that o'er me shone,

Where have their light and splendour fled? Into the silent lapse of years,

And I am left on earth to mourn; And I am left to drop my tears

O'er memory's lone and icy urn! Yet why pour forth the voice of wail

O'er feeling's blighted coronal ? Ere many gorgeous suns shall fail,

I shall be gather'd in my pall; 0, my dark hours on earth are few

My hopes are crush'd, my heart is riven; And I shall soon bid life adieu,

To seek enduring joys in heaven!



When on thy bosom I recline,
Enraptured still to call thee mine,

To call thee mine for life,
I glory in the sacred ties,
Which modern wits and fools despise,

Of husband and of wife.
One mutual flame inspires our bliss ;
The tender look, the melting kiss,

Even years have not destroyed; Some sweet sensation, ever new, Springs up and proves the maxim true,

That love can ne'er be cloy'd.
Have I a wish?_'t is all for thee.
Hast thou a wish?—'tis oll for me.

So soft our moments move,
That angels look with ardent gaze,
Well pleased to see our happy days,

And bid us live-and love.

* LINDLEY MURRAY, author of the "English Grammar," and other works, was a native of New York, though the greater portion of his life was passed in England.


* Mr. SUTERMEISTER was born in Curaçoa, in the West Indies, and came to New York with his parents, when about four years old. He wrote many brief poems while a law student, but no collection of his inspirings has been published. He died in 1836, in the twenty-thira year of his age.

2 22

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

Old wine to drink !
Ay, give the slippery juice,
That drippeth from the grape thrown loose,

Within the tun;
Pluck'd from beneath the cliff
Of sunny-sided Teneriffe,
And ripen'd ’neath the blink

Of India's sun !

Peat whiskey hot,
Temper'd with well-boiled water !
These make the long night shorter,

Forgetting not
Good stout old English porter!

Old wood to burn!
Ay, bring the hill-side beech
From where the owlets meet and screech,

And ravens croak;
The crackling pine, and cedar sweet;
Bring too a clump of fragrant peat,
Dug 'neath the fern;

The knotted oak,

A faggot too, perhap,
Whose bright flame dawning, winking,
Shall light us at our drinking!

While the oozing sap
Shall make sweet music to our thinking.

Old books to read !
Ay, bring those nodes of wit,
The brazen-clasp'd, the vellum writ,

Time-honour'd tomes !
The same my sire scanned before,
The same my grandsire thumbéd o'er,
The same his sire from college bore,
The well-earn'd meed

Of Oxford's domes ;

Old Homer blind,
Old Horace, rake ANACREON, by
Old Tully, Plautus, TERENCE lie;
Mort Arthur's olden minstrelsie,
Quaint BURTON, quainter SPENSER, ay,
And GERVASE MARKHAM's venerie-

Nor leave behind
The Holye Book by which we live and die.

Old friends to talk!
Ay, bring those chosen few,
The wise, the courtly and the true,

So rarely found !
Him for my wine, him for my stud,
Him for my easel, distich, bud
In mountain walk!

Bring Walter good :
With soulful Fred; and learned WILL,
And thee, my alter ego, (dearer still

For every mood.) * In earlier editions, the above poem has been attri. buted to HENRY CAREY, the elegant essayist, whose writings are pubiisbed under the signature of “ John Waters ; " but I learn that he is not the author of it.

THE SLEEPING WIFE. My wife! how calmly sleepest thou ! A perfect peace is on thy brow: Thine eyes beneath their fringed lid, Like stars behind a cloud, are hid; Thy voice is mute, and not a sound Disturbs the tranquil air around: I'll watch, and mark each line of grace That God hath drawn upon thy face. My wife! thy breath is low and soft; To catch its sound I listen oft; The lightest leaf of Persian rose Upon thy lips might find repose;So deep thy slumber, that I press'd My trembling hand upon thy breast, In sudden fear that envious death Had robb’d thee, sleeping, of thy breath. My wife! my wife! thy face now seems To show the tenor of thy dreams :Methinks thy gentle spirit plays Amid the scenes of earlier days; Thy thoughts, perchance, now dwell on him Whom most thou lov'st; or in the dim And shadowy future strive to pry, With woman's curious, earnest eye. Sleep on! sleep on! my dreaming wife ! Thou livest now another life, With beings fill'd, of fancy's birth; I will not call thee back to earth; Sleep on, until the car of morn Above the eastern hills is borne; Then thou wilt wake again, and bless My sight with living loveliness.

THERE are to me no hymns more sweet

Than those my mother sung,
When joyously around her feet

Her little children clung.
The babe upon his pillow slept-

My mother sang the while ;
What wonder if there softly crept

Across his lips a smile ?
And I, a sick and pensive boy,

Oppressed with many pains,
Oft felt my bosom thrill with joy

Beneath her soothing strains.
The stealing tear mine eye bedims,

My heart is running o'er, - •
The music of a mother's hymns

Shall comfort me no more! *Mr. MACKELLAR was born in New York in 1812, and is now a partner in the extensive stereotyping house of L. JOHNSON and Co., of Philadelphia. He is the author of “Droppings from the Heart," a collection of poems, per vaded by a spirit of piety and hopefulness, published in 1844, and "Tam's Fortnight Ramble," in 1848.


Speak gently to the erring: know,

They may have toil'd in vain; Perchance unkindness made them so;

Oh, win them back again!
Speak gently: He who gave his life

To bend man's stubborn will,
When elements were fierce with strife,

Said to them, “ Peace! be still!”. Gentleness is a little thing

Dropp'd in the heart's deep well : The good, the joy which it may bring,

Eternity shall tell.

THE LOVE THAT LASTS. 'Tis not a flower of instant growth,

But from an unsuspected germ That lay within the hearts of both,

Assumes its everlasting form. As daisy-buds among the grass

With the same green do silent grow, Nor maids nor boys that laughing pass

Can tell if they be flowers or no Till on some genial morn in May

Their timid, modest leaflets rise, Disclosing beauties to the day

That strike the gazer with surprise : So soft, so sweet, so mild, so holy,

So cheerful in obscurest shade, So unpretending, meek, and lowly,

And yet the pride of each green glade : So love doth spring, so love doth grow,

If it be such as never dies: The bud just opens here below

The flower blooms on in paradise.




SHE seldom spake; yet she imparted

Far more than language could-
So birdlike, bright, and tender hearted,

So natural and good !
Her air, her look, her rest, her actions,

Were voice enough for her:
Why need a tongue, when those attractions

Our inmost hearts could stir ?
She seldom talked; but, uninvited,

Would cheer us with a song;
And oft her hands our ears delighted,

Sweeping the keys along.
And oft, when converse round would languish,

Ask'd or unask'd, she read
Some tale of gladness or of anguish,

And so our evenings sped.
She seldom spake; but she would listen

With all the signs of soul;
Her cheek would change, her eye would glisten;

The sigh-the smile-upstole.
Who did not understand and love her,

With meaning thus o'erfraught?
Though silent as the sky above her,

Like that, she kindled thought.
Little she spake; but dear attentions

From her would ceaseless rise ;
She check'd our wants by kind preventions,

She hush'd the children's cries;
And, twining, she would give her mother

A long and loving kiss
The same to father, sister, brother,

All round—nor would one miss.
She seldom spake-she speaks no longer;

She sleeps beneath yon rose;
'Tis well for us that ties no stronger

Awaken memory's woes :
For oh, our hearts would sure be broken,

Already drain'd of tears,
If frequent tones, by her outspoken,

Still linger'd in our ears !

Speak gently: it is better far

To rule by love than fearSpeak gently: let not harsh words mar

The good we might do here. Speak gently: Love doth whisper low

The vows that true hearts bind; And gently Friendship's accents flow;

Affection's voice is kind.
Speak gently to the little child :

Its love be sure to gain;
Teach it in accents soft and mild-

It may not long remain.
Speak gently to the young : for they

Will have enough to bear;
Pass through life as best they may,

"Tis full of anxious care. Speak gently to the agéd one:

Grieve not the careworn heart;
The sands of life are nearly run-

Let such in peace depart.
Speak gently, kindly, to the poor :

Let no harsh tone be heard;
They have enough they must endure,

Without an unkind word.

* See “Prose Writers of America” for a reviewal of Dr. CHEEYER's prose writings. His poems are, for the most part, graceful expressions of elevated religious and social


Mr. BATES passed his earlier life at Indianapolis, in Indiana, but he has resided several years in Philadelphia, in the occupation of a broker. He published in that city, in 1849, a volume of poems entitled “The Eolian."

* The Rev. SAMUEL GILMAN, D.D., a writer for the earlier volumes of the “North American Review," and the author of “ Memoirs of a New England Village Choir," has resided many years in Charleston. His "History of a Ray of Light," “The Silent Girl," and a few other pieces, show that he might have been distinguished as a poel.

« PreviousContinue »