Page images

ment of the good people of Nieuw-Nederlandts ;* on the contrary, so high an opinion had they of the independent mind and vigorous intellect of their new governor, that

they universally called him Hardkopping Piet,tor Peter the 5 Headstrong,-a great compliment to his understanding!

If from all that I have said, thou dost not gather, worthy reader, that Peter Stuyvesant was a tough, sturdy, valiani, weatherbeaten, mettlesome, obstinate, leathern-sided, lion

hearted, generous-spirited old governor, either I have writ10 ten to but little purpose, or thou art very dull at drawing






When, from the sacred garden driven,

Man fled before his Maker's wrath,
An angel left her place in heaven,

And crossed the wanderer's sunless path.
'Twas Art! sweet Art! new radiance broke

Where her light foot flew o'er the ground;
And thus with seraph voice she spoke,

“The Curse a Blessing shall be found.”
She led him through the trackless wild,

Where noontide sunbeam never blazed ;
The thistle shrunk, the harvest smiled,

And Nature gladdened, as she gazed.
Earth's thousand tribes of living things,

At Art's command, to him are given;
The village grows, the city springs,

And point their spires of faith to heaven.
He rends the oak,--and bids it ride,

To guard the shores its beauty graced ;
He smites the rock,-upheaved in pride,

See towers of strength and domes of taste.
Earth's teeming caves their wealth reveal,

Fire bears his banner on the wave,
He bids the mortal poison heal,

And leaps triumphant o'er the grave.
He plucks the pearls that stud the deep,

Admiring Beauty's lap to fill;
He breaks the stubborn marble's sleep,

And mocks his own Creator's skill.
* Pronounced New Nayderlânts. † Pronounced Peat.




With thoughts that swell his glowing soul,

He bids the ore illume the page,
And proudly scorning Time's control,

Commerces with an unborn age.
In fields of air he writes his name,

And treads the chambers of the sky;
He reads the stars, and grasps the flame

That quivers round the Throne on high.
In war renowned, in peace sublime,

He moves in greatness and in grace;
His power, subduing space and time,

Links realm to realm, and race to race.





The memory of Burns,-a name

That calls, when brimmed her festal cup,
A nation's glory, and her shame,

In silent sadness up.
A nation's glory,-be the rest

Forgot,--she's canonized his mind;
And it is joy to speak the best

of human kind.
I've stood beside the cottage bed

Where the Bard-peasant first drew breath
A straw-thatched roof above his head,

A straw-wrought couch beneath.
And I have stood beside the pile,

His monument,—that tells to heaven
The homage of earth's proudest isle

To that Bard-peasant given !
Bid thy thoughts hover o'er that spot,

Boy-Minstrel, in thy dreaming hour;
And know, however low his lot,

A Poet's pride and power. .
The pride that lifted Burns from earth,

The power that gave a child of song
Ascendancy o'er rank and birth,

The rich, the brave, the strong;
And if despondency weigh down

Thy spirit's fluttering pinions then,




Despair :—thy name is written on

The roll of common men.
There have been loftier themes than his,

And longer scrolls, and louder lyres, 5 And lays lit up with Poesy's

Purer and holier fires :
Yet read the names that know not death;

Few nobler ones than Burns are there;

And few have won a greener wreath 10

Than that which binds his hair.
His is that language of the heart,

In which the answering heart would speak,
Thought, word, that bids the warm tear start,

Or the smile light the cheek;
15 And his that music, to whose tone

The common pulse of man keeps time,
In cot or castle's mirth or moan,

In cold or sunny clime.

And who hath heard his song, nor knelt 20

Before its spell, with willing knee,
And listen'd, and believed, and felt

The Poet's mastery ?
O'er the mind's sea, in calm and storm,

O'er the heart's sunshine and its showers, 25 O’er Passion's moments, bright and warm,

O'er Reason's dark, cold hours;
On fields where brave men“ die or do,"

In halls where rings the banquet's mirth,

Where mourners weep, where lovers woo, 30

From throne to cottage hearth ;
What sweet tears dim the

eyes unshed, What wild vows falter on the tongue, When“ Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled,"

Or “ Auld Lang Syne” is sung! 35 Pure hopes, that lift the soul above,

Come with his Cottar's hymn of praise,
And dreams of youth, and truth, and love,

With “ Logan's” banks and braes.

And when he breathes his master-lay 40

Of Alloway's witch-haunted wall,


All passions in our frames of clay

Come thronging at his call.
Imagination's world of air,

And our own world, its gloom and glee,
Wit, pathos, poetry, are there,

And death's sublimity.
And Burns,—though brief the race he ran,

Though rough and dark the path he trod,
Lived,—died,-in form and soul a Man,

The image of his God.



Lines addressed to a deceased friend.
How shall I know thee in the sphere which keeps

The disembodied spirits of the dead,
When all of thee that time could wither, sleeps,

And perishes among the dust we tread ? 5 For I shall feel the sting of ceaseless pain,

If there I meet thy gentle presence not;
Nor hear the voice I love, nor read again

In thy serenest eyes the tender thought.

Will not thy own meek heart demand me there? 10 That heart whose fondest throbs to me were given?

My name on earth was ever in thy prayer,

Shall it be banished from thy tongue in heaven?
In meadows fanned by heaven's life-breathing wind

In the resplendence of that glorious sphere, 15 And larger movements of the unfettered mind,

Wilt thou forget the love that joined us here?
The love that lived through all the stormy past,

And meekly with my harsher nature bore,

And deeper grew, and tenderer to the last, 20 Shall it expire with life, and be no more

A happier lot than mine, and larger light,

Await thee there ; for thou hast bowed thy will
In cheerful homage to the rule of right,

And lovest all, and renderest good for ill. 25 For me, the sordid cares in which I dwell,

Shrink and consume the heart, as heat the scroll

[ocr errors]

And wrath hath left its scar,—that fire of hell

Has left its frightful scar upon my soul.
Yet, though thou wear'st the glory of the sky,

Wilt thou not keep the same beloved name, 5 The same fair thoughtful brow, and gentle eye,

Lovelier in heaven's sweet climate, yet the same ?
Shalt thou not teach me, in that calmer home,

The wisdom that I learned so ill in this,

The wisdom which is love,-till I become 10 Thy fit companion in that land of bliss ?

There is a quiet spirit in these woods,
That dwells where'er the south wind blows;
Where, underneath the white thorn in the glade,
The wild flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air,
The leaves above their sunny palms outspread.
With what a tender and empassion'd voice
It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought,
When the fast-ushering star of morning comes,
O'er-riding the gray hills with golden scarf;
Or when the cowled and dusky-sandaled Eve,
In mourning weeds, from out the western gate,
Departs with silent pace! That spirit moves
In the green valley, where the silver brook,
From its full laver, pours the white cascade ;
And, babbling low amid the tangled woods,
Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter.
And frequent, on the everlasting hills,
Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself
In all the dark embroidery of the storm,
And shouts the stern, strong wind. And here, amid
The silent majesty of these deep woods,
Its presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth,
As to the sunshine, and the pure bright air,
Their tops the green trees lift

. Hence gifted bards
Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades.
For them there was an eloquent voice in all
The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun,
The flowers, the leaves, the river on its way,
Blue skies, and silver clouds, and gentle winds;
The swelling upland, where the sidelong sun

« PreviousContinue »