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With the light dallying of the west-wind play; "
And the full-brimming floods,
As fl. to their goal they run,
Hail the returning sun.
JMounds on the Western Rivers.-M. Flin T.
THE sun's last rays were fading from the west,
The deepening shade stole slowly o'er the plain,
The evening breeze had lulled itself to rest,
And all was silence,—save the mournful strain
With which the widowed turtle wooed, in vain,
Her absent lover to her lonely nest.
Now, one by one, emerging to the sight,
The brighter stars assumed their seats on high;
The moon's pale crescent glowed serenely bright,
As the last twilight fled along the sky,
And all her train, in cloudless majesty,
Were glittering on the dark blue vault of night.
I lingered, by some soft enchantment bound,
And gazed, enraptured, on the lovely scene;
From the dark summit of an Indian mound
I saw the plain, outspread in living green;
Its fringe of cliffs was in the distance seen,
And the dark line of forest sweeping round.
I saw the lesser mounds which round me rose;
Each was a giant heap of mouldering clay;
There slept the warriors, women, friends, and foes,
There, side by side, the rival chieftains lay;
And mighty tribes, swept from the face of day,
Forgot their wars, and found a long repose.
Ye mouldering relics of departed years,
Your names have perished; not a trace remains,
Save where the grass-grown mound its summit rears
From the green bosom of your native plains.
Say, do your spirits wear Oblivion's chains?
Did Death forever quench your hopes and fears 3
* Or did those fairy hopes of future bliss, Which simple Nature to your bosoms gave, Find other worlds, with fairer skies than this, Beyond the gloomy portals of the grave, In whose bright climes the virtuous and the brave Rest from their toils, and all their cares dismiss —
Where the great hunter stills pursues the chase,
And, o'er the sunny mountains, tracks the deer;
Or where he finds each long-extinguished race,
And sees, once more, the mighty mammoth rear
The giant form which lies embedded here,
Of other years the sole remaining trace.
Or, it may be, that still ye linger near
The sleeping ashes, once your dearest pride;
And, could your forms to mortal eye appear,
Or the dark veil of death be thrown aside,
Then might I see your restless shadows glide,
With watchful care, around these relics dear.
If so, forgive the rude, unhallowed feet
Which trod so thoughtless o'er your mighty dead.
I would not thus profane their lone retreat,
Nor trample where the sleeping warrior's head
Lay pillowed on his everlasting bed,
Age after age, still sunk in slumbers sweet.
Farewell! and may you still in peace repose;
Still o'er you may the flowers, untrodden, bloom,
And softly wave to every breeze that blows,
Casting their fragrance on each lonely tomb,
In which your tribes sleep in earth’s common womb,
And mingle with the clay from which they rose.
Burial of the JMinnisink.-LoNGFELLow.
ON sunny slope and beechen swell
The shadowed light of evening fell;
And when the maple’s leaf was brown,
With soft and silent lapse came down
The glory that the wood receives,
At sunset, in its golden leaves.
Far upward, in the mellow light,
Rose the blue hills—one cloud of white;
Around, a far uplifted cone
In the warm blush of evening shone—
An image of the silver lakes
By which the Indian soul awakes.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard,
Where the soft breath of evening stirred
The tall, gray forest; and a ban
Of stern in heart and strong in hand
Came winding down beside the wave,
To lay the red chief in his grave.
They sung, that by his native bowers
He stood, in the last moon of flowers,
And thirty snows had not yet shed
Their glory on the warrior's head;
But as the summer fruit decays,
So died he in those naked days.
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Covered the warrior, and within
Its heavy folds, the weapons made
For the hard toils of war were laid;
The cuirass woven of plaited reeds,
And the broad belt of shells and beads.
Before, a dark-haired virgin train
Chanted the death dirge of the slain;
Behind, the long procession came
Of hoary men and chiefs of fame,
With heavy hearts, and eyes of grief,
Leading the war-horse of their chief.
Stripped of his proud and martial dress,
Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless,
With darting eye, and nostril spread,
And heavy and impatient tread,
He came; and oft that eye so proud
Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They buried the dark chief; they freed Beside the grave his battle steed;
And swift an arrow cleaved its way
To his stern heart:—One piercing neigh
Arose—and on the dead man's plain,
The rider grasps his steed again."
BIRD of the broad and sweeping wing,
Thy home is high in heaven,
Where wide the storms their banners fling,
And the tempest clouds are driven.
Thy throne is on the mountain top;
hy fields, the boundless air;
And hoary peaks, that proudly prop
The skies, thy dwellings are.
Thou sittest like a thing of light,
Amid the noontide blaze:
The midway sun is clear and bright;
It cannot dim thy gaze.
Thy pinions, to the rushing blast,
O'er the bursting billow, spread,
Where the vessel plunges, hurry past,
Like an angel of the dead.
Thou art perched aloft on the beetling crag,
And the waves are white below,
And on, with a haste that cannot lag,
They rush in an endless flow.
Again thou hast plumed thy wing for flight
o lands beyond the sea,
And away, like a spirit wreathed in light,
Thou hurriest, wild and free.
Thou hurriest over the myriad waves,
And thou leavest them all behind;
Thou sweepest that place of unknown graves,
Fleet as the tempest wind.
When the night storm gathers dim and dark,
With a shrill and boding scream,
Thou rushest by the foundering bark,
Quick as a passing dream.
Lord of the boundless realm of air,
In thy imperial name,
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare
The dangerous path of fame.
Beneath the shade of thy golden wings,
The Roman legions bore,
From the river .#. cloudy springs,
Their pride, to the polar shore.
For thee they fought, for thee they fell,
And their oath was on thee laid;
To thee the clarions raised their swell,
And the dying warrior prayed.
Thou wert, through an age of death and fears,
The image of pride and power,
Till the gathered rage of a thousand years
Burst forth in one awful hour.
And then a deluge of wrath it came,
And the nations shook with dread;
And it swept the earth till its fields were flame,
And piled with the mingled dead.
Kings were rolled in the wasteful flood,
ith the low and crouching slave;
And together lay, in a shroud of blood,
The coward and the brave.
And where was then thy fearless flight?
“O'er the dark, mysterious sea,
To the lands that caught the setting light,
The cradle of Liberty.
There, on the silent and lonely shore,
For ages, I watched alone,
And the world, in its darkness, asked no more
Where the glorious bird had flown.
But then came a bold and hardy few,
And they breasted the unknown wave;
I caught afar the wandering crew;
And I knew they were high and brave.