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Numb'd by the piercing, freezing air,
And burden'd by his game,
The hunter, struggling with despair,
Dragg'd on his shivering frame;
The rifle he had shoulder'd late
Was trail'd along, a weary weight;
His pouch was void of food;
The hours were speeding in their flight,
And soon the long, keen, winter night
Would wrap the solitude.
Oft did he stoop a listening ear,
Sweep round an anxious eye, –
No bark or axe-blow could he hear,
No human trace descry.
His sinuous path, by blazes, wound
Among trunks group'd in myriads round;
Through maked boughs, between
Whose tangled architecture, fraught
With many a shape grotesquely wrought,
The hemlock's spire was seen.
An antler'd dweller of the wild
Had met his eager gaze,
And far his wandering steps beguiled
Within an unknown maze;
Stream, rock, and run-way he had cross'd,
Unheeding, till the marks were lost
By which he used to roam :
And now deep swamp and wild ravine
And rugged mountain were between
The hunter and his home.
A dusky haze, "...o. had crept
On high, now darkon'd there,
And a few snow-flakes fluttering swept
Athwart the thick, gray air,
Faster and faster, till between
The trunks and boughs a mottled screen
Of glimmering motes was spread,
That tick'd against each object round
With gentle and continuous sound,
Like brook o'er pebbled bed.
rican life at a time when the red man waged war with the European settlers, he has skilfully preserved that distinctive reality in ideas, habits, and actions characteristic of the Indian tribes, while he has constructed a poem of singular power and beauty. In this respect Frontenac is entirely different from “Gertrude
of Wyoming,’ which presents us only with the ideal portraiture.
collected all his materials from nature. ‘ruth which is at once visible even to the inexperienced eye, and, like a great artist, he has exercised his imagination only in forming them into the most
attractive, picturesque, and beautiful combinations.”
They are stamped with that impress of
The laurel tufts, that drooping hung
Close roll'd around their stems,
And the sear beech-leaves still that clung,
Were white with powdering gems.
But, hark afar a sullen moan
Swell'd out to louder, deeper tone,
As surging near it pass'd,
And, bursting with a roar, and shock
That made the groaning forest rock,
On rush'd the winter blast.
As o'er it whistled, shriek'd, and hiss'd,
Caught by its swooping wings,
The snow was whirl'd to eddying mist,
Barb'd, as it seem’d, with stings;
And now 'twas swept with lightning flight
Above the loftiest hemlock's height,
Like drifting smoke, and now
It hid the air with shooting clouds,
And robed the trees with circling shrouds,
Then dash’d in heaps below.
Here, plunging in a billowy wreath,
There, clinging to a limb,
The suffering hunter gasp'd for breath,
Brain reel'd, and eye grew dim;
As though to whelm him in despair,
Rapidly changed the blackening air
To murkiest gloom of night,
Till naught was seen around, below,
But falling flakes and mantled snow,
That gleam'd in ghastly white.
At every blast an icy dart
Seem'd through his nerves to fly,
The blood was freezing to his heart,
Thought whisper'd he must die.
The thundering tempest echo'd death,
He felt it in his tighten’d breath;
Spoil, rifle dropp'd, and slow
As the dread torpor crawling came
Along his staggering, stiffening frame,
He sunk upon the snow.
Reason forsook her shatter'd throne:–
He deem'd that summer-hours
Again around him brightly shone
In sunshine, leaves, and flowers;
Again the fresh, green, forest-sod,
Rifle in hand, he lightly trod,
He heard the deer's low bleat;
Or, couch'd within the shadowy nook,
He drank the crystal of the brook
That murmur'd at his feet.
It changed;—his cabin roof o'erspread,
Rafter, and wall, and chair,
Gleam'd in the crackling fire, that shed
Its warmth, and he was there;
His wife had clasp'd his hand, and now
Her gentle kiss was on his brow,
His child was prattling by;
The hound crouch'd, dozing, near the blaze,
And through the pane's frost-pictured haze
He saw the white drifts fly.
That pass'd :-before his swimming sight
Does not a figure bound,
And a soft voice, with wild delight,
Proclaim the lost is found 7
No, hunter, no 'tis but the streak
Of whirling snow, the tempest's shriek, -
No human aid is near !
Never again that form will meet
Thy clasp'd embrace,—those accents sweet
Speak music to thine ear.
Morn broke;—away the clouds were chased,
The sky was pure and bright,
And on its blue the branches traced
Their webs of glittering white.
Its ivory roof the hemlock stoop'd,
The pine its silvery tassel droop'd,
Down bent the burden'd wood,
And, scatter'd round, low points of green,
Peering above the snowy scene,
Told where the thickets stood.
In a deep hollow, drifted high,
A wave-like heap was thrown ;
Dazzlingly in the sunny sky
A diamond blaze it shone;
The little snow-bird, chirping sweet,
Dotted it o'er with tripping feet;
Unsullied, smooth, and fair
It seem’d, like other mounds, where trunk
And rock amid the wreaths were sunk,
But, oh!—the dead was there.
Spring came with wakening breezes bland,
Soft suns, and melting rains,
And, touch'd by her Ithuriel wand,
Earth bursts its winter-chains.
In a deep nook, where moss and grass
And fern-leaves wove a verdant mass
Some scatter'd bones beside,
A mother, kneeling with her child,
Told by her tears and wailings wild,
That there the lost had died.
FRANCES SARGENT OSG00D, 1812–1850.
FRANces SARGENT Osgood was the daughter of Joseph Locke, a merchant of Boston, and was born in that city about the year 1812.' Her early life was passed principally in Hingham, a beautiful village on the shores of Massachusetts Bay; and here she early displayed that poetical genius which has given her a place among our best poets for delicate fancy, and ease and naturalness of versification. Her first printed productions appeared in Mrs. L. M. Child's “Juvenile Miscellany,” when she was about seventeen years of age. Soon after this, she wrote for the “Ladies' Magazine,” edited by Mrs. Sarah J. Hale, under the signature of “Florence.” In 1835, she was married to Mr. Samuel S. Osgood, an artist of distinction and of cultivated literary taste, who fully appreciated the genius of his wife. Soon after their marriage, they went to London, where Mr. Osgood received great encouragement in the exercise of his art, while his wife published a small volume called The Casket of Fate, and also a collection of her poems, under the title of A Wreath of Wild Florers from New England, both of which were much admired, and favorably noticed in some of the leading literary journals.
In 1840, Mr. and Mrs. Osgood returned to the United States, and, after being some time in Boston, took up their residence in New York. Here she wrote continually for the magazines, and edited “The Poetry of Flowers and the Flowers of Poetry,” and “The Floral Offering,” two richly-illustrated souvenirs. But her health began gradually to decline, and in the winter of 1847–48, she was so much of an invalid as to be confined to the house. Her husband's health, also, was feeble, and he was advised to seek a change of climate. The next year, as his wife's health improved, Mr. Osgood sailed for California, with fine prospects there in the line of his profession. He returned early in 1850, with his fortunes as well as health improved, but just in time to be with his wife in the last few weeks of her life; for, five days after, she breathed her last, on the 12th of May. Her remains were removed to Boston, and laid beside those of her mother and daughter, at Mount Auburn, on Wednesday of the same week.”
NEW ENGLAND's MoUNTAIN-CHILD.
Where foams the fall—a tameless storm—
Through Nature's wild and rich arcade,
Which forest-trees, entwining, form,
There trips the mountain-maid!
1 Mrs. Anna Maria Wells, her half-sister, on her mother's side, was no mean poetess; and Mr. A. A. Locke, her brother, was a fine writer, both in prose and verse, and a contributor for many years to some of the Boston journals.
2. Of the character of her poetry Edgar A. Poe thus writes:—“Mrs. Osgood has a rich fancy, even a rich imagination,-a scrupulous taste, a faultless style, and an ear finely attuned to the delicacies of melody. In that vague and anomalous something which we call grace for want of a more definite term, and which, perhaps, in its supreme development, may be found to comprehend nearly all that is genuine poetry.--in this magical quality—magical because at once so shadowy and so irresistible,_Mrs. Osgood has assurelly no superior in America, if indeed she has any equal under the sun."
She binds not her luxuriant hair
With dazzling gem or costly plume,
But gayly wreathes a rose-bud there,
To match her maiden-bloom.
She clasps no golden zone of pride
Her fair and simple robe around;
By flowing ribbon, lightly tied,
Its graceful folds are bound.
And thus attired,—a sportive thing,
Pure, loving, guileless, bright, and wild,—
Proud Fashion match me, in your ring,
New England's mountain-child !
She scorns to sell her rich, warm heart ~
For paltry gold, or haughty rank, -
But gives her love, untaught by art,
Confiding, free, and frank :
And, once bestow'd, no fortune-change
That high and generous faith can alter;
Through grief and pain—too pure to range—
She will not fly or falter.
Her foot will bound as light and free
In lowly hut, as palace-hall:
Her sunny smile as warm will be,
For Love to her is all !
Hast seen where in our woodland-gloom
The rich magnolia proudly smiled ”—
So brightly doth she bud and bloom,
New England's mountain-child !
A MoTHER's PRAYER IN II.LNESs.
Yes, take them first, my Father | Let my doves
Fold their white wings in heaven, safe on thy breast,
Ere I am call'd away: I dare not leave
Their young hearts here, their innocent, thoughtless hearts!
Ah, how the shadowy train of future ills
Comes sweeping down life's vista as I gazel
My May ! my careless, ardent-temper'd May,
My frank and frolic child, in whose blue eyes
Wild joy and passionate woe alternate rise;
Whose cheek the morning in her soul illumes;
Whose little, loving heart a word, a glance,
Can sway to grief or glee; who leaves her play,
And puts up her sweet mouth and dimpled arms
Each moment for a kiss, and softly asks,
With her clear, flutelike voice, “Do you love me?”
Ah, let me stay ! ah, let me still be by,
To answer her and meet her warm caress'