網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

THE DYING INDIAN.

“On yonder lake I spread the sail no more !
Vigour, and youth, and active days are past-
Relentless demons urge me to that shore
On whose black forests all the dead are cast:
Ye solemn train, prepare the funeral song,
For I must go to shades below,
Where all is strange and all is new;
Companion to the airy throng !--

What solitary streams,

In dull and dreary dreams,
All melancholy, must I rove along !

Some real world once more may be assign'd,
Some new-born mansion for the immortal mind!
Farewell, sweet lake; farewell, surrounding woods:
To other groves, through midnight glooms, I stray,
Beyond the mountains, and beyond the floods,

Beyond the Huron bay!
Prepare the hollow tomb, and place me low,
My trusty bow and arrows by my side,
The cheerful bottle and the venison store;
For long the journey is that I must go,
Without a partner, and without a guide.”

He spoke, and bid the attending mourners weep, Then closed his eyes, and sunk to endless sleep!

THE INDIAN BURYING-GROUND.

To what strange lands must CHEQUI take his way!
Groves of the dead departed mortals trace:
No deer along those gloomy forests stray,
No huntsmen there take pleasure in the chase,
But all are empty, unsubstantial shades,
That ramble through those visionary glades;
No spongy fruits from verdant trees depend,

But sickly orchards there

Do fruits as sickly bear,
And apples a consumptive visage shew,
And wither'd hangs the whortleberry blue.

In spite of all the learn'd have said,

I still my old opinion keep; The posture that we give the dead,

Points out the soul's eternal sleep.

Not so the ancients of these lands

The Indian, when from life released, Again is seated with his friends,

And shares again the joyous feast.*

Ah me! what mischiefs on the dead attend !
Wandering a stranger to the shores below,
Where shall I brook or real fountain find ?
Lazy and sad deluding waters flow-
Such is the picture in my boding mind!

Fine tales, indeed, they tell
. Of shades and purling rills,

Where our dead fathers dwell

Beyond the western hills; But when did ghost return his state to shew; Or who can promise half the tale is true ?

His imaged birds, and painted bowl,

And venison, for a journey dress’d, Bespeak the nature of the soul,

Activity, that knows no rest.

His bow, for action ready bent,

And arrows, with a head of stone, Can only mean that life is spent,

And not the old ideas gone.

Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way,

No fraud upon the dead commitObserve the swelling turf, and say

They do not lie, but here they sit.

Here still a lofty rock remains,

On which the curious eye may trace (Now wasted, half, by wearing rains)

The fancies of a ruder race.

I too must be a fleeting ghost !-no more-
None, none but shadows to those mansions go;
I leave my woods, I leave the Huron shore,

For emptier groves below!
Ye charming solitudes,

Ye tall ascending woods
Ye glassy lakes and prattling streams,

Whose aspect still was sweet,

Whether the sun did greet, Or the pale moon embraced you with her beams,

Adieu to all!
To all, that charm'd me where I stray'd,
The winding stream, the dark sequester'd shade;

Adieu all triumphs here !
Adieu the mountain's lofty swell,

Adieu, thou little verdant hill,
And seas, and stars, and skies~farewell,

For some remoter sphere!

Here still an aged elm aspires,

Beneath whose far-projecting shade (And which the shepherd still admires)

The children of the forest play'd!

There oft a restless Indian queen

(Pale SHEBAH, with her braided hair) And many a barbarous form is seen

To chide the man that lingers there.

Perplex'd with doubts, and tortured with despair,
Why so dejected at this hopeless sleep?
Nature at last these ruins may repair,
When fate's long dream is o'er, and she forgets to

weep;

* The North American Indians bury their dead in a sitting posture; decorating the corpse with wampum, the images of birds, quadrupeds, &c.; and (if that of a warrior) with bows, arrows, tomahawks, and other military weapons.

By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews,

In habit for the chase array'd, The hunter still the deer pursues,

The hunter and the deer, a shade! And long shall timorous fancy see

The painted chief and pointed spear; And Reason's self shall bow the knee

To shadows and delusions here.

TO THE MEMORY OF THE AMERICANS

WHO FELL AT EUTAW.*

To willows sad and weeping yews

With us a while, old man, repair, Nor to the vault thy steps refuse;

Thy constant home must soon be there. To summer suns and winter moons

Prepare to bid a long adieu ; Autumnal seasons shall return,

And spring shall bloom, but not for you. Why so perplex'd with cares and toil

To rest upon this darksome road ? 'Tis but a thin, a thirsty soil,

A barren and a bleak abode. Constrain'd to dwell with pain and care,

These dregs of life are bought too dear; "Tis better far to die, than bear

The torments of life's closing year. Subjected to perpetual ills,

A thousand deaths around us grow:
The frost the tender blossom kills,

And roses wither as they blow.
Cold, nipping winds your fruits assail ;

The blasted apple seeks the ground;
The peaches fall, the cherries fail;

The grape receives a mortal wound. The breeze, that gently ought to blow,

Swells to a storm, and rends the main ; The sun,

that charm'd the grass to grow, Turns hostile, and consumes the plain ;

At Eutaw Springs the valiant died;

Their limbs with dust are cover'd o'erWeep on, ye springs, your tearful tide ;

How many heroes are no more! If, in this wreck of ruin, they

Can yet be thought to claim the tear, O smite your gentle breast, and say,

The friends of freedom slumber here ! Thou who shalt trace this bloody plain,

If goodness rules thy generous breast, Sigh for the wasted rural reign;

Sigh for the shepherds, sunk to rest ! Stranger, their humble graves adorn;

You too may fall, and ask a tear : "Tis not the beauty of the morn

That proves the evening shall be clear. They saw their injured country's wo;

The flaming town, the wasted field; Then rush'd to meet the insulting foe;

They took the spear—but left the shield. Led by the conquering genius, GREENE,

The Britons they compellid to fly: Yone distant viewed the fatal plain ;

None grieved, in such a cause to die. But like the Parthians, famed of old,

Who, flying, still their arrows throw; These routed Britons, full as bold,

Retreated, and retreating slew. Now rest in peace, our patriot band;

Though far from Nature's limits thrown, We trust they find a happier land,

A brighter sunshine of their own.

The mountains waste, the shores decay,

Once purling streams are dead and dry'Twas Nature's work—'tis Nature's play,

And Nature says, that all must die. Yon flaming lamp, the source of light,

In chaos dark may shroud his beam, And leave the world to mother Night,

A farce, a phantom, or a dream. What now is young, must soon be old :

Whate'er we love, we soon must leave: 'Tis now too hot, 'tis now too cold

To live, is nothing but to grieve. How bright the morn her course begun!

No mists bedimm'd the solar sphere; The clouds arise-they shade the sun),

For nothing can be constant here. Now hope the longing soul employs,

In expectation we are bless'd; But soon the airy phantom flies, For, lo! the treasure is possess'

ss'd. Those monarchs proud, that havoc spreal,

(While pensive Reason dropt a tear,) Those monarchs have to darkness fled,

And ruin bounds their mad career. The grandeur of this earthly round,

Where folly would forever stay, Is but a name, is but a sound

Mere emptiness and vanity.

TO AN OLD MAN.

War, dotard, wouldst thou longer groan

Beneath a weight of years and wo; Thy youth is lost, thy pleasures flown,

And age proclaims, “ 'Tis time to go."

The Battle of Eutaw, South Carolina, was fought September 8, 1781.

Give me the stars, give me the skies,

Give me the heaven's remotest sphere, Above these gloomy scenes to rise

Of desolation and despair. Those native fires, that warm’d the mind,

Now languid grown, too dimly glow, Joy has to grief the heart resign’d,

And love, itself, is changed to wo. The joys of wine are all you boast,

These, for a moment, damp your pain; The gleam is o'er, the charm is lost

And darkness clouds the soul again. Then seek no more for bliss below,

Where real bliss can ne'er be found; Aspire where sweeter blossoms blow,

And fairer flowers bedeck the ground; Where plants of life the plains invest,

And green eternal crowns the year :The little god, that warms the breast,

Is weary of his mansion here.
Like Phospher, sent before the day,

His height meridian to regain,
The dawn arrives—he must not stay

To shiver on a frozen plain.
Life's journey past, for fate prepare,

"Tis but the freedom of the mind; Jove made us mortal-his we are,

To Jove be all our cares resign'd.

Does yon fair lamp trace half the circle round

To light mere waves and monsters of the seas? No; be there must, beyond the billowy waste,

Islands, and men, and animals, and trees. An unremitting flame my breast inspires

To seek new lands amid the barren waves, Where, falling low, the source of day descends,

And the blue sea his evening visage laves. Hear, in his tragic lay, Cordova's sage :* The time may come, when numerous years

are past, When ocean will unloose the bands of things,

And an unbounded region rise at last ; And Typuis may disclose the mighty land,

Far, far away, where none have rored before ; Nor will the world's remotest region be

Gibraltar's rock, or Thule’s savage shore.Fired at the theme, I languish to depart;

Supply the bark, and bid Columbus sail ; He fears no storms upon the untravell'd deep;

Reason shall steer, and skill disarm the gale. Nor does he drcad to miss the intended course,

Though far from land the reeling galley stray, And skies above, and gulfy seas below,

Be the sole objects seen for many a day.
Think not that Nature has unveil'd in vain

The mystic magnet to the mortal eye:
So late have we the guiding needle plann'd,

Only to sail beneath our native sky ?
Ere this was known, the ruling power of all

Form'd for our use an ocean in the land,
Its breadth so small, we could not wander long,

Nor long be absent from the neighbouring strand. Short was the course, and guided by the stars,

But stars no more must point our daring way; The Bear shall sink, and every guard be drowned,

And great Arcturus scarce escape the sea, When southward we shall steer

-O grant my wish, Supply the bark, and bid Columbus sail, He dreads no tempests on the untravell’d deep,

Reason shall steer, and skill disarm the gale.

COLUMBUS TO FERDINAND.*

ILLUSTRIOUS monarch of Iberia's soil,

Too long I wait permission to depart; Sick of delays, I beg thy listening ear

Shine forth the patron and the prince of art. While yet Columbus breathes the vital air,

Grant his request to pass the western main : Reserve this glory for thy native soil, And, what must please thee more, for thy own

reign. Of this huge globe, how small a part we know

Does heaven their worlds to western suns deny ? How disproportion'd to the mighty deep

The lands that yet in human prospect lie! Does Cynthia, when to western skies arrived,

Spend her moist beam upon the barren main, And ne'er illume with midnight splendour, she,

The natives dancing on the lightsome green ? Should the vast circuit of the world contain

Such wastes of ocean and such scanty land ? "Tis reason's voice that bids me think not so;

I think more nobly of the Almighty hand.

THE WILD HONEYSUCKLE.

Fair flower, that dost so comely grow,

Hid in this silent, dull retreat,
Untouch'd thy honey'd blossoms blow,
Unseen thy little branches greet:

No roving foot shall crush thee here,
No busy hand provoke a tear.

Columbus was a considerable number of years en. gaged in soliciting the court of Spain to fit him out, in order to discover a new continent, which he imagined to exist somewhere in the western parts of the ocean. During his negotiations, he is here supposed to address King Ferdinand in the above stanzas.

* Seneca, the poet, a native of Cordova in Spain:

" Venient annis secula seris,

Quibus oceanus rincula rerum
Laret, et ingens pateat tellus,
Typhisque novos detegat orbes ;
Nic sit terris ultima Thule."

Seneca, Med., act iii., v. 375.

From distant climes, no longer foes,

(Their years of misery past,) Nations arrive, to find repose

In these domains at last.

By Nature's self in white array'd,

She bade thee shun the vulgar eye, And planted here the guardian shade, And sent soft waters murmuring by ;

Thus quietly thy summer goes,

Thy days declining to repose.
Smit with those charms, that must decay,

I grieve to see your future doom;
They died-nor were those flowers more gay,
The flowers that did in Eden bloom;

Unpitying frosts and Autumn's power

Shall leave no vestige of this flower.
From morning suns and evening dews

At first thy little being came:
If nothing once, you nothing lose,
For when you die you are the same ;

The space between is but an hour,
The frail duration of a flower.

And, if a more delightful scene

Attracts the mortal eye,
Where clouds nor darkness intervene,

Behold, aspiring high,
On freedom's soil those fabrics plann’d,

On virtue's basis laid,
That make secure our native land,

And prove our toils repaid.
Ambitious aims and pride severe,

Would you at distance keep,
What wanderer would not tarry here,

Here charm his cares to sleep?
0, still may health her balmy wings

O’er these fair fields expand, While commerce from all climates brings

The products of each land.
Through toiling care and lengthen’d views,

That share alike our span,
Gay, smiling hope her heaven pursues,

The eternal friend of man:
The darkness of the days to come

She brightens with her ray,
And smiles o'er Nature's gaping tomb,

When sickening to decay!

HUMAN FRAILTY.

DISASTERS on disasters grow,

And those which are not sent we make; The good we rarely find below,

Or, in the search, the road mistake. The object of our fancied joys

With eager eye we keep in view : Possession, when acquired, destroys

The object, and the passion too. The hat that hid Belinda's hair

Was once the darling of her eye; 'Tis now dismiss'd, she knows not where;

Is laid aside, she knows not why. Life is to most a nauseous pill,

A treat for which they dearly pay : Let's take the good, avoid the ill,

Discharge the debt, and walk away.

TO A NIGHT-FLY, APPROACHING A

CANDLE.

Attracted by the taper's rays,
How carelessly you come to gaze
On what absorbs you in its blaze!
O fly! I bid you have a care:
You do not heed the danger near-
This light, to you a blazing star.

THE PROSPECT OF PEACE.

Already you have scorch'd your wings:
What courage, or what folly brings
You, hovering near such blazing things?

Taorga clad in winter's gloomy dress

All Nature's works appear, Yet other prospects rise to bless

The new returning year:
The active sail again is seen

To greet our western shore,
Gay plenty smiles, with brow serene,

And wars distract no more.
No more the vales, no more the plains

An iron harvest yield;
Peace guards our doors, impels our swains

To till the grateful field:

Ah, me! you

touch this little sunOne circuit more, and all is done! Now to the furnace you are gone! Thus folly, with ambition join'd, Attracts the insects of mankind, And sways ihe superficial mind: Thus, power has charms which all admire, But dangerous is that central fireIf you are wise, in time retire.

JOHN TRUMBULL.

(Born 1750. Died 1831.)

Jour TRUMBULL, LL.D., the author of « McFin- quaintance with rhetoric and belles lettres, then gal," was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on obtained more generally than now, and dunces the twenty-fourth day of April, 1750. His father had but to remain four years in the neighbourhood was a Congregational clergyman, and for many of a university to be admitted to the fellowship years one of the trustees of Yale College. He of scholars and the ministers of religion. In the early instructed his son in the elementary branches satire, Tom BRAINLESS, a country clown, too of education, and was induced by the extraordinary indolent to follow the plough, is sent by his weakvigour of his intellect, and his unremitted devotion minded parents to college, where a degree is to study, to give him lessons in the Greek and gained by residence, and soon after appears as a Latin languages before he was six years old. At full-wigged parson, half-fanatic, half-fool, to do his the age of seven, after a careful examination, share toward bringing Christianity into contempt. young TRUMBULL was declared to be sufficiently Another principal person is Dick HAIRBRAIN, an advanced to merit admission into Yale College. impudent fop, who is made a master of arts in the On account of his extreme youth, however, at that same way; and in the third part is introduced a time, and his subsequent ill health, he was not character of the same description, belonging to the sent to reside at New Haven until 1763, when

other sex. he was in his thirteenth year. His college life During the last years of his residence at College, was a continued series of successes. His superior TRUMBULL paid as much attention as his other genius, attainments and industry enabled him in avocations would permit to the study of the law, every trial to surpass his competitors for academic and in 1773 resigned his tutorship and was adhonours; and such of his collegiate exercises as mitted to the bar of Connecticut. He did not have been printed evince a discipline of thought seek business in the courts, however, but went and style rarely discernible in more advanced years, immediately to Boston, and entered as a student and after greater opportunities of improvement. the office of John Adams, afterward President He was graduated in 1767, but remained in the of the United States, and at that time an eminent college three years longer, devoting his attention advocate and counsellor. He was now in the principally to the study of polite letters. In this focus of American politics. The controversy period he became acquainted with Dwight, then with Great Britain was rapidly approaching a a member of one of the younger classes, who had crisis, and he entered with characteristic ardour attracted considerable attention by translating in into all the discussions of the time, employing his a very creditable manner two of the finest odes of leisure hours in writing for the gazettes and in Horace, and contracted with him a lasting friend-partisan correspondence. In 1774, he published ship. On the resignation of two of the tutors in anonymously his “Essay on the Times," and the college in 1771, TRUMBULL and Dwight soon after returned to New Haven, and with the were elected to fill the vacancies, and exerted all most flattering prospects commenced the practice their energies for several years to introduce an im- of his profession. proved course of study and system of discipline The first gun of the revolution echoed along the into the seminary. At this period the ancient continent in the following year, and private purlanguages, scholastic theology, logic, and mathe suits were abandoned in the general devotion to matics were dignified with the title of “solid the cause of liberty. TRUMBULL wrote the first learning,” and the study of belles lettres was de- part of “ McFingal,” which was immediately cried as useless and an unjustifiable waste of time. printed in Philadelphia, where the Congress was 'The two friends were exposed to a torrent of cen then in session, and soon after republished in sure and ridicule, but they persevered, and in the numerous editions in different parts of this country end were successful. TRUMBULL wrote many and in England. It was not finished until 1782, humorous prose and poetical essays while he was when it was issued complete in three cantos at a tutor, which were published in the gazettes of Hartford, to which place TRUMBULL had removed Connecticut and Massachusetts, and with Dwight in the preceding year. produced a series in the manner of the “ Spectator," “McFingal" is in the Hudibrastic vein, and which extended to more than forty numbers. The much the best imitation of the great satire of

Progress of Dulness” was published in 1772. It BUTLER that has been written. The hero is a is the most finished of TRUMBULL's poems, and Scotish justice of the peace residing in the vicinity was hardly less serviceable to the cause of educa of Boston at the beginning of the revolution, and tion than “ McFingal” was to that of liberty. The the first two cantos are principally occupied with puerile absurdity of regarding a knowledge of the a discussion between him and one HONORIUS ON Greek and Hebrew languages as of more import the course of the British government, in which ance to a clergyman than the most perfect ac McFingal, an unyielding loyalist, endeavours to

« 上一頁繼續 »