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LANDING OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS.
May faint because we feel alone,
With none to strike our favorite tone,
And join our homeward strain.
Yet often, in the bleakest wild
Of this dark world, some heaven-born child,
Expectant of the skies,
Amid the low and vicious crowd,
Or in the dwellings of the proud,
Meets our admiring eyes.
From gazing on the tender flower,
We lift our eye to Him whose power
Hath all its beauty given;
Who in this atmosphere of death
Hath given it life, and form, and breath,
And brilliant hues of heaven.
Our drooping faith, revived by sight,
Anew her pinions plumes for flight,
New hope distends the breast;
With joy we mount on eagle wing,
With bolder tone our anthem sing,
And seek the pilgrim's rest.
LANDING OF THE PILGRIM FATHERS. —
THE breaking waves dashed high
On a stern and rock-bound coast,
And the woods against a stormy sky
Their giant branches tost;
And the heavy night hung dark
The hills and waters o'er,
When a band of exiles moored their bark
On the wild New England shore.
Not as the conqueror comes,
They, the true-hearted, came ;
Not with the roll of stirring drums,
And the trumpet that sings of fame;
Not as the flying come,
In silence and in fear, –
They shook the depths of the desert's gloom
With their hymns of lofty cheer.
Amidst the storm they sang,
And the stars heard and the sea
And the sounding aisles of the dim wood rang
To the anthems of the free
The ocean-eagle soared
From his nest by the white wave's foam,
And the rocking pines of the forest roared, -
This was their welcome home !
There were men with hoary hair
Amidst that pilgrim-band; —
Why had they come to wither there,
Away from their childhood's land?
There was woman's fearless eye,
Lit by her deep love's truth;
There was manhood's brow serenely high,
And the fiery heart of youth.
136 A CHILD’s FIRST IMPRESSION OF A STAR.
What sought they thus afar 2
Bright jewels of the mine 2
The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
They sought a faith's pure shrine !
Ay, call it holy ground,
The soil where first they trod!
They have left unstained what there they found, -
Freedom to worship God
A CHILD'S FIRST IMPRESSION OF A STAR. – Willis.
SHE had been told that God made all the stars
That twinkled up in heaven, and now she stood
Watching the coming of the twilight on,
As if it were a new and perfect world,
And this were its first eve. How beautiful
Must be the work of nature to a child
In its first fresh impression Laura stood
By the low window, with the silken lash
Of her soft eye upraised, and her sweet mouth
Half parted with the new and strange delight
Of beauty that she could not comprehend,
And had not seen before. The purple folds
Of the low sunset clouds, and the blue sky
That looked so still and delicate above,
Filled her young heart with gladness, and the eve
Stole on with its deep shadows, and she still
Stood looking at the west with that half smile,
As if a pleasant thought were at her heart.
Presently, in the edge of the last tint
Of sunset, where the blue was melted in
To the first golden mellowness, a star
Stood suddenly. A laugh of wild delight
Burst from her lips, and, putting up her hands,
Her simple thought broke forth expressively,–
“Father, dear father, God has made a star.”
SLEEP breathes at last from out thee,
My little, patient boy!
And balmy rest about thee
Smooths off the day's annoy.
I sit me down, and think
Of all thy winning ways;
Yet almost wish, with sudden shrink,
That I had less to praise.
Thy sidelong, pillowed meekness,
Thy thanks to all that aid,
Thy heart, in pain and weakness,
Of fancied faults afraid,
The little trembling hand
That wipes thy quiet tears, –
These, these are things that may demand
Dread memories for years.
Sorrows I’ve had, severe ones
I will not think of now;
And calmly, midst my dear ones,
Have wasted with dry brow;
But when thy fingers press,
And pat my stooping head,
I cannot bear the gentleness, –
The tears are in their bed.
Ah! first-born of thy mother,
When life and hope were new :
Kind playmate of thy brother,
Thy sister, father, too !
My light where’er I go,
My bird when prison-bound, –
My hand-in-hand companion, — no,
My prayers shall hold thee round,
To say, “He has departed,”—
“His voice,”—“his face,”—“is gone,’
To feel impatient-hearted,
Yet feel we must bear on ;
Ah! I could not endure
To whisper of such woe,
Unless I felt this sleep insure
Yes, still he's fixed and sleeping !
This silence too the while, –
Its very hush and creeping
Seem whispering us a smile; —
Something divine and dim
Seems going by one's ear,
Like parting wings of cherubim,
Who say, - “We’ve finished here.”
THE DIRGE IN CYMBELINE. — Collins.
To fair Fidele's grassy tomb
Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.