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THE FORERUNNERS. – R. W. Emerson.
LoNG I followed happy guides,
I could never reach their sides.
Their step is forth, and ere the day
Breaks up their leaguer and away.
Keen my sense, my heart was young,
Right good-will my sinews strung,
But no speed of mine avails
To hunt upon their shining trails.
On and away, their hasting feet
Make the morning proud and sweet.
Flowers they strew, I catch the scent,
Or tone of silver instrument
Leaves on the wind melodious trace,
Yet I could never see their face.
On eastern hills I see their smokes
Mixed with mist by distant lochs.
I met many travellers,
Who the road had surely kept,
They saw not my fine revellers,
These had crossed them while they slept.
Some had heard their fine report,
In the country or the court.
Fleetest couriers alive
Never yet could once arrive,
As they went or they returned,
At the house where these sojourned.
Sometimes their strong speed they slacken,
Though they are not overtaken;
In sleep their jubilant troop is near,
I tuneful voices overhear,
It may be in wood or waste, –
At unawares "t is come and passed.
Their near camp my spirit knows
By signs gracious as rainbows.
I thenceforward, and long after,
Listen for their harp-like laughter,
And carry in my heart for days
Peace that hallows rudest ways.
THE SUMMER, EVENING. — Clare.
THE sinking sun is taking leave,
And sweetly gilds the edge of eve,
While huddling clouds of purple dye
Gloomy hang the western sky;
Crows crowd croaking overhead,
Hastening to the woods to bed;
Cooing sits the lonely dove,
Calling home her absent love;
From the hay-cock's moistened heaps,
Startled frogs take vaulting leaps,
And along the shaven mead,
Jumping travellers, they proceed;
Quick the dewy grass divides,
Moistening sweet their speckled sides.
From the grass or floweret's cup,
Quick the dew-drop bounces up.
Now the blue fog creeps along,
And the bird's forgot his song ;
Flowers now sleep within their hoods,
Daisies button into buds;
From soiling dew the buttercup
Shuts his golden jewels up;
And the rose and woodbine, they
Wait again the smiles of May.
'Neath the willow's wavy boughs,
Dolly, singing, milks her cows;
While the brook, as bubbling by,
Joins in murmuring melody.
Swains to fold their sheep begin,
Dogs, loud barking, drive them in.
Hedgers now along the road
Homeward bend beneath their load;
And, from the long, furrowed seams,
Ploughmen loose their weary teams;
Ball, with urging lashes mealed,
Still so slow to drive afield,
Eager blundering from the plough,
Wants no whip to drive him now ;
At the stable-door he stands,
Looking round for friendly hands
To loose the door its fastening pin,
And let him with his corn begin.
The night-wind now, with sooty wings,
In the cotter's chimney sings;
Now, as stretching o'er the bed,
Soft I raise my drowsy head,
Listening to the ushering charms
That shake the elm-tree's massy arms,
Till sweet slumbers stronger creep,
Deeper darkness stealing round;
Then, as rocked, I sink to sleep,
*Mid the wild winds' lulling sound.
TO THE RAINBOW. — Campbell.
TRIUMPHAL arch, that fill'st the sky .
When storms prepare to part,
I ask not proud Philosophy
To teach me what thou art.
Still seem as to my childhood's sight, —
A midway station given,
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that Optics teach unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamed of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow 2
When Science from creation's face
Enchantment’s veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold, material laws
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.
When o'er the green, undeluged earth,
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine. How came the world's gray fathers forth, To watch thy sacred sign 2
And when its yellow lustre smiled
O'er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child,
To bless the bow of God.
Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang
On earth, delivered from the deep,
And the first poet sang.
The earth to thee her incenso yields,
The lark thy welcome sings, –
When, glittering in the freshened fields
The snowy mushroom springs.
How glorious is thy girdle cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town;
Or mirrored in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down |
As fresh as yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds thy span;
Nor lets the type grow pale with age,
That first spoke peace to man.
HYMN OF THE CHEROKEE INDIAN. — I McLellan, Jr.
LIKE the shadows in the stream,
Like the evanescent gleam
Of the twilight's failing blaze,
Like the fleeting years and days,
Like all things that soon decay,
Pass the Indian tribes away.