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For look again on the past years;-behold,
How like the nightmare's dreams have flown away
Held, o'er the shuddering realms, unquestioned sway:
See nations blotted out from earth, to pay
The forfeit of deep guilt;—with glad embrace The fair disburdened lands welcome a nobler race.
Thus error's monstrous shapes from earth are driven;
All blended, like the rainbow's radiant braid,
Pour yet, and still shall pour, the blaze that cannot fade.
Late, from this western shore, that morning chased
Sky-mingling mountains that o'erlook the cloud. Erewhile, where yon gay spires their brightness rear, Trees waved, and the brown hunter's shouts were loud. Amid the forest; and the bounding deer
Fled at the glancing plume, and the gaunt wolf yelled near
And where his willing waves yon bright blue bay
Sends up, to kiss his decorated brim,
And cradles, in his soft embrace, the gay
Then all this youthful paradise around,
Within the shaggy arms of that dark forest smiled.
There stood the Indian hamlet, there the lake
And peace was on the earth and in the air,
Not unavenged-the foeman, from the wood, Beheld the deed, and when the midnight shade Was stillest, gorged his battle-axe with blood; All died—the wailing babe-the shrieking maid— And in the flood of fire that scathed the glade, The roofs went down; but deep the silence grew, When on the dewy woods the day-beam played; No more the cabin smokes rose wreathed and blue, And ever, by their lake, lay moored the light canoe.
Look now abroad-another race has filled
These populous borders-wide the wood recedes, And towns shoot up, and fertile realms are tilled: The land is full of harvests and green meads;
Streams numberless, that many a fountain feeds, Shine, disembowered, and give to sun and breeze Their virgin waters; the full region leads
New colonies forth, that toward the western seas Spread, like a rapid flame among the autumnal trees.
Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race!
Far, like the comet's way through infinite space,
Into the depths of ages: we may trace,
Distant, the brightening glory of its flight,
Till the receding rays are lost to human sight.
Europe is given a prey to sterner fates,
And writhes in shackles; strong the arms that chain To earth her struggling multitude of states;
She too is strong, and might not chafe in vain Against them, but might cast to earth the train That trample her, and break their iron net. Yes, she shall look on brighter days and gain The meed of worthier deeds; the moment set To rescue and raise up, draws near—but is not yet.
But thou, my country, thou shalt never fall,
How happy, in thy lap, the sons of men shall dwell?