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Its jocund strings re-echoed themes of love,
Or careless carollid what young joys could teach.
When twilight came, I sought the mountain's brow,
To mark her solemn grandeur hastening near.
Then, ah! then, I woo'd the charms of silence,
Far from the pageant show of restless man,
The pomp of pride, the sneer of haughtiness :
Malice, with quivering lip, and knawing care :
Envy, that blasts the buds whose perfumed dyes
She fain would equal: green-eyed Jealousy:
And spectres of despair, whom memory brings
To haunt the slumbering dreams of guilty men,
Of these, yet ignorant and their powers unfelt,
I rioted in youth's gay harvest,
And quaff'd the cup of roseate health and joy.
But I am changed now!
If e'er I smile, 't is as the flower of spring,
Whose tincture blooms through drops of morning dew!
And when the once loved charms of solitude
I woo, amid the valley's silence,
Or on the high hill top, where thunders loud
Proclaim to man the majesty of God,
"T is not to bathe in dreams of shadowy bliss,
Or fondly dwell on scenes of wild romance:
To weave a sonnet for my mistress' brow,
Or con an artless song to soothe her ear!
No cheerful thoughts like these entice my
Through tangled dells or o'er the mountain's height.
Hopeless and sad in gloomy nooks retired,
I love to watch the slow revolving moon,
And muse on visions fled of treacherous love,
Of joys departed, and deceitful hopes :
Me now, no more the balmy breeze of spring,
Nor summer's streamlets murm’ring through the grove,
Nor changeful winds that yellow autumn brings,
Can yield delight-stern winter's joyless gloom
Suits with my bosom's cold and cheerless state !
Life's purple tide no more salubrious flows;
The vernal glow of hope is fled: and joy,
Shall glad no more my once contented cot:
False, fickle woman drove her smiles away.
All hail, December's chilling skies !
Come darken more the anguish of my soul.
Bring with thy gloomy hours despair's sad shades-
Bring all the load that misery prepares,
To gall us through the miry road of life :
Bring silent sorrow with her bitter brow:
Bring lovely woman, with her syren smile,
Like transient meteor to seduce our steps:
Bring care, with self-consuming wants oppress’d,
And doubt, to lead us from our onward path,
And sharp solicitudes to vex our nights:
Let war, too, throw her lurid glare around,
And turn the savage from his hunter toils,
To raise the tomahawk and bend the bow.
In her funereal train attendant,
Let famine stalk, and, with insatiate hand,
Fell plunder, knowing neither friend nor foe,
And violence, to stain the soldier's name.
Let bloody slaughter loose, to dye with gore
Our soil, and teach the world what evils wait
On madden'd counsels and ambitious schemes.
Accursed schemes! that saw no wrath denounced
On souls remorseless shedding human blood.
Detested plans! which bade the cymbals strike,
Roused the loud clarion, and made the cannon roar,
To drown the Saviour's voice proclaiming loud,
To God on high be glory given: on earth,
Let peace among mankind for ever reign.
Was born at Newport, New Hampshire, October 22d, 1794. He studied at Middlebury College, Vermont, and afterwards at the Theological Seminary at Andover. In 1824, he was settled as a preacher at Hartford, in Connecticut.
He published a small poem, entitled The Age of Benevolence, No. 1, which was a work of merit. His ill health obliged him soon after to relinquish his situation, and he died on the 29th of May, 1827. A volume of his poetry and sermons, with a memoir, was published the last year. As a preacher he was uncommonly eloquent and interesting.
’T was one of summer's last and loveliest days,
When at the dawn, with a congenial friend
I rose to climb the mount, that with the gaze
Of expectation high we long had kennd,
While travelling toward it as our journey's end :--
Height after height we reach'd that seem'd the last ;
But far above, where we must yet ascend,
Another and another rose, till fast
The sun began to sink ere all but one were past.
Upon that loftiest one awhile we stood
Silent with wonder and absorbing awę ;
A thousand peaks, the lowest crown'd with wood,
The highest of bare rock at once we saw,
In ranges spread till seeming to withdraw
Far into heaven, and mix their softer blue;
While ranges near, as if in spite of law,
With all wild shapes and grand fill'd up the view And o'er the deep dark gulf fantastic shadows threw.
Here billows heaved in one vast swell, and there
In one long sweep, as on a stormy sea,
Drawn to a curling edge, seem'd held in air,
Ready to move as from a charm set free,
And roar, and dash, and sink, and cease to be ;
While firm and smooth as hewn of emerald rock,
Below them rose to points of one proud tree,
Green pyramids of pine, that seem'd to mock
In conscious safety proud, their vainly threaten'd shock.
Here while the sun yet shone, abysses vast Like openings into inner regions seem'd All objects fading, mingling, sinking fast, Save few that shut up where the sun yet beam'a; But soon as his last rays around us stream'd Thick darkness wrapt the whole, o’er which the glow Of western skies in feeble flashes gleam’d, While bright from pole to pole extending slov Along the wide horizon ere it sunk below.
The enchantment o'er a scene so awful thrown:-
Through broken flying clouds the moon now shone,
And light and shade cross’d mountain-top and vale ;
While with imparted motion, not their own,
The heavens and earth to fancy seem'd to sail
Through boundless space like her creation bright but frail.
Ere long the clouds were gone, the moon was set;
When deeply blue without a shade of gray,
The sky was fill'd with stars that almost met,
Their points prolong’d and sharpen'd to one ray;
Through their transparent air the milky-way
Seem'd one broad flame of pure resplendent white,
As if some globe on fire, turn’d far astray,
Had cross'd the wide arch with so swift a flight,
That for a moment shone its whole long track of light.
At length in northern skies, at first but small, A sheet of light meteorous begun To spread on either hand, and rise and fall In waves, that slowly first, then quickly run Along its edge, set thick but one by one With spiry beams, that all at once shot high, Like those through vapors from the setting sun; Then sidelong as before the wind they fly, Like streaking rain from clouds that flit along the sky.
Now all the mountain-tops and gulfs between Seem'd one dark plain; from forests, caves profound, And rushing waters far below unseen, Rose a deep roar in one united sound, Alike pervading all the air around, And seeming e'en the azure dome to fill, And from it through soft ether to resound In low vibrations, sending a sweet thrill To every finger's end from rapture deep and still.
Spent with emotion, and to rest resign’d,
A sudden sleep fell on me, and subdued
With visions bright and dread my restless mind ;-
Methought that in a realm of solitude,
All indistinctly like the one just view'd,
With guilt oppress'd and with foreboding gloom,
My lonely way bewilder'd I pursued,
Mid signs of terror that the day of doom,
And lovely nature's last dissolving hour had come.
The sun and moon in depths of ether sunk
Till half extinct, shed their opposing light
In dismal union, at which all things shrunk ;-
Anon they both, like meteors streaming bright,
Ran down the sky and vanished--all was night;
With that a groan as from earth's centre rose,
While o'er its surface ran, o'er vale and height,
A waving as of woods when wild wind blows,
A heaving as of life in its expiring throes.
Far in the broad horizon dimly shone
A flood of fire, advancing with a roar,
Like that of ocean when the waves are thrown
In nightly storms high on a rocky shore ;-
Spreading each way it came, and sweeping o'er
Woodlands like stubble, forests wide and tall
In thick ranks falling, blooning groves before
Its fury vanishing too soon to fall,
And mountains melting down-one deluge covering all,
Before it, striking quick from cloud to cloud,
Stream'd its unearthly light along the sky,
Flashing from all the swift wings of a crowd
Of frighted birds at random soaring high,
And from the faces of lost men that fly
In throngs beneath, as back they snatch'd a look
Of horror at the billows rolling nigh,
With thundering sound at which all nature shook,
And e'en the strength of hope their sinking hearts forsook.
No more I saw, for while I thought to flee,
What seem'd the swoon of terror held me fast,
My senses drowned, and set my fancy free,
Waked not, but back to sleep unconscious cast
My troubled spirit; one dark moment pass’d,
And, all revived again, my dream went on;
But in that interval what changes vast!
The earth and its lost multitudes were gone;
A new creation bless'd eternity's bright dawn.
Myself I found borne to a heavenly clime
I knew not how, but felt a stranger there;
Still the same being that I was in time,
E’en to my raiment ; on the borders fair
Of that blest land I stood in lone despair ;
Not its pure beauty and immortal bloom,