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Its firmament serene and balmy air,
Nor all its glorious beings, broke the gloom Of my foreboding thoughts, fix'd on some dreadful doom.
There walk'd the ransom'd ones of earth in white,
As beautifully pure as new-fallen snow,
On the smooth summit of some eastern height,
In the first rays of morn that o'er it flow,
Nor less resplendent than the richest glow
Of snow-white clouds, with all their stores of rain
And thunder spent, roll’d up in volumes slow
O’er the blue sky just cleard from every stain,
Till all the blaze of noon they drink and long retain.
Safe landed on these shores, together hence That bright throng took their way to where insphered In a transparent cloud of light intense, With starry pinnacles above it reared, A city vast, the inland all appear’d, With walls of azure, green and purple stone, All to one glassy surface smooth'd and cleard, Reflecting forms of angel guards that shone Above the approaching host as each were on a throne.
And while that host moved onward o'er a plain
Of living verdure, oft they turn’d to greet
Friends that on earth had taught them heaven to gain ;
Then hand in hand they went with quicken'd feet;
And bright with immortality, and sweet
With love ethereal, were the smiles they cast;
I only wander'd on with none to meet
And call me dear, while pointing to the past,
And forward to the joys that never reach their last.
I had not bound myself by any ties
To that bless'd land; none saw me and none sought;
Nor any shunn'd, or from me turn'd their eyes;
And yet such sense of guilt and conscience wrought,
It seem'd that every bosom’s inmost thought
Was fix'd on me; when back as from their view
I shrunk, and would have fled or shrunk to nought,
As some I loved and many that I knew
Pass’d on unmindful why or whither I withdrew
Whereat of sad remembrances a flood Rush'd o'er my spirit, and my heart beat low As with the heavy gush of curdling blood :Soon left behind, awhile I follow'd slow, Then stopp'd and round me look’d, my fate to know, But look'd in vain ;-no voice my doom to tell ;No arm to hurl me down the depths of wo;It seem'd that I was brought to heaven to dwell That conscience might alone do all the work of hell.
Now came the thought, the bitter thought of years
Wasted in musings sad and fancies wild,
And in the visionary hopes and fears
Of the false feeling of a heart beguiled
By nature's strange enchantment, strong and wild ;
Now with celestial beauty blooming round,
I stood as on some naked waste exiled;
From gathering hosts came music's swelling sound, But deeper in despair my sinking spirits drown'd.
At length methought a darkness as of death
Came slowly o’er me, and with that I woke;
Yet knew not in the first suspended breath
Where I could be, so real seem'd the stroke,
That in my dream all earthly ties had broke ;
A moment more, and melting in a tide
Of grateful fervor, how did I invoke
Power from the Highest to leave all beside,
And live but to secure the bliss my dream denied.
The day soon dawn'd, and I could not but view
Its purple tinge in heaven, and then its beams
Revealing all around me, as they flew
From peak to peak, and striking in soft gleams
On the white mists that hung o'er winding streams
Through trackless forests, and o'er clustering lakes
In valleys wide, where many a green height seems
An isle above the cloud that round it breaks,
As with the breeze it moves and its deep bed forsakes.
WROTE Escalala, an American Tale, published at Utica, New York, in 1824.
The war-whoop's boding sound
Rose fearfully and shrill :
By echo's thousand voices, round,
Wide wafted over dale and hill,
It volley'd through the distant plain,
That peal'd its thunders back again.
The wolf aroused him from his den,
Far northward, in the wildest glen
On Simcoe's dreary shore;
And, high o'er Alleghany's peak,
The vulture heard, and trimm'd his beak
To feast on human gore.
The runners, by their Chief's command,
The war-club, tinged with fearful red,
Rear'd high in air, a signal dread,
And waved it through the land.
It glanced amid the pathless wood
That shadow'd Susquehannah's flood;
And down Ontario's wilds, afar,
Told proudly of the coming war:
On dark Missouri's turbid stream
The countless tribes beheld it glearn,
And blithely, for the field array'd,
Obedience to its summons paid.
By its own gailant chieftains led on to the fight,
Each tribe musters proudly its numbers and might,
And—like mountain streams rushing to mingle their foam
In the dell's troubled bosom-all darkly they come ;
The line is forming, broad and bright,
Like meteors on the brow of night,
As to the wind their light folds stream,
Standards and bannars o'er it gleam;
And plumes and shields and helmets, glancing
From mail-clad chiefs in hurried motion,
Rise, sink and glow, like bubbles dancing
Upon the storm-vex'd face of ocean.
In front, and facing to the fosse,
O’er which the coming foe must cross-
Their left arms bare, and round the waist
Their quivers, stored with arrows, braced,
Ready of eye and firm of hand,
The light and active archers stand;
Each with his bow of ample length,
Well proved for vigor and for strength,
And cloth-yard shafts—that to the heart
May pierce, when from the string they part.
Supporting these—with rearward sweep,
In darkening columns, broad and deep-
Fast to their posts wheel silently
The close-rank'd veteran infantry,
The sinews of the host-who bear
The tug and burden of the war,
When man to man his might opposes
In long and fierce and doubtful strife,
And one or both must part with life
Before the awful contest closes.
Upon the wings form, prompt and free,
The light and heavy cavalry;
And the snort and the neigh of each bounding steed,
As his rider is curbing his headlong speed,
And the foam on the bit which he angrily champs,
And the short, hollow moan of the ground, as he stamps
And spurns it impatiently—tell to the eye
And the ear, he is conscious the battle is nigh;
And pants for the moment when, loose from the rein,
He shall rush on the flying and trample the slain.
Far down Ohio's vale, the pilgrim sees
The rank grass floating, in the grateful breeze,
Above the hallow'd mould, where sleep the brave
Of ages past, in the neglected grave;
And of the peasant, as his labors turn
The whitening bones above their earthly urn,
Pauses a moment, o'er his reckless share,
To wonder whose sad relics moulder there:
Yet, nor the peasant nor the pilgrim knows
The record of their fame, the story of their woes.
But viewless spirits linger round the scene
Where valor, worth and glory erst have been ;
Bidding each gale, as far its sweets are shed,
Sigh nature's requiem o'er the nighty dead:
While their high harps, responsive, wake again
The echoes of the sadly-pleasing strain,
To prompt from pity's eye the willing tear
And tell their wondrous tale in Fancy's ear.
Soothed by the sound, the native minstrel caught
A portion of the lay their numbers taught,
And from his rustic lyre, by Freedom strung
Its plaintive wild-notes fearlessly he flung.
Rude is the theme he chose, and small the praise
He claims, to recompense his artless lays:
Content, if Genius, from her boundless mines,
Hath lent one gem, to deck the wreath he twines ;
Or taste shall find one native flowret there,
Which claims her plaudits and his country's care.
To thee, my country! and to thine, belong
The fame, the labors of thy
sons of song: Be thine, henceforth, the pleasing task, to give The boon which bids that fame, those labors live; Nor deem, of course, the chaplet little worth, Whose wreaths are twined from flowers of native growth. Proud of their freedom, let thy children be In taste and science, as in spirit, free; So shall thy daring minstrels soon aspire With bolder sweep to wake the slumbering lyre; Till, o'er the broad Atlantic echoing round, Admiring Europe hail the heavenly sound, And, roused to rapture by its magic charms, Confess thy bards as matchless as thy arms.
Is the son of Dr. Peter Bryant of Cummington, Massachusetts, and was born in that place on the third of November, 1794. . At ten years, he felt an inclination for poetry, and wrote various pieces in verse, one of which was published in the Hampshire Gazette, at Northampton. In 1810, he entered Williams College, where he studied a year or two, and ob