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List to the Ocean's melancholy tone,
Like a lone mourner's on the night-winds borne ;
To see the infant wave on yon blue verge,
Like a young eagle, breast the sinking sun,
And twilight dying on the crimson surge,
Till, down the deep dark zenith, one by one,
The lights of heaven were streaming;-or to weep,
The lost, the beautiful, that calmly rest
Beneath the eternal wave-then sink to sleep,
Hush'd by the beating of the Ocean's breast.
Oh it were joy to wander wild and free
Where southern billows in the sunlight flash,
Or Night sits brooding o'er the northern sea,
And all is still, save the o'erwhelming dash
Of that dark world of waters;-there to view
The meteor hanging from its cloud on high,
Or see the northern fires, with blood-red hue,
Shake their wild tresses o'er the startled sky!
'Tis sweet, 't is sweet to gaze upon the deep,
And muse upon its mysteries.-There it roll'd,
Ere yet that glorious sun had learn'd to sweep
The blue profound, and bathe the heavens in gold;-
The morning stars, as up the skies they came,
Heard their first music o'er the ocean rung,
And saw the first flash of their new-born flame
Back from its depths in softer brightness flung!
And there it rolls!-Age after age has swept
Down, down the eternal cataract of Time,
Men after men on earth's cold bosom slept,
Still there it rolls, unfading and sublime!
As bright those waves their sunny sparkles fling,
As sweetly now the bending heaven they kiss,
As when the Holy Spirit's boding wing
Moved o'er the waters of the vast abyss!
There, there it rolls.-I've seen the clouds unfurl
Their raven banner from the stormy west-
I've seen the wrathful Tempest Spirit hurl
His blue fork'd lightnings at the Ocean's breast;
The storm-cloud pass'd-the sinking wave was hush'd-
Those budding isles were glittering fresh and fair-
Serenely bright the peaceful waters blush'd,
And heaven seem'd painting its own beauties there!
Ocean farewell!--Upon thy mighty shore,
I loved in childhood's fairy hours to dwell!-
But I am wasting-life will soon be o'er,
And I shall cease to gaze on thee-farewell!—
Thou still wilt glow as fair as now-the sky
Still arch as proudly o'er thee-Evening steal
Along thy bosom with as soft a dye-
All be as now-but I shall cease to feel.
The evening mists are on their silent way,
And thou art fading;-faint thy colors blend
With the last tinges of the dying day,
And deeper shadows up the skies ascend;-
Farewell! farewell!-the night is coming fast-
In deeper tones thy wild notes seem to swell
Upon the cold wings of the rising blast-
I go-I go-dear Ocean, fare thee well!
I THINK of thee, when morning springs
From sleep with plumage bathed in dew,
And, like a young bird, lifts her wings
Of gladness on the welkin blue.
And when, at noon, the breath of love,
O'er flower and stream is wandering free, And sent in music from the grove,
I think of thee-I think of thee.
I think of thee, when soft and wide
The evening spreads her robes of light,
And, like a young and timid bride,
Sits blushing in the arms of Night.
And when the moon's sweet crescent springs
In light o'er heaven's deep, waveless sea,
And stars are forth, like blessed things,
I think of thee-I think of thee.
I think of thee;-that eye of flame,
Those tresses falling bright and free,
That brow where "Beauty writes her name,"
On fancy rush ;-I think of thee.
CHARLES WEST THOMSON,
Or Philadelphia. The pieces which follow are from the Atlantic Souvenir.
YE birds that fly through the fields of air,
What lessons of wisdom and truth ye bear!
Ye would teach our souls from earth to rise,
Ye would bid us its grovelling scenes despise-
Ye would tell us that all its pursuits are vain,
That pleasure is toil-ambition is pain-
That its bliss is touch'd with a poisoning leaven-
Ye would teach us to fix our aim on heaven.
Beautiful birds of the azure wing,
Bright creatures that come with the "voice of Spring,"
We see you array'd in the hues of the morn,
Yet ye dream not of pride, and ye wist not of scorn.
Though rainbow splendor around you glows,
Ye vaunt not the beauty which nature bestows
Oh! what a lesson for glory are ye-
How ye preach of the grace of humility!
Swift birds that skim o'er the stormy deep,
Who steadily onward your journey keep,
Who neither for rest nor slumber stay,
But press still forward by night and day-
And in your unwearying course yet fly
Beneath the clear and the clouded sky,
O! may we, without delay, like you,
The path of duty and right pursue.
Sweet birds that breathe the spirit of song,
And surround heaven's gate in melodious throng,
Who rise with the earliest beams of day,
Your morning tribute of thanks to pay-
You remind us that we alike should raise
The voice of devotion and song of praise.
There's something about you that points on high,
Ye beautiful tenants of earth and sky!
He sat upon the wave-wash'd shore,
With madness in his eye;
The surge's dash-the breaker's roar,
Pass'd unregarded by-
He noted not the billows' roll,
He heeded not their strife,-
For terror had usurp'd his soul,
And stopp'd the streams of life.
They spoke him kindly-but he gazed,
And offer'd no reply-
They gave him food-he look'd amazed,
And threw the morsel by.
He was as one o'er whom a spell
Of darkness hath been cast;
His spirit seem'd alone to dwell
With dangers that were past.
The city of his home and heart,
So grand-so gaily bright,
Now, touch'd by Fate's unerring dart,
Had vanish'd from his sight.
The earthquake's paralyzing shake
Had rent it from its hold-
And nothing but a putrid lake
Its tale of terror told.
His kindred there, a numerous band,
Had watch'd his youthful bloom-
In the broad ruin of the land,
All-all had met their doom!
*See Kircher's description of the earthquake in Calabria in 1638,
But the last night, a mother's voice
Breathed over him in prayer-
She perish'd--he was left no choice
But mute and blank despair.
He sat alone, of all the crowd
That lately throng'd around→→
The ocean winds were piping loud,
He did not heed their sound;
They ask'd him of that city's fate,
But reason's reign was o'er-
He pointed to her ruin'd state,
Then fled-and spoke no more.
Or Alexandria, in Louisiana, a native we believe of Salem, Massachusetts, wrote "The Hunter, and other Poems," published in 1826.
THERE is a vale far in the West,
And silence hovers o'er its breast;
The track of man is seldom seen
Upon its yet unsullied green.
The wild deer fearless roves along;
The red bird pours his mellow song;
And the gay mock bird from on high
Repeats, in playful mimicry,
The varied notes, which all around,
From twice ten thousand songsters rise:
When, waked at morn, its groves resound
Their matin chorus to the skies,
Its echoes never learn'd to know
The cheering voice of chanticleer,
Or sturdy axeman's measured blow,