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And blue at noon my native sky;
But nought is fair and blue like thee,
Thou lovely pyramid of light!
Thou graceful daughter of the snows
Thy sire the sun is ne'er so bright,
As when his beams on thee repose."
From rock to rock the ice to dash,
That totter'd on its base, I sprung;
Now tumbling with a fearful crash,
To every peak it lends a tongue ;
'Tis dash'd to dust; the frozen spray
Sweeps onward o'er the precipice,
Resplendent in the eye of day,
A sparkling cataract of ice.
And where it stood there open'd wide
A chasm of azure, dark and deep;
'Tis there the mountain spirits glide,
To where their court the fairies keep.
I did not fear, but ventured too
Along the glittering icy walls,
Full many a fathom downwards flew,
And came to Nature's inmost halls.
A Paradise of light I found,
Where Nature builds of vilest earth
Her crystal home, and under ground
Brings all that's beautiful to birth.
And o'er her ever youthful face
Wisdom hath spread a light serene;
While round her throne the fairy race
Are floating in unearthly sheen.
Some hearken'd to their mistress' call;
Some sported 'mid the heaps of snow;
Some glided with the waterfall;
Some sat above its glittering bow,
Seeming o'er Nature's works to muse;
And some their little limbs array'd;
These dew-drops for their mirror use;
Of light and air their robes are made.
And others bent with serious look
To prove the new made crystals' light;
While earth's dark substance others took,
And changed the mass to diamonds bright.
But as I gain’d the fairy ground,
They ceased awhile from toil and sport,
And the young stranger gathering round,
Cried—“Welcome, youth, to Nature's court."
A fairy then with accents bland
Gently, as fairies wont to do,
Came near and said, “This wondrous land
Of airy sprites I 'll lead thee through."
Guided by her I dared to gaze
Where Nature's servants restless toil
The rocks of sand and chalk to raise,
The granite's tall unyielding pile.
And oft a narrow space they leave,
Where vitriol's azure drops to pour,
Or thinnest threads of silver weave
In baser metals' glittering ore.
And when they mingle air and light
With iron black or sluggish lead,
Eye hath not seen so fair a sight,
Such brilliant hues, green, white, and red.
I saw the home of every wind;
And where the ocean's base is laid;
And where the earthquake sleeps confined,
Till Destiny demands its aid;
And where from magazines of snow
The mighty rivers foaming well;
And more than mortals e'er can know,
And more than fairy's tongue can tell.
Long did I stand enraptured there,
Nor ceased to gaze in full delight,
Mother of beauty, thou art fair!
O Nature, lovely is thy might.
For ever would I dwell with thee!
For ever to thy train belong.
Then she that led me, smiled to see
My admiration deep and strong,
And thus in kindest mood began;
“O! wouldst thou Nature's love return,
Remember that thou once wast man,
Young elf; to heal man's sorrows learn;
Spread calmness round the couch of pain;
Comfort the mourning ; soothe disease ;
Support the wavering ; and sustain
The form that shrinks at winter's breeze;
A guardian power, o'er virtue bend;
Shed round the young sweet influence;
To the lone wanderer vigor lend ;
And anxious watch o'er innocence;
From pleasure's wiles preserve the fair ;
Then shall the Virgin love thee well,
And haply trust to thee the care
Of vales, where peace and virtue dwell.
And now thou 'rt one of us ; canst roam
In fire, earth, air, o'er ocean's wave;
Canst fly to bless thy ancient home,
From age and pain thy parents save;
And rest awhile delighted where
Thy youthful sisters harmless play,
Nor deem their brother hovering near,
To drive each guilty thought away.
For know, we bless the infant's head;
We guard the fair ; the good we shield;
We teach the young, to virtue bred,
Her arms victoriously to wield;
We paint with light the opening flowers;
Of every herb we know the name;
The sea is ours; the earth is ours;
We rule the air; we rule the flame.”
The social fairy ceased to speak.
There's many a joy, that mortals know;
But oft when pleasure's flower they seek,
The leaves conceal the worm of wo;
'Tis sweet to watch the kindling eye
Of parents, kin, or friends, or wife;
But sweeter 't is in air to fly,
And happiest is the fairy's life,
JOHN RUDOLPH SUTERMEISTER
Was born in the island of Curaçao in the West Indies. He was of a Swiss family. At the age of eight years, he came to New York, and after a short stay in that city, removed with his father's family to Rhinebeck, in Dutchess county, where he was placed under the care of the Rev. Dr Quitman of the Lutheran church, and began his studies. His father returned with the rest of his family to the West Indies, and he was sent to the seminary at Cooperstown, the birth place of the celebrated American novelist. Here he continued two or three years, and subsequently pursued his studies alternately at Rhinebeck and Hartwick Academy in Otsego county. Upon the return of his father with his family to Rhinebeck, he began the study of law in that village. In the spring of 1824, he was admitted to the bar, and visited New York, where he wrote the poem for the celebration of the birth of Linnæus. He had before written many poetical articles for various newspapers in New York. In June 1824, he began a tour of the western part of the state, with the intent to select a place for the exercise of his profession. He fixed upon Syracuse, in Onondaga county and there entered upon the practice of the law, but did not meet with a success consonant to his wishes. He undertook the editorial management of the Syracuse Gazette for a brief period, but in July 1825, he left that place for New York, where his friends procured him a suitable and lucrative situation, and a flattering prospect opened upon him, but this was speedily closed by his death. He died of the small-pox, January 16th, 1826, at the age of 23.
His writings are all of a pensive, and even melancholy cast, they are nevertheless, such as will be appreciated by every feeling heart. It was not affected misanthropy, but the peculiar circumstances and the loneliness in which his early youth was passed, that imparted this tincture of sadness to his thoughts. He was in a strange land without a relative near him, and of a retiring disposition, which kept him from
cultivating the intimacy of many associates. He seemed to have some prophetic vision, which gave token of his early and melancholy death. This appears to have been constantly present to his mind, by the frequent allusion made to it in his poems.
The morning sun !-the morning sun!-
How o'er the earth his lustres move ;-
When his first glance he throws upon
The bright, the glowing heaven above !-
The birds seek now each verdant spray-
Now glide, on light and joyous wing,
To pour on air their roundelay
To wake on high their carolling !
The morning sun—the morning sun!
Joy wakes to view his glories spread,
When night hath chased the clouds of dun
Whose gloomy folds waved overhead :--
When Nature wakes from soft repose-
While sports young May in earth's green bowers,
Joy wakes to breathe the fragrant rose-
The woodbine's rich and matchless flowers :-
To dash, with foot-fall light, away
From the green sward, the dews of heaven ;-
To list the wild bird's varied lay
While on the breeze their plumes are given :-
How blest is joy's o'erflowing heart,
To bask beneath the golden dawn :-
To view the sun his light impart
To the bright flowers and dewy lawn!