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The gentlest dews drop on thy eddying rills,
By the mossèd bank, and by the aged tree,
The silver streamlet smoothest glides to thee,
The young oak greets thee at the waters' edge,
Wet by the wave, though anchor'd in the ledge.
-"T is there the otter dives, the beaver feeds,
Where pensive osiers dip their willowy weeds,
And there the wild-cat purs amid her brood,
And trains them, in the sylvan solitude,
To watch the squirrel's leap, or mark the mink
Paddling the water by thy quiet brink ;-
Or to out-gaze the grey owl in the dark,
Or hear the young fox practising to bark.
Dark as the frost-nipp'd leaves that strow'd the ground,
The Indian hunter here his shelter found;
Here cut his bow and shaped his arrows true,
Here built his wigwam and his bark canoe,
Spear'd the quick salmon leaping up the fall,
And slew the deer without the rifle ball.
Here his young squaw her cradling tree would choose,
Singing her chant to hush her swart pappoose,
Here stain her quills and string her trinkets rude,
And weave her warrior's wampum in the wood.
No more shall they thy welcome waters bless, No more their forms thy moonlit banks shall press, No more be heard, from mountain or from grove, His whoop of slaughter, or her song of love.
Thou didst not shake, thou didst not shrink, when 'late
The mountain-top shut down its ponderous gate,
Tumbling its tree-grown ruins to thy side,
An avalanche of acres at a slide.
Nor dost thou stay, when winter's coldest breath
Howls through the woods and sweeps along the heath-
One mighty sigh relieves thy icy breast,
And wakes thee from the calmness of thy rest.
Down sweeps the torrent ice-it may not stay
By rock or bridge, in narrow or in bay-
Swift, swifter to the heaving sea it goes
And leaves thee dimpling in thy sweet repose.
-Yet as the unharm'd swallow skims his way,
And lightly drops his pinions in thy spray,
So the swift sail shall seek thy inland seas,
And swell and whiten in thy purer breeze,
New paddles dip thy waters, and strange oars ·
Feather thy waves and touch thy noble shores.
Thy noble shores! where the tall steeple shines, At midday, higher than thy mountain pines, Where the white schoolhouse with its daily drill Of sunburnt children, smiles upon the hill, Where the neat village grows upon the eye, Deck’d forth in nature's sweet simplicityWhere hard-won competence, the farmer's wealth, Gains merit honor, and gives labor health, Where Goldsmith's self might send his exiled band To find a new Sweet Auburn' in our land.
What art can execute or taste devise,
Decks thy fair course and gladdens in thine eyes-
As broader sweep the bendings of thy stream,
To meet the southern sun's more constant beam.
Here cities rise, and sea-wash'd commerce hails
Thy shores and winds, with all her flapping sails,
From tropic isles, or from the torrid main-
Where grows the grape, or sprouts the sugar-cane
Or from the haunts, where the striped haddock play,
By each cold northern bank and frozen bay.
Here safe return'd from every stormy sea,
Waves the striped flag, the mantle of the free,
- That star-lit flag, by all the breezes curl'd
Of yon vast deep whose waters grasp the world.
In what Arcadian, what Utopian ground
Are warmer hearts or manlier feelings found,
More hospitable welcome, or more zeal
To make the curious “tarrying stranger feel
That, next to home, here best may he abide,
To rest and cheer him by the chimney-side;
Drink the hale farmer's cider, as he hears
From the grey dame the tales of others years.
Cracking his shagbarks, as the aged crone,
Mixing the true and doubtful into one,
Tells how the Indian scalp'd the helpless child
And bore its shrieking mother to the wild,
Butcher'd the father hastening to his home,
Seeking his cottage-finding but his tomb.
How drums and flags and troops were seen on high,
Wheeling and charging in the northern sky,
And that she knew what these wild tokens meant,
When to the Old French War her husband went.
How, by the thunder-blasted tree, was hid
The golden spoils of far famed Robert Kid;
And then the chubby grandchild wants to know
About the ghosts and witches long ago,
That haunted the old swamp.
The clock strikes ten-
The prayer is said, nor unforgotten then
The stranger in their gates. A decent rule
Of Elders in thy puritanic school.
When the fresh morning wakes him from his dream,
And daylight smiles on rock, and slope, and stream,
Are there not glossy curls and sunny eyes,
As brightly lit and bluer than thy skies,
Voices as gentle as an echoed call
And sweeter than the soften'd waterfall
That smiles and dimples in its whispering spray,
Leaping in sportive innocence away:-
And lovely forms, as graceful and as gay
As wild-brier, budding in an April day
-How like the leaves—the fragrant leaves it bears,
Their simple purposes and simple cares.
Stream of my sleeping fathers! when the sound
Of coming war echoed thy hills around,
How did thy sons start forth from every glade,
Snatching the musket where they left the spade.
How did their mothers urge them to the fight,
Their sisters tell them to defend the right,-
How bravely did they stand, how nobly fall,
The earth their coffin and the turf their pall
How did the aged pastor light his eye,
When, to his flock, he read the purpose high
And stern resolve, whate’er the toil may be,
To pledge life, name, fame, all—for Liberty.
Cold is the hand that penn'd that glorious page-
Still in the grave the body of that sage
Whose lip of eloquence and heart of zeal,
Made Patriots act and listening statesmen feel-
Brought thy Green Mountains down upon their foes,
And thy white summits melted of their snows,
While every vale to which his voice could come,
Rang with the fife and echoed to the drum.
Bold River! better suited are thy waves
To nurse the laurels clustering round their graves,
Than many a distant stream, that soaks the mud
Where thy brave sons have shed their gallant blood,
And felt, beyond all other mortal pain,
They ne'er should see their happy home again.
Thou had'st a poet once,--and he could tell,
Most tunefully, whate'er to thee befell,
Could fill each pastoral reed upon thy shore
-But we shall hear his classic lays no more!
He loved thee, but he took his aged way,
By Erie's shore, and Perry's glorious day,
To where Detroit looks out amidst the wood,
Remote beside the dreary solitude.
Yet for his brow thy ivy leaf shall spread,
Thy freshest myrtle lift its berried head,
And our gnarl'á Charter-oak put forth a bough,
Whose leaves shall grace thy Trumbull's honor'd brow.
“The dead leaves strow the forest walk,
And wither'd are the pale wild-flowers ;
The frost hangs blackening on the stalk,
The dew-drops fall in frozen showers.
Gone are the springs green sprouting bowers
Gone summer's rich and mantling vines,
And Autumn, with her yellow hours,
On hill and plain no longer shines.
I learn'd a clear and wild-toned note,
That rose and swell’d from yonder tree-
A gay bird, with too sweet a throat,
There perch'd and raised her song for me.
The winter comes, and where is she?
Away -where summer wings will rove,
Where buds are fresh, and every tree
Is vocal with the notes of love.
Too mild the breath of southern sky,
Too fresh the flower that blushes there,
The northern breeze that rustles by,
Finds leaves too green, and buds too fair;
No forest-tree stands stript and bare,
No stream beneath the ice is dead,
No mountain-top with sleety hair
Bends o'er the snows its reverend head.
Go there with all the birds,—and seek
A happier clime, with livelier flight,
Kiss, with the sun, the evening's cheek,
And leave me lonely with the night.
I'll gaze upon the cold north light,
And mark where all its glories shone-
See !-that it all is fair and bright,
Feel that it all is cold and gone."
Was born in Philadelphia. He was liberally educated, but did not pursue any regular profession, and though he wrote much, it was to him little more than an amusement. His writings are in general hasty and careless, but show considerable talent for light literature. In 1819, he published a satirical work called The Hermit in Philadelphia; this was well received, and soon came to a second edition. Shortly after appeared The American Bards, a poem in imitation of Lord Byron's satire. In 1820, was published Sisyphi Opus, or Touches at the Times, with other poems. This was followed by a second series of the Hermit in Philadelphia, which succeeded as well as the first. Mr Waln after this, made a voyage to Canton as a supercargo, and on his return, he projected a History of China; this work he published in quarto numberg. After the publication of the third volume of the Biography of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Mr Waln undertook to conduct the work, and wrote several of the lives. In 1824, he published a life of La Fayette, in one volume octavo. Besides these performances, he wrote much for the periodicals, among other things a series of papers in the American Monthly Magazine, entitled A Voyage on Wings. He was also the author of a pamphlet, giving an account of the Quaker Hospital at Frankford, near Philadelphia. He died in 1824, at the age of thirtyone,
The bright tear of beauty, in sadness, is stealing,
The gems of the east are less sparkling than these ;Her cheek is all flush'd with the anguish of feeling,
Her white bosom carelessly bared to the breeze.
'T is the bride of the Soldier,—and Fancy had flourish'd
In day dreams that circle the phantom of Love,