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Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men, And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen, And mingle among the jostling crowd,
Where the sons of strife are subtle and loud
I often come to this quiet place,
To breathe the airs that ruffle thy face,
And gaze upon thee in silent dream;
For in thy lonely and lovely stream,
An image of that calm life appears
That won my heart in my greener years.
THE YELLOW VIOLET.
WHEN beechen buds begin to swell,
And woods the blue bird's warble know,
The yellow violet's modest bell
Peeps from the last year's leaves below.
Ere russet fields their green resume,
Of all her train, the hands of Spring
Thy parent sun, who bade thee view
Pale skies, and chilling moisture sip, Has bathed thee in his own bright hue,
And streak'd with jet thy glowing lip.
Yet slight thy form, and low thy seat,
When loftier flowers are flaunting nigh.
Oft, in the sunless April day,
Thy early smile has stayed my walk, But, 'midst the gorgeous blooms of May, I passed thee on thy humble stalk.
So they, who climb to wealth, forget
I copied them-but I regret
That I should ape the ways of pride.
And when again the genial hour
That made the woods of April bright.
THE island lies nine leagues away.
Along its solitary shore,
Of craggy rock and sandy bay,
No sound but ocean's roar,
Save, where the bold, wild sea-bird makes her home
But when the light winds lie at rest,
And on the glassy, heaving sea,
The black duck, with her glossy breast,
Sits swinging silently;
How beautiful! no ripples break the reach,
And inland rests the green, warm dell;
Rings cheerful, far and wide,
Mingling its sounds with bleatings of the flocks,
That feed about the vale amongst the rocks.
Nor holy bell, nor pastoral bleat
In former days within the vale;
Flapp'd in the bay the pirate's sheet;
Rich goods lay on the sand, and murder'd men;
Pirate and wrecker kept their revels then.
But calm, low voices, words of grace,
A quiet look is in each face,
Subdued and holy fear:
Each motion 's gentle: all is kindly doneCome, listen, how from crime this isle was won.
Twelve years are gone since Matthew Lee
A dark, low, brawny man was he
His law-" It is my way."
Beneath his thickset brows a sharp light broke
From small gray eyes; his laugh a triumph spoke.
Cruel of heart, and strong of arm,
Fierce both in mirth and toil;
Yet like a dog could fawn, if need there were;
Amidst the uproar of the storm,
And by the lightning's sharp, red glare,
Were seen Lee's face and sturdy form;
His axe glanced quick in air.
Whose corpse at morn is floating in the sedge?
There's blood and hair, Matt, on thy axe's edge."
“Nay, ask him yonder; let him tell,
I make the brute, not man, my mark.
Who walks these cliffs, needs heed him well!
Last night was fearful dark.
Think ye the lashing waves will spare or feel!
An ugly gash !—these rocks-they cut like steel."
He wiped his axe; and turning round,
Said with a cold and harden'd smile,
"The hemp is saved-the man is drown'd,
Wilt let him float awhile,
Or give him christian burial on the strand?
Lee's waste was greater than his gain.
Things sweeter robb'd than bought,
But, yet, to circumvent them at their arts !"