صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Strong was their love ; and strong the Power
Whose red right arm, in danger's hour,
Was bared on high their path to show,
Through changeful scenes of weal and wo;
By signs and wonders, as of old,

When Israel journeyed through the waste,
Was its mysterious guidance told;
Though lightnings flashed, and thunders rolled,

The sunbeam glorious smiled at last.' The passage is too long for us to venture upon extracting the whole of it; but the succeeding part of it is scarcely inferior in force to the part selected.

The intenseness of interest, with which Ahauton watches the countenance of Nora, as she is recovering her lost senses, after her child had been torn from her by a party of Philip's, is finely illustrated. p. 82.

· He bore the waking lady up
And lingered last of all the group;
Nor e'er at superstition's shrine,
Did votary mark the fire divine,
When wavering in its golden vase,

With feeling more intense,
Than o'er her wan and death-like face,-
Like morning blushing o'er the snow,-
The warrior watched the beaming glow

Of lost intelligence.' The Fourth Canto is chiefly occupied with a vivid picture of Indian superstition. We believe it to be substantially faithful; and the management of this part of the poem furnishes one of its strongest claims to general admiration. Although it is not to be denied, that the invocation is extended to a length rather incompatible with the continuance of interest, which it is generally possible to sustain in passages of the same sublimity of character, yet the variations of measure, in which great skill is displayed, tend considerably to relieve it. We cannot allow ourselves more than a very short extract from this part; quite insufficient to display the general strength of the passage. pp. 143—147.

6" Spirit! Thou Spirit of subtlest air,

Whose power is upon the brain,
When wonderous shapes, and dread and fair,
As the film from the eyes at thy bidding flies,
To sight and sense are plain!

“ Thy whisper creeps where leaves are stirred;

Thou sighest in woodland gale;

Where waters are gushing thy voice is heard ;
And when stars are bright, at still midnight,
Thy symphonies prevail !

“ Where the forest ocean, in quick commotion,

Is waving to and fro,
Thy form is seen, in the masses green,

Dimly to come and go.
From thy covert peeping, where thou layest sleeping,

Beside the brawling brook,
Thou art seen to wake, and thy fight to take
Fleet from thy lonely nook.

Where the moonbeam has kist the sparkling de,
In thy mantle of mist thou art seen to glide.
Far o'er the blue waters melting away,
On the distant billow, as on a pillow,
Thy form to lay.

“Where the small clouds of even are wreathing in heaven

Their garland of roses
O'er the purple and gold, whose hangings enfold

The hall that encloses
The couch of the sun, whose empire is done,

There thou art smiling,
For thy sway is begun,-thy shadowy sway,

The senses beguiling,

When the light fades away;
And thy vapour of mystery o'er nature ascending,

The heaven and the earth,

The things that have birth,
And the embryos that float in the future, is blending.

“From the land on whose shores the billows break,
The sounding waves of the mighty lake;
From the land where boundless meadows be,
Where the buffalo ranges wild and free;
With silvery coat in his little isle,
Where the beaver plies his ceaseless toil ;
The land where pigmy forms abide,
Thou leadest thy train at the even tide;
And the wings of the wind are left behind,
So swift through the pathless air they glide.

Then to the chief who has fasted long,

When the chains of his slumber are heavy and strong,
Vol. II.


Roar on ye

Spirit! thou comest; he lies as dead,
His weary lids are with heaviness weighed;
But his soul is abroad on the hurricane's pinion,

Where foes are met in the rush of fight.
In the shadowy world of thy dominion
Conquering and slaying, till morning light!

Then shall the hunter who waits for thee,
The land of the game rejoicing see;
Through the leafless wood, o'er the frozen flood,
And the trackless snows his spirit goes,

Along the sheeted plain,
Where the hermit bear, in his sullen lair,
Keeps his long fast, till the winter bath past,

And the boughs have budded ag
Spirit OF DREAMS ! all thy visions are true,

Who the shadow hath seen, he the substance shall view.' The apostrophe of Yamoydeu in the Fifth Canto is eloquent. p. 189.

winds !


voice must be
Sweet as the bridal chant to me.
Widowed in love, with hate I wed,
Espoused within her gory bed.
The storm of beaven will soon be past,
And all be bright and calm at last;
But man in cruelty and wrong
The tempest's fury will prolong,
And pause not in his fell career
Save o'er my brethren’s general bier.
Then come my foes ! your work is done!
I cannot weep, I will not groan.
My fathers winced not at the stake,
Nor gave revenge, with torture rise,
One drop its burning thirst to slake,
To the last ebbing drop of life.
My heart is cold and desolate;
I shall not struggle long with fate.
Had I a mortal foe, and were
His form to rise upon me here,
There is no power within my soul,
My armi or weapon to control ;-
Sinken and cold ! but it will rise,
With my lost tribe's last battle cries ;-
And death will come, like the last play
Of lightning on a stormy day!”

The introductory stanzas-impressively descriptive of the departing voice of the Indian race-lead the imagination to extend the catastrophe of their destruction and expulsion from our original colonies, to their entire extermination, in the course of ages, from the whole Continent.

• Hark to that shriek upon the summer blast!
Wildly it swells the fitful gusts between,
And as its dying echoes faint have past,
Sad moans the night-wind o'er the troubled scene.
Sunk is the day, obscured the valleys green;

moon, nor stars are glimmering in the sky,
Thick veiled behind their tempest-gathered screen;
Lost in deep shades the hills and waters lie;
Whence rose that boding scream, that agonizing cry?
Spirit of Eld! who, on thy moss-clad throne,
Record'st the actions of the mighty dead ;
By whom the secrets of the past are known,
And all oblivion's spell-bound volume read ;-
Sleep wo and crime beneath thine awful tread ?
Or is't but idle fancy's mockery vain,
Who loves the mists of wonder round to spread ?
No! 'tis a sound of sadder, sterner strain,
Spirit of by-gone years, that haunts thine ancient reign!
'Tis the death wail of a departed race,
Long vanished hence, unhonoured in their grave ;
Their story lost to memory, like the trace
That to the greensward erst their sandals gave;
-Wail for the feather-cinctured warriors brave,
Who, battling for their fathers' empire well,
Perished, when valour could no longer save
From soulless bigotry, and avarice fell,
That tracked them to the death, with mad, infuriate yell.
Spirit of Eld! inspire one generous verse,
The unpractised minstrel's tributary song ;
Mid these thine ancient groves he would rehearse
The closing story of their Sachem's wrong.
On that rude column, shrined thy wrecks ainong,
Tradition! names there are, which time bath worn,
Nor yet effaced; proud names, to which belong
A dismal tale of foul oppressions borne,

Which man can ne'er recall, but which the muse may mourn.' We cannot swell this article with any further extracts from this interesting poem. We have reason to be proud of it; and although we are not unfrequently reminded of Campbell and Byron, of

Southey and Scott, in the undefinable shadowing of the imagery, or in the fall of the verse, yet this is no detraction from its merit :-it would be well for such as are disposed to make this an objection to the work, to remember that some of the highest praise which any author of our country has received, is, that he has successfully copied the style of Addison, Goldsmith and Mackenzie. But its style is the least of its merits. It is a complete and consistent poem. It aims at dressing some of the facts of our early history, in the bright robes of poetical fiction. “A mixture of a lie (says Lord Bacon-meaning a lie of poetical invention) doth ever add pleasure.” And those who have attempted, with any degree of success, to give a romantic interest to the matter of fact occurrences of our national history, deserve well of all who love to pause upon the striking features of the annals of their country; or who have at heart the advancement of its character in the intellectual world.

Art. VI. The Brief Remarker on the Ways of Man; or Com

pendious Dissertations respecting social and domestic relations and concerns and the various Economy of Life. Designed for the use of American Academies and Common Schools. By EZRA SAMPSON. 12mo. pp. 264. A. Stoddard, Hudson. 1820.

To those who are familiar with the character of Mr. Sampson, as a citizen, a scholar, and a divine, our commendation of this work is unnecessary. For opinions and principles, political, moral, and religious, he is an excellent guide to the youth of our country. The work in question is fraught throughout with good sense and judicious practical allusions to American manners, circumstances and interests, and will be found not only instructive for the young, but amusing to those more advanced in life. As a series of moral essays, in a style of unassuming simplicity, it ranks with the best which have appeared on either side of the water during the present age. As a literary composition, though not faultless, it is highly respectable. For a work on such subjects, it has the merit of much originality, and in its new dress as prepared for a class book in academies and schools, is well adapted to its purpose.

We have great pleasure in recommending this little volume-and are gratified to see it publicly approved by the Superintendant of common schools and the Regents of the upiversity of New York; because this course, while it does justice to the work, manifests an increased attention to the interesting, but too much neglected, subject of elementary instruction.

« السابقةمتابعة »