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Or should the day be overcast,
We'll linger till the shower be past ;
Where the hawthorn's branches spread
A fragrant covert o'er the head.
And list the rain-drops beat the leaves,
Or smoke upon the cottage eaves;
Or, silent dimpling on the stream,
Convert to lead its silver gleam;
And we will muse on human life,
And think, from all the storms of strife,
How sweet to find a snug retreat
Where we may hear the tempests beat,
Secure and fearless,—and provide
Repose for life's calm eventide.
MILD Vesper! favorite of the Paphian Queen,
Whose lucid lamp on evening's twilight zone,
Sheds a soft lustre o’er the gloom serene,
Only by Scynthia's silver beam outshone:
Thee I invoke to point my lonely way
O’er these wild wastes, to where my lover bides,
For thou alone canst lend thy friendly ray,
Now the bright moon toward the ocean glides-
No midnight murderer asks thy guilty aid,
No nightly robber
I am alone, by silly love betray'd.
To woo the star of Venus * *
In every clime, from Lapland to Japan, [man.
This truth's confess'd, that man's worst foe is
The rav’ning tribes, that crowd the sultry zone,
Prey on all kinds and colors but their own.
Lion with lion herds, and pard with pard,
Instinct's first law, their covenant and guard.
But man alone, the lord of ev'ry clime,
Whose post is godlike, and whose pow'rs sublime,
Man, at whose birth the Almighty hand stood still,
Pleased with the last great effort of his will,
Man, man alone, no tenant of the wood,
Preys on his kind, and laps his brother's blood:
His fellow leads where hidden pit-falls lie,
And drinks with ecstacy his dying sigh.
Hence to thy darkest shades, dire Slavery, hence !
Thine icy touch can freeze,
Swift as the Polar breeze,
The proud defying port of human sense.
Hence to thine Indian cave,
To where the tall canes whisper o'er thy rest,
Like the murmuring wave
Swept by the dank wing of the rapid west :
And at the night's still noon,
The lash'd Angolan, in his grated cell,
Mix'd with the tiger's yell,
Howls to the dull ear of the silent moon.
But come, thou goddess, blithe and free,
Thou mountain-maid, sweet Liberty !
With buskin'd knee, and bosom bare,
Thy tresses floating in the air;
Come,—and treading on thy feet,
Independence let me meet,
Thy giant mate, whose awful form
Has often braved the bellowing storm,
And heard its angry spirit shriek,
Rear'd on some promontory's peak,
Seen by the lonely fisher far,
By the glimpse of flitting star.
His awful bulk, in dusky shroud,
Commixing with the pitchy cloud;
While at his feet the lightnings play,
And the deep thunders die away.
Goddess ! come, and let us sail
On the fresh reviving gale;
O’er dewy lawns, and forests lone,
Till lighting on some mountain stone,
That scales the circumambient sky,
We see a thousand nations lie,
From Zembla's snows to Afric's heat,
Prostrate beneath our frolic feet.
From Italy's luxurious plains,
Where everlasting summer reigns,
Why, goddess, dost thou turn away?
Didst thou never sojourn there?
Oh, yes, thou didst-but fallen is Rome :
The pilgrim weeps her silent doom,
As at midnight, murmuring low,
Along the mouldering portico,
He hears the desolate wind career,
While the rank ivy whispers near.
Ill-fated Gaul! ambitious grasp
Bids thee again in slavery gasp.
Again the dungeon-walls resound
The hopeless shriek, the groan profound :
But, lo, in yonder happy skies,
Helvetia's airy mountains rise,
And, oh! on her tall cliffs reclined,
Gay Fancy, whispering to the mind :
As the wild herdsman's call is heard,
Tells me, that she, o'er all preferr’d,
In every clime, in every zone,
Is Liberty's divinest throne.
Yet, whence that sigh? O goddess ! say,
Has the tyrant's thirsty sway
Dared profane the sacred seat,
Thy long high-favor'd, best retreat?
It has ! it has ! away, away
To where the green isles woo the day!
Where thou art still supreme, and where
Thy Pæans fill the floating air.
Who is it leads the planets on their dance-
The mighty sisterhood? who is it strikes
The harp of universal harmony?
Hark! 'tis the voice of planets on their dance,
Led by the arch-contriver. Beautiful
The harmony of order! How they sing,
The regulated orbs, upon their path
Through the wide trackless ether! sing as though
A syren sat upon each glitt'ring gem,
And made fair music—such as mortal hand
Ne'er raised on the responding chords; more like
The mystic melody that oft the bard
Hears in the strings of the suspended harp,
Touch'd by some unknown beings that reside
In evening breezes, or, at dead of night,
Wake in the long, shrill pauses of the wind.
This is the music which, in ages hush'd,
Ere the Assyrian quaff”d his cups of blood,
Kept the lone Chald awake, when through the night
He watch'd his herds. The solitary man,
By frequent meditation, learnt to spell
Yon sacred volume of high mystery.
He could arrange the wandering passengers,
From the pale star, first on the silent brow
Of the meek-tressed Eve, to him who shines,
Son of the morning, orient Lucifer;
Sweet were to him, in that unletter'd age,
The openings of wonder.—He could gaze
Till his whole soul was fill’d with mystery,
And every night-wind was a spirit's voice,
And every far-off mist, a spirit's form:
So with fables, and wild romantic dreams,
He mix'd his truth, and couch'd in symbols dark.
Hence, blind idolatry arose, and men
Knelt to the sun, or at the dead of night