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September 16. Oh! day of wo!— but let me tell The facts in order that befel : A morn so fresh, so sweet, so clear, Scarce thrice is matched within the year : Bright were the faces, bright the skies ; With smiling heavens shone smiling eyes. The merry laugh, the silver song, Poured ceaseless as we rode along; And Julia shone above the rest, The brightest, wittiest, merriest, best. But rarely I to mirth gave way; I was too happy to be gay : For she was kind as she was fair, And more, my rival was not there.
By noon our journey's goal was found,
I felt, as doted there my eye, I could forswear all mortal joy; Hopes, home, and kindred all resign, To clasp that precious form as mine! I join them, and our dinner o'er, We clamber round the rising shore: We cross the lake in boats, we land; Dig sparkling crystals in the sand : In silent pools, a bright surprise, The water-lily glads our eyes : First gem of flowers the sense that greet, As snow-drop white, asjasmine sweet, In emerald eup of scalloped brim, Moored on the lake to rock and swim. I plucked one virgin blossom there, And placed it in her raven hair. Embarked upon the stream once more, We rowed all round the craggy shore: Beside a tiny isle we float, Scarce larger than our clumsy boat, Of huge columnar prisms composed, In all their truth of form disclosed : Emerging rudely from the flood, The pile of stony crystals stood; (push Between whose pinching joints would The wild-flower stalk and hungry bush. Here landing, Julia first, with me, The rest push off in sportive glee: Beyond our reach they haste; they 're Leaving us helpless there alone. (gone! She sat upon the islet's crown, Myself reclining farther down. Oh! bright Romance, whose glass of rose A bloom on rudest objects throws, And kindles even in skies most fair, A gleam of sunset glory there : I could not view that scene, that maid, Nor wish some fitting words were said: I gazed, but lost in absent dream, She musing watched the silent stream: Her lips asleep, I had no heart By sound or touch to wake, and part Such loving, sweetly-clinging mates, To ope such ruby barrier-gates; Scarce for a herald word to tell The rendering of the citadel. Not long my heart impetuous coyed, Leaving that rose-time unemployed : I spake, scarce wishing for reply, But more to guide her reverie : 'How sweet if like a buoyant boat, This isle around the world could float! Ourselves the only crew to mark All strangest regions from our bark ! As dropped my words, a vacant smile Broke into dimples for a while ; But soon the rippling waves there raised, Grew calm as those whereon she gazed. It chanced! oh! chance to me most dread, Her hand lay near, too near my head : No charm so robs me of command, As such a round, soft, snowy hand: There lay the pearl more prized than gold, That I would part with all to hold ! My eyes sailed every vein of blue, Down to the tips where roses grew,
With Julia on the bank I stood, Where towers a green and gloomy wood: I felt, as close she shuddering clung, My hand by hers unconscious wrung : Oh! dearest rapture short of heaven, Had love, not fear, that pressure given ! Long wander we in wonder there, Then for our rustic meal prepare: On mossy turf the cloth is spread, With foam below, trees overhead. The wine lay in a rock-rimmed pool, Carved by the boring tide, to cool: That seems all brimming as it stands, A basin left by savage hands, Hollowed by some dusk lover brave, Wherein his Indian maid might lave. From the high bank o'ergazing there, I watched the group of creatures fair, With locks astray, and necks bare-white, All sitting, kneeling, as they might: All laughing, screaming, for the noise Of falls o'erwhelmed the usual voice: All rose with health, all bright with gleeIf others shone, oh! did not she?
I seek no mate to match with me,
And nails of sea-shell tint would peep ; Paused on the silken down to sleep, On wavy dimples rose and sunk, Till, with indulgence dizzy drunk, My lips so near – could man resist ? Forgive me, Wisdom, if I kissed ! If from those craggy rocks among, And adder's fang her hand had stung, She had not more revolted sprung! "What means this rudeness' hence! beInsult me thus, because alone! (gone! Shame! thy advantage to abuse, And put to such unworthy use!' Crushed, dumb-struck — for what could I My dropping head I hid away; (say? Which waked more mercy in her eye, Than had my cunningest reply ; For soon relenting at my shame, She softening said: 'I would not blame Thy fault too harshly; come! be friends; Here is my hand our quarrel ends : I pardon what has past before, But never show such rudeness more!' Oh! woman! bright when flashing pride High on thy cloudy brow doth ride; But ah! more sweetly, truly fair, When Mercy's bow is bended there! I take the hand that caused my wo, Yet will not, cannot let it go : Then to her wondering face uprise Imploring, meek, my briniming eyes; For in love's furnace-heat at hand Tears ever ready-melted stand : Touched with her kindness to the heart, I could not bear unheard to part, With charge of rudeness on my head, So foreign to my nature, laid: And bent to wipe that stain away, I said - all that I should not say: "Oh't was not rudeness that profaned The hand these burning lips have stained : No coarse desire the blame can share, Which love, and love alone must bear: Nay, start not! thou shalt hear me first; My swelling heart must gush, or burst: If deepest longing for thy sight, If fever-flame by day and night ; A flame with tortures though alive, 'Tis all the light that earth can give; If will to part with all 1 prize, To follow, worship, watch thine eyes ; în harm to shield, in pain to heal — If this be love, 't is love I feel ! "Oh! struggle not, but hear me speak : If truth like this thy bosom seek, Uncouth, unworthy though I be, Not all unheard, I've prayed to thee ! Wonder and rage were on her brow ; I saw the lightning as it broke, And shuddering wait the thunder-stroke: Unband me! what! forgiven but now, To heap fresh insult on me thus ! Unmanly act, and tyrannous: With no retreat, no rescue near, Compelled thy loathesome s uit to hear ! Speak not!- forever from me go! I must protect myself; but know
September 17. SPURNED, shamed, dishonored, trampled down!
(frown: Revenge! - there's none for woman's Oh! that some busy fiend were nigh, To lend me charms io win thine eye, Till Passion's cords had bound thee fast, Then cast thee off as I am cast! Oh! that some rank and foul disease Some pest, soine variole, would seize, And like a ravening vulture, peck The smoothness of that cheek and neck; And dig, in countless loathsome pits, About the throne where beauty sits, The graves of all the charms you che
rish, There in their pampered pride to perish : Whate'er will raze their hated bloom, Disease or ruin - let it come!
Oh! I am mad — oh! God, forgive (live; The curse that stabs what thou mad'st That mars one smile which thou hast
curled Round Beauty's lips to glad the world !
September 18. Bright thought! bright thought! - what need of curse,
(worse? When hurrying Time is threatening Ay, age will bring thee down more low, Than even my maddest wish could go : How the bright thought my soul pervades!
[fades : Just Heaven! I thank thee ! — beauty This proudest flower of earthly growth, This triumph of all-boasting youth, May show the rainbow's wealth of
bloom, But dies the rainbow's death, in gloom : 'Tis here eternal Justice speaks, In tones of thunder; for the cheeks Where beauty's damask seal is set, For the rich gem'owe Heaven a debt, That must be paid in after years, With slighted charms, and idle tears.
Ope all the sluices where the hoard,
Oh, woman! 'tis thy darkest doom
And wrinkles, sneers of Time, shall
AMONG OTHER THINGS SHOWS THE BAD EFFECT OF ENTERTAINING TOO GOOD AN OPINION OF OUR
JEREMIAH and our hero rose refreshed from their hard couches, and went out to perform their morning ablutions at the moss-covered horse-trough at the tavern door. But neither of them murmured at having to go through with that necessary duty in such a place; but on the contrary, they both acknowledged that it was more invigorating, and far pleasanter, to wash in the open air, from a clear mountain stream, than to perform the same office in a confined chamber, with stagnant Manhattan water.
Although it was cold and stormy the night before, the sun was now shining bright and warm; the wind had died away, and the soft balmy air was filled with the pleasant and cheerful notes of myriads of twittering birds. The tavern was situated in one of the pleasantest valleys in Massachusetts, with a shallow but swift and sparkling stream running close by the door. The hills, which rose to a good height on either side, were covered to their very summits with beautiful trees, while all the level lands were under a high state of cultivation ; and although the white farm-houses which were scattered along the valley did not wear a very comfortable appearance, on close inspection, yet they were highly picturesque at a distance. There were large flocks of snowy sheep feeding upon the delicate white clover that grew upon the hilly fields, and numerous herds of fat and lordly-looking cattle were grazing in the rich meadows by the side
of the little stream. Jeremiah declared he had never looked upon so fair a scene before, and he thought that the demon of avarice must have a strong hold upon a man's heart, to cause him to leave the pleasant hills and valleys of New-England, to seek for richer soils in the flat prairies of the West.
• I know it is very fine,' said John, whose taste for the sublime and beautiful was not fully matured, but for my part I should much prefer to look upon a good plate of toast, and some hot coffee, for I am very hungry.'
• And so am I,' said Jeremiah ; “this fresh air, and these pleasant sights and sounds, have given me a very keen appetite.'
Our travellers now returned to the tavern, where they found the breakfast table spread, and a lady and gentleman, whom they had not seen before, just sitting down. John looked upon the table and smacked his lips, as his eyes took an accurate inventory of the good things with which it was covered; there were eggs and fried ham, apple-pies and waffles, butter and cheese, and rye-and-Indian bread, together with a great variety of dishes of the composite order, the names of which he did not know. But neither he nor Jeremiah offered to sit down, because there were but two chairs in the room, and they were occupied by the lady and gentleman, who apparently wished to be quite exclusive, and who certainly gave proofs, by their conversation, that they were not common kind of people.
As our hero had never seen the inside of a New-England tavern before, he took particular notice of the painted floors, the
wooden-bottom chairs, the green paper curtains at the windows ; of an old-fashioned mahogany secretary, with a large Bible and two or three hymn-books placed with religious care on top; and of the profiles of the family, cut in white paper, and hung up in black frames around a yellowish sampler, with the name and age of the feminine prodigy who worked it somewhat ostentatiously emblazoned in gilded letters upon the glazing; and of several other little matters, which appeared very odd to him, as every thing will appear to travellers, which they may not have been in the habit of seeing at home. But all these curiosities did not divert John's mind from the breakfast upon which he feasted with his eyes, until his appetite increased to such a degree of intensity, that he came very nigh behaving with great rudeness. A modest little hazel-eyed girl waited upon table, and poured out coffee for the gentleman and lady.
• Young géurl !' said the lady to the little waiter, does your father keep this establishment ?
Yes m'am,' replied she.
• Then have the kindness, if you please, Miss,' said the lady, 'to tequest him to come to me.'
The little girl tripped out, and in a few minutes returned with her father.
* Are you the proprietor of this hotel, Sir ?' inquired the lady. • Wal, I own this house, I believe,' said the tavern-keeper.
• Do you ? — ah, very well,' said the lady; “I wished to inquire if these eggs are fresh laid.'
• Wal, I can't exactly say as to that,' said the tavern-keeper, 'but you can try and see.'
• That is my lady, Sir,' said the gentleman, starting upon his feet; she is very choice in her eggs, and she is n't up to that kind of talk.'
Wal, then I guess she might about as well go where she can get better,' replied the landlord.
Here the gentleman gave evident signs of strangulation, upon which the lady exclaimed, Do n't, my dear, get excited; do n't, I beg of you, for my sake; do be composed; I would rather eat addled eggs, and rancid butter, and stale bread, and drink muddy, horse-footy coffee, all the rest of my days, than to see you unhappy.'.
The gentleman then assured his lady, that for her sake he would be patient, but that nothing but a due regard for her peculiar situation could induce him to remain quiet under such treatment. "However,' said the gentleman, shaking his head, 'I 'll put the whole affair in the papers, as soon as I return to the city; if I do n't, my name aint Jacobs, no how you can fix it!
‘My dear!' exclaimed the lady,' what do you mean ?' * I mean my name aint G. Washington Mortimer, no how : I am blest, my dear, if I warn't thinking of your maiden name, when I spoke.
The lady and gentleman continued to eat their breakfast, and to find fault with every thing before them. But the tavern-keeper left them to make such comments as they pleased upon his provisions.
Jeremiah followed him out, and explained to him the cause of his being placed in such an unpleasant situation, and requested breakfast for himself and companion upon credit ; promising to pay as soon as he could get an answer to a letter he had just sent off by the mail stage. The tavern-keeper hesitated a long time, but at last consented to give them a bowl of bread and milk in the kitchen.
Our travellers now went into the kitchen to get their bread and milk, where they found the tavern-keeper's wife, a very different sort of person from her husband. She was very fat, with a florid complexion, and a thick short neck, which was ornamented with a string of gold beads, about the size of gooseberries. She was seated in a capacious arm-chair, and one of her hands was employed in holding a large horn snuff-box, while the other was occupied in conveying the yellow dust to her nostrils. Altogether, she appeared disposed to take the world very easy. Do tell me,' she said, addressing Jeremiah, . if you are all the way from York ?'
• Yes, madam,' said Jeremiah ; 'we left there the day before yesterday.'
Well, I want to know if York is n't quite a place ?' It is a large city,' said Jeremiah.
• Well, I should n't wonder if it was,' said the lady; 'do tell me if you
know a man that keeps a shoe-store in Chatham-street ?' • Perfectly well, madam,' replied Jeremiah. * Well now, do you know he is our son-in-law ?! • Is he indeed,' said Jeremiah ;' what is the gentleman's name to whom you allude ?'
• Well, it is Pinkum, to be sure,' said the lady.