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When the clarion's music thrills
To the hearts of these lone hills,
When the spear in conflict shakes,
And the strong lance shivering
"Take thy banner! and, beneath
The battle-cloud's encircling
Guard it !-till our homes are free!
Guard it !-God will prosper thee!
In the dark and trying hour,
In the breaking forth of power,
In the rush of steeds and men,
His right hand will shield thee then.
“Take thy banner! But, when night
Closes round the ghastly fight,
If the vanquished warrior bow,
Spare him !-By our holy vow,
By our prayers and many tears,
By the mercy that endears,
Spare him!-he our love hath
Spare him !-as thou wouldst be
“Take thy banner !-and if e'er
Thou shouldst press the soldier's
And the muffled cums should beat
To the tread of mournful feet,
Then this crimson flag shall be
Martial cloak and shroud for thee." The warrior took that banner proud, And it was his martial cloak and shroud !
Through the gray mist thrust up its
shattered lance, And rocking on the cliff was left The dark pine blasted, bare, and cleft. The veil of cloud was lifted, and below Glowed the rich valley, and the river's
flow Was darkened by the forest's shade, Or glistened in the white cascade ; Where upward, in the mellow blush of
day The noisy bittern wheeled his spiral
way. I heard the distant waters dash, I saw the current whirl and flash, And richly, by the blue lake's silver
beach, The woods were bending with a silent
reach. Then o'er the vale, with gentle swell, The music of the village bell Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills ; And the wild horn, whose voice the
woodland fills, Was ringing to the merry shout, That faint and far the glen sent out, Where, answering to the sudden shot,
thin smoke, Through thick-leaved branches, from
the dingle broke. If thou art worn and hard beset With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget, If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will
keep Thy heart from fainting and thy soul
from sleep, Go to the woods and hills !-No tears Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.
SUNRISE ON THE HILLS. I stood upon the hills, when heaven's
wide arch Was glorious with the sun's returning
march, And woods were brightened, and soft
gales Went forth to kiss the sun-clad vales. The clouds were far beneath me;
bathed in light, They gathered mid-way round the
wooded height, And, in their fading glory, shone Like hosts in battle overthrown, As many a pinnacle, with shifting
BURIAL OF THE MINNISINK. ON
sunny slope and beechen swell, The shadowed light of evening fell ; And, where the maple's leaf was brown, With soft and silent lapse came down The glory that the wood receives, At sunset, in its brazen leaves.
Far upward in the mellow light Rose the blue hills. One cloud of white, Around a far uplifted cone, In the warm blush of evening shone ; An image of the silver lakes, By which the Indian's soul awakes.
But soon a funeral hymn was heard
Where the soft breath of evening
The tall, gray forest; and a band
Of stern in heart, and strong in hand,
Came winding down beside the wave,
To lay the red chief in his grave.
They sang, that by his native bowers
He stood, in the last moon of flowers,
And thirty snows had not yet shed
Their glory on the warrior's head ;
But, as the summer fruit decays,
So died he in those naked days.
A dark cloak of the roebuck's skin
Covered the warrior, and within
Its heavy folds the weapons, made
For the hard toils of war, were laid ;
The cuirass, woven of plaited reeds,
And the broad belt of shells and beads.
Before, a dark-haired virgin train
Chanted the death-dirge of the slain ;
Behind, the long procession came
Of hoary men and chiefs of fame,
With heavy hearts, and eyes of grief,
Leading the war-horse of their chief.
Stripped of his proud and martial
Uncurbed, unreined, and riderless,
With darting eye, and nostril spread,
And heavy and impatient tread,
He came; and oft that eye so proud
Asked for his rider in the crowd.
They buried the dark chief-they
Beside the grave his battle-steed;
And swift an arrow cleaved its way
To his stern heart ! One piercing neigh
Arose,-and, on the dead man's plain,
The rider grasps his steed again.
THE SPIRIT OF POETRY.
THERE is a quiet spirit in these woods,
That dwells where'er the gentle south wind blows;
Where, underneath the white thorn, in the glade,
The wild flowers bloom, or, kissing the soft air,
The leaves above their sunny palms outspread.
With what a tender and impassioned voice
It fills the nice and delicate ear of thought,
When the fast-ushering star of morning comes
O'er-riding the gray hills with golden scarf ;
Or when the cowled and dusky-sandaled Eve,
In mourning weeds, from out the western gate,
Departs with silent pace! That spirit moves
In the green valley, where the silver brook,
From its full laver, pours the white cascade ;
And, babbling low amid the tangled woods,
Slips down through moss-grown stones with endless laughter.
And frequent, on the everlasting hills,
Its feet go forth, when it doth wrap itself
In all the dark embroidery of the storm,
And shouts the stern, strong wind. And here, amid
The silent majesty of these deep woods,
Its presence shall uplift thy thoughts from earth,
As to the sunshine and the pure bright air,
Their tops the green trees lift. Hence gifted bards
Have ever loved the calm and quiet shades.
For them there was an eloquent voice in all
The sylvan pomp of woods, the golden sun,
The flowers, the leaves, the river on its way,
Blue skies, and silver clouds, and gentle wings,
The swelling upland, where the sidelong sun
Aslant the wooded slope, at evening, goes,
Groves, through whose broken roof the sky looks in,
Mountain, and shattered cliff, and sunny vale,
The distant lake, fountains,--and mighty trees,
In many a lazy syllable, repeating
Their old poetic legends to the wind.
And this is the sweet spirit, that doth fill
The world; and, in these wayward days of youth,
My busy fancy oft embodies it,
As a bright image of the light and beauty
That dwell in nature,-of the heavenly forms
We worship in our dreams, and the soft hues
That stain the wild bird's wing, and flush the clouds
When the sun sets.
Within her eye
The heaven of April, with its changing light,
And when it wears the blue of May, is hung,
And on her lip the rich, red rose. Her hair
Is like the summer tresses of the trees,
When twilight makes them brown, and on her cheek
Blushes the richness of an autumn sky,
With ever-shifting beauty. Then her breath,
It is so like the gentle air of Spring,
As, from the morning's dewy flowers, it comes
Full of their fragrance, that it is a joy
To have it round us,-and her silver voice
Is the rich music of a summer bird,
Heard in the still night with its passionate cadence.
THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
FROM THE SPANISH OF LOPE DE VEGA. SHEPHERD! that with thine amorous, sylvan song Hast broken the slumber which encompassed me,That mad'st thy crook from the accursed tree, On which thy powerful arms were stretched so long ! Lead me to mercy's ever-flowing fountains ; For thou my shepherd, guard, and guide shalt be ; I will obey thy voice, and wait to see Thy feet all beautiful upon the mountains. Hear, Shepherd !-Thou who for thy flock art dying, O, wash away these scarlet sins, for thou Rejoicest at the contrite sinner's vow. 0, wait !-to thee my weary soul is crying, Wait for me !-Yet why ask it when I see, With feet nailed to the cross, thou’rt waiting still for me!
TO-MORROW. FROM THE SPANISH OF LOPE DE VEGA. LORD, what am I, that, with unceasing care, Thou didst seek after me,--that thou didst wait, Wet with unhealthy dews, before my gate, And pass the gloomy nights of winter there? O strange delusion that I did not greet Thy blest approach, and 0, to Heaven how lost, If my ingratitude's unkindly frost Has chilled the bleeding wounds upon thy feet. How oft my guardian angel gently cried, “Soul, from thy casement look, and thou shalt see How he persists to knock and wait for thee !" And, O! how often to that voice of sorrow, “ To-morrow we will open,” I replied, And when the morrow came I answered still, “To-morrow.”
THE NATIVE LAND.
FROM THE SPANISH OF FRANCISCO DE ALDANA.
CLEAR fount of light! my native land on high,
Bright with a glory that shall never fade !
Mansion of truth! without a veil or shade,
Thy holy quiet meets the spirit's eye.
There dwells the soul in its ethereal essence,
Gasping no longer for life's feeble breath;
But, sentineld in heaven, its glorious presence
With pitying eye beholds, yet fears not, death.
Beloved country! banished from thy shore,
A stranger in this prison-house of clay,
The exiled spirit weeps and sighs for thee !
Heavenward the bright perfections I adore
Direct, and the sure promise cheers the way,
That, whither love aspires, there shall my dwelling be.
THE IMAGE OF GOD.
FROM THE SPANISH OF FRANCISCO DE ALDANA.
O LORD! that seest, from yon starry height,
Centred in one the future and the past,
Fashioned in thine own image, see how fast
The world obscures in me what once was bright!
Eternal Sun! the warmth which thou hast given,
To cheer life's flowery April, fast decays;
Yet, in the hoary winter of my days,
For ever green shall be my trust in Heaven.
Celestial King! O let thy presence pass
Before my spirit, and an image fair
Shall meet that look of mercy from on high,
As the reflected image in a glass
Doth meet the look of him who seeks it there,
And owes its being to the gazer's eye.
[DON JORGE MANRIQUE, the author of the following poem, flourished in the last half of the fifteenth century. He followed the profession of arms; and Mariana, in his “History of Spain,” makes honourable mention of him, as being present at the siege of Uclés ; he speaks of him as “a youth of estimable qualities, who in this war gave brilliant proofs of his valour. He died young-having been mortally wounded in a skirmish near Cunavette, in the year 1479-and was thus cut off from long exercising, his great virtues, and exhibiting to the world the light of his genius, which was already known to fame."
The name of Rodrigo Manrique, the father of the poet, Conde de Paredes and Maestre de Santiago, is well known in Spanish history and song. He died in 1476; according to Mariana, in the town of Uclés; but according to the poem of his son, in the town of Ocana. It was his death that called forth the poem upon which rests the literary reputation of the younger Manrique. In the language of his historian, “Don Jorge Manrique, in an elegant ode, full of poetic beauties, rich embellishments of genius and high moral reflections, mourned the death of his father, as with a funeral hymn.”. This praise is not exaggerated; the poem is a model in its kind. Its conception is solemn and beautiful, and in accordance with it, the style moves on-calm, dignified, and majestic. It is a great favourite in Spain; and no less than four poetic Glosses, or running commentaries, upon it have been published.
The following stanzas of the poem were found in the author's pocket, after his death on the field of battle:
() world! so few the years we live,
Would that the life that thou dost give
Were life indeed!
Alas! thy sorrows fall so fast,
Our happiest hour is when at last
The soul is freed.
Our days are covered o'er with grief,
And sorrows neither few nor brief
Veil all in gloom;
Left desolate of real good,
Within this cheerless solitude
No pleasures bloom.
Thy pilgrimage begins in tears,
And ends in bitter doubts and fears,
Or dark despair;
Midway so many toils appear,
That he who lingers longest here
Knows most of care.
Thy goods are bought with many a groan,
By the hot sweat of toil alone,
And weary hearts;
Fleet-footed is the approach of woe,
But with a lingering step and slow
Its form departs.)