Selected Poems of William Cullen Bryant
- It is the spot I came to seek --
- My father's ancient burial-place,
- Ere from these vales, ashamed and weak,
- Withdrew our wasted race.
- It is the spot -- I know it well --
- Of which our old traditions
- For here the upland bank sends out
- A ridge toward the river-side;
- I know the shaggy hills about,
- The meadows smooth and wide,
- The plains, that, toward the southern
- Fenced east and west by mountains
- A white man, gazing on the scene,
- Would say a lovely spot was here,
- And praise the lawns, so fresh and
- Between the hills so sheer.
- I like it not -- I would the plain
- Lay in its tall old groves
- The sheep are on the slopes around,
- The cattle in the meadows feed,
- And laborers turn the crumbling ground,
- Or drop the yellow seed,
- And prancing steeds, in trappings gay,
- Whirl the bright chariot o'er the
- Methinks it were a nobler sight
- To see these vales in woods arrayed,
- Their summits in the golden light,
- Their trunks in grateful shade,
- And herds of deer that bounding go
- O'er hills and prostrate trees
- And then to mark the lord of all,
- The forest hero, trained to wars,
- Quivered and plumed, and lithe and tall,
- And seamed with glorious scars,
- Walk forth, amid his reign, to dare
- The wolf, and grapple with the
- This bank, in which the dead were laid,
- Was sacred when its soil was ours;
- Hither the silent Indian maid
- Brought wreaths of beads and flowers,
- And the gray chief and gifted seer
- Worshipped the god of thunders
- But now the wheat is green and high
- On clods that hid the warrior's breast,
- And scattered in the furrows lie
- The weapons of his rest;
- And there, in the loose sand, is thrown
- Of his large arm the mouldering
- Ah, little thought the strong and brave
- Who bore their lifeless chieftain forth
- Or the young wife that weeping gave
- Her first-born to the earth,
- That the pale race, who waste us now,
- Among their bones should guide the
- They waste us -- ay -- like April snow
- In the warm noon, we shrink away;
- And fast they follow, as we go
- Toward the setting day --
- Till they shall fill the land, and we
- Are driven into the Western
- But I behold a fearful sign,
- To which the white men's eyes are blind;
- Their race may vanish hence, like mine,
- And leave no trace behind,
- Save ruins o'er the region spread,
- And the white stones above the
- Before these fields were shorn and
- Full to the brim our rivers flowed;
- The melody of waters filled
- The fresh and boundless wood;
- And torrents dashed and rivulets played,
- And fountains spouted in the
- Those grateful sounds are heard no more,
- The springs are silent in the sun;
- The rivers, by the blackened shore,
- With lessening current run;
- The realm our tribes are crushed to get
- May be a barren desert yet.
- Ere, in the northern gale,
- The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
- The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
- Have put their glory on.
- The mountains that infold,
- In their wide sweep, the colored
- Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and
- That guard the enchanted ground.
- I roam the woods that crown
- The uplands, where the mingled splendors
- Where the gay company of trees look down
- On the green fields below.
- My steps are not alone
- In these bright walks; the sweet
southwest, at play,
- Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves
- Along the winding way.
- And far in heaven, the while,
- The sun, that sends that gale to wander
- Pours out on the fair earth his quiet
- The sweetest of the year.
- Where now the solemn shade,
- Verdure and gloom where many branches
- So grateful, when the noon of summer made
- The valleys sick with heat?
- Let in through all the trees
- Come the strange rays; the forest depths
- Their sunny colored foliage, in the
- Twinkles, like beams of light.
- The rivulet, late unseen,
- Where bickering through the shrubs its
- Shines with the image of its golden
- And glimmerings of the sun.
- But 'neath you crimson tree,
- Lover to listening maid might breathe his
- Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
- Her blush of maiden shame.
- Oh, Autumn! why so soon
- Depart the hues that make thy forests
- Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
- And leave thee wild and sad!
- Ah! 'twere a lot too blest
- Forever in thy colored shades to stray;
- Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
- To roam and dream for aye;
- And leave the vain low strife
- That makes men mad -- the tug for wealth
and power --
- The passions and the cares that wither
- And waste its little hour.
- Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
- One mellow smile through the soft vapory
- Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds
- Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
- One smile on the brown hills and naked
- And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are
- And the blue gentian-flower, that, in the
- Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the
- Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
- Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the
- The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
- And man delight to linger in thy ray.
- Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
- The piercing winter frost, and winds, and
- Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
- When our mother Nature laughs around;
- When even the deep blue heavens look
- And gladness breathes from the
- There are notes of joy from the
hang-bird and wren,
- And the gossip of swallows through all
- The ground-squirrel gayly chirps by
- And the wilding bee hums merrily
- The clouds are at play in the azure
- And their shadows at play on the
- And here they stretch to the frolic
- And there they roll on the easy
- There's a dance of leaves in that
- There's a titter of winds in that
- There's a smile on the fruit, and a
smile on the flowers
- And a laugh from the brook that runs
to the sea.
- And look at the broad-faced sun, how
- On the dewy earth that smiles in his
- On the leaping waters and gay young
- Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom
- When as the garish day is done,
- Heaven burns with the descended sun,
- 'Tis passing sweet to mark,
- Amid that flush of crimson light,
- The new moon's modest bow grow bright
- As earth and sky grow dark.
- Few are the hearts too cold to feel
- A thrill of gladness o'er them steal,
- When first the wandering eye
- Sees faintly, in the evening blaze,
- That glimmering curve of tender rays
- Just planted in the sky.
- The sight of that young crescent brings
- Thoughts of all fair and youthful
- The hopes of early years;
- And childhood's purity and grace,
- And joys that like a rainbow chase
- The passing shower of tears.
- The captive yields him to the dream
- Of freedom, when that virgin beam
- Comes out upon the air;
- And painfully the sick man tries
- To fix his dim and burning eyes.
- On the sweet promise there.
- Most welcome to the lover's sight
- Glitters that pure, emerging light;
- For prattling poets say,
- That sweetest is the lovers' walk,
- And tenderest is their murmured talk,
- Beneath its gentle ray.
- And there do graver men behold
- A type of errors, loved of old,
- Forsaken and forgiven;
- And thoughts and wishes not of earth
- Just opening in their early birth,
- Like that new light in heaven.
- Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's
- When woods begin to wear the crimson
- And suns grow meek, and the meek suns
- And the year smiles as it draws near
- Wind of the sunny south! oh, still
- In the gay woods and in the golden air,
- Like to a good old age released from
- Journeying, in long serenity, away.
- In such a bright, late quiet, would
- Might wear out life like thee, mid
bowers and brooks.
- And, dearer yet, the sunshine of kind
- And music of kind voices ever nigh;
- And when my last sand twinkled in the
- Pass silently from men, as thou dost
- A power is on the earth and in the air
- From which the vital spirit shrinks
- And shelters him, in nooks of deepest
- From the hot steam and from the fiery
- Look forth upon the earth -- her thousand
- Are smitten; even the dark sun-loving
- Faints in the field beneath the torrid
- The herd beside the shaded fountain pants;
- For life is driven from all the landscape
- The bird has sought his tree, the snake
- The trout floats dead in the hot stream,
- Drop by the sun-stroke in the populous
- As if the Day of Fire had dawned, and sent
- Its deadly breath into the
- Beneath the forest's skirt I rest,
- Whose branching pines rise dark and high,
- And hear the breezes of the West
- Among the thread-like foliage
- Sweet Zephyr! why that sound of woe?
- Is not thy home among the flower?
- Do not the bright June roses blow,
- To meet thy kiss at morning
- And lo! thy glorious realm outspread --
- Yon stretching valleys, green and gay,
- And yon free hill-top, o'er whose head
- The loose white clouds are borne
- And there the full broad river runs,
- And many a fount wells fresh and sweet,
- To cool thee when the mid-day suns
- Have made thee faint beneath their
- Thou wind of joy, and youth, and love;
- Spirit of the new-wakened year!
- The sun in his blue realm above
- Smooths a bright path when thou art
- In lawns the murmuring bee is heard,
- The wooing ring-dove in the shade;
- On thy soft breath, the new-fledged bird
- Takes wing, half happy, half
- Ah! thou art like our wayward race; --
- When not a shade of pain or ill
- Dims the bright smile of Nature's face,
- Thou lov'st to sigh and murmur
- Spirit that breathest through my lattice,
- That cool'st the twilight of the sultry
- Gratefully flows thy freshness round my
- Thou hast been out upon the deep at play,
- Riding all day the wild blue waves till
- Roughening their crests, and scattering
high their spray
- And swelling the white sail. I welcome
- To the scorched land, thou wanderer of
- Nor I alone; a thousand bosoms round
- Inhale thee in the fulness of delight;
- And languid forms rise up, and pulses
- Livelier, at coming of the wind of night;
- And, languishing to hear thy grateful
- Lies the vast inland stretched beyond the
- Go forth into the gathering shade; go
- God's blessing breathed upon the fainting
- Go, rock the little wood-bird in his
- Curl the still waters, bright with stars,
- The wide old wood from his majestic rest,
- Summoning from the innumerable boughs
- The strange, deep harmonies that haunt
- Pleasant shall be thy way where meekly
- The shutting flower, and darkling waters
- And where the o'erhadowing branches sweep
- The faint old man shall lean his silver
- To feel thee; thou shalt kiss the child
- And dry the moistened curls that
- His temples, while his breathing grows
- And they who stand about the sick man's
- Shall joy to listen to thy distant sweep,
- And softly part his curtains to allow
- Thy visit, grateful to his burning
- Go -- but the circle of eternal change,
- Which is the life of Nature, shall
- With sounds and scents from all thy
- Thee to thy birthplace of the deep once
- Sweet odors in the sea-air, sweet and
- Shall tell the home-sick mariner of the
- And, listening to thy murmur, he shall
- He hears the rustling leaf and running
- What heroes from the woodland sprung,
- When, through the fresh-awakened land,
- The thrilling cry of freedom rung,
- And to the work of warfare strung
- The yeoman's iron hand!
- Hills flung the cry to hills around,
- And ocean-mart replied to mart,
- And streams, whose spring were yet
- Pealed far away the startling sound
- Into the forest's heart.
- Then marched the brave from rocky steep,
- From mountain-river swift and cold;
- The borders of the stormy deep,
- The vale where gathered waters sleep,
- Sent up the strong and bold, --
- As if the very earth again
- Grew quick with God's creating breath,
- And, from the sods of grove and glen,
- Rose ranks of lion-hearted men
- To battle to the death.
- The wife, whose babe first smiled that
- The fair fond bride of yestereve,
- And aged sire and matron gray,
- Saw the loved warrior haste away,
- And deemed it sin to grieve.
- Already had the strife begun;
- Already blood, on Concord's plain,
- Along the springing grass had run,
- And blood had flowed at Lexington,
- Like brook of April rain.
- That death-stain on the vernal ward
- Hallowed to freedom all the shore;
- In fragment fell the yoke abhorred --
- The footstep of a foreign lord
- Profaned the soil no more.
- Earth's children cleave to Earth -- her
- Decaying children dread decay.
- Yon wreath of mist that leaves the vale
- And lessens in the morning ray --
- Look, how, by mountain rivulet,
- It lingers as it upward creeps,
- And clings to fern and copsewood set
- Along the green and dewy steeps
- Clings to the lowery kalmia, clings
- To precipices fringed with grass,
- Dark maples where the wood-thrush sing,
- And bowers of fragrant sassafras.
- Yet all in vain -- it passes still
- From hold to hold, it cannot stay,
- And in the very beams that fill
- The world with glory, wastes away,
- Till, parting from the mountain's brow,
- It vanishes from human eye,
- And that which sprung of earth is nor
- A portion of the glorious sky.
- I've watched too late; the morn is near;
- One look at God's broad silent sky!
- Oh, hopes and wishes vainly dear,
- How in your very strength ye
- Even while your glow is on the cheek,
- And scarce the high pursuit begun,
- The heart grows faint, the hand grows
- The task of life is left undone.
- See where, upon the horizon's brim,
- Lies the still cloud in gloomy bars;
- The waning moon, all pale and dim,
- Goes up amid the eternal stars.
- Late, in a flood of tender light,
- She floated through the ethereal blue,
- A softer sun, that shone all night
- Upon the gathering beads of dew.
- And still thou wanest, pallid moon!
- The encroaching shadow grows apace;
- Heaven's everlasting watchers soon
- Shall see thee blotted from thy
- Oh, Night's dethroned and crownless
- Well may thy sad, expiring ray
- Be shed on those whose eyes have seen
- Hope's glorious visions fade
- Shine thou for forms that once were
- For sages in the mind's eclipse,
- For those whose words were spells of
- But falter now on stammering
- In thy decaying beam there lies
- Full many a grave on hill and plain,
- Of those who closed their dying eyes
- In grief that they had lived in
- Another night, and thou among
- The spheres of heaven shalt cease to
- All rayless in the glittering throng
- Whose lustre late was quenched in
- Yet soon a new and tender light
- From out thy darkened orb shall beam,
- And broaden till it shines all night
- On glistening dew and glimmering
- There comes, from yonder height,
- A soft repining sound,
- Where forest-leaves are bright,
- And fall, like flakes of light,
- To the ground.
- It is the autumn breeze,
- That, lightly floating on,
- Just skims the weedy leas,
- Just stirs the glowing trees,
- And is gone.
- He moans by sedgy brook,
- And visits, with a sigh,
- The last pale flowers that look,
- From out their sunny nook,
- At the sky.
- O'er shouting children flies
- That light October wind,
- And, kissing cheeks and eyes,
- He leaves their merry cries
- Far behind,
- And wanders on to make
- That soft uneasy sound
- By distant wood and lake,
- Where distant fountains break
- From the ground.
- No bower where maidens dwell
- Can win a moment's stay;
- Nor fair untrodden dell;
- He sweeps the upland swell,
- And away!
- Mourn'st thou thy homeless state
- O soft, repining wind!
- That early seekest and late
- The rest it is thy fate
- Not to find.
- Not on the mountain's breast,
- Not on the ocean's shore,
- In all the East and West:
- The wind that stops to rest
- Is no more.
- By valleys, woods, and springs,
- No wonder thou shouldst grieve
- For all the glorious things
- Thou touchest with thy wings
- And must leave.
- Stand here by my side and turn, I pray,
- On the lake below thy gentle eye;
- The clouds hang over it, heavy and gray,
- And dark and silent the water lie;
- And out of that frozen mist the snow
- In wavering flake begins to flow;
- Flake after flake
- They sink in the dark and silent
- See how in a living swarm they come
- From the chamber beyond that misty veil;
- Some hover awhile in air, and some
- Rush prone from the sky like summer hail.
- All, dropping swiftly or settling slow,
- Meet, and are still in the depth below;
- Flake after flake
- Dissolved in the dark and silent
- Here delicate snow-star, out of the cloud,
- Come floating downward in airy play,
- Like spangles dropped from the glistening
- That whiten by night the milky way;
- There broader and burlier masses fall;
- The sullen water buries them all --
- Flake after flake --
- All drowned in the dark and silent
- And some, as on tender wing they glide
- From their chilly birth-cloud, dim and
- Are joined in their fall, and, side by
- Come clinging along their unsteady way;
- A friend with friend, or husband with
- Make hand in hand the passage of life;
- Each mated flake
- Soon sink in the dark and silent
- Lo! while we are gazing, in swifter haste
- Stream down the snows, till the air is
- As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
- They fling themselves from the shadowy
- The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
- What speed they make, with their grave so
- Flake after flake,
- To lie in the dark and silent
- I see in thy gentle eyes a tear;
- They turn to me in sorrowful thought;
- Thou thinkest of friends, the good and
- Who were for a time, and now are not;
- Like these fair children of cloud and
- That glisten a moment and then are lost,
- Flake after flake --
- All lost in the dark and silent
- Yet look again, for the clouds divide;
- A gleam of blue on the water lies;
- And far away, on the mountain-side,
- A sunbeam falls from the opening skies,
- But the hurrying host that flew between
- The cloud and the water, no more is seen;
- Flake after flake,
- At rest in the dark and silent
- I Hear, from many a little throat,
- A warble interrupted long;
- I hear the robin's flute-like note,
- The bluebird's slenderer song.
- Brown meadows and the russet hill,
- Not yet the haunt of grazing herds,
- And thickets by the glimmering rill,
- Are all alive with birds.
- Oh choir of spring, why come so soon?
- On leafless grove and herbless law
- Warm lie the yellow beams of moon,
- Yet winter is not gone.
- For frost shall sheet the pools again;
- Again the blustering East shall blow --
- Whirl a white tempest through the glen,
- And load the pines with snow.
- Yet, haply, from the region where,
- Waked by an earlier spring than here,
- The blossomed wild-plum scents the air,
- Ye come in haste and fear.
- For there is heard the bugle-blast,
- The booming gun, the jarring drum,
- And on their chargers, spurring fast,
- Armed warriors go and come.
- There mighty hosts have pitched the camp
- In valleys that were yours till then,
- And Earth has shuddered to the tramp
- Of half a million men!
- In groves where once ye used to sing,
- In orchards where ye had your birth,
- A thousand glittering axes swing
- To smite the trees to earth.
- Ye love the fields by ploughmen trod;
- But there, when sprouts the beechen
- The soldier only breaks the sod
- To hide the slain away.
- Stay, then, beneath our ruder sky;
- Heed not the storm-clouds rising black,
- Nor yelling winds that with them fly;
- Nor let them fright you back, --
- Back to the stifling battle-cloud,
- To burning towns that blot the day,
- And trains of mounting dust that shroud
- The armies on their way.
- Stay, for a tint of green shall creep
- Soon o'er the orchard's grassy floor,
- And from its bed the crocus peep
- Beside the housewife's door.
- Here build, and dread no harsher sound,
- To scare you from the sheltering tree,
- Than winds that stir the branches round
- And murmur of the bee.
- And we will pray that, ere again
- The flowers of autumn bloom and die,
- Our generals and their strong-armed men
- May lay their weapons by.
- Then may ye warble, unafraid,
- Where hands, that wear the fetter now,
- Free as your wings shall ply the spade,
- And guide the peaceful plough.
- Then, as our conquering hosts return,
- What shouts of jubilee shall break
- From placid vale and mountain stern,
- And shore of mighty lake!
- And midland plain and ocean-strand
- Shall thunder "Glory to the brave,
- Peace to the torn and bleeding land,
- And freedom to the slave!"
- Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay --
- Stay till the good old year,
- So long companion of our way,
- Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One little hour, and then away.
- The year, whose hopes were high and
- Has now no hopes to wake;
- Yet one hour more of jest and song
- For his familiar sake.
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One mirthful hour, and then
- The kindly year, his liberal hands
- Have lavished all his store.
- And shall we turn from where he stand,
- Because he gives no more?
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One grateful hour, and then
- Days brightly came and calmly went,
- While yet he was our guest;
- How cheerfully the week was spent!
- How sweet the seventh day's rest!
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One golden hour, and then away.
- Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
- Beneath the coffin-lid:
- What pleasant memories we keep
- Of all they said and did!
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One tender hour, and then away.
- Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
- And leaves our sphere behind.
- The good old year is with the past;
- Oh be the new as kind!
- Oh stay, oh stay,
- One parting strain, and then
- O Thou great Wrong, that, through the
- Didst hold thy millions fettered, and
- The scourge that drove the laborer to the
- And turn a stony gaze on human tears,
- Thy cruel reign is o'er;
- Thy bondmen crouch no
- In terror at the menace of thine eye;
- For He who marks the bounds of guilty
- Long-suffering, hath heard the captive's
- And touched his shackles at the appointed
- And lo! they fall, and he whose limbs they
- Stands in his native manhood,
- A shout of joy from the redeemed is sent;
- Ten thousand hamlets swell the hymn of
- Our rivers roll eulting, and their banks
- Send up hosannas to the firmament !
- Fields where the bondman's toil
- No more shall trench the
- Seem now to bask in a serener day;
- The meadow-birds sing sweeter, and the
- Of heaven with more caressing softness
- Welcoming man to liberty like theirs.
- A glory clothes the land from sea to sea,
- For the great land and all its coasts are
- Within that land wert thou enthroned of
- And they by whom the nation's laws were
- And they who filled its judgment-seats
- Thy mandate, rigid as the will of Fate.
- Fierce men at thy right hand,
- With gesture of command,
- Gave forth the word that none might dare
- And grave and reverend ones, who loved
- Shrank from thy presence, and in blank
- Choked down, unuttered, the rebellious
- While meaner cowards, mingling with thy
- Proved, from the book of God, thy right to
- Great as thou wert, and feared from shore
- The wrath of Heaven o'ertook thee in thy
- Thou sitt'st a ghastly shadow; by thy side
- Thy once strong arms hang nerveless
- And they who quailed but now
- Before thy lowering brow,
- Devote thy memory to scorn and shame,
- And scoff at the pale, powerless thing
- And they who ruled in thine imperial name,
- Subdued, and standing sullenly apart,
- Scowl at the hands that overthrew thy
- And shattered at a blow the prisoner's
- Well was thy doom deserved; thou didst not
- Life's tenderest ties, but cruelly didst
- Husband and wife, and from the mother's
- Didst wrest her children, deaf to shriek
- Thy inner lair became
- The haunt of guilty
- Thy lash dropped blood; the murderer, at
- Showed his red hands, nor feared the
- Thou didst sow earth with crimes, and, far
- A harvest of uncounted miseries grew,
- Until the measure of thy sins at last
- Was full, and then the avenging bolt was
- Go now, accursed of God, and take thy
- With hateful memories of the elder time,
- With many a wasting plague, and nameless
- And bloody war that thinned the human
- With the Black Death, whose way
- Through wailing cities
- Worhip of Moloch, tyrannies that built
- The Pyramids, and cruel creeds that taught
- To avenge a fancied guilt by deeper guilt
- Death at the stake to those that held them
- Lo! the foul phantoms, silent in the gloom
- Of the flown ages, part to yield thee
- I see the better years that hasten by
- Carry thee back into that shadowy past,
- Where, in the dusty spaces, void and vast,
- The graves of those whom thou hast
- The slave-pen, through whose door
- Thy victims pass no more,
- Is there, and there shall the grim block
- At which the slave was sold; while at thy
- Scourges and engines of restraint and pain
- Moulder and rust by thine eternal seat.
- There, mid the symbols that proclaim thy
- Dwell thou, a warning to the coming
- A brook came stealing from the ground
- You scarcely saw its silvery gleam
- Among the herbs that hung around
- The borders of the winding stream,
- The pretty stream, the placid stream,
- The softly-gliding, bashful
- A breeze came wandering from the sky,
- Light as the whispers of a dream;
- He put the o'erhanging grasses by,
- And softly stooped to kiss the stream,
- The pretty stream, the flattered stream,
- The shy, yet unreluctant
- The water, as the wind passed o'er,
- Shot upward many a glancing beam,
- Dimpled and quivered more and more,
- And tripped along, a livelier stream,
- The flattered stream, the simpering
- The fond, delighted, silly
- Away the airy wanderer flew
- To where the fields with blossoms teem
- To sparkling springs and rivers blue,
- And left alone that little stream,
- The flattered stream, the cheated
- The sad, forsaken, lonely
- That careless wind came never back;
- He wanders yet the fields, I deem,
- But, on its melancholy track,
- Complaining went that little stream,
- The cheated stream, the hopeless stream,
- The ever-murmuring, mourning
- The breath of Spring-time at this
- Comes through the gathering glooms,
- And bears the stolen sweets of many a
- Into my silent rooms.
- Where hast thou wandered, gentle gale,
- The perfumes thou dost bring?
- By brooks, that through the wakening
- Or brink of rushy spring?
- Or woodside, where, in little companies,
- The early wild-flowers rise,
- Or sheltered lawn, where, mid encircling
- May's warmest sunshine lies?
- Now sleeps the humming-bird, that, in
- Wandered from bloom to bloom;
- Now, too, the weary bee, his day's work
- Rests in his waxen room.
- Now every hovering insect to his place
- Beneath the leaves hath flown;
- And, through the long night hours, the
- Are left to thee alone.
- O'er the pale blossoms of the sassafras
- And o'er the spice-bush spray,
- Among the opening buds, thy breathings
- And come embalmed away.
- Yet there is sadness in thy soft caress,
- Wind of the blooming year!
- The gentle presence, that was wont to
- Thy coming, is not here.
- Go, then; and yet I bid thee not repair,
- Thy gathered sweets to shed,
- Where pine and willow, in the evening
- Sigh o'er the buried dead.
- Pass on to homes where cheerful voices
- And cheerful looks are cast,
- And where thou wakest, in thine airy
- No sorrow of the past.
- Refresh the languid student pausing o'er
- The learned page apart,
- And he shall turn to con his task once
- With an encouraged heart.
- Bear thou a promise, from the fragrant
- To him who tills the land,
- Of springing harvests that shall yet
- The labors of his hand.
- And whisper, everywhere, that Earth
- Her beautiful array,
- Amid the darkness and the gathering
- For the return of day.