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THE OAK OF OUR FATHERS.

ANONYMOUS.

ALAS for the Oak of our Fathers that stood
In its beauty, the glory and pride of the wood!
It and it flourish'd for many an age,
grew

And many a tempest wreak'd on it its rage,

But when its strong branches were bent with the blast, It struck its roots deeper, and flourish'd more fast.

Its head tower'd high, and its branches spread round, For its roots were struck deep, and its heart it was sound;

The bees o'er its honey-dew'd foliage play'd,
And the beasts of the forest fed under its shade.

The Oak of our Fathers to Freedom was dear,
Its leaves were her crown, and its wood was her spear,
Alas for the Cak of our Fathers that stood

In its beauty, the glory and pride of the wood!

There crept up an ivy and clung round the trunk,
It struck in its mouths, and its juices it drunk;
The branches grew sickly depriv'd of their food,
And the Oak was no longer the pride of the wood.

The foresters saw and they gather'd around,
Its roots still were fast, and its heart still was sound;
They lopt off the boughs that so beautiful spread,
But the ivy they spar'd on its vitals that fed.

No longer the bees o'er its honey-dews play'd,
Nor the beasts of the forest fed under its shade
Lopt and mangled the trunk in its ruin is seen,
A monument now what its beauty has been.

The Oak has receiv'd its incurable wound,
They have loosen'd the roots, though the heart may
be sound;

What the travellers at distance green flourishing see,
Are the leaves of the ivy that ruin'd the tree.

Alas! for the Oak of our Fathers that stood
In its beauty, the glory and pride of the wood!

THE HAPPY RETREAT.

HILL.

HIGH o'er the winding of a cliffy shore, From whose worn steep the black'ning surges roar, My friend (how blest!) in quiet plenty lives, Rich in the unbought wealth which nature gives: Unplanted groves rise round his shelter'd seat, And self-sown flowers attract his wand'ring feet; Lengths of wild garden his near views adorn, And far-seen fields. wave with domestic corn.

The grateful herds, which his own pastures feed,
Pay their ask'd lives, and, in due tribute, bleed.
Here, in learn’d leisure, he relaxes life,
'Twixt prattling children and a smiling wife.
Here, on dependent want he sheds his care,
Moves amid smiles, and all he hears is-pray'r.
The world lies round him, like s subject soil,
Stor'd for his service, but beneath his toil.

Hence, in a morning walk, his piercing eye.
Skims the green ocean to the circling sky;
And marks, at distance, some returning sail,
Wing'd by the courtship of a flatt'ring gale.

The fearless crew, concluding danger o'er,
With gladd'ning shouts salute the op'ning shore;
They think how blest they may their gains employ,
And antedate their scenes of promis'd joy;

Till a near quick-sand checks their shorten'd way,
And the sunkests point through the rising spray.
Felix starts, sad! revolves the changeful sight,
Where misery can so soon succeed delight;
Then shakes his head, in pity of their fate,
And, sweetly conscious, hugs his happier state.

THE STORM.

HURDIS.

SO from the shore they launch'd,
Bound to no port, but destin'd on a cruise,
A morning's cruise for fish. Pleas'd was the youth;
With utmost joy he saw the wood recede,
Beheld his cottage dwindled to a speck,
Observ'd the snow white cliffs to right and left
Unfolding their wide barrier to his view,

And felt the boat bound quickly o'er the waves,
Light as a cork. He took the helm, rejoic'd,
And right before the wind held on his course,
Unheeding! 'Twas in vain his busy friends
Advis'd a diff'rent course, to gain with ease
The shore he left. He carelessly went on,
And never dream'd of danger and delay
Never experienced. Fast into the waves
Sinks the far distant shore. The lofty cliff
Stoops to the water, and his hoary brow
At every wave seems buried in the flood.
And now the gloomy clouds collect.

A storm

Comes mutt'ring o'er the deep, and hides the sun,
Hush'd is the breeze, and the high-lifted wave,
Portending speedy danger, to the shore,
In lurid silence, rolls. In tenfold gloom
The stormy south is wrapt, and his grim frown
Imparts unusual horror to the deep.

Now to the shore too late young Gilbert turns.
The breeze is sunk, and o'er the mountain waves
Labours the bark in vain. To the stout oar
The fisher and his son repair, and pull,

Alarm'd for safety, 'till their flowing brows
Trickle with dew. And oft the anxious youth
Looks back amaz'd, and sees the lightning play,
And hears the thunder, and beholds a sea
Ready to burst upon him. Oft he thinks

Of Anna and Sophia, and of thee,
Much-lov'd Maria, and thy aged sire,
Never perhaps again to walk with you,
To hear you speak, to live upon your smiles.
Ye hapless pair! what shall become of you,
No brother to defend you and no father!

But fast the storm increases. The strong flash Incessant gleams upon the curling wave. Round his dark throne, in awful majesty, The thunder marches; his imperious roar Shakes the proud arch of heav'n. And now the show'r Begins to drop, and the unsteady gust

Sweeps to the shore, and stoops the flying boat E'en to the brink. Small distance then, my friends, 'Twixt life and death; a mere hair's breadth. And

yet

Far, very far, appears the wish'd-for port.

And lo! between yon rocks, now seen, now lost,
Buried in foam, and high the milky surge
Rolls its proud cataract along the shore,
Access denying. To the frowning cliff
Approach not. Mark the strong recoiling wave:
E'en to the base of the high precipice
It plunges headlong, and the stedfast hill
Wears with eternal battery. No bark
Of forty times your strength in such a sea

Could live a moment! 'Twere enough to wreck
A British navy, and her stoutest oak
Shiver to atoms.

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TO A SPRING.

COLERIDGE.

ONCE more, sweet stream! with slow foot wand'ring near,

I bless thy milky waters, cold and clear.
Escap'd the flashing of the noon-tide hours,
With one fresh garland of Pierian flow'rs,
(Ere from thy zephyr-haunted brink I turn)
My languid hand shall wreath thy mossy urn,
For not thro' pathless grove, with murmur rude,
Thou soothest the sad wood-nymph, Solitude:
Nor thine unseen in cavern depths to dwell,
The Hermit-fountain of some dripping cell!
Pride of the Vale! thy useful streams supply
The scatter'd cots and peaceful hamlet nigh.
The elfin tribe around thy friendly banks,
With infant uproar, and soul-soothing pranks,
Releas'd from school, their little hearts at rest,
Launch paper
navies on thy waveless breast.
The rustic here at eve, with pensive look,
Whistling lorn ditties, leans upon his crook;
Or, starting, pauses, with hope-mingled dread,
To list the much-lov'd maids accustom'd tread:
She, vainly minded of her dame's command,
Loiters, the long-fill'd pitcher in her hand.
Unboastful stream! thy fount, with pebbled falls,
The faded form of past delight recalls,
What time the morning sun of hope arose,
And all was joy, save when another's woes
A transient gloom upon my soul impress'd,
Like passing clouds impictur'd on my breast.
Life's current then ran sparkling to the noon,
Or silv'ry stole beneath the pensive moon.
Ah! now it works rude brakes and thorns among,
Or o'er the rough rock bursts, and foams along!

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