High is his couch; the ocean flood
Far, far below by storms is curled,
As round him heaved, while high he stood,
A stormy and inconstant world.

Hark! Comes there from the Pyramids,
And from Siberia's wastes of snow,

And Europe's fields, a voice that bids
The world he awed to mourn him? No.

The only, the perpetual dirge

That's heard there is the seabird's cry,
The mournful murmur of the surge,

The cloud's deep voice, the wind's low sigh.

NATHANIEL LANGDON FROTHINGHAM. [Born in 1793. Was minister of a Congregational Church from 1815 to 1850].


FOUR points divide the skies,

Traced by the Augur's staff in days of old: "The spongy South," the hard North gleaming cold, And where days set and rise.

Four seasons span the year:

The flowering Spring, the Summer's ripening glow, Autumn with sheaves, and Winter in its snow; Each brings its separate cheer.

Four halcyon periods part,

With gentle touch, each season into twain,
Spreading o'er all in turn their gentle reign.
Oh mark them well, my heart!

Janus! the first is thine,

After the freezing solstice locks the ground;
When the keen blasts, that moan or rave around,
Show not one softening sign.

It interposes then.

The air relents; the ices thaw to streams;
A mimic Spring shines down with hazy beams,
Ere Winter roars again.

Look thrice four weeks from this.

The vernal days are rough in our stern clime,
Yet fickle April wins a mellow time,

Which chilly May shall miss.

Another term is run.

She comes again-the peaceful one-though less
Or needed or perceived in summer dress-
Half lost in the bright sun;

Yet then a place she finds,

And all beneath the sultry calm lies hush ;-
Till o'er the chafed and darkening ocean rush
The squally August winds.

Behold her yet once more,

And oh how beautiful! Late in the wane
Of the dishevelled year; when hill and plain
Have yielded all their store;

When the leaves thin and pale-
And they not many-tremble on the bough;
Or, noisy in their crisp decay, e'en now
Roll to the sharpening gale;

In smoky lustre clad,

Its warm breath flowing in a parting hymn,
The Indian Summer, upon Winter's rim,
Looks on us sweetly sad.

So with the Year of Life.

An ordering goodness helps its youth and age,
Posts quiet sentries midway every stage,
And gives it truce in strife.

The Heavenly Providence,

With varying methods but a steady hold,
Doth trials still with mercies interfold,
For human soul and sense.

The Father that's above
Remits, assuages; still abating one
Of all the stripes due to the ill that's done,
In his compassionate love.

Help Thou our wayward mind
To own Thee constantly in all our states--
The world of Nature and the world of Fates—
Forbearing, tempering, kind.


[Born 3 November 1794, in Cummington, Massachusetts. He published a political satire in verse, The Embargo, in 1808, when only thirteen years of age. Besides holding eminent rank among American poets, Mr. Bryant has been a conspicuous journalist since 1826, when he became editor of the New York Evening Post, a paper in the Democratic interest].


WHITHER, 'midst falling dew,

While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue

Thy solitary way?

Vainly the fowler's eye

Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong,
As, darkly painted on the crimson sky,
Thy figure floats along.

Seek'st thou the plashy brink

Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,
Or where the rocking billows rise and sink
On the chafed ocean-side?

There is a power whose care
Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,-
The desert and illimitable air,—

Lone wandering, but not lost.

All day thy wings have fanned,

At that far height, the cold thin atmosphere,
Yet stoop not, weary, to the welcome land,
Though the dark night is near.

And soon that toil shall end;

Soon shalt thou find a summer home, and rest, And scream among thy fellows; reeds shall bend, Soon, o'er thy sheltered nest.

Thou'rt gone, the abyss of heaven

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my heart
Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast given,
And shall not soon depart.

He who, from zone to zone,

Guides through the boundless sky thy certain flight,
In the long way that I must tread alone
Will lead my steps aright.


THESE are the gardens of the desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name—
The prairies. I behold them for the first,

And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
Takes-in the encircling vastness.

In airy undulations, far away,

Lo! they stretch

As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless forever.-Motionless?—
No-they are all unchained again. The clouds
Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;

Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the south!
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on high,
Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not-ye have played
Among the palms of Mexico and vines

Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
That from the fountains of Sonora glide
Into the calm Pacific-have ye fanned

A nobler or a lovelier scene than this?

Man hath no part in all this glorious work :
The hand that built the firmament hath heaved

And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes
With herbage, planted them with island groves,
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor
For this magnificent temple of the sky-
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
Rival the constellations! The great heavens
Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love,-
A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue,
Than that which bends above the eastern hills.

As o'er the verdant waste I guide my steed,
Among the high, rank grass that sweeps his sides,
The hollow beating of his footstep seems
A sacrilegious sound. I think of those

Upon whose rest he tramples. Are they here-
The dead of other days?-and did the dust.
Of these fair solitudes once stir with life

And burn with passion? Let the mighty mounds
That overlook the rivers, or that rise

In the dim forest, crowded with old oaks,
Answer. A race that long has passed away
Built them;-a disciplined and populous race
Heaped, with long toil, the earth, while yet the Greek
Was hewing the Pentelicus to forms

Of symmetry, and rearing on its rock

The glittering Parthenon. These ample fields
Nourished their harvests; here their herds were fed,

When haply by their stalls the bison lowed,

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