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[Born in 1785, died towards 1865.1 Served as a Unitarian minister from 1819 to 1856. His principal poem is The Airs of Palestine, published in 1816].
FOR THE CHARLESTOWN CENTENNIAL
Two hundred years! two hundred years!
The red man at his horrid rite,
Seen by the stars at night's cold noon;
Left on the wave beneath the moon;
His dance, his yell, his council-fire,
And that pale pilgrim band is gone
That on this shore with trembling trod,
The ark of freedom and of God.
And war-that since o'er ocean came,
Chief, sachem, sage, bards, heroes, seers,
Has raised, and shown, and swept along.
1 In this and some other cases, where I say "towards" such a year as the date of death, I have reason to infer that the authors were alive in 1863, but have died since then, though the precise year of death is uncertain to me. I name 1865, as an approximation, in each instance.
'Tis like a dream when one awakes,
Then what are we? then what are we?
Yes, when two hundred years have rolled
God of our fathers, in whose sight
Are but the break and close of day
Grant us that love of truth sublime,
THE EXILE AT REST.
HIS falchion flashed along the Nile;
Here sleeps he now alone: not one
Of all the kings whose crowns he gave,
Nor sire nor brother, wife nor son,
Hath ever seen or sought his grave.
Here sleeps he now alone; the star
That led him on from crown to crown
Hath sunk; the nations from afar
Gazed as it faded and went down.
He sleeps alone: the mountain cloud
That night hangs round him, and the breath
Of morning scatters, is the shroud
That wraps his mortal form in death.
High is his couch; the ocean flood
Hark! Comes there from the Pyramids,
And Europe's fields, a voice that bids
The only, the perpetual dirge
That's heard there is the seabird's cry,
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].
THE FOUR HALCYON POINTS OF THE YEAR.
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,
Janus! the first is thine,
After the freezing solstice locks the ground;
It interposes then.
The air relents; the ices thaw to streams;
Look thrice four weeks from this.
The vernal days are rough in our stern clime,
Another term is run.
She comes again-the peaceful one-though less
Yet then a place she finds,
And all beneath the sultry calm lies hush ;—
Behold her yet once more,
And oh how beautiful! Late in the wane
When the leaves thin and pale-
In smoky lustre clad,
Its warm breath flowing in a parting hymn,
So with the Year of Life.
An ordering goodness helps its youth and age,
The Heavenly Providence,
With varying methods but a steady hold,
The Father that's above
Help Thou our wayward mind
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
[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].
TO A WATERFOWL.
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,
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
Of weedy lake, or marge of river wide,