[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].



Two hundred years! two hundred years!
How much of human power and pride,
What glorious hopes, what gloomy fears,
Have sunk beneath their noiseless tide!

The red man at his horrid rite,

Seen by the stars at night's cold noon;
His bark canoe, its track of light

Left on the wave beneath the moon;

His dance, his yell, his council-fire,
The altar where his victim lay,
His death-song and his funeral pyre,
That still, strong tide hath borne away.

And that pale pilgrim band is gone

That on this shore with trembling trod,
Ready to faint, yet bearing on

The ark of freedom and of God.

And war-that since o'er ocean came,
And thundered loud from yonder hill,
And wrapped its foot in sheets of flame,
To blast that ark-its storm is still.

Chief, sachem, sage, bards, heroes, seers,
That live in story and in song,
Time, for the last two hundred years,

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,
This vision of the scenes of old;
'Tis like the moon when morning breaks,
'Tis like a tale round watchfires told.

Then what are we? then what are we?

Yes, when two hundred years have rolled
O'er our green graves, our names shall be
A morning dream, a tale that's told.

God of our fathers, in whose sight
The thousand years that sweep away
Man and the traces of his might

Are but the break and close of day

Grant us that love of truth sublime,
That love of goodness and of thee,
That makes thy children in all time
To share thine own eternity.


HIS falchion flashed along the Nile;
His hosts he led through Alpine snows;
O'er Moscow's towers that shook the while,
His eagle flag unrolled-and froze.

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
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?

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