Page images
[ocr errors]

Then the breath of the clover perfumes the vale,

And the wild grape scents the breeze, And the elder blossom sweetens the gale,

And the bright birds in the trees, With their wild wood melody, cannot fail

The rudest heart to please!

Thou shouldst come to the Susquehanna's hills

Ere her laurels lose their glow;
While their fragrant breath the valley fills,

Which they mantle with roseate snow;
Where the rock its crystal stream distils,

On the moss and the fern below.
Thou shouldst climb the cliffs to their proudest peak,

And glance o'er the river fair,
Or the loftiest hill's steep summit seek,

And, spread in the summer air,
See forest and field and spire-then speak-

Does the world look lovely there?


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

They brought her out at eventide,
And laid her by the mountain-side:
They raised no hymn—they said no prayer,
Nor cross, nor white-stoled priest was there;
But sorrow's cloud hung o'er that glen,
The deep, still wo of tearless men.

First rose the chief,-upon his brow
You read that he was childless now;
Beside him stood those next in fame;
He seem'd to wonder why they came,
And startled when, with solemn pace,
Moved the dark maidens of the race.

They sought her grave where the last ray
Of sunset falls, at closing day;
They may not weep, that warrior train,
Though their proud nation's hope is slain,

But forth from out the stricken throng
A virgin gave the burial song.

She told, ' from battle's distant track
They brought a fair-hair'd captive back;'
She told, the mightiest of their land
Were crush'd beneath war's iron hand-
That by their law the victim dies,
To slaughter'd friends, a sacrifice.'

She told, around the pinion’d boy,
Gather'd the tribe in mournful joy,
When, as the bow their chieftain sprung,
The startling shriek of woman rung,
His daughter caught the shaft, and smiled,
And he had slain his only child.'

The chieftain seem'd no sound to hear,
Till the last note struck on his ear,
Then turn'd, and bending to the air,
As if a spirit's voice came there,
Sought with his knife life's purple tide,
And he is by his daughter's side.




Up clansmen! through the shadowy morn

See ye not spear-heads gleam ? And hark ! upon the wind is borne The music of the bugle horn,

And the stern war-pipe's scream.

On, on they come with startling shout,

On, through the river's swoln tideThey can but fright the speckled trout, The bittern from her nest may out

And ply her wing of pride.

Not so before their heavy tread

Will flee the mountaineer-
The slender bracken its frail head
May bow, when winds rave loud and dread,

Amid the foliage sere;

[ocr errors]

But rudely doth the mountain pine

Dash the wild blast aside :
And rudely doth our kingly line
Dash back its foe, when blood, like wine,

Pours out its bubbling tide.

Stern children of the cliff and glade!

Gray sire, and fearless son! Speed—with the target and the blade, Speed-in your simple garb array'd,

Speed, ere the fight be won.

Start from the quiet forest's gloom,

And from the breezy height! Leave, leave the dying to their doom, For here your deadliest foe hath come

To dare ye to the fight!

Ah! calmly shines the summer day

On isle and lake and tree;
To-morrow it will look as gay,
Though we from earth have pass'd away,

Like bubbles on the sea.

And when the reaper binds his sheaves,

And the wood blossoms die,
And autumn, ʼmid the crimson leaves,
Is murmuring like one who grieves

O’er happiness gone by;

« PreviousContinue »