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Pursues thee e'en to death, nor there stops short.
Strange persecution! when the grave itself
Is no protection from rude sufferance.
Absurd! to think to over-reach the grave!
And from the wreck of names to rescue ours !
The best concerted schemes men lay for fame
Die fast away; only themselves die faster.
The far-famed sculptor, and the laurel bard,
Those bold insurers of eternal fame,
Supply their little feeble aids in vain,
The tap'ring pyramid, th’ Egyptian's pride,
And wonder of the world! whose spiky top
Has wounded the thick cloud, and long outlived
The angry shaking of the winter's storm;
Yet spent at last by th' injuries of heaven,
Shatter'd with age, and furrow'd o'er with years,
The mystic cone with hieroglyphics crusted,
Gives way. O lamentable sight! at once
The labour of whole ages lumbers down;
A hideous and misshapen length of ruins.
Sepulchral columns wrestle but in vain
With all-subduing Time; her cank’ring hand
With calm deliberate malice wasteth them:
Worn on the edge of days, the brass consumes,
The busto moulders, and the deep-cut marble,
Unsteady to the steel, gives up its charge.
Ambition, half convicted of her folly,
Hangs down the head, and reddens at the tale.

BLAIR.

TO AN OLD SYCAMORE, ON THE BANKS

OF THE OHIO. RUDE tree, now gaunt with eld, Storm-worn and thunder-scarr'd, withont a spray, Dodder, or moss, or mistletoe, to deck Thine antique nakedness; majestic wreck

Of the Great Wilderness now past away;
What tales of blood, of wild and woodland fray,

Lie in thy hollows cell'd,
Haply couldst thou but speak the scenes thou hast

beheld!

A monarch in past years,
Thy speckled boughs, though now so leafless,

rollid
Billows of verdure in the summer gust,
And to the swelling river swept, like dust,
Clouds of autumnal tribute: thus, of old,
When the red Shawnee rotted in thy mould,

The grave-yard of his peers,
The Dark and Bloody Ground, *—the lonely land of

tears.

Yes ; at thy root the roar Of wrath has sounded, and the death-song woke; The captured Huron, dying at the stake, Dream'd of the green paths by his surging lake; Or captive maiden from the hills of oak And pine, blue Unikas,t-beneath the yoke,

Wept her rough play-grounds o'er, Peaks, vales, and gushing springs, ne'er to be look'd

on more.

And here, perhaps, when Boone Stole from the dusky forest, and, at night, Gazed on the sweeping river, here he kept His lonely vigils pleasantly, or slept, Dreaming the dream of home, and woke, with

fright,
To conjure yells of Indians on the height,

From the nocturnal tune
Of boding owl or nighthawk, flitting in the moon.

* Said to be the meaning of the Indian name, Kentucky. The Cherokee mountains.

Such scenes as these hast thou
Look'd on, old Sycamore! but ne'er again
Shalt thou behold them; from the runlet bed
Beaver, and bear, and lapping wolf are fled ;
The bison-path is empty, and the den
Of the hill-roaming elk a place for men.

Up to thy blasted brow
I look with joy and pride, and ask, What seest thoa

now?

Where is the Wilderness,
That once was wide around thee? ay, so broad,
That the keen vulture o'er thee in the air,
Saw not its confines? where the Indian ? where
The smoking cabin, and the fresh-turn'd sod,
Wet with the blood the settler gave to God,

His purchase, and his cess,
For the elysian lands his peaceful sons possess?

Up to thy cloud once more,
Keen vulture! stretch the wing, and scale the sky:
Where is the Wilderness ?-Adown the steeps
Eastern the flood of emigration sweepe;
On the North lakes a thousand squadrons fly;
And o'er the Western prairies, where thine eye

Wearies, the smoke-drifts pourVain search! vain thought! the Wilderness was but

of yore.

Of yore--for, sweetly seen O'er the smooth tide, the rotting boughs behold The magic city,*-wall, and roof, and spire, Blazing in 'sunset, and their pictured fire Glass'd in a river rolling on in gold, A scene of heaven! What say'st thou, patriarch

old!

That view'st the latest scene,
Ohio sleeping at the footstool of his Queen?

* Cincinnati.

Enough!

It is the last Of all the changes; and thy ruins grim But ill beseem the pageant smiling near. Yet fall not; lift thy mouldering hatchments sere Still for the musing passer: Every limb, Plunged in the flood, shall tell its tale to him

Better than trumpet-blast,Its legend of the Wilderness, its story of the Past.

DR. BIRD.

DEATH.

How shocking must thy summons be, O Death!
To him that is at ease in his possessions ;
Who, counting on long years of pleasure here,
Is quite unfurnish'd for that world to come!
In that dread moment, how the frantic soul
Raves round the walls of her clay tenement,
Runs to each avenue, and shrieks for help,
But shrieks in vain! how wishfully she looks
On all she's leaving, now no longer hers!
A little longer, yet a little longer,
O might she stay to wash away her stains,
And fit her for her passage! mournful sight!
Her eyes weep blood; and every groan
She heaves is big with horror: but the foe,
Like a staunch murderer steady to his purpose,
Pursues her close through every lane of life,
Nor misses once the track, but presses on;
Till, forced at last to the tremendous verge,
At once she sinks to everlasting ruin.

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Sure, 't is a serious thing to die! my soul!
What a strange moment must it be, when near
Thy journey's end thou hast the gulf in view!
That awful gulf no mortal e'er repass’d,
To tell what's doing on the other side!
Nature runs back and shudders at the sight,

And every life-string bleeds at thoughts of parting?
For part they must: body and soul must part;
Fond couple ! link'd more close than wedded pair.
This wings its way to its Almighty Source,
The witness of its actions, now its judge;
That drops into the dark and noisome grave,
Like a disabled pitcher, of no use.
If death was nothing, and naught after death;
If, when men died, at once they ceased to be,
Returning to the barren womb of nothing
Whence tirst they sprung; then might the debauchee
Untrembling mouth the heavens ; then might the

drunkard
Reel over his full bowl, and when 't is drain'd
Fill up another to the brim, and laugh
At the poor bugbear Death; then might the wretch
That's weary of the world, and tired of life,
At once give each inquietude the slip,
By stealing out of being when he pleased,
And by what way; whether by hemp or steel
Death's thousand doors stand open. Who could

force The ill-pleased guest to sit out his full time, Or blame him if he goes? Sure! he does well That helps himself as timely as he can, When able. But if there is an hereafler, And that there is, conscience uninfluenced, And suffer'd to speak out, tells every man, Then must it be an awful thing to die; More horrid yet to die by one's own hand. Self-murder! name it not; our island's shame, That makes her the reproach of neighbouring states. Shall nature, swerving from her earliest dictate, Self-preservation, fall by her own act? Forbid it, Heaven! let not, upon disgust, The shameless hand be foully crimson'd o'er With blood of its own lord. Dreadful attempt! Just reeking from self-slaughter, in a rage To rush into the presence of our Judge!

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