Page images

Then pledged we the wine-cup, and fondly I swore

From my home and my weeping friends never to part; My little ones kissed me a thousand times o'er,

And my wife sobbed aloud in her fullness of heart. Stay, stay with us,-rest, thou art weary and worn!”

And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay, But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,

And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.

105.—THE BOY.

There's something in a noble boy,

A brave, free-hearted, careless one,
With his unchecked, unbidden joy,

His dread of books and love of fun,
And in his clear and ready smile,
Unshaded by a thought of guile,

And unrepressed by sadness,
Which brings me to my childhood back,
As if I trod its very track

And felt its very gladness.
And yet it is not in his play,

When every trace of thought is lost,
And not when you would call him gay,

That his bright presence thrills me most.
His shout may ring upon the hill,

His voice be echoed in the hall,
His merry laugh like music trill,

And I in sadness hear it all ;
For, like the wrinkles on my brow,
I scarcely notice such things now.
But when, amid the earnest game,

He stops, as if he music heard,
And, heedless of his shouted name

As of the carol of a bird,
Stands gazing on the empty air,
As if some dream were passing there:

'Tis then that on his face I look-
His beautiful but thoughtful face-

And, like a long-forgotten book,
Its sweet familiar meanings trace, -
Remembering a thousand things
Which passed me on those golden wings,

Which time has fettered now
Things that came o'er me with a thrill,

And left me silent, sad, and still,

And threw upon my brow
A holier and a gentler cast,
That was too innocent to last.
'Tis strange how thoughts upon a child

Will, like a presence, sometimes press,
And when his pulse is beating wild,

And life itself is in excess-
When foot and hand, and ear and eye,
Are all with ardor straining high-

How in his heart will spring
A feeling whose mysterious thrall
Is stronger, sweeter far than all!

And on its silent wing,
How, with the clouds, he'll float away,
As wandering and as lost as they!



We are asked, “What have we gained by the war?” I have shown that we have lost nothing in rights, territory, or honor; nothing for which we ought to have contended, according to the principles of the gentlemen on the other side, or according to our own. Have we gained nothing by the war? Let any man look at the degraded condition of this country before the war, the scorn of the civilized world, the contempt of ourselves, and tell me if we have gained nothing by the war. What is our present situation ? Respectability and character abroad, security and confidence at home. If we have not obtained, in the opinion of some, the full measure of retribution, our character and constitution are placed on a solid basis, never to be shaken.

The glory acquired by our gallant tars, by our Jacksons and our Browns on the land—is that nothing? True, we had our vicissitudes: there were humiliating events which the patriot cannot review without deep regret—but the great account, when it comes to be balanced, will be found vastly in our favor. Is there a man who would obliterate from the proud pages of our history the brilliant achievements of Jackson, Brown, and Scott, and the host of heroes on land and sea, whom I cannot enumerate? Is there a man who could not desire a participation in the national glory acquired by the war? Yes, national glory, which, however the expression may be condemned by some, must be cherished by every genuine patriot. What do I mean by national glory? Glory such as Hull, Jackson, and Perry have acquired. And are gentlemen insensible to their deeds—to the value of them in animating the country in the hour of peril hereafter? Did the battle of Thermopylæ preserve Greece but once? Whilst the Mississippi continues to bear the tributes of the Iron Mountains and the Alleghanies to her delta and to the Gulf of Mexico, the eighth of January shall be remembered, and the glory of that day will stimulate future patriots, and nerve the arms of unborn freemen in driving the presumptuous invader from our country's soil. Gentlemen may boast of their insensibility to feelings inspired by the contemplation of such events. But, I would ask, does the recollection of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and Yorktown, afford them no pleasure? Every act of noble sacrifice to the country, every instance of patriotic devotion to her cause, has its beneficial influence. A nation's character is the sum of its splendid deeds; they constitute one common patrimony, the nation's inheritance.


I bring fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,

From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shade for the leaves when laid

In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken

The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother's breast,

As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,

And whiten the green plains under;
And then again I dissolve it in rain,

And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,

And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,

While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of skyey bowers

Lightning, my pilot, sits;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder,

It struggles and howls by fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,

This pilot is guiding me,

Lured by the love of the genii that move

In the depths of the purple sea;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,

Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,

The spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven's blue smile,

Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,

And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack

When the morning star shines dead; As, on the jag of a mountain crag,

Which an earthquake rocks and swings, An eagle alit one moment may sit

In the light of its golden wings, And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea beneath,

Its ardors of rest and of love, And the crimson pall of eve may fall

From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest on mine airy nest,

As still as a brooding dove.
That orbéd maiden, with white fire laden,

Whom mortals call the moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,

By the midnight breezes strewn;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,

Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,

The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,

Like a swarm of golden bees,
When I widen the rent in my wind-built tent,

Till the calm river, lakes, and seas,
Like strips of the sky fallen through me on high,

Are each paved with the moon and these.
I bind the sun's throne with a burning zone,

And the moon's with a girdle of pearl;
The volcanoes are dim, and the stars reel and swim,

When the whirlwinds my banner unfurl.
From cape to cape, with a bridge-like shape,

Over a torrent sea,
Sunbeam proof, I hang like a roof,

The mountains its columns be.
The triumphal arch through which I march,

With hurricane, fire and snow,
When the powers of the air are chained to my chair,

Is the million colored bow;
The sphere-fire above its soft colors wove,

While the moist earth was laughing below.


I am the daughter of the earth and water

And the nursling of the sky;
I pass through the pores of the ocean and shores;

I change, but I cannot die.
For after the rain, when, with never a stain,

The pavilion of heaven is bare,
And the winds and sunbeams, with their convex gleams,


the blue dome of air,-
I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,

And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,

I arise and unbuild it again.




LORD CHATHAM. The atrocious crime of being a young man, which the honorable gentleman has, with such spirit and decency, charged upon me, I shall neither attempt to palliate nor deny; but content myself with wishing, that I may be one of those whose follies may cease with their youth, and not of that number who are ignorant in spite of experience. Whether youth can be imputed to any man as a reproach, I will not assume the province of determining; but surely age may be come justly contemptible, if the opportunities which it brings have passed away without improvement, and vice appear to prevail when the passions have subsided.

The wretch, who, after seeing the consequences of a thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and whose

has only added obstinacy to stupidity, is surely the object either of abhorrence or contempt, and deserves not that his gray hairs should secure him from insult. Much more is he to be abhorred, who, as he has advanced in age, has receded from virtue, and become more wicked with less temptation; who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country. But youth, sir, is not my only crime; I have been accused of acting a theatrical part. A theatrical part may either imply some peculiarities of gesture, or a dissimulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of the opinions and language of another man.

In the first sense the charge is too trilling to be confuted, and deserves only to be mentioned, that it may be despised. I am at liberty, like every other man, to choose my own


« PreviousContinue »