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SONG OF PITCAIRW’S ISLAND. I75
And we will kiss his young blue eyes,
And I will sing him, as he lies,
Songs that were made of yore;
I'll sing in his delighted ear
The island songs thou lov'st to hear.
And thou, while stammering I repeat,
Thy country's tongue shalt teach;
'Tis not so soft, but far more sweet
Than my own native speech:
For thou no other tongue didst know,
When scarcely twenty moons ago,
Upon Tahiti's beach
Thou cam'st to woo me to be thine
With many a speaking look and sign.
I knew thy meaning—thou didst praise
My eyes, my locks of jet:
Ah! well for thee they won thy gazel
But thine were fairer yet !
I’m glad to see our infant wear
Thy soft blue eyes and sunny hair,
And when my sight is met
By his soft brow, and blooming cheek
I feel a joy I cannot speak.
Come, talk of Europe's maids with me,
Whose neck and cheeks, they tell,
Outshine the beauty of the sea,
White foam, and crimson shell.
I'll shape like theirs my simple dress,
And bind like them each jetty tress,
A sight to please thee well:
And for my dusky brow will braid
A bonnet, like an English maid.
Come, for the soft, low sunlight calls;
We lose the pleasant hours:
'Tis lovelier than these cottage walls,
That seat among the flowers;
And I will learn of thee a prayer
To Him who gave a home so fair,
A lot so blest as ours—
The God who gave to thee and me
This sweet lone isle amid the sea.
WILLIAM C. BRYANT.
F thou wert by my side, my love,
How fast would evening fail
In green Bengala's palmy grove
Listening the nightingale !
if thou, my love, wert by my side,
My babies at my knee,
How gayly would our pinnace glide
O'er Gunga’s mimic sea!
I miss thee at the dawning gray,
When, on our deck reclined,
In careless ease my limbs I lay,
And woo the cooler wind.
I miss thee when by Gunga's stream
My twilight steps I guide,
But most beneath the lamp's pale beam
I miss thee from my side.
I spread my books, my pencil try,
The lingering noon to cheer,
But miss thy kind, approving eye,
Thy meek, attentive ear.
THE SOLDIER'S DA’EAM. 177
But when of morn or eve the star
Beholds me on my knee,
I feel, though thou art distant far,
- Thy prayers ascend for me.
Then on 1 then on 1 where duty leads,
My course be onward still;
O'er broad Hindostan's sultry meads,
O'er bleak Almorah's hill.
That course, nor Delhi's kingly gates,
Nor wild Malwah detain;
For sweet the bliss us both awaits
By yonder western main.
Thy towers, Bombay, gleam bright, they say,
Across the dark blue sea;
But ne'er were hearts so light and gay
As then shall meet in thee!
UR bugles sang truce; for the night-cloud had lowered, And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky; And thousands had sunk on the ground overpowered— The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.
When reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring fagot that guarded the slain,
At the dead of the night a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dreamt it again.
Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array
Far, far I had roamed on a desolate track:
'Twas Autumn—and sunshine arose on the way
To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.
I flew to the pleasant fields traversed so oft
In life's morning march, when my bosom was young;
I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,
And knew the sweet strain that the corm-reapers sung.
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 1–
And sain was their war-broken soldier to stay;
But sorrow returned with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear melted away.
HOUGH the day of my destiny's over,
And the star of my fate hath declined,
Thy soft heart refused to discover -
The faults which so many could find;
Though thy soul with my grief was acquainted,
It shrunk not to share it with me,
And the love which my spirit hath painted
It never hath found but in thee.
Then when nature around me is smiling,
The last smile which answers to mine,
I do not believe it beguiling,
Because it reminds me of thine;
And when winds are at war with the ocean,
As the breasts I believed in with me,
If their billows excite an emotion,
It is that they bear me from thee.
Though the rock of my last hope is shivered,
And its fragments are sunk in the wave,
Though I feel that my soul is delivered
To pain—it shall not be its slave.
There is many a pang to pursue me;
They may crush, but they shall not contemn—
They may torture, but shall not subdue me—
'T is of thee that I think—not of them.
Though human, thou didst not deceive me,
Though woman, thou didst not forsake;
Though loved, thou forborest to grieve me,
Though slandered, thou never couldst shake.
Though trusted, thou didst not disclaim me,
Though parted, it was not to fly;
Though watchful, 't was not to defame me,
Nor mute, that the world might belie.
Yet I blame not the world, nor despise it,
Nor the war of the many with one—
If my soul was not fitted to prize it,
'Twas folly not sooner to shun;
And if dearly that error hath cost me,
And more than I once could foresee,
I have found that, whatever it lost me,
It could not deprive me of thee.
From the wreck of the past which hath perished
Thus much I at least may recall;-
It hath taught me that what I most cherished
Deserved to be dearest of all.
In the desert a fountain is springing,
In the wild waste there still is a tree,
And a bird in the solitude singing,
Which speaks to my spirit of thee.