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What sought they thus afar ?
Bright jewels of the mine?
They sought a faith's pure shrine !
The soil where first they trod : They have left unstained what there they foundFreedom to worship God !
MRS. FELICIA HEMANS.
Lines on Leaving Europe,
BRIGHT fag at yonder tapering mast !
Fling out your field of azure blue;
And point as Freedom's eagle flew !
The wind blows fair! the vessel feels
The pressure of the rising breeze, And, swiftest of a thousand keels,
She leaps to the careering seas ! O fair, fair cloud of snowy sail,
In whose white breast I seem to lie, How oft, when blew this eastern gale,
I've seen your semblance in the sky, And longed, with breaking heart, to flee On cloud-like pinions o'er the sea !
Adieu, oh lands of fame and eld !
I turn to watch our foamy track,
Yon clouded line, come hurrying back;
LINES ON LEAVING EUROPE.
My lips are dry with vague desire,
My cheek once more is hot with joyMy pulse, my brain, my soul on fire !
Oh, what has changed that traveler-boy? As leaves the ship this dying foam, His visions fade behind-his weary heart speeds home!
Adieu, O soft and southern shore,
Where dwelt the stars long missed in heavenThose forms of beauty seen no more,
Yet once to Art's rapt vision given ! O, still the enamored sun delays,
And pries through fount and crumbling fane, To win to his adoring gaze
Those children of the sky again ! Irradiate beauty, such as never
That light on other earth hath shone, Hath made this land her home forever;
And could I live for this aloneWere not my birthright brighter far
Than such voluptuous slaves' can beHeld not the West one glorious star
New-born and blazing for the freeSoared not to heaven our eagle yetRome, with her Helot sons, should teach me to forget!
Adieu, oh fatherland ! I see
Your white cliffs on the horizon's rim, And though to freer skies I fee,
My heart swells, and my eyes are dim! As knows the dove the task you give her,
When loosed upon a foreign shoreAs spreads the rain-drop in the river
In which it may have flowed before To England, over vale and mountain,
My fancy flew from climes more fairMy blood, that knew its parent fountain,
Ran warm and fast in England's air.
Dear mother, in thy prayer, to-night,
There come new words and warmer tears ! On long, long darkness breaks the light
Comes home the loved, the lost for years ! Sleep safe, O wave-worn mariner !
Fear not, to-night, or storm or sea! The ear of heaven bends low to her!
He comes to shore who sails with me! The spider knows the roof unriven,
While swings his web, though lightnings blazeAnd by a thread still fast on heaven,
I know my mother lives and prays !
Dear mother! when our lips can speak
When first our tears will let us seeWhen I can gaze upon thy cheek,
And thou, with thy dear eyes on me 'Twill be a pastime little sad
To trace what weight Time's heavy fingers Upon each other's forms have had
For all may flee, so feeling lingers ! But there's a change, beloved mother!
To stir far deeper thoughts of thine;
To share the heart once only mine!
One star arose in memory's heaven-
Watered one flower with tears at evenRoom in thy heart! The hearth she left
Is darkened to lend light to ours ! There are bright flowers of care bereft,
And hearts—that languish more than flowers ! She was their light—their very airRoom, mother, in thy heart! place for her in thy prayer !
NATHANIEL P. WILLIS,
THE ARSENAL AT SPRINGFIELD.
The Arsenal at Springfield. 'HIS is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling,
Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms; But from their silent pipes no anthem pealing
Startles the villages with strange alarms.
Ah! what a sound will rise—how wild and dreary
When the death-angel touches those swift keys ! What loud lament and dismal Miserere
Will mingle with their awful symphonies !
I hear even now the infinite fierce chorus
The cries of agony, the endless groan,
In long reverberations reach our own.
On helm and harness rings the Saxon hammer;
Through Cimbric forest roars the Norseman's song; And loud, amid the universal clamor,
O'er distant deserts sounds the Tartar gong.
I hear the Florentine, who from his palace
Wheels out his battle-bell with dreadful din; And Aztec priests upon their teocallis
Beat the wild war-drums made of serpents' skin;
The tumult of each sacked and burning village;
The shout that every prayer for mercy drowns; The soldiers' revels in the midst of pillage ;
The wail of famine in beleaguered towns;
The bursting shell, the gateway wrenched asunder,
The rattling musketry, the clashing bladeAnd ever and anon, in tones of thunder,
The diapason of the cannonade.
Is it, О man, with such discordant noises,
With such accursed instruments as these, Thou drownest Nature's sweet and kindly voices,
And jarrest the celestial harmonies ?
Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts, Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals nor forts;
The warrior's name would be a name abhorrèd ;
And every nation that should lift again Its hand against a brother, on its forehead
Would wear for evermore the curse of Cain !
Down the dark future, through long generations,
The echoing sounds grow fainter and then cease; And like a bell, with solemn, sweet vibrations,
I hear once more the voice of Christ say, “Peace !"
Peace !-and no longer from its brazen portals
The blast of war's great organ shakes the skies ;
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
The Battle Autumn (1862).
"HE flags of war like storm-birds fly,
The charging trumpets blow; Yet rolls no thunder in the sky,
No earthquake strives below.
And, calm and patient, Nature keeps
Her ancient promise well,
The battle's breath of hell.