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Poems by George P. Morris

Part 2 out of 6

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And won the wrath of fame!
When tidings from her lover,
With his good war-steed came:
To guard her safely to his tent,
The red-men of the woods were sent.
They led her where sweet waters gush!
Under the pine-tree bough!
The tomahawk is raised to crush--
'Tis buried in her brow!--
She sleeps beneath that pine-tree now!

Her broken-hearted lover
In hopeless conflict died!
The forest-leaves now cover
That soldier and his bride!
The frown of the Great Spirit fell
Upon the red-men like a spell!
No more those waters slake their thirst,
Shadeless to them that tree!
O'er land and lake they roam accurst,
And in the clouds they see
Thy spirit, unavenged, McRea!


When Love in myrtle shades reposed,
His bow and darts behind him slung;
As dewey twilight round him closed,
Lisette these numbers sung:
"O Love! thy sylvan bower
I'll fly while I've the power;
Thy primrose way leads maids where they
Love, honor, and obey!"

"Escape," the boy-god said, "is vain,"
And shook the diamonds from his wings:
"I'll bind thee captive to my train,
Fairest of earthy things!"
"Go, saucy archer, go!
I freedom's value know:
Begon, I pray--to none I'll say
Love, honor, and obey!"

"Speed, arrow, to thy mark!" he cried--
Swift as a ray of light it flew!
Love spread his purple pinions wide,
And faded from her view!
Joy filled that maiden's eyes--
Twin load-stars from the skies!--
And one bright day her lips DID say,
"Love, honor, and obey!"

My Mother's Bible.

This book is all that's left me now!--
Tears will unbidden start--
With faltering lip and throbbing brow
I press it to my heart.
For many generations past,
Here is our family tree;
My mother's hands this Bible clasped,
She, dying, gave it me.

Ah! well do I remember those
Whose names these records bear;
Who round the hearth-stone used to close
After the evening prayer,
And speak of what these pages said,
In tones my heart would thrill!
Though they are with the silent dead,
Here are they living still!

My father read this holy book
To brothers, sisters dear;
How calm was my poor mother's look
Who leaned God's word to hear!
Her angel face--I see it yet!
What vivid memories come!--
Again that little group is met
Within the halls of home!

Thou truest friend man ever knew,
Thy constancy I've tried:
Where all were false I found thee true,
My counselor and guide.
The mines of earth no treasures give
That could this volume buy:
In teaching me the way to live,
It taught me how to die.

"The Dog-Star Rages."

Unseal the city fountains,
And let the waters flow
In coolness from the mountains
Unto the plains below.
My brain is parched and erring,
The pavement hot and dry,
And not a breath is stirring
Beneath the burning sky.

The belles have all departed--
There does not linger one!
Of course the mart's deserted
By every mother's son,
Except the street musician
And men of lesser note,
Whose only earthly mission
Seems but to toil and vote!

A woman--blessings on her!--
Beneath my window see;
She's singing--what an honor!--
Oh! "Woodman, spare that tree!"
Her "man" the air is killing--
His organ's out of tune--
They're gone, with my last shilling, [See Notes (1)]
To Florence's saloon. [See Notes (2)]

New York is most compactly
Of brick and mortar made--
Thermometer exactly
One hundred in the shade!
A furnace would be safer
Than this my letter-room,
Where gleams the sun, a wafer,
About to seal my doom.

The town looks like an ogre,
The country like a bride;
Wealth hies to Saratoga,
And Worth to Sunny-side. [See Notes (3)]
While fashion seeks the islands
Encircled by the sea,
Taste find the Hudson Highlands
More beautiful and free.

The omnibuses rumble
Along their cobbled way--
The "twelve inside" more humble
Than he who takes the pay:
From morn till midnight stealing,
His horses come and go--
The only creatures feeling
The "luxury of wo!" [See Notes (4)]

We editors of papers,
Who coin our brains for bread
By solitary tapers
While others doze in bed,
Have tasks as sad and lonely,
However wrong or right,
But with this difference only,
The horses rest at night.

From twelve till nearly fifty
I've toiled and idled not,
And, though accounted thrifty,
I'm scarcely worth a groat;
However, I inherit
What few have ever gained--
A bright and cheerful spirit
That never has complained.

A stillness and a sadness
Pervade the City Hall,
And speculating madness
Has left the street of Wall.
The Union Square looks really
Both desolate and dark,
And that's the case, or nearly,
From Battery to Park.

Had I a yacht, like Miller,
That skimmer of the seas--
A wheel rigged on a tiller, [See Notes (5)]
And a fresh gunwale breeze,
A crew of friends well chosen,
And all a-taunto, I
Would sail for regions frozen--
I'd rather freeze than fry.

Oh, this confounded weather!
(As some one sang or said,)
My pen, thought but a feather,
Is heavier than lead;
At every pore I'm oosing--
(I'm "caving in" to-day)--
My plumptitude I'm losing,
And dripping fast away.

I'm weeping like the willow
That droops in leaf and bough--
Let Croton's sparkling billow
Flow through the city now;
And, as becomes her station,
The muse will close her prayer:
God save the Corporation!
Long live the valiant Mayor! [See Notes (6)]

A Legend of the Mohawk.

In the days that are gone, by this sweet-flowing water,
Two lovers reclined in the shade of a tree;
She was the mountain-king's rosy-lipped daughter,
The brave warrior-chief of the valley was he.
Then all things around them, below and above,
Were basking as now in the sunshine of love--
In the days that are gone, by this sweet-flowing stream.

In the days that are gone, they were laid 'neath the willow,
The maid in her beauty, the youth in his pride;
Both slain by the foeman who crossed the dark billow,
And stole the broad lands where their children reside;
Whose fathers, when dying, in fear looked above,
And trembled to think of that chief and his love,
In the days that are gone, by this sweet flowing stream.

The Ball-Room Belle.

(Music by horn.)

The moon and all her starry train
Were fading from the morning sky,
When home the ball-room belle again
Returned, with throbbing pulse and brain,
Flushed cheek and tearful eye.

The plume that danced above her brow,
The gem that sparkled in her zone,
The scarf of spangled leaf and bough,
Were laid aside--they mocked her now,
When desolate and lone.

That night how many hearts she won!
The reigning belle, she could not stir,
But, like the planets round the sun,
Her suitors followed--all but one--
One all the world to her!

And she had lost him!--Marvel not
That lady's eyes with tears were wet!
Though love by man is soon forgot,
It never yet was woman's lot
To love and to forget.

We Were Boys Together.

(Music by Russell.)

We were boys together,
And never can forget
The school-house near the heather,
In childhood where we met;
The humble home to memory dear,
Its sorrows and its joys;
Where woke the transient smile or tear,
When you and I were boys.

We were youths together,
And castles built in air,
Your heart was like a feather,
And mine weighed down with care;
To you came wealth with manhood's prime,
To me it brought alloys--
Foreshadowed in the primrose time.
When you and I were boys.

We're old men together--
The friends we loved of yore,
With leaves of autumn weather,
Are gone for evermore.
How blest to age the impulse given,
The hope time ne'er destroys--
Which led our thoughts from earth to heaven,
When you and I were boys!

Oh, Boatman, Haste!

(Music by Balfe.)


Oh, boatman, haste!--The twilight hour
Is closing gently o'er the lea!
The sun, whose setting shuts the flower.
Has looked his last upon the sea!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row!--aha!--we've moon and star!
And our skiff with the stream is flowing.
Echo responds to my sad heigh-ho!


Oh, boatman, haste!--The sentry calls
The midnight hour on yonder shore,
And silvery sweet the echo falls
As music dripping from the oar!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row!--afar fade moon and star!
While our skiff with the stream is flowing!
Echo responds to my sad heigh-ho.


Oh, boatman haste!--The morning beam
Glides through the fleecy clouds above:
So breaks on life's dark, murm'ring stream,
The rosy dawn of woman's love!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row, then, boatman, row!
Row!--'Tis day!--away--away!
To land with the stream we are flowing!
Heigh-ho!--dear one--ho!
Beauty responds to my glad heigh-ho!

Funeral Hymn.

"Man dieth and wasteth away,
And where is he?"--Hark! from the skies
I hear a voice answer and say,
"The spirit of man never dies:
His body, which came from the earth,
Must mingle again with the sod;
But his soul, which in heaven had birth,
Returns to the bosom of God."

No terror has death, or the grave,
To those who believe in the Lord--
We know the Redeemer can save,
And lean on the faith of his word;
While ashes to ashes, and dust
We give unto dust, in our gloom,
The light of salvation, we trust,
Is hung like a lamp in the tomb.

The sky will be burnt as a scroll--
The earth, wrapped in flames, will expire;
But, freed from all shackles, the soul
Will rise in the midst of the fire.
Then, brothers, mourn not for the dead,
Who rest from their labors, forgiven;
Learn this from your Bible instead,
The grave is the gateway to heaven.

O Lord God Almighty! to Thee
We turn as our solace above;
The waters may fail from the sea,
But not from thy fountains of love:
Oh, teach us Thy will to obey,
And sing with one heart and accord,
"He gave and he taketh away,
And praised be the name of the Lord!"

O'er the Mountains.

Some spirit wafts our mountain lay--
Hili ho! boys, hili ho!
To distant groves and glens away!
Hili ho! boys, hili ho!
E'en so the tide of empire flows--
Ho! boys, hili ho!
Rejoicing as it westward goes!
Ho! boys, hili ho!
To refresh our weary way
Gush the crystal fountains,
As a pilgrim band we stray
Cheerly o'er the mountains.

The woodland rings with song and shout!
Hili ho! boys, hili ho!
As though a fairy hunt were out!
Hili ho! boys, hili ho!
E'en so the voice of woman cheers--
Ho! boys, hili ho!
The hearts of hardy mountaineers!
Ho! boys, hili ho!
Like the glow of northern skies
Mirrored in the fountains,
Beams the love-light of fond eyes,
As we cross the mountains.


Ah, woman!--in this world of ours,
What boon can be compared to thee?--
How slow would drag life's weary hours,
Though man's proud brow were bound with flowers,
And his the wealth of land and sea,
If destined to exist alone,
And ne'er call woman's heart his own!

My mother!--At that holy name,
Within my bosom there's a gush
Of feeling, which no time can tame--
A feeling, which, for years of fame,
I would not, could not, crush!
And sisters!--ye are dear as life;
But when I look upon my wife,
My heart-blood gives a sudden rush,
And all my fond affections blend
In mother--sisters--wife and friend!

Yes, woman's love is free from guile,
And pure as bright Aurora's ray;
The heart will melt before her smile,
And base-born passions fade away!
Were I the monarch of the earth,
Or master of the swelling sea,
I would not estimate their worth,
Dear woman, half the price of thee.


I miss thee from my side, beloved,
I miss thee from my side;
And wearily and drearily
Flows Time's resistless tide.
The world, and all its fleeting joys,
To me are worse than vain,
Until I clasp thee to my heart,
Beloved one, again.

The wildwood and the forest-path,
We used to thread of yore,
With bird and bee have flown with thee,
And gone for ever more!
There is no music in the grove,
No echo on the hill;
But melancholy boughs are there--
And hushed the whip-poor-will.

I miss thee in the town, beloved,
I miss thee in the town;
From morn I grieve till dewy eve
Spreads wide its mantle brown.
My spirit's wings, that once could soar
In Fancy's world of air,
Are crushed and beaten to the ground
By life-corroding care.

No more I hear thy thrilling voice,
Nor see thy winning face;
That once would gleam like morning's beam,
In mental pride and grace:
Thy form of matchless symmetry,
In sweet perfection cast--
Is now the star of memory
That fades not with the past.

I miss thee everywhere, beloved,
I miss thee everywhere;
Both night and day wear dull away,
And leave me in despair.
The banquet-hall, the play, the ball,
And childhood's sportive glee,
Have lost their spell for me, beloved,
My souls is full of thee!

Has Rosabel forgotten me,
And love I now in vain?
If that be so, my heart can know
No rest on earth again.
A sad and weary lot is mine,
To love and be forgot;
A sad and weary lot beloved--
A sad and weary lot!

The Tyrant Sway.

The heart that owns thy tyrant sway,
Whate'er its hopes may be,
Is like a bark that drifts away
Upon a shoreless sea!
No compass left to guide her on,
Upon the surge she's tempest-torn--
And such is life to me!

And what is life when love is fled?
The world, unshared by thee?
I'd rather slumber with the dead,
Than such a waif to be!
The bark that by no compass steers
Is lost, which way soe'er she veers--
And such is life to me!

A Hero of the Revolution.

Let not a tear be shed!
Of grief give not a token,
Although the silver thread
And golden bowl be broken!
A warrior lived--a Christian died!
Sorrow's forgotten in our pride!

Go, bring his battle-blade,
His helmet and his plume!
And be his trophies laid
Beside him in the tomb,
Where files of time-marked veterans come
With martial tramp and muffled drum!

Give to the earth his frame,
To moulder and decay;
But not his deathless name--
That can not pass away!
In youth, in manhood, and in age,
He dignified his country's page!

Green be the willow-bough
Above the swelling mound,
Where sleeps the hero now
In consecrated ground:
Thy epitaph, O Delavan!
God's noblest work--an honest man!

Rhyme and Reason.

An Apologue.

Two children of the olden time
In Flora's primrose season,
Were born. The name of one was Rhyme
That of the other Reason.
And both were beautiful and fair,
And pure as mountain stream and air.

As the boys together grew,
Happy fled their hours--
Grief or care they never knew
In the Paphian bowers.
See them roaming, hand in hand,
The pride of all the choral band!

Music with harp of golden strings,
Love with bow and quiver,
Airy sprites on radiant wings,
Nymphs of wood and river,
Joined the Muses' constant song,
As Rhyme and Reason passed along.

But the scene was changed--the boys
Left their native soil--
Rhyme's pursuit was idle joys,
Reason's manly toil:
Soon Rhyme was starving in a ditch,
While Reason grew exceeding rich.

Since the dark and fatal hour,
When the brothers parted,
Reason has had wealth and power--
Rhyme's poor and broken-hearted!
And now, or bright, or stormy weather,
They twain are seldom seen together.

Starlight Recollections.

'Twas night. Near the murmuring Saone,
We met with no witnesses by,
But such as resplendently shone
In the blue-tinted vault of the sky:
Your head on my bosom was laid,
As you said you would ever be mine;
And I promised to love, dearest maid,
And worship alone at your shrine.

Your love on my heart gently fell
As the dew on the flowers at eve,
Whose blossoms with gratitude swell,
A blessing to give and receive:
And I knew by the glow on your cheek,
And the rapture you could not control,
No power had language to speak
The faith or content of your soul.

I love you as none ever loved--
As the steel to the star I am true;
And I, dearest maiden, have proved
That none ever loved me but you.
Till memory loses her power,
Or the sands of existence have run,
I'll remember the star-lighted hour
That mingled two hearts into one.

Wearies my Love?

Wearies my love of my letters?
Does she my silence command?
Sunders she Love's rosy fetters
As though they were woven of sand?
Tires she too of each token
Indited with many a sigh?
Are all her promises broken?
And must I love on till I die?

Thinks my dear love that I blame her
With what was a burden to part?
Ah, no!--with affection I'll name her
While lingers a pulse in my heart.
Although she has clouded with sadness,
And blighted the bloom of my years,
I lover still, even to madness,
And bless her through showers of tears.

My pen I have laid down in sorrow,
The songs of my lute I forego:
From neither assistance I'll borrow
To utter my heart-seated wo!
But peace to her bosom, wherever
Her thoughts or her footsteps may stray:
Memento of mine again never
Will shadow the light of her way!

Fare The Well, Love.

Fare thee well, love!--We must sever!
Nor for years, love; but for ever!
We must meet no more--or only
Meet as strangers--sad and lonely.
Fare thee well!

Fare thee well, love!--How I languish
For the cause of all my anguish!
None have ever met and parted
So forlorn and broken-hearted.
Fare thee well!

Fare thee well, love--Till I perish
All my truth for thee I'll cherish;
And, when thou my requiem hearest,
Know till death I loved thee, dearest.
Fare thee well!

Thou Hast Woven the Spell.

Thou hast woven the spell that hath bound me,
Through all the sad changes of years;
And the smiles that I wore when I found thee,
Have faded and melted in tears!
Like the poor, wounded fawn from the mountain,
That seeks out the clear silver tide,
I have lingered in vain at the fountain
Of hope--with a shaft in my side!

Thou hast taught me that Love's rosy fetters
A pang from the thorns may impart;
That the coinage of vows and of letters
Comes not from the mint of the heart.
Like the lone bird that flutters her pinion,
And warbles in bondage her strain,
I have struggled to fly thy domain,
But find that the struggle is vain!

Bessy Bell.

When life looks drear and lonely, love,
And pleasant fancies flee,
Then will the Muses only, love,
Bestow a thought on me!
Mine is a harp which Pleasure, love,
To waken strives in vain;
To Joy's entrancing measure, love,
It ne'er can thrill again!--
Why mock me, Bessy Bell?

Oh, do not ask me ever, love,
For rapture-woven rhymes;
For vain is each endeavor, love,
To sound Mirth's play-bell chimes!
Yet still believe me, dearest love,
Though sad my song may be,
This heart still dotes sincerest, love,
And grateful turns to thee--
My once fond Bessy Bell!

Those eyes still rest upon me, love!
I feel their magic spell!
With that same look you won me, love,
Fair, gentle Bessy Bell!
My doom you've idly spoken, love,
You never can be mine!
But though my heart is broken, love,
Still, Bessy, it is thine!
Adieu, false Bessy Bell!

The Day is Now Dawning.


The day is now dawning, love,
Fled is the night--
I go like the morning, love,
Cheerful and bright.
Then adieu, dearest Ellen:
When evening is near,
I'll visit thy dwelling,
For true love is here.


Oh, come where the fountain, love,
Tranquilly flows;
Beneath the green mountain, love,
Seek for repose;
There the days of our childhood,
In love's golden beam,
'Mong the blue-bells and wildwood,
Passed on like a dream.


Oh, linger awhile, love!


I must away.


Oh, grant me thy smile, love,
'Tis Hope's cheering ray--
With evening expect me.


To the moment be true,
And may angels protect thee--


Sweet Ellen, adieu!
Dear William, adieu!

When Other Friends.

When other friends are round thee,
And other hearts are thine--
When other bays have crowned thee,
More fresh and green than mine--
Then think how sad and lonely
This doating heart will be,
Which, while it beats, beats only,
Beloved one, for thee!

Yet do not think I doubt thee,
I know thy truth remains;
I would not live without thee,
For all the world contains.
Thou art the start that guides me
Along life's troubled sea;
And whatever fate betides me,
This heart still turns to thee.

Silent Grief.

Where is now my peace of mind?
Gone, alas! for evermore:
Turn where'er I may, I find
Thorns where roses bloomed before!
O'er the green-fields of my soul,
Where the springs of joy were found,
Now the clouds of sorrow roll,
Shading all the prospect round!

Do I merit pangs like these,
That have cleft my heart in twain?
Must I, to the very lees,
Drain thy bitter chalice, Pain?
Silent grief all grief excels;
Life and it together part--
Like a restless worm it dwells
Deep within the human heart!

Love Thee, Dearest!

Love thee, dearest?--Hear me.--Never
Will my fond vows be forgot!
May I perish, and for ever,
When, dear maid, I love thee not!
Turn not from me, dearest!--Listen!
Banish all thy doubts and fears!
Let thine eyes with transport glisten!
What hast thou to do with tears?

Dry them, dearest!--Ah, believe me,
Love's bright flame is burning still!
Though the hollow world deceive thee,
Here's a heart that never will!
Dost thou smile?--A cloud of sorrow
Breaks before Joy's rising sun!
Wilt thou give thy hand?--To-morrow,
Hymen's bond will make us one!

I Love the Night.

I love the night when the moon streams bright
On flowers that drink the dew--
When cascades shout as the stars peep out,
From boundless fields of blue;
But dearer far than moon or star,
Or flowers of gaudy hue,
Or murmuring trills of mountain-rills,
I love, I love, love--you!

I love to stray at the close of the day,
Through groves of forest-trees,
When gushing notes from song-birds' throats
Are vocal in the breeze.
I love the night--the glorious night--
When hearts beat warm and true;
But far above the night, I love,
I love, I love, love--you!

The Miniature.

William was holding in his hand
The likeness of his wife!
Fresh, as if touched by fairy wand,
With beauty, grace, and life.
He almost thought it spoke:--he gazed
Upon the bauble still,
Absorbed, delighted, and amazed,
To view the artist's skill.

"This picture is yourself, dear Jane--
'Tis drawn to nature true:
I've kissed it o'er and o'er again,
It is much like you."
"And has it kissed you back, my dear?"
"Why--no--my love," said he.
"Then, William, it is very clear
'Tis not at all LIKE ME!"

The Retort.

Old Nick, who taught the village-school,
Wedded a maid of homespun habit;
He was as stubborn as a mule,
She was as playful as a rabbit.

Poor Jane had scarce become a wife,
Before her husband sought to make her
The pink of country-polished life,
And prim and formal as a Quaker.

One day the tutor went abroad,
And simple Jenny sadly missed him;
When he returned, behind her lord
She slyly stole, and fondly kissed him!

The husband's anger rose!--and red
And white his face alternate grew!
"Less freedom, ma'am!"--Jane sighed and said,

Lines On A Poet.

How sweet the cadence of his lyre!
What melody of words!
They strike a pulse within the heart
Like songs of forest-birds,
Or tinkling of the shepherd's bell
Among the mountain-herds.

His mind's a cultured garden,
Where Nature's hand has sown
The flower-seeds of poesy--
And they have freshly grown,
Imbued with beauty and perfume
To other plants unknown.

A bright career's before him--
All tongues pronounce his praise;
All hearts his inspiration feel,
And will in after-days;
For genius breathes in every line
Of his soul-thrilling lays.

A nameless grace is round him--
A something, too refined
To be described, yet must be felt
By all of human kind--
An emanation of the soul,
That can not be defined.

Then blessings on the minstrel--
His faults let others scan:
There may be spots upon the sun,
Which those may view who can;
I see them not--yet know him well

The Bacchanal

Beside a cottage-door,
Sang Ella at her wheel;
Ruthven rode o'er the moor,
Down at her feet to kneel:
A spotted palfrey gay
Came ambling at his side,
To bear the maid away
As his affianced bride.

A high-born noble he,
Of stately halls secure;
A low-born peasant she,
Of parentage obscure.
How soft the honeyed words
He breathes into her ears!--
The melody of birds!
The music of the spheres!

With love her bosom swells,
Which she would fain conceal--
Her eyes, like crystal wells,
Its hidden depths reveal.
While liquid diamonds drip
From feeling's fountain warm,
Flutters her scarlet lip--
A rose-leaf in a storm!

As from an April sky
The rain-clouds flit away,
So from the maiden's eye
Vanished the falling spray,
Which lingered but awhile
Her dimpled cheek upon--
Then melted in her smile,
Like vapor in the sun.

The maid is all his own!
She trusts his plighted word,
And, lightly on the roan,
She springs beside her lord:
She leaves her father's cot,
She turns her from the door--
That green and holy spot
Which she will see no more!

They hied to distant lands,
That lord and peasant-maid:
The church ne'er joined their hands,
For Ella was betrayed!
Torn from her native bower,
That modest rose of May,
Drooped, in his stately tower,
And passed from earth away.

They laid her in the ground,
And Ella was forgot--
Dead was her father found
In his deserted cot.
But Ruthven--what of him?
He ran the story o'er,
And, filling to the brim,
He thought of it no more!

Twenty Years Ago

'Twas in the flush of summer-time,
Some twenty years or more,
When Ernest lost his way, and crossed
The threshold of our door.
I'll ne'er forget his locks of jet,
His brow of Alpine snow,
His manly grace of form and face,
Some twenty years ago.

The hand he asked I freely gave--
Mine was a happy lot,
In all my pride to be his bride
Within my father's cot.
The faith he spoke he never broke:
His faithful heart I know;
And well I vow I love him now
As twenty years ago.

National Anthem.

Freedom spreads her downy wings
Over all created things;
Glory to the King of kings,
Bend low to Him the knee!
Bring the heart before His throne--
Worship Him and Him alone!--
He's the only King we own--
And He has made us free!

The holiest spot a smiling sun
E'er shed his genial rays upon,
Is that which gave a Washington
The drooping world to cheer!
Sound the clarion-peals of fame!
Ye who bear Columbia's name!--
With existence freedom came--
It is man's birthright here!

Heirs of an immortal sire,
Let his deeds your hearts inspire;
Weave the strain and wake the lyre
Where your proud altars stand!
Hail with pride and loud harrahs,
Streaming from a thousand spars,
Freedom's rainbow-flag of stars--
The symbol of our land!

I Love Thee Still.

I never have been false to thee!--
The heart I gave thee still is thine;
Though thou hast been untrue to me,
And I no more may call thee mine!
I've loved, as woman ever loves,
With constant soul in good or ill:
Thou'st proved as man too often proves,
A rover--but I love thee still!

Yet think not that my spirit stoops
To bind thee captive in my train!--
Love's not a flower at sunset droops,
But smiles when comes her god again!
Thy words, which fall unheeded now,
Could once my heart-strings madly thrill!
Love a golden chain and burning vow
Are broken--but I love thee still!

Once what a heaven of bliss was ours,
When love dispelled the clouds of care,
And time went by with birds and flowers,
While song and incense filled the air!
The past is mine--the present thine--
Should thoughts of me thy future fill,
Think what a destiny is mine,
To lose--but love thee, false one, still!

Look From Thy Lattice, Love.

Look from thy lattice, love--
Listen to me!
The cool, balmy breeze
Is abroad on the sea!
The moon, like a queen,
Roams her realms above,
And naught is awake
But the spirit of love.
Ere morn's golden light
Tips the hills with its ray,
Away o'er the waters--
Away and away!
Then look from thy lattice, love--
Listen to me.
While the moon lights the sky,
And the breeze curls the sea!
Look from thy lattice, love--
Listen to me!
In the voyage of life,
Love our pilot will be!
He'll sit at the helm
Wherever we rove,
And steer by the load-star
He kindled above!
His gem-girdled shallop
Will cut the bright spray,
Or skim, like a bird,
O'er the waters away!
Then look from thy lattice, love--
Listen to me,
While the moon lights the sky,
And the breeze curls the sea!

She Loved Him.

She loved him--but she heeded not--
Her heart had only room for pride:
All other feelings were forgot,
When she became another's bride.
As from a dream she then awoke,
To realize her lonely state,
And own it was the vow she broke
That made her drear and desolate!

She loved him--but the sland'rer came,
With words of hate that all believed;
A stain thus rested on his name--
But he was wronged and she deceived;
Ah! rash the act that gave her hand,
That drove her lover from her side--
Who hied him to a distant land,
Where, battling for a name, he died!

She loved him--and his memory now
Was treasured from the world apart:
The calm of thought was on her brow,
The seeds of death were in her heart.
For all the world that thing forlorn
I would not, could not be, and live--
That casket with its jewel gone,
A bride who has no heart to give!

The Suitors.

Wealth sought the bower of Beauty,
Dressed like a modern beau:
Just then Love, Health, and Duty
Took up their hats to go.
Wealth such a cordial welcome met,
As made the others grieve;
So Duty shunned the gay coquette,
Love, pouting, took French leave--
He did!
Love, pouting, took French leave!

Old Time, the friend of Duty,
Next called to see the fair;
He laid his hand on Beauty,
And left her in despair
Wealth vanished!--Last went rosy Health--
And she was doomed to prove
That those who Duty slight for Wealth,
Can never hope for Love!
Ah, no!
Can never hope for Love!

St. Agnes' Shrine.

While before St. Agnes' shrine
Knelt a true knight's lady-love,
From the wars of Palestine
Came a gentle carrier-dove.
Round his neck a Silken string
Fastened words the warrior writ:
At her call he stooped his wing,
And upon her finger lit.

She, like one enchanted, pored
O'er the contents of the scroll--
For that lady loved her lord
With a pure, devoted soul.
To her heart her dove she drew,
While she traced the burning line;
Then away his minion flew
Back to sainted Palestine.

To and fro, from hand to hand
Came and went a carrier-dove,
Till throughout the Holy Land
War resigned his sword to Love.
Swift her dove, on wings of light,
Brought the news from Palestine,
And the lady her true knight
Wedded at St. Agnes' shrine.

Western Refrain

Droop not, brothers!
As we go,
O'er the mountains,
Under the boughs of mistletoe,
Log huts we'll rear,
While herds of deer and buffalo
Furnish the cheer.
File o'er the mountains--steady, boys
For game afar
We have our rifles ready, boys!--
Throw care to the winds,
Like chaff, boys!--ha!
And join in the laugh, boys!--

Cheer up, brothers!
As we go,
O'er the mountains,
When we've wood and prairie-land,
Won by our toil,
We'll reign like kings in fairy-land,
Lords of the soil!
Then westward ho! in legions, boys--
Fair Freedom's star
Points to her sunset regions, boys--
Throw care to the winds,
Like chaff, boys!--ha!
And join in the laugh, boys!--

The Prairie on Fire [See Notes]

The shades of evening closed around
The boundless prairies of the west,
As, grouped in sadness on the ground,
A band of pilgrims leaned to rest:
Upon the tangled weeds were laid
The mother and her youngest born,
Who slept, while others watched and prayed,
And thus the weary night went on.

Thick darkness shrouded earth and sky--
When on the whispering winds there came
The Teton's shrill and thrilling cry,
And heaven was pierced with shafts of flame!
The sun seemed rising through the haze,
But with an aspect dread and dire:
The very air appeared to blaze!--
O God! the Prairie was on fire!

Around the centre of the plain
A belt of flame retreated denied--
And, like a furnace, glowed the train
That walled them in on every side:
And onward rolled the torrent wild--
Wreathes of dense smoke obscured the sky!
The mother knelt beside her child,
And all--save one--shrieked out, "We die."

"Not so!" he cried.--"Help!--Clear the sedge!
Strip bare a circle to the land!"
That done, he hastened to its edge,
And grasped a rifle in his hand:
Dried weeds he held beside the pan,
Which kindled at a flash the mass!
"Now fire fight fire!" he said, as ran
The forked flames among the grass.

On three sides then the torrent flew,
But on the fourth no more it raved!
Then large and broad the circle grew,
And thus the pilgrim band was saved!
The flames receded far and wide--
The mother had not prayed in vain:
God had the Teton's arts defied!
His scythe of fire had swept the plain!

The Evergreen.

Love can not be the aloe-tree,
Whose bloom but once is seen;
Go search the grove--the tree of love
Is sure the evergreen:
For that's the same, in leaf or frame,
'Neath cold or sunny skies;
You take the ground its roots have bound,
Or it, transplanted, dies!

That love thus shoots, and firmly roots
In woman's heart, we see;
Through smiles and tears in after-years
It grows a fadeless tree.
The tree of love, all trees above,
For ever may be seen,
In summer's bloom or winter's gloom,
A hardy evergreen.

The May-Queen.

Like flights of singing-birds went by
The cheerful hours of girlhood's day,
When, in my native bowers,
Of simple buds and flowers
They wove a crown, and hailed me Queen of May!

Like airy sprites the lasses came,
Spring's offerings at my feet to lay;
The crystal from the fountain,
The green bough from the mountain,
They brought to cheer and shade the Queen of May.

Around the May-pole on the green,
A fairy ring they tripped away;
All merriment and pleasure,
To chords of tuneful measure
They bounded by the happy Queen of May.

Though years have passed, and Time has strown
My raven locks with flakes of gray,
Fond Memory brings the hours
Of buds and blossom-showers
When in girlhood I was crowned the Queen of May.

Venetian Serenade.

Come, come to me, love!
Come, love!--Arise
And shame the bright stars
With the light of thine eyes;
Look out from thy lattice--
Oh, lady-bird, hear!
A swan on the water--
My gondola's near!

Come, come to me, love!
Come, love!--My bride!
O'er crystal in moonbeams
We'll tranquilly glide:
In the dip of the oar
A melody flows
Sweet as the nightingale
Sings to the rose.

Come, come to me, love!
Come, love!--The day
Brings warder and cloister!
Away, then--away!
Oh, haste to thy lover!
Not yon star above
Is more true to heaven
Then he to his love!

The Whip-Poor-Will.

"The plaint of the wailing Whip-poor-will,
Who mourns unseen and ceaseless sings
Ever a note of wail and wo,
Till Morning spreads her rosy wings,
And earth and sky in her glances glow."

J. R. Drake.

Why dost thou come at set of sun,
Those pensive words to say?
Why whip poor Will?--What has he done?
And who is Will, I pray?

Why come from yon leaf-shaded hill,
A suppliant at my door?--
Why ask of me to whip poor Will?
And is Will really poor?

If poverty's his crime, let mirth
From his heart be driven:
That is the deadliest sin on earth,
And never is forgiven!

Art Will himself?--It must be so--
I learn it from thy moan,
For none can feel another's wo
As deeply as his own.

Yet wherefore strain thy tiny throat,
While other birds repose?
What means thy melancholy note?--
The mystery disclose!

Still "Whip poor Will!"--Art thou a sprite,
From unknown regions sent
To wander in the gloom of night,
And ask for punishment?

Is thine a conscience sore beset
With guilt?--or, what is worse,
Hast thou to meet writs, duns, and debt--
No money in thy purse!

If this be thy hard fate indeed,
Ah! well may'st thou repine:
The sympathy I give I need--
The poet's doom is thine!

Art thou a lover, Will?--Has proved
The fairest can deceive?
This is the lot of all who've loved
Since Adam wedded Eve!

Hast trusted in a friend, and seen
No friend was he in need?
A common error--men still lean
Upon as frail a reed.

Hast thou, in seeking wealth or fame,
A crown of brambles won?
O'er all the earth 'tis just the same
With every mother's son!

Hast found the world a Babel wide,
Where man to Mammon stoops?
Where flourish Arrogance and Pride,
While modest Merit droops?

What, none of these?--Then, whence thy pain?
To guess it who's the skill?
Pray have the kindness to explain
Why should I whip poor Will?

Dost merely ask thy just desert?
What, not another word?--
Back to the woods again, unhurt--
I will not harm thee, bird!

But use thee kindly--for my nerves,
Like thine, have penance done:
"Use every man as he deserves,
Who shall 'scape whipping?"--None!

Farewell, poor Will!--Not valueless
This lesson by thee given:
"Keep thine own counsel, and confess
Thyself alone to Heaven!"

The Exile to his Sister.

As streams at morn, from seas that glide,
Rejoicing on their sparkling way,
Will turn again at eventide,
To mingle with their kindred spray--
Even so the currents of the soul,
Dear sister, wheresoe'er we rove,
Will backward to our country roll,
The boundless ocean of our love.

You northern star, now burning bright,
The guide by which the wave-tossed steer,
Beams not with a more constant light
Than does thy love, my sister dear.
From stars above the streams below
Receive the glory they impart;
So, sister, do thy virtues glow
Within the mirror of my heart.

Near the Lake.

Near the lake where drooped the willow,
Long time ago!--
Where the rock threw back the billow
Brighter than snow--
Dwelt a maid, beloved and cherished
By high and low;
But with autumn's leaf she perished,
Long time ago!

Rock and tree and flowing water,
Long time ago!--
Bee and bird and blossom taught her
Love's spell to know!
While to my fond words she listened,
Murmuring low,
Tenderly her dove-eyes glistened,
Long time ago!

Mingled were our hearts for ever,
Long time ago!
Can I now forget her?--Never!
No--lost one--no!
To her grave these tears are given,
Ever to flow:
She's the star I missed from heaven,
Long time ago!

The Pastor's Daughter.

An ivy-mantled cottage smiled,
Deep-wooded near a streamlet's side,
Where dwelt the village-pastor's child,
In all her maiden bloom and pride.
Proud suitors paid their court and duty
To this romantic sylvan beauty:
Yet none of all the swains who sought her,
Was worthy of the pastor's daughter.

The town-gallants crossed hill and plain,
To seek the groves of her retreat;
And many followed in her train,
To lay their riches at her feet.
But still, for all their arts so wary,
From home they could not lure the fairy.
A maid without a heart they thought her,
And so they left the pastor's daughter.

One balmy eve in dewy spring
A bard became her father's guest:
He struck his harp, and every string
To love vibrated in her breast.
With that true faith which can not falter,
Her hand was given at the alter,
And faithful was the heart he brought her
To wedlock and the pastor's daughter.

How seldom learn the worldly gay
With all their sophistry and art,
The sweet and gentle primrose-way
To woman's fond, devoted heart!
They seek, but never find, the treasure
Revealed in eyes of jet and azure.
To them, like truth in wells of water,
A fable is the pastor's daughter.


When I was in my teens,
I loved dear Margaretta:
I know not what it means,
I can not now forget her!
That vision of the past
My head is ever crazing;
Yet, when I saw her last,
I could not speak for gazing!
Oh, lingering bud of May!
Dear as when first I met her;
Worn in my heart always,
Life-cherished Margaretta!

We parted near the stile,
As morn was faintly breaking:
For many a weary mile
Oh how my heart was aching!
But distance, time, and change,
Have lost me Margaretta;
And yet 'tis sadly strange
That I can not forget her!
O queen of rural maids--
My dark-eyed Magaretta--
The heart the mind upbraids
That struggles to forget her!

My love, I know, will seem
A wayward, boyish folly;
But, ah! it was a dream
Most sweet--most melancholy.
Were mine the world's domain,
To me 'twere fortune better
To be a boy again,
And dream of Margaretta.
Oh! memory of the past,
Why linger to regret her?
My first love was my last!
And that is Margaretta!

The Colonel.

The Colonel!--Such a creature!
I met him at the ball!--
So fair in form and feature,
And so divinely tall!
He praised my dimpled cheeks and curls,
While whirling through the dance,
And matched me with the dark-eyed girls
Of Italy and France!

He said, in accents thrilling--
"Love's boundless as the sea;
And I, dear maid, am willing
To give up all for thee!"
I heard him--blushed--"Would ask mamma"--
And then my eyes grew dim!
He looked--I said, "Mamma--papa--
I'd give up all for him!"

My governor is rich and old;
This well the Colonel knew.
"Love's wings," he said, "when fringed with gold,
Are beautiful to view!"
I thought his 'havior quite the ton,
Until I saw him stare
When merely told that--brother--John--

Next day and the day after
I dressed for him in vain;
Was moved to tears and laughter--
He never came again!
But I have heard, for Widow Dash
He bought the bridal ring;
And he will we her for her cash--
The ugly, hateful thing!

The Sweep's Carol. [See Notes]

Through the streets of New York City,
Blithely every morn,
I carolled o'er my artless ditty,
Cheerly though forlorn!
Before the rosy light, my lay
Was to the maids begun,
Ere winters snows had passed away,
Or smiled the summer sun.

In summer months I'd fondly woo
Those merry, dark-eyed girls,
With faces of ebon hue,
And teeth like eastern pearls!
One vowed my love she would repay--
Her heart my song had won--
When winter snows had passed away,
And smiled the summer sun.

A year, alas! had scarcely flown--
Hope beamed but to deceive--
Ere I was left to weep alone,
From morn till dewy eve!
She died one dreary break of day!--
Grief weighs my heart upon!--
In vain the snows may pass away,
Or smile the summer sun.

The Seasons of Love.

The spring-time of love
Is both happy and gay,
For joy sprinkles blossoms
And balm in our way;
The sky, earth, and ocean,
In beauty repose,
And all the bright future

The summer of love
Is the bloom of the heart,
When hill, grove, and valley,
Their music impart;
And the pure glow of heaven
Is seen in fond eyes,
As lakes show the rainbow
That's hung in the skies.

The autumn of love
Is the season of cheer--
Life's mild Indian summer,
The smile of the year!
Which comes when the golden
Ripe harvest is stored,
And yields its own blessings--
Repose and reward.

The winter of love
Is the beam that we win
While the storm scowls without,
From the sunshine within.
Love's reign is eternal--
The heart is his throne,
And he has all seasons
Of life for his own.

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