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And, as a pleasant woman will,
Besought me, with so sweet a smile,
I could not choose but rest awhile—
u On yonder mossy ledge she sat,
Her sketch upon her knees,
Unrolling in the breeze;
Upraised and glorified,—
In all my mountain ride.
"As good as fair; it seemed her joy
To comfort and to give;
Will bless her while they live 1"
His manhood did not shame: "I dare say, sir, you may have known—
He named a well-known name.
Then sank the pyramidal mounds,
The blue lake fled away;
A lighted hearth for day!
The shadows fell apart;
Shone warm into my heart.
We journeyed on; but earth an$ sky
Still dreamed my inwa it-turning eye
ON RECEIVING AN EAGLE'S QUILL. 83
Ah! human kindness, human love—
To few who seek denied— Too late we learn to prize above
The whole round world beside!
ON RECEIVING AN EAGLE'S QUILL FROM LAKE SUPERIOR.
All day the darkness and the cold
Upon my heart have lain, Like shadows on the winter sky,
Like frost upon the pane;
But now my torpid fancy wakes,
And, on thy Eagle's plume,
Or witch upon her broom 1
Below me roar the rocking pines,
Before me spreads the lake,
Against the sunset break.
I hear the wild Rice-Eater thresh
The grain he has not sown;
The prairie harvest mown 1
I hear the far-off voyager's horn;
I see the Yankee's trail—
On every stream his sail.
By forest, lake and water-fall,
I see his peddler show;
The lofty with the low.
He's whittling by St. Mary's FaUs,
Upon his loaded wain; He's measuring o'er the Pictured Rocks,
With eager eyes of gain.
I hear the mattock in the mine,
The axe-stroke in the dell,
The Jesuit chapel bell I
I see the swarthy trappers come
From Mississippi's springs; And war-chiefs with their painted brows,
And crests of eagle wings.
Behind the scared squaw's birch canoe,
And city lots are staked for sale
I hear the tread of pioneers
Of nations yet to be; The first low wash of waves, where soon
Shall roll a human sea.
The'rudiments of empire here
Are plastic yet and warm; The chaos of a mighty world
Is rounding into form 1
Each rude and jostling fragment soon
The raw material of a State,
And, westering still, the star which leads
Has tipped with fire the icy spears
The snowy cones of Oregon
Are kindling on its way; And California's golden sands
Gleam brighter in its ray!
Then, blessings on thy eagle quill,
As, wandering far and wide,
And Fancy's airy ride T
Yet, welcomer than regal plumes,
Which Western trappers find, Thy free and pleasant thoughts, chance-sown,
Like feathers on the wind.
Thy symbol be the mountain-bird,
Whose glistening quill I hold; Thy home the ample air of hope,
And memory's sunset gold!
In thee, let joy with duty join,
And strength unite with love, The eagle's pinions folding round
The warm heart of the dove I
So, when in darkness sleeps the vale
The sunshine of the upper sky
A Beautiful and happy girl,
With step as light as summer air,
Of unconfined and flowing hair, A seeming child in everything,
Save thoughtful brow and ripening charms As Nature wears the smile of Spring
When sinking into Summer's arms.
A mind rejoicing in the light
Which melted through its graceful bower,
Unfolding like a morning flower:
With eyery breath of feeling woke,
From eye and lip in music spoke.
How thrills once more the lengthening chain
Of memory, at the thought of thee! Old hopes which long in dust have lain Old dreams, come thronging back again,
And boyhood lives again in me;
Its fulness of the heart is mine,
Or raised my doubtful eye to thine.
I hear again thy low replies,
I feel thy arm within my own,
With soft brown tresses overblown.
Of moonlit wave and willowy way, Of stars and flowers, and dewy leaves,
And smiles and tones more dear than they!
Ere this, thy quiet eye hath smiled
My picture of thy youth to see, When, half a woman, half a child,