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In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O ye fountains, meadows, hills, and groves,
Think not of any severing of our loves !
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might ;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they ;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
Is lovely yet ;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality ;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live ;
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her father took another mate;
And Ruth, not seven years old,
A slighted child, at her own will
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom bold.
And she had made a pipe of straw,
And from that oaten pipe could draw
All sounds of winds and floods;
Had built a bower upon the green,
As if she from her birth had been
An infant of the woods.
Beneath her father's roof, alone
She seemed to live; her thoughts her own ;
Herself her own delight ;
Pleased with herself, nor sad, nor gay;
And, passing thus the livelong day,
She grew to woman's height.
There came a youth from Georgia's shore
A military casque he wore,
With splendid feathers drest;
He brought them from the Cherokees;
The feathers nodded in the breeze,
And made a gallant crest.
From Indian blood you deem him sprung :
Ah no! he spake the English tongue,
And bore a soldier's name ;
And when America was free
From battle and from jeopardy,
He 'cross the ocean came.
With hues of genius on his cheek
In finest tones the youth could speak :
-While he was yet a boy,
The moon, the glory of the sun,
And streams that murmur as they run,
Had been his dearest joy.
He was a lovely youth ! I guess
The panther in the wilderness
Was not so fair as he ;
And, when he chose to sport and play,
No dolphin ever was so gay
Upon the tropic sea.
Among the Indians he had fought
And with him many tales he brought
Of pleasure and of fear ;
Such tales as told to any maid
By such a youth, in the green shade,
Were perilous to hear.
He told of girls, a happy rout !
Who quit their fold with dance and shout,
Their pleasant Indian town,
To gather strawberries all day long ;
Returning with a choral song
When daylight is gone down.
· He spake of plants divine and strange
That every hour their blossoms change,
Ten thousand lovely hues !
With budding, fading, faded flowers
They stand the wonder of the bowers
From morn to evening dews.
He told of the magnolia, spread
High as a cloud, high over head !
The cypress and her spire,
--Of flowers that with one scarlet gleam
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem
To set the hills on fire.
The youth of green savannahs spake, And many an endless, endless lake, With all its fairy crowds Of islands, that together lie As quietly as spots of sky Among the evening clouds.
And then he said, “How sweet it were
A fisher or a hunter there,
A gardener in the shade,
Still wandering with an easy mind
To build a household fire, and find
A home in every glade !
“What days and what sweet years! Ah me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee
So pass'd in quiet bliss,
And all the while,” said he, “to know
That we were in a world of woe,
On such an earth as this !”
And then he sometimes interwove
Dear thoughts about a father's love :
“ For there,” said he, “are spun
Around the heart such tender ties,
That our own children to our eyes
Are dearer than the sun.
“Sweet Ruth ! and could you go with me
My helpmate in the woods to be,
Our shed at night to rear ;
Or run, my own adopted bride,
A sylvan huntress at my side,
And drive the flying deer!
“Beloved Ruth!”-No more he said.
The wakeful Ruth at midnight shed
A solitary tear :
She thought again—and did agree
With him to sail across the sea,
And drive the flying deer.
“And now, as fitting is and right,
We in the church our faith will plight,
A husband and a wife.”