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Then come ye not near me, my sad heart to cheer,
With friendship's soft accents, or sympathy's tear.
No pity I ask, and no counsel I need,
But bring me, oh, bring me my gallant young steed,
With his high archéd neck, and his nostril spread wide,
His eye full of fire, and his step full of pride!
As I spring to his back, as I seize the strong rein,
The strength to my spirit returneth again!
The bonds are all broken that fetter'd my mind,
And my cares borne away on the wings of the wind;
My pride lifts its head, for a season bow'd down,
And the queen in my nature now puts on her crown!
Now we're off-like the winds to the plains whence they came;
And the rapture of motion is thrilling my frame!
On, on speeds my courser, scarce printing the sod,
Scarce crushing a daisy to mark where he trod!
On, on like a deer, when the hound's early bay
Awakes the wild echoes, away, and away!
Still faster, still farther, he leaps at my cheer,
Till the rush of the startled air whirrs in my ear!
Now 'long a clear rivulet lieth his track,
See his glancing hoofs tossing the white pebbles back!
Now a glen, dark as midnight—what matter?-we'll down,
Though shadows are round us, and rocks o'er us frown;
The thick branches shake, as we're hurrying through,
And deck us with spangles of silvery dew!
What a wild thought of triumph, that this girlish hand
Such a steed in the might of his strength may command !
What a glorious creature! Ah! glance at him now,
As I check him a while on this green hillock's brow;
How he tosses his mane, with a shrill, joyous neigh,
And paws the firm earth in his proud, stately play!
Hurrah! off again, dashing on as in ire,
Till the long, flinty pathway is flashing with fire !
Ho! a ditch !-Shall we pause ? No; the bold leap we dare,
Like a swift-wingéd arrow we rush through the air!
Oh, not all the pleasures that poets may praise,
Not the wildering waltz in the ball-room's blaze,
Nor the chivalrous joust, nor the daring race,
Nor the swift regatta, nor merry chase,
Nor the sail, high heaving waters o'er,
Nor the rural dance on the moonlight shore,
Can the wild and thrilling joy exceed
Of a fearless leap on a fiery steed!
Yes, ye are few,—and they were few
Who, daring storm and sea,
Once raised upon old Plymouth rock
“ The anthem of the free."
And they were few at Lexington,
To battle, or to die,
That lightning-flash, that thunder-peal,
That told the storm was nigh.
And they were few, who dauntless stood
Upon old Bunker's height, And waged with Britain's strength and pride
The fierce, unequal fight.
And they were few, who, all unawed
By kingly “rights divine," The Declaration, rebel scroll,
Untrembling dared to sign.
Yes, ye are few, for one proud glance
Can take in all your band,
As now against a countless host,
Firm, true, and calm, ye stand.
Unmoved by Folly's idiot laugh,
Hate's curse, or Envy's frown,Wearing your rights as royal robes, Your
manhood as a crown,
With eyes whose gaze, unveil'd by mists,
Still rises clearer, higher,-
With stainless hands, and lips that Truth
Hath touch'd with living fire,
With one high hope, that ever shines
Before you as a star,One prayer of faith, one fount of strength,
A glorious few ye are !
Ye dare not fear, ye cannot fail,
Your destiny ye bind
To that sublime, eternal law
That rules the march of mind.
See yon bold eagle toward the sun
Now rising free and strong, And see yon mighty river roll
Its sounding tide along:
Ah! yet near earth the eagle tires,
Lost in the sea, the river ;
But naught can stay the human mind,-
'Tis upward, onward, ever!
It yet shall tread the starlit paths,
By highest angels trod,
And pause but at the farthest world
In the universe of God.
'Tis said that Persia's baffled king,
In mad, tyrannic pride,
Cast fetters on the Hellespont,
To curb its swelling tide :
But freedom's own true spirit heaves
The bosom of the main ;
It toss'd those fetters to the skies,
And bounded on again!
The scorn of each succeeding age
On Xerxes' head was hurld,
And o'er that foolish deed has peal'd
The long laugh of a world.
Thus, thus, defeat, and scorn, and shame,
Is his, who strives to bind
The restless, leaping waves of thought,
The free tide of the mind.
What siren joy from thy high trust hath won thee,
O Poet of to-day?-thou still unheard,
Though struggling nations cast their eyes upon thee,
And the roused world is waiting for thy word !
Why lingerest thou amid the summer places,
The gardens of romance, the haunt of dreams, 'Mid verdurous shadows, lit by fairy faces,
And fitful playing of soft, golden gleams ? Arouse ! look up, to where above thee tower
Regions of being grander, freer, higher,
Where God reveals his presence and his power,
E’en as of old, in thunders and in fire.
Ah, when the soul of ancient song was blending
With the rapt bard's in his immortal strains,
'Twas like the wine drunk on Olympus, sending
Divine intoxication through the veins. It brought strange, charméd words, and magic singing,
And forms of beauty burning on the sight,Young loves their flight through airs ambrosial winging,
And dark-brow'd heroes arming for the fight,The trumpet's “golden cry,” the shield's quick flashing,
The dance of banners and the rush of war,Death-showers of arrows and the spear's sharp clashing,
The homeward rolling of the victor's car! But, ah! in all that song's heroic story,
Had sad Humanity one briefest part ? Sounds through the clang of words, the storm, the glory,
One sharp, strong cry from out her bleeding heart?
But unto thee the soul of song is given,
O Poet of to-day, a grander dower,-
Comes from a higher than the Olympian heaven,
In holier beauty and in larger power.
To thee Humanity, her woes revealing,
Would all her griefs and ancient wrongs rehearse ;
Would make thy song the voice of her appealing,
And sob her mighty sorrows through thy verse.
Wherever Truth her holy warfare wages,
Or Freedom pines, there let thy voice be heard ;
Sound like a prophet-warning down the ages
The human utterance of God's living word.
Oh, let thy lays prolong that angel-singing,
Girdling with music the Redeemer's star,
And breathe God's peace, to earth “glad tidings" bringing
From the near heavens, of old so dim and far!
This is the assumed name of one of our sweetest female poets,-a name bestowed upon her by the poet Willis when she first began to write for the press. Her poems were written chiefly at a very early age, and yet have all the strength and finish of the productions of a more experienced hand. She is a native of Philadelphia, and now resides in Montrose, Pennsylvania.!
“Her dramatic power,”-observes Dr. Griswold,—"observation of life ; imagination, fancy, and the easy and natural flow of her verse, which is nowhere marred by any blemish of imperfect taste, entitle this very youthful poet to a place in the common estimation inferior to none occupied by writers of ber years." We will add that, in our estimation, she is inferior to none of her own sex of any years.
The early spring hath gone; I see her stand
Afar off on the hills, white clouds, like doves,
Yoked by the south wind to her opal car,
1 As she was a very dear pupil of mine, I could, of course, give ber Dame; but in a most kind and grateful letter received from her, in answer to one of inquiry, she says, “ Personally, I have never come before the public; and will you pardon me if I withhold some of the biographical facts you ask for? About Edith May,' Mr. Willis's creation, you may say what you please ; but there is little to be said. She has published a trifling work in prose, and a volume of poems, and is a born and bred Philadelphian. I wonder if certain pleasant Shakspearian readings in our school, that I well remember, had any thing to do with my fancy for versemaking?"
A superb edition of her poems, elegantly illustrated, has been published by E. H. Butler & Co., Philadelphia.
And at her feet a lion and a lamb
Couch’d, side by side. Irresolute spring hath gone !
And summer comes like Psyche, zephyr-borne
To her sweet land of pleasures.
She is here!
Amid the distant vales she tarried long,
But she hath come, oh joy !-for I have heard
Her many-chorded harp the livelong day
Sounding from plains and meadows, where, of late,
Rattled the hail's sharp arrows, and where came
The wild north wind careering like a steed
Unconscious of the rein. She hath gone forth
Into the forest, and its poised leaves
Are platform'd for the zephyr's dancing feet.
Under its green pavilions she hath rear'd
Most beautiful things; the spring's pale orphans lie
Shelter'd upon her breast; the bird's loud song
At morn outsoars his pinion, and when waves
Put on night's silver harness, the still air
Is musical with soft tones. She hath baptized
Earth with her joyful weeping. She hath bless'd
All that do rest beneath the wing of Heaven,
And all that hail its smile. Her ministry
Is typical of love. She hath disdain'd
No gentle office, but doth bend to twine
The grape's light tendrils and to pluck apart
The heart-leaves of the rose. She doth not pass
Unmindful the bruised vine, nor scorn to lift
The trodden weed; and when her lowlier children
Faint by the wayside like worn passengers,
She is a gentle mother, all night long
Bathing their pale brows with her healing dews.
The hours are spendthrifts of her wealth ; the days
Are dower'd with her beauty.
THE COLORING OF HAPPINESS.
My heart is full of prayer and praise to-day,
So beautiful the whole world seems to me!
I know the morn has dawn'd as is its wont,
I know the breeze comes on no lighter wing,
I know the brook chimed yesterday that same
Melodious call to my unanswering thought ;
But I look forth with new-created eyes,
And soul and sense seem link'd and thrill alike,
And things familiar have unusual grown,
Taking my spirit with a fair surprise !
But yesterday, and life seemed tented round
With idle sadness. Not a bird sang out
But with a mournful meaning; not a cloud-
And there were many—but in flitting past
Trail'd somewhat of its darkness o'er my heart,
And loitering, half becalm'd, unfreighted all,
Went by the Heaven-bound hours.