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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 “ Hów 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! Ab me!
Our life were life indeed, with thee
So passed 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 be, 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.
Sweet Ruth alone 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.”
Even so they did; and I may say
That to sweet Ruth that happy day
Was more than human life.
Through dream and vision did she sink,
Delighted all the while to think
That, on those lonesome floods,
And green savannahs, she should share
His board with lawful joy, and bear
His name in the wild woods.
But, as you have before been told,
This Stripling, sportive, gay, and bold,
And with his dancing crest
So beautiful, through savage lands
Had roamed about with vagrant bands
Of Indians in the West.
The wind, the tempest roaring high,
The tumult of a tropic sky,
Might well be dangerous food
For him, a Youth to whom was given
So much of earth so much of Heaven,
And such impetuous blood.
Whatever in those Climes he found
Irregular in sight or sound
Did to his mind impart
A kindred impulse, seemed allied
To his own powers, and justified
The workings of his heart.
Nor less to feed voluptuous thought
The beauteous forms of nature wrought,
Fair trees and lovely flowers ;
The breezes their own languor lent;
The stars bad feelings, which they sent
Into those magic bowers.
Yet, in his worst pursuits, I ween
That sometimes there did intervene
Pure hopes of high intent;
For passions linked to forms so fair
And stately needs must have their share
Of noble sentiment.
But ill he lived, much evil saw
With men to whom no better law
Nor better life was known ;
Deliberately and undeceived
Those wild men's vices he received,
And gave them back his own.
His genius and his moral frame
Were thus impaired, and he became
The slave of low desires :
A Man who without self-controul
Would seek what the degraded soul