Stern Seer of the future,
thy curtain unroll,
And show to long ages our empire of peace—
Where man never bent to the despot’s control,
And the spirit of liberty never shall cease.
Our Stars and our Stripes ’mid battle’s loud thunder,
Were bound by our sires in the wedlock of love—
Oh! ne’er shall the spirit of strife put asunder,
The Union thus hallowed by spirits above.
Bright Star of the West—broad Land of the Free,
The wreath and the anthem are woven for thee!
[Illustration: The Outcast]
Far, far away,
where sunsets weave
Their golden tissues o’er the scene,
And distant glaciers, dimly heave,
Like trailing ghosts, their peaks between—
Where, at the Rocky Mountain’s base,
Arkansas, yet an infant, lingers,
A while the drifting leaves to chase,
Like laughing youth, with playful fingers—
There Nature, in her childhood, wrought
’Mid rock and rill, with leaf and flower,
A vale more beautiful than thought
E’er gave to favored fairy’s bower:
And in that hidden hermitage,
Of forest, river, lake, and dell,—
While Time himself grew gray and sage,
The lone Enchantress loved to dwell.
Ages have flown,—the
Have swept that lonely land; the flowers
Have nodded to the breeze; the vales,
Long, long, have sheltered in their bowers,
The forest minstrels; and the race
Of mastodons hath come and gone;
And with the stream of time, the chase
Of bubbling life hath swept the lawn,
Unmarked, save that the bedded clay,
Tells where some giant sleeper lies;
And wrinkled cliffs, tottering and gray,
Whisper of crumbled centuries.
Yet there the valley smiles; the tomb
Of ages is a garden gay,
And wild flowers freshen in their bloom,
As from the sod they drink decay.
And creeping things of every hue,
Dwell in this savage Eden-land,
And all around it blushes new,
As when it rose at God’s command.
Untouched by man, the forests wave,
The floods pour by, the torrents fall,
And shelving cliff and shadowy cave,
Hang as bold nature hung them all!
The hunter’s wandering foot hath wound,
To this far scene, perchance like mine,
And there a Forest Dreamer found,
Who walks the dell with spectral mien.
Youthful his brow, his bearing high—
Yet writhed his lip, and all subdued,
The fire that once hath lit his eye.
Wayward and sullen oft his mood;
But he perchance may deign to tell,
As he hath told to me, his tale,
In words like these,—while o’er the dell,
The autumn twilight wove its veil.