LINES ON REVISITING THE COUNTRY.
I stand upon my native hills again,
Broad, round, and green, that in the summer sky
With garniture of waving grass and grain,
Orchards, and beechen forests, basking lie,
While deep the sunless glens are scooped between,
Where brawl o’er shallow beds the streams unseen.
A lisping voice and glancing eyes are near,
And ever restless feet of one, who, now,
Gathers the blossoms of her fourth bright year;
There plays a gladness o’er her fair young brow,
As breaks the varied scene upon her sight,
Upheaved and spread in verdure and in light.
For I have taught her, with delighted eye,
To gaze upon the mountains,—to behold,
With deep affection, the pure ample sky,
And clouds along its blue abysses rolled,—
To love the song of waters, and to hear
The melody of winds with charmed ear.
Here, I have ’scaped the city’s stifling
Its horrid sounds, and its polluted air;
And, where the season’s milder fervours beat,
And gales, that sweep the forest borders, bear
The song of bird, and sound of running stream,
Am come awhile to wander and to dream.
Ay, flame thy fiercest, sun! thou canst not wake,
In this pure air, the plague that walks unseen.
The maize leaf and the maple bough but take,
From thy strong heats, a deeper, glossier green.
The mountain wind, that faints not in thy ray,
Sweeps the blue steams of pestilence away.
The mountain wind! most spiritual thing of all
The wide earth knows; when, in the sultry time,
He stoops him from his vast cerulean hall,
He seems the breath of a celestial clime!
As if from heaven’s wide-open gates did flow
Health and refreshment on the world below.
THE DEATH OF THE FLOWERS.
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit’s tread.
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
Where are the flowers, the fair young flowers, that
lately sprang and stood
In brighter light, and softer airs, a beauteous sisterhood?
Alas! they all are in their graves, the gentle race, of flowers
Are lying in their lowly beds, with the fair and good of ours.
The rain is falling where they lie, but the cold November rain
Calls not from out the gloomy earth the lovely ones again.
The wind-flower and the violet, they perished long
And the brier-rose and the orchis died amid the summer glow;
But on the hill the golden-rod, and the aster in the wood,
And the yellow sun-flower by the brook in autumn beauty stood,
Till fell the frost from the clear cold heaven, as falls the plague on men,
And the brightness of their smile was gone, from upland, glade, and glen.