Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
Yet, Cole! thy heart shall bear to Europe’s strand
A living image of thy native land,
Such as on thine own glorious canvas lies;
Lone lakes—savannas where the bison roves—
Rocks rich with summer garlands—solemn streams—
Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams—
Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves.
Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest—fair,
But different—everywhere the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air,
Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.
Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,
And coloured with the heaven’s own blue,
That openest when the quiet light
Succeeds the keen and frosty night.
Thou comest not when violets lean
O’er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
Or columbines, in purple dressed,
Nod o’er the ground-bird’s hidden nest.
Thou waitest late and com’st alone,
When woods are bare and birds are flown,
And frosts and shortening days portend
The aged year is near his end.
Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue—blue—as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall.
I would that thus, when I shall see
The hour of death draw near to me,
Hope, blossoming within my heart,
May look to heaven as I depart.
Wild was the day; the wintry sea
Moaned sadly on New-England’s strand,
When first the thoughtful and the free,
Our fathers, trod the desert land.
They little thought how pure a light,
With years, should gather round that day;
How love should keep their memories bright,
How wide a realm their sons should sway.
Green are their bays; but greener still
Shall round their spreading fame be wreathed,
And regions, now untrod, shall thrill
With reverence when their names are breathed.
Till where the sun, with softer fires,
Looks on the vast Pacific’s sleep,
The children of the pilgrim sires
This hallowed day like us shall keep.
Not in the solitude
Alone may man commune with Heaven, or see
Only in savage wood
And sunny vale, the present Deity;
Or only hear his voice
Where the winds whisper and the waves rejoice.
Even here do I behold
Thy steps, Almighty!—here, amidst the crowd,
Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur deep and loud—
Choking the ways that wind
’Mongst the proud piles, the work of human kind.