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There's firmness in its even light,
Oh, a terrible thing does the hempseed seem That augurs of a breast sincere ;
Twixt the hollow floor and stout cross-beam ? And, oh! take watch how ye excite That firmness till it yield a tear.
The people rejoice, the banners are spread ; Some bosoms give an easy sigh,
There is frolic and feasting in cottage and hall; Some drops of grief will freely start;
The festival shout is echoing out But that which sears the quiet eye
From trellis'd porch and gothic wall;
Merry souls hie to the belfry tower,
[shake And rare music they make, till the quick peals
The ivy that wraps the turret round:
The hempseed lives with the old church bell, SONG OF THE HEMPSEED.
And helpeth the holiday ding-dong-dell. Ar, scatter me well, 't is a moist spring day,
The sunshine falls on a new-made grave ? Wide and far be the hempseed sown,
The funeral train is long and sad; And bravely I'll stand on the autumn land The poor man has come to the happiest home, When the rains have dropp'd and the winds And easiest pillow he ever had. have blown.
I shall be there to lower him down Man shall carefully gather me up,
Gently into his narrow bed;
To guard his feet, and cradle his head.
Flung aside with the bleaching skull,
While the earth is thrown with worm and bone, And the fire-wrought chain, and the lion's thick Till the sexton has done, and the grave is full. mane,
Back to the gloomy vault I'm borne, Shall be rivall’d by me in mighty strength. Leaving coffin and nail to crumble and rust, I have many a place in the busy world,
There I am laid with the mattock and spade, Of triumph and fear, of sorrow and joy ;
Moisten'd with tears and clogg'd with dust : I carry the freeman's flag unfurld,
Oh, the hempseed cometh in doleful shape,
With the mourner's cloak and sable crape.
Harvest shall spread with its glittering wheat;
The barn shall be open'd, the stack shall be piled; Bravely I swing in the anchor ring
Ye shall see the ripe grain shining out from the wain, Where the foot of the proud man cometh not, And the berry-stain's arms of the gleaner-child. Where the dolphin leaps, and the sea-weed creeps Heap on, heap on, till the wagon-ribs creak, O'er the rifted sand and coral grot.
Let the sheaves go towering to the sky, Down, down below I merrily go
Up with the shock till the broad wheels rock, When the huge ship takes her rocking rest ; Fear not to carry the rich freight high. The waters may chafe, but she dwelleth as safe For I will infold the tottering gold, As the young bird in its woodland nest.
I will fetter the rolling load; I wreathe the spars of that same fair ship
Not an ear shall escape my binding hold, Where the gallant sea-hearts cling about,
On the furrow'd field or jolting road: Springing aloft with a song on the lip,
Oh, the hempseed hath a fair place to fill, Putting their faith in the cordage stout.
With the harvest band on the corn-crown'd hill. I am true when the blast sways the giant mast,
Straining and stretch'd in a nor'west gale; My threads are set in the heaving net, I abide with the bark, in the day and the dark,
Out with the fisher-boy far at sea, Lashing the hammock and reefing the sail.
While he whistles a tune to the lonely moon, Oh, the billows and I right fairly cope,
And trusts for his morrow's bread to me. And the wild tide is stemm’d by the cable rope.
Toiling away through the dry summer-day,
Round and round I steadily twist, Sons of evil, bad and bold,
And bring from the cell of the deep old well Madly ye live and little ye reck,
What is rarely prized but sorely miss'd. Till I am noosed in a coiling fold
In the whirling swing-in the peg-top string, Ready to hug your felon neck.
There am I, a worshipp'd slave, The yarn is smooth and the knot is sure,
On ocean and earth I'm a goodly thing, I will be firm to the task I take;
I serve from the play-ground to the grave. Thinly they twine the halter line,
I have many a place in the busy world,
Of triumph and fear, of sorrow and joy ;
And am link'd to childhood's darling toy : But what think ye of me, 'neath the gibbet-tree, Then scatter me wide, and hackle me well, Dangiing high in the hangman's grasp? And a varied tale shall the hempseed tell.
Land of the west ! though passing brief
The record of thine age,
On history's wide page!
Thine shall be loudest far:
Thou hast the planet star.
He saved his land, but did not lay
His soldier trappings down
And don a kingly crown.
Too proud of such a son-
A noble Washington.
My loved, my native earth!-
And gave that mother birth! Oh, keenly sad would be the fate
That thrust me from thy shore, And faltering my breath, that sigh'd,
« Farewell for evermore!" But did I meet such adverse lot,
I would not seek to dwell
For Homer's song to tell.
And bear me swiftly on:
To that of Washington!
Thou hast a name whose characters
Of light shall ne'er depart; ”T is stamp'd upon the dullest brain,
And warms the coldest heart; A war-cry fit for any land
Where freedom's to be won. Land of the west! it stands alone
It is thy Washington !
Rome had its Cæsar, great and brave;
But stain was on his wreath : He lived the heartless conqueror,
And died the tyrant's death. France had its eagle; but his wings,
Though lofty they might soar, Were spread in false ambition's flight,
And dipp'd in murder's gore.
OUR NATIVE SONG.
Those hero-gods, whose mighty sway
Would fain have chain'd the waves Who flesh'd their blades with tiger zeal,
To make a world of slaves-
Still fiercely waded on-
The side of Washington ?
He fought, but not with love of strife,
He struck but to defend ;
He sought to be a friend.
By reason's gentle word, And sigh'd when fell injustice threw
The challenge-sword to sword.
Our native song! our native song!
Oh! where is he who loves it not? The spell it holds is deep and strong,
Where'er we go, whate'er our lot. Let other music greet our ear
With thrilling fire or dulcet tone; We speak to praise, we pause to hear,
But yet-oh! yet—'t is not our own! The anthem chant, the ballad wild,
The notes that we remember longThe theme we sung with lisping tongue
'Tis this we love-our native song! The one who bears the felon's brand,
With moody brow and darken'd name,
To languish out a life of shame;
Some lay his mother taught her boy-
Of home, of innocence, and joy !
And all of virtue, buried long-
Is waken'd by his native song. Self-exiled from our place of birth,
To climes more fragrant, bright, and gay The memory of our own fair earth
May chance awhile to fade away : But should some minstrel echo fall,
Of chords that breathe old England's fame, Our souls will burn, our spirits yearn,
True to the land we love and claim. The high! the low! in weal or wo,
Be sure there's something coldly wrong About the heart that does not glow
To hear its own, its native song.
He stood the firm, the calm, the wise
The patriot and sage;
No burst of despot rage.
And dauntlessly led on,
The name of Washington.
No car of triumph bore him through,
A city fill'd with grief; No groaning captives at the wheels,
Proclaim'd him victor chief; He broke the gyves of slavery
With strong and high disdain, And cast no sceptre from the links
When he had crush'd the chain.
Mr. Simmons has been several years a con 1843 he published a volume of poems entitled tributor to Blackwood's Magazine, and in | Legends and Lyrics.
Lost Lord of Song! who grandly gave
Thy matchless timbrel for the spearAnd, by old Hellas' hallow'd wave
Died at the feet of Freedom-hear! Hear-from thy lone and lowly tomb,
Where mid thy own “inviolate Isle,"
No banner's golden smile,
Unworthy of thy sacred dust,
That heaps such outrage on thy bust!
-France shall feel the want Of this last consolation, though but scant. Her honour, fame, and faith demand his bones, To pile above a pyramid of thrones !" If, then, from thy neglected bier, One humblest follower thou canst hear, O mighty Master! rise and fee,
Swift as some meteor bold and bright,
Across the dusky tracts of night,
The giant waste of waveless tide
Her melancholy pall,
Each ray of heaven's high face debar,
Where leans yon solitary star, Large, radiant, restless, tinting with far smile The jagged cliffs of a gray barren Isle. Hark! o'er the waves distinctly swell Twelve slow vibrations of a bell! And out upon the silent ear At once ring bold and sharply clear, With shock more startling than if thunder Had split the slumbering earth asunder, The iron sounds of crow and bar;
Ye scarce may know from whence they come, Whether from island or from star,
Both lie so hush'd and dumb!
Your granite heaped his head in vain ;
Dead Cæsar wakes again!
As that which once in Bethany
And set the loved-one free,
That look that, where its anger fell,
As with the blasts of hell !
By the blue Danube's stately waveFrom Berlin's towers from Moscow's snow,
And Windsor's gorgeous grave!
Below that broad unbroken sea
Long since the sultry sun has droppid, And now in dread solemnity
-As though its course Creation stopp'd One wondrous hour, to watch the birth Of deeds portentous unto earthThe moonless midnight far and wide,
Solidly black, flings over all
Half doubting if even death could quell
Such terrible renown;
Of winning back, in priceless trust,
Your victim's mighty dust. Hark! how they burst your cramps and ringsHa, ha! ye banded, baffled kings! Stout men! delve on with axe and bar, Ye're watch'd from yonder restless star : Hew the tough masonry away
Bid the tomb's ponderous portals fly!
And loud your clanking hammers ply;
Ha, ha! ye banded, baffled kings!”
-the marble floor is cleft, And slight and short the labour left; 'Tis noon—they wind the windlass now To heave the granite from his brow: Back to each gazer's waiting heart The life-blood leaps with anxious startDown Bertrand's cheek the tear-drop stealsLow in the dust Las Casas kneels, (Oh! Tried and trusted—still, as long
As the true heart's fidelity
High bards shall sing of ye!)
And sick from victory's vulgar war,
And dash thee from thy car,
Or fleshless jaws' horrific mirth,
Of him whose threshold-steps were thrones,
A mockery now to earth? No-even as though his haughty clay Scoff'd at the contact of decay, And from his mind's immortal flame Itself immortalized became, Tranquilly there Napoleon lies revealid, Like a king sleeping on his own proud shield, Harness'd for conflict, and that eagle-star, Whose fire-eyed legion foremost waked the war, Still on his bosom, tarnish'd too and dim, As if hot battle's cloud had lately circled him. Fast fades the vision from that glen Wind slow those aching-hearted men, While every mountain echo floats, Fill'd with the bugle's regal notesAnd now the gun's redoubled roar
Tells the lone peak and mighty main,
Napoleon rests again!
Whose tapers' blaze shall ne'er be dim,
Be lavish'd there for him,
Or pilgrim musing o'er those pages (Replete with marvels) that impart
His story unto ages,
VIEW ON THE HUDSON.
Sound to the sun thy solemn joy for ever!
Roll forth the enormous gladness of thy waves, Mid boundless bloom, thou bright majestic river,
Worthy the giant land thy current laves ! Each bend of beauty, from the stooping cliff, Whose shade is dotted by the fisher's skiff, From rocks embattled, that, abrupt and tall, Heave their bulk skyward like a castle-wall, And hem thee in, until the Rapids hoarse Split the huge marble with an earthquake's force, To where thy waves are sweet with summer scents, Flung from the Highland's softer lineaments Each lovelier change thy broadening billows take, Now sweeping on, now like some mighty lake, Stretching away where evening-tinted isles Woo thee to linger mid their rosy smiles
The lonely cove—the village-humming hill Be it lost in the trumpet's magnificent wo,
From the Bosphorus swelling,
To Christendom telling Who tracks thee but by fancy's aid alone. That the fiery Rome-tramplers' descendant is low. Yet well his boyhood's earnest hours adored. By the Prophet! remember his terrible mirth, Thy haunted headlands, since he first explored When he swept the Janitzars as stubble from earth; With Weld the vast and shadowy recesses
On the domes of Sophia like midnight he stood, Of their grand woods and verdant wildernesses ; The avenger of Selin's and Mustapha's blood ! Since first he open'd the enchanted books
Red dogs of rebellion, with tearing and yell (Whose words are silver liquid as the brook's)
And chain'd valour's despair, Of that loved wanderer, who told the west
In their own savage lair, Van Winkle's wondrous tale, and fill'd each breast Mow'd down beneath cannon and carbine they fell. By turns with awe, delight, or blithe emotion,
Raise the song to the mighty! high Mahmoud, Painting the life thy forest-shadows knew,
whose stroke What time the settlers, crowding o'er the ocean, In a moment the fetters of centuries broke! Spread their white sails along thy waters blue.
Far kings of the west, how your trophies grow dim Theirs were the hearts true liberty bestows In the light of the fame that awaiteth for him!
The valour that adventure lights in men; The contemner of Korans, who, girded by foes, And in their children still the metal glows,
The Ark of salvation As well can witness each resounding glen
First launch'd for his nation, Of the fair scene, whose mellow colours shine When the press mid the curses of fanatics rose.
Beneath the splendour of yon evening orb, Hu Alla-hu Alla! the blest caravan That sinks serene as Washington's decline,
Is in sight from Damascus, and Mecca is wanWhose memory here should meaner thoughts Sheik and Imam are trembling with terror and awe, absorb.
For this Cadmus of Caliphs has laugh'd at the law: Here rose the ramparts, never rear'd in vain Fair painting must sully the Prophet's proud tomb, When Justice smites in two the oppressor's chain;
For Athenè, not loth, Here, year on year, through yonder heaven of blue,
Has left Greece to the Goth, The bomb's hot wrath its rending volleys threw And planted her arts-shading olive in Roum. Against those towers, which, scorning all attack, Still rolld the assailants' shatter'd battle back;
In vain, Ghazi-Sultaun! when Pera's sweet shore
In the blue of Propontis is rosy no moreTill, as they fled in final rout, behind
When Olympus no longer on Thrace looks abroad, Soar’d the Republic's flag, high-floating in the wind!
And the name of the Frank shall not signify fraud, Long may that star-emblazoned banner wave Then the slaves shall be worthy the war-vest, and Its folds triumphant o'er a land so brave,
then, Fann'd by no breeze but that which wafts us now
When thy spirit imparts The laugh of Plenty, leaning on the plough.
To their recreant hearts And should Columbia's iron-hearted men
Its grandeur, thy horse-tails may flap over men. Try the fierce fortune of the sword again,
Sound the trump for the mighty! great Allah thy Be theirs to wield it in no wanton cause, Fired by no braggart orators' applause,
With Azrel, the angel unsparing, is gone! In no red conflict, whose unrighteous tide
While round his shrunk borders the thunder was Could call nor Truth nor Mercy to their side,
growling, So may their empire still supremely sweep
And the Muscovite wolves thickly herded were From age to age the illimitable deep,
howling, With sway surpassing all but her proud reign,
And snuffing the gales that, refreshingly cool, Whose hand reposes on her lion's mane
On their merciless thirst The Ocean Queen-within whose rude isle lock'd
In wild redolence burst, Their own stern fathers' infancy was rock'd;
Where, bulwark'd in gold, blush the brides of StainWhere first they breathed, amid the bracing north,
boul. Fair Freedom's spirit, till she sent them forthHer cloud above their exodus unfurl'de
Sound the trump for the mighty! he died ere the To spread her worship o'er a second world.
tramp Of the terror-horsed Tartar who dash'd from the
Stay'd his soul with the tale that his dastardly hordes DEATH-CHANT FOR THE SULTAN Lay reap'd upon Nekshib, where sickles were MAHMOUD.
And the lords of the spear's haughty kingdom has Raise the song to the mighty, whose glory shall die
past When the moon of his empire has dropp'd from the To the Rebel and Hun! sky;
And the death-song is done : And if wail be awaken'd for him who smote down But thy praise shall not perish, lost Mahmoud the Grim bigotry's Moloch, guilt's bloody renown,