Imagens da página

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;
Hath its deep fountain in the heart.

Merry souls hie to the belfry tower,
Gaily they laugh when I am found,

[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;
His hand shall rule and my form shall change, I shall be there, the work to share,
Not as a mate for the purple of state,

To guard his feet, and cradle his head.
Nor into aught that is “ rich and strange.” I may be seen on the hillock green,
But I will come forth all woven and spun,

Flung aside with the bleaching skull,
With my fine threads curl'd in serpent length,

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,
I am link'd to childhood's darling toy.

With the mourner's cloak and sable crape.
Then scatter me wide, and hackle me well,
For a varied tale can the hempseed tell.

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,
Yet when does the halter hitch or break ?

Of triumph and fear, of sorrow and joy ;
My leaves are light and my flowers are bright I carry the freeman's flag unfurl'd,
Fit for an infant hand to clasp;

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,
Thou hast a name that darkens all

On history's wide page!
Let all the blasts of fame ring out-

Thine shall be loudest far:
Let others boast their satellites-

Thou hast the planet star.

He saved his land, but did not lay

His soldier trappings down
To change them for the regal vest,

And don a kingly crown.
Fame was too earnest in her joy-

Too proud of such a son-
To let a robe and title mask

A noble Washington.
England, my heart is truly thine-

My loved, my native earth!-
The land that holds a mother's grave,

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
Where olden heroes wrought the deeds

For Homer's song to tell.
Away, thou gallant ship! I'd cry,

And bear me swiftly on:
But bear me from my own fair land,

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.


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-
Who, though their kindred barr'd the path,

Still fiercely waded on-
Oh, where shall be their “glory” by

The side of Washington ?

He fought, but not with love of strife,

He struck but to defend ;
And ere he turn'd a people's foe,

He sought to be a friend.
He strove to keep his country's right,

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,
Thrust meanly from his father-land,

To languish out a life of shame;
Oh! let him hear some simple strain-

Some lay his mother taught her boy-
He'll feel the charm, and dream again

Of home, of innocence, and joy !
The sigh will burst, the drops will start,

And all of virtue, buried long-
The best, the purest in his heart,

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;
He show'd no deep, avenging hate-

No burst of despot rage.
He stood for liberty and truth,

And dauntlessly led on,
Till shouts of victory gave forth,

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,"
Beneath no minster's marble gloom,

No banner's golden smile,
Far from the swarming city's crowd,
Thy glory round thee for a shroud,
Thou sleepest,—the pious rustic's tread
The only echo o'er thy bed,
Save, few and faint, when o'er the foam
The pilgrims of thy genius come,
From distant earth, with tears of praise,
The homage of their hearts to raise,
And curse the country's very name,

Unworthy of thy sacred dust,
That draws such lustre from thy fame,

That heaps such outrage on thy bust!
Wake from the dead-and lift thy brow
With the same scornful beauty now,
As when beneath thy shafts of pride
Envenom'd cant—the Python-died !
Prophet no less than bard, behold
Matured the eventful moment, told
In those divine predictive words
Pour'd to the lyre's transcendent chords :-
« If e'er his awful ashes can grow cold-
But no, theirembers soon shall burst their mould-

-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,
With me thy cloud, attending thee,

Across the dusky tracts of night,
To where the sunset's latest radiance shone
O'er Afric's sea interminably lone.

The giant waste of waveless tide

Her melancholy pall,
Whose folds in thickest gloom unfurl'd,

Each ray of heaven's high face debar,
Save, on the margin of the world

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!
On, swift and deep, those echoes sweep,
Shaking long-buried kings from sleep-
Up, up! ye sceptred Jailers—ho!

Your granite heaped his head in vain ;
The very grave gives back your foe-

Dead Cæsar wakes again!
The nations, with a voice as dread

As that which once in Bethany
Burst to the regions of the dead,

And set the loved-one free,
Have cried, “Come forth !” and lo! again,
To smite the hearts and eyes of men
With the old awe he once instill'd
By many an unforgotten field,
Napoleon's look shall startle day-

That look that, where its anger fell,
Scorch'd empires from the earth away

As with the blasts of hell !
Up—from the dust, ye sleepers, ho!

By the blue Danube's stately waveFrom Berlin's towers from Moscow's snow,

And Windsor's gorgeous grave!
Come-summon'd by the omnific power,
The spirit of this thrilling hour-
And, stooping from yon craggy height,
Girt by each perish'd satellite,
Each cunning tool of kingly terror
Who served your reigns of fraud and error,
Behold, where with relentless lock
Ye chain'd Prometheus to his rock,
And, when his tortured bosom ceased
Your vulture's savage beak to feast,
Where fathom-deep ye dug his cell,
And built and barr'd his coffin down,

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;
Now mid the torch's solemn glare,
And bended knee, and mutter'd prayer,
Within that green sepulchral glen
Uncover'd groups of warrior men
Breathless perform the high behest

Of winning back, in priceless trust,
For the regenerated West,

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 firin your sounding levers sway,

And loud your clanking hammers ply;
Nor falter though the work be slow,
Ye something gain in every blow,
While deep each heart in chorus sings,

Ha, ha! ye banded, baffled kings!”
Brave men ! delve on with axe and bar,
Ye're watch'd from yonder glorious star.
'Tis morn-

-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
Shall form the theme of harp and song,

High bards shall sing of ye!)
One moment, and thy beams, O sun !
The bier of him shall look upon,
Who, save the heaven-expell’d, alone
Dared envy thee thy blazing throne;
Who haply oft, with gaze intent,

And sick from victory's vulgar war,
Panted to sweep the firmament,

And dash thee from thy car,
And cursed the clay that still confined
His narrow conquests to mankind.
"Tis done—his chiefs are lifting now
The shroud from that tremendous brow,
That with the lightning's rapid might
Illumed Marengo's awful night-
Flash'd over Lodi's murderous bridge,
Swept Prussia from red Jena's ridge,
And broke once more the Austrian sword
By Wagram's memorable ford.
And may man's puny race, that shook
Before the terrors of that look,
Approach unshrinking now, and see
How far corruption's raastery
Has tamed the tyrant-tamer ?

That silken cloud, what meets the gaze ?
The scanty dust, or whitening bones,

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,
Beneath his glorious Tricolor

Napoleon rests again!
And France's galley soon the sail
Shall spread triumphant to the gale;
Till, lost upon the lingering eye,
It melts and mingles in the sky.
Let Paris, too, prepare a show,
And deck her streets in gaudy wo;
And rear a more than kingly shrine,

Whose tapers' blaze shall ne'er be dim,
And bid the sculptor's art divine

Be lavish'd there for him,
And let him take his rest serene,
(Even so he will’d it) by the Seine ;
But ever to the poet's heart,

Or pilgrim musing o'er those pages (Replete with marvels) that impart

His story unto ages,
The spacious azure of yon sea
Alone his minster floor shall be,
Coped by the stars-red evening's smile
His epitaph ; and thou, rude Isle,
Austerely-brow'd and thunder rent,
Napoleon's only monument !

[ocr errors]


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,
The green dell lending thee its fairy rill-

From the Bosphorus swelling,
All, all, are old familiar scenes to one

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.

swords !

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,



« AnteriorContinuar »