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How the armed warrior sate him down to hear
Of Peace and Truth,
And fair and bright-eyed youth.
Oh, far away beneath New England's sky,
Even when a boy, Following my plough by Merrimack's green shore, His simple record I have pondered o'er
With deep and quiet joy.
And hence this scene, in sunset glory warm —
Its woods around, Its still stream winding on in light and shade, Its soft, green meadows and its upland glade —
To me is holy ground.
And dearer far than haunts where Genius keeps
His vigils still;
Or Virgil's laurelled hill.
To the grey walls of fallen Paraclete,
To Juliet's urn, Fair Arno and Sorrento's orange grove, Where Tasso sang, let young Romance and Love
Like brother pilgrims turn.
But here a deeper and serener charm
To all is given; And blessed memories of the faithful dead O'er wood and vale and meadow-stream have shed
The holy hues of Heaven!
TO JOHN PIERPONT.
Not as a poor requital of the joy
With which my childhood heard that lay of thine,
Which, like an echo of the song divine
Bore to my ear the airs of Palestine,—
And girded for thy constant strife with wrong,
The broken walls of Zion, even thy song Hath a rude martial tone, a blow in every thought! THE CYPRESS TREE OF CEYLON.
[ibx Batuta, the celebrated Mussulman traveller of the fourteenth century, speaks of a Cypress tree in Ceylon, universally held sacred by the natives, the leaves of which were said to fall only at certain intervals, and he who had the happiness to find and eat one of them, was restored, at once, to youth and vigor. The traveller saw several venerable Jooees, or saints, sitting silent and motionless under the tree, patiently awaiting the falling of a leaf.]
Thet sat in silent watchfulness
The sacred cypress tree about,
Their failing eyes looked out.
Through weary night and lingering day — , Grim as the idols at their side
And motionless as they.
Unheeded in the boughs above
The song of Ceylon's birds was sweet;
Unseen of them the island flowers
O'er them the tropic night-storm swept,
The cloud-fire on their eye-balls blazed, *
What was the world without to them?
The Moslem's sunset-call — the dance
Of battle-flag and lance?
They waited for that falling leaf,
Of which the wandering Jogees sing:
Which lends once more to wintry age
Oh!—if these poor and blinded ones
O'er torpid pulse and failing limb
Shall we, who sit beneath that Tree,
In answer to the breath of prayer
Not to restore our failing forms,
And build the spirit's broken shrine,
But, on the fainting Soul to shed
Shall we grow weary in our watch,
Impatient of our Father's time
Or, shall the stir of outward things
When on the heathen watcher's ear
Alas! a deeper test of faith
The self-abasing watchfulness
We gird us bravely to rebuke
And in the ear of Pride and Power
Easier to smite with Peter's sword,
Than "watch one hour" in humbling prayer: Life's "great things," like the Syrian lord
Our hearts can do and dare.
But oh! we shrink from Jordan's skle,
And murmur for Abana's banks
Oh, Thou, who in the garden's shade
Who slumbered at that fearful hour
Bend o'er us now, as over them,
Nor leave us slumbering in the watch
A DREAM OF SUMMER.
Bland as the morning breath of June
The southwest breezes play;
Seems warm as summer's day.
Has dropped his icy spear;
Again the streams gush clear.
The fox his hill-side cell forsakes,
The bluebird in the meadow brakes