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LEGENDARY

TTHE MERRIMACK.

[" The Indians epcak of a beautiful river, far to the South, which they call Merrimack." — Sieub Db Moots: 1604.]

Stream of my fathers! sweetly still

The sunset rays thy valley fill;

Poured slantwise down the long defile,

Wave, wood, and spire beneath them smile.

I see the winding Powow fold

The green hill in its belt of gold,

And following down its wavy line,

Its sparkling waters blend with thine.

There's not a tree upon thy side,

Nor rock, which thy returning tide

As yet hath left abrupt and stark

Above thy evening water-mark;

No calm cove with its rocky hem,

No isle whose emerald swells begem

Thy broad, smooth current; not a sail

Bowed to the freshening ocean gale;

No small boat with its busy oars,

Nor gray wall sloping to thy shores;

Nor farm-house with its maple shade,

Or rigid poplar colonnade,

But lies distinct and full in sight,

Beneath this gush of sunset light.

Centuries ago, that harbor-bar,

Stretching its length of foam afar,

And Salisbury's beach of shining sand,

And yonder island's wave-smoothed strand,

Saw the adventurer's tiny sail

Flit, stooping from the eastern gale ;•

And o'er these woods and waters broke

The cheer from Britain's hearts of oak,

As brightly on the voyager's eye,

Weary of forest, sea, and sky,

Breaking the dull continuous wood,

The Merrimack rolled down his flood;

Mingling that clear pellucid brook,

Which channels vast Agioochook

When spring-time's sun and shower unlock

The frozen fountains of the rock,

And more abundant waters given

From that pure lake, "The Smile of Heaven," f

Tributes from vale and mountain side —

With ocean's dark, eternal tide!

On yonder rocky cape, which braves
The stormy challenge of the waves,
Midst tangled vine and dwarfish wood,
The hardy Anglo-Saxon stood,
Planting upon the topmost crag
The staff of England's battle-flag;
And, while from out its heavy fold
Saint George's crimson cross unrolled,
Midst roll of drum and trumpet blare,
And weapons brandishing in air,
He gave to that lone promontory
The sweetest name in all his story ; J

* The celebrated Captain Smith, after resigning the government of the colony in Virginia, in his capacity of "Admiral of New England," made a careful survey of tho coast from Penobscot to Cape Cod, in the summer of 1614.

tLake Winnipiseogee— The SmSe of the Great Spirit—the source of one of the branches of the Merrimack.

t Capt. Smith gave to the promontory, now called Cape Ann, the name of

Of her, the flower of Islam's daughters,
Whose harems look on Stambqul's waters —
Who, when the chance of war had bound
The Moslem chain his limbs around,
Wreathed o'er with silk that iron chain,
Soothed with her smiles his hours of pain,
And fondly to her youthful slave
A dearer gift than freedom gave.

But look ! — the yellow light no more
Streams down on wave and verdant shore;
And clearly on the calm air swells
The twilight voice of distant bells.
From Ocean's bosom, white and thin
The mists come slowly rolling in;
Hills, woods, the.river's rocky rim,
Amidst the sea-like vapor swim,
While yonder lonely coast-light set
Within its wave-washed minaret,
Half quenched, a beamless star and pale,
Shines dimly through its cloudy veil!

Home of my fathers ! — I have stood

Where Hudson rolled his lordly flood:

Seen sunrise rest and sunset fade

Along his frowning Palisade;

Looked down the Appalachian peak

On Juniata's silver streak;

Have seen along his valley gleam

The Mohawk's softly winding stream;

The level light of sunset shine

Through broad Potomac's hem of pine;

And autnmn's rainbow-tinted banner

Hang lightly o'er the Susquehanna;

Yet, wheresoe'er his step might be,

Thy wandering child looked back to thee!

Tragabizanda, in memory of his young and beautiful mistress of that name, who, while he was a captive at Constantinople, like Desdemona, "loved him for the dangers he had passed."

Heard in his dreams thy river's sound
Of murmuring on its pebbly bound,
The unforgotten swell and roar
Of waves on thy familiar shore;
And saw amidst the curtained gloom
And quiet of his lonely room,
Thy sunset scenes before him pass;
As, in Agrippa's magic glass,
The loved and lost arose to view,
Remembered groves in greenness grew,
Bathed still in childhood's morning dew,
Along whose bowers of beauty swept
Whatever Memory's mourners wept,
Sweet faces, which the charnel kept,
Young, gentle eyes, which long had slept;
And while the gazer leaned to trace,
More near, some dear familiar face,
He wept to find the vision flown —
A phantom and a dream alone!

rTHE NORSEMEN.

[some three or four years since, a fragment of a statue, rudely chiseled from dark gray stone, was found in the town of Bradford, on the Merrimack. Its origin mast be left entirely to conjecture. The fact that the ancient Northmen visited New England, some centuries before the discoveries of Columbus, is now very generally admitted.]

Gift from the cold and silent Past!

A relic to the present cast;

Left on the ever-changing strand

Of shifting and unstable sand,

Which wastes beneath the steady chime

And beating of the waves of Time!

Who from its bed of primal rock

First wrenched thy dark, unshapely block?

Whose hand, of curious skill untaught,

Thy rude and savage outline wrought?

The waters of my native stream
Are glancing in the sun's warm beam:
From sail-urged keel and flashing oar
The circles widen to its shore;
And cultured field and peopled town
Slope to its willowed margin down.
Yet, while this morning breeze is bringing
The mellow sound of church-bells ringing,
And rolling wheel, and rapid jar
Of the fire-winged and steedless car,
And voices from the wayside near
Come quick and blended on my ear,
A spell is in this old gray stone —
My thoughts are with the Past alone!

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