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And backwards and forwards he swish'd si He went into a rich bookseller's shop, his long tail,
Quoth he, “We are both of one college; As a gentleman swishes his cane. For I myself sat like a cormorant once,
Fast by the tree of knowledge.' “ And how then was the Devil drest ? Oh! he was in his Sunday's best,
“ Down the river there plied with wind His jacket was red and his breeches were
and tide, blue,
A pig with vast celerity; And there was a hole where his tail came And the Devil looked wise as he saw how through.
the while, It cut its own throat. “There ! quoth
he with a smile, “ He saw a lawyer killing a viper,
"Goe's “ England's commercial prosOn a dung-heap beside his stable,
perity.” And the Devil smiled, for it put him in mind
“ As he went through Cold-Bath-Fields Or Cain and his brother Abel.
A solitary cell, “ A ’pothecary on a white horse
And the Devil was pleased, for it gare Rode by on his vocations,
him a hint And the Devil thought of his old Friend, For improving his prisons in hell. Death in the Revelations.
6 General —'s burning face “ He saw a cottage with a double coach He saw with consternation, house,
And back to hell his way did he take, A cottage of gentility!
For the Devil thought, by a slight misAnd the Devil did grin, for his darling sin take, Is the pride that apes humility.
It was general conflagration."
This volume is entitled to a higher de- reward, if the higher meed toward gree of attention than fortune seems to which he has chiefly aimed, is withhave yet awarded to it, ai the hands of held, or unkindly and ungraciously the public criticism of the country. Its stinted. publishers, we believe, have little rea The appearance of an American son to complain, the first edition hav. poem in nine cantos, forming a volume ing “gone off” at a very satisfactory of about three hundred pages, is not rate, scattered from their shelves to such an every-day phenomenon, as to take a welcome place on a thousand be entitled to no more notice than the drawing-room tables. But for the passing recognition of the fact, among poet-the young poet, an author for the fifiy others to which each hour ihe first time—though that testimony gives birth, and of which the epheto the merits of his production which meral thought does not outlive the day. is borne by the ledger of his bookseller, And especially a work so peculiarly is by no means an immaterial point, national in its character, and the eviyet to his ardent and aspiring soul, dent product of so gallant an ambition athirst for praise, for sympathy and love, and enthusiasm on the part of its authere is but small satisfaction in such thor, deserves and demands at least a
The history of the above production is interesting, and is related at length in the late London edition of Southey's Poetical Works. It appears the authorship was quite a matter of discussion-Porson, the famous Greek scholar, being named among other claimants. In point of fact, however, whatever merit the piece possesses is chiefly due to Southey, who contributed the longer and livelier portion. In the edition of Coleridge, from which we extracted it, the poem is no longer than we have given: but later editions present it tripled in length, though hardly in piquancy.
Tecumseh, or the West Thirty Years Since. A Poem. By George H. Colton. New York : Wiley and Putnam. 1842.
more respectful attention, if not a more Whooped for revenge and victory. generous reward of praise and encour. And through the wilderness of green, agement, than Mr. Colton's “Tecum- Low banks or beetling rock between, seh” has yet received. We take some Through rough and smooth, through fair fault to ourselves, as well as imputing
and wild, it to others, for what may have seemed
The still strange scenery of a dream, a cold and chilling neglect of a meri- By its enchanting power beguiled,
Birth of the rock, the mountain's child, torious contribution to our national lit
Th' Ohio rolled his sleepless stream, erature; and, determined not to allow From morn till evening, day by day, procrastination to cross the turning Urging his solitary way. point of a new year and volume, shall No nobler stream did ever glide proceed to impart to our readers some From fountain head to Ocean's tide. acquaintance with its contents and character.
Between the banks that face to face " Tecumseh” is a tale in verse, of Gaze on each other's brows for ever, forest life and adventure, at the period And hold within their deep embrace of the war of 1812, with a dramatis A lengthened reach of that broad river, persone divided between Indians and The autumn sun's last lingering rays, whites. The main thread of narra
Shot long and low, did trembling rest tive along which all the incidents ar
Level upon its watery breast. range themselves, relates to the for. The waters seemed like molten gold,
Beneath those burnished arrows rolled, tunes of two lovers, of the latter race, Unless some jutting rock from high, - the maiden being in the possession
Or tree, hung midway in the air, of her Indian captors, while her be. Catching them ere they quivered by, trothed roams the wilds of the west,
Its dark form threw distinctly there; far and wide, in quest of her. Its action Or light, through frost-changed foliage embraces two years, and besides the streaming, personal adventures of the characters As to the eyes of childhood dreaming, of the poem, some of the most promi- A mingling of all colors made, nent public events of the period are de- From morning's flush to twilight's shade. scribed at great extent,—such as the hero who gives name to the work, to while high o'er head gray rocks uprose; efforts made by the great aboriginal Upon a broad stone, which the flood,
With ceaseless murmurings, softly laved, effect a general Indian league of extermination against the whites, the
And green trees mid their ruins waved, battle of the Wabash, Perry's victory Unmoved and stern a warrior stood.
Like granite statue in repose, on Lake Erie, and the baitle of the Not his the arms, the garb, the mien, Thames.
That in chivalric days were seen, The scene opens thus, on an autum- When rushed from hall and lady's bower nal day, on the banks of the Ohio:
Gay knights with spear and shield,
To reap in one tempestuous hour “ A few years gone, the western star Glory on Death's own field.
On his lone evening watch surveyed Yet were his form and features high Through all his silent reign afar
Or Nature's own nobility; But one interminable shade,
And though upon his face of stone From precipice and mountain brown No ray of quick expression shone, And tangled forest darkling thrown;
Within his keenly glancing eye Save where, the blue lakes, inland seas,
Gleamed the fierce light of victory.
The beaded moccasins he wore
Drops of the bloody rain were there; Or where, no tree or summit seen, And on his wampum belt arrayed Unbrokenly a sea of green,
Three scalps, sad trophies ! were disThat wild, low shores eternal laved,
played : The Prairie's billowy verdure waved. An aged man's—the shrivelled skin Nor ever might a sound be heard, Still showed a few locks white and thin; Save warbling of the wild-wood bird, A woman's next-the tresses gray Or some lone streamlet's sullen dash Upon his thigh dishevelled lay; In the deep forest, or the crash
And third, of all the saddest sight, Of ruined rock, chance-hurled from high, A child's fair curls in amber light Or swarthy Indian's battle cry,
Hung trembling to the breeze of night. 80
The soft wind shakes their dewy Though no cathedral towards the sky wreath
Its gloomy turrets listed high, Alas! 'tis not a mother's breath!
Yet echoed with the voice of prayer A beam of light upon them lies
The many-pillared temple thereIt is not from a mother's eyes !"
The dim, the still, the solemn woodThe Indian thus introduced, fresh
For rightly deemed that pilgrim band, from the murder of a settler's family,
He was the God of solitude,
As of a peopled land !" is an Ottawa, named Ken-hat-ta-wa. He is accompanied by his younger brother,-a young maiden, the daugh- both by love and hate. De Vere pos
But they are ere long pursued there ter of the massacred prisoner, whom sesses himself of the person of Mary in he is bearing off captive,--and an Eng
the mode already mentioned ; and lish white man, the great villain of the story, named De Vere, who had insti- Moray, her lover, following their mi gated the act, and whose motive had Miami'only in time to witness the de
gration, reaches their cottage by the been a double one, hatred against the father of the maiden, and love of Ma- solation just made there. ry herself. We learn from an episode introduced shortly after this tableau vi- " At last one autumn morn he stood, vant of the solitary Indian figure, that Within the hoar, unbreathing wood, she had formerly dwelt on the banks Above her home. His soul became of the Connecticut, where she had be. Suspense in bosoms stout and brave
So feeble as a dying flame:stowed her love upon a youth named
Will make the stillness of the grare! Moray, and had spurned De Vere, who Through faded leaves the early sun had there sought to possess himself dis- Upon the cottage coldly shone. honorably of her charms. The latter All there was silent.–Did they sleep ?-vowing vengeance upon her and hers, He felt life's curdling currents creep had reduced her father by his arts to Back to his heart with shuddering chill; poverty, and had then sought to buy He hurried down-but all was still
, the daughter for his bride, with offers Except the dog's low plaintive whine, which were rejected with scorn. The Or wind that sighed through rustling vine. ruined family had then migrated west
He knocked-he paused in doubt and ward.
He saw the threshold stained and red« And in her home a thousand miles
He burst the door--O God! the sight From that which won her infant smiles,
Had seared a seraph's eyes of light ! And charmed her childhood into tears,
All pale and scalpless on the floor, And fed with thought her growing years,
With eyes from which the soul was Fair Mary dwelt ’mid scenes, might well
flown, Beguile with their Elysian spell
Stilled pulse, and hearts that beat no The dreams of her loved native dell.
more, Where dark Miami's rushing stream
Lay mother, sire, and gentle son, Through willows wild did dimly gleam,
Whom few brief years had smiled upon. Their simple, lowly cottage rose,
Death had been there--and in their blood Bosomed in Eden's sweet repose.
The faithful dog beside them stood, At distance from the rest removed,
Moaning to them most piteouslyIt was by her the better loved.
It was a fearful sight to see!" Before it swept the voiceful river, Communing with the winds for ever; He plunges into the forest in pursuit Behind a gentle slope displayed
of the murderers, and for the rescue of Some scattered trees of friendly shade, their captive. The narrative returns to In Nature's negligence arrayed;
the latter party dropping down the And near, a fount, with slumbrous sound, Ohio in the chieftain's canoe, under the Diffused a dewy coolness round.
cover of the night; when, as the The wild-rose bloomed beside the door, The wild-vine wreathed the windows o'er, young and gentler brother of Ken-hatAnd thousand flowers all lonely grew,
ta-wa is chaunting a song of Indian Ne'er blushing to the human view
tenderness over the exhausted and Till Mary came with fairer hue,
sleeping girl, the pale "lily-of-the-waNor wooed but by the wild-wood bird
ter,” a shot rings from Moray's rifle, Till Mary came with softer word. and its bullet is sped on a mistaken erAnd ever as the Sabbath sun On those rude dwellings calmly shone,
rand to the bosom of the youth, -who promised to become a very respectable
character if he had lived. The chief is The one should be a chief of power,
At once more finished, firm and bold. passing beyond shot to the other bank of larger mould and loftier mien of the river, pursues its rapid and si- Than oft in hall or bower is seen,
And with a browner hue than seems
To pale maid fair, or lights her dreams, " Through the dim stillness on they sped, Had charmed the Grecian sculptor's eye,
He yet revealed a symmetry Like fabled spirits of the dead,
A massive brow, a kindled face, In shadow borne, and silence lone,
Limbs chiselled to a faultless grace, Along the lake of Acheron.”
Beauty and strength in every feature,
While in his eyes there lived the light The Second Canto thus introduces
Of a great soul's transcendent might the great chieftain who is the hero of Hereditary lord by nature ! the poem, in conference with his bro. As stood he there, the stern, unmoved, ther, well known to history as “the Except his eagle glance that roved, Prophet:”
And darkly limned against the sky
Upon that mound so lone and high, « It was an Autumn morn: the sun He looked the sculptured God of Wars, Wearily rose his race to run
Great Odin, or Egyptian Mars, He came but late, as an aged one;
By crafty hand, from dusky stone, The cold, gray mists, like flags unfurled, Immortal wrought in ages gone, Around the sleeping earth were curled;
And on some silent desert cast, On prairie, river, lake and wood,
Memorial of the mighty Past ! Lay the deep dream of solitude.
And yet, though firm, though proud his Lone rising, in the midst was seen
glance, One mighty mound, with mosses green
There was in his countenance Save where, by winds of autumn blown, That settled shade, which oft in life The pale and withered leaves were strown, Mounts upward from the spirit's strife, A huge rude pile, built up of old
As if upon his soul there lay By hands long since forgot and cold. Some grief which would not pass away. Time spares their tombs alone :-what
« The other's lineaments and air Their darkly mouldering dust can claim ! Revealed him plainly brother born And as the mists were rolled away,
Or him, who on that summit bare Before, outspread the eye beneath,
So sad, yet proudly, met the morn: A prairie's boundless prospect lay
But, lighter built, his slender frame Like solemn Ocean, as the breath
Far less of grace, as strength, could Of morning swept its surface o’er,
claim; With long, slow waves, from shore to
an eye that, sharp and shore
fierce, There only rose not Ocean's roar;
Would seem the gazer's breast to While all behind it stretched a range
pierce, or varied forest, fading sere,
And low’ring visage, aye the while, Touched with the spirit of a change, Inwrought of subtlety and guile,
That falleth with the changing year; Whose every glance, that darkly stole, And there, by swell or grassy glade, Bespoke the crafty, cruel soul, Unscared the antlered wild-deer strayed, There was from all his presence shed Or fed along the prairie's verge
A power, a chill, mysterious dread, Vast herds, that never felt the scourge,
Which made him of those beings seem, Or dashed o’er valley, plain and hill,
That shake us in the midnight dream. Lords of their own unbounded will,
Yet were his features, too, o'ercast As ocean billows shoreward press,
With mournfulness, as if the past The proud steeds of the wilderness. Had been one vigil, painful, deep and
long. "Upon that mound's most silent height,
Or hushed Revenge still brooding over Ere dewless fell the morning's light, With step the hare had scarcely heard, Two warriors of the wood appeared.
In this conference, brooding fiercely By his broad brow of care and thought,
over the wrongs of their race, TecumBy his most regal mien and tread,
seh announces to the Prophet his deBy robes with richest wampum wrought, sign of forming a general Indian And eagle's plume upon his head, league for the expulsion of the pale.
faces from the continent, and leaves it And fleecy clouds, above the prairies in charge with him to prevent any out flying, break, or betrayal of this purpose, till Led the light shadows, chasing, chased his return from the mission on which
and dying.” he proposes immediately to depart. The scene is transferred to an Indian Mary, resusing her life on the condicamp, distant from the mound of this tion of accepting the love of De Vere, is meeting, where the Ottowa band is on the point of being put to death, when awaiting the return of their chief Ken- another prisoner is brought in, and hàt-ta-wa-together with a band of the Ken-hat-ta-wa exults to learn that the Shawnee tribe, to which Tecumseh slayer of his brother, whose death an and the Prophet belonged :
inferior victim was about to expiate, has fallen into his hands. Moray and
Mary rush into each other's arms, with “ A motley scene the camp displayed. Their simple wigwams, loosely made
so much pleasure, that the reader can. Of skins and bark, and rudely graced
not but regret the very unpleasant cirWith sylvan honors of the chase,
cumstances which atiend their meet. At scattered intervals were placed
ing. They are, of course, very soon Beneath majestic trees—the race
brought back to “ a sense of their situ. of other years; while, statelier reared, ation;" and the maiden having fainied, Alone and in their midst appeared the Indians speedily prepare an ordeal The lodge of council, honored most, through which the youih would have Yet unadorned with care or cost.
found some difficulty to pass in safety: Their beaded leggins closely bound, Their blankets wreathed their loins “ Those words received th’excited crowd, around,
With frantic gestures-shoutings loud; Whence rose cach neck and brawny And seizing in their tawny hands breast
Knives, hatchets, clubs, or smoking Like bust of bronze with tufted crest, brands, Around, the forest-lords were seen They ranged in two long lines, to greet Some, old, with grave and guarded With death the captive's faltering feet, mien
As tortured demons, grim and sell, High converse holding in the shade Conduct a lost soul down to hell." Some idly on the green turf laid, Or, girt with arms of varied name, However, he has no idea of indulging Repairing them for strife or game; their benevolent intentions; and, with Their dusky wives, from birth the while a most unreasonable perverseness, as Inured to care and silent toil,
soon as he is released and posted to Prepared the venison's savory food And yellow corn, in sullen mood,
begin the sport, he snatches a tomaOr sweetly to their infants sung,
hawk from a huge warrior at his side, So light in wicker-cradles swung
cleaves his brain at a blow, and is off Upon the breeze-rocked boughs ; in play at right angles, amidst a shower of Lithe urchins did their skill essay, spears and arrows, the whole legion of Beneath some chief's approving eye,
red devils streaming after him across To launch the feathered arrow high, the plain. His practised powers of The hatchet hurl, or through the air limb come here into good play. The Send the shrill whoop; half robed or chase is described with much vigor and bare,
spirit. He dashes into the high prairie The youth would act war's mimic game, grass,—where, after a toilsome mile of Or strove their wild-born steeds to progress had been made, a still more tame
formidable foe comes to face him in Perchance their captives scarce a day- front, in the form of a prairie fire! This Themselves untamed and wild as they; passage was quoted on a different ocWhile sat beneath the green leaves casion in our pages, in illustration of a
fading Young maids, their chequered baskets corresponding one of Catlin's prose, braiding,
(Dem. Review for July, 1842), to Whose merry laugh or silvery call
which the reader is referred. Moray Oft rang most sweet and musical,
escapes from the pursuit in his rearWhose glancing black eyes often stole the Indians being driven back by the To view the worshipped of their soul: still fiercer element, and the spear of And ever in th’invisible breeze Waved solemnly those tall old trees,
their chief alone singing past him as he plunges into the advancing flame.