Page images
PDF
EPUB

Grasping the empires which they vainly covet, And stretching forth our trident o’er the seas, In rivalry with Britain. They may confine, But cannot chain us.

Balances of power, Framed by corrupt and cunning monarchists, Weigh none of our possessions ; and the seasons That mark our mighty progress East and West, Show Europe's struggling millions fondly seeking The better shores and shelters that are ours.

THE PURITANS.

BY E. P. WHIPPLE.

The Puritans—there is a charm in that word which will never be lost on a New England ear. It is closely associated with all that is great in New England history. It is hallowed by a thousand memories of obstacles overthrown, of dangers nobly braved, of sufferings unshrinkingly borne, in the service of freedom and religion. It kindles at once the pride of ancestry, and inspires the deepest feelings of national veneration. It points to examples of valor in all its modes of manifestation,—in the hall of debate, on the field of battle, before the tribunal of power, at the martyr's stake. It is a name which will never die out of New England hearts. Wherever virtue resists temptation, wherever men meet death for religion's sake, wherever the gilded baseness of the world stands abashed before conscientious principles, there will be the spirit of the Puritans. They have left deep and broad marks of their influence on human society: Their children, in all times, will rise up and call them blessed. A thousand witnesses of their courage, their industry, their sagacity, their invincible perseverance in welldoing, their love of free institutions, their respect for justice,

their hatred of wrong, are all around us, and bear grateful evidence daily to their memory. We cannot forget them, even if we had sufficient baseness to wish it. Every spot of New England earth has a story to tell of them ; every cherished institution of New England society bears the print of their minds. The strongest element of New England character has been transmitted with their blood. So intense is our sense of affiliation with their nature, that we speak of them universally as our "fathers." And though their fame everywhere else were weighed down with calumny and hatred, though the principles for which they contended, and the noble deeds they performed, should become the scoff of sycophants and oppressors, and be blackened by the smooth falsehoods of the selfish and the cold, there never will be wanting hearts in New England to kindle at their virtues, nor tongues and pens to vindicate their name.

THE EAGLE.

BY J. G. PERCIVAL.

Bird of the broad and sweeping wing,

Thy home is high in heaven, Where wide the storms their banners fling,

And the tempest clouds are driven. Thy throne is on the mountain top;

Thy fields, the boundless air ; And hoary peaks that proudly prop

The skies, thy dwellings are.

Thou sittest like a thing of light,

Amid the noontide blaze :
The midway sun is clear and bright;

It cannot dim thy gaze.
Thy pinions, to the rushing blast,

O'er the bursting billow, spread,
Where the vessel plunges, hurry past,

Like an angel of the dead.

Thou art perch'd aloft on the beetling crag,

And the waves are white below, And on, with a haste that cannot lag,

They rush in endless flow.

Again thou hast plumed thy wing for flight

To lands beyond the sea,
And away, like a spirit wreathed in light,

Thou hurriest, wild and free.

Thou hurriest over the myriad waves,

And thou leavest them all behind ; Thou sweepest that place of unknown graves,

Fleet as the tempest wind. When the night-storm gathers dim and dark

With a shrill and boding scream, Thou rushest by the foundering bark,

Quick as a passing dream.

Lord of the boundless ream of air,

In thy imperial name,
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare

The dangerous path of fame.
Beneath the shade of thy golden wings,

The Roman legions bore,
From the river of Egypt's cloudy springs,

Their pride, to the polar shore.

For thee they fought, for thee they fell,
And their oath was on thee laid

; To thee the clarions raised their swell, And the dying warrior pray'd.

« PreviousContinue »