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What cordial welcomes greet the guest
By thy lone rivers of the west;
How faith is kept, and truth revered,
And man is loved, and God is feared,

In woodland homes,
And where the ocean border foams.

There's freedom at thy gates, and rest
For earth's down-trodden and opprest,
A shelter for the hunted head,
For the starved laborer toil and bread.

Power, at thy bounds,
Stops, and calls back his baffled hounds.

O fair

young mother! on thy brow
Shall sit a nobler grace than now.
Deep in the brightness of the skies,
The thronging years in glory rise,

And, as they fleet,
Drop strength and riches at thy feet.

Thine eye, with every coming hour,
Shall brighten, and thy form shall tower;
And when thy sisters, elder born,
Would brand thy name with words of scorn,

Before thine eye
Upon their lips the taunt shall die.

THE PLANTING OF THE APPLE TREE

BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

Come, let us plant the apple-tree. Cleave the tough greensward with the spade; Wide let its hollow bed be made; There gently lay the roots, and there Sift the dark mould with kindly care,

And press it o'er them tenderly, As round the sleeping infant's feet We softly fold the cradle-sheet;

So plant we the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree?
Buds, which the breath of summer days
Shall lengthen into leafy sprays;
Boughs where the thrush with crimson breast
Shall haunt, and sing, and hide her nest;

We plant, upon the sunny lea,
A shadow for the noontide hour,
A shelter from the summer shower,

When we plant the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May-wind's restless wings,
When, from the orchard row, he pours
Its fragrance through our open doors;

A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple-tree.

What plant we in this apple-tree?
Fruits that shall swell in sunny June,
And redden in the August noon,
And drop, when gentle airs come by,
That fan the blue September sky,

While children come, with cries of glee,
And seek them where the fragrant grass
Betrays their bed to those who pass,

At the foot of the apple-tree.

And when, above this apple-tree, The winter stars are quivering bright, And winds go howling through the night, Girls, whose young eyes o’erflow with mirth, Shall peel its fruit by cottage hearth,

And guests in prouder homes shall see, Heaped with the grape of Cintra's vine And golden orange of the Line,

The fruit of the apple-tree.

The fruitage of this apple-tree
Winds and our flag of stripe and star
Shall bear to coasts that lie afar,
Where men shall wonder at the view,
And ask in what fair groves they grew;

And sojourners beyond the sea
Shall think of childhood's careless day
And long, long hours of summer play,

In the shade of the apple-tree.

Each year shall give this apple-tree A broader flush of roseate bloom,

A deeper maze of verdurous gloom,
And loosen, when the frost-clouds lower,
The crisp brown leaves in thicker shower.
The years shall come and

pass,

but Shall hear no longer, where we lie, The summer's songs, the autumn's sigh,

In the boughs of the apple-tree.

we

And time shall waste this apple-tree.
O, when its aged branches throw
Thin shadows on the ground below,
Shall fraud and force and iron will
Oppress the weak and helpless still?

What shall the tasks of mercy be,
Amid the toils, the strifes, the tears
Of those who live when length of years

Is wasting this little apple-tree?

“Who planted this old apple-tree?" The children of that distant day Thus to some aged man shall say; And, gazing on its mossy stem, The gray-haired man shall answer them:

A poet of the land was he, Born in the rude but good old times; 'Tis said he made some quaint old rhymes

On planting the apple-tree."

THANATOPSIS

BY WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

*Thanatopsis' appeared in the September number of the North American Review for 1817 [Bryant wrote it in 1812 at the age of 18), and proved to be not only the finest poem which had yet been produced on this continent, but one of the most remarkable poems ever produced at such an early age. From the day this poem appeared, the name of its author was classed among the most cherished literary assets of the nation." -JOHN BIGELOW.

To him who, in the love of Nature, holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language: for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty; and she glides
Into his darker musings with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart,
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air-
Comes a still voice: - Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim

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