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Here, from dim woods, the aged past
Speaks solemnly; and I behold The boundless future in the vast
And lonely river, seaward rolled. Who feeds its founts with rain and dew;
Who moves, I ask, its gliding mass, And trains the bordering vines, whose blue
Bright clusters tempt me as I pass ?
Broad are these streams—my steed obeys,
Plunges, and bears me through the tide. Wide are these woods—I thread the maze
Of giant stems, nor ask a guide. I hunt till day's last glimmer dies
O'er woody vale and grassy height; And kind the voice and glad the eyes
That welcome my return at night.
Is this a time to be cloudy and sad,
When our mother Nature laughs around ; When even the deep blue heavens look glad, And gladness breathes from the blossoming ground ? There are notes of joy from the hang-bird and wren,
And the gossip of swallows through all the sky; The ground-squirrel gayly chirps by his den,
And the wilding bee hums merrily by.
The clouds are at play in the azure space,
And their shadows at play on the bright green vale, And here they stretch to the frolic chase,
And there they roll on the easy gale.
There's a dance of leaves in that aspen bower,
There's a titter of winds in that beechen tree, There's a smile on the fruit and a smile on the flower,
And a laugh from the brook that runs to the sea.
And look at the broad-faced sun, how he smiles
On the dewy earth that smiles in his ray, On the leaping waters and gay young isles ;
Ay, look, and he'll smile thy gloom away.
Chains may subdue the feeble spirit, but thee,
Tell, of the iron heart! they could not tame!
For thou wert of the mountains; they proclaim
Thundered by torrents which no power can hold,
Save that of God, when he sends forth his cold, And breathed by winds that through the free heaven blow. Thou, while thy prison walls were dark around,
Didst meditate the lesson Nature taught,
And to thy brief captivity was brought
The bitter cup they mingled, strengthened thee
AN INVITATION TO THE COUNTRY.
All day, from shrubs by our summer dwelling,
The Easter-sparrow repeats his song,
The idle blossoms, that sleep so long.
The blue-bird chants, from the elm's long branches,
A hymn to welcome the budding year ; The south-wind wanders from field to forest,
And softly whispers, The spring is here!
Come, daughter mine, from the gloomy city,
Before these lays from the elm have ceased ; The violet breathes by our door as sweetly
As in the air of her native East.
Though many a flower in the wood is waking,
The daffodil is our door-side queen; She pushes upward the sward already,
To spot with sunshine the early green.
No lays so joyous as these are warbled
From wiry prison in maiden's bower;
Has half the charm of the lawn's first flower.
Yet these sweet lays of the early season
And these fair sights of its sunny days, Are only sweet when we fondly listen, And only fair when we fondly gaze.
There is no glory in star or blossom
Till looked upon by a loving eye ; There is no fragrance in April breezes
Till breathed with joy as they wander by.
Come, Julia dear, for the sprouting willows,
The opening flowers, and the gleaming brooks, And hollows green in the sun are waiting
Their dower of beauty from thy glad looks.