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I SAT me down upon a green bank-side,
Whose waters seemed unwillingly to glide,
Like parting friends who linger while they sever;
Enforced to go, yet seeming still unready,
Backward they wind their way in many a wistful eddy.
Gray o'er my head the yellow-vested willow
Or the fine frostwork which young winter freezes,
From rocks around hung the loose ivy dangling,
Shone like a fairy crown, enchased and beaded,
Left on some morn, when light flashed in their eyes unheeded.
The humbird shook his sun-touched wings around,
The bluefinch caroll'd in the still retreat;
The antic squirrel capered on the ground
Where lichens made a carpet for his feet:
There were dark cedars with loose mossy tresses,
Gaudy as rustics in their May-day dresses,
Blue pelloret from purple leaves upslanting
A modest gaze, like eyes of a young maiden
Shining beneath dropt lids the evening of her wedding.
The breeze fresh springing from the lips of morn,
The winding of the merry locust's horn,
The glad spring gushing from the rock's bare bosom: Sweet sights, sweet sounds, all sights, all sounds excelling, Oh! 'twas a ravishing spot formed for a poet's dwelling.
And did I leave thy loveliness, to stand
Sick of smooth looks, agued with icy kindness?
Yet I will look upon thy face again,
My own romantic Bronx, and it will be
A well-remembered form in each old tree,
Is thy heart weary of unfeeling men,
And chilled with the world's ice? Then come with me,
And I will bring thee to a pleasant glen
Lovely and lonely. There we'll sit, unviewed
By scoffing eye; and let our hearts beat free
With their own mutual throb. For wild and rude
The access is, and none will there intrude,
To poison our free thoughts, and mar our solitude! Such scenes move not their feelings-for they hold No fellowship with nature's loneliness;
The frozen wave reflects not back the gold
The rock lies cold in sunshine-not the power
ON LOOKING AT HIS PORTRAIT BY WEIR
COOPER, whose name is with his country's woven,
And throned her in the senate-hall of nations,
And beautiful as its green world of thought:
And faithful to the Act of Congress, quoted
That all our week is happy as a Sunday
And furthermore-in fifty years, or sooner,
If he were with me, King of Tuscarora!
Gazing, as I, upon thy portrait now,
In all its medalled, fringed, and beaded glory,
Its brow, half martial and half diplomatic,
Its eye, upsoaring like an eagle's wings;
Well might he boast that we, the Democratic,
For thou wast monarch born.
Tell not the planting of thy parent tree, But that the forest tribes have bent for ages To thee, and to thy sires, the subject knee.
Thy name is princely-if no poet's magic
Could make RED JACKET grace an English rhyme, Though some one with a genius for the tragic Hath introduced it in a pantomime,