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Clouds that are skirted with golden light,
What have ye seen in your airy flight?
“We have seen stern gloom on the Indian's brow,
And the grief that stung him, but could not bow,
As he left the shore where his fathers rest,
To seek a new home in the far-off west.
* We have seen the desert from wildness freed,
And the hardy husbandman scattering seed,
Villages rising by every stream,
And the white sail glancing in morning's beam;
Yet we saw that woes every scene deprave,
For we look'd on many a fresh-dug grave.”
Say, what is the end of your pilgrimage ?
We have seen the mountain oak scathed by age,
On the shiver'd crag there is writ-decay-
Shall we be more happy and strong than they?
Man's labors and glories doth time obscure-
And shall we, things of vapor and shade, endure ?
36 Beauteous and dense as we seem to you,
We are vanishing fast from your wondering view,
For the sweeping gust and the sunny ray
Are hurrying and melting our fleeces away;
When the morning comes in its glowing sheen,
Not a mist will tell we have ever been.
Beautiful clouds, it is ever thus,
Stern time is consuming our works and us;
And ye—though storms in your robe are roll'd,
Though the thunder sleep in your dusky fold,
Though ye boast a heavenly home and birth
Ye must fade away like things of earth.
Is it the welcome roar
Of thundering signal gun?-
Hark! for the sound bursts through once more,
Rending night's robe of dun.
It is the welcome sound,
The joyous call to war,
For the near bugle screams around
The cry to arms-burrah!
From beauty's straining arms
And banquet pleasures spring,
Bring out the trusty sword and steed,
Our proud old banner bring ;
The drum is rolling loud,
Clatters the ponderous car,
And mustering warriors onward crowd
And blithely shout-hurrah !
The early dawn shall glance
On the long gleaming line,
Proudly the buoyant plure will dance,
And burnish'd bayonet shine ;
The soldier's heart will leap
As trumpets ring afar,-
They summon him away to reap
His wreaths of fame-hurrah !
Lo! yonder comes the foe
Rush on with gun and glaive,
For freedom 't is ye strike below
The banner of the brave;
On-on, until they fly,
Their fiercest daring mar-
"T is well! fling down the brand and cry
The victor shout-hurrah !
A native of Connecticut, wrote “ Blue Lights, or the Convention," published in 1817.
Land of the East, whose fertile vales unfold
The fairest product of the fruitful year ;
Whose towering hills upon their summits hold
A hardy race, to wildest freedom dear,
Unaw'd by danger, unrestrain'd by fear;
How are thy prospects changed! the plough no more, Worn bright by labor, checks the panting steer
Through reeking furrow toiling, as of yore,
Nor clamorous seamen ply along the busy shore.
Around some tavern door thy children stand,
Where swings the grating sign on windy day,
Cheerless and sad, a melancholy band,
Till draughts of whiskey wile their
cares away ; Then loud of tongue, impetuous for affray,
All raise at once of wisdom full the voice,
And beardless valor, and experience gray,
In hideous uproar wild increase the noise,
While oft replenish'd cups exalt the noontide joys.
Oh, stream Lethean! reeking from the still,
How sweet thy stimulus at early dawn!
When wakes the thirsty wretch, the welcome rill
Dispels of recollection thoughts forlorn ;
For oft the aching head at rising morn,
A sad memento of the evening past,
From long protracted slumber slowly drawn,
Toward the accustom'd cup a look will cast,
And sigh, perhaps in vain, to think that cup the last.
War's crimson banner broad unfurl'd,
Waves horrid o'er the western world;
Full swells the note of rolling drum,
Like distant thunder, hoarse and grum.
And sharp and shrill the piercing fife
Wakes the stern soul to deeds of strife.
The peaceful scythe its form forsakes,
The bending cutlass' curve it takes;
Wrenched from its shape by glowing heat,
And on the groaning anvil beat;
The shining pitchfork strait is set,
Transform’d to pointed bayonet,
Disdainful of its former trade
And proudly glitters on parade.
Each wayward youngster from the field
In fancy grasps the victor shield,
With beating heart he seeks the plain,
Intent on glory and on gain;
eyes, in beam divine, The rising hopes of plunder shine;
For plunder, trade aside is cast-
• The cobler leaves his mouldy last;
The homespun frock and beaver gray,
Are changed to regimentals gay;
The tailor's work is left undone,
While 'prentice lads to combat run;
And o'er each lately smiling brow
Frowns pale and lurid anger now.
Is there a heart so wild and rude,
But sickens at commencing feud ?
Then let that rugged heart sojourn
Beyond Caffraria's utmost bourn;
Pitch with the Arab wild his tent,
Or on some desert island, rent
From the mainland by torrent storm,
His lonely habitation form.
Alas! those fields, which late so gay
Spread their broad surface to the day-
Within the broad potato patch
In vain for food the children scratch;
No longer are the swine debarr'd
From entrance to the turnip yard;
Thy fields, O Weathersfield, of yore
That many a pungent onion bore,
Now overgrown with noisome weeds,
No longer savory garlic feeds;
There many a harvest lost, his purse,
Devoid of cash, the swain shall curse!
And many a marriage long delay'd
Rue the sad year when war was made.
Ah, me! how many tears that day Shrunk from their crystal source away! And many a damsel's cheek grew pale, And many a bosom heaved
the sigh, And many a matron told the tale,
The dismal tale, of battle nigh. Ah, me! unfit for warlike deed, For cannon's roar, or charging steed; Ill suits the sabre's ruthless blade The hand accustom'd to the spade; And nerves that wont to wield the hoe, Relax before the deadly blow. Land of my sires! that spirits stern Within thy children's bosoms burn,
F'ull well I know; on muster day,
When thoughts of war were far away,
How oft the sun that cloudless rose,
At eve has witness'd many a nose
With blood defiled; and many an eye
The rainbow's varied tints defy.
Though, cramp'd with age, my sluggish blood
Rolls through my veins in languid flood,
Still swells with life renew'd, the vein,
As memory views the young campaign ;
And many a scar upon my head
Recalls the day of battle fled.
Yet in this youthful warrior-school,
Stern wisdom held her rigid rule ;
Unlike the sons of southern shore,
Who bathe their blades in foeman's gore ;
Whose boiling blood in realms of fire
Delighted sees his foe expire;
And from the combat lifeless drops,
Or limping homeward wounded hops.
With us, the brawny fist supply'd
The pistol's place at battle tide ;
By dint of lusty thump and kick,
Or aid of massy walking stick ;
By hand, and teeth, and stubborn foot,
Was settled every dire dispute;
We wisely shunnd the hissing ball,
And knew life lost, was loss of all.
Alas! how oft the poet's line
Has mourn'd the fickle mind of man; The theme of every sage divine,
Since tythes and sermons first began.
Mournful the poet, at midnight hour,
Beholds the politician sage,
He sees the world his worth adore,
His name descend to latest age;
Let morning come, the hammer's sound
Recalls him to his daily trade;
And while the lapstone rings around,
He fairly is a cobler made.
Even thus, at ward-room table too,
Behold the chiefs of England's crew;
Ere yet across its social bound