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There’s firmness in its even light,
That augurs of a breast sincere;
And, oh! take watch how ye excite
That firmness till it yield a tear.
Some bosoms give an easy sigh,
Some drops of grief will freely start;
But that which sears the quiet eye
Hath its deep fountain in the heart.
Ar, scatter me well, 'tis a moist spring day,
Wide and far be the hempseed sown,
And bravely I’ll stand on the autumn land
When the rains have dropp'd and the winds
Man shall carefully gather me up,
His hand shall rule and my form shall change,
Not as a mate for the purple of state,
Nor into aught that is “rich and strange.”
But I will come forth all woven and spun,
With my fine threads curl’d in serpent length,
And the fire-wrought chain, and the lion's thick
Shall be rivall'd by me in mighty strength.
I have many a place in the busy world,
Of triumph and fear, of sorrow and joy;
I carry the freeman's flag unfurl’d,
I am link'd to childhood's darling toy.
Then scatter me wide, and hackle me well,
For a varied tale can the hempseed tell.
Bravely I swing in the anchor ring
Where the foot of the proud man cometh not,
Where the dolphin leaps, and the sea-weed creeps
O'er the rifted sand and coral grot.
Down, down below I merrily go
When the huge ship takes her rocking rest;
The waters may chafe, but she dwelleth as safe
As the young bird in its woodland nest.
I wreathe the spars of that same fair ship
Where the gallant sea-hearts cling about,
Springing aloft with a song on the lip,
Putting their faith in the cordage stout.
I am true when the blast sways the giant mast,
Straining and stretch'd in a nor'west gale;
I abide with the bark, in the day and the dark,
Lashing the hammock and reefing the sail.
Oh, the billows and I right fairly cope,
And the wild tide is stemm'd by the cable rope.
Oh, a terrible thing does the hempseed seem Twixt the hollow floor and stout cross-beam 1
The people rejoice, the banners are spread;
There is frolic and feasting in cottage and hall;
The festival shout is echoing out
From trellis'd porch and gothic wall;
Merry souls hie to the belfry tower,
Gaily they laugh when I am found, [shake
And rare music they make, till the quick peals
The ivy that wraps the turret round:
The hempseed lives with the old church bell,
And helpeth the holiday ding-dong-dell.
The sunshine falls on a new-made grave 1
The funeral train is long and sad ;
The poor man has come to the happiest home,
And easiest pillow he ever had.
I shall be there to lower him down
Gently into his narrow bed;
I shall be there, the work to share,
To guard his feet, and cradle his head.
I may be seen on the hillock green,
Flung aside with the bleaching skull,
While the earth is thrown with worm and bone,
Till the sexton has done, and the grave is full.
Back to the gloomy vault I’m borne,
Leaving coffin and nail to crumble and rust,
There I am laid with the mattock and spade,
Moisten’d with tears and clogg'd with dust:
Oh, the hempseed cometh in doleful shape,
With the mourner's cloak and sable crape.
Harvest shall spread with its glittering wheat;
The barn shall be open'd, the stack shall be piled;
Ye shall see the ripe grain shining out from the wain,
And the berry-stain’d arms of the gleaner-child.
Heap on, heap on, till the wagon-ribs creak,
Let the sheaves go towering to the sky,
Up with the shock till the broad wheels rock,
Fear not to carry the rich freight high.
For I will infold the tottering gold,
I will fetter the rolling load;
Not an ear shall escape my binding hold,
On the surrow'd field or jolting road:
Oh, the hempseed hath a fair place to fill,
With the harvest band on the corn-crown'd hill.
My threads are set in the heaving net,
Out with the fisher-boy far at sea,
While he whistles a tune to the lonely moon,
And trusts for his morrow's bread to me.
Toiling away through the dry summer-day,
Round and round I steadily twist,
And bring from the cell of the deep old well
What is rarely prized but sorely miss'd.
In the whirling swing—in the peg-top string,
There am I, a worshipp'd slave,
On ocean and earth I'm a goodly thing,
I serve from the play-ground to the grave.
I have many a place in the busy world,
Of triumph and fear, of sorrow and joy;
I carry the freeman's flag unfurl’d,
And am link'd to childhood's darling toy:
Then scatter me wide, and hackle me well,
And a varied tale shall the hempseed tell.
THE DISINTERMENT. Lost Lord of Song" who grandly gave Thy matchless timbrel for the spear— And, by old Hellas' hallow’d wave Died at the feet of Freedom—hear! Hear—from thy lone and lowly tomb, Where mid thy own “inviolate Isle,” Beneath no mainster's marble gloom, No banner's golden smile, Far from the swarming city's crowd, Thy glory round thee for a shroud, Thou sleepest,-the pious rustic's tread The only echo o'er thy bed, Save, few and faint, when o'er the foam The pilgrims of thy genius come, From distant earth, with tears of praise, The homage of their hearts to raise, And curse the country's very name, Unworthy of thy sacred dust, That draws such lustre from thy fame, That heaps such outrage on thy bust' Wake from the dead—and lift thy brow With the same scornful beauty now, As when beneath thy shafts of pride Envenom'd cant—the Python—died' Prophet no less than bard, behold Matured the eventful moment, told In those divine predictive words Pour'd to the lyre's transcendent chords:— “If eler his awful ashes can grow cold— But no, theirembers soon shall burst their mould– France shall feel the want Of this last consolation, though but scant. Her honour, fame, and faith demand his bones, To pile above a pyramid of thrones!” If then, from thy neglected bier, One humblest follower thou canst hear, O mighty Master! rise and flee, Swift as some meteor bold and bright, With me thy cloud, attending thee, Across the dusky tracts of night, To where the sunset's latest radiance shone O'er Afric's sea interminably lone.
Below that broad unbroken sea
Long since the sultry sun has dropp'd,
And now in dread solemnity
—As though its course Creation stopp'd
One wondrous hour, to watch the birth
Of deeds portentous unto earth—
The moonless midnight far and wide,
Solidly black, flings over all
1843 he published a volume of poems entitled Legends and Lyrics.
The giant waste of waveless tide
Her melancholy pall,
Whose folds in thickest gloom unfurl’d,
Each ray of heaven's high face debar,
Save, on the margin of the world
Where leans yon solitary star,
Large, radiant, restless, tinting with far smile
The jagged cliffs of a gray barren Isle.
Hark! o'er the waves distinctly swell
Twelve slow vibrations of a bell'
And out upon the silent ear
At once ring bold and sharply clear,
With shock more startling than if thunder
Had split the slumbering earth asunder,
The iron sounds of crow and bar;
Ye scarce may know from whence they come,
Whether from island or from star,
Both lie so hush'd and dumb'
On, swift and deep, those echoes sweep,
Shaking long-buried kings from sleep—
Up, up ! ye sceptred Jailers—ho!
Your granite heaped his head in vain;
The very grave gives back your foe—
Dead Caesar wakes again!
The nations, with a voice as dread
As that which once in Bethany
Burst to the regions of the dead,
And set the loved-one free,
Have cried, “Come forth !” and lo! again,
To smite the hearts and eyes of men
With the old awe he once instill'd
By many an unforgotten field,
Napoleon's look shall startle day—
That look that, where its anger fell,
Scorch'd empires from the earth away
As with the blasts of hell !
Up—from the dust, ye sleepers, ho!
By the blue Danube's stately wave—
From Berlin's towers—from Moscow's snow,
And Windsor's gorgeous gravel
Come—summon'd by the omnific power,
The spirit of this thrilling hour—
And, stooping from yon craggy height,
Girt by each perish'd satellite,
Each cunning tool of kingly terror
Who served your reigns of fraud and error,
Behold, where with relentless lock
Ye chain’d Prometheus to his rock,
And, when his tortured bosom ceased
Your vulture's savage beak to feast,
Where fathom-deep ye dug his cell,
And built and barr'd his coffin down,
Half doubting if even death could quell
Such terrible renown ;
Now mid the torch's solemn glare,
And bended knee, and mutter'd prayer,
Within that green sepulchral glen
Uncover'd groups of warrior men
Breathless perform the high behest
Of winning back, in priceless trust,
For the regenerated West,
Your victim's mighty dust.
Hark! how they burst your cramps and rings—
Ha, ha! ye banded, baffled kings!
Stout men! delve on with axe and bar,
Ye're watch'd from yonder restless star:
Hew the tough masonry away—
Bid the tomb's ponderous portals fly '
And firm your sounding levers sway,
And loud your clanking hammers ply;
Nor falter though the work be slow,
Ye something gain in every blow,
While deep each heart in chorus sings,
“Ha, ha! ye banded, baffled kings"
Brave men' delve on with axe and bar,
Ye're watch'd from yonder glorious star.
'Tis morn the marble floor is cleft,
And slight and short the labour left;
"Tis noon they wind the windlass now
To heave the granite from his brow:
Back to each gazer's waiting heart
The life-blood leaps with anxious start—
Down Bertrand's cheek the tear-drop steals—
Low in the dust Las Casas kneels,
(Oh! Tried and trusted—still, as long
As the true heart's fidelity
Shall form the theme of harp and song,
High bards shall sing of ye !)
One moment, and thy beams, O sun'
The bier of him shall look upon,
Who, save the heaven-expell'd, alone
Dared envy thee thy blazing throne;
Who haply oft, with gaze intent,
And sick from victory's vulgar war,
Panted to sweep the firmament,
And dash thee from thy car,
And cursed the clay that still confined
His narrow conquests to mankind.
'Tis done—his chiefs are lifting now
The shroud from that tremendous brow,
That with the lightning's rapid might
Illumed Marengo's awful night—
Flash'd over Lodi's murderous bridge,
Swept Prussia from red Jena's ridge,
And broke once more the Austrian sword
By Wagram's memorable ford.
And may man's puny race, that shook
Before the terrors of that look,
Approach unshrinking now, and see
How far corruption's mastery
Has tamed the tyrant-tamer ?
That silken cloud, what meets the gaze?
The scanty dust, or whitening bones,
Or fleshless jaws’ horrific mirth,
Of him whose threshold-steps were thrones,
A mockery now to earth
No—even as though his haughty clay
Scoff'd at the contact of decay,
And from his mind's immortal flame
Itself immortalized became,
Tranquilly there Napoleon lies reveal’d,
Like a king sleeping on his own proud shield,
Harness'd for conflict, and that eagle-star,
Whose fire-eyed legion foremost waked the war,
Still on his bosom, tarnish'd too and dim,
As if hot battle's cloud had lately circled him.
Fast fades the vision—from that glen
Wind slow those aching-hearted men,
While every mountain echo floats,
Fill'd with the bugle's regal notes—
And now the gun's redoubled roar
Tells the lone peak and mighty main,
Beneath his glorious Tricolor
Napoleon rests again :
And France's galley soon the sail
Shall spread triumphant to the gale;
Till, lost upon the lingering eye,
It melts and mingles in the sky.
Let Paris, too, prepare a show,
And deck her streets in gaudy wo;
And rear a more than kingly shrine,
Whose tapers' blaze shall ne'er be dim,
And bid the sculptor's art divine
Be lavish'd there for him,
And let him take his rest serene,
Even so he will'd it) by the Seine;
ut ever to the poet's heart,
Or pilgrim musing o'er those pages
(Replete with marvels) that impart
His story unto ages,
The spacious azure of yon sea
Alone his minster floor shall be,
Coped by the stars—red evening's smile
His epitaph; and thou, rude Isle,
Austerely-brow'd and thunder rent,
Napoleon's only monument!
Socs n to the sun thy solemn joy for ever:
Roll forth the enormous gladness of thy waves,
Mid boundless bloom, thou bright majestic river,
Worthy the giant land thy current laves'
Each bend of beauty, from the stooping cliff.
Whose shade is dotted by the fisher's skiff —
From rocks embattled, that. abrupt and tall,
Heave their bulk skyward like a castle-wall,
And hem thee in, until the Rapids hoarse
Split the huge marble with an earthquake's force,
To where thy waves are sweet with summer scents,
Flung from the Highland's softer lineaments—
Each lovelier change thy broadening billows take,
Now sweeping on, now like some mighty lake,
Stretching away where evening-tinted isles
| Woo thee to linger mid their rosy smiles— -- =l
The lonely cove—the village-humming hill—
The green dell lending thee its fairy rill—
All, all, are old familiar scenes to one
Who tracks thee but by fancy's aid alone.
Yet well his boyhood's earnest hours adored
Thy haunted headlands, since he first explored
With Weld the vast and shadowy recesses
Of their grand woods and verdant wildernesses;
Since first he open'd the enchanted books
%. words are silver liquid as the brook's)
f that loved wanderer, who told the west
Van Winkle's wondrous tale, and fill'd each breast
By turns with awe, delight, or blithe emotion,
Painting the life thy forest-shadows knew,
What time the settlers, crowding o'er the ocean,
Spread their white sails along thy waters blue.
Theirs were the hearts true liberty bestows—
The valour that adventure lights in men; .
And in their children still the metal glows,
As well can witness each resounding glen
Of the fair scene, whose mellow colours shine
Beneath the splendour of yon evening orb,
That sinks serene as WAsh INgtoN's decline,
Whose memory here should meaner thoughts
Here rose the ramparts, never rear'd in vain
When Justice smites in two the oppressor's chain;
Here, year on year, through yonder heaven of blue,
The bomb's hot wrath its rending volleys threw
Against those towers, which, scorning all attack,
Still roll'd the assailants' shatter'd battle back;
Till, as they fled in final rout, behind
Soar'd the Republic's flag, high-floating in the wind!
Long may that star-emblazoned banner wave
Its folds triumphant o'er a land so brave,
Fann'd by no breeze but that which wafts us now
The laugh of Plenty, leaning on the plough.
And should Columbia's iron-hearted men
Try the fierce fortune of the sword again,
Be theirs to wield it in no wanton cause,
Fired by no braggart orators' applause,
In no red conflict, whose unrighteous tide
Could call nor Truth nor Mercy to their side,
So may their empire still supremely sweep
From age to age the illimitable deep,
With sway surpassing all but her proud reign,
Whose hand reposes on her lion's mane—
The Ocean Queen—within whose rude isle lock'd
Their own stern fathers' infancy was rock'd;
Where first they breathed, amid the bracing north,
Fair Freedom's spirit, till she sent them forth–
Her cloud above their exodus unfurl’d—
To spread her worship o'er a second world.
Be it lost in the trumpet’s magnificent wo,
From the Bosphorus swelling,
To Christendom telling
That the fiery Rome-tramplers' descendant is low.
By the Prophet ! remember his terrible mirth,
When he swept the Janitzars as stubble from earth;
On the domes of Sophia like midnight he stood,
The avenger of Selim's and Mustapha's blood!
Red dogs of rebellion, with tearing and yell
And chain'd valour's despair,
In their own savage lair,
Mow’d down beneath cannon and carbine they fell.
Raise the song to the mighty! high Mahmoud,
In a moment the fetters of centuries broke!
Far kings of the west, how your trophies grow dim
In the light of the same that awaiteth for him :
The contemner of Korans, who, girded by foes,
The Ark of salvation
First launch'd for his nation,
When the press mid the curses of fanatics rose.
Hu Alla—hu Alla! the blest caravan
Is in sight from Damascus, and Mecca is wan—
Sheik and Imam are trembling with terror and awe,
For this Cadmus of Caliphs has laugh'd at the law:
Fair painting must sully the Prophet's proud tomb,
For Athené, not loth,
Has left Greece to the Goth,
And planted her arts-shading olive in Roum.
In vain, Ghazi-Sultaun' when Pera's sweet shore
In the blue of Propontis is rosy no more—
When Olympus no longer on Thrace looks abroad,
And the name of the Frank shall not signify fraud,
Then the slaves shall be worthy the war-vest, and
When thy spirit imparts
To their recreant hearts Its grandeur, thy horse-tails may flap over men.
Sound the trump for the mighty! great Allah thy son With Azrel, the angel unsparing, is gone While round his shrunk borders the thunder was growling, And the Muscovite wolves thickly herded were howling, And snuffing the gales that, refreshingly cool, On their merciless thirst In wild redolence burst, Where, bulwark'd in gold, blush the brides of Stain
boul. Sound the trump for the mighty he died ere the tramp Of the terror-horsed Tartar who dash'd from the camp
Stay'd his soul with the tale that his dastardly hordes
Lay reap'd upon Nekshib, where sickles were
And the lords of the spear's haughty kingdom has
To the Rebel and Hun
And the death-song is done:
But thy praise shall not perish, lost Mahmoud the