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Like palace-domes in sunset's cloud,
Fade sun-gilt spire and mansion proud.
Spectrally rising where they stood,
I see the old, primeval wood:
Dark, shadow-like, on either hand
I see its solemn waste expand :
It climbs the green and cultured hill,
It arches o'er the valley's rill;
And leans from cliff and crag, to throw
Its wild arms o'er the stream below.
Unchanged, alone, the same bright river
Flows on, as it will flow forever?
I listen, and I hear the low
Soft ripple where its waters go ;
I hear behind the panther's cry,
The wild bird's scream goes thrilling by,
And shyly on the river's brink
The deer is stooping down to drink.
But hark !—from wood and rock flung back,
What sound comes up the Merrimack

?
What sea-worn barks are those which throw
The light spray from each rushing prow?
Have they not in the North Sea's blast
Bowed to the waves the straining mast ?
Their frozen sails the low, pale sun
Of Thulè's night has shone upon ;
Flapped by the sea-wind's gusty sweep
Round icy drift, and headland steep.
Wild Jutland's wives and Lochlin's daughters
Have watched them fading o'er the waters,
Lessening through driving mist and spray,
Like white-winged sea-birds on their way!
Onward they glide—and now I view
Their iron-armed and stalwart crew;
Joy glistens in each wild blue eye,
Turned to green earth and summer sky:
Each broad, seamed breast has cast aside

Its cumbering vest of shaggy hide;
Bared to the

sun and soft warm air,
Streams back the Norsemen's yellow hair.
I see the gleam of axe and spear,
The sound of smitten shields I hear,
Keeping a harsh and fitting time
To Saga's chant, and Runic rhyme;
Such lays as Zetland's Scald has sung,
His
gray

and naked isles among; Or muttered low at midnight hour Round Odin's mossy stone of power. The wolf beneath the Arctic moon Has answered to that startling rune; The Gaal has heard its stormy swell, The light Frank knows its summons well; Iona's sable-stoled Culdee Has heard it sounding o'er the sea, And swept with hoary beard and hair. His altar's foot in trembling prayer! 'T is past—the 'wildering vision dies In darkness on my dreaining eyes ! The forest vanishes in airHill-slope and vale lie starkly bare ; I hear the common tread of men, And hum of work-day life again : The mystic relic seems alone A broken mass of common stone; And if it be the chiselled limb Of Berserkar or idol grimA fragment of Valhalla's Thor, The stormy Viking's god of War, Or Praga of the Runic lay, Or love awakening Siona, I know not-for no graven line, Nor Druid mark, nor Runic sign, Is left me here, by which to trace Its name, or origin, or place. Yet, for this vision of the Past,

This glance upon its darkness cast,
My spirit bows in gratitude
Before the Giver of all good,
Who fashioned so the human mind,
That, from the waste of Time behind
A simple stone, or mound of earth,
Can summon the departed forth;
Quicken the Past to life again,
The Present lose in what hath been,
And in their primal freshness show
The buried forms of long ago,
As if a portion of that Thought
By which the Eternal will is wrought,
Whose impulse fills anew with breath
The frozen solitude of Death,
To mortal mind were sometimes lent,
To mortal musings sometimes sent,
To whisper-even when it seems
But Memory's phantasy of dreams-
Through the mind's waste of woe and sin,
Of an immortal origin!

1

CASSANDRA SOUTHWICK.

1658.

To the God of all sure mercies let my blessing rise

to-day, From the scoffer and the cruel He hath plucked

the spoil away, Yea, He who cooled the furnace around the faith

ful three, And tamed the Chaldean lions, hath set His handLast night I saw the sunset melt through my prison

maid free!

bars, Last night across my damp earth-floor fell the pale

gleam of starsi In the coldness and the darkness all through the

long night time, My grated casement whitened with Autumn's early

rime.

Wone, in that dark sorrow,

hour after hour crept by; Star after star looked palely in and sank adown

the sky, No sound amid night's stillness, save that which

seemed to be The dull and heavy beating of the pulses of the

sea;

morrow

All night I sat unsleeping, for I knew that on the The ruler and the cruel priest would mock me in

my sorrow, Dragged to their place of market, and bargained

for and sold, Like a lamb before the shambles, like a heifer from

the fold!

me came:

Oh, the weakness of the flesh was there—the shrink

ing and the shame; And the low voice of the Tempter like whispers to Why sit'st thou thus forlornly !” the wicked mur

mur said, Damp walls thy bower of beauty, cold earth thy

maiden bed ?

* Where be the smiling faces, and voices soft and

sweet, Seen in thy father's dwelling, heard in the pleasant Where be the youths, whose glances the summer

street?

Sabbath through Turned tenderly and timidly unto thy father's pew ?

* Why sit'st thou here, Cassandra ?-Bethink thee

with what mirth Thy happy schoolmates gather around the warm

bright hearth; llow the crimson shadows tremble on foreheads

white and fair, On eyes of merry girlhood, half hid in golden hair.

“ Not for thee the hearth-fire brightens, not for thee

kind words are spoken, Not for thee the nuts of Wenham woods by laugh

ing boys are broken, No first-fruits of the orchard within thy lap are laid, For thee no flowers of Autumn the youthful hunters

braid.

“Oh! weak, deluded maiden !-by crazy fancies led, With wild and raving railers an evil path to tread; To leave a wholesome worship, and teaching pure

and sound; And mate with maniac women, loose-haired and

sackcloth-bound.

wine ;

“ Mad scoffers of the priesthood, who mock at

things divine, Who rail against the pulpit, and holy bread and Sore from their cart-tail scourgings, and from the

pillory lame, Rejoicing in their wretchedness, and glorying in

their shame.

" And what a fate awaits thee ?-a sadly toiling

slave, Dragging the slowly lengthening chain of bondage

to the grave!

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