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In the English tongue it had no name,
And thus it sung one twilight hour,
And was built in the nutmeg tree,
That sprung when the very world was made,
In an Indian isle beyond the sea. « There were four of us in the little nest,
And under our mother's wings we lay : And the father, the nutmeg leaves among, To the rising moon he sat and sung
For he sung both night and day. " And oh, he sung so sweetly,
The very winds were hushed !
That like wild waters gushed.
To hear it had a great delight, All but the wild wolf-cat, that prowls
To seek his prey at night. "The wild wolf-cat of the mountains old,
He stole to that tree of ours All silently he stole at night,
Like the green snake 'mong the flowers. “ His eyes were like two dismal fires,
His back was dusky grey ;
Then bounded with him away!
“Ah me! and I felt our mother's heart,
As it beat in awful fear,
But the basilisk-snake had been woe to hear.
He spared her not for her cry; And the silence of death came down on the woods,
That had rung with her agony. "And there we lay, four lonely ones !
That live-long day, and pined, and pined ; And dismally through the forest-trees
Went by the moaning wind. “We watched the dreary stars come out,
And the pililess moon come up the sky, And many a dreadful sound we heard
The serpent's hiss and the jackal's cry, And then a hush of downy wings
The nutmeg tree went by.
For a long, long hour we heard ;
Of the cruel dragon-bird!
In the light of the morning sun,
And left but me, the lonely one!
And I was feeble as could be! And next the arrowy lightning came,
And smote our nutmeg tree.
And I had soon been dead of cold,
Within a little cage of gold.
A gentle maid and beautiful; And all day long to me she spng, And all around my cage she hung
The large white-lily fresh and cool. “ And so I lived, - in joy I lived ;
And when my wings were strong,
For the Bramin doth no creature wrong. “But I could not leave that kind old man
I could not leave that maiden bright:
And me she called her soul's delight,'
Wild was the cry the father gave,
Till the midnight forest rang ;
And seized it as it sang !
With our poor mother's wail;
And the little stars grow pale.
Flutter, as in a wild surprise ;
The basilisk-snake, with its stony eyes. " It lay on the bough like a bamboo rod,
All freckled and barred with green and brown; And the terrible light of its freezing eyes
Through the nutmeg boughs came down. “ And lithely towards the little nest.
It slid, and nearer it drew,
Mong the nutmeg leaves it threw.
" But bloody war was in the land;
The old man and the maid were slain; The precious things were borne away A ruined heap the temple lay,
And I among the spoil was ta'en. “They said I was an idol bird,
That I had been enshrined there, And that the people worshipped me,
And that my gentle maiden fair Was priestess to the sea-green bird ! 'T was false !-yet thus they all averred, And in the city I was sold For a great price in counted gold. Thy merchant-father purchased me, And I was borne across the sea; Thou know'st the rest - I am not sad; With thee, sweet maiden, all are glad!"
In Athens dwelt a long, long time,
Which we so long to know.
He should go to Palestine,
With the Bible, line by line.
Beneath the Cedar's shade ;
And by the Jordan strayed.
Lay like a desert heap,
The bright, green lizards creep!
Through flowery Hindostan; To the Western World ; to the Southern Cape, Where dwell the zebra and the ape,
Had gone this pleasant man.
What tales he would tell on winter nights !
of Indian hunters grim, As they sit in the pine-bark wigwam's bound, While the hungry wolf is barking round,
In the midnight forest dim.
THE CHILDREN'S WISH.
By our winter fire to be,
Which we can never see!
Covered with frost and snow, Where, not the hardy fir can bear The bitter cold of that northern air,
'Mong the dwarfish Esquimaux ! Or where, on the high and snowy ridge
of the Dofrine mountains cold, The patient reindeer draws the sledge, With rattling hoofs, along the ledge
or mountains wild and old ! Or, if that ancient traveller
Had gone o'er the hills of Spain, of other scenes he would proudly speak, Than icy sens and mountains bleak;
And a weary way pain. He would tell of green and sunny vales,
Thick woods and waters clear, Of singing birds, and summer skies, And peasant girls with merry eyes,
And the dark-browed muleteer!
And in St. Peter's stood,
if he had voyaged o'er The bright blue Grecian sea, 'Mong isles where the white-lily grows, And the gum-cistus and the rose,
The bay and olive tree!
The pleasant breezes blow;
Or how they meet by the council fire,
Wearing the hen-hawk's feather,
And smoke the pipe together.
When 'neath each forest-tree
Through the wild woods dismally.
or shipwrecks dark and dread;
And more than we have read !
With his wise and travelled look,
Like a glorious picture-book !
THE ENGLISH MOTHER.
An English matron sate at eve
Beneath the stately tree That grew before her husband's hall, With her young son at her knee :
All green and ancient were the woods
And Not unworthy of my sires, That grew around their home,
Shall be my manhood years !" And old and quaint armorial stones
Said he, in a proud, but artless tone, Adorned their stately dome :
And his mother kissed his brow, And 'mid dark trees, a little church
And said, " I trust in God that none Its holy form displayed,
of thy noble sires in the ages gone, Within whose deep and quiet vaults
Had a nobler son than thou!"
To his mother, as she told
THE DEPARTED. “My son, the legend of our house,
“ From the woods and the summer fields he is gone, Is simply • Trust in God,'
With his merry laugh and his sunny brow! And none unworthy of such trust,
The garden looks dim and the house is lone, Within its halls have trod.
Where, dearest mother, is ho wandering now?" The blood of thy heroic line Has reddened many a field,
“ He is gone in a brighter home to dwell, And trophies of the fights they won
With beautiful creatures all love and joy, Are blazoned on thy shield ;
Where death comes not, and no sad farewell The banners which they bore away,
With its parting tone can his bliss alloy. All soiled and torn and red,
He is gone to a happier home than ours, Are mouldering in yon holy pile,
Beneath the light of more radiant skies, Above the warrior dead;
And his path is bright with more lovely flowers And many an ancient coat of mail,
Than in the sweet summer e'er met thine eyes. And plumed helm and sword,
“ Thou wilt meet him no more in the fields of earth, All proved in some heroic cause,
For the pleasant days of his life are o'er, Within thy home are stored.
And the joyful peals of his laughing mirih Thou bear'st the noble name they bore, Will ring from our evening hearth no more. Their blood is in thy veins,
Thou wilt see him no more as he used to be; And much thy worthy sires have done,
Thou wilt sleep by his side no more at night, But more for thee remains.
Nor with thee again will he bend the knee, They shrunk not in the dreadful hour
And his evening-prayer with thine unite !" of persecution's scathe,
“Mother, his cheeks are cold and pale, And some 'mid bonds and some 'mid fire, Maintained their righteous faith.
His eyes are closed, yet he does not sleep,
For he wakens not at my earnest call ;Thou must not shrink, thou must not fear,
Is it death, dear mother,—that rest so deep?" Nor e'er belie their trust, For God who brought the mighty low,
“ My child, his sleep is the sleep of death; He raised them from the dust.
Yet we may not deem it a darkened lot, And in our dangerous hour of pride,
And his spirit, more pure than the breezes' breath, When honours gird us round,
May be wandering near, though we know it not! Alas! the boasted strength of man
And wish him not back, thou lonely child, Is often weakest found;
Though we miss his love, and his pleasant voice,And they who put their trust in heaven, Thou wilt soon to thy loss be reconciled, 'Mid darkness and dismay,
And again in the summer-woods rejoice. Too soon forget the God they sought,
“ He dwells where the fields can never fade, When fear has passed away.
Where night comes not, nor day is dim; The hour of chiefest danger now
Where the glory of God is the sun, and the shade Is nigh — so heaven thee guide
Is the shadowing wing of the cherubim. Prosperity will try thee, boy,
And oh! in yon bright and happy land, As ne'er thy sires were tried !
Thou again mayst his sunny beauty see, And oh, unworthy of thy sires,
And hear his voice, 'mid a joyful band, Not here couldst thou find rest;
From the shades of death as it welcomes thee!" Thou might'st not stand beneath these trees,
Were thine a guilty breast ; These ancient walls, yon holy fane, This green and stately tree,
A POETICAL CHAPTER ON TAILS. Couldst thou disgrace thy noble naine, Would speak reproach to thee !"
ONE evening three boys did their father assail,
With " tell us a tale, papa, tell us a tale !" Again the boy looked in her face,
“ A tale ?" said their father, “Oh yes! you shall see, His bright eyes dimmed with tears,
That a tale of all tails it this evening shall be;
A tale having reference to all tails whatever, And the handsomest ladies I often have heard,
Give a monstrous price for the tail of this bird ; First the tail of a cat,-now this tail can express Then the sweet bird of Paradise-don't you rememAll passions, all humours, than language no less." "Oh, you 're joking, papa," cried at once all the three. The beautiful creature we saw last November, “ Yours are tails with an i, and not tales with an e!"'. With his banner-like tail, that gracefully spread, • Well, well," said their father. “ I shall be surprised, And was seen like a glory encircling his head ? If my tails with an i in the end are despised; Of that of the peacock no word will I say, So, sirs, I 'll proceed: now this tail, as I said, The thing is so common, you see it each day. Expresses what moves her in heart or in head. And now your attention to change I could wish Is she pleased - you know it is quiet, no doubt ; To a different tail-even that of a fish; Is she angry - you know how she wags it about; And no less than the tail of the bird is this made Would she coax you,-she rubs, and she purrs, and with wonderful knowledge the creature to aid. her tail,
'Tis his helm, and with it no more could he keep, With her back at right angles, she lifts like a rail ; Than a ship without rudder his place in the deep, Then the tail of a dog,—you need hardly be told, And the wisest philosophers all have decided, What tales this same tail of a dog can unfold. That no filter instrument could be provided. In his joy how he wags it-from turnspit to hound; That the shark, my dear boys, has a tail, without doubt, In his trouble, poor rogue ! how it droops to the ground. From some book or other you 've long since made out; Then the tails of the horse and the cow, need I say! And you know how it puts, without hesitation, What useful and excellent fly-traps are they? The crew of a ship into great consternation, But away! and the hot sandy deserts exploring, When he flaps down his tail on the deck, and no Do you hear how the terrible lion is roaring!
wonder, And see in the thicket his fiery eye flashing, For, like a sledge-hammer, it falleth in thunder; And his furious tail on his tawny sides lashing ! And lest that its force 'gainst the ship should prevail, Yes, he is the king of all beasts, and can send The first thing they do, is to chop off its tail! Most marvellous power to his very tail's end. Besides there are others,—the monkey's tail; you The same with the tiger - and so of each kind, Know well what a monkey with his tail can do. The tail is a capital index of mind.
And have we forgotten the beaver ? it yields Then the tail of the rattle-snake-should you not fear The poor, patient creature great help when he builds, Its dry, husky sound in the forest to hear?
'T is the wagon he draws his materials apon, Suppose you were sleeping, the tree-roots your bed, 'T is the trowel to finish his work when 't is done. And this terrible monster had crept to your head, Of the fox, too, in Norway, you've heard, without fail, And his tail should awake you,—I 'm sure you 'd be How he angles for crabs with his great bushy tail. glad
And there is the pigtail that gentlemen wore, That a tail with a larum the rattle-snake had. With its various fashions, about half a score. A propos of the snake - you've heard. I dare say, And the great cat-o'-nine tails! that terrible beast, of the wasp and the hornet, and such things as they; Has made itself famous by its tails, at least. Of a venomous weapon they carry about,
And the tail of a comet! that tail, in its strength, And moreover, you all know, I make not a doubt, Extending some thousands of miles in its length, That 't is placed in the tail, which same venomons Is nothing to laugh at; a most awful thing, thing
That could sweep down the world with its terrible The wise of all nations have christened a sting; swing! But the tail of a bird for no mischief is sent,
And now since we've conned over bird, beast, and fish, A most scientific, and good instrument,
What greater amusement, my boys, could you wish? Constructed, indeed, on an excellent plan,
But the next time, however, I think we must try Light, flexible too, and spread out like a fan; For some nobler subject than tails with an i: T is ballast and rudder, which ill he could spare, And so, good night to each one, now this the last line And a buoy to keep up the small creature in air. is of the ostrich, the tail is an elegant thing,
And the book and the chapter shall here have their Which is not despised by the mightiest king,
He turn'd the helm, and away we sail'd,
Away towards the setting sun: The flying-fish were swift on the wing,
But we outsped each one.
THE VOYAGE WITH THE NAUTILUS.
I made myself a little boat,
As trim as trim could be, A little boat out of a great pearl shell,
That was found in the Indian sea.
And on we went for seven days,
Seven days without a night; And we follow'd the sun still on and on,
In the glow of his setting light. Down and down went the setting sun,
And down and down went we; "T was a glorious sail for seven days,
On a smooth, descending sea.
“Good friend," said I to the Nautilus,
“Can this the right course be ? And shall we come again to land ?"
But answer none made he.
So on we went; but soon I heard
A sound, as when winds blow, And waters wild are tumbled down
Into a gulf below.
I made my masts of wild sea rush,
That grew on a secret shore;
Was the pleasant flag I bore.
For my ropes the spider's line;
To steer me over the brine.
And he knew each isle and bay ;
Could merrily steer away.
The dew as it sweetly fell ;
In the wild bees' summer cell.
Over the waters free;
That lies in the midmost sea!"
And long ere ever I wist,
That lay in the golden miet.
"T is a place of wondrous spell ! But all that happ'd unto me there
In a printed book I 'll tell. “ Now," said I one day to the Nautilus,
As we stood on the strand, “ Unmoor my ship, thou helmsman good,
And steer me back to land.
And longs my face to see ;
Art slow to sail with me?
To get the vessel frec!"