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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.

(6 1809).

LEXINGTON.

Slowly the mist o'er the meadow was creeping,

Bright on the dewy buds glistened the sun, When from his couch, while his children were sleeping Rose the bold rebel and shouldered his gun.

Waving her golden veil

Over the silent dale,
Blithe looked the morning on cottage and spire;

Hushed was his parting sigh,

While from his noble eye Flashed the last sparkle of liberty's fire.

On the smooth green where the fresh leaf is springing

Calmly the first-born of glory have met; Hark! the death-volley around them is ringing! 'Look! with their life-bood the young grass is wet!

Faint is the feeble breath,

Murmuring low in death, “Tell to our sons how their fathers have died ;"

Nerveless the iron hand,

Raised for its native land,
Lies by the weapon that gleams at its side.

Over the hillsides the wild knell is tolling,

From their far hamlets the yeomanry come; As through the storm-clouds the thunder-burst rolling, Circles the beat of the mustering drum.

Fast on the soldier's path

Darken the waves of wrath,
Long have they gathered and loud shall they fall;

Red glares the musket's flash,

Sharp rings the rifle's crash, Blazing and clanging from thicket and wall.

Gaily the plume of the horseman was dancing,

Never to shadow his cold brow again;
Proudly at morning the war-steed was prancing,
Reeking and panting he droops on the rein;

Pale is the lip of scorn,

Voiceless the trumpet horn,
Torn is the silken-fringed red cross on high;

Many a belted breast

Low on the turf shall rest,
Ere the dark hunters the herd have passed by.

Snow-girdled crags where the hoarse wind is raving,

Rocks where the weary floods murmur and wail, Wilds where the fern by the furrow is waving, Reeled with the echoes that rode on the gale;

Far as the tempest thrills

Over the darkened hills,
Far as the sunshine streams over the plain,

Roused by the tyrant band,

Woke all the mighty land,
Girded for battle, from mountain to main.

Green be the graves where her martyrs are lying!

Shroudless and tombless they sunk to their rest, –
While o'er their ashes the starry fold flying
Wraps the proud eagle they roused from his nest.

Borne on her Northern pine,

Long o'er the foaming brine
Spread her broad banner to storm and to sun;

Heaven keep her ever free,

Wide as o'er land and sea
Floats the fair emblem her heroes have won!

HOEKZEMA, Poetry, 4th Ed.

20

ON LENDING A PUNCH-BOWL,

This ancient silver bowl or mine, it tells of good old times,
Of joyous days, and jolly nights, and merry Christmas chimes;
They were a free and jovial race, but honest, brave, and true,
That dipped their ladle in the punch when this old bowl was new.

A Spanish galleon brought the bar; so runs the ancient tale; 'Twas hammered by an Antwerp smith, whose arm was like a flail, And now and then between the strokes, for fear his strength

should fail, He wiped his brow; and quaffed a cup of good old Flemish ale.

'Twas purchased by an English squire to please his loving dame, Who saw the cherubs, and conceived a longing for the same; And oft as on the ancient stock another twig was found, 'Twas filled with caudle spiced and hot, and handed smoking round.

But, changing hands, it reached at length a Puritan divine,
Who used to follow Timothy, and take a little wine,
But hated punch and prelacy; and so it was, perhaps,
He went to Leyden, where he found conventicles and schnaps.

And then, of course, you know what's next, - it left the

Dutchman's shore With those that in the Mayflower came, – a hundred souls

and more, Along with all the furniture, to fill their new abodes, – To judge by what is still on hand, at least a hundred loads.

'Twas on a dreary winter's eve, the night was closing dim, When brave Miles Standish took the bowl, and filled it to the brim; The little Captain stood and stirred the posset with his sword, And all his sturdy men-at-arms were ranged about the board.

He poured the fiery Hollands in, – the man that never feared, He took a long and solemn draught, and wiped his yellow beard;

And one by one the musketeers – the men that fought and

prayed – All drank as 'twere their mother's milk, and not a man afraid.

That night, affrighted from his nest, the screaming eagle flew, He heard the Pequot's ringing whoop, the soldier's wild halloo ; And there the sachem learned the rule he taught to kith and kin, “Run from the white man when you find he smells of Hollands gin!"

A hundred years, and fifty more, had spread their leaves and snows, A thousand rubs had flattened down each little cherub's nose, When once again the bowl was filled, but not in mirth or joy, 'Twas mingled by a mother's hand to cheer her parting boy. “Drink, John,” she said, “twill do you good, – poor child,

you'll never bear This working in the dismal trench, out in the midnight air; And if – God bless me! – you were hurt, 'twould keep

away the chill." So John did drink, - and well he wrought that night at

Bunkers's Hill !

I tell you, there was generous warmth in good old English cheer;
I tell you, 'twas a pleasant thought to bring its symbol here;
'Tis but the fool that loves excess; hast thou a drunken soul ?
Thy bane is in thy shallow skull, not in my silver bowl!
I love the memory of the past, – its pressed yet fragrant

flowers, –
The moss that clothes its broken walls, — the ivy on its towers;
Nay, this poor bauble it bequeathed, – my eyes grow moist and dim,
To think of all the vanished joys that danced around its brim.

Then fill a fair and honest cup, and bear it straight to me;
The goblet hallows all it holds, whate'er the liquid be;
And may the cherubs on its face protect me from the sin,
That dooms one to those dreadful words, - “My dear, where

have you been ?”

"QUI VIVE."

Qui vive!" The sentry's musket rings,

The channelled bayonet gleams;
High o'er him, like a raven's wings,
The broad tricoloured banner Alings
Its shadow, rustling as it swings

Pale in the moonlight beams;
Pass on; while steel-clad sentries keep
Their vigil o'er the monarch's sleep,

Thy bare unguarded breast
Asks not the unbroken, bristling zone
That girds yon sceptred trembler's throne; -

Pass on, and take thy rest!

Qui vive !" How oft the midnight air

That startling cry has borne!
How oft the evening breeze has fanned
The banner of this haughty land,
O'er mountain snow and desert sand,

Ere yet its folds were torn!
Through Jena's carnage flying red,
Or tossing o'er Marengo's dead,

Or curling on the towers
Where Austria's eagle quivers yet,
And suns the ruffled plumage, wet

With battle's crimson showers!

Qui vive !" And is the sentry's cry,

The sleepless soldier's hand, -
Are these – the painted folds that fly
And lift their emblems, printed high
On morning mist and sunset sky –

The guardians of a land ?
No! If the patriot's pulses sleep,
How vain the watch that hirelings keep, -

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