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OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
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,
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,
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,
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;
Pale is the lip of scorn,
Voiceless the trumpet horn,
Many a belted breast
Low on the turf shall rest,
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,
Roused by the tyrant band,
Woke all the mighty land,
Green be the graves where her martyrs are lying!
Shroudless and tombless they sunk to their rest, –
Borne on her Northern pine,
Long o'er the foaming brine
Heaven keep her ever free,
Wide as o'er land and sea
HOEKZEMA, Poetry, 4th Ed.
ON LENDING A PUNCH-BOWL,
This ancient silver bowl or mine, it tells of good old times,
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,
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;
Then fill a fair and honest cup, and bear it straight to me;
have you been ?”
“Qui vive!" The sentry's musket rings,
The channelled bayonet gleams;
Pale in the moonlight beams;
Thy bare unguarded breast
Pass on, and take thy rest!
“Qui vive !" How oft the midnight air
That startling cry has borne!
Ere yet its folds were torn!
Or curling on the towers
With battle's crimson showers!
“Qui vive !" And is the sentry's cry,
The sleepless soldier's hand, -
The guardians of a land ?