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For a day and a night and a morrow,

That his strength might endure for a span With travail and heavy sorrow,

The holy spirit of man.

From the winds of the north and the south
They gathered as unto strife;
They breathed upon his mouth,

They filled his body with life;
Eyesight and speech they wrought

For the veils of the soul therein,
A time for labor and thought,

A time to serve and to sin;
They gave him light in his ways,

And love, and a space for delight,
And beauty and length of days,

And night, and sleep in the night.
His speech is a burning fire;

With his lips he travaileth;
In his heart is a blind desire,

In his eyes foreknowledge of death;
He weaves, and is clothed with derision;

Sows, and he shall not reap;
His life is a watch or a vision

Between a sleep and a sleep.

HOEKZEMA, Poetry. 4th Ed.

18

AMERICAN POETRY.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.

(6 1794 – d 1878).

SONG,

"THESE PRAIRIES GLOW WITH FLOWERS."

These prairies glow with flowers,

These groves are tall and fair, The sweet lay of the mocking-bird

Rings in the morning air; And yet I pine to see

My native hill once more, And hear the sparrow's friendly chirp

Beside its cottage-door.

And he, for whom I left

My native hill and brook, Alas, I sometimes think I trace

A coldness in his look! If I have lost his love,

I know my heart will break;

Will sorrow for my sake.

THE TIDES.

The moon is at her full, and, riding high,

Floods the calm fields with light; The airs that hover in the summer-sky

Are all asleep to-night.

There comes no voice from the great woodlands round

That murmured all the day,
Beneath the shadow of their boughs the ground

Is not more still than they.

But ever heaves and moans the restless Deep;

His rising tides I hear,
Afar I see the glimmering billows leap;

I see them breaking near.

Each wave springs upward, climbing toward the fair

Pure light that sits on high – Springs eagerly, and faintly sinks, to where

The mother-waters lie.

Upward again it swells; the moonbeams show

Again its glimmering crest; Again it feels the fatal weight below,

And sinks, but not to rest.

Again and yet again; until the Deep

Recalls his brood of waves;
And, with a sullen moan, abashed, they creep

Back to his inner caves.

Brief respite! they shall rush from that recess

With noise and tumult soon,
And Aling themselves, with unavailing stress,

Up toward the placid moon.

O restless Sea, that, in thy prison here,

Dost struggle and complain;
Through the slow centuries yearning to be near

To that fair orb in vain;

The glorious source of light and heat must warm

Thy billows from on high, And change them to the cloudy trains that form

The curtain of the sky.

Then only may they leave the waste of brine

In which they welter here,
And rise above the hills of earth, and shine

In a serener sphere.

THE PRAIRIES,

These are the gardens of the Desert, these
The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
For which the speech of England has no name –
The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
And my heart swells, while the dilated sight
Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch,
In airy undulations, far away,
As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
And motionless for ever. – Motionless ? –
No – they are all unchained again. The clouds
Sweep over with their shadows, and, beneath,
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase
The sunny ridges. Breezes of the South !
Who toss the golden and the flame-like flowers,
And pass the prairie-hawk that, poised on high,

Flaps his broad wings, yet moves not – ye have played
Among the palms of Mexico and vines
Of Texas, and have crisped the limpid brooks
That from the fountains of Sonora glide
Into the calm Pacific — have ye fanned
A nobler or a lovelier scene than this ?
Man hath no power in all this glorious work:
The hand that built the firmament hath heaved
And smoothed these verdant swells, and sown their slopes
With herbage, planted them with island groves,
And hedged them round with forests. Fitting floor
For this magnificent temple of the sky –
With flowers whose glory and whose multitude
Rival the constellations! The great heavens
Seem to stoop down upon the scene in love, -
A nearer vault, and of a tenderer blue,
Than that which bends above our eastern hills.

GEORGE PERKINS MORRIS.

(6 1802 – d 1864)

WOODMAN, SPARE THAT TREE!

Woodman, spare that tree!

Touch not a single bough!
In youth it sheltered me,

And I'll protect it now.
'Twas my forefather's hand

That placed it near his cot;
There, woodman, let it stand,

Thy axe shall harm it not!

That old familiar tree,

Whose glory and renown
Are spread o'er land and sea,

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