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Thy waters wasted them while they were free,
And many a tyrant since; their shores obey
The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay
Unchangeable, save to thy wild waves' play-
5 Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form
Glasses itself in tempests ; in all time,
Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime
Dark heaving; - boundless, endless, and sublime -
Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
6 And I have loved thee, Ocean ! and my joy
of youthful sports was on thy breast to be Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy
I wantoned with thy breakers — they to me
Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
For I was, as it were, a child of thee,
as I do here.
CXXVII. - - SUMMER.
MITCHELL. [DONALD G. MITCHELL is an American author, a graduate of Yale College, of the class of 1811, who, under the assumed name of “Ike Marvel,” has written“ The Battle Summer in Europe,” “Reveries of a Bachelor,” and “Dream Life.” His prose is graphic and musical ; poetical in spirit, and characterized by purity, as well as tenderness, of feeling. This extract is from “Dream Life.")
I THANK heaven every summer's day of my life that my 1ot was humbly cast within the hearing of romping brooks, and beneath the shadow of oaks. And from all the tramp
and bustle of the world, into which fortune has led me in 5 these latter years of my life, I delight to steal away for days
and for weeks together, and bathe my spirit in the freedom of the old woods, and to grow young again lying upon the brook-side, and counting the white clouds that sail
along the sky, softly and tranquilly — even as holy memo10 ries go stealing over the vault of life.
Two days since I was sweltering in the heat of the city, jostled by the thousand eager workers, and panting under the shadow of the walls. But I have stolen away; and,
for two hours of healthful regrowth into the darling past, 15 I have been lying, this blessed summer's morning, upon
the grassy bank of a stream that babbled me to slcep in boyhood. Dear old stream, unchanging, unfaltering, - with no harsher notes now than then,
never growing old, smiling in your silver rustle, and calming your20 self in the broad, placid pools; I love you as I love a friend.
But now that the sun has grown scalding hot, and the waves of heat have come rocking under the shadow of the
meadow oaks, I have sought shelter in a chamber of the 25 old farm-house. The window-blinds are closed ; but some
of them are sadly shattered, and I have intertwined in them a few branches of the late blossoming white azalia, so that every puff of the summer air comes to me cooled
with fragrance. A dimple or two of the sunlight still 30 steals through my flowery screen, and dances, as the
breeze moves the branches, upon the oaken floor of the farm-house.
Through one little gap, indeed, I can see the broad stretch of meadow, and the workmen in the field bending 35 and swaying to their scythes. I can see, too, the glistening of the steel, as they wipe their blades; and can just
catch, floating on the air, the measured, tinkling thwack of the rifle stroke.
Here and there a lark, scared from his feeding-place in the grass, soars up, bubbling forth his melody in globules 5 of silvery sound, and settles upon some tall tree, and
waves his wings, and sinks to the swaying twigs. I hear, too, a quail piping from the meadow fence, and another trilling his answering whistle from the hills. Nearer by,
a tyrant king-bird is poised on the topmost branch of a 10 veteran pear-tree; and now and then dashes down, assas
sin-like, upon some home-bound, honey-laden bee, and then, with a smack of his bill, resumes his predatory watch.
As I sit thus, watching through the interstices of my 15 leafy screen the various images of country life, I hear distant mutterings from beyond the hills.
The sun has thrown its shadow upon the pewter dial, two hours beyond the meridian line. Great cream-colored
heads of thunder-clouds are lifting above the sharp, clear 20 line of the western horizon; the light breeze dies away,
and the air becomes stifling, even under the shadow of my withered boughs in the chamber window. The whitecapped clouds roll up nearer and nearer to the sun, and the creamy masses below
dark in their seams. The mut25 terings, that came faintly before, now spread into wide vol
umes of rolling sound, that echo again and again from the eastward heights.
I hear in the deep intervals the men shouting to their teams in the meadows; and great companies of startled 30 swallows are dashing in all directions around the gray roofs of the barn.
The clouds have now well-nigh reached the sun, which seems to shine the fiercer for his coming eclipse. The whole
west, as I look from the sources of the brook to its lazy 35 drifts under the swamps that lie to the south, is hung with
a curtain of darkness ; and, like swift-working golden ropes
that lift it towards the zenith, long chains of lightning flash through it, and the growling thunder seems like the rumble of the pulleys.
I thrust away my azalia boughs, and fling back the 5 shattered blinds, as the sun and the clouds meet; and my
room darkens with the coming shadows. For an instant the edges of the thick, creamy masses of cloud are gilded by the shrouded sun, and show gorgeous scallops of gold
that toss upon the hem of the storm. But the blazonry 10 fades as the clouds mount, and the brightening lines of
the lightning dart up from the lower skirts, and heave the billowy masses into the middle heaven.
The workmen are urging their oxen fast across the meadow; and the loiterers come straggling after, with 15 rakes
their shoulders. The air freshens, and blows now from the face of the coming clouds. I see the great elms in the plain, swaying their tops, even before the storm-breeze has reached me;
and a bit of ripened grain, upon a swell of the meadow. 20 waves and tosses like a billowy sea.
Presently I hear the rush of the wind, and the cherry and pear trees rustle through all their leaves, and my paper is whisked away by the intruding blast.
There is a quiet of a mɔ.nent, in which the wind, even, 25 seems weary and faint; and nothing finds utterance save onc hoarse tree-toad, doling out his lugubrious notes.
Now comes a blinding flash from the clouds; and a quick, sharp clang clatters through the heavens, and bel
lows loud and long among the hills. Then 50 grief spending its pent agony in tears - come the big
drops of rain, pattering on the lawn, and on the leaves, and most musically of all upon the roof above me; not now with the light fall of the spring shower, but with strong steppings, like the first, proud tread of youth.
CXXVIII. — EXTRACT FROM RIENZI.
Miss MITFORD. [MARY Russell MITFORD was born at Alresford, in England, December 16, 1786, and died January 10, 1855. She published a number of works. comprising poems, sketches, and dramas, of which the best and most popular is “Our Village," a collection of pictures of rural life and manners, written in a graceful and animated style, and pervaded with a most kindly and sympathetic spirit. She was very friendly to our country, and edited three volumes of “Stories of American Life by American Authors."
The following extract is from “Rienzi,” the most successful of her dramas, founded on the fate and fortunes of a celebrated personage of that name, who in the fourteenth century was for a brief period the ruler of Rome. This speech is made by Rienzi to a Roman noble who was petitioning for the life of a brother who had been condemned to death. A brother of Rienzi's had been killed by a servant of this same noble.]
And darest talk thou to me of brothers ? Thou,
wouldst have me break my own just laws, To save thy brother ? thine ! Hast thou forgotten
When that most beautiful and blameless boy, 5 The prettiest piece of innocence that ever
Breathed in this sinful world, lay at thy feet,
Pure, equal justice. Martin Orsini
If ye could range before me all the peers, 15 Prelates, and potentates of Christendom
The holy pontiff kneeling at my knee,
As justice. But this very day, a wife, 20 One infant folded in her arms, and two
Clinging to the poor rags that scarcely hid