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Through the misty ether spreads
Every ill the white man dreads;
I'iery fever's thirsty thrill,
Fitful ague's shivering chill !
Hark! I hear the traveller's song,
As he winds the woods along !
Christian ! 'tis the song of fear;
Wolves are round thee, night is near,
And the wild, thou dar’st to roam-
Oh ! 'twas once the Indian's home!*
Hither, sprites, who love to harm,
Wheresoe'er you work your charm,
By the creeks, or by the brakes,
Where the pale witch feeds her snakes,
And the cayman t loves to creep,
Torpid, to his wintry sleep :
Where the bird of carrion flits,
And the shuddering murderer sits,
Lone beneath a roof of blood,
While upon his poisoned food,
From the corpse of him he slew,
Drops the chill and gory dew!
Hither bend you, turn you hither
Eyes that blast and wings that wither !
Cross the wandering Christian's way,
Lead him, ere the glimpse of day,
Many a mile of maddening error
Through the maze of night and terror,
Till the morn behold him lying,
O'er the damp earth, pale and dying !
Mock him, when his eager sight
Seeks the cordial cottage light;
Gleam then, like the lightning-bug ;
Tempt him to the den that's dug
For the foul and famished brood
Of the she-wolf, gaunt for blood !
the little village of Buffalo upon Lake Erie, This is the most fatiguing part of the route in travelling through the Genesee country to Niagara.
* "The Five Confederated Nations (of Indians) were settled along the banks of the Susquehannah and the adjacent country, until the year 1779, when General Sullivan, with an army of 4000 men, drove them from their country to Niagara, where, being obliged to live on salted provisions, to which they were unaccustomed, great numbers of them died. Two hundred of them, it is said, were buried in one grave, where they had encamped."--Morse's American Geography.
+ The alligator, who is supposed to lie in a torpid state all the winter, in the bank of some creek or pond, having previously swallowed a large number of pine-knots, which are his only sustenance during the time.
| This was the mode of punishment for murder (as Father Charlevoix tells us) among the Hurons :-"They laid the dead body upon poles at the top of a cabin, and the murderer was obliged to remain several days together, and to receive all that dropped from the carcass, not only on himself, but on his food."
Or unto the dangerous pass
O'er the deep and dark morass,
Where the trembling Indian brings
Belts of porcelain, pipes, and rings,
Tributes, to be hung in air,
To the Fiend presiding there !*
Then, when, night's long labour past,
Wildered, faint, he falls at last,
Sinking where the causeway's edge
Moulders in the slimy sedge,
There let every noxious thing
Trail its filth and fix its sting ;
Let the bull-toad taint him over,
Round him let musquitoes hover,
In his ears and eye-balls tingling,
With his blood their poison mingling,
Till, beneath the solar fires,
Rankling all, the wretch expires !
TO MRS. HENRY TIGHE,
ON READING HER “PSYCHE.”
Tell me the witching tale again,
For never has my heart or ear
Hung on so sweet, so pure a strain,
So pure to feel, so sweet to hear!
Say, Love! in all thy spring of fame,
When the high heaven itself was thine;
When piety confessed the flame,
And even thy errors were divine,
Did ever Muse's hand so fair,
A glory round thy temples spread ?
Did ever lip's ambrosial air
Such perfume o'er thy altars shed ?
One maid there was who round her lyre
The mystic myrtle wildly wreathed-
But all her sighs were sighs of fire,
The myrtle withered as she breathed !
* “We find also collars of porcelain, tobacco, ears of maize, skins, &c., by the side of difficult and dangerous ways, on rocks, or by the side of the falls'; and these are so many offerings made to the spirits which preside in these places."--See Charlevoix's Letter on the Traditions and the Religion of the Savages of Canada.
Father Hennepin, too, mentions this ceremony; he also says. “We took notice of one barbarian, who made a kind of sacrifice upon an oak at the Cascade of St. Anthony of Padau, upon the river Mississippi."--See Hennepin's Voyage into North America.
O you that love's celestial dream
In all its purity would know,
Let not the senses' ardent beam
Too strongly through the vision glow!
Love sweetest lies, concealed in night,
The night where Heaven has bid him lie;
Oh! shed not there unhallowed light,
Or, Psyche knows, the boy will fly!
Dear Psyche ! many a charmed hour,
Through many a wild and magic waste,
To the fair fount and blissful bower
Thy mazy foot my soul hath traced !
Where'er thy joys are numbered now,
Beneath whatever shades of rest
The Genius of the starry brow
Has chained thee to thy Cupid's breast;
Whether above the horizon dim,
Along whose verge our spirits stray,
Half sunk within the shadowy brim,
Half brightened by the eternal ray, *
Thou risest to a cloudless pole !
Or, lingering here, dost love to mark
The twilight walk of many a soul
Through sunny good and evil dark;
Still be the song to Psyche dear,
The song whose dulcet tide was given
To keep her name as fadeless here
As nectar keeps her soul in heaven!
UPON LEAVING SOME FRIENDS.
O dulces comitum valete cætûs !
No, never shall my soul forget
The friends I found so cordial-hearted ;
Dear shall be the day we met,
And dear shall be the night we parted !
Oh! if regrets, however sweet,
Must with the lapse of time decay,
Yet still, when thus in mirth you meet,
Fill high to him that's far away!
* By this image the Platonists expressed the middle state of the soul between sensible and intellectual existence.
Long be the flame of memory found
Alive, within your social glass;
Let that be still the magic round
O'er which oblivion dares not pass !
TO THE HONOURABLE W. R. SPENCER.
Nec venit ad duros musa vocata getas.
Ovid. ex Ponto, lib. i. ep. 50
From Buffalo, upon Lake Erie.
Thou oft has told me of the fairy hours
Thy heart has numbered, in those classic bowers
Where fancy sees the ghost of ancient wit
'Mid cowls and cardinals profanely flit,
And Pagan spirits, by the Pope unlaid,
Haunt every stream, and sing through every shade!
There still the bard who (if his numbers be
His tongue's light echo) must have talked like thee,
The courtly bard from whom thy mind has caught
Those playful, sunshine holidays of thought,
In which the basking soul reclines and glows,
Warm without toil, and brilliant in repose,-
There still he roves, and laughing loves to see
How modern monks with ancient rakes agree;
How mitres hang where ivy wreaths might twine,
And heathen Massic's damned for stronger wine !
There too are all those wandering souls of song
With whom thy spirit hath communed so long,
Whose rarest gems are, every instant, hung
By memory's magic on thy sparkling tongue.
But here, alas ! by Erie's stormy lake,
As, far from thee, my lonely course I take,
No bright remembrance o'er the fancy plays;
No classic dream, no star of other days
Has left that visionary glory here,
That relic of its light, so soft, so dear,
Which gilds and hallows even the rudest scene,
The humblest shed, where genius once has been !
All that creation's varying mass assumes
Of grand or lovely here aspires and blooms;
Bold rise the mountains, rich the gardens glow,
Bright lakes expand and conquering* rivers flow;
* This epithet was suggested by Charlevoix's striking description of the con. Auence of the Missouri with the Mississippi. “I believe this is the finest conAuence in the world. The two rivers are much of the same breadth, each about half a league ; but the Missouri is by far the most rapid, and seems to enter the Mississippi like a conqueror, through which it carries its white waves to the opposite shore without mixing them : afterwards it gives its colour to the Mississippi, which it never loses again, but carries quite down to the sea." Letter xxvii.
Mind, mind alone, without whose quickening ray,
The world's a wilderness and man but clay,
Mind, mind alone, in barren, still repose,
Nor blooms, nor rises, nor expands, nor flows !
Take Christians, mohawks, democrats, and all
From the rude wigwam to the congress-hall,
From man the savage, whether slaved or free,
To man the civilized, less tame than he !
'Tis one dull chaos, one unfertile strife,
Betwixt half-polished and half-barbarous life;
Where every ill the ancient world can brew
Is mixed with every grossness of the new;
Where all corrupts, though little can entice,
And nothing's known of luxury but vice !
Is this the region, then, is this the clime
For golden fancy? for those dreams sublime
Which all their miracles of light reveal
To heads that meditate and hearts that feel?
No, no—the muse of inspiration plays
O’er every scene; she walks the forest maze,
And climbs the mountain; every blooming spot
Bumns with her step, yet man regards it not !
She whispers round, her words are in the air,
But lost, unheard, they linger freezing there,
Without one breath of soul, divinely strong,
One ray of heart to thaw them into song!
Yet, yet forgive me, O you sacred few!
Whom late by Delaware's green banks I knew;
Whom, known and loved through many a social eve,
'Twas bliss to live with, and 'twas pain to leave !*
Less dearly welcome were the lines of lore
The exile saw upon the sandy shore,
When his lone heart but faintly hoped to find
One print of man, one blessed stamp of mind!
Less dearly welcome than the liberal zeal,
The strength to reason and the warmth to feel,
The manly polish and the illumined taste,
Which, 'mid the melancholy, heartless waste
My foot has wandered, O you sacred few !
I found by Delaware's green banks with you.
Long may you hate the Gallic dross that runs
O'er your fair country, and corrupts its sons ; * In the society of Mr. Dennie and his friends, at Philadelphia, I passed the few agrecable moments which my tour through the States afforded me. Mr. Dennie has succeeded in diffusing through this elegant little circle that love for good literature and sound politics which he feels so zealously himself, and which is so very rarely the characteristic of his countrymen. They will not, I trust, accuse me of illiberality for the picture which I have given of the ignorance and corruption that surround them. If I did not hate as I ought the rabble to which they are opposed, I could not value as I do the spirit with which they defy it and in learning from them what Americans can be, I but see with the more indignation what Americans are,