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Far in front the cross stands ready and the crackling fagots

burn, While the hooting mob of yesterday in silent awe return To glean up the scattered ashes into History’s golden urn. 'Tis as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle slaves Of a legendary virtue carred upon our fathers' graves, Worshippers of light ancestral make the present light a crime;Was the Mayflower launched by cowards, steered by men be

hind their time? Turn those tracks toward Past or Future, that make Plymouth

rock sublime ? They were men of present valour, stalwart old iconoclasts, Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all virtue was the Past's ; But we make their truth our falsehood, thinking that hath

made us free, ioarding it in mouldy parchments, while our tender spirits flee The rude grasp of that great Impulse which drove them across

the sea.

They have rights who dare maintain them; we are traitors to

our sires, Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's new-lit altar-fires ; Shall we make their creed our jailer ? Shall we, in our haste

to slay, From the tombs of the old prophets steal the funeral lamps

away To light up the martyr-fagots round the prophets of to-day? New occasions teach new duties; Time makes ancient good

uncouth; They must upward still, and onward, who would keep abreast

of Truth ; Lo, before us gleam her camp-fires! we ourselves must Pil

grims be, Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly through the desperate Nor attempt the Future's portal with the Past's blood-rusted key.

December 1845.

winter sea,

What visionary tints the year puts on,
When falling leaves falter through motionless air

Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,

As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills

The bowl between me and those distant hills,
And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!

No more the landscape holds its wealth apart,
Making me poorer in my poverty,

But mingles with my senses and my heart;
My own projected spirit seems to me

In her own reverie the world to steep;

'Tis she that waves to sympathetic sleep,
Moving, as she is moved, each field and hill and tree.

How fuse and mix, with what unfelt degrees,
Clasped by the faint horizon's languid arms,

Each into each, the hazy distances !
The softened season all the landscape charms;

Those hills, my native village that embay,

In waves of dreamier purple roll away,
And floating in mirage seem all the glimmering farms.

Far distant sounds the hidden chickadee
Close at my side; far distant sounds the leaves ;

The fields seem fields of dream, where Memory
Wanders like gleaning Ruth; and as the sheaves

Of wheat and barley wavered in the eye

Of Boaz as the maiden's glow went by,
So tremble and seem remote all things the sense receives.

The cock's shrill trump that tells of scattered corn,
Passed breezily on by all his flapping mates,

Faint and more faint, from barn to barn is borne
Southward, perhaps to far Magellan's Straits;

Dimly I catch the throb of distant flails;

Silently overhead the henhawk sails,
With watchful, measuring eye, and for his quarry

The sobered robin, hunger-silent now,
Seeks cedar-berries blue, his autumn cheer;

The squirrel on the shingly shagbark’s bough,
Now saws, now lists with downward eye and ear,

Then drops his nut, and, with a chipping bound,

Whisks to his winding fastness underground;
The clouds like swans drift down the streaming atmosphere.

O'er yon bare knoll the pointed cedar shadows
Drowse on the crisp, gray moss; the ploughman's call

Creeps faint as smoke from black, fresh-furrowed meadows;
The single crow a single caw lets fall;

And all around me every bush and tree

Says Autumn's here, and Winter soon will be,
Who snows his soft, white sleep and silence over all.

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The birch, most shy and ladylike of trees,
Her poverty, as best she may, retrieves,

And hints at her foregone gentilities
With some saved relics of her wealth of leares;

The swamp-oak, with his royal purple on,

Glares red as blood across the sinking sun,
As one who proudlier to a falling fortune cleaves.

He looks a sachem, in red blanket wrapt,
Who, 'mid some council of the sad-garbed whites,

Erect and stern, in his own memories lapt,
With distant eye broods over other sights,

Sees the hushed wood the city's flare replace,

The wounded turf heal o'er the railway's trace, And roams the savage Past of his undwindled rights.

The red-oak, softer-grained, yields all for lost And, with his crumpled foliage stiff and dry,

After the first betrayal of the frost, Rebuffs the kiss of the relenting sky;

The chestnuts, lavish of their long-hid gold,

To the faint Summer, beggared now and old, Pour back the sunshine hoarded 'neath her favouring eye.

The ash her purple drops forgivingly And sadly, breaking not the general hush ;

The maple-swamps glow like a sunset sea, Each leaf a ripple with its separate flush;

All round the wood's edge creeps the skirting blaze

Of bushes low, as when, on cloudy days,
Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer burns his brush.
O'er yon low wall

, which guards ono unkempt zone, Where vines, and weeds, and scrub-oaks intertwine

Safe from the plough, whose rough, discordant stone Is massed to one soft gray by lichens fine,

The tangled blackberry, crossed and recrossed, weares

A prickly network of ensanguined leaves;
Hard by, with coral beads, the prim black-alders shine.

Pillaring with flame this crumbling boundary, Whose loose blocks topple 'neath the ploughboy's foot,

Who, with each sense shut fast except the eye, Creeps close and scares the jay he hoped to shoot,

The woodbine up the elm's straight stem aspires,

Coiling it, harmless, with autumnal fires;
In the ivy's paler blaze the martyr oak stands mute.

Below, the Charles-a stripe of nether sky, Now hid by rounded apple-trees between,

Whose gaps the misplaced sail sweeps bellying by, Now flickering golden through a woodland screen,

Then spreading out at his next turn beyond,

A silver circle like an inland pondSlips seaward silently through marshes purple and green.

Dear marshes ! vain to him the gift of sight Who cannot in their various incomes share,

From every season drawn, of shade and light, Who sees in them but levels brown and bare;

Each change of storm or sunshine scatters free

On them its largesse of variety, For nature with cheap means still works her wonders rare.

In Spring they lie one broad expanse of green, O'er which the light winds run with glimmering feet;

Here, yellower stripes track out the creek unseen, There, darker growths o'er hidden ditches meet ;

And purpler stains show where the blossoms crowd,

As if the silent shadow of a cloud
Hung there becalmed, with the next breath to fleet.

All round, upon the river's slippery edge,
Witching to deeper calm the drowsy tide,

Whispers and leans the breeze-entangling sedge; Through emerald glooms the lingering waters slide,

Or, sometimes wavering, throw back the sun,

And the stiff banks in eddies melt and run
Of dimpling light, and with the current seem to glide.

In Summer 'tis a blithesome sight to see,
As, step by step, with measured swing, they pass,

The wide-ranked mowers wading to the knee,
Their sharp scythes panting through the thickset grass;

Then, stretched beneath a rick's shade in a ring,

Their nooning take, while one begins to sing A stave that droops and dies 'neath the close sky of brass.

Meanwhile that devil-may-care, the bobolink, Remembering duty, in mid-quaver stops

Just ere he sweeps o'er rapture's tremulous brink, And 'twixt the winrows most demurely drops,

A decorous bird of business, who provides

For his brown mate and fledgelings six besides, And looks from right to left, a farmer ʼmid his crops.

Another change subdues them in the Fall, But saddens not; they still show merrier tints,

Though sober russet seems to cover all; When the first sunshine through their dewdrops glints,

Look how the yellow clearness, streamed across,

Redeems with rarer hucs the season's loss, As Dawn's feet there had touched and left their rosy prints.

Or come when sunset gives its freshened zest, Lean o'er the bridge and let the ruddy thrill,

While the shorn sun swells down the hazy west, Glow opposite ;—the marshes drink their fill

And swoon with purple veins, then slowly fade

Through pink to brown, as eastward moves the shade, Lengthening with stealthy creep, of Simond's darkening hill.

Later, and yet ere Winter wholly shuts,
Ere through the first dry snow the runner grates,

And the loath cart-wheel screams in slippery ruts,
While firmer ice the eager boy awaits,

Trying each buckle and strap beside the fire,

And until bedtime plays with his desire,
Twenty times putting on and off his new-bought skates;

Then, every morn, the river's banks shine bright
With smooth plate-armour, treacherous and frail,

By the frost's clinking hammers forged at night, 'Gainst which the lances of the sun prevail,

Giving a pretty emblem of the day

When guiltier arms in light shall melt away, And states shall move free-limbed, loosed from war's cramp

ing mail. And now those waterfalls the ebbing river Twice every day creates on either side

Tinkle, as through their fresh-sparred grots they shiver In grass-arched channels to the sun denied ;

High flaps in sparkling blue the far-heard crow,

The silvered flats gleam frostily below, Suddenly drops the gull and breaks the glassy tide.

But, crowned in turn by vying seasons three, Their winter halo hath a fuller ring;

This glory seems to rest immovablyThe others were too fleet and vanishing;

When the hid tide is at its highest flow,

O'er marsh and stream one breathless trance of snow With brooding fulness awes and hushes every thing.

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