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Upon the brink of some wood-nestled lakelet,
The flames by fits curled round the bars,
Or up the chimney crinkled,
And in the ashes tinkled.
And, o'er my senses stealing,
That bloomed on wall and ceiling; My pictures (they are very
fewThe heads of ancient wise men) Smoothed down their knotted fronts, and grew
As rosy as excisemen.
Felt thrills through wood and leather,
'Mid Andalusian heather,
His happy arm stretched over
The bottom's polished cover.
That brought our sires intrepid,
For furniture decrepit ;-
A pair for propagation,
And furnished half the nation.
But those slant precipices
Less slippery are than this is ;
Of royal man or woman,
Is more or less than human.
Dear well-intentioned people,
Tongues longer than the steeple;
See golden ages rising ;-
Thou’rt fond of crystallizing!
My wonder, then, was not unmixed
With merciful suggestion,
Upon the chair in question,
A figure grim and rusty,
Were something worn and dusty.
Merely to fill the street with,
Are serious things to meet with;
And, though I'm not averse to
One cares not to speak first to.
By Charon kindly ferried,
Behind my wainscot buried ?
About that garb outlandish-
And said, • My name is Standish.
With toasts, and songs, and speeches, As long and flat as my old sword,
As threadbare as my breeches : They understand us Pilgrims! they,
Smooth men with rosy faces,
And varnish in their places !
The eye to rightly see us is
Of drawing-room Tyrtæuses :
Their birthright high and holy!-. A mountain stream that ends in mud
Methinks is melancholy. • He had stiff knees, the Puritan,
That were not good at bending; The homespun dignity of man
He thought was worth defending;
He did not, with his pinchbeck ore,
His country's shame forgotten, Gild Freedom's coffin o'er and o'er,
When all within was rotten. * These loud ancestral boasts of yours,
How can they else than vex us? Where were your dinner orators
When slavery grasped at Texas ? Dumb on his knees was every one
That now is bold as Cæsar,-Mere pegs to hang an office on
Such stalwart men as these are.'
The sacred compromises---
My gall thereat arises :
That you, your conscience blinding, Shall bow your fool's nose to the stone,
When slavery feels like grinding. ''Tis shame to see such painted sticks
In Vane's and Winthrop's places,
Drag humbly in the traces,
And herds of office-holders
It peels her patient shoulders. • We forefathers to such a rout!
No, by my faith in God's word!' Half rose the ghost, and half drew out
The ghost of his old broadsword, Then thrust it slowly back again,
And said, with reverent gesture, • No, Freedom, no! blood should not stain
The hem of thy white vesture. "I feel the soul in me draw near
The mount of prophesying ; In this bleak wilderness I hear
A John the Baptist crying; Far in the east I see upleap
The streaks of first forewarning, And they who sowed the light shall reap
The golden sheaves of morning.