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Above thy head our flag shall spread,
Our ocean path be thine!
The bark sails on; the Pilgrim's cape
Lies low along her lee,
To lock the shore and sea.
To win this barren realm!
That hold the whaler's helm !
Still on! Manhattan's narrowing bay
No Rebel cruiser scars;
That flaunts the fallen stars!
Ay, pilot, have a care!
The capes of Delaware!
Whose sentinels look down
Their deep embrasures' frown?
But these are friends, we know,
And this is ?-Fort Monroe!
The breakers roar,-how bears the shore?
The traitorous wreckers' hands
Along the Hatteras sands.
Again the shoals display
The Union Stars by day!
The good ship flies to milder skies,
The wave more g 1tly flows,
The breath of Beaufort's rose.
What fold is this the sweet winds kiss,
Fair-striped and many-starred,
The twins of Beauregard ?
What! heard you not Port Royal's doom?
How the black war-ships came
To redder wreaths of fame?
We saw his emblem fall,
Shall drop from Sumter's wall ?
On! on! Pulaski's iron hail
Falls harmless on Tybee!
She strikes the open sea ;
That guard the Land of Flowers,
Her own Gibraltar towers !
The good ship Union's voyage is o'er,
At anchor safe she swings,
Her joyous welcome rings :
It thunders on the shore,-
One Nation, evermore!
Our poet's pen is still active, employing itself now in prose, wid now in verse, both grave and gay, or tender and caustic, as may be seen from month to month on the pages of our leading periodicals. His latest work is Mechanism in Thought and Morals.*
“ 'The muse of Holmes is a foe to humbug. ... He clears the moral atmosphere of the morbid literary and other pretences afloat. People breathe freer for his verse. They shake the cobwebs out of the system, and keep up in
* See Supplement G.
the world that brisk, healthy current of common sense, which is to the mind what circulation is to the body." present the following as one of his most literally rejuvenating poems.
We're twenty! We're twenty! Who says we are more?
Was it snowing I spoke of? Excuse the mistake!
We've a trick, we young fellows, you may have been told,
That fellow's the “Speaker,”—the one on the right;
That boy with the grave mathematical look
,-a good joke it was too!
There's a boy, we pretend, with a three-decker brain,
* Duyckinck's Cyclopædia of American Literature.
And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith,-
“ of thee!”
It is not a little singular to note with what unanimity critics, both American and English, agree as touching Holmes' literary character, not only as a whole, but in respect also to its minor qualities. Let us briefly instance the testimony of a few. "The most concise, apt, and effective poet of the school of Pope this country has produced is Oliver Wendell Holmes." *
“He possesses Swift's quaintness and motley merri. ment, Pope's polish and graceful point, and the solemn pathos and allied excruciating mirth of Hood.” ť
“His fancy teems with bright and appropriate images, and these are woven into his plan usually with exquisite finish and grace.” I
“His lyrics ring and sparkle like cataracts of silver, and his serious pieces-as successful in their way as those mirthful frolics of his muse for which he is best honored-arrest the attention by touches of the most genuine pathos and tenderness." $ As, for instance, * H. T. Tuckerman.
† Irish Quarterly Review. North American Reriew, Jan., 1847. & R. W. Griswold.
UNDER THE VIOLETS.
HER hands are cold; her face is white;
No more her pulses come and go;
Fold the white vesture, snow on snow,
But not beneath a graven stone,
To plead for tears with alien eyes;
Shall say, that here a maiden lies
And grüy old trees of hugest limb
Shall wheel their circling shadows round To make the scorching sunlight dim
That drinks the greenness from the ground, And drops their dead leaves on her mound.
When o'er their boughs the squirrels run,
And through their leaves the robins call,
The acorns and the chestnuts fall,
For her the morning choir shall sing
Its matins from the branches high,
That thrills beneath the April sky,
When, turning round their dial-track,
Eastward the lengthening shadows pass,
The crickets, sliding through the grass,
At last the rootlets of the trees
Shall find the prison where she lies,
In leaves and blossoms to the skies.