Слике страница

Help the men thet’s ollers dealin'

Insults on your fathers' graves ; Help the strong to grind the feeble,

Help the many agin the few, Help the men that call your people

Whitewashed slaves an' peddlin' crew!

Massachusetts, God forgive her,

She's akneelin' with the rest,
She, that ough' to ha' clung for ever

In her grand old eagle-nest;
She that ough' to stand so fearless

Wile the wracks are round her hurled. Holdin' up a beacon peerless

To the oppressed of all the world!

Haint they sold your colored seamen?

Haint they made your env’ys wiz? Wut 'll make ye act like freemen?

Wut 'll git your dander riz?
Come, I'll tell ye wut I'm thinkin'

Is your duty in this fix,
They'd ha' done 't ez quick ez winkin

In the days o' seventy-six.

Clang the bells in every steeple,

Call all true men to disown
The tradoocers of our people,

The enslavers o' their own;
Let our dear old Bay State proudly

Put the trumpet to her mouth,
Let her ring this messidge loudly

In the ears of all the South:

“I'll return ye good fer evil

Much ez we frail mortals can, But I wun't go help the Devil

Makin' man the cus o' man; Call me coward, call me traiter,

Jest az suits your mean idees,Here I stand a tyrant-hater,

An' the friend o' God an' Peace!"

Ef I'd my way I hed ruther

We should go to work an' part,-
They take one way, we take t'other,-

Guess it wouldn't break my heart;
Man hed ough' to put asunder

Them thet God has noways jined;
An' I shouldn't greatly wonder

Ef there's thousands o' my mind.

From Under the Willows, and other Poems, we select, az being strikingly characteristic of our poet's style and veir of thought,


[ocr errors]

THE dandelions and buttercups
Gild all the lawn; the drowsy bee
Stumbles among the clover-tops,
And summer sweetens all but me:
Away, unfruitful lore of books,
For whose vain idiom we reject
The soul's more native dialect,
Aliens among the birds and brooks,
Dull to interpret or conceive
What gospels lost the woods retrieve!
Away, ye critics, city-bred,
Who set man-traps of thus and so,
And in the first man's footsteps tread,
Like those who toil through drifted snow!
Away, my poets, whose sweet spell
Can make a garden of a cell!
I need ye not, for I to-day
Will make one long sweet verse of play.

Snap, chord of manhood's tenser strain
To-day I will be a boy again;
The mind's pursuing element,
Like a bow slackened and unbent,
In some dark corner shall be leant.
The robin sings as of old, from the limb!
The cat-herd croons in the lilac-bush;
Through the dim arbor, himself more dim,

Silently hops the hermit-thrush,
The withered leaves keep dumb for him;
The irreverent buccaneering bee
Hath stormed and rifled the nunnery
Of the lily, and scattered the sacred floor
With haste-dropt gold from shrine to door;
There, as of yore,
The rich, milk-tingeing buttercup
Its tiny polished urn holds up,
Filled with ripe summer to the edge,
The sun in his own wine to pledge;
And our tall elm, this hundredth year
Doge of our leafy Venice here,
Who, with an annual ring, doth wed
The blue Adriatic overhead,
Shadows with his palatial mass
The deep canals of flowing grass.

O unestranged birds and bees !
O face of nature always true!
O never-unsympathizing trees!
O never-rejecting roof of blue,
Whose rash disherison never falls
On us unthinking prodigals,
Yet who convictest all our ill,
So grand and unappeasable !
Methinks my heart from each of these
Plucks part of childhood back again,
Long there imprisoned, as the breeze
Doth every hidden odor seize
Of wood and water, hill and plain.
Once more am I admitted peer
In the upper house of Nature here,
And feel through all my pulses run
The royal blood of breeze and sun.

Upon these elm-arched solitudes
No hum of neighbor toil intrudes;
The only hammer that I hear
Is wielded by the woodpecker,
The single noisy calling his
In ‘ali dur leaf-hid Sybaris ;

The good old time, close-hidden here,
Persists, a loyal cavalier,
While Roundheads prim, with point of fox,
Probe wainscot-chink and empty box;
Here no hoarse-voiced iconoclast
Insults thy statues, royal Past;
Myself too prone the axe to wield,
I touch the silver side of the shield
With lance reversed, and challenge peace,
A willing convert of the trees.

How chanced it that so long I tost
A cable's length from this rich coast,
With foolish anchors hugging close
The beckoning weeds and lazy ooze,
Nor had the wit to wreck before
On this enchanted island's shore,
Whither the current of the sea,
With wiser drift, persuaded me?

O, might we but of such rare days
Build up the spirit's dwelling-place!
A temple of so Parian stone
Would brook a marble god alone,
The statue of a perfect life,
Far-shrined from earth’s bestaining strife.
Alas! though such felicity
In our vext world here may not be,
Yet, as sometimes the peasant's hut
Shows stones which old religion cut
With text inspired, or mystic sign
Of the Eternal and Divine,
Torn from the consecration deep
Of some fallen nunnery's mossy sleep,
So, from the ruins of this day
Crumbling in golden dust away,
The soul one gracious block may draw
Carved with some fragment of the law,
Which, set in life's uneven wall,
Old benedictions may recall,
And lure some nunlike thoughts to take
Their dwelling here for memory's sake.


ALICE CARY was born in Mount Healthy, in the vicinity of Cincinnati, April, 1820. Furnished with but a very limited schooling, and unsurrounded by the incitements of cultured and literary society, she surrendered herself fully to the teachings of her own sweet spirit, and the poetical influences of Nature that lay in variety and beauty around her hoine,

At the age of eighteen she contributed verses to the Cincinnati press, which were well received; but it was by a series of sketches of rural life, published, under the disguise of “Patty Lee," in the National Era, that she first attracted marked attention. In 1850, in company with her sister Phoebe, she removed to New York, where, the same year, the two gave to the public a first volume of Poems. The works that have since been issued by Alice are:

Clovernook; or, Recollections of our Neighborhood in the West, a volume of prose sketches, in 1851; Lyra, and other Poems. in 1852; Hagar, a Story of To-Day, in 1852; Clovernook, second series, in 1853; Clovernook Children, in 1854; Poems, a new collection, in 1855; Married, not Mated, and Hollywood, novels, in 1856; Pictures of Country Life, in 1859; The Bishop's Son, in 1867; Snow Berries, in 1867.

She died at her residence in New York City, February 12, 1871.

Of her Clovernook sketches one of our greatest poets * has said: “They bear the true stamp of genius-simple, natural, truthful-and evince a keen sense of the humor and pathos, of the comedy and tragedy of life in the country.”

"It is impossible to deny that she has original and extraordinary powers, or that the elements of genius are poured forth in her verses with an astonishing richness and prodigality.”+ * John G. Whittier.

+ E. P. Whipple

« ПретходнаНастави »