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TREES, FLOWERS, &c.
Not a tree,
And forth they passe, with pleasure forward led,
The builder oake, sole king of forests all,
The laurell, meed of mighty conquerours
The fruitfull olive, and the platane round, .
Seems sunk, and shortened to its topmost
boughs. Nor less attractive is the woodland scene, No tree in all the grove but has its charms, Diversified with trees of every growth, Tho' each its hue peculiar; paler some, Alike, yet various. Here the gay smooth And of a wannish gray; the willow such, tranks
And poplar, that with silver lines its leat, Of asb, or lime, or beech, distinctly shine, And ash for stretching his ombrageous arm; Within the twilight of their distant shades; Of deeper green the elm; and deeper still, There, lost behind a rising ground, the wood Lord of the woods, the long-surviving oak. Some glossy-leaved, and shining in the sun,
THE SYLVAN SCENE.
OVER head up grew
Insuperable height of loftiest shade, Now green, now tawny, and, ere autumn Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm, yet,
A sylvan scene; and as the ranks ascend Have changed the woods, in scarlet honours Shade above shade, a woody theatre bright.
Of stateliest view.
SURVIVOR sole, and hardly such, of all, Thou wast a bauble once, a cap and ball, That once liv'd here, thy brethren, at my Which babes might play with; and the birth,
thievish jay, Since which I number three-score winters Seeking her food, with ease might have past,
purloin'a A shatter'd vet'ran, hollow-trunk'd perhaps, The auburn nut, that held thee, swallowing As now, and with excoriate forks deform, down Relicts of ages, could a mind, imbued Thy yet close-folded latitude of boughs, With truth from Heav'n, created thing adore, | And all thine embryo vastness at a gulp. I might with rev'rence kneel, and worship | But Fate tby growth decreed; autumpal thee!
Beneath thy parent tree mellow'd the soil It seems idolatry with some excuse, Design'd thy cradle; and a skipping deer, When our forefather Druids in their oaks | With pointed hoof dibbling the glebe, preImagin'd sanctity. The conscience, yet Uopurify'd by an authentic act
| The soft receptacle, in which, secure, Of amnesty, the meed of blood divine, Thy rudiments should sleep the winter Lov'd not be light, but, gloomy, into gloom through
So fancy dreams. Disprove it if ye can, , With prominent wens globose-till at the Yereasoners broad awake,whose busy search last, Of argament, employ'd too oft amiss, The rottenness,which time is charg'd to inflict Sifts half the pleasures of short life away! On other mighty ones, found also thee.
Thon fell’st mature, and, in the loamy clod What exhibitions various hath the world Swelling with vegetative force instinct, Witness’d of mutability in all, Didst burst thine egg, as theirs the fabled That we account most durable below! Twins,
Change is the diet, on which all subsist, Now stars. Two lobes, protruding, pair's Created changeable, and change at last exact ;
Destroys them. Skies uncertain, now the A leaf succeeded, and another leaf,
heat And, all the elements thy puny growth Transmitting cloudless, and the solar beam Fost'ring propitious, thou becam’st a twig. Now quenching in a boundless sea of clonds, Who liv'd, when thou wast such; Oh, Calm, and alternate storm, moisture, and could'st thou speak,
drought, As in Dodona once thy kindred trees Invigorate by turns the springs of life Oracular, I would not curious ask
In all that live, plant, animal, and man, The future, best unknown, but at thy mouth And in conclusion mar them. Nature's Inquisitive, the less ambiguous past!
Fine, passing thought, e'en in her coarsest By thee I might correct, erroneous oft, works, The clock of history, facts and events Delight in agitation, yet sustain Timing more punctual, unrecorded facts The force that agitates, not unimpair'd, Recov'ring, and misstated setting right But, worn by frequent impulse, to the cause Desp'rate attempt, till trees shall speak Of their best tone their dissolution owe. again!
Thought cannot spend itself, comparing Time made thee what thou wast, king of
still the woods,
The great and little of thy lot, thy growth And Time hath made thee what thou art From almost nullity into a state a cave
Of matchless grandeur, and declension For owls to roost in ! once thy spreading thence, boughs
Slow, into such magnificent decay. O’erhung the champaign; and the numerous T'ime was, when, settling on thy leaf, a fly flocks,
Could shake thee to the root-and time has That graz'd it, stood beneath that ample cope
been Uneranded, vetsafe-shelter'd from the storm. / When tempests could not. At thy firmest age No flock frequents thee now. Thou hast out. Thou hadst within thy bole solid contents, liv'd
That might have ribb’d the sides and plank'd Thy popularity, and art become
the deck (Unless verse rescue thee awhile) a thing
Of some flagg'd admiral, and tortuous arms, Forgotten, as the foliage of thy youth ! The shipwright's darling treasure, didst pre
sent While thus through all the stages thou | To the four quarter'd winds, robust and bold, hast push'd
Warp'd into tough knee-timber, * many a Of treeship-first a ceedling, hid in grass ; load! Then twig; then sapling; and, as centry rolld
* Knee timber is found in the crooked Slow after century, a giant-bulk
arms of oak, which by reason of their dis
tortion, are easily adjusted to the angle Of girth enormous, with moss-cushion'd root
formed where the deck and the ship's sides Upheav'd above the soil, and sides imboss'd | meet.
But the axe spar'd thee. In those thriftier | But since, although well qualify'd by age, days
To teach, no spirit dwells in thee, nor voice Oaks fell not, hewn by thousands, to supply May be expected from thee, seated here The bottomless demands of contest, wag'
d On thy distorted ro For senatorial honours. Thus to Time Or prompter, save the scene, I will perform The task was left to whittle thee away Myself the oracle, and will discourse With his sly scythe, whose ever-nibbling In my own ear such matter as I may.
edge, Noiseless, an atom, and an atom more, One man alone, the father of us all, Disjoining from the rest, has, unobserv'd, | Drew not his life from woman; never gaz'd Achiev'd a labour, which had far and wide, With mute unconsciousness of what he saw, By man perform’d, made all the forest ring. On all around him; learn’d not by degrees,
Nor owed articulation to his ear; Embowell'd now, and of thy ancient self | But, moulded by his Maker into man Possessing nought, but the scoop'd rind, that | At once, upstood intelligent, survey'd seems
All creatures, with precision understood An huge throat, calling to the clouds for drink Their purport, uses, properties, assign'd Which it would give in rivulets to thy root, To each his name significant, and, fill'd Thou temptest none, but rather much for- With love and wisdom, render'd back to bidd'st
Heav'n The feller's toil, which thou could’st ill re- | In praise harmonious the first air he drew. quite.
He was excus'd the penalties of dull Yet is thy root sincere, sound as the rock, Minority. No tator charg'd his hand A quarry of stout spurs, and knotted fangs, With the thought-tracing quill, or task'd his Which crook'd into a thousand whimsies, mind clasp
With problems. History, not wanted yet The stubborn soil, and hold thee still erect. Lean'd on her elbow, watchiog Time, whose
course, So stands a kingdom,whose foundation yet Eventful, should supply her with a theme. Fails not, in virtue and in wisdom laid, Tho' all the superstructure, by the tooth Pulveriz'd of venality, a shell Stands now and semblance only of itself!
Thine arms have left thee. Winds have
THE PALMETTO. torn them off
GAY. Long since, and rovers of the forest wild, With bow and shaft, have burnt them. Some Yet let me in some odorous shade repose, have left
Wbilst in my verse the fair palmetto grows : A splinter'd stump, bleach'd to a snowy Like the tall pine it shoots its stately head, white;
From the broad top depending branches And some, memorial none where once they spread; grew.
No knotty limbs the taper body bears, Yet still life lingers in thee, and puts forth, Hang on each bough a single leaf appears, Proof not contemptible of what she can, Which, shrivell'd in its infancy, remains Even where death predominates. The spring Like a clos'd fan, nor stretches wide its Finds thee not less alive to her sweet force veins ; Than yonder upstarts of the neighb'ring | But, as the seasons in their circle run, wood,
Opes its ripp'd surface to the nearer sun, So much thy juniors, who their birth re Beneath this shade the weary peasant lies, ceiv'd
Plucks the broad leaf, and bids the breezes Half a millennium since the date of thine. I rise.
THE UPAS TREE.
Lo! from one root, the envenomed soil
A thousand vegetative serpents grow ; WHERE seas of glass with gay reflection In shining rays the scaly monster spreads smile
O'er ten square leagues his far-diverging Round the green coasts of Java's palmy isle, heads; A spacious plain extends its upland scene, Or in one trunk entwists his tangled forin, Rocks rise on rocks, and fountains gush be Looks o'er the clouds and hisses in the storm.
tween; Suft zephyrs blow, eternal summer's reign, Steep'd in fell poison, as his sharp teeth And showers prolific bless the soil,--.in vain ! part,
A thousand tongues in quick vibration dart; No spicy nutmeg scents the vernal gales, Snatch the proud eagle towering o'er the No towering plantain shades the mid-day heath, vales;
Or pounce the lion as be stalks beneath ; No grassy mantle hides the sable hills, Or strew, as marshall'd hosts contend in vain No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling With human skeletons the whiten’d plain.
rills ; Nor tufted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps
Chaiu'd at his root two scion-demons In russet tapestry o'er the crumbling steeps. dwell,
Breathe the faint hiss, or try the shriller yell; No step retreating, on the sand impress’d, Rise, fluttering in the air with callow wings, Invites the visit of a second guest;
And aim at insect-prey their little stings. No refluent fin the unpeopled stream divides, So Time's strong arms with sweeping scythe No revolant pinions cleave the airy tides; erase Nor handed moles, nor beaked worms re- Art's cumbrous works, and empires, from turn,
their base : That mining pass the irremeable bourn.- While each young hour its sickle fine em Fierce in dread silence, on the blasted heath, ploys, Fell Upas sits, the HYDRA-Tree of death. And crops the sweet buds of domestic joys.
TO A DEAD TREE.
Old tree thou art wither’d—I pass'd thee last year,
How alterid since then ! not a leaf hast thou got,
I think while I view thee and rest on the stile