Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

GERTRUDE OF WYOMING;

OR THE

PENNSYLVANIAN COTTAGE.

PART I.

ADVERTISEMENT.

Most of the popular histories of England, as well as of the American war, give an authentic account of the desolation of Wyoming, in Pennsylvania, which took place in 1778, by an incursion of the Indians. The Scenery and Incidents of the following Poem are connected with that event. The testimonies of historians and travellers concur in describing the infant colony as one of the bappiest spots of human existence, for the hospitable and innocent manners of the inhabitants, the beauty of the country, and the luxuriant fertility of the soil and climate. In an evil hour, the junction of European with Indian arms, converted this terrestrial paradise into a frightful waste. Mr Isaac Weld informs us, that the ruins of many of the villages, perforated with balls, and bearing marks of conflagration were still preserved by the recent inhabitants, when he travelled through America in 1796.

[ocr errors]

PART I.

I. On Susquehanna's side, fair Wyoming! Although the wild-flower on thy ruined wall And roofless homes a sad remembrance bring Of what thy gentle people did befall, Yet thou wert once the lovliest land of all That see the Atlantic wave their morn restore. Sweet land! may I thy lost delights recall, And paint thy Gertrude in her bowers of yore, Whose beauty was the love of Pennsylvania's shore.

Delightful Wyoming! beneath thy skies,
The happy shepherd swains had nought to do,
But feed their flocks on green declivities,
Or skim perchance thy lake with light canoe,
From morn, till eveniny's sweeter pastime grew,
With timbrel, when beneath the forests brown,
The lovely maidens would the dance renew :
And aye those sunny mountains half-way down
Would echo flagelet from some romantic town.

III.
Then, where on Indian hills the daylight takes
His leave, how might you the flamingo see
Disporting like a meteor on the lakes
And playful squirrel on his nut-grown tree:
And every sound of life was full of glee,
From mercy mock-bird's song, or hum of men,
While heark’ning, fearing nought their revelry,

The wild deer arched his neck from glades, and then Unhunted, sought his woods and wilderness again.

IV. And scarce had Wyoming of war or crime Heard but in transatlantic story rung, For bere the exile met from every clime, And spoke in friendship ev'ry distant tongue: Men from the blood of warring Europe sprung, Were but divided by the running brook; And happy where no Rhenish trumpet sung, On plains no sieging mine’s volcano shook, [hook. 'The blue-eyed German changed his sword to pruning

V. Nor far some Andalusian saraband Would sound to many a native roundelay. But who is he that yet a dearer land Remembers over hills and far away? Green Albyn !* what though he no more survey Thy ships at anehor on the quiet shore, Thy pellochs rolling from the mountain bay; Thy lone sepulchral cairn upon the moor, And distant isles that hear the loud Corbrechtan roar !1

VI.
Alas poor Caledonia's mountaineer,
That want's stern edict e'er, and feudal grief,
Had forced him from a home he loved so dear!
Yet found he here a home, and glad relief,
And plied the beverage from his own fair sheaf,
That fired his Highland blood with mickle glee;
And England sent her men, of men the chief,

* Scotland.
t The great whirlpool of the Western Hebrides.

Who taught those sires of Empire yet to be,
To plant the tree of life,--to plant fair freedom's tree!

VII.
Here was not mingled in the city's pomp
Of life's extremes the grandeur and the gloom;
Judgment awoke not here her dismal tromp,
Nor sealed in blood a fellow-creature's doom,
Nor mourned the captive in a living tomb.
One venerable man, beloved of all,
Sufficed where innocence was yet in bloom,
To sway the strife, that seldom might befall,
And Albert was their judge in patriarchal hall.

VIII.
How reverend was the look, serenely aged,
He bore, this gentle Pennsylvanian sire,
Where, all but kindly fervours were assuaged,
Undimmed by weakness' shade, or turbid ire;
And though amidst the calm of thought entire,
Some high and haughty features might betray
A soul impetuous once, 'twas earthly fire
That fled composure's intellectual ray,
As Ætna's fires grow dim before the rising day.

IX.
I boast no song in magic wonders rise,
But yet, oh Nature ! is there nought to prize,
Familiar in thy bosom-scenes of life?
And dwells in daylight truth's salubrious skies
No form with which the soul may sympathize?
Young, innocent, on whose sweet forehead mild
The parted ringlet shone in simplest guise,
An inmate in the home of Albert smiled,
Or blest his noonday walk—she was his only child.

« AnteriorContinuar »