« AnteriorContinuar »
Thy little foot prints-or by traces know
The fountain, where at noon I thought it sweet
To feed thee with the quarry of my bow,
And poured the lotus-horn,* or slew the mountain roe.
“ Adieu ! sweet scion of the rising sun !
But should affliction's storms thy blossom mock,
Then come again—my own adopted one!
And I will graft thee on a noble stock:
The crocodile, the condor of the rock,
Shall be the pastime of thy sylvan wars ;
And I will teach thee, in the battle's shock,
with Huron blood thy father's scars, And gratulate his soul rejoicing in the stars !"
So finished he the rhyme (howe'er uncouth)
That true to nature's fervid feelings ran;
(And song is but the eloquence of truth :)
Then forth uprose that lone way-faring man;
But dauntless he, nor chart, nor journey's plan
In woods required, whose trained eye was keen
As eagle of the wilderness, to scan
His path, by mountain, swamp, or deep ravine,
Or ken far friendly buts on good savannas green.
Old Albert saw him from the valley's side-
His pirogue launched-his pilgrimage begun-
Far, like the red-bird's wing he seemed to glide-
Then dived, and vanished in the woodlands dun.
* From a flower shaped like a horn, which Chateaubriand presumes to be of the lotus kind, the Indians in their travels through tha desert often find a draught of dew purer than any other water.
Oft, to that spot by tender memory won,
Would Albert climb the promontory's height,
If but a dim sail glimmered in the sun ;
But never more to bless his longing sight,
Was Outalissi hailed, with bark and plumage bright.
I. A VALLEY from the river shore withdrawn Was Albert's home, two quiet woods between, Whose lofty verdure overlooked his lawn ; And waters to their resting place serene Came fresh’ning, and reflecting all the scene : (A mirror in the depth of flowery shelves ;) So sweet a spot of earth, you might, I ween, Have guessed some congregation of the elves (selves. To sport by summer moons, had shaped it for them
Yet wanted not the
Nor vistas opened by the wand'ring stream;
Both where at evening Allegany views,
Thro'igh ridges burning in her western beam,
Lake after lake interminably gleam:
And past those settlers' haunts the eye might roam.
Where earth's unliving silence all would seem;
Save where on rocks the beaver built his dome,
Or buffalo remote lowed far from human home.
But silent not that adverse eastern path,
Which saw Aurora's hill th' horizon crown;
There was the river heard, in bed of wrath,
(A precipict of foam from mountains brown.)
Like tumults heard from some far distant town;
But soft’ning in approach he left his gloom,
And murmured pleasantly, and laid him down
To kiss those easy curving banks of bloom,
That lent the windward air an exquisite perfume.
It seemed as if those scenes sweet influence had
On Gertrude's soul, and kindness like their own
Inspired those eyes affectionate and glad,
That seemed to love whate'er they looked upon ;
Whether with Hebe's mirth her features shone,
Or if a shade more pleasing them o'ercast,
(As if for heavenly musing meant alone ;)
Yet so becomingly th’ expression past,
That each succeeding look was lovelier than the last.
Nor guess I, was that Pennsylvanian home,
With all its picturesque and balmy grace,
And fields that were a luxury to roam,
Lost on the soul that looked fro such a face !
Enthusiast of the woods ! when years apace
Had bound thy lovely waist with woman's zone,
The sunrise path, at morn, I see thee trace
To hills with higb magnolia overgrown,
And joy to breathe the groves, romantic and alone.
VI. The sunrise drew her thoughts to Europe forth, That thus apostrophized its viewless scene: “ Land of my father's love, my mother's birth! The home of kindred I have never seen! We know not other-oceans are between ; Yet say! far friendly hearts from whence we came, Of us does oft remembrance intervene ! My mother sure-my sire a thought may claim ;-• But Gertrude is to you an unregarded name,
“And yet, loved England ! wken thy name I trace
In many a pilgrim's tale and poet's song,
How can I choose but wish for one embrace
Of them, the dear unknown, to whom belong
My mother's looks,-perhaps her likeness strong?
Oh parent! with what reverential awe,
From features of thine own related throng,
An image of thy face my soul could draw!
And see thee once again whom I too shortly saw!"
Yet deem not Gertrude sighed for foreign joy;
To soothe a father's couch her only care,
And keep his rev’rend head from all annoy:
For this, methinks, her homeward steps repair,
Soon as the morning wreath had bound her hair;
While yet the wild deer trod in spangling dew,
While boatmen carolled to the fresh-blown air,
And woods a horizontal shadow threw,
And early fox appeared in momentary view.
IX. Apart there was a deep untrodden grot, Where oft the reading hour sweet Gertrude wore; Tradition had not named its lonely spot; But here, methinks, might Indians' sons explore Their fathers' dust,* or lift, perchance, of yore, Cheir voice to the great Spirit:-rocks sublime To human art a sportive semblance bore, And yellow lichens coloured all the clime, [time. Like moonlight battlements, and towers decayed by
* It is a custom of the Indian tribes to visit the tombs of their an cestors in the cultivated parts of America, who have been buried for upwards of a century.