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Hast thou forgot, friend of my better days,
Hast thou forgot the early, innocent joys
Of our remotest childhood; when our lives
Were linked in one, and our young hearts bloomed out
Like violet-bells upon the self-same stem,
Pouring the dewy odors of life's spring
Into each other's bosom-all the bright
And sorrow less thoughts of a confiding love,
And intermingled vows, and blossoming hopes
Of future good, and infant dreams of bliss,
Budding and breathing sunnily about them,
As crimson-spotted cups, in spring time, hang
On all the delicate fibres of the vine?
And where, oh! where are the unnumbered vows We made, my sister, at the twilight fall, A thousand times, and the still starry hours Of the dew-glistering eve-in many a walk By the green borders of our native streamAnd in the chequered shade of these old oaks, The moonlight silvering o’er each mossy trunk, And every bough, as an Eolian harp, Full of the solemn chant of the low breeze? Thou hast forgotten this—and standest here, Thy hand in mine, and hearest, even now, The rustling wood, the stir of falling leaves, And-hark !--the far off murmur of the brook !
Nay, do not weep, my sister !—do not speak-
Now know I, by the tone, and by the eye
Of tenderness, with many tears bedimmed,
Thou hast remembered all. Thou measurest well
The work that is before thee, and the joys
That are behind. Now, be the past forgot-
The youthful love, the hearth-light and the home,
Song, dance, and story, and the vows-the vows
That we would change not, part not unto death
Yea, all the spirits of departed bliss,
That even now, like spirits of the dead,
Seen dimly in the living mourner's dreams,
Are trilling, ever and anon, the notes
Long loved of old-oh! hear them, heed them not.
Press on! for, like the fairies of the tale,
That mocked, unseen, the tempted traveller,
With power alone o'er those who gave them ear,
They would but turn thee from a high resolve. Then look not back! oh! triumph in the strength Of an exalted purpose! Eagle-like,
Press sunward on. Thou shalt not be alone.
Have but an eye on God, as surely God
Will have an eye on thee-press on! press on!
The Pilgrim Fathers.-SPRAGUE.
THEY Come-that coming who shall tell?
The eye may weep, the heart may swell,
But the poor tongue in vain essays
A fitting note for them to raise
We hear the after-shout that rings
For them who smote the power of kings;
The swelling triumph all would share;
But who the dark defeat would dare,
And boldly meet the wrath and wo,
That wait the unsuccessful blow?
It were an envied fate, we deem,
To live a land's recorded theme,
When we are in the tomb.
We, too, might yield the joys of home,
And waves of winter darkness roam,
And tread a shore of bloom,
Knew we those waves, through coming time,
Should roll our names to every clime;
Felt we that millions on that shore
Should stand, our memory to adore.
But no glad vision burst in light
Upon the pilgrims' aching sight;
Their hearts no proud hereafter swelled;
Deep shadows veiled the way they held;
The yell of vengeance was the trump of fame;
Their monument, a grave without a name.
Yet, strong in weakness, there they stand,
On yonder ice-bound rock,
Stern and resolved, that faithful band,
To meet fate's rudest shock.
Though anguish rends the father's breast,
For them, his dearest and his best,
With him the waste who trod-
Though tears that freeze, the mother sheds
Upon her children's houseless heads-
The Christian turns to God!
In grateful adoration now,
Upon the barren sands they bow.
What tongue of joy e'er woke such prayer
As bursts in desolation there!
What arm of strength e'er wrought such power
As waits to crown that feeble hour!
There into life an infant empire springs !
There falls the iron from the soul;
There Liberty's young accents roll
Up to the King of kings!
To fair creation's farthest bound,
That thrilling summons yet shall sound;
The dreaming nations shall awake,
And to their centre earth's old kingdoms shake.
Pontiff and prince, your sway
Must crumble from that day ;
Before the loftier throne of Heaven,
The hand is raised, the pledge is given,
One monarch to obey, one creed to own-
That monarch, God, that creed, his word alone.
Spread out earth's holiest records here,
Of days and deeds to reverence dear, A zeal like this what pious legends tell!
On kingdoms built
In blood and guilt,
The worshippers of vulgar triumph dwell ;
But what exploits with theirs shall page,
Who rose to bless their kind,
Who left their nation and their age,
Man's spirit to unbind !
Who boundless seas passed o'er, And boldly met, in every path, Famine, and frost, and heathen wrath,
To dedicate a shore, Where Piety's meek train might breathe their vow, And seek their Maker with an unshamed brow; Where Liberty's glad race might proudly come, And set up there an everlasting home!
0, many a time it hath been told,
The story of those men of old:
For this fair Poetry hath wreathed
Her sweetest, purest flower;
For this proud Eloquence hath breathed
His strain of loftiest power :
Devotion, too, hath lingered round
Each spot of consecrated ground,
And hill and valley blessed; There, where our banished fathers strayed, There, where they loved, and wept, and prayed,
There, where their ashes rest.
And never may they rest unsung,
While Liberty can find a tongue.
Twine, Gratitude, a wreath for them,
More deathless than the diadem,
Who to life's noblest end,
Gave up life's noblest powers, And bade the legacy descend,
Down, down to us and ours.