Poems of Nature

Page 5 of 13

True kindness is a pure divine affinity,
Not founded upon human consanguinity.
It is a spirit, not a blood relation,
Superior to family and station.


Low in the eastern sky
Is set thy glancing eye;
And though its gracious light
Ne'er riseth to my sight,
Yet every star that climbs
Above the gnarld limbs
Of yonder hill,
Conveys thy gentle will.
Believe I knew thy thought,
And that the zephyrs brought{33}
Thy kindest wishes through,
As mine they bear to you;
That some attentive cloud
Did pause amid the crowd
Over my head,
While gentle things were said.
Believe the thrushes sung,
And that the flower-bells rung,
That herbs exhaled their scent,
And beasts knew what was meant,
The trees a welcome waved,
And lakes their margins laved,
When thy free mind
To my retreat did wind.{34}
It was a summer eve,
The air did gently heave
While yet a low-hung cloud
Thy eastern skies did shroud;
The lightning's silent gleam,
Startling my drowsy dream,
Seemed like the flash
Under thy dark eyelash.
From yonder comes the sun,
But soon his course is run,
Rising to trivial day
Along his dusty way;
But thy noontide completes
Only auroral heats,
Nor ever sets,
To hasten vain regrets.{35}
Direct thy pensive eye
Into the western sky;
And when the evening star
Does glimmer from afar
Upon the mountain line,
Accept it for a sign
That I am near,
And thinking of thee here.
I'll be thy Mercury,
Thou Cytherea to me,
Distinguished by thy face
The earth shall learn my place;
As near beneath thy light
Will I outwear the night,
With mingled ray
Leading the westward way.{36}
Still will I strive to be
As if thou wert with me;
Whatever path I take,
It shall be for thy sake,
Of gentle slope and wide,
As thou wert by my side,
Without a root
To trip thy gentle foot.
I'll walk with gentle pace,
And choose the smoothest place,
And careful dip the oar,
And shun the winding shore,
And gently steer my boat
Where water-lilies float,
And cardinal flowers
Stand in their sylvan bowers.


My love must be as free
As is the eagle's wing,
Hovering o'er land and sea
And everything.
I must not dim my eye
In thy saloon,
I must not leave my sky
And nightly moon.
Be not the fowler's net
Which stays my flight,
And craftily is set
T' allure the sight.{38}
But be the favoring gale
That bears me on,
And still doth fill my sail
When thou art gone.
I cannot leave my sky
For thy caprice,
True love would soar as high
As heaven is.
The eagle would not brook
Her mate thus won,
Who trained his eye to look
Beneath the sun.


There is a vale which none hath seen,
Where foot of man has never been,
Such as here lives with toil and strife,
An anxious and a sinful life.
There every virtue has its birth,
Ere it descends upon the earth,
And thither every deed returns,
Which in the generous bosom burns.
There love is warm, and youth is young,
And poetry is yet unsung,
For Virtue still adventures there,
And freely breathes her native air.{40}
And ever, if you hearken well,
You still may hear its vesper bell,
And tread of high-souled men go by,
Their thoughts conversing with the sky.


Though all the Fates should prove unkind,
Leave not your native land behind.
The ship, becalmed, at length stands still;
The steed must rest beneath the hill;
But swiftly still our fortunes pace
To find us out in every place.
The vessel, though her masts be firm,
Beneath her copper bears a worm;
Around the Cape, across the Line,
Till fields of ice her course confine;
It matters not how smooth the breeze,
How shallow or how deep the seas,{42}
Whether she bears Manilla twine,
Or in her hold Madeira wine,
Or China teas, or Spanish hides,
In port or quarantine she rides;
Far from New England's blustering shore,
New England's worm her hulk shall bore,
And sink her in the Indian seas,—
Twine, wine, and hides, and China teas.


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