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There is a land, of all beneath the sun
As rich and fair as e'er he shines upon;
Two broad peninsulas spread far and wide,
Which four great lakes encircle and divide;
Those mighty waters their broad arms extend
And clasp this land as one would clasp a friend,
And to each breeze a genial influence lend.
Upon the bosom of their swelling tides,
The busy bark of commerce safely rides;
And in their teeming depths, so cool and clear,
The finny tribes in countless shoals appear,
And bring the fisherman a golden store,
Who plies his trade along the shelving shore.
And here and there across the broad domain
Of forest-crested hill and fertile plain,
Slow-winding rivers, glancing in the sun,
Enrich the valleys as they shoreward run;
No finer scheme appears in Nature's plan
To bless the labors of the husbandman.
After his keen-edged axe and horny hand
Have swept the forest from the mellow land,
When next the harvest moon with gentle mien
Looks down, amazed, upon a changeful scene,
Lo, waving harvests deck the happy plain,
And all the landscape laughs with golden gain.
There, felds of wheat bend low the ripened ear;
Tall ranks of maize stand softly rustling here;
Luxuriant oats present their dark array,
And human hearts, like Nature's face, are gay.
Look to the north, when Winter spreads his snows,
And see the lumberer deal his sturdy blows.
The lofty pine bows low its graceful crest
And yields its timbered wealth to East and West,
Look further, still, where rugged hills arise;
There the dark miner his vocation plies;
Blasting the hills, he 'xplores the toilsome mine
Where the rent rocks with hidden luster shine,
And silver, copper, iron, and coal produce
A wondrous store for every human use.
Such are the gifts which Nature's lavish hand
Has poured upon this highly favored land.
And when within this noble realm we see
A people brave, intelligent, and free,
Dwelling in peace in pleasant, stately homes
Where one might think no trouble ever comes;
When we behold the landscape thickly strewn,
As valleys with the leaves of autumn blown,
With lovely farms bedecked with orchard trees,
With noble cities, towns, and villages,
With churches topped with heaven-pointing spires,
With schoolhouses where Learning never tires,
With all that one might wish or hope to find
To satisfy the most fastidious mind,-
Well might one say, if from some foreign strand:
"Here will I stay; here's my adopted land.”
Or if, perchance, by fav’ring fate more blest,
Here first a mother's tender arms caressed,
What patriot pride should thrill thro' all the man
As he exclaims: “My home! My Michigan!”
Away with false fashion, so calm and so chill,
Where pleasure itself cannot please;
Away with cold breeding, that faithlessly still
Affects to be quite at ease;
For the deepest in feeling is highest in rank,
The freest is first in the band,
And nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,
Is a man with a heart in his hand!
Fearless in honesty, gentle, yet just,
He warmly can love and can hate,
Nor will he bow down with his face in the dust,
To fashion's intolerant state;
For best in good breeding, and highest in rank,
Though lowly or poor in the land,
Is nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,
The man with his heart in his hand!
His fashion is passion, sincere and intense,
His impulses, simple and true;
Yet tempered by judgment, and taught by good sense,
And cordial with me, and with you;
For the finest in manners, as highest in rank,
Is you, man! or you, man! who stand
Nature's own Nobleman, friendly and frank,
A man with a heart in his hand!
The Yankee boy, before he's sent to school,
Well knows the mysteries of that magic tool,
The pocket-knife. To that his wistful eye
Turns while he hears his mother's lullaby;
His hoarded cents he gladly gives to get it,
Then leaves no stone unturned till he can whet it;
And, in the education of the lad,
No little part that implement hath had.
His pocket-knife to the young whittler brings
A growing knowledge of material things.
Projectiles, music, and the sculptor's art,
His chestnut whistle, and his shingle dart,
His elder popgun, with its hickory rod,
Its sharp explosion and rebounding wad,
His corn-stalk fiddle, and the deeper tone
That murmurs from his pumpkin leaf trombone,
Conspire to teach the boy.
To these succeed
His bow, his arrow of a feathered reed,
His wind-mill, raised the passing breeze to win,
His water-wheel, that turns upon a pin;
Or, if his father lives upon the shore,
You'll see his ship, beani ends upon the floor,
Full rigged, with raking masts and timbers stanch,
And waiting, near the wash-tub, for a launch.
Thus, by his genius and his jack-knife driven,
Ere long he'll solve you any problem given;
Make any gim-crack, musical or mute,
A plow, a coach, an organ, or a flute;
Make you a locomotive, or a clock,
Cut a canal, or build a floating dock,
Or lead forth beauty from a marble block;
Make anything, in short, for sea or shore,
From a child's rattle to a seventy-four.
Make it, said I? Ay, when he undertakes it,
He'll make the thing, and the machine that makes it.
And when the thing is made, whether it be
To move on earth, in air, or on the sea,
Whether on water, o'er the waves to glide,
Or upon land, to roll, revolve, or slide;
Whether to whirl or jar, to strike or ring,
Whether it be a piston or a spring,
Wheel, pulley, tube sonorous, wood or brass,
The thing designed shall surely come to pass;
For, when his hand's upon it, you may know
That there's go in it, and he'll make it go.
The gay belles of fashion may boast of excelling
In waltz or cotillion, at whist or quadrille;
And seek admiration by vauntingly telling
Of drawing, and painting, and musical skill;
But give me the fair one, in country or city,
Whose home and its duties are dear to her heart,
Who cheerfully warbles some rustical ditty,
While plying the needle with exquisite art: The bright little needle—the swift-flying needle,
The needle directed by beauty and art. If love have a potent, a magical token,
A talisman, ever resistless and true,A charm that is never evaded or broken,
A witchery certain the heart to subdue, 'Tis this,-and his armory never has furnished
So keen and unerring, or polished a dart; Let beauty direct it, so pointed and burnished, And, oh! it is certain of touching the heart, The bright little needle—the swift-flying needle,
The needle directed by beauty and art. Be wise then, ye maidens, nor seek admiration
By dressing for conquest, and flirting with all; You never, whate'er be your fortune or station,
Appear half so lovely at rout or at ball, As gayly convened at a work-covered table,
Each cheerfully active and playing her part, Beguiling the task with a song or a fable,
And plying the needle with exquisite art: The bright little needle—the swift-flying needle,
The needle directed by beauty and art.
Samuel Griswold Goodrich.
Father of Lakes! thy waters bend
Beyond the eagle's utmost view,
When, throned in heaven, he sees thee send
Back to the sky its world of blue.
Boundless and deep, the forests weave
Their twilight shade their borders o'er, And threatening cliffs, like giants, heave
Their rugged forms along thy shore.
Pale silence, mid thy hollow caves,
With listening ear, in sadness broods; Or startled Echo, o'er thy waves,
Sends the hoarse wolf-notes of thy woods.
Nor can the light canoes, that glide
Across thy breast like things of air, Chase from thy lone and level tide
The spell of stillness reigning there.
Yet round this waste of wood and wave,
Unheard, unseen, a spirit lives,
That, breathing o'er each rock and cave,
To all a wild, strange aspect gives.
The thunder-riven oak, that flings
Its grisly arms athwart the sky, A sudden, startling image brings
To the lone traveler's kindled eye. The gnarled oak and braided boughs, that show
Their dim forms in the forest shade, Like wrestling serpents seem, and throw
Fantastic horrors through the glade.
The very echoes round this shore
Have caught a strange and gibbering tone; For they have told the war-whoop o'er,
Till the wild chorus is their own.
ve of the wilderness, ad Adieu, ye rocks, ye wilds and woods! Roll on, thou element of blue,
And fill these awful solitudes!
Thou hast no tale to tell of man,
God is thy theme. Ye sounding caves, Whisper of Him, whose mighty plan
Deems as a bubble all your waves!
Rouse! brothers, rouse! we've far to travel,
Free as the winds we long to roam,
Far through the prairie, far through the forest,
Over the mountains we'll find a home. We cannot breathe in crowded cities,
We're strangers to the ways of trade; We long to feel the grass beneath us,
And ply the hatchet and the spade. Meadows and hills and ancient woodlands
Offer us pasture, fruit, and corn; Needing our presence, courting our labor;
Why should we linger like men forlorn ? We love to hear the ringing rifle,
The smiting axe, the falling tree;-
And though our life be rough and lonely,
If it be honest, what care we?
Fair elbow-room for men to thrive in!
Wide elbow-room for work or play!
If cities follow, tracing our footsteps,
Ever to westward shall point our way! Rude though our life, it suits our spirit,
And new-born States in future years Shall own us founders of a nation,
And bless the hardy pioneers.
Come, dear old comrade, you and I
Will steal an hour from days gone by,
The shining days when life was new,
And all was bright with morning dew,
The lusty days of long ago,
When you were Bill and I was Joe.
Your name may flaunt a titled trail
Proud as a cockerel's rainbow tail,
And mine as brief appendix wear
As Tam O'Shanter's luckless mare;
Today, old friend, remember still
That I am Joe and you are Bill.