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There thou go'st untired and meek,
Day by day, and week by week,
Bearing freight of precious things,
Silks for merchants, gold for kings;
Pearls of Ormuz, riches rare,
Damascene and Indian ware;
Bale on bale, and heap on heap,
Freighted like a costly ship!
When the red Simoom comes near,
Camel, dost thou know no fear?
When the desert sands uprise
Flaming crimson to the skies,
And like pillared giants strong,
Stalk the dreary waste along,
Bringing death unto his prey,
Does not thy good heart give way?
Camel, no! thou do'st for man
All thy generous nature can!
Thou do'st lend to him thy speed
In that awful time of need;
And when the Simoom goes by,
Teachest him to close his eye,
And bow down before the blast
Till the purple death has passed!
And when week by week is gone, And the traveller journeys on Feebly; when his strength is fled, And his hope and heart seem dead, Camel, thou dost turn thine eye On him kindly, soothingly, As if thou would'st cheering, say, "Journey on for this one day! "Do not let thy heart despond ; "There is water yet beyond! "I can scent it in the air;"Do not let thy heart despair!" And thou guid'st the traveller there.
Camel, thou art good and mild, Might'st be guided by a child; Thou wast made for usefulness, Man to comfort and to bless; And these desert wastes must be Untracked regions but for thee!
THE power that formed the violet, The all-creating One;
He made the stately Cedar trees That crowned Mount Lebanon.
And all within the garden
That angels came to see,He set in groves and on the hills The goodly Cedar tree.
There played the gladsome creatures,
Beneath its shadow dim;
And from its spreading, leafy boughs
Went up the wild bird's hymn.
And Eve in her young innocence
Delayed her footsteps there;
And Adam's heart grew warm with praise
To see a tree so fair.
And though the world was darkened
With the shade of human ill,
And man was cast from Paradise,
Yet wast thou goodly still.
And when an ancient poet
Some lofty theme would sing, He made the Cedar symbol forth Each great and gracious thing.
And royal was the Cedar
Above all other trees!
They chose of old its scented wood
For kingly palaces.
And in the halls of princes,
And on the Phoenix-pyre,
"T was only noble cedar-wood
Could feed the odorous fire.
In the temple of Jerusalem, That glorious temple old, They only found the cedar-wood To match with carved gold.
Thou great and noble Solomon,
What king was e'er like thee? Thou 'mong the princes of the earth Wast like a Cedar tree!
But the glory of the Cedar tree
Is as an old renown,
And few and dwindled grow they now
Upon Mount Lebanon.
But dear they are to poet's heart;
And dear to painter's eye;
And the beauty of the Cedar tree
On earth will never die!
THE MONKEY. MONKEY, little merry fellow, Thou art nature's punchinello! Full of fun as Puck could be ; Harlequin might learn of thee!
Look now at his odd grimaces! Saw you e'er such comic faces? Now like learned judge sedate; Now with nonsense in his pate!
Nature, in a sunny wood,
Must have been in merry mood,
And with laughter fit to burst,
Monkey, when she made thee first.
How you leaped and frisked about,
When your life you first found out;
How you threw, in roguish mirth,
Cocoa-nuts on mother earth;
How you sate and made a din Louder than had ever been, Till the Parrots, all a-riot, Chattered too to keep you quiet;
Little, merry Monkey, tell
Was there kept no chronicle?
And have you no legends old,
Wherein this, and more is told?
How the world's first children ran Laughing from the monkey-man, Little Abel and his brother, Laughing, shouting to their mother?
And could you keep down your mirth, When the floods were on the earth; When from all your drowning kin, Good old Noah took you in?
In the very ark, no doubt,
You went frolicking about;
Never keeping in your mind,
Drowned monkeys left behind!
No, we cannot hear of this;
Gone are all the witnesses;
But I'm very sure that you
Made both mirth and mischief too!
Have ye no traditions,-none
Of the court of Solomon?
No memorial how ye went
With prince Hiram's armament?
Were ye given, or were ye sold
With the peacocks and the gold;
Is it all forgotten quite,
'Cause ye neither read nor write?
Look now at him! Slyly peep,
He pretends he is asleep;
Fast asleep upon his bed,
With his arin beneath his head.
Now that posture is not right, And he is not settled quiteThere! that's better than before, And the knave pretends to snore!
Ha! he is not half asleep!
See, he slyly takes a peep!
Monkey, though your eyes were shut,
You could see this little nut.
You shall have it, pigmy brother!
What, another? and another?
Nay, your cheeks are like a sack,-
Sit down, and begin to crack.
There, the little ancient man Cracks as fast as crack he can! Now, good bye, you merry fellow, Nature's primest punchinello!
THE FOSSIL ELEPHANT. THE earth is old! Six thousand years Are gone since I had birth;
In the forests of the olden time,
And the solitudes of earth.
We were a race of mighty things;
The world was all our own.
I dwelt with the Mammoth large and strong,
And the giant Mastodon.
No ship went over the waters then,
No ship with oar or sail;
But the wastes of the sea were habited
By the Dragon and the Whale.
And the Hydra down in the ocean caves Abode, a creature grim;
And the scaled Serpents huge and strong Coiled up in the waters dim.
The wastes of the world were all our own;
A proud, imperial lot!
Man had not then dominion given,
Or else we knew it not.
There was no city on the plain; No fortress on the hill;
No mighty men of strength, who came, With armies up, to kill.
There was no iron then-no brass-
No silver and no gold;
The wealth of the world was in its woods,
And its granite mountains old.
And we were the kings of all the world;
We knew its breadth and length;
We dwelt in the glory of solitude,
And the majesty of strength.
But suddenly came an awful change!
Wherefore, ask not of me;
That it was, my desolate being shows,-
Let that suffice for thee.
The Mammoth huge and the Mastodon Were buried beneath the earth; And the Hydra and the Serpents strong, In the caves where they had birth!
There is now no place of silence deep,
Whether on land or sea;
And the Dragons lie in the mountain-rock,
As if for eternity!
And far in the realms of thawless ice, Beyond each island shore,
My brethren lie in the darkness stern, To awake to life no more!
And not till the last conflicting crash When the world consumes in fire, Will their frozen sepulchres be loosed, And their dreadful doom expire!
THE Locust is fierce, and strong, and grim,
And an armed man is afraid of him:
He comes like a winged shape of dread,
With his shielded back and his armed head,
And his double wings for hasty flight,
And a keen, unwearying appetite.
He comes with famine and fear along,
An army a million million strong;
The Goth and the Vandal, and dwarfish Hun,
With their swarming people wild and dun,
Brought not the dread that the Locust brings,
When is heard the rush of their myriad wings.
From the deserts of burning sand they speed,
Where the Lions roam and the Serpents breed,
Far over the sea, away, away!
And they darken the sun at noon of day.
Like Eden the land before they find,
But they leave it a desolate waste behind.
The peasant grows pale when he sees them come, And standeth before them weak and dumb;
For they come like a raging fire in power,
And eat up a harvest in half an hour;
And the trees are bare, and the land is brown,
As if trampled and trod by an army down.
There is terror in every monarch's eye,
When he hears that his terrible foe is nigh;
For he knows that the might of an armed host
Cannot drive the spoiler from out his coast,
And that terror and famine his land await;
That from north to south 't will be desolate.
Thus the ravening Locust is strong and grim;
And what were an armed man to him?
Fire turneth him not, nor sea prevents,
He is stronger by far than the elements!
The broad green earth is his prostrate prey,
And he darkens the sun at the noon of day!
THE BROOM-FLOWER. O THE Broom, the yellow Broom, The ancient poet sung it, And dear it is on summer days To lie at rest among it.
I know the realms where people say The flowers have not their fellow;
I know where they shine out like suns, The crimson and the yellow.
I know where ladies live enchained
In luxury's silken fetters, And flowers as bright as glittering gems Are used for written letters.
But ne'er was flower so fair as this,
In modern days or olden;
It groweth on its nodding stem
Like to a garland golden.
And all about my mother's door
Shine out its glittering bushes, And down the glen, where clear as light The mountain-water gushes.
Take all the rest,-but give me this,
And the bird that nestles in it;
I love it, for it loves the broom,
The green and yellow linnet.
Well, call the rose the queen of flowers,
And boast of that of Sharon,
Of lilies like to marble cups.
And the golden rod of Aaron.
I care not how these flowers may be
Beloved of man and woman;
The Broom it is the flower for me
That groweth on the common.
Oh the Broom, the yellow Broom,
The ancient poet sung it,
And dear it is on summer days
To lie at rest among it!
No, not in the meadow, and not on the shore;
And not on the wide heath with furze covered o'er,
Where the cry of the Plover, the hum of the bee,
Give a feeling of joyful security:
And not in the woods, where the Nightingale's song,
From the chestnut and orange pours all the day long;
And not where the Martin has built in the eaves,
And the Red-breast e'er covered the children with
Shall ye find the proud Eagle! O no, come away;
I will show you his dwelling, and point out his prey!
Away! let us go where the mountains are high,
With tall splintered peak towering into the sky;
Where old ruined castles are dreary and lone,
And seem as if built for a world that is gone;
There, up on the topmost tower, black as the night,
Sits the old monarch Eagle in full blaze of light:
He is king of these mountains: save him and his
No Eagle dwells here; he is lonely and great!
Look, look how he sits! with his keen glancing eye,
And his proud head thrown back, looking into the
Great bird of the wilderness! lonely and proud,
With a spirit unbroken, a neck never bowed,
With an eye of defiance, august and severe,
Who scorn'st an inferior, and hatest a peer,
What is it that giveth thee beauty and worth?
Thon wast made for the desolate places of earth;
To mate with the tempest; to match with the sea;
And God showed his power in the Lion and thee!
THERE was a Nettle both great and strong;
And the threads of his poison-flowers were long;
He rose up in strength and height also,
And he said, "I'll be king of the plants below!"
It was a wood both drear and dank,
There grew the Nettle so broad and rank;
And an Owl sate up in an old ash tree
That was wasting away so silently;
And a Raven was perched above his head,
And they both of them heard what the Nettle-king
And there was a toad that sate below,
Chewing his venom sedate and slow,
And he heard the words of the Nettle also.
The Nettle he throve, and the Nettle he grew,
And the strength of the earth around him he drew:
There was a pale Stellaria meek,
But as he grew strong, so she grew weak;
There was a Campion, crimson-eyed,
But as he grew up, the Campion died;
And the blue Veronica, shut from light,
Faded away in a sickly white;
For upon his leaves a dew there hung,
That fell like a blight from a serpent's tongue,
And there was not a flower about the spot,
Herb-Robert, Harebell, nor Forget-me-not.
Yet up grew the Nettle like water-sedge,
Higher and higher above the hedge;
The stuff of his leaves was strong and stout,
And the points of his stinging-flowers stood out;
And the Child that went in the wood to play,
From the great King-nettle would shrink away!
"Now," says the King-nettle, "there's none like me; "I am as great as a plant can be!
"I have crushed each weak and tender root,
"With the mighty power of my kingly foot;
"I have spread out my arms so strong and wide,
And opened my way on every side;
66 I have drawn from the earth its virtues fine,
To strengthen for me each poison-spine; "Both morn and night my leaves I've spread, "And upon the falling dews have fed, "Till I am as great as a forest-tree; "The great wide world is the place for me!" Said the Nettle-king in his bravery.
Just then up came a Woodman stout,
In the thick of the wood he was peering about.
The Nettle looked up, the Nettle looked down,
And graciously smiled on the simple clown:
"Thou knowest me well, Sir Clown," said he,
"And 'tis meet that thou reverence one like me!"
Nothing at all the man replied,
But he lifted a scythe that was at his side,
And he cut the Nettle up by the root,
And trampled it under his avy foot;
And he saw where the Toad in its shadow lay,
But he said not a word, and went his way.
COME into the meadows, this bright summer day;
The people are merrily making the hay:
There's a blithe sound of pastoral life everywhere;
And the gay Lark is carolling up in the air.
And I know in the wood where the Columbine grows,
And the climbing Clematis and Pink Apple-rose;
And I know where the Buglos grows blue as the sky,
And the deep crimson Vetch like a wild Vine runs
And I'll show you a sight you love better than these,
A little field-stream overshadowed with trees,
Where the water is clear as a free mountain-rill,
And now it runs rippling, and now it is still;
Where the crowned Butomus is gracefully growing,
Where the long purple spikes of the Loose-strife are
And the rich, plumy crests of the Meadow-sweet seem
Like foam which the current has left on the stream;
There I'll show you the brown Water-Rat at his
You will see nothing blither this blithe summer day;
A glad, innocent creature, for whom were ordained
The quiet of brooks, and the plants they contained,
But, hush! step as lightly as leaves in their fall,
Man has wronged him, and he is in fear of us all.
See! there he is sitting, the tree-roots among,
And the Reed-sparrow by him is singing his song.
See how gravely he sits; how demure and how still,
Like an anchorite old at his mossy door-sill!
Ah no, now his mood of sedateness is gone,
And his harlequin motions he 'll show us anon.
Look! look now! how quickly the water he cleaves,
And again he is up 'mong those arrow-head leaves;
See his little black head, and his eyes sparkling shine,
He has made up his mind on these dainties to dine,
For he has not a want which he cannot supply
In a water like this, with these water-plants nigh;
And he asketh no bounty from man; he can find
A plentiful table spread out to his mind;
For this little field-stream hath all good that he needs,
In the budding tree-roots and the clustering reeds,
And the snowy-flowered arrow-head thick growing
Ah, pity it is man has taught him to fear!
But look at him now, how he sitteth afloat
On the broad Water-lily leaf, as in a boat.
See the antics he plays! how he dives in the stream,
To and fro-now he chases that dancing sunbeam;
Now he stands for a moment, as if half-perplexed,
In his frolicsome heart, to know what to do next.
Ha! see now, that Dragon-fly sets him astir,
And he launches away like a brave mariner;
See there, up the stream how he merrily rows,
And the tall fragrant Calamus bows as he goes!
And now he is lost at the foot of the tree;
Tis his home, and a snug little home it must be !
And when cold winter comes, and the water-plants die,
And his little brooks yield him no longer supply,
Down into his burrow he cozily creeps,
And quietly through the long winter-time sleeps.
Thus in summer his table by Nature is spread,
And old mother Earth makes in winter his bed.
And 't is thus that the Water-Rat liveth all day,
In these small pleasures wearing the summer away; |
THE SPARROW'S NEST.
NAY, only look what I have found!
A Sparrow's nest upon the ground;
A Sparrow's nest, as you may see,
Blown out of yonder old elm tree.
And what a medley thing it is!
I never saw a nest like this,-
So neatly wove with decent care,
Of silvery moss and shining hair;
But put together, odds and ends, Picked up from enemies and friends: See, bits of thread, and bits of rag, Just like a little rubbish-bag!
Here is a scrap of red and brown, Like the old washer-woman's gown; And here is muslin, pink and green, And bits of calico between ;
O never thinks the lady fair,
As she goes by with mincing air,
How the pert Sparrow over-head,
Has robbed her gown to make its bed!
See, hair of dog and fur of cat,
And rovings of a worsted mat,
And shreds of silks, and many a feather,
Compacted cunningly together.
Well, here has hoarding been and hiving,
And not a little good contriving,
Before a home of peace and ease
Was fashioned out of things like these!
Think, had these odds and ends been brought
To some wise man renowned for thought,
Some man, of men a very gem,
Pray what could he have done with them?
If we had said, "Here, sir, we bring You many a worthless little thing, Just bits and scraps, so very small, That they have scarcely size at all;
"And out of these, you must contrive
A dwelling large enough for five;
Neat, warm, and snug; with comfort stored;
Where five small things may lodge and board."
How would the man of learning vast
Have been astonished and aghast ;
And vowed that such a thing had been
Ne'er heard of, thought of, much less seen.