Page images

Uncouth was I of face and form,

But strong to blast and blight,
By pestilence and thunder-storm,

By famine and by fight;
Not a warrior went to the battle-plain,

Not a pilot steered the ship,
That did not look in toil and pain,
For an omen of havoc and hurricane,

To my dripping brow and lip.
Within my Second's dark recess,

In silent pomp I dwelt;
Before the mouth in lowliness

My rude adorer knelt;
And ever the shriek ran loud within,

And ever the red blood ran;
When amid the sin, and smoke, and din,
I sat with changeless, endless grin,

Forging my First for man!
My priests are mould'ring in their grave,

My shrine is silent now;
There is no victim in my cave,

No crown upon my brow;
Nothing is left but dust and clay,

Of all that was divine;
My name and my memory pass away,
But in every week one entire day,

Is called by mortals mine.



Thou happy, happy elf! (But stop-first let me kiss away that tear)

Thou tiny image of myself! (My love, he's poking peas into his ear)

Thou merry, laughing sprite!

With spirits feather light, Untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled by sin, (See! see! the child is swallowing a pin !)

Thou little cheerful soul !
What funny feelings through thy bosom roll;
Light art thou as the bird that wings the air,
(The door! the door! he'll tumble down the stair!)

Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he'll set his pinafore a-fire!)

Thou rogue of mirth and joy!
In love's dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents. (Bless the boy!

There goes myaink!)


Thou cherub-but of earth!
Fit play-fellow for Fays by moonlight pale,

In harmless sport and mirth.
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail !)
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey
From every blossom in the world that blows;
Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble - that's his precious nose !)

Thy father's pride and hope ! (He'll break the mirror with that skipping-rope !) With pure heart newly stamped from nature's mint,

(Where did he learn that squint?)

Thou young domestic dove !
(He'll have that jug off with another shove!).

Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best ?)

Little epitome of man !
(He'll climb upon the table—that's his plan!).
Touched with the beauteous tints of dawning life,

(He's got a knife !)

Thou enviable being !
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,

Play on, play on,

My elfin John!
Toss the light ball—bestride the stick,
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,

With many a lamb-like frisk.
(He's got the scissors snipping at your gown!)
Balmy, and breathing music like the south,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove.
(I'll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write unless he's sent above !)



O'er Ohio the day had passed,

And Autumn's yellow shade
Had wrapt the mountains and the hills,

And lengthened o'er the glade.
The honey-bee had sought her hive,

The bird her sheltered nest;
And in the wide-spread valley's gloom

Both wind and wave had rest.

Into a hunter's hut that eve

There came an Indian chief; O'er all his frame was weariness,

And on his face was grief. Mocassins, dress, and dancing plume,

Were weather-soiled and rent, Broken were both his bow and spear,

And all his arrows spent.

Paint and imploring was his speech;

He knew the white man's hand
Was turned against the Indian tribes,

Still wasting from the land.
In vain he asked for a simple draught

Of water from the well,
And for a morsel of the food

That from his table fell.

When many years had flown away,

That hunter of the hill
Went further in the wilderness,

The deer and fowl to kill.
But soon his hounds lay spent with toil,

The deer were shy and fleet,
Opossums and fowls all kept aloof

When they heard the hunter's feet.

No food was in that desert place,

Nor crystal rivulet
To slake the torment of his thirst,

Or his hot brow to wet.
But lo! while life’s dim taper still

Burned feebly in his breast,
A ministering angel came-

His ill-used Indian guest !

Who shared his forest-food with him,

His cup of water shared,
Then led the sick man unto those

For whom his heart most cared.
I cursed thee not,” the Indian said,

“When thou wast stern to me, And I have had my vengeance now;

White man ! farewell to thee !"


On mountain summits melts the snow ;

A thousand torrents swell the fall ; A lake o'erwhelms the vale below;

A mighty stream receives them all. High roll'd the waves and onward bore The floating blocks of ice before.

On arches strong and massive piers,

A noble bridge above the flood,
Of well-squar'd stone its structure rears,

And in the midst the tollhouse stood : There dwelt the tollman with child and wife, “Oh! tollman, tollman, arise for thy life !"

Hollow and loud the tempest rang,

Loud roared the winds and waves about, Up to the roof the tollman sprang,

And looked upon the tumult out: “ I'm lost! I'm lost! no safety I see, Oh! Heaven in its mercy have mercy on me!”

Clod after clod, the solid bank,

Rolled in the waves from each torn shore;
And down the stream on each wide flank,

Pillar and arch together bore;
The trembling tollman with wife and child,
Called loudly above the tempest wild.

Stone after stone at each loose end,

The foaming torrent tears away; Pier after pier begins to bend;

Arch after arch to lose its stay; The ruin approaches the centre near : “O merciful Heaven in mercy give ear !"

High on the farther border stands

A crowd of gazers large and small; And each one cries, or wrings his hands,

But none durst venture of them all. The pale tollman still with wife and child Out shouted for safety the tempest wild.

Then galloped a Count, amidst the band,

A noble Count on charger strongWhat held the Count forth in his band ?

It was a purse both full and longTwo hundred pistoles shall be counted to-day To him who will bring them in safety away !

Who then that heard stept forth to save ?

Say, noble song, if say you can !
The Count ? Indeed the Count was brave;

But yet I know a braver man !
“O brave man, brave man, quickly appear!
For death and destruction are fearfully near.”

Tollman bear up! thy heart be cheered !”.

High held the Count the golden prize; But each one heard and each one feared:

Of thousands there, not one replies. In vain the tollman with wife and child Out shouted for safety the tempest wild !

See !-plain and honest on his way

A peasant man was passing by,
In simple garb and kirtle grey,

Of noble mien and cheerful eye:
He heard the Count, prompt words so clear,
And he saw the swift destruction near.

Then swiftly in God's name he sprang

Into a boat, and bravely steered,
Through whirlpool, wave, and tempest's clang,

Until the pier he safely neared ;
But the boat, alas ! was far too small
With safety to receive them all.

Thrice then his little bark he steered,

Where whirlpool tossed and billows raved :
And thrice the destined point he neared,

Until at last he all had saved ;
But scarcely the last had stepped on shore,
When the ruins sank, and the waves rolled o'er.

“ Here” cried the Count, “my noble friend,

Here in this purse the gold you'll find.”
Well knew the Count his gold to spend !

Doubtless the Count had a noble mind,-
But nobler and loftier the bosom felt,
That beat beneath the peasant's belt.

“My life shall not for wealth be sold,

Poor though I am, I've enough to eat;
So to the tollman give your gold,

For he has lost both goods and meat;"
With lofty tone he was heard to say,
Then he turned on his heel, and went his way.

From the German of Burger.

« PreviousContinue »