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THE CLOSING SCENE.

Within this sober realm of leafless trees,

The russet year inhaled the dreamy air, Like some tann'd reaper in his hour of ease,

When all the fields are lying brown and bare. The gray barns, looking from their hazy hills

O'er the dim waters widening in the vales,
Sent down the air a greeting to the mills,

On the dull thunder of alternate flails.
All sights were mellow'd, and all sounds subdued,

The hills seem'd farther, and the streams sang low; As in a dream, the distant woodman hew'd

His winter log with many a muffled blow. The embattled forests, erewhile arm'd in gold,

Their banners bright with every martial hue, Now stood, like some sad beaten host of old,

Withdrawn afar in Time's remotest blue.

On slumberous wings the vulture tried his flight;

The dove scarce heard his sighing mate's complaint; And, like a star slow drowning in the light,

The village church-vane seem'd to pale and faint. The sentinel cock upon the hill-side crew,

Crew thrice, and all was stiller than before,Silent till some replying wanderer blew

His alien horn, and then was heard no more. Where erst the jay within the elm's tall crest

Made garrulous trouble round the unfledged young; And where the oriole hung her swaying nest

By every light wind like a censer swung ; Where sang the noisy masons of the eves,

The busy swallows circling ever near,
Foreboding, as the rustic mind believes,

An early harvest and a plenteous year;
Where every bird which charm'd the vernal feast

Shook the sweet slumber from its wings at morn,
To warn the reapers of the rosy east,

All now was songless, empty, and forlorn. Alone from out the stubble piped the quail,

And croak’d the crow through all the dreary gloom; Alone the pheasant, drumming in the vale,

Made echo to the distant cottage-loom.

There was no bud, no bloom, upon the bowers;

The spiders wove their thin shrouds night by night; The thistle-down, the only ghost of flowers,

Sail'd slowly by-pass'd noiseless out of sight.

Amid all this,-in this most cheerless air,

And where the woodbine sheds upon the porch Its crimson leaves, as if the year stood there,

Firing the floor with his inverted torch,Amid all this, the centre of the scene,

The white-hair'd matron, with monotonous tread, Plied her swift wheel, and with her joyless mien

Sat like a Fate, and watch'd the flying thread. She had known Sorrow. He had walk'd with her,

Oft supp'd, and broke with her the ashen crust, And in the dead leaves still she heard the stir

Of his black mantle trailing in the dust. While yet her cheek was bright with summer bloom,

Her country summon'd, and she gave her all,
And twice war bow'd to her his sable plume;

He gave the swords to rest upon the wall.
Re-gave the swords, but not the hand that drew,

And struck for liberty the dying blow;
Nor him who, to his sire and country true,

Fell ’mid the ranks of the invading foe.
Long, but not loud, the droning wheel went on,

Like the low murmurs of a hive at noon;
Long, but not loud, the memory of the gone

Breathed through her lips a sad and tremulous tune. At last the thread was snapp'd, her head was bowd:

Life droop'd the distaff through his hands serene; And loving neighbors smoothed her careful shroud,

While Death and Winter closed the autumn scene.

THE DESERTED ROAD.

Ancient road, that wind'st deserted

Through the level of the vale,
Sweeping toward the crowded market

Like a stream without a sail;
Standing by thee, I look backward,

And, as in the light of dreams,
See the years descend and vanish,

Like thy whitely tented teams.
Here I stroll along the village

As in youth's departed morn;
But I miss the crowded coaches,

And the driver's bugle-horn,-
Miss the crowd of jovial teamsters

Filling buckets at the wells,
With their wains from Conestoga,

And their orchestras of bells.

To the mossy way-side tavern

Comes the noisy throng no more,
And the faded sign, complaining,

Swings, unnoticed, at the door;
While the old, decrepit tollman,

Waiting for the few who pass,
Reads the melancholy story

In the thickly-springing grass.
Ancient highway, thou art vanquish’d;

The usurper of the vale
Rolls, in fiery, iron rattle,

Exultations on the gale.

Thou art vanquish'd and neglected;

But the good which thou hast done,
Though by man it be forgotten,

Shall be deathless as the sun.

Though neglected, gray, and grassy,

Still I pray that my decline
May be through as vernal valleys

And as blest a calm as thine.

THE EMIGRANTS.

At length the long leave-taking is all o'er ;
The train descends; and lo, the happy vale
Is closed from sight beyond the mournful hill,
And all the West, before the onward troop,
Lies in the far unknown. As goes a bride,
With pain and joy alternate in her breast,
To find a home within the alien walls
Of him who hath enticed her hence,-her heart
More hoping than misgiving,—so, to-day,
Departed the slow train; and now the miles,
Gliding beneath with gradual but sure pace,
Bring them at last to unfamiliar scenes.
Thoughtful they hold their onward, plodding course,
Each in his own reflection wrapt; for now,
With every step, some ancient tie is broke,
Some dream relinquish'd, or some friend given up:
While old associations spring, self-callid,
Even as tears, unbidden. Thus, a while,
They keep the silent tenor of their way;
Till, like a sudden, unexpected bird,
Which from the still fields soars into the air,
Flooding the noon with melody, up swells
The gladsome voice of Arthur into song,
Cheering the drooping line.

ARTHUR'S SONG.

Bid adieu to the homestead, adieu to the vale,
Though the memory recalls them, give grief to the gale:
There the hearths are unlighted, the embers are black,
Where the feet of the onward shall never turn back.
For as well might the stream that comes down from the mount,
Glancing up, heave the sigh to return to its fount ;
Yet the lordly Ohio feels joy in his breast
As he follows the sun, onward, into the West.
Oh, to roam, like the rivers, through empires of woods,
Where the king of the eagles in majesty broods;
Or to ride the wild horse o'er the boundless domain,
And to drag the wild buffalo down to the plain;
There to chase the fleet stag, and to track the huge bear,
And to face the lithe panther at bay in his lair,
Are a joy which alone cheers the pioneer's breast;
For the only true hunting ground lies in the West !
Leave the tears to the maiden, the fears to the child,
While the future stands beckoning afar in the wild ;
For there Freedom, more fair, walks the primeval land,
Where the wild deer all court the caress of her hand.
There the deep forests fall, and the old shadows fly,
And the palace and temple leap into the sky.
Oh, the East holds no place where the onward can rest,
And alone there is room in the land of the West !

New Pastoral.

MARGARET MILLER DAVIDSON, 1823-1838.

MARGARET Miller Davidson, the sister of Lucretia,' and quite as remarkable for precocity of intellect, was born at Plattsburg, New York, on the 26th of March, 1823. Like her sister, she was of delicate and feeble frame from her infancy, and, like her, she had an early passion for knowledge. Her mother rather restrained than incited her; but, before she could even read well, she would talk in the language of poetry,-of "the pale, cold moon," of the stars “that shone like the eyes of angels," &c. At six years old, she was so far advanced in literature and intelligence as to be the companion of her mother when confined to her room by protracted illness. She read not only well, but elegantly: her love of reading amounted to a passion, and her intelligence surpassed belief. Strangers viewed with astonishment a child, not seven years old, reading with enthusiastic delight Thomson's “Seasons,” the “ Pleasures of Hope," Cowper's “ Task," and even Milton, and marking with taste and discrimination the passages that struck her. But the Bible was her daily study, over which she

See p. 600.

did not hurry as a task, but would spend an hour or two in commenting with her mother on the contents of the chapter she had read.

In 1833, when she was ten years old, she had a severe attack of scarlet fever, from which she recovered but slowly; and ber father, thinking that the climate and situation of Saratoga would benefit her, removed thither in that year. But she showed her love for the wilder scenes of her “ Native Lake" in the following sweet verses-remarkable for one so young—on the charms of

LAKE CHAMPLAIN.

Thy verdant banks, thy lucid stream,
Lit by the sun's resplendent beam,
Reflect each bending tree so light
Upon thy bounding bosom bright:
Could I but see thee once again,
My own, my beautiful Champlain!
The little isles that deck thy breast,
And calmly on thy bosom rest,
How often, in my childish glee,
I've sported round them bright and free!
Could I but see thee once again,
My own, my beautiful Champlain!
How oft I've watch'd the freshening shower
Bending the summer tree and flower,
And felt my little heart beat high
As the bright rainbow graced the sky!
Could I but see thee once again,
My own, my beautiful Champlain!
And shall I never see thee more,
My native lake, my much-loved shore ?
And must I bid a long adieu,
My dear, my infant home, to you?
Shall I not see thee once again,
My own, my beautiful Champlain?

In 1834, she was again seized by illness,—a liver-complaint, which by sympathy affected her lungs, and confined her to her room for four months. On her recovery, her genius, which had seemed to lie dormant in sickness, broke forth with a brilliancy that astonished her friends; and she poured out, in rapid succession, some of her best pieces. But her health was evidently declining. The death of a beloved brother, in 1835, affected her deeply; and, with short and transient gleams of health amid dark and dismal prospects, this amiable and gifted child slept, as she herself trusted, in the arms of her Redeemer, on the 25th of November, 1838, aged fifteen years and eight months.'

"Read an article in the “ London Quarterly Review," by the poet Southey, vol. Ixix. p. 91. In commenting upon Washington Irving's charming Memoir of this wonderful child, the “ Democratic Review" for July, 1811, thus remarks: "This is a record, by one of the finest writers of the age, of one of the most remarkable prodigies that the poetical literature of any country has produced.”

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