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Her last year's wither'd nest. But when the gloom
Of the deep twilight falls, she takes her perch
Upon the red-stemm'd hazel's slender twig,
That overhangs the brook, and suits her song
To the slow rivulet's incessant chime.
In the last days of autumn, when the corn
Lies sweet and yellow in the harvest-field,
And the gay company of reapers bind
The bearded wheat in sheaves,
then peals abroad
The blackbird's merry chant. I love to hear,
Bold plunderer, thy mellow burst of song.
Float from thy watch-place on the mossy tree
Close at the corn-field edge.
There is much sweetness in thy fitful hymn,
Heard in the drowsy watches of the night.
Ofttimes, when all the village lights are out,
And the wide air is still, I hear thee chant
Thy hollow dirge like some recluse who takes
His lodging in the wilderness of woods,
And lifts his anthem when the world is still :
And the dim, solemn night, that brings to man
And to the herds, deep slumbers, and sweet dews
To the red roses and the herbs, doth find
No eye, save thine, a watcher in her halls.
I hear thee oft at midnight, when the thrush
And the green, roving linnet are at rest,
And the blithe, twittering swallows have long ceased Their noisy notes, and folded up their wings.
Far up some brook's still course, whose current mines The forest's blacken'd roots, and whose green marge Is seldom visited by human foot,
The lonely heron sits, and harshly breaks
The Sabbath-silence of the wilderness :
And you may find her by some reedy pool,
Or brooding gloomily on the time-stain'd rock,
Beside some misty and far-reaching lake.
Most awful is thy deep and heavy boom,
Thou art king
Gray watcher of the waters!
Of the blue lake; and all the winged kind
Do fear the echo of thine angry cry.
How bright thy savage eye! Thou lookest down.
And seest the shining fishes as they glide;
And, poising thy gray wing, thy glossy beak
Swift as an arrow strikes its roving prey.
Ofttimes I see thee, through the curling mist,
Dart, like a spectre of the night, and hear
Thy strange, bewildering call, like the wild scream
Of one whose life is perishing in the sea.
wouldst thou, O man, delight the ear
With earth's delicious sounds, or charm the eye
With beautiful creations? Then pass forth,
And find them midst those many-color'd birds
That fill the glowing woods. The richest hues
Lie in their splendid plumage, and their tones
Are sweeter than the music of the lute,
Or the harp's melody, or the notes that gush
So thrillingly from Beauty's ruby lip.
THEY rise, by stream, and yellow shore,
By mountain, moor, and fen;
By weedy rock, and torrent hoar,
And lonesome forest-glen!
From many a woody moss-grown mound,
Start forth a war-worn band,
As when of old they caught the sound,
Of hostile arms, and closed around
To guard their native land.
Hark! to the clanging horn-
Hark, to the rolling drum!
Arms glitter in the flash of morn
The hosts to battle come!
The serried files, the plumed troop
Are marshal'd once again,
Along the Hudson's mountain-group,
Along the Atlantic main!
On Bunker, at the dead of night,
I seem to see the raging fight,
The burning town, the smoky height,
And, down the banks of Brandywine,
I see the leveled bayonets shine;
And lurid clouds of battle twine,
Where struggling columns meet.
Yorktown and Trenton blaze once more;
And, by the Delaware's frozen shore,
The hostile guns at midnight roar,
The hostile shouts arise.
The snows of Valley-Forge grow red,
And Saratoga's field is spread
With heaps of undistinguished dead,
And filled with dying cries!
'Tis o'er; the battle-shout has died By ocean, stream, and mountain-side; And the bright harvest, far and wide,
Waves o'er the blood-drenched field. The rank grass o'er it greenly grows And oft, the upturning shares disclose The buried arms and bones of those Who fell, but would not yield!
Time's rolling chariot hath effaced
The very hillocks, where were placed
The bodies of the dead in haste,
Who closed the furious fight.
The ancient fort and rampart-mound
Long since have settled to the ground,
On Bunker's famous height-
And the last relics of the brave
Are sunken to oblivion's grave.
'Round Autumn's mouldering urn, Loud mourns the chill and cheerless gale, When nightfall shades the quiet vale."
The stars in beauty burn. - LONGFELLOW.
Now, in the fading woods, the Autumn blast
Chants its old hymn, -a melancholy sound!
And look! the yellow leaves are dropping fast,
And earth looks bleak and desolate around.
The flowers have lost their glorious scent and bloom, And shiver now as flies the tempest by;
To some far clime hath flown the wild bird's plume, To greener woods, and some serener sky.
The reaper's sheaf hath now grown white and thin;
The bearded wheat, and golden ear of corn,
The jocund husbandmen have gathered in;
And from the fields the seedy hay is borne.
The orchards all have showered their treasures down,
In many a pile of crimson and of gold;
There will be wealth of sparkling price to crown,
The foamy glass when the Year's death is knoll'd.
Silent are these barren-hills! save when the tree
Falls 'neath the far-off woodman's measur'd stroke;
Or when the squirrel chatters noisily,
Or carrion crow screams from the leafless oak.