Graham's Magazine Vol XXXIII No. 1 July 1848

Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Thou, sitting on the hill-top bare,
Dost see the far hills disappear
In Autumn smoke, and all the air
Filled with bright leaves. Below thee spread
Are yellow harvests, rich in bread
For winter use; while over-head
The jays to one another call,
And through the stilly woods there fall,
Ripe nuts at intervals, where'er
The squirrel, perched in upper air,
From tree-top barks at thee his fear;
His cunning eyes, mistrustingly,
Do spy at thee around the tree;
Then, prompted by a sudden whim,
Down leaping on the quivering limb,
Gains the smooth hickory, from whence
He nimbly scours along the fence
To secret haunts.
But oftener,
When Mother Earth begins to stir,
And like a Hadji who hath been
To Mecca, wears a caftan green;
When jasmines and azalias fill
The air with sweets, and down the hill
Turbid no more descends the rill;
The wonder of thy hazel eyes,
Soft opening on the misty skies—
Dost smile within thyself to see
Things uncontained in, seemingly,
The open book upon thy knee,
And through the quiet woodlands hear
Sounds full of mystery to ear
Of grosser mould—the myriad cries
That from the teeming world arise;
Which we, self-confidently wise,
Pass by unheeding. Thou didst yearn
From thy weak babyhood to learn
Arcana of creation; turn
Thy eyes on things intangible
To mortals; when the earth was still.
Hear dreamy voices on the hill,

In wavy woods, that sent a thrill
Of joyousness through thy young veins.
Ah, happy thou! whose seeking gains
All that thou lovest, man disdains
A sympathy in joys and pains
With dwellers in the long, green lanes,
With wings that shady groves explore,
With watchers at the torrent's roar,
And waders by the reedy shore;
For thou, through purity of mind,
Dost hear, and art no longer blind.
Croak!croak!—who croaketh over-head
So hoarsely, with his pinion spread,
Dabbled in blood, and dripping red?
Croak! croak!—a raven's curse on him,
The giver of this shattered limb!
Albeit young, (a hundred years,
When next the forest leaved appears,)
Will Duskywing behold this breast
Shot-riddled, or divide my nest
With wearer of so tattered vest?
I see myself, with wing awry,
Approaching. Duskywing will spy
My altered mien, and shun my eye.
With laughter bursting, through the wood
The birds will scream—she's quite too good
For thee. And yonder meddling jay,
I hear him chatter all the day,
"He's crippled—send the thief away!"
At every hop—"don't let him stay."
I'll catch thee yet, despite my wing;
For all thy fine blue plumes, thou'lt sing
Another song!
Is't not enough
The carrion festering we snuff,
And gathering down upon the breeze,
Release the valley from disease;
If longing for more fresh a meal,
Around the tender flock we wheel,
A marksman doth some bush conceal.
This very morn, I heard an ewe
Bleat in the thicket; there I flew,
With lazy wing slow circling round,
Until I spied unto the ground
A lamb by tangled briars bound.
The ewe, meanwhile, on hillock-side,
Bleat to her young—so loudly cried,
She heard it not when it replied....