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“A LITTLE more sleep, a little more slumber,
A little more folding the hands to sleep,”
For quick-footed dreams, without order or number,
Over my mind are beginning to creep,—
Rare is the happiness thus to be raptured
By your wild whispers, my Fanciful train, And, like a linnet, be carelessly captured
In the soft nets of my beautiful brain !
Touch not these curtains !—your hand will be tearing
Delicate tissues of thoughts and of things ;Call me not !-your cruel voice will be scaring
Flocks of young visions on gossamer wings: Leave me, O leave me,--for in your rude presence
Nothing of all my bright world can remain,Thou art a blight to this garden of pleasance,
Thou art a blot on my beautiful brain !
Cease your dull lecture on cares and employment,
Let me forget awhile trouble and strife,
Leave me to peace,-let me husband enjoyment,-
This is the heart and the marrow of life!
For to my feeling the choicest of pleasures
Is to lie thus, without peril or pain, Lazily listening the musical measures
Of the sweet voice in my beautiful brain !
Hush,—for the halo of calmness is spreading
Over my spirit, as mild as a dove;
Hush,—for the angel of comfort is shedding
Over my body his vial of love;
for new slumbers are over me stealing, Thus would I court them again and again, Hush,—for my heart is intoxicate-reeling
In the swift waltz of my beautiful brain !
OPEN the casement, and up with the Sun !
His gallant journey is just begun;
Over the hills his chariot is rollid,
Banner'd with glory, and burnish'd with gold,
Over the hills he comes sublime,
Bridegroom of Earth, and brother of Time!
Day hath broken, joyous and fair ;
Fragrant and fresh is the morning air,-
Beauteous and bright those orient hues,
Balmy and sweet these early dews;
0, there is health, and wealth, and bliss
In dawning Nature's motherly kiss !
Lo, the wondering world awakes,
With its rosy-tipp'd mountains and gleaming lakes,
With its fields and cities, deserts and trees,
Its calm old cliffs, and its sounding seas,
In all their gratitude blessing HIM
Who dwelleth between the Cherubim !
Break away boldly from Sleep's leaden chain;
Seek not to forge that fetter again;
Rather, with vigour and resolute nerve,
Up, up, to bless man, and thy Master to serve,
Thankful and hopeful, and happy to raise
The offering of prayer, and the incense of praise !
Gird thee, and do thy watching well,
Duty's Christian sentinel !
Sloth and Slumber never had part
In the warrior's will, or the patriot's heart;
Soldier of God on an enemy's shore !
Slumber and sloth thrall thee no more.
How gladly would I wander through some strange and savage land,
The lasso at my saddle bow, the rifle in my hand,
A leash of gallant mastiffs bounding by my side,
And for a friend to love, the noble horse on which I ride!
Alone, alone-yet not alone, for God is with me there,
The tender hand of Providence shall guide me every where,
While happy thoughts and holy hopes, as spirits calm and mild,
Shall fan with their sweet wings the hermit-hunter of the wild !
Without a guide,—yet guided well,—young, buoyant, fresh and free,
Without a road, yet all the land a highway unto me,-
Without a care, without a fear, without a grief or pain,
Exultingly I thread the woods, or gallop o'er the plain!
Or, brushing through the copse, from his leafy home I start
The stately elk, or tusky boar, the bison, or the hart,
And then,—with eager spur, to scour away, away,
Nor stop,—until my dogs have brought the glorious brute to bay.
Or, if the gang of hungry wolves come yelling on my track,
I make my ready rifle speak, and scare the cowards back;
Or, if the lurking leopard's eyes among the branches shine,
A touch upon the trigger--and his spotted skin is mine!
And then the hunter's savoury fare at tranquil eventide,-
The dappled deer I shot to-day upon the
hillside; My feasted hounds are slumbering round beside the water-course, And plenty of sweet prairie-grass for thee, my noble horse.
Hist! hist! I heard some prowler snarling in the wood;
I seized my knife and trusty gun, and face to face we stood !
The Grizzly Bear came rushing on,—and, as he rush’d, he fell !
Hie at him, dogs! my rifle has done its duty well!
Hie at him, dogs ! one bullet cannot kill a foe so grim ;
The God of battles nerve a man to grapple now with him,-
And straight between his hugging arms I plunge my whetted knife,
Ha-ha! it splits his iron heart, and drinks the ruddy life!
Frantic he struggles-welling blood—the strife is almost o'er,-
The shaggy monster, feebly panting, wallows in his gore,
Here, lap it hot, my gallant hounds,—the blood of foes is sweet;
Here, gild withal your dewlapp'd throats, and wash your brawny feet !
So shall we beard those tyrants in their dens another day,
Nor tamely wait, with slavish fear, their coming in the way;
And pleasant thoughts of peace and home shall fill our dreams to-night,
For lo, the God of battles has help'd us in the fight!
Who shall guess what I may be?
Who can tell my fortune to me?
For, bravest and brightest that ever was sung
May be—and shall be—the lot of the young!
Hope, with her prizes and victories won,
Shines in the blaze of my morning sun,
Conquering Hope, with golden ray,
Blessing my landscape far away;
meadows and hills are green,
And rippling waters glance between,--
All my skies are rosy bright,
Laughing in triumph at yester-night:
My heart, my heart within me swells,
Panting, and stirring its hundred wells ;-
For youth is a noble seed, that springs
Into the flower of heroes and kings!
Rich in the present, though poor in the past,
I yearn for the future, vague and vast :
And lo! what treasure of glorious things
Giant Futurity sheds from his wings:
Pleasures are there, like dropping balms,
And glory and honour with chaplets and palms,
And mind well at ease, and gladness, and health,
A river of peace, and a mine of wealth !
Away with your counsels, and hinder me not,-
On, on let me press to my brilliant lot;
Young and strong, and sanguine and free,
How knowest thou what I may be ?
Ah, poor youth! in pitiful truth,
Thy pride must feel a fall, poor youth:
What thou shalt be, well have I seen,-
Thou shalt be 'only what others have been.
Haply, within a few swift years,
A mind bowed down with troubles and fears,
The commonest drudge of men and things,
Instead of your—conquering heroes and kings:
Haply, to follies an early wreck,-
For the cloud of presumption is now like a speck,
And with a whelming, sudden sweep,
The storm of temptation roars over the deep;
Lower the sails of pride, rash youth,—
Stand to the lowly tiller of truth;
Quick! or your limber bark shall be
The sport of the winds on a stormy sea.