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containing many classic and rare books, he still writes occasionally, and continues to observe public affairs with the same active and patriotic interest which distinguished him during the war. Thoroughly conversant with the world, he frequently appears in society, and is a good public speaker. He also cherishes a decided taste for mechanics, and makes a practice of toiling in the little machine-shop which he maintains in his house, where he performs the labor of a skilled metal-worker, simply for pleasure and exercise.
His poetry is characterized by great dignity, earnestness, and depth of insight and feeling, united with a rich fervor of expression, and a remarkable command of sonorous rhythmic harmonies. His "Countess Laura" and "The Ivory Carver" illustrate the qualities in which he excels.
BREATHE, Violets, breathe! blow, primrose beds,
Along the gliding streams!
Breathe low, blow meekly, modest heads;
Flow, brooks, in silent dreams!
She comes, the sweetest, fairest flower,
The lightest moving grace,
To perfume heaven, to bloom an hour Within our trysting-place.
O violet sweet, and primrose bright,
And softly falling tide,
Where are your charms, that won my sight, Now she is by my side?
SHERIDAN, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan!
Him of the horses and sabres I sing.
Look, how he drove them!
Look, how he clove them!
Sabred, belabored, confused and confounded
The whole rebel rout, as they fell back astounded
At the fierce stride and swing
Shouting with vengeance, roaring with laughter, Cheering with victory as they plunged after Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan!
Ah, fair Shenandoah, thou nest of the robber,
How stands the count with thy people to-day?
Where is the fire now,
Showing thy ire now,
Blazing, while gazing with fear and amazement,
As on it crept swiftly from door-post to casement,
Weeping with pale dismay,
Stood maids and matrons gray?
Has it not spread to thy end of the valley?
Did it not follow thee in thy grand sally,
Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan?
Chambersburg, Chambersburg, smouldering Cham
Sit in thy ruins, content with thy lot! Lo, thy despoiler,
Snared by the toiler,
Retreated defeated-torn, pierced, slashed with
And what thy homes were, now their bodies are -ashes!
O, be thy griefs forgot;
Every bright laureled spot
On thy fair hill-sides wait matron and maiden With chaplets of glory, to welcome and laden Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan!
O Early, mad Early, thou ruthless invader,
Where are the troopers who followed thy raid?
Look at their corses!
Whiten and brighten, with bones shining grimly, On all the wide plains they rode over so trimly. What has the raven said?
Where has the red fox preyed?
What is the high-sailing buzzard declaring,
In Richmond's white upturned face, of thy warfar
Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan?
Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan,
When thou shalt come to thy people again,
Crowns we shall twine for thee;
And the ripe wine for thee,
Flashing and splashing from goblet and beaker, Shall whirl round the lips of the eloquent speaker, As he essays in vain
Homage to make it plain
How the great heart of the jubilant nation
Swells towards thy own in its full admiration,
Sheridan, Sheridan, Cavalry Sheridan!
RATHER, my people, let thy youths parade
Their woolly flocks before the rising sun;
With curds and oat-cakes, when their work is done,
By frugal handmaids let the board be laid;
Let them refresh their vigor in the shade,
Or deem their straw as down to lie upon,
Ere the great nation which our sires begun
Be rent asunder by hell's minion, Trade!
If jarring interests and the greed of gold,
The corn-rick's envy of the minéd hill,
The steamer's grudge against the spindle's skill—
If things so mean our country's fate can mould-
O let me hear again the shepherds trill
Their reedy music to the drowsing fold!
I HAVE a cottage where the sunbeams lurk,
Peeping around its gables all day long,
Brimming the butter-cups until they drip
With molten gold, like o'ercharged crucibles.
Here, wondering why the morning-glories close
Their crumpled edges ere the dew is dry,
Great lilies stand, and stretch their languid buds
In the full blaze of noon, until its heat
Has pierced them to their centers. Here the rose
Is larger, redder, sweeter, longer-lived,
Less thorny, than the rose of other lands.
I have a cottage where the south wind comes,
Cool from the spicy pines, or with a breath
Of the mid-ocean salt upon its lips,
And a low, lulling, dreamy sound of waves,
To breathe upon me, as I lie along
On my white violets, marveling at the bees
That toil but to be plundered, or the mart
Of striving men, whose bells I sometimes hear
When they will toss their brazen throats at
And howl to vex me. But the town is far;
And all its noises, ere they trouble me,
Must take a convoy of the scented breeze,
And climb the hills, and cross the bloomy dales,
And catch a whisper in the swaying grain,
And bear unfaithful echoes from the wood,
And mix with birds, and streams, and fluttering
And an old ballad which the shepherd hums,
Straying in thought behind his browsing flock.
I have a cottage where the wild bee comes
To hug the thyme, and woo its dainties forth;
Where humming-birds, plashed with the rainbow's
Poise on their whirring wings before the door,
And drain my honeysuckles at a draught.
Ah, giddy sensualist, how thy blazing throat
Flashes and throbs, while thou dost pillage me
Of all my virgin flowers! And then, away-
What eye may follow! But yon constant robin:
Spring, summer, winter, still the same clear song
At morn and eve, still the contented hop,
And low, sly whistle, when the crumbs are thrown:
Yet he is jealous of my tawny thrush,
And drives him off, ere a faint symphony
Ushers the carol warming in his breast.
I have a cottage where the winter winds
Wreck their rude passions on the neighboring
And crawl down, shattered by the edged rocks,
To hide themselves among the stalactites
That roof my frosty cave, against midsummer;
Or in the bosom of the stream they creep,
Numbing the gurgling current till it lies
Stark, frozen, lifeless, silent as the moon;
Or wrestle with the cataracts; or glide,
Rustling close down, among the crisp dead grass,
To chase the awkward rabbits from their haunts;
Or beat my roof with its own sheltering boughs;—
Yet never daunt me! For my flaming logs
Pour up the chimney a defiant roar,
While Shakespeare and a flask of southern wine,
Brown with the tan of Spain, or red Bordeaux,
Charm me, until the crocus says to me,
In its own way, "Come forth; I've brought the spring!"
I have a cottage where the brook runs by,
Making faint music from the rugged stones
O'er which it slides; and at the height of Prime,
When snows are melting on the misty hills
That front the south, this brook comes stealing
To wash my door-stone. Oft it bears along,
Sad sight, a funeral of primroses—
Washed from the treacherous bank to which they grew
With too fond faith-all trooping, one by one,
With nodding heads in seemly order ranged,
Down its dull current towards the endless sea.
O, brook, bear me, with such a holy calm,
To the vast ocean that awaits for me,
And I know one whose mournful melody
Shall make your name immortal as my love.
I have a cottage in the cloven hills;
Through yonder peaks the flow of sunlight comes,
Dragging its sluggish tide across the path
Of the reluctant stars which silently
Are buried in it. Through yon western gap
Day ebbs away, leaving a margin round,
Of sky and cloud, drowned in its sinking flood,
Till Venus shimmers through the rising blue,
And lights her sisters up. Here lie the moonbeams,
Hour after hour, becalmed in the still trees;
Or on the weltering leaves of the young grass
Rest, half asleep, rocked by some errant wind.
Here are more little stars, on winter nights,
Than sages reckon in their heavenly charts;
For the brain wanders, and the dizzy eye
Aches at their sum, and dulls, and winks with them.
The Northern Lights come down to greet me here, Playing fantastic tricks above my head,
With their long tongues of fire, that dart and catch,
From point to point, across the firmament,
As if the face of heaven were passing off
In low combustion; or the kindling night
Were slowly flaming to a fatal dawn,
Wide-spread and sunless as the day of doom.
I have a cottage cowering in the trees,
And seeming to shrink lower day by day.
Sometimes I fancy that the growing boughs
Have dwarfed my dwelling; but the solemn oaks,
That hang above my roof so lovingly,
They, too, have shrunk. I know not how it is:
For when my mother led me by the hand
Around our pale, it seemed a weary walk;
And then, as now, the sharp roof nestled there,
Among the trees, and they propped heaven. Alas!
Who leads me now around the bushy pale?
Who shows the birds' nests in the twilight leaves?
Who catches me within her fair round arms,
When autumn shakes the acorns on our roof
To startle me? I know not how it is:
The house has shrunk, perhaps, as our poor hearts,
When they both broke at parting, and mine closed
Upon a memory, shutting out the world
Like a sad anchorite.-Ah! that gusty morn!
But here she lived, here died, and so will I.
I have a cottage-murmur, if ye will,
Ye men whose lips are prison-doors to thoughts
Born, with mysterious struggles, in the heart.
And maidens, let your store of hoarded smiles,
Break from their dimples, like the spreading rings
That skim a lake, when some stray blossom falls
Warm in its bosom. Ah, you cannot tell
Why violets choose not a neighboring bank,
Why cowslips blow upon the self-same bed,
Why year by year the swallow seeks one nest,
Why the brown wren rebuilds her hairy home.
O, sightless cavilers, you do not know
How deep roots strike, nor with what tender care
The soft down lining warms the nest within.
Think as you will, murmur and smile apace-
I have a cottage where my days shall close,
Calm as the setting of a feeble star.
LEAR and Cordelia! 't was an ancient tale
Before thy Shakespeare gave it deathless fame:
The times have changed, the moral is the same.
So like an outcast, dowerless and pale,
Thy daughter went; and in a foreign gale
Spread her young banner, till its sway became
A wonder to the nations. Days of shame
Are close upon thee: prophets raise their wail.
When the rude Cossack with an outstretched hand
Points his long spear across the narrow sea,-
"Lo! there is England!" when thy destiny
Storms on thy straw-crowned head, and thou dost
Weak, helpless, mad, a by-word in the land,—
God grant thy daughter a Cordelia be!
STAND, thou great bulwark of man's liberty!
Thou rock of shelter, rising from the wave,
Sole refuge to the overwearied brave
Who planned, arose, and battled to be free,
Fell, undeterred, then sadly turned to thee:—
Saved the free spirit from their country's grave,
To rise again, and animate the slave,
When God shall ripen all things. Britons, ye
Who guard the sacred outpost, not in vain
Hold your proud peril! Freemen undefiled,
Keep watch and ward! Let battlements be piled
Around your cliffs; fleets marshalled, till the main
Sink under them; and if your courage wane,
Through force or fraud, look westward to your
(In memory of General Philip Kearney.) CLOSE his eyes, his work is done! What to him is friend or foeman, Rise of moon, or set of sun,
Hand of man, or kiss of woman?
Geo. H. Boken