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In the bright fields of fair renown
The right of eminent domain.
We have not wings, we cannot soar ;
But we have feet to scale and climb By slow degrees, by more and more,
The cloudy summits of our time.
The mighty pyramids of stone
That wedge-like cleave the desert airs, When nearer seen, and better known,
Are but gigantic flights of stairs.
The distant mountains, that uprear
Their solid bastions to the skies, Are crossed by pathways, that appear
As we to higher levels rise.
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Standing on what too long we bore
With shoulders bent and downcast eyes, We may discern-unseen before
A path to higher destinies,
Nor deem the irrevocable Past
As wholly wasted, wholly vain, If, rising on its wrecks, at last,
To something nobler we attain.
THE WARDEN OF THE CINQUE PORTS.
A MIST was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
It glanced on flowing flag and rippling pennon,
And the white sails of ships ;
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Sandwich and Romney, Hastings, Hythe, and Dover,
Were all alert that day,
When the fog cleared away.
Sullen and silent, and like couchant lions,
Their cannon, through the night,
The sea-coast opposite.
And now they roared at drum-beat from their stations
On every citadel ;
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
As if to summon from his sleep the Warden
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
Him shall no sunshine from the fields of azure,
No drum-beat from the wall,
Awaken with its call !
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post !
For in the night, unseen, a single warrior,
In sombre harness mailed,
The rampart wall had scaled.
He passed into the chamber of the sleeper,
The dark and silent room,
The silence and the gloom.
He did not pause to parley or dissemble,
But smote the Warden hoar;
And groan from shore to shore.
Meanwhile, without, the surly cannon waited,
The sun rose bright o’erhead; Nothing in Nature's aspect intimated
That a great man was dead.
A TALE OF ACADIE.
This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines
and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct
in the twilight, Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic, Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their
bosoms. Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neigh- 5
boring ocean Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail
of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the
hearts that beneath it Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland
the voice of the huntsman ? Where is the thatch-roofed village, the home of Aca
dian farmers, Men whose lives glided on like rivers that water the 10
woodlands, Darkened by shadows of earth, but reflecting an image
Waste are those pleasant farms, and the farmers for
ever departed! Scattered like dust and leaves, when the mighty blasts
of October Seize them, and whirl them aloft, and sprinkle them
far o'er the ocean. Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village 15
Ye who believe in affection that hopes, and endures,
and is patient, Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman's
devotion, List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines
of the forest; List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.
PART THE FIRST.
In the Acadian land, on the shores of the Basin of 20