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JOHN PIERPONT. [Born in 1785, died towards 1865. Served as a Unitarian minister from 1819 to 1856. His principal poem is The Airs of Palestine, published in 1816]. FOR THE CHARLESTOWN CENTENNIAL
How much of human power and pride,
Have sunk beneath their noiseless tide!
Seen by the stars at night's cold noon;
Left on the wave beneath the moon;
The altar where his victim lay,
That still, strong tide hath borne away.
That on this shore with trembling trod,
The ark of freedom and of God.
And thundered loud from yonder hill,
To blast that ark—its storm is still.
That live in story and in song,
Has raised, and shown, and swept along. 1 In this and some other cases, where I say “towards” such a year as the date of death, I have reason to infer that the authors were alive in 1863, but have died since then, though the precise year of death is uncertain to me. I name 1865, as an approximation, in each instance.
'Tis like a dream when one awakes,
This vision of the scenes of old ; 'Tis like the moon when morning breaks,
'Tis like a tale round watchfires told. Then what are we? then what are we?
Yes, when two hundred years have rolled O'er our green graves, our names shall be
A morning dream, a tale that's told. God of our fathers, in whose sight
The thousand years that sweep away Man and the traces of his might
Are but the break and close of dayGrant us that love of truth sublime,
That love of goodness and of thee, That makes thy children in all time
To share thine own eternity.
THE EXILE AT REST. His falchion flashed along the Nile;
His hosts he led through Alpine snows; O’er Moscow's towers that shook the while,
His eagle flag unrolled-and froze. Here sleeps he now alone : not one
Of all the kings whose crowns he gave, Nor sire nor brother, wife nor son,
Hath ever seen or sought his grave. Here sleeps he now alone; the star
That led him on from crown to crown Hath sunk; the nations from afar
Gazed as it faded and went down. He sleeps alone: the mountain cloud
That night hangs round him, and the breath Of morning scatters, is the shroud
That wraps his mortal form in death.
High is his couch; the ocean flood
Far, far below by storms is curled,
A stormy and inconstant world.
Hark! Comes there from the Pyramids,
And from Siberia's wastes of snow,
The world he awed to mourn him? No.
The only, the perpetual dirge
That's heard there is the seabird's cry,
The cloud's deep voice, the wind's low sigh.
NATHANIEL LANGDON FROTHINGHAM. [Born in 1793. Was minister of a Congregational Church from 1815 to 1850).
THE FOUR HALCYON POINTS OF THE YEAR.
Four points divide the skies, Traced by the Augur's staff in days of old : “The spongy South,” the hard North gleaming cold,
And where days set and rise.
Four seasons span the year :The flowering Spring, the Summer's ripening glow, Autumn with sheaves, and Winter in its snow;
Each brings its separate cheer.
Four halcyon periods part,
Oh mark them well, my heart !
Janus! the first is thine,
Show not one softening sign.
It interposes then. The air relents; the ices thaw to streams; A mimic Spring shines down with hazy beams,
Ere Winter roars again.
Look thrice four weeks from this.
Which chilly May shall miss.
Another term is run. She comes again-the peaceful one-though less Or needed or perceived in summer dress
Half lost in the bright sun ;
Yet then a place she finds,
The squally August winds.
Behold her yet once more,
Have yielded all their store;
When the leaves thin and pale-
Roll to the sharpening gale ;
In smoky lustre clad,
Looks on us sweetly sad.
So with the Year of Life. An ordering goodness helps its youth and age, Posts quiet sentries midway every stage,
And gives it truce in strife.
The Heavenly Providence,
For human soul and sense.
The Father that's above
In his compassionate love.
Help Thou our wayward mind
Forbearing, tempering, kind.
WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
[Born 3 November 1794, in Cummington, Massachusetts. He published a political satire in verse, The Embargo, in 1808, when only thirteen years of age. Besides holding eminent rank among American poets, Mr. Bryant has been a conspicuous journalist since 1826, when he became editor of the New York Evening Post, a paper in the Democratic interest].
TO A WATERFOWL. WHITHER, 'midst falling dew, While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue
Thy solitary way?
Vainly the fowler's eye
Thy figure floats along.
Seek'st thou the plashy brink
On the chafed ocean-side?