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SAMUEL B, BEACH,

WROTE Escalala, an American Tale, published at Utica, New York, in 1824.

ESCALALA.

The war-whoop's boding sound
Rose fearfully and shrill :
By echo's thousand voices, round,
Wide wafted over dale and hill,
It volley'd through the distant plain,
That peal'd its thunders back again.
The wolf aroused him from his den,
Far northward, in the wildest glen
On Simcoe's dreary shore;
And, high o'er Alleghany's peak,
The vulture heard, and trimm'd his beak
To feast on human gore.
The runners, by their Chief's command,
The war-club, tinged with fearful red,
Rear'd high in air, a signal dread,
And waved it through the land.
It glanced amid the pathless wood
That shadow'd Susquehannah's flood;
And down Ontario's wilds, afar,
Told proudly of the coming war:
On dark Missouri's turbid stream
The countless tribes beheld it gleam,
And blithely, for the field array'd,

Obedience to its summons paid.
By its own gallant chieftains led on to the fight,
Each tribe musters proudly its numbers and might,
And—like mountain streams rushing to mingle their foam
In the dell's troubled bosom-all darkly they come ;

The line is forming, broad and bright,
Like meteors on the brow of night,
As to the wind their light folds stream,
Standards and banners o'er it gleam;
And plumes and shields and helmets, glancing

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From mail-clad chiefs in hurried motion,
Rise, sink and glow, like bubbles dancing
Upon the storm-vex'd face of ocean.

In front, and facing to the fosse,
O’er which the coming foe must cross-
Their left arms bare, and round the waist
Their quivers, stored with arrows, braced,
Ready of eye and firm of hand,
The light and active archers stand;
Each with his bow of ample length,
Well proved for vigor and for strength,
And cloth-yard shafts—that to the heart
May pierce, when from the string they part.
Supporting these—with rearward sweep,
In darkening columns, broad and deep-
Fast to their posts wheel silently
The close-rank'd veteran infantry,
The sinews of the host-who bear
The tug and burden of the war,
When man to man his might opposes
In long and fierce and doubtful strife,
And one or both must part with life
Before the awful contest closes.
Upon the wings form, prompt and free,

The light and heavy cavalry;
And the snort and the neigh of each bounding steed,
As his rider is curbing his headlong speed,
And the foam on the bit which he angrily champs,
And the short, hollow moan of the ground, as he stamps
And spurns it impatiently-tell to the eye
And the ear, he is conscious the battle is nigh;
And pants for the moment when, loose from the rein,
He shall rush on the flying and trample the slain.

*

Far down Ohio's vale, the pilgrim sees
The rank grass floating, in the grateful breeze,
Above the hallow'd mould, where sleep the brave
Of ages past, in the neglected grave;
And of the peasant, as his labors turn
The whitening bones above their earthly urn,
Pauses a moment, o'er his reckless share,
To wonder whose sad relics moulder there:
Yet, nor the peasant nor the pilgrim knows
The record of their fame, the story of their woes.
But viewless spirits linger round the scene

Where valor, worth and glory erst have been ;
Bidding each gale, as far its sweets are shed,
Sigh nature's requiem o'er the mighty dead:
While their high harps, responsive, wake again
The echoes of the sadly-pleasing strain,
To prompt from pity's eye the willing tear
And tell their wondrous tale in Fancy's ear.

Soothed by the sound, the native minstrel caught
A portion of the lay their numbers taught,
And from his rustic lyre, by Freedom strung
Its plaintive wild-notes fearlessly he flung.
Rude is the theme he chose, and small the praise
He claims, to recompense his artless lays :
Content, if Genius, from her boundless mines,
Hath lent one gem, to deck the wreath he twines;
Or taste shall find one native flowret there,
Which claims her plaudits and his country's care.

To thee, my country! and to thine, belong
The fame, the labors of thy “sons of song:
Be thine, henceforth, the pleasing task, to give
The boon which bids that fame, those labors live;
Nor deem, of course, the chaplet little worth,
Whose wreaths are twined from flowers of native growth.
Proud of their freedom, let thy children be
In taste and science, as in spirit, free;
So shall thy daring minstrels soon aspire
With bolder sweep to wake the slumbering lyre ;
Till, o'er the broad Atlantic echoing round,
Admiring Europe hail the heavenly sound,
And, roused to rapture by its magic charms,
Confess thy bards as matchless as thy arms.

WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

Is the son of Dr. Peter Bryant of Cummington, Massachusetts, and was born in that place on the third of November, 1794.. At ten years, he felt an inclination for poetry, and wrote various pieces in verse, one of which was published in the Hampshire Gazette, at Northampton. In 1810, he entered Williams College, where he studied a year or two, and ob

taining a dismissal on his own application, he turned his attention to the law. After completing the usual studies, he was admitted to the bar at Plymouth, in 1815. He removed to New York in 1820, and was one of the editors of the United States Review and Literary Gazette. In 1828, he became associate editor of the New York Evening Post.

Mr Bryant published in 1808, at Boston, a volume of poems with the title of “ The Embargo, or Sketches of the Times." Although the author was but fourteen

years

of
age,

the book was so well received, that it was reprinted the next year. In 1821, appeared the volume containing The Ages, Thanatopsis and other pieces. He also furnished many of the poetical articles in the United States Literary Gazette.

As a poet, he is entitled to rank with the most eminent among us for originality, and finished, chaste execution. He does not offend us by abruptness and inequality. He presents us with here and there a bold image, but the tenor of his poetry is even and sustained. He shows good judgment, and a careful study of the materials of his verse. He does not aim with an over-daring attempt at those lofty and bewildering flights which too often fills the poet's pages with cloudy and confused representations. His delineations are clear and distinct, and without any indications of an endeavor to be startling and brilliant by strange metaphors, or unlicensed boldness of phraseology. His writings are marked by correct sentiment and propriety of diction.

Mr Bryant stands high in the general estimation, and his works have been the subject of frequent notice. of our periodical criticism show the manner in which he is appreciated by the highest literary authorities. His poetry has been so justly estimated in the North American Review, that were we to go into a further analysis of it, we should but repeat in another shape the opinions which that journal has given upon the subject. We shall take the liberty, therefore, of concluding this notice by an extract from the fiftyfirst number of that work. We subscribe fully to the judgment therein contained.

12

The pages

VOL. III.

“ His poetry has truth, delicacy, and correctness, as well as uncommon vigor and richness; he is always faithful to nature, his delineations are accurate, vivid, and forcible ; he selects his

groups and images with judgment, and sketches with spirit and exactness. He writes as one, 'who, in the love of nature, holds communion with her visible forms. Nothing is borrowed, nothing artificial ; his pictures have an air of freshness and originality, which could come from the student of nature alone. He is alive to the beautiful forms of the outward world. These forms hold a language to his heart. Nature to him is not an inert mass, mere dead matter; it is almost a feeling, and a sentiment. His poetry is always refreshing; the scenes of stillness and repose, into which he introduces us, seem fitted to exclude care and sorrow; he draws us from the haunts of men, where we become familiar with loathsome forms of vice and misery, where our hearts are torn with anxiety, or wounded by neglect and ingratitude, and makes us “partake of the deep contentment,' which the mute scenes of earth breathe. He is less the poet of artificial life, than of nature and the feelings. There is something for the heart, as well as for the understanding and fancy, in all he writes; something which touches our sensibility, and awakens deep toned, sacred reflections.

Again, Mr Bryant charms us by his simplicity. Like all true lovers of nature, he is fond of those chaste beauties, which strike on the heart at once, and are incapable of being heightened by any extraneous ornament. His pictures are never overcharged. Nothing is turgid or meretricious, strange or fantastic. His heart is open to the healthful influences of nature; he muses among her gay and beautiful forms, and throws out upon the world his visions and feelings in a garb of attractive simplicity and grace. His strains, moreover, are exquisitely finished. He leaves nothing crude and imperfect; he throws off no hasty sketches, no vague, shadowy, and ill assorted images. His portraits have a picturesque distinctness; the outlines are accurately traced, and the colors laid on with delicacy and skill. We are never disgusted with

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