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against these disadvantages, and he has accordingly produced a work remarkable for freshness and originality. His skill in the expression of strong and lively feeling, has found ample scope for exercise; and the pictures he has drawn of the finer sensibilities of our nature, come home to the bosom in a stirring tone, and with impressive power. The poem has throughout, a strain of touching pathos, and is executed in its details with great softness of coloring.
After what we have said of Mr Dana's poetry, we need hardly add that he ranks very high in our estimation. He has more distinct, peculiar character, than most, perhaps any other, of our poets. What he has already done, may be said to have effected much towards giving an independence to the literature of the country. We think a pen like his, should not be idle.
The island lies nine leagues away.
Along its solitary shore,
Of craggy rock and sandy bay,
No sound but ocean's roar,
Save, where the bold, wild sea-bird makes her home
Her shrill cry coming through the sparkling foam.
But when the light winds lie at rest,
And on the glassy, heaving sea,
The black duck, with her glossy breast,
Sits swinging silently;
How beautiful! no ripples break the reach,
And silvery waves go noiselsss up the beach.
And inland rests the green, warm dell;
The brook comes tinkling down its side ;
From out the trees the sabbath bell
Rings cheerful, far and wide,
Mingling its sounds with bleatings of the flocks,
That feed about the vale amongst the rocks..
Nor holy bell, nor pastoral bleat
In former days within the vale ;
Flapp'd in the bay the pirate's sheet;
Curses were on the gale;
Rich goods lay on the sand, and murder'd men;
Pirate and wrecker kept their revels then.
But calm, low voices, words of grace,
Now slowly fall upon the ear;
A quiet look is in each face,
Subdued and holy fear:
Each motion 's gentle; all is kindly done-
Come, listen, how from crime this isle was won.
Twelve years are gone since Matthew Lee
Held in this isle unquestion’d sway,
A dark, low, brawny man was he-
His law—“It is my way.”
Beneath his thickset brows a sharp light broke
From small gray eyes; his laugh a triumph spoke.
Cruel of heart, and strong of arm,
Loud in his sport, and keen for spoil,
He little reck'd of good or harm,
Fierce both in mirth and toil ;
Yet like a dog could fawn, if need there were ;
Speak mildly, when he would, or look in fear.
Amidst the uproar of the storm,
And by the lightning's sharp, red glare,
Were seen Lee's face and sturdy form;
His axe glanced quick in air. Whose corpse at morn is floating in the sedge ? “ There's blood and hair, Matt, on thy axe's edge.”
Nay, ask him yonder ; let him tell,
I make the brute, not man, my mark.
Who walks these cliffs, needs heed him well!
Last night was fearful dark.
Think ye the lashing waves will spare or feel!
An ugly gash!—these rocks—they cut like steel.”
He wiped his axe; and turning round,
Said with a cold and harden'd smile,
3. The hemp is saved—the man is drown'd.
Wilt let him float awhile,
Or give him christian burial on the strand?
He 'll find his fellows peaceful ’neath the sand.”
Lee's waste was greater than his gain.
“I'll try the merchant's trade,” he thought.
“ The trouble's less to kill, than feign;
Things sweeter robb’d than bought.
But, yet, to circumvent them at their arts !!!
Mann'd, and his spoils and cargo-Lee departs.
'T is fearful, on the broad-back'd waves,
To feel them shake, and hear them roar :-
Beneath, unsounded, dreadful caves-
Around, no cheerful shore.
Yet ʼmidst this solemn world what deeds are done!
The curse goes up, the deadly sea-fight's won,-
And wanton talk and laughter heard,
Where speaks God's deep and awful voice.
Look on that lonely ocean bird!
Pray ye, when ye rejoice! “Leave prayers to priests,” cries Lee: “ I'm ruler here! These fellows know full well whom they're to fear!”
The ship works hard; the seas run high;
Their white tops flashing through the night,
Give to the eager, straining eye,
A wild and shifting light.
“Hard at the pumps !—The leak is gaining fast:-
Lighten the ship. The devil rode that blast!"
Ocean has swallow'd for its food
Spoils thou didst gain in murderous glee;
Matt, could its waters wash out blood,
It had been well for thee.
Crime fits for crime. And no repentant tear
Hast thou for sin ?-Then wait thine hour of fear.
The sea has like a plaything toss'd
That heavy hull the livelony night.
The man of sin--he is not iost:
Soft breaks the morning light.
Torn spars and sail,—her cargo in the deep-
The ship makes port with slow and laboring sweep.
Within a Spanish port she rides.
Angry and sour’d, Lee walks her deck.
“ Then peaceful trade a curse betides ?---
And thou, good ship, a wreck!
Ill luck in change !-Ho! cheer ye up, my men!
Rigg’d, and at sea, we'll to old work again!”
A sound is in the Pyrenees !
Whirling and dark, comes roaring down
A tide, as of a thousand seas,
Sweeping both cowl and crown.
On field and vineyard thick and red it stood.
Spain's streets and palaces are full of blood ;-
And wrath and terror shake the land ;
The peaks shine clear in watchfire lights ;
Soon comes the tread of that stout band-
Bold Arthur and his knights.
Merlin! Hear the shout from Spain! The spell is broke !-- Arthur is come again !-
Too late for thee, thou young,
The lips are cold, the brow is pale,
That thou didst kiss in love and pride.
He cannot hear thy wail,
Whom ou didst lull with fondly murm x'd sound-
His couch is cold and lonely in the
He fell for Spain--her Spain no more;
For he was gone who made it dear;
And she would seek some distant shore,
At rest from strife and fear,
And wait amidst her sorrows till the day,
His voice of love should call her thence away.
Lee feign’d him grieved, and bow'd him low.
'Twould joy his heart could he but aid
So good a lady in her wo,
He meekly, smoothly said.
With wealth and servants she is soon aboard,
And that white steed she rode beside her lord.
The sun goes down upon the sea;
The shadows gather round her home.
“ How like a pall are ye to me!
My home, how like a tomb! 0! blow, ye flowers of Spain, above his head. Ye will not blow o'er me when I am dead."
And now the stars are burning bright;
Yet still she looks towards the shore
Beyond the waters black in night.
“I ne'er shall see thee more ! Ye're many, waves, yet lonely seems your flow, And I'm alone-scarce know I where I go."
Sleep, sleep, thou sad one, on the sea !
The wash of waters lulls thee now;
His arm no more will pillow thee,
Thy hand upon his brow.
He is not near, to hush thee, or to save.
The ground is his—the sea must be thy grave.
The moon comes up—the night goes on.
Why in the shadow of the mast,
Stands that dark, thoughtful man alone ?
Thy pledge, man; keep it fast!
Bethinkothee of her youth and sorrows, Lee:
Helpless, alone-and, then, her trust in thee!
When told the hardships thou hadst borne,
Her words were to thee like a charm.
With uncheer'd grief her heart is worn.-
Thou wilt not do her harm!
He looks out on the sea that sleeps in light,
And growls an oath—" It is too still tonight!
He sleeps; but dreams of massy gold,
And heaps of pearl. He stretch'd his hands.
He hears a voice man,
A pale one near him stands;
Her breath comes deathly cold upon his cheek;
Her touch is cold. He wakes with piercing shriek.
He wakes; but no relentings wake
Within his angry, restless soul.