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While earth's dark substance others took,
And changed the mass to diamonds bright.
But as I gain’d the fairy ground,
They ceased awhile from toil and sport,
And the young stranger gathering round,
Cried—“Welcome, youth, to Nature's court.”
A fairy then with accents bland
Gently, as fairies wont to do,
Came near and said, “This wondrous land
Of airy sprites I 'll lead thee through.”
Guided by her I dared to gaze
Where Nature's servants restless toil
The rocks of sand and chalk to raise,
The granite's tall unyielding pile.
And oft a narrow space they leave,
Where vitriol's azure drops to pour,
Or thinnest threads of silver weave
In baser metals' glittering ore,
And when they mingle air and light
With iron black or sluggish lead,
Eye hath not seen so fair a sight,
Such brilliant hues, green, white, and red.
I saw the home of every wind;
And where the ocean's base is laid;
And where the earthquake sleeps confined,
Till Destiny demands its aid;
And where from magazines of snow
The mighty rivers foaming well;
And more than mortals e'er can know,
And more than fairy's tongue can tell.
Long did I stand enraptured there,
Nor ceased to gaze in full delight.
Mother of beauty, thou art fair!
O Nature, lovely is thy might.
For ever would I dwell with thee!
For ever to thy train belong.
Then she that led me, smiled to see
My admiration deep and strong,
And thus in kindest mood began;
60! wouldst thou Nature's love return,
Remember that thou once wast man,
Young elf; to heal man's sorrows learn;
Spread calmness round the couch of pain;
Comfort the mourning ; soothe disease ;
Support the wavering ; and sustain
The form that shrinks at winter's breeze;
A guardian power, o'er virtue bend;
Shed round the young sweet influence;
To the lone wanderer vigor lend ;
And anxious watch o'er innocence;
From pleasure's wiles preserve the fair ;
Then shall the Virgin love thee well,
And haply trust to thee the care
Of vales, where peace and virtue dwell.
And now thou 'rt one of us ; canst roam
In fire, earth, air, o'er ocean's wave;
Canst fly to bless thy ancient home,
From age and pain thy parents save;
And rest awhile delighted where
Thy youthful sisters harmless play,
Nor deem their brother hovering near,
To drive each guilty thought away.
For know, we bless the infant's head;
We guard the fair ; the good we shield ;
We teach the young, to virtue bred,
Her arms victoriously to wield;
We paint with light the opening flowers;
Of every herb we know the name;
The sea is ours; the earth is ours;
We rule the air; we rule the flame."
The social fairy ceased to speak,
There's many a joy, that mortals know;
But oft when pleasure's flower they seek,
The leaves conceal the worm of wo;
"Tis sweet to watch the kindling eye
Of parents, kin, or friends, or wife;
But sweeter 't is in air to fly,
And happiest is the fairy's life.
JOHN RUDOLPH SUTERMEISTER
Was born in the island of Curaçao in the West Indies. He was of a Swiss family. At the age of eight years, he came to New York, and after a short stay in that city, removed with his father's family to Rhinebeck, in Dutchess county, where he was placed under the care of the Rev. Dr Quitman of the Lutheran church, and began his studies. His father returned with the rest of his family to the West Indies, and he was sent to the seminary at Cooperstown, the birth place of the celebrated American novelist. Here he continued two or three years, and subsequently pursued his studies alternately at Rhinebeck and Hartwick Academy in Otsego county. Upon the return of his father with his family to Rhinebeck, he began the study of law in that village. In the spring of 1824, he was admitted to the bar, and visited New York, where he wrote the poem for the celebration of the birth of Linnæus. He had before written many poetical articles for various newspapers in New York. In June 1824, he began a tour of the western part of the state, with the intent to select a place for the exercise of his profession. He fixed upon Syracuse, in Onondaga county and there entered upon the practice of the law, but did not meet with a success consonant to his wishes. He undertook the editorial management of the Syracuse Gazette for a brief period, but in July 1825, he left that place for New York, where his friends procured him a suitable and lucrative situation, and a flattering prospect opened upon him, but this was speedily closed by his death. He died of the small-pox, January 16th, 1826, at the age of 23.
His writings are all of a pensive, and even melancholy cast, they are nevertheless, such as will be appreciated by every feeling heart. It was not affected misanthropy, but the peculiar circumstances and the loneliness in which his early youth was passed, that imparted this tincture of sadness to his thoughts. He was in a strange land without a relative near him, and of a retiring disposition, which kept him from
cultivating the intimacy of many associates. He seemed to have some prophetic vision, which gave token of his early and melancholy death. This appears to have been constantly present to his mind, by the frequent allusion made to it in his poems.
The morning sun !—the morning sun !
How o'er the earth his lustres move ;-
When his first glance he throws upon
The bright, the glowing heaven above !
The birds seek now each verdant spray-
Now glide, on light and joyous wing,
To pour on air their roundelay;-
To wake on high their carolling!
The soul of halcyon repose
Sleeps on the soft and silver air;
The zephyr's breath is on the rose
And on the woodbine's blossoms fair :-
The dew reflects the orient sun,
Whose magic tints to it are given;
0, man's fond eye ne'er look'd upon
A fairer earth-a brighter heaven!
The morning sun—the morning sun!
Joy wakes to view his glories spread,
When night hath chased the clouds of dun
Whose gloomy folds waved overhead :-
When Nature wakes from soft repose
While sports young May in earth's green bowers,
Joy wakes to breathe the fragrant rose-
The woodbine's rich and matchless flowers :-
To dash, with foot-fall light, away
From the green sward, the dews of heaven ;-
To list the wild-bird's varied lay
While on the breeze their plumes are given :-
How blest is joy's o’erflowing heart,
To bask beneath the golden dawn :-
To view the sun his light impart
To the bright flowers and dewy lawn!
The dying sun—the dying sun!
How sink his languid rays to rest,
When twilight throws her shroud upon
The pale and melancholy west;
The rose that bloom'd in early May,
Droops now on its deserted stem;
O'er its sere leaves and blighted spray
Pours the night-wind its requiem!
The birds, which sung, in summer's light,
And danced on bright and purple wing,
Wake not the tuneless ear of night,
Hush'd is their blithesome carolling!
Their rest is where their song hath been-
They sleep upon each fading flower
Ah! sorrow's eye can show no scene
More welcome than pale twilight's hour !
The dying sun—the dying sun !
Oh, sorrow loves its failing light-
It breathes a kindred glow upon
The breast, wrapt in the gloom of night-
Pale sorrow loves the wither'd spray--
The flowers o'er which the blight hath past ;--
These speak of raptures past away,
Of cherish'd joys too bright to last !
What though the wild-bird's loved retreat
Gives back no more their warblings dear ;-
The strain of gladness is not meet
For sorrow's lone and tuneless ear!-
Better to list the breeze of night
O’er each sere leaf and dying flower;-
Ah! earth can show no sadder sight
Than meets the eye at twilight hour!
Give not to me the wreath of green-
The blooming vase of flowers ;-
They breathe of joy that once hath been ;-
Of gone and faded hours !
I cannot love the rose, though rich-
Its beauty will not last;-