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TERESA, OR THE PEASANT MOTHER.
letraced a river from the deep, dark wood,
To where it meets old ocean's darker flood,
Through all its windings down the mountain side,
I watched it as it leaped through chasms wide,
Through ravines dark and deep I hear it roar,
And now from craggy heights its torrents pour,
Foaming and dashing in its onward course,
The firmest rock it breaks with giant force;
Hurling far below in deafening sound
Each fragment, till the mountain caves resound.
Still on it flows, not like the jaded steed,
In bloody conflict forced to stay his speed,
But o'er the distant plains and mossy green,
Through fruitful vales, its shining path is seen.
High on the summit of a lofty mount,
There rose in grandeur wild a crystal fount;
Around dense groves of spruce and cedar stood,
To shade the cradle of the infant flood;
The holly bush and fir their branches spread,
But not a single floweret reared its head
Above the mossy rocks, that rudely lay
Around the fountain, glittering with its spray.
The day was bright and fair, and many a stag
Came bounding o'er the rocks from crag crag ;
The antelope looked down from dizzy height,
And ravens screamed in their airy flight.
In this sequestered spot I saw a maid,
Seated in the deep, cool forest shade ;
A peasant girl she seemed, of tender years,
But her cheek was pallid and bedewed with tears
Her eye was wild and restless as a gleam
Of starlight on a turbid, mountain stream.
Her brow was strongly marked with anxious care,
And near her stood a boy with flaxen hair;
His golden ringlets floating in the breeze,
That from the vale came sighing through the trece,
Bearing upon its light wing many a sigh
Of fainting flowers beneath a sunny sky.
How sad it is, thought I, that one so young
Should weep; but as I wondered thus she sung:
“Oh! happy dreams of infancy,
How dear your memory is to me;
Why lingered not those joyous hours !
When but a child in quest of flowers
I plucked the wildest rose, and say
Was I not pure and wild as they!
But ah ! 'tis past, they've fleeted by,
And nought is left ut infamy.
Tell if ye can, ye limpid streams,
That now so wildly drink the beams
Of the warm sunshine, as ye go,
What fate awaits you? Ah! no, no!
We simple peasants, like these brooks,
Find in our paths a thousand nooks;
But the proud, the opulent, the gay,
Are mightier streams, yet like us, they
Through darker, deeper channels go,
All bright above, all black below."
But soon a cloud had gathered o'er the mount,
And higher rose the gushing crystal fount,
As if to pierce its sable, mystic shroud,
And drink the sunshine through the threat’ning cloud
But dense and fleeting mists swept o'er the plain,
And now in torrents falls the dashing rain;
From shattered crag to crag forked lightnings leap,
And tempests howl in the forest deep.
Peal after peal of thunder shook the ground,
Till yawning caverns echoed back the sound.
Alarmed, the mother clasped in fond embrace
Her rosy boy, and down the mount retraced
A rugged path, that near a chasm led,
Where dark below a foaming torrent sped.
How anxiously I watched her gliding form
Among the rocks and trees; but soon the storm
Had thickened into night, save when a flash
Of lurid lightning clave some mountain ash.
May Heaven preserve, cried I, that lovely pair,
But, as I spoke, a shriek of wild despair,
A cry of mingled horror burst without,
Amid the raging storm's tumultuous shout.
I hastened to the spot, but ah! too late !
No human power could change the dreadful fate.
High on a towering crag Teresa stood,
Swayed to and fro as rolld the impetuous flood.
“My child, my boy! she cried, O stop the stream!
What! lost? It cannot be, 'tis but a dream.
Just now on yonder ledge of rocks we stood-
But where is he?-I faint !-my child 1—my God!”
Her trembling arms in air she wildly threw,
Then plunged into the flood and sank-adieu.
VIEW OF THE MIND RELEASED FROM MATTER.
There is a thought that springs from truths innate,
That culture cannot form, nor mind create;
That genius never drew from fancy's mould,
A sense of latent powers that must unfold;
That will expand, when freed from matter crude,
To roam the vast domain of nature's God.
To mind thus free what may not time reveal!
For error cannot now the truth conceal.
Infinity she grasps through time's duration,
And solves the deep enigmas of creation.
Amazed, she soars on high, while 'neath her whirle
The whole stupendous frame of clustering worlds.
What ecstacy of soul! what strains of love!
Now burst in hymns of praise to God above,
From earth's redeemed; while many a twinkling tħrong
Of starry worlds augment the tide of song.
But now she hovers; resting on those beams
Of crystal light, that bridge affliction's streams;
Those tides of human tears, that pit of woe,
That vortex of despair in which they flow,
Sweeping, as their floods tumultuous roll,
Like withered leaves, the hopes of many a soul.
The earth she sees engulphed in moral night,
Nor can her pitying tears obstruct the sight.
Darkly it swings around its central sun,
While red with human gore its rivers run.
Its lofty domes, its minarets, its towers,
Rocked to and fro, as roll contending powers.
E'en pestilence, with foul, infectious breath,
Now stalks abroad, a parasite of death.
Oppression's hand hath bound in servile chains,
The brothers, ah! of those who hold their reins,
And with iron hand hath crushed their sacred shrines,
And robbed e'en hell of half its black designs.
Sighing she turns to seek in Eden's bowers,
Those founts of joy that spring from beds of flowers,
Laughing as their crystal arms entwine
The ripening fruit that clusters on the vine,
And sprinkling with golden spray like floods of light,
Flowers that bloom forever fresh and bright.
Nay, prove it to a fraction,
That this fair earth was at her birth
In a state of liquefaction;
But that nature and time wrought many a change
And drew forth objects new and strange.
The motion on her axis,
Produced conglomeration ;
And soon a crust of rock and dust,
Was formed for vegetation
A dent in this shell the ocean found,
And left quite bare the fertile ground.
The seasons went and came,
But left no fossil time;
Though herbs and trees, and flowers and bees,
And mountains that towered sublime,
Appeared on the face of the infant earth,
And to many a fish did the sea give birth.
Meantime, while nature toiled,
Great rivers changed their beds;
And where the sea was wont to be,
Tall mountains reared their heads.
Reptiles and beasts had all been formed,
And the air with birds and insects swarmed.
Yet all was not complete;
The lord of this creation
Was not yet made to wield the spade,
And nurture vegetation;
But at length there sprang from nature's hand
The crowning work, a perfect man.
Thus, science contradicts
The words of inspiration;
For Moses says, within six days
God finished all creation ;
The heavens, with all their clustering stars,
The earth, its animals and flowers.
That, on the seventh day,
From all his works he rested;
And that one, of seven, might taste of heaven,
He hallowed it and blest it;
As proof that these were days, not years,
The evening and the morn appears.