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How often, 0, how often,
In the days that had gone by, I had stood on that bridge at midnight
And gazed on that wave and sky!
How often, o, how often,
I had wished that the ebbing tide Would bear me away on its bosom
O'er the ocean wild and wide ?
For my heart was hot and restless,
And my life was full of care, And the burden laid upon me
Seemed greater than I could bear.
But now it has fallen from me,
It is buried in the sea ;
Throws its shadow over me.
Yet whenever I cross the river
On its bridge with wooden piers, Like the odour of brine from the ocean
Comes the thought of other years.
And I think how many thousands
Of care-encumbered men,
Have crossed the bridge since then.
I see the long procession
Still passing to and fro,
And the old subdued and slow!
And forever and forever,
As long as the river flows,
As long as life has woes ;
The moon and its broken reflection
And its shadows shall appear, As the symbol of love in heaven,
And its wavering image here.
TO THE DRIVING CLOUD.
Gloomy and dark art thou, O chief of the
mighty Omawhaws; Gloomy and dark, as the driving cloud, whose
name thou hast taken! Wrapt in thy scarlet blanket, I see thee stalk
through the city's Narrow and populous streets, as once by the
margin of rivers Stalked those birds unknown, that have left
us only their footprints. What, in a few short years, will remain of thy
race but the footprints :
How canst thou walk in these streets, who
hast trod the green turf of the prairies ? How canst thou breathe in this air, who hast
breathed the sweet air of the mountains ? Ah! 'tis in vain that with lordly looks of dis
dain thou dost challenge Looks of dislike in return, and question these
walls and these pavements, Claiming the soil for thy hunting-grounds,
while down-trodden millions Starve in the garrets of Europe, and cry from
its caverns that they, too, Have been created heirs of the earth, and claim
its division ! Back, then, back to thy woods in the regions
west of the Wabash ! There as a monarch thou reignest.
tumn the leaves of the maple Pave the floors of thy palace-halls with gold,
and in summer Pine-trees waft through its chambers the
odourous breath of their branches