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LOVE UNCHANGEABLE.

73

I would not have thy married heart

Think momently of me,-
Nor would I tear the cords apart,

That bind me so to thee;
No! while my thoughts seem pure and mild,
Like dew upon the roses wild,

I would not have thee know,
The stream that seems to thee so still,

Has such a tide below!

Enough! that in delicious dreams,

I see thee and forget-
Enough, that when the morning beams,

I feel my eyelids wet!
Yet, could I hope, when Time shall fall
The darkness, for creation's pall,

To meet thee,—and to love,--
I would not shrink from aught below,

Nor ask for more above.

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FOUNTAIN, that springest on this grassy slope, Thy quick cool murmur mingles pleasantly, With the cool sound of breezes in the beech, Above me in the noontide. Thou dost wear No stain of thy dark birthplace; gushing up From the red mould and slimy roots of earth, Thou flashest through the sun. The mountain air, In winter, is not clearer, nor the dew That shines on mountain blossom. Thus doth God Bring, from the dark and foul, the pure and bright.

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Frail wood-plants clustered round thy edge in spring, The liver leaf put forth her sister blooms Of faintest blue. Here the quick-footed wolf, Passing to lap thy waters, crushed the flower Of sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem The red drops feil like blood. The deer too, left Her delicate foot-print in the soft moist mould, And on the fallen leaves. The slow-paced bear, In such a sultry summer noon as this, Stopped at thy stream, and drank, and leaped across.

76

THE FOUNTAIN.

But thou hast histories that stir the heart

With deeper feeling; while I look on thee
They rise before me. I behold the scene
Hoary again with forests; I behold
The Indian warrior, whom a hand unseen
Has smitten with his death-wound in the woods,
Creep slowly to thy well-known rivulet,
And slake his death-thirst. Hark, that quick fierce cry
That rends the utter silence; 'tis the whoop
Of battle, and a throng of savage men
With naked arms, and faces stained like blood,
Fill the green wilderness; the long bare arms
Are heaved aloft, bows twang and arrows stream;
Each makes a tree his shield, and every tree
Sends forth its arrow. Fierce the fight and short,

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And conquered vanish, and the dead remain,
Gashed horribly with tomahawks. The woods
Are still again, the frighted bird comes back
And plumes her wings, but thy sweet waters run
Crimson with blood. Then, as the sun goes down,
Amid the deepening twilight I descry
Figures of men that crouch and creep unheard,
And bear away the dead. The next day's shower
Shall wash the tokens of the fight away.

I look again-the hunter's lodge is built,
With poles and boughs, beside thy crystal well,
While the meek autumn stains the woods with gold,
And sheds his golden sunshine. To the door
The red man slowly drags the enormous bear
Slain in the chestnut thicket, or flings down
The deer from his strong shoulders. Shaggy fells
Of wolf and cougar hang upon the walls,

77

THE FOUNTAIN.

And loud the black-eyed Indian maidens laugh,
That gather, from the rustling hoaps of leaves,
The hickory's white nuts, and the dark fruit
That falls from the gray butternut's long boughs.

So centuries passed by, and still the woods
Blossomed in spring, and reddened when the year
Grew chill, and glistened in the frozen rains
Of winter, till the white man swung the axe
Beside thee-signal of a mighty change.
Then all around was heard the crash of trees,
Trembling awhile and rushing to the ground,
The low of ox, and shouts of men who fired
The brushwood, or who tore the earth with ploughs
The grain sprang thick and tall, and hid in green
The blackened hill-side ; ranks of spiky maize
Rose like a host embattled; the buckwheat
Whitened broad acres, sweetening with its flowers
The August wind. White cottages were seen
With rose-trees at the windows; barns from which
Swelled loud and shrill the cry of chanticleer;
Pastures where rolled and neighed the lordly horse,
And white flocks browsed and bleated. A rich turf
Of grasses brought from far o'ercrept thy bauk,
Spotted with the white clover. Blue-eyed girls
Brought pails, and dipped them in thy crystal pool;
And cbildren, ruddy-cheeked and flaxen-haired,
Gathered the glistening cowslip from thy edge.

Since then, what steps have trod thy border! Here,
On thy green bank, the woodina: of the swamp
Has laid his axe, the of the hill
His sickle, as they stooped to taste thy stream.
The sportsnian, tired with wandering in the still

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