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Poems
by William Cullen Bryant
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The rude conquerors Seated the captive with their chiefs.

Instances are not wanting of generosity like this among the North American Indians towards a captive or survivor of a hostile tribe on which the greatest cruelties had been exercised.



SONG OF MARION'S MEN.

The exploits of General Francis Marion, the famous partisan warrior of South Carolina, form an interesting chapter in the annals of the American revolution. The British troops were so harassed by the irregular and successful warfare which he kept up at the head of a few daring followers, that they sent an officer to remonstrate with him for not coming into the open field and fighting "like a gentleman and a Christian."



MARY MAGDALEN.

Several learned divines, with much appearance of reason, in particular Dr. Lardner, have maintained that the common notion respecting the dissolute life of Mary Magdalen is erroneous, and that she was always a person of excellent character. Charles Taylor, the editor of Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, takes the same view of the subject.

The verses of the Spanish poet here translated refer to the "woman who had been a sinner," mentioned in the seventh chapter of St. Luke's Gospel, and who is commonly confounded with Mary Magdalen.



FATIMA AND RADUAN.

This and the following poems belong to that class of ancient Spanish ballads, by unknown authors, called Romances Moriscos—Moriscan romances or ballads. They were composed in the 14th century, some of them, probably, by the Moors, who then lived intermingled with the Christians; and they relate the loves and achievements of the knights of Grenada.



LOVE AND FOLLY.—(FROM LA FONTAINE.)

This is rather an imitation than a translation of the poem of the graceful French fabulist.



THE ALCAYDE OF MOLINA

These eyes shall not recall thee, &c.

This is the very expression of the original—No te llamaran mis ojos, &c. The Spanish poets early adopted the practice of calling a lady by the name of the most expressive feature of her countenance, her eyes. The lover styled his mistress "ojos bellos," beautiful eyes; "ojos serenos," serene eyes. Green eyes seem to have been anciently thought a great beauty in Spain, and there is a very pretty ballad by an absent lover, in which he addressed his lady by the title of "green eyes;" supplicating that he may remain in her remembrance.

iAy ojuelos verdes! Ay los mis ojuelos! Ay, hagan los cielos Que de mi te acuerdes!



THE DEATH OF ALIATAR.

Say, Love—for thou didst see her tears, &c.

The stanza beginning with this line stands thus in the original:—

Dilo tu, amor, si lo viste; iMas ay! que de lastimado Diste otro nudo a la venda, Para no ver lo que ha pasado.

I am sorry to find so poor a conceit deforming so spirited a composition as this old ballad, but I have preserved it in the version. It is one of those extravagances which afterward became so common in Spanish poetry, when Gongora introduced the estilo culto, as it was called.



LOVE IN THE AGE OF CHIVALRY.

This personification of the passion of Love, by Peyre Vidal, has been referred to as a proof of how little the Provencal poets were indebted to the authors of Greece and Rome for the imagery of their poems.



THE LOVE OF GOD.—(FROM THE PROVENCAL OF BERNARD RASCAS.)

The original of these lines is thus given by John of Nostradamus, in his lives of the Troubadours, in a barbarous Frenchified orthography:—

Touta kausa mortala una fes perira, Fors que l'amour de Dieu, que tousiours durara. Tous nostres cors vendran essuchs, coma fa l'eska, Lous Aubres leyssaran lour verdour tendra e fresca, Lous Auselets del bosc perdran lour kant subtyeu, E non s'auzira plus lou Rossignol gentyeu. Lous Buols al Pastourgage, e las blankas fedettas Sent'ran lous agulhons de las mortals Sagettas, Lous crestas d'Arles fiers, Renards, e Loups espars, Kabrols, Cervys, Chamous, Senglars de toutes pars, Lous Ours hardys e forts, seran poudra, e Arena, Lou Daulphin en la Mar, lou Ton, e la Balena: Monstres impetuous, Ryaumes, e Comtas, Lous Princes, e lous Reys, seran per mort domtas. E nota ben eysso kascun: la Terra granda, (Ou l'Escritura ment) lou fermament que branda, Prendra autra figura. Enfin tout perira, Fors que l'Amour de Dieu, que touiours durara.



FROM THE SPANISH OF PEDRO DE CASTRO Y ANAYA.

Las Auroras de Diana, in which the original of these lines is contained, is, notwithstanding it was praised by Lope de Vega, one of the worst of the old Spanish Romances, being a tissue of riddles and affectations, with now and then a little poem of considerable beauty.



LIFE.

Where Isar's clay-white rivulets run Through the dark wood's, like frighted deer.

Close to the city of Munich, in Bavaria, lies the spacious and beautiful pleasure ground, called the English Garden, in which these lines were written, originally projected and laid out by our countryman, Count Rumford, under the auspices of one of the sovereigns of the country. Winding walks of great extent, pass through close thickets and groves interspersed with lawns; and streams, diverted from the river Isar, traverse the grounds swiftly in various directions, the water of which, stained with the clay of the soil it has corroded in its descent from the upper country, is frequently of a turbid white colour.



THE GREEN MOUNTAIN BOYS.

This song refers to the expedition of the Vermonters, commanded by Ethan Allen, by whom the British fort of Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain, was surprised and taken, in May, 1775.



THE CHILD'S FUNERAL.

The incident on which this poem is founded was related to the author while in Europe, in a letter from an English lady. A child died in the south of Italy, and when they went to bury it they found it revived and playing with the flowers which, after the manner of that country, had been brought to grace its funeral.



THE DEATH OF SCHILLER.

'Tis said, when Schiller's death drew nigh, The wish possessed his mighty mind, To wander forth wherever lie The homes and haunts of human kind.

Shortly before the death of Schiller, he was seized with a strong desire to travel in foreign countries, as if his spirit had a presentiment of its approaching enlargement, and already longed to expatiate in a wider and more varied sphere of existence.



THE FOUNTAIN.

The flower Of Sanguinaria, from whose brittle stem The red drops fell like blood.

The Sanguinaria Canadensis, or blood-root, as it is commonly called, bears a delicate white flower of a musky scent, the stem of which breaks easily, and distils a juice of a bright red colour.



THE OLD MAN'S COUNSEL.

The shad-bush, white with flowers, Whitened the glens.

The small tree, named by the botanists Aronia Botyrapium, is called, in some parts of our country, the shad-bush, from the circumstance that it flowers about the time that the shad ascend the rivers in early spring. Its delicate sprays, covered with white blossoms before the trees are yet in leaf, have a singularly beautiful appearance in the woods.



"There hast thou," said my friend, "a fitting type Of human life."

I remember hearing an aged man, in the country, compare the slow movement of time in early life and its swift flight as it approaches old age, to the drumming of a partridge or ruffed grouse in the woods—the strokes falling slow and distinct at first, and following each other more and more rapidly, till they end at last in a whirring sound.



AN EVENING REVERY.—FROM AN UNFINISHED POEM.

This poem and that entitled the Fountain, with one or two others in blank verse, were intended by the author as portions of a larger poem, in which they may hereafter take their place.



THE PAINTED CUP.

The fresh savannas of the Sangamon Here rise in gentle swells, and the long grass Is mixed with rustling hazels. Scarlet tufts Are glowing in the green, like flakes of fire.

The Painted Cup, Euchroma Coccinea, or Bartsia Coccinea, grows in great abundance in the hazel prairies of the western states, where its scarlet tufts make a brilliant appearance in the midst of the verdure. The Sangamon is a beautiful river, tributary to the Illinois, bordered with rich prairies.



NOON.

At noon the Hebrew bowed the knee And worshipped

Evening and morning, and at noon, will I pray and cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice.—PSALM LV. 17.



THE WHITE-FOOTED DEER.

During the stay of Long's Expedition at Engineer Cantonment, three specimens of a variety of the common deer were brought in, having all the feet white near the hoofs, and extending to those on the hind feet from a little above the spurious hoofs. This white extremity was divided, upon the sides of the foot, by the general colour of the leg, which extends down near to the hoofs, leaving a white triangle in front, of which the point was elevated rather higher than the spurious hoofs.—GODMAN'S NATURAL HISTORY, vol. ii. p 314.

THE END

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