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Zigzag steerer, desert cheerer,
Let me chase thy waving lines :
Keep me nearer, me thy hearer,
Singing over shrubs and vines.
Insect lover of the sun,
Joy of thy dominion !
Sailor of the atmosphere;
Swimmer through the waves of air;
Voyager of light and noon;
Epicurean of June;
Wait, I prithee, till I come
Within earshot of thy hum,-
All without is martyrdom.
When the south wind, in May days,
With a net of shining haze
Silvers the horizon wall,
And, with softness touching all,
Tints the human countenance
With a colour of romance,
And, infusing subtle heats,
Turns. the sod to violets,
Thou, in sunny solitudes,
Rover of the underwoods,
The green silence dost displace
With thy mellow, breezy bass.
Hot midsummer's petted crone,
Sweet to me thy drowsy tone
Tells of countless sunny hours,
Long days, and solid banks of flowers,
Of gulfs of sweetness without bound
In Indian wildernesses found;
Of Syrian peace, immortal leisure,
Firmest cheer, and bird-like pleasure.
Aught unsavoury or unclean
Hath my insect never seen;
But violets and bilberry bells,
Maple-sap, and daffodels,
Grass with green flag half-mast high,
Succory to match the sky,
Columbine with horn of honey,
Scented fern, and agrimony,
Clover, catchfly, adder's tongue,
And brier-roses, dwelt among ;
All beside was unknown waste,
All was picture as he passed.
Wiser far than human seer,
Yellow-breeched philosopher !
Seeing only what is fair,
Sipping only what is sweet,
Thou dost mock at fate and care,
Leave the chaff, and take the wheat.
When the fierce north-western blast
Cools sea and land so far and fast,
Thou already slumberest deep;
Woe and want thou canst outsleep;
Want and woe, which torture us,
Thy sleep makes ridiculous.
AY be true what I had heard,
Earth's a howling wilderness, Truculent with fraud and force," Said I, strolling through the pastures, And along the river-side. Caught among the blackberry vines, Feeding on the Ethiops sweet, Pleasant fancies overtook me. I said, “What influence me preferred, Elect, to dreams thus beautiful ?” The vines replied, “And didst thou deem No wisdom from our berries went ?"
NNOUNCED by all the trumpets of the sky,
Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields, Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end. The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
Come see the north wind's masonry. Out of an unseen quarry evermore Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer Curves his white bastions with projected roof Round every windward stake, or tree, or door. Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he For number or proportion. Mockingly, On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths ; A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn ; Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, Maugre the farmer's sighs; and, at the gate, A tapering turret overtops the work. And when his hours are numbered, and the world Is all his own, retiring, as he were not, Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone, Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, The frolic architecture of the snow.
HEN the pine tosses its cones
To the song of its waterfall tones,
Who speeds to the woodland walks ?
To birds and trees who talks ?
Cæsar of his leafy Rome,
There the poet is at home.
goes to the river-side,
Not hook nor line hath he ;
He stands in the meadows wide,-
Nor gun nor scythe to see.
Sure some god his eye enchants :
What he knows, nobody wants.
In the wood he travels glad,
Without better fortune had,
Melancholy without bad.
Knowledge this man prizes best
Seems fantastic to the rest :
Pondering shadows, colours, clouds,
Grass-buds, and caterpillar-shrouds,
Boughs on which the wild bees settle,
Tints that spot the violet's petal,
Why Nature loves the number five,
And why the star-form she repeats :
Lover of all things alive,
Wonderer at all he meets,
Wonderer chiefly at himself,
Who can tell him what he is ?
Or how meet in human elf
Coming and past eternities?
And such I knew, a forest seer,
A minstrel of the natural year,
Foreteller of the vernal ides,
Wise harbinger of spheres and tides,
A lover true, who knew by heart
Each joy the mountain dales impart;
It seemed that Nature could not raise
A plant in any secret place,
In quaking bog, on snowy hill,
Beneath the grass that shades the rill,
Under the snow, beneath the rocks,
In damp fields known to bird and fox,
But he would come in the very hour
It opened in its virgin bower,
As if a sunbeam showed the place,
And tell its long descended race.
It seemed as if the breezes brought him,
It seemed as if the sparrows taught him,
As if by secret sight he knew
Where, in far fields, the orchis grew.
Many haps fall in the field
Seldom seen by wishful eyes,
But all her shows did Nature yield,
To please and win this pilgrim wise.
He saw the partridge drum in the woods ;
He heard the woodcock's evening hymn;
He found the tawny thrushes' broods ;
And the shy hawk did wait for him ;
What others did at distance hear,
And guessed within the thicket's gloom,
Was showed to this philosopher,
And at his bidding seemed to come.
3. In unploughed Maine he sought the lumberers' gang Where from a hundred lakes
rivers sprang ; He trode the unplanted forest floor, whereon The all-seeing sun for ages hath not shone;