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The Sailor sighs as sinks his native shore,
As all its lessening turrets bluely fade;
He climbs the mast to feast his eye once more,
And busy fancy fondly lends her aid.
Ah! now, each dear, domestic scene he knew,
Recalled and cherished in a foreign clime,
Charms with the magic of a moonlight-view;
Its colours mellowed, not impaired, by time.
True as the needle, homeward points his heart,
Thro' all the horrors of the stormy main;
This, the last wish that would with life depart,
To meet the smile of her he loves again.
When Morn first faintly draws her silver line,
Or Eve's grey cloud descends to drink the wave;
When sea and sky in midnight-darkness join,
Still, still he sees the parting look she gave.
Her gentle spirit, lightly hovering o'er,
Attends his little bark from pole to pole;
And, when the beating billows round him roar,
Whispers sweet hope to sooth his troubled soul.
Carved is her name in many a spicy grove,
In many a plantain-forest, waving wide;
Where dusky youths in painted plumage rove,
And giant palms o'er-arch the golden tide.
But lo, at last he comes with crowded sail !
Lo, o'er the cliff what eager figures bend !
And hark, what mingled murmurs swell the gale!
In each he hears the welcome of a friend.
_'Tis she, 'tis she herself! she waves her hand !
Soon is the anchor cast, the canvas furled;
Soon thro' the whitening surge he springs to land,
And clasps the maid he singled from the world.
Immota manet; multosque nepotes, Multa viram volvens durando sæcula, vincit.— VIRG.
Round thee, alas, no shadows move! From thee no sacred murmurs breathe !
Yet within thee, thyself a grove,
Once did the eagle scream above,
And the wolf howl beneath.
There once the steel-clad knight reclined,
His sable plumage tempest-tossed;
And, as the death-bell smote the wind,
From towers long fled by human kind,
His brow the hero crossed!
Then Culture came, and days serene;
And village-sports, and garlands gay.
Full many a pathway crossed the green;
And maids and shepherd-youths were seen
To celebrate the May.
Father of many a forest deep,
Whence many a navy thunder-fraught!
Erst in thy acorn-cells asleep,
Soon destined o'er the world to sweep,
Opening new spheres of thought!
Wont in the night of woods to dwell,
The holy Druid saw thee rise;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell
Of human sacrifice!
Thy singed top and branches bare
Now straggle in the evening-sky;
And the wan moon wheels round to glare
On the long corse that shivers there
Of him who came to die!