The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: nature

“Morning” and “Night” by Anonymous

This was reprinted several times in the 19th century. The source I’ve used is Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, February 1825. I’ve no clue who the author is, though I’d like to know.

MORNING.
There is a parting in Night’s murky veil,
A soft, pale light is in the eastern sky;
It steals along the ocean tremblingly,
Like distant music wafted on the gale.
Stars, one by one, grow faint, and disappear,
Like waning tapers, when the feast is o’er;
While, girt with rolling mists, the mountains hoar
High o’er the darkling glens their tops uprear.
There is a gentle rustling in the grove,
Though winds be hush’d; it is the stir of wings,
And now the sky-lark from her nest up springs,
Trilling, in accents clear, her song of love;
And now heaven’s gate in golden splendour burns—
Joy to the earth, the glorious Sun returns!

NIGHT.
I love thee when thou comest, glorious Sun
Out of the chambers of thy watery dwelling;
I love thee when thy early beam is telling
Of worlds awaken’d, and man’s toil begun;
I love thee, too, when o’er the western hill
Thy parting ray in golden hue is stealing,
For then the gush of soft and pensive feeling
Speaks to the labouring bosom, peace, be still;
But thou art not so lovely to mine eye
At morning, balmy eve, or busy noon,
As is thy gentle sister, the pale Moon,
Which shineth now in yon unclouded sky:
Then let me forth, to drink her mellow ray;
Who would exchange it for the gaudy day?

R. G.

From Alfred B. Street’s “The Walk and the Pic-nic”

From “The Walk and the Pic-nic
By Alfred B. Street
From The Poems of Alfred B. Street
Full poem here

…On this lap of green grass the white cloth is display’d,
A maple bends over its golden-streak’d shade;
We place cup and trencher—the viands are spread,
Whilst a pile of pine knots flame a pillar of red:
We slice the rich lemon, the gifts of the spring
Bubbling up in its cool sandy basin we bring,
The white glistening sugar, the butter, like gold
And the fruits of the garden, our baskets unfold,—
The raspberry bowl-shaped—the jet tiny cone
Of the blackberry, pluck’d from the thickets are strown:
All grace the grass-table—our cups mantle free
With the dark purple coffee, and light amber tea,
Wood, water, and bank, tongue the laugh and the jest,
And the goddess of mirth reigns supreme in each breast…

“Morning” by Thomas Dunn English

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A Gorge in the Mountains (Kauterskill Clove) by Sanford Robinson Gifford

Morning.
By Thomas Dunn English
From The Casket Vol. 16, 1840, pg. 151

Morn on the placid landscape. Nature woke,
And from her long night’s slumber proudly broke.
Gazed, smiling gazed on mountain, and on dale,
And tossed unto the skies her misty veil.
The sun was there to glad the morning’s birth,
And empty living fire upon the earth.
The deer stole slily from his hiding-place.
Basked in the beams, nor panted for the chase.
The squirrel leaped from rock to rock in pride;
The rabbit pattered up the mountain side;
While mingled with the wild-bee’s hum was heard
The whirring of the gaudy humming-bird;—
That painted insect of the feathered tribe,
Whom all can wonder at, but none describe,—
The red-head woodpecker with steady stroke,
Commenced his labor on the hollow oak;
The feathered choir with rapture-swelling throats,
Began in concert their melodious notes;
While from the low-growth, where it deep lay hid,
Came the shrill clarion of the katy did.
In deep delight creation seemed to swim,
And pour thanksgiving in their matin hymn.

“Thoughts In Autumn” by Anna Peyre Dinnies

 

 

Thoughts In Autumn
Anna Peyre Dinnies
From the Poets and Poetry of America by Rufus Griswold, 1842, pg. 385.

Yes, thou art welcome, Autumn! all thy changes,
From fitful gloom, to sunny skies serene,
The starry vaults, o’er which the charm’d eye ranges,
And cold, clear moonlight, touching every scene
With a peculiar sadness, are sweet things,
To which my heart congenial fondly clings.

There is a moral in the wither’d wreaths
And faded garlands that adorn thy bowers;
Each blighted shrub, chill’d flower, or sear’d leaf breathes
Of parted days, and brighter by-gone hours,
Contracting with the present dreary scene
Spring’s budding beauties, pleasures which have been.

“Life: An Allegory” by James Gates Percival

Here we have a sampling of Percival’s prose work! Feel free to comment below if you have thoughts on what his allegory might be. Mum’s the word on my own analysis. I’ll just leave it here for your pleasure and contemplation.

Life: An Allegory
James Gates Percival
From the Knickerbocker, Volume 7, January, 1836, pg. 48.

IT is now morning. Still and glassy lies the lake, within its green and dew-sprent shores. Light mist hangs around, like a skiëy veil, and only reveals the uncertain outlines of woods and hills. The warm vernal air is just stirring in the valleys, but has not yet ruffled the water’s mirror. Turns the eye upward, the misty vault opens into the calm, clear heavens, over which there seems suffused a genial spirit’s breath. Far distant on the horizon flash out the gilded and reddening peaks, and from yonder crown of snow, a sudden radiance announces the risen sun. Now in the east stream the golden rays through the soft blue vapor. The breeze freshens, and comes loaded with fragrance from the woods. A faint, dark curl sweeps over the water; the mist rolls up, lifts itself above meadow and hill, and in gathered folds hangs light around the mountains. Away on the level lake, till it meets the sky, silvery gleams the sheeted wave, sprinkled with changeful stars, as the ever-rising breeze breaks it in ripples. Now the pennon, that hung loose around the mast, rises and fitfully floats. We spread the sail, and casting off from the shore, glide out with cheerful hearts on our voyage. Before us widens the lake; rock after rock receding back on either hand, and opening between, still bays, hung round with sparkling woods, or leading through green meadow vistas to blue sunny hills.

——

IT is now noon. In the middle lake speeds the bark over light glancing waves. Dark opens down the clear depth. White toss the crests of foam, and as the sail stoops to the steady wind, swift flies the parted water round the prow, and rushing pours behind the stern. The distant shores glow bright in the sun, that alone in the heaven looks unveiled with vivifying goodness over the earth. How high and broad swells the sky! The agitated lake tosses like a wide field of snowy blossoms. Sweep after sweep of the long-retiring shores; hill gleaming over hill, up to the shadowy mountains; and over these, Alpine needles, shooting pearly white into the boundless azure—all lie still and happy under the ever-smiling sun.

——

AND now it is evening. The sun is sinking behind the dark mountains, and clouds scattered far in the east, float soft in rosy light. The sun is now hidden, and strong and wide sweeps up its golden flame, like the holy blaze of a funeral pile. The breeze slackens, the waves subside in slumber, and slowly the bark steers into its sheltering bay. Long shadows stretch from hill to valley, fall like dark curtains on the lake, and a solemn, subdued serenity broods, like a protecting spirit, over the hushed and quiet earth. Only the far summits yet retain their brightness. Faint blushes stain the eternal snows, recalling the first dawning roses, like the memory of early joys in the tranquil moments of departing age. These, too, fade; but the evening star looks bright from the blue infinite, and like the herald of a better world, leads us softly to our haven.