The Literary Maiden

A compendium of obscure 19th century writing.

Tag: sentimental

“March View from Hillside” by William H. C. Hosmer

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Claude Monet, Ice Floes

March View from Hillside
W. H. C. Hosmer
From Later Lays and Lyrics

The air is chill—the lake lies spread
Paler than shroud that wraps the dead;
Save its mid-current, blue as steel,
While spray drops whiten, and congeal.
Oh! how unlike its summer dress,
A sheet of azure loveliness,
In which the swallow dips his wings,
And breaks its breast, in rippling rings,
When the scared water-fowl upsprings!
The trees along its frozen shore
Wear not the look in June they wore,
Flinging deep shade the greensward o’er,
With leaf harps trembling when the breeze
To music woke their emerald keys.

Conesus! in my younger days,
I looked on gently sloping farms,
Rich frame-work for thy silvery charms,
With fixed, enamored gaze;
Sails gleaming on thy crystal sheet,
Glanced on the sight, and disappeared,
As if by airy phantoms steered,
And Nature woke no sound more sweet
Than the low, lulling measured beat
Of foam-flaked, undulating swells
On glittering sands inlaid with shells.

Old legends cling to lake and shore,
But they inspire my lay no more,
Though, in my younger, happier years,
While sighed the wind among the pines,
And old oaks with their clinging vines
I heard, methought, the talk of seers,
And sachems, near the “Haunted Spring,”
To listeners in the council ring;
Or when wan moonlight flecked the waters
Would spirit barks, to fancy’s eye
Filled with the greenwood’s dusky daughters,
Float without oar or paddle by.

How changed the scene! a cloud arch
Borrows no lustre from the morn,
While that wild trumpeter, young March,
Is blowing on his battle-horn.
Less dread was Winter’s iron reign,
And bleak and bare lie ridge and plain,
While Hillside Farm is sad to-day
Beneath a sky of leaden gray,
For nevermore will walk as lord,
My friend upon its meadow sward,
And look upon a landscape round
In mellow Autumn unexcelled,
And dreamy, like enchanted ground,
In Summer time beheld:
But mid these scenes, renowned in song,
His memory will be cherished long;
For here his rural home he made,
the landscape by his presence graced,
And leaves behind to view displayed,
In wintry gloom, or summer shade,
Marks of his elegance and taste.

Hillside, March 6, 1866.

“The Mother” by Timothy Cole

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From the Century magazine, Volume 86, pg. 920.

The Mother
By Timothy Cole
From the Century magazine, Volume 86, pg. 920.

DEAR solacer and goddess of the hearth,
O mother! whose enfolding arms and breast
Cradle the infant world from dawn’s fair birth
To the sun’s ripening noon with loving girth;
How oft, in dreaming of thy sheltering rest,
Whose ingle-glow now kindles to new worth
Our souls, we see thy phantom figure blest,
Still ministrant, in light and beauty dressed.
Where light is, thitherward the spirit tends:
Mankind were yet within the womb of night,
From joy imprison’d save for thy sweet might,
Save for the flame thy love forever lends.
While beacon-like thy fire throws its spark.
We shall not fear, though all the world grow dark.

“Youth Recalled” by James Gates Percival

Youth Recalled
James Gates Percival
Originally from The Token and Atlantic Souvenir: A Christmas and New Year’s Present of 1836, pp. 227-228.

In deepest shade, by fountain sparkling clear,
High o’er me, darkly heaved, the forest dome,
Sweet tones, long silent, melt upon my ear,—
They soothe my spirit like the voice of home;
And, blended with them, floats a beam of light,
Radiant, but gentle, through the shadowy night.

My heart, that sunk in dim, oblivious dream,
Wakes at the tones, and feels its life again;
My downcast eye uprises to the beam;
Softly untwines my bosom’s heavy chain:
A stream of melody around me flows;
Anew the smothered fire of feeling glows.

The charm, long lost, is found, and gushing pours,
From fancy’s heaven, its beauty, as a shower;
The mystic deep casts up its wondrous stores;
Mind stands in panoply of fullest power.
Heaving with wakened purpose, swells the soul
Its barriers fall; its gathered treasures roll.

Light covers all around,—light from on high,
Soft as the last retiring tint of even,
Full as the glow that fills the morning sky,
Pure as the midmost blue of cloudless heaven:
Like pillared bronze the lofty trunks aspire,
And every leaf above is tipped with fire.

And round me still the magic music flows;
A thousand different tones dissolve in one:
Softer than ever gale of evening blows,
They blend in harmony’s enchanted zone.
With pictured web and golden fringe they bind,
For higher flight, the renovated mind.

I feel it round me twine,—the band of power;
Youth beats in every vein; life bursts in bloom:
All seems as when, at twilight’s blissful hour,
Breathed from the flowery grove the gale’s perfume;
The laugh, the shout, the dance,—and then the strain
Of tenderest love dissolved the heart again.

Ye greet me far, ye years of hope and joy,
Ye days of trembling fears and ardent loves,
The reeling madness of the impassioned boy;—
Through wizard wilds again my spirit roves,
And beauty, veiled in fancy’s heavenly hue,
Smiles and recedes before my longing view.

The light has fled; the tones that won my heart
Back to its early heaven, again are still:
A deeper darkness broods,—with sudden start
Repelled, my life relapses from its thrill:
Heavier the shades descend, and on my ear
Only the bubbling fountain murmurs near.

“My Mother’s Bible” by George P. Morris

My Mother’s Bible.
George P. Morris
From Poems of George P. Morris: With a Memoir of the Author, pp. 85-86

This book is all that’s left me now!—
Tears will unbidden start—
With faltering lip and throbbing brow
I press it to my heart.
For many generations past,
Here is our family tree;
My mother’s hands this Bible clasped,
She, dying, gave it me.

Ah! well do I remember those
Whose names these records bear;
Who round the hearth-stone used to close
After the evening prayer,
And speak of what these pages said,
In tones my heart would thrill!
Though they are with the silent dead,
Here are they living still!

My father read this holy book
To brothers, sisters dear;
How calm was my poor mother’s look
Who leaned God’s word to hear!
Her angel face—I see it yet!
What vivid memories come!—
Again that little group is met
Within the halls of home!

Thou truest friend man ever knew,
Thy constancy I’ve tried:
Where all were false I found thee true,
My counsellor and guide.
The mines of earth no treasures give
That could this volume buy:
In teaching me the way to live,
It taught me how to die.