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Poem by Joseph Rodman Drake



Tuscara! thou art lovely now,
   Thy woods, that frownd in sullen strength
Like plumage on a giants brow,
   Have bowed their massy pride at length.
The rustling maize is green around,
   The sheep is in the Congars bed;
And clear the ploughmans whistlings sound
   Where war-whoops pealed oer mangled dead.
Fair cots around thy breast are set,
   Like pearls upon a coronet;
And in Alugas vale below
The gilded grain is moving slow
Like yellow moonlight on the sea,
Where waves are swelling peacefully;
As beautys breast, when quiet dreams
   Come tranquilly and gently by;
When all she loves and hopes for seems
   To float in smiles before her eye.


And hast thou lost the grandeur rude
   That made me breathless, when at first
   Upon my infant sight you burst,
The monarch of the solitude?
   No; there is yet thy turret rock,
The watch-tower of the skies, the lair
   Of Indian Gods, who, in the shock
Of bursting thunders, slumbered there;
And trim thy bosom is arrayed
   In labours green and glittering vest,
And yet thy forest locks of shade
   Shake stormy on that turret crest.
Still hast thou left the rocks, the floods,
   And nature is the loveliest then,
When first amid her caves and woods
   She feels the busy tread of men;
When every tree, and bush, and flower,
   Springs wildly in its native grace;
Ere art exerts her boasted power,
   That brightened only to deface.


Yes! thou art lovelier now than ever;
   How sweet twould be, when all the air
In moonlight swims, along thy river
   To couch upon the grass, and hear
Niagaras everlasting voice,
   Far in the deep blue west away;
That dreaming and poetic noise
   We mark not in the glare of day,
Oh! how unlike its torrent-cry,
   When oer the brink the tide is driven,
As if the vast and sheeted sky
   In thunder fell from heaven.


Were I but there, the daylight fled,
   With that smooth air, the stream, the sky,
And lying on that minstrel bed
   Of natures own embroidery
With those long tearful willows oer me,
   That weeping fount, that solemn light,
With scenes of sighing tales before me,
   And one green, maiden grave in sight;
How mournfully the strain would rise
   Of that true maid, whose fate can yet
Draw rainy tears from stubborn eyes;
   From lids that neer before were wet.
She lies not here, but that green grave
   Is sacred from the ploughand flowers,
Snow-drops, and valley-lilies, wave
   Amid the grass; and other showers
Than those of heaven have fallen there.

Joseph Rodman Drake

Joseph Rodman Drake's other poems:
  1. Written in a Ladys Album
  2. Lines Written on Leaving New Rochelle
  3. Lines to a Lady, on Hearing Her Sing Cushlamachree
  4. To ---
  5. To a Lady with a Withered Violet

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Thomas Hardy Fragment ("At last I entered a long dark gallery")
  • James Johnson Fragment ("The hand of Fate cannot be stayed")

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