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of the cloud in feet. Hence, when a very short time elapses. between the flash and the thunder, the cloud is very near. There is a peculiar sublimity attending thunder-storms in mountainous regions. The traveler among the Andes frequently hears the thunder roll, and sees the lightning flash from the clouds that gather around the hills far beneath him, while around his path, and on the hights above him, the sun is shining with unclouded splendor.




THE clouds! the clouds! they are beautiful,
When they sleep on the soft, blue sky,
As if the sun to rest could lull

Their snowy company;

And, as the wind springs up, they start,
And career o'er the azure plain;

And before the course of the breezes dart,
To scatter their balmy rain.

The clouds the clouds! how change their forms
With every passing breath;

And now a glancing sunbeam warms,

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And now they look cold as death.
Oh, often and often have I escaped
From the stir of the noisy crowd,
And a thousand fanciful visions shaped
On the face of a passing cloud.

The clouds! the clouds! round the sun at night
They come like a band of slaves,

That are only bright in the master's light,

And each in his glory laves.

Oh, they are lovely, lovely then,

When the heaven around them glows;
Now touched with a purple and amber stain,
And now with the hue of the rose.

The clouds! the clouds! in the starlit sky,
How they float on the light wind's wings;
Now resting an instant, then glancing by,
In their fickle wanderings!

Now they hide the deep blue firmament:
Now it shows their folds between,
As if a silver vein were rent

From the jeweled brow of a queen.

The clouds! the clouds! they are the lid
To the lightning's flashing eye;
And in their fleecy fold is hid

The thunder's majesty.

Oh, how their warning is proclaimed
By the shrill blast's battle song;

And the tempest's deadliest shafts are aimed
From the midst of the dark clouds' throng.

The clouds the clouds! my childish days
Are past; my heart is old;

But here and there a feeling stays,

That never can grow cold:

And the love of nature is one of these,
That time's wave never shrouds;
And oft and oft doth my soul find peace

In watching the passing clouds.



THOUGH from whence I came, or whither I go,
My end or my nature I ne'er may know,
I will number o'er to myself a few
Of the countless things I am born to do.

I flit in the days of the joyous Spring,
Through field and forest, and freight my wing
With the spice of the buds, which I haste to bear
Where I know that man will inhale the air.
And while I hover o'er beauty's lip,

I part her locks with my pinion's tip;

Or brighten her cheek with my fond caress,

And breathe in the folds of her lightsome dress.
I love to sport with the silken curl

On the lily neck of the laughing girl;

To dry the tear of the weeping boy,

Who's breaking his heart for a broken toy:

To fan the heat of his brow away,
And over his mother's heart-strings play,
Till, his grief forgotten, he looks around,
For the secret hand that has waked the sound.

I love, when the warrior mails his breast,
To toss the head of his snow-white crest;
To take the adieu that he turns to leave,
And the sigh that his lady retires to heave!
When the sultry sun, of a summer's day,
Each sparkling dew-drop has dried away,
And the flowers are left to thirst to death,
I love to come and afford them breath;
And, under each languid drooping thing,
To place my balmy and cooling wing.

When the bright fresh showers have just gone by,
And the rainbow stands in the evening sky,
Oh! then is the merriest time for me,

And I and my race have a jubilee!

We fly to the gardens, and shake the drops
From the bending boughs, and the floweret tops;
And revel unseen in the calm star-light,
Or dance on the moonbeams the live-long night.
These, ah, these are my hours of gladness!
But, I have my days and my nights of sadness!

When I go to the cheek where I kissed the rose, And 't is turning as white as the mountain snows, While the eye of beauty must soon be hid

Forever beneath its sinking lid,

Oh! I'd give my whole self but to spare that gasp, And save her a moment from death's cold grasp ! And when she is borne to repose alone

'Neath the fresh cut sod, and the church-yard stone, I keep close by her, and do my best

To lift the dark pall from the sleeper's breast;
And linger behind with the beautiful clay,
When friends and kindred have gone their way!

When the babe whose dimples I used to fan,
I see completing its earthly span,

I long, with a spirit so pure, to go
From the scene of sorrow and tears below,
Till I rise so high I can catch the song

Of welcome that bursts from the angel throng,

As it enters its rest; but alas! alas!
I am only from death to death to pass.

I hasten away over mountain and flood,
And find I'm alone on a field of biood.

The soldier is there, but he breathes no more;
And there is the plume, but 't is stained with gore;
I flutter and strive in vain, to place

The end of his scarf on his marble face;

And find not even a sigh, to take

To her, whose heart is so soon to break!

I fly to the flowers I loved so much;

They are pale, and drop at my slightest touch.
The earth is in ruins! I turn to the sky;

It frowns!-and what can I do, but die?




THE attraction of the prairie consists in its extent, its carpet of verdure and flowers, its undulating surface, its groves, and the fringe of timber by which it is surrounded. Of all these, the latter is the most expressive feature. It is that which gives character to the landscape, which imparts the shape, and marks the boundary of the plain. If the prairie be small, its greatest beauty consists in the vicinity of the surrounding margin of woodland, which resembles the shore of a lake, indented with deep vistas, like bays and inlets, and throwing out long points, like capes and headlands; while occasionally these points approach each other so close, that the traveler. passes through a narrow avenue or strait, where the shadows of the woodland fall upon his path, and then again emerges into another prairie.

Where the plain is large, the forest outline is seen in the far perspective, like the dim shore when beheld at a distance from the ocean. The eye sometimes roams over the green meadow, without discovering a tree, a shrub, or any object in the immense expanse, but the wilderness of grass and flowers; while at another time, the prospect is enlivened by the groves, which

are seen interspersed like islands, or the solitary tree, which stands alone in the blooming desert.

If it is in the spring of the year, and the young grass has just covered the ground with a carpet of delicate green, and especially if the sun is rising from behind a distant swell of the plain, and glittering upon the dew-drops, no scene can be more lovely to the eye. The deer is seen grazing quietly upon the plain; the bee is on the wing; the wolf, with his tail drooped, is sneaking away to his covert with the felon tread of one who is conscious that he has disturbed the peace of nature; and the grouse feeding in flocks, or in pairs, like the domestic fowl, cover the whole surface.

When the eye roves off from the green plain, to the groves, or points of timber, these also are found to be at this season robed in the most attractive hues. The rich undergrowth is in full bloom. The red-bud, the dog-wood, the crab-apple, the wild plum, the cherry, the wild rose, are abundant in all the rich lands; and the grape vine, though its blossom is unseen, fills the air with fragrance. The variety of the wild fruit, and flowering shrubs, is so great, and such the profusion of the blossoms with which they are bowed down, that the eye is regaled almost to satiety.

The gayety of the prairie, its embellishments, and the absence of the gloom and savage wildness of the forest, all contribute to dispel the feeling of lonesomeness, which usually creeps over the mind of the solitary traveler in the wilderness. Though he may not see a house, nor a human being, and is conscious that he is far from the habitations of men, he can scarcely divest himself of the idea that he is traveling through scenes embellished by the hand of art. The flowers, so fragile, so delicate, and so ornamental, seem to have been tastefully disposed to adorn the scene. The groves and clumps of trees appear to have been scattered over the lawn to beautify the landscape, and it is not easy to avoid that illusion of the fancy, which persuades the beholder, that such scenery has been created to gratify the refined taste of civilized man.

Europeans are often reminded of the resemblance of this scenery to that of the extensive parks which they have been accustomed to admire, in the old world. The lawn, the avenue, grove, the copse, which are there produced by art, are here


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