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nag, they set off one fine morning in the spring for this promised land. They pass through Jersey and Pennsylvania to the Ohio, down which they sail till they reach the spot which is destined for their settlement. Here they go through the usual adventures and operations of new settlers, population increases around them, villages and towns spring up, and in process of time Basil becomes
• Judge, general, congressman; and half a score
Of goodly cffices, and titles more
Reward his worth.' And thus the mere story of Basil ends. The narration however forms but a small part of the book. The rest is occupied with descriptions of scenery, reflections upon the history and character of the people, and the three last cantos with a kind of digression upon Indian manners and hostility. To those who are acquainted with the former works of the author, it is unnecessary to say, that the sentiments are every where those of a sincere and ardent lover of his country, of one who looks down with contempt upon the crimes and baubles of kings and nobles, and who maintains the fitness of man for the enjoyment of freedom and happiness. But the talents of Mr. Paulding for poetical description, and his sensibility to the beautiful and tranquil forms of inanimate nature, as contrasted with the feverish anxiety, the bustle and strife of intelligent beings, make the descriptive part of the book no less interesting, to those whose untravelled taste' can admire the beautiful scenery of this delightful country.
In the first canto we are introduced to the acquaintance of the hero of the poem, and the reasons which lead to his change of residence are stated. Among these we find prominent the love of independence, which the poet has apostrophized in a beautiful manner.
0! Independence! man's bright mental sun,
With blood and tears by our brave country won,
Parent of all, high mettled man adorns,
The nerve of steel, the soul that meanness scorns,
The mounting wind that spurns the tyrant's sway,
The eagle eye that mocks the God of day,
Turns on the lordly upstart scorn for scorn,
And drops its lid to none of woman born!
With blood, and tears, and hardships thou wert bought,
Yet rich the blessings thy bright sway has wrought;
Hence comes it that a gallant spirit reigns
Unknown among old Europe's hapless swains,
Who slaves to some proud lord, himself a slave,
From sire to son from cradle to the grave,
From race to race, more dull and servile grow,
Until at last they nothing feel or know:
Hence comes it, that our meanest farmer's boy
· Aspires to taste the proud and manly joy
That springs from holding in his own dear right
The land he plows, the home he seeks at night;
And hence it comes, he leaves his friends and home,
Mid distant wilds and dangers drear to roam,.
To seek a competence, or find a grave,
Rather than live a hireling or a slave,
As the bright waving harvest field he sees,
Like sunny ocean rippling in the breeze,
And hears the lowing herd, the lambkins' bleat,
Fall on his ear in mingled concert sweet,
His heart sits lightly on its rustic throne,
The fields, the herds, the flocks are all his own.'." While suffering under the evils of rheumatic agonies, Basil hears of that land of plenty and happiness to which so many pilgrims have adventured, and resolves to seek a refuge there. It was spring, and he soon felt its potent influence upon his frame, .
Who can resist the coaxing voice of Spring,
When flowers put forth and sprightly songsters sing?
He is no honest son of mother Earth,
And shames the holy dame that gave him birth;
- We are her children, and when forth she hics,
Dress'd in her wedding suit of varied dyes,
Beshrew the churl that does not feel her charms,
And love to nestle in her blooming arms;
He has no heart, or such a heart as I
Would not possess for all beneath the sky.' Every thing being in readiness, the cavalcade leaves the birth place of the wanderers, and the second canto opens with their travel's history.' It was the dawn of day:
• Dark was the early dawn, dun vapours chill,
Cover'd the earth and hid the distant hill,
A veil of mist obscur'd the struggling day,
That seemed to grope its slow uncertain way;
No insect chirp'd, or wakeful twitt’ring bird,
Within the copse, or briery dingle stirr'd.
Anon, far in the East light streaks of red
O'er the gray mists a tint of morning shed,
Brighter and still more bright their hues unfold,
Till all the sky was fring'd with burnish'd gold;
Up lose the gallant Sun! the mists away
Vanish’d, like spectres, at the dawn of day;
No silence now was in the waken'd groves,
For every bird began to chant his loves,
And all the liveried rabble insect crew,
That crawl'd upon the jewell'd earth, or flew,
Muster'd their merry notes and frisk'd away,
In many colour'd vestments—who but they!' They pass down the banks of the Hudson, by that romantic cenery which the events of the revolution have made celebrated.
Here mid the piling mountains scatter'd round,
His winding way majestic Hudson found,
And as he swept the frowning ridge's base,
In the pure mirror of his morning face,
A lovelier landscape caught the gazer's view,
Softer than nature, yet to nature true.
Now might be seen, reposing in stern pride,
Against the mountain's steep and rugged side,
High Putnam's battlements, like tow'r of old,
Haunt of night-robbing baron, stout and bold,
Scourge of his neighbour, Nimrod of the chase,
Slave of his king, and tyrant of his race.
Beneath its frowning brow, and far below,
The weltering waves, unhcard, were seen to flow
Round West Point's rude and adamantine base,
That call'd to mind old Arnold's deep disgrace,
Andre's hard fate, lamented, though deserv'd,
And men, who from their duty never swerv'd-
The honest three-the pride of yeomen bold,
Who sav'd the country which they might have sold;
Refus'd the proffer'd bribe, and, sternly true,
Did what the man that doubts them ne'er would do.' We have then an eloquent and indignant invective against the man who attempted to erase one of the fairest passages in his country's history, and the narrative proceeds with Basil's journey through Jersey to the Delaware, at its junction with the Lehigh, when we meet with the following graceful comparison:
''Twas just where rambling Lehigh--pleasant stream!
Fit haunt for bard to wander and to dream-
Ev'n like a gentle, all confiding maid,
By true Affection's fondest impulse sway'd,
Glides into Delaware's encircling arms,
And silently surrenders all her charms,
Gives up her very being evermore,
And that sweet virgin name of old she bore.' The poet now leads his hero through Pennsylvanian landscapes, rich and gay,' till they reach the heights of the immense Allegheny. Here we have a highly poetic description of the scenery of these mountains, which we have no room to copy, and at the conclusion of the second canto, the travellers arrive at Pittsburgh. The third book opens with a spirited denial of the blunders of Fortune, who
Plays the tyrant only with the fool.' We then embark with our pilgrims on the broad surface of the Ohio, and their voyage is described so faithfully, and with so much of the true soul of poetry, that long as is the passage, we cannot refrain from copying it.
• As down Obio's ever ebbing tide,
Oarless and sailless silently they glide,
How still the scene, how lifeless, yet how fair,
Was the lone land that met the strangers there!
No smiling villages, or curling smoke,
The busy haunts of busy men bespoke,
No solitary hut, the banks along,
Sent forth blithe Labour's homely rustic song,
No urchin gambol'd on the smooth white sand,
Or hurld the skipping-stone with playful hand,
While playmate dog plung'd in the clear blue wave,
And swam, in vain, the sinking prize to save.
Where now are seen along the river's side,
Young busy towns, in buxom painted pride,
And Aeets of gliding boats with riches crown'd,
To distant Orleans or St. Louis bound,
Nothing appear'd, but Nature unsubdu'd,
One endless, noiseless, woodland solitude,
Or boundless prairie, that aye seem'd to be
As level, and as lifeless as the sea;
They seem'd to breathe in this wide world alone,
Heirs of the Earth the land was all their own!
'Twas Evening now—the hour of toil was o'er,
Yet still they durst not seek the fearful shore,
Lest watchful Indian crew should silent creep,
And spring upon, and murder them in sleep;
So through the livelong night they held their way,
And 'twas a night might shame the fairest day,
So still, so bright, so tranquil was its reign,
They car'd not though the day ne'er came again.
The Moon high wheel'd the distant hills above,
Silver'd the fleecy foliage of the grove,
That as the wooing zephyrs on it fell,
Whisper'd it lov'd the gentle visit well-
That fair-fac'd orb alone to move appear'd,
That zephyr was the only sound they heard.
No deep-mouth'd hound the hunter's haunt betray'd,
No lights upon the shore, or waters play'd,
No loud laugh broke upon the silent air,
To tell the wand'rers man was nestling there,
While even the froward babe in mother's arms,
Lulld by the scene suppress'd its loud alarms,
And yielding to that moment's tranquil sway,
Sunk on the breast, and slept its rage away.
All, all was still, on gliding barque and shore,
As if the Earth now slept to wake no more;
Life seem'd extinct, as when the World first smil'd,
Ere Adam was a dupe, or Eve beguilid.' They at length arrive at their destined home, and the labours of the new settler commence. Time and industry add to his wealth and comforts, his children grow apace, and in his hours of leisure he recounts to them the virtues and exploits of their countrymen.
Of virtuous Greene, whose clierish'd name shall be
As everlasting as thy hills, Santee,
And borne on Fame's untir'd, earth-circling wings,
Rise pure and limpid as his Eutaw springs:
Of Marion, by his country not half known.'
Of the hardships and courage of the soldiers of the revolution, of whom
Not one betray'd his suffering Country's cause,
Not one deserted to the conq'ring band,
Or sold his comrades, or his native land:
Still to their glorious leader bravely true,
The war's vicissitudes they struggled through,
Sav'd this good land, and when the tug was o'er,
Begg'd their way hume, at every scoundrel's door.' Then follows an eloquent eulogium on the spotless character of him who surpassed all Greek all Roman fame. The canto ends with a description and vindication of the life of the frontier settlers, and here we lose sight of Basil till the conclusion of the poem. In the fourth canto the author has introduced the celebrated Prophet, by whose intrigues the war of 1812 was stirred' up among the Indians. His character is drawn in a bold and masterly style, and his harangues and the war feasts of the savages communicate great interest to this part of the poem. The beginning of the fifth canto describes the preparations on both sides for hostilities, between the English and their Indian allies on one part, and the western republicans on the other. This unholy alliance between the christian and the savage, is adverted to with becoming censure and indignation; the rest of the canto is occupied with a dialogue between the Prophet and an aged pilgrim, in which the author has evinced great power and pathos. "The defeat of the allied forces, the restoration of security to the American frontier, and the final happiness and prosperity of the west, are the themes of the last book. We have already made such copious selections, thạt we have but little room left for passages from this, which upon the whole we are inclined to think is the most striking part of the poem. The outrages committed by the British and their allies during the war of 1812, and the disinclination to defence manifested in one part of the union, call forth from the author the following animated and spirited lines:
• Could men, whose eyes first saw the blessed day,
In this good land, at'honne like women stay,
Plead conscience to escape the coming fight,
And skulk behind some vile pretence of right?
There have been suchoblivion shield their name,
Better forgot, their story and their shame.
Who would not battle bravely, heart and haud,
In any cause for this dear buxom land;
O, never may the heartless recreant know
The joys from conscious rectitude that fow;
Nor ever, for one fleeting moment, prove,
Man's dear respect, or woman's dearer love;
Ne'er may he hold high converse with the brave,
But live with slaves, and be himself a slave;
Ne'er may he know the sober waking bliss,
Of living in a freeman's home like this,