The life and works of William Cullen Bryant
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A SUPPRESSED POEM. 299
its omission. He said he was glad you had, and added : * It is the
only thing of Bryant s that has not pleased me. & quot;*
* This ballad was first printed in the & quot; Mirror, & quot; where it was highly commended
by Mr. N. P. Willis. As my readers would no doubt like to compare their own
judgments with those of Dana, Allston, and Bryant, I shall enable them to do so by
copying what they suppressed :
& quot;THE ROBBER.
& quot; Beside a lonely mountain-path,
Within a mossy wood,
That crowned the wild, wind-beaten cliffs,
A lurking robber stood.
His foreign garb, his gloomy eye,
His cheek of swarthy stain,
Bespoke him one who might have been
A pirate on the main,
Or bandit from the far-off hills
Of Cuba, or of Spain.
& quot; His ready pistol in his hand,
A shadowing bough he raised ;
Glared forth, as crouching tiger glares,
And muttered as he gazed :
1 Sure, he must sleep upon his steed
I deemed the laggard near.
I ll give him, for the gold he wears,
A sounder slumber, here ;
His charger, when I press his flank,
Shall leap like mountain deer.
& quot; Long, long he watched, and listened long,
There came no traveller by ;
The ruffian growled a harsher curse,
And gloomier grew his eye ;
While o er the sultry heaven began
A leaden haze to spread,
And, past his noon, the summer sun
A dimmer beam to shed ;
And on that mountain summit fell
A silence deep and dread.
& quot; Then ceased the bristling pine to sigh,
Still hung the birchen spray,
The air that wrapped those massy cliffs
Was motionless as they.
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