The life and works of William Cullen Bryant
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THE YOUNG BARD.
79
father. The original contained some one hundred and eighty
lines, but only a few of these are preserved :
& quot; Once more the Bard, with eager eye, reviews
The flowery paths of fancy, and the Muse
Once more essays to trill forgotten strains,
The loved amusement of his native plains.
, Late you beheld me treading labor s round,
. To guide slow oxen o er the furrowed ground ; *
The sturdy hoe or slender rake to ply,
Midst dust and sweat, beneath a summer sky.
But now I pore o er Virgil s glowing lines,
Where, famed in war, the great ^neas shines;
Where novel scenes around me seem to stand,
Lo ! grim Alecto whirls the flaming brand.
Dire jarring tumult, death and battle rage,
Fierce armies close, and daring chiefs engage ;
Mars thunders furious from his flying car,
And hoarse-toned clarions stir the raging war.
Nor with less splendor does his master-hand
Paint the blue skies, the ocean, and the land ;
Majestic mountains rear their awful head,
Fair plains extend, and bloomy vales are spread.
The rugged cliff in threatening grandeur towers,
And joy sports smiling in Arcadian bowers ;
In silent calm the expanded ocean sleeps,
Or boisterous whirlwinds toss the rising deeps ;
Triumphant vessels o er his rolling tide,
With painted prows and gaudy streamers, glide. & quot;
Meanwhile, the & quot; Bard & quot; was not so entirely absorbed in
the fortunes of ^Eneas and his companions as to forget those
of his own country. His indignant remonstrances had not
succeeded in getting President Jefferson to resign his place
and resume his scientific studies ; but the dire embargo was in
* This recalls the words of Burns s first dedication : & quot; The poetic genius of my
country found me at the plough. & quot;
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