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With chains concealed in chaplets. O! not yet
Mayst thou unbrace thy corselet, nor lay by
Thy sword; nor yet, 0 Freedom! close thy lids
In slumber: for thine enemy never sleeps,
And thou must watch and combat till the day
Of the new earth and heaven. But, wouldst thou

A while from tumult and the frauds of men,
These old and friendly solitudes invite
Thy visit:3 They, while yet the forest trees
Were young upon the unviolated earth,
And yet the moss-stains on the rock were new,
Beheld thy glorious childhood, and rejoiced.


The sad and solemn night
Hath yet her multitude of cheerful fires:

The glorious host of light
Walk the dark hemisphere till she retires;
All through her silent watches, gliding slow,
Her constellations 4 come, and climb the heavens, and


I chaplets. See Webster for the 4 constellation (from Latin stella, interesting derivation of this word. a star), a cluster or group of fixed 2 corselet. See Glossary.

stars, situated near each other in 3 solitudes invite, etc. By a the heavens. skillful return the poet brings us 5 The sad ... go. Express in back again to the opening scene your own words the meaning of of the poem.

this stanza.

Day, too, hath many a star To grace his gorgeous reign, as bright as they ;

Through the blue fields afar, Unseen, they follow in his flaming way:1 Many a bright lingerer, as the eve grows dim, Tells what a radiant troop arose and set with him.

And thou dost see them rise,
Star of the Pole! and thou dost see them set.

Alone, in thy cold skies,
Thou keep'st thy old unmoving station yet,
Nor join’st the dances 3 of that glittering train,
Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main.

There, at morn's rosy birth,
Thou lookest meekly through the kindling air;

And eve, that round the earth
Chases the day, beholds thee watching there;
There noontide finds thee, and the hour that calls
The shapes of polar flame4 to scale heaven's azure


Alike, beneath thine eye,
The deeds of darkness and of light are done:

High towards the starlit sky
Towns blaze, the smoke of battle blots the sun,

1 in his flaming way. Whose ? 2 bright lingerer. Explain.

8 Nor join'st the dances, etc. Explain the metaphor.

4 shapes of polar flame, the aurora borealis. 5 blots the sun.

Change this poetical into a prose expression.

The night-storm on a thousand hills is loud,
And the strong wind of day doth mingle sea and cloud.

On thy unaltering blaze
The half-wrecked mariner, his compass lost,

Fixes his steady gaze,
And steers, undoubting, to the friendly coast ;
And they who stray in perilous wastes by night
Are glad when thou dost shine to guide their foot-

steps right.

And therefore bards 2 of old,
Sages 3 and hermits of the solemn wood,

Did in thy beams behold
A beauteous type of that unchanging good,
That bright eternal beacon, by whose ray
The voyager of time should shape his heedful way.


[The Forest Hymn was written in that early period of Bryant's career, when he was for the most part devoted to the study of nature, and the depicting of its scenes and moods. It overflows with what Wordsworth calls the “religion of the woods,” and is pervaded by a sweet solemnity that must touch every impressible soul.]


1 On thy ... right. Express in Sages (from suge, wise), phiyour own language the meaning of losophers. this stanza.

4 hermits of the solemn wood: 2 bards. “Bard "(meaning poet) that is, the British Druids. is one of the small number of 5 beacon, signal-fire: connected Celtic words incorporated into with beckon. English from the language of the voyager of time. Explain the original Britons.



THE groves

were God's first temples.

Ere man learned To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, And spread the roof above them ; ere he framed The lofty vault,» to gather and roll back The sound of anthems,- in the darkling 4 wood, Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks And supplication. For his simples heart Might not resist 6 the sacred influences, Which, from the stilly twilight of the place, And from the gray old trunks that high in heaven Mingled their mossy boughs, and from the sound Of the invisible breath that swayed at once All their green tops, stole over him, and bowed His spirit with the thought of boundless power And inaccessible? majesty. Ah! why Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore Only among the crowd, and under roofs That our frail hands have raised ? Let me, at least, Here, in the shadow of this agéd wood,


1 shaft, the cylindrical column in his Elegy speaks of the “longbetween the capital (top) and the drawn aisle and fretted vault.” base of a column.

darkling. See Webster for ety2 architrave. That part of an mology. order of architecture which is cver 5 simple. See Webster for the a column is called the entablature ; interesting derivation of this woril. and the "architrave" is that part 6 resist, withstand. of an entablature which rests im 7 inaccessible. Define. mediately on the column.

8 sanctuaries (from Latin sanc3 vault, an arched ceiling. Gray Itus, holy), literally, holy places.

Offerl one hymn — thrice happy, if it find
Acceptance in his ear.

Father, tlıy hand
Hath reared these venerable columns. Thou
Didst weave this verdant roof.4 Thou didst look

down Upon the naked earth, and forthwith rose All these fair ranks of trees. They, in thy sun, Budded, and shook their green leaves in thy breeze, And shot towards heaven. The century-living crow, Whose birth was in their tops, grew old and died Among their branches; till at last they stood, As now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark, Fit shrine for humble worshiper to hold Communion with his Maker. These dim vaults, These winding aisles, of human pomp or pride Report not. No fantastic carvings show The boast of our vain race, to change the form Of thy fair works. But thou art here. Thou fill'st The solitude.10 Thou art in the soft winds, That run along the summit of these trees In music. Thou art in the cooler breath,


1 Offer. Give a synonym.

massy. Of what word is this 2 Acceptance. See Webster. a poetic form? 3 venerable columns. Explain 7 of human pomp.

not. Transthe expression.

pose into the prose order. 4 verdant roof. Explain the ex 8 fantastic carvings: that is, as pression, and give a synonym of in the cathedrals of man's building. “ verdant."

9 thou. Who? 5 century-living, epithet 10 solitude (from Latin solus, based on a tradition that the crow alone), hence, literally, the state lives to a very great age.

of being alone.


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