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Charles Fenno Hoffman.

Love's calendar, Lays of the Hudson, and other poems online

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LOYE S CALENDAR,
LAYS OF THE HUDSON,

AND

OTHER POEMS.



BY

CHARLES FENNO HOFFMAN.



NEW YORK :

D. APPLETON AJSTD COMPANY,
346 & 348 BROADWAY.
M.DOOO.LVIII.



ENTERED, according to Act of Congress, in the year
1847, by D. APPLETON & Co.,

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court for the
Southern District of New-York.



im

CONTENTS.



h



LOVE S CALENDAR ; or Eros and Anteros, .

LAYS OF THE HUDSON.

The Forest Cemetery, .... 33

The Thaw-King : his Visit to New- York, 39

Moonlight upon the Hudson, ... 45
Kachesco :

Part I. " Camping out" ... 51

Part II. The Vigil of Faith, ... 69

The Bob-O-Linkum, .... 93

Forest Musings 96

Indian Summer, 1828, 100

What is Solitude ? 102

Primeval Woods, 104

The Laurel, 106

SONGS AND OCCASIONAL POEMS.

Monterey, Ill

" Brunt the Fight," 113



M801723



1 CONTENTS.

Le Faineant, 315

Sparkling and bright, ... 117

Rosalie Clare, 119

The Myrtle and Steel 121

Algonquin War Song, . . . 123

Algonquin Death Song, .... 125

"Rio Bravo," 120

Buff and Blue, 133

The Men of Churubusco, .... 135

The Mint Julep, 137

The Loon upon the Lake, . , . .130

Room, Boys, Room, .... 140

"Faraway," 142

The Sleigh Bells, 144

Morning Hymn, 145

The Streamlet, 147

St. Valentine s Day, . . . . .148

The Blush, . 150

Thy Name, 151

The Language of Flowers, . . . 153

The Call of Spring, 154

Monody, 156

Love s Memories, 157

Written in a Lady s Prayer Book, . . 159



-0



CONTENTS . 5

Anacreontic, ...... 160

The Song of the Drowned, ... 162

No more No more, 164

A Hunter s Matin, 165

My Birchen Bark, 166

TheYatcher, 168

Boat Song, . . , . . . .169

Where dost thou loiter, Spring ? . . 171

Chansonnette, 173

Wake, Lady, Wake ! .... 174

Serenade, 176

The Brook and the Pine, ... 177

Think of me, Dearest 179

Away to the Forest, .... 181

The Waxen Rose, 182

Myne Heartte, 184

The Lover s Star, 186

The Invitation, 187

The Love Test, 189

Afterthought, 191

Seek not to understand her, . . . 192

Withering, Withering, ... 194

A place for me, 195

Our Friendship," .... 197



O CONTENTS.

My Dog, 198

A Portrait, ,200

Buena Vista, 202

NOTES ON KACHESCO, .... 207



Cotie (Haleniar.



6



LOVE S CALENDAR;

OR

EROS AND ANTEROS.



LOVE, with the ancient sages, if it be not twin-
born, yet hath a brother wondrous like him, called
Anteros ; whom while he seeks all about, his chance
is to meet with many false and feigning desires that
wander singly up and down in his likeness. By
them, in their borrowed garb, is Love often deceived ;
partly that his eye is not the quickest in this dark
region here below (which is not love s proper sphere),
partly out of the simplicity and credulity which is
native to him, and embraces and consorts him with
those suborned striplings, as if they were his mother s
own sons. But after awhile, soaring above the sha
dow of the earth, he discerns that this is not his gen
uine brother, as he imagined ; he has no longer the
power to hold fellowship with such a personate mate.
For that original and fiery virtue given him, by fate,
all on a sudden goes out, and leaves him undeified



o-



10 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

and despoiled of all his force ; till finding Anteros at
last, he kindles and repairs the almost faded ammu
nition of his deity, by the reflection of a coequal and
homogeneal fire. MILTON.



I.

THEY are mockery all those skies, those skies

Their untroubled depths of blue ;
They are mockery all these eyes, these eyes,

Which seem so warm and true.
Each quiet star in the one that lies,
Each meteor glance that at random flies

The other s lashes through ;
They are mockery all, these flowers of spring,

Which her airs so softly woo ;
And the love to which we would madly cling,

Ay ! it is mockery too ;
The winds are false which the perfume stir,

And the looks deceive to which we sue,
And love but leads to the sepulchre,

Which the flowers spring to strew.

II.

Ay ! there it is, that winning smile,
That look that cheats my heart forever,

That tone that will my brain beguile
Till reason from her seat shall sever.



EROS AND ANTEROS. 11

All, all bewitching, as when last
I for the twentieth time forswore them,

Resistless as when first I cast
My whole adoring soul before them.

Like carrier doves that hurry back

To the bright home from which they re parted,
However blind may be their track,

Or far the goal from which they started,
So from Love s jesses if e er free

I set my thoughts one moment roving,
Somehow the very next in thee

They always find their home of loving.

ill.
She loves but tis not me she loves :

Not me on whom she ponders,
When in some dream of tenderness

Her truant fancy wanders.
The forms that flit her visions through

Are like the shapes of old,
Where tales of Prince and Paladin

On tapestry are told.
Man may not hope her heart to win,

Be his of common mould !

But I though spurs are won no more

Where herald s trump is pealing,
Nor thrones carved out for lady fair

Where steel-clad ranks are wheeling



12 LOVE S CALENDAR OR

I loose the falcon of my hopes

Upon as proud a flight
As they who hawk d at high renown,

In song-ennobled fight.
If daring then true love may crown.

My love she must requite !



Tell her I love her love her for those eyes

Now soft with feeling, radiant now with mirth,
Which, like a lake reflecting autumn skies,

Reveal two heavens here to us on earth
The one in which their soulful beauty lies,

And that wherein such soulfulness has birth :
Go, autumn flower, before the season flies,

And the rude winter comes thy bloom to blast
Go ! and with all of eloquence thou hast,

The burning story of my love discover,

And if the theme should fail, alas ! to move her,
Tell her, when youth s gay budding time is past,

And summer s gaudy flowering is over,
Like thee, my love will blossom to the last !

v.

Her heart is like a harp whose strings
At will are touched alike by all :

Her heart is like a bird that sings
In answer to each fowler s call.



EROS AND ANTEROS. 13

That harp ! has it one secret tone
Reserved for master hands alone ?
That bird ! has it one soulful note
Which only toward its mate will float ?

Let it not wile thy soul away

That harp with its beguiling touch ;
Let not that bird s bewildering lay

Thrill through thy bosom over-much :
They ll cheat thine eyes of sleep to-night,
Yet find thee dreaming with the light
With heart and brain all idly stirred
The music of that harp and bird !

VI.

Tis hard to share her smiles with many !

And while she is so dear to me,
To fear that I, far less than any,

Call out her spirit s witchery !
To find my inmost heart when near her

Trembling at every glance and tone,
And feel the while each charm grow dearer

That will not beam for me alone.

How can she thus, sweet spendthrift, squander
The treasures one alone can prize 1

How can her eyes to all thus wander,
When I but live in those sweet eyes ?

Those syren tones so lightly spoken
Cause many a heart I know to thrill ;



14 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

But mine, and only mine, till broken,
In every pulse must answer still.

VII.

Well ! call it Friendship ! have I asked for more,

Even in those moments, when I gave the most ?

Twas but for thee, I looked so far before !

I saw thy bark was hurrying blindly on,

A guideless thing upon a dangerous coast.

With thee, with thee, where would I not have gone ?

But could I see thee drift upon the shore,

Unknowing drift, upon a shore unknown ?

Yes, call it Friendship, and let no revealing

If Love be there, e er make Love s wild name heard,

It will not die, if it be worth concealing !

Call it then Friendship but oh, let that word

Speak but for me for me, a deeper feeling

Than ever yet a lover s bosom stirred \

VIII.

As he who, on some clouded night,

When wind and tide attend his bark,
Waits for the North star s steady light

To shine above the waters dark,
Will often for its guiding beam

Mistake some wandering meteor s ray ;
But wilder d by that fitful gleam
Doubt yet to launch upon the stream,

Till wind and tide have passed away.



EROS AND ANTEROS.

So I, if ever Life s dark sea

Be swept by some propitious gale,
Look for my guiding light in thee,

Before I dare to spread my sail ;
So, while thy smiles deceitful shine,

Then leave all darker than before,
I for some surer beacon pine,
Till breeze and flood no longer mine,

I m stranded on the barren shore.

IX.

I will love her no more ! t is a waste of the heart,
This lavish of feeling a prodigal s part
Who, heedless, the treasure a life could not earn
Squanders forth where he vainly may look for return.

I will love her no more it is folly to give
Our best years to one, when for many we live.
And he who the world will thus barter for one,
I ween by such traffic must soon be undone.

I will love her no more it is heathenish thus

To bow to an idol which bends not to us |

Which heeds not, which hears not, which recks not

for aught
That the worship of years to its altar hath brought.

I will love her no more for no love is without
Its limit in measure, and mine hath run out ;



16 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

She engrosseth it all, and till some she restore,
Than this moment I love her how can I love more 1



O ! how could my heart so falsely guage,
Singing that more than now I could not love thee !

Others, like me, may, at thy budding age,

Hold every feeling in sweet vassalage
Unto thy charms. But I by all above me !
Will prove thee suzerain of my soul more nearly ;

When Time his arts shall gainst thy beauty wage,
To break their serfdom serving thee more dearly.

Mark how the sunset, with its parting hues,
The heaving bosom of yon river staineth !
To yield those tints the grieving waves refuse,
Nor yet that purpling light at last will lose

Till Night itself, like Death, above them reigneth !
So more and more will brighten to the last
The light, which once upon my true soul cast,
Reflected there, still true till death remaineth.

XI.

Think not I love thee by my word I do not !
Think not I love the for thy love I sue not !
And yet, I fear, there s hardly one that weareth
Thy beauty s chains, who like me for thee careth !
Who joys like me when in thy joy believing
Who like me grieves when thou dost seem but griev
ing ?



EROSANDANTERO3. 17

But, though I charms so perilous eschew not, ^
Think not I love thee trust me that I do not !

Think not I love thee ! pr ythee why so coy, then 1
Doth it thy maiden bashfulness annoy, then ?
Sith the heart s homage still will be up-welling,
Where Truth and Goodness have so sweet a dwell
ing?

Surely, unjust one, I were less than mortal,
Knelt I not thus before that temple s portal.
Others dare to love thee dare what I do not
Then let me worship, bright one while I woo not !

XII.

I know thou dost love me ay ! frown as thou wilt,

And curl that beautiful lip,
Which I never can gaze on without the guilt

Of burning its dew to sip :
I know that my heart is reflected in thine,
And, like flowers that over a brook incline,

They toward each other dip.

Though thou lookest so cold in these halls of light,

Mid the careless, proud, and gay,
I will steal like a thief in thy heart at night,

And pilfer its thoughts away.
I will come in thy dreams at the midnight hour,
And thy soul in secret shall own the power

It dares to mock by day.



o- ~

18 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

XIII.

I ask not what shadow came over her heart,

In the moment I thought her my own
If love in that moment could really depart,

I mourn not such love when tis flown.
I ask not what shadow came over her then,

What doubt did her bosom appal,
For I know where her heart will turn truly again,

If it ever turn truly at all !

It is not at once that the reed-bird takes wing,

When the tide rises high round her nest,
But again and again, floating back, she will sing

O er the spot where her love-treasures rest :
And oh, when the surge of distrust would invade,

Where the heart hoped forever to dwell,
Love long upon loitering pinion is stay d,

Ere his wing waves a mournful farewell.

XIV.

I waited for thee but all restless waited,
For soul like mine, it ever must be moving ;

I knew one spirit with my own was mated,
Yet I mistook that restlessness for loving :

Of mine own nature an ideal created,

And loved because I only thus was fated.

Fated, bewilder d thus in thought and feeling,
To waste the freshness of my soul away,



-O



EROS AND ANTEROS. 19

To see each bud of spring in turn revealing

But canker d blooms upon a fruitless spray,
Why marvel then in prayer I oft am kneeling,
Sweet minister of grace ! to bless thy spirit-healing ?

xv.
My life s whole pilgrimage have i not told

Mapping my Past before those loving eyes,
With such minuteness that they might behold

Each hair-line of my soul, without disguise?
Was Truth not woven, every line acrost

An iron thread thro silver subtleties
Of Fancy or of Feeling, howe er gloss d?

Was Faith not there, at rein or helm the while,
A guide, a check, for fancy s luring smile,

A guide, a check, for feeling passion-toss d ?
Oh, how then, now, can thought of me so vile,

Thought as of one to truth and faith, both lost,
Ignobly come thy bosom to beguile,

And kill affection with suspicion s frost !

XVI.

Nay, plead not thou art dull to-night,

When I can see the tear-drop stealing,
Soft witness to love s watchful sight,

Some lurking grief within revealing.
Wouldst thou so cheat the friend thou lovest

Of half the wealth he owns in thee ?
Why, sweet one, by that smile thou provest

Thy tears as well belong to me !

0- c



20 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

Ah, tears again ! well, let them flow,

In tenderness thus flow for ever,
Those last upon my breast I know

Fresh from affection s fruitful river.
What I smiles once more ! Sweet April wonder,

Thy sun and rain thou wilt not miss ;
Why should not I then have my thunder,

And melt each bolt into a kiss ?

xvn.
Life seems to thee more earnest, dearest !

And is it not the same with me ?
Why, sweet, each shadow that thou fearest

To me become s reality
A thought a pang to mar my gladness,
And cloud my brow with tender sadness

And all of loving thee !

The jest from which thou often turnest
Is only love s fond thoughtful guile,

And comes from heart in love most earnest
When it would make thee smile

Is but the stream s bright circles breaking

Beneath thy blessed tear-dropswaking
Love s dimples there the while.

XVIII.

Thou ask st me why that thought of death
Should rise within our souls the same



EROS AND ANTEROS.

Why now, when dearer grows each breath
Of life, we shrink not at his name ?

What is it, sweet, but faith in each
The other could not live alone ?

What but the wish at once to reach
The land where change is never known ?

As, parted here, we dare not think

Of wearying years to come between !
Nay, start not, love, as on the brink

Of what may be as it hath been
WE only part like twin-born rays

Diverging from the morning sun
Again within his orb to blaze

When fused in heaven into one.

XIX.

Ask me not why I should love her,

Look upon those soul-full eyes !
Look while mirth or feeling move her,

And see there how sweetly rise
Thoughts gay and gentle from a breast
Which is of innocence the nest
Which, though each joy were from it shred,
By truth would still be tenanted !

See from those sweet windows peeping,
Emotions tender, bright, and pure,

And wonder not the faith I m keeping
Every trial can endure !



22 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

Wonder not that looks so winning
Still for me new ties are spinning ;
Wonder not that heart so true
Keeps mine from ever changing too.

xx.

While he thou lovest were not the same,
If scathless all from passion s flame,
Wouldst thou the temper d steel forego
At thought of what hath made it so ?
Wouldst thou have bann d the sun to shine
In spring upon thy chosen pine,
And dwarf d the stature of the tree
That thus had never shelter d thee !

Think st thou the dream by fancy sent,
The fervor by "wild passion lent
Think st thou the wandering tenderness
That yearns each loving heart to bless
That either, or that all can be
The love my soul still kept for thee ?
Still faithful kept, till thou or death
Should come to claim her inmost breath I

XXI.

Thoughts wild thoughts ! oh why will ye wander,
Wander away from the task that s before ye ?

Heart weak heart ! ah why art thou fonder,
Fonder of her than ever of glory 1



EROS AND ANTEROS. 23

What though the laurel for thee hath no glitter,
What though thy soul never yearn d for a name :

When did Love garland a brow that was fitter
To wake in Love s bosom the wild wish of fame 1

Doth she not watch o er thine every endeavor ?

Leans not her heart in warm faith on thine own ?
If thou sit doubting and dreaming forever,

Too late thou lt discover that her dream has flown !
Ay ! though each thought that is tender and glowing

Hath yet no errand, save only to her
She may forget thee, while time is thus flowing ;

Thou waste thy worship fond idolater !



In dreams in dreams she answers to my yearning,
And fondly lays her downy cheek to mine ;

In dreams each night that faithful form returning
Will on my breast with sweet content recline :

Awhile my heart keeps time to her soft breathing,

Heaving in motion to her bosom heaving.

I wake and oh, there is an inward sinking,
A drear soul-faintness coming o er me then,

That through the livelong day but makes my thinking
One fond, fond aching thus to dream again.

Soul soul, where art thou through the day employ d,
Only to fill at night my bosom s void 1



24 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

XXIII.

Why should I murmur lest she may forget me ?

Why should I grieve to be by her forgot ?
Better, then, wish that she had never met me,

Better, oh far, she should remember not !

Yet that sad wish ah, would it not come o er her
Knew she the heart on which she now relies?

Strong it is only in beating to adore her
Faint in the moment her lov d image flies !

Why should I murmur lest she may forget me ?

Would I not rather be remember d not
Ere have her grieve that she had ever met me 1

/"only suffer if I am forgot !

XXIV.

They say that thou art alter d, Amy,

They say that thou no more
Dost keep within thy bosom, Amy,

The faith that once it wore ;

They tell me that another now

Doth thy young heart assail ;
They tell me, Amy, too, that thou

Dost smile on his lore tale.

But I I heed them not, my Amy,

Thy heart is like my own ;
And still enshrined in mine, my Amy,

Thine image lives alone :



EROS AND ANTEROS. 25

Whate er a rival s hopes have fed,

Thy soul cannot be moved
Till he shall plead as I have plead,

And love as I have loved.



Take back then thy pledges, and peace to that heart
In which faith like a shadow can come and depart !
From which love, that seems cherished most fondly

to-day,
Is cast, without grieving, to-morrow away.

Such a heart it may sadden mine own to resign,

But it never was mated to mingle with mine.

Love another ! Nay, shrink not more wisely thou

wilt
If truth to thy plighted in thine eyes be guilt.

I claim not, I ask not one thought in thy breast
While that thought brings misgiving and doubt to the

rest.

If the heart that thus fails thee can bid me depart,
Take back all love s pledges, and peace to that

heart !

XXVI.

They tell me that my trusting heart
Thy fondness is deceived in ;



26 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

They say that thou all faithless art
Whom I so well believed in !

1 heed not, reck not what they say
So earnestly about thee ;

I d rather trust my soul away
Than for one moment doubt thee

Like mine thy youth was early lost ;

Thy vows too rashly plighted ;
Thy budding life by wintry frost

Of grief untimely, blighted.
Devotion is most deep and pure

In souls by sorrow shaded,
And love like ours will still endure

When brighter ties have faded.



XXVII.

Alas ! if she be false to me

It is for her alone I weep !

Tis that in coming years I see

Her suffering from such frailty

Than mine, oh, far more deep !

So tender, yet so false withal,

So proud, and yet so frail,
Responding to each flatterer s call,
Loving, yet often blind to all
Of love that could not fail



EROS AND ANTEROS.

Oh who will watch her wayward soul,

Who minister when I am gone,
Who point her spirit to its goal,
Who with unwearying love console

That truth- abandon d one ?

XXVIII.

I knew not how I loved thee no !
I knew it not till all was o er

Until thy lips had told me so-
Had told me I must love no more !

I knew not how I loved thee ! yet
I long had loved thee wildly well !

I thought twere easy to forget

I thought a word would break the spell :

And even when that word was spoken,

Ay ! even till the very last,
I thought, that spell of faith once broken,

I could not long lament the past.
O, foolish heart ! O, feeble brain,

That love could thus deceive subdue !
Since hope cannot revive again,

Why cannot memory perish too ?

XXIX.

The conflict is over, the struggle is past,
I have look d I have loved I have worship d my
last;



28 LOVE S CALENDAR, OR

And now back to the world, and let fate do her worst
On the heart that for thee such devotion hath nurs d.
To thee its best feelings were trusted away,
And life hath hereafter not one to betray.

Yet not in resentment thy love I resign ;
I blame not upbraid not one motive of thine ;
I ask not what change has come over thy heart,
I reck not what chances have doom d us to part ;
I bu-t know thou hast told me to love thee no more,
And I still must obey where I once did adore.

Farewell, then, thou loved one oh ! loved but too

well,

Too deeply, too blindly, for language to tell
Farewell ! thou hast trampled love s faith in the dust,
Thou hast torn from my bosom its hope and its trust !
But if thy life s current with bliss it would swell,
I would pour out my own in this last fond farewell !

XXX.

We parted in kindness, but spoke not of parting ;

We talk d not of hopes that we both must resign ;
I saw not her eyes, and but one teardrop starting

Fell down on her hand as it trembled in mine :

Each felt that the past we could never recover,
Each felt that the future no hope could restore,

She shudder d at wringing the heart of her lover,
/dared not to say I must meet her no more.



EROS AND ANTEROS. 29

Long years have gone by, and the springtime smiles
ever

As o er our young loves it first smiled in their birth ;
Long years have gone by, yet that parting, oh ! never

Can it be forgotten by either on earth.

The note of each wild bird that carols toward heaven
Must tell her of swift-winged hopes that were mine,

While the dew that steals over each blossom at even
Tells me of the teardrop that wept their decline.



of



1 THOU didst hear the far off Ocean sound,
Inviting thee from hill and vale away,
To mingle thy deep waters with its own ;
And at that voice thy steps did onward glide,
Onward from echoing hill and valley lone
Like thine oh be my course ! nor turned aside
While listing to the soundings of a land
That, like the ocean-call, invites me to its strand."
MRS. OAKKS SMITH S Sonnet to the Hudson



LAYS OF THE HUDSON



THE FOREST CEMETERY.



WILD TAWASENTHA !* in thy brook -laced glen

The doe no longer lists her lost fawn s bleating,
As panting there, escaped from hunter s ken

She hears the chase o er distant hills retreating ;
No more, uprising from the fern around her,

The Indian archer, from his " still-hunt" lair,
Wings the death-shaft which hath that moment found
her

When Fate seemed foiled upon her footsteps there :

* Tawasentha, meaning in Mohawk, " The place
of the many dead," is the finely appropriate name
of the new Forest Cemetery on the banks of the Hud
son, between Albany and Troy.



34 L AY SOFT HE HUDSON.

II.

Wild Tawasentha ! on thy cone-strew d sod,

O er which yon Pine his giant arm is bending,
No more the Mohawk marks its dark crown nod

Against the sun s broad disc toward night descend
ing,
Then crouching down beside the brands that redden

The columned trunks which rear thy leafy dome,
Forgets his toils in hunter s slumbers leaden,

Or visions of the Red Man s spirit home :



III.

But where his calumet by that lone fire,
At night beneath these cloister d boughs was

lighted,

The Christian orphan will in prayer aspire,
The Christian parent mourn his proud hope

blighted ;
And in thy shade the mother s heart will listen


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Online LibraryCharles Fenno HoffmanLove's calendar, Lays of the Hudson, and other poems → online text (page 1 of 8)