B 3 315 EMM
HOUSE IN ROME OCCUPIED BY T. BUCHANAN READ IN RIGHT BACKGROUND. The
column in the foreground commemorates the dogma of the immaculate conception,
and the figures at its base represent the prophets. The obelisk in the distance, back
of Mr. Read s house, is a familiar object in the Piazzi del Popolo.
T H B
THOMAS BUCHANAN READ.
(Complete in <&hm Volumes
PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON:
.1. B. LIPPLNCOTT COMPANY.
Copyright, 1866, by J. B. LIPPINCOTT & Co.
Copyright, 1804, by HARRIET DENNISON READ.
Electrotyped and Printed by
J. B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, U.S.A.
THE WAGONER OF THE ALLEU H ANTES.
BERKLEY S BRIDE 23
THE WILD WAGONER 33
THE HEIRESS 47
THE WELCOME 57
THE UNWELCOME 71
THE RISING ...*..... 82
THE WREATH 96
THE YOUNG PATRIOT 109
RUST ON THE SWORD 120
A BURIAL 130
THE FIGHT AT THE FORD 138
THE BATTLE IN THE CLOUD 150
THE WINTER CAMP 172
THE HERALDS 182
THE TANKARD OF WINE 195
THE MESCHIANZA . ... . . . . . 203
THE BANQUET 216
THE BROTHERS 228
CONCLUSION ..... 250
SHERIDAN S RIDE . . . ^ 265
THE TREATY ELM 268
THE ALLIANCE 271
THE PIECE OP HALLIARD FROM THE FLAG OF THE CUM
THE ATTACK . . .277
THE APOSTROPHE 280
THE DEFENDERS 282
THE OATH . . . . . . . . . 284
THE EAGLE AND VULTURE . . . . . . . 287
THE FLAG OF THE CONSTELLATION ..... 290
THE ROLL OF HONOR ... . . . . . . 293
A SUMMER STORY.
DEDICATION. To H. D. R 299
A SUMMER STORY . . ...... . 301
POEMS IN ITALY.
To H. W. L. . . . 333
THE ART PILGRIM . 334
THE CAMPAGNA . . 343
ROME ENTERED 345
THE SCALINNATTI 347
THE OLD STUDIO 351
A VISION IN ITALY 353
MONTE TESTACCIO 359
THE APPIAN WAY 364
THE REAPER S DREAM 373
DOWN TO THE DUST 380
THE WESTERN VINE 380
BURNS BIRTHDAY 389
To BRYANT 394
To HYPERION 397
To R. H. . 401
OUR SOLDIERS FAMILIES 405
THE CABLE 411
WHAT A WORD MAY Do 413
To LUCY 415
THE FOOL S ARROW 418
HEART AND HEARTH 419
THE GOLDEN Now 423
MY LILY 426
THE SLEEP OP DEATH 427
A CHRISTMAS HYMN 428
NOTES . . 433
WAGONER OF THE ALLEGHAiNIES.
A POEM OF THE DAYS OF SEVENTY-SIX.
Look on your country, God s appointed stage,
Where man s vast mind its boundless course shall run
For that it was your stormy coast He spread,
A fear in winter ; girdled you about
With granite hills, and made you firm and dread.
Let him who fears before the foeman shout,
Or gives one inch before a vein has bled,
Turn on himself and let the traitor out.
TO JAMES L. CLAGHORH
MIGHT I draw the inspiration
Which the sky not oft awards,
And so join the constellation
Of the death-defying bards ;
Might I build some lofty moral,
Reaching heavenward like a hill,
On whose top should grow the laurel,
Leaning towards me at its will ;
I would gather all the honor
Not to bind around my brow ;
But to you, a grateful donor,
I would come, as I do now,
12 TO THE READER.
may be, one gratifying fact remains with the
writer, that it has been instrumental, in the hands
of Mr. Murdoch, of putting no inconsiderable sums
of money into the treasuries of sanitary com
mittees, thereby benefiting the sick and wounded
who have suffered in our country s cause.
THE scenes of this poem are chiefly laid on the
banks of the Schuylkill, between Philadelphia and
Valley Forge ; the time, somewhat previous to and
during a great part of the war cf Independence.
A QUEST was I at Berkley Hall,
And more behooves not guest to say:
The very pictures on the wall
With kindness seemed to whisper, "Stay !
Old portraits of a dwindled line,
From Lely s ruff and doublet down
To Copley s matchless coat and gown,
Or Stuart s later touch divine.
Still from their frames of gold or oak,
A knight or lady shepherdess,
In fulor or in loveliness,
Leaned through the twilight air and spok* :
They whispered that the road was dark,
And lone the highway by the river,
That past recall the latest bark
htad swept the landing of the park,
There en the stream I still might mark
Its fading path of ripples quiver,
And hear the shore-wave running after,
Like childhood with a voice of laughter,
Twas evening, and the autumn fire
Was feasting at the well-built pyre,
Where every log, with glowing mirth,
Poured from its breast of ample girth
Some memory of April birth,
To cheer the hearthstone of October.
There, conscious of his place and worth,
One lordly hound, with visage sober,
Sheathed his large eyes in sleep s eclipsf,
While visions of the woodland chase
Disturbed the slumber on his face
With twinklings at his ears and lips.
That honored hearth was like a gate
Wide with the welcome of old days ;
No sulphur-faming, modern grate,
Which black bitumen daily crams,
Bui waved between its ample jambs
Its flag of hospitable blaze.
A. century gone twas lined with tiles,
Like those the hearths of Holland show ;
And still each Scripture picture smilea
And brightens in the hickory glow.
Oft from those painted sermons rude,
In musing hours of solitude,
A voiceless thought hath searched the heart
Beyond the theologian s art.
A moral winged with verse may reach
A soul no weightier words will teach,
As arrow from the archer s bow
Has cleaved where falchion failed to go;
And truths from out a picture oft,
In colors as the iris soft,
May shed an influence to remain
Where argument would strive in vain.
The chairs were quaint, antique, and tall,
As in some old baronial hall ;
And in an alcove dusk and dim,
Like Denmark s mailed and phantom king,
A suit of armor tall and grim
With upraised glaive seemed beckoning.
And had it walked, the gazer, drawn,
Must needs have followed on a^id on I
The perforated steel confessed
What death had pierced the wearer s breast.
Near by, upon a throne upreared,
A harp of bygone times appeared :
The graceful form was deftly made,
With pearl and precious woods inlaid ;
And in the firelight, as of old,
It flushed the shadowy niche with gold.
In all the orchestras which lift
The soul with rapture caught from far,
As in a bright triumphal car
Round which celestial splendors shift,
No instrument of earth affords
An influence so divine and deep,
As when the flying fingers sweep
The harp, with all its wondrous chords.
Around its honored form there lives
Romance mysterious, vague, and old :
I see the shapes which history gives
The bards in dim traditions told,
With visions of great kingly halls,
Where red, barbaric splendor falls ;
But chiefly I behold and hear
While bends a troop of seraphs near
The angels, with their locks :f gold.
shadowy halls of deep repose
A New- World homestead seldom shows ;
But such the traveller frequent sees,
Embowered within ancestral trees,
In that maternal isle whose breast
First warmed our eagle into life,
And then, with rude, unnatural strife,
Pushed the brave offspring fnom her nest,
Which, launched upon its sunward track,
No voice on earth could summon back.
Here, while I slowly paced the room,
Strange visions filled the fitful gloom.
On soft, invisible feet they came ;
I heard them speak, or was t the flame
That muttered in the chimney wide ?
Faint shadows wavered at my side,
My spirit heard a spirit sigh,
While gauzy garments rustled by !
A pallid phantom of the fire
Leapt o er the high flame wildly higher,
A blaze that vanished with a bound !
A whine escaped the sleeping hound,
sudden wind swept up the lane,
And drove the leaves like frighted herds
VOL. III. 2
Some, like the ghosts of summer-birds,
Fluttered against the window-pane.
Hawthorne, my friend, had I your wand,
How, at the waving of my hand,
The place, and ?11 its grandeur gone,
Should on the marvelling vision dawn !
Each shepherdess, or warrior bold,
Each knight and dame, in ruff and frill,
Obedient to the wizard will,
Should step from antique oak or gold ;
Bright eyes should glance, sweet voices sing,
And light feet trip the waxen floor ;
And round the festive board should ring
The friendly goblets, as of yore ;
And Love s sweet grief be newly tolc 1
Under the elm-trees, as of old.
But, ah ! the hazel wand you wield
Was grown by that enchanted stream
Which sometimes flashes through my dr- am,
But flows not through my barren field !
The host came in : he took my hand :
He saw the wonder on my face,
And said, " Ah, yes : I understand :
You marvei at this curious place,
Which starts your fancy into play.
My locks, you see, are somewhat gray :
What touches you on me is lost.
This white hair drives romance away,
As flowers are driven by the frost.
But if a tale would please your ear,
There s one which you are free to hear.
Within a little, secret drawer
Of this black, antique escritoir,
I found a simple golden case,
Which held the semblance of a face
So wondrous in its wild attire
Of floating robe and flying hair,
And eyes that thrilled the very air
To pleasure with their starry fire,
That instantly the long-passed name
Blazed on my memory like a flame ;
And old traditions, dimmed by years,
Breathed from invisible lips there came,
And lingered in my credulous ears,
And night and day disturbed my soul,
Until, perforce, I wrote the whole :
That is the picture, this the scroll.
Draw near ; and let wild Autumn blow :
He does but fan the lighted pyre :
Between the warmth of wine and fire
Perchance the verse may thaw and flow
From off the visionary lyre
As in the days of long ago.
BERKLEY S BRIDE.
MY grandsire, when he built the place,
Sir Hugh, (you may behold him there,
With ruffles, cue, and powdered hair,
And proper blandness on his face,)
Was Tory, and his loyal soul
No rebel dream could e er beguile :
He would have had the land in whole,
Colossal, touching either pole,
A likeness of his native isle I
Hence the Elizabethan gables,
The lawns, the elms, the antique stables,
And all this lumber called virtu,
This old time frowning down the new.
But, ere I tell you more of him,
Or point the objects strange and quaint,
24 THE WAGONER OF
I pray you note these figures dim,
Half hid in dust and cracking paint.
That picture of those little ones,
Which represent Alcmena s sons,
Young Hercules and his weaker brother,
One with the snake in his baby hands,
Crushing it as in iron bands,
While in affright recoils the other,
Are portraits which the Berkley mother,
In all the wealth of parental joys,
Had painted of her two fair boys ;
And pictured thus, because she knew
There was that difference twixt the two.
The child who holds the writhing snake
Was Ralph ; the one who seems to quake
And shudder back, that was Sir Hugh.
They grew, and oft the quarrel loud
Raged twixt them when they were together
Sir Hugh was sullen, wintry, proud,
The other fierce as mad March weather,
A swift, cloud-blowing, whirling day,
That o er all obstacles makes way,
Whether in wrath or whether in play,
Striding on to the stormy end,
Breaking what will not bow or bend.
THE ALLEGHANIES. 25
The soul which lights that face of paint,
You well discern, would scorn restraint ;
And when he grew a stripling tall,
Knowing himself the younger brother,
And feeling the coldness of the other,
The place for him proved far too small :
So, staying not for leave to ask,
Our Hercules went to seek his task ;
And, lest his family might reclaim
Their truant, took another name.
Joining the army. Tradition tells
He did some daring miracles.
Twas said he fell in a midnight trench
At Fort du Quesne, against the French.
Sir Hugh was then the only son
To hand the name of Berkley on.
His lady she who bears a crook,
And shepherds at her careful side
A lamb, while from her eyes a look
Of mildness chastens half her pride
Gave to the house one child, and died.
That child a maiden grown you see,
With laughing eyes and tresses free,
Which wellnigh mocked the painter s skill :
26 THE WAGONER OP
It glows as if some morning beam
Had poured here in a golden stream,
And, when the sun passed, lingered still.
A year or two went by, and then
His heart was vacant as his hall.
No pleasure answered to his call,
No joy was in the world of men :
One passion only swayed his mind,
And thrust all other thoughts aside,
The passion of ancestral pride.
The blindest of all eyes most blind
Are those forever turned behind.
Sheer to the past he held his face,
Like some mad boatman on a river,
With eyes still on some long-gone place,
Until he feels the shock and shiver
Which tells him he is gone forever.
The empty hall, or vacant heart,
When a new-comer passes in,
Throwing the dusty doors apart,
Sounds and re-echoes with a din
Which makes the ghostly shadows start
And fly into the dusk remote ;
The webs about the casements float,
THE ALLEGHANIES. 27
And flutter on the sudden gust ;
The sun pours in its golden dust ;
The phantom Silence dies in air,
And rapidly from hall to hall,
With questioning eyes and backward hair,
Wild Wonder speeds, and mounts the stair,
Chasing the echoes far footfall.
Thus into Berkley s hall and heart,
Led by his fancy s sudden whim,
Passed a new bride, a face to dart
Strange lustre through the twilight dim,
A soul that even startled him,
Until he half forgot his pride :
Else had he never stooped to embower
Beneath his ancient roof the flower
To common wildwood vines allied.
Thus oft the passion most profound,
Which triumphed over all the past,
With unexpected halt, wheels round,
And contradicts itself at last.
He took her from a rival s breast.
The hct youth dared h;m to tV.e test .
28 THE WAGONER OF
Alas ! he fell OD Berkley s steel ;
And, it is said, through woe or weal
She ever loved the rival best.
Her heart was like a crystal spring.
Fluttered by every breezy wing :
Was there a cloud ? a darker shade
Was in its deep recesses laid ;
Was there a sun ? the pool, o errun
With glory, seemed to mock the sun.
Her black hair, oft with violets twined,
(Her heart was with the wildest flowers,)
Tossed back at random, wooed the wind,
That chased her through the forest bowers.
The woodman felt his hand relax
A moment on the lifted axe,
As through the vistas of the trees
He saw her glide, a spirit blithe ;
Or, when she tript the harvest leas,
The singing mower stayed his scythe,
Watched where she fled, then took his way,
And, mowing, sang no more that day.
With no misgiving thought or doubt,
Her fond arms clasped his child about.
THE ALLEGHANIES. 29
In the full mantle of her love ;
For whoso loves the darling flowers
Must love the bloom of human bowers,
The types of brightest things above.
One day one happy summer-day
She prest it to her tender breast :
The sunshine of its head there lay
As pillowed in its native rest,
A blissful picture of repose,
A lily bosomed on a rose :
The smallest lily of the vale
Making the rose s sweet breast pale.
One only day, and then the sire,
Still to his former spirit true,
Lest the young bud should take the hue
Of that which glowed too fondly by her,
Of that sweet wildling, nature s own,
And thereby learn the look and tone
Of spirits alien unto pride,
Conveyed her to the river s side.
For months his household felt eclipse,
And one of his own many ships
Bore her across the ocean wide ;
And soon in her ancestral isle
Was shed the ginshine of her smile.
30 THE WAGONER OF
Ere half the summer passed away,
The lady Berkley grew less gay,
And, like a captured forest-fawn,
She seemed to mourn some freedom gone, -
Mourned for her native mountain-wild,
From which her feet had been beguiled.
Her cheeks grew pale, and dim her eye,
Her voice was low, her mirth was stayed
Upon her heart there seemed to lie
The darkness of a nameless shade ;
She paced the house from room to room
Her form became a walking gloom.
The menials, in their fancy wise,
Glared at each other with strange leers
And, when she met her husband s eyes,
Her sad soul burst to instant tears.
He wondered with a cold surmise,
And questioned with as heartless words :
And could it be a woodland flower
Would pine within such stately bower?
Or, favored o er all forest birds,
Could this one droop with strange desires
Within a cage of golden wires ?
THE ALLEGHANIES. SI
Have you beheld a mountain-brook
Turned to some cultured garden-nook,
How it grows stagnant in the pool,
Like some wild urchin in a school
That saddens o er a hateful book ?
Thus grew the lady, and her look
Became at last as one insane :
The cloud that long o ercast her brain
Still whirled with gusty falls of rain,
Which drowned her heart and dimmed her eyes,
As when the dull autumnal skies
Long blur the dreary window-pane.
One morn, strange wonder filled the place,
And fruitless searching filled the day;
The stream, the woodland, gave no trace :
They only knew she passed away,
Passed like a vision in the air,
With naught to tell of how or where.
Tradition adds how, night by night,
With hanging hair and robes of white,
With pallid hands together prest
In pain upon her aching breast,
Her spirit walked from room to room,
As if in search of something lost ;
S2 THE WAGONER OF
That even Berkley shunned the gloom,
Fearing to meet that breathless ghost ;
For some averred her form had been
Afloat upon the river seen ;
While some, with stouter words, replied.
The maniac lady wandered wide
Upon her native mountain-side.
THE ALLEQHANIES. 33
THE WILD WAGONER.
IN days long gone, " The Ship and Sheaf"
Was deemed of goodly inns the chief:
" The Ship," because its ample door
Fronted the barks that lined the shore,
Where oft the sun, o er Delaware,
Looking twixt masts and cordage bare,
Their shadows threw on the sanded floor,
Sailing a phantom vessel there.
And there the crews from far-off climes
Reeled in and sang their rough sea-rhymes,
With laughter learned from the ocean gale,
As clinked their dripping cups of ale ;
While froth was dashed o er many a lip,
Like foam against a speeding ship,
VOL. IIL 3 83
34 THE WAGONER OF
And tables chronicled in scars
The tankards and the thirsty tars.
" The Sheaf," because the wagoner there,
The captain of the highway- ship,
Fresh breathing of his mountain air,
Hung on the wall his coat and whip ;
And farmer, bringing his stores to town,
And drover, who drove his cattle down,
Conversed of pastures and of sheaves,
The season s drouth, or ruinous rain,
Or told of fabulous crops of grain,
Or fields where grazed incredible beeves.
Twas April, and the evening winds
Were rattling at the open blinds ;
The sign, upon its hinge of rust,
Made dreary answer to the gust,
That smote the masts like an ocean squall,
And, whistling, mocked the boatswain s call.
The latch went up ; the door was thrown
Awide, as by a tempest blown ;
While, bold as an embodied storm,
Strode in a dark and stalwart form,
THE ALLEGHANIES. 35
And all the lights in the sudden wind
Flared as he slammed the door behind.
The noisy revellers ceased their din,
And into the corner skulked the cur,
As the startled keeper welcomed in
The feared and famous wagoner !
Not long they brooked the keen eye-glance
Who gazed into that countenance ;
And even in his mildest mood
His voice was sudden, loud, and rude
As is a swollen mountain-stream.
He spoke as to a restive team.
His team was of the wildest breed
That ever tested wagoner s skill :
Each was a fierce, unbroken steed,
Curbed only by his giant will ;
And every ostler quaked with fear
What time his loud bells wrangled near.
On many a dangerous mountain-track,
While oft the tempest burst its wrack,
When lightning, like his mad whip-lash,
Whirled round the team its crooked flash,
And horses reared in fiery fright,
THE WAGONEE OF
While near them burst the thunder-crash,
Then heard the gale his voice of might.
The peasant from his window gazed,
And, staring through the darkened air,
Saw, when the sudden lightning blazed,
The fearful vision plunging there !
And oft on many a wintry hill
He dashed from out the vale below,
And heaved his way through drifts of snow.
While all his wheels, with voices shrill,
Shrieked to the frosty air afar,
As if December s tempest-car
Obeyed the winter s maniac will.
Ye knew him well, ye mountain-miles,
Throughout your numerous dark denies :
Where Juniata leaps away
On feathery wings of foam and spray ;
Or queenly Susquehanna smiles,
Proud in the grace of her thousand isles ;
Where Poet and Historian fling
Their light o er classic Wyoming ,
And you, ye green Lancastrian fields,
Rich with the wealth which Ceres yields ;
THE ALLEGHANIES. 37
And Chester s storied vales and hills,
In depths of rural calm divine,
Where reels the flashing Brandywine,
And dallies with its hundred mills.
Such was the figure, strange and wild ;
And at his side a twelve-years child
An eagle-eyed, bright, wondering lad,
In rustic winter garments clad
Entered, and held the wagoner s hand,
While on his visage, flushed and tanned,
A pleasure mingled with amaze
Parted his lips and filled his gaze.
His hair was wavy, long, and black,
And from his forehead drifted back
By the last greeting of the gale,
Where still the random rain and hail
Clung glistening like the tangled pearls
In careless locks of Indian girls.
The host with usual "welcome" smiled,
And praised the bright-eyed stranger child
Whereat the wagoner lightly spake :
" Be all your praising for his sake :
I found him in the wagon-trough
A-swinging like a cradled thing ;
THE WAGONER OF
With angry words I bade him off,
He stared with large eyes wondering,
And answered that his way was long,
His knees were tired, his feet were sore,
And then his face new brightness wore,
And straight his spirit burst to song :
I listened, and my frown gave o er.
My nature, like my hand, is rough,
My heart is of rude mountain stuff;
And yet, I own, a laughing child
Can make at times my temper mild.
I placed him on the wheel-horse back,
Where shoulder-shaken bells were ringing.
The king of all the bells was he,
So silver-clear his voice of glee ;
And there he cheered the way with singing,
Till music filled our dreary track.
There is not much I ask or need ;
Yet would I give my favorite steed
To sing the song he sang to-day,
And for a heart as light and gay :
The very team went rearing mad
With joy beneath his voice so glad,
THE ALLEGHANIES. 39
As when the steeds of battle hear
The wild war-clarion ringing near.
Come, my young wood-bird, sing again
That breezy song, that mountain-strain.
And thus, from lips of fresh delight,
The wild and artless song took flight.
Where sweeps round the mountains
The cloud on the gale,
And streams from their fountains
Leap into the vale,
Like frighted deer leap when
The storm with his pack
Rides over the steep in
The wild torrent s track,
Even there my free home is ;
There watch I the flocks
Wander white as the foam is
On stairways of rocks.
Secure in the gorge there
In freedom we sing,
And laugh at King George, where
The Eagle is king.
40 THE WAGCNEE OF
I mount the wild horse with
No saddle or rein,
And guide his swift course with
A grasp on his mane ;
Through paths steep and narrow,
And scorning the crag,
I chase with my arrow
The flight of the stag.
Through snow-drifts engulfing,
I follow the bear,
And face the gaunt wolf when
He snarls in his lair,
And watch through the gorge ther
The red panther spring,
And laugh at King George, where
The Eagle is king.
When April is sounding
His horn o er the hills,
And brooklets are bounding
In joy to the mills,
When warm August slumbers
Among her green leaves,
THE ALLEQHAtflES. 41
And Harvest encumbers
Her garners with sheaves,
When the flail of November
Is swinging with might,
And the miller December
Is mantled with white,
In field and in forge there
The free-hearted sing,
And laugh at King George, where
The Eagle is king.
Some praised the voice, and some, in doubt,