The Huron Chief, and Other Poems

by Adam Kidd





Stream of the dark, unbounded wild,
    What varied changes here to roam,
Where nature’s free, untutored child,
    Light paddles o’er thy water’s foam.

And in yon liquid sheet above
    Suspended near the gloomy verge,
Each image of the leafy grove,
    Seems trembling from the swelling surge!

Oh! there are times, when fancy feels
    Each splendid joy this world pourtrays—
And with her magic impulse steals
    The heart to thoughts of other days. [Page 141]

And there are visions of the past,
    Reflected from our boyhood’s prime,
When memory’s eye is backward cast,
    Along the curling brook of time.

Yet, in the path which fate has given,
    More splendid scenes ne’er shone to man,
Than now, yon tinted bow of heaven
    Embraces in its fairy span.

Here, where the happy Indian strays,
    Or loiters on the frowning steep,
To watch the beaver, where it plays
    Its frolicks in the distant deep.

How blissful thus one hour to spend,
    Nature’s grand outlines to behold—
And to some kind—some valued friend,
    The feelings of the heart unfold. [Page 142]

Yes, there are few but own the power
    Which mutual conversation brings,
In such a place—in such an hour—
    To cheer the soul’s dark sorrowings.

For transient are the beams that play
    Across the lonely path we tread—
And dim the momentary ray,
    That even Hope itself can shed—

Can shed, to gild the chequered stream,
    On which the shade of life is cast—
When in its pale, its fleeting gleam,
    We read the future by the past!

But from such gloomy thoughts as these,
    My heart would now most gladly turn,
Where Nature’s mildest prospects please,
    And Discontent might cease to mourn. [Page 143]

The frowning cliff, that far extends
    Its spray-washed bosom o’er the deep,
On which the venturous youth oft bends,
    Unmindful of the rugged steep—

A sweet, romantic joy imparts,
    While from the coiling surge he draws
The speckled trout, that dives or darts,
    Then makes its last exhausted pause.

Man loves the vivid changes wrought,
    Along the course he’s doomed to steer—
Nor ever yields the pleasing thought,
    That future joys his heart will cheer—

And give the coming day a hue,
    As pure and lovely as the even,
Now forming its unsullied blue
    Around the closing arch of heaven. [Page 144]

The bliss we share is not so sweet
    As that which gives the future hour,
A glowing charm we seldom meet,
    Save in Imagination’s bower.

Then let me now enjoy the good,
    Possessed in this one sunny minute,
And I shall think the cheerful wood
    Has home, and heaven, and rapture in it. [Page 145]

* On consideration, it has been thought proper to substitute these stanzas, and the two following little poems, in place of the address to POLYPHEMUS, which, perhaps, was too satirical for a publication of this nature. [back]