Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
The Cottage Lovers
By Richard Penn Smith (1799–1854)
THE MIST 1 of the morn is still grey on the mountain;
The violet blooms on the brink of the fountain;
Low murmurs the stream from the mossy rock gushing,
But wildly and loud through the dark ravine rushing.
The pheasant now springs from his dew-spangled nest;        5
The crescent moon sinks like a bark in the west;
The first streak of morning now breaks through the night,
And mountains and vales ring with hymns of delight.
The horn of the huntsman sounds far o’er the hill,
The voice of the fleet hound is frequent and shrill,        10
While panting the chased stag appears at the lake,
He swims the dark stream and then bounds through the brake.
How sweet is the woodbine o’er yon lattice creeping,
Which blushingly steals where the maiden is sleeping!
How softly the breeze sounds that kisses the billow!        15
But softer by far is the sigh on yon pillow.
The dash of a light oar is heard on the lake,
And gaily a voice sings “Awake! oh! awake!
The morning already is gray on the hill;
The crow of the barn cock is frequent and shrill.        20
And hark, the wood echoes the wood cutter’s stroke;
The mocking bird sings on the top of the oak;
The cow-boy is driving the herd to the lake,
The plough-boy’s afield, and all nature’s awake.
Oh! come, dearest, come, to the cot of thy lover,        25
Where souls may be free as the wings of the plover,
And hearts shall be pure as the vestal maid’s shrine,
And the day star of true love shall never decline.
The bright face of one at the lattice is seen,
And ruby lips glow through the foliage of green,        30
Like buds of the vine the wild breezes perfuming,
Ere breath of the morning has kiss’d them to blooming.
The maiden now stands on the brink of the stream,
And looks upon life as a fairy-like dream,
For she hies to the spot where her soul may be blest        35
With a passion as mild as the dove in its nest.
On the stern of the skiff she is seated in haste,
Her lover beside her with arm round her waist,
He presses her lips as they float from the shore
And they mingle their songs with the dash of the oar.        40
Note 1. Smith was born in Philadelphia, in 1799. He is the youngest son of Dr William Moore Smith. He received an education for the bar, and was admitted to practice in 1820. In 1822, he became editor of The Aurora, a daily journal in Philadelphia, and continued in that station till 1828, when he returned to his profession of the law. Besides his poems and his prose compositions in various periodicals, Mr Smith is the author of several dramatic pieces, among which are Caius Marius, The Prodigals, The Eighth of January, and Quite Correct, which have been played in Philadelphia. A novel from his pen is about to be published. [back]

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