William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)


Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!

One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,

Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,

Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.

One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,

And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,

And the blue gentian-flower, that, in the breeze,

Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.

Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee

Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,

The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,

And man delight to linger in thy ray.

Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear

The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.


To an American Painter Departing for Europe

Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:

Yet, Cole! thy heart shall bear to Europe's strand

A living image of thy native land,

Such as on thy own glorious canvass lies.

Lone lakes--savannahs where the bison roves--

Rocks rich with summer garlands--solemn streams--

Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams--

Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves

Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest--fair,

But different--every where the trace of men,

Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen

To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.

Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,

But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.