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37.-THE BISON TRACK.
prime, charge with poroder.
€är'eass, dead body of an ani
mal. stam pēdē', sudden flight from
fright. brin'ded, having many colors.
Strike the tent !N The sun has risen;
Not a vapor streaks the dawn,
To the westward, far and wan.
Sharpen well the hunting spear;
And a noise of hoofs I hear.
Fiercely stamp the tethered horses,
As they snuff the morning's fire;
As they neigh with keen desire.
Let the bridle reins be slack,
Has betrayed the bison's track.
See! a dusky line approaches;
Hark the onward surging roar,
On a sounding wall of shore !
Snort the foremost of the van,
Through the crowded caravan.
Now the storm is down upon us;
Let the maddened horses go!
Though a hundred leagues it blow! Though the cloudy manes should thicken,
And the red eyes' angry glare Lighten round us as we gallop
Through the sand and rushing air!
Myriad hoofs will scar the prairie,
In our wild resistless race,
Thunder down the desert space;
Nor the rider's eye look back,Death to him whose speed should slacken
On the maddened bison's track.N
Now the trampling herds are threaded,
And the chase is close and warm, For the giant bull that gallops
In the edges of the storm ; Swiftly hurl the whizzing lasso,
Swing your rifles as we run; See the dust is red behind him,
Shout, my comrades, he is won !
Look not on him as he staggers,
'Tis the last shot he will need ! More shall fall among his fellows,
Ere we run the mad stampede,Ere we stem the brinded breakers,
While the wolves, a hungry pack, Howl around each grim-eyed carcass On the bloody bison track.
BAYARD TAYLOR Biography. - Bayard Taylor was born in Pennsylvania in 1825, and died in Berlin in 1878.
At the age of seventeen, while at work as an apprentice in a printing office, he began to write poetry for periodicals. In 1844, he published a volume of poems under the title “Ximena ;” and in 1846 he began a tour of Europe on foot.
Taylor soon became well known both as a writer and a traveler. During twenty years of his life, he may be said to have composed his poems and written his newspaper articles as he was journeying from place to place. At the time of his death, he was United States Minister to Berlin.
Among the best known of Taylor's works are: “Views Afoot, or Europe Seen with a Knapsack and Staff,” “Eldorado,” “Northern Travel,” “Rhymes of Travel,” “Story of Kennett,” “Hannah Thurston,” and “A Translation of Goethe's Faust."
Notes, -Strike the tent means to take the tent down and make it ready for transportation.
In the latter part of the fifth stanza, reference is made to the necessity of keeping along with a herd of buffaloes when the hunters have ridden into it, for should they stop, they would be trampled to death.
im prěs'sions (prěsh ung), im
prints; influences on the feelings. çir eu la'tion, floro. pro pěn' si ty, desire. prox Im'i ty, nearne88. e lăpsed', passed away. råv'en Qús, hungry even to rage.
sůl'phůr (fur), a mineral sub
stance of a yellow color. ob seūred',
Various portions of our country have, at different times, suffered severely from the influence of violent storms of wind, some of which have been known to traverse nearly the whole of the United States, and to leave such deep impressions in their wake as will not easily be forgotten.
Having witnessed 'one of these awful scenes in all its grandeur, I will attempt to describe it. The recollection of that astonishing revolution of the airy element, even now brings with it so disagreeable a sensation, that I feel as if about to be affected with a sudden stoppage of the circulation of my blood.
I had left the village of Shewanee, situated on the banks of the Ohio, on my return from Henderson, which is also situated on the banks of the same beautiful stream. The weather was pleasant, and I thought not warmer than usual at that season. My horse was jogging quietly along, and my thoughts were, for once at least in the course of my life, entirely engaged in commercial speculations.
I had forded Highland Creek, and was on the eve of entering a tract of bottom-land or valley that lay between it and Canoe Creek, when suddenly I noticed a great difference in the aspect of the heavens. A hazy thickness had overspread the country, and I for some time expected an earthquake; but my horse exhibited no inclination to stop and prepare for such an occurrence. I had nearly arrived at the verge of the valley, when I thought fit to stop near a brook, and dismounted to quench the thirst which had come upon me.
I was leaning on my knees, with my lips about to touch the water, when, from my proximity to the earth, I heard a distant murmuring sound of an extraordinary nature. I drank, however, and as I rose to my feet, looked toward the south-west, when I observed a yellowish oval spot, the appearance of which was quite new to me.
Little time was left to me for consideration, as the next moment a smart breeze began to agitate the taller trees. It increased to an unexpected height, and already the smaller branches and twigs were seen falling in a slanting direction toward the ground.
Two minutes had scarcely elapsed, when the whole forest before me was in fearful motion. Here and there, where one tree pressed against another, a creaking noise was produced, similar to that occasioned by the violent gusts which sometimes sweep over the country.
Turning toward the direction from which the wind blew, I saw, to my great astonishment, that the noblest trees of the forest bent their lofty heads for a while, and, unable to stand against the blast, were falling in pieces. First, the branches were broken off with a crackling noise, then went the upper part of the massive trunks, and in many cases, whole trees of gigantic size were falling, entire, to the ground.
So rapid was the progress of the storm, that before I could think of taking measures to insure my safety, the hurricane was passing opposite the place where I stood. Never can I forget the scene which at that moment presented itself. The tops of the trees were seen moving in the strangest manner, in the central current of the tempest, which carried along with it a mingled mass of twigs and foliage that completely obscured the view. Some of the largest trees were seen bending and writhing beneath the gale; others suddenly snapped across, and many, after a momentary resistance, fell uprooted to the earth.
The mass of branches, twigs, foliage, and dust that moved through the air, was whirled onward