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Lays of Ancient Virginia, and Other Poems

LAYS OF ANCIENT VIRGINIA, AND OTHER POEMS:

BY

JAMES AVIS BARTLEY, OF ORANGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA.

RICHMOND: J.W. RANDOLPH, PUBLISHER 1855

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1855,

BY J.A. BARTLEY,

In the Clerk's Office of the Eastern District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Virginia.

G.S. ALLEN & CO., PRINTERS, CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.

TO MY FATHER, THIS VOLUME IS INSCRIBED BY HIS SON,

THE AUTHOR.

PREFATORY LETTER TO THE PUBLIC.

DEAR PUBLIC:

These Poems were written with pleasure; if they be read with pleasure, I shall be requited amply. How often the Guardian Angel of the Father of Virginia in surpassing loveliness rose before my imagining eyes! Like the spirit of a dream, she glided through the foliage, verdant and shadowy. Enchanted myself, the desire to enchant others seized me. The "Poet's Enchanted Life" is a gallery of poetic pictures of nature. Most of the minor and miscellaneous pieces, breathe the spirit of virtuous affection. If critics censure me unjustly or intemperately, I will fight them--but I hope to find them, as well as you, dear Public, very kind friends of a loving Author.

J.A. BARTLEY.

POCAHONTAS.

Where yonder moss-grown ruin[A] lonely stands, Which from the James, the Pilgrim may survey, Stretch alway forth its old, forsaken hands As if to beg some friend its fall to stay, And now the wild vine flaunts in greenness gay; Erst rose a Castle, known to deathless fame, Though now the mournful rampart falls away, Hither Virginia's hero-father came, To found a glorious state, and give these regions name.

For, then, both far and near the forest wide, Stretched from the main unto the setting sun, And Bears and Panthers walked in fiercest pride, And slept at ease when their red feast was done, But here of white men there had ne'er walked one, But a fierce race of wild and savage hue, Their simple life from chase and angling won, And oft, when wrath arose, each other slew, In bloody wars which dyed their soil with crimson dew.

I ween it was a novel sight to see The white man landing in the vasty wild, Which each familiar creature seemed to flee, Where not a christian dwelling ever smiled, Nor e'er a well-known sound the ear beguiled, But all was wild and hideous--and the heart, Mayhap, of stout man, trembled as a child, --And oft the exile's tear would, gushing, start, That ever he was lured from Albion's coast to part.


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