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Thomas Cole's poetry

the collected poems of America's foremost painter of the Hudson River School reflecting his feelings for nature and the romantic spirit of the Nineteenth Century

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On topmost bough swinging in every blast
Of Winter's chilliest, keenest breath there hung
A Birdsnest, which nor wind nor hail had cast
From the tough twigs to which it firmly clung.
No twittering such as in the summer's day
I oft have lingering listened to was heard;
But it was empty torn and bleak and gray
The airy cradle of the happy bird.
Far with the summer fled the birdlets gay
Which in that cradle were so fondly tended,
In some unknown and sunnier land they play
Mid bowers where buds and fruits are sweetly blended.
In some far land unknown! Alas!
How like the Hopes my youthful bosom bred;
No mother's care, no love could mine surpass;
But like the birds when winter came they fled,
And left my heart, where they were fondly nursed
Empty and hollow, like yon tossing nest
Sheltering no more nor sheltered from the burst
Of stormy life is now my barren breast.
But I will not repine, Summer will come
Again to bless these groves, again her nest
The bird will build, so let th' unfading bloom
Of Hope surround my idly tortured breast—
Cedar Grove [Catskill] February, 1840