Only the birds sang as they never sing in autumn, a burst of clear, joyous anticipation the trill of the meadowlark, the "sweet, sweet, piercing sweet" of the flashing oriole, the call of the catbird, and the melody of the white-bosomed thrush.
He could not introduce in its unyielding lines that shadowy and sketchy indecision, which, disguising the skeleton, the whole frame-work of form, drapes it in the mist of floating vapors, such as surround the white-bosomed maids of Ossian, when they permit mortals to catch some vague, yet lovely outline, from their home in the changing, drifting, blinding clouds.
"Mornin', Provost, mornin'! Fine weather for the fields," said Tam, casting a critical glance at the blue dome in which a soft, white-bosomed cloud floated high above the town. "If this weather hauds, it'll be a blessing for us poor farming bodies." Tam was a wealthy old hunks, but it suited his humour to refer to himself constantly as "a poor farming bodie."
"Minona came forth in her beauty, with downcast look and tearful eye. Her hair was flying slowly with the blast that rushed unfrequent from the hill. The souls of the heroes were sad when she raised the tuneful voice. Oft had they seen the grave of Salgar, the dark dwelling of white-bosomed Colma. Colma left alone on the hill with all her voice of song!
But as to me, I deemed it naught, and was sorry that my white-bosomed, sweet-breathed friend should walk away from me thus into the clouds." "What came of it?" said Ralph, "did they come back, or any of them?"
Where the wild Joliba Rolls his deep waters, Sate at their evening toil Afric's dark daughters: Where the thick mangroves Broad shadows were flinging, Each o'er her lone loom Bent mournfully singing "Alas! for the white man! o'er deserts a ranger, No more shall we welcome the white-bosomed stranger!
"How precious these moments: fair freedom expands Her pinions of light o'er the desolate lands; The waters are flashing as bright as thine eye, Unchained as thy motion the breezes sweep by, Delicious they come, o'er the flower-scented earth, Like whispers of love from the isle of my birth; While the white-bosomed Cistus her perfume exhales, And sighs out a spicy farewell to the gales.
As Merlin forgot his wisdom before the wily white-bosomed Vivien, so did the stormy-hearted American yield to the charm of the woman who sat there, with the choicest flowers of his offering clustered over her sculptured breast. Love's old, old story of a total surrender. And then, as the last melody died away, the Hungarian witch softly sighed, "The shadows are already stealing in!
The halcyon may fly To thy wave as her pillow; But wo to the white man Who trusts to thy billow! Alas! for the white man! o'er deserts a ranger, No more shall we welcome the white-bosomed stranger! "He launched his light bark, Our fond warnings despising, And sailed to the land Where the day-beams are rising.
Then, indeed, he was unable to appreciate the powers of the writer; or, rather, he neither knew nor cared whether the book had a writer at all. He probably thought it not half so fine as some rant of Macpherson about dark-browed Foldath, and white-bosomed Strinadona.