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Where bards should meditate and heroes rove,
And woman charm, and man deserve her love?
Oh! was a world so bright but born to grace
Its own half-organized, half-minded race
Of weak barbarians, swarming o'er its breast,
Like vermin, gendered on the lion's crest?
Were none but brutes to call that soil their home,
Where none but demi-gods should dare to roam?
Or worse, thou mighty world ! oh! doubly worse,
Did Heaven design thy lordly land to nurse
The motley dregs of every distant clime,
Each blast of anarchy and taint of crime,
Which Europe shakes from her perturbed sphere,
In full malignity to rankle here?
But hush !-observe that little mount of pines,
Where the breeze murmurs and the fire-fly shines.
There let thy fancy raise, in bold relief,
The sculptured image of that veteran chief
Who lost the rebel's in the hero's name,
And stept o'er prostrate loyalty to fame;
Beneath whose sword Columbia's patriot train
L'ast off their monarch, that their mob might reign!
How shall we rank thee upon glory's page?
Thou more than soldier and just less than sage!
Too formed for peace to act a conqueror's part,
Too trained in camps to learn a statesman's art,
Nature designed thee for a hero's mould,
But, ere she cast thee, let the stuff grow cold !
While warmer souls command, nay, make their fate, Thy fate made thee, and forced thee to be great. Yet Fortune, who so oft, so blindly sheds Her briglitest halo round the weakest heads, Found ihee undazzled, tranquil as before, Proud to be useful, scorning to be more ; Less prompt at glory's than at duty's claim, Renown the meed, but self-applause the aim. All thou hast been reflects less fame on thee, Far less, than all thou hast forborne to be!
Now turn thine eye where faint the moonlight falls On yonder dome—and in those princely halls, If thou canst hate, as oh! that soul must hate Which loves the virtuous and reveres the great, If thou canst loathe and execrate with me That Gallic garbage of philosophy, That nauseous slaver of these frantic times, With which false liberty dilutes her crimes ! If thou hast got, within thy free-born breast, One pulse that beats more proudly than the rest,
With honest scorn for that inglorious soul
Which creeps and winds beneath a mob's control,
Which courts the rabble's smile, the rabble's nod,
And makes, like Egypt, every beast its god!
There, in those walls—but, burning tongue, forbear!
Rank must be reverenced, e'en the rank that's there:
So here I pause--and now, my Hume! we part;
But oh ! full oft, in magic dreams of heart,
Thus let us meet, and mingle converse dear
By Thames at home, or by Potowmac here !
O'er lake and marsh, through fevers and through fogs,
Midst bears and yankees, democrats and frogs,
Thy foot shall follow me, thy heart and eyes
With me shall wonder, and with me despise!
While I, as oft, in witching thought shall rove
To thee, to friendship, and that land I love,
Where, like the air that fans her fields of green
Her freedom spreads, unfevered and serene ;
Where sovereign man can condescend to see
The throne and laws more sovereign still than he!
My love and I, the other day,
Within a myrtle arbour lay,
When near us, from a rosy bed,
A little Snake put forth its head.
"See,” said the maid, with laughing eyes.
“Yonder the fatal emblem lies!
Who could expect such hidden harm
Beneath the rose's velvet charm?”
Never did moral thought occur
In more unlucky hour than this;
For oh ! I just was leading her
To talk of love and think of bliss.
I rose to kill the snake, but she
In pity prayed it might not be.
“No," said the girl and many a spark
Flashed from her eyelid as she said it-
“ Under the rose, or in the dark,
One might, perhaps, have cause to dread it;
But when its wicked eyes appear,
And when we know for what they wink so,
One must be very simple, dear,
To let it sting one--don't you think so ?”
Burned in the hands
Of dimpled Hebe, as she winged her feet
The empyreal mount,
To drain the soul-drops at their stellar fount ;
As the resplendent rill
Flamed o'er the goblet with a mantling heat,
Her graceful care
Would cool its heavenly fire
In gelid waves of snowy-leathered air,
Such as the children of the pole respire,
In those enchanted lands,
Where life is all a spring, and north winds never blow |
Sweet Hebe, what a tear
And what a blush were thine,
When, as the breath of every Grace
Wafted thy fleet career
Along the studded sphere,
With a rich cup for Jove himself to drink,
Some star, that glittered in the way,
Raising its amorous head
To kiss so exquisite a tread,
Checked thy impatient pace!
And all heaven's host of eyes
Saw those luxuriant beauties sink
In lapse of loveliness, along the azure skies !
Upon whose starry plain they lay,
Like a young blossom on our meads of gold,
Shed from a vernal thorn
Amid the liquid sparkles of the morn!
Or, as in temples of the Paphian shade,
The myrtled votaries of the queen behold
An image of their rosy idol, laid
Upon a diamond shrine !
The wanton wind,
Which had pursued the flying fair,
And sweetly twined
Its spirit with the breathing rings
Of her ambrosial hair,
Soared as she fell, and on its ruffling wings,
(O wanton wind !)
Wasted the robe, whose sacred flow
Shadowed her kindling charms of snow,
Pure, as an Eleusinian veil
Hangs o'er the mysteries !
The brow of Juno flushed-
Love blessed the breeze !
The Muses blushed,
And every cheek was hid behind a lyre,
While every eye was glancing through the strings.
Drops of ethereal dew
That burning gushed,
As the great goblet flew
From Hebe's pearly fingers through the sky!
Who was the spirit that remembered Man
In that voluptuous hour?
And with a wing of Love
Brushed off your scattered tears,
As o'er the spangled heaven they ran,
And sent them floating to our orb belew?
Essence of immortality!
Fell glowing through the spheres,
While all around new tints of bliss,
New perfumes of delight,
Enriched its radiant flow!
Now, with a humid kiss,
It thrilled along the beamy wire
Of heaven's illumined lyre,
Stealing the soul of music in its flight !
And now, amid the breezes bland,
That whisper from the planets as they roll,
The bright libation, sostly fanned
By all their sighs, meandering stole !
They who, from Atlas' height,
Beheld the rill of flame
Descending through the waste of night,
Thought 'twas a planet, whose stupendous frame
Had kindled, as it rapidly revolved
Around its fervid axle, and dissolved
Into a flood so bright !
The child of day,
Within his twilight bower,
Lay sweetly sleeping
On the flushed bosom of a lotus flower ;
When round him, in profusion weeping,
Dropped the celestial shower,
The rosy clouds, that curled
About his infant head,
Like myrrh upon the locks of Cupid shed !
But, when the waking boy.
Waved his exhaling tresses through the sky,
O morn of joy!
The tide divine,
All glittering with the vermeil dye
It drank beneath his orient eye,
Distilled, in dews, upon the world,
And every drop was wine, was heavenly WINE!
Blest be the sod, the floweret blest,
That caught, upon their hallowed breast,
The nectared spray of Jove's perennial springs !
Less sweet the floweret, and less sweet the sod,
O'er which the Spirit of the rainbow flings
The magic mantle of her solar god !
ANACREONTIC. “SHe never looked so kind before
Yet why the wanton's smile recall ? I've seen this witchery o'er and o'er,
'Tis hollow, vain, and heartless all !" Thus I said, and, sighing, sipped
The wine which she had lately tasted ; The cup where she had lately dipped
Breath so long in falsehood wasted. I took the harp, and would have sung
As if 'twere not of her I sang; But still the notes on Lamia hung
On whom but Lamia could they hang? That kiss, for which, is worlds were mine,
A world for every kiss I'd give her ; Those floating eyes, that floating shine
Like diamonds in an eastern river ! That mould so fine, so pearly bright,
Of which luxurious Ileaven hath cast her, Through which her soul doth beam as white
As flame through lamps of alabaster ! Of these I sung, and notes and words
Were sweet, as if 'twas Lamia's hair That lay upon my lute for chords,
And Lamia's lip that warbled there !