Mrs M [Sarah Morewood] had a poet in the company and his poem too a stout MSS of heroic measure, a glorification of the United States in particular with a polite slanging of all other nations in general. The English lady in the straw [Mrs Pollock] was not particularly complimented as to her native country in sounding lines which H M read with emphasis (interrupting the flattered author who sat thoughtful on a hay tuft--with such phrases as "great glorious" "By Jove that's tremendous" &c)--but perhaps the most noticeable incident was a gathering of the exiled fowls in a corner who cackled a series of noisy resolutions, levelled at the party. --as transcribed by Steven Olsen-Smith in Melville in His Own Time (University of Iowa Press, 2015) at page 58.
Destiny. A Poem By John C. Hoadley. 1851
Gansevoort-Lansing collection. Manuscripts and Archives Division.
The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.
Gansevoort-Lansing collection. Manuscripts and Archives Division. The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations.
Destiny.A Poem By John C. Hoadley.
written in 1851.—
LAND of my birth! whose quickening life-blood runs
In generous streams, ennobling all thy sons,
Whose broad domain, unfettered by entail,
Affords an earldom for each echoing flail,
5 Whose waving prairies, free from withering tithe,
Bestow a dukedom on each stalwart scythe;
Whose forrests, guarded for no pampered packs,
With spoils of triumph crown the conquering axe;
Whose inland oceans, Neptune’s mimic realm,
10 Anoint a sea king o’er each quivering helm;
Whose rivers, climbing from the slow-paced pole. 1
O’er half a continent in grandeur roll,
Yet, from the frozen to the burning zone,
Consent to love no borders but thine own;
15 Whose mountains, towering in unsullied pride,
No robber hordes among their gullies hide;
Whose cloud girt summits, and whose beetling crags
Display no donjons, flaunt no threat’ning flags;
Whose streams, untamed to guard the stagnant moat,
20 Cleave with a laugh before the fire-sped boat,
Or leaping headlong down thy rockbound hills,
Whirl in derision countless clattering mills;
Whose maiden soil, unvowed to feud or hate,
Binds heart to heart, and state to neighbouring state.
Warms the quick genius of brotherhood to life!
Land of my love! Thy humblest offspring pays
This feeble tribute to thy matchless praise,
This faint reflection of thy glorious past,
30 These shadowy visions o’er thy future cast,
Traced by a loving, but unskillful hand,
A votive offering to his native land!
Fired be my tongue with love’s congenial glow,
Responsive rapture o’er each breast to throw!
35 With fateful fire my kindling accents rife,
To light the pharos o’er the rocks of strife
Moistened mine eyes with hope-illumined tears,
To arch the rainbow o’er our stormy fears!
Who saith “My Country,” neath Italian skies,
40 Bids scenes of
faded mouldering grandeur round him rise!
Who speaks the word among the Grecian isles,
Grey heaps of gorgeous ruins round him piles;
Who breathes the tone upon Hispania’s shore,
Evokes the ghosts of glories known no more!
45 Who dared to lisp the sound on Poland’s plains,
Would pour her life-blood through his ebbing veins;
Who called fair Hungary by the sacred name,
But furrowed fields of new-made graves could claim!
The scornful Briton on his sea-girt throne,
50 Owns as his country his fair isles alone,
And styles his empire, all those distant strands
His grasp hath wrested from an hundred lands
Rich in the present, richer in the past,
Vast in design, and in achievement vast.
55 Her flag o’er every sea and shore unfurled,
Proud Britain stands, step-mother of the world! 2
GallingOlden oppression, obstinate abuse,
Shake the decaying props of reverend use;
Timely concession, safe and sage reform,
Snatch Quench the aimed lightening from of the marshalled storm.
The mountain debts her Titan rulers pile,
Load to the brimming wale her sinking isle;
The vast flotilla of her swarming ships,
Snatches the prize from ocean’s greedy lips! 3
65 Gaunt, blue-lipped famine gnawing at her heart,
Her workhouse peopling faster than her mart,
The proud possessions of her princeliest Peers
The peaceful prey of plebian auctioneers, 4
The angile hate of Cambrian, Saxon, Celt,
to stone that not e’en tears can in fires where hearts of stone would melt,
Her vast dominions bound by force alone
To the frail pillars of her crumbling throne.
Infatuate England sees a healthful blush
In wan consumptive’s grave-foretelling flush,
75 While pride and famine share her vaunted home,
And her vast Empire crumbles to its doom!
Yet, glorious England!
glorious even inpeaceful be thine age,
May no convulsion
rendblot thy storied page,
But commerce twine, with ever strengthening chains,
80 The seedling nations
sprouted quickened from thy veins!
Mother, our filial duty nought can chill!
“England, with all thy faults we love thee still!”
[or:] England, whoe’er deride, we love thee still!
And when thy parks not deer but men shall feed,
When all thy darkened millions learn to read,
85 When son with son an equal’s lot shall share,
Thy throne, then dwindled to an easy chair,
Shall take its place around our fireside ring,
And midst our Governors shall sit thy King,
While our bold sailors join thy gallant tars,
90 And set thy cross among our burning stars! 5
The gallant Frenchman in the name of France
Awakes the kindling tales of old romance;
The ardent amour and the rude campaign
Of Henri Quatre and
95 The unreproached and undismayed Bayard
Teaching smooth lessons to grim visaged war.
The varied page its fitful radiance flings
O’er gilded Pompadours and scarlet kings,
The spectral revels of the old regime
100 In terror melt, like dream in nightmare dream,
The Empire rises from the Consulate
And madly marches to its mournful fate;
And all her eddying revolutions reel
Like circling fires on pyrotechnist’s wheel.
105 While the vain torch that fain would linger there,
Rests, the burnt socket, or is blown in air!
Yet, gallant France! Until our tongues forget
To name [MS query: speak?] with love the name of La Fayette,
Thy weal must bid our warmest pulses start,
110 Nor e’en thy errors chill our grateful heart.
Believe, and hope! No longer fooled or fleeced
By purblind philosophe, or prating priest,
Attain the sacred mean, a reasoning faith,
In life to govern, to sustain in death.
115 With care secure the rights thy valor wrings
From selfish nobles and perfidious kings,
Till strong in patience, calm in self control, —
Distinctive virtues of the freeborn soul, —
Thou match with equal step our sturdy stride,
120 And join the march of freedom at our side!
When the staid German sings of Fatherland,
livingchessboard’s living maze expand,
Where knight and castle, bishop, King and Queen,
No idle semblance, throng the chequered scene,
125 And the brown hind, in twofold column drawn,
Stands the true symbol of the patient pawn.
A common language, interest, and fate,
Bid the torn fragments
bindform the blended state;
The narrow passions of ignoble lords,
130 Loose the silk tendrils of encircling cords.
The wants of commerce and the arts of peace,
Bid the harsh jangling of her rulers cease;
A base ambition, with its hireling hordes,
Beats the perverted ploughshares into swords.
So thick heraldic monsters crowd her flags,
So thick feudality’s uncouth remains
Strew with their fossil bones her fertile plains. 6
Her wrinkled brow is seamed so thick with scars,
140 Ghastly memorials of unnatural wars;
So deep the roots of envious hate are set,
So well she treasures all she should forget,
That reason, interest, honor,
pleadstrive in vain.
To weld the links of union’s golden chain!
145 From the dark realms of winter’s frozen lair,
Clad in the furs that wrapped his brother bear,
With falchion gleaming o’er the west afar,
Stalks the grim subject of the iron Czar:
Chief of the races whose vainglorious name 7
150 Stands in their language synonym of fame,
But taught by contact with a race more brave,
Sums all debasement in the name of slave.
Noble or serf, alike his monarch’s thrall,
The subject nothing, and the sovereign all,
155 The feeblest fraction of this unit state
Treads with the pride of conscious power elate,
For the red star that lights his country’s way,
Tracks flying empire o’er the path of day!
His armies vaster than the Persian hosts,
160 Skilled in the arts that modern warfare boasts,
His coffers bursting with the precious ore
Dug from his mountains’ unexhausted store,
With no weak counsels, no divided will,
Terrific Russia stands sublimely still.
165 O’er Europe’s vales the avalanche impends,
A voice disturbs it, crashing it descends!
And in its track a buried Hungary shows
The fate of nations ‘neath its thundering snows.
Thus, view the
map of EuropeSeats of Empire where you may,
170 On all their stately
empires read thrones behold decay.
Save the dark power that stands in grandeur forth
The lifted, huge Thor-hammer of the north! 8
Avert thy gaze, and turn thy throbbing eyes
On the fair scene that stretched around thee lies.
175 Behold thy country, fair cadette of time,
Whose wondrous youth foretells an age sublime.
Weaned by her
step damemother even from her birth,
Nursed at the bosom of this maiden earth,
Cradled in silence, rocked by the morning’s breeze.
180 Her home the shelter of o’ershadowing trees;
Her matchless beauty caught the living trace
Of nature’s freshness and of nature’s grace.
Trained to the earnest arts of patient toil
That win her blessing from the grateful soil,
185 Nurtured in all the crafts that skill invents
To shield our being from the elements.
Taught in the gentler works and ways that fling
Their soothing charm around the fireside ring,
Stored with the wisdom and the love of schools
190 In blest exemption from their blighting rules,
Warmed by devotion’s purest, holiest flame.
But scorning priestcraft’s sacrilegious claim,
She grew from girlhood to her maiden pride,
And stood confessed brave Freedom’s blooming bride!
195 Wedded by Heaven in time’s auspicious hour,
step-graceless dame grudged to yieldwithheld her well earned dower,
And o’er the ocean
stretched hurledsent her grasping handshireling clans,
To seize her birthright, and dissolve the banns.
What need to tell the fearful strife that rose
200 Twixt friend and friend, now turned to rancorous foes?
Why paint the storm that gathered o’er her head,
The thunders muttered round her bridal bed?
What lightenings flashed, what angry surges heaved
In the wild rapture hour when she conceived!
205 What dire convulsions rent the groaning earth
In the dark travail of a nation’s birth!
Enough! that glorious day whose echoing morn
grey hairedhoary Empire that an heir was born.
Tells that the heir to man’s full stature grown
210 Unquestioned takes possession of his own!
Still in the freshness of her youthful charms,
A gold haired boy just budded in her arms,
She glows with rapture as her eye o’erruns
The widening circle of her sturdy sons.
215 With equal love to all her bosom burns,
With equal ardor each her love returns.
Each sits an equal at her ample board,
With equal tide her generous wine is poured,
And in her sacred council chamber still
220 She weighs with equal scale each lordly will.
With various gifts each swells the common store,
Won from the sea, or gathered from the shore;
With various art, but with unvaried zeal,
Each serves the temple of her commonweal.
225 The seas encircling their united lands
Are not more wedded than their clasping hands,
The sweeping line that bounds their azure cope
Is not more one than is their common hope,
The ambient airs that breathe o’er all their marts
230 Are not more deeply blended than their hearts,
The rolling spheres that wheel around their skies
Are not more kindred than their destinies!
Behold how stately stands her templed fane,
Where order, freedom, progress, triune reign!
235 With adamant foundations deep and broad
As nature’s empire and the throne of God,
With porphyry columns, massive and sublime,
Casting long shadows o’er the fields of time,
Solemn as priestly pines that lift on high
240 Their green wave-offering to the bending sky,
Upright as honesty, and firm as faith,
High as devotion, and as strong as death;
With jasper architrave o’er-spanning all,
From capital to sculptured capital,
245 And firm reposing on its
lofty stately piers
As on attractious chain, the rolling spheres;
With onyx frieze, whose broad emblazoned field
Bears many a proud device and lofty shield,
WithAnd agate cornice crowning o’er the whole
250 As heaven-eyed charity the perfect soul;
Our constitution shows, in every part,
Beauty and grace beyond all Grecian art!
Behold so high its saphire dome arise,
It bends o’er all and mingles with the skies!
255 Its crystal deeps are set with burning stars,
Love breathing venus, valor breathing mars;
The heavenly river’s whitening waters roll
In floods of glory round the steadfast pole,
The moon’s pale splendor shimmers through its walls,
260 Beneath, the night dew, soft-reviving falls,
Athwart its windows curtaining clouds are drawn,
Auroral splendors wait the
High o’er its vault day’s prancing steeds are driven,
It is! it is, the saphire dome of heaven!
265 As shinar’s plain beheld a tower arise,
Temple of hatred, consecrate to lies,
Whose shrine accursed, with earth and Heaven at war,
Drew on our race the tongue’s discordant jar;
Ye now behold this glorious Temple raise
270 A holy shrine to truth and love and praise,
Where anthems roll, and pealing psalms are sung
By every voice in one resounding tongue,
Restoring thus the golden links that bind
Man unto God, in fellowship mankind!
275 High o’er the dome, with blessing palms outspread,
berylgolden cross uprears its starry head;
Emblem of life, which tells how God may be
Incarnate in our frail humanity;
Emblem of toil, proclaiming all divine
280 The life where heavenly love and labor shine;
Emblem of hope, whence mourning hearts may learn
That life’s pure fountain flows from death’s cold urn.
The dawning radiance of that better day
When earth shall own no more a despot’s sway,
285 Flings o’er the world its earliest, slanting beam;
Our kindling cross hath caught its dazzling gleam,
And as a mountain capped with silver snow
Reflects the day-spring o’er the vales below,
Where brooding darkness else had lingering slept,
290 And prowling forms of night in silence crept;
So shines the radiant cross o’er Europe’s night,
Streaking her gathered gloom with
bursting dawningmellow light,
Tells wakening earth the longed-for day is born,
And o’er the orient spreads a western morn!
295 How shrinks oppression at the piercing ray!
How hoary wrongs like frost dissolve away!
How misty errors brooding o’er the mind,
Are curled like vapors in the morning wind!
How sceptered bats, and mitred owls obscene,
300 With shrieks of terror greet
the that ray serene,
Close the dim eyes and spread the dusky plume,
To flit and vanish in congenial gloom!
But oh! the joy that fills the panting breast
With spectral nightmare visions long oppressed!
305 The kindling hope that reillumes the eye
Which saw no worth in life but power to die;
The thrilling energy that swells the blood
That crept before in cold and stagnant flood;
The sudden strength that nerves the sinewy arm,
310 Palsied but now by fell oppression’s charm;
The quick resolve that prompts the eager flight
From rayless gloom to freedom’s dawning light;
From graceless soils that grudged them even a grave,
To welcoming homes beyond the beckoning wave!
315 “Let there be light!” was God’s first spoken word;
Let there be light, His latest accent heard;
And not more gladdening flashed the quick reply
O’er shapeless earth and unexpanded sky,
Than o’er new chaos, and fast falling night,
320 Stream the slant rays of freedom’s dawning light.
truelierclearer saw believing Constantine
Promise of conquest in that holy sign,
Than outcast man earth’s richest boon, a home,
In the bright cross of freedom’s temple dome. 9
325 Mount to the summit! Spreading as we rise,
Lo! earth’s unfolded scroll before us lies!
See every path, see every stream alive
With hastening throngs from Europe’s swarming hive!
See where yon German guides the creaking wain
330 Piled with his slender store of earthly gain,
The rude utensils of his humble toil,
That scoffed at skill, and mocked the patient soil,
The scanty garnish of his cottage hall,
That strewed the hearth, or lined the narrow wall,
335 The caverned chests whose oaken deeps are stored
With strong, quaint garments, his ancestral hoard,
And, crowning all, in warm luxurience filled,
From the stout stripling to the chubby child,
See the swart treasures of his parent pride,
340 Whose brown square mother trudges at his side;
While lads in iron shoon and azure frocks,
And maids with kirtles short, and braided locks,
Close the stout column that with fixed intent
Pursues the day spring in the occident!
345 From the broad Danube to the blue Moselle,
From the dark Baltic to the land of Tell,
Empire, and dukedom, and electorate,
Pour eager pilgrims from their western gate;
A modern Israel who at God’s decree
Seek Find a safe pathway o’er no narrow sea,
Their guiding prophet the instinctive flame
Kindling in every breast at freedom’s name
While faith and hope reviving manna shed
In the sure promise of their daily bread,
355 And fragrant meerschaums mark their weary way,
Pillars of fire by night, of cloud by day.
Welcome! Ye offspring of our Saxon sires!
Ye quenchless coals from freedom’s altar firs!
Descendants of the giant race that spread
putrid fallen Rome the garments of the dead,
Who breathed the spirit of the bold and free
In clay-cold Europe’s dull inanity.
Who first gave wings to thought, lightenings to death,
And broke the gloom of Rome’s sepulchral faith:
365 Kinsmen of Luther! countrymen of Faust!
Welcome! thrice welcome to our wide-armed coast!
Where’er ye pause, abundance round you springs,
forestdesert blossoms and the forest desertsings.
The fervent prayers ye breathed along the road
370 Descend in blessings round your new abode.
And the loud hymns ye poured o’er ocean’s foam,
Rouse angel echoes round your woodland home!
See yon green isle, the brightest of the seas,
Kissed Fanned with the earliest breath of Hesper’s breeze,
375 Whose verdure gleams in ocean’s paler green,
An orient emerald set in aigue marine.
Thou joy of ocean, who for love of thee 10
Quits the warm skies that arch the southern sea,
Flies the fond tropic’s soft circean wiles,
380 The fragrant kisses of the Indian isles,
And clasps more lovingly thy timid shores,
Than the bold beauty of the bland Azores;
Who brings the offerings from the spicy plains,
Sheltered in palms, where endless summer reigns.
385 And thy fair limbs and swelling bosom laves
In the warm tide that glowed in
Thou giant guarded! whose grim warders stand
Eternal sentries o’er thy sheltered strand;
Blessed with a clime which Italy might own,
390 In the slant limits of the northern zone;
Blessed with a soil that yields to thriftless care
Richer rewards than toil can win elsewhere,
And larger gifts in England’s bosom pours
Than Polish plains or bright Levantine shores;
395 Green island! sure thy sons
can need never roam
From the loved
precinctsborders of their wave washed home!
Thou sleepest! well may sleep a land so blessed;
Sweet be thy dreams! sleep on and take thy rest!
But hark! that shriek! that wild, unearthly wail
Borne Upborne o’er startled sea and trembling gale;
Unutterable woe, untold despair,
Muttered in groans from famine’s cruel lair!
Stillness returns, stillness for death too deep,
Of woe too mad to mourn, too wild to weep.
405 And vampire hunger makes his dainty meal
On woman’s shrinking form, and manhood’s nerves of steel!
A voice! a shout! a mingled sound that half
A laughing shriek appears, a shrieking laugh.
Tidings! the lover who with trenchant spade
410 Hath earned brave trophies in this new crusade,
The price of toil and long endurance tried,
Hath sent the ransom of his promised bride!
FaithLove conquers famine, hunger yields to hope,
The wan cheek crimsons, and the dim eyes ope;
415 Truth points her pillow on a husband’s breast,
And red-lipped plenty beckons from the west!
Weak, famished age, in squalid rags arrayed,
Crawls to the beach to join the duteous maid
horny brawnyhorny hands have wrung from homeliest tasks
420 The grateful aid a feeble father asks.
Pale, spectral childhood, older than its years,
Dim, ghastly beauty, all too parched for tears,
Dark, hopeless youth, sadder than wintry age,
Weak, wasted manhood, chafing in its cage,
425 Creep from the dens where squalor shrank from sight,
And drag their noisome wretchedness to light.
Slowly the eye discerns the dawning ray,
Slowly despair to swelling hope gives way,
Toiling the eager footstep seeks the shore,
430 And the long dream of living death is o’er!
Ireland! thou paradox, ne’er understood!
Spendthrift of genius, prodigal of blood,
Lighting all histories with immortal deeds,
Propping all empires, championing all creeds;
modern Hercules! thou faith of the engineer,
Who in thy name bids mountains disappear;
Pouring thy blood and sweat on every soil,
Thou Greek of glory, and thou Swiss of toil!
Mean E’enMeanwhile thy sword and spade enrich the earth,
440 Thou sitt’st a beggar, at a rayless hearth!
From the warm arbor of the clustering vine,
From the dark cloister of the northland pine,
From the bold mountain, and the yielding plain,
From the lone islands of the moaning main,
445 Throng eager pilgrims, thickening as they meet,
And hither, hither, tend their weary feet!
Their clustering sails, impelled by every breeze,
Converging furrows cleave on circling seas,
And richly freighted rides each gallant bark
450 With all the hopes that trembled in the ark.
But fear ye not the fierce and settled hate
That fires the patriot for the rival state?
The cherished feuds, the old historic wrongs,
That call for vengeance from these hostile throngs?
455 Tremble ye not to think what mutual rage
Hath burned or smouldered still from age to age
To burst unfettered on our stainless shore,
And drench its silver sands with gushing gore?
Converging still they gain the peaceful strand,
460 Yields the worn deck its burden to the land,
The motley groups in friendly confluence wheel,
No war-cry echoes, gleams no angry steel,
The ancient language and the ancient dress
Fall with old feuds to swift forgetfulness,
465 And the faint
murmurs accents of a foreign name,
Alone the secret of their birth proclaim.
So gathered clouds from every changeful clime
gentlesummer rain, or frostywinter rime,
In feathery snows or fierce, electric hail,
470 To melt and mingle round the roaming sail.
Dear native land! from thy loved breast too long, —
Borne on the pinions of adventurous song, —
To cloudy realms and airy heights we roam,
While all thy glories fairest shine at home.
475 Adieu, ye
idle forms phantoms of real ideal charms!
We turn, my country, to thy loving arms.
soars the larkeagle soaring to greetthe opening daykindling sun
Till the green earth grows distant, cold and
Then sinks with longing to his
480 We turn, my country to thy faithful breast!
Though proud the glories of thy crowded page,
Rich with the deeds of patriot, hero, sage;
TheThough bright the omens of thy onward way,
Lit by thy constellation’s blended ray,
485 Dearer to patriot hearts the purer charms
Of thy sweet villages and smiling farms,
Thy crowded cities and thy crooning mills,
Thy smooth shorn valleys and thy wood crowned hills,
Thy fragrant orchards and thy gold haired maize,
490 Thy summer sheen and dreamy autumn haze.
And still more dear thy equal laws that wield
No partial sceptre and no idle shield,
To guard the feeble and protect the strong, —
The rich from rapine, and the poor from wrong.
495 Dearest of all thy countless spires that rise
To point all votaries to the self same skies,
Thy school house, kindling with impartial flame
The lamps of learning and the fires of fame,
Thy solemn sabbaths with their booming bells,
500 And the deep peace that in thy bosom dwells.
Thy radiant charms my raptured soul entrance,
And all thy future opens to my glance!
Thy tideless seas are lined with loaded quays,
Ennamoured cities clasp thy yielding bays,
505 Sweet villages embowred in whispering trees
Crown thy green hills and dot thy grassy leas;
The stately villa and the humble home,
The heaven-ward spire, and heaven resembling dome,
Stud thy smooth lawns and cheer thy sunny slopes,
510 The cottage nestles in the rustling copse; x
(x an important rhyme, & not a mispronunciation)
Swift panting ships thy
glassy streamsflowing veins convulse
Like the strong throbs of youth’s impetuous pulse,
The iron track its magic meshes twines
In graceful sweeps, or level, lengthening lines;
515 Electric paths festoon their sinewy curves
With living tissues of thought-bearing nerves;
And in the borders of thy far control,
Sea shouts to sea, the cape salutes the pole!
The strong sun rising from his ocean bath,
520 Wide o’er thy realm pursues his radiant path;
But ere he climbs the steep Nevada’s crest,
Katadin’s shadow sweeps the Atlantic’s breast,
Though his swift footstep trod the new-mown hay,
And songs and blessings cheered his
525 Alternate winter storms thy northern skies,
And frightened summer o’er the isthmus flies;
ReturningTriumphant spring dissolves his awful state,
And winter settles o’er the burnished Plate;
While midway, flowers and fruits, and fruits and flowers,
530 Blend spring and autumn in the genial hours.
Evening and morn, and night and glowing noon,
The soft december, and the
Diffusive blessings pour with equal hand
O’er the wide bosom of a peaceful land.
535 The brazen browzen?? race whose twilight memory still
Lives in the name of stream and lake, and hill;
The darker children of a burning shore
Who long the needful chain of bondage wore;
Dissolved like dews in morning’s
540 In mists arise, and roll
like in clouds away,
There to descend in fertilizing rains
O’er the warm sands of Afric’s golden plains;
And there to kindle with prismatic dyes, —
The clouded memories of thy azure skies.
545 The wakening nations from their limbs have cast
The icy fetters of the iron past,
And in the shelter of thy greatness free,
Admiring lift their grateful hands to thee!
The storm that gathered o’er the Ural’s height,
550 And swathed the Neva in a pall of night,
Lured by thy peak its garnered light’nings sped,
And spent its fury harmless round thy head.
Nurtured in wisdom, warmed by virtue’s fires,
Thy sons, descendantsThe worthy offspring of illustrious sires,
555 A nobler race in nobler stature rise
To make thy realm the pathway to the skies,
And kindling nations in thy glory see
The aim and scope of man’s high destiny!
The vision passes! passion’s ruffled stream
560 Dispels the shapes that thronged my fateful dream!
The bleeding bosom of each severed state
So parched and shriveled by the fires of hate,
Till jaundiced envy taints their living green,
And warring discord widening yawns between!
565 The conscious soil, with deep, instinctive dread
Recoils and shudders at the cohort’s tread;
The shock of armies and the roar of arms,
The trumpet’s clangor and the drum’s alarms,
The sulphurous breath of hate-envenomed war
570 From fiendish rocket and from foul petard,
Sweep like the tempest on the wings of fear
Wide o’er thy wave-washed, rock-ribbed hemisphere!
The arm of toil, from useful labor swayed,
Builds the firm fortress, and the stout stockade,
575 To guard the lines which late the traveler passed
Free as the shadow by the eagle cast.
The peaceful dwellers of thy valleys seek
The sterile shelter of the mountain peak;
The sabre harvests the unripened grain,
580 And trampling squadrons knead the ravished plain;
The sun grows sickly in thy cities’ blaze,
And spectral sails flap o’er their lifeless quays; (?)
The stately dwelling of luxurious ease,
The humble cottage, hid in murmuring trees,
585 Swept like the brown leaves in the tempest’s sweep,
Change to the stronghold and the donjon keep!
The clustered stars that on thy banner shone,
Go out in lurid darkness one by one,
And the proud stripes that glowed and gleamed on high,
590 Fade like the rainbow from the evening sky.
fragmentsmasses riven from the mountain’s brow,
And swept by torrents to the vales below,
Each fragment state, a rounded boulder grown,
Must roll through time disjointed and alone!
595 Thy servile sons, to war’s hard slavery trained,
Forget the boon their nobler fathers gained,
Lift the strong leader on the lofty shield,
And bear the Duke from slaughter’s reeking field;
And bow the knee, and bend the
meekdull submission to the tyrant’s beck.
600 The pilgrims crowding to thy darkened shrine,
With aimless keel perplex the foaming brine,
And emulous nations, struggling to be free,
Consent for aye to hopeless tyranny!
605 Abortive earth’s last hopes of freedom quenched,
Her soil reserved for peace, with war-streams drenched.
Let the wild deluge roll the wide world o’er!
Earth owns no other unpolluted shore!
‘Twas but a vision! still, my country, still,
610 ‘Tis thine to choose which vision to fulfill!
The light, the lode-star of a longing world,
Or the spent meteor to darkness hurled!
When from old Castile’s cloud-girt eagle nest
Flew the Christ bearing dove to greet the west, 11
615 O’er fallow seas, by furrowing keep unriven,
With restless wing, and help alone in heaven;
The lamps of night with sleepless lustre shone,
To guide, to guard, to cheer, and lure him on.
Though tempests rage, and angry waters hiss,
620 Though treacherous currents sweep the wild abyss,
Though nameless terror seize the stoutest soul,
And the false needle deviate from the pole;
The steadfast stars still changeless burn at night,
To cheer his heart, and guide his venturous flight.
625 And then, my Country! in the hour sublime
That gave thy canvass to the gales of time,
When round thee tempests spent their treasured wrath,
And night portentous gathered o’er thy path;
Then gleaming shone, to light thy trackless way,
630 O’er all the skies, with love or blended ray,
With flickering fires, or liquid, lambent flames,
A glorious galaxy of noble names:
And clearest, brightest, purest, steadiest shone,
Star of thy hope! thy joy, thy Washington!
635 And though when morning kissed thy blushing skies
The clustered glories faded from our eyes,
Though men might deem their light forever fled,
And the pure patriot’s God like ardor dead;
Yet when the breath of faction’s baleful lips
640 Threatened thy morning with the red eclipse,
Resplendent still, my lifted eye could mark
The heavenly fires illume the brooding dark,
To guide thy keel the angry waters o’er,
And bid thee trust in
starsHeaven, and doubt no more.
645 So in the gloom that shrouds the autumnal morn
Betelguese, Sirius, and Procyon burn, 12
In triune witness of the heavenly host,
When paler orbs in opening day are lost!
June 20th. 1851 —
Public reading in Lawrence. Xmas, 1854} net proceeds $125.00 ....
[faint writing, not yet deciphered] ...
... Save the red cross, whereto are given
All victories.” [quoting Festus, a poem by Philip James Bailey. First American edition Boston, 1845.]
It is impossible not to admire the patriotism of the last lines.3— Lines 57 to 64. — It was my endeavor to paint in these lines the ceaseless struggle between conservation and reform, which has happily delivered England from so many abuses, and saved her from so many calamities.4Lines 67, 68.5
The proud provisions of her princeliest peers
The peaceful prey of plebian auctioneers.
The bankruptcy of the Duke of
NorthumberlandBuckingham, and the forced sale of his princely estates, form an epoch in English history. The order of things which concentrated nearly all the land in the hands of the nobility, useful and expedient as it once was, to oppose a barrier to the ambition of monarchs, is destined to pass away, and this is the sign of its departure.
Line 90. And set thy cross among our burning stars! Let no subject of Her Majesty suppose, from this and the preceding lines, that we meditate an invasion of England;— let no beleiver in “Manifest destiny” imagine that we contemplate a speedy and formal reännexation of the Mother country. We refer only to that fusion of ideas and intents, to that increased facility of communication, and to those ever straightening treaties, which are daily binding in closer union, the two great nations which speak the English tongue. Less remains to be done than has been already accomplished to render us essentially one; for those countries which mutually give up fugitives from justice, which settle disputed boundaries by negotiation, which enjoy familiar social intercourse, cheap postage, and almost unstinted commerce, which speak the same tongue, and read the same literature, and profess the same faith; and whose history until within three quarters of a century is the same, can hardly be regarded as entirely separate nations.6
Line 137.“So thick feudality’s uncouth remainsStrew with their fossil bones her fertile plains.”
This thought is finely presented in a very remarkable poem by Barthélemy, published in the Courrier des États-Unis on the 9th of March 1848, nine days before the revolution of February was known in this country. Referring to the exemption of our soil from the remains of feudalism, the poet says,
Les montagnes, les bois, les plaines les plus vastes,N’offrent aucun débris de donjons ni de toura,Cadavres féodaux don’t l'âme vit toujours
[A Monsieur James Knox Polk, président des États-Unis. L'Amérique.]
The whole poem will well repay perusal.7
Line 149 to 152
“Chief of the races whose vainglorious name
Stands in their language synonym of fame" &c.
The name of the Slavi is derived from Slavo, word, speech, whence slava, fame. Like φήμη, φάμα, Latin fama, fame, from φήμί to speak, primarily from φαω, to show, to make known. A rude people would naturally consider those only as speaking, whose speech they could understand: hence, the Slavonians called Germans, and other foreigners, Njemetz, dumb, impotent, speechless person corresponding to the Greek βάρβαρος which is said to imitate the jargon of an unintelligible tongue. Upon the subjugation and enslavement of a tribe of Slovaks by the Venetians, their name, italianized to Sclavi, was introduced into the languages of Western Europe as synonymous with bond servant. Thus by the fate of nations, a name which a people gives itself as expression of superiority, becomes a badge of the deepest degradation. See Literature of the Slavic Nations, Mrs. [Therese Albertine Luise] Robinson, p.p. 2 and 405. Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, c. 55.
Line 172 “The lifted, huge Thor-hammer of the north!""Le Marteau destructeur est seul indestructible” Barthélemy.
Two great Nations, one upon each hemisphere, divide in a great measure, the attention of the world
at present, and present a most interesting spectacle to the eye of the philosopher; The United States and Russia. Both are young, vigorous, and hopeful, both have vast undeveloped resources and untried powers, both are growing with unexampled rapidity, and both are advancing by opposite paths, and vividly different means, towards the same goal, an unprecedented empire.
They are antagonistic in their very nature, and upon the ultimate preponderance of the one or the other, hangs the fate of Europe and the world. They are the poles of the great political battery, one the positive or republican, and the other the negative or despotic pole. The hopes of freedom throughout the world are kindled at the one, from the other, oppression bestows its darkest frown. Sustained by the moral power of a great people, free, united, and happy, the nations of Europe may emerge from the obstructions of their historical abuses, into complete constitutional liberty; but without such support they seem destined to pass again under the yoke of Asiatic despotism, for Russia is more Asiatic than European.
Lines 323, 324 –
“Than outcast man Earth’s richest boon, a homeIn the bright cross of freedom’s temple dome.”
Undoubtedly that aspect of our country which most attracts the attention of the masses in other lands, and incites to emigration, is the ample reward which everywhere attends industry; and books of observing travellers and essays of acute statesmen are less powerful in recommending republicanism to the world, than the mass of unobtrusive letters—brief, badly written, and spelt-amiss—from emigrants to their friends at home, telling of comfort and contentment, and often containing substantial evidences of their truthfulness, in the shape of remittances.
Line 377 et seq. “Thou joy of ocean, who for love of thee" &c.
For a clear and beautiful description of the gulf stream, see Humboldt’s Cosmos vol. 1 p.p. 300, 301 — John Murray, London, 1847.
“Flew the Christ bearing dove to greet the west.”It is worthy of note that the instrument chosen by Providence to bring this new world to the knowledge of Christendom, should have borne so significant a name as Christophero Columbo, literally “The Christ bearing dove.”
— "Betelguese, Sirius, and Procyon burn” &c.The names of Clay, Webster, and Cass must ever be held in honor by the American people, as the most illustrious of those patriotic men who guided our country in safety through the dangers which arose from the acquisition of territory by the Mexican war.Taken, all in all, there has never fallen under my observationa Poem more replete with merit. One who stole a glimpse at it.
Last endnote in Hoadley's "Destiny"
with anonymous comment