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by Hugh Henry Brackenridge |

A poem on the rising glory of America

 LEANDER.
No more of Memphis and her mighty kings, Or Alexandria, where the Ptolomies.
Taught golden commerce to unfurl her falls, And bid fair science smile: No more of Greece Where learning next her early visit paid, And spread her glories to illume the world, No more of Athens, where she flourished, And saw her sons of mighty genius rise Smooth flowing Plato, Socrates and him Who with resistless eloquence reviv'd The Spir't of Liberty, and shook the thrones Of Macedon and Persia's haughty king.
No more of Rome enlighten'd by her beams, Fresh kindling there the fire of eloquence, And poesy divine; imperial Rome! Whose wide dominion reach'd o'er half the globe; Whose eagle flew o'er Ganges to the East, And in the West far to the British isles.
No more of Britain, and her kings renown'd, Edward's and Henry's thunderbolts of war; Her chiefs victorious o'er the Gallic foe; Illustrious senators, immortal bards, And wise philosophers, of these no more.
A Theme more new, tho' not less noble claims Our ev'ry thought on this auspicious day The rising glory of this western world, Where now the dawning light of science spreads Her orient ray, and wakes the muse's song; Where freedom holds her sacred standard high, And commerce rolls her golden tides profuse Of elegance and ev'ry joy of life.
ACASTO.
Since then Leander you attempt a strain So new, so noble and so full of fame; And since a friendly concourse centers here America's own sons, begin O muse! Now thro' the veil of ancient days review The period fam'd when first Columbus touch'd The shore so long unknown, thro' various toils, Famine and death, the hero made his way, Thro' oceans bestowing with eternal storms.
But why, thus hap'ly found, should we resume The tale of Cortez, furious chief, ordain'd With Indian blood to dye the sands, and choak Fam'd Amazonia's stream with dead! Or why, Once more revive the story old in fame, Of Atabilipa by thirst of gold Depriv'd of life: which not Peru's rich ore, Nor Mexico's vast mines cou'd then redeem.
Better these northern realms deserve our song, Discover'd by Britannia for her sons; Undeluged with seas of Indian blood, Which cruel Spain on southern regions spilt; To gain by terrors what the gen'rous breast Wins by fair treaty, conquers without blood.
EUGENIO.
High in renown th' intreprid hero stands, From Europes shores advent'ring first to try New seas, new oceans, unexplor'd by man.
Fam'd Cabot too may claim our noblest song, Who from th' Atlantic surge descry'd these shores, As on he coasted from the Mexic bay To Acady and piny Labradore.
Nor less than him the muse would celebrate Bold Hudson stemming to the pole, thro' seas Vex'd with continual storms, thro' the cold strains, Where Europe and America oppose Their shores contiguous, and the northern sea Confin'd, indignant, swells and roars between.
With these be number'd in the list of fame Illustrious Raleigh, hapless in his fate: Forgive me Raleigh, if an infant muse Borrows thy name to grace her humble strain; By many nobler are thy virtues sung; Envy no more shall throw them in the shade; They pour new lustre on Britannia's isle.
Thou too, advent'rous on th' Atlantic main, Burst thro' its storms and fair Virginia hail'd.
The simple natives saw thy canvas flow, And gaz'd aloof upon the shady shore: For in her woods America contain'd, From times remote, a savage race of men.
How shall we know their origin, how tell, From whence or where the Indian tribes arose? ACASTO.
And long has this defy'd the sages skill T' investigate: Tradition seems to hide The mighty secret from each mortal eye, How first these various nations South and North Possest these shores, or from what countries came.
Whether they sprang from some premoeval head In their own lands, like Adam in the East; Yet this the sacred oracles deny, And reason too reclaims against the thought.
For when the gen'ral deluge drown'd the world, Where could their tribes have found security? Where find their fate but in the ghastly deep? Unless, as others dream, some chosen few High on the Andes 'scap'd the gen'ral death, High on the Andes wrapt in endless snow, Where winter in his wildest fury reigns.
But here Philosophers oppose the scheme, The earth, say they, nor hills nor mountains knew E'er yet the universal flood prevail'd: But when the mighty waters rose aloft Rous'd by the winds, they shook their solid case And in convulsions tore the drowned world! 'Till by the winds assuag'd they quickly fell And all their ragged bed exposed to view.
Perhaps far wand'ring towards the northren pole, The straits of Zembla and the Frozen Zone, And where the eastern Greenland almost joins America's north point, the hardy tribes Of banish'd Jews, Siberians, Tartars wild Came over icy mountains, or on floats First reach'd these coasts hid from the world beside.
And yet another argument more strange Reserv'd for men of deeper thought and late Presents itself to view: In Pelag's days, So says the Hebrew seer's inspired pen, This mighty mass of earth, this solid globe Was cleft in twain--cleft east and west apart While strait between the deep Atlantic roll'd.
And traces indisputable remain Of this unhappy land now sunk and lost; The islands rising in the eastern main Are but small fragments of this continent, Whose two extremities were Newfoudland And St.
Helena.
--One far in the north Where British seamen now with strange surprise Behold the pole star glitt'ring o'er their heads; The other in the southern tropic rears Its head above the waves; Bermudas and Canary isles, Britannia and th' Azores, With fam'd Hibernia are but broken parts Of some prodigious waste which once sustain'd Armies by lands, where now but ships can range.
LEANDER.
Your sophistry Acasto makes me smile; The roving mind of man delights to dwell On hidden things, merely because they're hid; He thinks his knowledge ne'er can reach too high And boldly pierces nature's inmost haunts But for uncertainties; your broken isles, You northern Tartars, and your wand'ring Jews.
Hear what the voice of history proclaims.
The Carthaginians, e'er the Roman yoke Broke their proud spirits and enslav'd them too, For navigation were renown'd as much As haughty Tyre with all her hundred fleets; Full many: league their vent'rous seamen sail'd Thro' strait Gibraltar down the western shore Of Africa, and to Canary isles By them call'd fortunate, so Flaccus sings, Because eternal spring there crowns the fields, And fruits delicious bloom throughout the year.
From voyaging here this inference I draw, Perhaps some barque with all her num'rous crew Caught by the eastern trade wind hurry'd on Before th' steady blast to Brazil's shore, New Amazonia and the coasts more south.
Here standing and unable to return, For ever from their native skies estrang'd, Doubtless they made the unknown land their own.
And in the course of many rolling years A num'rous progeny from these arose, And spread throughout the coasts; those whom we call Brazilians, Mexicans, Peruvians rich, Th' tribes of Chili, Paragon and those Who till the shores of Amazon's long stream.
When first the pow'rs of Europe here attain'd Vast empires, kingdoms, cities, palaces And polish'd nations stock'd the fertile land.
Who has not heard of Cusco, Lima and The town of Mexico; huge cities form'd From Europe's architecture, e're the arms Of haughty Spain disturb'd the peaceful soil.
EUGENIO.
Such disquisition leads the puzzled mind From maze to maze by queries still perplex'd.
But this we know, if from the east they came Where science first and revelation beam'd, Long since they've lost all memory, all trace Of this their origin: Tradition tells Of some great forefather beyond the lakes Oswego, Huron, Mechigan, Champlaine Or by the stream of Amazon which rolls Thro' many a clime; while others simply dream That from the Andes or the mountains north, Some hoary fabled ancestor came down To people this their world.
LEANDER.
How fallen, Oh! How much obscur'd is human nature here! Shut from the light of science and of truth They wander'd blindfold down the steep of time; Dim superstition with her ghastly train Of dæmons, spectres and forboding signs Still urging them to horrid rites and forms Of human sacrifice, to sooth the pow'rs Malignant, and the dark infernal king.
Once on this spot perhaps a wigwam stood With all its rude inhabitants, or round Some mighty fire an hundred savage sons Gambol'd by day, and filled the night with cries; In what superior to the brutal race That fled before them thro' the howling wilds, Were all those num'rous tawny tribes which swarm'd From Baffin's bay to Del Fuego south, From California to the Oronoque.
Far from the reach of fame they liv'd unknown In listless slumber and inglorious ease; To them fair science never op'd her stores, Nor sacred truth sublim'd the soul to God; No fix'd abode their wand'ring genius knew; No golden harvest crown'd the fertile glebe; No city then adorn'd the rivers bank, Nor rising turret overlook'd the stream.
ACASTO.
Now view the prospect chang'd; far off at sea The mariner descry's our spacious towns He hails the prospect of the land and views A new, a fair a fertile world arise; Onward from India's isles far east, to us Now fair-ey'd commerce stretches her white sails, Learning exalts her head, the graces smile And peace establish'd after horrid war Improves the splendor of these early times.
But come my friends and let us trace the steps By which this recent happy world arose, To this fair eminence of high renown This height of wealth, of liberty and fame.
LEANDER.
Speak then Eugenio, for I've heard you tell The pleasing hist'ry, and the cause that brought The first advent'rers to these happy shores; The glorious cause that urg'd our fathers first To visit climes unknown and wilder woods Than e'er Tartarian or Norwegian saw, And with fair culture to adorn that soil Which never knew th' industrious swain before.
EUGENIO.
All this long story to rehearse would tire, Besides the sun toward the west retreats, Nor can the noblest tale retard his speed, Nor loftiest verse; not that which sung the fall Of Troy divine and smooth Scamander's stream.
Yet hear a part.
--By persecution wrong'd And popish cruelty, our fathers came From Europe's shores to find this blest abode, Secure from tyranny and hateful man.
For this they left their country and their friends And plough'd th' Atlantic wave in quest of peace; And found new shores and sylvan settlements Form'd by the care of each advent'rous chief, Who, warm in liberty and freedom's cause, Sought out uncultivated tracts and wilds, And fram'd new plans of cities, governments And spacious provinces: Why should I name Thee Penn, the Solon of our western lands; Sagacious legislator, whom the world Admires tho' dead: an infant colony Nurs'd by thy care, now rises o'er the rest Like that tall Pyramid on Memphis' stand O'er all the lesser piles, they also great.
Why should I name those heroes so well known Who peopled all the rest from Canada To Georgia's farthest coasts, West Florida Or Apalachian mountains, yet what streams Of blood were shed! What Indian hosts were slain Before the days of peace were quite restor'd.
LEANDER.
Yes, while they overturn'd the soil untill'd, And swept the forests from the shaded plain 'Midst dangers, foes and death, fierce Indian tribes With deadly malice arm'd and black design, Oft murder'd half the hapless colonies.
Encourag'd too by that inglorious race False Gallia's sons, who once their arms display'd At Quebec, Montreal and farthest coasts Of Labrador and Esquimaux where now The British standard awes the coward host.
Here those brave chiefs, who lavish of their blood Fought in Britannia's cause, most nobly fell.
What Heart but mourns the untimely fate of Wolf, Who dying conquer'd, or what breast but beats To share a fate like his, and die like him? ACASTO.
And he demands our lay who bravely fell By Monangahela and the Ohio's stream; By wiles o'ercome the hapless hero fell, His soul too gen'rous, for that dastard crew Who kill unseen and shun the face of day.
Ambush'd in wood, and swamp and thick grown hill, The bellowing tribes brought on the savage war.
What could avail O Braddock then the flame, The gen'rous flame which fir'd thy martial soul! What could avail Britannia's warlike troops, Choice spirits of her isle? What could avail America's own sons? The skulking foe, Hid in the forest lay and sought secure, What could the brave Virginians do o'erpower'd By such vast numbers and their leader dead? 'Midst fire and death they bore him from the field, Where in his blood full many a hero lay.
'Twas there O Halkut! thou so nobly fell, Thrice valiant Halkut early son of fame! We still deplore a fate so immature, Fair Albion mourns thy unsuccesful end, And Caledonia sheds a tear for him Who led the bravest of her sons to war.
EUGENIO.
But why alas commemorate the dead? And pass those glorious heroes by, who yet Breathe the same air and see the light with us? The dead, Acasto are but empty names And he who dy'd to day the same to us As he who dy'd a thousand years ago.
A Johnson lives, among the sons of same Well known, conspicuous as the morning star Among the lesser lights: A patriot skill'd In all the glorious arts of peace of war.
He for Britannia gains the savage race, Unstable as the sea, wild as the winds, Cruel as death, and treacherous as hell, Whom none but he by kindness yet could win, None by humanity could gain their souls, Or bring from woods and subteranean dens The skulking crew, before a Johnson rose, Pitying their num'rous tribes: ah how unlike The Cortez' and Acosta's, pride of Spain Whom blood and murder only satisfy'd.
Behold their doleful regions overflow'd With gore, and blacken'd with ten thousand deaths From Mexico to Patagonia far, Where howling winds sweep round the southern cape, And other suns and other stars arise! ACASTO.
Such is the curse Eugenio where the soul Humane is wanting, but we boast no seats Of cruelty like Spain's unfeeling sons.
The British Epithet is merciful: And we the sons of Britain learn like them To conquer and to spare; for coward souls Seek their revenge but on a vanquish'd foe.
Gold, fatal gold was the assuring bait To Spain's rapacious mind, hence rose the wars From Chili to the Caribbean sea, O'er Terra-Firma and La Plata wide.
Peru then sunk in ruins, great before With pompous cities, monuments superb Whose tops reach'd heav'n.
But we more happy boast No golden metals in our peaceful land, No flaming diamond, precious emerald, Or blushing saphire, ruby, chrysolite Or jasper red; more noble riches flow From agriculture and th' industrious swain, Who tills the fertile vale or mountain's brow, Content to lead a safe, a humble life 'Midst his own native hills; romantic scenes, Such as the muse of Greece did feign so well, Envying their lovely bow'rs to mortal race.
LEANDER.
Long has the rural life been justly fam'd; And poets old their pleasing pictures drew Of flow'ry meads, and groves and gliding streams.
Hence old Arcadia, woodnymphs, satyrs, fauns, And hence Elysium, fancy'd heav'n below.
Fair agriculture, not unworthy kings, Once exercis'd the royal hand, or those Whose virtue rais'd them to the rank of gods.
See old Laertes in his shepherd weeds, Far from his pompous throne and court august, Digging the grateful soil, where peaceful blows The west wind murm'ring thro' the aged trees Loaded with apples red, sweet scented peach And each luxurious fruit the world affords, While o'er the fields the harmless oxen draw Th' industrious plough.
The Roman heroes too Fabricius and Camillus lov'd a life Of sweet simplicity and rustic joy; And from the busy Forum hast'ning far, 'Midst woods and fields spent the remains of age.
How grateful to behold the harvests rise And mighty crops adorn the golden plains? Fair plenty smiles throughout, while lowing herds Stalk o'er the grassy hill or level mead, Or at some winding river slake their thirst.
Thus fares the rustic swain; and when the winds Blow with a keener breath, and from the North Pour all their tempests thro' a sunless sky, Ice, sleet and rattling hail, secure he sits In some thatch'd cottage fearless of the storm; While on the hearth a fire still blazing high Chears every mind, and nature fits serene On ev'ry countenance, such the joys And such the fate of those whom heav'n hath bless'd With souls enamour'd of a country life.
EUGENIO.
Much wealth and pleasure agriculture brings; Far in the woods she raises palaces, Puisant states and crowded realms where late A desart plain or frowning wilderness Deform'd the view; or where with moving tents The scatter'd nations seeking pasturage, Wander'd from clime to clime incultivate; Or where a race more savage yet than these, In search of prey o'er hill and mountain rang'd, Fierce as the tygers and the wolves they flew.
Thus lives th' Arabian and the Tartar wild In woody wastes which never felt the plough; But agriculture crowns our happy land, And plants our colonies from north to south, From Cape Breton far as the Mexic bay From th' Eastern shores to Missisippi's stream.
Famine to us unknown, rich plenty reigns And pours her blessings with a lavish hand.
LEANDER.
Nor less from golden commerce flow the streams Of richest plenty on our smiling land.
Now fierce Bellona must'ring all her rage, To other climes and other seas withdraws, To rouse the Russian on the desp'rate Turk There to conflict by Danube and the straits Which join the Euxine to th' Egean Sea.
Britannia holds the empire of the waves, And welcomes ev'ry bold adventurer To view the wonders of old Ocean's reign.
Far to the east our fleets on traffic sail, And to the west thro' boundless seas which not Old Rome nor Tyre nor mightier Carthage knew.
Daughter of commerce, from the hoary deep New-York emerging rears her lofty domes, And hails from far her num'rous ships of trade, Like shady forests rising on the waves.
From Europe's shores or from the Caribbees, Homeward returning annually they bring The richest produce of the various climes.
And Philadelphia mistress of our world, The seat of arts, of science, and of fame Derives her grandeur from the pow'r of trade.
Hail happy city where the muses stray, Where deep philosophy convenes her sons And opens all her secrets to their view! Bids them ascend with Newton to the skies, And trace the orbits of the rolling spheres, Survey the glories of the universe, Its suns and moons and ever blazing stars! Hail city blest with liberty's fair beams, And with the rays of mild religion blest! ACASTO.
Nor these alone, America, thy sons In the short circle of a hundred years Have rais'd with toil along thy shady shores.
On lake and bay and navigable stream, From Cape Breton to Pensacola south, Unnumber'd towns and villages arise, By commerce nurs'd these embrio marts of trade May yet awake the envy and obscure The noblest cities of the eastern world; For commerce is the mighty reservoir From whence all nations draw the streams of gain.
'Tis commerce joins dissever'd worlds in one, Confines old Ocean to more narrow bounds; Outbraves his storms and peoples half his world.
EUGENIO.
And from the earliest times advent'rous man On foreign traffic stretch'd the nimble sail; Or sent the slow pac'd caravan afar O'er barren wastes, eternal sands where not The blissful haunt of human form is seen Nor tree not ev'n funeral cypress sad Nor bubbling fountain.
Thus arriv'd of old Golconda's golden ore, and thus the wealth Of Ophir to the wisest of mankind.
LEANDER.
Great is the praise of commerce, and the men Deserve our praise who spread from shore to shore The flowing fall; great are their dangers too; Death ever present to the fearless eye And ev'ry billow but a gaping grave; Yet all these mighty feats to science owe Their rise and glory.
--Hail fair science! thou Transplanted from the eastern climes dost bloom In these fair regions, Greece and Rome no more Detain the muses on Cithæron's brow, Or old Olympus crown'd with waving woods; Or Hæmus' top where once was heard the harp, Sweet Orpheus' harp that ravish'd hell below And pierc'd the soul of Orcus and his bride, That hush'd to silence by the song divine Thy melancholy waters, and the gales O Hebrus! which o'er thy sad surface blow.
No more the maids round Alpheus' waters stray Where he with Arethusas' stream doth mix, Or where swift Tiber disembogues his waves Into th' Italian sea so long unsung.
Hither they've wing'd their way, the last, the best Of countries where the arts shall rise and grow Luxuriant, graceful; and ev'n now we boast A Franklin skill'd in deep philosophy, A genius piercing as th' electric fire, Bright as the light'nings flash explain'd so well By him the rival of Britannia's sage.
This is a land of ev'ry joyous sound Of liberty and life; sweet liberty! Without whose aid the noblest genius fails, And science irretrievably must die.
ACASTO.
This is a land where the more noble light Of holy revelation beams, the star Which rose from Judah lights our skies, we feel Its influence as once did Palestine And Gentile lands, where now the ruthless Turk Wrapt up in darkness sleeps dull life away.
Here many holy messengers of peace As burning lamps have given light to men.
To thee, O Whitefield! favourite of Heav'n, The muse would pay the tribute of a tear.
Laid in the dust thy eloquence no more Shall charm the list'ning soul, no more Thy bold imagination paint the scenes Of woe and horror in the shades below; Or glory radiant in the fields above; No more thy charity relieve the poor; Let Georgia mourn, let all her orphans weep.
LEANDER.
Yet tho' we wish'd him longer from the skies, And wept to see the ev'ning of his days, He long'd himself to reach his final hope, The crown of glory for the just prepar'd.
From life's high verge he hail'd th' eternal shore And, freed at last from his confinement, rose An infant seraph to the worlds on high.
EUGENIO.
For him we sound the melancholy lyre, The lyre responsive to each distant sigh; No grief like that which mourns departing souls Of holy, just and venerable men, Whom pitying Heav'n sends from their native skies To light our way and bring us nearer God.
But come Leander since we know the past And present glory of this empire wide, What hinders to pervade with searching eye The mystic scenes of dark futurity? Say shall we ask what empires yet must rise What kingdoms pow'rs and states where now are seen But dreary wastes and awful solitude, Where melancholy sits with eye forlorn And hopes the day when Britain's sons shall spread Dominion to the north and south and west Far from th' Atlantic to Pacific shores? A glorious theme, but how shall mortals dare To pierce the mysteries of future days, And scenes unravel only known to fate.
ACASTO.
This might we do if warm'd by that bright coal Snatch'd from the altar of seraphic fire, Which touch'd Isaiah's lips, or if the spirit Of Jeremy and Amos, prophets old, Should fire the breast; but yet I call the muse And what we can will do.
I see, I see A thousand kingdoms rais'd, cities and men Num'rous as sand upon the ocean shore; Th' Ohio then shall glide by many a town Of note: and where the Missisippi stream By forests shaded now runs weeping on Nations shall grow and states not less in fame Than Greece and Rome of old: we too shall boast Our Alexanders, Pompeys, heroes, kings That in the womb of time yet dormant lye Waiting the joyful hour for life and light.
O snatch us hence, ye muses! to those days When, through the veil of dark antiquity, Our sons shall hear of us as things remote, That blossom'd in the morn of days, alas! How could I weep that we were born so soon, In the beginning of more happy times! But yet perhaps our fame shall last unhurt.
The sons of science nobly scorn to die Immortal virtue this denies, the muse Forbids the men to slumber in the grave Who well deserve the praise that virtue gives.
EUGENIO.
'Tis true no human eye can penetrate The veil obscure, and in fair light disclos'd Behold the scenes of dark futurity; Yet if we reason from the course of things, And downward trace the vestiges of time, The mind prophetic grows and pierces far Thro' ages yet unborn.
We saw the states And mighty empires of the East arise In swift succession from the Assyrian To Macedon and Rome; to Britain thence Dominion drove her car, she stretch'd her reign Oer many isles, wide seas, and peopled lands.
Now in the West a continent appears; A newer world now opens to her view; She hastens onward to th' Americ shores And bids a scene of recent wonders rise.
New states new empires and a line of kings, High rais'd in glory, cities, palaces Fair domes on each long bay, sea, shore or stream Circling the hills now rear their lofty heads.
Far in the Arctic skies a Petersburgh, A Bergen, or Archangel lifts its spires Glitt'ring with Ice, far in the West appears A new Palmyra or an Ecbatan, And sees the slow pac'd caravan return O'er many a realm from the Pacific shore, Where fleets shall then convey rich Persia's silks, Arabia's perfumes, and spices rare Of Philippine, Coelebe and Marian isles, Or from the Acapulco coast our India then, Laden with pearl and burning gems and gold.
Far in the South I see a Babylon, As once by Tigris or Euphrates stream, With blazing watch towr's and observatories Rising to heav'n; from thence astronomers With optic glass take nobler views of God In golden suns and shining worlds display'd Than the poor Chaldean with the naked eye.
A Niniveh where Oronoque descends With waves discolour'd from the Andes high, Winding himself around a hundred isles Where golden buildings glitter o'er his tide.
To mighty nations shall the people grow Which cultivate the banks of many a flood, In chrystal currents poured from the hills Apalachia nam'd, to lave the sands Of Carolina, Georgia, and the plains Stretch'd out from thence far to the burning Line, St Johns or Clarendon or Albemarle.
And thou Patowmack navigable stream, Rolling thy waters thro' Virginia's groves, Shall vie with Thames, the Tiber or the Rhine, For on thy banks I see an hundred towns And the tall vessels wafted down thy tide.
Hoarse Niagara's stream now roaring on Thro' woods and rocks and broken mountains torn, In days remote far from their antient beds, By some great monarch taught a better course, Or cleared of cataracts shall flow beneath Unnumbr'd boats and merchandize and men; And from the coasts of piny Labradore, A thousand navies crowd before the gale, And spread their commerce to remotest lands, Or bear their thunder round the conquered world.
LEANDER.
And here fair freedom shall forever reign.
I see a train, a glorious train appear, Of Patriots plac'd in equal fame with those Who nobly fell for Athens or for Rome.
The sons of Boston resolute and brave The firm supporters of our injur'd rights, Shall lose their splendours in the brighter beams Of patriots fam'd and heroes yet unborn.
ACASTO.
'Tis but the morning of the world with us And Science yet but sheds her orient rays.
I see the age the happy age roll on Bright with the splendours of her mid-day beams, I see a Homer and a Milton rise In all the pomp and majesty of song, Which gives immortal vigour to the deeds Atchiev'd by Heroes in the fields of fame.
A second Pope, like that Arabian bird Of which no age can boast but one, may yet Awake the muse by Schuylkill's silent stream, And bid new forests bloom along her tide.
And Susquehanna's rocky stream unsung, In bright meanders winding round the hills, Where first the mountain nymph sweet echo heard The uncouth musick of my rural lay, Shall yet remurmur to the magic sound Of song heroic, when in future days Some noble Hambden rises into fame.
LEANDER.
Or Roanoke's and James's limpid waves The sound of musick murmurs in the gale; Another Denham celebrates their flow, In gliding numbers and harmonious lays.
EUGENIO.
Now in the bow'rs of Tuscororah hills, As once on Pindus all the muses stray, New Theban bards high soaring reach the skies And swim along thro' azure deeps of air.
LEANDER.
From Alleghany in thick groves imbrown'd, Sweet music breathing thro' the shades of night Steals on my ear, they sing the origin Of those fair lights which gild the firmament; From whence the gale that murmurs in the pines; Why flows the stream down from the mountains brow And rolls the ocean lower than the land.
They sing the final destiny of things, The great result of all our labours here, The last day's glory, and the world renew'd.
Such are their themes for in these happier days The bard enraptur'd scorns ignoble strains, Fair science smiling and full truth revealed, The world at peace, and all her tumults o'er, The blissful prelude to Emanuel's reign.
EUGENIO.
And when a train of rolling years are past, (So sang the exil'd seer in Patmos isle,) A new Jerusalem sent down from heav'n Shall grace our happy earth, perhaps this land, Whose virgin bosom shall then receive, tho' late, Myriads of saints with their almighty king, To live and reign on earth a thousand years Thence call'd Millennium.
Paradise a new Shall flourish, by no second Adam lost.
No dang'rous tree or deathful fruit shall grow, No tempting serpent to allure the soul, From native innocence; a Canaan here Another Canaan shall excel the old And from fairer Pisgah's top be seen, No thistle here or briar or thorn shall spring Earth's curse before: the lion and the lamb In mutual friendship link'd shall browse the shrub, And tim'rous deer with rabid tygers stray O'er mead or lofty hill or grassy plain.
Another Jordan's stream shall glide along And Siloah's brook in circling eddies flow, Groves shall adorn their verdant banks, on which The happy people free from second death Shall find secure repose; no fierce disease No fevers, slow consumption, direful plague Death's ancient ministers, again renew Perpetual war with man: Fair fruits shall bloom Fair to the eye, sweet to the taste, if such Divine inhabitants could need the taste Of elemental food, amid the joys Fit for a heav'nly nature.
Music's charms Shall swell the lofty soul and harmony Triumphant reign; thro' ev'ry grove shall sound The cymbal and the lyre, joys too divine For fallen man to know.
Such days the world And such America thou first shall have When ages yet to come have run their round And future years of bliss alone remain.
ACASTO.
This is thy praise America thy pow'r Thou best of climes by science visited By freedom blest and richly stor'd with all The luxuries of life.
Hail happy land The seat of empire the abode of kings, The final stage where time shall introduce Renowned characters, and glorious works Of high invention and of wond'rous art, Which not the ravages of time shall wake Till he himself has run his long career; Till all those glorious orbs of light on high The rolling wonders that surround the ball, Drop from their spheres extinguish'd and consum'd; When final ruin with her fiery car Rides o'er creation, and all nature's works Are lost in chaos and the womb of night.


by Hugh Henry Brackenridge |

A poem on divine revelation

 This is a day of happiness, sweet peace, 
And heavenly sunshine; upon which conven'd 
In full assembly fair, once more we view, 
And hail with voice expressive of the heart, 
Patrons and sons of this illustrious hall.
This hall more worthy of its rising fame Than hall on mountain or romantic hill, Where Druid bards sang to the hero's praise, While round their woods and barren heaths was heard The shrill calm echo of th' enchanting shell.
Than all those halls and lordly palaces Where in the days of chivalry, each knight, And baron brave in military pride Shone in the brass and burning steel of war; For in this hall more worthy of a strain No envious sound forbidding peace is heard, Fierce song of battle kindling martial rage And desp'rate purpose in heroic minds: But sacred truth fair science and each grace Of virtue born; health, elegance and ease And temp'rate mirth in social intercourse Convey rich pleasure to the mind; and oft The sacred muse in heaven-breathing song Doth wrap the soul in extasy divine, Inspiring joy and sentiment which not The tale of war or song of Druids gave.
The song of Druids or the tale of war With martial vigour every breast inspir'd, With valour fierce and love of deathless fame; But here a rich and splendid throng conven'd From many a distant city and fair town, Or rural seat by shore or mountain-stream, Breathe joy and blessing to the human race, Give countenance to arts themselves have known, Inspire the love of heights themselves have reach'd, Of noble science to enlarge the mind, Of truth and virtue to adorn the soul, And make the human nature grow divine.
Oh could the muse on this auspicious day Begin a song of more majestic sound, Or touch the lyre on some sublimer key, Meet entertainment for the noble mind.
How shall the muse from this poetic bow'r So long remov'd, and from this happy hill, Where ev'ry grace and ev'ry virtue dwells, And where the springs of knowledge and of thought In riv'lets clear and gushing streams flow down Attempt a strain? How sing in rapture high Or touch in vari'd melody the lyre The lyre so long neglected and each strain Unmeditated, and long since forgot? But yet constrain'd on this occasion sweet To this fam'd hall and this assembly fair With comely presence honouring the day, She fain would pay a tributary strain.
A purer strain though not of equal praise To that which Fingal heard when Ossian sung With voice high rais'd in Selma hall of shells; Or that which Pindar on th' Elean plain, Sang with immortal skill and voice divine, When native Thebes and ev'ry Grecian state Pour'd forth her sons in rapid chariot race, To shun the goal and reach the glorious palm.
He sang the pride of some ambitious chief, For olive crowns and wreaths of glory won; I sing the rise of that all glorious light, Whose sacred dawn the aged fathers saw By faith's clear eye, through many a cloud obscure And heavy mist between: they saw it beam From Judah's royal tribe, they saw it shine O'er Judah's happy land, and bade the hills, The rocky hills and barren vallies smile, The desert blossom and the wilds rejoice.
This is that light and revelation pure, Which Jacob saw and in prophetic view, Did hail its author from the skies, and bade The sceptre wait with sov'reignty and sway On Judah's hand till Shiloh came.
That light Which Beor's son in clearer vision saw, Its beams sore piercing his malignant eye; But yet constrain'd by the eternal truth Confess'd its origin and hail'd its rise, Fresh as a star from Judah's sacred line.
This, Amos' son touch'd with seraphic fire In after times beheld.
He saw it beam From Judah's royal tribe; he saw it shine O'er Judah's happy land, and bade the hills, The rocky hills and barren vallies smile, The desert blossom and the wilds rejoice.
This is that light which purifies the soul, From mist obscure, of envy, hate, and pride; Bids love celestial in the bosom glow, Fresh kindling up the intellectual eye Of faith divine, in beatific view Of that high glory and seraphic bliss, Which he who reigns invisible, shall give To wait on virtue in the realms of day.
This is that light which from remotest times Shone to the just; gave sweet serenity, And sunshine to the soul, of each wise sage, Fam'd patriarch, and holy man of God, Who in the infancy of time did walk With step unerring, through those dreary shades, Which veil'd the world e'er yet the golden sun Of revelation beam'd.
Seth, Enos, and The family of him preserv'd from death By flood of waters.
Abram and that swain Who erst exil'd in Midian did sing The world from chaos rising, and the birth Of various nature in the earth, or sea, Or element of air, or heav'n above.
This is that light which on fair Zion hill Descending gradual, in full radiance beam'd O'er Canaan's happy land.
Her fav'rite seers Had intercourse divine with this pure source, And oft from them a stream of light did flow, To each adjoining vale and desert plain, Lost in the umbrage of dark heathen shades.
'Twas at this stream the fabling poets drank And sang how heav'n and earth from chaos rose; 'Twas at this stream the wiser sages drank And straightway knew the soul immortal lives Beyond the grave and all the wrecks of time.
From Judah's sacred hills a partial ray Extraneous, visited and cheer'd the gloom Spread o'er the shaded earth; yet more than half In superstition and the dreams of night Each hoary sage by long experience wise, And high philosopher of learning fam'd Lay buried deep shut from the light of day.
Shut from the light of revelation clear In devious path they wandered oft, Nor could strong reason with the partial beam Of revelation, wholly dissipate The midnight horrors of so dark an age.
Vain were their searches, and their reason vain, Else whence the visionary tales receiv'd, Of num'rous deities in earth, or heav'n Or sea, or river, or the shades profound Of Erebus, dark kingdom of the dead.
Weak deities of fabled origin From king or hero, to the skies advanc'd For sanguinary appetite, and skill In cruel feats of arms, and tyranny O'er ev'ry right, and privilege of man.
Vain were their searches, and their reason vain, Else whence the sculptur'd image of a god, And marble bust ador'd as deity, Altar and hecatomb prepar'd for these, Or human sacrifice when hecatomb Consum'd in vain with ceremony dire, And rites abhorr'd, denied the wish'd success.
Reason is dark, else why heroic deem'd Fell suicide, as if 'twere fortitude And higher merit to recede from life, Shunning the ills of poverty, or pain, Or wasting sickness, or the victor's sword, Than to support with patience fully tried As Job, thence equall'd with him in renown.
Shut from the light of revelation clear The world lay hid in shades, and reason's lamp Serv'd but to show how dark it was; but now The joyous time with hasty steps advanc'd, When truth no more should with a partial ray Shine on the shaded earth; now on swift wings The rosy hours brought on in beauty mild, The day-spring from on high, and from the top Of some fair mount Chaldean shepherds view That orient star which Beor's son beheld, From Aram east, and mark'd its lucid ray, Shedding sweet influence on Judah's land.
Now o'er the plain of Bethl'em to the swains Who kept their flocks beneath the dews of night, A light appears expressive of that day More general, which o'er the shaded earth Breaks forth, and in the radiance of whose beams, The humble shepherd, and the river-swain By Jordan stream, or Galilea's lake, Can see each truth and paradox explain'd, Which not each wise philosopher of Greece, Could tell, nor sage of India, nor the sons Of Zoroaster, in deep secrets skill'd.
Such light on Canaan shone but not confin'd With partial ray to Judah's favour'd land, Each vale and region to the utmost bound Of habitable earth, distant or nigh Soon finds a gleam of this celestial day: Fam'd Persia's mountains and rough Bactria's woods And Media's vales and Shinar's distant plain: The Lybian desert near Cyrene smiles And Ethiopia hails it to her shores.
Arabia drinks the lustre of its ray Than fountain sweeter, or the cooling brook Which laves her burning sands; than stream long sought Through desert flowing and the scorched plain To Sheba's troop or Tema's caravan.
Egypt beholds the dawn of this fair morn And boasts her rites mysterious no more; Her hidden learning wrapt in symbols strange Of hieroglyphic character, engrav'd On marble pillar, or the mountain rock, Or pyramid enduring many an age.
She now receives asserted and explain'd That holy law, which on mount Sinai writ By God's own finger, and to Moses giv'n, And to the chosen seed, a rule of life.
And strict obedience due; but now once more Grav'd on the living tablet of the heart, And deep impress'd by energy divine, Is legible through an eternal age.
North of Judea now this day appears On Syria west, and in each city fair Full many a church of noble fame doth rise.
In Antioch the seat of Syrian kings, And old Damascus, where Hazael reign'd.
Now Cappadocia Mithridates' realm, And poison-bearing Pontus, whose deep shades Were shades of death, admit the light of truth.
In Asia less seven luminaries rise, Bright lights, which with celestial vigour burn, And give the day in fullest glory round.
There Symrna shines, and Thyatira there, There Ephesus a sister light appears, And Pergamus with kindred glory burns: She burns enkindled with a purer flame Than Troy of old, when Grecian kings combin'd Had set her gates on fire: The Hellespont And all th' Egean sea shone to the blaze.
But now more west the gracious day serene On Athens rising, throws a dark eclipse On that high learning by her sages taught, In each high school of philosophic fame; Vain wisdom, useless sophistry condemn'd, As ignorance and foolishness of men.
Let her philosophers debate no more In the Lyceum, or the Stoics porch, Holding high converse, but in error lost Of pain, and happiness, and fate supreme.
Fair truth from heav'n draws all their reas'ning high In captive chains bound at her chariot wheels.
Now Rome imperial, mistress of the world Drinks the pure lustre of the orient ray Assuaging her fierce thirst of bloody war, Dominion boundless, victory and fame; Each bold centurion, and each prætor finds A nobler empire to subdue themselves.
From Rome the mistress of the world in peace, Far to the north the golden light ascends; To Gaul and Britain and the utmost bound Of Thule famous in poetic song, Victorious there where not Rome's consuls brave, Heroes, or conquering armies, ever came.
Far in the artic skies a light is seen, Unlike that sun, which shall ere long retreat, And leave their hills one half the year in shades.
Or that Aurora which the sailor sees Beneath the pole in dancing beams of light, Playing its gambols on the northern hills.
That light is vain and gives no genial heat, To warm the tenants of those frozen climes, Or give that heav'nly vigour to the soul, Which truth divine and revelation brings; And but for which each heart must still remain, Hard as the rock on Scandanavia's shore, Cold as the ice which bridges up her streams, Fierce as the storm which tempests all her waves.
Thus in its dawn did sacred truth prevail, In either hemisphere from north to south, From east to west through the long tract of day.
From Shinar's plain to Thule's utmost isle, From Persia's bay to Scandanavia's shores.
Cheer'd by its ray now ev'ry valley smiles, And ev'ry lawn smote by its morning beam.
Now ev'ry hill reflects a purer ray, Than when Aurora paints his woods in gold, Or when the sun first in the orient sky, Sets thick with gems the dewy mountain's brow.
The earth perceives a sov'reign virtue shed And from each cave, and midnight haunt retires Dark superstition, with her vot'ries skill'd, In potent charm, or spell of magic pow'r; In augury, by voice, or flight of birds, Or boding sign at morn, or noon, or eve, Portent and prodigy and omen dire.
Each oracle by Demon, or the craft Of priests, made vocal, can declare no more Of high renown, and victory secure, To kings low prostrate at their bloody shrines.
No more with vain uncertainty perplex Mistaken worshippers, or give unseen Response ambiguous in some mystic sound, And hollow murmer from the dark recess.
No more of Lybian Jove; Dodona's oaks, In sacred grove give prophecy no more.
Th' infernal deities retire abash'd, Our God himself on earth begins his reign; Pure revelation beams on ev'ry land, On ev'ry heart exerts a sov'reign sway, And makes the human nature grow divine.
Now hideous war forgets one half her rage, And smoothes her visage horible to view.
Celestial graces better sooth the soul, Than vocal music, or the charming sound Of harp or lyre.
More than the golden lyre Which Orpheus tun'd in melancholy notes, Which almost pierc'd the dull cold ear of death, And mov'd the grave to give him back his bride.
Peace with the graces and fair science now Wait on the gospel car; science improv'd Puts on a fairer dress; a fairer form Now ev'ry art assumes; bold eloquence Moves in a higher sphere than senates grave, Or mix'd assembly, or the hall of kings, Which erst with pompous panegyric rung.
Vain words and soothing flattery she hates, And feigned tears, and tongue which silver-tipt Moves in the cause of wickedness and pride.
She mourns not that fair liberty depress'd Which kings tyrannic can extort, but that Pure freedom of the soul to truth divine Which first indulg'd her and with envious hand Pluck'd thence, left hideous slavery behind.
She weeps not loss of property on earth, Nor stirs the multitude to dire revenge With headlong violence, but soothes the soul To harmony and peace, bids them aspire With emulation and pure zeal of heart, To that high glory in the world unseen, And crown celestial, which pure virtue gives.
Thus eloquence and poesy divine A nobler range of sentiment receive; Life brought to view and immortality, A recent world through which bold fancy roves, And gives new magic to the pow'r of song; For where the streams of revelation flow Unknown to bards of Helicon, or those Who on the top of Pindus, or the banks Of Arethusa and Eurotas stray'd, The poet drinks, and glorying in new strength, Soars high in rapture of sublimer strains; Such as that prophet sang who tun'd his harp On Zion hill and with seraphic praise In psalm and sacred ode by Siloa's brook, Drew HIS attention who first touch'd the soul With taste of harmony, and bade the spheres Move in rich measure to the songs on high.
Fill'd with this spirit poesy no more Adorns that vain mythology believ'd, By rude barbarian, and no more receives, The tale traditional, and hymn profane, Sung by high genius, basely prostitute.
New strains are heard, such as first in the morn Of time, were sung by the angelic choirs, When rising from chaotic state the earth Orbicular was seen, and over head The blazing sun, moon, planet, and each light That gilds the firmament, rush'd into view.
Thus did the sun of revelation shine Full on the earth, and grateful were its beams: Its beams were grateful to the chosen seed, To all whose works were worthy of the day.
But creatures lucifuge, whose ways were dark, Ere this in shades of paganism hid, Did vent their poison, and malignant breath, To stain the splendour of the light divine, Which pierc'd their cells and brought their deeds to view Num'rous combin'd of ev'ry tongue and tribe, Made battle proud, and impious war brought on, Against the chosen sanctified by light.
Riches and pow'r leagu'd in their train were seen, Sword, famine, flames and death before them prey'd.
Those faithful found, who undismay'd did bear A noble evidence to truth, were slain.
Why should I sing of these or here record, As if 'twere praise, in poesy or song, Or sculptur'd stone, to eternize the names, Which writ elsewhere in the fair book of life, Shall live unsullied when each strain shall die: Shall undefac'd remain when sculptur'd stone, And monument, and bust, and storied urn Perpetuates its sage and king no more.
The pow'r of torture and reproach was vain, But what not torture or reproach could do, Dark superstition did in part effect.
That superstition, which saint John beheld, Rise in thick darkness from th' infernal lake.
Locust and scorpion in the smoke ascend, False teacher, heretic, and Antichrist.
The noon day sun is dark'ned in the sky, The moon forbears to give her wonted light.
Full many a century the darkness rul'd, With heavier gloom than once on Egypt came, Save that on some lone coast, or desert isle, Where sep'rate far a chosen spirit dwelt, A Goshen shone, with partial-streaming ray.
Night on the one side settles dark; on Rome, It settles dark, and ev'ry land more west Is wrapt in shades.
Night on the east comes down With gloom Tartarean, and in part it rose From Tartary beneath the dusky pole.
The ruthless Turk, and Saracen in arms, O'er-run the land the gospel once illum'd; The holy land Judea once so nam'd, And Syria west where many churches rose.
Those golden luminaries are remov'd, Which once in Asia shone.
Athens no more For truth and learning fam'd.
Corinth obscur'd, Ionia mourns through all her sea-girt isles.
But yet once more the light of truth shall shine In this obscure sojourn; shall shoot its beam In morning beauty mild, o'er hill and dale.
See in Bohemia and the lands more west The heavenly ray of revelation shines, Fresh kindling up true love and purest zeal.
Britannia next beholds the risen day In reformation bright; cheerful she hails It from her snow-white cliffs, and bids her sons, Rise from the mist of popery obscure.
Her worthier sons, whom not Rome's pontiff high, Nor king with arbitrary sway could move.
Those mightier who with constancy untam'd, Did quench the violence of fire, at death Did smile, and maugre ev'ry pain, of bond, Cold dark imprisonment, and scourge severe, By hell-born popery devis'd, held fast The Christian hope firm anchor of the soul.
Or those who shunning that fell rage of war, And persecution dire, when civil pow'r, Leagu'd in with sacerdotal sway triumph'd, O'er ev'ry conscience, and the lives of men, Did brave th' Atlantic deep and through its storms Sought these Americ shores: these happier shores Where birds of calm delight to play, where not Rome's pontiff high, nor arbitrary king, Leagu'd in with sacerdotal sway are known.
But peace and freedom link'd together dwell, And reformation in full glory shines.
Oh for a muse of more exalted wing, To celebrate those men who planted first The christian church in these remotest lands; From those high plains where spreads a colony, Gen'rous and free, from Massachusett-shores, To the cold lakes margin'd with snow: from that Long dreary tract of shady woods and hills, Where Hudson's icy stream rolls his cold wave, To those more sunny bowers where zephyrs breath, And round which flow in circling current swift The Delaware and Susquehannah streams.
Thence to those smiling plains where Chesapeak Spreads her maternal arms, encompassing In soft embrace, full many a settlement, Where opulence, with hospitality, And polish'd manners, and the living plant Of science blooming, sets their glory high [1].
Thence to Virginia, sister colony, Lib'ral in sentiment, and breathing high, The noble ardour of the freeborn soul.
To Carolina thence, and that warm clime Where Georgia south in summer heat complains, And distant thence towards the burning line.
These men deserve our song, and those who still, With industry severe, and steady aim Diffuse the light in this late dreary land, In whose lone wastes and solitudes forlorn, Death long sat brooding with his raven wing.
Who many 'a structure of great fame have rais'd, College, and school, upon th' Atlantic coast, Or inland town, through ev'ry province wide, Which rising up like pyramids of fire, Give light and glory to the western world.
These men we honour, and their names shall last Sweet in the mouths and memory of men; Or if vain man unconscious of their worth, Refuse a tear when in some lonely vale He sees those faithful laid; each breeze shall sigh, Each passing gale shall mourn, each tree shall bend Its heavy head, in sorrow o'er their tombs, And some sad stream run ever weeping by.
Weep not O stream, nor mourn thou passing gale, Beneath those grassy tombs their bodies lie, But they have risen from each labour bere To make their entrance on a nobler stage.
What though with us they walk the humble vale Of indigence severe, with want oppress'd? Riches belong not to their family, Nor sloth luxurious nor the pride of kings; But truth meek-ey'd and warm benevolence Wisdom's high breeding in her sons rever'd Bespeaks them each the children[2] of a king.
The christian truth of origin divine, Grows not beneath the shade of civil pow'r, Riches or wealth accompanied with pride; Nor shall it bloom transplanted to that soil, Where persecution, in malignant streams, Flows out to water it; black streams and foul Which from the lake of Tartarus break forth, The sickly tide of Acheron which flows, With putrid waves through the infernal shades.
This plant of heaven loves the gentle beams, Of truth and meekness, and the kindly dew Which fell on Zion hill; it loves the care Of humble shepherds, and the rural swain, And tended by their hands it flourishes With fruit and blossoms, and soon gives a shade, Beneath which ev'ry traveller shall rest, Safe from the burning east-wind and the sun.
A vernal shade not with'ring like the gourd Of him who warned Nineveh, but like The aged oaks immortal on the plain Of Kadesh, or tall cedars on the hill Of Lebanon, and Hermon's shady top.
High is their fame through each succeeding age Who build the walls of Zion upon earth.
Let mighty kings and potentates combine, To raise a pyramid, which neither storm, Nor sea indignant, nor the raging fire, Nor time can waste, or from firm basis move.
Or let them strive by counsel or by arms, To fix a throne, and in imperial sway, Build up a kingdom shadowing the earth, Unmov'd by thunder or impetuous storm Of civil war, dark treason, or the shock Of hostile nations, in dire league combin'd.
They build a kingdom of a nobler date, Who build the kingdom of the Saviour God.
This, not descending rain, nor mighty storm, Nor sea indignant, nor the raging fire, Nor time shall waste, or from firm basis move.
Rounded on earth its head doth reach the skies, Secure from thunder, and impetuous storm, Of civil war, dark treason, or the shock Of hostile nations in dire league combin'd.
This still shall flourish and survive the date, Of each wide state and empire of the earth Which yet shall rise, as now of those which once From richest Asia or from Europe spread On mighty base and shaded half the world.
Great Babylon which vex'd the chosen seed, And by whose streams the captive Hebrews sat, In desolation lies, and Syria west, Where the Seleucidæ did fix their throne, Loud-thund'ring thence o'er Judah's spoiled land, Boasts her proud rule no more.
Rome pagan next, The raging furnace where the saints were tried, No more enslaves mankind.
Rome papal too Contracts her reign and speaks proud things no more.
The throne of Ottoman is made to shake, The Russian thund'ring to his firmest seat; Another age shall see his empire fall.
Yet in the east the light of truth shall shine, And like the sun returning after storms Which long had raged through a sunless sky, Shall beam beningly on forsaken lands.
The day serene once more on Zion hill Descending gradual, shall in radiance beam On Canaan's happy land.
Her fav'rite seers Have intercourse divine with this pure source; Perennial thence rich streams of light shall flow, To each adjoining vale and desert plain Lost in the umbrage of dark heathen shades.
The gospel light shall gloriously survive The wasting blaze of ev'ry baser fire.
The fire of Vesta, an eternal fire, So falsely call'd and kept alive at Rome; Sepulchral lamp in burial place of kings, Burn'd unconsum'd for many ages down; But yet not Vesta's fire eternal call'd And kept alive at Rome, nor burning lamp Hid in sepulchral monument of kings, Shall bear an equal date with that true light, Which shone from earth to heav'n, and which shall shine Up through eternity, and be the light Of heav'n, the new Jerusalem above.
This light from heav'n shall yet illume the earth And give its beams to each benighted land Now with new glory lighted up again.
Then ruthless Turk and Saracen shall know The fallacies of him Medina bred, And whose vain tomb, in Mecca they adore.
Then Jews shall view the great Messiah come, And each rent tribe in caravan by land, Or ship by sea, shall visit Palestine Thrice holy then, with vile Idolatry No more defil'd, altar on mountain head, Green shady hill, or idol of the grove.
For there a light appears, with which compar'd, That was a twilight shed by rite obscure, And ceremony dark and sacrifice Dimly significant of things to come.
Blest with this light no more they deviate In out-way path; distinguished no more By school or sect, Essene or Saducee, Cairite or Scribe of Pharisaic mould.
Jew and Samaritan debate no more, Whether on Gerizim or Zion hill They shall bow down.
Above Moriah's mount Each eye is raised to him, whose temple is Th' infinitude of space, whom earth, sea, sky And heav'n itself cannot contain.
No more The noise of battle shall be heard, or shout Of war by heathen princes wag'd; There's nought Shall injure or destroy; they shall not hurt In all my holy mountain saith the Lord.
The earth in peace and ev'ry shadow fled, Bespeaks Emmanuel's happy reign when Jew, And kindred Gentile shall no more contend, Save in the holier strife of hymn and song, To him who leads captive captivity, Who shall collect the sons of Jacob's line, And bring the fulness of the Gentiles in.
Thrice happy day when Gentiles are brought in Complete and full; when with its genial beams The day shall break on each benighted land Which yet in darkness and in vision lies: On Scythia and Tartary's bleak hills; On mount Imaus, and Hyrcanian cliffs Of Caucasus, and dark Iberian dales; Japan and China, and the sea-girt isles The ancient Ophir deem'd; for there rich gems And diamond pearl, and purest gold is found.
Thrice happy day when this whole earth shall feel The sacred ray of revelation shed, Far to the west, through each remotest land With equal glory rivalling the day Pour'd on the east.
When these Americ shores Shall far and wide be light, and heav'nly day Shall in full glory rise on many a reign, Kingdom and empire bending to the south, And nation touching the Pacific shore.
When Christian churches shall adorn the streams Which now unheeded flow with current swift Circling the hills, where fiercest beasts of prey, Panther and wolf in nightly concert howl.
The Indian sage from superstition freed, Be taught a nobler heav'n than cloud-topt-hill, Or sep'rate island in the wat'ry waste.
The aged Sachem fix his moving tribe, And grow humane now taught the arts of peace.
In human sacrifice delight no more, Mad cantico or savage feast of war.
Such scenes of fierce barbarity no more Be perpetrated there, but truth divine Shine on the earth in one long cloudless day, Till that last hour which shuts the scene of things, When this pure light shall claim its native skies; When the pure stream of revelation shall, With refluent current visit its first hills: There shall it mix with that crystalline wave, Which laves the walls of Paradise on high, And from beneath the seat of God doth spring.
This is that river from whose sacred head The sanctified in golden arms draw light, On either side of which that tree doth grow Which yields immortal fruit, and in whose shade If shade were needed there, the rapt shall sing, In varied melody to harp and lyre, The sacred song of Moses and the Lamb: Eternity's high arches ring; 'Tis heard Through both infinitudes of space and time.
Thus have I sung to this high-favour'd bow'r, And sacred shades which taught me first to sing, With grateful mind a tributary strain.
Sweet grove no more I visit you, no more Beneath your shades shall meditate my lay.
Adieu ye lawns and thou fair hill adieu, And you O shepherds, and ye graces fair With comely presence honouring the day, Far hence I go to some sequest'red vale By woody hill or shady mountain side, Where far from converse and the social band, My days shall pass inglorious away: [3] But this shall be my exultation still My chiefest merit and my only joy, That when the hunter on some western hill, Or furzy glade shall see my grassy tomb, And know the stream which mourns unheeded by, He for a moment shall repress his step, And say, There lies a Son of Nassau-Hall.