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Portrait attributed to John Watson, c. 1730.

“PHILOSOPHIC SOLITUDE” (1747)
by WILLIAM LIVINGSTON.
“The ancient and distinguished Scottish family of Livingstone, or, as the name is
now written, Livingston,” writes Theodore Sedgwick, Jr. in his A Memoir of the Life of
William Livingston (1833), p. 19, “is said to derive its origin from an Hungarian
gentleman of the name of Livingius (vid. Anderson’s Genealogies), who accompanied
Margaret, the sister of Edgar Atheling, and wife of King Malcolm Canmore, from his
native country to Scotland, about the period of the Norman conquest.” Of ironic interest
is it also to learn that the sire of the founder of that later famed and stupendously affluent
New York dynasty was a parish Parson in Teviot in Roxburgshire, Scotland. His son,
Robert Livingston, “the elder” (1654-1728), settled in New York from thence in 1672. Of
the elder’s own three sons, Philip (1686-1749) was in turn the father of two of the
American Revolution’s most illustrious political figures: Philip (1716-1778), a signatory
of the Declaration of Independence, and William (born in Albany, 1723-1790).
The life of William Livingston was one of vigorous and unbounded activity. His
public career began very early when as a lad he spent a year among the Mohawk Indians
assisting a missionary. He subsequently attended Yale and where he graduated at the
head of his class in 1741. From there, he went on to study law in New York City, and in
1752 was one of those appointed by the colony legislature to organize and frame a digest
of New York’s statutes. Around the same time, he took up publishing and occupied
himself composing numerous articles and editorials, adding his voice to church and state
controversies; including becoming opposition to the church party of the Delancey’s who
favored rule by an Anglican episcopacy in New York;1 with concomitant say in secular
affairs. To Livingston’s way of thinking, God’s true anointed were not monarchs (and
these, in practice, included bishops), but rather the people. As well, Livingston found
time to address local manners and morals in writings that harkened to Addison’s

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Livingston, for example, objected to the predominating influence of church hierarchy on the Board of
Trustess of King’s College (later to become Columbia University.)

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Despite being busy as governor. Among his last offices. * The Watch Tower (essays and articles). he was one of the New Jersey delegates sent to the First Continental Congress. 24 Dec.Spectator. 25. and which he remained with his family to the end of his life. 1775. and yet makes mention of neither Gates nor Arnold (New-Jersey Gazette. supplier of Washington’s army. In 1772. * Digest of N. Livingston makes a point of singling out Morgan’s rifles for praise. while Governor. such that he was finally persuaded to put it aside as undignified for his office. 1756.” 1747.2 In these he oft displayed a flair for light satire and ridicule. he left Congress after being elected to take command of the Brigade of New Jersey militia. from the commencement of French hostilities on the Frontiers of Virginia in 1753. he continued to write and published regularly in the New-Jersey Gazette. to the surrender of Oswego on the 14th April. Although he signed the Constitution.) In one editorial on Saratoga. 1754-55. he was noticeably reticent in the great debates.” * “Philosophic Solitude. But on June 5. 1752-62. In one instance. 1752-53. 1779. pp. 161-163. * The Independent Reflector (essays and articles). which office he held continually till his death in 1790. as we shall presently see. 1777). The following year he again was voted to resume his seat in the Second. he and his family. in a Letter to a Nobleman (1756) pub. he settled in (then) Elizabethtown. by timely notice. rather unusual for a person of his standing and sometimes moral gravity. Indeed. During the war. he was an ardent supporter and. Notwithstanding. By 1776 he had become Governor of New Jersey. 2 . Like Francis Hopkinson. in London. his verve for writing. and on several occasions the British made attempts to catch him. he returned shortly after to re-take up residence. but who otherwise had it in him to become a much more famous author than he is normally given credit to be. * Review of the Military Operations in North America. when possible. incurred the disapproval of some. New Jersey where he built Liberty Hall.3 Sedgwick’s Memoir provides a list of his writings and literary works as follows: * “The Art of Pleasing. Livingston was sent as a delegate to the Federal convention in 1787. 1860. often under pennames such as “Hortentius” and “Scipio. Laws. By1774. 1 of the Cyclopedia of American Literature. Y.” and speaking out to raise American morale and criticize the British war effort. he was a statesman and legal mind first. evaded capture when a contingent of soldiers from the 42nd and 33rd Regiments ransacked and looted Liberty Hall. on Feb. 2 Some samples of his Hortentius writings are contained in Frank Moore’s Diary of the American Revolution (n 2 volumes. 3 Duyckinck includes an informative and general survey of his career and writings in vol. he composed poetry in no slight or unambitious vein. Furthermore.

In sum. I was somewhat apprehensive as to quite what to expect of its merit. 1788-90. “A Morning Hymn. Scipio. while. * “The American Whig” (essays and articles). De Lolme’s Constitution of England. American poetry of its pre-revolutionary day. Adams’s Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: and on Mr. at a juncture in our history when John Adams was a mere 12 and Thomas Jefferson 4 years old. American poets then were notorious for thoughtlessly imitating. He takes the old models and standards. and combines and weaves them into a new form with sometimes a fresh perspective. * “Observations on Government. “Philosophic Solitude” is nothing less than a small treasure. Including Some Animadversions on Mr. and the title of Primitive Whig. * Letter to Bishop of Llandaff. also managing to be moving and uplifting. if not itself strictly the best. A POEM. reawakening American spirit into his overall vision. 1768-69. ~~~***~~~ PHILOSOPHIC SOLITUDE. While Livingston. Adam’s Defence of the Constitutions of government of the United States of America” (1787) * Essays in Mathew Carey’s The American Museum. Colden). * The Sentinel (essays and articles). By a Farmer” (1787). British authors.1765. 1767. when not dully mimicking. he nonetheless breathes a vibrant. and at times the poem sparkles in a scintillating way. in the New-Jersey Gazette. for example. 1770. 3 . * “America. Moreover. rather than Francis Hopkinson. * Essays under the signatures of Hortentius.” found on page 343 of Hugh Henry Brackeneridge’s Gazette Publications (1806). To these we can also add “Observations on Government. and reflective of an American sense of priorities. Or. or the Choice of a Rural Life. In addition it is believed Livingston. infused with Miltonian aspirations. a Poem on the Settlement of the British Colonies. Yet of all his compositions. Upon initially approaching the work. in his synthesizing an overflowing exuberance for Nature with a sincere and equally aroused adoration of the Divinity. * “A Soliloquy” (on Gov. the work’s didactic character lend it a utility that clearly was and is of pragmatic value. at others. 1777-86.” 1757. Aaron Burr. probably the most impressive is his “Philosophic Solitude” penned in 1747.* “Eulogium on Rev. a lampoon in verse deriding Burgoyne’s formal statement to all Americans announcing his invasion. is not quite an exception to this. and without doubt stands among the best. authored “The Proclamation” (1777).” New Haven 1770. THE ARGUMENT. Including Some Animadversions on Mr.

Praise of the marriage state. The existence of God inferred from a view of the beauty and harmony of the creation. The author’s exit. Near beauteous landscapes. stars. And gloomy yews extend the shady row. From noise remote. emperors. Whose pliant branches should luxuriant twine. Among the leaves refreshing zephyrs play. and rush to war’s alarms. No costly furniture should grace my hall. Fops. tyrants. And dunces cringe to be esteem’d at court: Mine be the pleasure of a rural life. To shining palaces let fools resort. The cedars flourish. lap-dogs. Far from the painted belle. A knot of modern ladies described. The choice of his books. While purple clusters swell’d with future wine: To slake my thirst a liquid lapse distil From craggy rocks. Situation of the author’s house. Along my mansion spiry firs should grow. My neat. and choice of his friends. His love of retirement. By nature form’d for solitude and love.The subject proposed. and spread a limpid rill. The beauties of the country. And crowding trees exclude the noon-tide ray. Securely shelter’d from the battering storm. The vanity of riches and grandeur. courtiers. Contemplation of the Heavens. Let ardent heroes seek renown in arms. With savage game. A description if the morning. Full in the centre of some shady grove. Soon as Aurora blush’d along the sky. His frugality in his furniture. But curling vines ascend against the wall. And to melodious notes their choir apply. and shoot into the skies. and the poplars rise Sublimely tall. or by roseate bowers. and white-gloved beau. Hymn to the sun. and czars. The lawless masquerade. and glossy shells adorn’d. On banks array’d with ever blooming flowers. and ignorant of strife. with rural plainness form’d. 4 . Pant after fame. garters. While all along the enchanting music rings. From ladies. Unlike the sumptuous domes of modern days. but simple mansion I would raise. Whereon the birds their downy nests should form. And every vocal grove responsive sings. fiddlers. and midnight show. Morning and evening devotion. Devoid of pomp.

ye vernal blooms! Ye bowery thickets. Triumphal piles. and gilded rooms of state. and fragrant with perfume. or shades. Seek crystal streams. and illustrious slaves. Profuse of sweets. Where nature wantons in her virgin pride. and amaranthine bowers. On blossoms blossoms. and brighten every grove. Gay. lakes. The flowery tribes in gay confusion bloom. and sycophantic knaves. and April showers Wake from the womb of earth the rising flowers: In deeper verdure SUMMER clothes the plain. guide.Me to sequester’d scenes. Aerial mountains. From all the vain formality of fools. that aromatic sweets exhale! Ye birds. There all the beauties of the circling year. and prophetic glooms! Ye forests. and silver-streaming floods! Ye meads. fruits on fruits arise. Nor thundering drums provoke the sanguine war: But white-robed peace. and try the rural lays! No trumpets there with martial clangor sound. Smile in the field. hail! ye solitary woods! Love-whispering groves. And varied prospects glad the wand’ring eyes. No groves of lances glitter in the air. T’ ambrosial founts. Elysian fields. There from the polish’d fetters of the great. Invoke the muse. and sleep-inspiring rills. In native ornamental pride appear. Illustrious villains. Prime ministers. hail! Oh how I long with you to spend my days. ye shades! all hail. and all ye sylvan beauties. and sunny hills. No prostrate heroes strew the crimson’d ground. and universal love. And AUTUMN bends beneath the golden grain. The trees weep amber. rosy-bosom’d SPRING. or subjacent glades. 5 . fountains. Where meadows flourish and where fields look gay. To herbaged vales. To mossy banks edged round with opening flowers. In these fair seats I’d pass the joyous day. or murmur through the vales. or haunt the vernal grove. gay lawns. ye muses. the fertile fields. Welcome. and the whispering gales Breeze o’er the lawn. From bliss to bliss with endless pleasure rove. Woods.

I’d live retir’d. and false designing friend. But with a friend sometimes unbend the soul In social converse. and faithful to his trust. Politely talks with unaffected ease. Averse to discord. unshaken. A firm. He sails serenely down the stream of life. Of soul diffusive. Celestial truths devolving from his tongue: High o’er the list’ning audience seen him stand. vast and unconfin’d. 6 . but not enjoy. Before the Roman bar. While ev’ry tongue resounded his applause. In early youth a minister of God: Each pulpit lov’d him when at Yale he shone. ready to commend.appear. Breathing benevolence to all mankind. I’d often pass the dancing hours away: He skill’d alike to profit and to please. The sevenfold fury of Xantippe’s soul. uncorrupted friend: In early youth fair wisdom’s paths he trod. and severely just. and a friend sincere. and capacious mind. unknown. Nor bow’d to Caesar’s throne the servile knee. while Rome was free. And S---’s rage that burns without controul. With long rob’d senators encircled round. Immortal Tully [Cicero] plead the patriot cause. Cautious to censure. Oft have I heard. Yet not a real hermitage I’d choose. Next round my board should candid S---. The visionary bliss the world can lend. Th’ insidious foe. Of manners gentle. contented. serene and wisely gay. Divinely speak and graceful stretch his hand: With such becoming grace and pompous sound. Sage in debate.And odious task of arbitrary rules. and serene. His florid genius. unenvied and unseen. The ruffling carts which the vex’d soul annoys The wealth the rich possess. amidst the adorning throng. o’er the sprightly bowl. too. Dear A----. Mature in science. And ev’ry bleeding bosom weeps him gone. With cheerful W----. For ever welcome to the green retreat: Heaven for the cause or righteousness design’d. party-rage and strife. should grace my rural seat. Forgot. Nor wish to live from all the world recluse.

Such seats the venerable Seers of old (When blissful years m golden circles roll’d) Chose and admir’d: e’en Goddesses and Gods (As poets feign) were fond of such abodes: The impartial consort of fictitious Jove. Tips with etherial dew the mountain’s brim. Melodious Phoebus sang: the Muses round Alternate warbling to the heavenly sound. Made rapid tygers bear their rage away. Behold. Sought pendant shades. in harmonious concert. Diffuse nectarious sweets around. and the opening flowers Imbibe the dew. Oft to Idalia on a golden cloud. and glow With all the colours of the showery bow 7 . near gliding streams. High thron’d in gold. and bath’d in cooling floods. strike the trembling string. Or. The silver-shafted Huntress of the woods. a radiant stream.With the three friends. or innocently sing. E’en the feign’d MONARCH of heaven’s bright abode. The unfolding roses. beneath a spreading shade Where silver fountains murmur thro’ the glade. and strew the varied bowers. Such was the seat where courtly Horace sung. And his bold harp immortal Maro strung: Where tuneful Orpheus’ unresisted lay. In harmless mirth I’d spend the circling hours. Veil’d in a mist of fragrance Venus rode. Amid sequester’d bowers. of gods the sovereign God. Or in cool grots. Or gravely talk. the rosy-finger’d morning down. For fount full Ida forsook the realms above. perfum’d with native flow’rs. and raptur’d danc’d around. While fair-hair’d damsels (a lascivious train) With wanton rites ador’d her gentle reign. While groves attentive to th’ extatic sound Burst from their roots. Oft time prefer’d the shade of Ida’s grove To all the ambrosial feasts and nectar’d cups above. In palmy Delos. And love-sick youths their am’rous vows prefer’d. by Scamander’s side. rob’d and blushing o’er the lawn! Reflected from the clouds. In saffron. Druids and Bards enjoy’d serenest dreams. There num’rous altars to the queen were rear’d. Or where Cajister roll’d his silver tide.

with burning glory crown’d. the feather’d nations sing. If thou so fair with delegated light. and artists mould The fusile silver and the ductile gold: Hence war is furnished. or spread the boundless skies: He made the whole: at his omnific call 8 . Hence labour draws her tools. Go. fill the stie. And forked light[e]nings flash from pole to pole. and bristle into swine! None but a power omnipotent and wise Could frame this earth. Pursue the planets whirling through the sky. whose single smile supplies. and gilds the etherial way. But yonder comes the illustrious God of day. and fire. That all heaven’s splendors vanish at thy sight. and the forests live. Invests the east. and looks gay: Fresh blooms the rose. The groves rejoice. Go. humility resign. Hail Orb! array’d with majesty. That bids each sable shade of night retire! Fountain of light. and astronomic eye. swell the riot. Heaven’s sumptuous canopy. and the regal shield Like lightning flashes o’er illum’d field. Buzz o’er the field. that gives the golden day. With what effulgence must the ocean glow! From which thy borrow’d beams incessant flow! The exhaustless source. the drooping plants revive. And not confess its Architect divine? Then go. railing infidel! canst thou survey Yon globe of fire.The industrious bees their balmy toil renew. the ripening ore Confesses thy consolidating power. Echo the mountains and the vallies ring. Deep in the teeming earth. Immeasurable vault! where thunders roll. vain wretch. The harmonious structure of this vast machine. Darting a deluge of effulgence round! Wak’d by thy genial and prolific ray. and sip the rosy dew. and exhaust the bowl: Plunge into vice. Say. and starry host. tho’ deathless be thy soul. Nature resumes her verdure. With level’d tube. in admiration lost. The unnumber’d orbs that gild the spangled skies! Oft would I view. The groves reflourish.

In heaven. and gave the day. self-existent God! Before the beamy sun dispensed a ray. O GOD! should tremble on my tongue. By him our cup is crown’d. Haunt coral groves. and the thunders roar. And chant sublimer hymns to his Creator’s praise. endow’d with an immortal mind His maker’s image. Attentive listen to the tuneful song. What countless wonders doth the earth contain: What countless wonders the unfathom’d main? Bedrop’d with gold. Swell every note. And hush’d to silence all the feather’d throng. Ambitious of his name. And one ALMIGHTY GOD is seen in all. the warblers sing. Hang in suspense to hear the heavenly strain.) Some courteous angel should my breast inspire. While mazy streams meandering to the main. Rising from sleep with the melodious choir.From formless chaos rose this spacious ball. Thy name. And golden beams the impurpled skies adorn. and bear the music round. said life sustaining bread. on earth. our table spread With luscious wine. 9 . Attune my lips. And praise their Maker while they hail the spring The zephyrs breathe it. and in the deeps profound. But Man. Flamed in the azure vault. and shore resounds to shore. thou reign’dst superior Lord. While sportive echoes catch the sacred sound. and guide the warbled wire. When rising Phoebus ushers in the morn. High in the heavens. By suppliant angels worshipp’d and adored. or lash the foaming brine. While surge to surge. and for heaven design’d To loftier notes his raptur’d voice should raise. Or the soft music of the waving woods. Before the glimmering moon with borrow’d light Shone queen amid the silver host of night. Father of Light! exhaustless source of good! Supreme. Till every grove proved vocal to my song: (Delightful task! with dawning light to sing Triumphant hymns to heaven’s eternal King. To solemn sounds I’d tune the hallow’d lyre. JEHOVAH’s glories blaze all nature round. there scaly nations shine. Waked by the gentle murmur of the floods. eternal.

To sing thy praise. alternately I’d pay The evening anthem. Pale tyrants shrink. O GOD! inspire A mortal breast with more than mortal fire. and vaulted arches rise. Through all infinitude extends thy reign. and with glory crown’d. Though fretted gold the sculptured roof adorn. Thrones. dominions. Tremendous roars thy vengeance o’er the world. And from the orient burst the golden sun. And round thy awful throne with one accord Sing. the echoing heavens resound. from ancient night Sprang smiling beauty. For thee. they sing. the atheist stands aghast. Rocks fall to dust. Heaven’s gazing hierarchies with glad surprise Saw the first morn invest the recent skies. do thou. Let there be light. Gay ceilings shine. Saints robed in white. nor heaven of heavens contain. 10 . nor heaven. insufferably bright. and the morning lay. For sovereign Gold I never would repine. At thy creative voice. And impious kings in horror breathe their last. And straight the exulting troops thy throne surround With thousand. holy is the Lord. And radiant martyrs hallelujahs sing: Heaven’s universal host their voices raise In one eternal chorus to thy praise. and yon worlds of light: Thou spak’st -.With the celestial choir then let me join In cheerful praises to the power divine. Nor wish the glittering dust of monarchs mine. and nature owns her God.the planetary chorus rolled. What though high columns heave into the skies. holy. -.light instant shone. The tempest is thy breath: the thunder hurl’d. The effulgent sun. (ever-shining trains!) Shouted thy praises in triumphant strains: Great are thy works. said GOD. powers. and all around Great are thy works. And all the expanse was starr’d with beamy gold. In dreadful majesty thou sitt’st enthroned. the smoking mountains nod. thousand harps of heavenly sound. holy. To this great God. to thee their anthems bring. Thou bow’st the heavens. With light encircled. Is but a beam of thy o’erflowing light. But though thy throne is fix’d above the sky Thy Omnipresence fills immensity.

And Titan-like insult the avenging skies: The crowd in adulation calls him lord. and stiff with woven gold! But the tall ram his downy fleece afford.The rubbies redden. Extort the unwilling tear. he sickens.yet hails the dying hour. High from a dunghill. and drunk with earthly joys. Whom. cold -. and acclamation loud. The poor he scourges with an iron rod. the proud. By thousands courted. alas! avails the gay attire To wretched man. the rabble did adore -Regard him now -. His sorrowing heir augments the tender shower. When shaggy hides composed his flowing vest. Oft would I wander through the dewy field. And rising mists obscure his swimming eyes: Around his bed his weeping friends bemoan. And from his bosom banishes his God.) Glitter in gems. the gay. lo. Deplores his death -. To clothe in modest garb his frugal lord.unanimated clay! He that just now was flatter’d by the crowd With high applause. No higher thought his grov’ling soul employs. But oft in height of wealth and beauty’s bloom. who breathes but to expire! Oft on the vilest riches are bestow’d. Ah. Deluded man is fated to the tomb! For. and wish him gone. But now his sons (forgetful whence they came. beneath a canopy! His eyes no more shall see the cheerful light. and glory in their shame.and lo! he is no more. When clothes supplied the want of innocence. the rich. With gems instarr’d. bitter comfort! sad relief to die! Though sunk in down. Lies breathless. 11 . My eyes no dazzling vestments should behold. Weigh’d down by death in everlasting night: And now the great. and adored: In riot plunged. And drew down torrents from the widow’s eyes. That steel’d his bosom to the orphan’s cries. flatter’d. and the jaspers burn! Or what. swift his color flies. Doom’d to the cumbrous load for his offence. see a Dives rise. To show their meanness in tlie sight of God. like a God. Thus the great father of mankind was dress’d.

Or bind our temples with unfading flowers. and what poets sing. Or in lone. and talks with demi-gods! 12 . And sacred raptures swell thy rising soul. Will run forever purple through his song. Reading should be to contemplation join’d. First I’d collect from the Parnassian spring. Becalm their slumbers. and prompt their soft repose. of misery. -Virgil. See! how he mounts toward the blest abodes On planets rides. And when with age thy head is silver’d o’er. thy bosom beats no more.” But to improve the intellectual mind. (Sad lives of pain. The blood of heroes now effus’d so 1ong. and woe!) Long by affliction’s boisterous tempests tost. or walk the liquid sky. “Be not afraid of us. Protect the just. by the throne. We reach’d at length the ever-blissful coast: Now in the embowering groves and lawns above. To heaven we bear thy prayers like rich perfumes. grots for contemplation made. And cold in death. Thy soul exulting shall desert its clay. the golden censer fumes. heaven’s peculiar care! Avert impending harms. innoxious band. Who gives his hallow’d muse to sacred themes. When from thy tongue divine hosannas roll. Attune the golden harp in roseate bowers. Methinks I see the immortal beings fly. we cut the air To guard the righteous. Inspire the poet with repeated dreams. Where. Oft on kind errands bent. And other bards pay homage to his throne. and refresh their powers. We taste the raptures of immortal love. as Prince. should wear the laurel’d crown. And swiftly shoot athwart the streaming sky: Hark! a melodious voice I seem to hear. serene their gloomy hours. Converse with angels. and the mighty dead: For all around unnumber’d spirits fly. Erewhile like thee we led our lives below. Thy cell surrounding by divine command.Where clustering roses balmy fragrance yield. Waft on the breeze. Inspire gay dreams. What muses dictate. And mount triumphant to eternal day. their minds compose. And heavenly sounds invade my listening ear.

How stern AEneas thunders through the field! With tow’ring helmet. (His helmet flashes. to its centre shook. and refulgent shield Coursers o’erturn’d. Parent of song. in his bosom plung’d the shining blade -The soul indignant sought the Stygian shade! The far-fam’d bards that graced Britannia’s isle. and deride the lance. A golden zone her royal limbs embrac’d. and fam’d the world around! His plowing breast divine Urania fired. In crimson trappings. and tears the solid ground. First Michael stalks high towering ov’er the rest. Or God himself the immortal Bard inspired. Explores all heaven. With heavenly plumage nodding on this crest: Impenetrable arms his limbs unfold. Confusedly gay with interwoven gold! He champs the bit. Eternal adamant and burning gold! Sparkling in fiery mail. 13 . and mighty warriors slain. Impatient paws. Should next compose the venerable pile. lie welt’ring on the plain. Deform’d with gore. Rebellious Satan animates the fight: Armipotent they sink in rolling smoke.How do our ravish’d spirits melt away. glorious to behold. and his arms resound!) All grim with rage. ill-fated chieftains lie. Her motion graceful. When in his song Sicilian shepherds play! But what a splendor strikes the dazzled eye. Great Milton first. Contemn the trumpet. and august her mein. To crush his foes and quell the dire alarms. and throws the foam around. A golden quiver rattled by her waist. and threaten as they die. All heaven resounding. When Dido shines in awful majesty! Embroider’d purple clad the Tyrian queen. Through the thick squadrons see the Hero bound. Struck through with wounds. (Re-kindled ire! for blooming Pallas dead) Then. for towering thought renown’d. See her proud steed majestically prance. Frown e’en in death. with dire delight. While warring myriads shake th’ etherial plain. Borne on triumphant wings he takes his flight. he frowns over Turnus’ head. and treads the realms of light: In martial pomp he clothes th’ angelic train.

Thames’ silver streams his flowing verse admire. and in exalted strain. and groves in living green: His lays the verdure of the meads prolong. And withered forests blossom in his song. Re-sang the fortune of the god-like man? Again the Trojan prince with dire delight. Compell’d them headlong to the infernal world. Dreadful in arms demands the lingering fight: Again Camilla glows with martial fire. o’er heaven’s crystalline road Thundered the chariot of the Filial God. the son’rous numbers roar. His limbs incas’d. 14 . And Phoebus taught his laureat son to sing. With more than native lustre Virgil shines. Till Dryden rose. And cease to murmur while he turns his lyre. For who would Dryden’s polish’d verse refuse? His lips were moistened in Parnassus’ spring. Cherubs and Seraphs in confusion roll’d: Till. and crowns of gold. The burning wheels on golden axles turn’d. Rush on the deep. with terror struck. But when the night and hoarse resounding storm. In radiant panoply divinely bright. Lo! the apostate host. With sapphic sweetness. Then tuneful Pope. With flaming gems the golden axels burn’d. and pindaric fire. The embowering groves and Windsor’s blissful plains. Smooth flow his numbers when he paints the grove Th’ enraptur’d virgins listening into love. But when he sings th’ exhilerated swains. and Neptune’s face deform. Roll back by millions! Th’ Empyrean shook I Sceptres. His beauties fading. On burning wheels. Father of verse! melodious and divine! Next peerless Milton should distinguish shine. from his hand the triple thunder hurl’d. Like the hoarse surge that thunders on the shore. Rough runs the verse. whom all the nine inspire. and orbid shields. and makes all Troy retire. and his flights unknown. How long did Virgil untranslated moan. he flash’d devouring light. Embroidered fields. Drives armies back. Our eyes are ravishtd with the sylvan scene.Messiah sparkled in refulgent arms. Next should appear great Dryden’s lofty muse.

Blest man! from gay delusive scenes remov’d.And gains sublimer heights in Dryden’s lines. Nor meanly blush’d to sing Jehovah’s praise. Not then with Plays the lab’ring press would groan. for spotless sanctity rever’d. by thy Maker lov’d. Lov’d by the good. 6 [Footnote in original] Socrates. Persuasive Tully. No prostrate Virtue groan beneath their rage. exulting. [Footnote in original] Seneca. Blest man. And mounts yon sparkling world with hallow’d rage. instruct. And from the tyrant’s lawless rage retired. Th’ unconquerable Sage. Thy Maker loving. Compels my thoughts to wing the heavenly road. Raleigh I’d read with ever fresh delight. -. T’ exalt. harmonious bard! inspire Thy raptured breast with such seraphic fire. These for Delight. When victor Caesar freed unhappy Rome. 5 15 . But prompting Angels warm thy boundless rage. and Demosthenes. No fabled Nine. Him6 whom ungrateful Athens doom’d to bleed. fam’d Thucydides. Direct thy thoughts. Not Vice defy the Pulpit and the Throne. Quintillian. Who scorns th’ applause of the licentious stage. No impious rhymer charm a vicious age. Fill the wide earth. From Pompey’s chains. Livy. by Providence design’d. and rectify the mind. Oh! did.4 whom virtue fir’d. to my God. to substitute his own. and by the guilty fear’d. Longinus. and imitate thy page. each laurel’d bard delight. and heavens all-ruling fire. And wafts my soul. To God thou tunest thy consecrated lays. who strings his silver lyre To sacred odes. Plato. and Corduba’s Sage. While ages past rise present to my sight: 4 [Footnote in original] Cato.for Profit I would read: The labour’d volumes of the learned dead: Sagacious Locke.5 Who fell by Nero’s unrelenting rage. To paint Religion in her native light. like thee. Despis’d when living. But themes divine in lofty numbers rise. and echo through the skies. and deplored when dead. The gentle Watts.

While Philomela swell’d the sponsal song. proud. Then fell a victim to his country’s sword! Nor should great Derham pass neglected by. 16 . So greatly good. in what blest region can I find Such bright perfections in a female mind? What Phoenix-woman breathes the vital air. And Paradise with gratulations rung. Britannia. Observant sage! to whose deep piercing eye Nature’s stupendous works expanded lie. Harmonious mingle in the nuptial rite. Angela the Witnesses. inviolable tie! Perpetual fountain of domestic joy! Love. A dread solemnity the espousals grac’d. To improve my bliss and ease the load of life. Nor he. ambitious to be good. By reason aw’d. O Rome! thy consecrated fire. When perfect innocence distinguish’d man. not the gay and fashionable train. Gay as the morning to the bridal bed. and GOD the Priest! All earth exulted on the nuptial hour. I would choose a wife. whose illustrious name Will shine on records of eternal fame: By love directed. And voluntary roses deck’d the bow’r! The joyous birds on every blossom’d spray. In Eden first the holy state began. Licentious. inspiring muse: where shall I find blooming virgin with an angel mind. thy unmatch’d renown! (Adjudg’d to wear the philosophic crown) Who on the solar orb uplifted rode. Unblemish’d as the white-rob’d virgin quire That fed. th’ Almighty Pontiff led. Averse to vice. friendship. and so divinely fair? Sure. And scan’d th’ unfathomable works of God! Who bound the silver planets to their spheres. honor. And trac’d th’ elliptic curve of blazing stars Immortal Newton. immortal and prophane: Who spend their golden hours in antic dress.Ah man unblest! he foreign realms explored. Hail Wedlock! hail. Relate. and zealous for her God? Relate. Sung Hymenians to the important day. truth and pure delight. The human pair.

At length equip’d in love’s enticing arms. interstreak’d with grey. lap-dogs. tuckers. Th’ ideal goddesses to church repair. This shews the trophies of her former loves. Then parrots. and the Queen of Arms. Polly avers that Sylvia drest in green. Strove Juno. Aim wily glances at unthinking fools. deeply studied in coquettish rules. And dance incessant on the flippant tongue. Not with more toil to improve immortal charms. The belles prepare to grace the sacred court. When last at church the gaudy Nymph was seen. To kill with glances and destroy in play.and the strife is o’er. One pulls the shape-creating stays. Awards ’twas neither -. and this a flounce approves. When Priam’s Son adjudg’d the golden prize. The celebrated idols hie away 17 . Peep through the fan and mutter o’er a pray’r. Or listen to the organ’s pompous sound. Chloe condemns her optics. Or eye the gilded images around. squirrels. and in prime of years. And Misses tortur’d will Repent no more. and will lay ’Twas azure sattin. This hates a flounce. and one Encircles round her waist the golden zone. ribbands. with reverential fear In wanton wreaths collect their silken hair. monkeys. and to the play. Venus. They marshal all their forces in array. -Lo! round the board a shining train appears In rosy beauty.Malicious whispers. Fans. They mount the pictur’d coach. Or wound the fopling with a lock of hair: And when the hated discipline is o’er. Lucy invested with judicial pow’r. In quick succession. And when fatigu’d with ev’ry other sport. With all that glitters and with all that charms. beaus. Or. Or shew the lily hand with graceful air. furbeloes. To the resistless beauty of the skies. and the ambrosial shower. Two paint their cheeks. and inglorious ease. patches. Two skilful maids. and round their temples pour The fragrant unguent. thro’ their fancies run.

Go where cool shades imbrown the noon-tide bowers. Imparadis’d within my eager arms. Supernal grace and purity divine: Sublime her reason. alas! avails a ruby cheek. Should set her features in a pleasing light. and rural scene. Partake my joys and sympathize my grief. Tho’ sorely wounded by her radiant eyes. Nor beauty forms intrinsic excellence: But in her breast let moral beauties shine. Nor bribe her reason to pursue the mode: Mild as the saint whose errors are forgiven. This be the partner this the lovely wife. 18 . Soft Hymen’s rites her passion should approve. But what. Averse to idle pomp. commands. o’er the green. That should embellish and prolong my life. with intermingled white. And fill a glowing Cherub with desire! With her I’d spend the pleasurable day. Or sit in open fields damask’d with flowers. And in her bosom glow the flames of love: To me her soul. From female prejudice and bigotry. Calm as a vestal. When raptur’d Paris darted in her arms. without guile. The flattering coxcomb. and her native wit Unstrain’d with pedantry and low conceit: Her fancy lively and her judgment free. by sacred friendship turn. But pay due reverence to th’ exhalted mind By learning polish’d and by wit refin’d. Through ev’ry blooming mead.Not so the Lass that should my joy improve. And all her faults as freely reprehends. Like Helen flushing with unrival’d charms. Unshaken. A downy bosom. and outward show. While fleeting minutes gaily danc’d away: With her I’d walk delighted. Who all her virtues. or a snowy neck? Charms ill supply the want of innocence. The fop’s impertinence she should despise. and fantastic beau. walk in virtues peaceful road. And I for her with equal friendship burn: In every stage of life afford relief. A nymph! who might a second fall inspire. With solid friendship and connubial love: A native bloom. I’d reign the happy monarch of her charms. and compos’d as heaven.

Then lull’d. to balmy rest.Oft on her panting bosom would I lay. Wm.facebook.com/wsherman_1 For Lee’s Legion on Face Book: https://www. Though death with his imperial horrors crown’d. Thomas Sherman 1604 NW 70th St.gunjones.scribd. My blooming fair should slumber at my breast. and formidably frown’d. in dissolving raptures. And. melt away. by nightingales. To heavenly mansions of unclouded light. And when decrepid age (frail mortals doom!) Should bend my wither’d body to the tomb. Blessing my natal and my mortal hour. Seattle.com/groups/LeesLegion/ 19 . Offences pardon’d. Should form a calm serenity within. and remitted sin. Terrific grinn’d.com and http://www. No warbling Syrens should retard my flight. for I. would never fear to Die. Washington 98117 206-784-1132 wts@gunjones.com http://www. Who knew to Live. (My soul committed to the eternal power) Inexorable death should smile.

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