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“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
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.)
he continued to write and published regularly in the New-Jersey Gazette.) In one editorial on Saratoga. pp.” and speaking out to raise American morale and criticize the British war effort. he and his family. from the commencement of French hostilities on the Frontiers of Virginia in 1753. often under pennames such as “Hortentius” and “Scipio. * Review of the Military Operations in North America. while Governor. he composed poetry in no slight or unambitious vein. but who otherwise had it in him to become a much more famous author than he is normally given credit to be. incurred the disapproval of some.3 Sedgwick’s Memoir provides a list of his writings and literary works as follows: * “The Art of Pleasing. Like Francis Hopkinson. and which he remained with his family to the end of his life. During the war. * The Watch Tower (essays and articles). Notwithstanding. The following year he again was voted to resume his seat in the Second.” 1747. 24 Dec.2 In these he oft displayed a flair for light satire and ridicule. when possible. 1775. evaded capture when a contingent of soldiers from the 42nd and 33rd Regiments ransacked and looted Liberty Hall. In one instance. * Digest of N. to the surrender of Oswego on the 14th April. he left Congress after being elected to take command of the Brigade of New Jersey militia. 2 . By 1776 he had become Governor of New Jersey. Despite being busy as governor. By1774. Laws. which office he held continually till his death in 1790. he settled in (then) Elizabethtown. he was an ardent supporter and. In 1772. 1752-53. he was a statesman and legal mind first. 1756. on Feb. Indeed. by timely notice. in a Letter to a Nobleman (1756) pub. and yet makes mention of neither Gates nor Arnold (New-Jersey Gazette. Livingston makes a point of singling out Morgan’s rifles for praise. Y. 1752-62.” * “Philosophic Solitude. 1779. Among his last offices. 1860. in London.Spectator. 161-163. 25. New Jersey where he built Liberty Hall. Livingston was sent as a delegate to the Federal convention in 1787. * The Independent Reflector (essays and articles). 1 of the Cyclopedia of American Literature. 1754-55. he was one of the New Jersey delegates sent to the First Continental Congress. as we shall presently see. 1777). his verve for writing. such that he was finally persuaded to put it aside as undignified for his office. he returned shortly after to re-take up residence. he was noticeably reticent in the great debates. Furthermore. But on June 5. supplier of Washington’s army. and on several occasions the British made attempts to catch him. rather unusual for a person of his standing and sometimes moral gravity. Although he signed the Constitution. 3 Duyckinck includes an informative and general survey of his career and writings in vol. 2 Some samples of his Hortentius writings are contained in Frank Moore’s Diary of the American Revolution (n 2 volumes.
THE ARGUMENT.* “Eulogium on Rev. 1768-69. reawakening American spirit into his overall vision. 3 . in the New-Jersey Gazette. he nonetheless breathes a vibrant. * Essays under the signatures of Hortentius. I was somewhat apprehensive as to quite what to expect of its merit. for example. * The Sentinel (essays and articles). if not itself strictly the best. While Livingston.1765. at a juncture in our history when John Adams was a mere 12 and Thomas Jefferson 4 years old. Colden). American poetry of its pre-revolutionary day. when not dully mimicking. and reflective of an American sense of priorities. Aaron Burr. Moreover. also managing to be moving and uplifting. By a Farmer” (1787). Adams’s Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America: and on Mr. authored “The Proclamation” (1777). Including Some Animadversions on Mr. De Lolme’s Constitution of England. Scipio. 1777-86. In sum. Including Some Animadversions on Mr. “A Morning Hymn. Upon initially approaching the work. 1788-90. infused with Miltonian aspirations. and without doubt stands among the best. * “Observations on Government. or the Choice of a Rural Life. a Poem on the Settlement of the British Colonies. the work’s didactic character lend it a utility that clearly was and is of pragmatic value. He takes the old models and standards. * “America.” found on page 343 of Hugh Henry Brackeneridge’s Gazette Publications (1806). Adam’s Defence of the Constitutions of government of the United States of America” (1787) * Essays in Mathew Carey’s The American Museum. while. To these we can also add “Observations on Government. * “The American Whig” (essays and articles). * “A Soliloquy” (on Gov. ~~~***~~~ PHILOSOPHIC SOLITUDE. and the title of Primitive Whig. American poets then were notorious for thoughtlessly imitating. rather than Francis Hopkinson. probably the most impressive is his “Philosophic Solitude” penned in 1747.” 1757. Or. and at times the poem sparkles in a scintillating way. is not quite an exception to this.” New Haven 1770. In addition it is believed Livingston. A POEM. and combines and weaves them into a new form with sometimes a fresh perspective. * Letter to Bishop of Llandaff. British authors. in his synthesizing an overflowing exuberance for Nature with a sincere and equally aroused adoration of the Divinity. 1767. 1770. “Philosophic Solitude” is nothing less than a small treasure. a lampoon in verse deriding Burgoyne’s formal statement to all Americans announcing his invasion. at others. Yet of all his compositions.
Unlike the sumptuous domes of modern days. And gloomy yews extend the shady row. And to melodious notes their choir apply. Situation of the author’s house. stars. fiddlers. lap-dogs. garters. Devoid of pomp. tyrants. and the poplars rise Sublimely tall. Soon as Aurora blush’d along the sky. The lawless masquerade. 4 . Morning and evening devotion. but simple mansion I would raise. And every vocal grove responsive sings. Near beauteous landscapes. and czars. or by roseate bowers. While purple clusters swell’d with future wine: To slake my thirst a liquid lapse distil From craggy rocks. and choice of his friends. My neat. Among the leaves refreshing zephyrs play. The choice of his books. The vanity of riches and grandeur. and white-gloved beau. A knot of modern ladies described. and ignorant of strife. with rural plainness form’d. Whose pliant branches should luxuriant twine. The beauties of the country. and glossy shells adorn’d. From noise remote. While all along the enchanting music rings. Full in the centre of some shady grove. Fops. Contemplation of the Heavens. His frugality in his furniture. Securely shelter’d from the battering storm. His love of retirement. And dunces cringe to be esteem’d at court: Mine be the pleasure of a rural life. and spread a limpid rill. Far from the painted belle. and midnight show. A description if the morning. On banks array’d with ever blooming flowers. courtiers. Let ardent heroes seek renown in arms. The existence of God inferred from a view of the beauty and harmony of the creation. No costly furniture should grace my hall. and rush to war’s alarms. Along my mansion spiry firs should grow. And crowding trees exclude the noon-tide ray. Whereon the birds their downy nests should form. To shining palaces let fools resort. The cedars flourish. and shoot into the skies. Hymn to the sun. But curling vines ascend against the wall. emperors. By nature form’d for solitude and love. The author’s exit. With savage game. Pant after fame. Praise of the marriage state. From ladies.The subject proposed.
and brighten every grove. and sunny hills. In native ornamental pride appear. And varied prospects glad the wand’ring eyes. or subjacent glades. hail! ye solitary woods! Love-whispering groves. Seek crystal streams. To mossy banks edged round with opening flowers. Smile in the field. and universal love. In these fair seats I’d pass the joyous day. and gilded rooms of state. There all the beauties of the circling year. On blossoms blossoms. No groves of lances glitter in the air. 5 . To herbaged vales. Where nature wantons in her virgin pride. gay lawns. From all the vain formality of fools. and try the rural lays! No trumpets there with martial clangor sound. and sycophantic knaves. and prophetic glooms! Ye forests. and illustrious slaves. Triumphal piles. ye vernal blooms! Ye bowery thickets. fountains.Me to sequester’d scenes. Illustrious villains. the fertile fields. The trees weep amber. and amaranthine bowers. The flowery tribes in gay confusion bloom. and all ye sylvan beauties. fruits on fruits arise. that aromatic sweets exhale! Ye birds. From bliss to bliss with endless pleasure rove. Elysian fields. T’ ambrosial founts. and April showers Wake from the womb of earth the rising flowers: In deeper verdure SUMMER clothes the plain. No prostrate heroes strew the crimson’d ground. and sleep-inspiring rills. And AUTUMN bends beneath the golden grain. hail! Oh how I long with you to spend my days. lakes. Woods. Prime ministers. Welcome. or shades. and the whispering gales Breeze o’er the lawn. Nor thundering drums provoke the sanguine war: But white-robed peace. guide. Where meadows flourish and where fields look gay. ye muses. Profuse of sweets. Invoke the muse. and silver-streaming floods! Ye meads. There from the polish’d fetters of the great. or murmur through the vales. ye shades! all hail. rosy-bosom’d SPRING. Gay. or haunt the vernal grove. and fragrant with perfume. Aerial mountains.
Th’ insidious foe. amidst the adorning throng. But with a friend sometimes unbend the soul In social converse. Forgot. contented. Cautious to censure. Nor wish to live from all the world recluse. uncorrupted friend: In early youth fair wisdom’s paths he trod. too. Yet not a real hermitage I’d choose. I’d often pass the dancing hours away: He skill’d alike to profit and to please. Of soul diffusive. serene and wisely gay.And odious task of arbitrary rules. The visionary bliss the world can lend. and faithful to his trust. Nor bow’d to Caesar’s throne the servile knee. While ev’ry tongue resounded his applause. Immortal Tully [Cicero] plead the patriot cause. Politely talks with unaffected ease. His florid genius. In early youth a minister of God: Each pulpit lov’d him when at Yale he shone. A firm. and capacious mind. The sevenfold fury of Xantippe’s soul. unshaken. Celestial truths devolving from his tongue: High o’er the list’ning audience seen him stand. 6 . ready to commend. With cheerful W----. Divinely speak and graceful stretch his hand: With such becoming grace and pompous sound. while Rome was free. Dear A----. party-rage and strife. He sails serenely down the stream of life. Sage in debate. With long rob’d senators encircled round. and false designing friend. Of manners gentle. unenvied and unseen. unknown.appear. but not enjoy. For ever welcome to the green retreat: Heaven for the cause or righteousness design’d. Breathing benevolence to all mankind. vast and unconfin’d. should grace my rural seat. and a friend sincere. o’er the sprightly bowl. and severely just. And S---’s rage that burns without controul. Next round my board should candid S---. and serene. And ev’ry bleeding bosom weeps him gone. Oft have I heard. Before the Roman bar. Mature in science. The ruffling carts which the vex’d soul annoys The wealth the rich possess. Averse to discord. I’d live retir’d.
beneath a spreading shade Where silver fountains murmur thro’ the glade. in harmonious concert. And love-sick youths their am’rous vows prefer’d. and the opening flowers Imbibe the dew.With the three friends. and glow With all the colours of the showery bow 7 . Druids and Bards enjoy’d serenest dreams. Or in cool grots. E’en the feign’d MONARCH of heaven’s bright abode. In saffron. Oft time prefer’d the shade of Ida’s grove To all the ambrosial feasts and nectar’d cups above. 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. Oft to Idalia on a golden cloud. perfum’d with native flow’rs. In palmy Delos. or innocently sing. and strew the varied bowers. by Scamander’s side. Diffuse nectarious sweets around. Such was the seat where courtly Horace sung. Or where Cajister roll’d his silver tide. Behold. and raptur’d danc’d around. Tips with etherial dew the mountain’s brim. the rosy-finger’d morning down. While groves attentive to th’ extatic sound Burst from their roots. Melodious Phoebus sang: the Muses round Alternate warbling to the heavenly sound. Veil’d in a mist of fragrance Venus rode. For fount full Ida forsook the realms above. Or gravely talk. Sought pendant shades. Amid sequester’d bowers. There num’rous altars to the queen were rear’d. While fair-hair’d damsels (a lascivious train) With wanton rites ador’d her gentle reign. strike the trembling string. Made rapid tygers bear their rage away. of gods the sovereign God. Or. And his bold harp immortal Maro strung: Where tuneful Orpheus’ unresisted lay. High thron’d in gold. In harmless mirth I’d spend the circling hours. rob’d and blushing o’er the lawn! Reflected from the clouds. and bath’d in cooling floods. near gliding streams. The silver-shafted Huntress of the woods. a radiant stream. The unfolding roses.
With what effulgence must the ocean glow! From which thy borrow’d beams incessant flow! The exhaustless source. and the forests live. and fire. Go. That all heaven’s splendors vanish at thy sight. Heaven’s sumptuous canopy. tho’ deathless be thy soul. with burning glory crown’d. But yonder comes the illustrious God of day. Hail Orb! array’d with majesty. and astronomic eye. Immeasurable vault! where thunders roll. With level’d tube. The groves rejoice. and exhaust the bowl: Plunge into vice. and starry host. If thou so fair with delegated light. and the regal shield Like lightning flashes o’er illum’d field. Hence labour draws her tools. in admiration lost. and artists mould The fusile silver and the ductile gold: Hence war is furnished. Pursue the planets whirling through the sky. and gilds the etherial way. the ripening ore Confesses thy consolidating power. railing infidel! canst thou survey Yon globe of fire.The industrious bees their balmy toil renew. Buzz o’er the field. swell the riot. or spread the boundless skies: He made the whole: at his omnific call 8 . that gives the golden day. Go. the feather’d nations sing. Echo the mountains and the vallies ring. Invests the east. vain wretch. Nature resumes her verdure. The unnumber’d orbs that gild the spangled skies! Oft would I view. and bristle into swine! None but a power omnipotent and wise Could frame this earth. Deep in the teeming earth. and looks gay: Fresh blooms the rose. Say. and sip the rosy dew. The groves reflourish. the drooping plants revive. Darting a deluge of effulgence round! Wak’d by thy genial and prolific ray. humility resign. That bids each sable shade of night retire! Fountain of light. whose single smile supplies. And forked light[e]nings flash from pole to pole. The harmonious structure of this vast machine. fill the stie. And not confess its Architect divine? Then go.
High in the heavens. or lash the foaming brine. eternal. there scaly nations shine. And hush’d to silence all the feather’d throng. But Man.) Some courteous angel should my breast inspire. the warblers sing. Ambitious of his name. Attune my lips. By him our cup is crown’d. And golden beams the impurpled skies adorn. 9 . JEHOVAH’s glories blaze all nature round. Till every grove proved vocal to my song: (Delightful task! with dawning light to sing Triumphant hymns to heaven’s eternal King. By suppliant angels worshipp’d and adored. said life sustaining bread. In heaven. While sportive echoes catch the sacred sound. Rising from sleep with the melodious choir. our table spread With luscious wine. Waked by the gentle murmur of the floods. self-existent God! Before the beamy sun dispensed a ray. on earth. And one ALMIGHTY GOD is seen in all. And praise their Maker while they hail the spring The zephyrs breathe it. and shore resounds to shore. While surge to surge. Father of Light! exhaustless source of good! Supreme. O GOD! should tremble on my tongue. Attentive listen to the tuneful song. and bear the music round. Hang in suspense to hear the heavenly strain.From formless chaos rose this spacious ball. and in the deeps profound. Thy name. Haunt coral groves. Before the glimmering moon with borrow’d light Shone queen amid the silver host of night. and guide the warbled wire. To solemn sounds I’d tune the hallow’d lyre. and for heaven design’d To loftier notes his raptur’d voice should raise. Or the soft music of the waving woods. When rising Phoebus ushers in the morn. Swell every note. endow’d with an immortal mind His maker’s image. And chant sublimer hymns to his Creator’s praise. and gave the day. and the thunders roar. thou reign’dst superior Lord. While mazy streams meandering to the main. What countless wonders doth the earth contain: What countless wonders the unfathom’d main? Bedrop’d with gold. Flamed in the azure vault.
And impious kings in horror breathe their last. holy is the Lord. But though thy throne is fix’d above the sky Thy Omnipresence fills immensity. To this great God. Thrones. Saints robed in white. to thee their anthems bring. In dreadful majesty thou sitt’st enthroned. And from the orient burst the golden sun. Gay ceilings shine. Nor wish the glittering dust of monarchs mine. alternately I’d pay The evening anthem. To sing thy praise. nor heaven. and nature owns her God. the echoing heavens resound. Heaven’s gazing hierarchies with glad surprise Saw the first morn invest the recent skies. and the morning lay. they sing. The effulgent sun. Is but a beam of thy o’erflowing light. Through all infinitude extends thy reign. said GOD. For sovereign Gold I never would repine.light instant shone. At thy creative voice. the smoking mountains nod. do thou. thousand harps of heavenly sound. holy.With the celestial choir then let me join In cheerful praises to the power divine. The tempest is thy breath: the thunder hurl’d. powers. What though high columns heave into the skies. holy. and all around Great are thy works. from ancient night Sprang smiling beauty. O GOD! inspire A mortal breast with more than mortal fire. -. and yon worlds of light: Thou spak’st -. Pale tyrants shrink. and with glory crown’d. Thou bow’st the heavens. For thee. Let there be light.the planetary chorus rolled. And radiant martyrs hallelujahs sing: Heaven’s universal host their voices raise In one eternal chorus to thy praise. (ever-shining trains!) Shouted thy praises in triumphant strains: Great are thy works. the atheist stands aghast. 10 . With light encircled. And straight the exulting troops thy throne surround With thousand. and vaulted arches rise. Tremendous roars thy vengeance o’er the world. And all the expanse was starr’d with beamy gold. nor heaven of heavens contain. Rocks fall to dust. dominions. And round thy awful throne with one accord Sing. Though fretted gold the sculptured roof adorn. insufferably bright.
To clothe in modest garb his frugal lord.yet hails the dying hour. Thus the great father of mankind was dress’d. Oft would I wander through the dewy field. he sickens. And from his bosom banishes his God. lo. like a God.unanimated clay! He that just now was flatter’d by the crowd With high applause. And drew down torrents from the widow’s eyes.) Glitter in gems. That steel’d his bosom to the orphan’s cries. the rabble did adore -Regard him now -. and stiff with woven gold! But the tall ram his downy fleece afford. Whom. and acclamation loud. By thousands courted. And rising mists obscure his swimming eyes: Around his bed his weeping friends bemoan. bitter comfort! sad relief to die! Though sunk in down. the proud. 11 . To show their meanness in tlie sight of God. Deplores his death -. and drunk with earthly joys. and adored: In riot plunged. Weigh’d down by death in everlasting night: And now the great. see a Dives rise. Doom’d to the cumbrous load for his offence. But oft in height of wealth and beauty’s bloom.and lo! he is no more. My eyes no dazzling vestments should behold. But now his sons (forgetful whence they came. Ah. and glory in their shame. alas! avails the gay attire To wretched man. the rich. Extort the unwilling tear. No higher thought his grov’ling soul employs. who breathes but to expire! Oft on the vilest riches are bestow’d. flatter’d. And Titan-like insult the avenging skies: The crowd in adulation calls him lord. and the jaspers burn! Or what. beneath a canopy! His eyes no more shall see the cheerful light. Lies breathless. The poor he scourges with an iron rod. swift his color flies. His sorrowing heir augments the tender shower. and wish him gone. Deluded man is fated to the tomb! For. When clothes supplied the want of innocence. the gay. When shaggy hides composed his flowing vest. cold -.The rubbies redden. With gems instarr’d. High from a dunghill.
thy bosom beats no more. First I’d collect from the Parnassian spring. And mount triumphant to eternal day. The blood of heroes now effus’d so 1ong. Or bind our temples with unfading flowers. Waft on the breeze. Will run forever purple through his song. heaven’s peculiar care! Avert impending harms. serene their gloomy hours. Converse with angels. innoxious band. And other bards pay homage to his throne. Oft on kind errands bent. by the throne. We taste the raptures of immortal love. grots for contemplation made.Where clustering roses balmy fragrance yield. (Sad lives of pain. their minds compose. “Be not afraid of us. And sacred raptures swell thy rising soul. And cold in death. the golden censer fumes. -Virgil. Erewhile like thee we led our lives below. and what poets sing. Thy soul exulting shall desert its clay. See! how he mounts toward the blest abodes On planets rides. and the mighty dead: For all around unnumber’d spirits fly. And heavenly sounds invade my listening ear.” But to improve the intellectual mind. Inspire the poet with repeated dreams. of misery. Methinks I see the immortal beings fly. And swiftly shoot athwart the streaming sky: Hark! a melodious voice I seem to hear. When from thy tongue divine hosannas roll. Inspire gay dreams. as Prince. Where. and talks with demi-gods! 12 . or walk the liquid sky. Thy cell surrounding by divine command. and prompt their soft repose. What muses dictate. Attune the golden harp in roseate bowers. we cut the air To guard the righteous. Protect the just. and woe!) Long by affliction’s boisterous tempests tost. should wear the laurel’d crown. and refresh their powers. Reading should be to contemplation join’d. We reach’d at length the ever-blissful coast: Now in the embowering groves and lawns above. Becalm their slumbers. And when with age thy head is silver’d o’er. Or in lone. Who gives his hallow’d muse to sacred themes. To heaven we bear thy prayers like rich perfumes.
See her proud steed majestically prance. and fam’d the world around! His plowing breast divine Urania fired. Explores all heaven. with dire delight. Contemn the trumpet. and treads the realms of light: In martial pomp he clothes th’ angelic train. and deride the lance.How do our ravish’d spirits melt away. When Dido shines in awful majesty! Embroider’d purple clad the Tyrian queen. glorious to behold. and throws the foam around. Should next compose the venerable pile. and mighty warriors slain. To crush his foes and quell the dire alarms. Deform’d with gore. Borne on triumphant wings he takes his flight. Confusedly gay with interwoven gold! He champs the bit. Or God himself the immortal Bard inspired. and threaten as they die. (His helmet flashes. A golden zone her royal limbs embrac’d. All heaven resounding. Her motion graceful. 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. With heavenly plumage nodding on this crest: Impenetrable arms his limbs unfold. and tears the solid ground. lie welt’ring on the plain. and august her mein. In crimson trappings. How stern AEneas thunders through the field! With tow’ring helmet. Great Milton first. (Re-kindled ire! for blooming Pallas dead) Then. he frowns over Turnus’ head. 13 . Through the thick squadrons see the Hero bound. When in his song Sicilian shepherds play! But what a splendor strikes the dazzled eye. Struck through with wounds. Impatient paws. to its centre shook. While warring myriads shake th’ etherial plain. Eternal adamant and burning gold! Sparkling in fiery mail. ill-fated chieftains lie. for towering thought renown’d. and refulgent shield Coursers o’erturn’d. Frown e’en in death. First Michael stalks high towering ov’er the rest. A golden quiver rattled by her waist. Rebellious Satan animates the fight: Armipotent they sink in rolling smoke. and his arms resound!) All grim with rage. Parent of song.
The embowering groves and Windsor’s blissful plains. Then tuneful Pope. and his flights unknown. For who would Dryden’s polish’d verse refuse? His lips were moistened in Parnassus’ spring. Thames’ silver streams his flowing verse admire. Re-sang the fortune of the god-like man? Again the Trojan prince with dire delight. With flaming gems the golden axels burn’d. In radiant panoply divinely bright. and pindaric fire. o’er heaven’s crystalline road Thundered the chariot of the Filial God. Smooth flow his numbers when he paints the grove Th’ enraptur’d virgins listening into love. 14 . Rush on the deep.Messiah sparkled in refulgent arms. How long did Virgil untranslated moan. Next should appear great Dryden’s lofty muse. he flash’d devouring light. Drives armies back. With more than native lustre Virgil shines. and crowns of gold. Like the hoarse surge that thunders on the shore. whom all the nine inspire. Father of verse! melodious and divine! Next peerless Milton should distinguish shine. And Phoebus taught his laureat son to sing. and groves in living green: His lays the verdure of the meads prolong. with terror struck. Lo! the apostate host. But when the night and hoarse resounding storm. Embroidered fields. But when he sings th’ exhilerated swains. Till Dryden rose. Our eyes are ravishtd with the sylvan scene. Roll back by millions! Th’ Empyrean shook I Sceptres. His limbs incas’d. The burning wheels on golden axles turn’d. Compell’d them headlong to the infernal world. and Neptune’s face deform. His beauties fading. And withered forests blossom in his song. Cherubs and Seraphs in confusion roll’d: Till. and orbid shields. the son’rous numbers roar. And cease to murmur while he turns his lyre. and makes all Troy retire. On burning wheels. from his hand the triple thunder hurl’d. Dreadful in arms demands the lingering fight: Again Camilla glows with martial fire. Rough runs the verse. and in exalted strain. With sapphic sweetness.
and by the guilty fear’d. harmonious bard! inspire Thy raptured breast with such seraphic fire. Despis’d when living. and rectify the mind. to my God. But prompting Angels warm thy boundless rage. Blest man! from gay delusive scenes remov’d. Nor meanly blush’d to sing Jehovah’s praise. Oh! did. From Pompey’s chains. by Providence design’d. T’ exalt. Plato. No prostrate Virtue groan beneath their rage.5 Who fell by Nero’s unrelenting rage. 6 [Footnote in original] Socrates. and Corduba’s Sage. each laurel’d bard delight. Compels my thoughts to wing the heavenly road. and echo through the skies. and deplored when dead. and imitate thy page.for Profit I would read: The labour’d volumes of the learned dead: Sagacious Locke. No impious rhymer charm a vicious age. Th’ unconquerable Sage. Him6 whom ungrateful Athens doom’d to bleed. -. like thee. To paint Religion in her native light. and heavens all-ruling fire. Blest man. No fabled Nine. to substitute his own. by thy Maker lov’d. Raleigh I’d read with ever fresh delight. 5 15 . And wafts my soul. instruct.And gains sublimer heights in Dryden’s lines. Persuasive Tully. When victor Caesar freed unhappy Rome. But themes divine in lofty numbers rise. for spotless sanctity rever’d. and Demosthenes. Longinus. To God thou tunest thy consecrated lays. Lov’d by the good. who strings his silver lyre To sacred odes. The gentle Watts. And from the tyrant’s lawless rage retired. Thy Maker loving. [Footnote in original] Seneca. And mounts yon sparkling world with hallow’d rage. These for Delight. Direct thy thoughts. Livy. fam’d Thucydides. Not Vice defy the Pulpit and the Throne. While ages past rise present to my sight: 4 [Footnote in original] Cato. Quintillian. Who scorns th’ applause of the licentious stage. Fill the wide earth.4 whom virtue fir’d. exulting. Not then with Plays the lab’ring press would groan.
Hail Wedlock! hail. And trac’d th’ elliptic curve of blazing stars Immortal Newton. Harmonious mingle in the nuptial rite. friendship. ambitious to be good. In Eden first the holy state began.Ah man unblest! he foreign realms explored. 16 . Nor he. And Paradise with gratulations rung. Averse to vice. By reason aw’d. So greatly good. and zealous for her God? Relate. Angela the Witnesses. and so divinely fair? Sure. A dread solemnity the espousals grac’d. The human pair. thy unmatch’d renown! (Adjudg’d to wear the philosophic crown) Who on the solar orb uplifted rode. inviolable tie! Perpetual fountain of domestic joy! Love. Unblemish’d as the white-rob’d virgin quire That fed. And scan’d th’ unfathomable works of God! Who bound the silver planets to their spheres. Licentious. O Rome! thy consecrated fire. immortal and prophane: Who spend their golden hours in antic dress. Then fell a victim to his country’s sword! Nor should great Derham pass neglected by. Britannia. And voluntary roses deck’d the bow’r! The joyous birds on every blossom’d spray. When perfect innocence distinguish’d man. not the gay and fashionable train. I would choose a wife. Relate. inspiring muse: where shall I find blooming virgin with an angel mind. Observant sage! to whose deep piercing eye Nature’s stupendous works expanded lie. truth and pure delight. whose illustrious name Will shine on records of eternal fame: By love directed. Sung Hymenians to the important day. honor. th’ Almighty Pontiff led. To improve my bliss and ease the load of life. While Philomela swell’d the sponsal song. and GOD the Priest! All earth exulted on the nuptial hour. in what blest region can I find Such bright perfections in a female mind? What Phoenix-woman breathes the vital air. Gay as the morning to the bridal bed. proud.
Fans. Or wound the fopling with a lock of hair: And when the hated discipline is o’er. Or eye the gilded images around. The celebrated idols hie away 17 . and in prime of years. patches. They marshal all their forces in array. and will lay ’Twas azure sattin.Malicious whispers. -Lo! round the board a shining train appears In rosy beauty. and inglorious ease. One pulls the shape-creating stays. monkeys. and this a flounce approves. When last at church the gaudy Nymph was seen. To the resistless beauty of the skies. And dance incessant on the flippant tongue. In quick succession. And Misses tortur’d will Repent no more. They mount the pictur’d coach. Awards ’twas neither -. Peep through the fan and mutter o’er a pray’r. lap-dogs. Then parrots. Not with more toil to improve immortal charms. This hates a flounce. Polly avers that Sylvia drest in green. ribbands. and to the play. and the ambrosial shower. This shews the trophies of her former loves. tuckers. Or shew the lily hand with graceful air. Or. Th’ ideal goddesses to church repair. deeply studied in coquettish rules. furbeloes. and one Encircles round her waist the golden zone. With all that glitters and with all that charms. squirrels. Chloe condemns her optics. Aim wily glances at unthinking fools. The belles prepare to grace the sacred court. and round their temples pour The fragrant unguent. When Priam’s Son adjudg’d the golden prize. Two skilful maids. Two paint their cheeks.and the strife is o’er. Or listen to the organ’s pompous sound. thro’ their fancies run. and the Queen of Arms. Strove Juno. And when fatigu’d with ev’ry other sport. Venus. with reverential fear In wanton wreaths collect their silken hair. beaus. At length equip’d in love’s enticing arms. Lucy invested with judicial pow’r. interstreak’d with grey. To kill with glances and destroy in play.
18 . and her native wit Unstrain’d with pedantry and low conceit: Her fancy lively and her judgment free. Imparadis’d within my eager arms. Tho’ sorely wounded by her radiant eyes. with intermingled white. Or sit in open fields damask’d with flowers. by sacred friendship turn. without guile. Calm as a vestal. alas! avails a ruby cheek.Not so the Lass that should my joy improve. or a snowy neck? Charms ill supply the want of innocence. and rural scene. The flattering coxcomb. This be the partner this the lovely wife. Go where cool shades imbrown the noon-tide bowers. walk in virtues peaceful road. And all her faults as freely reprehends. Partake my joys and sympathize my grief. When raptur’d Paris darted in her arms. I’d reign the happy monarch of her charms. Nor bribe her reason to pursue the mode: Mild as the saint whose errors are forgiven. o’er the green. That should embellish and prolong my life. And fill a glowing Cherub with desire! With her I’d spend the pleasurable day. Nor beauty forms intrinsic excellence: But in her breast let moral beauties shine. and outward show. The fop’s impertinence she should despise. Supernal grace and purity divine: Sublime her reason. commands. Soft Hymen’s rites her passion should approve. While fleeting minutes gaily danc’d away: With her I’d walk delighted. A nymph! who might a second fall inspire. Like Helen flushing with unrival’d charms. Unshaken. Through ev’ry blooming mead. From female prejudice and bigotry. And in her bosom glow the flames of love: To me her soul. A downy bosom. and fantastic beau. But what. And I for her with equal friendship burn: In every stage of life afford relief. With solid friendship and connubial love: A native bloom. and compos’d as heaven. Averse to idle pomp. Who all her virtues. But pay due reverence to th’ exhalted mind By learning polish’d and by wit refin’d. Should set her features in a pleasing light.
And. (My soul committed to the eternal power) Inexorable death should smile. Blessing my natal and my mortal hour.com http://www. Wm. to balmy rest. And when decrepid age (frail mortals doom!) Should bend my wither’d body to the tomb. by nightingales. Terrific grinn’d. No warbling Syrens should retard my flight. and formidably frown’d. in dissolving raptures. Seattle. Thomas Sherman 1604 NW 70th St. melt away. My blooming fair should slumber at my breast.gunjones.scribd. Who knew to Live.Oft on her panting bosom would I lay.facebook. Washington 98117 206-784-1132 wts@gunjones. Then lull’d. Though death with his imperial horrors crown’d. To heavenly mansions of unclouded light. Offences pardon’d.com and http://www. Should form a calm serenity within.com/wsherman_1 For Lee’s Legion on Face Book: https://www. for I. and remitted sin. would never fear to Die.com/groups/LeesLegion/ 19 .
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