John Pierpont ( )

The Portrait

Why does the eye, with greater pleasure, rest
On the proud oak, in vernal honors drest,
When sultry gales, that to his arms repair,
Are cooled and freshened, while they linger there;
Than when his fading robes are seared, and cast
On the cold mercy of November's blast?
Why on the rose, when first her bosom spreads
To drink the dew that summer's evening sheds,
Or when she blushes, on her native thorn,
To meet the kisses of the smiling morn;
Than when her leaves, neglected, fall around,
Flit on the breeze, or wither on the ground?
Why on Apollo, when his coursers rise,
And breathe on man the ardor of the skies;
Than when they stoop, their fervid limbs to rest,
And drink the cooling waters of the west?
And why on man, when buoyant hope beats high,
Health on his cheek, and lustre in his eye,
In every limb when youth and vigor dwell,
Brace every nerve, and every muscle swell;
Than when his frame displays the ruthless rage
Of care, and sorrow, and disease, and age?
Why, but because the Author of the mind,
Enthroned in glory, and in light enshrined,
When first he beamed, upon the breathing clay,
The light divine of intellectual day,
Perfect himself,infused that spark of fire,
That still pursues its nature to aspire,
And warms the bosom with a generous glow,
Whene'er it meets perfection here below,
But sinks within us, with expiring ray,
When doomed to dwell on emblems of decay?

And, if the mind can thus, delighted, scan
A tree,a flower,the orb of day,a man;
How must it swell, when from the womb of earth
It sees a nation "bursting into birth,"
And, by enchantment, planting on her strand
A flag, that waving o'er the sea and land,
By stripes and stars, on silken folds unfurled,
Displays her strength and splendor to the world!
But if this prospect cheers the heart of man,
Whether he dwells in England or Japan,
Whether he hears the billowy Baltic roar,
Or courts the breeze on Coromandel's shore;
What a strong current of delight must roll,
Resistless, o'er the veteran soldier's soul,
Who, in the volume of that nation's fame,
By Clio written, reads his General's name!
And if, my friends, the hardy soldier's pride
Would swell his breast, with such a generous tide,
While musing on his country, while he saw
The harmonious couple, Liberty and Law,
Attend his person wheresoe'er he roved,
And shield, at home, the family he loved,
That wife, who, yielding to her country's call,
Resigned her husband, and in him her all;
That child, who since upon his knees has hung,
And learned the battle from his father's tongue,
And, while the soldier proudly said, "My son,
That,"pointing to his musket,"that 's the gun
That gave you freedom, and when you 're a man,
Use it for me, when I no longer can,"
Would weep to hear his sire's prophetic sigh,
And see the tear that trembled in his eye;
If such a breast would swell with such a tide,
If such a heart would glow with such a pride,
If such an eye in tears of joy would melt,
What, while on earth, must Washington have felt!

Thou spotless patriot! thou illustrious man!
Methinks, while yet on earth, thy heaven began;
For is there pleasure purer, more refined,
More worthy of thine own ethereal mind,
Than thrilled, with lively transport, through thy frame,
And played around thy heart, with lambent flame,
To see Columbia, guided by thy hand,
Plant, in the bosom of thy native land,
That tree that flourished so divinely fair,
And took such root, beneath thy fostering care,
As soon o'er half a continent to spread
Its fragrant leaves, and give a nation shade;
That tree, whose root descended from the skies,
That grows by culture, but neglected dies,
That tree, beneath whose boughs thy spirit fled,
That tree, whose fading leaves deplore the dead?
And now, great Father of thy Country, say,
Ere angels bore thee to the fields of day,
Did not thine eye, with holy rapture, view
That Tree of Liberty, while yet it grew
Vigorous and green?And did it not impart,
To every fibre of thy godlike heart,
A joy, while waving o'er thy mortal brow,
Next to the amaranth, that shades thee now?

That hero 's dead!And does his country mourn,
Embalm his ashes in a golden urn,
And in a sculptured vault the relics lay,
Where fires, like Vesta's, emulate the day
With light divine, as through its silent halls
The holy rays reflect from porphyry walls?
Do temples, arched with Parian marble, rise
In regal pomp, beneath these western skies,
And on their front, emblazoned by the sun,
Give to the world the name of Washington?
Breathes he in marble, in her senate's hall?
Lives he in bronze, within her Capitol?
Does the imperial mausoleum show,
In proud magnificence, her depth of woe?
And do her children, with a holy zeal,
From rough St. Lawrence to the warm Mobile,
For pilgrim's staff, their friends, their home resign,
And, like the Arab to Mohammed's shrine,
To that majestic monument repair,
And, for their country, pour a pilgrim's prayer?

Shame on that country! everlasting shame!
She bids no blazing sunbeam write his name;
His sacred ashes consecrate no urn;
No vault is sculptured, and no vestals mourn;
No marble temple meets the rising day;
No obelisk reflects the evening ray;
Those lips, long hushed in death, among his sons
Nor smile in marble, nor yet breathe in bronze;
No solemn anthem o'er his tomb is sung;
No prayer is heard there, from a pilgrim's tongue!
But o'er the grave, where Vernon's hero sleeps,
The tall grass sighs, the waving willow weeps;
And, while the pale moon trembles through the trees,
That bend and rustle to the nightly breeze,
The bird of night,the only mourner there,
Pours on the chilling wind her solemn air;
While flows Potomac silently along,
And listens to her melancholy song.

And shall, my friends, the venerable dust,
That once enshrined the spirit of THE JUST,
Slumber forgotten?Shall no patriot's tear,
Warm as the life-blood, trickle on his bier,
And soothe his mighty shade, that hovers nigh,
To catch the tear, and mingle with the sigh,
That flows for him, or breaks the silence dread,
That fills the oblivious mansion of the dead?
Nay,shall the freemen whom his valor saved,
For whom, in life, a thousand deaths he braved,
And on whose sons, in rich profusion, poured
The joys of peace, the trophies of his sword,
In the black robes of infamy be drest,
Because their saviour's bones unhonored rest;
And yet shall we, who meet with kindred minds,
Whom honor animates, and friendship binds;
We, through whose veins,as warmly as the blood
That warms our hearts,rolls a congenial flood
Of fearless indignation, that belongs
To federal freemen, under federal wrongs;
Shall we, on whom his sacred mantle rests,
Who wear the badge of union on our breasts;
Shall we neglect the few pale flowers that bloom,
And shed their fragrance, on our father's tomb,
Braving, while rooted there, thy tempest rude,
And all thy wintry frosts, Ingratitude?
Then let each string that wakes, within my soul,
Untaught by reason, and above control,
A tone, accordant with the notes sublime,
That trembling float upon the tide of time,
Blown from the trump of Fame, to bear along
The warrior's valor, and the poet's song,
Cease its vibration;let oblivion, then,
That first of federalists, that first of men,
Hide from my view for ever;let no joy
Beam on my days;let blighting blasts destroy
My every hope;here let me live accursed,
The best my enemies, my friends the worst;
And when Death's icy touch shall hush my tongue,
Be no grave opened, and no requiem sung;
But, from Earth's consecrated bosom thrust,
Let asps and adders coil upon my dust!

Then, while the hours pursue their viewless flight,
And roll along the sable car of night,
Let us, my friends, turn back our eyes, and gaze
On the bright orbs that gilded other days;
Each in his sphere, revolving round the sun,
That gave them warmth and lustre,Washington.
But, while we see them in their orbits roll,
Bright as the stars, unshaken as the pole,
Pure as the dew, as summer's evening mild,
By no cloud shaded, by no lust defiled,
While all around their common centre sweep,
Illume the earth, or blaze along the deep,
Who, but exclaims, beneath the o'erwhelming light,
"Visions of Glory, spare my aching sight!"

Thou hoary monarch! since thy tyrant hand
First shook o'er earth thy sceptre and thy sand,
Or waved thy sithe, commissioned to destroy,
O'er Balbec's columns, or the towers of Troy,
Nay, since in youth, thou bad'st the rosy hours
Smile upon Adam, under Eden's bowers,
Hadst thou e'er seen a clime, more blest than this,
More richly fraught with beauty and with bliss?
E'er seen a brighter constellation glow,
With all that 's pure and dignified below,
Than moved, harmonious, round that wondrous man,
Whose deeds of glory with his life began,
Whose name, the proudest on thy proudest page,
Shall fill with admiration every age!

Then, with such rays as gild the morning, shone,
In peerless pomp, thy genius, Hamilton!
Sublime as heaven, and vigorous as sublime,
He, in his flight, outstripped the march of Time,
Plucked from each age the product of each soil,
And o'er thy country poured the generous spoil.
By thine own labors, without aid from France,
We saw the splendid fabric of finance,
Beneath whose dome, confusion, in thy hands,
Order became; and (even as did the sands,
O'er which the waters of Puctolus rolled,
When Midas touched them,) paper turned to gold,
At once, the boast and wonder of mankind,
Rise at thy spell,the creature of thy mind.
Thus, when Amphion left Cithæron's shade,
Beside Ismenus' wave the shepherd strayed;
And, as he roamed in solitude along,
And charmed the ear of Silence with a song,
Sweeping, in symphony, his tuneful string,
That flung its wild notes on the Zephyr's wing,
The walls of Thebes with many a glittering spire,
Rose to the strong enchantment of his lyre.
Immortal statesman! while the stars shall burn,
Or to the pole the trembling needle turn,
Ne'er shall the tide of dark oblivion roll
Over that "strong divinity of soul
That conquered fate," and traversed, unconfined,
The various fields of matter and of mind,
Thy heart, to charity so warmly strung,
And all the sweet persuasion of thy tongue.
Yet, wast thou spotless in thine exit?Nay;
Nor spotless is the monarch of the day;
Still, but one cloud shall o'er thy fame be cast,
And that shall shade no action, but thy last.

Then, with a milder, though congenial ray,
Like Hesper, shone the kindred soul of Jay.
His hand unshaken by an empire's weight,
His eye undazzled by the glare of state,
Even in the shadow of "Power's purple robe,"
He gave our land the charter of the globe,
And bade our eagle leave her native pine,
To bathe in light beneath the sultry line,
O'er every tide, with lightning's speed, to sweep,
Cleave every cloud that whitens o'er the deep,
Tower o'er the heads of conquerors and kings,
And soar to glory on her canvass wings.

Then, where Ohio rolls her silver flood,
If e'er a tomahawk was dyed in blood;
Or if the war-whoop broke an infant's rest,
Where Erie drinks the rivers of the West;
Or if an arrow, from an unseen bow,
Thrown by a savage, laid a white-man low;
Or if a captive heard the hideous yell,
Or felt the tortures of those fiends of hell;
On his pale horse the king of terrors sped,
The fires were quenched, the howling savage bled;
The grisly monarch feasted on the slain,
And blest the courage, and the sword, of Wayne.

Then,ere, by Gallic perfidy beguiled,
"The other Adams" was again a child,
When a grim monster rose with many a head,
More foul than e'er the lake of Lerna bred;
Whose bloody hands no sacred tie could bind,
Whose lurid eye rolled ruin on mankind;
And frowning dared a tribute to demand,
Of "beaucoup d'argent," from a Pinckney's hand;
Fire in his eye, and thunder on his tongue,
Fierce from his seat, the hoary veteran sprung,
And gave the hydra in her den to know,
He bought no friendship,for he feared no foe.

Then, nay since then, while yet a twilight grey
Gave to our eyes the parting beams of day,
For, when our sun, our glory, sunk to rest,
He fringed with gold the curtains of the west,
And poured a lustre on the world behind,
That faded as the mighty orb declined,
Our eagle, soaring with unwearied flight,
'Mid clouds to enjoy the last, faint gleam of light,
With piercing eye glanced o'er the watery waste,
And saw her flag by Mussulmans disgraced;
Nay,heard her children, on Numidia's plains,
Sigh for their homes, and clank the Moslem's chains;
The generous bird, at that incensing view,
Caught from the clouds her thunder as she flew,
With deathful shriek alarmed the guilty coast,
And launched the bolt on Caramelli's host;
Crescents and turbans sunk in wild dismay;
The Turkish soul, indignant, left its clay,
Though to the brave, a rich reward is given,
The arms of Houris, and the bowers of heaven,
And Eaton trod in triumph o'er his foe,
Where once fought Hannibal and Scipio.

Then, a bright spirit, free from every vice,
As was the rose that bloomed in Paradise;
A zeal, as warm, to see his country blest,
As lived in Cato's or Lycurgus' breast;
A fancy chaste and vigorous as strung,
To holy themes, Isaiah's hallowed tongue;
And strains as eloquent as Zion heard,
When, on his golden harp, her royal bard
Waked to a glow devotion's dying flames,
Flowed from the lips, and warmed the soul of Ames.
Like Memnon's harp, that breathed a mournful tone,
When on its strings the rays of morning shone,
That stainless spirit, on approaching night,
Was touched and saddened by prophetic light;
And, as the vision to his view was given,
That spirit sunk, and, sighing, fled to heaven.

Should we attempt on each bright name to dwell,
The evening song would to a volume swell;
As on a beach, where mighty surges roar,
Wave after wave rolls onward to the shore,
So, on the page that History gives to Fame,
And Fame to Glory, name succeeds to name.
See Franklin, Adams, Rutledge, gliding by;
There Henry, Hillhouse, Trumbull, meet the eye;
Here Ellsworth, Marshall, Tracy, rush along,
King, Griswold, Otis, Pickering, and Strong.

Like heavenly dew, that evening's hour distils
On Sharon's valleys or Gilboa's hills,
Men, such as these, a holy influence shed,
Their deeds while living, and their names when dead;
Men, such as these, could guide Bellona's car,
Or smooth to smiles the iron brow of war;
Men, such as these, could brave a monarch's frown,
Could pluck the diamonds from a tyrant's crown,
And, when the oppression ceased, such men could show
A god-like greatness,and forgive a foe;
Such men could call religion from the skies,
To guide their feet before a nation's eyes;
Where such men trod, the flowers of Science sprung,
With hymns to Peace the humble cottage rung,
Contentment spread the table of the poor,
And Ceres blushed and waved beside his door;
All, in such men, reposed unshaken trust;
The ruled were happy, and their rulers just.

Say then, O Time! since thy pervading eye
Waked from the slumber of eternity,
Hadst thou e'er seen a spot so highly blest,
In bliss and beauty so superbly drest?

When erst, beyond the bright Ægean isles,
From the green billows rose the Queen of smiles,
Pure as her parent foam, and heavenly fair;
When her dark tresses of ambrosial hair
Flowed round her waist, in many a wanton curl,
Played in the breeze, and swept her car of pearl,
Whose amber wheels, in quick rotation, glide,
Drawn by her doves, along the sparkling tide;
While, all around her, choirs of Tritons swell
The mellow music of their twisted shell,
As on she moves, with an exulting smile,
To rear her temple on the Cyprian isle,
Or rest, voluptuous, amid springing flowers,
On rosy couches, under myrtle bowers;
From Ida's top, the thunderer viewed the fair,
The clouds that veiled him, melting into air;
And all the beauties of the Queen of love,
In spite of Juno, fired the breast of Jove.

So shone Columbia, when in happier days,
O'er eastern mountains, with "unbounded blaze"
She saw the sun of Independence rise,
And roll, rejoicing, through unclouded skies.
So shone Columbia, when her infant hand
With magic power, along her verdant strand,
Charmed into life the city's busy throng,
And rolled of wealth the swelling tide along,
While Freedom's pure and consecrated fires
Glowed in her halls, and glittered on her spires.
So shone Columbia, when her naval pine
Bowed, at her touch, to float beneath the line,
And proudly bear, on every wave unfurled,
Her swelling canvass o'er the watery world.
So shone Columbia, when the trembling wave
Heard Preble's thunder, and was Somers' grave;
So shone, whene'er she trod her native plain,
(For she emerged, like Venus, from the main,)
Till doomed from Neptune's empire to retire,
And dew with tears the ashes of her sire.

From realms, where, waving o'er celestial vales,
Green groves of amaranth bend to spicy gales;
From emerald rocks, where crystal water flows;
Where sainted spirits of the just repose;
Where patriots bleed not, in their country's wars,
Nor roam in beggary, nor show their scars
To their ungrateful country's tearless eye,
Nor on that country's frozen bosom die;
But where, in peace, they breathe an air of balm,
And bind their temples with immortal palm;
Where choral symphonies no discord mars,
Nor drowns the music of the morning stars,
Who, crowned with light, around the Eternal's throne
Pour on the ravished car the mingled tone
Of voice and golden lyre, that fill the sky
With the wild notes of heavenly minstrelsy;
There, while the star-paved walks of Heaven he trod,
Cheered by the unclouded vision of his God,
Great Washington beheld the fair; and smiled,
And said to wondering seraphs,"Lo! my child."

But now, how changed the scene!Ye blissful days,
Withdraw the dazzling splendor of your blaze!
And, Memory, snatch thy record from my sight,
Whose leaves, emblazoned with the beams of light,
Pour on the eye, that glances o'er thy page,
The strong effulgence of a golden age.
Come, Lethe, come! thy tide oblivious roll
O'er all that proud complacency of soul,
That generous ardor, that enlivening flame,
That warmed my bosom, when I heard the name
Of my once honored country;let thy wave,
Dark as Avernus, gloomy as the grave,
Drown every vestige of that country's fame,
And shade the light that bursts upon her shame!
Say,shall we paint her as she meets the eye?
No;drop the pallet,throw the pencil by;
Why should you wish that shrivelled form to trace,
Or stain the canvass with Columbia's face!
No fame awaits the artist;though he give
Each feature life, his memory ne'er shall live;
Ne'er shall he stand in Raphael's honors drest,
Nor snatch the laurels from the brows of West.
Time was, indeed, when he who'd paint the fair,
Must mix the blending colors, soft as air;
To hit the piercing lustre of her eye,
Must catch the light and azure of the sky;
To fill the piece with corresponding glow,
Must dip his pencil in the eastern bow;
Then, o'er her locks and dimpled cheeks, must shed
The paly orange and the rose's red;
Must shade the mellow back-ground of the scene
With mingled tints of violet and green;
Upon her lips must smiles and graces play;
The coral, melting in the dews of May,
Must just disclose the ivory beneath,
And if she breathed not, she must seem to breathe.
But let not now the merest novice dread,
(This same Columbia sitting for her head,)
With painting frenzy fired, to grasp the brush;
He'll hit her to the life, and need not blush
To have his work inspected;if he'll mix
The kindred streams of Acheron and Styx,
Shut close his windows, that no ray of light
May give a single feature to his sight,
Then, on the ready canvass turn his back,
And daub it o'er with bitter and with black.

Look at Columbia!see her sickly form,
Exposed, unsheltered, to the howling storm;
No friendly taper glimmering on her sight,
Her thin robes draggled in the dews of night,
Her bosom shrinking from the piercing blasts,
On Earth's cold lap her fainting limbs she casts;
And as she sinks, despairing and forlorn,
The clouds her curtains, and her couch the thorn,
Her Evil Genius, envying e'en such rest,
Broods like an incubus upon her breast;
Forbids the fluid through her veins to dart,
And locks up every function of her heart.
And yet, the authors of their country's shame,
(In rank, too high; in worth, too low to name,)
Viewing her dying agonies the while,
With fiend-like triumph "grin a ghastly smile."

Look at our Commerce!driven from the deep,
Our sails no more its curling surface sweep;
No more the silks of India swell our stores;
No more Arabia's gums perfume our shores;
But Desolation hovers o'er our ships
With raven pinions;and with skinny lips,
And cheeks all shrivelled, Famine stalks our streets,
And clings, with withered hand, to all she meets.

Look at our army!See its bristling van,
Led on to conquest by that wondrous man,
Who dares the aid of powder to despise,
And "looks down opposition" with his eyes!
See! how the forests shudder as he comes!
How their recesses echo to his drums!
See him, with Victory perching on his crest,
Leap boldly o'er the barriers of the West,
And bid his eagles, stooping to the plain,
Fix their strong talons in the Lion's mane!
Then see him, wheeling with resistless sweep,
Exchange his armyfor a flock of sheep!

Look at our navy!does it proudly ride,
And roll its thunders o'er the subject tide,
As once it rode and thundered? Rogers, say,
When, from our coasts, thy squadron bore away,
Stretched o'er the Atlantic, and its flags unfurled,
To catch the breezes of the Eastern world,
Sought for a foe on Afric's sultry shores,
And ploughed the circling waves, that washed the Azores;
For thee, what garlands floated on the main?
What did thy squadron?It came back again!

How gratefully, amid the horrid gloom,
That rests incumbent on our Honor's tomb,
Should we all hail one solitary ray,
Were it indeed the harbinger of day;
When even now, amid the tenfold night
Of dark despair, we hail, with fond delight,
Nay, with triumphant pride, the beam that 's poured,
Conqueror of Dacres, from thy flaming sword!
Then, would the patriot's heart, that sinks oppressed
By humbling shame, throb proudly in his breast;
Then, would he say, "The reign of night is o'er!
The day is dawning that shall close no more!
My hopes were sunk; but brighter prospects rise,
And other suns shall yet adorn our skies.
Thus would the ear, when fever fires the brain,
Restless, all night, with sympathetic pain,
By jarring discord's harshest gratings torn,
Wake to the airy melodies of morn."
But now, what is it? 'T is the lightning's glare,
That flames at midnight through the murky air,
And shows what clouds the face of heaven deform,
And all the fearful horrors of the storm.
Thus, when Apollo to his son resigned
His car and coursers, to illume mankind,
His car and coursers, stooping from the skies,
Cleft earth with heat, and opened to the eyes
Of the pale tenants of the realms below,
The boundless chaos, and the scenes of woe,
That reigned around;e'en Pluto and his bride,
Who swayed the infernal sceptre, side by side,
Trembled beneath the intolerable light;
And the ghosts shrunk and shuddered at the sight.
Still, gallant Hull, the meed of praise is thine,
Still Victory's wreaths around thy brow shall twine,
Still, child of Washington, thy name shall live,
While valor immortality can give!

Hark!as it shuts, with triple-bolted bars,
The ponderous door on grating hinges jars;
The massy key springs the reluctant locks;
Echoes the clang from adamantine rocks;
There, in a dungeon's gloom, 'mid vapors dank,
Where rattle manacles, and fetters clank,
To perfidy and treachery self-resigned,
Children of Liberty, were ye confined!
Children of Honor, thither basely led!
Children of Washington,'t was there ye bled!
And why?What nameless deed that hates the sun,
And courts congenial darkness, had ye done?
Some ruined virgin had ye left to sigh,
And die in guilt, or live in infamy?
Covered her father's reverend cheeks with shame?
Or shot her brother to redeem your fame?
No; but in times like these, when Virtue weeps,
When high-born Honor in retirement sleeps,
When Vice triumphant fills the chair of state,
When most great men are infamously great,
When sots and demagogues to election come,
Those to give votes and these to pay in rum,
When place is venal, nay, by auction bought,
Ye dared to think, and publish as ye thought!

Hark!'t is the Demon!at the door he treads!
Alecto's mantle shrouds his hundred heads;
Back fly the bolts; his bloody eye-balls glare;
Long, dangling snakes hiss in his horrent hair;
Blue flames of sulphur issue from his jaws;
Each giant hand a naked dagger draws;
The steely clashing echoes from the walls,
And at his feet the hoary Lingan falls!
The monster speaks;"There, traitor, take thy rest!
Ha!are those scars, that scam thy aged breast?
And didst thou think 'those poor dumb wounds would plead,
Like angels, trumpet-tongued,' against my deed?
Simple old fool!I glory in my work;
Here,see thy blood that trickles from my dirk!
Die not, till thou hast seen what joy I feel,
To kiss that trophy of my faithful steel;
That trophy must command a generous price,
Where I shall show it;great men are not nice,
Who have employed me in these high affairs;
I'll have my pay,as doubtless they have theirs
From those, who still a prouder state enjoy,
Who bribed Speranski,and who bought Godoy!
Ah! not yet dead!give me thy hoary locks,
And let thy brains besmear these gory rocks;
Thus do I dash thee,Tory as thou art,
Thus drink thy blood,thus craunch thy quivering heart!"

Soul of the brave, look backward in thy flight;
Our eyes pursue thee till thou 'rt lost in light;
There rest in peace, thy earthly pains forgot;
Soul of the brave, how happy is thy lot!

Johnson, Montgomery, Stricker!when grim Death
Shall stop the volumes of mephitic breath,
That spread contagion round you; when your ear
The curse of freemen can no longer hear;
Your memory like your carcasses shall rot,
On earth detested,in the grave forgot.
While Lingan, Hanson, Thompson, Biglow fire
The poet's raptures, and the minstrel's lyre,
Rise, their deluded countrymen to bless,
And, from the ruins of the falling Press,
Diffuse such lustre, as dispels the gloom
From Sidney's scaffold and from Hampden's tomb.

When on the ruins of Palmyra's walls,
Through fleecy clouds, the sober moonlight falls,
Trembling among the ivy leaves, that shade
The crumbling arch and broken colonnade,
As some lone bard, that gives his silver hair
To float, dishevelled, on the sighing air,
While glories, long departed, rush along,
Pours on the ear of night, in mournful song,
The fond remembrance of that splendid day,
When round Longinus' temples twined the bay,
When on those towers the beams of science shone,
And princes kneeled around Zenobia's throne;
Some future minstrel thus his lyre shall sweep,
Where glides Potomac to the azure deep.

"Where now these ruins moulder on the ground,
Where Desolation walks her silent round,
The slippery serpent drags his sinuous trail,
To marble columns clings the slimy snail,
The solemn raven croaks, the cricket sings,
And bats and owlets flap their sooty wings;
Once, a proud temple rose, with front sublime,
By Wisdom reared, to brave the shocks of Time,
And consecrated to the smiling Three,
Religion, Peace, and Civil Liberty.
Its earliest priests, in stainless robes arrayed,
By no threats daunted, by no arts betrayed,
Ne'er let the censer nor the olive drop,
Though clouds and tempests brooded o'er its top.
Time brought their pious labors to a close;
Others succeeded, and new scenes arose;
The hovering tempests fell upon its walls,
The brooding clouds were welcomed to its halls,
The shuddering altars felt the fires of hell,
The olive withered, and the censer fell,
The columns broke, the trembling arches frowned,
The Temple sunk, and ruin stalks around."

John Pierpont's other poems:
  1. For the Album of Miss Caroline C---
  2. Temperance Song
  3. Her Chosen Spot
  4. Farewell the Bowl
  5. Death of Charles Follen

Poems of another poets with the same name ( ):

  • Dante Rossetti ( ) The Portrait ("This is her picture as she was")
  • Robert Service ( ) The Portrait ("The portrait there above my bed")

     . Poem to print (Print)

    : 1208

    To English version