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Poem by Lucretia Maria Davidson


America


(Written in her seventeenth year.)

And this was once the realm of nature, where
Wild as the wind, tho' exquisitely fair,
She breath'd the mountain breeze, or bow'd to kiss
The dimpling waters with unbounded bliss.
Here in this Paradise of earth, where first
Wild mountain Liberty began to burst,
Once Nature's temple rose in simple grace,
The hill her throne, the world her dwelling-place.
And where are now her lakes so still and lone,
Her thousand streams with bending shrubs o'ergrown?.
Where her dark cat'racts tumbling from on high,
With rainbow arch aspiring to the sky?
Her tow'ring pines with fadeless wreaths entwin'd,
Her waving alders streaming to the wind?
Nor these alone, Ч her own, Ч her fav'rite child,
All fire; all feeling; man untaught and wild;
Where can the lost, lone son of nature stray?
For art's high car is rolling on its way;
A wand'rer of the world, he flies to drown
The thoughts of days gone by and pleasures flown,
In the deep draught, whose dregs are death and woe,
With slavery's iron chain conceal'd below.
Once thro' the tangled wood, with noiseless tread
And throbbing heart, the lurking warrior sped,
Aim'd his sure weapon, won the prize, and turn'd
While his high heart with wild ambition burn'd,
With song and war-whoop to his native tree,
There on its bark to carve the victory.
His all of learning did that act comprise,
But still in nature's volume doubly wise.

The wayward stream which once with idle bound,
Whirl'd on resistless in its foaming round,
Now curb'd by art flows on, a wat'ry chain
Linking the snow-capp'd mountains to the main.
Where once the alder in luxuriance grew,
Or the tall pine its towering branches threw
Abroad to Heaven, with dark and haughty brow,
There mark the realms of plenty smiling now;
There the full sheaf of Ceres richly glows,
And Plenty's fountain blesses as it flows;
And man, a brute when left to wander wild,
A reckless creature, nature's lawless child,
What boundless streams of knowledge rolling now,
From the full hand of art around him flow!
Improvement strides the surge, while from afar,
Learning rolls onward in her silver car;
Freedom unfurls her banner o'er his head,
While peace sleeps sweetly on her native bed.

The muse arises from the wildwood glen,
And chants her sweet and hallow'd song again,
As in those halcyon days, which bards have sung,
When hope was blushing, and when life was young.
Thus shall she rise, and thus her sons shall rear
Her sacred temple here , and only here ,
While Percival, her lov'd and chosen priest,
For ever blessing, tho' himself unblest,
Shall fan the fire that blazes at her shrine,
And charm the ear with numbers half divine.



Lucretia Maria Davidson


Lucretia Maria Davidson's other poems:
  1. The White Maid of the Rock
  2. The Yellow Fever
  3. Death
  4. Love, Joy, and Pleasure
  5. An Acrostic


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Sydney Dobell America ("Nor force nor fraud shall sunder us! O ye")
  • Bayard Taylor America ("FORESEEN in the vision of sages")
  • Henry Van Dyke America ("I love thine inland seas")
  • Ella Wilcox America ("I am the refuge of all the oppressed")
  • Claude McKay America ("Although she feeds me bread of bitterness")

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