An Elegy on the Late Honorable Titus Hosmer

Come to my soul, O shade of Hosmer, come,
Tho' doubting senates ask thy aid in vain;
Attend the drooping virtues round thy tomb,
And hear a while the orphan'd Muse complain.

The Muse which thy indulgence bade aspire,
And dare pursue thy distant steps to fame;
At thy command she first assum'd the lyre,
And hop'd a future laurel from thy name.

How did thy smiles awake her infant song!
How did thy virtues animate the lay!
Still shall thy fate the dying strain prolong,
And bear her voice with thy lost form away.

Come to my soul thou venerable Sage,
In all the sheeted majesty of night,
Snatch the bold quill, control the noble rage,
And seize the raptur'd fancy in her flight.

Come in the form that shadowy spirits dress,
When death's dim vail hath shrouded all their pride,
While yon tall cloud but emulates thy face,
Where the lone moonbeam trembles thro' its side.

Come on the gale that listening midnight heaves,
When glare ey'd phantoms, bending with a bier,
Stalk thro' the mist, ascend the sounding graves,
And wake wild wonders in the startled ear.

In this dread scene no more the wonted sires
Kindle my breast or ope a wish within,
The soul, distracted from herself retires,
And sighs to mingle and to soar with thine.

And where, thou blest immortal art thou flown?
Can these deep shades detain thy willing ear?
Canst thou from loaded breezes hear a groan?
Or stain thy spotless mantle with a tear?

Can ought on earth thy flight hath left behind,
Borne in the music of a once lov'd strain,
Approach th' unbodied mansion of the mind?
Or bend one pitying look to earth again?

Can thence no thought to that fair seat descend?
The seat once joyous in thy joys below,
Where robes of sable sadness now depend,
And all the still solemnities of woe.

Can the dear partner of thy tender years,
Sad as the misty fading face of even,
With all the wasted treasure of her tears,
Avert no smile nor bribe a care from heaven?

While that young throng, that dear deserted train,
Where thy lov'd image sosten'd sweetness wears,
Swell with new tenderness each following pain,
And add unnumber'd, undivided cares.

Around the fair one see their beauties bloom,
(Or wilt thou not the moving fair one heed?)
How their keen anguish points the distant tomb,
Where all their joys and every hope is fled!

So lonely Cynthia, on her evening throne,
And all her young-ey'd planetary train,
In languid lustre seek their sire the sun,
Down the still chambers of the western main.

Yet that broad splendor from his nightly race,
With rising radiance shall the day restore;
Another spring renews fair nature's face,
And years and ages die to waken more.

But thou alas! no more on earth wilt tread,
Nor one short hour thy blest employments leave,
Tho' the sad knell, that hail'd thee to the dead,
Had doom'd thy helpless country to her grave.

Thy country, whose still supplicating moan,
Implores thy counsels with an infant cry;
And loads the same stern Angel with a groan,
Which bore thy kindling spirit to the sky.

Wilt thou (since nothing here could bribe thy stay,
And nothing here can tempt thee from on high,
Since tears of innocence must idly stray,
And grateful millions breathe the fruitless sigh;

Since every tender tie that mortals prize,
And all that fame's immortal children gain,
Yield to th' untimely mandate of the skies,
And ask thy kind continuance still in vain;)

Wilt thou in seats of blessedness above,
Where cares of empire claim th' eternal ear,
Among thy country's guardian seraphs prove
The hand to cherish and the heart to hear?

There while the dread sublimity of soul
O'er all the star-eye'd heaven exalts thy throne,
While worlds beneath immeasurably roll,
And shew the well-known circuit of thine own,

Wilt thou remark the bluely-bending shore?
Where hills and champaigns stretch abroad their pride,
Where opening streams their lengthiest currents pour,
And heaps of heroes swell the crimson tide.

Wilt thou recognize that confus'd uproar?
Towns curl'd in smoaky columns mounting high,
Mix'd with the clarion's desolating roar;
Rending and purpling all the nether sky.

Amid the tumult, wilt thou see asar
Our laurel'd heroes striving for the day?
While clouds, unfolding, ope the wings of war,
Where the grim legions sweep the foes away.

And while their deeds thy blest approvance claim,
While crouds of rival chiefs thy guidance shore,
Behold that first, that finish'd heir of fame,
And be the best of heroes still thy care.

That hero whose illuminating sword
Lights death and victory through the darken'd field,
Bids realms and ages waken at his word,
Their sire, their soul, their savior and their shield.

Behold that Senate, whose delighted ear
With thy bold eloquence hath often rung,
Where trembling realms, for many a doubtful year,
Have learnt their sure salvation from thy tongue.

While cares of empires sit upon their brow,
And all th' increasing counsels of an age,
Demand, alike, bold virtue's warmest glow,
And the wide walks of science in the sage;

Let thy own wisdom's ever beaming light
Illume their well-known dignity of soul,
Let thy benevolence their hearts unite,
And every voice, and every wish control.

Lift the deep curtain from the vale of time,
Where unborn years their future circles wind,
Where the broad interests of a growing clime
Spread to all realms and regulate mankind.

Unfold to their keen penetrating view,
What to the infant empire should be known,
That worlds' and ages' happiness or woe,
Hang on th' important issue of their own.

And sure thou wilt that honor'd realm revere,
Where first thine early steps began their fame,
Where thy lov'd memory, ever doubly dear,
Awakes a tenderer tribute to thy name.

Canst thou forget, when youthful years began,
Where opening science kindled every grace,
And smil'd to see, ascending in the man,
The friend the pride the glory of his race?

Where civil rights, the dignity of men,
And all the extensive privilege of laws,
Roll'd from thy voice or brighten'd from thy pen,
Compel'd attention and secur'd applause.

Where rising worth thine early name enroll'd
Among the first fam'd fathers of the age,
And bade the untarnish'd characters of gold
Flame in the front of glory's deathless page.

Attentive still to virtue's noble aim,
And greatly stren'ous to advance her cause,
Lead thou her counsels animate her flame,
Sire of her sons, and guardian of her laws.

And see! aloft in that sublime retreat,
Where injur'd rights obtain their last appeal,
How pensive justice o'er thy vacant seat,
With faltering hand suspends her turning scale.

If chance some Hosmer, with an even eye,
And skill'd like thee to poize the trembling weight,
Should chear the nymph, thine honor'd place supply,
And bless the nations with a longer date;

When from all bounds of this extensive land,
Or where wide oceans spread their coasts abroad,
Dark causes rise, demanding from his hand,
Th' impartial deep discernment of a god;

Then in his breast may all thy virtues rise,
And all thy dignity around him shine,
Then drop thy own blest mantle from the skies,
And make the person as the place divine.

He will, my friends——th' unbodied life above,
With every virtue brighten'd and refin'd,
That glow'd below, with patriotic love,
The love of happiness and human kind,

Will burn serener in a purer sky,
Where broader views and bolder thoughts unroll,
Where universal Being fills the eye,
And swells the unbounded wishes of the soul.

No tender thought by heaven's own breath inspir'd,
Which taught the gentle bosom here to glow,
Which the warm breast with patriot ardor fir'd,
Or stole the secret tear for silent woe,

No tender thought by heaven's own will approv'd,
Can e'er forsake the mansion first assign'd;
But reaches still the object once belov'd,
And lives immortal in th' immortal mind.

Fix'd in a brighter sphere, with surer aim,
Tho' greater scenes his growing views employ,
Yet Hosmer kindles with an Hosmer's flame,
And his dear country feeds his noblest joy.

He sees our rising, all-involving cause,
Spread like the morn to every distant clime,
Awake the mild magnificence of laws,
And roll down blessings on the stream of time.

Nor think, O hapless fair one, tho' awhile,
From thy fond arms his happier spirit rove,
That foaring innocence can cease to smile,
Or his Seraphic bosom cease to love.

In Heaven's own breast the self-existent fires,
E'er time began, illum'd th' eternal flame,
Lit from the beam, the Archangellic quires
Preserve th' unchanging ardor still the same.

And shall the heaven-born spirit after death,
Robb'd of its virtues from its nature fly?
Or lose in climes of bliss the aspiring breath,
Which wing'd its passage to its kindred sky?

Think, in the chambers of eternal morn,
Where beauty blooms along the vernal vale,
Where loves and virtues every smile adorn,
And hymns of Angels swell the floating gale;

Think how his well-known sympathy of soul
Views every pain thy tenderness can know;
Counts the full tears in silence as they roll,
And learns the tale of every speaking woe.

Thou knowst, while here, he joy'd to give relief,
To call dark merit to the eye of day,
To rob the silent orphan of her grief,
And breathe the sigh from innocence away.

How did the trembling visage of the poor,
With grateful glow embolden at his smile!
And learn, well pleas'd, within his wonted door,
Its joys to cherish, and its cares beguile.

Thou knowst his early wish began to prize
The bliss that wayward mortals seldom find,
That lifts the frequent suppliant to the skies,
While answering blessings fill the raptur'd mind.

Know then, fair mourner, from the climes of day,
(While these drear shades of solitude you tread)
His unseen hand companion of thy way,
Thro' the dark paths thy wandering steps shall lead,

While all thy virtues rise before the throne,
And all thy griefs be number'd in his fight,
Those shall refine and ripen with his own,
And these be hush'd in everlasting night.

Thy children too, his images below,
Fair as young plants, and smiling as the morn,
With thy own loveliness shall learn to glow,
And all thy graces brighten and adorn.

Short is the date that virtue from its home,
In these deep shades, can suffer and refine;
And when kind heaven relieves it from the doom,
Ours be the choice to tremble and resign.

Vain were the task, the daring thought were vain,
To check the sun's bold circuit as he flies;
Nor think the cling of fondness can detain
The soaring seraph from his kindred skies.

Then cease, fond partner of his earthly joys,
And leave behind each unavailing care;
Think what a scene his happier slight employs,
And haste to meet him and to mingle there.

Come to my soul, O shade of Hosmer, come,
Tho' doubting senates ask thy aid in vain;
Attend the drooping virtues round thy tomb,
And hear a while the orphan'd Muse complain.

The Muse which thy indulgence bade aspire,
And dare pursue thy distant steps to fame;
At thy command she first assum'd the lyre,
And hop'd a future laurel from thy name.

How did thy smiles awake her infant song!
How did thy virtues animate the lay!
Still shall thy fate the dying strain prolong,
And bear her voice with thy lost form away.

Come to my soul thou venerable Sage,
In all the sheeted majesty of night,
Snatch the bold quill, control the noble rage,
And seize the raptur'd fancy in her flight.

Come in the form that shadowy spirits dress,
When death's dim vail hath shrouded all their pride,
While yon tall cloud but emulates thy face,
Where the lone moonbeam trembles thro' its side.

Come on the gale that listening midnight heaves,
When glare ey'd phantoms, bending with a bier,
Stalk thro' the mist, ascend the sounding graves,
And wake wild wonders in the startled ear.

In this dread scene no more the wonted sires
Kindle my breast or ope a wish within,
The soul, distracted from herself retires,
And sighs to mingle and to soar with thine.

And where, thou blest immortal art thou flown?
Can these deep shades detain thy willing ear?
Canst thou from loaded breezes hear a groan?
Or stain thy spotless mantle with a tear?

Can ought on earth thy flight hath left behind,
Borne in the music of a once lov'd strain,
Approach th' unbodied mansion of the mind?
Or bend one pitying look to earth again?

Can thence no thought to that fair seat descend?
The seat once joyous in thy joys below,
Where robes of sable sadness now depend,
And all the still solemnities of woe.

Can the dear partner of thy tender years,
Sad as the misty fading face of even,
With all the wasted treasure of her tears,
Avert no smile nor bribe a care from heaven?

While that young throng, that dear deserted train,
Where thy lov'd image sosten'd sweetness wears,
Swell with new tenderness each following pain,
And add unnumber'd, undivided cares.

Around the fair one see their beauties bloom,
(Or wilt thou not the moving fair one heed?)
How their keen anguish points the distant tomb,
Where all their joys and every hope is fled!

So lonely Cynthia, on her evening throne,
And all her young-ey'd planetary train,
In languid lustre seek their sire the sun,
Down the still chambers of the western main.

Yet that broad splendor from his nightly race,
With rising radiance shall the day restore;
Another spring renews fair nature's face,
And years and ages die to waken more.

But thou alas! no more on earth wilt tread,
Nor one short hour thy blest employments leave,
Tho' the sad knell, that hail'd thee to the dead,
Had doom'd thy helpless country to her grave.

Thy country, whose still supplicating moan,
Implores thy counsels with an infant cry;
And loads the same stern Angel with a groan,
Which bore thy kindling spirit to the sky.

Wilt thou (since nothing here could bribe thy stay,
And nothing here can tempt thee from on high,
Since tears of innocence must idly stray,
And grateful millions breathe the fruitless sigh;

Since every tender tie that mortals prize,
And all that fame's immortal children gain,
Yield to th' untimely mandate of the skies,
And ask thy kind continuance still in vain;)

Wilt thou in seats of blessedness above,
Where cares of empire claim th' eternal ear,
Among thy country's guardian seraphs prove
The hand to cherish and the heart to hear?

There while the dread sublimity of soul
O'er all the star-eye'd heaven exalts thy throne,
While worlds beneath immeasurably roll,
And shew the well-known circuit of thine own,

Wilt thou remark the bluely-bending shore?
Where hills and champaigns stretch abroad their pride,
Where opening streams their lengthiest currents pour,
And heaps of heroes swell the crimson tide.

Wilt thou recognize that confus'd uproar?
Towns curl'd in smoaky columns mounting high,
Mix'd with the clarion's desolating roar;
Rending and purpling all the nether sky.

Amid the tumult, wilt thou see asar
Our laurel'd heroes striving for the day?
While clouds, unfolding, ope the wings of war,
Where the grim legions sweep the foes away.

And while their deeds thy blest approvance claim,
While crouds of rival chiefs thy guidance shore,
Behold that first, that finish'd heir of fame,
And be the best of heroes still thy care.

That hero whose illuminating sword
Lights death and victory through the darken'd field,
Bids realms and ages waken at his word,
Their sire, their soul, their savior and their shield.

Behold that Senate, whose delighted ear
With thy bold eloquence hath often rung,
Where trembling realms, for many a doubtful year,
Have learnt their sure salvation from thy tongue.

While cares of empires sit upon their brow,
And all th' increasing counsels of an age,
Demand, alike, bold virtue's warmest glow,
And the wide walks of science in the sage;

Let thy own wisdom's ever beaming light
Illume their well-known dignity of soul,
Let thy benevolence their hearts unite,
And every voice,
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.