« AnteriorContinuar »
From "A Discourse on the Character of George Washington, Esq., delivered at New Haven at the request of the citizens, February 22, 1800." Published 1800.
Let them [the youth of our country] particularly remember, that greatness is not the result of mere chance, or genius; that it is not the flash of brilliancy, nor the desperate sally of ambition; that it is, on the contrary, the combined result of strong mental endowments, vigorous cultivation, honourable design, and wise direction. It is not the glare of a meteor; glittering, dazzling, consuming, and vanishing; but the steady and exalted splendour of the sun; a splendour which, while it shines with preeminent brightness, warms also, enlivens, adorns, improves, and perfects, the objects on which it shines glorious indeed by its lustre ; but still more glorious in the useful effects produced by its power. Of this great truth the transcendent example before us is a most dignified exhibition. Let them imitate, therefore, the incessant attention, the exact observation, the unwearied industry, the scrupulous regard to advice, the slowness of decision, the cautious prudence, the nice punctuality, the strict propriety, the independence of thought and feeling, the unwavering firmness, the unbiassed impartiality, the steady moderation, the exact justice, the unveering truth, the universal humanity, and the high veneration for religion, and for God, always manifested by this great man. Thus will future Washingtons arise to bless our happy country.
From "American Poems," Vol. I. Litchfield, 1793.
Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and child of the skies!
Thy genius commands thee; with rapture behold,
While ages on ages thy splendors unfold.
Thy reign is the last, and the noblest of time,
Most fruitful thy soil, most inviting thy clime;
Let the crimes of the east ne'er encrimson thy name,
Be freedom, and science, and virtue, thy fame.
To conquest, and slaughter, let Europe aspire;
Whelm nations in blood, and wrap cities in fire;
Thy heroes the rights of mankind shall defend,
And triumph pursue them, and glory attend.
A world is thy realm: for a world be thy laws,
Enlarg❜d as thine empire, and just as thy cause;
On Freedom's broad basis, that empire shall rise,
Extend with the main, and dissolve with the skies.
Fair Science her gates to thy sons shall unbar,
And the east see thy morn hide the beams of her star.
New bards, and new sages, unrival'd shall soar
To fame, unextinguish'd, when time is no more;
To thee, the last refuge of virtue design'd,
Shall fly from all nations the best of mankind;
Here, grateful to heaven, with transport shall bring
Their incense, more fragrant then odours of spring.
Nor less shall thy fair ones to glory ascend,
And Genius and Beauty in harmony blend;
The graces of form shall awake pure desire,
And the charms of the soul ever cherish the fire;
Their sweetness unmingled, their manners refin'd
And virtue's bright image, instamp'd on the mind,
With peace, and soft rapture, shall teach life to glow,
And light up a smile in the aspect of woe.
Thy fleets to all regions thy pow'r shall display,
The nations admire, and the ocean obey;
Each shore to thy glory its tribute unfold,
And the east and the south yield their spices and gold,
As the day-spring unbounded, thy splendor shall flow,
And earth's little kingdoms before thee shall bow,
While the ensigns of union, in triumph unfurl'd,
Hush the tumult of war, and give peace to the world.
Thus, as down a lone valley, with cedars o'erspread,
From war's dread confusion I pensively stray'd-
The gloom from the face of fair heav'n retir'd;
The winds ceased to murmur; the thunders expir'd;
Perfumes, as of Eden, flow'd sweetly along,
And a voice, as of angels, enchantingly sung;
"Columbia, Columbia, to glory arise,
The queen of the world, and child of the skies."
JOHN TRUMBULL, LL. D., OF HARTFORD
From "M'Fingal," Canto I.
'Squire M'Fingal in Town Meeting
Thus stor'd with intellectual riches,
Skill'd was our 'Squire in making speeches,
Where strength of brains united centers
With strength of lungs surpassing Stentor's.
But as some musquets so contrive it,
As oft to miss the mark they drive at,
And tho' well aim'd at duck or plover,
Bear wide and kick their owners over :
So far'd our 'Squire, whose reas'ning toil
Would often on himself recoil,
The first two cantos of M'Fingal came out before the Revolution. They were thought to be the work of some Englishman; and, though they made fun of British as well as American customs, they were enjoyed in England as much as in America. One year after the surrender of Cornwallis, the remainder of the satire was published. The extract from Canto IV will show why the English, especially those who had favored the war, no longer found the poem entertaining. Both extracts are taken from the first complete edition, published in Hartford in 1782.
And so much injur'd more his side,
The stronger arg'ments he apply'd;
As old war-elephants, dismay'd,
Trode down the troops they came to aid,
And hurt their own side more in battle
Than less and ordinary cattle.
Yet at town-meetings ev'ry chief
Pinn'd faith on great M'Fingal's sleeve,
And, as he motioned, all by rote
Rais'd sympathetic hands to vote.
The town, our Hero's scene of action, Had long been torn by feuds of faction; And as each party's strength prevails, It turn'd up diff'rent, heads or tails; With constant ratt'ling, in a trice Show'd various sides as oft as dice: As that fam'd weaver, wife t' Ulysses, By night each day's-work pick'd in pieces; And tho' she stoutly did bestir her,
They met, made speeches full long-winded,
Resolv'd, protested, and rescinded;
Addresses sign'd, then chose Committees,
To stop all drinking of Bohea-teas;
With winds of doctrine veer'd about,
And turn'd all Whig-Committees out.
Meanwhile our Hero, as their head,
In pomp the tory faction led,
Still following, as the 'Squire should please,
Successive on, like files of geese.
From "M'Fingal," Canto IV.
General Clinton's Moonlight March
I look'd, and now by magic lore,
Faint rose to view the Jersey shore;
But dimly seen, in glooms array'd,
For Night had pour'd her sable shade,
'And ev'ry star, with glimm'rings pale,
Was muffled deep in ev'ning veil :
Scarce visible in dusky night,
Advancing redcoats rose to fight;
The lengthen'd train in gleaming rows
Stole silent from their slumb'ring foes,
Slow moved the baggage and the train,
Like snail crept noiseless o'er the plain;
No trembling soldier dared to speak,
And not a wheel presum'd to creak.
My looks my new surprize confess'd,
Till by great Malcome thus address'd:
"Spend not thy wits in vain researches ;
'Tis one of Clinton's moonlight marches.