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Round the calm solitude, with ceaseless song,
Soft roll'd domestic ecstacy along :
Sweet as the sleep of innocence, the day,
By raptures number'd, lightly danced away:
To love, to bliss, the union'd soul was given,
And each, too happy! ask'd no brighter heaven.
Yet then, even then, my trembling thoughts would rove,
And steal an hour from Irad, and froin love,
Through dread futurity all anxious roam,
And cast a mournful glance on ills to come.
“ Hope not, fond maid,” some voice prophetic cried-
“ A life, thus wafted down the unruffled tide :
Trust no gay, golden doom, from anguish free,
Nor wish the laws of heaven reversed for thee.
Survey the peopled world ; thy soul shall find
Woes, ceaseless woes, ordaind for poor mankind.
Life's a long solitude, an unknown gloom,
Closed by the silence of the dreary tomb.

“ For soon, ah soon shall fleet thy pleasing dreams;
Soon close the eye, that, bright as angel's, beams
Grace irresistible. To mouldering clay
Shall change the face, that smiles thy griefs away:
Soon the sweet music of that voice be o’er,
Hope cease to charm, and beauty bloom no more :
Strange, darksome wilds, and devious ways be trod,
Nor love, nor Irad, steal thy heart from God."

And must the hours in ceaseless anguish roll?
Must no soft sunshine cheer my clouded soul ?
Spring charm around me brightest scenes, in vain ?
And youth's angelic visions wake to pain?
Oh come once more, with fond endearments come;
Burst the cold prison of the sullen tomb;
Through favorite walks, thy chosen maid attend;
Where well known shades for thee their branches bend :
Shed the sweet poison from thy speaking eye;
And look those raptures, lifeless words deny !
Still be the tale rehearsed, that ne'er could tire ;
But, told each eve, fresh pleasure could inspire :
Still hoped those scenes, which love and fancy drew;
But, drawn a thousand times, were ever new!

Again all bright shall glow the morning beam;
Again soft suns dissolve the frozen stream:
Spring call young breezes from the southern skies,
And, clothed in splendor, flowery millions rise.
In vain to thee- - no morn's indulgent ray
Warms the cold mansion of the slumbering clay.

No mild etherial gale, with tepid wing,
Shall fan thy locks, or waft approaching spring :
Unfelt, unknown, shall breathe the rich perfume,
And unbeard music wave around thy tomb.

A cold, dumb, dead repose invests thee round;
Still as a void, ere nature form'd a sound.
O'er thy dark region, pierced by no kind ray,
Slow roll the long, oblivious hours away.
In these wild walks, this solitary round,
Where the pale moon-beam lights the glimmering ground,
At each sad turn, I view thy spirit come,
And glide, half seen, behind a neighboring tomb;
With visionary hand, forbid my stay,
Look o'er the grave, and beckon me away.


David HUMPHREYs was the son of a clergyman, of Derby in Connecticut, and was born at that place in 1753. He entered Yale College in 1767, where he formed an acquaintance with Dwight and Trumbull. He went into the army on the breaking out of the war, and in 1778 was attached to General Putnam's staff, with the rank of Major. In 1780 he was made a Colonel, and aide-de-camp to Washington, in whose family he continued till the end of the war, enjoying the full confidence and friendship of the Commander in Chief. When the army was disbanded, and Washington had resigned his commission, Colonel Humphreys accompanied him in his retirement to Virginia.

In 1784 he was appointed Secretary to the legation for concluding treaties with foreign powers, and sailed for Europe where he passed two years, principally at Paris and London. On his return in 1786, he was chosen to represent his native town in the Connecticut legislature, and shortly after appointed by Congress to the command of a body of troops raised in New England, for the western service. While occupied in this business he resided for the most part at Hartford, and associated with Trumbull, Barlow and Hopkins in the literary and political writings which engaged their attention at that period. In 1788 his corps being broken up, his commission expired, and he made a journey to General Washington at Mount Vernon, and remained there till the organization of the federal government, when he attended the President to New York. He remained in his family till 1790. At this time he was nominated ambassador to Portugal, and in 1791 sailed for Lisbon, being the first American minister to that country. Ile subsequently received the additional appointment of minister plenipotentiary to the court of Madrid, and during the discharge of these duties, concluded treaties of peace with the government of Tripoli and Algiers. He remained abroad till 1802, and after his return lived principally in his native state, without taking any share in public measures except receiving the command of the veteran volunteers of Connecticut in 1812, with the rank of General. He died at New Ilaven, February 21st, 1818, at the age of 65.

Colonel Humphreys attracted much notice by his first poem,

“ An Address to the Armies of the United States of America,” written in 1782, in the bustle of the camp, for the patriotic purpose of inspiring his brethren in arms with courage and perseverance in the struggle. This piece had a great popularity. It was published in England, and translated into French by the Marquis de Chastellux, the friend and fellow soldier of Humphreys. His other works are, A Poem on the Happiness of America, A Poem on the future Glory of the United States, A Poem on the Industry of the United States, A Poem on the Love of Country, A Poem on the death of Washington, and a few small pieces. Besides these, he was the Author of a life of General Putnam, and a translation of the French tragedy, The Widow of Malabar.

The poetry of Humphreys displays considerable talent, but the sameness in the character of the subjects which he has adopted throughout his different pieces, gives it an air of monotony which materially detracts from the interest we feel in going over his volume. Either of his larger performances, will give a fair specimen of his general manner and merits.

His conceptions are elevated, his sentiments noble and warm with patriotic zeal, and his versification correct and harmonious.


Ye martial bands ! Columbia's fairest pride!
To toils inured, in dangers often tried
Ye gallant youths! whose breasts for glory burn,
Each selfish aim and meaner passion spurn:
Ye who, unmoved, in the dread hour have stood,
And smiled, undaunted, in the field of blood
Who greatly dared, at freedom's rapturous call,
With her to triumph, or with her to fall-
Now brighter days in prospect swift ascend;
Ye sons of fame, the hallow'd theme attend;
The past review; the future scenes explore,
And heaven's high king with grateful hearts adore!

What time proud Albion, thundering o'er the waves,
Frown'd on her sons, and bade them turn to slaves-
When, lost to honor, virtue,

glory, shame,
When nought remain’d of Britain but the name-
The parent state—a parent now no more-
Let loose the hirelings of despotic power,
Urged to keen vengeance their relentless ire,
And hoped submission from their sword and fire.
As when dark clouds, from Andes' towering head,
Roll down the skies, and round the horizon spread,
With thunders fraught, the blackening tempest sails,
And bursts tremendous o’er Peruvian vales :
So broke the storm on Concord's fatal plain;
There fell our brothers, by fierce ruffians slain-
Inglorious deed! to wild despair then driven,
We, suppliant, made our great appeal to heaven.
Then the shrill trumpet echoed from afar,
And sudden blazed the wasting flame of war;
From State to State świft flew the dire alarms,
And ardent youths, impetuous, rush'd to arms:
“ To arms the matrons and the virgins sung,
To arms, their sires, their husbands, brothers sprung.
No dull delay-where'er the sound was heard,
Where the red standards in the air appear'd,
Where, through vast realms the cannon swell'd its roar,
Between the Acadian and Floridian shore.

Now join'd the crowd, from their far distant farms, In rustic guise, and unadorn’d in arms : Not like their foes, in tinsel trappings gay, And burnish'd arms that glitter'd on the day; Who now advanced, where Charlestown reared its height, In martial pomp, and claim'd the awful sight; And proudly deem'd, with one decisive blow, To hurl destruction on the routed foe. Not so—just heaven had fix'd the great decree, And bade the sons of freemen still be free; Bade all their souls with patriot ardor burn, And taught the coward, fear of death to spurn; The threats of danger and of war to brave, To purchase freedom, or a glorious grave. Long raged the contest on the embattled field; Nor those would fly, nor these would tamely yieldTill Warren fell, in all the boast of arms, The pride of genius and unrivall'd charms, His country's hope !-full soon the gloom was spread: Oppress’d with numbers, and their leader dead, Slow from the field the sullen troops retired; Behind, the hostile flame to heaven aspired.

The imperious Britons, on the well-fought ground,
No cause for joy or wanton triumph found,
But saw with grief their dreams of conquest vain,
Felt the deep wounds, and mourn'd their veterans slain.

Nor less our woes. Now darkness gather'd round;
The thunder rumbled, and the tempest frown’d;
When lo! to guide us through the storm of war,
Beam'd the bright splendor of Virginia's star.
O first of heroes, fav’rite of the skies,
To what dread toils thy country bade thee rise!
“Oh raised by heaven to save the invaded state !
(So spake the sage long since thy future fate,)
T was thine to change the sweetest scenes of life
For public cares—to guide the embattled strife;
Unnumber'd ills of every kind to dare,
The winter's blast, the summer's sultry air,
The lurking dagger, and the turbid storms
Of wasting war, with death in all his forms.
Nor aught could daunt. Unspeakably serene,
Thy conscious soul smiled o'er the dreadful scene.

The foe then trembled at the well-known name ;
And raptured thousands to his standard came.
His martial skill our rising armies formid;
His patriot zeal their generous bosoms warm’d:
His voice inspired, his godlike presence led,
The Britons saw, and from his presence fled,

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