WHO nearer Nature’s life would truly come
Must nearest come to him of whom I speak;
He all kinds knew,—the vocal and the dumb;
Masterful in genius was he, and unique,
THOU, Sibyl rapt! whose sympathetic soul
Infused the myst’ries thy tongue failed to tell;
Though from thy lips the marvellous accents fell,
And weird wise meanings o’er the senses stole,
ROMANCER, far more coy than that coy sex!
Perchance some stroke of magic thee befell,
Ere thy baronial keep the Muse did vex,
Nor grant deliverance from enchanted spell,
WHEN I remember with what buoyant heart,
Midst war's alarms and woes of civil strife,
In youthful eagerness, thou didst depart,
At peril of thy safety, peace, and life,
FREEDOM’S first champion in our fettered land!
Nor politician nor base citizen
Could gibbet thee, nor silence, nor withstand.
Thy trenchant and emancipating pen