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
PEOPLE’S ATTORNEY, servant of the Right!
Pleader for all shades of the solar ray,
Complexions dusky, yellow, red, or white;
Who, in thy country’s and thy time’s despite,
MISFORTUNE to have lived not knowing thee!
’T were not high living, nor to noblest end,
Who, dwelling near, learned not sincerity,
Rich friendship’s ornament that still doth lend
POET of the Pulpit, whose full-chorded lyre
Startles the churches from their slumbers late,
Discoursing music, mixed with lofty ire
At wrangling factions in the restless state,
Not all the brilliant beauties I have seen,
Mid the gay splendors of some Southern hall,
In jewelled grandeur, or in plainest mien,
Did so my fancy and my heart enthral,
As doth this noble woman, Nature's queen!
CHANNING! my Mentor whilst my thought was young,
And I the votary of fair liberty,—
How hung I then upon thy glowing tongue,
And thought of love and truth as one with thee!