George Moses Horton

(1797 - 1884 / Northampton, North Carolina)

Rosabella - Purity Of Heart - Poem by George Moses Horton

Though with an angel's tongue
I set on fire the congregations all,
'Tis but a brazen bell that I have rung,
And I to nothing fall;
My theme is but an idle air
If Rosabella is not there,

Though I in thunders rave,
And hurl the blaze of oratoric flowers,
Others I move, but fail myself to save
With my declaiming powers;
I sink, alas! I know not where,
If Rosabella is not there.

Though I point out the way,
And closely circumscribe the path to heaven,
And pour my melting prayer without delay,
And vow my sins forgiven,
I sink into the gloom despair
If Rosabella is not there,

Though I may mountains move,
And make the vallies vocal with my song,
I'm vain without a stream of mystic love,
For all my heart is wrong;
I've laid myself a cruel snare,
If Rosabella is not there.

From bibliothic stores,
I fly, proclaiming heaven from land to land,
Or cross the seas and reach their distant shores,
Mid Gothic groups to stand;
O, let me of myself beware,
If Rosabella is not there.

Our classic books must fail,
And with their flowery tongues to ashes burn,
And not one groat a mortal wit avail
Upon his last return;
Be this the creature's faithful prayer,
That Rosabella may be there.

This spotless maid was born
The babe of heaven, and cannot be defiled;
The soul is dead and in a state forlorn
On which she has not smiled;
Vain are the virile and the fair,
If Rosabella be not there.

When other pleasures tire,
And mortal glories fade to glow no more,
She with the wings of truth augments her fire,
And still prevails to soar;
All else must die, the good and wise,
But Rosabella never dies.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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