Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EXTRACTS FROM VERSES WRITTEN FOR THE NEW YEAR, 1823, by JOHN GARDINER CALKINS BRAINARD



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EXTRACTS FROM VERSES WRITTEN FOR THE NEW YEAR, 1823, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Where streams of light, in golden showers
Last Line: And breathe in liberty again.
Subject(s): Holidays; New Year


WHERE streams of light, in golden showers,
First fell on long lost Eden's bowers,
And music, from the shouting skies,
Wandered to Eve's own Paradise,
She tuned her eloquent thoughts to song,
And hymned her gratitude among
The waving groves, by goodness planted,
The holy walks by blessings haunted:
And when of bower and grove bereaved,
Since joy was gone, in song she grieved,
And taught her scattering sons the art,
In mirth or woe, to touch the heart.
Bear witness, Jubal's ringing wire,
And untaught David's holier lyre;
Let Judah's timbrel o'er the waters,
Sound to the song of Israel's daughters
Let Prophecy the strain prolong,
Prompting the watching shepherd's song.
And pressing to her eager lips,
The trump of the Apocalypse.
Bear witness pagan Homer's strain,
That to each valley, hill, and plain
Of classic Greece --to all the isles
That dimple in her climate's smiles--
To all the streams that rush or flow
To the rough Archipelago--
To wood and rock, to brook and river,
Gave names will live in song for ever.
The notes were rude that Druids sung
Their venerable woods among;
But later bards, enwrapt, could pore
At noon upon their pastoral lore,
And love the oak-crowned shade, that yielded
A blessing on the spot it shielded.
It shed a solemn calm around
Their steps, who trod the Muse's ground;
And waved o'er Shakespeare's summer dreams,
By Avon's fancy-haunted streams.
Then Genius stamped her footprints free,
Along the walks of Poetry;
And cast a spell upon the spot,
To save it from the common lot.
'T was like the oily gloss that's seen
Upon the shining evergreen,
When desolate in wintry air,
The trees and shrubs around are bare.
And when a New-Year's sun at last
Lights back our thoughts upon the past;
When recollection brings each loss
Our sad'ning memories across;
When Piety and Science mourn
PARSONS and FISHER from them torn --
Just as you yellow plague has fled --
While mindful mourners wail the dead,
The great, the good, the fair, the brave,
Seized in the cold grasp of the grave;
When Murder's hand has died the flood
With a young gallant hero's blood;
When cheeks are pale, and hearts distressed,
Is this a time for idle jest?
The waves shall moan, the winds shall wail
Around thy rugged coast, Kinsale,
For one who could mete out the seas,
And turn to music every breeze--
Track the directing star of night,
And point the varying needle right.
Fair Palestine! is there no sound
That murmurs holy peace around
His distant grave, whose ardent soul
Fainted not till it reached thy goal,
And blessed the rugged path, that led
His steps where his Redeemer bled? --
We may not breathe what angels sing--
We may not wake a seraph's string;
Nor brush, with mortal steps, the dew
That heavenly eyes have shed on you.
And who shall tell to listening Glory,
Bending in grief her plumed head,
While war-drops from her brow are shed,
And her beating heart, and pulses numb,
Throb like the tuck of a muffled drum,
Her favorite ALLYN'S
O! other harps shall sing of him,
And other eyes with tears be dim;
And gallant hopes that banish fears,
And hands and hearts, as well as tears,
Shall yet, before all eyes are dry,
Do justice to his memory;
And hew or light, with sword or flame,
A pile of vengeance to his name.
O! for those circumscribing seas,
That hemmed thy foes, Themistocles!
When Xerxes saw his vanquished fleet,
And routed army, at his feet--
And scowled o'er Salamis, to see
His foes' triumphant victory!
O! for that more than mortal stand,
Where, marshaling his gallant band,
Leonidas, at freedom's post,
Gave battle to a tyrant's host:
Then Greece might struggle, not in vain,
And breathe in liberty again.






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