Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OWEN OF LANARK, by JAMES SMITH (1775-1839)



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

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OWEN OF LANARK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Welcome, welcome, mighty stranger
Last Line: Welcome, owen of lanark!
Subject(s): Doubt; Fear; Salvation; Skepticism


WELCOME, welcome, mighty stranger,
To our transatlantic shore:
Anchored safe from seas of danger,
All our fears and doubts are o'er.
Sable Jews and flaxen Quakers
Imitate no more the shark;
Wealth lies planted out in acres --
Welcome, Owen of Lanark!

Parallelograms of virtue,
Haunts from human frailty free,
Squares that vice can ne'er do hurt to,
Circles of New Harmony:
Schemes that blossom while we view'em,
Swamp and prairie changed to park:
Meum melting into tuum --
Wondrous Owen of Lanark!

All New York, in mind and body,
Feels thy influence, and adores;
Bitters, Sangaree, and Toddy
Fly her fifteen hundred stores.
Big Ohio now looks bigger,
Freedom fans the kindred spark:
Boss no longer scowls on nigger --
Welcome, Owen of Lanark!

Lazarus lies down with Dives,
Rich and poor no more are seen;
Baltimore our common hive is;
Busy bees, and thou their Queen.
Uncle Ben lays down his rifle,
While his Nephew -- prone to bark --
Thanks his stars for "that 'ere trifle,"
Mighty Owen of Lanark!

Failing schemers, retrograders,
Lawyers fattening on strife,
Grim backwoodsmen, bankrupt traders,
Squatters brandishing the knife:
Busy Banks their Cents up summing
Many a Master, many a Clerk,
Drop their dollars at thy coming,
Mighty Owen of Lanark!

Foe to titled Sirs and Madams,
Prone Law's blunders to redress,
Washington nor Quincy Adams
Ever saw thy like, I guess.
Let John Bull's polluted pages
Dub thee staring, dub thee stark:
Solon of succeeding Ages,
Welcome, Owen of Lanark!

Vast, I calculate, thy plan is,
Born to soar where others creep;
Lofty as the Alleghanies,
As the Mississippi deep.
As the German Brothers mingle,
Prone to sing "hark follow hark,"
All our States, through dell and dingle,
Hail thee, Owen of Lanark!

"I've an item," Boss and Peasant
Feel quite mighty where you stray;
Competence is omnipresent,
Poverty "slick right away."
See our bipeds, "like all natur,"
Climbing up thy friendly ark,
Dub thee Sovereign Legislator,
Welcome, Owen of Lanark!





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