06 November 2013

American Poetry 1809

Ezra Darby, Esq. was a member of congress from New Jersey, and died at Washington a few months after the following was written. He was an uneducated, or rather a self educated, young man of the most amiable character and manners. — Freeman's Journal

Poetical Epistle.

From Washington City, January 16, 1806.
The winds sweeping over the hills,
With winter incessantly blow :
Ice binds up the rivers and rill;
Earth whitens her surface with snow.
The mildness of summer and spring,
And autumn's rich fruitage are gone;
The birds have forgotten to sing,
The flocks have deserted the lawn.
Far, far from the place of my birth,
The plait where my morning was past,
That beautiful section of earth,
Where fortune my residence cast;
From friends and from home far away,
With half of myself left behind,
My heart beats in time while I say
The season accords with my mind.
By fashion, or folly, or fame,
Or some other phantom assail'd,
Perhaps in pursuit of a name,
Tho' thousands far batter have fail'd :
I laid by my team and my plough,
Forsook the sweet cottage of love,
And came, before great men to bow,
A clod-hopper statesmen to prove.
Surrounded by men of all minds,
All colors the earth can produce,
With all sorts of bodies and minds,
And fitted to all sorts of use;
Compelled in some squabbles to share,
To battle along with the rest,
My thoughts are all ruffled with care,
And heaviness presses my breast.
I sigh for that silent repose
Which home, and home only, provides;
Those scenes unencumbered with woes,
Where soothing contentment presides;
Where peace builds her nest with delight,
Domestic endearments appear,
Where hearts can in rapture unite,
And happiness winds off the year.
Alas! am I here to remain,
And count the dull minutes away,
Till winter shall wear out his reign,
And nature begin to look gay;
Till the foliage shall cover the trees,
The blue bird be seen on the wing;
Till fragrance shall float on the breeze,
And perhaps till the whippoorwill sing?
Then hasten your tardy career,
Ye moments! forget your delay;
Let spring in her verdure appear,
Bring forward the beauty of May,
Let me catch the full note of the grove,
Take the earliest Zepher that blows,
To fly to the bosom of love,
And rest in ecstatic repose.
November 8, 1809. American Eagle 3(149): 1. A few word spellings have been corrected and changed to indicate the letter s instead of the letter f.