Image from Sons of the South.
EXTRACT FROM A POEM ON THE DEATH OF GEN. WASHINGTON.
Why strikes the bell a sad and mournful tone?
From heaving breaths why bursts the struggling groan?
Why weeps the Genius of our Western clime?
Does aught portentious mark the present time?
Yes, Washington is dead! Hence boding fears
Fill every breast, and hence a world in tears.
O’er the wide realm the chilling sound is spread,
Sires to their children say — our heroe’s dead —
Warm-hearted youth burn with a brighter flame,
And sigh their tribute to his honest fame,
While languid fires on Virtue’s side engage,
And roll the torrent o’er the cheek of age;
Grief unconfin’d bursts o’er our narrow strand,
And shades with sable wing a foreign land.
Behold where Gallia’s fires, good, wise and great,
Watch o’er the welfare of the rising state;
With double skill add lustre to her name,
And plant his glories on the wreck of fame.
Thy claim, humanity, Fontanes’ hears,
And bathes our Heroe’s glory in his tears;
In eloquence divine he decks his name,
And hands him to the resting place of fame;
Or see her bands which conquer’d states overwhelm
Bear the sad tidings thro’ the vanquish’d realm,
Where kindred spirits weep that he should die,
And standards mourn beneath a foreign sky.
Oh! first of men, who can thy worth display,
Or sing the charms of thy meredian day;
In its bright blaze a Greek or Roman name
But faintly glitters, scarce can hide its shame;
Fir’d by Columbia’s beam th’ Historic page
Can ne’er reflect on Alexander’s rage;
So twinkling Stars the noon-tide glories shun
And fly the daz’ling beauties of the Sun.
Nov. 24, 1800.}
The Adams Centinel (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Feb 4, 1801