The Death of Washington Allston

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The Death of Washington Allston
by Richard Henry Dana, Sr.

  I look through tears on Beauty now;
And Beauty's self less radiant looks on me;
Serene, yet touched with sadness is the brow,
    Once bright with joy, I see.

  Joy-waking Beauty, why so sad?
Tell where the radiance of the smile is gone,
At which my heart, and eart, and skies were glad,—
    That linked us all in one.

  It is not on the mountain's breast;
It comes not to me with the dawning day;
Nor looks it from the glories of the west,
    As slow they pass away.

  Nor on those gliding roundlets bright,
That steal their play among the woody shades,
Nor on thine own dear children doth it light,—
    The flowers along the glades.

  And altered to the Living Mind
(That great high-priestess, with her thought-born race
Who round thine altar aye have stood and shine)
    The comforts of thy face.

  Why shadowed thus thy forehead fair?
Why on the mind low hangs a mystic gloom,
And spreads away on the genial air,
    Like vapours from the tomb?

  Why should ye shine, you lights above?
Ye little flowers, why open to the heat?
No more within the heart ye filled with love
    The living pulses bat.

Well, Beauty, may you mourning stand!
The fine-beholding eye, whose constant look
Was turned on thee, is dark; and cold the hand
    Gave more than vision took.

  Nay, heart, be still! Of heavenly birth
Is Beauty sprung:—Look up!—behold the place!
There He, who reverent traced Her steps on earth,
  Now sees Her, face to face.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.