To the memory of the Hon. John Trumbull, Author of M'Fingal, and other poems; a native of Connecticut: who died at Detroit, Michigan: a tribute to the memory of one who was no less the pride of his native State than of his Country; the patriotic bard, who having left among his native hills the thrilling Harp which had animated every camp, and enlivened every cottage, till its notes resounded across the Atlantic.
This was he
Whose shaft of wit had touch'd the epic strain
With poignant power. The Father of the Harp
In his own native vales. He seems to muse
As if those loved retreats did spread themselves
Again before his eye. The sighing wind
Through the long branches of those ancient trees
When first his boyhood lisp'd the love of Song
Doth lull his soul. There brighter visions gleam,
A sound of music rises. 'Tis thy voice Connecticut
As when by vernal rains
Surcharged, it swells in tuneful murmurs round
The vine-clad mansion where his children grew.
But the hoarse clangor of yon mighty Lakes
Holding high conflict with the winged Storm
Doth quell its melody.
And is it so
That in the feebleness of four-score years
Thou with unshrinking hand didst pitch thy tent
Near the broad billows of the Michigan
And mark in that far land young life start forth
In beauty and in vigor and in power
Where erst the Indian, and the Panther dwelt
Sole lords. It was a bold emprize
To change the robe of science and of mistrelsy
Worn from thy cradle onward
For the staff of the strong emigrant.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Master and friend; until this feeble lyre
In silence moulders, till my heart forgets
The thrill of gratitude, the love of song,
The praise of knowledge, shall thine image dwell
Bright with the beauty of benignant age
In my soul's temple-shrine!