Southern Life in Southern Literature/Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar

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[Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar was born in Georgia in 1798 and died in 1859 at Richmond, Texas. After several years of farming and business life, Lamar became, in 1828, editor of the Columbus Independent. In 1835 he emigrated to Texas, and for the remainder of his days lived a picturesque life in that state. He served in the Texan war for independence, and in the Mexican War. Later in life he received diplomatic appointments to Argentina, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua. His volume of poems entitled "Verse Memorials" was published in 1857.]


O lend to me, sweet nightingale,
Your music by the fountains,
And lend to me your cadences,
O river of the mountains!
That I may sing my gay brunette,
A diamond spark in coral set,
Gem for a prince's coronet—
The daughter of Mendoza.

How brilliant is the morning star!
The evening star, how tender!
The light of both is in her eye,
Their softness and their splendor.
But for the lash that shades their light
They were too dazzling for the sight;
And when she shuts them, all is night—
The daughter of Mendoza.

O! ever bright and beauteous one,
Bewildering and beguiling,
The lute is in thy silvery tones,
The rainbow in thy smiling.
And thine is, too, o'er hill and dell,
The bounding of the young gazelle,
The arrow's flight and ocean's swell—
Sweet daughter of Mendoza!

What though, perchance, we meet no more—
What though too soon we sever?
Thy form will float like emerald light,
Before my vision ever.

For who can see and then forget
The glories of my gay brunette?
Thou art too bright a star to set—
Sweet daughter of Mendoza!