To Miss M. V. W
Peggy, amidst domestic cares to rhyme
I find no pleasure, and I find no time;
But then, a Poetess, you may suppose,
Can better tell her mind in verse than prose:
True---when serenely all our moments roll,
Then numbers flow spontaneous from the soul:
Not when the mind is harrassed by cares,
Or stunn'd with thunders of intestine wars,
Or circled by a noisy, vulgar throng,
(Noise ever was an enemy to song.)
What tho' the spiral pines around us rise,
And airy mountains intercept the skies,
Faction has chac'd away the warbling Muse,
And Echo only learns to tattle news,
Each clown commences politician here,
And calculates th' expences of the year;
He quits his plow, and throws aside his spade,
To talk with squire about decrease of trade:
His tedious spouse detains me in her turn,
Condemns our measures and neglects her churn.
Scarce can I steal a moment from the wars
To read my Bible, or to say my pray'rs:
Oh! how I long to see those halcyon days
When Peace again extends to us her rays,
When each, beneath his vine, and far from fear,
Shall beat his sword into a lab'ring share.
Then shall the rural arts again revive,
Ceres shall bid the famish'd rustic live:
Where now the yells of painted sons of blood
With long vibrations shake the lonely wood,
All desolate, Pomona shall behold
The branches shoot with vegetable gold;
Beyond the peasant's sight the springing grain
Shall wave around him o'er the ample plain;
No engines then shall bellow o'er the waves,
And fright blue Thetis in her coral caves,
But commerce gliding o'er the curling seas,
Shall bind the sever'd shores in ties of peace.
Then Washington, reclining on his spear,
Shall take a respite from laborious war,
While Glory on his brows with awful grace
Binds a tiara of resplendent rays.
How faint the lustre of imperial gems
To this immortal wreath his merit claims!
See from the north, where icy mountains rise,
Down to the placid climes of southern skies,
All hail the day that bids stern discord cease,
All hail the day which gives the warrior peace:
Hark! the glad nations make a joyful noise!
And the loud shouts are answer'd from the skies;
Fame swells the sound wrapt in her hero's praise,
And darts his splendors down to latest days.