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To Mr. Bleecker, on his passage to New York

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Shall Fancy still pursue th' expanding sails,
Calm Neptune's brow, or raise impelling gales?
Or with her Bleecker, ply the lab'ring oar,
When pleasing scenes invite him to the shore,
There with him thro' the fading vallies rove,
Blest in idea with the man I love?
Methinks I see the broad majestic sheet
Swell to the wind; the flying shores retreat:
I see the banks, with varied foliage gay,
Inhale the misty sun's reluctant ray;
The lofty groves, stript of their verdure, rise
To the inclemence of autumnal skies.

Rough mountains now appear, while pendant woods
Hang o'er the gloomy steep and shade the floods;
Slow moves the vessel, while each distant sound
The cavern'd echoes doubly loud rebound:
A placid stream meanders on the steep,
'Till tumbling from the cliff, divides the frowning deep.

Oh tempt not Fate on those stupendous rocks,
Where never shepherd led his timid slocks;
But shagged bears in those wild deserts stray,
And wolves, who howl against the lunar ray:
There builds the rav'nous hawk her lofty nest,
And there the soaring eagle takes her rest;
The solitary deer recoils to hear
The torrent thundering in the mid-way air.
Ah! let me intercede---Ah! spare her breath,
Nor aim the tube charg'd with a leaden death.

But now advancing to the op'ning sea,
The wind springs up, the less'ning mountains flee;
The eastern banks are crown'd with rural seats,
And Nature's work, the hand of Art completes.
Here Philips's villa, [1] where Pomona joins
At once the product of a hundred climes;
Here, ting'd by Flora, Asian flow'rs unfold

Their burnish'd leaves of vegetable gold.
When snows descend, and clouds tumultuous fly
Thro' the blue medium of the crystal sky,
Beneath his painted mimic heav'n he roves
Amidst the glass-encircled citron groves;
The grape and lucious fig his taste invite,
Hesperian apples glow upon his sight;
The sweet auriculas their bells display,
And Philips finds in January, May.

But on the other side the cliffs arise,
Charybdis like, and seem to prop the skies:
How oft with admiration have we view'd
Those adamantine barriers of the flood?
Yet still the vessel cleaves the liquid mead,
The prospect dies, th' aspiring rocks recede;
New objects rush upon the wond'ring sight,
Till Phoebus rolls from heav'n his car of light,
And Cynthia's silver crescent gilds the night.

I hear the melting flute's melodious sound,
Which dying zephyrs waft alternate round,
The rocks in notes responsive soft complain,
And think Amphian strikes his lyre again.
Ah! 'tis my Bleecker breathes our mutual loves,
And sends the trembling airs thro' vocal groves.

Thus having led you to the happy isle
Where waves circumfluent wash the fertile soil,
Where Hudson, meeting the Atlantic, roars,
The parting lands dismiss him from their shores;
Indulge th' enthusiast muse her fav'rite strain
Of panegyrio, due to Eboracia's plain.

There is no land where heav'n her blessings pours
In such abundance, as upon these shores;
With influence benign the planets rise,
Pure is the æther, and serene the skies;
With annual gold kind Ceres decks the ground,
And gushing springs dispense bland health around.
No lucid gems are here, or flaming ore,
To tempt the hand of Avarice and Pow'r;
But sun-burnt Labour, with diurnal toil,
Bids treasures rise from the obedient soil,
And Commerce calls the ships across the main,
For gold exchanging her superfluous grain;
While Concord, Liberty, and jocund Health
Sport with young Pleasure 'mid the rural wealth.

Notes[edit]


  1. The SEAT of Colonel Philips.

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