Solitude by Moses Perkins

The moon was retiring in clouds of the west,
And her beautiful lustre was fading away.
The foliage was ripe with a silvery crest,
Which deepen’d the shades, in which nature was drest,
As if mourning the absence of day.

I was charm’d with the landscape, which varied its hues,
As the glimmering light palely shone o’er the lea.
The shadowy clouds which skirted the blue,
Had sprinkled the verdure, with freshening dew,
And sunk to their rest on the sea.

Not a breath, with the sigh of the captive to soar,
Or a zephyr to dimple the face of the stream.
Save the far distant cataract’s tremulous roar,
Or the echo of waves as they break on the shore.
It was silent and calmly serene.

And long, I exclaimed, may this solitude reign,
And the clamors of power and rivalry cease;
May the clank of captivity’s wearisome chain,
And the battle’s rude din, on the gore mantled plain,
Be hush’d in the slumbers of peace.

Then I mus’d on the years which long have roll’d by,
And the schemes which ambition and vanity form,
While the fate of true genius excited a sigh,
Left to flourish unseen, in obscurity die,
And mingle with dust and the worm.

But I felt that whatever stern fate should decree,
Still Virtue triumphant must flourish and thrive,
Though empires should totter and nations should bleed,
And whirlwinds destruction swift onwards should lead,
This – the wreck of the world should survive.

From: Lewis, Paul, The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820, 2016, University Press of New England: Lebanon, New Hampshire, p. 214.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=b3OBCwAAQBAJ)

Date: 1817

By: Moses Perkins (1768-1854)

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