Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Joel Barlow
By Helen Maria Williams (1762–1827)
 
          Lines written on the pillar erecting by Mrs. Barlow to the memory of her late husband, minister of the United States at Paris, deceased at Zarnowitch, in Poland, on the 26th of September, 1812.

WHERE, o’er the Polish desert’s trackless way,
Relentless Winter rules with savage sway;
Where the shrill polar storms, as wild they blow,
Seem to repeat some plaint of mortal wo;
Far o’er the cheerless space the traveller’s eye        5
Shall this recording pillar long descry;
And give the sod a tear, where Barlow lies—
He, who was simply great and nobly wise.
Here, led by patriot zeal, he met his doom,
And found, amid the frozen wastes, a tomb:        10
Far from his native soil the poet fell—
Far from that western world he sung so well.
Nor she, so long beloved, nor she was nigh,
To catch the dying look, the parting sigh;
She, who, the hopeless anguish to beguile,        15
In fond memorial rears the funeral pile—
Whose widow’d bosom, on Columbia’s shore,
Shall mourn the moments that return no more:
While, bending o’er the broad Atlantic wave,
Sad fancy hovers on the distant grave.        20
 
 
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