Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
By Peter Oliver (1713–1791)
CEASE 1 then the rapid tear, nor vainly urge
The mournful gloom, erect the pensive eye
To where the virtuous man is rank’d above;
See there the cloudless soul, unfetter’d, free
From every terrene clog that here so late        5
His flight retarded to the throne of God.
See his exulting spirit, mounted high
On wings of love celestial, basking full
In the calm sunshine of the Deity.
There, every tear wiped from his eyes, he views        10
The rushing glories of the world of light,
He drinks the stream of pleasure, pure, unmix’d,
That flows incessant from the sacred fount:
His ears delighted with angelic harps,
He tunes his own, and joins the sacred choir:        15
The odors from the golden tree of life,
Which fill all heaven with fragrance, he inhales,
And feels, enraptured, all those joys that flow
From converse with the Godhead, face to face.
Note 1. Oliver, Chief Justice of Massachusetts, was graduated at Harvard College, in 1730. He afterwards resided in the county of Plymouth, where he filled several public offices, and was finally appointed Chief Justice. He was disliked by the people for refusing to receive his salary from the Legislature, instead of the King. Charges of treason against the colony were brought against him, and he left the country for England, where he resided the rest of his life. He received a degree of Doctor of Laws, from the University of Oxford, and possessed the reputation of being an able and intelligent writer. He died in 1791. He wrote a poem in blank verse, on the death of Josiah Willard, Secretary of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, from which we make the following extract. [back]

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