Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Lines on Frederic the Great
By Nathaniel A. Haven (1790–1826)
        —“Apres ma mort, quand toutes mes parties
Par la corruption sont aneanties,
Par un meme destin il ne pensera plus!”
Frederic le Grand.    

ARE 1 these the dictates of eternal truth?
  These the glad news your boasted reason brings?
Can these control the restless fire of youth,
  The craft of statesmen, or the pride of kings?
Whence is the throb that swells my rising breast,        5
  What lofty hopes my beating heart inspire?
Why do I proudly spurn inglorious rest,
  The pomp of wealth, the tumult of desire?
Is it to swell the brazen trump of fame,
  To bind the laurel round an aching head,        10
To hear for once a people’s loud acclaim,
  Then lie for ever with the nameless dead?
Oh no! far nobler hopes my life control,
  Presenting scenes of splendor, yet to be;—
Great God, thy word directs the lofty soul        15
  To live for glory, not from man, but thee.
Note 1. Nathaniel Appleton Haven was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, January 14th, 1790. He studied at Harvard College, and after receiving his degree, applied himself to theology, but soon relinquished the pursuit from ill health, and other causes. He then turned his attention to the law, and entered upon his practice in Portsmouth, where he passed the remainder of his life, excepting a short visit to Europe in 1815. He died June 3d, 1826, at the age of 36.
  Mr Haven was for several years the editor of the Portsmouth Journal, and his writings in that paper may rank with the best newspaper effusions of our country. He wrote also a variety of other articles highly creditable to his talents and character, among them a few pieces of poetry. After his death, a selection from his works was published, with a biographical memoir by Professor Ticknor of Harvard University. [back]

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