Samuel Kettell, ed. Specimens of American Poetry. 1829. The Spirit of Beauty
By Rufus Dawes (18031859)
T HE S PIRIT OF B EAUTY 1 unfurls her light,
And wheels her course in a joyous flight:
I know her track through the balmy air,
By the blossoms that cluster and whiten there;
She leaves the tops of the mountains green, 5
And gems the valley with crystal sheen.
At morn, I know where she rested at night,
For the roses are gushing with dewy delight;
Then she mounts again, and around her flings
A shower of light from her purple wings, 10
Till the spirit is drunk with the music on high
That silently fills it with ecstacy!
At noon she hies to a cool retreat,
Where bowering elms over waters meet;
She dimples the wave, where the green leaves dip, 15
That smiles, as it curls, like a maidens lip,
When her tremulous bosom would hide, in vain,
From her lover, the hope that she loves again.
At eve, she hangs oer the western sky
Dark clouds for a glorious canopy; 20
And round the skirts of each sweeping fold,
She paints a border of crimson and gold,
Where the lingering sunbeams love to stay,
When their god in his glory has passd away.
She hovers around us at twilight hour, 25
When her presence is felt with the deepest power;
She mellows the landscape, and crowds the stream
With shadows that flit like a fairy dream:
Still wheeling her flight through the gladsome air, The Spirit of Beauty is every where! 30
Dawes is a native of Boston, and was graduated at Cambridge. He is at present the editor of The Emerald, a weekly paper published at Baltimore. His poems mostly appeared in the United States Literary Gazette, and have deservedly given the writer a very respectable rank among our native authors. We understand he contemplates the publication of a volume of poetry, which will, no doubt, be very favorably received. [ Note 1. back]