Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
The Devotee
By Oliver C. Wyman
 
THOU 1 of the pale and lofty brow,
  The intellectual eye,
Whose form and beaming look avow
A soul, too sternly proud to bow
  Even to destiny—        5
Say, to what deep and dread design,
  Does thy great heart incline?
 
With beings of another sphere
  Thy mystic converse seems;
Like that of some prophetic seer,        10
Who hid in caverns dark and drear,
  Revolves foreboding dreams;
Yet thy fix’d eye’s undying flame
  Betokens nought of shame.
 
Say, dost thou commune with the stars,        15
  And pierce the world beyond!
Seest warriors in their flaming cars,
In other spheres, wage quenchless wars,
  While Love and Hope despond?
No! pure the pageantry must be—        20
  Thine eye lights gloriously.
 
Say, dost thou see a blushing cheek
  Through flowing, gleamy hair?
And is there one who kneels to speak
His thoughts of love—in words too weak,        25
  For the fair creature there?
Thou smil’st—but no assent appears,
  And now gush forth thy tears.
 
Speak, I conjure thee by the names
  Of mother and of sire;        30
By every whispering hope that claims
Remembrance; by each spell that flames
  The keen heart of desire;
Speak things of terror, words of fire,
  I ’ll listen and admire.        35
 
“Youth! in yon sparkling firmament
  I see a promised heaven.
When mortal toil and man’s intent,
When every evil passion, sent
  To earth, with earth is riven—        40
Then shall I claim in yon bright sky
  A joy that cannot die.”
 
Note 1. Wyman is of Boston. His poetry has been written for the newspapers and periodicals of this city. [back]
 
 
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