Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
The Album
By Asa M. Bolles
IN 1 that proud temple of the Sun,
  Which rose to heaven on Balbee’s towers,
Amid the altars, there was one,
  Whose only offerings were flowers;
When morning o’er the glittering dome        5
Was blushing from her eastern home,
Fresh garlands to that shrine were given
Of flowers—bright flowers bathed in heaven.
And Persian girls, with deep blue eyes
  Of love, and clustering raven hair,        10
And brows as pure as their own skies,
  Were gather’d with their rose-wreaths there,
To breathe their orisons and twine
Their garlands on that lovely shrine,
Whose incense, at the day-god’s flame,        15
Rose to the skies, from whence it came.
Beautiful there those bright ones knelt,
  Where Morn’s first holy light was flowing
Pure from its crystal throne—they felt
  The day-spring in their bosom’s glowing        20
With life and joy—as through the aisles
Their god came beaming all in smiles
And love—oh! who could wish to part
From that sweet worship of the heart!
The Persian’s fane has perished—gone        25
  The shrine—the worship of the free
All—all have faded like the tone
  Of music o’er the moonlit sea—
No laughing eyes—no raven hair—
No dewy wreaths are sparkling there—        30
Faded is every peerless gem,
And beauty has gone down like them.
But love will have its altars still,
  And there is yet a worship born,
Of hearts, that feel the joyous thrill        35
  Of light and beauty in their morn;
Hope’s deep-toned music lingers there
Amid the roses and the air.
Breathes incense all—while from above
Bliss sparkles o’er the shrine of love.        40
Such be this volume—let no trace
  Of sadness blight one leaflet here—
The heart’s pure offerings to grace
  And loveliness should have no tear
Amid their blossoms—but the dews        45
Of heaven should mingle with their hues;
And all things fair and brightest twine
Their wreaths of gladness o’er the shrine.
Note 1. Bolles, a native of Ashford, in Connecticut, was graduated at Brown University in 1823. [back]

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