Still may thy own Eliza cheer the waste,
Soften its weary ruggedness the while,
And gild thy dreams of peace, and make thy sorrows smile.
Such be thy days. --O'er Coke's black letter page,
Trimming the lamp at eve, 't is mine to pore;
Well pleased to see the venerable sage
Unlock his treasur'd wealth of legal lore;
And I, that lov'd to trace the woods before,
And climb the hill a play mate of the breeze,
Have vow'd to tune the rural lay no more,
Have bid my useless classics sleep at ease,
And left the race of bards to scribble, starve and freeze.
Farewell. --When mildly through the naked wood,
The clear warm sun effus'd a mellow ray;
And livelier health propell'd the vital flood,
Loitering at large, I poured the incondite lay,
Forgot the quirks of Littleton 2 and Coke,
Forgot the publick storms, and party fray;
And, as the inspiring flame across me broke,
To thee the lowly harp, neglected long, I woke. 3
MANUSCRIPT: Unrecovered TEXT: To the Memory of Mrs. Betsey Porter ( Cambridge, 1813), pp. 5-6; also published in NAR, 6 ( March 1818), 384-385.
[ Worthington, July 23, 1813]
[Not Often, From These Faultering Wires]
Not often, from these faultering wires,
The pensive strain is wont to flow.
Yet when a weeping friend requires, 1
I steep them in the stream of woe.
Alas! When late for thee I twined,
And thy lost love, the bridal wreath;--
I little thought so soon to bind
The cypress round the urn of death.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Letters of William Cullen Bryant. Volume: 1. Contributors: William Cullen Bryant II - Editor, Thomas G. Voss - Editor, William Cullen Bryant - Author. Publisher: Fordham University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1975. Page number: 28.