Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Monody, On the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney >> Page 7

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Poetry | 2009
Transcription Monody, On the Death of
Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney

William Gilmore Simms

WHEN from the western sky, in purple robe,
The Sun withdraws, and leaves the azure globe,
Still o'er the vest of Night we watch his rays,
As 'midst the wave his courser he delays;
5 Still do we look as gold and purple vie,
To grace the snow-white wreath that wraps the sky;
And Nature's works in equal concert move,
As thro' the deep blue void, the pale stars rove,
And find, tho' set, that Sun his ray extends,
10 Leaving a fond Remembrancer, that blends
In tints that mock the rainbow's hues at even,
All that is bright or beautiful in Heaven!

The hoary oak is scathed by many a year;
Its green hues faded, and its leaflets sear,
15 The tempest came, unmoved it met the blast,
Stretch'd its wide arms, and dared it as it past;
Mock'd the rude summons of the angry wind,
Nor sought in base submission, life to find,
Whilst all around bow'd to its restless course,
20 Nor dared to look, that Oak withstood its force!

The blast had ceased its fury—but its mark
Had rested on the forest—it was dark!
The streamlet shared its horrors there was blood
In torrents, and strew'd limbs upon its flood;
25 The mountain's brow own'd many an unknown stain—
The vale—'twas long, ere it look'd green again
Nature was clothed in sadness vale and hill
Had mingled their pure forms with crime and ill:
But 'midst that scene, so desolate and lone,
30 Mark'd ye—that giant Oak, or had it gone?