Wlliam Gilmore Simms
The Simms Review (Vol 17: Nos 1-2) >> Monody, On the Death of Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney >> Page 8

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Poetry | 2009
Transcription 8 THE SIMMS REVIEW

I look'd upon the forest—(so the form
Of Time hath told us,) and I saw the storm,
Its first and latest o'er the vast expanse
Of mountains, and of forests with a glance
35 I knew their evils—few had stood, and they
Seem'd but to harbinger their own decay.
Many were prostrate, but each oak that fell
Sunk deep in earth, and from its natural cell,
Quick, from the acorn, foster'd with the blood,
40 That flowed untainted thro' a vestal flood,
Sprung the young sapling, and arose from earth
With all his parents pride, and equal birth,
He stands in youthful promise—but the hand
Of fury had been shaken o'er that land

45 The flame had not been slow to work its way
Man gave to Nature premature decay
Murder, with blood-shot eye, had broken the seal
Of Being, with a red, unlicensed steel;
Care had not slumber'd, and Disease's arm
50 Had ne'er delay'd to lend its fatal charm!
And all was anarchy—confusion dire
Her torch-light waved of many a varied fire;
But there were columns standing and in vain
That foe had bound them with its with'ring chain
55 They have defended causes—deem'd undone
That oak among the proud, a well known one!

The scene was changed—and smiling Peace once more
Spread her white wing, and cast her mantle o'er
The Home of Ruin and the vale again
60 Look'd green and bright nor wore a trace of stain;
Verdure had clothed the lofty Mountain's brow,
The streamlet wanton'd, with an equal flow,
And wooed pure breezes from her Southern vales,
T' enrich her bosom, and to waft her sails:
65 The forest Monarch's changed their blacken'd hue,
New oaks arose to greet th' enraptured view; —