Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Lines
By John Lowell (1744–1822)
 
NO 1 more let ancient times their heroes boast,
Since all their fame in George’s praise is lost;
Not Greece—her Alexanders; Cæsars—Rome
For worth and virtue view our Monarch’s tomb.
Restless ambition dwelt in Cæsar’s mind,        5
He murder’d nations and enslaved mankind:
He found a gen’rous people great and free,
And gave them tyrants for their liberty.
The glorious Alexander, half divine,
Whose godlike deeds in ancient records shine,        10
Dropt his divinity at every feast;
And lost the god and hero in the beast.
Shall then our monarch be with these compared,
Or George’s glory with a Cæsar shared:
No—we indignant spurn the unworthy claim:        15
George shines unrivall’d in the lists of fame:
For while he reign’d, each virtue, every grace
Beam’d from his throne, and sparkled in his face:
While justice, goodness, liberty inspired,
And Britain’s freedom all his conduct fired.        20
His people’s father was his highest boast;
And in that name was all the sovereign lost.
Justice which left the world since Saturn’s reign,
In him returning blest these realms again;
Even rigid justice with compassion join’d,        25
Sweetly uniting in his generous mind.
But why should we on separate features dwell,
When the great picture does in each excel?
No single virtues strike us with surprise;
All come united to the admiring eyes.        30
 
Note 1. Lowell was born at Newbury in 1744. He was educated at Harvard College, and soon rose to eminence as a lawyer. In 1761 he removed to Boston, and was chosen to various public offices. He was one of the Convention which formed the Constitution of Massachusetts, and in 1771 became a member of Congress. In 1782, he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeals, from the courts of Admiralty in the United States. On the establishment of the Federal Government, he was made a Judge of the United States Circuit Court. He died May 6, 1822. The following lines by him are from the Pietas et Gratulatio. [back]
 
 
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