Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Address to Della Crusca
By Royall Tyler (1757–1826)
 
  O THOU, who, with thy blue cerulean blaze,
Hast circled Europe’s brow with love-lorn praise;
Whose magic pen its gelid lightning throws,
Is now a sunbeam, now a fragrant rose.
Child of the dappled spring, whose green delight,        5
Drinks, with her snow-drop lips, the dewy light.
Son of the summer’s bland, prolific rays,
Who sheds her loftiest treasures in thy lays;
Who swells her golden lips to trump thy name,
Which sinks to whispers, at thy azure fame.        10
Brown autumn nursed thee with her dulcet dews,
And lurid winter rock’d thy cradled muse.
Seasons and suns, and spangled systems roll,
Like atoms vast, beneath thy cloud-capt soul.
Time wings its panting flight in hurried chase,        15
But sinks in dew-dropt languor in the immortal race.
O thou, whose soul the nooky Britain scorns;
Whose white cliffs tremble, when thy genius storms.
The sallow Afric, with her curled domains,
And purpled Asia with her muslin plains,        20
And surgy Europe—vain—thy soul confined,
Which fills all space—and e’en Matilda’s mind!
Anna’s capacious mind, which all agree,
Contain’d a wilderness of words in thee.
More happy thou than Macedonia’s lord,        25
Who wept for worlds to feed his famish’d sword,
Fatigued by attic conquest of the old,
Fortune to thee a novel world unfolds.
Come, mighty conqueror, thy foes disperse;
Let loose thy epithets, those dogs of verse;        30
Draw forth thy gorgeous sword of damask’d rhyme,
And ride triumphant through Columbia’s clime,
Till sober letter’d sense shall dying smile,
Before the mighty magic of thy style.
What tawny tribes in dusky forest wait,        35
To grace th’ ovation of thy victor state.
What ochred chiefs, vermilion’d by thy sword,
Mark’d by thy epithets, shall own thee lord.
The punic Creek, and nigrified Choctaw,
The high boned Wabash, and bland hanging Maw;        40
Great little Billy, Piamingo brave,
With pity’s dew-drops wet M’Gilvery’s grave.
What sonorous streams meander through thy lays,
What lakes shall bless thy rich bequest of praise,
Rough Hockhocking, and gentle Chicago,        45
The twin Miamis—placid Scioto.
How will Ohio roll his lordly stream,
What blue mists dance upon the liquid scene,
Gods! how sublime shall Della Crusca rage,
When all Niagara cataracts thy page.        50
What arts, what arms, unknown to thee belong?
What ruddy scalps shall deck thy sanguined song?
What fumy cal’mets scent the ambient air,
What love-lorn war-whoops capitals declare.
Cerulean tomahawks shall grace each line,        55
And blue-eyed wampum glisten through thy rhyme.
Rise, Della Crusca, prince of bards sublime,
And pour on us whole cataracts of rhyme.
Son of the sun, arise, whose brightest rays,
All merge to tapers in thy ignite blaze.        60
Like some colossus, stride the Atlantic o’er,
A leg of genius place on either shore,
Extend thy red right arm to either world;
Be the proud standard of thy style unfurl’d;
Proclaim thy sounding page, from shore to shore,        65
And swear that sense in verse, shall be no more.
 
 
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