Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
Turn Not to the East
By Richard Dabney (1787?–1825)
 
CAN the heart, which first glow’d in a far foreign seat,
For a different land feel its warm pulses beat?
Can the eye, oped not here, prop the heart-gender’d tear
On the blood that was spilt for the blessings we bear?
 
Turn not to the East with the eye of desire,        5
Turn not to the East like the sect’ry of fire;
For the wind of the East in its poison’d gale brings
The fell breath of despots, and curses of kings.
 
See the star of the West in its mild glories rise,
See the star of the West tread its path in the skies:        10
How sweet is the sight, while its soft radiance beams
On my native land’s hills, and my native land’s streams.
 
That star, when the proud boasting sons of the East
Have danced through their day, and have finish’d their feast—
That star then shall shine over millions more blest,        15
In the realms doom’d to rise in the wilds of the West.
 
Then look to the Eastern horizon’s blue bound,
As if past its precincts no mortal is found;
Then look to the Eastern horizon’s red light,
As if past its rays brood oblivion and night.        20
 
Can the heart, which first glow’d in a far foreign seat,
For a different land feel its warm pulses beat?
Can the eye, oped not here, drop the heart-gender’d tear,
On the blood that was spilt for the blessings we bear?
 
 
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