Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
A Health
By Edward Coate Pinkney (1802–1828)
 
I FILL this cup to one made up of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex the seeming paragon;
To whom the better elements and kindly stars have given
A form so fair, that like the air, ’t is less of earth than heaven.
 
Her every tone is music’s own, like those of morning birds,        5
And something more than melody dwells ever in her words;
The coinage of her heart are they, and from her lips each flows
As one may see the burthen’d bee forth issue from the rose.
 
Affections are as thoughts to her, the measure of her hours;
Her feelings have the fragrancy, the freshness, of young flowers;        10
And lonely passions, changing oft, so fill her, she appears
The image of themselves by turns,—the idol of past years!
 
Of her bright face one glance will trace a picture on the brain,
And of her voice in echoing hearts a round must long remain,
But memory such as mine of her so very much endears,        15
When death is nigh, my latest sigh will not be life’s, but hers.
 
I fill this cup to one made up of loveliness alone,
A woman, of her gentle sex the seeming paragon—
Her health! and would on earth there stood some more of such a frame,
That life might be all poetry, and weariness a name.        20
 
 
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