Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
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Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
 
To ———
By Norman Pinney (1800–1862)
 
HOW calm is Innocence!—Its glow
  Is resting on that cheek’s bright hue,
That forehead fair of stainless snow,
  And that full eye of cloudless blue,
Like morning on some sleeping sea,        5
Or hope on dreams of ecstacy.
 
So full and clear its rising beams
  Through that soft veil of Beauty shine,
A pictured soul the vision seems
  In purity and peace divine;        10
And thoughts sink lovelier there to rest,
Like day-beams on the rainbow’s breast.
 
Thine is the smile, whose splendors pour
  O’er all those lineaments their dyes,
And tell how deep the boundless store        15
  Of treasured joys from whence they rise
As the blue tints of ocean show
How deep its bosom heaves below.
 
The rays, which palace in the sky,
  Or gild the glittering gems of night,        20
Are wandering in that clear full eye,
  Or lingering on that living light,
As if from heaven they came to bear
Those thoughts like holy treasures there.
 
Yet on those features’ purple light,        25
  That look of peace, that soul of love,
There is a charm far, far more bright,
  A soft reflection from above,
Come down from its own sphere to bless
That form with deeper loveliness.        30
 
Like some celestial dream, its glow,
  Of heaven is on that sainted air,
Soft-mingling with the silent flow
  Of holy thought, which rises there;
’T is God’s own spirit’s blessed ray,        35
The dawnings of eternal day.
 
Oh lives there one cold breast can view
  That wealth of charms, the unconscious light
Of that full soul, whose thoughts beam through,
  And heavenward take their viewless flight,        40
Yet give one wish a fleeting birth
On this world’s pride, the toys of earth!
 
Thou art to me the loveliest glow,
  That mantles o’er life’s chequered sky,
A living spring whose stream shall flow        45
  Along the track of years gone by,
And with far murmurings deep and clear,
Make music still on memory’s ear.
 
Farewell—I go to foreign skies,
  To distant lands, to scenes afar,        50
Yet there, that one dear form shall rise
  Unfading as the morning star,
And smile upon that desert still,
The same as on my native hill.
 
 
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