Letter to My Wife

Communicated by Miss Beslee

From Deal Beach

Immortal Poesy! to thee
In infant days I bow’d the knee,
 And worshipp’d at thy shrine;
While others adoration paid
To gold, to commerce, to parade,
 Thou hadst this heart of mine.

By thee inspired, to me was dear,
All Nature’s works, sublime or drear,
 Or beautiful or fine;
And when the forked lightnings flew,
And thunders roll’d, and whirlwinds blew,
 Charm’d was this heart of mine.

E’en when the ship upheav’d on high
Has scorn’d the waves and braved the sky
 Or sunk deep gulfs between;
While scowl’d the devastating blast
Across the boundless wat’ry waste
 I doted on the scene.

Soon, too, celestial friendship’s glow
My ardent soul was doom’d to know
 And love still more divine
Beat through my frame with heavenly thrill,
And ruled imperiously at will,
 This burning heart of mine.

Thus tutor’d each fine throb to feel,
No generous impulse to conceal,
 The path of truth I trod
I bow’d to Nature’s feelings true.
Nor would those energies subdue,
 Which came from Nature’s God

And often on some mountain’s brow
While the bright sun descending low
 Crimson’d the western sky,
And dusky evening’s gradual gloom
Would sea, and land, and sky entomb
 As Nature seemed to die.

With her, my soul’s ador’d I’d rove
When all was ecstasy, all love,
 All glowing, great, divine;
Thus school’d from worldlings far I flew,
And every hour more soften’d grew
 This wayward heart of mine.

She died! in sorrow’s deepest gloom
I bore her to an early tomb,
 And wander’d far away,
To other lands, and other seas
I dragg’d a bosom ill at ease
 And fill’d with dire dismay.

Still Poesy romantic maid
 My throbbing burning bosom sway’d,
And still the lyre divine
Brought consolation on its wings,
And as I touch’d the trembling strings
 It cheer’d this heart of mine.

Again each proud domestic joy
 Drove far away all sad alloy
And led my heart to know;
My Jane! whose soul attun’d to taste,
To all that’s wise, and great, and chaste,
 Gives me a heaven below.

Eight boys, and girls! our joy, our pride,
 Celestialize our fireside
And Poesy divine,
Still mellows every hardship down
And softens rude misfortune’s frown.
 And charms this heart of mine.

Seven years, my Jane! have fled away
 Since from this beach to thee the lay
I breath’d in musing mood;
And still to thee, to song, and love,
I owe whate’er I can approve,
 All that with me is good.

And still o’er nature’s works I range,
 With passion that can never change
While memory’s tearful eye
Doubles each past — each raptured view,
And bids my soul again renew
 Scene’s dear and long past by

If oft on ocean’s briny side
 In various lands where rolls the tide,
The happiest hours I’ve known;
With those, or dead, or distant far
Still wake the warm, impressive tear;
 At hours, forever flown!

E’en now as by this sea-girt strand
 I look across at Gallia’s land
Mid prospects all divine;
I feel the same ecstatic glow
Which fir’d my bosom long ago,
 And throbb’d this heart of mine.

For twenty years attach’d to thee
 To all that’s noble, great, and free,
My Jane, accept the line!
Warm from a heart whose greatest boast
However rais’d, depress’d, or crossed
 Is, that, that Heart is Thine!