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An Ode Pronounced Before the Inhabitants of Boston, September the Seventeenth, 1830, at the Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of the City   By: (1791-1875)

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AN ODE:

pronounced before the INHABITANTS OF BOSTON,

September the seventeenth, 1830,

at the CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION of the SETTLEMENT OF THE CITY.

BY CHARLES SPRAGUE.

BOSTON: John H. Eastburn ... City Printer.

MDCCCXXX.

CITY OF BOSTON.

In Common Council, September 17, 1830.

Ordered , That the Committee of Arrangements for the celebration of this day be, and they are hereby, directed to present the thanks of the City Council to CHARLES SPRAGUE, Esquire, for the elegant, interesting and instructive Poem, this day pronounced by him, and respectfully request a copy thereof for the press.

Sent up for Concurrence, B. T. PICKMAN, President .

In the Board of Aldermen, September 20, 1830.

Read and concurred. H. G. OTIS, Mayor .

A true copy Attest, S. F. M'CLEARY, City Clerk .

Boston, September 17, 1830.

Charles Sprague, Esq.

The Undersigned, the Committee of Arrangements for the Centennial Celebration of the Settlement of Boston, have the honor to enclose you an attested copy of a vote of the City Council, and respectfully ask your compliance with the request contained therein.

Harrison Gray Otis, Benjamin Russell, Winslow Lewis, Benjamin T. Pickman, Thomas Minns, Joseph Eveleth, John W. James, John P. Bigelow, Washington P. Gragg.

ODE.

I.

Not to the Pagan's mount I turn, For inspiration now; Olympus and its gods I spurn Pure One, be with me, Thou! Thou, in whose awful name, From suffering and from shame, Our Fathers fled, and braved a pathless sea; Thou, in whose holy fear, They fixed an empire here, And gave it to their Children and to Thee.

II.

And You! ye bright ascended Dead, Who scorned the bigot's yoke, Come, round this place your influence shed; Your spirits I invoke. Come, as ye came of yore, When on an unknown shore, Your daring hands the flag of faith unfurled, To float sublime, Through future time, The beacon banner of another world.

III.

Behold! they come those sainted forms, Unshaken through the strife of storms; Heaven's winter cloud hangs coldly down, And earth puts on its rudest frown; But colder, ruder was the hand, That drove them from their own fair land, Their own fair land refinement's chosen seat, Art's trophied dwelling, learning's green retreat; By valour guarded, and by victory crowned, For all, but gentle charity, renowned. With streaming eye, yet steadfast heart, Even from that land they dared to part, And burst each tender tie; Haunts, where their sunny youth was passed, Homes, where they fondly hoped at last In peaceful age to die; Friends, kindred, comfort, all they spurned Their fathers' hallowed graves; And to a world of darkness turned, Beyond a world of waves.

IV.

When Israel's race from bondage fled, Signs from on high the wanderers led; But here Heaven hung no symbol here, Their steps to guide, their souls to cheer; They saw, thro' sorrow's lengthening night, Nought but the fagot's guilty light; The cloud they gazed at was the smoke, That round their murdered brethren broke. Nor power above, nor power below, Sustained them in their hour of wo; A fearful path they trod, And dared a fearful doom; To build an altar to their God, And find a quiet tomb.

V.

But not alone, not all unblessed, The exile sought a place of rest; ONE dared with him to burst the knot, That bound her to her native spot; Her low sweet voice in comfort spoke, As round their bark the billows broke; She through the midnight watch was there; With him to bend her knees in prayer; She trod the shore with girded heart, Through good and ill to claim her part; In life, in death, with him to seal Her kindred love, her kindred zeal... Continue reading book >>




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