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Thomas Cole's poetry

the collected poems of America's foremost painter of the Hudson River School reflecting his feelings for nature and the romantic spirit of the Nineteenth Century

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How vainly weak is language to express
Th' harmonious beauty of her heavenly song
The azure brightness of the summer sky
As true as pictur'd on the muddy stream
As are the soul-enchanting lays I heard
Told by my feeble tongue to mortal ears—
“O Why,” I cried—“thou wand'ring bashful Maid
Fliest thou to wilds and solitudes like these
Come with me come to the cheerful haunts of men
And breath to them thy rich delighting strains.”
“No,” she replied, “no list'ning ear but thine
Will think my voice my harp's wild notes are sweet
Amidst the din of the tumultuous world
My loudest voice would rise unheard, unknown,
And with my sweetest notes foul Criticism
Might join its fiendish screech. And Envy's breath
Might change each string upon my Silver Harp
To hideous snakes hissing strange discord—
O tempt me not to seek the praise of men
But rather stray with me through Nature's wilds
Thou lov'st me as thy life then wherefore risk
Thy happiness. E'en from thy life's first dawn
Until this hour have we not partners been
Through joy and grief. And I will bless thee still
Thou over arid plains thou wind thy way
Oer flinty paths and barren wilderness
Still to my magic touch the flow'rs shall spring
And spread a carpet for thy weary feet—
The blackest mountain I will gild for thee
And light the ocean in the darkest night
Where'er thou strayest I will cheer thy path
And with my voice will bless thy loveliest hour
Yes while thy spirit wanders upon earth


With thee unceasing dwell for am I not
Thine own thy long lov'd dearly cherish'd Fancy.”
Thomas Cole 1825