James Gates Percival

Don Thomas, "To Dr. Percival" Ladies' Literary Cabinet [New York] NS 6 (8 June 1822) 39

Bard, in "a southern garden" late sojourning,
And erst from high Parnassus' revelry;
Upon whose holy hill, the muses hail'd
Thee their own son, of divine minstrelsy;
Why is thy lyre, then turn'd to such a key
As might make melody itself rejoice,
Now laid aside? — How oft from thee,
And thine own muse, when far remov'd from noise
Of city, I have spent an hour, a day.
And ah! such moments, when th' exulting heart
Beat warm and high, who would not feel, and say,
'Twas madness with thee, or thy strains to part.
Bard in a southern garden late sojourning,
Whate'er thy fate, where'er thou now art roaming;
Whether amid the fair isles of the ocean,
List'ning unto the heralds of the morning;
Or through the forests of the western world,
Where dwells the Indian, nature's forward child;
Oh! may thy steps be mark'd with holy peace,
Amid the desert, and those children wild,
If ever thou should'st tread our frigid soil,
Bring with thee thy sweet notes of minstrelsy;—
Unless a zone so cheerless as the north,
Should blight thy mirth, amidst our revelry.