1804
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Il Pacifico.

The Weekly Monitor 1 (28 July 1804) 28.

Hesychastes


An unusual imitation of Milton's Il Penseroso signed "Hesychastes." The poem, published in a Philadelphia weekly literary journal, consists almost entirely of a visionary passage in which the Quaker poet, recalling the prophetic language of Isaiah, imagines the world new-made: "Now the fierce lion's hungry maw, | Ox-like is fill'd with simple straw; | Thus kings and heroes humbled low, | Aspiring passions shall forego, | And learn with other men to share | Nature's gifts as common fare." The Weekly Monitor seems to have been recast as the Evening Fire-Side or Weekly Intelligence later in 1804.



Me often times the dark-brown'd wood
Invites when in a sober mood,
Where deep amid the twilight shade
Musing I roam the sylvan glade;
Or reclin'd in leafy bower,
I woo the sweetly soothing power
Of Contemplation's sacred fire,
To raise my dull phantasy higher,
And open to my mental sight
Fairest visions of delight.
A new Arcadia spreads around
O'er all the wide enchanted ground.
Where purest rivers softly flow,
And trees with constant verdure grow.
I see the vast extensive plan
Of happiness design'd for man,
When he to meet the great design,
His stubborn will he doth resign
Unto the will of Him who knocks
At hard'ned hearts untill his locks
Are wet with humid dews of night,
So constantly he doth invite.
I see, as ancient Seers foretold,
The wolf and lamb dwell in the fold:
The leopard and the kid are laid
Peaceful together in the shade;
Thus comes the happy halcyon day,
When cruel men, those beasts of prey,
Weary of war and hateful strife,
Shall learn to value human life.
Young lions tame with calves I see,
And fatlings all in harmony:
So gentle are they and so mild,
I see them led by a young child;
Thus shall the children of the great,
Descend from their exalted state,
And mix with those of low degree,
In virtue and equality.
The cow and bear together feed
Near both their young ones in the mead,
And men of a rough savage mind,
Become domestic and refin'd,
And all their children shall be brought
To Zion, and with hers be taught.
Now the fierce lion's hungry maw,
Ox-like is fill'd with simple straw;
Thus kings and heroes humbled low,
Aspiring passions shall forego,
And learn with other men to share
Nature's gifts as common fare;
Then rapine and oppression cease,
And all the Nations live in peace.

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