1792
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Calmness.

American Apollo (21 December 1792).

Z. S.


An allegorical ode after Milton's Il Penseroso in seven couplet stanzas signed "Z. S." The manner of this American poem is deliberately plain, and often disarming: "Dark abroad, the tempest howling, | Winds thro' ev'ry crevice growling, | Near a fire to warm and dry me, | Sitting with a taper by me, | Then with thee, thou lovely fair, | Heaven itself on earth I share." The American Apollo (which does not claim this poem as an original) was published weekly in Boston from 1792 to 1794.



Come, sweet calmness, lovely maid,
Come in snowy robes array'd;
Bring thy sisters, Peace and Quiet,
Friends to order, foes to riot;
Quickly come, and in my breast,
Be a constant, friendly guest.

If a storm of trouble rise,
If a passion e'er surprise,
Peace be still, 'tis thine to say,
Thine to drive the clouds away,
Thine to soothe my soul to rest,
Thine, dear maid, to make me blest.

When the sun with fading ray
Bids adieu, and ends the day,
Thou prepar'st the soul to fly
Thro' the star-bespangled sky,
Where in endless order shine
Matchless wisdom, power divine.

Dark abroad, the tempest howling,
Winds thro' ev'ry crevice growling,
Near a fire to warm and dry me,
Sitting with a taper by me,
Then with thee, thou lovely fair,
Heaven itself on earth I share.

Not a vapor then I find
To o'ercloud my tranquil mind;
Round the globe she wings her way,
Takes of earth a wide survey,
Wonders still on wonders rise,
Pleasure yields to new surprise.

Then within herself retiring,
Still new wonders there admiring,
Searches how the growing thought
Is to full perfection wrought;
Traces round the curious maze
Fill'd with rapture love and praise.

Come, sweet nymph, again I pray thee,
Come, in every trouble stay me;
While I pass this vale of tears,
Chase away my boisterous years,
Lead me on in Virtue's way
To the realms of endless day.

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