Jane's Poetry Book

A Fragment found in a Skeleton Case

Behold this ruin! 'Twas a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full!
This narrow cell was Life's retreat:
This space was Thought's mysterious seat!
What beauteous pictures fill'd this spot.
What drams of pleasure, long forgot!
Nor Love, nor Joy, nor Hope, nor Fear,
Has left one trace of record here!

Beneath this mouldering canopy,
Once shone the bright and busy eye -
But start not at the dismal void! -
If social love that eye employ'd.
If with no lawless fire it gleam'd,
But thro' the dew of kindness beam'd,
That eye shall be forever bright,
When stars and stars have lost their light!

Here, in this silent cousin hung
The ready, swift, and tuneful tongue:
If falsehoods honey it disdain'd
And where it could not praise, was chained;

If bold in Virtue's cause it spoke,
Yet never gentle Concord broke;
That tuneful tongue shall plead for thee,
When death unveils Eternity!

Say, did these fingers delve the mine,
Or with its envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear the gem,
Can nothing now avail to them:
But if the Page of Truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer xx shall claim
Than all that waits on wealth or fame!

Avails it wether bound or shod
These feet - the path of duty trod?
If from the bower's of joy they fled
To soothe affliction's humble shed;
If grandeur's guilty bribe they spurn'd,
And home to Virtue's Case return'd;
These feet with angel's wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!

View in Manuscript Book

thomas collection


Writing,     Documents,     Letters,     Poetry,     Prose

All Henry Livingston's Poetry,     All Clement Moore's Poetry     Historical Articles About Authorship

Illustrated 1823 Night Before Christmas

Many Ways to Read Henry Livingston's Poetry

Arguments,   Smoking Gun?,   Reindeer Names,   First Publication,   Early Variants  
Timeline Summary,   Witness Letters,   Quest to Prove Authorship,   Scholars,   Fiction  

   Book,   Slideshow,   Xmas,   Writing,   The Man,   Work,   Illos,   Music,   Genealogy,   Bios,   History,   Games  

Henry's Home

Mary's Home

IME logo
Copyright © 2003, Mary S. Van Deusen