James Monroe Whitfield

To M. E. A.

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Oh! had I that poetic lore
Bestowed upon the favored few,
To ope' Dame Nature's bounteous store,
And hold her treasures up to view,
To climb Parnassus' lofty mount,
Or taste the Muses' sacred fount,
The far-famed Heliconian spring,
Which Grecian poets erst did sing, --
And did Apollo, and the Nine,
With eloquence and verse divine,
Direct my pen -- I scarce could tell
The numerous charms which in thee dwell.
Thy loveliness of form and face
Might serve as model for a Grace;
And the bright luster of thine eye
Mahomet's Houris far outvie.
The nobler beauties of the mind,
Refined and elevated taste;
Great moral purity, combined
With every outward charm and grace
And reason, governing the whole,
Displays in every act, a soul
High raised above the things which bind
Down to the earth more sordid minds;
And, soaring fetterless and free
In its unsullied purity,
Seems like a seraph wandering here,
The native of a brighter sphere.

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James Monroe Whitfield