Henry Livingston, Jr.
Henry Livingston's Poetry

To a gentleman on his leaving Pakepsy
where he had resided 2 or 3 months - 1786 -

In summer the aerial musicians around
With harmony filled the grove,
Delight sweld the bosoms where TASTE
      could be found
Or a throne for the emperor LOVE.

But when the bright day-star from far distant skies
Less potent directeth his ray --
And the wide spreading vapours in columns arise
To usurp the poor remnant of day;

When Summer's disrob'd of its mantle of green
And autumn all gloomy comes on
Air's sweet tuneful tenants in clusters convene
To follow their monarch the SUN.

They go! happy bands! -- but sorrow remains;
And silence broods over the plain:
Forlorn are the nymphs & dejected the swains,
And Sadness commences his reign.

Thus Willy you came & with you came Joy
Hilarity danc'd at the news!
And Venus's arch little hoodwinked boy
Was by the sly goddess turn'd loose.

You join'd in our circles and mixt in our play;
You heighten'd the glee & the fun:
Banish'd gloomy brow'd sorrow all scowling away
And rivetted Mirth in her room.

But now, (as in Autumn the sky-lark retires)
From our rural amusements you flee,
To where the proud dome & gilt turret aspires;
And pleasure her banner lifts high:

Where theaters, music and dancing combine
With the hum & the news of the day;
To drive far off care & annihilate time
And chase sower sadness away.

But go where thou wilt, may the sunshine of peace
Gleam over thy head ever bright!
Each Joy be enhanced -- more refin'd ev'ry bliss
And multiplied ev'ry delight.

Still thick in thy path may the wild roses spring
Sweets of Eden around thee exhale!
While the white doves of Venus on high clap the wing
And Halcyons skim ov'r the vale.

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