by George Moses Horton
When Adam dwelt in Eden's shades alone,
He breathed to heaven a sad and piteous tone;
For nothing pleasing yet the world displayed,
Though he the blooming garden well surveyed.
Throughout the place no pleasing sound he heard,
No lovely scene unto his eye appeared;
Lone man was then a hermit, quite retired,
Whose flowery cot no cupid had inspired.
His maker said, he is not well alone,
Hence from his side I will extract a bone;
By an etheral opiate, sound and deep,
Man on his side was prostrate laid asleep.
Fresh to his view the smiling vision rose,
The queen of pleasure in his calm repose;
He woke in wonder from his pleasing dream,
To sing and tell it to the limpid stream.
When lo! he saw the bridal vision rise,
On whom he gazed with rapture and surprise;
Her charm was heaven, her visage glowed with love,
Whose smiles reflected grace thro' all the grove;
Thus did her glory crown the martial [marital] bower,
The rosy maid and queen of every flower.
The birds of Hymen struck the wondrous song,
And fragrant breezes flowed with peace along;
Myriads of beasts flocked round their festive place,
Which pranced and bellowed round the scene of grace.
Then Philomena tuned her lyric tongue,
And rung all night the hymenial song;
Such is the happy change of single life,
And such the pain of man without a wife;
No smiling dame his pleasures to divide,
A perfect stranger to a loving bride.
Nay, man alone is but a frantic elf,
A troubled sea, a burden to himself;
Without the knowledge of connubial bliss,
And what is life in such a state as this?
Melancholy wile, the stormy night,
The fluctuating vessel never right;
A clouded sky, a dull and sunless day,
A week which passes void of rest away.
Man strikes the road of fortune in his youth,
Which quickly ends, but seldom ends in truth;
Upon her plume he first directs his eyes,
Which lightly plays, but far before him flies;
Which, when he gains is withered by the blast,
And all his fond design is lost at last.
Mistaken man, the dearest gem is love,
The diamond which forbids the mind to rove;
The pride of nature, or the soothing wife,
The soul of pleasure, and the palm of life.
Last updated March 11, 2023