Shall I Again That Harp Unstring by President John Tyler

I.

Shall I again that Harp unstring,
Which long hath been a useless thing,
Unheard in Lady’s bower?
Its notes were once full wild and free,
When I, to one as fair as thee,
Did sing in youth’s bright hours.
Like to those raven tresses, gay,
Which o’er thy ivory shoulder’s play,
Were those which waked my lyre.
Eyes like to thine, which beamed as bright
As stars, that through the veil of night,
Sent forth a brimy fire.
I seize the Harp; alas! in vain,
I try to wake those notes again,
Which it breathed forth of yore.
With youth its sound has died away;
Old age hath touch’d it with decay;
It will be heard no more!
Yet, at my touch, that ancient lyre
Deigns one parting note respire.
Lady, it breathes of heaven,
It speaks in praise of holy shrine;
Of eyes upturned to Him Divine,
By whom are sins forgiven.

II

It tells the rose, which blooms so gay
And courts the Zyphers kiss today,
As if t’would never die;
Its leaves, which perfume all around,
Strew’d on the earth shall soon be found;
Unnoticed, there to die.
Unwelcomed truth it tells to thee,
Lovely in Beauty’s majesty,
The roses fate—is thine:
Unlike in this—thy soul, so pure,
Through endless ages shall endure.
Kneel thou at Holy Shrines!

President John Tyler. USA, 19th Century.


President John Tyler was the tenth president of the United States of America. He was born March 29th, 1790 in Charles City County, Virginia, and served as President from 1841 to 1845 after serving as Vice President to President Harrison who passed of typhoid fever / pneumonia only a month into his tenure. President Tyler is credited with the annexation of The Republic of Texas from Mexico, however his legacy is cloaked in controversy as he is the only United States President buried under the Confederate Flag, and not the flag of the United States of America.

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