Retrospection by President John Quincy Adams

When life’s fair dream has just passed away
to three sore years and tehn,
Before we turn again to clay
the lot of ortel men,
‘Tis wise a backward eye to cast
on life’s revolving scene,
with calmness to review the past
and ask what we have been.

The cradle and the mother’s breast
have vanish’d from the mind,
of joys the sweetest and the best,
nor left a trace behind.
Maternal tenderness and care
were lavished all in vain–
of bliss; whatever was our share
no vestiges remain.

Far distant, like a beacon light
On ocean’s boundless waste,
a single spot appears in sight
yet indistinctly traced.
Some mimic stage’s thrilling cry,
some agony of fear,
some painted wonder to the eye,
some trumpet the ear.

These are the first events of life
that fasten on the brain,
and through the world’s incessant strife
indelible remain.
they form the link with ages past
from former worlds a gleam;
with murky vapors overcast,
the net-work of a dream.

Daguerreotype portrait of John Quincy Adams, c. late 1840s. (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States of America. He was born July 11th, 1767 in Quincy, Massachusetts. He served as president from 1825 to 1829, previously serving as the 8th Secretary of State. His father was John Adams, second president of the United States of America. He passed on February 23, 1848 due to complications of a cerebral hemorrhage. President Adams published a book of poetry titled, Poems of Religion and Society.

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