|By Gilbert Stuart, 1818|
When o'er the billow-heaving deep,
The fathers of our race,
The precepts of their God to keep,
Sought here their resting-place,
That gracious God their path prepared,
Preserved from every harm,
And still for their protection bared
His everlasting arm.
His breath, inspiring every gale,
Impels them o'er the main;
His guardian angels spread the sail,
And tempests howl in vain.
For them old ocean's rocks are smoothed;
December's face grows mild;
To vernal airs her blasts are soothed,
And all their rage beguiled.
When Famine rolls her haggard eyes,
His ever-bounteous hand
Abundance from the sea supplies,
And treasures from the sand.
Nor yet his tender mercies cease;
His over-ruling plan
Inclines to gentleness and peace
The heart of savage man.
And can our stony bosoms be
To all these wonders blind?
Nor swell with thankfulness to thee,
O Parent of mankind?
All-gracious God, inflame our zeal;
Dispense one blessing more;
Grant us thy boundless love to feel,
Thy goodness to adore.
Interestingly enough, Adams was not the only President who was also a recognized poet; James Garfield wrote several poems while in college, for example. Certainly, other writers were also politicians as well. There is even at least one White House servant who was an author.