Throughout it all, he dabbled in his own writings and published translations of or articles on Old World authors like Tasso and Dante. Among his own original works is the poem "Stanzas," also known by its first line, "My Life is Like the Summer Rose":
My life is like the summer rose
That opens to the morning sky,
But ere the shades of evening close,
Is scatter'd on the ground — to die!
Yet on the rose's humble bed
The sweetest dews of night are shed,
As if she wept the waste to see—
But none shall weep a tear for me!
My life is like the autumn life
That trembles in the moon's pale ray,
Its hold is frail — its date is brief,
Restless — and soon to pass away!
Yet, ere that leaf shall fall and fade,
The parent tree will mourn its shade,
The winds bewail the leafless tree,
But none shall breathe a sigh for me!
My life is like the prints, which feet
Have left on Tampa's desert strand;
Soon as the rising tide shall beat,
All trace will vanish from the sand;
Yet, as if grieving to efface
All vestige of the human race,
On that lone shore loud moans the sea,
But, none, alas! shall mourn for me!