September 20, 2011

Wallis: as they guide us

Years before his imprisonment at Fort McHenry, Baltimore-based writer Severn Teackle Wallis was writing poetry. One of his earliest biographers notes that, after an important (and health-related) visit to Spain in 1849, the next few years of his life passed "uneventfully," dedicated only to the practice of law. Even so, he still composed poetry; on September 20, 1853, he wrote "Starlight":

Glad watching his, who, when he turns
   Unto the kindled lights of even,
By every star that o'er him burns
   Sees but a nearer path to Heaven!

Poor dweller in the valley, he
   To whom the midnight tells no story,
Save of dark distances that be
   Betwixt him and its fields of glory!

Ah! blessed orbs! shall I not gaze,
   Some time, upon the blue above me,
And catching in your dewy rays
   The tenderness of eyes that love me,

Feel that the skies are near indeed,
   When creatures good and bright beside us,
Part of the Heaven to which they lead,
   Will share it with us, as they guide us!

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