Monday, 06 May 2024 15:26

A Poem from Graeme Park

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A few months ago, we had a researcher inquire about any archival materials we had connected to Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson (1737-1801). For those of you who may not know about Elizabeth, she was a well-known poet and literary leader in the Philadelphia area. As you could probably guess by her maiden name, she was also one of the owners of Graeme Park here in Montgomery County.

Graeme Park

Graeme Park, HSMC Photo Collection

While searching our archives we came across a poem connected to Graeme Park. On the back of the frame, the poem is said to have been written by Elizabeth. We thought we would share the poem with you.

Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson

Portrait of American poet, Elizabeth Graeme Fergusson, Wikipedia, Public Domain.


"An Ode Written At Graeme Park, 1766

How breathes the morn her incense round, 
and sweetends ev'ry sylvan scene!
Wild warblings thro' the groves resound,
and op'ning flow'rs bedeck the queen.

Bright o'er the hills the solar ray
its gaily trembling radiance spreads.
please'd on the glassy fount to play,
and pearl the dew-bespangled meads.

How sweet this hour the fields to rove
when Nature sheds her charms profuse;
or hide me in th' embow'ring grove.
and court the thought-inspiring Muse!

What joy, aside the plaintive fount,
dissolv'd in pleasing thought to stray;
and swift on fauey's wing to mount, 
and thread the bright ethereal way;

Thus musing o'er the charming plains,
where Graeme the good and just retires,
where Laura breathes her tender strains,
whom ev'ry graceful muse inspires!

Young Damon pour'd his artless lay,
beam'd from imagination's light,
when sudden from the realms of day,
a form of glory struck his sight.

Wisdom's grave matron, from the skies,
before the trembling youth appear'd
(tho' seen but by poetic eyes),
and thus to speak the dame was heard:

Would'st though, O youth, these scenes enjoy,
the solemn grove and fragrant lawn,
and pleasure taste without alloy,
wake jolly Health at early dawn?

Banish ambition from the breast, 
and sordid-minded Av'rice fly;
nor let pale spleen they ease infest,
nor gloomy Sorry clout thine eye.

They heart an off'ring nobly yield
at virture's high exalted shrine;
thy soul let Resolutions shield,
and e'er to dove-eyed Peace incline

Let Cheerfulness, with placid mien,
hold a firm empire o'er they heart,
and sweet content shall ceasless reign
and never-ending bliss impart

Then shall th' immortal Nine unfold
what sweets they sylvan scenes can give;
in heav'n they name shall be enroll'd,
and others learn like thee to live."

Read 156 times Last modified on Monday, 06 May 2024 15:54