Chapter 9: no. 13 Chestnut Street, Boston 1864; aet. 45
PhilosophyNaked and poor thou goest, Philosophy!
Thy robe of serge hath lain beneath the stars;
Thy weight of tresses, ponderously free,
Of iron hue, no golden circlet bars.
Thy pale page, Study, by thy side doth hold,
As by Cyprigna's her persuasive boy:
Twin sacks thou bear'st; one doth thy gifts infold,
Whose modest tendering proves immortal joy.
The other at thy patient back doth hang
To keep the boons thou'rt wonted to receive:
Reproof therein doth hide her venomed fang,
And hard barbaric arts, that mock and grieve.
Here is a stab, and here a mortal thrust;
Here galley service brought the age to loss;
Here lies thy virgin forehead rolled in dust
Beside the martyr stake of hero cross.
They who besmirched thy whiteness with their pitch,
Thy gallery of glories did complete;
They who accepted of thee so grew rich,
Men could not count their treasures in the street.
Thy hollow cheek, and eye of distant light,
Won from the chief of men their noblest love;
Olympian feasts thy temperance requite,
And thy worn weeds a priceless dowry prove.
I know not if I've caught the matchless mood
In which impassioned Petrarch sang of thee;
But this I know,--the world its plenitude
May keep, so I may share thy beggary.
J. W. H.
After the two real homes, Green Peace and Lawton's Valley, the Chestnut Street house was nearest