To Miss Tempe

George Moses Horton 1779 (North Carolina) – 1883

Bless'd hope, when Tempe takes her last long flight,
And leaves her lass-lorn lover to complain,
Like Luna mantling o'er the brow of night,
Thy glowing wing dispels the gloom of pain.

Yes, wondrous hope, when Tempe sails afar,
Thy vital lamp remains to burn behind,
While by-gone pleasure, like a setting star,
Rejects her glory o'er the twilight mind.

Thy glowing wing was never spread to tire,
Expanded o'er the mansion of the brave,
To fan and set the heaving breast on fire,
That soars in triumph from affliction's wave.

Then, Tempe, dart along the ocean drear,
Hope yet forbids my cheerful soul to weep,
But marks thy passage with affection's tear,
And hails thee on the bosom of the deep.

Farewell, since thou wilt leave thy native shore,
I smile to think I am not left alone;
Auspicious hope shall yet my peace restore,
When thou art from the beach forever gone.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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George Moses Horton

George Moses Horton was an African-American poet and the first African American poet to be published in the Southern United States. His book was published in 1828 while he was still a slave; he remained a slave until he was emancipated late in the Civil War. more…

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    "To Miss Tempe" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 29 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/15771/to-miss-tempe>.

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