Adams Papers

From Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams to Mary Catherine Hellen Adams, October 1816

[post October 1816]

On the Portrait of My Husband.

The painters Art would vainly seize

That harmony of Nature;

Where Sense and goodness joined with ease

Shine forth in every feature.—

That open front where wisdom sits,

That eye which speaks the Soul;

That brow that study gently knits

That bright attempered whole,

That vast variety of mind

Capacious, clear and strong,

Where brilliancy of wit refined

Enchants the list’ning throng;

That sense of right by God imprest

That virtuous holy love;

Of excellence whate’er is best

Imparted from above!

These Painter if thou can’st impart*

Shall fame immortal raise

And e’en the greatest in thy Art

Shall carol forth thy praise—

L. C. Adams

Written in 1816 in England

My Dear Mary

I send you this effusion of a sorry Muse as an attempt to deleniate that which Artists seldom succeed in—it is at least drawn by the Pencil of love and respect for the original; and the world generally has sanctioned the likeness. The very flattering but undeserved Note of approbation from your Aunt recently received has excited enough of vanity to induce me to offer you an Autograph as a Memorial of [my ] respect—and on a Subject generally acknowledged great and estimable

With affectionate regard / your friend

Louisa Catherine Adams

*  1st. line impart.


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