Adams Papers

From John Quincy Adams to Ward Nicholas Boylston, 24 October 1823

Washington, 24 October 1823

...I now fulfil the promise I made you at my last visit to Princeton...The communications & disclosures which you made to me on the morning of the day that I passed with you, have left a deep impression upon my <mind> memory The sentiments to which they gave rise, mingling with the sensation which I experienced in the near view of your Wachusett Hill during the short walk we took together fermented in my imagination till they produced the poetical effusion, which I now commit to your indulgence in reading which I must refer you to the remembrance of the Conversation which passed between us on that day.

With mrs Adams’ & my best regards to mrs Boylston & remain, Dear Sir, very faithfully Yours—

Wachusett Hill a Sonnet [5] October 1823

To Ward Nicholas Boyston Esqr.

As your tall Mountain pressing to the skies

In solitary grandeur lifts its form

Presents his dauntless summit to the storm;

and Wind & Ware & Lightning blast defies;

Doth not the view reveal to Fancy’s eyes

The image of an heart with virtue warm

Amid Man’s Mortal Myriads as they swarm

Alone with soul that on itself relies?

Aye! and when on that Mountain’s craggy side

Successive the chering exhalations sail;

His front sublime in transient darkness hide—;

Then fall in showers that fertilize the vale—

Boylston! When this impressive scene I see.—

My thought spontaneous turns & dwells on thee.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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