Adams Papers

Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams and Thomas Baker Johnson, Poem on Deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, 4 July 1826

Lines occasioned by the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson on the 4th. of July 1826.

July 4th. [1826]

Not a smile was seen—Nor a sound heard of joy

Tho’ the day was to Gratitude vow’d

The brightness of pleasure that ne’er knew alloy

Had been dimm’d like the Sun by a cloud

The day that a Nation first gave to the world

And millions of Freemen—Now blest

In its oft welcom’d Course—Saw no banner unfurl’d

Save what proud exultation exprest

With hearts high in hopes & with Gratitude fill’d

The bright dawn had propitiously broke

T’was the Jubilee year—The Anthem loud peal’d

And the Song of thanksgiving awoke

In the midst of our Pæan in liberty’s praise

And the Patriots who liberty won

The Angel of death—Hov’ring near meets our Gaze

Sent by Heaven its last work to crown

As Gratitude lifts up her voice in their Honor

And the debt that she owes fondly pays

The martyrs with joy yield back to their Donor

Their bright lives—conse-crated to praise

T’was thus—for our glory that heav’ns last will

Should her plan—Now perfected—Pronounce

That those who had wrought it—should live to reveal

Both its birth and duration at once—

T. B. J.

MHi: Adams Papers.

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