Bushnell Park.

A poem by Hattie Howard

Sweet resting place! that long hath been
A boon Elysian 'mid the din
Of city life, 'mid city smoke;
Where weary ones who toil and spin
Have turned aside as to an inn
Whose swinging sign a welcome spoke;
Where misanthropes find medicine
In peals of laughter that begin
With ancient, resurrected joke,
Or ready wit of harlequin;
Where children, free from discipline,
Take on Diversion's easy yoke.

Fair oasis! to view aright
Its charming paths, its sloping height,
Its beautiful and broad expanse,
Must one approach in witching night
When, like abodes of airy sprite
Revealed unto the wondering glance,
O'erflooded with electric light
Than Luna's beams more dazzling bright,
Illumined nooks the scene enhance;
While zephyrs mischievous unite
The timid stroller to affright
By swaying boughs in shadow dance.

The Capitol that crowns the hill
Where Boreas sweeps with icy chill,
A masterpiece of studied art
Conceived by genius versatile
And fashioned with unerring skill,
O'erlooks the busy, crowded mart,
And, like a kingly domicile,
Its burnished dome and sculpture thrill
With admiration every heart;
And strangers pause beyond the rill
To view its grandeur, lingering still,
And with reluctant steps depart.

O Bushnell Park, memorial soil!
That marks success (though near to foil)
Of one who with prophetic ken,
With honest zeal and ceaseless toil,
Opposed the vandal wish to spoil
This lovely bit of vale and glen;
Who, 'mid discussion and turmoil
Of adverse minds, did not recoil
From vigorous stroke of tongue and pen;
And then, till passion ceased to boil,
On troubled waters poured out oil
And to his plans won other men.

So when, fatigued and overwrought,
In summer time when skies are hot
We seek its verdant, velvet sward,
Oh may we hold in reverent thought
The debt we owe, forgetting not
The spirit passed to its reward
Of one whose giant soul was fraught
With true benignity - who sought
To touch humanity's quick chord
With fire from Heaven's altar brought,
That love and zeal and being caught
As inspiration from the Lord.

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