Alonzo Lewis

Alonzo LewisALONZO LEWIS (1794-1861) was Lynn's leading intellectual during his lifetime. Lewis' History of Lynn is still the most important account of the city ever written. As a poet, Lewis published three books between 1824 and 1834, and after his death, his collected poems were published in 1883. Lewis' poetry established traditions that many other Lynn poets have followed. The opening of Lewis' romantic poem about High Rock places the speaker atop High Rock reaching toward heaven in his mind while he keeps a compassionate eye on Lynn below.

High Rock, At Midnight


'T is dark below-but bright above!
  The happy stars are glowing there,
Beneath the tranquil eye of Jove
  Who makes the weal of all his care!

The distant ocean rolls below,
  Where his dark waves the tall cliffs meet;
Yet harmless there the billows flow,
  And come not near my quiet feet!

Thus, far above life's restless tide,
  My mind its tranquil course would hold,
Aloft through purer scenes to glide,
  Where nature's veil is all uprolled!

The earth resumes her wonted rest,
  Save that the waves a murmur keep!
The town is wrapped in night's dark vest;
  The very houses seem to sleep!

Yet far one solitary light
  Sends its dim ray across the vale;
Where some fond mother wears the night,
  And lulls her sickly infant's wail!

The living rest within their beds!
  The dead are sleeping in their urns!
While far o'er their unconscious heads
  How bright yon golden planet burns!



from: The Poetical Works of Alonzo Lewis edited by Ion Lewis
                    ( Boston: A. Williams & Co.) 1883.