ON THE RUINS OF A COUNTRY INN
by: Philip Freneau (1752-1832)
- HERE now
these mingled ruins lie
- A temple once to Bacchus rose,
- Beneath whose roof, aspiring high,
- Full many a guest forgot his woes.
- No more this dome, by tempests torn,
- Affords a social safe retreat;
- But ravens here, with eye forlorn,
- And clustering bats henceforth will meet.
- The Priestess of this ruined shrine,
- Unable to survive the stroke,
- Presents no more the ruddy wine,--
- Her glasses gone, her china broke.
- The friendly Host, whose social hand
- Accosted strangers at the door,
- Has left at length his wonted stand,
- And greets the weary guest no more.
- Old creeping Time, that brings decay,
- Might yet have spared these mouldering walls,
- Alike beneath whose potent sway
- A temple or a tavern falls.
- Is this the place where mirth and joy,
- Coy nymphs, and sprightly lads were found?
- Indeed! no more the nymphs are coy,
- No more the flowing bowls go round.
- Is this the place where festive song
- Deceived the wintry hours away?
- No more the swains the tune prolong,
- No more the maidens join the lay.
- Is this the place where Nancy slept
- In downy beds of blue and green?
- Dame Nature here no vigils kept,
- No cold unfeeling guards were seen.
- T is gone!--and Nancy tempts no more;
- Deep, unrelenting silence reigns;
- Of all that pleased, that charmed before,
- The tottering chimney scarce remains.
- Ye tyrant winds, whose ruffian blast
- Through doors and windows blew too strong,
- And all the roof to ruin cast,--
- The roof that sheltered us so long,--
- Your wrath appeased, I pray be kind
- If Mopsus should the dome renew,
- That we again may quaff his wine,
- Again collect our jovial crew.
POEMS BY PHILIP FRENEAU
"On the Ruins of a Country
Inn" is reprinted from An American Anthology: 1787-1900.
Ed. Edmund Clarence Stedman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1900.