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1821 Love Poem

Edward Hitchcock wrote this poem to Orra White shortly before their wedding. The sentiments may be conventional (except for the word "nous," probably as uncommon then as it is now!), but they were also deeply felt.

The Portrait of Miss Orra White


The temper is sweet and serene,

The bosom is pure and refined,

Expression enlivens her mien,

And virtue enriches her mind.


She is as chaste as the fleeces that fly,

On the wings of the tempest of nous*

Soft pleasure of beams in her eye!

She can weep at the language of use.


Her lips utter accents of truth,

Her voice is the music of heaven,

Her face wears the features of youth,

Of youth in the garden of Eden.


* nous is pronounced noos and means refined intellect