Early Affection

By George Moses Horton 1798–1883 George Moses Horton
I lov’d thee from the earliest dawn,
     When first I saw thy beauty’s ray,
And will, until life’s eve comes on,
     And beauty’s blossom fades away;
And when all things go well with thee,
With smiles and tears remember me.
 
I’ll love thee when thy morn is past,
     And wheedling gallantry is o’er,
When youth is lost in age’s blast,
     And beauty can ascend no more,
And when life’s journey ends with thee,
O, then look back and think of me.
 
I’ll love thee with a smile or frown,
     ’Mid sorrow’s gloom or pleasure’s light,
And when the chain of life runs down,
     Pursue thy last eternal flight,
When thou hast spread thy wing to flee,
Still, still, a moment wait for me.
 
I’ll love thee for those sparkling eyes,
     To which my fondness was betray’d,
Bearing the tincture of the skies,
     To glow when other beauties fade,
And when they sink too low to see,
Reflect an azure beam on me.

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Poet George Moses Horton 1798–1883

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Living, Marriage & Companionship, Growing Old, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Biography

Born a slave on William Horton’s tobacco plantation, George Moses Horton taught himself to read. Around 1815 he began composing poems in his head, saying them aloud and “selling” them to an increasingly large crowd of buyers at the weekly Chapel Hill farmers market. Students at the nearby University of North Carolina bought his love poems and lent him books. As his fame spread, he gained the attention of Caroline Lee Whiting . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Marriage & Companionship, Growing Old, Relationships, Love, Men & Women, Romantic Love, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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