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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Chanting Cherubs—a Group by Greenough

By Richard Henry Dana, Sr. (1787–1879)

[Born in Cambridge, Mass., 1787. Died in Boston, Mass., 1879. Poems and Prose Writings. Collective Edition. 1850.]

WHENCE come ye, Cherubs? from the moon?

Or from a shining star?

Ye sure are sent, a blessed boon,

From kinder worlds afar;

For, while I look, my heart is all delight:

Earth has no creatures half so pure and bright.

From moon nor star we hither flew;

The moon doth wane away,—

The stars, they pale at morning dew:

We’re children of the day;

Nor change, nor night, was ever ours to bear;

Eternal light, and love, and joy, we share.

Then, sons of light, from Heaven above

Some blessed news ye bring.

Come ye to chant eternal love

And tell how angels sing,

And in your breathing, conscious forms to show

How purer forms above live, breathe, and glow?

Our parent is a human mind;

His winged thoughts are we;

To sun nor stars are we confined:

We pierce the deepest sea.

Moved by a brother’s call, our Father bade

Us light on earth, and here our flight is stayed.