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To His Son, Charles Fuller Hearn

Ferdinand Lawrence Hearn (1822-18??)

Charles Fuller Hearn was the younger brother of Samuel Columbus Hearn, who in turn was the grandfather of Charles Aubrey Hearn. A copy of this poem was sent to Joseph Edward Hearn (C. Aubrey's brother) by C. F. Hearn's grandson, Howard Burton.

I scarce expect one of my age
To speak in public on the stage

And if by chance I fall below
Desmosthenes or Cicero,

Judge me not with a critical eye
But pass my imperfections by.

Large streams from little fountains flow;
Large oaks from little acorns grow.

And though I am now small and young,
Of judgment weak, and of feeble tongue,

All great learned men before me,
Our President has longed to be.

But why not Carolina's son
Rear men as great as Britain's John?

To exceed what Greece and Rome have done
Or any land beneath the sun.

May not someone boast as great
As any other sister state.

Or where the towns go far and near
That does not find a desire here.

But where is the boy but three feet high
Who has made impressions more than I?

These thoughts inspire my youthful mind:
To be the greatest of mankind,

Great not like Caesar stained with blood,
But only great as I am good.