Poems.

Acton, Eliza, 1799-1859.


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British Women Romantic Poets Project
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I.D. No. ActoEPoems

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1997

Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 2

Nancy Kushigian -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne -- Managing Editor

Poems.

Acton, Eliza.

R. Deck
Ipswich
1826

[This text was scanned from its original in the University of California-Davis, Shields Library Kohler Collection I:3]

[Kohler ID no: I:3. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:3mf.]


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Page [i]

POEMS,

BY ELIZA ACTON.



Page [iii]

POEMS,

BY ELIZA ACTON

IPSWICH:
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY R DECK;
SOLD ALSO BY LONGMAN AND CO. PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON;
DECK, BURY; COWELL, PIPER, AND SHALDERS, IPSWICH;
LODER, WOODBRIDGE;
HARDACRE, HADLEIGH; WOOLBY, STOWMARKET;
AND STACY, NORWICH.

1826.


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[Title Page]



TALES,

&c.




[Page [v]

CONTENTS.


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SUBSCRIBERS.

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Page [1]

On the Death

OF

MAJOR WHITEFOORD,

DECEMBER 15TH, 1825.

LIKE blighted leaves, around us fall
    The young, the gifted, and the brave;
And still the most belov'd of all
    Seem earliest fated to the grave.

With health the morning saw thee blest,
    And gladness brighten'd o'er thy brow;
When ev'ning flung across the West
    Her dark'ning shadows,--where wert thou?


Page 2

Cold, cold for ever was thy heart,
    And hush'd its pulse of joy, or pain:
Life's silver cord was torn apart,
    The golden bowl was broken then.

Without one sign of warning giv'n,
    To tell of danger lurking near,
With sudden wrench the chain was riv'n,
    Which kept thy pilgrim footsteps here.

Yes! ere the sun whose dawning ray
    Upon thy peaceful waking shone,
Withdrew from heav'n the light of day,
    Thy spirit to its rest was gone.

And many a mourner o'er thy bed,
    In pale, and speechless anguish hung;
And burning tears above thee shed,
    From agony's deep source were wrung.


Page 3

Ev'n strangers wept for thee !--and yet,
    By voices to thine ear unknown,
With fulness of unfeign'd regret,
    Thy name is breath'd in sorrow's tone.

And, oh! through long, long years to come,
    Shall sad, but tend'rest thoughts of thee,
Within the circle of thy home,
    Be shrin'd and cherish'd faithfully!


Page 4

TWILIGHT.

The hour when Fancy, and Remembrance, weave
Their fairest tissue of enchanted dreams.

TWILIGHT! still season of deep communings,
And holiest hopes, and tears of tenderness,
Which soothe the soul in falling, as the dew
Freshens the fading flower, how sweet, and dear,
To me, the shadow of thy coming is !--
Beneath the magic of thy soothing spell,
The wilder throbbings of my heart grow hush'd
Almost to peacefulness; while from my mind
Departs the hurried fever, which doth wear
Its powers away amid life's busier scenes,


Page 5

And I awake to soft imaginings,--
And gentle thoughts,--and mingled memories,
Of sadness, and delight.--Oh! Joy may love
The brilliant beaming of the morning sun,
When the full splendour of his living rays
Kindles the Eastern heav'n; but unto me,
The faintest ling'ring of his farewell gleam
Is far more beautiful,--for it doth give .
A promise of that touching quietude,--
--Thine own peculiar charm,--with which thou still
Dost herald in the night !


Page 6

TO ANNA.

THINK of me, dearest! when the Western star
    Sheds o'er the soft blue heav'n its lovely light;
For know, that I, though near thee, or afar,
    Gaze on it ever with a still delight.

Think of me, dearest! when the op'ning spring
    Show'rs her young buds of beauty round thy feet,
And early violets to the breezes fling
    The rich, pure perfume, which I lov'd to greet.

Think of me, dearest! when the summer flow'rs
    Give to the wand'ring wind their fragrant sighs:
Remember, I, in home, or foreign bow'rs,
    Bend o'er their blossoms with enchanted eyes.


Page 7

Think of me, dearest! when the calm waves flow
    All tranquilly beneath the moon-light beam;
For I have oft, with pleasure's warmest glow,
    Watch'd silently their sweet, and silv'ry gleam.

Think of me, dearest! if thy ling'ring gaze
    In far-off years upon this page shall rest:
Then may rekindling thoughts of "other days,"
    Waken love's kindliest beatings in thy breast!


Page 8

[Where, oh ! where, on his restless wing &c.]

Where, oh! where, on his restless wing,
Hath the spirit of Love been wandering?--

I HAVE been where passionate hearts beat high
    Beneath the glow of an Eastern heav'n,
And break with the wild intensity,
    Of governless feelings, which I have giv'n;--
Where glances, bright as the star-beams, flash
From under the shade of the fringing lash,
Which mellows the light of the lustrous eyes,
Within the depth of whose darkness lies,
--"With pow'r to soften--subdue--and bless,--"
The soul of eloquent tenderness;--
Where lips, which even in silence speak,
Are only match'd by the rose-touch'd cheek,


Page 9

And the pure, white brow, where the softest blue
Of the delicate veins is shining through.
And I linger'd o'er isles of beauty, set
Like gems, in old Ocean's coronet,
Peopled by forms, which seem'd but wrought,
From the fairest dreams of a poet's thought,
They were so lovely !--
           Young spirit! still
Chainless rove over the world at will,
But ne'er again in thy roamings come
To make my bosom thy passing home:
Though rapture dwell in thy sunny smile
Despair comes fast on thy steps the while!


Page 10

GERTRUDE.

SHE knelt in pray'r before th' eternal throne
Of the Most High,--her streaming eyes uprais'd,--
Her white hands clasp'd convulsively,--her cheek,
With the heart's passion pale. She did not ask
Pardon, or blessing, for herself, nor those
For whom her pure petitions once were pour'd,
In meek devotion's holiest spirit, forth.--
Her youth's affections were as nothing now
To that lost girl; --for her the world contain'd
One only Being; and to him she bow'd
In wild, and dark idolatry of soul.


Page 11

With most intense, and passionate fervency,
She pray'd for him;--she bent before her God
In mockery of worship, for each thought
Was chain'd to earth, and ev'ry hope entwin'd
Round him she lov'd so madly. She but wish'd
To live for him;--to die, if change should steal
Over a breast, whose tend'rest beatings now
Were all for her.--Soon was that wish fulfill'd !


Page 12

TO

A FRIEND,

WITH A PYRUS JAPONICA.

WHEN flow'rs o'er which the sun-light plays,
In summer's bright, and glorious days,
Have left each stem which bore their bloom,
And made the earth they grac'd,--their tomb;--
When the warm breeze, which hovers now
    To catch their breath, and float it on,
Shall sound in murmers wild, and low,
    A requiem to their beauty gone,
Or sweep, with loud, funereal cry,
Beneath the cold, and darken'd sky;--


Page 13

Then Lady ! to the chilling air,
    The flow'r I send its grace shall give;
Unfold its blossoms, freshly fair,
    And in young, rich luxuriance live,
Like some true heart, whose love is found
    Most faithful in the stormiest hour,
And, when misfortunes gather round,
    Shines out with purest,--gentlest, pow'r--
Cheering the gloom of sorrow's night,
With its warm glow, and changeless light!


Page 14

TO * * * * *

WE stood together in that tranquil scene
Of moon-light loveliness;-its silent spell
Stole o'er the spirit with a soft'ning pow'r,
Which might have hush'd the wildest heart to peace.
Beneath us far the sleeping waters lay,
In beautiful repose: their silv'ry gleam
Form'd a sweet contrast with the deep, dark, mass
Of shade upon their shores. The murm'ring sound
Of far-off voices came upon the breeze;
And the clear music of the vesper-chimes,
--Like a sweet hymn of farewell to the day,--
Stole on the ear, awakening memories,
Which only start to life in such an hour.


Page 15

There were young Roses blushing in the light
Of the pale moon-rays, and their fragrant breath
Floated around us, shedding on the air
All its most fresh, and rich deliciousness.
Long years have fleeted by !--again the hush
Of Ev'ning, is upon the wave, and hill ;--
Again, a glitt'ring track of liquid light
Brightens the gliding river; and the earth
Is garlanded with summer flow'rs, as when
I last beheld the spot:--all nature bears
The aspect which it wore in that same hour,
When, with delighted gaze, I ling'ring dwelt
Upon its quiet beauty. Time hath left
No traces of his touch on aught save me;
But o'er my breast, and brow, his passing wing
Hath swept with chilling, and destructive power,
Since that remember'd moment. I am chang'd
As the green foliage, when the autumn winds
Have sear'd its hue, and wither'd up its life.
Oh! ages of the heart, which fade the frame,


Page 16

And blight the mind of man, pass lightly o'er
The bosom of the universe, which still,
In undecay'd magnificence, and grace,
With its calm grandeur, seems to mock the proud
And restless race, who deem the world was fram'd
But for their petty sovereignty--and yet,
Are in themselves more frail than human hope,
The reed to which they cling.


Page 17

SONG.

I AM so weary, Love !--a chain,
Whose ev'ry link is form'd of pain,
Clings round me, like the serpent-coil,
Whose graspings crush its folded spoil.

I am so weary, Love !--the night
Is not more welcome to the sight
Of the toil-bow'd, and sinking slave,
Than unto me would be the grave.

I am so weary, Love !--my fate
Frowns still more darkly desolate,
Than when, with shudd'ring grief, and dread,
To thee my first farewell was said!


Page 18

I am so weary, Love!--O! when
Shall rest, and peace, be mine again?--
Not till above my cold, cold bed,
The emerald turf be lightly spread !


Page 19

SONG.

IN Beauty's dwelling all things fair,
    And rich, to win her sweet smiles strove;
But still young Beauty's only care
    Was, to watch o'er the lamp of Love.

And many a day she fed the fire
    With incense, precious, pure, and sweet,
Nor deem'd that beam could e'er expire,
    Like falshood's gleamings, wild, and fleet.

But tir'd at length poor Beauty slept,
    And while she rested, wearied quite,
Indifference to the dear lamp crept,
    And quench'd its warm, and splendid light.


Page 20

And Beauty woke, to find the ray
    She long must bitterly deplore,
Had pass'd from her bright bow'r away,
    To be re-lum'd for her, no more!--


Page 21

RHYMES

WRITTEN IN ALBUMS.

TO CAROLINE.

TO win, beloved Caroline from thee,
One thought, in years when we shall sever'd be--
--Sever'd, perchance, by those deep waves, which pour
Their billowy murmurs round our native shore,--
For this, I wander'd round the Bow'rs of Song,
A weary, and rejected suppliant long,
And of the Muses crav'd in humblest tone
From their rich wreaths, one simple bud alone:
They did but fling their wildest weeds at me,
And thus I twin'd them into verse for thee!


Page 22

Oh! voiceless is the raptur'd feeling
    Which passeth o'er me as I view,
The vesper-planet softly stealing,
    Through heav'n's delightful depths of blue.

It comes in such sweet beauty beaming
    When dark'ning shadows gather round,
That ever dear its gentle gleaming
    To sad, or lonely hearts is found.

The crimson light which late was flushing
    The Western wave, hath vanish'd then;
And ev'ning's silent spell is hushing
    The murmurs, and the thoughts of men.

The hues, the freshness floating o'er us
    In earlier hours have died away;
And cheeringly the path before us
    Is brighten'd by that silvery ray.


Page 23

'Tis thus, when life's delicious morning
    On rapid wing hath fleeted by,
And each fair flow'r we view'd adorning
    Our once gay path, droops witheringly.

When ev'ry tint which Joy was lending,
    We see, by Sorrow touch'd, expire,
And ev'n seraphic Hope is bending
    In mournful silence o'er her lyre.

Star of the soul, serenely tender,
    Through darkness Mem'ry rises then,
Sheds o'er the past her dreamy splendour
    And all we lov'd revives again!


Page 24

TO CATHARINE.

FRESH may the flow'rs of remembrance remain
    When calmly thy sister is sleeping;
And still may thy warm heart its kindness retain
    When cold dews my pillow are steeping.

Brightly for thee may the buds of delight
    Expand their young leaves in the dawning,
Ere the lustre of life can be dimm'd by the night,
    Or the hopes be destroy'd of its morning!


Page 25

TO ELIZA D.

WHEN in far-future years thy bright glance shall be resting,
    On the line of remembrance my pen hath impress'd,
Oh! may it, the past in bright colours investing,
    Awaken one wandering thought in thy breast,

Of those moments, which, hallow'd by friendship, and feeling,
    Still live in my heart, though they long have pass'd by;
But their memory comes like some sweet spirit, stealing
    In silence to earth from the regions on high.


Page 26

How often thy voice, in its soul-thrilling measure,
    Hath awaken'd emotions I may not forget;
Emotions of calm, and of unalloy'd pleasure;
    Which faithfully cling to my memory yet!

Fare thee well!--I will hope that to thee may be giv'n
    The most thornless and beautiful blossoms of earth;
And that brighter, by far, may await thee in heav'n,
    The last home of gentleness, virtue, and worth!


Page 27

TO MARY.

COME turn with me, and gaze on that fair moon !--
"Her beams must fade, and we be parted soon !"
How beautifully soft her temper'd rays!
And tender as the, "light of other days,"
Which breaks o'er mem'ry's musings, when alone
The soul reviews life's sweetest moments flown.
She seems, in that far sky, like some bright mind,
High, in its native purity, enshrin'd
Above this world--and looking calmly down
On earth, unmindful of its smile or frown!--


Page 28

[I know how vain it is to mourn]

I KNOW how vain it is to mourn
    O'er blighted hopes, and friendship fled;
How yet more vain it is, to turn
    With sorrow to the slumb'ring dead.

Oh! they sleep well!--for o'er their rest
    No dark, and life-like mock'ries come
To cloud the brain, and wring the breast,
    Which in the grave hath found a home !


Page 29

TO * * * * *

HOW sacred is the lightest thing
    Which wakes a thought of thee !--
The wild-flow'r's lonely blossoming;
The young spring-zephyr's laden wing,
Are spells, which to my bosom bring
    Rich tides of memory!

Soft tones of music floating far
    At ev'ning o'er the sea;--
The trembling of the twilight star,
When not a cloud hath dar'd to mar
Its dewy smiles,--but sweet dreams are
    Which lead my soul to thee!


Page 30

TO H. B. * * * * * * * * * *

WHEN the day-dreams which brighten'd the dawning of life
    Have vanish'd, like gems of the morning away;
And Hope's fairy wreath, which with promise was rife,
    Lies wither'd beneath the cold touch of decay;
The magic of memory's soft-breathing spell
    Shall re-kindle the glow of the visions, and flowers,
And though youth's laughing witcheries whisper farewell,
    Their light, and their loveliness, yet shall be ours !


Page 31

The sweetness of Joy's silver smile may depart,
    And sadness may darken, where warmly it play'd,
But its sunshine again will steal over the heart,
    When the ray of remembrance hath sever'd the shade.
From the fountain of years that are fled, my lov'd friend,
    May the pure cup of Happiness sparkle for thee;
And in future ones oft o'er this page may'st thou bend,
    With feelings, and thoughts, rich in kindness for me!


Page 32

THE GRAVE.

THERE is a low and lonely place of rest,
Upon whose couch the worn and wearied frame
Reposes in forgetfulness,--and there,
The streaming eye of misery is clos'd
In sweet and dreamless slumber;--on that bed
The painful beatings of the breaking heart
Are hush'd to stillness; and the harrowing pangs
Of hopeless agony, are felt no more!
Around that silent dwelling-place, the veil
Of darkness curtains closely:--not a sigh,
Nor lightest whisp'ring of the summer-wind
Steals on the breathless and eternal calm,
Which o'er that region spreads its canopy !


Page 33

PORTRAIT.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

THE second, with a brow serenely calm,
And eye of inspiration, is the child,
The favour'd child of Song, and o'er his lyre
The Spirit of sweet Poesy hath breath'd
Her holiest spell, making its ev'ry tone
A wonder, and delight.--Whether he pour
The fulness of his melody to her,
Th' enthron'd, but pallid Princess of the Night;
Or to the diamond-fires which gem the sky
When she hath veil'd her beauty; or doth sing


Page 34

The secrets of the radiant caves, which lie
Deep, deep enshrin'd within old Ocean's breast,
Peopled with spirits--he doth shed o'er all
The living light of genius--but the swell
Of his harmonious lyre ne'er charms as when
Its breathings are of Love,--etherial Love,
In its first starry dawning: he doth wake
The deep, and passionate strain, as one whose heart
Sends forth its own o'er mast'ring feelings with
The music of his numbers, which to us
Steal so deliciously! The mountain-path
Which he is treading now, will soon lead on
Ev'n to the templed summit where Fame dwells,
And crowds shall render homage to his name
Whom yet they know not.--Fortune! mar not thou
Prospects, as those of summer-mornings, bright.


Page 35

NAY TWINE THE HEATH-FLOW'R

WILD FOR ME.

NAY twine the heath-flow'r wild for me,
    It best will suit my blighted lot;
For I am flung neglectedly
    Abroad, where fostering love is not--
And Roses on my aching brow,
Too soon would lose their blushing glow;
While on my throbbing bosom laid,
The lily's bloom in death would fade!

Enwreath the folds of Beauty's hair
    With the white Jas'mine stars :--their snow
Will gleam in purer seeming there,
    And grace on loveliness bestow--


Page 36

Their delicate, frail, life will be
Breath'd forth in sweet luxuriancy,
On the rich tresses, where they lie
Embalm'd, in their own od'rous sigh!

To the young seraph Hope, be giv'n,
    In homage to her soft eyes hue,
The violet-buds, which stole from heav'n,
    Its matchless depth of star-light blue.
Entwine,--the lyre of song to shade,--
The scented myrtle's shining braid!
But weave for me, that flow'r alone,
In wildness on the desert thrown!


Page 37

L'ABANDONNÉE.

THEY said, the words I lov'd to hear
Were whisper'd in another's ear,
With that sweet smile, and tender tone,
With which thou mad'st my heart thine own,
I listen'd to the torturing tale,
With brow and cheek as marble pale;
Yet nerv'd I then my woman's soul,
Its deadliest feelings to controul,
And mov'd about, as pale, and wan,
As if my very life were gone,
And I a wand'ring spirit, left
On earth, of ev'n a tomb bereft.


Page 38

I would have gladly borne for thee
Pain,--scorn,--reproach,--and penury;
Or,---dear as was thine early fame,--
Have shar'd with thee a blighted name.
With fearless confidence, that ne'er
Dream'd of the wound it soon must bear,
My soul repos'd itself on thine,
And deem'd it honour's purest shrine.
With startling suddenness, I woke
To the dark truth which o'er me broke;--
Yes!--I was rous'd from dreams of bliss
    To know thee false--and oh! to feel
That there was agony in this
    Beyond all earthly pow'r to heal:
It mattered little how the rest
    Of life pass'd by,-- I knew that naught
Of fate, could make it more unblest,
    Or be with bitterer anguish fraught.
And now thou com'st, thy wav'rings o'er,
To bid me be thy slave once more!


Page 39

[The following three lines connected by large right brace. This is represented here by a smaller right brace at the end of each line so connected.]

'Tis vainly ask'd!--affection's chain }
Was all too rudely wrench'd in twain }
And never will unite again. }
That voice whose ev'ry accent fell
    Like softest music on mine ear,
Hath lost its deep, its touching spell,
Of eloquence unspeakable,
    Which was, in days gone by, so dear,
I see thee with unthrobbing breast;
    I meet thy glance, yet still am calm;
Go, then!--nor break the tranquil rest,
    Which is my spirit's needful balm.
Leave me to peace !--my heart is grown,
    Since thou didst cast its love away,
As cold, and careless as thine own,
    And might as soon its trust betray.--
Yet, though estrang'd,--upon the past
    Ev'n now unmov'd I cannot dwell:--
My first affections, and my last,
    Were thine--thine only--fare thee well!


Page 40

TO SUSANNA.

FEBRUARY, 1824.

AMIDST the first young flow'rs of spring,
    Which o'er this still, and lonely spot,
A gleam of grace and beauty fling,
    I found a pale "Forget me not!"

Its blossoms had not gain'd the hue
    They wear beneath a warmer sky;
That clear, intense, and lovely blue,
    Which wins, and charms the wand'ring eye.

Cold winds had swept across its bloom,
    And press'd its gentle form to earth;
And chilling tears, and wintry gloom,
    Had gather'd round its place of birth.


Page 41

I will not send so frail a thing,
    My herald to a distant spot,
But sunnier hours to thee shall bring
    A fair and bright, "Forget me not!"


Page 42

THE LOVER'S SONG.

OH sooner shall yon star decline,
    Which guides the wand'ring seaman's way,
Than thou shalt from the inmost shrine
    Of this warm heart, be torn away:
No !--firm, as pure, my love shall be,
Though nurs'd for ever,--silently !

In vain for me the festal hall
    Displays the wine-cup's blushing hue;
And music's swell, or faint, low fall,
    Echoes, the vaulted chamber through:
Alike from song, and revelry,
I sorrowing turn me,--silently!


Page 43

I gaze unmov'd, though Beauty's smile,
    And Beauty's eyes, be near to bless;
I think with beating breast the while,
    Of thy retiring loveliness:
And lonely, and afar from thee,
My tears fall fast but,--silently!

Ev'n when my swelling soul is full
    Of those deep feelings, which arise,
When mid-night, calmly beautiful,
    With starry splendour lights the skies,
O'er Nature's glorious charms I sigh,
And mourn thine absence,--silently!

To dwell eternally apart
    From thee on earth, may be my lot,
With fading brow, and with'ring heart
    To linger on, where thou art not;
Yet turning, with devotion high,
To thy bright image,--silently !--


Page 44

Should it be thus,--when in the grave
    My spirit finds its rest at last,
Wilt thou, who had'st no pow'r to save,
    Weep for awhile o'er suff'ring past;
And sometimes, e'en when crowds are nigh,
Recall thy lost one,--silently!


Page 45

I LINGER OFT BENEATH THY

RAY.

I LINGER oft beneath thy ray,
    Young Queen of Heaven! at day's decline,
And muse on pleasures past away,
    And happier hours, which once were mine.
How beautiful thy smiles of light,
    O'er the still breast of ocean thrown,
When thou pursu'st, all calmly bright,
    Thy clear, and silvery path alone !

When the low night-winds gently sweep
    The flowers' fresh bloom in passing by,
And thy soft beams in lustre steep
    Our vales, reposing peacefully,--


Page 46

I love to mark thee, moving on
    Amidst yon far-off bowers of blue,
While ev'ry scene thou shin'st upon,
    Shows lovlier in its moonlight hue !

Thine are the sweet, and lonely hours
    With holiest hope, and feeling fraught,
And thine the tranquillizing pow'rs
    Which still subdue each stormier thought,
My spirit owns thy mild controul
    When earthly ills around me press;
Or darkly gather o'er my soul
    The mists of human wretchedness!


Page 47

CHIEFTAIN'S SONG.

On to the field my banners bear,
    I shall not long delay!
One last kiss from my lady fair,--
One bright curl of her silken hair,--
    And then, away !--away !

On to the field !--and where my plume
    Gleams high amid the fray,
There gallant spirits! seek your doom--
A warrior's wreath, or warrior's tomb:--
    And now--away !--away! --


Page 48

TO ---- ------

SUPPOSED TO BE WRITTEN AT THE TOMB OF HIS PARENTS.

THEY sleep in peacefulness !--while thou art left
Upon the world's bleak desert, like a leaf,
--A faded, and a fallen one,--of which
The wild winds make their pastime,--toss'd at will
By their still varying breath. How bitterly
Thine own beloved mother would have wept
To mark the change which years have wrought in thee,
The dearest of her sons;--to see the clouds
Of passion mar thy spirit,--and the good
And god-like qualities, which made thy heart
Their hallow'd temple, chill'd,--degraded,--lost.
That pang the grave hath spar'd her !--she is gone


Page 49

Where even Love,--the latest chain that binds
The human soul unto its earthly home,--
Can wake the throbbings of her breast no more.
HOW CAN Affection perish?--it should be
Link'd unto immortality--its pure,
And delicate essence deathless as divine !--
Oh! had she liv'd thou had'st not been the sad
And lonely thing thou art;--but mid the crowd
Who circle thee with smiles, and witching words,
Or, with enchanted eagerness, drink in
The music of thy dangerous flatteries,
Say is there one, who with enduring truth,
And firm devotedness like hers, would bear
The test of time--of poverty--or grief;--
One,--who if all beside were chang'd--would stand
"Faithful, amid the faithless," like the rose,
--The last, and loveliest,--which, in glowing grace
Meeteth the pallid sun-light, and the breath,
The bitter, blighting breath of Autumn's close.
Believe it not!--of those who gather round


Page 50

Thy steps with sweetest looks, and honied tones,
The many, would but mock thy trust;--the few,
Who would be all unchang'd, whate'er of ill
Might steal upon thy path-way, must be won
By sacred honour--pure integrity--
By gen'rous actions,--and unsullied truth.
Like the Death-Angel's, thy career hath been
Mark'd out by desolation!--thou hast cast
The shadow of destruction o'er the young,--
The beautiful,--the happy,--and the pure;--
Giving, in base requital of their love,
The cup of bitterness, and shame, to be
The only portion of their blasted years.
Come not these mem'ries o'er thy waking thoughts,
And slumb'ring visions, like the spectre-shapes
Which haunt a murd'rer's dreams ?--Canst thou look back
Upon thy work of ruin unappall'd?--
Doth remorse waken never, when thy glance
Is thrown upon the guilt which tracks the way


Page 51

Of thy past wand'rings?--'Tis a fearful thing
To know that mutter'd curses have been breath'd
In utt'rance with our name;--but worse it is
To feel that we deserve such malison
From lips once wont to bless us, with the tones,
And fond, deep fervency, of tenderness.
    Thy gifted mind was never form'd to lie
Enchain'd in sin's low servitude;--to bend
Its lofty energies, its high proud hopes
Unto polluted pleasure's fettering pow'r.
Then be thy better self again!--nor quench
The early brightness of thy soul in gloom
Dark as the brow of mid-night--still some rays
Of Virtue linger round thee: may their glow
Kindle to rich and glorious light, and shed
A splendid radiance o'er thy coming days !


Page 52

ON APPROACHING PARIS,

1826.

WE journey'd on !--the twilight star
    Shone, in its tranquil beauty, o'er us;
While, with its thousand lights, afar
    The glitt'ring city lay before us.
Oh! never o'er an ev'ning's close
Sank more serene, and sweet repose!
So lingeringly the sun-set ray
Had faded from the west away,
It seem'd as if the Fire-God met
His parting moment with regret;
The voices of the winds were still,
And breath'd no sigh on bow'r or hill;


Page 53

There was not ev'n the slightest cloud
The heavens clear depth of blue to shroud;
But all things wore that peaceful mood,
Which wins the soul to solitude--
And it might well the spirit grieve
Such scene's soft quietude to leave,
To mix with restless crowds again,
Amidst the wildering haunts of men;
Where warring interests wear away
The best affections,--and decay
The links of confidence,--and steal
The springs of life from hearts that feel.
In sadness at the thought, I turn'd
To mark the countless fires that burn'd
Along the distance--flashing high,
From tow'r, and wall their radiancy;
For different, as the changing glare,
Of the red, fitful gleamings there,
To the pure planet's holy light,
Which o'er us beam'd, so calmly bright,


Page 54

The throng'd resorts, where thousands press
To snatch the spoils of selfishness,
To Nature's still seclusions are,
    By God to Man, in goodness giv'n,
Where Vice not yet hath dar'd to mar,
    The blest, and stainless gifts of heav'n!


Page 55

TAKE BACK THY RING.

TAKE back thy ring!--for I have learn'd
    To hear thy name with hopeless heart,
And oft, with sick'ning soul, have turn'd
    From what thou wert,--to what thou art!

I will not wear a pledge from one
    Whose love is mock'ry like to thine;
I'd rather live uncheer'd, and lone,
    As flowers, o'er which no sun-rays shine!

I know that thou wilt falsely say,
    I shrink before misfortune's night;
That I can coldly turn away,
    And leave thee to its withering blight.


Page 56

Thou wilt believe it not!--too well
    Past years of deep devotedness,
The fonder--truer--tale will tell
    Of my soul's changeless tenderness--

And aught but this I could have borne--
    To know thee vile Dishonour's slave;
The finger-mark of shame and scorn,
    Th' oppressor of the pure, and brave.

But never shall my fate be twin'd
    With that of one, whose fame is blasted;
Whose word is as the idle wind;
    Whose days in servile guilt are wasted !


Page 57

SONG.

LET me sit in the twilight hour alone,
    And muse on the lov'd ones far away,
Till my heart hath taken the hallow'd tone,
    And the spirit-like calm of the closing day.

And visions of happiness, faded long,
    Again in their beauty round me press;
While dreams, which to earlier days belong,
    Steal soothingly over my loneliness !


Page 58

ADINE:

A FRAGMENT.

SHE lov'd to hold communion with the night
When none were near, and to the golden stars
Pour forth the silent breathings of a soul,
Bright as their beams,--and pure, as that far sky
Of deep and stainless azure, where they dwell.
And she would linger many a lonely hour
To watch the gentle Empress of the heav'ns,
Come forth, in her so graceful majesty,
Flinging the floating vapours from her path,
Which would have veil'd her loveliness--and then
Shedding the fullest lustre of her smiles
Upon the lull'd, and sleeping world below;


Page 59

Or sometimes, as if sick'ning at the scenes
Which met her down-ward gaze retiring slow
Behind the shadow of the courtier-clouds,
Which love to throw themselves between her smiles,
And this dim earth of ours. And Adine oft
Would stand on some rude cliff to mark the war
Of the wild waters, when the raging winds
Had lash'd them into madness,-and the waves
With most impetuous, and appalling force,
Breasted the rock whereon she stood, and flung
Their foam-wreaths at her feet;--and unto her
The forked lightnings, in their angry play,
Were a delight;--and music to her ear
Dwelt in the thunder's voice: her spirit drank
The beauty of the universe, and dwelt
On its sublime magnificence, until
Each thought grew grand and glorious, and sought out,
A resting-place in regions far away !--
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Page 60

ON THE DEATH

OF

ELLEN SHARP,

1822.
"Thou sleepest!--but we do not forget thee!"

I PARTED from thee, when the glow
    Of health, was warm upon thy cheek;
When thy light laugh, and smiling brow,
    Of happiest feelings seem'd to speak.

I little deem'd ere next we met,
    That form would cold and lifeless be;--
That ev'ry hope so soon would set,
    Which long had fondly turn'd to thee.


Page 61

But, oh! when Death's destroying pow'r
    Had o'er thee cast its icy chain,
I saw thee, like a faded flow'r,
    Laid,--ne'er to bloom on earth again.

Affection's warmly-cherish'd child,
    Thou wert all unprepared to meet
The world's rude storms--which, darkly wild,
    Our purest schemes of bliss defeat.

True thou wert motherless !--but heav'n
    Most richly that deep loss supplied,
And tend'rest friends to thee were giv'n,
    Thy youthful steps to guard, and guide.

Here, where thy playfulness oft drew
    Responsive mirth from all around,
And its gay influence o'er us threw,
    Long shall thy memory fresh be found.


Page 62

Each hour in passing, to the heart
    Brings some appealing thought of thee:
And tears of keen regret will start
    O'er thy fate's sad reality.

Yet, though we sorrowing weep thy doom,
    We know, that far most greatly blest
Are those, who earliest, through the tomb,
    Ascend to God's eternal rest!


Page 63

THAT VOICE CAME O'ER ME.


THAT voice came o'er me, like the tone
    Of music, heard at Even,
From one sweet-breathing flute alone
    Beneath the starlight heav'n:
So exquisitely soft--so clear--
Its murmurs sank upon mine ear!

And oh! it floats around me yet
    At twilight's stilly hour,
And vainly would my soul forget
    Its deep subduing pow'r:
For still, till thought, and feeling die,
Remembrance will its spell supply.


Page 64

[Oh! I am weary of a world]

OH ! I am weary of a world, where vice,
Like the destroying canker-worm, doth wind
Into the bosom's core of those who bear,
The subtle, but false semblance, of a truth,
And virtue, which they know not:--smiles, warm smiles,
And kindest courtesies; and words, which wear
The mockery of tenderness;--all these,
Are but the maskings of most hollow hearts,
Where selfishness, and treachery, do league
To make, and keep their home. The things we love
Are garb'd, by Fancy, with such brilliant hues,
As the clouds borrow from the farewell beams
Of the departing sun;--but let them stand


Page 65

Forth in their own reality--disrob'd
Of the warm colouring which our minds have flung
Round them, in rich adornment, and the soul
Will shrink to find its idols cold and dim,
As are the vapours gather'd in the West,
When the Day-God is gone!


Page 66

IT WERE DISHONOURING NOW.

IT were dishonouring now--or I
Could weep in hopeless misery,
O'er the dark tale, which links thy name
To perfidy, and deepest shame;
But never on my cheek shall be,
The stain of one weak tear for thee;
Though wildly throb my breast and brain,
As if the very soul of pain
Were in each pulse, no drop shall fall,
Wrung forth by suff'ring, from these eyes:
I shudder e'en but to recall
The hours, when thou, unshar'd, had'st all
My bosom's fondest sympathies.--


Page 67

But now tis past--for ever past!--
    I yet have strength to rend a part
The firmest bonds that ever clasp'd
    Their fettering links around my heart;
Yes, I have pow'r at least to be
In spirit, as the Morning, free!
I'd rather live the loneliest thing
    That earth upon its bosom bears,
And pass, in silent sorrowing,
    A weary length of lingering years,
Than give a hope, a thought to one
Whose nobleness and truth are gone !--
And 'tis enough for me to know,
That crime hath track'd thy steps,--that thou
Hast o'er the young and happy, shed
    The curse which withers life away,
And left, for fame and virtue fled,
    Remorse, and wretchedness to stay;
That thou did'st, like the spoiler, come
Where peace had made her hallow'd home,


Page 68

And change to ruin, and despair,
All that was pure and holy there;--
That broken hearts, which bled too late,
And early years made desolate,
Have been thy fatal gifts to those,
Who dar'd upon thy faith repose.
Reproach is not for me !--thy doom,
Without it is o'er-fraught with gloom,
And grief, and bitterness--but yet,
I would that we had never met;
For ev'ry trace that's left of thee
Upon the page of Memory,
Will waken sorrow's mute excess
For thy betray'd unworthiness.--
But be our parting brief!--'tis vain
    On moments such as this to dwell,
When ev'ry pause is fill'd with pain,
    Until we breathe the last farewell.


Page 69

LINES.

YES, thou art like the blasting breath,
    Of that wild desert wind,
Which leaves, in its career of death,
    No living thing behind;
Ne'er did the withering Upas shed
    More poisonous blights on all,
O'er which its fate-fraught branches spread
    Their dark, funereal pall.
Like to thyself shall be thy doom,
    --No gloomier canst thou prove ,--
For thou shalt be the breathing tomb
    Of honour, faith, and love!


Page 70

SONG.


GIVE me gay music !--we will not dwell
    On a thought which can pain our hearts to night;
But Pleasure shall cast her gentle spell
    Around our spirits, in Fortunes' spite.

The magic of Mirth, and soul of Song
    Shall lend their charm to the passing hour,
And speed old Time on his flight along,
    And rob grey care of his teasing pow'r !--


Page 71

TO THE WILD HEATH-FLOW'R.

THERE be sweet wreaths upon the brow of spring,
Thornless, as those which bloom in Paradise,
And fresh as Love's first feelings,--bright, as are
His earliest dreams, ere one cold touch of earth
Hath sullied their pure lustre. To the sun
The young, delicious, violet unfolds
Its purple beauty, 'tis the fav'rite child
Of fragrancy, and its rich breathings steal
O'er me, like music of the past, and wake
Thoughts of departed moments, which my soul
Would fain forget, they throw the present hours
Into such deep, dark shadow: Mem'ry weeps


Page 72

As she recalls their fulness of delight!--
When these fair garlands of the year are gone,
With wild profusion, Summer's glowing hand
Flings o'er the earth her luxury of flowers.
Amidst her scented blossoms brightest shine
The radiant roses, censers of the sun,
Which, till they perish ever meet his beams
With clouds of od'rous incense. Like a bride
Rob'd in her delicate vest of stainless white,
And shrin'd within her bow'r of solitude,
The pale and peerless lily, sheds perfume
O'er the lone spots in which she loves to dwell.
Like a soft star, the twilight primrose lends
Its hue and gracefulness to charm the close
Of the still ev'ning tide;--yet even these,
The deep blue violet,--th' imperial rose,--
The valley's tintless-queen,--and faint night-flow'r,
Are to my sight less welcome far than thou,
The desert's off'ring--yet thy fairy leaves
Unfold no treasure of enchanted hues,


Page 73

And yield no perfume to the morning ray.
Unlike the myrtle-shrub, with its young buds
Snowy as orient pearls; or,--fairer still,--
The orange-tree, whose laden blossoms bend
Heavy with their own sweetness, thou dost give
No grace to palaces: upon the wild
It is thy fate to bloom, and fade--alike
Unshaded, from the mid-day's burning beam;
Unshelter'd from the tempest's blighting breath :--
Yet falls the fresh'ning dew from heav'n for thee,
As for the loftiest cedar;--and ev'n so,
Comfort descendeth from the skies, to cheer
The world's neglected children, who, with scorn,
Wounded, despis'd, and trampled on, may find
Balm for the broken spirit, in the peace
Which is not of the earth--God's sacred gift
Unto the pure in heart:--a holy hope
Is theirs, which cannot die, and still it points
On, through this vale of suff'ring, and of tears,
Unto the dawn of Immortality!


Page 74

FORGIVE THEE !--YES.

FORGIVE thee !--yes--when ev'ry cord
    Which binds my soul to earth, is broken;
When scarce I hear the whisper'd word,
    By gentlest tongues around me, spoken.

Forgive thee !--yes--thy once-lov'd name,
    Shall mingle with my faltering breath,
When, fainter still, this languid frame
    Shall bend, before the touch of death.

Forgive thee !--yes--when paler still
    This cold and fading brow shall be,
And o'er my heart the latest chill
    Comes on, of mortal agony.


Page 75

Forgive thee!--yes--but rest awhile
    'Till mem'ry of the past hath perish'd;
'Till from my mind that voice, that smile,
    Have pass'd, as though they ne'er were cherish'd.

Come, when each hope is rais'd to heav'n,
    Which wither'd in the world's cold shade;
And thou--e'en thou--shalt be forgiv'n
    The wretchedness which thou hast made.


Page 76

STANZAS.

I LOVE in loneliness to stand afar,
    When lingering twilight gently rests around;
And night is flinging from her "ebon car"
    O'er earth, a shade more deep, and more profound;
While one sweet star,--a solitary gem,--
    Sparkleth in Ev'ning's dark'ning diadem !

Not long alone !--for soon, with gradual glow,
    A thousand diamond-lights their fires disclose,
And on the beautiful and radiant brow
    Of heav'n, in rich resplendency repose:
Yet still the first is fairest--and its beam
Smiles like some young enthusiast's early dream!


Page 77

THE SOLDIER'S BRIDE

TO HER HUSBAND,

AFTER HIS ESCAPE FROM IMMINENT DANGER.

I TREMBLE at thy peril past!
    It shakes me, like some fearful dream,
In horror's mould of madness cast,
    To chill the warm heart's living stream.

I shudder but to view that fate,
    Which would have rent my soul's last tie
To earth, and left me desolate,
    Beyond all thought of agony.


Page 78

Spar'd is the blow which would have left
    Within the world no breathing thing,
So utterly of hope bereft,
    So crush'd by loneliest suffering;

As she, who warmly grateful now,
    Pours her best orisons to heav'n,
For life, to one belov'd as thou,
    In danger sav'd--in mercy giv'n.

Oh! when the battle's rage is round,
    Amidst the fearful strife,--for thee,
May that protecting aid be found,
    Which now restores thee safe to me!


Page 79

"Je vais te quitter ségour aimé!"

'TIS come!--the last pale ev'ning-close
    Whose shade shall sink around me here;
And unto me its deep repose,
    Brings many a wildly-gushing tear.

Nay, let me dash the drops away,
    Which thus, in idle sorrow shed,
A soul un nerv'd, unstrung, betray ,--
    Which droops--nor will be comforted.

My quiet home, farewell!--I go
    Forth to the cold bleak world again,
A wanderer mid its scenes of woe,
    To seek for sheltering peace in vain.


Page 80

Oh! long my heart will warmly cling
    To thee, as to some hallow'd spot,
Where falshood's deadly withering,
    And life's stern storms were all forgot.

And some short moments wing'd with bliss,
    Pass'd o'er my spirit, like a tone
Of the air-harp, when night-winds kiss
    Its chords, to music wild and lone.

My cherish'd home a long farewell!
    The pangs which on my bosom press,
As on that word I ling'ring dwell
    Are rous'd to keenest wretchedness!


Page 81

GO, COLD AND FICKLE TRIFLER.

Go, cold and fickle trifler! go--
    And bear thy traitor-smiles afar,
Where none, like me, too well shall know,
    How hollow, and how vain, they are.
Go,--light of heart, and false of faith!
But never, till thine hour of death,
Dare with those treacherous lips profane
The sacredness of love again:--
No feeling of thy soul can claim
So sweet, so true, so pure a name--
Thine ev'ry look, and sigh, and tone,
Is vow'd to vanity alone!
I would my fortune had been cast
In some bright epoch of the past


Page 82

When heroes, of high thought, and worth,
With lofty bearing trod the earth
And won, to grace a gallant name,
The guerdon of a fadeless fame:
Oh! I had bow'd in spirit then,
To god-like deeds, of god-like men;
And with the gen'rous, and the brave,
Had joy'd to find a home--and grave!
From visions of the olden time
Chivalrous--noble--and sublime--
I turn to trace thy mean career :--
Believe not thou wert ever dear!
Deem not, that I could love thee!--No!--
    I have but feign'd as thou hast done,
And trifled with the trifler! --so,
    Still may the mask thou wear'st be known;--
And while thy bosom's dark recess
Doth veil its subtle selfishness,
May'st thou be fated but to find,
Where'er thou go'st, a kindred mind!


Page 83

VENICE.

"Tis ev'ning now! " --the vesper-star
    With smiles of beauty glads the sky,
And breathings from the light guitar,
    Are blending with the minstrel's sigh.

To stillness hush'd the purple wave
    Reflects the cloudless heav'n above;
And not a sound floats o'er it, save
    Sweet music from the lips of love;

And the full chorus clear, and deep,
    From the gay gondoliers, who ply
Their oar's with light, and measur'd sweep,
    While mingling that rich melody.


Page 84

And gently o'er the glitt'ring tide,
    While gales of odour round them play,
There Adria's dark-eyed daughters glide,
    In pleasure's search,--away, away !


Page 85

[To those who have few ties to bind the soul to earth]

To those who have few ties to bind the soul
To earth, it must be sweet to steal away
Gently, from life to death; with calm decline,
Painless but sure, to feel their pow'rs decay ;--
To know that they shall leave th' unkind and cold,
Who made existence joyless to them here,
Soon, and for ever--though they deem not so
Who are around them, nor behold the change
Of the pale cheek, and whitening lip, to hues
More bloodless yet; nor mark the falt'ring frame
Which daily bends more faint and languidly;
Nor see the visible beatings of the heart,
Which hastens to its rest. I would not die
When Spring hath wak'd the thousand melodies


Page 86

Of young birds mounting joyously to heav'n,
And o'er the earth her emerald vest is thrown,
Starr'd with bright blossoms, fresh, and beautiful--
'Tis sad to be the only withering thing
Amidst reviving nature !--I would fade
With the last ling'ring flow'rs, whose dirge is sung
By the wild voices of th' autumnal winds!


Page 87

STANZAS.

GIVE me the loneliest spot on earth,
    Where not a living step shall come;
And not a form of human birth
    Shall break the quiet of my home.

There, canopied by Nature's sky
    Unshelter'd be my breast, and brow;
There unremember'd let me die
    Afar from all that wounds me now.

Oh! it were better far to be
    A wand'rer on the desert thrown,
Than to pursue, thus weariedly,
    The path of hopelessness alone.


Page 88

My fetter'd spirit pants to break
    The bitter bonds which bind it here;
And sense, and thought, and feeling ache,
    To see how firm those bonds appear.

My birth-right was a dangerous boon,--
    This high, unyielding pride of heart
Which will not be subdued:--as soon
    From life shall sorrow dwell apart.

For in a world like this, where gold
    Must win the sunshine of our way;
Where smiles are bought, and friendships sold,
    I sink beneath its silent sway.

Oh! life's wild war will crush the mind
    Which never yet has learned to bend,
In homage to its wealthier kind;
    Nor made of pow'r a tyrant friend.


Page 89

COME TO MY GRAVE.

COME to my grave when I am gone,
And bend a moment there alone;
It will not cost thee much of pain
To trample on my heart again--
Or, if it would, for ever stay
Far distant from my mouldering clay:
I would not wound thy breast to prove
E'en its most deep, "remorse of love."
The grave should be a shrine of peace
Where all unkindly feelings cease;--


Page 90

Though thou wilt calmly gaze on mine
    I would not live the hour to see,
Which doom'd my glance to rest on thine :--
    That moment's bitter agony
Would bid the very life-blood start
Back, and congeal around my heart!--


Page 91

NAY! TAKE THE ROSE.

NAY ! take the Rose, ere yet its grace,
    Its freshness, and its bloom, are gone;
And be thy heart its resting place
    Until its young, sweet life be flown;
For on that breast of honour shrin'd,
A glorious death my flow'r will find;
And it must perish soon--with thee
It will but fade less lingeringly.
Its leaves are tinted with the flush
Of summer sunsets,-- but that blush,
Radiant as Love's, will pass away
As dies in heav'n the smile of day.


Page 92

Its breath is odour's essence ;--ne'er
Before did bud, or blossom, bear
Such soul of perfume--oh! that aught
    So beautiful, should be so frail!
It wakes a tone of sad'ning thought
    To dwelt upon its silent tale ;--
Not for itself--but that it is
An emblem of all human bliss.


Page 93

TO ---- ------

WE parted--thou wert borne afar,
    Through lands of loveliness to range,
Thy guide and hope, that glorious star,
    Which knows no dark'ning shade of change.

We parted--I remain'd alone
    Where meteor-lights around me played,
And my mind took that heartless tone,
    Which pain too soon to thine convey'd.

Again we met!--thine eye was cold
    As friendship's alter'd eye could be;
And well its chilling glances told
    How thou wert chang'd,--at least to me.


Page 94

I knew that I had wrong'd thee much,
    But other feelings waken'd when
I saw thee,--and I deem'd that such
    Might in thy breast be lingering then.

And were they not?--and shall they ne'er
    In all their earlier glow revive?--
I turn me to thy smile--and there
    Feel half assur'd that still they live.

"Wav'ring! "--yes !--yes !--I own it so--
    But not again !--at least if aught
Can fix affection's wandering flow,
    'Twill be--the lesson thou hast taught!


Page 95

THE LAST SONG.

'TIS ruin all!--but o'er my heart
    A deeper change is hast'ning on;
Its ev'ry dream will soon depart,
    Its ev'ry hope from earth be won.

A little space--and o'er my breast
    The Spring's young flow'rs may freshly bloom,
For I shall then in peaceful rest
    Repose within the silent tomb.

Then come to this lone spot, and say,
    "The Roses which she lov'd, are gone;
The violet wreaths have died away;
    And e'en the minstrel-birds are flown.


Page 96

The spark'ling waters move no more
    With murmuring music through the vale;
The sacred cedar's grace is o'er,
    For leafless now it greets the gale.

Yet dear to her was this still scene,
    Where desolation's seal is set,
As if its beauty ne'er had been,
    So wildly by destruction met."


Page 97

[Where art thou Love!]

WHERE art thou Love! with thine eyes wild gleam,
And thy hair which floats in the sun's bright beam,
Like a golden banner of triumph, spread
O'er the hosts of a conqueror homeward led ;--
Thy step like the bound of the light gazelle;
And thy voice more sweet than the soft lute's swell.
My beautiful one! come forth, and bless
Thy hunter who droops with weariness;
I have toil'd unresting a far, far way,
The spoils of the chase at thy feet to lay
Ah!--I hear from afar thy silver tone;--
I clasp thee now, my belov'd!--MY OWN !


Page 98

YES LEAVE ME.

YES leave me !--I can bear it now,
    For e'en while those wild words are spoken,
See I am calm, as though thy vow
    Of faithfulness, had ne'er been broken.

I do not weep !--fast tears may fall
    O'er transient cares, and lighter ill;
But oh! the bitterest griefs of all,
    Are nurs'd in tearless anguish still.

E'en in our happiest days I felt
    Thy love was but a summer-beam,
Which soon, with quick decline would melt
    Away, like some dissolving dream.


Page 99

I know that round that wand'ring heart
    New ties are woven--and thy will
Would rend the ling'ring bond apart,
    Which seemingly unites us still.


Well, be it so !--the charm is o'er
    Which long hath bound me with its spell;
My thoughts shall never waken more
    In tenderness for thee--Farewell!


Page 100

SONG.

I TURN from pleasures witching tone,
    Though sweet the syren-strain may be
And wander silently, and lone,
    To think, my own best love! on thee.

There's not a radiant blossom hung
     On lowly stem, or lofty tree;
There's not a beam of beauty flung
    Around me, but I think of thee.

And never doth the gentle ev'n
    Shed her soft calm o'er earth and sea,
Lighting the golden stars of heav'n,
    But tenderly I think of thee.


Page 101

A SKETCH.

WHERE is he now?--that mightiest one, whose name
Was still the spell-word of the fray,--the sound
Which led his legions on untir'd, to win
Their thousand fights ;--the man whose daring deeds
Were heralded by Fame, till Fame herself
Exhausted sank beneath th' o'er whelming task.
And is his high career of glory done?--
Can he be nothing, to whom monarchs bow'd
Their crown-encircled brows, and nations knelt
In most subservient homage, till he stood
E'en like a god above the conquer'd world?
Where is he now?--Far o'er the rolling waves,
On a most rude, and sea-surrounded rock,
Rises a simple tomb, whose whiteness gleams


Page 102

Through the low-bending branches of the tree,
Which droops, in seeming mournfulness, above
The marble monument it shadows o'er.
'Tis there an Emp'ror sleeps! and on that isle
Which his foes made his dwelling-place, he pin'd
Like a cag'd eagle, till he perish'd there,
Tortur'd by petty tyranny, and bow'd
By low, mean insults. Was it not enough
To wrest away the kingdoms he had won,
His diadem,--his sword,--his child,--and she,
Th' imperial mother of his princely boy ?--
To bind him down on that so desolate spot
A prison'd exile from the land he lov'd,
His own bright, fertile France? A fallen foe
Cast on the mercy of his vanquishers
Had met from gen'rous minds a nobler doom.
He was our enemy !--and he had been
The scourge of human-kind--and if for this
His blood had been required, they had done well
To shed it quickly; not to drain his life


Page 103

By slow sure means, far worse than death itself.
'Tis a stern lesson which his fate holds forth
To after-votaries at ambition's shrine.
Pois'd on the proudest pinnacle of pow'r,
He fell, as doth the breath-stirr'd avalanche,
With fearful, and appalling suddenness,
Yet spreading less of desolation round
Than doth the mountain-terror :--he had done
The work of ruin, ere his star was bow'd
Before the vengeful Genius of the earth,
Whom he had dar'd too far.


Page 104

LINES.

WHEN the beautiful star of the West moves on,
    A lonely gem, through the fields of air;
When the last faint flush of the sun-light's gone
    And no beams but her own are shining there;
Steal through the shades of the twilight love!
The spell of that gentlest hour to prove.

It sinks on the spirit like some sweet balm,
    Shed o'er us from brighter, and happier spheres;
And in suffering bosoms its touching calm
    Awakens the source of delicious tears;
While dark and passionate thoughts, to rest
Are hush'd in the haughty, and erring breast.


Page 105

REVENGE.

I WOULD not, in the wildness of revenge,
Give poison to mine enemy, nor strike
My dagger to his heart, but I would plant
Love--burning--hopeless--and unquenchable--
Within the inmost foldings of his breast,
And bid him die the dark, and ling'ring death,
Of the pale victims, who expire beneath
The pow'r of that deep passion. Earth can show
No bitterness like this !--The shroud of thought
Which gathers round them, gloomy as the grave;--
The wasting, but unpitied pangs, which wear
The frame away, and make the tortur'd mind
Almost a chaos in its agony;--


Page 106

The writhings of the spirit, doom'd to see
A rival bless'd;-and utter, cold, despair :-
These are its torments !-Are they not enough
To satisfy the most remorseless hate ?


Page 107

SONG.

THOU shalt know my love by his eagle-eye,
    And his lofty brow,
Where in richness the dark curls clust'ring lie
    On the forehead's snow!
Look where the brave, and the beautiful meet;
Search where the proud sons of chivalry greet;
Glance o'er the guests of the feudal hall,
Where princes are holding their festival;
And turn to the field, where the battle-word,
Is follow'd by death from the flashing sword.
Brightest, mid all that is lordly, and gay;
Dauntless, and first, in the deadliest fray;
Graceful, and gifted, all others above,
Such shalt thou find him--my own gallant love!


Page 108

ON SEEING

A ROSE IN A GLASS OF WATER,

WITH THE MOTTO

"Je vis,--mais dans les larmes!"

Such is the heart whose treasur'd store
    Of sweet, and early hope is gone:
It withers to revive no more,
    Or lives, like thee, in tears alone!


Page 109

[A shadow, dark as death]

A SHADOW, dark as death, o'er shrouds the beams
Of my pale birth-star !--it so long hath hung
Between the light of happiness, and me,
That I am chill'd with its cold gloominess
E'en to the heart. Oh! I have watch'd in vain,
With hope's most deep intensity, to catch
The bursting forth of but one glorious gleam
Of joy's blest sunshine, through that envious veil.--
Tis there !--still there !--and will not pass away !
Like the black banner of despair, 'tis spread
O'er the dim planet of my destiny !--


Page 110

I LOVE THEE.

I LOVE thee, as I love the calm
    Of sweet, star-lighted hours!
I love thee, as I love the balm
    Of early jes'mine flow'rs.

I love thee, as I love the last
    Rich smile of fading day,
Which lingereth, like the look we cast,
    On rapture pass'd away.

I love thee as I love the tone
    Of some soft-breathing flute
Whose soul is wak'd for me alone,
    When all beside is mute.


Page 111

I love thee as I love the first
    Young violet of the spring;
Or the pale lily, April-nurs'd,
    To scented blossoming.

I love thee, as I love the full,
    Clear gushings of the song,
Which lonely--sad--and beautiful--
    At night-fall floats along,

Pour'd by the bul-bul forth to greet
    The hours of rest and dew;
When melody and moonlight meet
    To blend their charm, and hue.

I love thee, as the glad bird loves
    The freedom of its wing,
On which delightedly it moves
    In wildest wandering.


Page 112

I love thee as I love the swell,
    And hush, of some low strain,
Which bringeth, by its gentle spell,
    The past to life again.

Such is the feeling which from thee
    Nought earthly can allure:
'Tis ever link'd to all I see
    Of gifted--high--and pure!


Page 113

LE TRISTE ADIEU.

OFT have we parted Love! before
With prospects darkly shadow'd o'er,
But never have we sunder'd yet,
    With such wild hopelessness as now,
Since first by fate's caprice we met,
Since first upon each heart was set,
    Too powerful love's recorded vow.
Oh! absence were enough to bear
Without the death-spell of despair!
There is no joy on earth to me
    Where thou art not,--I sigh to hear
That voice of tend'rest melody
    Still breathe its sweetness to mine ear;


Page 114

And words from other lips than thine
    Pass, like the winds, unheeded by;
They cannot cheer this breast of mine,
Which ev'n in palaces would pine,
    For thy dear tone's soft witchery.
Smiles, beautiful as thought can paint,
To me would seem but pale and faint
If I must vainly seek the one,
Whose brightness o'er my soul hath shone;
And eyes of richest light, might beam
Like stars upon me, when their gleam,
Hath pour'd upon the midnight sky,
Its fulness of resplendency;
But dim to me would seem their ray,
    If thine were distant :--I should turn
From sunniest looks in grief away,
    O'er our divided lot to mourn.
Thou think'st my heart is colder grown
Amidst the storms we both have known;
No, thou dost wrong me, dearest!--still
Throbs its warm life-pulse but for thee,


Page 115

With most intense devotion's thrill,
Nor gloomiest hours of gath'ring ill,
    Can shake its deep fidelity.
Wilt thou, with truth as holy, keep
    Affection's glow, unchang'd, and pure?
Shall no dim cloud upon it creep,
    When wealth's gay scenes thy steps allure

[The following three lines connected by large right brace. This is represented here by a smaller right brace at the end of each line so connected.]

In Pleasure's halls, a welcome guest, }
Thou wilt be courted, and carest, }
And smil'd on by the loveliest! }
And wilt thou not too greatly prize
The world's bewildering flatteries,
To dwell, with gentle thoughts, on one,
Whose best, and happiest days, are gone;
And o'er whose path-way tempests throw
    The threat'nings of their angry wing,
Whose ambush'd thunder, soon below
    May burst, in bolts of suffering.
THY web of destiny was wrought,
In colours from the rainbow caught;


Page 116

And golden threads were blended there,
With silken lines of promise fair,
Mine, was the woof of sadden'd grey,
    Unmix'd with aught of brilliant hue;
Fram'd in its varyings to display
    No tints, but those to sorrow true.
And thou perhaps would'st break the chain,
    Entwin'd around us, ere we knew
How heavily its weight of pain,
    Would oft thy mind's repose subdue :--
Let not the cares which round me cling,
    Obscure one moment's bliss for thee ;--
But sever fearlessly the string--
The lingering cord--which will but bring
    Grief!--if it link thee still to me !
Go!--shine where tears are never shed,
    And leave me to my lonely doom:
Soon will my love with life be fled,
    And rest will greet me,-in the tomb!


Page 117

STANZAS.

I SAW the worthless and the vile,
    By Pleasure's light surrounded,
And wond'ringly I mark'd the while,
    Their joy and bliss unbounded.

For Friendship's clasp was warm for them,
    And Love's sweet smiles unshrouded;
And fav'ring Fortune's talisman
    Preserv'd their sky unclouded.

And I beheld the proud,-- the free,--
    A passing homage render;
And lofty genius bend the knee
    Before their painted splendour.


Page 118

Their footsteps, ev'n in Honours halls
    Were hail'd with courteous greeting,
And welcom'd at the festivals
    Where princely men were meeting.

No word of bitterness, or strife,
     A hostile mood revealing,
Came o'er the sunshine of their life
    To freeze the fount of feeling;

While purer spirits pin'd away
    By mental suff'ring faded,
'Twas theirs to keep a thornless way,
    With hearts and minds degraded.

"What spell of pow'r is theirs," I cried,
    "To blind the worlds discerning?"--
"'Tis gold !--'tis gold "--stern Truth replied,
    With shame and sorrow burning!--


Page 119

LINES

WRITTEN ABROAD.

I HAVE but left my pleasant home
    And native vales, to die!--
Ah wherefore did the wish to roam,
So wildly o'er my spirit come,
    And urge so temptingly !

My Mother !--thou wilt hope in vain,
    Thy wandering one's return:--
'Twould calm the bitterness of pain,
If once on thy dear face again
    My parting glance might turn.


Page 120

But sever'd thus by land, and wave,
    From tenderness, and thee,
And all whose love, might sooth, or save,
I perish here-and ev'n my grave
    In stranger-earth must be !

May, 1826


Page [121]

CARDS OF FORTUNE.



Page 123

CARDS OF FORTUNE.*

MANY a graven gem, beset
With gold, is worn as an amulet
In the far-off climes of the East,--a charm
To preserve the bosom from grief and harm.
Within thy breast a spirit dwells,
More powerful ev'n than Arab-spells :--
'Tis Love!--oh, keep it pure--and still
'Twill be thy shield 'gainst many an ill!



PLUCK, in the depth of the midnight hour,
Buds of the beautiful Passion-flow'r;

*These cards are designed to be formed into a pack, for the amusement of an evening circle. [E. A.]


Page 124

Take the young Rose of the snowy vest,
The purest one, and the loveliest
With the twilight Primrose,--and let them be,
Blended with braids of the Sensitive tree:
Pillow thy head on that star-light wreath,
And the balmy spell of its dewy breath
Will cause such dreams o'er thy sleep to steal,
As shall the future to thee unseal,
And show thee, in visions of curtain'd rest,
The one, who shall cherish, and love thee best!



THY steps shall press a foreign shore,
But thou shalt tread thine own no more;
And thou wilt sigh, but sigh in vain,
To view thy native isle again:
In stranger-land thine eyes shall close;--
In stranger-earth thy dust repose :--
Yet one,--thine own belov'd shall be
Parted, by death alone from thee!


Page 125

THOU shalt win wealth, if wealth can bless,
    And fame, if fame be dear;
Or pass in humble happiness,
    The years allowed thee here,
Choose !--but forget not woe, and strife
Are link'd unto ambition's life;--
That envyings follow high renown;--
That riches press the spirit down
With low, mean, cares--but thou art free,
To make, or mar thy destiny!



THY fairest hopes shall perish;
    Thy dearest dreams depart;
The love which thou wilt cherish
    Will feed upon thy heart;
Thy brow shall be o'er shaded
    By darkness, and despair,
And thy pleasant smile be faded
    Before the frown of care;


Page 126

Unless from Pleasure's trance thou wake,
And Error's wildering paths forsake.



IF Spring should bring no bliss to thee,
And Summer should as joyless be,
The Autumn's close will find thee blest,
With all that makes life happiest;
And wintry storms shall shed their wrath
In vain upon thy shelter'd path,
Where Hope's sweet hymn shall still beguile,
And Fortune's sunshine warmly smile!



DARK eyes are steep'd in tears for thee,
    And blue ones lose their lustrous light;
While thine, with careless gaiety,
    Shine on for ever calmly bright.
Revenge will come !--and thou, in turn,
    Shalt lose the looks which charm the many;


Page 127

And long the cold disdain shalt mourn,
    Of one, who ne'er has smil'd on any!



THE clear, warm, waves, which smiling lie
In rest, beneath the summer-sky;--
The sail, in safety wafted on
By light, and perfum'd gales, alone;
The sweetness of the air-harp's sigh
When soft winds wake its melody ;--
A cloudless heav'n;--and thornless flow'rs--
Are emblems of thy coming hours !



THY lips are doom'd awhile to press
The o'erflowing cup of bitterness;
But only for awhile !--the draught
Of suff'ring will be quickly quaff'd,
And sweeter will the future be
For that one taste of ill to thee,


Page 128

Drain'd and forgotten soon: thy years
Will then be free from grief and tears,
And to thy spirit shall be known
The pleasantness of life alone !--



WHEN Roses bloom on Hecla's brow,
And Violets vein the sunless snow;
When birds of Paradise can bear
Unchill'd, Siberia's desert-air;
When man's weak voice shall charm to sleep
The wild, and tempest-shaken deep:--
Then thou shalt win the seeming good,
Thou hast, in vain, so long pursued.



THOU dwellest within the changeless thought
    Of one, whose lightest looks to thee,
Are far more precious, than perfumes brought
    From the sun-bright land of Araby.


Page 129

Richer, than star-like gems, which shed
Their lustrous rays round a royal head,
Is the treasure which true love keeps for thee,
To reward thy prov'd fidelity !--



BEWARE the full of the next May-moon;
But more beware thou, the Ides of June;
Touch no flow'r that the shade falls on;
Move not in dance till the sun's gone down;
Drink not the juice of Oporto's vine;
Pluck not the treacherous Eglantine;
Taste not the fruit of the Orange-grove;
Read not the Mintrel's songs of love;
And thou shalt be prosperous, wealthy, and gay,
Ere a year, and a month have pass'd away!



A BIRD, which droops its wounded wing;
A young flow'r, fading in its spring;


Page 130

A broken lyre, whose ev'ry tone
Of joy and harmony is gone;
A lonely leaf, whose blighted hue
But mocks alike the beam, and dew,
Of sunny April's glowing sky;--
A ruin'd fountain, moss'd, and dry;--
A shatter'd gem ;--a sinking star,
The mirrors of thy fortune are!



REST thee here !--securely rest,
In thine island sojourn blest.
Safety dwells within thy home;
Danger warns thee not to roam,
For afar, on earth, and sea,
Ten-fold perils lurk for thee.
Friendship's smile, and love's caress,
Here shall form thy happiness :--
Rest thee then,--securely rest
In thine island sojourn blest!


Page 131

THY brow is bright, and sweet thy smile;
Thy heart, thy heart, is fill'd with guile;
And though thy softly beaming eye
Affects such gentle sympathy,
Thy heart, thy heart is cold as stone,
And feels but for itself alone :--
For this, thou ever more shalt prove,
That those who know thee, cannot love !



MISTS, from the hand of Sorrow flung,
The planet of thy birth o'er hung;
And round it giant-clouds of shame,
In dark'ning masses, clust'ring came,
While that sweet star grew pale to see
Such threat'nings of deep misery.
But yet despond not!--soon the ray
Of Peace shall chase that gloom away,
And ten-fold happiness shall shine
For evils past, o'er thee, and thine!


Page 132

BEWARE the hand whose daring grasp
Hath wav'd the death-sword in its clasp,
Though fondly to thine own it cling,
With seeming friendship's lingering.
A soldier's hand shall make thy fate,
As Arab-desert desolate,
If thou should'st yet, with daring pride,
On one of war's wild sons confide:
Oh! sadly wilt thou sorrow then
O'er long-past warnings, breath'd in vain.



BELIEVE not all the flatt'ring things,
    Some eyes have said to thee;
Nor heed the tender whisperings,
    Of love, though sweet they be!
The look and tone alike deceive,
And subtle is the web they weave
For thy poor heart--but thou shalt yet
Their pow'r defy, their charm forget,


Page 133

And in a true, and gen'rous breast
Thy hopes shall find a happier rest!



SMILE on!--thou wert not form'd for tears;
    And if their trace hath been
Upon thy cheek, in those bright years,
    When life's first hopes were green;
They were but as the fost'ring dew
    Upon the young flow'r's bloom,
Which nourisheth its grace of hue,
    And richness of perfume !--
Smile on !--for blest shall be thy lot,
    And brilliant thy career :--
Oh! sure the world can offer not
    A fairer promise here!--



WHEN next the Rose on its bough shall bloom,
And the soft Lily bursts from its silken tomb,


Page 134

The star of thy destiny brighter shall shine
Than it e'er hath done yet--and a glow divine,
Of pure, and fadeless joy, shall be
The gift of the smiling fates to thee.



THOU dost pursue a fleeting shade
    Which soon will pass away,
Swiftly as morning mist-wreath's fade
    Before the Fire-God's ray:
Then to her long-deserted rest,
Within thy warm, but wearied breast,
Peace, like the nestling dove, shall come
To make, and keep, once more her home!



WAND'RING winds, still roving on;
Rainbow-tints, just seen and gone;
Butterflies with painted wing
Mid young spring-flow'rs hovering;--


Page 135

Meteor-gleams, whose changing ray
Is flown, ere we can mark its play;
All these things resemble thee,
Capricious !--light !--yet fancy-free!



YES, there was one, to whom thy name
Like breathing's of sweet music came;
One who beheld in thee a star
Of guiding light, though seen afar;
And turn'd to thee with love intense,
Yet pure as early innocence.
Thou hast dispell'd that dream but ne'er
Another in thy heart shall share :--
Though many flatter, more caress,
Thy doom is--lasting loneliness!



THRICE happy !--no sorrow thy breast shall know
Till our land's bright roses in dust lie low;


Page 136

Till trampled and torn by the foe-man's tread,
On our glorious banners disgrace is shed;
Till our soldiers turn from the fight to flee,
And ocean is freed from our mastery;
Till a tyrant's chain, or a hero's grave,
Is all that is left for the true and brave;
And foreign standards are planted o'er,
The free-born breasts of our native shore !--



OH! banish the thoughts which enchain thee,
    As if by enchantment,--ere yet
The probe of reality pain thee
    With pangs thou may'st never forget!
Awake from thy passionate dreaming,
    While now for a moment thou'rt free;
And turn thee from false visions teeming,
    With death, to thy fortunes, and thee.
Thou shalt gain what the world cannot render
    Of peace, and delight, and repose;


Page 137

And a warm heart's devotion shall tender
    Affections soft balm for thy woes!



GENTLE and pure, shall the happiness be,
Shed over thy dwelling, and centred in thee!
Dear as the Music of days that are gone;
Soft as a beautiful vision that's flown;
Soothing and calm as the moon's silver ray,
When she smilingly chases the night clouds away
Tender and sweet as the nightingale's song,
Borne on the flower-scented breezes along;
Precious as home to the wanderer's heart,
And enduring as Truth--it shall only depart
When the chill of the grave o'er each feeling is thrown,
And the darkness of death o'er thy spirit comes on!



DARKLY, darkly, Misfortune's wing
    Is o'er thee rolling its heavy cloud;


Page 138

Slowly, slowly, 'tis gathering,
    Cold, and gloomy, as pleasure's shroud.
Brightly, brightly, the bursting beams
    Of courage and hope shall struggle through,
Sweetly, sweetly, the silent gleams
    Of happiness chase its raven hue:
Firmly, firmly, sustain thy lot--
That passing shadow shall harm thee not.



PAUSE!--'ere thy choice hath clasp'd the chain
Which may not be unloos'd again;
For though of gold the links may be
They will not press less painfully.
Nor will the fetters bound by pride
The aching of thy bosom hide.
An empire's wealth would ill atone
For feelings crush'd, and peace o'erthrown ;--
Nor might a despot's pow'r repay
The spirit's sunshine pass'd away!


Page 139

HAST thou e'er seen a moonlight path
    Upon the wild waves thrown,
Binding their peacefulness or wrath
    As with a silvery zone,
And shining, 'mid the darkness there
    More bright than it could gleam elsewhere?
Ev'n such in life thy way shall be!
A moonlight track o'er sorrow's sea!--



BEWARE thou the voice of the stranger,
    Though gentle its accents may be,
For sorrow, beguiling, and danger,
    Will dwell in its music for thee.
And be not thou too much believing
    In eyes that with tenderness shine,
Or bitter will be their deceiving
    Of feelings reflected in thine,


Page 140

And smiles in whose eloquent beaming,
    Live sweetness, and beauty, and light,
Will mock thee with treacherous seeming,
    Then leave thee to Misery's night !--



FINIS





DECK, PRINTER, IPSWICH.




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