British Women Romantic Poets Project

The Test of Virtue and other Poems.

Miss P. Barrell.


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British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
2002
I.D. No. BarrPTestO

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 88
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


The test of virtue and other poems

Barrell, P


Printed for C. Chapple, ... and T. Boosey
London,
1811

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:56. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:56mf.]


The editors thank the Shields Library, University of California, Davis, for its support for this project.

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All poems, line groups, and lines are represented. All material originally typeset has been preserved, with the exception of running heads, the original prose line breaks, signature markings and decorative typographical elements. Page numbers and page breaks have been preserved. Pencilled annotations and other damage to the text have not been preserved.


Page [i]

THE
TEST OF VIRTUE,
AND
OTHER POEMS.


Page [ii]


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[Frontispiece]


WILHELM'S DAUGHTER.

                 "Away, away, thou flatt'ring man,
                 "This language may be fine;
                 "But counsel surely more befits
                 "Where looks like silver shine.

London, Published by C. Chapple, Pall Mall, and T. Boosey, Royal Exchange, June, 1811.

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Page [iii]

THE
TEST OF VIRTUE, AND
OTHER POEMS.

BY THE LATE

MISS P. BARRELL,


AUTHOR OF RICHES AND POVERTY,
A TALE.
London,

PRINTED FOR C. CHAPPLE, PALL MALL;
AND T. BOOSEY, BROAD STREET, EXCHANGE.
1811.
Page [iv]

London:--Printed by G. Hayden, Brydges-street, Covent-garden.




Page [1]

THE
TEST OF VIRTUE,
&c.

THE
TEST OF VIRTUE.

        "Great heaven! how frail thy creature man is made;
        "How by himself insensibly betray'd!
        "In our own strength unhappily secure,
        "Too little cautious of the adverse power;
        "And by the blast of self-opinion mov'd,
        "We wish to charm, and seek to be belov'd."
--PRIOR.


PART I.

WHERE fields were green, and where the willows bent,
And lofty trees romantic shadow lent;
Where the clear murm'ring rill was heard to play,
And shepherds covert found from Phoebus' ray,


Page 2

Oft walk'd at morn or eve, lock'd arm in arm,
Two friends, who sweetly felt soft Friendship's charm:
From youth to prime the genial warmth had grown,
And many a grace in either breast had sown;
For well each other's merits they approv'd,
As friends confided, and as brothers lov'd;
Each eminent in virtue, just and kind,
To study, and to piety inclin'd,
Appear'd a shining pattern for mankind.
Suppliant, to Kendrick, doubting Merit came;
For counsel, celebrated was his name;
And well could he display superior sense
In flowing and resistless eloquence;
While Albert, 'midst his infant circle dwelt,
And all life's sympathies supremely felt;
It chanc'd, as once they in their walks had met,
Their converse grew from social to debate;
And first was struck th' opposing string to jar,
And first appear'd their sentiments at war.


Page 3

Their theme was Virtue's influence on mankind,
Vice to controul, and Passion's power to bind--
Internal Virtue, that could stand her ground,
Tho' fond Desire with flatterers tempted round:
Of worth tenacious, and unblemish'd life,
Unknown to lust, to avarice, or strife,
Kendrick her power maintained, and fond began
To paint perfections of a virtuous man;
'Till Albert cried, "oh! picture, wond'rous fair,
"With which there is no mortal can compare;
"Fair Truth, for whom 'twas painted, would aver
" 'Twas finely colour'd, but it was not her;
"And man as well might hope to reach the sky,
"As elevate his earthly powers so high;
"Much do they need a subject for their praise,
"Whose high encomiums man's perfections raise;
"Man, form'd t'elude the sense, and cheat the eye,
"Son of wild prejudice and frailty."


Page 4

    "Who e'er presumed," cries Kendrick, "man was pure?
"Thou see'st extremes, nor mediums canst endure;
"While most are hov'ring o'er the middle line,
"Few are like demons, few as angels shine;
"Yet sacred Virtue oft maintains her ground,
"Tho' dangers threat, or syrens tempt around;
"But over partial to humility,
"Thou'dst not commend, did Virtue challenge thee.
"How doth it chance, for lately all mankind
"Seem fallen strangely low in Albert's mind?
"Hast thou been studying that philosophy
"That doth too deep the shades of life espy?
"That sees through dreary glooms mankind so fell,
"That fit they only seem with fiends to dwell;
"Their fairest actions, springing from vile source,
"And life's best paths one black polluted course;
"These, from their own base natures, judge mankind,
"And hence can nothing but corruption find.--


Page 5

"Oh! some of Virtues heav'n deriv'd, there are,
"Their motives spotless as their actions fair,
"And this their lives, their characters declare.
"Actions will speak, by these are understood
"The fair aspiring spirits of the good!
"Assur'd I feel a sweet persuasion here
"Confirms my bosom in a truth so clear:
"But where the merit? Virtue's charms entice,
"And chasten'd Sense abhors the paths of Vice;
"Self-approbation's blessed balm is more
"Than India's wealth, or than the whole world's store;
"And this, howe'er so strong Temptation's art,
"The good man keeps---'tis med'cine for each smart;
"Though passions lure, though gifts and honors woo,
"The shield that guards his peace he'll not forego;
"Self-approbation in his final hour
"Shall strip stern death of all terrific power."
Low on the ground the looks of Albert turn'd,
And thus he spoke as conscious feeling burn'd:


Page 6

"Nay, Kendrick, saw I but man's purity,
"This claim so just my tongue should ne'er deny;
"Saw I the springs that move his actions pure,
"A self-offending charge I'd not endure;
"Conviction sweetly striking, how could I
"Act such injurious hypocrisy?
"Yet think not, Kendrick, that my reason tends
"To fix on man the character of fiends;
"To join with those who chase all light away,
"Nor leave heaven's image on our mortal clay.
"Yet, oh! from fit temptation guard us, heav'n!
"How oft on rocks confiding man is driv'n.
"To faultless lives, oh! who hath just pretence;
"And heart and act how oft at variance.
"On fair externals some alone rely,
"Yet lawless lusts indulge in theory--
"Thus purest maxims outwardly impart,
"And nourish vicious passions in the heart;
"To man respectful, but to heaven untrue,
"To vice a censor, and a vot'ry too."


Page 7

    "Such live," cried Kendrick, "and deceive by arts,
"While harpies feed corrosive on their hearts.
"Such still deceive, but must we draw from thence,
"That unto virtue no one hath pretence?
"This breast can witness virtue yet hath charms,
"To warm the heart, to banish all alarms;
"To render valueless the wreath of Fame,
"And all the honors of an earthly name:
"Yet where the boast? for heavenly joys in view
" 'Tis grief to quit, 'tis transport to pursue.
"In early youth life's charms could not allure--
"I sought substantial pleasures to secure;
"Bright Beauty spread her blandishments in vain,
"And Pleasure tempted to her flatt'ring train.
"Lost in the grasp all earth's enjoyments are,
"Alike beneath our study and our care--
"Though Hope's bright sun gilds o'er the doom of fate,
"Yet all her smiles in sorrows terminate.
"Think not my sense, or wisdom, I'd commend,
"In still aspiring to a nobler end."


Page 8

Thus Kendrick spoke, but met no kind reply;
In musing silence wrapt they homeward hie.

PART II.

SHUT in his study, in reflection drown'd,
His pleasure Kendrick in seclusion found:
The triumph students prize oft had he known,
Yet Reason kept within his breast her throne;
While green the laurels bloom'd upon his brow,
Nought to vain-glory would his heart allow;
But emulative of the eagle's flight,
Still higher palms were present to his sight:
Yet mild his looks---unrais'd his modest brow,
His worth commanded, but his claims were low,
But where in man doth fair perfection dwell?
More fam'd to fall than fitted to excel.--


Page 9

To fetter passion in her madd'ning reign
With Resignation's power and Reason's chain,
Would Kendrick counsel, and with brow severe,
Condemn'd the lawless sigh, the fruitless tear:
Yet frail to virtue, doom'd he was to feel
What hardly to himself he would reveal---
He knew unauthoris'd desire to prove,
And nurs'd fond Fancy in the shadowy grove;
There pictur'd scenes where with one beauteous maid
He'd clasp elysium in the silent shade;
Till Truth th' illusion broke, then would he sigh,
That her he lov'd was for his hopes too high.
But not in softness lost, his manly soul
Knew the fond wish determin'd to controul;
More high pursuits his firmer judgment held,
And frowning Cupid saw his efforts quell'd;
Till when relax'd from literary toil
He'd lean in soft repose, and thought beguile;
Then Love's sweet visions stealing o'er his heart,
Bade the warm tear of fond possession start--


Page 10

Detach'd from ev'ry theme but this alone,
The victor took within his breast the throne.

'Twas on an evening hour, and when secure,
In pious toil, from Love's seductive pow'r,
O'er his past studies Kendrick careful bent,
And aspirations to Fame's temple sent.
A lecture had he penn'd on virtuous peace,
On man's acquirements join'd with Heart's grace.
'Twas such a piece as Piety might claim,
But modest Kendrick e'en withheld his name,
Yet all would know from whence such language came.
While thus employ'd, a stranger audience seeks,
And, soon admitted, thus his errand breaks;
"O Kendrick! here an aged stranger see,
"Who comes, he fears, on hopeless embassy.
"Thy honor bright---thy virtues too severe,
"Do make me tremble to offend thine ear,
"Whose heart, if love e'er struck, to make it yield,
"Repell'd the shaft as with an iron shield.


Page 11

"Alas! that spotless honor should inspire
"Passion, resistless--an unlawful fire---
"Plain will I speak, because, unvers'd in art---
"Thou captive hold'st a beauteous lady's heart:
"A hapless fair, whom cruel fate commands
"With Kendrick ne'er to wear the nuptial bands."
Thus spoke the stranger, and from Kendrick's eye
Did the keen shaft of indignation fly.
Awhile he stood, then cried, "If thou'rt sincere,
"Nor mean'st with tempting tales t' insult mine ear,
"This answer straight unto thy lady bear.
"Hopeless for me must lawless passion burn,
"Which Kendrick's bosom never shall return.
"Alas! how counter to my fond desire!
"That vice would check, and virtue would inspire.

"Yet," cries the stranger, "lend indulgent ear,
"And in compassion my sad story hear;--
"Oh! not for vice an advocate am I,
"But for the claims of sweet humanity!


Page 12

"If honor ever dwelt in human form,
"Sure honor doth her virgin charms adorn;---
"If radiant virtue, fair benignity,
"And angel grace, and sweet humility,
"E'er dwelt with mortals, in this maid they shine,
"And make her earthly charms appear divine.
"Oh! then with pitying heart the story hear
"Of her whom only love could lead to err."

"Nay," Kendrick cries, "if thus the maid doth stand
"Beneath bright Honor's absolute command,
"Why doth she not her forces rouse to arms,
"Ere Vice pollute her fair unsullied charms?
"The virtues all should call their powers about,
"To drive the approaching fiend Dishonor out;
"Frail virtues they, with all their boasted charms,
"That, too indulgent, go without their arms."

"O Kendrick! hear--this maid is young and fair,
"And, oh! she was as pure as angels are,


Page 13

"Till love allur'd---now wretched must she be---
"She languishes and dies for love and thee:
"High is her rank, unblemish'd is her fame,
"A princely fortune, and a royal name:---
"But cease, incautious tongue, no more I'll say,
"Thou now despisest, and would'st then betray."

"Nay," Kendrick cries, and quick expression rush'd
To his fixt eye, and in each feature blush'd;---
"Nay, aged messenger, thou do'st me wrong,
"Her hapless passion ne'er should pass my tongue;
"Yet much my heart lamenteth to inspire,
"In place of virtue, an unhallow'd fire."

"Ah! then, relying on thy words so kind,
"Which well doth paint the sweetly pitying mind;
"Shall I commit a peerless princess' name?
"And to thine honor yield a princess' fame!
"Oh! dar'd she to bestow her lovely hand,
"Thou might'st her fortunes and her heart command;


Page 14

"Might'st stand with princely candidates, and wear
"The envied favors of the brightest fair.--
"But, ah! not such the freedom of the maid,
"Whose peace relentless love is doom'd to shade:
"Oh! royalty, hath bondage hard to bear,
"Princes more fetter'd than their subjects are."

"Ah! hoary man, thy words my thoughts perplex,
"Hath beauteous Alice, fairest of her sex,
"Whom oft I did commend, and much admir'd,
"Because in honor, as in grace attir'd---
"Hath she one tender thought?--alas! bright maid,
"With warmest gratitude that thought's repaid."
Deep from his heart the stranger heav'd a sigh,
Then cried,---"yet must devoted Alice die?
"Thou'st seen her graces---then I need not speak---
"Her snow-white forehead, her vermillion cheek;
"Thou'st seen her form 'mongst other nymphs appear
"A rose 'mongst dasies, a distingnish'd star!


Page 15

"Thou'st heard her voice, when solemn organs play'd---
"Doom not to death the sweet harmonious maid.
"Fetter'd by circumstance--no armor lent,
"Oh! love would plead, and pitying heaven relent:
"Ah! then, how sweet thou might'st thine hours employ,
"At once receiving and dispensing joy."

"Love's advocate," cries Kendrick, "say no more,
"My heart dissolves, my scruples all are o'er;
"Remembrance pictures how I've met her eye,
"That in my bosom rais'd the tender sigh;
"So soft its glance, presumptuous thought would breathe,
"Were I a prince, O Love! I'd claim thy wreath
"Thus have I view'd the too enchanting maid,
"And with sweet interest her love's repaid;---
"None, none, but her, hath e'er my wishes own'd---
"None, none, but her, sits on my heart enthron'd."


Page 16

"Ah! kind compliance," did the stranger cry,
As to the ground he cast his melting eye;
"Ah! kind compliance, instant will I bear
"Thy welcome answer to the royal fair;
"But thus resolving favor to dispense,
"Suffers thy virtuous heart no violence;
"For if it should so great her grief would be,
"As not thy wish'd compliance could outweigh"
"Alas!" cries Kendrick, "would I could profess
"My virtues stronger, my affections less;
"Truth bids me swear by Alice' glitt'ring eye,
"That 'tis with sweetest transports I comply!"

The stranger silent stood, and deep he sigh'd,
Then backward threw his cloak on either side;
And from his face he drew the hoary beard,
And Albert's form to Kendrick's view appeared;
"And, ah!" he cried, "in me thy tempter see,
"And read within thyself man's frailty!


Page 17

"To prove thy weakness, and to check thy pride,
"Heaven bade thy guardian angel stand aside,
"That thou, confiding in thy power, might'st find,
"And own thyself as frail as thou art blind."

Fixt in confusion, fallen Kendrick stands,
With eyes bent downwards, and with folded hands;
While Albert view'd, with sympathetic breast,
Then in kind accents, thus his friend addrest--
"Ah! pardon, dearest Kendrick, that I use
"A freedom nought but friendship would excuse;
"Ah! pardon Kendrick, what in friendship's zeal,
"This Test of Virtue makes thine heart to feel:
"Far dearer to this bosom art thou now,
"Than when so lately bent with pride thy brow;
"Thou thought'st temptations might thine heart assail
"As harmless as 'gainst rocks the dashing hail;
"But hence instructed wilt on heavens rely,
"While man's frail strength grows weakness in thine eye."


Page 18

As thus he spoke, the heart of Kendrick strove,
At Friendship's mien, though ready to reprove;
Yet his ill passions outwardly suppress'd,
Turn'd back their influence on his wounded breast;
While, clasping Albert's hand, he faintly cried,
"To thee I owe the knowledge of my pride;
"Unworthy of thy friendship sure am I,
"Victim of passion and hyprocrisy ."
He ceas'd, and full o'er all his bosom came
Keen sense of disappointment and of shame,
'Till, both united, all his powers subdue,
And pitying Albert from his side withdrew.

O Goddess! that o'er solitude presides,
Where caution's dropt, and art no longer guides;
O spirit! that in deep seclusion dwells,
Genius of close recesses and of cells,
That see'st the heart of man disrobed all,
Before whose eyes he lets Deception fall;


Page 19

Who view'st the treach'rous friend destruction plot,
And mark'st fair Virtue's shade and honors blot:
Say thou (who witness'd here) how Kendrick bore
That solitude, that grateful was before;
How, for a while, he stood so sadly calm,
His burning forehead in his open palm,
Like a pent storm, then how resistless all
His fury undistinguish'd 'gan to fall;
How from his lips low murmur'd curses broke,
That lately nought but truth and honor spoke;
With his clenched hands his brow he wildly beat,
And stamp'd his labor'd fragments under feet,
'Till all exhausted with the unworthy rage,
Grief's softening showers descended to assuage:
Gradual the stream of self-reproaches turns
On Albert all his hottest fury burns;
While Alice's image rushing on his heart,
Doth make his soul as from demon start;
Alice, the harmless cause of his dire fate,
He spurns her lately lov'd idea with hate;


Page 20

Bright royal maid! alike unconscious all,
Or of his favor, or his favor's fall.

PART III.

YE proud, of feeling keen, I write to you,
Your bosoms shall attest the picture true;
Ah! what's the crime most hard to be forgiven,
And yet uncensur'd by the voice of heaven?
That crime which purest natures cannot shun,
'Though by it hated oft, and oft undone!
It is to know what we would ever hide
Our heart's sad frailty, or our wounded pride;
The friend whose piercing eye discerns our vice,
Proclaims his knowledge at our friendship's price;
In vain, with sweetest balm, he may approach,
His smile seems triumph and his glance reproach;


Page 21

Fondly our friend we clasp, his error shewn,
But ill can brook his knowledge of our own;
Not close affected, partial do we view,
Forgetting that a vice deforms his brow;
While, should our failings e'er inform his breast,
In every act and word they seem express'd;
Misconstruing Jealousy will empire bear,
And wounded Pride the anxious bosom tear
Thus conscious, Kendrick now dejected sighs,
In standing full reveal'd to Albert's eyes;
While apprehensions dire his bosom rend,
That Albert's knowledge further may extend;
That in confiding hour the story known,
His fame's fair fabrick should be overthrown:
Musing with folded arms he'd think o'er all
Keen Albert's arts t'ensure his virtue's fall:
His penetrating powers, too well confess'd,
That well had read the secret of his breast;
Then would he mourn his own deluded heart,
And trace the joy that did so sweetly dart.


Page 22

The fires of hope emerging from despair,
When Alice's love gave transport to his ear;
Now strikes the thought how all his sweet surprise
Was hail'd by Albert's scrutinizing eyes;
Arrested here by shame and wounded pride,
Within his hands his aspect would he hide;
And though no eye could witness his disgrace,
Shame's crimson current mantled in his face.

Accustom'd, he with bright superior force,
To run a spotless unreproved course;
Accustom'd he to hear the wretched sue,
Accustom'd he to give compassion too;
But now become its object, can he bear
Reflections of a fallen character?
As thoughts contending thus invade his breast,
In Albert's mien new kindness seems express'd;
Soft'ning each accent, beaming in each look,
And speaking pity, Kendrick ill can brook,


Page 23

For in his eyes discerning Albert read
Offended pride and ardent spirit fled;
And hence he yields unto his judgment more
Submitting where he had oppos'd before
Fearful of aught that Jealousy might call,
Assuming something from the other's fall;
More gentle too, and kindly partial grown,
He feels a tenderness before unknown;
Conceives his thoughts improv'd, his sentiment
More just, more pure, and yet less confident;
While marking still his cold reserve--too plain,
He strives his former friendship to regain.
Kendrick mean-time, his passions all repress'd,
Feels angry tumults struggling in his breast;
In Albert's presence wretched doth he grow,
And inly curses him who makes him so;
'Till now 'twas sweet, the touch of Friendship's hand,
Fair emblem of the heart uniting band;
A tender pressure Albert's would impart,
Warm as the dispositions of his heart;


Page 24

But Kendrick now, with passion ill-controul'd,
Would almost wish to break the gentle hold
Involv'd in gloom he ponders o'er his fate,
Returning Albert's tenderness with hate.

How is his pleasure mark'd, each prospect bright,
In Albert's fatal knowledge meets a blight;
But chief, one fond pursuit 'twas that of fame,
Still more to elevate his honor'd name;
Long in deep study wrapt, a work all fair
In pious beauty now doth crown his care;
See public expectation fondly bend,
And o'er his brow the laurel wreath suspend:
The writer known, altho' conceal'd his name,
He would have pictur'd dreams of flatt'ring fame;
But Albert's image strikes his conscious heart,
And Shame doth aim her dire invenom'd dart;
The pages read by all, must Albert see
Their minds, how partial, but more light'ned he!


Page 25

Oh! when the language, soaring as its theme,
Shall gradual rise to sacred Virtue's flame;
How then will Albert, with contemptuous smile,
Detect his vain pursuit, condemn his toil;
And, ah! distracting thought, in social hour,
When exultation holds her sportive power;
Perhaps commit the story of his shame,
And link disgrace for ever to his name;
Wild busy Fancy direful pictures wrought,
Existence without fame he held as naught;
But, Oh! to stand contemn'd, despoil'd, and low!
What would he not to ward so fell a blow?
Gloomy he ponder'd, wishing o'er and o'er
That Albert liv'd to cross his plans no more;
Deep in the close recesses of his breast,
A demon fell had lain in quiet rest;
But now his pride attack'd, up rose the fiend,
His dark demoniac influence to lend;
And Kendrick's mind infernal schemes employ,
'Till he determines Albert to destroy.


Page 26


PART IV

BRIGHT from night's shadows rose the golden morn,
And glitt'ring gems the opening flowers adorn;
Sweet sang the birds amid' the shadowing grove
Where Albert, with his book, retir'd to rove;
For thus at early day he used to roam
Among the green paths near his peaceful home;
Unconscious mus'd he, nor conceiv'd of ill,
While a hir'd ruffian lurk'd intent to kill;
See the pale murd'rer from his ambush dart,
And sheath the fatal weapon in his heart;
"Ah! heavenly powers!" the victim only cried,
Ere pride avenged was, and Albert died.
In Death's dread livery clad, he ghastly lay,
While Philomel sung plaintive on her spray:
'Twas on that morn his beauteous partner rose,
And anxious she to Kendrick's dwelling goes;


Page 27

Guilt struck his heart, and fear shook every limb,
As faultering he ask'd Acelia in.
Smiling, advanc'd the fair, and, "Oh!" she said,
"A strange alarm my footsteps hither led;
"But now 'tis past--Kendrick, to see thee well,
"Doth give me more delight than words can tell;
"Though seldom struck by superstitious fears,
"Or dreams of banquet halls, or passing biers;
"Yet were my reas'ning powers almost at flight
"By visions wild that harrass'd me last night;
"Still as I gaze around, my troubled breast,
"By superstitious fancy is impress'd.--
"Dreaming last night, methought I wandered here,
"I saw these walls--these hangings--Oh! how clear,
"This blue settee, that cloak was hanging there,
"And thou sat troubled in yon easy chair.
"I saw thee rise, and walk the room, and start,
"Then cry, 'I'll strike a dagger to his heart!'
"Then, all transform'd, methought, the scene appear'd,
"And all thy garments were with crimson smear'd:


Page 28

"Thy hands were bound--I saw stern Justice waits,
"Methought that Albert led thee to thy fate!
"Frighted I wak'd, then sleeping--Oh! again,
"The self-same, vision o'er my fancy came;
"But my incautious tongue--O Kendrick! why
"Thy cheek so pale, and so alarm'd thine eye?
"Why dost thou thus forlorn and frighted seem,
"When all that I have told is but a dream?"
Pale, and with clasped hands and vacant stare,
Like the cold statue model'd for despair,
Stood hapless Kendrick, 'till, with sudden start,
Deep from his breast he groan'd, and smote his heart.
"Ye strings of life--Oh! be ye broke," he cried,
"If his all-noble blood the ground hath died.
"Fate--fate relent--too late my heart is torn--
"Oh! say doth Albert walk abroad this morn?"

"By this time he's return'd," she cries, "but, ah!
"Dear Kendrick, fright me not with such despair;


Page 29

"Alas! terrific all around me seems,
"Kind heaven avert there should be truth in dreams."

"Ah! fate," he cries, "Acelia, ever mourns,
"For Albert ne'er will from the woods return;
"Oh! could I yet the cursed deed prevent--
"Heaven stay his arm---Oh! hov'ring fate relent!"
This said, he frantic from his dwelling goes,
He seeks the wood, and stamp'd are all his woes;
Remorse his heart with keenest anguish rent:
He sees the bow of heaven's just vengeance bent;
Nor seeks t'escape, but to the court he goes,
And in stern Justice's grasp himself he throws."


Page 30

WILHELM'S DAUGHTER.


PART I.
LOVE.

SIR Landenbert was wont so much
    Of life and fire to have;
None at the feast like him was gay,
    None in the field so brave.

Why then all pensive now and sad?
    His heart with care is torn,
With folded arms and forehead bent,
    He walks the woods forlorn.


Page 31

No more he seeks the festive dance,
    Or courts the ladies' praise;
But on old Wilhelm's cottage he
    For many an hour doth gaze.

He shuns the busy haunts of men,
    And seeks the spreading groves;
His heart is charm'd, his reason shock'd,
    He Wilhelm's daughter loves!

He met her on the verdant hill,
    And on her fixt his eye;
She blush'd beneath the ardent gaze,
    Then hastily passed by.

He met her in the lowly vale,
    His heart with love did bound;
He snatch'd her sunburnt hand, and cast
    His arm her waist around.


Page 32

Forth from his grasp her way she broke,
    And, "hence, Sir Knight," did cry,
"Is this a freedom fit for you,
    "To one so poor as I?"

The knight he to his castle went,
    And as he went, he sigh'd
"Why is this lovely, lovely girl,
    "To poverty allied?"

The knight he to his castle went,
    And to himself sigh'd he,
"Oh! would to heaven this lovely girl
    "Had been of high degree!"


Page 33


PART II.
JEALOUSY.

SIR Landenbert walk'd o'er the plains;
    'Twas in the evening hour,
When flow'rets close, and wearied swains
    Solace amid' the bower.

He sees a youth of graceful form,
    A nymph leans on his arm;
'Tis Wilhelm's daughter dress'd in smiles,
    And heighten'd every charm.


Page 34

The knight was pale, he scarce respir'd,
    Cold drops bedew'd his brow;
In battle's field full oft he'd been,
    But ne'er was faint till now.

With warring thoughts, and hurried step,
    He to the castle went;
His cheek was pale, his eye was wild,
    His heart with anguish rent.

Sir Eldred in the hall he met,
    And, "ah! my friend," exclaims,
"My secret love so long conceal'd,
    "At length will burst in flames.

"I've stood the pointed shaft of Love,
    "I've Reason's lectures borne;
"With Adoration, Honor, Pride,
    "By turns have I been torn.


Page 35

"But Jealousy, thou master stroke,
    "Thy pangs I cannot stand--
"O Eldred! Wilhelm's daughter hath
    "My heart at her command.

"And Wilhelm's daughter have I seen
    "Lean on another's arm;
"Ah! Love, thou art not to be bought!
    "That peasant's form'd to charm."

"For shame, for shame, Sir Landenbert,"
    Sir Eldred smiling cried;
"And what to thee, altho' she were
    "This handsome peasant's bride.

"For shame, for shame, Sir Landenbert,
    "Break from such shackles free;
"What tho' she were the peasant's bride,
    "She might thy mistress be."


Page 36

"O Eldred! never hast thou felt
    "That soul-subduing dart;
"I'd rather die ten thousand deaths,
    "Than wound her gentle heart!

"Oh! if her envied love is his,
    "I've nought to do but die;
"Wealth, power, and greatness never could
    "The heart's affection buy."

PART III.
HONOR.

THERE came a fortune-telling man,
    He round the village went;
And to old Wilhelm's cottage he
    His tott'ring footsteps bent.


Page 37

Fair Anna at the cottage door
    Was strewing corn around;
Her gown was of the russet coarse,
    Her lovely hair unbound.

"Oh! cross my palm, thou gentle maid,
    "And I'll thy fortune tell;
"Across yon mead there lives a youth
    "Who loves thee passing well."

"Begone, begone, thou flatt'ring man,
    "Thy cant I will not hear;
"A silver piece I know would buy
    "The promise of a peer."

"Oh! yet, Oh! yet, thou gentle maid,
    "I'll tell what's, past and o'er--
"Last eve you walk'd forth with a swain,
    "And you that swain adore."


Page 38

"Away, thou ill-divining man,
    "A flatt'rer thou must be;
"I talk'd to him--I smil'd on him,
    "But he is nought to me."

"Oh! yield thine ear, thou gentle maid,
    "A knight in castle high,
"Doth frequent from his balcony
    "Toward thy cottage sigh."

Her cheek is flushed, her bosom heaves,
    "Oh! name that knight," cried she;
"With silver will I cross thy hand,
    "Then prithee answer me."

He on his grey beard laid his hand,
    And hemming o'er and o'er;
For, ah! he seems a feeble man,
    Full eighty years or more.


Page 39

"That love-lorn knight I cannot name,
    "But dearly doth he love;
"And if thou would'st his mistress be,
    "He'd ever faithful prove."

"Away ill-fortune telling man,
    "Disgrace to knighthood he
"Who would seduce an artless maid,
    "A splendid wretch to be!"

"Forgive, forgive me, beauteous maid,
    "For, by thy charms so bright,
"In speaking thus I slander'd have
    "A fond and noble knight.

"He loves thee more than all the world,
     "Thy voice is life to him;
"Thy red cheek makes the roses pale,
     "Thine eye the jewel dim."


Page 40

"Away, away, thou flatt'ring man,
    "This language may be fine;
"But counsel surely more befits,
    "Where locks like silver shine.

"Away, away, thou flatt'ring man,
    "I'll range the vallies free,
"Since he is not of humble birth,
    "Nor I of high degree."

"O lovely maid! the rains descend
    "On valley and on bank;
"O lovely maid! the virtues smile
    "Unbrib'd by any rank.

"The ivy round the oak entwines,
    "The tall trees shade the rose;
"And love is like the heaven's sweet grace,
    "That no distinction knows."


Page 41

His heart was throbbing in his breast--
    No fortune-teller he--
His beard, his cloak, he throws aside,
    And drops upon his knee.

"Sir Landenbert!" alarm'd, she cries,
    "Her hand conceals her face;
"Her beautiful confusion gives
    "Each charm an added grace.

"Sir Landenbert!" alarm'd, she cries,
    "Why do you kneel to me?"
Her hand be folded to his heart,
    "Thou dearest maid!" cried he:

"Thou dearest maid, my wealth, my heart
    "Are all at thy command;
"Thy peace and honor will I guard,
    "The sweet reward thy hand."


Page 42

THE
CHINESE LOVER.

IN Pekin's stately city dwelt
    A lady matchless fair;
Throughout all China there was none
    That could with her compare.
'Twas more than beauty, more than wit
    That fir'd her speaking eye;
With one sweet glance she stole the heart
                Of Hoang-Si.

Her cheek outvied the mountain snows,
    Her brows by nature were
More thin, more beautifully drawn,
    Than others pluc'k with care.


Page 43

'Twas on her cheek, and on her brow,
    And in her deep-set eye
Love bade his arrows lurk, to wound
                Poor Hoang-Si.

Why sweetly tott'ring mov'd the maid
    In garden and in grove?
Too little were her beauteous feet
    To bear the queen of love!
Why strove she not by look or word?
    But stood with downcast eye--
Love gave her silence voice to speak
        To Hoang-Si.

When Hansi mov'd, all other grace
    Eclipsed was and gone;
As taper lights when Phoebus shines;
    As night at break of morn.


Page 44

Like little diamonds set in snow
    Were her bright eyes, but, ah!
Relentless parents bade them beam
                On Song-lin-shah.

Oh! why did Fortune make her rich?
    Or why was I so poor?
I met the lustre of her eye,
    And thought my bliss secure;
'Till richer proffers favor woo'd,
    Successful woo'd, for, ah!
Too cruel fate, herself she gave
        To Song-lin-shah.

Far from my breast my reason fled,
    And left me quite forlorn;
I wander'd to the deserts drear,
    With all my garments torn.


Page 45

I taught the caverns to complain--
    I made their echoes cry,
Reverberative to my moans,
        Poor Hoang-Si!

I have been in the Indian lands,
    And on the Persian Sea;
But never, never could regain
    My heart's sweet liberty,
Oft have I play'd the pipe of peace,
    And borne the sword, yet, ah!
Could ne'er forget the beauteous wife
                Of Song-lin-shah.


Page 46

THE
PRISONER TO HIS BIRD.

    AH ! pretty bird, you sing, altho'
        A captive in a cage;
    And yet thou no companion hast
        Thy fancy to engage.
How happy would poor Oran be,
Could he in prison sing like thee!

    Oh! hadst thou ne'er a tender friend
        Among thy feather'd race?
    And didst thou never fondly meet
        A partner's dear embrace?
Oh! yes, perchance, but light your hours,
Untortur'd by Reflection's powers.


Page 47

    Sweet, envied bird, not grated bars
        Do give thy bosom care;
    And yet those wings, for freedom form'd,
        How useless now they are.
Alas! I grieve, it was by me
Thou first didst lose thy liberty.

    But should I now thy prison ope,
        And thou delighted fly,
    All strange among the feather'd race,
        Thou wouldst but droop and die--
Then still, Oh! still be mine, and see
Thy wrongs requited are on me.

    Sweet, harmless bird, my fate is hard;
        Oh! harder far than thine;
    I held a partner to my heart,
        I call'd a daughter mine.--
At distance far, my child, my wife!
And Oran prison'd is for life.


Page 48

SORROW'S BANQUET.

                "Blow, blow, thou winter-wind,
                "Thou art not so unkind
"As man's ingratitude."
---SHAKESPEARE.

HIS raven locks Rodolpho comb'd;
    His eye-balls ceas'd to roll;
Serene his look, and none had guess'd
    The phrenzy of his soul.

His board he deck'd with cypress boughs,
    With herbs, and fruit, and wine;
And forth he roam'd to usher in
    Strange company to dine.


Page 49

Old Etha, on a rising bank,
    Laid feeble and forlorn;
Her wretched aspect well bespoke
    A heart with anguish torn.

Rodolpho stops, and, "ah!" he cries,
    "Poor soul! why dost thou sigh?
"For I have balm, if thou hast woe,
    "And I have sympathy."

"Oh! could my eyes a river pour,
    "My moans outsound the wind;
"These signs were weak, and could not speak
    "The anguish of my mind.

"The child I lov'd, the child I rear'd,
    "With pangs my soul hath riv'n;
"For I, lest I disgrace her rank,
    "Am from her threshold driv'n!


Page 50

"Thro' want and woe her youth I led;
    "Now Heav'n hath rais'd her high;
"A countess she, so fair, so gay,
    "And, poor and famish'd, I.

What is my crime?--her grandeur, what?
    "By poverty I'm harm'd;
"But she's the most ungrateful wretch
    "That e'er the bright sun warm'd.

"My means are spent, and, oh! my heart
    "Doth bleed with every sigh;
"I've nought to do but curse my fate,
    "My thankless child, and die!"

"Oh! cease thy 'plaint, poor wretched soul,
    "Arise and come with me;
"To-night for woe a feast I hold,
    "A banquet fit for thee.


Page 51

"My board is deck'd with cypress boughs,
    "And blood-red is my wine;
"And we will talk o'er all our woes,
    "And we'll by torch-light dine.

"Who is't that paces o'er yon fields,
    "His eyes fixt on the ground?
"Sure, 'tis the hypochondriac,
    "In deep reflections drown'd.

"Turn, turn, old man, for, by the stars
    "That in the Heavens shine,
"I have an herb will cure thy spleen,
    "If with me thou wilt dine.

To-night a banquet, do I hold;
    "A banquet meet for thee;
"So come, Misfortune's victims, come,
    "Oh! come, and dine with me.


Page 52

"The worms upon my table feed;
    " 'Tis crumbling here and there;
"And we will feast on bitter herbs,
    "While torches round us glare."

The hypochondriac, rous'd from thought,
    In pleasing wonder stands;
But thought arrested soon resumes,
    And sad he clasps his hands.

"O stranger! dost thou pity me,
    "Who all unpitied sigh?
"From whom the happy scornful go;
    "From whom the wretched fly.

"Sad Misery pleads her certain woes,
    "And fancy'd calls my care;
"This breast alone its ills can know,
    "How deep, how true they are!


Page 53

"Oh! give me heav'n, sweet sympathy,
    "For I'm the child of woe;
"And if a feast for grief is held
    "I'll to that banquet go."

"And I," exclaim'd poor Emmeline,
    "As thro' a brake she rush'd;
"Oh! let me see a feast of woe,
    "For mine is never hush'd!

"When in rotation sadest tales
    "Of sorrows past you tell,
"Then shall ye hear how Emmeline
    "From peace and honor fell.

"How once she bloom'd in innocence,
    "Pure as the opening morn;
"And when ye hear, oh! from my fate,
    "Unspotted maidens warn.


Page 54

"Oh! as I think, fresh bleeds my heart,
    "Ah! pity Emmeline!
"Lead me to deepest--deepest shades,
    "Where sun did never shine.

"Hence mirth and joy, and ye sweet birds,
    "Far hence your light course wing;
"But ye ill-boding birds of night,
    "Come ye, my sorrows sing.

"Why do ye flow, polluted tears?
    "Ye cannot ease my brain;
"Oh! I must never--never look
    "In Honor's face again."

"Fit guests! fit guests!" Rodolpho shouts,
    "Joy sparkling in his eye;
"Oh! we will answer tear for tear,
    "And echo sigh for sigh.


Page 55

"My board with night-shade have I deck'd,
    "And blood-red is my wine;
"We'll shut out light and banish joy,--
    "By torch-light will we dine.

"Then join your hands in Sorrow's knot,
    "And all united be,
"For I'm a comrade form'd for you,
    "And you are form'd for me."

He led them to his gloomy feast,
    And ply'd each guest with wine;
The green boughs wave the table o'er,
    And they by torch-light dine.

Of cypress leaves a wreath he form'd,
    And twin'd it round his head;
"Oh! bitter leaf," he cried "be sweet!
    "For woe hath bravely sped."


Page 56

He sigh'd and from his seat arose,
    To play the sounding lyre,
And sweet his tuneful voice he rais'd,
    And skilful touch'd the wire.

SONG.

    "When glitt'ring lustres deck'd my hall,
        "And guests were smiling round,
    "With sportive finger, light as joy,
        "Sweet lyre, I wak'd thy sound.
    "The wine was bright, the song was sweet,
        "From tuneful minstrel's tongue;
    "But sweeter--sweeter were the sounds
        "On Friendship's lips that hung!
"My lights are out, my friends are gone,
"To court some other rising sun.


Page 57

    "When mansions and when lands were mine,
        "I rear'd an arbor fair;
    "Around my neck my harp I hung,
        "And led my mistress there.
    "Thou lyre wert tun'd to softest songs
        "That sounded thro' the grove;
    "But song nor lyre was half so sweet
        "As Ida's vow of love!
"My bowers are waste and Ida's charms
"Have bless'd a courtly rivals arms.

    "Adieu! Adieu! thou treacherous fair,
        "Thou bright and splendid bride;
    "Insidious art and syren grace
        "Did ne'er more falsehood hide!
    "Oh! plaintive harp, with cypress deck'd,
        "That late with flowers wert crown'd,
    "To all my joys, to all my woes,
        "Responsive was thy sound;
"Then rest with me my faithful lyre,
"Nor joy, nor woe, again inspire."


Page 58

Rodolpho ceas'd, his brow was bent,
    The tuneful harp he took--
He dash'd it 'gainst the table edge,
    And all the strings were broke.

"Alas!" the old man cried, "sweet harp,
    "All spoiled dost thou lie--
"So sudden fate oft cuts the strings
    "Of sweetest harmony."

Rodolpho grasp'd a goblet bright,
    "I give a toast," cried he,--
"Here's to the captive in his cell,
    "The wretch where'er he be.

"Drink woe on Etha's child, and on
    "Thy false love, Emmeline;
"And peace, poor hypochondriac
    "To thy sad woes and mine."


Page 59

The old man drank, and gaz'd around,
    " 'Tis strange--'tis strange," he cried,
Then reeling from his seat he fell,
    And, gasping, groan'd and died.

"A weight, a weight," sad Etha cried,
    "A weight lies at my soul."
Around the scene she fearful glanc'd,
    Her eyes convulsive roll.--

"A weight my senses all oppress--
    "O heaven! I faint--I die--
"O pois'nous drugs!--O treacherous host!--
    "O mercy! power on high!"

"I've pledg'd you guests," the madman shouts,
    "Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight;
"Oblivious antidote for woe--
    "Oh! blessed aconite.


Page 60

"Fear not, fear not, fair Emmeline,
    "They're only gone before--
"I see thee change--I see thee fall
    "Thy cares will soon be o'er.

"Have I not heard the wretched cry,
    "Would that life's blood were spilt!
"Ah! will no kind hand strike the blow,
    "And save mine own the guilt?

"Then sleep, sleep on, my fallen guests,
    "No blood your hands hath dyed;
"Your souls are black with guilt, but not
    "With guilt of suicide.

"To you the storms of adverse fate,
    "All harmless, shall pass o'er;
"And Friendship false, and treach'rous Love,
    "Shall rend your hearts no more.


Page 61

"In vain to you the minstrel sings,
    "In vain the drum may roll;
"Ye cannot wake--oh! thro' the town
    "Let all the death-bells toll.

"The sexton he shall dig our graves,
    "And hemlock shall spring there;
"And all the trees that grow around
    "Shall poison berries bear.

"Mixt is my wine, like mortals fate--
    "How still my sad guests lie!
"Oh! I could sit me down and weep,
    "Mine eyes, deep sources dry.

"Thy lips are black, unhappy maid,
    "Black as thy false love's heart;
"And I have still'd thy sorrows all,
    "And broke Misfortune's dart.


Page 62

"No wound deforms thy snowy breast,
    "No blood thy yellow hair;
"Yet grizzly death takes place of life,
    "And peace takes place of care.

"Oh! glare not thus, ye torches red!
    "Why do ye glare at me?
"In midst of each, set round with fire,
    "A fiend-like face I see!

"Farewell! farewell! my comrades dear,
    "What dances round my brain?
"More light, more light--your revels cease--
    "I have not drank in vain.

"My soul its quick transition seeks,
    "By terror uncontroul'd;
"For keener woes than I have still'd,
    "Man's heart could never hold!


Page 63

"Sing, sing, ye fates, ye furies sing,
    "For Death is in my breast;
"He stands and waits, and ghastly smiles,
    "When Sorrow holds a feast."


Page 64

JULIA.--A BALLAD.

THE DISAPPOINTMENT.

WHEN Chance before my ravish'd eye,
Brought lovely Julia's angel form,
My bosom thrill'd, my fancy fir'd,
My glowing heart with hope grew warm;
In every movement, oh! what ease;
In every look what matchless grace!
Each varying feeling of her heart
Was sweetly pictur'd in her face.


Page 65

My eyes were fixt, those wand'ring eyes,
Which oft before were wont to rove;
And, as I gaz'd, I fondly drank
The pois'nous draughts of fatal love.
A thousand sweet extatic hopes,
Unknown and unconceiv'd before,
Rush'd on me as I number'd all
Her soul-bewitching beauties o'er.

The sweet benignant smile she gave,
When we at length were forc'd to part,
Has left her image on my mind--
Has borne away a captive heart.
What dreams of bliss, what transports bright,
Then blest each happy eve and morn;
I thought to soften all my cares,
This sweet enchanting nymph was born.


Page 66

With the melodious birds I join'd,
And sang of Love's delightful flame;
And taught the echos to repeat
Adored Julia's tuneful name.
Her name on all the trees I carv'd,
That flourih'd sweetest in the grove;
And spake to none, unless they talk'd
Of beauteous Julia and of love.

Oh! picture ye, whose feeling hearts,
With kindred sorrows sadly melt,
What (borne thus high by flatt'ring Hope)
My hapless bosom must have felt,
When told that Julia's virgin heart
Was giv'n quite------Oh! quite away;
When told that cruel Fate had fixt
The lovely Julia's marriage day.


Page 67

SOLITUDE.

I STRIVE my Julia to forget,
But never, never shall succeed;
Ye Gods! her lover--how he's blest,
While I the destin'd victim bleed.
How soon the empress of my heart
Another's lovely bride will be;
Then what the beauties of her mind?
And what are all her charms to me?

But yet her image will pursue,
As hopeless and forlorn I rove;
And, spite of all my vain resolves,
I bow before the shrine of Love.
The bustling scenes of busy life,
How harsh and grating to my mind;
How strange that in tumultuous noise
I ever could enjoyment find!


Page 68

Sweet are thy charms, O Solitude!
There, free from curious prying eyes,
I think on Julia unrestrain'd,
And unregarded vent my sighs.
Ah! why was she so perfect form'd?
Love's arrows and Life's thorns are mine
But, Julia, may Love's brightest joys,
And Life's sweet roses all be thine.

THE PICTURE.

As musing on the plain I stood,
At distance I beheld my love;
Upon her gentle friend she lean'd;
I sigh'd as they approach'd the grove.


Page 69

To walk where Julia's foot had been,
With ardent tenderness I burn'd;
And for the fond enjoyment staid,
Until the lovely friends return'd.

At length I saw them back return;
Again beheld my beauteous fair--
And all tumultuous beat my heart,
For more than magic's in her air!
I instant cross'd the verdant plain,
And quickly gain'd the shady grove;
Perhaps I with my footsteps press'd
The very spot that bore my love!

'Twas still--'twas calm--the scene was sweet
For lovely Julia had been there;
Had breath'd;--and, O ye powers! how soft,
How fresh, how fragrant was the air.


Page 70

The birds among the branches sung,
They seem'd, sweet warblers, to rejoice,
For Julia thro' their haunts had pass'd
The grove was gladden'd by her voice.

I wander'd all absorb'd in thought,
My eyes fixt sadly on the ground;
But, oh! to what delight I wak'd--
The portrait of my fair I found!
'Twas Love the action did inspire,
That on the earth my looks should bend;
The beauteous picture fallen had
From off the neck of Julia's friend.

" 'Tis mine!" I in a transport cried,
For none can prize it half so high!
Oh! while I live this picture shall
Upon my beating bosom lie.


Page 71

How perfect are the features form'd,
The eye, the forehead, and the smile;
Yet a tormentor sure 'twill be--
My griefs it never can beguile.

Thou'rt drawn, dear Julia, to the life;
How softly touch'd, thy smile so sweet!
Thy breast beneath the muslin robe
I almost can conceive to beat.
Kind Fortune hath relenting led
My happy footsteps to the grove,
As she my hopeless heart survey'd,
Deep wounded by the shafts of Love.


Page 72

THE DENIAL.

BEFORE Love's altar, oh! my heart,
A slave, how abject dost thou bend!
To nourish but my wretchedness,
To theft and falsehood I descend.
Maria, lovely Julia's friend,
I met, or ere I left the grove;
I sought unseen t' escape her eye,
But vainly was it that I strove.

A rustling in the trees I caus'd;
Her eyes she lifted from the ground;
Then ask'd, in accents of distress,
If I had Julia's portrait found?


Page 73

"To Friendship sacred 'twas," she cried,
"And he who drew it now is dead--
"So just a likeness, and so true,
"I never shall obtain in stead."

She sigh'd, as thus she sadly spoke;
Yet, tho' my heart was all oppress'd,
A falsehood from my lips escap'd,
My Julia's picture on my breast.
I rather would existence lose,
Before this treasure I'd forego;
'Tis of my heart the sole delight,
The balm, the solace to my woe.

The miser in his chamber lock'd,
Approaches, with delight, his gold;
And pleas'd, he counts it o'er and o'er,
Tho' fifty times it has been told.


Page 74

He gazes so intent, so fixt,
The glitter doth confuse his brain;
He shuts the lid reluctant down,
Then lifts it up to gaze again.

'Tis thus this picture I survey
Whole hours with supreme delight;
'Till from my gaze it seems to swim,
Its charms too powerful for my sight.
Bright charms! that have my peace destroy'd,
Unrivall'd still in splendor shine;
Oh! be her joys my sorrow's balm,
Altho' she never can be mine.


Page 75

THE RIVAL.

WHY am I thus the slave of Love?
The hopeless victim of Despair?
Why can't I from my bosom now
This soul-subduing arrow tear?
How lately Hope inspir'd my heart,
I thought my lovely Julia free--
Fool, that I was, that could conceive
Her charming eyes inclin'd to me.

O Julia! Julia, matchless maid!
And canst thou, canst thou ne'er be mine!
Though all my wishes rest on thee,
Though all my ravish'd heart is thine?


Page 76

Before the altar, oh! how soon
She'll give the hand I love away
And can I, can I, live to see
The dawning of that cruel day?

To distant climes--to shelt'ring caves,
Driv'n by Despair, oh! let me fly--
But can I cease to look and love?
To catch the lightning of her eye!
Had Julia's beauteous form alone
With love my captive bosom fir'd,
I would have sought some other fair
Like her in outward grace attir'd:--

But, oh! her mild expressive eye--
Her touching voice--her speaking air--
Oh! never, never, from my heart
Can I her lovely image tear!


Page 77

Had Hope ne'er fir'd my ravish'd breast,
Oh! then, perhaps, I had been free;
But, ah! how vain and fond I grew,
When Julia look'd, and smil'd on me.

The blest, the happiest of men,
The envied lover have I seen;
My brain how fervent did it burn;
He cross'd with Julia o'er the green.
A white rose in his hand he held,
Its leaves he scatter'd in the air,
And sung, while loitering along,
Tho' Julia, peerless maid! was there.

The man who can unheeding, rove,
With grace like Julia's at his side,
Should he possess so bright a gem?
Deserves he such a matchless bride?


Page 78

He yawns, as languidly he walks,
Nor feels the influence of her eye;
Each trifle calls his vacant sense,
Regardless that my love is nigh.

THE MARRIAGE.

'TIS past, 'tis o'er, the deed is done,
The hand for which I die is giv'n;
Their mutual vows, their faith is pledg'd
Before the sacred face of Heav'n.
How mildly beam'd her lovely eye,
How touching was her pensive air;
Her cheek display'd no tinge of red--
Oh! never did she look so fair!


Page 79

I lean'd against the chapel wall,
I scarce had power to breathe or stand,
As beauteous Julia drew her glove,
So slowly from her trembling hand.
I saw her lips pronounce the vows,
And all my heart within me died;
I saw the maidens throng around,
And hail with smiles the new-made bride.

Her hand the happy bridegroom took;
I breath'd my anguish in a sigh;
Then would have gone, but vainly strove.
'Till beauteous Julia had pass'd by.
She came--she rais'd her eyes on mine,
Then, oh! so slightly bow'd her head;
I look'd the torment of my soul,
Intently look'd, but nothing said.


Page 80

Oh! seldom, seldom, do two hearts
With sentiments according beat;
And seldom, seldom, when they do,
Will cruel Fortune let them meet.
O Julia! all resistless fair,
May peace for ever be thy guest;
Ye thorns of life, domestic jars,
Ah! flee her sweet angelic breast.

O Julia! all resistless fair,
May'st thou for ever happy be;
While far away, by sorrow tost,
I pine and die for love and thee.
'Tis past, 'tis o'er, my doom is fixt,
To scenes of war and death I'll fly;
Yet not for laurels nor far fame,--
Oh! no, I only seek to die.


Page 81

CLARINDA.

    IN ancient days of chivalry
        Was fair Clarinda born;
    And long she pluck'd the flowers of life,
        Nor felt the briery thorn.
    As rich in wealth, as rare in charms,
        All peerless did she stand;
    And knights of courage and renown
        Contended for her hand:
But vain they sought, and vain they strove,
While Manfred told the tale of love.


Page 82

    On him in infancy she smil'd;
        With him in childhood play'd;
    For him alone in riper years
        Her lovely form array'd.
    As grow two roses on one stalk,
        In emulating pride,
    So Manfred and Clarinda grew,
        So flourish'd side by side:
Their sires a mutual joy express,
Thus Love and Fortune join'd to bless.

    The winged hours in transport fly--
        'Tis nam'd--the marriage day;
    And every heart is full of joy,
        And every aspect gay.
    Tho' Phoebus' light at noon is bright,
        Clarinda thought more sweet
    The silent eve, when forth she walk'd
        Her gentle friend to meet:
For o'er her heart which bore the sway,
Friendship or Love, was hard to say.


Page 83

    In cottage low this maiden liv'd,
        Olinda was her name;
    She was of fallen rank, altho'
        Of fair and faultless fame.
    Her lot, tho' cast beneath the great,
        Was yet above the mean;
    And thus from all the world retir'd,
        She grac'd the rural scene;
Whilst to her heart Clarinda prov'd
The friend on earth whom most she lov'd.

    This gentle nymph was Nature's child,
        Unfitted for disguise;
    And every impulse of her heart
        Inform'd her speaking eyes.
    'Twas on a summer's eve serene,
        In peaceful smiles array'd,
    Clarinda went, with bounding heart,
        To meet the lovely maid:
She thought of friendship, thought of love,
But which most fondly who can prove?


Page 84

    Olinda at the cottage door
        Her beauteous guest receiv'd,
    A tear stood trembling in her eye,
        Her breast with sorrow heav'd:
    Yet tho' her eye betray'd a tear,
        It tried deceptive art;
    She strove at joy, but vainly strove,
        Grief swelling at her heart.
Clarinda soon her aspect read,
And thus with Friendship's ardor said:--

    "When late I came her cottage near,
        "Olinda used to smile;
    "Her tongue gave welcome, and her eyes
        "Each word confirm'd the while:
    "But now, alas! the scene's revers'd;
        "Come in, dear friend,' you say--
    "Thus speaks thy tongue--but thus thine eye,
        "Obtruder, hence, away:'
"Like Love hath Friendship many darts,
"When present friends have absent hearts."


Page 85

    "Return, Clarinda, virtuous maid,
        "Unto thy mansion bless'd;
    "These arms must ne'er again receive
        "So pure, so chaste a guest;
    "For all the pangs that wait on Vice
        "Do now my bosom rend;
    "Go, then, dear nymph, far hence, and chuse
        "Thy heart a better friend:
"For lost Olinda's spotted fame
"Shall ne'er involve Clarinda's name.

    "Oh! thou, whose flatt'ring syren tongue
        "Allur'd my heart to vice,
    "How couldst thou, from bright Honor's path,
        "An orphan child intice?
    "But, ah! why did my reason yield
        "To such delusive art?
    "Why did the sophistry of Love
        "Pervert and blind my heart?
"My name's disgrac'd; my honor's gone,
"I live the world's reproach and scorn!


Page 86

    "Oh! was my gallant father now
        "Not number'd with the dead,
    "Thou would'st not thus o'er all my woes
        "Triumphant rear thine head.
    "His conq'ring sword had soon aveng'd
        "The wrongs I now sustain;
    "But, ah! Olinda loud must cry
        "For vengence yet in vain.
"Oh! what's my life, by troubles tost,
"With Virtue wreck'd, and Honor lost?"

    A pang of keenest anguish here
        Olinda's accents broke;
    O'erwhelm'd she ceas'd her 'plaint, and thus
        The fair Clarinda spoke:--
    "Why does my lov'd Olinda doubt
        "The pity of her friend?
    "Think'st thou this heart to joy inur'd,
        "No sympathy can lend?
"Tho' blasted be Olinda's fame,
"She to this breast is still the same.


Page 87

    "Thy sorrows deeply touch my soul;
        "Thy wrongs inflame my heart;
    "The story of thy woes I pray,
        "Without disguise, impart.
    "Tho' few of ills this breast hath known,
        "More be its thanks to Heav'n;
    "This tear betrays a kindred heart
        "By other's sorrows riv'n.
"Oh! guard us Heav'n! when lures assail,
"The best, the wisest are but frail."

    Olinda told an artless tale
        Of innocence betray'd;
    By Vice disguis'd, and Falshhood deep,
        In Truth's bright robes array'd.
    'Twas such a tale as Virtue tells,
        Unsparing its own faults,
    That not for specious coloring seeks
        To varnish where it halts:
Olinda fell by arts combin'd,
By arts to fair attractions join'd.


Page 88

    " 'Tis told," she cries, "my story's told,
        "And wretched must I be!
    "My keen reproaches drive him hence,
        "And he abandons me.
    "But ev'ry day these eyes behold,
        "Just at Aurora's dawn,
    "The false betrayer of my peace
        "Ride swift o'er yonder lawn:
"His horse is black, his mantle's red,
And white's the plume that decks his head."

    "Yet, cease, Olinda, cease thy tears,
        "Heav'n calm thy troubled breast
    "The man that wrongs Clarinda's friend,
        "Shall not in safety rest!"
    Then tenderly they did embrace,
        With different passions rent;
    Sad through the gate Clarinda pass'd,
        And to her dwelling went;
And there, with many a passion rack'd,
She meditated how to act.


Page 89

    "Oh! if my love, Sir Manfred, knew
        "The fair Olinda's woes;
    "And if he fought, and if he fell,
        "My life with his must close!
    "Or should Landore, my brother dear,
        "Engage at my desire,
    "And should he fall, what could I say?
        "How answer to my Sire?
"Yet this alternative I see----
"I will myself her champion be."

    A suit of armour then she sought,
        A glitt'ring sword and shield;
    And at Aurora's earliest dawn,
        She rode across the field.
    The vizor clos'd, conceal'd the face
        Of this advent'rous fair;
    And well she knew to imitate
        A high and martial air;
With mien erect, and stature high,
And courage beaming from her eye.


Page 90

    Not long she waited on the lawn,
        Ere, prancing o'er the road,
    She spied a knight in armour bright,
        And saw his white plumes nod.
    " 'Tis he, 'tis he, he comes this way,
        "The false, perfidious knight!
    "His horse is black, his mantle's red,
        "His waving plumage white.
"O power divine! it cannot be----
"Sure, 'tis Sir Manfred's face I see!"

    Amazement struck her ev'ry sense,
        And wildly roll'd her eye;
    In wonder fixt, she could not speak,
        But let the knight pass by:
    At length she cried,--"Return, Sir Knight;
        "Olinda's champion I;
    "I come to vindicate her right,
        "To conquer or to die.
"To make her thine, pledge now thy word,
"Or meet the fury of my sword."


Page 91

    Sir Manfred, on the stranger knight
        Disdainful turn'd his eye--
    "And is it for a blasted fame
        "You boldly dare to die?
    "Do you, or does Olinda think,
        "That I would stoop to claim
    "A hand, which all my race would call
        "Dishonor to their name?
"No, no, Sir Knight, I cannot see
"That Honor thus demands of me."

    "Shall Vice thus proudly rear her head,"
        The fair Clarinda cried,
    "While Innocence, oppress'd with woe,
        "Is trampled on by Pride?
    "Peace reign'd in fair Olinda's breast,
        "And spotless was her fame,
    " 'Till thy vile arts prevail'd, and link'd
        "Dishonor to her name.
"O knight! be just, thy vows regard,
"And peace shall be thy sweet reward."


Page 92

    "By heaven! those vows I'll ne'er fulfil,
        "I swear it by my life--
    "I'm hast'ning now to meet my love,
        "My sweet affianc'd wife.
    "Our hearts are join'd, our faith is pledg'd
        "We mutually adore;
    "For gold Olinda shall not want,
        "I cannot promise more.
"If more you ask, give now the word,
"And I'll alight and meet thy sword."

    "The lady of thy heart I know,
        "Clarinda is her name;
    "She Manfred lov'd, and fondly thought
        "He bore a faultless fame--
    "So when we do the casket prize,
        "That holds a jewel fair,
    " 'Tis not for it, but for the gem,
        "That we deposit there--
"For prove that gem a fair defect,
"Its casket we no more respect.


Page 93

    "Thus is thy form no longer lov'd;
        "It holds a canker'd heart:
    "The transports of a spotless flame
        "It can no more impart.
    "To perfidy, Clarinda swears,
        "She'll ne'er attach her name;
    "For well she knows Olinda's woes,
        "And well Sir Manfred's shame.
"Then yet to virtue wake, Sir Knight,
"And do the fair Olinda right."

    "And who art thou, thou stranger bold?"
        Enrag'd, Sir Manfred cried;
    "Who dar'st presume to know the thoughts
        "Of my betrothed bride?"
    "Oh! well I know her thoughts, Sir Knight,
        "They just accord with mine;
    "Full often does Clarinda's cheek,
        "Upon this hand recline:
"My heart confides in her alone,
"I guard her honor as my own!"


Page 94

    Sir Manfred then, in speechless rage,
        Did furiously alight--
    Clarinda from the saddle sprung;
        They stood prepared to fight.
    Thrice had their glitt'ring weapons clash'd,
        While Manfred curses pour'd,
    When fair Clarinda forward rush'd,
        And fell upon his sword.
"Behold Clarinda!" faint, she cried;
Then rais'd her vizor, groan'd, and died.

    "O blasting sight!" exclaim'd the Knight,
        "Is it my love I see?
    "Distraction 'tis that whirls my brain--
        "It cannot--must not be.
    "Yet 'tis--it is her beauteous form--
        "My love! and art thou dead?
    "O heaven bid now thy thunders break
        "In vengeance on my head.
All pale she lies--my soul's delight!
"Her eyes are set in endless night.


Page 95

    "Mysterious scene!--ah! why was thus
        "My love in steel array'd?
    "T'avenge Olinda's wrongs!--Oh! sweet--
        "Most sweet, heroic maid!
    "Shall I, dear nymph, thy loss survive?
        "Can life one joy impart?
    "Ah! no; this sword, ting'd with thy blood,
        "Shall enter Manfred's heart;
"Shall draw from thence the crimson tide;
"Then vengeance shall be satisfied."

    Thus spoke the Knight, and to his heart
        The lifeless fair one press'd;--
    Awhile he gaz'd, then, frantic, plung'd
        The weapon in his breast.
    "And is it thus we meet in death?"
        With quiv'ring voice, he cried.
    Then, writhing from the deadly pang,
        He, groaning, gasp'd, and died.
The crimson current flow'd around,
And ting'd with red the verdant ground.


Page 96

    Soon was the fatal story known,
        And rapidly it spread;
    The knights and ladies flock'd to see
        These matchless lovers dead.
    In mournful pomp, beneath one stone,
        This hapless pair were laid:
    And oft, upon the fatal spot,
        Was Pity's tribute paid.
Here did the weeping willow spread
Its branches o'er their silent bed.

    And here, on each returning night,
        Would poor Olinda hie;
    And till the lark began her song,
        Would on the cold turf lie.
    At length, one chill autumnal morn,
        The hapless nymph was found,
    With bosom cold, and death fixed eye,
        Extended on the ground.
Her clay-cold corpse they bore away,
And bath'd with tears her breathless clay.


Page 97

    Her ashes in Clarinda's grave
        The weeping virgins laid;
    And here would gentle Sympathy
        Lament a fallen maid:
    Here, too, would meek-eyed Charity
        Her errors cover o'er;
    And here would Sensibility
        Her early fate deplore:
While garlands green, they sadly bound,
And deck'd the mournful tomb around.


Page 98

A
PASTORAL BALLAD.

IF my wand'ring flock you see,
    As amongst the hills they stray
Or my goats should scatter'd be,
    Heedless wand'ring from the way;

Call them, call them back again:--
    Well may they inconstant prove,
Well may they forsake the plain,
    When their shepherd learns to rove.


Page 99

Had I houses, had I lands,
    All, my Delia, should be thine;
With what joy, Love's roseate bands
    Round thy temples would I twine.

Once I priz'd the silver stream,
    Softly murm'ring as it stray'd,
When, by Cynthia's glimm'ring beam,
    Wand'ring with my lovely maid.

Sweet were then the summer flowers,
    Sweet was then the shepherd's lute,
When, with her, I rang'd the bowers
    That breath'd perfumes, and blush'd with fruit.

Delia, Delia, oh! can gold
    Half such dear delights bestow?
Corin's love to mine is cold,--
    Can'st thou thus to riches bow?


Page 100

O'er the plains and hills I look;
    Not one single charm I see--
The lofty hill, the silver brook,
    All's a dreary waste to me!

Call, then, shepherds, call my flocks,
    As they stray the hills among;
Sad I wander on the rocks--
    Love and Delia all my song.


Page 101

THE
ILLUSION OF FANCY.

BRIGHT day! thou can'st not charm my care,
    Or night my trouble hide;
For as I walk, a figure walks
    Still constant at my side.

Dim it appears, but yet 'tis there:--
    Ah! cruel shade, depart;
Thou Madness art, and dost affect
    The empire of mine heart!


Page 102

Where'er I rove, it still attends,
    At evening and at morn;
I move, it moves--I stand, it stands;
    I turn my head--'tis gone.

And, then, again, 'tis at my side--
    Obtruder, oh! forbear--
For peace is fled, and terror threats
    When thou art hov'ring near.

When on my chair reclin'd I sit,
    Against the arm I lean--
There is no room, there is no room,
    For thee to come between.

Yet dost thou wait and watch without,
    Thy form doth shade my head--
Aghast I turn, aghast I look,
    But thou again art fled.


Page 103

And when upon my couch I lie,
    To woo the blessing, sleep,
Thou, cruel shade! dost still pursue,
    Thy sentry post to keep.

I know, I know thou'rt Fancy's child;
    My reason still doth guide--
Ah! why, then, all devoid of power
    To drive thee from my side?

Oh! yet, begone, thou flitting shade,
    Ere thou my strength subdue;
Ere, in distraction, sense be lost,
    Ere I believe thee true.


Page 104

THE
FOUNDLING GIRL.

            "Her frame, resistless to each wrong,
            "Demands protection from the strong:
            "To man she flies, when fear alarms,
            "And claims the temple of his arms."
---MOORE.


PART I.

SIR Leonard was the proudest knight
    That ever held a shield!
Yet noble in the paths of peace,
    As valiant in the field.


Page 105

Upon an eve, as forth he walk'd,
    A lowly cottage near,
Thence rush'd a maid, in mean attire,
    But as the morning fair.

Her damask cheek was wet with tears
     She dropt upon her knee--
"Oh! save a hapless foundling girl,"
    With fault'ring voice said she.

"Sad from th' asylum's peaceful walks,
    "I went in evil hour;
"And from that day have subject been
    "To hard tyrannic power.

"Alas! but how can words express
    "The griefs that now I feel!
"Light wrongs had never made me thus
    "Unto a stranger kneel."


Page 106

To raise the suppliant, foundling girl,
    His hand Sir Leonard gave--
"Protection thou hast asked," said he;
    "Protection thou shalt have.

"Within my mansion walls secure
    "I'll shield thee from distress;
"For, in Sir Leonard's dwelling, none
    "Have licence to oppress."

With grateful heart she thank'd the knight,
    A prayer to heaven address'd--
Her eye beam'd bright, her bosom glow'd,
    So late by woe oppress'd.

She followed to his mansion gay--
    "Be this thy home," said he;
"And let thy conduct prove that thou
    "Hast not deceived me."


Page 107

And now, 'mid plenty, joy, and peace,
    How blest the foundling girl!
From hard Oppression's hand set free,
    In happiness to dwell.

Her round-ear'd cap she throws aside,
    Her locks in ringlets flow;
Her grateful heart expands to all--
    The poor had told you so.

Where'er she mov'd, the Graces smil'd,
    For love, her heart inspir'd;
And all who view'd the artless maid,
    Or envied or admir'd.

As thus around her beauteous form
    The polish'd Graces wait,
She looks a gem, unsuitable
    To deck a menial state.


Page 108

Now Envy from her covert breaks,
    Engend'ring bitter hate--
"Why is she at her glass so long,
    "Ere she'll at table wait?"

In vain the flippant lackies woo;
    In vain the steward bow'd;
They wonder where her thoughts aspire,
    And rank her with the proud.

A hapless child of Charity!
    Such scorn they cannot bear;
And wonder why Sir Leonard brought
    The mean dependant there.

Her errors studiously they mark,
    Her angel virtues slight--
"And see," they cry, "her lures she spreads,
    "To catch our noble knight!"


Page 109

Ah! charge too true, poor foundling girl!
    Each curl's dispos'd with care;
Thy face assumes a softer smile
    Whene'er Sir Leonard's there.

Why does thy white hand tremble so,
    When pouring wine for him?
How oft it stains the damask cloth,
    Although not near the brim.

Why dost thou blush and hesitate
    Whene'er he speaks to thee?
He is a rich and haughty knight,
    And thou'rt of low degree.


Page 110


PART II.

SIR Leonard was the proudest knight
    That ever felt Love's dart!
But, Pride, alas! unequal is
    To guard a captive heart.

Sir Leonard to Earl Rod'rick wrote
    Of titles and of fame;
And as he mus'd, unknowingly
    He trac'd the foundling's name.

The characters united so,
    Transporting thoughts renew;
Awhile he paus'd--then angry dash'd
     His pen the letters through.


Page 111

And then again his heart took flame,
    Dissolving into love--
"Oh! with the foundling girl," he cried,
    "How happy could I rove!

And what, or who's the foundling girl?
    "She's dear to none but me--
Then, sweet possessor of my heart,
    "Thou shalt my mistress be."

He cast his eye upon his sword--
    "Oh! hence, vile thought, away!--
"She claim'd protection, and shall I
    "First shelter, then betray?

"This heart no rustic grace had fixt,
    "No simple, artless mind--
"My sense they might attract, but ne'er
    "Had left a shaft behind.


Page 112

"Oh! whence doth she derive such power?
    "Oh! whence such grace possess?--
"A soul inform'd, a sense refin'd,
    "Her speaking eyes confess.

"Thou soul of life! oh! would that thou
    "Had'st never knelt to me--
"For doom'd I am to wretchedness,
    "But for adoring thee."

Sir Leonard sought the sprightly dance,
    But still he seems alone;
No lady hath one charm for him--
    His heart--where is it flown?

The festive haunts of mirth he sought,
    To study bade farewel;
But still he sighs, and still he thinks
    Upon the foundling girl.


Page 113

"Shame on the obtrusive thought!" he cries,
    "It shall not--must not be:
"She is a foundling, poor and mean,
    "And I'm of high degree."

PART III.

SIR Leonard was the proudest knight
    That ever bow'd to Love!
He flies the ball, the masque, the play,
    And seeks the thickest grove.

His heart, with love and honor torn,
    Almost to phrenzy wrought!
With folded arms, and forehead bent,
     He wanders, lost in thought.


Page 114

'Twas on a summer's morn serene,
    As thus Sir Leonard rov'd,
And gaz'd upon the cloudless sky,
    And thought of her he lov'd:

Deep in a wood he penetrates,
    To hear the sweet birds sing;
And, "ah!" he cries, "ye feather'd race,
    "Your course how light ye wing!

"Ye artless warblers, blithe ye sport,
    "In valley and in grove--
"No pride of rank doth mar your peace,--
    "Your sweet according love!"

As musing thus, a step he heard;
    And, glancing through the trees,
He marks a passing figure--'tis
    The foundling girl he sees.


Page 115

The shadowing trees concealment gave;
    In transport fixed he stood:--
When, soft and sweet, her voice she rais'd;
    It harmoniz'd the wood.

SONG.

"Oh! warble on, ye sweet, sweet birds,
    "I love to hear ye singing--
The forests bloom, the winds perfume,
    "The summer flowers are springing.

"Then warble on, ye sweet, sweet birds,
    "No cruel rank shall part you--
"Your artless breasts admit no guests
    "Like interest, to thwart you.


Page 116

"Was I the empress of the world!
    "And he in humblest station;
"Without his love, oh! I should rove
    "The saddest in the nation.

"O Leonard! Leonard! dearest knight!
    "Tho' form'd for my undoing;
"Who gave me joy, must work annoy,
    "Who sav'd, must be my ruin!"

The foundling ceas'd, the foliage thro'
    His way Sir Leonard broke:--
Transported at her feet he fell--
    And ardently he spoke.

"Oh! beauteous, beauteous foundling girl!
    "My heart was all at war:--
"The sway of Pride--how strong it is!
    "But Love is stronger far.


Page 117

"Oh! beauteous, beauteous foundling girl!
    "And do we mutual love!
"My gentle partner shalt thou be;
    "Through life with thee I'll rove."

Sir Leonard was the proudest knight
    That ever held a shield!
Yet, with the foundling's arm in his,
    He treads the verdant field.

No shade obscures his joy--he thinks
    No bride can his excel;
And tho' a knight of high degree,
    He weds the foundling girl.


Page 118

THE MINSTREL.

AN ANCIENT BALLAD.

THE lorde of the castle a faire ladie courtes,
    And a high sounding title she bore;
He forgets there's a world, where deceivers are judg'd,
    And the vows he to Emmeline swore.

Fair Emmeline bounde up her ringlets so darke,
    And a minstrel's hat she put on;
In a minstrel's dress, with her sweet sounding lute,
    To Lorde Roderick's castle she's gone.


Page 119

The winds of November, how bleakly they blow;
    Alas! they have frozen all joy:--
"Admit me, oh! gentle kinde porter," she cries,
    "I wander a poor minstrel boy.

"Admit me, oh! gentle kinde porter," she cries,
    "And well I will recompense thee--
"The maids of the castle, oh! how I would charm
    With the soundes of my sweet minstrelsie."

"Come in then, come in then, thou poor minstrel boy,
    "And we will well recompense thee--
"Come in then, come in then, thou poor minstrel boy,
    "And we'll list to thy sweet minstrelsie."

Fair Emmeline play'd till the curtains of night
    Had all their deep shadows hung round;
The villagers throng'd the high castle about,
    So sweet did the melodie sounde.


Page 120

Now thrilling as Philomel's tenderest strain;
    Now swelling all martial and high;
Not Cecilia, who drew down an angel to heare,
    Exceeded this sweet melodie.


"Oh! see now," they cry, "that the night it is come,
    "In her shadowie mantle so greye;"
Then kindely rewarding they open the gate,
    And warn the poor minstrel away.

The minstrel he look'd on the porter so kinde,
    And then on the silver so white:--
"Thy gift I would gladly foregoe, might I rest
    "In the hall of the castle all night.

"My father and mother lie colde in the grave,
    "No home and no shelter have I--
"Oh! let me then rest in Lord Roderick's hall,
    "For the sake of my sweet minstrelsie."


Page 121

The porter, consenting, did liberty give:--
    Good-night to the minstrel they bade:--
He loos'd his sweet lute with a heart heaving sigh,
    And on the colde marble he laide.

The night it was calm, and the castle was still;
    They slept the downe pillows among;
When charminge, to rapture the silence of night,
    The sweet minstrel harmoniously sung.

SONG.

"I was an artless maiden,
    "Free as the winds I rov'd;
"Until, by cruel arts deceiv'd,
    "A faithless lord I lov'd.


Page 122

"Now he's a destin'd husband
    "Unto a richer bride:--
"Oh! spread thy deepest shadows, Death,
    "Poor Emmeline to hide!

"Oh! false and cruel Noble!
    "Is this thy truth to me?
"Oh! hapless pledge of fatal love!
    "What will become of thee?

"Thy father, in his castle,
    "Doth yield his heart to joy;
"While thou, his first-born son, art doom'd
    "To roame a peasant boy!"

Faire Emmeline ceas'd--and 'tis silence again;--
    She leanes on her sweet lute, and sighs:
Her heart in her bosom is heavie as lead,
    And the tears they streame fast from her eyes.


Page 123

Oh! harke to a voice! from Lord Roderick it comes,
    And sweetly it soundes to her ear;
'Tis melting and soft as her own thrilling notes,
    And she raises her sad heart to heare.

SONG.

"Charming minstrel! charming minstrel!
    "By the Power that rules above,
"Here, my heart, thy wrongs confessing,
    "Swears a fond requitinge love.

"Dearest, dearest Emmeline,
    "Solemn vows I've sworn to thee;
"At the altar's foot, to-morrow,
    "They shall all remember'd be.


Page 124

"In this long distracted bosom
    "Ever reign, sweet, injur'd faire!
"Thou shalt be this castle's mistress,
    "And thy son his father's heir."


Page 125

BLIND OBEDIENCE.


PART I.

ALPHONSO in his chamber sat,
    His aspect spoke a mind
That desp'rate rov'd from thought to thought,
    But no relief could find.

Sir Malcolm's beauteous bride he lov'd,
    And, "ah!" he sadly sighs;
"In sweet enjoyment Malcolm lives,
    "While lost Alphonso dies!"


Page 126

At length, and swift as lightning's gleam,
    His aspect is reversed;
His eye beams fire--the gloomy shades
    Of thought are all dispers'd.

"Oh! haste," he cries, "my trusty page,
    "Put on thy liveries gay;
"Thy feather'd hat and shoulder knot,
    "Thy flowing sash of grey:

"Then mount thee on my courser white,
    "And to yon forest ride--
" 'Tis evening hour, and there doth walk
    "Sir Malcolm's beauteous bride.

"Fear not, fear not, my faithful page,
    "T' obey thy Lord's command;
"Before her prostrate fall and press
    "Unto thine heart her hand.


Page 127

"And when she starts, and when she chides,
    "Then sigh, but nothing say;
"My milk-white courser mount again,
    "And homeward bend thy way.

"This purse of gold thine own shall be,
    "Nor aught of ill ensue;
"But secret be, and prize the trust
    "That I repose in you."

Young Herman put his liveries on,
    Then sought the steed so gay;
And to the silent forest green
    He fearless took his way.

At length a lovely fair he sees,
    'Tis Malcolm's beauteous bride;
His heart beat high, his courage fell,
    His cheek with red was dyed.


Page 128

Yet trembling, at her feet he fell,
    While wondering she gaz'd;
Her hand he caught, and fearfully
    The snowy captive rais'd.

"Presumptuous slave!" Elmina cried,
    "Oh! are my senses true?
"No longer shall thy lord retain
    "So base a page as thou."

Young Herman heav'd a pensive sigh,
    But not one word he said;
Then gain'd his steed, and from her sight
    His course he homeward sped.

"Thy will is done--my master kind,
    "Thy will is done; said he,
"And silence' seal upon my lips,
    "Shall prove my truth to thee."


Page 129

"Thou trusty page!" Alphonso cried,
    "This purse of gold be thine--
"Oh! who have pages that display
    "Implicit faith like mine?"

PART II.

ALPHONSO from a lonely walk
    Return'd at evening hour;
His eye-balls glar'd, his aspect wild,
    A death-like paleness wore.

His cloak was all with crimson stain'd--
    He started at the view;
Then threw the spotted garment by,
    And dress'd his form anew.


Page 130

"Oh! haste," he cries, "my faithful page,
    "Take off thy liveries gay,
"And dress thee in yon sable cap,
    "And in yon cloak of grey.

"Then hang this sabre in thy belt,
    "And on my black steed ride,
"To seek my tablets where they fell,
    "Down by the river side.

"Be silence still upon thy lips,
    "For thou may'st ne'er confess
"By whose command thou go'st, or why
    "Thou wearest such a dress.

"Yet fear thee not to pass the hall,
    "Nor yet to pass the gate;
"And boldly ride across the plain,
    "Where Malcolm's servanss wait."


Page 131

Young Herman dress'd him in the cap,
    And in the cloak of grey;
And, with the sabre at his side,
    He sped his course away.

Returning soon--"My Lord," he cries,
    "No tablets did I see;
"But there doth lie a murder'd man
    "Beneath the willow tree.

"A feather'd hat beside him is,
    "Upon the rising bank;
"And all his garments seem to speak
    "A knight of noble rank."

"Oh! peace, my page!--where ruffians haunt
    "Such sights full oft may be--
"Unto thy silent couch retire;
    "Their guilt concerns not thee."


Page 132

The night pass'd o'er, the morning rose,
    The murder'd man was found;
" 'Tis good Sir Malcolm!" all exclaim,
    And sadly throng around.

They, weeping, to the mansion bore
    The body of the knight;
Then tears of deepest sorrow dimm'd
    Elmina's eyes so bright.

And sad she clasp'd her hands, and cried.
    "What murd'rous hand hath done
"This direful act--to strike a heart,
    "Whose power oppressed none!"

Then spoke Elmina's youthful page;
    He to his mistress cried;--
"Last eve, towards the forest green,
    "Was Herman seen to ride


Page 133

"His habit strange, his sabred belt,
    "With wonder we discern'd--
"Our exclamations follow'd him,
    "But he no word return'd."

"Then go ye forth," Elmina cried,
    "Oh! haste with one accord;
"Alphonso's page it is hath slain
    "My heart's adored lord!"

PART III.

YOUNG Herman all unconscious stood
    The pages gay among;
And, as he dress'd his master's steeds,
    Now jested, and now sung.


Page 134

When, on the sounds of mirth, the voice
    Of harshest tumult broke;
The vassals of Elmina came,
    And thus indignant spoke:

"Ah! vilest page! well might'st thou seek
    "The evening's shadows grey!--
"Ah! vilest page! well might'st thou shroud
    "Thy form in dark array!

"What demon could thine heart incite
    "Unto so fell a crime?
"But light doth shine on blackest acts;
    "And Heaven discloseth thine."

Forth came Alphonso--"Murd'rer vile!"
    With well feign'd rage he cried;
"And was it by so base a hand
    "That noble Malcolm died?


Page 135

"Thy love presumptuous, Rumor told;
    "But who could think it true?
"Aspiring slave! could Malcolm's fate
    "On thee one hope bestow?"

Amazement struck the wretched page,
    Awhile he could not speak;
Then loud reproaches from his heart,
    And imprecations break.

"Ah! wretch I am!" he frantic cries,
    "So base a slave to be--
"Alas! tis blind obedience
    "That hath destroyed me!

"Ah! wretched I am!" he sadly cries;
    "Oh! thus shall arts prevail?
"Yet, for your warning, comrades dear,
    "Regard my simple tale."


Page 136

In vain the page his story told,
    In vain for justice cried;
Alphonso woo'd the unconscious fair,
    And wretched Herman died.

Alphonso woo'd the unconscious fair,
    And Hope illum'd his eye;
'Till, when his love he full declar'd,
    She, starting, made reply:

"Oh! sure thy heart is innocent!
    "And sure thy love is true!
"Yet, give injurious report,
    "Dear Knight, no hold on you.

"Sir Malcolm's fate, thy page's tale,
    "Entwine my thoughts about;
"Nor e'er would I mine hand present
    "On shadow of a doubt."


Page 137

In vain, like honor wrong'd, he fires;
    In vain he lowly pleads:
Another gains her love--and on
    His heart repentance feeds.

"O abject Guilt!" he cries, 'twas thou
    "That conjur'd vain alarms--
"Against my peace, my caution turns!
    "Against myself, my arms!

"Sir Malcolm, murder'd on the plain;
    "No eye had glanc'd at me--
"Poor Herman's fate, oh! had I shar'd,
    'I now might happy be!"


Page 138

ENVY UNMASKED.

                "We all behold, with envious eyes,
                "Our equals rais'd above our size;
                "Who would not at a crowded show
                "Stand high himself, keep others low."
---SWIFT.


PART I.

IN ancient times, upon a certain isle,
Where Arts and Science beam'd the enlight'ning smile,
Was plac'd a reigning duke, in whose mild sway
United virtues did their powers display;


Page 139

And subjects emulously strove t' evince
Their truth to him, as to a mighty prince--
In arms, and arts, and science he excell'd;
While Judgment empire in his bosom held--
To see the page in Fiction's flowers array'd;
T' admire the figure wrought by light and shade;
To mark each just gradation, and confess
How poesy, truth, and pictures thought express,
Fond, from severer studies, he'd unbend,
And, where he look'd, did Genius' powers extend.
Distinguish'd characters he sought to sit
The presidents of Talent, Taste, and Wit;
And that each study be conducted well,
Each in the walk he judges must excel.

O'er Poesy's flowery walks was Hamet plac'd;
Hamet, by Wit, by Sense, and Fancy, grac'd;
Sweet were his sonnets that the laurels won:
Apollo own'd him for his favourite son.


Page 140

'Mongst his compeers he did a master tower;
Alone he shone, unrival'd in his power;
While many a candidate would mount and soar,
Then fall, and never be regarded more:
Yet all indulgent Hamet sang their powers,
And weeds in others would extol as flowers;
With him the duke in Friendship's sun-shine rov'd,
Nor view'd a blemish in the man he lov'd--
Thus Hamet stood priest at Apollo's fane,
And murm'rers murmur'd at his power in vain.

'Twas on a morn, Duke Arnolf, musing, stray'd
To where the forest trees gave pleasing shade;
And, as he roams, a female form he views,
Concealed half by intervening boughs;
She held an infant on her arm, who there
Appear'd like laughing Joy contrasting Care;
And, "ah!" she cries, "thou dear, unconscious child,
"On thee I gaze, yet Woe is unbeguil'd!


Page 141

"Thou'rt like a lily in a wild that springs--
"Thou'rt like a sweet, devoted bird that sings!"
Her hands she clasp'd, and rais'd her streaming eyes,
Then, in sad accents, thus desponding cries:

"O Osric! partner of my constant heart,
"Whose soothing voice could sweetest joys impart;
"No longer shall I hear thy language flow,
"But with keen feelings of distracting woe--
"Those accents fraught with harmony and love,
"Where Sense and Honor, and Persuasion strove,
"Now tun'd to Madness' aid but to express
"The feelings wild of frantic Wretchedness;
"Relentless frenzy! what a wreck is here!
"A judgment half so faultless, half so clear,
"Ne'er crown'd thy triumph till that fatal hour
"My Osric's reason yielded to thy power.--
"Oh! 'tis the icy breast, the flinty heart
"That can repel Misfortune's barbed dart;


Page 142

"These ward the tempest torrents, and are blest;
"Thy guards, O Apathy! secure their rest:
"Where now the graces that adorn'd his mind,
"The soul of honor, and the heart so kind?
"The inventive charms with which his breast was fraught,
"The fire of genius, and the stretch of thought?
"Oh! that my heart were steel'd, or mem'ry dead,
"No more to mourn my Osric's reason fled!"

"Unhappy fair!" the duke advancing cries,
"Say, what the sorrows that impel thy sighs?
"Thy love's lost reason heav'n may yet restore,
"And sweet consoling peace be thine once more."
"Alas!" she cries, "should Reason's powers return,
"His wrongs more bitterly would Osric mourn;
"Exhausted Reason, in her heavy sleep,
"Collects new sighs to heave, new tears to weep,
"While Hamet holds the reign of unjust power,
"To blight fair Genius in her earliest flower,


Page 143

"Indignant passions but to frenzy yield,
" 'Till injur'd Judgment, sighing, quits the field.
"O stranger! hear, while I my story tell;
"The youth I lov'd did sweetest bards excel--
"Free as the zephyr independent blows,
"He sung the lily wild, the garden rose;
"Soaring where Phoebus darts his vivid ray,
"Sense, taste, and feeling did his lines display;
"To Hamet, then, by hope inspir'd, he went,
"At Genius' sullied shrine submissive bent,
"Fearless of wrong, and painting nothing less,
"In flattering thought, but laurels and success.
"His feelings picture, when in justice spight,
"Forbid his efforts are to see the light--
"In vain Apollo's hand the pen might guide,
"Where rival powers and jealous arts preside.
"Ill-fated youth! how sad was then his doom,
"With dire distress and poverty o'ercome;
"On him, dependent, sigh'd enfeebled Age,
"Worn by infirmity, in life's last stage--


Page 144

"Cares thus enchain'd my love, or he had gone
"To some more candid, better tribunal.--
"Not long did Reason mourn, for, ah! too soon
"Distraction stamp'd his desolated doom--
"Ah! stranger, words can ne'er express the woe
"That we to Hamet's base injustice owe."
In tears, she ceas'd, and, struck with sympathy,
Thus, in kind accents, did the Duke reply:
"To Hope awake, sad sympathetic fair,
"What Hamet hath condemned shall Arnolf hear;
"And with assiduous care will seek to find
"If Envy holds her empire in his mind."

PART II.

WITHIN his gay saloon did Arnolf sit,
Surrounded by the sons of Taste and Wit;


Page 145

Then claim'd attention, and prepar'd to read,
Crying, "here her cause shall simple Merit plead--
"A stranger votary your award doth stand,
"Praise or condemn as Justice gives command."

He reads a piece devoid of taste or sense,
On which to build itself one just pretence;
Meaning obscure in labor'd stanza wrought,
That vainly toil'd throughout to give a thought;
He reads with emphasis, but vain he reads,
The tone gives not the fire the poem needs;
Like skilful actors in an ill-wrought play,
He seem'd but more its errors to display;
At length concluded, Hamet bow'd his head,
And then, with look indulgent, smil'd and said:
"A labor'd effort, yet where Nature speaks,
"Her secret charm the shaft of censure breaks;
"For each defect how sweetly she supplies,
"Ungrac'd she's artless, and obscure she's wise.


Page 146

"Ah! check not sanguine Poesy's glowing fire,
"The public taste may crown his fond desire."

The judges, wond'ring that in Hamet's mind
A piece so lifeless should an int'rest find;
Mistrust his truth, nor hesitate to say,
"Did ever stanzas nature less display?
"By Hamet's vivid fancy are they grac'd;
"To common eyes they're barren as a waste--
"Indulgent Hamet would the laurel give,
"But Hamet's kindness ne'er could make it live;
"Friend of the muses, surely, sworn thou art!
"Each worthless suitor gaining thus thine heart;
"Strange, that bright Merit, to itself severe,
"Should foremost be with other's faults to bear.
"Oh! too indulgent Hamet, to thy praise
"Dull poets grateful will a statue raise."

Sweet smil'd the poet, with elated heart,
Pleas'd with the compliment their words impart;


Page 147

Then on the duke he turn'd, and wond'ring views
The unusual gravity that bent his brows.--
"Now," Arnolf cries, "a second candidate
"Doth your decision, gentle Hamet, wait;
"He too a stranger votary appears,
"No patron claims he, and no laurel wears."

He reads a tale wrought in poetic fire,
That to the heart doth kindred flame inspire;
To which the lifeless stanzas read before
Now seem as foil to shew a diamond's power;
From every line bright Genius' influence breaks,
There toil'd the lab'rer, here the master speaks;
Caught by the attractive charm, they list'ning bend,
Forget the poet, and his tale attend:
Each stanza to the heart its power reveals,
Here transport thrills, and there the blood congeals;
The piece concluded, just applause is won,
This cries, "a master!" that, "Apollo's son!"


Page 148

O'er Arnolf's aspect smiles complaisant broke,
Then on the ground he bent his eyes and spoke:
"I, who no heliconian waters drink,
"Of Hamet ask a president to think;
"To thee distinguished in Genius' field,
"Behold our judgments all prepar'd to yield;
"Yet art thou silent, must we hence infer
"That thou perceivest nought of merit here?
"For sure if Hamet could applaud he would."
Then conscious Hamet bow'd and cry'd, " 'tis good:"
"Yet, ah!" the duke exclaims, "low lies the man
"Whose vivid fancy wrought this skilful plan!
"The hand that penn'd these speaking lines is bound;
"He sought for fame, and degradation found--
"Reason hath flown that all his flights control'd,
"And Fancy wild doth frantic empire hold--
"The inventive muse doth tell sweet tales no more
"The tablet of his memory's blotted o'er--


Page 149

"Alas! how weak the infatuated heart
"That rests its peace on some bewitching art;
"Charm'd by deceiving Fame's illusive views,
"Who gives his soul unto a treach'rous muse.

"Oh! cursed Envy! Merit's surest foe,
"Who lay'st the votaries of Genius low!
"Detested passion! why discern'd I not
"The fiend, O Hamet! that thy fame shall blot
"Ere Osric fell? Ah! well known name, I see
"How to remembrance it awakens thee.--
"Oh! fell destroyer of the seeds of worth,
"Who bring'st the flatter'd sons of Dulness forth!
"To stand thy foils, the shadows to thy light,
"That thou more brilliant may'st from contrast strike.
"Again her songs shall shelter'd Genius pour,
"For Hamet shall controul her fires no more;
"Hence will I learn to doubt a rival's tongue,
"Though with alluring argument 'tis strung--


Page 150

"The poet's judgment shall no more prevail
"To vaunt, or to condemn the poet's tale;
"While more of candor, less of skill supplies,
"The sun of Genius shall unclouded rise."


Page 151

PEACE, THE GIFT OF HEAVEN.

A FRAGMENT.

        "Stone walls do not a prison make,
            "Nor iron barres a cage;
        "Mindes innocent and quiet, take
            "That for an hermitage."

O PEACE ! sweet Peace! where shall we guide our way
To gain thine aid, our sorrows to allay--
To ease Disquietude's oppressive dart,
Or balm for other's miseries to impart?--


Page 152

How blest the voice that consolation bears
To Guilt's sad penitence, and Sorrow's tears!
O Peace! sweet Peace! fraught with celestial charms,
Whose downy wings are tipp'd with healing balms,
What wealth shall buy thee? or what labor'd worth
Give thy sweet influence in our bosoms birth?
Not on ourselves depends our joy or woe,
The smile that brightens, or the tears that flow;
And not on helpless man, the blessed power
To light with consolation Sorrow's hour.
To outward circumstance we think is given
That power to bless, which is the gift of heaven--
On outward circumstance the blame affix,
When cares internal the torn bosom vex--
"This," do we say, "would fill with dire distress,
"And that our fondest hopes supremely bless.
"The wish obtain'd, still doth the anxious soul
"Feel unabated Misery's stern controul;
"On some new cause 'twill fix, and dilate there,
"The heart diseas'd ne'er wants a source of care."


Page 153

O Peace! thou child of heaven! more bright than morn,
By circumstance uninjur'd as unborn!
Whom Heaven invests with blest creative light,
Displaying sun-shine 'midst the glooms of night.
Creative light! wherever thou dost beam,
O'er deepest sorrow shines a blessed gleam!
Creative light! unshone upon by thee,
Goods are no goods, desired tho' they be.--
When Heaven doth bless, how independent then
On all that Fortune gives, are favor'd men--
Nature to them new beauties doth disclose,
Wilds are like gardens, daisies like the rose;
Dire doubts distress not, anxious labors cease,
Thro' wastes smiles order, thro' confusion peace.
To them the tolling bell doth seem to ring,
In poverty and prison walls they sing:
Unfavor'd thus, and all earth's blessings given,
Goods are transform'd, unsanctified of heaven;
Flowers lose their fragrance, and the purling rills,
In drought of heat do cool no more, but chills;


Page 154

Then life's desires no longer warm, but burn,
And harmony doth to discordance turn.
With gold we purchase lands and mansions gay,
And power and fame, and glitt'ring array;
Bright gems and laurel wreaths our brows to grace,
And every jewel, but the jewel Peace!
And wanting that which earth cannot supply,
Forlorn in courts and palaces we sigh.

THE END. George Hayden, Printer, 4, Brydges-street, Covent garden.



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