Hours of Solitude. A Collection of Original Poems. Volume I.

Dacre, Charlotte, b. 1782


Charlotte Payne, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 130Kb
Copyright, British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
2000
I.D. No. DacrCHours1

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 48
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Hours of solitude: A collection of original poems

Dacre, Charlotte


Printed by D. N. Shury ... for Hughes ... and Ridgeway ...
London,
1805

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:304. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:304mf.]


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

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Page [i]

HOURS OF SOLITUDE.

VOL. I.


Page [ii]


Page [iii]

HOURS OF SOLITUDE. A COLLECTION OF
Original Poems,
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED.

BY

CHARLOTTE DACRE,


BETTER KNOWN BY THE NAME OF
ROSA MATILDA .

IN TWO VOLUMES.
VOL. I.

            Ah! what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
            When to the charm compar'd of heav'nly melancholy?
MILTON.

London:

Printed by D. N. SHURY, Berwick Street, Soho;
FOR HUGHES, WIGMORE STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE;
AND RIDGEWAY, PICCADILLY.

1805.


Page [iv]



Page [v]

To JOHN PENN, Esq.

SIR,

TO you, the Patron of literature, and the Friend of mankind, permit me to dedicate the subsequent pages. Part are the production of my untaught youth, and part of my later years. To your valuable hints am I indebted for whatever of correctness or accuracy my labours may boast; to your condescension, in improving my taste; and to your goodness, in calling forth an exertion of the slight talents I may possess. For this let me offer you this public tribute of my gratitude, far, very far inferior to that which is registered in my heart. l have the honour to be,
SIR,
Your respectful servant and admirer,
CHARLOTTE DACRE.


Page [vi]


Page [vii]

TO THE PUBLIC.

THOSE Poems in the subsequent collection, where the age at which they were written is not mentioned at the head, are of a recent date. At the age of three- and-twenty, therefore, having no longer extreme youth to plead in extenuation of their errors, I must merely recommend them to mercy.


Page [viii]



Page [1]

HOURS OF SOLITUDE.

THE TRIUMPH OF PLEASURE* .

(Written at Sixteen. )

* Having lately heard that the above Poem bore some resemblance to "The Female Seducers," I think it necessary to state, that I never perused it till curiosity, at this observation, induced me to do so. I do not think the remark a just one.

BEAUTY reclin'd beneath the shade;
Blooming Health before her play'd;
Her golden tresses kissed the wind.
Meek Content, with placid mind,
Her wreath of fadeless flowers entwin'd.
Peace and Virtue join'd the round;
Innocence their fav'rite crown'd;


Page 2

Youth's bright fire illum'd her eye,
And gave her cheeks their vermeil dye.
Sudden strange thoughts attack her rest,
Perplexing visions pain her breast;
The chains of Morpheus burst in twain,
And Love approach'd with glitt'ring train.
Beauty waking, gaz'd around;
Cupid, laughing, kiss'd the ground:
"Fairest virgin, haste away,
Come with me to joyful day;
Sleep no more in realms of night,
Come with me and taste delight;
Refuse me not--my name is Love,
Fav'rite of the gods above.
Fairest maid, then haste away,
And come with me to joyous day!"

He said, and slily strung his bow,
    The arrow sought to hide:
A wither'd hand receives the blow,
    And turns the dart aside.

    'Twas Age the timely freedom took.
Cupid stamp'd with frowning look.


Page 3

Age regardless pass'd him by,
On Beauty gaz'd, and heav'd a sigh.

"Virgin, shun your treach'rous guide;
    I once was fair like you:
Love from me in vain would hide--
    His joys are most untrue."

    The maiden sigh'd as Age went on:
"I tell thee, life is quickly gone;
Pale Experience robs the scene
Of Fancy's fadeless evergreen,
Steals the lamp of Love away,
And shews if cloth'd in sober grey.
Love, disgusted, stays no more,
Spreads his wings, and flies fourscore.
Think, oh, think! that youthful bloom,
Waits not even for the tomb!
Time will dim those lust'rous eyes;
The dart of Death resistless flies:
Turn, fair daughter, and be wise!
All is misery, grief, and shame,
Pleasure lives not but in name.


Page 4

Trust me, Love is mere deceit--
Snakes, not roses, 'twine his feet;

"Pain, not Pleasure, is his guest,
    Jealousy, by furies nurs'd,
Dark Revenge, with bloody crest,
    Gall-fill'd Envy, nearly burst,
Black Suspicion's basilisk eye,
Sharp-tooth'd Slander's cunning lie,
Foaming Rage, and grinning Spite,
Mischief sly, that shuns the light.
Pleasure! 'tis a term for folly,
Ending soon in melancholy;
Sad repentance keeps her side,
And blushing shame, that fain would hide.
Hope no joy, then, meets you there,
But, plunging in a sea of care,
Nothing, nothing but despair.

    "Fare thee well! my power must end;
I give the warning of a friend--
My time expires--no more I dare."--
Then mingled with th' absorbent air.


Page 5

Pensive Beauty gaz'd around;
    Her cheeks were wet with tears;
And thus, with trembling dew-trops crown'd,
    The morning rose appears.

    Love in grief now sidelong turn'd,
His zealous heart with fury burn'd,
His drooping wings despondent hung,
And useless bow was backward flung;
But yet, resolv'd his power to try,
With sweet persuasion in each eye,
Once more his bloomy lips divide,
While countless dimples laugh beside:

"Weep no more, fair-bosom'd maid,
Those eyes are not for tears to shade!
Frosty Age no pleasure knows--
Youth and Age have long been foes;
The leafless tree again shall bloom,
But Age is beauty's final tomb;
Chearless Winter's ice-clad brow
Relaxes in young Summer's glow,
But Age no second spring can know.


Page 6

Come then, fairest, come with me,
Mirth and smiles shall wait on thee!"

    He mark'd young Beauty's heaving breast,
And eyes that all her soul confess'd--
Saw their bright'ning beams displace
The clouds that erst o'erspread her face,
While sparkling tears no more remain
Than dew-drops on the sunny plain.

    Cupid's graceful wings rose high--
He bade his dang'rous train come nigh.
Swift the glitt'ring throng advance,
Twining in a mystic dance:
Rapture, Hope, fond Doubt, and Joy
Kneel before the Cyprian boy;
Pleasure led the jocund rear,
Smiling arch with wanton leer;
Her master's beck she ran to meet,
Poppies springing 'neath her feet.
Soft he seiz'd her polish'd arm;
Scarce the nymph conceal'd a charm;
Poppies crown'd her raven hair
Which wanton'd o'er her shoulders fair;


Page 7

Ringlets 'twin'd her vaulted brow,
And sought to hide her breast of snow;
Seduction lurk'd in every sigh,
And fascination in her eye.
Beauty blush'd, her gaze withdrew,
Nor durst the shameless syren view.
Her right hand held a blooming wreath,
But many thorns were hid beneath;
Her left, a polish'd glass display'd,
Through which appear'd a sunny glade;
Beyond, serene the ocean curl'd,
And show'd a trembling, wat'ry world:
There, stretch'd a plain of smoothest green,
Where many serpents lurk'd unseen;
And roseate bowers allur'd the eye,
Where ambush'd Treach'ry deep did lie.
Reclining here, beneath the shade
Sleeps a languid, half-dress'd maid;
There, a youth, whose varying cheek,
Seems disorder to bespeak;
Some painful dream disturbs his rest,
And heaves with sighs his lab'ring breast.
He sees, perhaps, the visions fade
Which erst his wand'ring feet betray'd.


Page 8

Joining in the noisy rout,
What listless numbers dance about!
There, Laughter and her revel throng
Shake the air with clam'rous song,
While some contemn the outrag'd day,
And dream their sickly lives away.

    Strange, such delusion should have charms
To lure fresh victims to her arms!
Yet Beauty gaz'd and gaz'd again,
While Pleasure mark'd her struggling pain.
So the fell snake attracts the eye,
Then bids the wretch entangled die.

    And now her silver voice essay'd
At once to fix the varying maid:
"See," she cried, with magic grace,
"Gaze on yon enchanting place!
Charms not thee their airy sport?
There live the vassals of my court:
Thou shalt be the fairest there,
Their idol and their only care.
Anxious now they wait thy charms--
Shall I waft thee to their arms?"


Page 9

Deluded Beauty eager gaz'd,
Half her sylph-like form she rais'd;
When lo! a noble youth she spied,
Who hung his head and deeply sigh'd.
Pale was his check, yet softest grace
Illumin'd his dejected face;
Beauteous dimples watch'd his smile,
The sense to seize, the heart to guile.
The fair one gaz'd, forgot the snare,
And left her guardless bosom bare.
Watching Cupid seiz'd his dart,
And shot triumphant through her heart!
Swift poison tingled in her veins,
Her breast throbb'd wild with nameless pains:
The more she look'd, the more she fir'd,
Nor knew 'twas LOVE her soul inspir'd.

    Sudden she caught the wand'rer's eye;
His cheeks assum'd a crimson dye,
His glance was fierce, impassion'd high;
Dissolv'd he seem'd in amorous fire,
Yielding his soul to soft desire.
Eager with love he view'd the fair,
Stretching his arms on vacant air;


Page 10

Then kneeling, trembling, kiss'd the ground--
Tho' conqueror, seem'd a captive bound.
She rose, in brilliant blushes drest,
Reclin'd her head on Pleasure's breast;
Falt'ring whisper'd, "I am thine--
Take me, goddess, to thy shrine!"
Pleasure arch at Cupid smil'd,
He laugh'd to see the maid beguil'd.
Each seiz'd an hand. Oh, Reason, mourn!
Beauty by Love and Pleasure borne!
With their gods the pageant train
Rose, dazzling visions, false and vain;
But Beauty's train hung low the head,
Nor follow'd where the meteors led.
She, sailing joyful on the wind,
Leaving irradiant Truth behind,
Is wafted to that fatal shore
Where Virtue sinks "to rise no more."


Page 11

THE EXILE.

Composed on the sea-shore, and founded on the fate of
an unfortunate Female born to better hopes.
(Written at Sixteen. )

    SWEEP on, ye winds--congenial billows roar,
As, lost, I wander on your dubious shore;
In sad review each shudd'ring vision see
Pass slow along, and turn their looks on me;
See pale Experience with her sadden'd eye
Gaze on the shades, and hear her hollow sigh;
Bless the relentless gloom that weighs the air,
And hail it, fit associate of Despair.

    Dark as my fate the prospect round me low'rs,
As, rob'd in sadness, pass my pensive hours.
The past, a dream--the future, wrapt in shade,
Vainly to pierce my soul has oft essay'd;


Page 12

To dim perspective hast'ning shadows fly,
And veil'd in mist, my straining gaze defy,
Or, like mysterious pageants, mock the eye
In wild conjecture sinks my boding heart,
For fate in ambush still suspends her dart.

The day's drear aspect, when I first drew breath,
Foretold a blight to shrink my hopes with death;
Dark rose the morn, from Heaven's awful gate
Wept the full clouds, as though they mourn'd my fate;
Nor was the eve in one bright ray attir'd,
But chill and sad the grievous day retir'd--
Prophetic day! too well didst thou express
That woe unvarying must my life oppress!
The morn has pass'd; the day still wastes in gloom,
Till deep'ning comes the darkness of the tomb.

    O welcome, tomb! I fondly look to thee,
As wearied mariners a port from sea;
Thou bid'st alone the shackled wretch be free.
Despair flies vanquish'd from the gates of death,
And cedes his empire with the parting breath.
There can no tyrant free-born minds enslave,
For human pow'r is pow'rless o'er the grave.


Page 13

    Ah! what avails it then the chance that sped?
Whether 'twas virtue, hope, or fancy led
The dazz'ling visions of the wand'rer's head:
Whether the dupe of all, or slave of love,
Or wild enthusiast, only skill'd to rove:
Whether the child of error or of fate,
Ah! what avails the folly of debate?

    And now, great God! to thee forlorn I pray--
Teach me to struggle through my arduous day!
Let me not sink ignobly 'neath the scorn
Of narrow minds, or wretches vulgar born,
But from their pity doubly spare my mind--
Cheap, humbling pity of the mock-refin'd!
Let me from added evil still arise,
Like the proud flame aspiring to the skies,
Or freedom, struggling with an host of foes,
That more elastic from oppression grows!
Ah! let me not, whatever be my doom,
Involve another in its fatal gloom!
Let none accuse me with the harrowing name
Of base destroyer of their peace or fame;
In secret let my anguish'd bosom swell,
In secret all my faults and sorrows dwell!


Page 14

Hope flies alarm'd from sorrows such as mine,
And back recoils the powerless hand of Time:
'Tis Death alone, stalking with pride elate,
The king of time, the conqueror of fate,
Smiles on me now, while struggling through the gloom,
And marks me, in proud triumph, for the tomb.

    Then soon farewell for ever, friend or foe!
Indifferent to love or hate I go.
Farewell, oh, man! destroyer of my fame!
Forgot for ever be my injur'd name!
'Tis your unkindness digs my early grave,
Prone to destroy, with every power to save.
No more my just, though slighted claims appear;
Hush then your conscience , 'tis her voice you hear.
Those many wrongs that owe to you their birth,
Like restless spirits, ever scare your mirth;
Still, while you sleep, in dreams your mind shall roll,
And cries for vengeance dimly wake your soul;
Thine offspring hear, unown'd upon thee call--
In sad disgrace they share their mother's fall;
Unpitied, roaming in the world, they find
No chance of life but preying on mankind;


Page 15

Till, desperately just, their country's laws
Doom an ignoble death, nor scan the cause;
Justice denies what Mercy would require,
And for a nation's good, see, they expire!

    Yes, thou fond lover of thy vices, see
Their end who liv'd and are destroy'd by thee!
(Tormenting thought, destroy'd by thee to say!)
Ah! tempt no more the blood-besprinkled way;
Reform, and swift thy ruthless crimes deplore,
For in the grave repentance is no more.

    Now summer fades upon the sterner year,
That conqu'ring comes with aspect sad and drear.
Fly not, sweet season! yet a little stay,
And gild with genial beams my lonely day.
'Tis such as I should mark with sadden'd eye,
In sad progression all thy beauties die;
Should mark the fading of thy smile serene,
And linger hopeless o'er thy with'ring green.
Oh! where, (for this enervates me with dread,)
Oh! where in winter shall I rest my head?
No home, no shelter in the expanse drear,
No friend, no family have I to cheer.


Page 16

A niggard sum, in trembling anguish told,
Speaks, to a day, how long my life I hold.
When this is gone--ah! what the rate decreed--
Famine must waste, or suicide bid me bleed.

    Yet ere that day shall not sweet hope be mine?
Outstep destruction with a speed divine?
Shall I not yet reject the fatal steel,
And gratitude for godlike mercy feel?
No, no--'tis fix'd--vain tears, no longer flow,
For happiness I ne'er shall meet below.

    Oh! thou, devoid of honour! but for thee,
I still would breathe the life of nature, free--
Still tranquil, for still pure , my hours had been,
Not faded in their earliest transient green.
So the young rose, of gentle summer born,
I've seen expanding to the orient morn;
Then Zephyr courts it; but not long its term
Of splendour, hasten'd by the cank'ring worm.
Like me it falls, ere half its little day,
And leaves at large the ravager to prey.


Page 17

ELOQUENCE.

Addressed to a gentleman who eloquently maintained
that Love, if analysed, was Folly.
(Written at fifteen. )

AVAUNT thee, soft Eloquence, exquisite harm!
    Nor longer thy poison impart,
Nor longer endeavour, thou dangerous charm,
    To lure Sensibility's heart.

Oh! first-born of Harmony! sister to Love!
    Partaking its flow'rs and its thorn;
Now bidding the sad heart tumultuously move,
    Then shewing its fond hopes as forlorn.

Thou canst soothe the pale mourner by sorrow opprest,
    Bring comfort on Pity's fair wings;
Thou canst lull the poor penitent's struggles to rest,
    And disarm even pain of its stings.


Page 18

And Music, what rapture thy melody brings,
    What thrillings the bosom inspire,
If the sweet hand of Sentiment sweep o'er the strings,
    Or Love sound the tremulous lyre!

Though thy magic give ease to the agonis'd wounds
    Of Love, by the canker of care;
And tho', lur'd by the wonderful skill of thy sounds,
    Hope should rise from the tomb of Despair:--

Yet, Music, tho' none may thy powers deny,
    In chasing Love's deep melancholy,
'Tis Eloquence bids thee despairing go die,
    And shews us e'en Love is a Folly.


Page 19

PASSION UNINSPIRED BY SENTIMENT.

Addressed to him who denied their existing together.

OH! Passion, seducer of heart and of soul!
    Thou transport tyrannic! half pleasure, half pain!
Why consum'st thou the breast with such madd'ning controul?
    Fly quickly--yet, ah! come as quickly again.

Without thee, what's life but a wilderness drear,
    Or a chill, gloomy vale, where stern apathy reigns?
Like Phoebus, thy vivid refulgence can cheer,
    And brighten, in rapture, e'en Memory's pains.

When pleasure seduces the wild throbbing heart
    In moments ecstatic of tender excess,
When Fancy refines, and when Passion takes part,
    The lover existence too fondly may bless.


Page 20

Yet Passion alone, to the delicate mind,
    Aspires not a simple sensation above;
Unless sentiment yield it an ardour refin'd,
    It degrades, not ennobles the essence of love.


Page 21

To JOHN PENN, ESQ.

I joy to see that still on earth
    The sympathetic sigh
Can in a human heart find birth,
    Or pity dim the eye.

For long I thought all feeling gone;
    Disgust had seiz'd my heart:
I view'd the selfish world with scorn,
    But pride conceal'd my smart--

And men beyond conception base,
    And women false and vain:
My wand'ring heart ne'er found a place,
    Cast back on me again.

From such a world alarm'd I fly,
    In solitude to pine;
I feel , but will in secret die,
    And guard those feelings mine.


Page 22

THE KISS.

THE greatest bliss
    Is in a kiss--
A kiss of love refin'd,
    When springs the soul
    Without controul,
And blends the bliss with mind.

    For if desire
    Alone inspire,
The kiss not me can charm;
    The eye must beam
    With chasten'd gleam
That would my soul disarm.


Page 23

    What fond delight
    Does love excite
When sentiment takes part!
    The falt'ring sigh,
    Voluptuous eye,
And palpitating heart.

    Ye fleet too fast--
    Sweet moment, last
A little longer mine!
    Like Heaven's bow
    Ye fade--ye go;
Too tremulously fine!


Page 24

THE VANITY OF HOPE.

SINCE to hope for true love is but folly,
    And woman's the plaything of man,
My soul sinks in deep melancholy,
    Corroding my life's little span.

Oh! I wish my sad eyes could discover
    A being of nature refin'd,
What rapture to prove him a lover,
    A lover of sensitive mind!

But such, in this world, to my sorrow,
    I never can hope to attain,
For this day shall pass on and the morrow,
    And my wishes will still be in vain.


Page 25

For the fancy of man ever turning,
     Affection he well can withhold;
And his Passions , though ardently burning,
    Leave his Heart unaffected and cold.

Then in solitude still let me languish,
    Contempt brace the nerves of my mind,
Indiff'rence preserve me from anguish,
    And despair to the wind be consign'd.


Page 26

TO HIM WHO SAYS HE LOVES.

YOU tell me that you truly love:
    Ah! know you well what love does mean?
Does neither whim nor fancy move
    The rapture of your transient dream?

Tell me, when absent do you think
    O'er ev'ry look and ev'ry sigh?
Do you in melancholy sink,
    And hope and doubt you know not why?

When present, do you die to say
    How much you love, yet fear to tell?
Does her breath melt your soul away?
    A touch, your nerves with transport swell?


Page 27

Or do you faint with sweet excess
    Of pleasure rising into pain,
When hoping you may e'er possess
    The object you aspire to gain?

The charms of every other fair
    With coldness could you learn to view?
Fondly unchang'd to her repair,
    With transports ever young and new?

Could you, for her, fame, wealth despise?
    In poverty and toil feel blest?
Drink sweet delusion from her eyes,
    Or smile at ruin on her breast?

And tell me, at her loss or hate,
    Would death your only refuge prove?
Ah! if in aught you hesitate,
    Coward! you dare not say you love.


Page 28

THE ANSWER,

By GEORGE SKEENE, Esq. as it appeared in the
Morning Herald.

FULL well I know what love does mean,
    Full well its force and tyranny,
And captive in love's chains have been
    Since first I set my eyes on thee.

No fancy, whim, or idle dream,
    To love like mine could e'er give birth,
Which, flowing from the purest stream,
    Owns, for its source, superior worth.

The angel form of her I love
    Reflects the beauty of her mind,
Where all the virtues sweetly move,
    In joy and harmony combin'd.


Page 29

Bless'd with her love, all other charms
    With coldness I could learn to view,
And in the heaven of her arms
    Taste raptures ever young and new.

For her, could fame and wealth despise,
    In poverty and toil feel blest,
Drink sweet delusion from her eyes,
    Or smile at ruin on her breast.

But to endure her loss or hate
    All human efforts would be vain;
No balm could heal, no charms abate,
    Or soothe such agony of pain.

Vain world, adieu! in fervent pray'r
    I'd bless her with my latest breath,
And, robb'd of all my soul held dear,
    Seek refuge in the arms of death.


Page 30

LOVE AND MADNESS.

OVER the moor a lady fair
    Took her way so sadly;
Her face was pale, her bosom bare,
    Sweet she sung, though madly:

"I had a lover once, believe me,
    His blue eyes shone so mildly;
He's gone, and can I choose but grieve me?
    He's lost, and I wander wildly.

"Stranger, do not look on me!
    What would you discover?
I had a serpent sister--she
    It was who stole my lover.


Page 31

"Stranger, do not weep for me!
    I am past complaining;
The struggle that you think you see
    Is pride my love disdaining.

"But this struggle will not last,
    Not beyond tomorrow;
Life's idle hour I pass so fast,
    I leave behind my sorrow.

"Farewell, stranger--now farewell!
    Here I cannot ponder--
Hark, I hear the warning bell!
     Death is waiting yonder.

"In dim perspective, see, oh! see
    His shadowy figure bending
O'er a small spot meant for me--
    Round pale ghosts attending."

Sudden she turn'd, her wounded mind
    With wilder frenzy firing--
"Farewell!" linger'd on the wind,
    My soul with grief inspiring.


Page 32

Maniac sweet! I do not know,
    Though sad thy lot and dreary,
If happier still thou art not, so,
    Than of reas'ning sorrows weary.


Page 33

THE FOLLY OF LIFE.

AND what is life? A fleeting shade,
A cheerless, beamless, frozen glade,
A span too short for joy to smile,
Ere restless hopes and fears beguile--
    A nervous, feverish dream, at best,
        From which the wise desire
    To wake, then sink to endless rest,
        And gratefully expire.

With calm disdain, compos'd, resign'd,
The greatly philosophic mind
Can view with firm, unshrinking eye,
The tyrant pale and grim come nigh;
    Can view him with a smile of scorn,
        Sigh, and remember still,
    True, true the grave is cold, forlorn,
        But man's heart colder still.


Page 34

Yet grov'ling on their misty way,
And led perpetually astray,
The wretched universal mind
Seem to their sickly life resign'd;
    And meanly toiling on, thro' fear,
        Would shudder could they see
    The million dangers lurking near,
        Afraid of what may be .

Yet not afraid of present ills,
'Tis apprehension only kills.
The dastard soul, abas'd and mean,
Ephemeral, sports in the beam.
     Hereafter pales the coward cheek,
        While folly rules the day,
    And, base, contemptible, and weak,
        He prays but for delay.

Poor mortal, 'tis not giv'n to thee
Immaculate, or great to be:
Yet, far as power will permit,
Be just, humane--to ills submit;


Page 35

    Be firm, be noble, and preserve
        An independent mind,
    From honour's path forbear to swerve,
        Look up, and die resign'd.


Page 36

THE UNFAITHFUL LOVER.

(IMPROMPTU.)

How dare you say that still you love?
    In truth you'll move my rage,
Or, likelier far, my scorn you'll prove,
    If deeper you engage.

Be warn'd, in time, I love no more,
    Nor can I ever change:
One pang I felt, but now 'tis o'er,
    And you may freely range.

Cold, cold I feel to all your sighs,
    Cold, cold to all your tears,
Indiff'rence arms my alter'd eyes,
    And apathy my ears.


Page 37

Hard as the flinty rock I seem;
    The form no longer charms,
That, wand'ring in a fev'rish dream,
    Dwelt in the wanton's arms.

Go, satiate there--my love so pure
    Shall never more be yours;
Let meretricious charms allure,
    And wing your worthless hours.

Seduction from those eyes no more
    My conscious nerves will feel;
And while your sorrows I deplore,
    I have no wish to heal.

I know another still might say
    Your heart remain'd her own;
I think the senses cannot stray
    Indiff'rent and alone:

For 'tis the senses that delude,
    That vitiate the heart;
Refinement dies as they intrude,
    And love conceals his dart.


Page 38

Your friend perhaps I still may be--
    Your mistress, never, never;
The flame that dazzled you from me
    Leaves you more lost than ever.


Page 39

THE MOTHER TO HER DYING INFANT.

"Die my love--I'll not regret thee--
    Die, and me of hope bereave:
If thou liv'st, what ills beset thee!
    Die, and never know to grieve.

"Soft, my angel; calmly sleeping,
    Sleep thy guiltless life away;
Leave to me the task of weeping,
    That, with thine, ends not my day.

But, oh! forbear that smile soul-riving--
    Smile not, strugg'ling for thy breath!
Smile not, in the conflict striving--
     Life beseeching ruthless death!


Page 40

"My soul unnerves; my heart, retreating,
    Breaks to see that fev'rish glow;
The hand of terror stays its beating,
    Lovely angel, look not so!

"Shall these eyes no more behold thee?
    Cruel friends, oh, let me stay!
In my arms will I enfold thee
    Till thou freeze my living clay.

"Sympathetic, softly stealing,
    Thou my heart shalt undermine;
My warmth to thine no warmth revealing,
    But thy cold shall pierce through mine.

"Thy little arms my throat surrounding,
    Stiffly there shall long remain,
Till time our mutual dust confounding,
    We vegetate on earth again.

"Now convulsions swiftly seize thee,
    Yet, my life my angel, stay;
Death alone can e'er release thee,
    Friends, oh, bear me not away!


Page 41

"Wretch! what feelings now possess thee?
    Selfish mother, let him go;
Does his happiness distress thee,
    Mother of unworthy woe?

"Little corpse, of spotless beauty,
    Soon corruption shall thee taint;
Say for thee I did my duty--
    Tell me that, oh, infant saint!

' Childless wretch, thy hopes are over;
    Little baby, thou art blest!
I, a solitary rover,
    Know no peace till endless rest."


Page 42

THE MUSING MANIAC.

(Written at eighteen. )

Say, where am I? Can you tell?
    Is my heart within my breast?
Am I bound in magic spell,
    Or by fiends of hell possest?

Say, what horror sways this brain?
    Do I sleep, or do I wake?
If I sleep--oh, dream of pain!
    From my lids thy fetters take.

If within the silent grave
    Once I could but find my way,
Death might pity on me have;
    Rattling with him let me play.


Page 43

From the sockets of his eyes
    Bid me the grim worm obtain;
Laughing then to see my prize,
    Place it in its cave again.

Sometimes from my earthy bed
    Bid me dance with spectres wan;
Why not gambol with the dead,
    And be happy as we can?

Then, at midnight, from the tomb
    Dimly steal, and silent stray,
Snatch a beam, to light the gloom,
    From yonder moon now laughing gay.

Haunt the base with visions dire,
    From their bosoms tear the heart,
Bid them in a dream expire,
    Then awake to real smart.

Roaming thus where'er we list,
    Dancing round and dancing round,
Sail upon the shadowy mist,
    Or roll the stars upon the ground.


Page 44

Thus to sport, and thus to play,
    Never should I more know care;
I'll bribe the ghosts that guard the way,
    And slily soon to death repair.


Page 45

THE EMIGRANT.

Oh! I shall ne'er forget thee, wretched wight!
    While memory holds forget thee shall I never;
Thy conscious form, that shunn'd the garish light,
    The tatter'd garb, that mock'd thy vain endeavour:

Thy pallid cheek, which meagre want had worn,
    And reckless pluck'd the rose of health once blooming,
The sunken eye, where dignity and scorn
    Yet sat, to check the rabble's vile presuming--

The sunken eye, that mark'd me as I pass'd,
    Oh, I shall ne'er forget the look soul-wounding!
'Twas pitiful, yet greatly sad its cast,
    It struck upon my heart, with folly bounding.


Page 46

Expression various in that look was seen;
    At once 'twas proud, and yet it was imploring;
Something of stern contempt, and grief between;
    The man was sunk, but yet his soul was soaring.

My eyes were fix'd in contemplation sad,
    While he, poor soul! his thin hand faintly raising
O'er a wide rent which cruel time had made,
    Sought to conceal it from my pensive gazing.

Instinctive pride!--Oh, Man! when truly great,
    Not e'en adversity the soul's high feeling
Can ever blunt; but, ling'ring with thy fate,
    It still exists, and still it mocks, concealing.

A momentary fire illum'd his eye,
    A pale, pale blush his sallow check o'erspreading;
He pass'd me with a sad and falt'ring sigh,
    Wishful to speak, but yet rebuke seem'd dreading.

Palsying the best emotions of the heart,
    Thou tyrant, Custom! how I loath thy folly!
Lest sneering Ignorance should fling her dart
    I durst not soothe this wretch's melancholy.


Page 47

Perhaps on some cold stone his head to lie
    He slowly pass'd, in secret so despairing,
Alone to wander, or alone to die,
    Perhaps scarce knowing whither, perhaps not caring.


Page 48

THE MOUNTAIN VIOLET.

(Written at seventeen. )

Sweet fragile flow'r, that bloom'st unsought,
    And bloom'st unseen by many an eye,
Thy charms awake my pensive thought;
    And wake reflexion's bitter sigh.

Thy lowly head with patience bent,
    Unshelter'd, to the northern blast,
As fiercely by the whirlwinds rent,
    Nor deign'd to crush thee as they past;

Expanding wild, thy rich perfume
    Impregnates round the unhallow'd air,
That, reckless of thy virgin bloom,
    Sweeps not o'er thee more mild or fair.


Page 49

Now brighten'd by the morning ray,
    Luxuriant spreads thy grateful breast;
Now evening comes, with tyrant sway,
    And chills thy little form to rest.

Sweet emblem of the soul-fraught mind,
    Expos'd life's keenest storms to bear;
Yet, like thee, tenderly refin'd,
    And shrinking from ungenial air.

The ray which gilds with lucid gleam
    Is innate peace, which none can wrest;
The evening chill that shrouds the beam,
    The sad reflexions of the breast.

Like thee, too, from the vulgar eye
    The chasten'd mind shall live forlorn;
For though no kindred soul may sigh,
    In solitude there's none to scorn.

Dear flow'r, be thou my fav'rite sweet!
    I'll rear with care thy drooping head,
Save thy soft breast from heedless feet,
    And court young zephyrs to thy bed.


Page 50

Yet if perchance, in evil hour,
    Some lawless hand invade thy shrine,
Or nightly blast, with ruthless pow'r,
    Sap the short life which might be thine--

Ah, then, with true regret I'll kneel,
    And try thy beauties dimm'd to chear;
When, ah! if vain my hopes I feel,
    I'll, dead, embalm thee with a tear.


Page 51

THE LOVER'S VISION.

                I lay reclin'd,
            And weary of my fate,
With joy I would have chang'd my wretched state;
                When on the wind,
        A lady beautifully fair,
As fancy has pourtray'd us angels are,
        Appear'd with majesty to sail,
        And wafted on ambrosial air--
Delicious odours made my senses fail.

                I knew my love;
            Her face was snowy white,
Her garments streams of undulating light;
                Her hair did rove
        Loose o'er her slim, irradiant form;
Her look, methought, was freezing and forlorn.
No more did lustre in her eyes abound;
            Rays did her head adorn,
Which sparkling coruscations threw around.


Page 52

                "Remember well
            How oft thou didst inspire
Glances, tho' chasten'd, yet of ardent fire;
                And now I tell,
Fearing thy love were boyish or untrue,
I durst not mine in all its fervor shew;
            But now my unfetter'd soul,
            Soaring in regions new,
May own its mortal love without controul."

                "Oh, thou!" I cried,
            And stretch'd my longing arms--
"Oh, why in life didst thou withhold thy charms?
                Why, shadowy bride,
            While I am living clay,
Speak'st thou of heav'n, yet leadest not the way?
        Let me, bright saint, no more despair,
            But take my soul away,
And mix with thine in death, oh, spirit fair!"

                With mournful sigh
            The beauteous sprite replied:
"Behold around, with deep'ning crimson dy'd,
                The eastern sky:


Page 53

            I can no longer here remain."
And, as she spoke, more luminous became
                Her form of silv'ry mist.
            Slow it dispers'd. My eyes in vain
To trace it in the air would still persist.


Page 54

EXPERIENCE.

(Written at eighteen. )

Ah! wo the hour when fancy held her sway,
    And reason came not with her radiance bright,
When passion flam'd the meteor of the day,
    And blinded, not directed, with its light.

Ah! then, unmindful of the vengeful shade,
    In dim perspective boding to destroy,
I pleas'd my fancy, and my heart it paid,
    Of ev'ry hope, the price for present joy.

For, ah! too soon in sad despair I found
    The gem gay sparkling in the fairy night,
When pale Experience shed her beams around,
    Appear'd a worthless pebble to the sight--


Page 55

Which Reason, blushing, felt asham'd to own,
    Vex'd to have slumber'd on inactive wing.
But vain regret, nor can the shame atone;
    The deed, long past, shall leave a length'ning sting.


Page 56

THE VISIONS OF FANCY.

(Written at sixteen. )

As on a rock's stern brow entranc'd I lay,
    The deaf'ning surges bursting at my feet,
Light Fancy at my head assum'd the sway,
    And backward bade the jarring world retreat.

Now shadowy forms with antics glide along,
    Or merrily sailing through the misty air,
The shrill wild echo of their noisy song
    Breaks in strange periods on my sleepy ear.

In dim perspective now a group appear,
    Twining with gambols in a mystic dance;
The aching eye in vain would bring them near,
    They now in shade retreat, and now advance.


Page 57

Pursu'd by Poverty, Disease, and Care,
    An haggard shade stalks slow along the gloom,
Her thin hands clasp'd upon her bosom bare,
    Mis'ry her name--she seeks the peaceful tomb.

But ah! who rushes from yon mountain brow,
    With wild eyes straining on the vacant air,
Half naked, and with hair dishevel'd so,
    Fix'd in that look of horror? 'Tis Despair.

And next a wretch, most grievous to behold,
    Tearing his bosom with ensanguin'd hands,
Now parch'd with heat appears--now froze with cold:
    'Tis Madness, that on mischief eager stands.

With blood-stain'd dagger, heaving broken sighs,
    A gory vision swims before my sight--
Remorseless Suicide, with tearless eyes,
    Turning on his own breast the weapon bright.

Last, a pale youth that in deep anguish seems,
    Whose heart heaves near to burst his lab'ring breast;
From his dull eye no spark of pleasure gleams,
    For, ah! 'tis love has robb'd him of his rest.


Page 58

Poor youth! too darkly frowns thy stubborn fate,
    For Mis'ry with her rueful train draws near:
"Fly, thou blind victim!" Ah! it proves too late--
    She comes, and fell Destruction in her rear.

He slowly lags, nor once of danger thinks;
    To his devoted breast th' oppressor clings:
Lo, on the youth a weight of horror sinks,
    And black around Despondence spreads her wings.

Assaulted Reason totters on her throne;
    Madness usurps the kingdom of the brain;
Death seems the refuge--instant death alone
    His desperate passport to release from pain.

Vainly his drooping soul to chear he tries,
    Vainly attempts to struggle with despair;
On his sad ear resound loud piteous cries,
    And Desolation flaps the desart air.

Now Suicide comes, shaking his dagger high,
    And, smiling ghastly, gives his breast a wound;
Wild rapture lighten'd in the victim's eye,
    And up the dizzying height I saw him bound.


Page 59

Careless he rush'd through the deep, dang'rous gloom,
    His lips, convuls'd, seem'd mercy to invoke;
I, viewing, agoniz'd, his fatal doom,
    Stretch'd forth my arms to save him--and awoke*.

* I have in my possession many more Poems attempted at the early ages of sixteen and seventeen, but do not presume to intrude more of them upon the liberality of my readers.


Page 60

THE MURDERER.

Silent he stalk'd, and ever and anon
He shudder'd, and turn'd back, saying, "Who follows?"
Horror had blanch'd his check; his writhing brow
Confess'd the inward struggles of his mind.
E'en in the distant, ever-varying clouds
His tortur'd fancy form'd a vengeful angel,
Pointing the sword of justice o'er his head;
And e'en the murm'ring zephyrs, rushing by,
Seem'd the low whisp'rings of the restless shade
His sanguinary steel had forc'd abroad.


Page 61

With folded arms, and hesitating tread,
The guilty murd'rer shunn'd the beaten path,
And turn'd where trackless Desolation frown'd.
Now the last crimson tint of eve expir'd,
And fainter grew the vivid western clouds;
The mountains their gigantic shadows threw
Across the boundless plain outstretch'd below;
The blue mists gather'd on their low'ring heads,
And in the dusk delusive shapes uncouth
Cheated the wretched culprit's coward eye.
Vainly for refuge in himself he sought,
For dark remorse and shudd'ring guilt were there,
Despair, and doubts of heaven. Dark as his fate
Increasing night came on. The wand'rer sunk
Exhausted down, but sleep disdain'd her snowy plumes to soil
By hov'ring near the blood-stain'd murd'rer's couch,
And fled to "lids of innocence and peace* ."
In agony the prostrate wretch remain'd,
His eyes distended and by madness glaz'd;
Visions of horror shock'd his straining sight.
Now gliding slow he mark'd the angry spirit


Page 62

Of his murder'd friend, which, as it pass'd
In mournful guise, its threat'ning finger shook.
Then came a form most hideous to behold,
Of sable hue, and eyes of sparkling fire.
It stopp'd and grinn'd a smile of triumph, such
As hell alone could shew, and th' arch fiend wear,
Elate, and glorying in the crimes of Man!
Thus harass'd and appall'd, the guilty soul
No hope of mercy chear'd. His bursting eyes,
On vacancy fierce stretch'd, seem'd wild to scan
Futurity, to him a dread abyss,
A darkly-yawning gulf, within whose womb
Horror-struck Fancy form'd chaotic scenes,
Where fiends malignant various racks prepar'd
To stretch his tortur'd frame, and, agoniz'd,
Wring from his heart, by torment exquisite,
The secret of his murder. Drop by drop
Forc'd from his swelling veins the blood he saw;
Ten thousand pangs assail'd him; while around
Terrific yells and laughter seem'd to ring,
With taunts such as the scoffing demons shout
O'er those whom they betray.--Visions so drear,
Compounded by remorseful fancy's sway,
What reason could sustain? Yet reason still


Page 63

Maintain'd her seat--the more the murd'rer's woe.
Now from the shadowy gulf, emerging slow,
The King of Terrors rose. Awful he rose,
And wan as the pale moon-beam o'er the tomb.
Still, as he mov'd, his form gigantic grew;
Till pointing at the wretch's anguish'd heart
That dart which never errs, behold him breathe,
In wild despair, his last, yet curs'd with sense to feel
The dreadful visitations of his fate.
    Murder, at once the foulest and the first
Of human crimes, the eldest-born of sin,
In vain would hope its glowing guilt to hide
From the Omnipotent's all-piercing eye.
Whether in vale sequester'd darkly done,
Or on the summit of the mountain steep--
Whether conceal'd beneath the sea green wave,
Or left a corse disfigur'd on the shore,
Th' avenging spirit still shall call on heaven!
Ne'er can the trace of blood be wash'd away.
Or could the arid earth its steam imbibe,
Or could the deed of death be veil'd in night,
Yet the lost wretch whose hands have once been stain'd
Bears in his forehead the accusing mark.
The haggard cheek, the darkly-scowling eye,


Page 64

The frenzied glance, the guilty, frequent start--
Ah! these are witnesses no wealth can bribe.
The slaves of conscience are they evermore,
And wearing all the livery of murder.

* Young.


Page 65

The four following Poems appeared, in the year   801 , in
a Romance entitled "The Fatal Secret," and
were written by me for the express purpose of being
introduced in the course of that Work, to oblige the
author. In the present publication they are more
generalised.

THE ORPHAN'S CURSE.

[In the description above, the date 1801 appears as   801. This is a printer's error.]

Ruin seize thee, ruthless man!
    Confusion on thy steps attend;
Thy life exceed a mortal's span,
    And terror haunt thee to the end.

May every ill on man that pours
    Lurk in thy path, their stings to dart;
Despair infest thy lonely hours,
    And drink the life-blood of thy heart!


Page 66

If sleep thy wearied eyes should close,
    May dreams fantastic round thee rise,
And visions sad of future woes
    Disturb thee with their vengeful cries!

May poverty, disease, and care
    In swift succession seize their prey,
And mist and vapors blast the air
    That lights thy solitary way!

Without a friend to soothe thy care,
    Without a friend to close thine eyes,
To shades of darkness may'st thou go,
    And hell's fell monarch yield the prize!

Tremble! for 'tis the orphan's pray'r,
    Nor hope to be forgiven:
The orphan's ghost thy soul shall scare,
    And bar the gates of heaven.


Page 67

THE SKELETON PRIEST;

OR,
THE MARRIAGE OF DEATH.

The winds whistled loud the bleak caverns among,
The nightingale fearfully lower'd her song,
    The moon in dark vapors retir'd;
When forth from her chamber, as midnight was told,
Irene descended, so fearless and bold--
    For love had her bosom inspir'd.

Her white veil it flutter'd as onward she flew,
Not regarding the tempest, tho' harsher it blew,
    Nor chill'd by the deep-piercing cold;
The fire of passion that burn'd in her breast
All other emotions disdain'd and repress'd--
    For the power of love is untold.


Page 68

Now sudden a flash that divided the skies,
And struck the lone maiden with awe and surprise,
    Illumin'd the desert around;
She saw herself close to a precipice brink,
And as in mute horror she from it did shrink,
    "Beware!" cried a terrible sound.

"Who bids me beware?" she trembling exclaim'd;
"Say, art thou a guardian who may not be nam'd,
    Or was it my fancy alone?"
Again she proceeded, determin'd to dare,
When slowly again cried the voice, "Oh, beware!"
    And sunk in a shudd'ring groan.

"What horror this night does Irene betide?
Orlando, my love, I shall ne'er be thy bride;
    This night is the night of my doom.
Oh, spirit of darkness! wherever you be,
I ask but this night for my happiness free;
    Let the rest be o'ershadow'd with gloom."


Page 69

Once more she attempted the spot to depart;
She heard not the voice, and light grew her heart,
    No longer by terror subdu'd;
But scarce had she taken three steps of the way
When a lady, whose dress was more fair than the day,
    Of a sudden her footsteps pursu'd.

"O be not afraid, lovely maiden," she cried,
"But grant me the favor to walk by your side;
    My road is the same as your own:
The bride of Orlando you hasten to be,
But that is an hour you never may see,
    And 'tis gloomy to wander alone."

"Oh, prophet of woe!" said Irene, "forbear!"
And turn'd to the stranger with looks of despair,
    But enhorror'd withdrew from the sight:
A mouldering skull in her hand was display'd,
While a lamp the red blood on her bosom betray'd,
    And chequer'd the earth with its light.


Page 70

"You start, lovely maiden! What folly is fear!
And what in this skull can so hideous appear,
    Since you may resemble it soon;
Unless you consent to be guided by me,
Return to your home, live contented and free,
    Or your journey may end in the tomb ."

"No, never, while life in this bosom shall reign,
Will I treat my fond love with such cruel disdain,
    Or deny him my husband to be:
This night will I wed him, in despite of fate,
And fly with him, too, wheresoe'er he dictate,
    Whatever the sorrow to me."

The stranger sigh'd deep as in autumn the wind;
She turn'd her pale visage, so sad and resign'd,
    On Irene, and shuddering said,
"Orlando is wedded . This night, to be thine,
He committed on heaven and nature a crime
    Which in vengeance his soul must be paid.


Page 71

"Still art thou resolv'd thy fond vice to pursue
In vain, for Orlando is hid from thy view,
    And wanders despairing alone:
His crime is his torment; by demons possess'd,
He gloomily wanders, depriv'd of his rest,
    In a desart by mountains o'ergrown.

Then court not perdition; take homeward thy way,
Alone let me wander, alone let me stray,
    Or dread the reward of thy crime:
Forbear thou the union cemented by blood ,
A bond of destruction to lure thee from good;
    The murderous compact resign.

"Return , and the past but a vision shall seem,
Appear on the morrow no more than a dream,
    Forgot in the glories of day:
Proceed , and before a short hour is told
Again, to your horror, you shall me behold,
    Your blood as the forfeit to pay. "


Page 72

Your name!" had Irene but faintly exclaim'd--
The stranger had vanish'd; no traces remain'd;
    The silence of death was around;
The wind had subsided, the moon now appear'd,
Its beauteous refulgence the nightingale chear'd,
    And again did her harmony sound.

"Who dwells in this forest of gloom and despair?"
Cried Irene--"What horror impregnates the air?
    Do demons assemble to sport?
They envy those raptures they cannot divide,
The rapture to be of Orlando the bride,
    And this is their infamous court.

"They mock at my feelings, they laugh at my pain,
But all their delusions they essay in vain--
    Orlando, I still will be thine! "
Then onward she sprang. At the foot of the hill
Orlando impatiently waited her still,
    And their arms in fond rapture entwine.


Page 73

But the arms of Orlando than ice were more cold,
As in them Irene he seem'd to enfold;
    His features were hid from her view;
His voice seemed hollow, he mournfully sigh'd;
A chilling despondence crept over the bride,
    A mistrust that she dar'd not pursue.

"Orlando, what demons have lurk'd in my way
Thine Irene from all that she lov'd to delay,
    And say thou wert wedded from me?"
"No more, fair Irene! The hour is right;
"I little expected thy presence to-night:
     Our wedding shall speedily be.

"Behind this green hill, just close to the beach,
Is a vessel in which our castle we reach,
    Now gloomy, and anxious for you .
Come, quickly depart--time onward does fly;
Since here you have ventur'd you must not deny."
    And forward Irene he drew.


Page 74

Now approaching the beach, lo! a vessel was there;
Of mist seem'd the cables, the sails vapors fair,
    No creature to guide it was nigh;
Orlando took charge of his terrified bride,
It seem'd like an arrow the waves to divide,
    And swifter than fancy to fly.

Now reaching the opposite shore, he convey'd
From the vessel of shadows the heart-frozen maid,
    When instant it faded from view:
He forc'd her still on through a rocky descent,
Her feet and her bosom were cruelly rent,
    And blood did each footstep pursue.

They enter'd a cavern; an altar was there;
A priest to unite them does slowly prepare;
    Their hands are together entwin'd;
When casting his robe, lo! what horrors beneath!
The skeleton priest was no other than Death ,
    Whom the maiden in marriage had join'd.


Page 75

"Thou art wedded, but not to Orlando --behold!
For, maiden, thy love was imprudent and bold--
    Thou art wedded, and must to my home.
Orlando no longer--dissolv'd is the spell;
Thy nuptial rejoicing must be a death knell,
    For thou art the wife of the tomb .

Irene, despairing, remember'd the wood--
Before her the spectre now menacing stood--
    "The wife of Orlando was I ;
He sent my soul wand'ring, thy beauties to gain;
I warn'd thee, alas! but I warn'd thee in vain,
    For thou wert determin'd to die."

Alas! sad Irene no more can depart;
The numbness of death slowly crept round her heart,
    And, palsied, her nerves seem'd to shrink:
The skeleton priest now approach'd them again;
He seiz'd on the victim--her struggles were vain--
    From the world, lo, together they sink!


Page 76

JULIA'S MURDER;

OR,
THE SONG OF WOE.

What hast thou done, oh! wretch despairing?
    Think with horror on thy crime;
Deep remorse, thy bosom tearing,
    Ne'er must hope a balm from time.
Julia sweet! who could alarm her?
Fiends of hell could only harm her,
Lovely flow'r.

Ev'ry gale that wafts around thee
    Shall Altona "murd'ress" call;
Ev'ry whisper shall confound thee,
    Ev'ry shadow shall appall.
Terror evermore pursue thee!
Guilt itself shall blush to view thee,
Murd'ress dire!


Page 77

Julia's ghost shall rise to scare thee,
    Sighing in the hollow wind,
"Cruel sister, oh! beware thee--
    Swift destruction shalt thou find."
Hope flies aghast whilst thou art here;
The sun forgets its power to chear,
Accurs'd of heaven!

Thy breath empoisons the sweet air;
    Where'er thou step'st a blight is found;
Thine eyes the birds of Heaven scare --
    Thou spread'st a pestilence around.
When thy with'ring breath is flown,
What hand so rash to place thy stone,
Disgrace of hell?

The fragrant earth would ne'er receive thee,
    Disease would rise to blast mankind;
E'en ocean's waves alarm'd would leave thee,
    And fearful o'er thee rush the wind.
For deeds of horror wert thou born,
To laugh all human guilt to scorn,
And curse the world.


Page 78

Sin , rising from her cavern dark,
    Shrinks appal'd, and howling flies,
And, trembling thy crimes to mark,
    E'en palsied Horror shudd'ring dies.
Where'er thou art, despair is ours;
Shrunk and wither'd are the pow'rs
Of nature now.

Let this earth sink, and chaos come,
    A new and spotless world arise,
For ages ne'er can steep in gloom
    The guilt that for oblivion cries.
No time thy deed can fade away,
Its memory blasts the coming day,
And threats perdition.


Page 79

THE AIREAL CHORUS;

OR,
THE WARNING.

"Lady, whither would you stray?
    Tempt no more this dang'rous wood;
Blood-besprinkled is the way,
    Evil lurks, to injure good.

"Lady, home, and swiftly, go;
    Horror follows as you fly:
Lady, wherefore linger so?
    Hasten, or prepare to die.

"I was once a virgin fair,
    Morven lov'd, and thought him true;
Morven left me to despair--
    Morven thus will do by you.


Page 80

"Lady, then no more delay;
    Hear me warn --in haste depart:
Fiends, assembling in your way,
    Long to feast upon your heart.

"Round a cauldron--round and round,
    Lo! they brew a horrid charm;
Magic words, of direful sound,
    Shall your pow'rs of flight disarm.

"Fly, oh! fly this dusky wood,
    O'er the flame your fibres shrink;
Drunk, they riot on your blood,
    Reeling, tott'ring as they drink.

"Lo! they thirst, they rage for you,
    Yelling hoarse with fearful cry;
Wild with transport they pursue,
    Laughing loud to see you fly.

"Vain your flight--I sadly tell
    Hope of mercy too is vain;
If you step in magic spell,
    Never may you turn again.


Page 81

"Lo! they rush--they seize you now--
    In your bosom dart their fangs;
Now your blood begins to flow--
    Wild they suck amid your pangs.

"Spent with fury, now give o'er--
    Yelling bear you swift away;
Sink to hell, and rise no more
    Till they scent another prey.

"I was once a virgin fair,
    Morven lov'd, and thought him true;
Morven left me to despair--
    Morven thus will do by you.

"Lady, then no more delay;
    Hear me warn --in haste depart:
Fiends, assembling in your way,
    Long to feast upon your heart."


Page 82

DEATH AND THE LADY.

In imitation of the old English ballads.

    DEATH.

Lady, lady, come with me,
    I am thy true friend;
New and strange sights shalt thou see
    If thine hand thou'lt lend.

    LADY.

Wo is me, what dost thou here?
    Spectre foul, away!
No more let me those accents hear
    Which fill me with dismay.


Page 83

    DEATH.

Thou shalt lie in my arms to-night;
    My bed is narrow and cold;
When morning dawns there is no light,
    For its curtains are made of mould .

    LADY.

Ah, me! ah, me! what's that you say?
    And what the bed you mean?
Ah! if I dream, God send it day,
    And drive you from mine eyne!

    DEATH.

Lady, lady, it must not be;
    Look on me once again;
In different shapes you oft see me,
    The friend of grief and pain.

    LADY.

Oh! sure I once have look'd on thee,
    Thy vest is snowy white;
Tall is thy form, I did it see
    By yonder pale moonlight.


Page 84

The mortal lay in a silken bed
    Of bright and gaudy hue,
On a pillow of down repos'd her head,
    Bound with a fillet of blue.

The tall sprite now her bed drew near,
    And stretch'd the curtains wide;
The mortal glanc'd in trembling fear,
    But swift her face did hide.

For his robe of mist no more conceal'd
    His skeleton form from view,
Each white rib was to sight reveal'd,
    And his eyeless sockets too.

Tall and lank, and sadly gaunt,
    His rueful form was seen,
His grisly ribs no flesh could vaunt,
     Misty the space between.


Page 85

    DEATH.

Lady, fresh and fair there are,
    Young and blooming too;
Fate, nor fresh nor young will spare,
    Nor now can favour you.

    LADY.

Not in my prime? Oh! say not so;
    Fair the morn will be,
Gaily rise when I am low,
    The sun no more to see.

    DEATH.

Hast thou not seen the sun, I pray,
    Full many a time before?
Hast thou not curs'd the tardy day,
    And wept till it was o'er?

    LADY.

Alas! I thought not what I said:
    Oh, Death, in pity spare!
Let me not with thee be laid
    While I am young and fair.


Page 86

    DEATH.

What hast thou known but care and sorrow?
    Thy lovers faithless all?
And if I spare thee till to-morrow
    Some horrid ill may fall.

    LADY.

'Tis true no peace I've ever known,
    My days have pass'd in woe
I trust, since those in grief have gone,
    The rest will not thus go.

    DEATH.

Deceitful hope! to-morrow's dawn
    A dire mishap shall bring;
From my dim shades I come to warn--
    Thy friend as well as King.

    LADY.

Ah, yet awhile, ah, yet awhile,
    This ill I do not fear;
By care I may its course beguile,
    But why com'st thou so near?


Page 87

    DEATH

Mortal wretched, mortal vain!
    Child of weakest woe!
Sickness, sorrow, tears, and pain
    Are all you e'er can know.

Say, what in life is there to lure
    Thy agitated mind?
Trifling, futile, vain, unsure--
    Oh, wherefore art thou blind?

Thou dost not live e'en half thy day,
    For part is spent in tears;
In sleep how much is worn away!
    How much in hopes and fears!

In doubt you move, in doubt you live,
    Surrounded by a cloud;
Nor up can pierce, nor downward dive,
    And yet of life are proud.

Danger, danger lurks around,
    False is the smile of man;
Unsteady is the sinking ground,
    Delusions croud thy span.


Page 88

Is there a bliss you e'er can feel
    Your million woes to pay?
Is there a day which fails to steal
    Some transient joy away?

Is there a beam, which gilds thy morn
    With radiance falsely bright,
That sinks not in the evening storm
    Which crushes thee ere night?

Life is a bitter, bitter hour,
    A bleak, a dreary wild,
Where blooms no shrub, where blows no flow'r
    For nature's wretched child.

If from the grave to look on life
    With retrospective eye
We sad could view its noisy strife,
    Who would not wish to die?

A fev'rish dream, a bubble frail,
    Borne on inconstant air.
The bubble bursts--there's none bewail,
    For thousands still are there!


Page 89

No trace remains--the world goes on
    As tho' thou ne'er hadst been;
Thou griev'st to die, others grieve none,
    Nor miss thee from the scene.

A speck in nature's vast profound,
    Unknown thy life or birth--
Giddily flying in the round,
    Then add a grain to earth.

Mortal wretched, mortal vain,
    Longer wilt thou stay?
Longer wilt thou suffer pain,
    Or cheat the coming day?

And then the spectre heav'd a sigh,
    A sigh both long and deep,
In mist his changeful form drew nigh,
    And he saw the mortal weep.

Then far, far off 'twas seen to glide,
    Shrouded in vapours blue;
Small, small it seem'd, but did not hide,
    Then gradual rose to view.


Page 90

With dazzling light the chamber shone,
    And tall the sprite appear'd,
And when the solemn bell toll'd one,
    The lady no longer fear'd.

"Come quit thy bed, fair lady, I say,
    For mine, which is narrow and cold;
When morning dawns there is no day,
    For its curtains are made of mould.

"But I'll give thee a robe of vapors blue,
    Nor laces nor silks have I;
I'll gem thy brows with a fillet of dew,
    Which lasts but while you die .

"And I'll give you to her from whom you came,
    Your bed shall be peaceful and lone;
Your mother's cold arms will embrace you again,
    And your covering shall be stone.

"There no more griefs shall ever you know,
    Nor day nor night shall you see;
Secure in your narrow bed below,
    Companion true to me."


Page 91

"God pardon me," the lady cried,
    "And receive me to thy feet,
And all that pure and holy died,
    Oh! grant that I may meet."

Then rising from her silken bed,
    She gave her hand to Death;
His touch'd, benumb'd, her soul with dread,
    And stopp'd her rising breath.


Page 92

THE ELFIN KING;

OR,
THE SCOFFER PUNISHED. After the manner of some modern Poets.

As I cross'd the desert wild,
    Not a star amid the gloom,
Loud and harsh the tempest howl'd,
    Driving vapours o'er the moon.

What care I for tempest loud?
    What care I for desert lone?
What care I for church-yard blank,
    Or spectre flitting round its tomb?


Page 93

For white-rob'd phantom, elf, or gnome
    What care I, both brave and free?
Then howl, rude tempest, till thou burst,
    All thy howling moves not me.

So sang I careless, "Wo to me!"
    When, lo, a distant light appear'd;
Methought the village near must be,
    And joy soon my bosom chear'd.

"Stop!" a voice shriek'd most shrill;
    Close to my ear the sound did seem,
While o'er my cheek a freezing breath
    Rush'd cold as tho' it death had been.

"What now," I cried, "unmanner'd lout?
    Shew thyself, and tell thy mind."
"Mind! " the voice shriek'd amain,
    And now it sounded from behind.

Close to my side a light I see,
    In cloven hoof, of grinning spite;
My soul grew sick, and back I drew,
    Possess'd with wonder and affright.


Page 94

Large his head, as cauldron round,
    Slight his waist, as sea-weed thin,
With face behind and face before,
    And reaching to his feet each chin.

Cover'd o'er with hair so white,
    Drest in robe of dusky blue;
Where eyes should be two imps look'd out,
    Glaring hideous to the view.

On each shoulder sat a bird,
    Its plumage was of fiery red,
Transparent, bright, you through them saw,
    And with their beaks they peck'd his head.

Teeth he had, both long and green,
    Seeming slim'd with sea-weed o'er,
And, crawling slow his legs between,
    A mastiff huge, with tail before.

Feet nor hands this elfin had,
    But hoofs instead so black had he;
His putrid breath made blisters rise,
    Tho' cold as any ice might be.


Page 95

Loudly laugh'd the elfin sprite,
    Closely clinging round my knee,
And in his hoof a rattle turn'd,
    Which, in good truth, near deafen'd me.

Sinking to the earth was I,
    When, lo! a vision, tall and thin,
Pluck'd my arm, and taunting cried,
    "Good sir, how brave do you begin!"

Stiff as marble did she bend,
    Like a steeple tall, I vow;
Where her head lodg'd--that, in faith,
    Was more than ever I could know.

Thin her form as fairy wand,
    White as snow of dazz'ling hue,
Her fingers swept the dusky ground,
    She zigzag danc'd before my view.

Holding up her misty train,
    An hideous fury crept behind,
With horse's head, and fish's tail,
    And body of a feather'd kind.


Page 96

Near her came a small black man,
    With fiery sparks all studded o'er;
Now he swam on air, and yell'd,
    And coolly then trudg'd on before.

Long and crooked was his nose,
    Curling underneath his chin,
Red his eyes as harvest suns,
    With a copper horn between.

Little imps with fiery eyes,
    Serpents which, if cut in twain,
For a moment vanish'd back,
    Then, multiplied, return'd again.

Animals with human face,
    Cats with plumage of a bird,
Sprites that hideous did grimace,
    But scorn'd to say a single word.

Goblins dancing in the air
    With curious gambols you might see,
Arms and legs that mov'd alone,
    And things as strange as well might be.


Page 97

Horror stiffen'd ev'ry nerve;
    "Save me, save me!" loud I cry:
Swift my hair is twisted round,
    Sudden I am borne on high.

"Learn to sport with elfin king,"
    A voice so shrill assail'd my ear:
I seem'd to wake--but, oh! dismay!
    On precipice I lay most near.

Slowly, cautiously, I roll
    From the dashing torrent's roar,
Which, foaming in the rocky cave,
    Had near embrac'd me evermore.

Oh! woe was me! full twenty mile
    Astray the elfins had me ta'en.
I wander'd home, and vow'd the while
    I ne'er with elfs would sport again.


Page 98

SIMILE.

THE little Moth round candle turning,
Stops not till its wings are burning:
So woman, dazzled by man's wooing,
Rushes to her own undoing.


Page 99

FRACAS BETWEEN THE DEITIES.

ADDRESSED TO MR. F----, AN ENTHUSIASTIC VOTARY
AT THE SHRINE OF BACCHUS. (Written at sixteen. )

ROSY Bacchus and Pallas once had an affray,
    Where neither would precedence yield;
For each seem'd determin'd on gaining the day,
    And routing the foe from the field.

Says Bacchus, "You'll grant, me most mortals adore,
    And with rapture resort to my court;
While for you only greybeards and dotards explore,
    When age has forbid them to sport."


Page 100

Says Pallas, "You're right;" and she bow'd on her shield:
    "This indeed is the first of your hits;
For e'er since my father his sceptre could wield,
    The fools have outnumber'd the wits ."

An emotion of rage fill'd young Bacchus's breast;
    And snatching some grapes from his brow,
Disdainful he threw them at Pallas's crest,
    While his ruby cheeks redder did grow.

"Nay now, trust me," says Pallas, "I meant no offence;
    But you know, my dear Bacchus, I came
From the forehead of Jove when he smote it for sense,
    My conquest should give you no shame."

"Now Pluto swift drag me o'er Styx to his hell,
    And bid water be ever my drink,
If e'er, owlish goddess, I yield thee the bell,
    Or Bacchus at woman shall shrink.


Page 101

"What avail your tough maxims and mischievous lore,
    But to render men crafty, or sad?
Nor even to lighten the wond'rous bore,
    Is a drop of my juice to be had."

"Ah, poor little baby!" cried Pallas again;
    "Let thy vine cover'd pate be at rest:
To wage war with Wisdom , young Toper, is vain,
    You'll only come off second best ."

As thus they disputed, Love, bounding along,
    Chanc'd together his messmates to see;
And sportively bowing, he cried, "Am I wrong,
    Or do Bacchus and Pallas agree?"

"Ah, Cupid, how fare you?--come hither, my boy,"
    Says Pallas;--"but first, I beseech,
Put your bows in their quiver;--your present employ
    Is to heal , not occasion a breach.


Page 102

"Little Bacchus, poor imp there, has offer'd to prove
    His pow'r as superior to mine,
As thine, pretty torturer, exquisite Love,
    Is superior to him and his wine."

"Will Love from the cause of his pleader depart?"
    Cried Bacchus--and angrily star'd;
"His chief aid-de-camp , who seduces the heart,
    Already for rapture prepar'd."

"Hush awhile, mighty wranglers (cried Cupid) I pray,
    Or, by Venus! I sheer off the stage;
I protest I'm quite scar'd by this hideous affray,
    And my nerves are unstrung for an age.

"Now mark my decision impartial and plain,
     Both are mighty in different ways;
And neither infringing the other's domain,
    May command equal tribute of praise.


Page 103

"You, beauteous Minerva, too closely pursued,
    Will harass and torture the mind;
While Bacchus, with tempting allurements endued,
    Is often destructively kind.

"The flowers of knowledge lead mortals astray,
    To grasp them they forfeit their ease;
And, Bacchus, thy votaries, stupidly gay,
    See not poison conceal'd in thy lees.

"Then to steer clear of madness, and pale melancholy,
     I will strew my gay roses between;
Each in turn shall be sued, without sadness or folly,
    And Love shall embellish the scene."


Page 104

LOGAN'S GRAVE.

LONE in the desart rose his peaceful tomb;
    No sorrowing friend at morn or eve pass'd by;
But when a pitying moon-beam chas'd the gloom,
    Forth came his spirit sad, and linger'd nigh.


Page 105

RUIN'D INNOCENCE,

Written at seventeen, UPON THE SAME OCCASION AS "THE EXILE."

SEE'ST thou yon lily in its blooming pride,
    Its snowy bosom op'ning to the view,
    Surcharg'd with gems of bright and fragrant dew,
With envy view'd by ev'ry flow'r beside?

'Tis the fair idol of the gard'ner's toil,
    Rais'd by his hand, the fav'rite of the vale,
    Kiss'd by the sun and courted by the gale,
Confess'd the glory of the lovely soil.

Too happy sweet!--for now the pirate hand
    Longs to purloin thee from thy native bed;
    Prefers thou should'st be his , and shortly dead,
Than gaily bloom amid thy spotless band.


Page 106

A moment snaps thy halcyon life in twain,
    Some selfish wight, devoid of soul, decrees
    That thou should'st die his vacant mind to please,
And then, despoil'd, be cast abroad again.

Cast, haply, on the spot where lately too
    In beauty's pride thou little dreamt thy fate;
    Despis'd by those who envied thee so late,
And crush'd by feet that once were stopp'd to view.

The gard'ner who thy charms was wont to greet,
    Missing thy beauty from the fragrant bow'r,
    Bestows his care upon some gaudier flow'r,
And knows thee not--disfigur'd at his feet.

So the bright vestal, 'mid the circle gay,
    Awhile is gaz'd at, envied, and admir'd;
    Then by the fell destroyer, man , desir'd,
Obtain'd--and then --unpitied cast away.

Now sidelong view'd by wretches vulgar born;
    Sneer'd at, or pitied , by the mock refin'd;--
    Pity, degrading to the feeling mind,
And bitterer than of ignorance the scorn .


Page 107

Despis'd--dishonor'd--driv'n forth alone;
    What stone, unconscious, rests her patient head?
    Or sod ungenial, yields that breast a bed,
Where happy innocence once held her throne!

Or list'ning to the next seducer's tale,
    Has she awhile her gloomy fate delay'd?
    In vain--it follows like a vengeful shade,
And tho' now distant--hope not it shall fail.

Glitter awhile the pageant of the hour,
    Bright as the gem that glistens on the thorn,
    More short-liv'd even than the fleeting morn,
Drank in the ray which lent its faithless pow'r.

Affect the mirth thy languid soul disdains,
    Laugh while false rapture lightens from thine eye;
    The transitory smile shall haste to die,
While melancholy still its place maintains.

Prophetic of the fate that, nurs'd in gloom,
    Lingers to strike at thy devoted breast,
    A victim to the crimes of man confest,
And drives thee thro' destruction to the tomb.


Page 108

MOORISH COMBAT.

THE breeze was hush'd; the modest moon-beam slept
    On the green bosom of the treach'rous wave;
The lover Marli wander'd forth alone,
    And trembling linger'd near the well-known cave.

A snow-white turban crown'd his brow severe,
    Its crescent sparkled like the beamy morn;
A dazzling vest his graceful form array'd,
    And gems unnumber'd did his belt adorn.

"Come, lovely Ora, pure as angels are,
    Light as yon clouds that o'er the moon now sail;
And let thy beauteous form like hers appear,
    Refulgent, thro' the dim night's dusky veil.


Page 109

Come, gentle as the mild refreshing dew
    Upon th' enamour'd bosom of the rose;
Come thou, and calm my eager thirsty soul,
    And like the dew upon my breast repose.

Come, Paradise of sweets! thy fragrant love
    Shall steal through ev'ry fibre of my brain;
Thy sight shall seem unto my fever'd sense,
    As doth to desart sands the pitying rain."

He said--when sudden from the cavern dark,
    Like a fair sprite soft issuing from the tomb,
An angel form was slowly seen to rise,
    And trembling pause, as doubtful of her doom.

"My Ora's form!" the panting youth exclaim'd,
    And eager clasp'd her to his love-sick breast;
Wild throbb'd his heart, and from his sparkling eyes
    The fire of love shot quick, as Ora prest.

Say, did they rest between each fervent kiss?
    Ah! no; but while their flutt'ring sighs unite,
No moisture e'er their glowing lips might cool,
    Swiftly dried up by passion's fierce delight.


Page 110

How vain to stem their rapture as it flow'd,
    Or whisper to their stagg'ring sense, beware!
His eyes inebriate wander'd o'er her charms,
    While hers to earth were cast with chastened air.

Lo! from a mountain's steep and shadowy side,
    O'er which obliquely yet the beams were thrown,
The fierce Zampogni, vengeance in his eye,
    Shot like a flaming meteor swiftly down.

And now he paus'd, and scowling fell around,
    His arm uplifted, and his breath restrain'd,
The flow'rs and herbage wither'd in his gaze,
    While he from instant vengeance scarce refrain'd.

Not long on thoughts of horror did he pause--
    Bright as the beam that gilds the ev'ning cloud,
His sparkling sabre swift divides the pair,
    And seeks in either breast a crimson shroud.

But wrath intemp'rate ne'er can justly aim.--
    For deeds of valour as for love renown'd,
The gallant Marli drew his keen-edg'd blade,
    And fierce Zampogni bit the dusty ground.


Page 111

Yet swift he rose, and urg'd the dubious fight;
    Such warriors sure before had ne'er engag'd;
While victory alternate promis'd each
    The lovely prize for whom the battle rag'd.

She, beauteous maid! like a bright genius stood,
    With hands and eyes uplifted to the sky;
While steely sparks commingling with the beam,
    Were not more bright than shot from either eye.

But now a thrust with vengeful fury giv'n,
    Flush'd in Zampogni's cheek the hopeful blood;
Mysterious fate directs the flying steel--
    Ah, Marli! thou hast ne'er the stroke withstood.

On Ora, see, his dying eyes are cast--
    "Thou art Zampogni's now," he faintly said;
"Yet, sunshine of my soul--ah! let me gaze
    Upon those charms which from before me fade."

"Yes, thou art mine ," the fierce Zampogni cried;
    And to the maid advanc'd with frantic air.
"Rather the Grave's," indignant Ora cried.--
    "Die, traitor! and avenge my love's despair."


Page 112

A dagger, in her vest till now conceal'd,
    She buried in the gloomy rival's breast.
He fell, in death majestic--withering rage
    And stern contempt his features still exprest.

"And thou, Oh, Marli! thou for whom alone
    The wretched Ora liv'd--thou yet art mine;
Then thus with reeking steel our vow I bind,
    In death as life, oh, Marli! only thine."


Page 113

THE MANIAC * .

* This poem was originally set to music in its present state, but making too many variations necessary, it was retrenched, and altered to the form in which it is now published for the piano forte.

WILD thro' the desert woods Alzira flew!
    Her robe disorder'd hung;
Wet were her locks from midnight's chilly dew,
    Her snowy arms were bare;
    Her bosom fair
    With blood was stain'd;
But reckless still the lovely wretch remain'd,
    As dolefully she sung--


Page 114

"Ye idle gales that play around me,
    Waft a whisper to my love,
    He resides somewhere above;
    Say to meet him I will fly
    Soon as I have leave to die;
E'en now death's harbingers surround me;
    Tell him so, and take him this;"
    She said, and gave the winds a kiss.

Then started madly from her earthy bed,
Her nerves were fever'd, and convuls'd her brow;
    Her unsettled eye
    Wander'd high, then low
        Alternately----
    The pow'r of thought had fled.
Eager she gain'd the mountain's slippery top,
    Her bosom bare and bleeding,
When, lo! soft strains delay'd her wild proceeding,
    And sudden made her stop.

Her lover was return'd; his voice well known
    Struck thro' her madden'd brain
        Its tone--


Page 115

    Then swift again
    Her short remembrance flies,
Like light'ning darting o'er the gloomy plain,
        Flashes and dies!

Just then the hurrying moon broke from a cloud,
    Although the angry winds blew loud,
To shew the lover where his mistress stood,
Seeming on death with haggard air to brood.
    He mark'd her dang'rous state,
        And fear'd he ne'er could save;
    Sigh'd, lest her dreadful fate
        Should be an instant grave--

                "Oh, stop!" he cried,
And saw her eye-balls glaring wide,
    Of bright and dazzling blue;
    Uncertain trod her dubious feet,
    The lover's heart with terror beat--
Aghast he stood, tortur'd with keen alarms;
                She flew----
He caught her in his trembling arms!


Page 116

His burning tears fell on her woe-worn face,
    With painful joy he clasp'd her to his breast;
Her shrunk heart flutter'd in the dear embrace.
    Still fell his tears as closer still he prest;
And as the dew revives a drooping flow'r,
She rais'd her head, and testified their pow'r!


Page 117

THE POOR NEGRO SADI.

AH! poor negro Sadi, what sorrows, what anguish
    Oppress the lone victim fate dooms for a slave!
What eye or what heart o'er those sorrows shall languish?
    What finger point out the lone African's grave?

First torn like a wretch from his innocent dwelling,
    And torn from Abouka, the wife of his soul,
Then forc'd, while his heart was indignantly swelling,
    To bow his proud neck to the despot's controul.

Think not, European, tho' dark his complexion,
    Dark, dark as the hue of the African's fate,
That his mind is devoid of the light of reflexion,
    And knows not distinctions of love or of hate.


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And believe, when you see him in agony bending
    Beneath the hard lash, if he fainting should pause,
That pure are to heaven his sorrows ascending,
    And dear must you pay for the torture you cause.

Mark, mark the red blood that, so eloquent streaming,
    Appeals to the Godhead thou sayest is thine!
Mark, mark the sunk eye that on heaven is beaming!
    It calls deep revenge on oppression and crime .

The poor negro Sadi--what horror befel him,
    To slavery dragg'd in the bloom of his years!
To the food he disdains the vile lash must compel him,
    Ah! food doubly bitter when moisten'd by tears!

At length, in a moment of anguish despairing,
    Poor Sadi resolves to escape, or he dies:
He plung'd in the ocean, not knowing nor caring
    If e'er from its waves be was doom'd to arise.


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He skims light as down, when at distance espying
    A vessel, its refuge he struggles to gain;
And nearly exhausted, just sinking, just dying,
    Escapes from a grave in the pitiless main.

But vainly preserv'd, sable victim of sorrow!
    An end far more dreadful thine anguish must have;
Tho' a moment from hope it faint lustre may borrow,
    Soon, soon must it sink in the gloom of the grave.

Soft, soft blew the gale, and the green billows swelling,
    Gay sail'd the light vessel for Albion's shore;
Poor Sadi sigh'd deep for his wife and his dwelling,
    That wife and that dwelling he ne'er must see more.

Oh, Britons! so fam'd in the annals of glory,
    The poor negro Sadi is cast on your plains--
Oh, Britons! if just be your fame or your glory,
    The poor negro Sadi shall bless your domains.


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As yet see he wanders forlorn and in sadness,
    By many scarce seen, and unpitied by all;
No glance yet his sunk heart has flutter'd with gladness,
    Nor voice sympathetic on him seem'd to call.

In vain, wretched negro! thou lookest around thee--
    In vain, wretched negro! so lowly dost bend;
Tho' a thousand cold faces for ever surround thee,
    Among them not one is, poor Sadi, thy friend.

Three nights and three days had he wander'd despairing.
    No food nor no shelter the victim had found;
The pangs of keen hunger his bosom were tearing,
    When, o'erpower'd with torture, he sunk on the ground.

He clasp'd his thin hands, now no longer imploring
    The succour which all had so basely denied,
In hopeless submission had finish'd deploring
    The suff'rings he felt must so shortly subside.


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On the step of a door his faint body reclining
    Had sought unmolested to yield up its breath,
But hell-born tormentors forbade his resigning
    Within their vile precincts, his sorrows to death.

They dragg'd the lone victim, in misery lying,
    From off the cold stone where he languish'd to rest,
Defenceless they dragg'd him, unpitied--tho' dying,
    His last wretched moments with horror opprest!

Now keen blew the tempest, and keener still blowing,
    His shrunk heart scarce flutter'd, scarce heav'd his faint breath--
His blood was congeal'd, and his tears no more flowing,
    Had froze on his eyelids, now closing in death.

Oh, Heaven! that seest this sad wretch expiring
    By famine's keen tortures, unaided, alone,
Pure, pure to thy throne his last sighs are aspiring,
    Tho' sable his skin, tho' unchristian his tone!


Page 122

Oh, poor negro Sadi! what sorrows, what anguish
    Oppress the lone victim fate dooms for a slave!
What eye or what heart for those sorrows shall languish?
    What finger point out the lone African's grave?


Page 123

THE DYING LOVER.

Written for a friend, whose lover, an amiable young
man, died the martyr of a swift decline.

OH, lovely youth! why seem thy cheeks so pale?
    Oh, lovely youth! why are thine eyes so hollow?
Oh, live! or, rather than thy loss bewail,
    To the cold grave thy lifeless corse I'd follow.

So spoke I to the idol of my love,
    While in my heart I felt a deadly sorrow;
As with slow steps he languidly did move,
    I thought with dreadful doubt upon the morrow.

The morrow came, and yet my lover liv'd;
    Against a tree I saw his form reclining:
To heaven, with such a look my heart as riv'd,
    He cast his eyes, with pious sweetness shining.


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Ah! yes, toward the glorious sun he gaz'd
    With languid smile, that said adieu for ever,
And patiently his wasted hands he rais'd,
    Ah, fatal morn! forget it shall I never!

In brighter beauty, too, than morn he smil'd,
    On his white check the red rose gaily blooming,
A momentary hope my soul beguil'd,
    Which fate to deeper agony was dooming.

Oh, cruel malady! like some false friend
    The livery of truth and kindness wearing,
Remorseless can the heart with daggers rend,
    Which, trusting in thy smiles, is left despairing.

Now sank the joyous sun-beams in the west,
    O'er his thin form a transient brightness casting;
The lovely wretch that they so gaily dress'd
    Scarce than that transient brightness seem'd more lasting!


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But, like th' anemony, most frail and fair,
    With the last beam his fainting form expiring,
His spotless soul escap'd this world of care,
    And seem'd, methought, upon that beam retiring!

From that sad hour no peace can I e'er know,
    An early blight my fondest hopes destroying;
For tho' in spring frail flowers again may blow,
    No second spring is there for my enjoying.


Page 126

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF LOVE.

AH, mock not me! for you have never lov'd,
Nor have you e'er, like me, its sorrows prov'd,
Nor have you e'er, like me, its pleasures tasted;
In languid medium all your life has wasted.
No transport wild your soul has ever fir'd,
Whether by bliss or agony inspir'd;
No swift transition from despair to joy
Did e'er your soul's harmonic tones destroy;
No fever'd passion that, like mine, has burn'd,
The even current of your blood e'er turn'd:
Listless and cool each sober hour has pass'd,
While mine in feeling various have been cast.

    O! I have lov'd to such a mad excess,
No thought can reach, nor any words express:


Page 127

Refining on my love, I so have stray'd,
Fancy has languish'd on the rack she made!
How oft the solitary shade I've sought,
To brood with pleasure o'er my own fond thought!
Reason has stagger'd on her trembling throne,
And wild imagination reign'd alone.
Beyond this earth my soaring hopes aspire;
Death SHALL not quench true passion's sacred fire!
Ethereal essence from the grave shall rise,
And conscious souls claim kindred in the skies!

Oh, Memory! well I with thine aid can trace
My hero's beauty and his manly grace.
How oft his bosom hath my pillow been!
How oft repress'd the starting tear I've seen,
When sad remembrance would his smile destroy,
And thoughts of absence blast his rising joy!
I lov'd him! yes, my throbbing heart well knows,
And, conscious, with increas'd emotion glows--
Yes, with keen ardour have I fondly lov'd--
Dearly my truth and passion have I prov'd;
No future hope, no joy have thought so great,
That on Love's shrine I would not immolate.


Page 128

Yet, in return, I mistress sole would be,
No joy, no hope, but must depend on me;
My frown must sink, my smile must elevate,
My wish be law, and my command be fate.
I ev'ry sense, I ev'ry nerve must sway,
And, only touch'd by me, each passion play:
No second object must have power to move--
I suffer no competitor in love;
But, like the polar star in gloomy night,
Must lead alone, by my superior light.

    Such my desire! nor less contents my soul,
And such I once possess'd, in gay controul.
No madd'ning jealousy! no doubts, no fears,
No weak complaining, nor no woman's tears,
No mild reproaches, no degrading grief!
E'er pain'd, then left my soul without relief;
I felt pre-eminent, my power I knew,
And from that knowledge all my passion grew.

    Could I then think upon a newer lover?
Or waste a thought upon some wand'ring rover


Page 129

No--solitary, sad my life shall fade,
No languid pref'rence e'er my heart invade.
Retiring, scornful, sceptical, unblest,
No second love my first shall ever wrest;
Depriv'd of him, his memory shall retain
The fond , proud heart he only knew to gain.


Page 130

TO THE SHADE OF MARY ROBINSON.

HOW sadly, sweet seraph, I mourn that I never,
    I ne'er was so happy thee living to know!
How sadly I mourn that the time is gone ever!
    And the wish of my bosom must end in vain woe.

How sadly I morn, lovely seraph, while thinking
    That now, in the cold gloomy night of the tomb,
Thou know'st not one heart for thy sorrows is sinking,
    One heart that bemoans, with regret, thy sad doom.

How oft, too, I mourn that an heart form'd to love thee--
    An heart which responsive had beat to thine own,
Can from thy cell narrow now never remove thee,
    Where tranquil thou liest, unconscious and lone.


Page 131

Oh, world, cruel world! how I shrink, how I tremble
    An angel so gracious should be so forlorn!
Oh, world, cruel world! there is none that resemble,
    Among you, an angel like her that is gone.

Like a cedar amid the rude desart high soaring,
    And looking contempt on the shrubs that surround,
Enduring for years the tempest loud roaring,
    And scorning to yield until broke to the ground.

Ah! then, with what joy, ye shrubs so presuming,
    Ye rustle and wave o'er the cedar's proud grave!
But degrading your safety, and mean your assuming,
    Adversity's storm only buffets the brave!

Oh, thou! whose high virtues, angelic, yet glorious,
    At once more my wonder, my pride, and my tears,
Still, still in the grave dost thou triumph victorious,
    Thy fame sounding loud in thine enemies ' ears!

The wretches, who envied, who fear'd thy perfection,
    O'er the threshold of life drove thee trembling away,
Shall yet shudder and sicken, when harass'd reflexion
    O'erwhelms with remorse the retributive day.


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Oh! say, from thy cold, narrow bed, lovely Mary,
    Say, couldst thou not wander, to smile upon me?
Oh! why not, sometimes, in thy form light and airy,
    Deign in the deep wild my companion to be?

Oh! why not, sometimes, when I wander in sadness,
    Glide distant before me--seen dim thro' the trees?
Or how would my heart bound with mystical gladness
    If thy voice were heard, sounding sweet in the breeze!

Or why not, o'ershadow'd by yon drooping willow,
    At eve let me mark thee reclining beneath?
Or by moonlight upborne, on the edge of the billow,
    Fantastic, and light as of zephyr the breath?

Ah! around thy sad tomb not a weed gaily flaunting
    Could Matilda's devotion permit there should be;
But vile weeds thy path were once cruelly haunting,
    To blight the fair rose that they sicken'd to see.

Yet the thorns of contempt, with mild dignity arming,
    Kept aloof the base upstarts that sought to molest:
Contempt is to cowards the power disarming,
    Turns each shaft to a feather, each sting to a jest .


Page 133

Then grant, O great God! since to Mary 'twas given
     Most perfect among erring mortals to be,
That chief of thy slaves she may serve thee in heaven,
    And bear, when I die, my frail spirit to thee.


Page 134

THE FEMALE PHILOSOPHER.

YOU tell me, fair one, that you ne'er can love,
    And seem with scorn to mock the dangerous fire;
But why, then, trait'ress, do you seek to move
    In others what your breast can ne'er inspire?

You tell me, you my friend alone will be,
    Yet speak of friendship in a voice so sweet,
That, while I struggle to be coldly free,
    I feel my heart with wildest throbbings beat.

Vainly indiff'rence would you bid us feel,
    While so much languor in those eyes appear;
Vainly the stoic's happiness reveal,
    While soft emotion all your features wear.


Page 135

O, form'd for love! O, wherefore should you fly
    From the seducing charm it spreads around?
O why enshrine your soul with apathy?
    Or wish in frozen fetters to be bound?

Life is a darksome and a dreary day,
    The solitary wretch no pleasure knows;
Love is the star that lights him on his way,
    And guides him on to pleasure and repose.

But oft, forgetful of thy plan severe,
    I've seen thee fondly gaze--I've heard thee sigh;
I've mark'd thy strain of converse, sadly dear,
    While softest rapture lighten'd from thine eye.

Then have I thought some wayward youth employ'd
    Thy secret soul, but left thee to despair,
And oft with pleasing sorrow have enjoy'd
    The task of chasing thy corrosive care.

Yet pride must save me from a dastard love,
    A grov'ling love, that cannot hope return:
A soul like mine was never form'd to prove
    Those viler passions with which some can burn.


Page 136

Then fear not me; for since it is thy will,
    Adhere with stubborn coolness to thy vow;
Grant me thy philosophic friendship still--
    I'll grant thee mine with all the powers I know.


END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

PRINTED BY D. N. SHURY, BERWICK-STREET, SOHO.