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

Dacre, Charlotte, b. 1782

Charlotte Payne, -- creation of electronic text.

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Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. DacrCHours2

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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 ...

[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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Title Page
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[Title Page]

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Original Poems,





            Ah! what is mirth but turbulence unholy,
            When to the charm compar'd of heavenly melancholy?


Printed by D. N. SHURY, Berwick-Street, Soho;


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To her Sleeping Infant.

SEE the beauteous baby smiling
    In that calm and gentle sleep,
Of its grief my heart beguiling,
    Bidding me forbear to weep.

But, alas! I still must sorrow,
    While I think I still must sigh;
A cruel blight may, ere the morrow,
    Bid my lovely rose-bud die.

Page 2

Yet should the blight, in pity sparing,
    Pass o'er innocence like thine,
Still I view thee, sad, despairing,
    Lest thy lot resemble mine.

Love may mark thee for delusion,
    Friendship thy young heart deceive,
The world will mock thy soul's effusion,
    Mock the fool that could believe.

Ah! sweet babe, in that calm slumber
    Vainly would my soul divine
What varied ills thy days may number,
    What miseries Fate may thee design.

Enthusiast! thou may'st vainly languish,
    O'er the scenes of life refine;
Then art thou doom'd to ceaseless anguish,
    Or distraction must be thine.

Ingratitude will sure pursue thee,
    Persecution be thy doom;
I weep, and while I sadly view thee,
    Think how peaceful is the tomb.

Page 3

Sleep then, sweet babe, I shall not sorrow;
    Sleep thy halcyon life away;
I need not fear the blight to-morrow,
    'Twill come the sharper for its stay.

Page 4


You say you once lov'd me, and lov'd me to madness,
    But ah! are you sure that you felt as you said?
Or could you, unmov'd, see me thus plung'd in sadness;
    Unmov'd, could you see all my feelings betray'd?

To punish me thus for a moment of folly,
    Is far from a gentle, a sensitive mind;
And surely such ages of deep melancholy
    May blot out a moment when reason was blind.

Think, think of my sorrow, my unfeign'd emotion,
    When coldly you said that you lov'd me no longer;
Discard then, I pray you, discard the false notion,
    Which tells you that weak is the love which is stronger .

Page 5

If e'er you believ'd I was blest with perception,
    To distinguish a spark from the light of the sun,
O! how could you ever admit the conception,
     Another could charm me where you had made one.

Then doom me no longer to deep preying anguish,
    And doom me no longer your loss to bewail;
For your talents , your genius , your converse I languish,
    Ah! let o'er your coldness my wishes prevail.

Those eyes which so lately you gaz'd on with pleasure,
    Ah! how can you see them o'erflowing with tears?
I feel that a sensitive being's a treasure,
    Who pays in possession the wishes of years.

Then oh! well consider, before your rejection,
     Philosophy ne'er can diminish a loss,
The value of which is discern'd on reflection,
    Unalloy'd, except by an atom of dross.

Yet if with cold caution, my softness despising,
    You turn from me still with fastidious reserve,
Believe tho' now slumb'ring, my pride swift arising,
    Its dignity then shall know how to preserve.

Page 6

I well know that pride would disdain my confession,
    But I love not the pride which forbids me to feel;
More noble the glory to lighten oppression,
    And wound one's own bosom, another's to heal.

Page 7


When I swore that I lov'd you, and lov'd you to madness,
    My words they were broken, my eyes overflow'd;
When you own'd that you lov'd, my heart bounded with gladness,
    I felt of my bliss as the bliss of a god.

Again what I felt, when in languishing posture
    You heard from another the tale that he loved,
'Twas a pang so sublim'd, of such exquisite torture,
    As tyrants inflict not, nor victims have prov'd.

You say, with a sigh and a tear, it was folly,
    Enough, my sweet ****, no more I despair,
That sigh of confession has chas'd melancholy,
    That tear of contrition has wash'd away care.

Page 8

On those eyes let me gaze, on that breast let me languish,
    Till utterance is faint, and the fire of the eye
Can alone speak the passion that rises to anguish,
    That throbs at the heart, and exhales in a sigh.

Be blest then to-day, come what may come to-morrow,
    Exchang'd be our sighs, let our tears overflow;
For sighs are not always the children of sorrow,
    And tears are the tribute to rapture we owe.

* For the poems signed AZOR I am indebted to a gentleman.


Page 9

To ------

My Reason for being one Week absent from her.

You ask me why my throbbing breast
    Heaves with a rising sigh;
You ask me why the glist'ning tear
    Stands trembling in my eye:

Forbear, fond love, the cause to seek,
    That fills these tearful eyes;
Forbear the reason to inquire,
    That bids these sorrows rise.

Of thee possest, whose noble breast
    Each finer feeling warms;
Of thee possest, whose angel form
    My ravish'd senses charms;

Page 10

No fears immediate shake my breast;
    But thoughts of future fate
Instil the salutary dread
    Of happiness too great.

This then alone the secret cause
    That wakes the rising woe;
This, this alone the secret grief
    That makes my eyes o'erflow.

'Tis the religious awe of love
    Which prompts the sudden flight;
The pang endur'd, the off'ring made,
     Again you bless my sight.

The Samian* thus who felt his bliss
    Above a mortal's rise,
Threw from his hand the gem he priz'd,
    To Fate a sacrifice.

* The King of Samos, the events of whose life had been most fortunate, threw into the sea the ring which he most valued, as a sacrifice to fortune; shortly after the ring was found in a fish which was intended for his table.


Page 11


Oh! no, not lovelier looks the muse,
    In fiction's gaudy colours drest;
'Tis but the heartless bard's excuse,
    'Twas but the apostate* poet's zest.

Who like yon sightless seer+ can raise
    Of raptur'd song the strain sublime?
Who sing like him th' immortal's praise,
    While truth and Heav'n attest the rhime?

I own, thy wildest paths among
    Together, Fancy, have we stray'd;
Together fram'd the simple song,
    Inscrib'd to some fictitious maid.

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But now when she to whom I bend,
    To whom I raise th' adoring eye,
For whom my earliest pray'rs ascend,
    For whom shall heave my latest sigh;

O! now when she whose purple bloom
    Transcends the hue th' heav'ns dissolve,
What time the sun dispels the gloom,
    And gems with dew th' op'ning rose;

O! now when she whose eyes more bright
    Than shine those dew drops to the day,
Direct on me their beaming light,
    And mock the diamond's fainter ray;

O! now when she whose purest blood
    Speaks in her cheeks, whose form so wrought,
As if with wond'rous soul endued,
    And gifted with the pow'r of thought;

O! now when pouring on the ear
    That strain of force the soul to thrill,
To tempt an angel from his sphere,
    And bid the vagrant air be still;

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O! now when she descends from Heav'n,
    At once my rapture and my theme,--
Say could I hope to be forgiven,
    And sing of some poetic dream?

Let those whose sickly fancies chase
    In fictious song the phantom fair;
Ixion like their cloud embrace,
    And find no lovely substance there.

I sing of plighted love and truth,
    Of rapturous hope and fond desire;
Such themes my glowing numbers suit,
    To such I string my living lyre.

That lyre, and all its sounds be thine,
    Oft as its silver chords among
My hand shall stray, and soul incline
    To raise the melody of song.

For, ****, 'tis to thee I owe,
    That love and beauty crown my day;
Thine therefore be the strains that flow,
    And thine the tributary lay.

* Waller.

+ Milton.

Page 14


The Metamorphosis.

Of late I saw thee gay,
    Thine eyes with lustre shone,
Oh! gentle shepherd, say,
    Thy mirth, where is it flown?

Of late I saw thee laughing,
    Thy jovial friends among,
The brilliant goblet quaffing,
    The wildest of the throng.

But now, alas! 'tis passing strange,
    Thy mirth is fled away;
The reason of the mystic change,
    Oh! prythee, prythee say.

Page 15

Perhaps that I thine ills may cure,
    Yet should my aid prove vain,
I'll teach thee patience to endure,
     Of hopeless love the pain!

Page 16


Says **** O! where is that brilliancy flown,
    Which forbad the intrusion of care?
That spark evanescent so lately that shone,
    Now yields to the gloom of despair.

Her eyes they laugh malice while slily she speaks,
    And affects to inquire what she knows;
Her heart well can answer the question she seeks,
    And the cause whence that sorrow arose.

Let the flash of fierce triumph illumine that eye,
    That can spurn at the dying or dead,
But far be from **** the barbarous joy
    To exult o'er the wretch she has made.

Page 17

To boist'rous humour I ne'er make pretence,
    For vivacity merely is mine;
And this I employ'd, tho' poor the defence,
    'Gainst the magic of glances like thine.

You saw 'twas not humour, nor wit, nor yet whim,
    And bade the false lustre expire;
Expos'd to such glances, like paste it grew dim,
    And lost all its polish by fire.

Ah! turn then, sweet tempter, those glances away,
    Which, blazing most fiercely, consume;
I'll try , since you bid me, I'll try to be gay,
    And the ease which I feel not assume.

I will hum you the tune, and repeat you the lay,
    And tell you the tale you like best;
And thus like the nightingale perch'd on the spray,
    I will sing with a thorn at my breast.


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ALAS! I fear I cannot longer steel
    My heart against the magic of thy pow'r;
Unusual flutt'rings in my breast I feel,
    And new emotions struggling ev'ry hour.

O! thou, most delicate, and most refin'd,
    'Tis sacrilege to say I fear to love
A being, gifted thus with charms of mind,
    So form'd that passion to inspire and prove.

But, traitor! wherefore teach my heart to burn,
    Round which the stream of apathy did flow?
Ah! wherefore bid the freezing current turn,
    And leave that heart with Etna's fires to glow?

Page 19

Say, was it by the light'ning of thine eyes,
    Which, mine encount'ring, so my soul inflam'd?
Or did thy glowing breath, with magic sighs,
    Enkindle mischief more than may be nam'd?

Mischief indeed!--but ah! I would not change
    Mischief so sweet for all the world could give;
So vile a slave I'm grown, I would not range
    Beyond my chain, nor liberty receive.

Thou gazest on me, and thy gaze but serves
    Thro' all my veins to send tumultuous sweets;
And at thy touch with transports thrill my nerves,
    My bosom with increas'd emotion beats.

Yes, yes, I own what 'tis in vain to hide,
    I love thee more than language can express;
Thou'st conquer'd apathy and giant pride;
    And abject wretches, they the conqu'ror bless.

Page 20


HOW soft are the day dreams, how sweet are the slumbers
    Of him who reclines on the lap of the muse,
The pow'rs of persuasion await on his numbers,
    And thrill thro' the heart of the woman he woos.

To his eye lie disclos'd all the sweets of creation,
    To him all the beauties of nature are known;
From the lily's pale hue to the gaudy carnation,
    He marks all their tints, and he makes them his own.

Then mingling their colours at fancy's direction,
    A form all angelic his pencil designs;
In the morn's orient crimson he dips for complexion;
    For lustre he dives in the depth of the mines.

Page 21

From thee, lovely rose, as thy charms are disclosing,
    He snatches the buds that just ope to the view,
On her bosom ingrafts them, where sweetly reposing,
    The eye is delighted by contrast of hue.

Erect as a cedar, yet such in proportion
    As painters have pencil'd the mother of Love;
The stag when he bounds not so graceful in motion,
    In sweetness of aspect all painting above.

Such she for whose picture he rifles all nature,
    Transferring each charm to the form he pourtrays;
Thus perfect in figure, in air, and in feature,
    He calls on mankind for their tribute of praise.

To phantoms unreal he claims no devotion,
    For true is the portrait, and lovely the fair,
As ever inspir'd the fond heart with emotion,
    Or wip'd from the forehead the damp of despair.

Forgive then, sweet ****, the innocent fiction,
    That drew as from fancy the charms that are thine;
For sketching those charms I but sooth the affliction
    Which harrows in absence this bosom of mine.



SWEET pillow! on whose down the loveliest fair
    That e'er in slumber clos'd her radiant eyes,
Reclines, her wasted spirits to repair,
    That, hence recruited, lovelier she may rise:
Oh! say, as morn dissolves the airy dream,
What lover is the fair one's waking theme?

Yes, sweetest pillow, from the wings of Love
    Was dropt thy down, that woos her to repose,
Or else the plumage of his mother's dove
    Was lent, thy envied softness to compose:
Accept, sweet pillow, a fond lover's kiss,
E'en while I breathe a sigh to share thy bliss.

Page 23

What beauties from my ardent gaze conceal'd,
    What graces to thee carelessly expos'd,
What charms to thee, and thee alone reveal'd,
    Disrobing **** matchless form disclos'd:
What time the sun had sunk beneath the main,
To her the hour of rest, to me of pain.

Ah! paint that form of perfect symmetry,
    In nature's mould of elegance design'd,
The blush that mantles, and the sparkling eye,
    Whose piercing radiance speaks th' enlighten'd mind.
Ah! paint that bosom swelling to the sight,
Where the eye wanders with disturb'd delight.

Yet hold; can words those glowing charms express?
    The Muse indignant leaves th' imperfect strain;
Painting its feeble efforts must confess,
    E'en fancy strives to sketch, but strives in vain:
Ah! pillow, lovelier is the weight you bear;
Than painter's tint, than poet's dream, more fair.

Page 24

Say then, to thee her secret thoughts are known,
    When night descends, ere sleep assails her eyes,
What lover's name escapes in falt'ring tone?
    Why heaves her breast? why do her blushes rise?
Oh! deign th' envied secret to resign;
Say that she names, and that the name is mine .

So may'st thou still her faultless form survey,
    When sleep her beamy orbs shall set in night,
Soon to awake, to emulate the day,
    And fill the world with wonder and delight;
So may her bosom on thy down recline,
Nor be its weight remov'd, but when it leans on mine.


Page 25


HOW wild is the struggle, how deep is the anguish
    That preys on my bosom, by fancy refin'd;
I feel in this torture I long cannot languish,
    A torture that springs from a doubt in the mind.

I feel, and I feel it with deep melancholy,
    Impure is the passion I cherish for thee;
My lover, oh! speak, is my flame not unholy?
    O! speak, and thy voice shall be conscience to me.

O! speak thou, and calm me, thy words like the show'r
    Arabia's scorch'd desarts descending to cheer,
Shall soon by their soft, their enliv'ning pow'r,
    Refresh th' hot soul that exhales not a tear.

Page 26

O! this right and this wrong , it can ne'er be ideal,
    Nor fancy, nor priestcraft, as sceptics would say;
Yet whatever the case, sure the tortures are real,
    Which harass the wretch who finds doubt on the way.

O! how my heart beats, how I start, how I tremble,
    If lonely I wake in the stillness of night,
I see round my bed shadowy visions assemble,
    Their air is forlorn, and their garments not bright.

Ah! these are the spirits of doubt that surround me,
    Their voices, now moaning, now whisp'ring, I hear;
Their looks are unsettl'd, their gestures confound me,
    Their figures that change in the mist are not clear.

Such, such is my soul, oh! my friend, oh! my brother,
    Too great between virtue, and love is the strife,
Then I'll yield my best hopes at the feet of another,
    And if I must love, it shall prey on my life.

Page 27


ALAS! for that voice which the * envoy of Heaven,
    In accents celestial, pour'd sweet on the ear,
That when the song ceas'd, to its spell it was giv'n,
    Attention to fix, as still seeming to hear.

Oh! might such persuasion belong to my numbers,
    As dwelt on the lips of the angel of light,
No more should these phantoms intrude on thy slumbers,
    Or vex with their terrors the dream of the night.

Page 28

When the mind is distracted, oft visions obtrusive
    Collect round the couch, and appear to the eye,
When the frame is disorder'd, oft fancies illusive
    Impose, that the vigor of health would defy.

Shall the fumes of such fancies bewilder our reason,
    Must the pulse cease to throb, or the bosom to glow?
And shall we concur in the blasphemous treason
    That Heav'n presents but the chalice of woe?

Can that love be impure which aspires to perfection,
    From all that is vulgar and sordid refin'd?
Can that flame be unholy which lights an affection,
    Expanding the heart and enlarging the mind?

Too well sure we feel, could our wills have decided,
    Our lives, like our souls, had been blended in one,
But Fate too untoward, our lot has divided,
    Let Fate then account for the work it has done.

But whence is that ray which thro' the gloom brightens,
    And scatters its radiance the meadows among?
'Tis the torch of the glow-worm that nightly enlightens,
    And shines for the elves as they trip it along.

Page 29

Oh! no, that fond light which in splendid profusion,
    Effulgent she flings the soft foliage between,
She wastes not, to aid superstitious illusion,
    It shews her wing'd mate where she glows in the green* .

Yes this is the law, the fond law of each nature,
    Attracting, attracted to fly to its kind;
Yes, this is the secret, kind instinct of nature,
    To choose what is best for its pleasure design'd.

Accurst was that prince+ , who in horrible union,
    Ordain'd that the living and dead should be join'd;
But man has decreed the more hateful communion
    Which fetters two souls of dissimilar kind.

Oh! man, foolish man, shall thy skill be exerted
    The laws which creation obeys to controul?
Shall the order of nature by thee be inverted?
    And would'st thou enchain what is freest,--the soul?

Page 30

Know its spirit, disdaining restriction, sententious,
    Its right shall assert to select and adore,
Unlike in all else to that passion licentious,
    Which seeks what is sensual, and seeks for no more.

O! 'tis only we love, when with souls sweetly blending
     * The thought meets the thought from the lips ere it part;
O! 'tis only we love, when with passion transcending
    The hope and the wish spring alike from the heart.

Then thus let us live, and in death lie together,
    Embracing, embrac'd, let the light'ning consume;
Our spirits shall range thro' the fields of pure ether,
    Our ashes together repose in the tomb.

* Raphael. Milton, Book the Eighth.

* It is ascertained by naturalists that the light emitted by the light of the glow-worm serves to indicate to its mate on the wing where this brilliant insect reposes.

+ Mezentius, according to Virgil, ordered the living and the dead to be joined together.

*Pope's Eloisa.


Page 31


To the Spirit of her Lover, Which, in the phrenzy occasioned by his loss, she
imagined to pursue continually her footsteps. Attempted after the manner of Ossian.

The spirit of my lover pursues me in the wild; I fancy to see his wan figure at my side; he follows me, and speaks in a low murmuring voice. His form is habited in robes of mist, and his silvery hair undulates upon the gale.

Oh! my love, let me hear thy voice when I seek repose; let me not, when I close my eyes, lose sight of thy heavenly form. Be present still to my fond view, and let me never miss thee from my side.

Page 32

Ah! thou dost not breathe; yet sometimes methinks upon my glowing cheek I feel thy breath, but it is cold and damp, not ardent as in the days of our love.

Can I not press thee to my bosom? Oh! miserable mockery! thou would'st evaporate in my embrace.

Yet do not quit me. Thy features are sunk and wan; they diminish to my troubled sight; yet they are a faint resemblance unto the charms of my beloved; and thy hair, which seems luminous, falls over thy shadowy form.

Sometimes thy features seem to waver--it must be in the twilight, when all has a dubious shade; but I cannot always catch those loved features--it appears to me as though they were fading wholly away; but suddenly, by an effort of the imagination, I again identify them, and secretly determine never more to look off of them.

How celestial dost thou appear, skimming over the tops of the hills. A faint moonbeam catches thy robes of silvery mist. I respire eagerly the bleak breeze that

Page 33

passes over thy dubious form; I inhale it with ardent, melancholy delight, for it is impregnated with thy spirit.

Soon will this heart of clay cease to beat; then will my soul too be free. My body, which is of concentrated atoms, shall lie by thine in the narrow grave, which it will not deny me to share with it; and then together shall our spirits wander over the mountains, or re-visit the scenes of our youth.

Page 34


To the Spirit of her Lover. VERSIFIED.

Wilt thou follow me into the wild?
    Wilt thou follow me over the plain?
Art thou from earth or from heaven exil'd?
    Or how comes thy spirit at large to remain?

Vision of beauty, vision of love,
    Follow me, follow me over the earth;
Ne'er leave me, bright shadow, wherever I rove,
    For dead is my soul to the accents of mirth.

Thou formest my pleasure, thou formest my pain;
    I see thee, but wo is my eye-sight to me;
Thy heavenly phantom doth near me remain,
    But ah! thy reality where shall I see?

Page 35

In the darkness of night, as I sit on the rock,
    I see a thin form on the precipice brink;
Oh! Lover illusive, my senses to mock--
    'Tis madness presents if I venture to think.

Unreal that form which now hovers around,
    Unreal those garments which float on the wind,
Unreal those footsteps that touch not the ground,
    Unreal those features, wan vision, I find.

Oh! vain combination!--oh! embodied mist!
    I dare not to lean on thy transparent form;
I dare not to clasp thee, tho' sadly I list--
    Thou would'st vanish, wild spirit, and leave me forlorn.

Ah! wilt thou not fall from that edge of the steep?
    The pale moon obliquely shines over the lake;
The shades are deceptive below is the deep,
    And I see thy fair form in its clear waters shake.

Yet ah! I forget, thou art light as a breath;
    That aerial form, which no atoms combine,
Might dizzily sport down the abyss of death,
    Or tremble secure on the hazardous line.

Page 36

That hand unsubstantial, oh! might it but press
    These temples, which beat with the madness of love;
Oh! let, if thou seest my frantic distress,
    Some sign of emotion thy consciousness prove.

Lo! see thy dim arms are extending for me;
    Thy soul then exists, comprehends, and is mine;
The life now is ebbing which mine shall set free;
    Ah! I feel it beginning to mingle with thine.

Page 37


MISTY his face, and rueful to behold;
    His eyes like dimly shining stars were seen:
And cloudy vestments did his form enfold,
    Like blue smoke curling in the moonlight sheen.

An hazy circlet on his head he wore,
    Like that which sometimes does the moon surround;
A vapory wand within his hand he bore,
    And conjur'd thick'ning shadows from the ground.

His the delight in early winter morn,
    In yellow robes the loaded air to sway;
'Till, King of day, tho' of his glories shorn,
    The broad, red sun compels him far away.

Page 38

Seldom from murky fen or lake he'll creep
    In summer, save when dusky eve is nigh;
And then he gains the mountain's shadowy steep,
    Or blends, in distance, ocean with the sky.

Page 39


This elfin sprite, as ancient legends say,
    Was fairy-born; on him they did bestow
The art to lead poor villagers astray,
    For an offence some thousand years ago.

This elfin sprite with meteor lantern hies
    Close to the edge of slimy pool or lake;
Still like an anxious guide before them flies,
    Nor, till some mischief done, does them forsake.

This elfin sprite have many tried to seize,
    Yet in the rash attempt have suffer'd sore;
With mockery of himself he will them teize,
    Which grasping hard, they see him still before.

Page 40

Then on to fairy land, in gay despight,
    Upon a zephyr will this elfin ride;
And all the fays do at his lantern light
    Their little torches, and the feast provide.

Now seated round the tulip's ample bowl,
    To jocund elves he doth his wiles betray;
In mirthful glee the hours unheeded roll,
    Till dawn just peeps, then swift they hie away.

Page 41


BEHOLD, within that cavern drear and dank,
    Whose walls in rainbow tints so dimly shine,
A wretch, with swollen eyes and tresses lank,
    Does on a heap of mould'ring leaves recline.

Unwholsome dews for ever him surround,
    From his damp couch he scarcely ever hies,
Save when blue vapours, issuing from the ground,
    Lure him abroad, to catch them as they rise.

Or else at eve the dripping rock he loves,
    Or the moist edge of new-dug grave, full well;
To get the sea spray too at night he roves,
    And, gem'd with trickling drops, then seeks his cell.

Page 42

Such his delights, his green and purple cheek,
    His bloated form, his chill, discolour'd hand
He would not change; and if he guests would seek,
    He steals among the church-yard's grisly hand.

Page 43


HATING the gentle zephyrs am'rous sighs,
    Hating the smoothness of the glassy main,
From prison'd cave, impatient to arise,
    He struggles wild, vast freedom to attain.

And when unfetter'd from superiour force,
    He rushes loud the waken'd waters o'er;
Or taking o'er the hills his viewless course,
    Wild echo thro' the woods repeats the roar.

Or when autumnal leaves he scatters far,
    Or mournful sighs the crannied rocks among,
Till dark-rob'd winter mounts her ebon car,
    Then hails his queen, and howls her path along.

Page 44

For he disdains fair summer's gentle form,
    And hates unruffl'd eve in vestments gay;
He loves to battle in the pelting storm,
    And scatter devastation on his way.

Page 45


HIS ruby cheek made orient crimson pale,
His gelid hair did stiffen in the gale;
Like silv'ry wire it glitter'd in the ray,
And scintillating sparklets strew'd his way.

The robe around his frozen body flung
Was dazzling snow, in folds fantastic hung;
A crown of icicles bedeck'd his brow;
His form throughout transparently did show.

Fatal to him the genial breath of spring,
And warning sad her green-rob'd heralds bring;
At night awhile he still maintains his sway,
But soon flies trembling from her footsteps gay.

Page 46

Toward the high mountain of perpetual snows
He journies on, to take his keen repose,
Where, closely ribb'd in icy fetters bright,
He rests secure upon the slippery height.

Page 47


'TIS she, the nymph with dripping hair,
    Who, when Aquarius rules the sky,
With dewy robes and bosom bare,
    On southern gales delights to hie.

Then with her genial breath create
    New life within the teeming land;
And rescue nature, bound so late
    By winter's adamantine hand.

Thus well her presence gay we deem;
    Before the nymph enchantment flies;
And waken'd beauties conscious seem
    From numbing lethargy to rise.

Page 48

Awhile she stays; when, tripping on,
    Fair spring the sov'reign sway obtains;
And then she hastes those climes among,
    Where later winter lingering reigns.

Page 49


    O'ER an immeasurable space, the eye
Saw conic mountains tap'ring to the sky,
And caverns dark as Acheron between,
Vast pits for graves that newly op'd had been,
While on their edge the moon's pale light reveal'd
Huge sculls, but late within the earth conceal'd;
And giant spectres stalking o'er the glade,
Like moving pyramids of Egypt, stray'd.

    The Genii guard, in rueful state reclin'd:
His far-felt sighs seem'd hollow gusts of wind,
His viewless length, on an high heap of bones,
Extended lay; his deep and echoing moans

Page 50

Seem'd distant thunder o'er the awe-struck land,
Or bade the mariner fear storms at hand.
His tears bright globes, commingling as they fell
Into a river, at his feet did swell,
Which streaming thro' the waste with low'ring roar,
A chorus strange maintains there evermore.

Page 51



'TIS not indiff'rent, I would have you prove;
    Ah! if you love, cherish the sacred fire,
For I'm no traitor, nor would seek to move
    In others, what my breast could not inspire.

If all my features soft emotion wear,
    They truly speak--I feel them in my soul;
Must I love less--if aught--tho' not a fear
    Fetters those feelings, dictates a controul?

Page 52

The name of friendship I confess is sweet,
    With that you grant me I would never part;
Friendship is thine--with rapture I would meet
    The warmest, wildest throbbings of thy heart.

Friendship is sweet; but love, oh! sweeter still!
    The union gives a source of real joy;
Grant then thy love, and know it is my will
    To give thee happiness without alloy.

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On being prevented by severe illness from going thither.

SWEET spot! it cannot e'er offend I deem,
    That I my solitude to guile
Should chuse thee for the subject of my theme,
    Cheating my fancy with the sketch awhile.

What, tho' forbidden on thy mazy beach
    In silent pensiveness to stray,
Fancy can soar above oppression's reach,
    And in an instant wing the distant way.

But fancy cannot give with equal ease
    All sober certainty might have,
The scent salubrious, nor the balmy breeze,
    Fresh from the saline bosom of the wave.

Page 54

Yet tell me, gentle spot, why crouds resort
    To revel oft thy scenes among?
More suited thou for love, or reason's court,
    Than the gay madness of the giddy throng.

Page 55


SO full my thoughts are of thee, that I swear
    All else is hateful to my troubl'd soul;
    How thou hast o'er me gain'd such vast controul,
    How charm'd my stubborn spirit is most rare.
Sure thou hast mingl'd philtres in my bowl!
    Or what thine high enchanted arts declare
    Fearless of blame--for truth I will not care,
    So charms the witchery, whether fair or foul.
Yet well my love-sick mind thine arts can tell;
    No magic potions gav'st thou, save what I
    Drank from those lustrous eyes when they did dwell
    With dying fondness on me--or thy sigh
Which sent its perfum'd poison to my brain.
    Thus known thy spells, thou bland seducer, see--
    Come practice them again, and oh! again;
    Spell-bound I am --and spell-bound wish to be.

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Transforming themselves into Flies.

LITTLE queen of elves and fays,
Fancy's wand thy charm betrays,
To her musing eye reveal'd,
Tho' in form of fly conceal'd.

The little fairies in thy train
Punctually their parts sustain,
Now they linger in the rear,
A secret scarcely breath'd to hear.

Buzzing nigh the mourning lover,
Soon his hidden grief discover;
Then by dreams inform the fair
Of his long conceal'd despair.

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From the love-sick maiden's lip,
Accents scarcely form'd they sip;
From her melting tell-tale eyes
Snatch the wishes as they rise.

Skimming now the studied hays
In the sun's declining rays,
Joining now in wavy ring
On the zephyr's balmy wing.

Little faith would mortals give,
Art in form of fly could live,
Or their figur'd mazy dance
Boast consistence but by chance.

Laden now with precious fare,
To their queen they swift repair;
And, from vapours of the earth,
Bid their slaves, the dreams, come forth.

Now the lover clasps his maid,
Wishes by a vision paid;
Now the maiden yields her charms
To the lover's anxious arms:

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Now the grave gives up its prey,
Friends arise, but swift away;
Dreams disperse, delusions fly,
And shew of sleep the mockery.

Thus, thou little wily queen,
Mortal secrets dost thou glean,
To serve thee for thy gay disport,
In thy small and viewless court.

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OH! Thou whose breath empoisons the sweet air,
Whose heart is evil, and whose mind despair;
Whose baleful tongue the fairest fame can blight,
Whose deeds of horror shun the eye of light.

How cam'st thou, fiend, upon this earth to dwell?
Did thy perturbed spirit rise from hell?
Or from the close-ribb'd rock in tempest torn?
For thou of woman-kind wert never born!

Look in his aspect--shame ne'er made it glow;
Enthron'd sits crimson murder on his brow;
While ambush'd in his fierce demoniac eye,
Fraud, and the baser passions, scowling lie!

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THE WATER SPIRITS. In humble imitation of the soaring flights of some
legendary and exquisitely pathetic modern Bards.

JONAS lay on his bed, so my tale does relate,
And queer were the visions that roam'd in his pate,
    When the clock on the staircase told one;
The door it flew wide, and a light fill'd the room;
Oh! mercy, what now is my horrible doom?
    Thought Jonas--for speech he had none.

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He look'd thro' his fingers; and, strange to declare,
He saw such a sight as his senses did scare--
    A Cat, with five kits in her train!
"Ah! monster!" she cried, 'twixt a scream and a mew,
"You thought you had drown'd us, but woe unto you,
    Our spirits have risen again.

" We shall haunt you by day, we shall haunt you by night,
Behind and before, at your left and your right,
    No comfort shall ever you know;
What harm had we done you? base monster, declare,
Tho' each had nine lives, you not any would spare,
    But doom'd us to perish, oh! oh!

"Now vengeance is ours, lo! we wreak it on you;"
The five little kittens cried "Mew! mew! mew!"
    And jump'd on poor Jonas's bed;
They rear'd on their hind legs, they danc'd on his breast,
With their cold, tender paws on his windpipe they press'd,
    And play'd at bo-peep round his head.

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Of a sudden they ceas'd, he just ventur'd to peep,
But better for him had he still seem'd asleep,
    For horrid the sight he beheld;
The angry mamma like a leopard was grown,
Her large sea-green eyes fiercely gleam'd on his own,
    And her tail was enormously swell'd.

"Oh! monster," she scream'd, with a cattish despair,
"I am doom'd after death in your torments to share,
    Or vengeance the fates will deny;
Round the brink of a well, such the sentence decreed,
After five spectre kittens you swiftly proceed,
    Whilst I spit at your heels as you fly."

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SEE where on Alpine heights the hunter keen
    Follows the feather-footed chamois's flight,
Now on the brink of fearful abyss seen,
    Now proudly gazing from the slippery height.

His fell pursuer, man, with anxious eye,
    Follows resolv'd--his pointed spike in hand;
His haggard air seems with the scene to vie,
    Nobly forlorn, and desolately grand.

Unceasing from the earliest streak of dawn,
    O'er sheets of ice and dazzling snow he hies;
Now on the dizzy steep by magic borne,
    Now o'er the precipice like light'ning flies.

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And oft, if night her sable plumes should spread
    O'er toil unpaid--no lassitude he knows;
A fragment of the rock supports his head,
    And deaf'ning torrents lull him to repose.

Too happy if at length his prize he gain,
    The fleet chamois--whose wild, disdainful eye,
Whose graceful form, whose slender feet are vain--
    The hunter's glory is to bid him die!

These are the strange delights of savage life!
    Yet tender ties the mountain warrior knows,
A cottage, children, and a gentle wife!
    For whom, while braving death, his bosom glows.

Yet such a life hath charms--its enterprise,
    Its constant animation, and its care,
Gives birth to energy--bids hope arise,
    And saves the soul from torpor and despair.

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DARK as the wintry midnight is my soul; sad and tempestuous. Fain would I sit upon the stern brow'd rock, listening to the roaring of the terrible cataract.

Fool! to endure life, wandering, as I do, in the solitary path, while gloomy shadows stalk in the dim mist, and point at me with melancholy gesture.

I come, I come, gloomy shadows!--I hasten to be disembodied.

Bitter shrieks the North wind over the mountains; the night-bird screams dismal o'er the dark green yew. Oh! let me be laid in the grave, and let the spirits of the air bend over my tomb!

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I am unfit for the world; black misery pervades my brain; the desart of gloom suits my soul. The wild blast driving the heavy clouds over the mountains --the dreamy din of midnight chorus, oppressing the soul with deadly and mysterious sorrow, best befits me--the forgotten of Heaven!

Man is the monster from whose jaws I fly! whose poison'd arrow still festers in my heart, and defies the skill of the physician.

Spirit of death! bear me from the scene of my woe! all night will I watch for thee on the cold tomb-stone. Take pity, and receive me among ye--stretch forth from the slowly yawning tomb your slender arms, spirits of the quiet dead!

Oh! what have I done, that dreadful woe should haunt my footsteps? What have I done, that the phantom of despair should fly before me, shrieking and wringing her lurid hands?

Oh! let me die, that my sorrows may rest in tomb--that the voice of man may strike never more

Page 67

upon my maddened brain, and that the innocent smile of ***** may never mock the bursting of my sad heart.

God of Heaven! I beseech thee for death; stop, in pity, stop the feverish beating of my heart--let not my own hand urge the life away. Yet never can the tempest of my mind be quell'd--the stormy ocean may be easier to appease! I feel in my soul that happiness can never more return. Sad and strange are my nights; my days are a dim mist. Smile on me, oh! God! and send thy pale angel, Death, to bear me away in his arms.

Bitter shrieks the North wind over the mountains; the night-bird screams dismal from the dark green yew. Oh! let me be laid in the grave, and let the spirits of the air bend over my tomb!

Page 68


HAST thou not seen the blooming rose
    Turn to the God of day?
Her fragrant treasures all disclose,
    Enchanted by his ray?

Hast thou not seen the sun decline!
    Her bloomy beauty fade;
And joyless of his warmth divine,
    Soon perish in the shade?

How say'st thou, love? thy bosom glows,
    Bereft of thee , I fade;
My vanish'd sun--thy drooping rose
    Will perish in the shade.

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Thou art my sun--thou art my dew,
    Spirit by which I live!
Come swift then, and a life renew,
    To which thou soul cans't give!

Page 70


AS slow I wander'd o'er yon barren heath,
    Musing on woes to come--on evils past,
    Cursing that fate me in such mould had cast,
I at my side did hear a gentle breath!
When straitway looking down, behold I saw
    A piteous imp--deform'd his limbs appear'd,
    And wither'd quite--while on a stick he rear'd
His wretched weight--on nature's face a flaw!
Pale was his ashy check--no hope there beam'd
    From his sunk eye; his matted locks, poor child!
    O'er his mishapen back hung loose and wild,
And conscious of his misery he seem'd.
Loud blew the wind, and shook the slender wight;
    With long, thin hand he grasp'd his stick, and rais'd
    On me his tearful eyes; sadly I gaz'd,
When swift he vanish'd from my troubl'd sight!

Page 71


Oh! my soul's lord! to my enamour'd eye
    A fairer person lives not;--turn not then
In soft confusion from me--nor deny
    Mine eyes to gaze on thee alone of men.

Thy perfect form, of atoms pure combin'd,
    Fair habitation for a lovely soul,
Seeming too much for mortal clay refin'd,
    Such bright effulgence mantles thro' the whole.

Thy gentle aspect doth thy mind reveal,
    Such love, such harmony, such thoughts benign,
That from me my impassion'd soul does steal,
    As anxious to identify with thine!

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Oh! delicate seductions! thine alone--
    By nature granted thee all men above,
And ah! I trust to all but me unknown,
    Whose spirit was sent forth with thine to move.

For sure I own I could not calmly bear
    Another should thine essence comprehend,
Nor e'er attempt in thought of thee to share,
    Who doth so far above all thought transcend!

Ambrosial air doth ever thee surround
    Thy proper atmosphere--its pow'r I feel
With such strange influence as persuades me well,
     Near me thou com'st, tho' sight may not reveal.

Then ah! believe these sacred sympathies--
    These links divine, we still should dread to sever;
Remember that when nature in us dies,
    Our souls unshackl'd spring to life for ever.

Page 73


ALAS for me!--ah! would that it were true
    I did not love thee--tyrant, then would I
     With calmness bear thy taunting jealousy,
    Thy looks severe--thy cold averted eye,
And bear, without an anguish'd smile, to view
Attentions paid where ne'er they can be due.
    Ah! then would I in pride of heart suppress
    The rising sigh--in joyous garb so dress
    My features all--that none my grief should guess.
This would I do, but that I love too well
    By haughtiness in bitter kind to pay
    Those cruel doubts, that o'er thee have such sway,
    And so our moments vex;--that sooth to say,
'Twere better die than thus in mis'ry dwell--
Thy burning jealousies our mutual hell!

Page 74

    Alas for me!--if thou wilt not believe
My heart is only thine--then tyrant, take
    Thy poignard, and at once thy mind relieve;
For thine own image--thou a tomb wilt make.

Page 75


Originally addressed to a Young Gentleman, who, entering under the banners of Mars, signalized himself in the service of his country. On his return he was, as is generally the fate of heroes, entangled by the snares of Venus; this led to the commission of numberless indiscretions, which ultimately threw him out of his situation in the army. As nothing, however, could fade the laurels he had acquired, the authoress of these pages addressed to him the subsequent Ode in the year 1802, since which he unfortunately fell a martyr to his too enthusiastic courage and thirst for distinction, in the memorable engagement in Egypt, which proved the awful mausoleum of so many heroes.

AH! shall th' enamour'd muse recite
Thy vent'rous glories gain'd in fight?
When following fierce the din of war,
Lur'd by Bellona's trump from far,

Page 76

Thy men victorious onward led
    O'er many a smoking field,
And chang'd to heroes!--freely bled
    Near thee, asham'd to yield.

Or drooping low her soaring wing,
Falt'ring touch a sadder string,
Weeping, shall she not relate
The harsh decrees of stubborn fate?
Sinking from embattl'd story,
    How, with many a wound aggriev'd,
Weep that form which speaks thy glory,
    Scars alone should have atchiev'd!

Yet viewing thee with grief inspir'd,
Again she feels her fancy fir'd;
Again with rapture loves to trace
Th' immortal glories of thy race:
She sees the hero of her lay,
    While mem'ry points to fame,
All lesser regrets fade away,
    For Triumph marks his name!

Page 77

When erst a youth, thy dawning years
Fill'd all around with hopes and fears;
Courage and Virtue were combin'd,
But Vanity still intertwin'd:
From Passion all thine errors sprung,
    Luxuriant nature's child!
For Passion o'er thy reason flung
    Her chain of flow'rets wild.

Vainly to stop thy wild career,
Had Prudence caution'd thee to fear,
Like some bright comet darting by
The lesser spangles of the sky,
Thy course no more might be detain'd,
    Tho' boding evil near,
But onward still would be maintain'd,
    Destruction in the rear.

Thy fame victorious early swell'd,
America thy feats beheld;
To raise the youthful warrior's pride,
Fortune her various honours tried!

Page 78

Homage in all thy footsteps trod,
    In ev'ry clime and state,
In crouds to look and move the god--
    Ah! 'twas a test too great!

The hero fell;--ah! muse forbear,
Forbear to shed th' ignoble tear:
Phaeton, who sought to rule the world,
For vanity was downward hurl'd.
A mortal is a mortal still,
    Whate'er the prize he gain;
He hath not pow'r , but only will ,
    Perfection to attain.

Then weep not, Muse, thy fav'rite's fall,
Misfortune is the lot of all;
And Merit, struggling with its foes,
But prouder from oppression grows;
Then baleful Envy hovers round,
    To blast the soldier's wreath,
To rob the brows with honour crown'd,
    Nor leave him fame in death!

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True, hate unkind and slander foul
Combine to crush the soaring soul,
But, like a bright and vig'rous flame,
It still shall rise to gild thy name,
Confuse, expose the ranc'rous band,
    And shine in triumphs new,
Their lowliest rev'rence yet command
    The friendship of a few.

Then hasten, youth! from British clime,
Let blushing honours croud thy time!
Haste! and shortly be repaid
Those glories thou did'st rashly fade;
Retire awhile, let Malice spend
    Its idle rage and hate,
And providence shall be thy friend,
    And mindful of thy fate.

Shadows in youth we all pursue,
Covet the false, disdain the true;
Passion in her trappings vain,
Lures the hero to his bane;

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But pale Experience, sternly keen,
    Points out youthful folly,
Then, amaz'd, we quit the scene,
    To mourn in melancholy.

It cannot be, a day so bright
Should sink in endless gloomy night;
It cannot be, so bright a morn
Of all its glories should be shorn!
It must not be, a noon so glorious
    Clouds eternal should o'ercast,
Nor thy laurel-wreath victorious
    Perish in the envious blast!

Then let, oh! Muse, thy tears be dry,
While Hope forbids the rising sigh--
I tell thee, tho' a cruel blow
Threw thy comely hero low;
His eve in glitt'ring vest shall smile,
    Dispers'd the transient gloom,
And gaily to his native isle
    Bright beams his path illume!

Page 81


TRUANT! you love me not--the reason this,
    You told me that you lov'd a maid before;
And tho', perchance, you many more may kiss,
    True love, felt once , can never be felt more .
    Then ask not me to credit what you swore,
Nor e'er believe that I can give you bliss;
    Go, go to her who taught you how to love--
    Repeat to her your vows, and not to me;
For sooth I think, who can inconstant prove
    To his first love, will ever faithless be.
    In gaining wayward hearts no pride I see,
Nor have I pride in kindling in the breast
    That meteor flame, call'd passion--no not I;
The heart I aim at, and of that possess'd,
    Make it my castle, and all arts defy,
    For that once fill'd--no longer roves the eye.

Page [82]

IT may be proper to state, that a translation of the Poem which bears the title of "The Lass of Fair Wone," from the German of Bürger, I once met with in a periodical publication four or five years ago; conceiving it extremely interesting, but yet susceptible of some improvement, I ventured to make in it such alterations as I flattered myself, without deducting from the sense or substance of the original, might render it, in some measure, more acceptable to the English reader; for the Germans, in an overstrain'd attempt at nature, often pourtray her in her worst and plainest garb. The heroine in the poem alluded to after perpetrating the murder of her infant, is made to finish her career at the gallows. To run a pin through the heart of a born babe, and be hung for the action, I judged an event, however justly conceived, too familiarly disgustful to require an excuse for its suppression.

Whether or not I have succeeded in the wish of improving, by any attempt of mine, the translation of

Page 84 [sic]

this poem, I must leave to the decision of those who are most capable of judging; at the same time hoping it will be fully understood I am far from claiming any merit on so trifling an occasion.

I have subjoined a few stanzas as specimens of the translation to which I have alluded.

Page 84


HER sire, a harsh and angry man,
    With furious voice revil'd,
"Hence from my sight, I'll none of thee--
    I harbour not thy child."

And fast amid her fluttering hair,
    With clenched fist he gripes,
And seized a leathern thong, and lash'd
    Her side with sounding stripes.

"Poor soul, I'll have thee hous'd and nurs'd;
    Thy terrors I lament:
Stay here--we'll have some further talk--
    The old one shall repent:

Page 85

What's fit and fair I'll do for thee,
    Shalt yet retain my love--
Shalt wed my huntsman, and we'll then
    Our former transports prove.

"Me vengeance waits; my poor, poor child,
    Thy wound shall bleed afresh,
When ravens from the gallows tear
    Thy mother's mould'ring flesh."

Hard by the bow'r her gibbet stands;
    Her skull is still to show;
It seems to eye the barren grave,
    Three spans in length below.

Page 86


From the German of Bürger.

BESIDE the parson's dusky bow'r*
    Why strays a troubl'd sprite,
That dimly shines in lonely hour
    Thro' curtains of the night?

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

Why steals along yon slimy bank
    An hov'ring fire so blue,
That lights a spot both drear and dank,
    Where falls nor rain nor dew?

Page 87

The parson once a daughter had,
    Fair village maids above;
Unstain'd as fair--and many a lad
    Had sought the maiden's love.

High o'er the hamlet proudly dight
    Beyond the winding stream,
The windows of yon mansion bright
    Shone in the evening beam.

A Bacchanalian lord dwelt there,
    Unworthy of his name;
He plung'd a father in despair,
    And robb'd a maiden's fame.

With wine and tapers sparkling round,
    The night flew swift away;
In huntsman's dress, with horn and hound,
    He met the dawning day.

He sent the maid his picture, deck'd
    With diamonds, pearls, and gold;
Ah! silly maid, why not reject
    What on the back was told?

Page 88

"Despise the love of shepherd boys;
    Shalt thou be basely woo'd
That worthy art of highest joys,
    And youths of noble blood?

"The tale I would to thee unfold
    In secret must be said;
And when the midnight hour is told,
    Fair love, be not afraid.

"And when the am'rous nightingale
    Like thee shall sweetly sing,
A stone thy window shall assail,
    My idol forth to bring."

Attired in vest of gayest blue,
    He came with lonely tread,
And silent as the beams that threw
    Their pale light o'er her head.

And did no thought affect his breast,
    Or bid his feet delay?
Ah! no! the crime but adds a zest
    To spur his guilty way.

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And when the sweet-pip'd nightingale
    Sang from the dusky bow'r,
A stone her window did assail
    Just at the midnight hour.

And ah! she came;--his treacherous arms
    The trembling maid receive;
How soon do they in lover's charms
    A lover's truth believe!

* Lock'd in his arms, she scarcely strove,
    Seduc'd by young desire,
The glowing twin brother of Love,
    Possess'd with wilder fire.

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

Still struggling, faint, he led her on
    Tow'rd the fatal bow'r,
So still--so dim--while all along
    Sweet smelt each blushing flow'r.

Then beat her heart--and heav'd her breast--
    And pleaded ev'ry sense;
Remorseless the seducer prest,
    To blast her innocence.

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But soon in tears repentant drown'd,
    The drooping fair bemoan'd,
And oft, when night in terror frown'd,
    Forlorn and sad she roam'd.

And when the fragrile flow'rs decay'd,
    The bloom her cheeks forsook,
And from her eyes no longer play'd
    The loves with wily look.

* And when the leaves of autumn fell,
    And grey the grass was grown,
Her bosom rose with lovely swell,
    And tighter grew her zone.

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

And when the mow'rs went a field
    The yellow corn to ted,
She felt her sorrowing bosom yield
    To all a mother's dread.

And when the winds of winter swept
    The stubborn glebe among,
In wild despair and fear she wept
    The lingering night along.

Page 91

And when the fault of yielding love
    No more could be conceal'd,
She knelt, her father's soul to move,
    And, weeping, all reveal'd.

+ But vain her tears; the ruthless sire
    In piteous voice revil'd,
And while his eye-balls flash'd with fire,
    He spurn'd his hapless child:

+ See specimen of former translation.

Spurn'd her with cruelty severe,
    And smote her snowy breast;
The patient blood, that gush'd so clear,
    Its purity confess'd.

* Such are the dang'rous thorns of love,
    That strew the virgin's way,
While faithless as its roses prove,
    'Tis they that first decay.

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

Then drove her forth forlorn to wail
    Amid the dreary wild,
Forgets that mortals all are frail,
    But more--forgets his child!

Page 92

* Unhappy parent!--passion's slave!
    Had nature been thy guide,
Thy child, now sunk in hasten'd grave,
    Might still have been thy pride.

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

Up the harsh rock so steep and slim'd,
    The mourner had to roam,
And faint on tott'ring feet she clim'd
    To seek her lover's home.

"Alas! my blood-stain'd bosom see,
    The drooping sufferer cried;
"A mother hast thou made of me,
    Before thou mad'st a bride .

"This is thy ruthless deed--behold!"
    And sinking on the floor;
"Oh! let thy love with honour hold,
    My injur'd name restore."

+ "Poor maid! I grieve to see thy woe;
    My folly now lament:
Go not while harsh the tempests blow,
    Thy father shall repent."

+ See specimen of former translation.

Page 93

"I cannot stay," she shudd'ring cried,
    "While dubious hangs my fame.
Alas! forswear thy cruel pride,
    And leave me not to shame.

"Make me thy wife, I'll love thee true;
    High Heaven approves the deed:
For mercy's sake some pity shew,
    E'en while for thee I bleed!"

"Sure 'tis thy mirth, or dost thou rave?
    "Can I," he scoffing cried,
"Thy forfeit name from scorn to save,
    E'er wed a peasant maid?

"What honour bids I'll do for thee--
    My huntsman shall be thine;
While still our loves, voluptuous free,
    No shackles shall confine."

"Damn'd be thy soul, and sad thy life,
    May pangs in hell await!
Wretch! if too humble for thy wife,
    Oh, why not for thy mate?

Page 94

"May God attend, my bitter prayer!
    Some high-born spouse be thine,
Whose wanton arts shall mock thy care,
    And spurious be thy line.

"Then traitor fell, how wretched those
    In hopeless shame immers'd,
Strike thy hard breast with vengeful blows,
    While curses from it burst!

"Roll thy dry eyes, for mercy call,
    Unsooth'd thy grinning woe;
Through thy pale temples fire the ball,
    And sink to fiends below!"

Then starting up, she wildly flew,
    Nor heard the hissing sleet,
Nor knew how keen the tempest blew,
    Nor felt her bleeding feet.

"Oh where, my God! where shall I roam?
    For shelter where shall fly?"
She cried, as wild she sought the home
    Where still she wish'd to die.

Page 95

Tow'rd the bow'r, in frenzied woe,
    The fainting wand'rer drew,
Where wither'd leaves and driving snow
    Made haste her bed to strew:

E'en to that bower, where first undone,
    Now yields its bed forlorn,
And now beholds a cherub son
    In grief and terror born.

"Ah, lovely babe!" she cried, "we part
    Ne'er, ne'er to meet again!"
Then frantic pierc'd its tender heart--
    The new-born life is slain.

Swift horror seiz'd her shudd'ring soul--
    "My God, behold my crime!
Let thy avenging thunders roll,
    And crush me in my prime!"

With blood-stain'd hands the bank beside
    Its shallow grave she tore.
"There rest in God," she wildly cried,
    "Where guilt can stab no more."

Page 96

Then the red knife, with blood imbru'd,
    Of innocence, she press'd;
Its fatal point convulsive view'd,
    And sheath'd it in her breast.

* Beside her infant's lonely tomb
    Her mould'ring form is laid,
Where never flow'r is seen to bloom
    Beneath the deadly shade.

* In the translation to which I have already alluded, the lines only rhime alternately; wherever I have added an entire stanza I have marked the passage by an asterisk.

Where falls nor rain nor heavenly dew,
    Where sun-beam never shines,
Where steals along the fire so blue,
    And hov'ring spectre pines.

There, too, its blood-stain'd hand to wave,
    Her mournful ghost is seen,
Or dimly o'er her infant's grave,
    Three spans in length, to lean.

Page [97]

Page [98]

Page [99]


Page [100]

NOT having chosen to intermingle with this collection the very earliest productions of my childhood, I have merely subjoined them, leaving it to the option of those who have read the preceding ones, whether to peruse them or not; and simply thinking if necessary to state in their vindication, that they were written at the early ages of thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen.

Page 101


WHERE the hoarse billows rush upon the shore,
    Where shrieks some screech-owl's melancholy voice,
Where the bleak winds in loud defiance roar,
    Where horror reigns--that spot shall be my choice.

Oh, Sleep! kind soother of the grief-worn breast;
    Oh, Health! bright jewel of the labouring hind;
Oh, Hope! dear cheerer of the mind distrest;
    Oh, precious blessings! where may I ye find?

Hope, soft sustainer, whither art thou fled?
    Oh, Laura! pour the balsam in my heart;
Then Sleep once more shall rest my aching head,
    And blushing Health her cheering sweets impart.

Page 102


'TIS Meditation that delights to dwell
    In deep seclusion; silently to roam,
Oft list'ning thoughtful to the distant knell,
    Which tolls some mortal to his narrow home.

Where rocks with sable brows o'erhang the main,
    And foaming surges lave the slimy shore,
Where echo screams the lengthen'd sound again,
    Where o'er the heath the winds unfetter'd roar.

Or oft, when eve her twilight stillness spreads,
    She loves to wander in the lonely glade,
Where no rough wight, with feet unhallow'd, treads,
    To break the chain by Meditation made.

Page 103

Where yawns the precipice of depth unseen,
    Where frowns some mountain's elevated brow,
Or where the moon shines o'er the haunted green,
    From vulgar fear deserted long ago.

Page 104


OH, Sleep! kind god, approach thy gentle wand,
    And strew thy poppies round my aching head,
Lay on my lids thy soft, all-conq'ring hand,
    And pour thy brightest visions round my head.

'Tis thou alone canst hush in sweetest peace,
    Lull the loud sigh, and stay the starting tear,
In calmness bid each stormy passion cease,
    Close the sad lid, and still the anxious fear.

Then come, kind god, and chase my cares away,
    Sooth the poor flutterer of my beating breast,
With haggard Misery one moment stay,
    Nor fly, thus scornful, from a wretch distrest.

Page 105


WHY frequent wanders in the dead of night,
    The pensive Laura thro' the forest's gloom?
Why dares, regardless, the terrific sprite?
    Why fearless paces by the dreary tomb?

Why, printless, does she leave her downy bed,
    For strange enjoyment thus alone to stray?
Now on a dewy sod recline her head,
    Now thoughtful gaze upon the moon's pale ray?

Where now has vanish'd the resistless smile?
    Where flown the sprightly mirth which tun'd her tongue?
Why now no more can joy the hours beguile?
    Why charms deep solitude a maid so young?

Page 106

Say, is it melancholy sways thy mind?
    Unconscious thou from whence proceeds thy smart;
But search thy bosom, and an arrow find,
    For there the urchin, Love, has left his dart.

Page 107


OH, Madness! worst of ev'ry ill!
'Twere mercy more the wretch to kill,
    Than thou should'st give the blow:
Come racking grief, the frame destroy;
Come agony, thy smart is joy,
    To Madness trifling woe.

Of Madness, see the tortur'd child,
First shedding tears, then laughing wild,
    And then convulsive groan:
Then comes Despair, with wide-stretch'd eye,
Tearing the soul with agony;
    Or hear the harrowing moan.

Page 108

See the damp cheek of pallid Dread,
Quick mantling, mount to furious red,
    Or glow with feverish pink:
Or see him shrink, and shivering sigh,
With quiv'ring lip and glassy eye,
    And then exhausted sink.

Deep Melancholy rules by fits,
Then gloomy Madness moping sits,
    Or straw, unmeaning, ties.
When oft, to shun the fancied lash,
From dizzying heights they fearless dash,
    And thus the victim dies.

Page 109


SEE light the hills adorning,
    The lark begins her strains,
As brightly gleams the morning,
    Wide breaking o'er the plains.

See ev'ry star retiring,
    And ev'ry dew exhale,
See morn with joy inspiring
    The songsters of the vale.

Behold yon cloud, how glorious!
    That captive holds the sun,
Which now breaks forth victorious,
    His radiant course to run.

Page 110

Begone, each little fairy,
    In misty robe array'd,
With ev'ry spirit airy
    That haunts the desert glade.

Page 111



NOW Sol, behind the mountain,
    Withdraws his golden rays,
That, lingering on yon fountain,
    Displays a liquid blaze.

With curious colours tainted,
    The slippery rocks are seen,
By Nature's soft hand painted,
    In azure, red, and green.

Page 112

Yon mountain top, aspiring,
    To reach bright Heaven tries;
A purple tint acquiring
    From evening's vivid skies.

And now his toil suspending,
    The labourer quits the field;
And lo! the dews descending,
    Their sweetest fragrance yield.

The fleecy lambs reclining
    Supine on yonder steep;
His sportive care resigning,
    The shepherd wrapt in sleep.

Now to the sea extending,
    Sol throws his sinking rays,
While o'er the ocean bending,
    The drooping willow plays.

Page 113

The glowing prospect fading
    As deepening dusk succeeds,
And darkness slow invading,
    It gradually recedes.

Page 114


INDIFFERENCE! nymph of calm, unruffled brow,
    I hail thee, henceforth, as a welcome guest;
Thy easy chain of flow'rets round me throw,
    And fix thy careless empire in my breast.

What! if unfelt by thee, transporting bliss,
    Unknown the raptures of love's thrilling smart;
Unfelt the eloquent, the tender kiss:
    Unknown, the melting movements of the heart.

And ah! unfelt the chastening rod of pain;
    Unfelt the thorns in love's seducing snare,
Unfelt the galling of a hopeless chain,
    Unknown the killing anguish of despair.

Page 115

Ah, happy nymph! who would not be like thee,
    Insensible to Pleasure's dear extreme?
To be, too, from excess of anguish free,
    And glide thro' life on an unruffled stream?

Page 116


SEE bloody Discord lift her envious head,
    And shake the hissing serpents from her hair:
Then o'er the earth see wild Confusion spread,
    And hast'ning evils beckon to Despair.

Who now with cheerfulness shall smiling toil,
    And happy view the children of his care?
Say, who with industry shall dress the soil,
    For whom the wife her frugal store prepare?

Must the delight which deck'd the honest brow,
    The tender father sad and silent droop?
The smile contented, and the healthful glow,
    Alike be banish'd from the guiltless group?

Page 117

Wild with despair, the mournful father flies
    To gain or death or glory in the field,
Distracted fights, to still his children's cries,
    And nobly bleeds, the bitter bread to yield.

The widow's tears must wet the harden'd ground,
    The scanty crust in tears his offspring steep;
Yet ceaseless still, no end those tears have found;
    For Father, Husband, Friend, they have to weep.

Page 118


RETURN, sweet Peace, and shed thy glories round,
    And spread thy fair wings o'er a troubled isle;
No more let carnage stain the fruitful ground,
    And blood the works of Heaven's hand defile.

Shall Discord drive thee, mild-ey'd nymph, away?
    And Faction strike thee with its ruthless hand?
Shall Havoc mock thee on the crimson'd way,
    Confusion reign, and Ruin grinning stand?

Shall Famine point its all-consuming sword?
    And Misery reach the sunny cottage door?
Shall naught remain to deck the frugal board,
    Or bless the humble offspring of the poor?

Page 119

Must the sad widow weep her loss in vain?
    The little orphan vainly ask for bread?
Yet still shall strife and sanction'd murder reign,
    And scalding tears be still unheeded shed?

Page 120


AH! wherefore, cruel Cupid, didst thou bind,
    With such a painful wreath, my bleeding brows?
    Why give me only thorns? for ah! no rose,
No fadeless roses in my wreath I find.

When blinded by thy mother's guileful charms,
    Thou cam'st with Hope and Rapture in thy train,
    While close behind trod Woe and ambush'd Pain,
Lurking beneath false Pleasure's tempting arms.

Thy garland then with lively green was drest,
    And roses, which thou said'st would ne'er decay;
    And ah! we doubt not what our wishes say,
Till sad experience harrows up the breast,

Page 121

Too soon, alas! that painful lot I found;
    For, withering in their bloom, the roses died,
    Shew'd the sharp thorns which they before did hide,
And time could never heal their treach'rous wound.

One only rose remain'd, and still look'd fair,
    Expiring Hope lay panting in its breast,
    I had no food to cheer the drooping guest,
Then, like the rest, it died, and left Despair.

Page 122


OH! Lindorf! oh, Lindorf! for ever adieu!
    Thy heart beats no longer tumultuous for me,
Fair Laura has robb'd me of Heaven in you,
    And Laura alone must thy fav'rite be.

And canst thou so easy forget the fond breast
    That gave thee responsive a sigh for a sigh?
And canst thou despoil those sad eyes of their rest,
    That, when thine look'd tearful, disdain'd to be dry?

And canst thou repeat, without faltering tongue,
    Those oaths which to me thou hast plighted in vain?
Let Laura beware, for the snake which has stung,
    May the bosom which fosters it injure again.

Page 123

Oh, Henry! oh! why did I treat thee with scorn?
    Ah! why let thee scatter thy sighs to the wind?
Well art thou reveng'd; 'tis now I that must mourn,
    For e'er having us'd thee, my Henry, unkind.

Dear hill! which, with him, I once lov'd to ascend,
    And view the red sun as it sunk in the west;
Dear lute! which did once thy sweet harmony lend,
    To charm and to sooth a fond lover to rest.

Bloom on, lovely rose-tree, in peace shalt thou blow,
    Thy buds evermore shall uninjur'd remain;
No roses do I want to deck my sad brow,
    A garland of thorns suits the temple of pain.

Page 124


SWEET Sympathy! thou fair, celestial maid,
    Thou precious, soft, indefinable tie,
    Source of the pitying drop that dims the eye,
Source of the sigh to Friendship's sorrows paid.

Divine inspirer! soul of the inmost soul!
    Bringing his mistress to the lover's sight,
    Though darkness pours around its deepest night,
And Ocean's wide expanse between them roll.

Oh, thou! descending on the downy wing
    Of Cupid, when he steals into the heart,
    Art mistress of the sweetly painful smart,
That, tipt with honey, bears a secret sting.

Page 125

'Tis thou informest the fond lover's breast
    Of ev'ry sigh his absent Laura heaves,
    Of ev'ry tear its bright recess that leaves,
Bidding prophetic sorrow haunt his rest.

Oh! softer than the breeze to summer dear,
    Sweet as the breath of love, than snow more fair,
    Daughter of Heaven, and lighter than its air,
Thy robe a zephyr! and thy crown a tear!

Page 126


OBLIVION, teach me, teach me thee to find;
    They tell me, in thy waters thou canst steep
Each sad remembrance of the troubled mind,
    And lull sharp Misery to eternal sleep.

And canst thou, goddess, in thy potent stream,
    Bid Retrospection yield its power to thine?
    And Memory its sceptre too resign,
Making the past like a forgotten dream?

Say, can thy magic stream procure repose
    To murd'rous Guilt, with restless, wide-stretch'd eye,
    Fearing Detection's torch for ever nigh,
And Justice with its scourge the scene to close?

Page 127

Or canst thou bid Remorse withdraw its sting,
    Or cease to plunge its daggers in the heart?
    Lethean-like, erase the fest'ring smart
Reflection's bitter pangs ne'er fail to bring?

Say, canst thou lull upon thy Stygian breast
    The fiend Despair, than all the fiends more dire,
    With quiv'ring lips and eye-balls set in fire,
Canst thou so wild a demon sooth to rest?

Or shrieking Agony, with writhing brow,
    Convulsive sending forth the hollow groan?
    Or raving Lunacy, with harrowing moan,
Beseeching useless Pity for its woe?

If with thy power such miseries thou canst calm,
    Ah! let an hopeless wretch thy blessings prove,
Withhold not from his wounds the precious balm,
    That from remembrance blots unhappy love!

Page 128


HENCE, Prudence! bane of ev'ry virtuous deed,
    Child of Cold Prejudice and selfish Fear,
    Insensible to Sorrow's bitter tear,
Wrung from the heart thou bid'st unpitied bleed!

Oh, Innocence! compell'd to seek the shade,
    And pine neglected in the cheerless wild,
    Defam'd by Slander, Envy's fav'rite child,
Weep on, for Prudence shuns thee, wretched maid!

Poor Honesty! bend not thy steps this way,
    Caution must scrutinize thy pale, wan face,
    On every guileless feature stamp disgrace,
And shuddering at thy guilt turn quick away.

Page 129

Oh, Want! thou breathing image of cold death!
    By all forsaken, and by all forgot,
    And in a loathsome jail condemn'd to rot;
Avaunt thee!--for contagion taints thy breath.

Oh! Industry! made misery to endure,
    Steeping thy hard-earn'd crust in liquid woe;
    Contempt and Scorn shall heavier give the blow,
Thou must be indolent--for thou art poor.

If sad Experience e'er should steel my breast,
    Show me mankind, ungen'rous, cruel base,
    Ingratitude, the vice of all the race;
Then, Prudence! then I'll hail thee for my guest!

Page 130


THE sweet enthusiast, on a rock reclin'd,
    With transport listen'd to the dashing waves;
Her snowy garments swam upon the wind,
    And Silence spread her wing amid the caves.

Now sportive Fancy did her eye-lids close,
    And Memory brought the happy past to view;
A group of visionary friends arose,
    And in a dance confus'd around her drew.

Borne on Imagination's ardent wing,
    Again a child, she skimm'd the yellow mead,
Again threw pebbles in the cloud-pav'd spring--
    Again in baby gambols took the lead.

Page 131

And now, her childhood past, a busier scene
    Floats on the bosom of the silent night;
Her lover's form, all deck'd in sea-weeds green,
    Swam wet and shiv'ring in her startled sight.

Light on the trembling surge he seem'd to stand;
    Pale was his face, loose hung his dripping hair,
His shroud he held within his clay-cold hand,
    And, sighing deeply, threw his bosom bare.

Then pointed Melancholy to the wave;
    "Say, wilt thou come, sweet love? behold my fate!
This element hath been thy lover's grave;
    Say, dost thou love me still--or dost thou hate?"

In haste the beauteous dreamer op'd her eyes,
    To lose the vision from her rocky pillow;
In vain, alas! whatever side she tries,
    The sprite remains, still pointing to the billow!

And now a sterner look assum'd his face;
    "Thou dost not love me, or thou wouldst not stay,
Come plunge, my love!--soon, soon shall we embrace!
    Midnight has past:--haste, haste, I must away!"

Page 132

The sweeet enthusiast heard her lover groan;
    And sighing from the promontory's steep,
"See, dear-lov'd spirit!--I am thine alone!"
    She said; and plunging sought him 'midst the deep.

Page 133



NOW near drew the time when fair Ann was allow'd
    To visit her lover confin'd;
To mingle her tears, as his sadly flow'd,
    And sooth the despair of his mind.

As she skimm'd o'er the wood, lo! the night-owl was heard
    To give three hollow shrieks from a tree;
She stopt, listening, and thought the ill-omening bird
    Said, Thy lover has sorrow for thee.

Page 134

Still onward she flew, while the envious wind,
    Half jealous, retarded her pace;
Dishevell'd her garments to stay her behind,
    Or furiously broke in her face.

Darkness reign'd on the earth, and from every spot
    Horror seem'd unmolested to stare;
She trembled to pass her once favourite grot,
    Lest Danger and Death should be there.

At length, like a lily new-wash'd in the dew,
    She reach'd the drear prison's high gate,
And feebly she knock'd, while her fears stronger grew,
    For her Edmund's unfortunate fate.

The long-dying echo she thought spoke his doom,
    As the jailor pass'd slow through the hall,
The lamp beam'd from afar, pierc'd through the thick gloom,
    And show'd the chill damps on the wall.

He open'd the gates, and along led the maid;
    Dark sulkiness reign'd on his brow,
From his savage black eyes murd'rous guilt was betray'd,
    And gall from each pore seem'd to flow.

Page 135

The contrast how strong! he in sable array'd,
    Swift leading a virgin in white;
His form seen and lost 'mid the dubious shade,
    Like a fiend and an angel of light.

Anna scann'd o'er his savage appearance with dread,
    And shudd'ring, her eyes she withdrew;
The slimy walls shone in green, yellow, and red,
    As the lamp its weak rays on them threw.

Soon they reach'd a steep staircase form'd under the ground;
    Poor Anna descended untold,
For she knew the drear dungeon where Edmund lay bound,
    A prey to want, famine, and cold.

The keeper, nought heeding her love or her haste,
    Crept slow; and unlocking the door,
The dank vapours burst out which before were encas'd,
    And swam in a mist on the floor.

She enter'd, and heard the door bolted again!
    Edmund started, and flew to embrace;
Poor pris'ner, alas! the endeavour was vain,
    For his chain dragg'd him back to his place.

Page 136

Now the damps they dispers'd, Anna saw on the stones
    Her lover distended and ill;
A chain round his body contracted his bones,
    And prevented his breathing at will.

His hair hung disorder'd, his garments were loose,
    His wrists were encircled by chain;
Yet all these oppressions could never induce
    Young Edmund's firm soul to complain.

"Ah! wherefore, my Anna! wherefore dost thou come
    To visit my dungeon so drear?
Like morning's fair goddess dispersing night's gloom,
    The trav'ller far wand'ring to cheer?

"Oh, Anna! black midnight will speedily be,
    The poison! the dagger! are near,
So, farewell! for ever farewell unto thee,
    Nay, start not! what folly is fear!"

"Oh, Edmund! I surely not heard thee aright,
    Or sorrow has injur'd thy brain!
What mean'st thou by dagger and poison at night?
    Oh, Edmund! my love, speak again!"

Page 137

"I tell thee then, Ann, in the dead of the night,
    At the silent drear hour of one,
I shall be a memento of death in thy sight,
    A tenant prepar'd for the tomb."

"Oh, Edmund! my life! and oh, Edmund! my love!
    Is that then thy portion to be?
Thou shalt not go single, for I too will rove
    Through the fields of Elysium with thee."

"Forbear thee, rash beauty! say, what dost thou mean?
    Forbid it, thy Maker on high;
Thy time is not come to quit life's idle scene;
    Ah! wherefere should Anna then die?"

"No more, dear lov'd Edmund! I'll meet thee above,
    And rest with thee too in the grave;
E'en death shall not part me from him that I love;
    I'll die since I thee cannot save."

'Twas in vain for brave Edmund to kneel and to pray,
    Or beg for a while to be heard;
For Anna was reckless of all he could say,
    And steadily kept to her word.

Page 138

"And art thou resolv'd then? and canst thou forego
    The young joys that fly at thy nod?"
"Yes, Edmund! I can, or wherefore say I so?
    I love thee, but next to my God."

"Behold then this phial, there is that within
    Will quickly add one to the dead;
When the church clock strikes twelve 'twill be time to begin,
    In an hour thy breath will have fled."

"I thank thee, dear Edmund! for now thou art kind,
    So farewell, my love, unto thee!"
"Ah! farewell, dear Anna! stay, stay thou behind,
    And die not, dear martyr, for me!"

He said, and embrac'd her; loud rattled his chains,
    When the jailor appear'd at the door;
His Anna rush'd from him; transfix'd he remains;
    Then sighing, sinks on the damp floor.

Once more through the wild woods she swift took her way
    To the castle, and flew to her room;
There watch'd the slow minutes, and curs'd their delay,
    For retarding her sorrowful doom.

Page 139

At length it struck twelve--she snatch'd up the dose,
    In agony shook it around,
And then to her pale lips applying it close,
    Drank it firmly to ev'ry ground.

In less than a minute the fumes caught her brain,
    Hot and heavily felt her head;
Her eyes clos'd themselves, fire glow'd in each vein;
    And stagg'ring, she reel'd on the bed.

Her heart now it trembled, her pulse it beat slow,
    A deep sleep crept over each limb;
She spoke not, nor mov'd, scarce her blood seem'd to flow,
    But never did death seem less grim.

Her maidens came in, and supposing she slept,
    Stood silently round and about;
No visible marks the base poison had left,
    It ravag'd within, nor without.

Now sudden her face like an angel's appears,
    Irradiant beams shot around,
Bright stars seem'd descending in shoals from the spheres,
    And spangled with di'monds the ground.

Page 140

Hark! hark! the church clock strikes the big hour of one!
    In that instant she opens her eyes!
Serenely then smiling, "Dear Edmund, I come,"
    She stretches her arms out, and dies!