Poems on Various Subjects.

Dunnett, Jane.


Summer Silveira, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 144Kb
Copyright (c) British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
1998
I.D. No. DunnJPoems

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 32
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Poems on various subjects

Dunnett, Jane


Printed by John Moir
Edinburgh,
1818

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no: I:361. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:361mf.]


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Title Page
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[Title Page]



Page [i]

POEMS

ON

VARIOUS SUBJECTS:

BY

JANE DUNNETT.


Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well.
POPE ON CRITICISM.
EDINBURGH:


PRINTED BY JOHN MOIR.
1818.

Page [ii]

ERRATA.


Page [iii]

PREFACE.

IN an age when genius has almost reached the highest eminence of perfection under the noon-day influence of education, the Author is aware that it is not a time to exhibit to public view an uncultured production, which has never been visited by the most distant ray of literary knowledge.  Conscious of its demerit, she will not be mortified or disappointed if it should only excite the contemptuous smile of the literary man, or the broad insulting grin of those who laugh at every thing, but attempt nothing:  From the former she would only request, that while they are attempting to mete out the stars and to span the heavens,--while their eyes are fixed on the splendid trophies held out by capricious Fame,--they would not, in their heedless course, trample on the harmless glow-worm, and thus extinguish its glimmering light.  From the latter she requests and expects as little mercy as she will receive; from the benevolent mind of the unprejudiced reader, she has already experienced every indulgence which he can with equity bestow.


Page [iv]

[Pagination irregular; 4 unnumbered preliminary pages followed by pages numbered [9]-152.]



Page [9]

POEMS.

THE COMPLAINT OF EMMA;

OR,
LOVE'S MIDNIGHT SIGH.

HOW still this solemn hour:  The shades of night
Steal o'er the sense, and shut the orbs of sight;
Sooth ev'ry murmur in a rest supine,
And lull to slumber ev'ry breast but mine.

    O, my sad soul ! and wilt thou ever here
So basely grovel in so dark a sphere ?


Page 10

Be rous'd,--arise,--this moment aids thy flight,
Religion calls thee to a land of light.
Come, then, my soul ! this is the sacred hour
Religion claims to vindicate her power;
Confess her right supreme o'er all that's thine,
And bow submissive at her holy shrine.
Fly, fly to Him who sits enthron'd above,--
But is it Him, or Evandale, I love ?
The moment's past, and, lo ! I sink again,
And sink to wallow in the pleasing pain.

    Belov'd usurper ! wilt thou yet surprise,
And catch my soul just mounting to the skies ?
This soul immortal never was design'd
For thee, proud monarch of a rebel mind.
Yet, O benignant Being ! O forgive,
To cease to love him is to cease to live.

    Then must that incense, Evandale ! to you
Arise, which to Omnipotence is due ?


Page 11

This heart anew a sacrifice I make;
Come, from the altar of thy Maker take--
Yet hold, O Evandale ! yet hold, nor dare
To take the sacrifice, for God is there.
O base idolatry ! O impious love !
This earth-born idol from my breast remove.
Come, Power Divine ! my Evandale efface,
Or lose his image in thy boundless grace;
Thy sacred influence o'er my passions roll,
And tear his image from my inmost soul:
Yet rather reign supremely in my heart,
Or give my Evandale a smaller part.

    Blame not fair Nature for her gifts profuse,
Nor does she rob thee of thy sacred dues;
She waits submissive thy assenting nod,
And culls her beauties but from Nature's God.
What tho' she smil'd when she had marr'd her plan,
And meant an angel when she form'd him man !


Page 12

Angelic beauties she with man combin'd,
But more she could not give,--an angel mind;
'Twas heav'n alone could such a mind bestow,
And heav'n sent down an angel mind below.

    'Twas not that forehead like an Alpine mount,
Where shading clouds hang lightly o'er the front;
'Twas not those eyes, which threw their fires around,
And dash'd the gazer's glances to the ground;
'Twas not that cheek where living roses blow,
And health and tranquil smiles unconscious glow;
'Twas not that mouth where livid rubies part,
And breathe the feelings of a spotless heart;
'Twas not that elegance of form, that ease,
That mild address, which never fails to please:
Not these attractions which unrival'd shone,
Could bind my captive soul to him alone;
Nor loss of these my liberty could gain,
Nor raise my captive soul from him again;


Page 13

But O that tongue, all eloquence divine,
Could blend resistless his idea with thine.
Ah ! why should it be thought a crime to love,
Or why should Evandale perfection prove ?

    O Evandale ! in vain shall distance try,
Not worlds can hide thee from this searching eye;
Fly where thou wilt yet thou art ever dear,
Nor need I fly, for thou art ever near.
If I attempt to read that fav'rite book,
Where we together oft were wont to look,
My mind a while from ev'ry torture free,
And in its glowing lines forget e'en thee,--
'Tis vain,--my fingers with an easy spell
Find out the place where we were won't to dwell,
Where I have seen thee, with a raptur'd gaze,
Swell the bless'd passage with appropriate praise;
I read--but still it is thy voice I hear,
I stop, I hark,--it trembles on my ear,


Page 14

I fly the sound, and refuge seek in pray'r,
There thou art first my warmest wish to share.
O that I could thy lov'd idea flee,
The very effort still is full of thee;
Ah ! why should it be thought a crime to love,
Or why should Evandale perfection prove ?

    And why that frantic wish would I forget ?
The moments wrap'd in bliss whene'er we met:
Thy precepts, O how skilfully convey'd--
At once they awed, at once my heart betray'd;
On ev'ry motion of thy lips I hung,
More sweet to me than from an angel's tongue:
How oft, while list'ning to thy charming voice,
Have I half dar'd to raise my timid eyes,
To take one view of thine expressive face,
Full beaming with the sweetest smiles of grace ?
And if thine ever-anxious eye, by chance,
Had met the quick, retreating, stolen glance,


Page 15

How did it sweetly, exquisitely dart,
Through ev'ry vein of my dissolving heart !
Seraphic list'ners shar'd thy holy fires,
And touch'd with triple force their trembling lyres,
When heav'nly joy resounded from the strings,
They gaz'd, and smil'd, and flap'd their golden wings.
Ah ! why should it be thought a crime to love,
Or why should Evandale perfection prove ?

    O bliss supreme ! O joy for ever gone !
And can it be, and am I left alone ?
Yes, all alone, for what's aught else to me !
Nor life is life, unless enjoy'd with thee.
And art thou gone indeed ? return and tell,
Thus wherefore fled, without one last farewell.
Ah ! kindly cruel, why did you deny
One interview, one transient gleam of joy ?
'Twere joy and sorrow strangely intermix'd,
Despair and Hope on one pedestal fix'd:


Page 16

But yet the bitter pang might (whilst it stung)
'Been soften'd by the music of thy tongue,
Thy soft persuasive voice had sweeten'd care,
And fortified my mind against despair;
One parting ray of thy fond beaming eye,
Had enter'd here, forbidding Hope to die.

    Now come and see the unextinguish'd flame,
How bold it burns, how fast consumes my frame:
Ah ! did I bid thee come ? no, rather stay,
Where'er thou art, if peace attend thy way;
If thou art happy, why should I repine ?
Once mine were all thy griefs, thy joys be mine.
I cease to hope; O could I cease to love !
But still must Evandale perfection prove.

    Yes, rather come, and angel-like reprove,
And turn the stream of my unhappy love;
Teach those affections, fix'd on thee, to rise,
And upward lead the current to the skies;


Page 17

'Twere vain ! they'd turn, forgetful of their source,
And roll impetuous through their wonted course;
How would they prove thy gentle efforts vain,

[This and the following two lines are connected by a large brace in the right margin of the original printed edition.]


And, like the torrent flowing to the main,
Would rush to lose themselves in thee again.
Ah, why should Evandale perfection prove,
Or why should it be thought a crime to love ?

    O days of artless love, of sweet delight !
Now lost for ever in these shades of night;
Faint recollection of a golden dream !
Fast fleeting shadow of a parting beam;
Days when unmov'd I met thy cherub view,
Nor name for thee more fond than "brother" knew.
Return, destroyer of that peace and joy,
When love delighted e'er he could destroy--
Teach love's untainted blush again to glow,
When bliss through dimples smil'd unmix'd with woe.
As cherubs tell their spotless joys above,
I own'd to Evandale my artless love,


Page 18

Or--come, when first I felt the growing flame
Creep through my heart, and give itself a name;
When first my wounded pride began to melt,
And blush'd to think that it was love I felt;
When first I turn'd from thee, and, half dismay'd;
Would hide the weakness which my looks betray'd,
When first I started at thy manly voice,
And saw maturer beauties daily rise;
When first the stripling from the boy began,
And now the stripling to assume the man:
My heart confessed it lov'd, and yet I strove
To hide from Evandale that I could love.

    Yet rather come, complete in manly charms,
Support thy dying Emma in thine arms;
On that lov'd bosom, where I often play'd
In sportive youth, let this pale cheek be laid;
There wrap'd in holy transport let me lie,
Whilst thou art teaching me the way to die.


Page 19

Last hapless wish !--O, may I on that breast
Sink, softly sink, into eternal rest;
And there, and only there, resign my love,
And Evandale my guardian angel prove !

    Methinks I see thee stand with godlike grace,
And beam compassion on my palid face;
With firm unshaken fervour point the way
To endless happiness, and endless day !
Yet from that lofty height of grace descend,
With more than pity o'er thine Emma bend;
Let past endearments, like the lightning's gleam,
Flash sweetly o'er thee as a morning's dream;
Let Nature melt, though Heav'n should disapprove,
Yield all thy soul to sympathy and love;
Then press me in one long, one last embrace,
And ev'ry fleeting pulse's motion trace,
Life's last, long lab'ring sigh, with rapture sip,
And catch my soul just flutt'ring on my lip.


Page 20

Ah ! now, indeed, it is a crime to love,
Since Evandale from bliss I would remove.

What did I say ? O my distracted brain !
Religion stands appall'd whilst I complain;
Creation listens, but she hates the sound,
And bears my sighs with horror o'er the ground
Dull mortals lie absorb'd in balmy sleep,
Whilst dæmons smile, and angels learn to weep.
Weep not for me, ye sons of bliss ! but lend
Your plumes etherial, whilst I ascend;
Burst this clay tenement, dispel my fears,
And take, O take me from this vale of tears;
Teach me how great a crime it is to love,
Yet, O let Evandale my tutor prove !

Is it the workings of my inward grief,
Or are ye come indeed to my relief ?
Exhausted nature sinks,--my spirits rise,
Help me, O Evandale, to mount the skies.


Page 21

Did I say Evandale ? or did I say
Come, ye celestial beings, come away ?
Oh ! how I tremble, how my spirit strives,
And Nature at the sound again revives;
His name stirs all my powers within to love,
And Evandale must still my idol prove.

    It must be so; yes, Evandale, I'll blend
Thy name with objects which shall never end;
For that great soul of thine, that lofty mind,
Is not to length of years or space confined;
It but descended from on high to shew
A glimpse of glory to this world below !
And soon it will again on high appear,
And shine unrivall'd in its native sphere.
What if ere now he has ascended there,
What, if he flutters in celestial air ?
Expands his new tried wings with holy joy,--
Then where the man, the strippling , or the boy ?
Lost in the beauty of the bright abode,
Lost in the smiles of his benignant God.


Page 22

Ah ! then it cannot be a crime to love,
Since Evandale will there perfection prove !

    But night descending from her ebon throne,
Girds up her sombre garments to be gone;
With slow reluctant pace she moves away,
And leaves the wide expanse to coming day

    And does another dawn, another morn,
Blush o'er the murm'rings of a wretch forlorn ?
O ! Source of earliest ray ! still deign to see
The earth, thy footstool, still support my knee;
My outstretch'd hands and streaming eyes behold,
The tear upon my blasted cheek grown cold;
My quiv'ring lip still asks to be forgiv'n,
Still supplicates one pitying ray from heav'n;
Too much I lov'd, in this I still offend,
Yet let one pard'ning smile from thee descend,
My torpid mind with new-felt hope inspire,
And kindle in my breast a nobler fire.


Page 23

    My smother'd soul, of origin divine,
Bright spark of Deity, arise and shine !
And, like yon sun emerging from the deep,
Disperse the mists of sense, the dews of sleep;
Let not a mortal claim thy noblest love,
Till Evandale shall an immortal prove.

    Then, pure as ether which surrounds the throne,
Our thoughts will flow to him who sits thereon;
Nor shall we there repress, nor there conceal
A love which angels do not blush to feel !
Unmingled with mortality, we there
Shall be but one, one mutual flame declare;
And in one stream of holy, happy love,
Forget ourselves, and worship Him above !


Page 24

A TALE.

THE sun had lined the western clouds with gold,
And wav'd his golden locks in many a fold;
The rich autumnal eve reflected high,
The lustre of the bright and blushing sky.

        And hill, and vale, and plain,
            And lake, and lofty rocks,
        All blush'd and wav'd again
            Their variegated locks.

A zephyr scarcely fann'd the leafy trees,
And whisper'd to the murmuring of bees;
Thus glow'd the landscape fair on either side
Of Edin's ancient walls extended wide.


Page 25

        And o'er her smoky breast,
            Hung clouds of closing day,
        And tumult seeking rest
            Began to die away.

Far to the eastward bent their leisure way,
A youth in bloom, and age in hoary gray;
Heroic deeds long past beguil'd the walk,
And each was charm'd with much improving talk.

        Sad Mem'ry in her turn,
            Review'd the works of Time,
        And drew from many an urn
            Lost objects in their prime.

Still as the sire describ'd, with brow serene,
The tale of virtue or the cruel scene,
Indignant wrath and pity took their place
Alternate in the youth's expressive face.


Page 26

        Thus warm'd with generous fire,
            Insensibly they draw
        Near to a lofty spire,
            Which claims their sacred awe.

For there the mould'ring monuments can tell,
Who died of age, and who untimely fell;
Some speak of worth which the deceas'd possess'd,
And some display the fragments of a crest.

        Here priest and pupil sleep,
            Alike unknown to fame;
        And here the reptiles creep
            O'er great and low the same.

The portals of the solitary place
Stood free and open as the gates of grace;
The silent invitation they obey,
And enter slow the still and solemn way.


Page 27

        An ancient Gothic pile
            Begins to show its tow'rs,
        Though carv'd with care and toil,
            Yet cruel Time devours.

For many a rent in its deserted walls,
Its tott'ring turrets and uncover'd halls,
Thus speak to fleeting ages as they pass,
"O spare the wreck to shew what once I was !"

        But wasting years condemn
            Alike the hallow'd fane,
        The haunts of holy men,
            With huts of the profane.

Now lost in thickest weeds that trackless path
Which led to many a dreary vault beneath,
Where virgin innocence has often bled
By hands of hoary priests, to murder bred.


Page 28

        The large cathedral square
            The centre still retains,
        And, scatter'd here and there,
            Lie marks of its remains.

There Beauty, wrapp'd in cherub smiles divine,
Has bent a form seraphic at the shrine,
And vow'd seclusion from alluring charms,
From earthly joys, from earthly cares and harms.

        And blush'd untainted bloom,
            Unmark'd by mortal eye,
        And rear'd but to consume,
            Expanded but to die.

Now round the dark monastic walls are spread
Each faded blossom in its narrow bed;
Their calm, unchequer'd lives, to passers by
Convey one simple truth, "Now here we lie."


Page 29

        "Unknowing all below,
            "We sleep alike unknown;
        "We liv'd but heav'n to know,
            "We died to reach our home."

Far on a solitary spot were seen
Two lonely graves, o'erspread with simple green;
And side by side the sleeping pilgrims lay,
In meek submission to eternal sway.

        A bending willow's form
            Its shade alternate waves,
        To shelter from the storm
            The unfrequented graves.

It mourns pathetic to the sighing breeze,
And soothes its humble guests to sleep and ease;
But calm its whispers calm the ev'ning breath,
And all around proclaims the house of death.


Page 30

        To marvel and admire
            The youth in silence stood,
        And still the aged sire
            Convey'd his precepts good.

Come, said the mild, the venerable sage,
Let me a while forget my feeble age,
And cull from mem'ry's fast exhausting store,
The blasted sweets of them who are no more.

        The pensive youth drew nigh,
            With melancholy wan,
        And heav'd the passive sigh,
            Whilst thus the sage began:

Full many a stately plant, that promis'd fair,
Oft pines neglected by a parent's care;
And many a lovely flow'r of richest dye
Oft droops unpitied by a parent's eye.


Page 31

        Robertus was a plant
            On life's wide desart cast,
        And nipp'd by ev'ry want,
            And chill'd by ev'ry blast:

Fair Agnes was the flow'r of loveliest hue
That ever blush'd thro' sorrow's drops of dew;
Yet fair they flourish'd on a barren soil,
And found a heaven in each other's smile.

        Soon Papal despots rose,
            With awful zeal inflam'd,
        Determin'd to oppose
            All heretics (so nam'd.)

Then gloomy Superstition reign'd alone,
And, beck'ning Persecution to her throne,
Rak'd up the vilest discord from below,
And fill'd her full of rapine, blood, and woe.


Page 32

        The father of the youth
            In godly paths was led,
        But fear'd to own the truth,
            Forsook his child, and fled;

And bade his brother, whom he deem'd his friend,
The rights and prospects of his son defend:
Thus left 'midst rankling thorns, a sweet unsoil'd,
The stateliest plant that e'er adorn'd a wild.

        Here Nature strove with Grace,
            And Grace with Nature too,
        To perfect in his face
            Each lovely line they drew.

Earth here, profuse, her choicest sweets combin'd,
And heav'n adorn'd with nobler traits his mind;
Here met those dignities which finely blend,
The Christian hero and exalted friend.


Page 33

        In secret Agnes lov'd,
            And conscious she admir'd,
        She secretly approv'd
            A flame which she inspir'd.

On yonder height her father's mansion stood,
By wealth surrounded, and enclos'd with wood;
No outward danger could excite her fears,
Nor earthly want had touch'd her tender years.

        Vivacity flash'd keen
            From her dark piercing glance,
        Yet modesty was seen
            To check its bright advance.

Tho' health and innocence had spread a veil
Of blushing roses o'er the lilies pale,
A pleasing sadness half their bloom pervades,
And casts their blushes into milder shades.


Page 34

        A dignity of soul
            In all her actions shone,
        And laid a sweet controul
            On those her meekness won.

How often at the day's declining hour
I've seen the pensive girl pass yonder tow'r,
And seek in silence pleasures more refin'd
Than all the gaieties she left behind.

        Robertus oft had seen,
            And mark'd with timid eye,
        Her form glide o'er the green,
            And sigh'd he knew not why.

A scanty sum the tender father left,
But soon Robertus was of this bereft;
His uncle seiz'd the little glitt'ring prize,
And vow'd protection in a friendly guise.


Page 35

        But cruel and severe,
            Harsh, mean, and narrow-soul'd,
        He was unfit to rear
            A spirit great and bold.

Robertus felt indignant at the chains
Which cramp'd the noble blood that fill'd his veins,
Disdain'd to live on boasted bounty giv'n,
Shook off the yoke, dependent but on heav'n.

        In this secluded spot
            He often would appear,
        And mourn his father's lot,
            And vent his sorrows here.

'Twas just on such another ev'ning sweet
I heard the rustling of his lonely feet;
And seated 'neath this willow's friendly shade,
His shoulders gainst its slender trunk he laid.


Page 36

        The mild, inviting, calm,
            And sweetly solemn hour,
        Drew Agnes to the balm
            Of ev'ry scented flow'r;

And pleas'd she took her full accustom'd round,
Enjoy'd the ev'ning, and surpass'd the bound;
And slow approach'd, with unaffected grace,
Nor did she know another fill'd the place.

        Robertus, wond'ring, saw,
            And wist not what to do;
        And, rising to withdraw,
            Could not withdraw his view.

(And, O ! ye little accidents in life,
Who can account for your discordant strife ?)
Still rivetted and still intent on flight,
He stands, and Agnes still attracts his sight.


Page 37

        Then turning quickly round,
            He on the willow rush'd;
        Quick, Agnes heard the sound,
            And, starting, gaz'd and blush'd.

So did Robertus blush, his glowing cheek,
Glow'd deeper still as he assay'd to speak;
At last, with innate dignity, he said,--
"If nightly vision, or if heav'nly shade,

        "Were now on message sent,
            "To earth's remotest den,
        "Or come with kind intent
            "To clear the doubts of men:

"Then would I say that thou wert one of those,
"A seraph sent to soften human woes."
"Hold, hold," said Agnes, "nor attach the name
"Of holy seraph to a mortal frame.


Page 38

        "A mortal, too, that wants
            "Such teaching as you say,
        "For such a tutor pants
            "To clear her doubts away."

No need of formal introductions, where
Like lineaments of soul were drawn so fair;
For Agnes in Robertus found a mind,
With all her sentiments by grace refin'd.

        And here without restraint,
            She gain'd with sweet delight,
        Instructions free from taint,
            And clearer than the light.

Hail, Friendship ! only bond of bliss below,
Sweet cement of the soul, celestial glow
Of heav'nly fire,--'tis this which warms
An angel's breast, extends an angel's arms.


Page 39

        A friendship form'd when young,
            Tho' seasons take their flight,
        What pow'r below, what tongue,
            Can ever disunite ?

Six times the summer sun propitious smil'd
Upon their golden hours, whilst soft and mild,
And imperceptibly, their moments flew
On wings of innocence and pleasure too.

        But, lo ! again began
            The howling voice of war,
        And blood in torrents ran,
            And stain'd his flaming car !

Religion, still by mortals indefin'd
The holy transcript of Jehovah's mind,
Builds not upon Emanuel's better plan
The vague opinions of presuming man.


Page 40

        That gospel gracious still,
            To man in mercy giv'n,
        Does not enforce the will,
            Nor drag a soul to heav'n !

Lo ! this mild doctrine they with blood confound,
With mad idolatry and impious sound !
And now they rag'd with unresisted sway,
And to this calm retreat soon found their way !

        The sun had ting'd the air
            With rich refulgent rays,
        And hail'd the happy pair,
            That sought to shun his blaze !

The face of Agnes, which was wont to wear
A peaceful smile, exhibited a fear,
A rising terror, which she vainly strove
To cover from the anxious eye of love ?


Page 41

        Robertus saw the change,
            With new sensations fir'd,--
        And whence this gloom so strange ?
            He anxiously enquir'd.

His fond solicitude and tender air
From Agnes drew confession of her care:
"If aught there be in visions of the night,
"Then, O, Robertus ! I beheld a sight !

        "I saw our sacred bow'r
            "By hands of ruffians torn,
        "Depriv'd of ev'ry flow'r,
            "And trampl'd down in scorn !

"Thrice did the frightful scene disturb my rest,
"And now a sad presage pervades my breast !
"Defend us, O ! ye pow'rs above, from harm !"
She said, and with emotion grasp'd his arm !


Page 42

        "Your pray'r is heard on high,
            "It vibrates to the throne,
        "And angels leave the sky
            "To guard your life alone.

"Let no vain terrors then corrode your mind,
"For all the gentler throbs of peace design'd;
"Trust to our heavenly Father's ceaseless care,
"And let us to our sacred bow'r repair."

        Nor soothing words could charm,
            Nor love's enchanting voice;
        The rustling leaves alarm,
            She starts at ev'ry noise.

To the secluded spot they both draw near,
And Agnes enters with a trembling fear;
Robertus saw, and in his look betray'd
A thousand tender thoughts, whilst thus he said:


Page 43

        "Agnes, beloved part,
            "Nor mistress of the whole;
        "'Tis heaven divides my heart,
            "And shares with thee my soul.

"Then O, what would I do to banish far,
"From thee the sound of rapine, blood, and war;
"To lead thee to a land where these would cease,
"And o'er thy head expand the wings of peace.

        "But know, it is not mine
            "To shelter thee from these;
        "'Tis only pow'r divine
            "That can their rage appease !

"And yet, O Agnes, yet methinks I feel,
"My dominant faith must quicken on the wheel;
"Or in the flames my wasting frame outburn,
"And triumph when my ashes fill the urn.


Page 44

        "But my presages sweep
            "The roses from thy cheek;
        "My Agnes do not weep,
            "Be faithful, patient, meek.

"Just such an awful sight as thou did'st see,
"Last night I witness'd, and was torn from thee !
"Omnipotence watch o'er our latest breath,
"And keep our vows inviolate in death."

        The sweet aspiring pray'r,
            Upon their golden plumes
        Ascending angels bear,
            And offer midst perfumes.

The full assurance of the aid they sought,
Was scarce responsive to their bosoms brought,
When from the wood harsh sounds assail their ears,
And now a lawless ruffian band appears.


Page 45

        Struck with so sweet a scene,
            Some paces they retir'd,
        When one of fiercer mien,
            Rush'd forward, aim'd, and fir'd.

Robertus rose his Agnes to defend,
But soon the fatal ball had reach'd its end;
Nor Agnes touch'd, but pierc'd her noble shield,
And now his feeble arms their treasure yield.

        Fast flew the crimson tide,
            His cheek still paler grows,
        And from his wounded side,
            A ruddy streamlet flows.

His circling arms surround their charge again,
And, turning to his foes, with mild disdain,
He says, "Behold your purposes are foil'd,
"I die triumphant, and my faith's unsoil'd !


Page 46

        "Receive my latest sigh,
            "My Agnes, fear no pain;
        "'Tis rapture thus to die,
            "For we shall meet again !"

But Agnes heard him not; a statue, blind,
From Nature's perfect mould, on him reclin'd;
Both sink into the shade in calm repose,
And round their listless limbs the branches close.

        'Twas here they chanced to meet,
            By love's attractions led,
        And in this dark retreat
            Is laid their bridal bed.

Though Hymen had not trimm'd his flaming torch
To guide the bridegroom through the sacred porch,
The lamp funereal lent its milder ray
To light his footsteps to eternal day.


Page 47

        On his cold bosom laid,
            His bride felt no embrace;
        Nor sportive blushes play'd
            On her unconscious face.

Pure were their spotless lives, their souls serene,
And this green curtain clos'd their earthly scene:
But could we cast our eyes beyond this gloom,
There would we see them in unchanging bloom.

        And soon this aged eye
            Shall, too, forget to weep;
        Like them forgotten lie,
            Like them in silence sleep.

He said, and wip'd a venerable tear
That stole unnoticed o'er remembrance dear;
The youth, impress'd with sympathetic grief,
Withdrew to seek in sleep a kind relief.


Page 48

        The sage, infirm through years,
            Slow wander'd to his cot,
        Where calm contentment cheers
            A low and humble lot.


Page 49

THE TEAR OF FRIENDSHIP.

I SAW , and yet methinks I see,
The tears of Friendship shed for me;
Composing as they sweetly flow,
A balm to ease my cureless woe.
Then why those precious drops conceal,
Which soothe the wound they cannot heal ?
'Twas Pity, from Compassion's stream,
Convey'd the drops to kind Esteem;
Esteem and melting Sympathy,
Dissolv'd a pearl from either eye;
Those eyes averted from my view,
Would hide what Pity deem'd my due;


Page 50

But from each falling drop I see,
That Friendship sheds a tear for me.

    Should noise and strife around me rage,
And passion swell with black presage;
Should relatives, by Nature's laws
Commanded to espouse my cause,
Themselves approach me to confound
And give the doubly painful wound;
Should all surround me to upbraid,
With cruel charges, falsely laid;
Should ev'ry tongue forsake the truth,
And hatred burst from ev'ry mouth;
Tho' sinking 'midst these ills combin'd,
This thought would still support my mind,
That I did once with pleasure see
The tear of Friendship shed for me.

    When all these things consume my frame,
And sink my sanguine hopes of fame;


Page 51

When round my head the shadows close,
Of dreamless night and calm repose;
When death a contest has begun
To stop my course but partly run,
And life contends with wasting strength
To let me run the usual length:
The conflict's o'er,--life yields to death,
My languid pulse, my fleeting breath;
When all things here to me are o'er,
Still would I linger on the shore,
And see, when I must cease to see,
The tear of Friendship shed for me.

    Then let my foes surround my bed,
They can no more, my spirit's fled;
Enclos'd within my winding sheet,
Alike my joys and sorrows meet;
And there, for ever ever there,
Be bound the horrors of despair.


Page 52

Then lay me lowly in the dust,
Without the shadow of a bust;
Let not the smallest mark be seen,
To shew that I had ever been:
Calm may I from the thorny way,
Emerge to everlasting day;
And see when dust forgets to see,
That Friendship would rejoice with me.


Page 53

THE CHILD OF SORROW.

YES , said ELIZA , as she lay
And watch'd the slow approach of day;
For scarcely yet had morning light,
Effac'd the footsteps of the night;
Yes, Sorrow, the decree's divine,
I now confess that I am thine;
Tho' oft I met thee, and recoil'd,
Whilst wand'ring thro' this trackless wild;
Nor whilst I trod on ev'ry thorn,
Confess'd to Sorrow I was born.

    Could Recollection stretch her wing,
And compass life's first op'ning spring,


Page 54

When sad affliction gave me birth,
And Sorrow hail'd me to the earth,
Then would she say she saw me giv'n
To Sorrow, as a charge from Heav'n !
I wept, Affliction gave a groan,
When Sorrow claim'd me for her own;
But Youth and Pleasure smil'd in scorn,
Nor own'd to Sorrow I was born !

    Scarce had I reach'd life's early dawn
E'er Pleasure met me on the lawn.
She gladly saw me prone to stray,
And led me by a flow'ry way;
But Sorrow press'd me in her arms,
And snatch'd me from her witching charms !
I saw her faded form with fear,
And gave lost Pleasure many a tear;
But soon from her allurements torn,
I felt to Sorrow I was born !


Page 55

    But Pleasure would not yet be foil'd,
And Sorrow trembl'd for her child;
My little heart beat time to Joy,
And fondly grasp'd at ev'ry toy.
Still Pleasure held her golden cup,
And gaily bade me drink it up;
While Sorrow dash'd it from my lip,
E'er I the luscious draught could sip,
And hedged my path with many a thorn,
To shew to Sorrow I was born !

    When youthful ardour laid its claim,
I heard the distant sound of Fame;
Ambition fir'd my glowing breast,
And Fancy would not be suppress'd.
But Sorrow watch'd my sparkling eye,
And soon discover'd Pleasure nigh;
And, to destroy her growing fears,
Drown'd Pleasure in a flood of tears.
Thus, blasted in life's early morn,
I felt to Sorrow I was born !


Page 56

    Cold Penury stood trembling by,
And Labour heav'd the heavy sigh;
Whilst Sorrow said, with solemn voice,
"Behold the guardians of my choice !
"Perhaps their lessons may restrain
"The wild effusions of thy brain,
"And teach thee why thou shouldst not trust
"A breath, a shade, an arm of dust !"
I ey'd my guides in silent scorn,
Yet felt to Sorrow I was born !

    Despondency, with sullen air,
Gave all my prospects to Despair;
Ambition, Pride, and Pleasure now,
To Labour's yoke submissive bow,
Whilst Poverty, in secret, press'd
Each youthful vision flora my breast;
And, sick'ning o'er the verge of Time,
I long'd to reach another clime.
Yet, onward led from thorn to thorn,
I felt to Sorrow I was born !


Page 57

    What though Ambition lost its fire,
And scarcely warm'd one vain desire;
Though Pleasure long had ceas'd to please
With golden dreams of joy and ease;
Yet Hope contriv'd, with cunning snare,
And subtle art, to steal my care;
Despair himself would almost smile,
Confess her power, and feel her guile;
She whisper'd that some distant morn
Might shew to Pleasure I was born.

    In vain I sought for Happiness,
And blindly grasp'd at earthly bliss;
But faster than I could pursue,
The airy phantom quickly flew;
When Sorrow, still intent to save,
Now open'd wide the yawning grave:
I started back ! I saw my friend,
With earthly happiness, descend;


Page 58

I felt this last the sharpest thorn,
Convinced to Sorrow I was born.

    Now Pleasure died, and I awoke,--
The dream was fled, the charm was broke;
And Resignation o'er my mind
Distill'd the dews of Peace refin'd.
Now can I view, without despair,
Pale Sorrow's sad dejected air;
And see, while heav'n appoints my woe,
The emptiness of all below;
And bless the now auspicious morn
On which to Sorrow I was born.


Page 59

ON THE
DEATH OF PRINCESS CHARLOTTE.

DEATH , the dark angel of eternal night,
    Sat brooding o'er the horrors of his cell,
When, lo ! a beam of pure refulgent light
Shot through the gloom, and flash'd upon his sight,
    And thus betray'd the place where princes dwell.

He rais'd his eyes with black presaging frown,
And saw with envy England's radiant crown,
Examin'd o'er and o'er the diadem,
Then fix'd his gaze upon its brightest gem.


Page 60

Ah, CHARLOTTE ! how unconscious of thy fate,
    Nor did Britannia know thy course was run,
When near thy couch she sat in awful state,
With tender, fond anxiety, to wait
    And hail the birth of thy expected son.

Nor did she once suspect that Death was nigh,
Nor once reflect that England's hope could die;
Nor can we blame Britannia if she deem'd,
Or thought immortal, what an angel seem'd.

O, Albion ! say, was she of angel kind ?
    And did she come to dazzle ev'ry eye ?
Or did she come, in pity to mankind,
To warm the heart, and elevate the mind,
    And point to brighter glories in the sky ?

If so, O hallow'd shade ! I would not dare
To touch those virtues angels only share;
Or taint a glory which must ever burn
Round thee above, and round thy earthly urn.


Page 61

Death thought thee mortal, and to prove thee so
    Grasp'd the embryo king with all his power:--
The angel smil'd, 'twas Heav'n that gave the blow,
Smil'd on the clay, whilst Death, like drifted snow,
    In icy fetters bound the promis'd flow'r.

Wrapt in astonishment, Death gaz'd awhile,
And still he saw the beauteous angel smile;
He struck again, when lo ! the angel fled,
And left her garment in the royal bed.

Death rais'd to heav'n his dark and scowling eye,
    Saw England's brightest gem more bright appear,
Saw thousands thousands meet her in the sky;
Saw that an angel's worth can never die !
    For thousands thousands still revere her here.

He saw her bliss, and at the sight recoil'd,
For all his pow'rs to blast in her were foil'd;
But pleas'd on us he had inflicted pain,
Return'd in triumph to his cell again.


Page 62

Britannia bleeds o'er ev'ry trembling wave,
    And groans re-echo to the roaring deep;
Whilst all her sons, the noblest and the brave,
That look undaunted on their liquid grave,
    And laugh at scenes of blood, are seen to weep.

Yes, weep, Britannia ! and in sable gloom
Confess in penitence the righteous doom;
Nor longer trust thy dim imperfect sight,
Nor think thou canst impede an angel's flight.


Page 63

ON THE KING BEING INSENSIBLE OF
THE NATIONAL LOSS.

O REASON ! thou great cause, etherial spring,
    By which our noblest actions know to move;
By thee deserted, we behold our king
    Forget the former objects of his love.

Bright was the rising of that glorious sun,
    Which shone so sweet on his declining years;
But scarcely was its gentle course begun,
    E'er clouds surround it and it disappears.

He saw and bless'd that softly shining light,
    Presag'd a long, a peaceful happy day;
But e'er the noon it sunk in endless night,
    And he perceiv'd not that it died away.


Page 64

O sweet delusion ! does he still behold,
    And think he feels the sun's soft radiance yet ?
His vacant eyes fix on its locks of gold,
    While that bright sun is now for ever set !

Behold him sit with innocent delight,
    And round his fingers twist those ringlets fair,
Which lie for ever hid from mortal sight,
    While he is sporting with the empty air.

Ah ! whither gone, thou sweet instinctive pow'r,
    Reason, O heavenly Reason ! whither fled ?
Dost thou inhabit some celestial bow'r
    And welcome home the spirits of the dead ?

Say didst thou greet with joy her smiling shade ?
    And was it not to welcome her you love,
That heav'n thy gentle reign on earth forbade,
    And called thee to a brighter throne above ?


Page 65

Yet, heav'n permits, for purposes its own,
    (Tho' thou art now unable to direct,)
Thy fallen majesty to guard the throne,
    For e'en thy shadow can command respect.

Yet, in the darkness of thy mental night,
    Wild fancy holds her solitary reign;
And flashes yet of intellectual light
    Dart down upon the heav'n-connected chain:

And thus thy sleeping senses dream away
    In sweet communion with the pow'rs on high,
Till vision opens on eternal day,
    And heav'n beams full on thine astonish'd eye.


Page 66

ADDRESS'D TO MR B------

AND art thou going like a passing beam,
    Which darts its radiance o'er a darken'd spot ?
Appearing like an angel in a dream,
    Which leaves impressions ne'er to be forgot.

In thee Religion dares to speak her mind,
    And spreads her sweet celestial joys abroad;
In thee, with energy she has combin'd
    The voice of reason and the voice of God.

Stay, thou bright spark of that etherial fire
    Which glows whilst everlasting ages roll;
O stay, and with thy faith and love inspire
    The feeble efforts of my trembling soul.


Page 67

See ! thou hast prob'd anew my bleeding heart;
    And wilt thou leave the op'ning wound to bleed ?
O stay, O stay, and bind it e'er we part:
    But I forget, thou'st other lambs to feed.--

Then go and labour till thy slender frame,
    Consum'd by thought, begins to feel decay,
And melts beneath intensity of flame,
    Which only sets to shine in endless day.


Page 68

ON THE FIRST MIRACLE DONE BY
JESUS CHRIST.

STRANGE element ! extensive source
Of ev'ry stream's meandring course,
How awful must that being be,
Who looks contemptuously on thee
'Tis true, to us, immensely wide
Appears the swelling of thy pride;
Yet thou art but a bucket dry,
A drop, in his omniscient eye;
Then, O be still, be calm, be hush'd,
And think before him how you blush'd.


Page 69

    'Twas not, when at his great command
You wet the hollow of his hand;
And when he call'd the fountains forth,
To inundate the groaning earth;
The highest hills by thee were made
To lurk beneath the liquid shade;
And ev'ry top, and ev'ry tow'r,
To shrink from the tremendous show'r.--
What tho' o'er these you rudely rush'd ?
For think before whose eye you blush'd,

    'Twas not when, favour'd by his God,
Great Moses stretch'd o'er thee his rod;
What though you redden'd into gore,
And laved with blood th' affrighted shore ?
The silver fishes terrified,
Confess'd the miracle, and died:
Though thirsty thousands crowd the brink,
And loathe the stream they cannot drink


Page 70

The threat was done, the deed was just,--
It was not then you truly blush'd.

    'Twas not when, o'er thy boundless strand,
Great Moses held his sacred wand;
Obedient to the touch you rise,
And, rising, touch the wond'ring skies:
A crystal wall on either side
Restrains the fury' of thy tide;
The children of God's care beneath
Tread safely through the wond'rous path;
At his rebuke your rage was hush'd,--
Nor was it then you saw and blush'd.

    'Twas not till God's own fav'rite host
The wide terrific labyrinth cross'd,
That you again your ramparts close
On all their groaning dying foes;
In ev'ry wave's tremendous fold
A hundred or a thousand roll'd;


Page 71

Soon all was calm and still again,
And smooth thy gently-moving main.
What though by thee an host was crush'd,--
Remember whom you saw and blush'd.

    'Twas when the God of heaven and earth
Bent low to struggle in the birth:
Behold that God to manhood grow,
A man of sorrows and of woe.
How sweet, how exquisitely fine,
He blends the human with divine,
And makes his first appeal to thee,
To shew to man that this is "He."--
The conscious water quickly flush'd,
Confess'd Omnipotence, and blush'd.


Page 72

TIME.

WHAT means that midnight clamour on my ear ?
'Tis the loud hailing of another year !
Time with unalter'd steps pursues his way,
And blinded man perceives not his decay;
Passive he runs his race, and metes the span
That marks the little course of heedless man.

    Still voice contends with voice, and harsh and loud
Sounds burst like thunder from the bawling crowd;
Invoking happiness with flaming breath,
They madly dance upon the brink of death;
And hailing Time with ev'ry other cheer,
Whilst Time unmov'd pursues his quick career,
And, cutting down in the impartial blast,
Stops the warm breath of him who hail'd him last.


Page 73

    Unlike that morning, whose first rising sun
Shone sweetly o'er the path of Time begun;
And Time, how radiant when he first appear'd,
And o'er stagnated gloom his glory rear'd !
Calm Peace and Purity, in garbs of snow,
Sat high, exchanging smiles on either brow.
His eyes serene and mild, a heav'nly hue
Shaded the gloom below with azure blue,
And smiles in dimpl'd clouds in rosy dye,
Danc'd meteors sparkling in a blushing sky;
Delighted zephyrs fann'd the crimson'd air,
And shook the ringlets of his golden hair
In sportive joy, and scatter'd streams of light,
Which gleam'd thro' thickest shades of darkest night:
    The lustre of his heav'n-created bloom,
A radiance shed on ev'ry angel's plume,
His own, expanded wide, a down display'd,
Where innocence in dew-drops sat array'd.
Descending now he pierc'd eternal clouds,
Which long had veil'd dark Night in sable shrouds,


Page 74

And as the Great Creator call'd the Spheres,
Time bade them shine throughout revolving years,
Spread the first op'ning glimpse of new-born day,
And still from orb to orb pursued his way;
Then no such mad, inflam'd, unruly cheer,
Hail'd the great Alpha of the coming year.

    'Twas then the calm of Silence first was broke,
Whilst to the groaning deep loud thunders spoke;
Whilst dread convulsions seiz'd the shapeless void,
And waves tremendous roll'd from side to side,
Rearing their white stupendous tops on high,
Threat'ning to rend heav'n's new arch'd canopy
With pyramids of foam; when, lo ! a voice
Forbade their tumult, still'd their dreadful noise;
Low sunk the tow'ring height of many a wave,
And sought retreat in many a yawning cave;
And now the liquid plain, serenely clear,
Divides in seas to let the land appear,


Page 75

While grandeur, elegance, and order fair,
Reign thro' the spacious earth, and sea, and air.
The trembling ocean now, on sands of gold,
Its tranquil waves its silver volumes roll'd;
But where the surges shew their snowy hems,
And heave their liquid skirts with living gems;
Nor did earth dormant or inactive stand,
But quickly felt the pow'r of high command,
And teem'd with living things,--some lightly bound
From hill to hill, whilst others sweep the ground;
Creation whisper'd peace, and blush'd, and smil'd,
And breath'd a sweet perfume thro' ev'ry wild:

    Behold a furnish'd world throughout complete,
With beauty, strength, and elegance replete.
The great, the good, the perfect work proclaim'd
That Pow'r Omnipotent the structure fram'd;
But yet, altho' no blemish pain'd the view,
Or marr'd the full performance, fair and new;


Page 76

Tho' ev'ry object in its circle shone,
And felt attracted to its proper zone;
Yet these attractions spoke their nature low,
And all their narrow joys confin'd below;
Nor could they tell from whom their pleasures spring,
Content to move within their bounded ring;
Nor could they raise a thought beyond the sky,
Nor feel the presence of the Deity.

    Then come, O man ! with thine immortal soul,
And live and reign superior o'er the whole;
Invested with a great, a godlike mind,
For more exalted, purer joys design'd.
All other creatures bend beneath the light,
But favour'd man by God was made upright;
His form erect, and heavenly beaming eye,
And polish'd forehead, meet a dazzling sky;
The favourite of heav'n, and truly bless'd,
God's own peculiar care and friend confess'd:


Page 77

How like some lovely garden was his heart,
Uncultur'd by the tort'ring tools of art;
No need to prune where no wild branches grew,
Nor weed a soil which wild weeds never knew;
Yes, man appear'd, divinely fair indeed,
When wisdom swell'd his thoughts, and crown'd his head
With mildest majesty, no looks severe,
Of lordly pride, or conscious worth appear,
To mark his aspect kind, where love alone,
And truth, and innocence unclouded shone.
And thus earth's undisputed monarch came
To this great universe to lay his claim.
Encumber'd by no gorgeous robes of state,--
No need of such where native graces wait;
No noisy trumps his first approach proclaim,
Nor fiery steeds in thousands swell his train;
No need of such where sons of God attend,
And angels' voice and harps in concert blend.


Page 78

    Time saw man's blest estate, and friendly smil'd
On all he did or said, as yet unsoil'd;
Hail'd him with true delight and rapture new,
And open'd glorious prospects to his view;
Whisper'd mutual aid, and length of days
To sing his Maker's name in endlesss lays.
"Come," said elated Time, "and let us join
"In friendship's lasting bonds in league, combine
"Of union indissoluble, but, oh !
"Remember Death is our inveterate foe."
At mention of the dark mysterious doom,
Time felt o'erspread with momentary gloom:
A pause ensued, which for a moment fill'd
Man's soul with horror, and his bosom chill'd !
But soon these mists evaporate away,
Of doubt, of fear, of terror, and dismay;
And Time again his converse sweet resum'd,
His wonted smile, serene, again assum'd.
In dew-descending accents thus began,
And wak'd to list the thought-wrap'd mind of man:


Page 79

"Away, forbodings, from thy tranquil breast
"But love thy God, and be forever blest,
"To love is to obey, obey to love;
"You must do both, and both you must approve;
"For happiness, and peace, and joys divine,
"Bliss, such as angels taste, is truly thine;
"'Tis thine O man ! to live, and these enjoy;
"'Tis thine to die, and ev'ry hope destroy:
"O rather live to love, and be belov'd,
"Than die in hate, and hated be remov'd."

    Thus ceas'd a conf'rence, 'twixt man's soul and Time,
True in its import, awful and sublime;
It only ceas'd, and Time had only turn'd
Each glowing orb which in its compass burn'd,
When oh !--but let some deathless being tell,
Some demon's tongue exclaim, "Man sinn'd and fell."

    Time stood aghast, and blacken'd at the sight,
And sought to hide himself in endless night;


Page 80

Stars round each other in amazement wheel'd,
And trembling Nature on her axis reel'd.
Stern Justice rose tremendous from her seat,
And shook the vast creation 'neath her feet,
Unsheath'd her gleaming sword, and brandish'd high,
Intent to strike at once both earth and sky.

    Loud Vengeance rear'd her dire and death-fraught hand,
Which wielded, light, a fiery flaming brand,
Whose single blaze could set the world on fire,
Nor satiate half her ever burning ire.
"More blood, more blood !" she dreadfully exclaims,
"More blood than earth can yield, to wash these stains !
"Strike, strike the blow, O Death ! I thirst, I thirst,
"For blood of all mankind, yet strike the first !
"And open wide your yawning gates, O hell,
"Receive the guilty soul that dar'd rebel."


Page 81

    All now had sunk, and sunk, no more to rise,
Had not a gracious form come from the skies:
Mercy, with life-bestowing smiles, descends,
And o'er a ruin'd world in pity bends;
O'er Justice, Vengeance, Death, her influence throws,
And melts the iron rage of all earth's foes.
At once subdued, they lay their weapons down,
And all the milder claims of Mercy own !
Bright angels trembled for the fate of man,
Whilst Mercy smil'd, and Wisdom form'd the plan.
Higher than highest Heavens exalted, raised,
Above all praise, it never can be prais'd !
Deeper than deepest hell's foundations laid,
It bids its roaring cease, its rage be staid !
Broader than broadest space, where amply shine
Orbs numberless, which mock this narrow line !
Long as eternity its streams shall flow,
Angels will seek its end, but never know,
Beyond all finite thought, it knows no bounds,
Disdains research, and smiles at finite sounds !


Page 82

God, from the throne of thrones, descends to plead,
To plead in man's behalf, and in his stead
To suffer all that Justice can demand,
Betwixt the bar and criminal to stand !
Well Heav'n might pause to wonder at the deed,
When he who made the Heavens said "I will bleed !"
Amazement beam'd in ev'ry Seraph's eye,
When he who gave them life said "I will die !"

    Now Justice smil'd appeas'd, and doubly bright
Refulgent shone in more amazing light.
Was there no sin, yet still she had been true;
The sinner damn'd gave her but what was due.
But, lo ! the sinner sav'd !--Ah ! startle not,
Her holy truth sustains no guilty blot !
'Tis this which adds new glory to her name,
And more than frees her from a shade of blame.
And Vengeance, pleas'd, look'd forward to that flood,
Which could do more than seas of human blood !


Page 83

Death raised his hideous, hollow voice, and cried,
What, is creation sunk, a world destroy'd ?
To the unequall'd glory I shall gain,
When the great sacrifice for man is slain:
Yes, I shall reign, and all shall homage pay,
And call me king, and bend beneath my sway.
In fetters, baffling strength, I'll bind the strong,
And still the clamours of the loudest tongue !
Alike the tender bud, and blooming flow'r,
And silver-headed age, shall feel my pow'r !

    Ah ! man, how abject grown !--ah ! where is now
That godlike peace which sat upon thy brow ?
Gone with thy purity; it left no trace
Of God's most holy image on thy face !
How fallen, indeed, and lost to ev'ry good,
Death now thy choice, and sin thy sweetest food !
Perverting what is right to what is wrong,
And rolling gall for honey 'neath thy tongue.
Had not the angels known thy pristine state,
And seen thy fall and well approv'd thy fate,


Page 84

Well might they question thy pre-eminence,
And ask thy dubious origin from whence,
If thou a soul immortal once possess'd,
For now it seems to have fled thy grov'ling breast.
Ah ! how unlike is thy polluted mind,
To that which in thine innocence we find;
Thine artless innocence had nought to fear,
From smiles delusive, or from sorrow's tear.
Nor on thy cheek diffus'd the blush of shame,
Nor conscience wak'd unconscious yet of blame !
How fair the budding virtues blossom'd there,
How black the growing vices flourish here;
Reason forsakes her elevated throne,
Herself confounded and her seat o'erthrown;
And o'er the ruins, black with guilty stains,
The prince of darkness unmolested reigns;
Subjecting all to his infernal pow'r,
Until his subjects can descend no low'r;
When turning to the animal, they bow,
And say, "My maker, king, and god art thou !"


Page 85

    Ah ! gracious Being, would not this suffice,
To quench that love which never, never dies ?
It wider as the guilt of man extends,
Expands and shelters, counsels and defends !
'Twas patience truly God's, to suffer wrong,
And daring mockery from a mortal tongue !
O ! hadst thou plung'd within that gulph below
The self-devoted victim of its woe;
Where pangs unutterable, and deep despair,
Had seiz'd the rebel and confin'd him there;
There ever-dying would he groan for death,
And ever feeling would he feel thy wrath.
But Mercy still attempts, with winning strife,
And pleads with man to choose eternal life:
But yet, all gracious Being ! thy great name,
Will still exalted be, tho' these disclaim;
And on their final condemnation raise
An everlasting monument of praise.

    Strange contest 'twixt the subject and his king,
'Twixt the Creator and created thing.


Page 86

    Now all ye fiends which haunt this middle clime,
Lend me your horrors while I sing of Time;
O dip my pencil in the lake below,
Let shade succeed to shade in mournful row;
And while the distant broken sound I hear,
Still hail with fainter cries the op'ning year.
And light confirm'd proclaims another day,
And Time, without a pause, pursues his way;
Whilst midnight revellings begin to die,
And pale and stagg'ring figures shock the eye;
Not satisfied that Time should fix their fate,
They rush on Death as if he were too late;
Let sounds and scenes like these assist my song,
And man's degrading change my theme prolong,--
Nor in the visage of disfigur'd man,
Chang'd Time forget, nor where my theme began.
But what can represent that sable gloom,
Which now pervades thy once unequall'd bloom !
Alas ! these furrows on thy blasted cheek,
The devastations of past years bespeak;


Page 87

And oft thro' these on man thy foe have roll'd,
Hail, fire, and famine, pestilence and cold !
Thy very tears have chill'd his mortal part,
And drench'd the rubies from his throbbing heart.
No more thy ambient locks of golden hair,
Spread crimson blushes o'er the sportive air;
Now hang impending o'er thy sullen brow,
The frozen icicles and drifted snow;
Thy stature once but dignity and grace,
Now feels decay, and shorter grows apace;
Thy once unspotted plumes are daub'd all o'er
With tales of deadly war and blots of gore.

    How well has Time his enmity display'd,
And taught his foe thro' seas of blood to wade;
There's not a pile that wretched man has rear'd,
Nor tow'ring edifice by toil endear'd,
Nor sculptur'd artifice to spread his fame,
Nor mute memorial to tell his name,
But Time has, in his sullen solemn round,
Ingulph'd in earth or levell'd with the ground.


Page 88

How vain is he who to perpetuate
His worth (if worth he has) to latest date,
Would heap the animated line on line,
And swell the glowing page with prose or rhyme,
To court the vain applause, the empty breath
Of mortal praise, then all resign to Death,--
To Death's unsparing hand which ne'er relents,
But blasts alike the good and bad intents.

    Ah hapless fate ! relentless fate of man,
A life of woe contracted to a span
Must terminate in this,--he sleeps in dust,
Beneath this clod, or by yon letter'd bust.
(Then it avails not under which you lie,
Your name must perish and your fame must die.)
Sound are his peaceful slumbers, yes he sleeps,
And by unconscious instinct closer creeps
To his original, till all consume,
And dust returns to dust, the universal doom.


Page 89

    O come, thou Son of Heav'n ! and end this strife,
And let cold Death be swallow'd up in life;
But first must hoary Time perform his race,
And ev'ry little worm fill up its place;
The earth in human bones must first be clad,
And with her own returning dust be fed;
When she herself, entomb'd in flames of fire,
Shall, crush'd 'midst myriads of wreck'd worlds, expire.

    And must this mighty universe dissolve,
And in the melting mass all things involve ?
And must fair Nature here expire at last,
And sink unpitied in the gen'ral blast ?
And must she leave behind no mark, no trace
Of all her glory in the empty space !
To tell to passing clouds a world did once
Fill up this mighty round, this wide expanse.

    But hark ! that trumpet's heav'n-re-echo'd sound,
Hark, how it shakes this earth's terrestrial round !


Page 90

Dread electricity attends the voice,
And worlds start bounding at the awful noise;
And flash to flash succeeds of scatter'd limb,
Quick as the comet's glance the air they climb,
Lo, in a twinkling, see the teeming earth,
Now yield her thousands thousands at a birth,
Till myriads myriads flutter in mid air
Nor leave entomb'd in earth one heav'nly heir.
Ha ! didst thou hear that crash ?--Oh, dreadful thought !
Tremendous loud !--the world now sinks to nought !
Celestial bodies hurl along the vault
Of heav'n's now rent, convulsed arch: nor halt
Till numbers numberless in contact meet,
And blaze, and burn, and melt with fervent heat !

    All things are new, and wonderful, and strange,
And speak a great, a firm, eternal change !
Lo ! what are these, all cloth'd in purer white
Than ever met with man's imperfect sight ?


Page 91

How nobly sweet, how dignified they shine,
Their form's etherial, and their smile's divine.

    O striking contrast to that wretched crew
Already self-condemn'd, of horrid hue !
How black they are in all their guilt array'd,
Despair and fear in ev'ry look pourtray'd.
In conscious horror of their ev'ry stain
They seek a covert, but they seek in vain:
The trembling hills evade their feeble grasp,
And nature sinks them in her dying grasp !

    Now, lo ! what growing wonders strike the eye,
Of gloom below, of light and life on high ?
What glory inexpressible is yon
Descends, exalted on a princely throne ?
Beams, in the purest, softest, mildest blaze,
Surround his sacred head with silver rays.
What dreadful majesty his smiles display,
At once they awe and melt the soul away.


Page 92

'Tis God !--'tis man !--'tis both: O earth and heav'n !
'Tis He to whom the judgment-seat is giv'n.
Behold ! his chosen know his gracious voice,
And gather round their first, unalter'd choice.
Behold ! his enemies, by whom he bled,
Now shrink confounded, seiz'd with shame and dread.
Hark ! hark ! the sentence past ! O just decree !
The very damn'd themselves its justice see.
Lo ! now they sink, a woeful numerous train,
To everlasting grief and endless pain.
Lo ! what a mighty host attend their King,
To drink of life from Life's eternal spring.
Time now no longer Time , and man's distress,
Appears most glorious in eternal dress.
Those friends that once were foes again are friends,
And here all enmity for ever ends.

    Imagination trembles on the brink,
And, giddy grown, forgets the way to think;


Page 93

Astonish'd at her own presumptuous flight,
She looks with fear from the tremendous height,
And, conscious of the weakness of her pow'rs,
She dares not look on the celestial bow'rs :
Struck with the glory of the sacred scene,
She shuts her eyes, and sinks to earth again.


Page 94

EGBURTON AND ELIZA:

A TALE.

PALE Luna, spreading wide her snowy shroud,
Made Night retire behind a sable cloud;
Then wrapping Nature in her winding sheet,
Bade Whisper tell the Sylvan Gods to meet.

        Awed by the peaceful scene,
            I sought the soothing shade,
        When one of gentlest mien
            My careless footsteps staid.

Pale Patience sat, and Resignation meek,
Enthron'd in virgin white, on either cheek;
But when bold Love provok'd their rosy dyes,
And flash'd mild lightning from her azure eyes--


Page 95

        Half-seated on the ground,
            Half on her arm reclin'd,
        She seem'd in thought profound,
            And thus breath'd forth her mind:

"Is Love forbidden by the pow'rs above ?
"It cannot be, for Heav'n itself is Love;
"Then why am I, since heav'n does not condemn,
"Forbid this passion by these holy men ?

        "Well may their convent walls
            "Confine me but in part;
        "Love endless barriers calls,
            "E'er they confine my heart.

"Pure is celestial air, let seraphs sing,
"When wafted by a brother seraph's wing;
"Pure, let imperfect mortals sing below,
"Are downy flakes of the descending snow:


Page 96

        "So pure is the esteem
            "I for Egburton feel;
        "And doom'd this love for him
            "For ever to conceal.

"Ye list'ning sylvans, let it not transpire,
"Waft to Egburton the seraphic fire;
"And let it gently glow within his heart,
"Untutor'd to the base designs of art.

        "Yet must this baneful cloud
            "Of myst'ry, dark as night,
        "For ever, ever shroud
            "Thy virtues from my sight ?

"Why must it ever float before mine eyes,
"And, like yon thick'ning vapour in the skies,
"Exclude the beamings of the silver moon,
"With dark succeeding shades of dusky gloom.


Page 97

        "And thus it did obscure
            "The morning of our days,
        "But made our path secure
            "From pleasure's dazzling rays.

"There is a tender sympathy of souls,
"Which ev'ry thought and ev'ry wish controuls;
"Early we met, and felt a mutual share
"Of tender feelings for each other's care.

        "O Sympathy how mild,
            "How pow'rful is thy sway;
        "Whene'er Egburton smil'd
            "My sorrows fled away.

"So when contending whirlwinds rend the sky,
"And rushing torrents leave the heav'ns dry,
"The sun looks forth in Pity's gentlest form
"And smiles benign on the subsiding storm.


Page 98

        "For Sorrow's keenest wound
            "His tongue convey'd a balm;
        "Obedient to the sound,
            "My troubl'd breast was calm.

"So when the lion, Grief, unmuzzl'd roams,
"Tears up the roots of peace, and madly foams;
"Enchanting music lulls his rage to rest,
"And now he sleeps on the musician's breast.

        "Twas he who taught me first
            "To soar above this night,
        "And gave my soul a thirst
            "For everlasting light.

"He broke those chains which did my prospects bind,
"To convent modes and bloody deeds confin'd;
"He bade my soul detest those doctrines black
"Which drain the blood of martyrs on the rack.


Page 99

        "Borne on true freedom's wings,
            "I now securely smile
        "On all those empty things
            "Of superstition vile.

"Your cruel engines too I dare defy,
"Display your tort'ring art,--I can but die !
"And what have I, O life ! to do with thee,
"Since my Egburton I no longer see."

        She sunk, and silence seal'd
            Her sweetly plaintive tongue,
        When from an oak conceal'd
            Her lov'd Egburton sprung.

Not with a rapture which creates alarms,
He rais'd Eliza in his faithful arms;
Not with a love which cloys when long possess'd
He laid Eliza on his manly breast.


Page 100

        As angels look'd amaz'd
            When Death's first victim fell,
        And the pure spirit rais'd,
            Soar'd far above its cell.

So did Egburton on Eliza look
When vital bloom her angel face forsook;
His noble forehead seem'd on heav'n reclin'd,
His eyes beam'd full of an exalted mind.

        A bursting sigh defied,
            His efforts to restrain,
        "Return, bless'd shade !" he cried,
            "And animate this frame."

The woodland Muses listen'd while he spoke,
Eliza at the living sound awoke--
Away with words ! your finest thoughts employ,
To form a faint conception of her joy.


Page 101

        "I thank thee heav'n," she said,
            "Thou hast Egburton kept,--"
        Then on his shoulder laid
             Her languid head, and wept.

Now quick they fly the hated place, and find
A safe retreat for love and peace design'd;
Nor heed the sacred bell which sounded long,
To warn to midnight pray'rs the virgin throng.

        Eliza ne'er appear'd
            Within the sacred quire;
        Nor join'd when vestals rear'd
            Their voices to the lyre.


Page 102

ON THE


REMAINS OF A YOUNG MAN.

BEHOLD this fabric, 'twas a structure fair,
Once the receptacle of vital air;
Within this cold and narrow house of clay,
Once shone the visions of celestial day.
Etherial essence here once deign'd to rest,
To warm and animate this frozen breast;
And all the little lofty schemes of man,
Once fill'd the compass of this narrow span;
And love, and hope, and joy, and fear, could meet,
And act their parts within life's busy seat.

    Then what avails it that this mould'ring frame
Once glow'd enliven'd by etherial flame !


Page 103

Now no impression's left, no traits appear,
That Reason wove her glimm'ring texture here,
That here invisible she inly wrought
The searchless treasures of mysterious thought.
Those golden images for ever fled,
Consigned their mansion to the silent dead;
And Pleasure here must close her eyes to sleep,
And Sorrow too forget that she could weep.

    Arise ! behold thy lov'd companions call,
And mirth and music wait thee at the ball !
Why wilt thou not with easy steps advance,
And lead thy blushing partner to the dance,
With all thy wonted elegance and grace,
With admiration in each eager face ?
But what can mirth or music now avail !
Thy blushing partner sees thee cold and pale;
Thy raptur'd smile no more approves her choice,
And still forever is thy tuneful voice.


Page 104

    Say, was it cruel in the hand of Time,
To crush this ruin'd fabric in its prime ?
Or rather Death, with all his chilling art,
To freeze so good, so kind, so warm a heart.
This eye is dim--why shudder at the scene !
This fine dark eye will beam with love again;
This gen'rous heart which now forgets to throb,
Will flutter yet within a brighter robe;
And this cold mass, transform'd, will soar on high,
When skies, and earth, and Time, and Death shall die !


Page 105

A SIGH TO THE MEMORY OF SPENCER,

A YOUNG CLERGYMAN, WHO WAS DROWNED.

How fragrant was that lovely flower,
Whichere , half-blown, did shew its pow'r,
    To charm with ev'ry grace :
Ye envious sisters of the flood,
How could ye blast so fair a bud
    Within your cold embrace ?

Then is he gone, forever gone !
O no ! repress that useless groan,
    He reach'd a bless'd abode;
How bright he shines no tongue can say,
Too dazzling were one single ray
    Of his celestial robe.


Page 106

Behold him, by the eye of Faith,
Reclining on yon spotless heath,
    A downy snow-white cloud:
One sound of his immortal lyre
Would set ten thousand souls on fire,
    And draw them from this crowd.


Page 107

ADDRESSED TO MR * * * * *

O SIR , you overpow'r my soul
    By such unbounded worth,
And I no longer can controul
    Thy praises breaking forth.
'Tis gratitude inspires my theme,
And kindles this delightful flame.

But can I mark, (so poor and blind)
    The riches you possess;
Or tell the treasures of a mind
    But only form'd to bless.
O could I but one gem unfold,
'Twould brighter shine than burnish'd gold.


Page 108

Long have I listen'd with delight
    To thy unerring tongue,
Till thy bright day dispell'd the night
    Which o'er my soul was hung:--
Bless'd they who ever hear thee talk,
And ever see thy godly walk.

'Twas thine to melt my heart of stone,
    And make it overflow,
To bring it nearer to the throne,
    And teach it heav'n to know :
Cold was the breast you warm'd to love
The God in whom I live and move.

'Twas you who first reveal'd to me
    The danger of my case,
Who open'd my blind eyes to see
    An awful precipice.
The foaming flood which roll'd beneath
Oft threaten'd an eternal death.


Page 109

Conscience awoke, and seiz'd with dread,
    (Long had she been asleep,)
Began to tremble and to bleed,
    You wounded her so deep.
Words could but ill express her woe,
When struck by the impending blow.

Convicting arrows flew within
    Her darkest, deepest cell,
Discover'd there the monster Sin,
    Which pointed down to hell:
Constrain'd to own those torments due,
Tho' nought but horrors met my view.

Whilst rolling thus towards the brink
    Where flames ascend on high,
Fearing for ever there to sink
    Where pain shall never die;
While half-resign'd in sullen gloom,
I seem'd compell'd to meet my doom.


Page 110

A strong, a swift Almighty arm,
    Now snatch'd me as a brand,
Whilst Jesus whisper'd, "Fear no harm,
    "It is thy Saviour's hand;
"Turn you, O turn you at my cry !
"For why, poor sinner, will you die ?

"Come, heavy laden, weary heart,
    "And lean upon my breast;
"Forsake the world and all its art,
    "And I will give you rest:
"What tho' thy sins like crimson glow,
"I'll cleanse them as the purest snow.

" I paid the debt to Justice due,
    "And suffer'd in thy stead;
"Roll'd in a garb of blood for you,
    "I mingled with the dead:
"O come to Calv'ry's mount and see,
"The shameful death I died for thee.


Page 111

"And, O ! rejoice, I rose on high
    "To my exalted throne !
"The vilest wretch I'll not deny
    "Who will for mercy come !
"Then build no more thy fondest hopes
"On mortal arms and mould'ring props.

"If you continue in my love,
    "A mansion I'll prepare,
"Then take thee to myself above,
    "My glory to declare !
"I'll lead thee living waters by,
"And wipe the tear from either eye !"

How did my heart within me burn,
    Whilst list'ning to his voice,
And oft I hear the sound return
    Which made me first rejoice:
Great Saviour ! let me ever hear
Thy voice above, more sweet, more clear !


Page 112

Thou Prince of life, of love, of peace,
    O everlasting King !
For all the riches of thy grace
    What off'ring can I bring ?
Here in this breast erect thy throne,
And make my worthless heart thine own !

How do I pant to shew thy love
    To one like me, so vile;
But time would fail me here to prove
    The riches of one smile;
And, O ! the joys thy smile imparts
Are felt alone by soften'd hearts !

Then take me in within thy fold,
    Among thy chosen sheep;
I own, O Lord, the wish is bold,
    But still that wish I keep !
And yet I own it is not meet,
That dogs the childrens bread should eat.


Page 113

Yet could I of the crumbs partake
    Which from thy table roll;
Kind Shepherd, for thine own name's sake,
    O feed my hungry soul !
But to thee all things I resign,
And not my will be done, but thine !

Let resignation to thy will
    Mark all my steps below,
Altho' thou to the brim shouldst fill
    My cup with ev'ry woe.
Yet O ! support me, lest one gust
Should make me faint, for what is dust ?

'Tis weak, and short-liv'd as a breath;
    'Tis blown by ev'ry blast:
Till in the ice-cold arms of death,
    It sinks to nought at last !
Forgetting all, by all forgot,
'Tis left to moulder and to rot !


Page 114

Disgusted, from the world I turn,
    Its pleasures all are vain;
Henceforth I court the peaceful urn,
    Sweet rest from ev'ry pain !
No more I'll love earth's painted toys,
But pant to taste immortal joys !

And, cheering thought ! this mortal frame,
    From all corruption free,
Shall all immortal rise again,
    Immortal scenes to see !
O ! may my soul on that bright day
To heav'nly places wing its way.

Then, holy man, thou knowest the road,
    Still guide me by thy voice,
And o'er a sinner brought to God,
    Let angel throngs rejoice !
For unto thee such gifts are giv'n
As raise our wond'ring souls to heav'n !


Page 115

At thy approach Affliction smiles,
    Grief flies thy heav'nly mein,
Despair at her own form recoils,
    Nor longer dare remain.
Such is the power of Faith divine,
And that prevailing faith is thine !

Forgive me, Sir, I thought to praise,
    And high extol thy name:
A vain attempt,--how vain my lays,
    My ev'ry thought is vain.
Then henceforth I shall silent be,
And learn to praise my God thro' thee !


Page 116

TO A DOG.

COME , Paulo, little playful rogue,
    I'm tir'd of searching human kind,
Perhaps I'll gather from a Dog
    Traits worthier of a human mind.

I hate the supercilious smile,
    Which plays around a human face;
Let me examine,--here's no guile,
    Nor mark of thought which I can trace,


Page 117

That lifeless eye shews no desire
    For aught beyond yon azure sky;
Nor can I find that nameless fire
    Which sparkles in a human eye !

Unmeaning bark, unpleasant howl,
    Cease thy rude, harsh, discordant noise,--
Unlike the thrilling of that soul,
    The music of a human voice !


Page 118

ON THE DEATH OF MY NURSE.

WHAT can detain the quickly fleeting breath,
Or who repel the freezing hand of Death ?
Or who describe, in shades profoundly deep,
The chamber where Affliction falls asleep ?

    Death ! I have seen thy slow approach, but sure,
And seen pale Piety thy pangs endure:
Ah ! cruel Death ! will not one stroke suffice--
Must this heart bleed, as well as that which dies ?


Page 119

    Behold thy victim ! O, rapacious foe !
Now, smile and triumph in my rooted woe:
Was it to mock my grief, that on thy spoil
Thou didst imprint that meek angelic smile ?

    How pale, how cold, how motionless she lies !
My guardian ! O, my guardian ! lift those eyes !
No ! they are fixt by Death's resistless doom,
All now to them is dark, all here is gloom.

    Hush ! hush ! she sleeps !--O, she had need of rest;
Twice six pale moons her pillow ne'er was press'd;
Twice three had filled their ample round again,
She press'd her pillow in convulsive pain.

    Yes, yes, she sleeps ! and none that sleep can break:
Speak on, ye babbling fools ! ye cannot wake
The everlasting slumbers of the dead;
Now rests that lifeless form, that listless head !


Page 120

    A stranger to deceit, unknown to strife,
I saw her steal along the vale of life,
And, like the mist descending to the cave,
I saw her slowly sinking to the grave.

    Should heav'n and earth in me their pow'rs combine,
Still would I fail to paint her life divine:
E'en Infidelity stands struck with awe,
And asks if all was human that he saw.

    Enough ! Affliction led her thro' the wild,
And still she saw the gates of heav'n and smil'd,
And wist not, as she drew her latest breath,
She left a smile upon the face of death !

    "She's gone," say some, Oh ! how I feel it smart,
And strike the chord that tunes my bleeding heart:
Yet Pity's common voice, an empty sound,
Strikes not as when calm Memory probes the wound.


Page 121

    Gone ! Mem'ry gone ! my guardian angel fled !
Where is that friend who strok'd my infant head,
Watch'd o'er my cradle whilst I carless slept,
And sooth'd me when I knew not why I wept !

    Gone, Mem'ry ! No ! for still I find in you
Those pictures of the past which Nature drew.
Then, Mem'ry come ! delicious is thy pain,
Let me live o'er my infant days again.

    Live o'er my infant days ! O Mem'ry cease,
And round me draw the deadly shades of peace !
A little while and I shall be at rest,
And sleep again upon my guardian's breast.

    A little while O let it shortly be,
When I shall soar as happy and as free;
And He who gave existence to our clay,
Will raise it up on that appointed day.


Page 122

    Then say all ye who saw my guardian die,
Say, did ye see her gentle spirit fly ?
It fled Elijah-like, and left behind
Its garment here below to be refin'd.

    Then take it boasting Death ! and clarify
Prepare that vesture to be worn on high;
For, rising radiant from the op'ning urn,
That snow-white robe will triumph in it's turn.


Page 123

A THOUGHT.

THE closing clouds of night bid Tumult cease,
And fan Confusion with the wings of Peace,
Imposing silence on the lips of Noise,
Seal up the sound of each discordant voice.
The world has ceas'd it's buzzing in my ears,
And ev'ry active object disappears;
E'en Bus'ness folds her hands upon her breast,
And sinks exhausted on the bed of rest.
The distant murmur of the ev'ning gale,
Scarce moves a leaf within this lonely vale
And ev'ry whisper as it dies away,
Scarce breathes the farewell of expiring day;


Page 124

While ev'ry deep'ning shade obscures the lawn,
Sweet intellectual light begins to dawn;
I feel it softly o'er my bosom creep,
And wake that soul which day had humm'd to sleep.
When shall it wake, and disencumber'd fly
Through boundless realms of immortality ?
When yon pale moon and ev'ry orb of night
Cast o'er my grave their wan funereal light;
When all those ties which run thro' kindred veins,
Uniting kindred hearts with sacred chains
When ev'ry soft endearing tender name
Must yield to Death's more sure unchanging claim;
When ev'ry social joy with life is fled,
Nor friend remains to own my humble bed,
Alike unfelt Hyperion's scorching rays,
And milder Luna's pale undazzling blaze--
Then let cold Winter weep, and drawing near
O'erspread the spot with many a frozen tear;
Then let sweet Summer smile, and far away
Shoot golden arrows o'er the verge of day;


Page 125

Till ev'ry frozen tear on bud and stem
Shine beautifully clear a liquid gem;
My dust inanimate feels not the pow'r,
Which warms and quickens ev'ry little flow'r,
Till that great sun appear in yonder sky,
Before whose face all other suns shall fly;
Then, O ye pow'rs above ! ye pow'rs below !
I'll know what here I so much long to know.


Page 126

A SABBATH MORNING.

THE casement partly clos'd
    On Clarabella's bed,
A sun-beam interpos'd
    And beam'd upon her head.

Those eyes with grief oppress'd,
    Had scal'd the midnight sky,
And e'er they clos'd to rest,
    Dawn bade the midnight fly.


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Forbear, then, cruel light,
    To raise those eyes from sleep,
To beam upon that sight
    Which only wakes to weep.

It dies away at length,
    But soon again returns;
And gaining double strength,
    Now more intensely burns.

And Clarabella dreams
    She sees some fiend appear,
Array'd in torrid beams,
    To dry up ev'ry tear.

She starts with horror wild,
    Her looks, her fears betray;
"O Sun !" she said, and smil'd,
    "Forgive me god of day.


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"All hail ! thou sacred dawn,
    "On which the son of God
"Arose the son of man,
    "And burst the yielding clod.

"The morning seems serene
    "In mem'ry of that day,
"When angels saw the scene
    "And worship'd where he lay.

"The Sun, in modest guise,
    "Would seek a place to hide,
"And peeps amid the skies
    "Where azure clouds divide.

"And here an azure fold,
    "And there a milky way,
"And here his locks of gold
    "Blend with a silver ray.


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"A pendent cloud has shed
    "Some latent gentle tears,
"In pity o'er that bed
    "Where sleeping Death appears.

"Can Mem'ry leave her post,
    "Her vigil lose in sleep !
"Pardon, O injur'd ghost,
    "Did I forget to weep ?

"Slowly I'll steal unseen,
     And mingle with the dew,
"O'er thy cold cov'ring green,
    "My burning tears anew.

"Close wrapt in sable gloom,
    "The emblem of my mind,
"Too soon I reach thy tomb,
    "'Tis all of thee I find.


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"And is remembrance then
    "All that is left of thee ?
"And must I ne'er again
    "Thy comely visage see?

"O I could rend the clay
    "Which hides its sleeping trust,
"And gaze myself away
    "On thy cold lifeless dust !

"What does my phrenzy mean !
    "Alas ! thou art not there;
"There's nothing to be seen
    "But horror and despair.

"When died with thee my joy,
    "Say did thy mem'ry die ?
"And Death but half destroy,
    "And rest to me deny ?


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"Yet Mem'ry ne'er can cease,
    "Departed shade forgive,
"You liv'd to die in peace,
    "And died that you might live.

"Then to yon realms on high,
    "Where minds like thine must go,
"I'll raise my languid eye
    "And wipe away my woe.

"But ah ! how dim my sight,
    "How constant is my pain !
"O aid my feeble flight,
    "I sink to earth again !

"O teach me to believe
    "With firm unshaken mind,
"Then would I cease to grieve,
    "Then would I be resign'd.


Page 132

"Then live as thou did'st live,
    "Then die as thou did'st die,
"Forgiv'n would forgive,
    "And share with thee the sky.

"Then plead, O plead for me--
    "Ah ! was my pray'r begun ?
"And do I come thro' thee,
    "And thus reject the Son ?

"O thou Omnipotent !
    "The pow'r to save is thine,
"By whom the Son was sent,
    "The Son himself divine.

"Thou know'st the texture strange
    "Of this warm inward flame,
"And all the thoughts that range
    "Within this wond'rous frame.


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"Then would I not conceal
    "One doubtful thought impure,
"But tell thee all I feel,
    "And all that I endure.

"O frown not whilst I plead
    "Beside this humble grave;
"Nor let a reptile bleed,
    "Thy gracious word can save.

"'Tis said this flame shall burn,
    "When world's shall cease to blaze,
"This fabrick fill the urn,
    "And wait the end of days.

"But where can I behold,
    "Or how this myst'ry scan;
"How part from common mould,
    "The finer mould of man ?


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"But lo ! a transient beam
    "Of intellectual light
"Glows like the meteor's gleam,
    "And penetrates the night !

"I see, I see them all
    "In strictest order stand--
"The firmament, this ball,
    "The working of thy hand:

"There's not a worm can move,
    "Nor mote that earth can bear,
"But all combine to prove,
    "None but a God was there !

"I see the pride that brought
    "Man to this level low;
"I see the blood that bought
    "His soul from endless woe !


Page 135

"I see the dust return
    "To mix with kindred dust;
"I see the op'ning urn
    "Give up its sacred trust !

"I see that face once more
    "Which I so dearly lov'd;
"I see and I adore
    "A God so clearly prov'd !

"But, hark ! the bell prolongs
    "The sound for solemn pray'r;
"I'll mix with crowding throngs,
    "And meet a Godhead there.

"My soul will there aspire,
    "And waft itself to heav'n ;
"And, warm'd by holy fire,
    "Confess itself forgiv'n.


Page 136

"And may that God be found,
    "To smile upon my course,
"Until my soul shall bound
    "To its eternal source.

"Till then, beloved shade
    "Of my departed guide !
"Cease not to watch and aid,
    "And o'er thy child preside."


Page 137

"The summer is past, and the harvest is ended, and we are
"not saved."-- JER.

How does the piercing cold, in wint'ry storms,
Steal through our veins, and chill our shiv'ring forms;
With slow infection through our fibres creep,
And freeze and 'numb our very minds to sleep.

Then, O ! if careless we have left undone
What was so easy 'neath a summer sun,
And let the summer and the harvest go
Without providing for the wint'ry snow--


Page 138

Then poor and wretched, hungry, cold, and bare,
We envy others what we must not share;
Our time is gone, we scarcely saw it fly,
Our pow'r's benumb'd, and we must beg or die.

So is it when declining life appears,
'Numb'd with infirmities and clogg'd with years;
The sun of youth forgets its power to shine,
And nourish fruits which might have been divine.

The strength of harvest, too, for ever past,
Its scatter'd crops are blown by every blast ;
And age approaches with intent to spoil,
Binds up the faculties and blasts the soil.

How happy, then, are they, in early youth,
Who wrought while it was day, and sought the truth;
Let youth and strength recede their fruitful field,
The sun of righteousness will warm and shield.


Page 139

ON THE FIRST ERUPTION OF MOUNT VESUVIUS.

WHILST others tune melodious lyres,
    And gently soothe the soul asleep,
I'll sing Vesuvius, crown'd with fires,
    The glowing strings with fury sweep.

'Twas night, and weary mortals slept,
    Drawing slow the tardy breath;
In Somnus' fast embraces kept,
    The drowsy twin of gloomy Death,


Page 140

Heavy lower'd the sultry air,
    Clouds in darkling volumes roll'd;
Fate, attended by Despair,
    The coming hurricane foretold.

Lowly growl'd the distant thunder,
    While the earth with terror trembled,
Soma's* mountain, rent asunder,
    Widely yawning hell resembled.

*Soma, another name for Vesuvius.

Noises fill th' astonish'd heaven,
    Crashes loud, tremendous, horrid;
Rocks from rocks unwilling riven,
    Rush from Soma's shatter'd forehead.

Hapless doom'd, ill-fated city,+
    Vainly seek thy throng's assistance;
There's, alas ! no power to pity,
    None to their devotion listens.

+ Herculaneum.


Page 141

Ocean's foaming bosom's troubled,
    Tow'ring waves are fiercely raging;
Hark ! the howling thunder's doubled,
    Elemental wars are waging.

O'er the ridges of the mountain,
    Down its groaning, smoking sides,
Flows the lava's burning fountain,
    Spreading with destructive tides.

Behold ! the wretches flee the quick'ning stream,
    Scar'd by the thunder and the lightning's gleam;
They flee ! more quick they flee,--but flee in vain;
    The furious torrent rushes down amain,
    And, with a fiery deluge, inundates the plain.

Earth, unable to sustain
    Her horror of the awful thunder,
Writhing, with convulsive pain,
    Burst with horrid noise asunder.


Page 142

Down the trembling city tumbled,
Down the lofty pillars, humbled,
Swallow'd by the yawning ground,
Augment the loud continued sound.

Tott'ring palsied Ruin nods
O'er the temples of the gods,
And crumbles into mingled dust
The sacred statue and the poet's bust.

Late where clam'rous Riot revell'd,
Late where sung the tuneful bards,
With the soil in fragments levell'd,
Now the lava's course retards.

But soon it gains its former force,
And rushes with impetuous course;
And, unrestrain'd, it buries all,
Alike the hovel and the monarch's hall !


Page 143

And now the cries and groaning die away,
And Phoebus ushers in the dismal day,
And looks with pity on the vacant space,
Where flourish'd long a pow'rful happy race.


Page 144

ON THE SUN.

FAINT spreading streaks of disembodied light
Steal on the sky and break the gloom of night,
And, stronger grown, shoot thro' the heav'ns afar,
Announcing orient Sol's approaching car:
And now appears the shining god of day,
Checking his steeds, impatient of delay.
Behold him now with measur'd steps advance,
Whilst round his chariot playful zephyr's dance;
And now with ardour thro' the sky he speeds,
And fields of purest ether lightly treads;
Approaching quick to his meridian height,
Diffusing wide his genial rays of light;
And makes before him ev'ry vapour fly,
And leave without a cloud the summer sky.


Page 145

Before his mild, enliv'ning, glorious face,
Rejoice the feather'd and the finny race;
Each shooting plant and party-colour'd flow'r
Imbibes the influence of his quick'ning pow'r;
The variegated gardens and the fields
Receive the benefit his presence yields:
But Vice avoids his penetrating gaze,
And shrinks confounded from his dazzling rays;
Unable to support the splendid sight,
She shuts her eyes, and covert seeks in night.
More ardent now, with warmer fire he glows,
A fiercer radiance o'er the world he throws;
Arriving at the middle of his way,
He shines confess'd the monarch of the day:
But soon with lagging steps he downward glides,
His wearied horses shake their panting sides,
And hast'ning on their now declining way,
More faint and weak is each succeeding ray
Which darts obliquely from the distant wheels,
Whilst Twilight grey on Nature softly steals.


Page 146

Now Phoebus gilds with mellow hue the west,
Inanimated Nature sinks to rest:
All seek to rest except the watchful eye,
Which marks his setting in the western sky,
Admires his radiance, whilst the busy mind
Indulges thoughts of nature more refin'd
Than those which occupy the grov'ling fool,
Untaught in Nature's universal school;
Who knows not that the sun's diurnal race,
Is like the man whose gen'rous thoughts embrace
The good of human kind, who spends his days
In acts of kindness here, who sets to blaze
In brighter glory in yon upper sky,
Where philanthrophic men can never die.


Page 147

ATHEISM.

ALL beauteous Nature, hail ! is this thy seat ?
And hast thou chosen this for thy retreat,
And deck'd with all thy choicest fragrant flow'rs,
The sylvan meadows and the fairy bow'rs ?

Here odorif'rous banks of varied hue,
Shine doubly sweet thro' the transparent dew;
There golden fishes in the dimpled stream,
Dart back the radiance of a sunny beam.

Deep sounds the water in the vale below;
But where the lazy lake forgets to flow,
Impending trees, magnificently rude,
Hang o'er the awful shade of solitude.


Page 148

And scatter'd spots of smooth enamell'd green,
Where Fauns might dance by mortal eyes unseen,
And walks where fairy phantoms lightly tread,
And arching shrubs embracing o'er their head.

Tho' soft and sweet, and solemn and serene,
Nor dead nor dormant is the lovely scene;
The wood, the vale, the bank, the green, the grove,
Resound with songs of gratitude and love.

All beauteous Nature ! hail thy sweet abode !
Thro' ev'ry arbour breathes the name of God;
But man, presumptous man ! would question pow'r,
Diffus'd amid the balm of ev'ry flow'r:

Denies the inward heart-convincing thrill,
Responsive throbbing to the gurgling rill,
That voice which speaks in ev'ry riv'let small,
And thunders in the roaring waterfall.


Page 149

O Thou ! beyond the reach of human view,
Yet seen in ev'ry transient drop of dew,
Amid the beauties of this lovely place,
Can man no mark of thy existence trace ?

Not in society I'll search for Thee,
In ev'ry thing but man Thy face I see.
Man, once Thine image, when Thy pow'r divine
First gave him being, now would question Thine.

I never sought, nor did I ever try
To find Thee in the worldling's busy eye;
More vain, more trifling, than that insect still,
Which flies by fancy led, and not by will.

But I have sought Thee in the holy place,
Where loud resounds the trumpet of thy grace.--
Here, Pity, draw thy veil of sympathy
O'er all the weakness of mortality.


Page 150

Thus, ever ending where I first began,
I only find the dust of fallen man;
And so obscur'd within a feeble form,
I scarcely see that something more than worm.

Then here, amid retirement, nurse to thought,
I dare not, cannot think I sprung from nought;
For should I shut my eyes on all around,
Within I hear the sweet convincing sound.

Sunk on this mossy turf, by something press'd,
Which bounds for liberty within my breast;
Blow soft ye zephyrs o'er my passive frame;
Give place ye clouds to this celestial flame.

Now dim appears each transient scene below,
More eager to be free, I feel it glow;
O earth give way ! ye stars and suns give place !
And let it soar throughout unbounded space.


Page 151

Yet wait, my soul ! impatient of delay,
Why leave so soon thy little house of clay;
To thee, perhaps for some great cause 'twas giv'n,
And argues too the handywork of heav'n.

All beauteous Nature, hail ! then while on earth
With thee I'll seek the pow'r that gave us birth,
And often on this mossy turf reclin'd,
I'll sit and read Jehovah's written mind.

Yet even here, beneath this very spot,
O wonder, heav'n ! an athiest's ashes rot;
My soul, why didst thou start ! tho' he denied,
Who can affirm that he an athiest died ?

Was there no struggle in his gloomy soul ?
Did not the thund'ring voice of conscience roll,
And intermitting gleams of heav'nly light,
Like lightning, flash across his mental sight ?


Page 152

Fools, tell me what it is which prompts the thought
Of heav'n, of hell, of something, and of nought ?
Had there been nought, that eager thought to scan
Had ne'er arisen in the breast of' man.

Did he believe ? ah, do not devils so ?
But devils tremble, did he tremble ? no--
They know their doom, are certain of their fate;
And he believ'd not till it was too late.


THE END.
John Moir, Printer,
Edinburgh, 1818