Poems.

Evance, Susan, fl. 1808-1818


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Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
1997
I.D. No. EvanSPoems

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 3
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Poems

Evance, S[usan]


Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme
London
1808

[This text was scanned from its original in the University of California—Davis, Shields Library Kohler Collection I:392]

[Kohler ID no: I:392. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:392mf.]

[Pages v through viii omitted in publishing.]


The editors thank the Shields Library for its support for this project.

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Page [i]

POEMS,

BY

MISS S. EVANCE,


SELECTED
FROM HER EARLIEST PRODUCTIONS,
TO
THOSE OF THE PRESENT YEAR. LONDON:
PRINTED FOR LONGMAN, HURST, REES AND ORME,
PATERNOSTER-ROW.
1808.

Title Page
[Medium: 83K] [High: 230K]

[Title Page]



Page [ii]

J.M'Creery, Printer,
Fleet-street.



Page [iii]

ADVERTISEMENT
BY
THE EDITOR.

TO introduce the following poems to the attention of the public, will require very few observations.--In the present day of literary light and liberality, it is a rare circumstance if merit of any kind long escape notice and approbation.--The sentiments diffused through the following compositions, as well as the style and language in which they are written, will, I conceive, at least please the ear; may they affect and amend the heart.

The melancholy strain of some pieces in the following collection, has a sanction in the mournful


Page iv

Sonnets of Charlotte Smith; but this excess of feeling, though often highly interesting, ought to be seldom or never admitted.--I know of no situation in life in which it can be right to indulge the petrifying gloom of lonely wretchedness, or the deep horror of wild despair.--The afflictions which we are called to endure, are to be regarded by us as the acts of a merciful and affectionate Being, calculated to teach us important lessons of virtue, and to prepare us for a happier state of existence.

If the satisfaction and pleasure I have enjoyed in the perusal of these poems, shall, by their publication, be more generally diffused, I shall rejoice to have employed my influence in bringing them before the public.
JAMES CLARKE.Organford--Dorset,
20th Oct.
1808


Page [ix]

CONTENTS.



Page [1]

1803.


Page [2]


Page [3]

POEMS.


SONNET.

AS o'er the gloomy heath the Pilgrim strays,
    When night's dark shadows thicken all around,
    While nought he hears, save the low moaning sound
Of sweeping winds--at length, far distant rays
Of light from some low cottage bless his gaze;
    With joy he then pursues his lonely way,
    No longer to despair and grief a prey,
But cheering hope once more his bosom sways.
Thus have I wander'd in Life's dreary scene,
    Forlorn and hopeless--while Affliction's blast
    My sky with threat'ning clouds has overcast;
But gentle Friendship's hallow'd lamp serene,
With guiding ray has bid my fears depart,
And spread its soothing influence through my heart.


Page 4

SONNET.


TO MELANCHOLY.

WHEN wintry tempests agitate the deep,
    On some lone rock I love to sit reclin'd;
And view the sea-birds on wild pinions sweep,
    And hear the roaring of the stormy wind,
That, rushing thro' the caves with hollow sound,
    Seems like the voices of those viewless forms
Which hover wrapp'd in gloomy mist around,
    Directing in their course the rolling storms.

Then, Melancholy ! thy sweet power I feel,
    For there thine influence reigns o'er all the scene;
Then o'er my heart thy "mystic transports" steal,
    And from each trifling thought my bosom wean.
My raptur'd spirit soars on wing sublime
Beyond the narrow bounds of space or time !


Page 5

SONNET.


WRITTEN IN A RUINOUS ABBEY.

AS 'mid these mouldering walls I pensive stray,
    With moss and ivy rudely overgrown,
I love to watch the last pale glimpse of day,
    And hear the rising winds of evening moan.


How loud the gust comes sweeping o'er the vale !
    Now faintly murmurs midst those distant trees;
The owl begins her melancholy wail,
    Filling with shrieks the pauses of the breeze.


Fancy, thy wildest dreams engage my mind--
    I gaze on forms which not to earth belong;
I see them riding on the passing wind,
    And hear their sadly-sweet, expressive song.
Wrap'd in the dear tho' visionary sound,
In spells of rapture all my soul is bound !


Page 6

SONNET.

TO AUTUMN.

MILD pensive Autumn ! how I love to stray
    At thy sweet season through the woody vale;
And when the western orb's declining ray
    Tinges thy varied foliage, hear the gale
Of evening sigh among the lofty trees,
    And watch thy mists obscure the mountain's height;
While sportive swallows, tossing in the breeze,
    Collect, preparing for their distant flight.

As, lovely Autumn ! on thy charms I gaze,
    Thy soften'd charms which I so dearly prize,
A thrilling tender melancholy sways
    My raptur'd heart, and tears suffuse my eyes.

These feelings, which thy pensive hours employ,
Who would resign for all the world calls joy !


Page 7

SONNET.

TO A VIOLET.

SPRING's sweet attendant ! modest simple flower,
    Whose soft retiring charms the woods adorn,
How often have I wander'd at that hour,
    When first appear the rosy tints of morn,
To the wild brook--there, upon mossy ground,
    Thy velvet form all beautiful to view;
To catch thy breath that steals delicious round,
    And mark thy pensive smile thro' tears of dew:
But then I sigh that other Vi'lets bloom
    Unseen, in wilds where foot-step never trod,
Find unadmir'd, unnotic'd, there a tomb,
    And mingle silent with the grassy sod;
Ah, so the scatter'd flowers of genius rise;
    These bloom to charm--that, hide--neglected dies.


Page 8

SONNET.

WRITTEN ON AN EMINENCE OVER-HANGING THE SEA.

YE rocks sublime, whose tops depending o'er
    The restless main, form my rude lonely seat,

Where oft I listen to the solemn roar
    Of foaming billows, breaking at my feet;


In your retreats can peace of mind be found,
    Contented bliss, serenely sweet repose ?

Ah, yes ! the gales that whisper soft around,
    Seem like meek Pity's voice to heal my woes.


Now, while I watch the waves as on they roll,
    And mark their white heads at a distance rise,

Peace once again returns unto my soul,
    And pale despair far from my bosom flies.


Sweet, soothing Nature ! on thy friendly breast
Reposing, all my griefs are lull'd to rest.


Page 9

THE GLOW-WORM.

WHEN moon-beams glitter in the dewy glade,
Where the tall beech-tree spreads its ample shade,
Upon a violet bank that rises nigh,
To watch the Fairies sportive dance, I lie.
O how I love to listen to the sound
Of their sweet instruments--while gaily round
The spreading beech-tree, hand in hand they trip,
And often pause the silver dew to sip.
As swift as thought the mazy dance renew,
Then in a moment vanish from my view.
With echoing shouts and dismal cries of woe,
Soon in their airy cars I see them go
To the sequester'd spot where low is laid
The form of Adela--a village maid,
Who, torn with pangs of unrequited love,
Plung'd in the stream that wanders thro' the grove.
Her grave in rude unhallow'd ground was laid,
Without one rite to sooth her hovering shade;


Page 10

This oft the Fairies in wild ditties sing,
And o'er her mouldering form pale flow'rets fling.
Sad solemn sounds come trembling in the breeze,
Rising among the weeping willow-trees,
Which hang in wild luxuriance o'er her grave,
And in the wind majestically wave.
But hark the cock crows loud--the eastern sky
Glimmers with morn's first tint--night shadows fly:
The Fairies listen to the warning sound,
And with one doleful shriek that echoes round,
Vanish as swift as fleeting rays of light,
To wait again the welcome hour of night.
The morning quenches my resplendent fire,
And, pensively, I to my cell retire.


Page [11]

1804.


Page [12]


Page 13

SONNET.

TO DESPAIR.

PALE ruthless Demon ! terrible Despair !
    Whose step is horror, and whose voice is death !
Thou rid'st on blasts that rend the midnight air,
    Mingling with wintry storms thy baleful breath.


Oft too thou sit'st upon a gloomy rock
    That overhangs the wild and boist'rous deep;
Where foaming waves the ship-wreck'd seaman mock,
    And o'er his head with raging fury sweep.


There dost thou view him struggling with the wave,
    And panting, try to gain the welcome shore;
But ah thou doom'st him to a briny grave–
    And soon he fainting sinks--to rise no more.


Unpitying Demon ! sure thy pow'r accurst
Is of all human miseries the worst.


Page 14

FROM OSSlAN.

IN the lone hall my harp is hung,
    While dusky twilight reigns around;
I hear light fingers o'er it flung,
    They wake a sad and solemn sound.


Or is it the lamenting breeze,
    That murmurs ere it sinks to rest ?
It rustles through those mountain-trees,
    It flies o'er Ocean's stormy breast--


No--'tis Malvina--blue-eyed maid !
    She comes upon a moon-beam pale,
With robe of mist--the hovering shade
    Wakens my wild harp's mournful wail.


Sad is her mildly pensive face,
    She points unto her lover's grave ;--
Yes, I will seek the lonely place,
    Where aged grass and high flow'rs wave.


Page 15

And there, with tender mourning sound,
    I'll pour upon the winds my song;
And listening echoes all around
    Shall hear it the dark caves among.


Yonder my Oscar's ghost I see--
    He seems to beckon me away;
Ah ! soon will Ossian cease to be--
    Soon o'er his tomb the blast will stray.


Then like yon star that dips the main,
    Or like the gale that sweeps along,
He sinks--and ne'er is heard again
    His wild harp, or his varying song.


But shall he not his Fathers meet,
    In the dark hall where heroes dwell
Will not each Bard his praise repeat,
    And fame his deeds of valour tell !


Page 16

Then bear my ghost, ye winds ! on high,
    And my grey hairs no longer wave;
But when beneath this stone I lie,
    Sigh thro' the grass that decks my grave.


Page 17

ODE.

TO HOPE.

FAREWELL seducing Hope ! no more
Upon thy pinions wild I soar;
No more pursue thy sportive train
    Through lovely Fancy's flowery maze,
    Where, oft thy soul-inspiring rays
Us'd to enchant my maddening brain
With airy visions of delight,
That swam before my giddy sight,
And gave full many a phantom gay,
To strew with flowery sweets my way,
And point to glowing scenes, to rosy bow'rs,
Where happiness leads on the smiling hours.


    Oh ! I have stray'd along the vale,
Where the dove tells its tender tale,
While grey-eyed twilight's dewy hand
Led pensive on her lingering band,


Page 18

And, watching over Nature's sleep,
All pale and sad, she seem'd to weep;
But then, fair Hope ! thy cheering beam
Shot thro' obscurity a gleam;
Painted the gay reviving morn,
Whose blushes soft the hills adorn;
Each glittering flower that decks the vale,
The balmy-scented sportive gale,
And every sweet that morning's breath revives,
With many a charm that Fancy only gives!

But now each bright enchanting dream is o'er;
Thy beams, soft Hope ! illume my path no more!
Fancy withdraws her fickle ray,
    To some less wretched heart she flies;
    Where smiling scenes, and cloudless skies,
Still cheer each lovely transient day.
Alas ! by grief's chill hand opprest,
With wildly agitated breast,
I wander on the lonely shore,
Where the hoarse foaming billows roar.


Page 19

While howling winds impetuous fly,
And blackest clouds involve the sky,
Despair's wild gloomy bands appear,
Pale Disappointment, haggard Fear,
And many a horrid ghastly form,
That rides upon the midnight storm,
Swells the loud gust with hollow moans,
And in the cave breathes dying groans.
On these rude sands my path I take,
And hear the waves tempestuous break
Upon the rock that stretches o'er
The sea-beat solitary shore;
And oft I think, the storms of Fate
Thus ruthless pour on my unshelter'd breast;
Never, oh never to abate,
Until in Death's cold arms I sink to rest.


    Then faithless hope ! a moment stay !
    Illume my fleeting transient day:
Not deckt in sweet alluring smiles,
Not with thy train of sportive wiles;


Page 20

But come with looks benignly grave,
And from despair my bosom save;
Gild with thy beams this dark oppressive gloom,
And point with steady hand unto the peaceful tomb!


Page 21

PITY.

SOFT as the dews of weeping Night
    Fall on the bosom of the Rose,
Soft as the summer zephyr's flight,
    When sighing thro' the leaves it blows;--

Soft as the moon-beam, mildly pale,
    That glimmers in the lucid stream,
And o'er the dim and misty vale
    Sheds faintly an uncertain gleam;--


So soft, meek Pity's falling tear;
    So soft her gently stealing sigh--
Heav'd from the breast of Friendship dear,
    And trembling in Affection's eye.


Page 22

TO A FLY.

I HAVE preserved thee, helpless Fly,
    From the fell Spider's cruel power;
I heard thy faint imploring cry,
    And bore thee from the deathful bower.


Now thou art free--and may'st again
    Pursue thy careless sportive way;
Wander with zephyrs o'er the plain,
    And gambol in the sunny ray.


O leave the haunt of man--for there
    Ruin and Death in secret wait;
Th' attractive sweet, "too tempting snare!"
    Will quickly lure thee to thy fate.


Go, little trifler ! take thy flight
    Where heathy mountains wild arise,
Where sun-beams ever warm and bright,
    Serenely gleam from cloudless skies.


Page 23

Where lovely flow'rets lift their heads,
And to the gale soft fragrance
Where Nature every beauty spreads--
There sip each sweet--and gaily live.


Page 24

HYMN.

SPIRIT ! who fill'st the earth and skies!
From Nature's scenes I hear arise,
A voice, that sweetly tells my soul
Thy pow'r and love have form'd the whole.


Thy goodness marks the blooming spring,
And happy birds thy praises sing;
Each budding tree, and opening flower,
Proclaims, with love, almighty power.


I hear thee when the thunders roll,
And reverence fills my awe-struck soul;
While lightnings flashing thro' the sky
Seem like the glances of thine eye.


The fading leaf, the withering flow'r,
Are emblems of my dying hour;
They lead my thoughts, Great God! to thee--
To Heaven and Immortality.


Page 25

When wintry tempests furious sweep,
And swell the billows of the deep,
That soaring foam along the shore,
I gaze, I wonder, and adore.


I think of that great awful day
When earth and sea shall melt away;
Perish 'mid flames wide circling round,
And sink to shades of night profound.


Being supreme ! be thou my friend;
Then I shall smile at Nature's end,
And safe in thine almighty aid
Survive--tho' Suns and Systems fade!


Page 26

TO MY SISTER.

IN ABSENCE.

WHEN Morning comes with smiles so gay,
O'er heathy hills I love to stray,
Where lustrous drops of pearly dew
Sparkle upon the hare-bell blue,
And bathe the thymy cover'd ground,
Whence sweetest fragrance steals around.
Ah, Anna ! then, to friendship true,
I think of moments past--and you !


When sultry Noon pervades the sky,
And scarce a zephyr murmurs by,
I seek some lone sequester'd cave,
And watch the softly rippling wave !
I view the sea-birds sail along,
And listen to their mournful song;
While to affection ever true,
My pensive fancy flies--to you !


Page 27

When Evening's misty form appears,
Half bath'd in sad expressive tears,
While gently sighs the passing breeze,
Low, rustling 'midst the shadowy trees;
And o'er yon far-seen rugged height
Sweet Hesper sheds a lingering light;
While tears of fondness aim my view,
I think of moments past--and you !


Page 28

SONNET.

TO THE CLOUDS.

O YE who ride upon the wand'ring gale,
    And silently, yet swiftly pass away--
    I love to view you, when the glimmering ray
Of early morning tints your forms so pale,
Or when meek twilight gleams above the steep,
    As in fantastic changeful shapes ye fly
    Far in the west,--when smiles the summer sky,
Or when rough wintry winds with fury sweep
Along the hill your darkly-frowning forms,
    All desolate and gloomy as my heart.

    Ah ! could I but from this sad earth depart
And wander careless as the roving storms
Amidst your shadowy scenes--borne by the wind,
Far I would fly, and leave my woes behind !


Page 29

SONNET.

WRITTEN NEAR THE SEA.

NOW wild the blasts of Autumn sweep along
    These rugged rocks, this solitary shore !
    Mingled with Ocean's deep tempestuous roar,
And many a sea-bird's melancholy song.


But ah ! more wild the tumult of my soul--
    More turbulent the feelings tossing there;
    For ev'ry hope is blasted by Despair,
And clouds of darkness o'er my prospects roll,


The winds that agitate the foaming deep
    Ere long shall sink to quiet calm repose;
    But still this aching heart will sigh its woes,
Still will these streaming eyes in anguish weep--


Till death shall bid the storms of passion cease,
And lay me in the silent home of peace.


Page 30

TO THE BUTTERFLY.

AH happy insect ! free from care
    Thou sportest on the flutt'ring breeze;
Wild as the fragrant mountain air,
    And playful as the waving trees.


When morning glimmers in the east,
    Thou wanderest o'er the dewy ground,
To sip the wild thyme's scatter'd feast,
     Whose sweet breath lingers all around.


At noon thou seek'st the thistly mead;
    There with companions blythe and gay
Upon the nectar'd flowers to feed,
    And sport the sultry hours away.


And when the Sun's last beam is fled
    And Evening sheds her pearly tears,
Thou sinkest to thy blossom'd bed,
    Slumb'ring, till morn again appears.


Page 31

Ah happy insect ! once like thine
    My heedless moments pass'd away;
No lengthen'd sigh of grief was mine,
    No tears then chill'd the glowing day.


I wander'd carelessly along
    The wild wood-paths, and shady bow'rs;
Gave to the murmuring winds my song,
    And gather'd wreaths of simple flow'rs.


Yes, then, gay flutterer ! like thee,
    I danc'd where sportive Fancy led;
But joy no longer smiles for me,
    And Hope's enchanting dreams are fled.


The prospects of life's early spring,
    Like glittering sun-beams warm and bright,
Are flown on Sorrow's sable wing,
    And lost in shades of endless night.


Page 32

SONNET.

WRITTEN IN ILL HEALTH AT THE CLOSE
OF SPRING.

WHERE are the tearful smile of youthful Spring,
    That nurs'd the budding leaves and infant flow'rs?
    Ah! vanish'd--like those dear regretted hours
That fled away on Pleasure's fairy wing,
When hope light scatter'd o'er my glowing way
    Her rose-buds of delight.--The cooling breeze,
    The wily sportive warblers of the trees,
And garlands sweet that made the woods so gay,
All, all are gone.--Spring will return again,
    But never more for me its charms shall bloom,
    For me then slumbering in the dreary tomb
The birds will sing and flow'rets blow in vain;
While gentle gales, the budding trees that wave,
Will breathe their lonely sighs across my grave.


Page 33

TO A WITHERED HARE-BELL.

Oh! thou art chang'd, poor wither'd flower!
    No more thy form of azure hue
At morning's bright and fragrant hour,
    Shall smile through tears of glitt'ring dew.


No more the gently rustling breeze
    Will on thy bosom love to dwell;
But mournfully among the trees
    Will sigh thy sad and simple knell.


Was it some careless shepherd boy,
    That sought his wandering flock around,
Who thus could all thy charms destroy,
    And thoughtless crush thee to the ground?


No--on the wing, of shadowy night,
    Was borne the chilling eastern blast;
Thy tender form, so fair and bright,
    Shrunk trembling as it onward past.


Page 34

The morn return'd with dewy beam,
    Cold glimmering on thy drooping head;
Pale was the melancholy gleam,
    It mourn'd each charm for ever fled.


Alas! like thee, poor wither'd flow'r!
    Our earliest fondest hopes decay;
Bright is the visionary hour--
    But soon, too soon, it fades away.


Page 35

SONNET.

YON oak has brav'd full many a wintry storm,
    And frown'd defiance to the changeful year.
    The summer lightnings flashed in fury near,
The gales of Autumn howI'd around its form,
But steadfast, undismay'd, it scorn'd their pow'r,
    And now, see evening's softest loveliest ray
    Illumes its leaves, while zephyrs tired with play,
Sleep on the bosom of the silent hour.


Then, tho' the gusts of sad misfortune blow
    O'er this chill'd bosom, I will not despair;
    Hope, gentle Hope, shall point to prospects fair,
Where flow'rets bloom, and lingering sun beams glow;
Where, when Adversity's dark clouds are past,
The smile of peace shall sooth my soul at last.


Page 36

SONNET.

WRITTEN AT NETLEY ABBEY.

WHY should I fear the spirits of the dead ?
    What if they wander at the hour of night,
Amid these sacred walls, with silent tread,
    And dimly visible to mortal sight !
What if they ride upon the wandering gale,
    And with low sighs alarm the listening ear;
Or swell a deep, a sadly-sounding wail,
    Like solemn dirge of death ! why should I fear?
No ! seated on some fragment of rude stone,
    While through the Ash-trees waving o'er my head
The wild winds pour their melancholy moan,
    My soul, by fond imagination led,
Shall muse on days and years for ever flown,
    And hold mysterious converse with the dead !


Page 37

SONNET.

TO HAPPINESS.

O HAPPINESS! thou fair enchanting form,
    That, rob'd in brightness, swiftly steal'st along;
    Oft mingling with the gay the glittering throng
Of blue-eyed laughing Hope--or glowing warm,
In fancy's rainbow colours sweetly drest,
    Flitt'st on light silken wings before my sight--
    Ah ! why so soon pursue thine airy flight!
Return--return--and bless this throbbing breast.
Alas ! in vain I spread my eager arms:
    In vain I court thy heavenly smile serene--
    Thou'rt but a wanderer through this changeful scene,
And fleeting are thy transitory charms.
Yes angel form! thy dwelling is not here ;
Thou reignest in some loftier purer sphere!


Page 38

THE PAIN OF PARTING.

ALAS! how sad to bid farewell
    To those whom tenderly we love !
Our trembling lips refuse to tell
    What sighs more eloquently prove.


And O the last--last parting gaze--
    How deep it sinks within the heart!
Th' expressive tearful eye essays
    The soul's fond anguish to impart.


But ah! no tears--no sighs that break
    From the unconscious breast, can tell
Our agony when forc'd to take
    A long--perhaps a last farewell


Page 39

SONNET.

WHY do I muse on moments that are past
    Like the fond visions of an airy dream,
With weeping tenderness, and thought o'ercast
    With shades of deep regret? Alas ! they seem


The smiling scenes where sunbeams of delight
    Unclouded love to linger; strew'd with flowers,
Whose perfum'd buds appear more softly bright,
    Than rainbow glittering on summer showers.


Ah! does not memory like Hope deceive?
    Like Hope resign her realms to Fancy's sway,
Who fondly loves a magic veil to weave
    For every past as well as future day?


    Ah, surely yes! for Sorrow's tearful show'r
Falls on the beam that gilds our fairest hour.


Page 40

TO A DEW-DROP.

SOFT dew-drop, glittering on the spray
    O'er which the sportive breezes fly,
Ah little brilliant trembler, say,
    Art thou a tear from Morning's eye?

Weep, lovely gem, till noon's hot beam
    Expands thy sparkling form to air:
My woes shall be thy tender theme:
    My love--my anguish--my despair!


Page [41]

1805.


Page [42]


Page 43

SONNET.

WRITTEN ON RETURNING TO MY HOME.

WITH weeping tenderness once more I gaze
    On these romantic scenes I love so well:
    Where peace and pensive solitude still dwell,
As in my happy childhood's smiling days;
When my unfolding mind did first behold
    The charms of nature with a musing eye,
    And caught sweet melancholy's magic sigh;
When through the wood's deep shadowy glen I stroll'd,
With transport listening, as the carol clear
    Of some sweet linnet hail'd the opening day,
    Or hymn'd to sleeping eve th' enchanting lay.
Ah! lovely scenes--I meet you with a tear--
For strange vicissitudes have cross'd my way,
Since last I saw the glitering sun-beam here!


Page 44

TO TWILIGHT.

PALE Twilight ! bath'd in tears of dew,
    Which fall in many a silent show'r--
I love the gently fading hue
    That marks thy melancholy hour.


I love the zephyrs that attend
    Low fluttering, in thy pensive train;
Who oft their dying voices blend
    With the wild music of the main.


I love thy shadowy mists that stray
    In mystic shapes along the green;
And by the star that guides thy way,
    Dim and imperfectly are seen.

With thee, serene, enchanting hour!
    Thy lovely sister, Fancy flies;--
The gentle magic of her pow'r
    Thrills in thy low-breath'd mournful sighs.


Page 45

She paints upon the glimmering plain,
    The gay, the sprightly fairy throng;
Who lead in wild fantastic train
    Their dance the furzy brakes among,


She swells their sweet expressive lay,
    Borne on the wand'ring breezes near;
Till, trembling--sad--it dies away.
    And rapture gives the starting tear.


--Twilight! more dear to me thy shade
    Than moon-beams trembling through the trees.
Or touching soft the sparkling glade,
    Or dancing on the foamy seas.


More sweet than when from slumbers still
    The morn awakes with smiling view;
And climbing o'er yon eastern hill
    Shakes from her glittering locks the dew.--


Page 46

For memory loves with thee to stay
    O'er visions of departed days;
And, upon joys, long past away,
    To muse, with pensive, tearful gaze.


Soft fancy, with her pencil bright
    Gives to each scene a lovelier dye;
While wrapt in tenderest delight,
    I fondly breathe the lingering sigh;


Page 47

THE LOSS OF FRIENDS.

OVER the vast, the awful sea
Of dark, unknown Eternity,
With agoniz'd and bleeding heart,
Friend after friend we see depart;
Until at length alone we stand
On Life's distressful troublous strand.--
Thence oft we cast our weary eyes
Where Death his sable bark supplies,
And wish its sails were spread to bear
Our spirits from these scenes of care,
To some remote some blissful shore,
Where friends shall meet--to part no more!


Page 48

SONNET.

TO EVENING.

SWEET Evening, hail! thy melancholy hour
    Soothes all my soul to calmness and repose.
    How soft thy gentle gale, that sighing blows
Upon the wild heath's solitary flow'r,
Shaking with fluttering wing its dewy head !
    With what mild splendor shines the pensive star
    Whose silvery lustre decks thy shadowy car !
To me it tells of blissful moments fled--
And musing fancy backward takes her flight,
    To gaze on images to fancy dear,
    And bathe them with the sad regretful tear.
Yet, 'tis a sadness mingled with delight;
Just as a strain of music, mournful, low,
Melts the full heart with silent pleasing woe.


Page 49

SONG.

LET Pity's gentle voice awake
    The softly stealing sigh;
And tears in trembling radiance break
    Forth from your pensive eye.


For grief like this refines the heart--
    While ev'ry selfish care,
Lost in compassion's sacred smart,
    Shall cease to rankle there.


Page 50

THE ROSE.

FRESH with the morning dew,
    Observe yon budding rose--
O mark the blushing hue
    That on its bosom glows.


'Tis like love's early bloom--
    The flush of hope and joy;
Alas, that time's harsh doom
    Such radiance should destroy!


Ah me ! how soon it dies--
    For disappointment's air
With cold wing o'er it flies,
    And blights it with despair.


And then in thorny vest
    The wither'd stem appears;
To wound the bleeding breast,
    And fill the eyes with tears.


Page 51

SONNET.

TO A VILLAGE IN SUFFOLK, The Residence of a Friend

BLAKENHAM! although thy bounded scenes among
    No forests wave, no lofty hills arise,
    Whence far-stretch'd prospects meet the raptur'd eyes--
No winding sea-dasht shores to thee belong,
Skirted by wild and rocky solitudes,
    "Sublimities that most delight the mind"
    Yet Blakenham, thy still meads where riv'lets wind,
Thy corn-fields waving 'neath the rustling breeze,
And thy secluded copses--they are dear
    To me; and when I go far, far away,
    Full oft amid thy scenes will memory stray.
Ah ! virtue, taste, refinement pure are here;
And these, when view'd by fond affection's eye,
Give thee an interest--which shall never die !


Page 52

SONNET.

TO A CONVOLVOLUS.

DID I not see thee ope thy lovely eye,
    When Morning came with tresses bath'd in dew?
    Were not thy artless charms display'd to view
When shone the brilliant sun-beam from on high?
Now that day's crimson splendours fading slow,
    Yield to soft shadowy eye the silent sway,
    Thou tremblest as the breezes o'er thee stray,
And fold'st thy leaves, and lay'st thy bosom low.
Alas, poor flower, thy little life is o'er,
    The yellow morning shall return again,
    But all her chearing dews will fall in vain,
For thou must never wake to taste them more.
I grieve for thee, yet, wherefore should I grieve?
Man's but a morning flow'r that like thee dies at eve.


Page 53

HYMN.

FOR peace, for health, for sweet content,
    And hope's enchanting sway,
For these, by thee, my maker ! sent,
    My grateful thanks I pay.


E'er since I first beheld the light,
    Thou Lord my friend hast been,
And many a beam of rapture bright
    Has ting'd life's glowing scene.


Though sometimes Sorrow o'er my sky
    Her sable cloud did throw,
And taught my 'youthful heart to sigh,
    And taught my tears to flow;


Yet, gracious God ! full well I know
    In mercy kind 'twas given;
It wean'd my soul from things below,
    And fix'd my thoughts on Heaven.


Page 54

O throughout life's bewild'ring maze,
    Do thou my Father, still
Teach me to love religion's ways,
    And seek to do thy will.


Whene'er the plants of pleasure grow
    In virtue's sacred shade,
Grateful I'd mark the flow'rets blow,
    And pluck them ere they fade.


And if along my lonely way
    Affliction's thorn appears,
Let resignation's hand allay
    The anguish of my tears.


Thus may each scene my footsteps tread,
    By thy kind guidance, be
A path whose various windings lead
    My God ! to bliss--and Thee !


Page 55

SONNET.

WRITTEN ON LEAVING A BELOVED RESIDENCE.

ROMANTIC shades, by nature wildly drest!
Scenes to my pensive bosom ever dear !
Where I have pass'd full many a happy year,
In health, in peace, and calm contentment blest ;--
For you have witness'd life's sweet dawn arise,
You have beheld gay childhood's smiling hours,
And first among your silent shadowy bow'rs
I learn'd retirement's tasteful joys to prize.
Dear hills ! the sun will gild your turf--the air
Will catch your thymy perfume on its wing--
And sweet as ever still your birds will sing:
But not for me;--I go to cities--where,
With sickening eye false splendour I shall view,
And sigh in vain, sweet shades, for happiness--and you !


Page [56]


Page [57]

1803.


Page [58]


Page 59

CANZONETTE.

'TIS not in Fashion's gilded fane,
Where Folly leads her idle train--
'Tis not in riot's thoughtless waste,
That I can ought of pleasure taste;
            No--this is vanity.


But in some still secluded spot,
Where Innocence has rais'd her cot,
And meek-eyed Peace delights t'appear,
While calm Contentment lingers near
            With holy Piety;--


In such a scene, my quiet mind
Feels soothed, exalted and refined,
Forgets this earthly state, and flies
On thought's swift pinions to the skies;--
            This--this is luxury!


Page 60

SONNET.

TO LOVE.

I KNOW thy charms, sweet Love ! enchanting boy,
    On whose smooth cheek unfading roses glow:
Where softest smiles of innocence and joy
    Tender yet gay, their dimpled graces show ;--
Dark is the blue of thy bewitching eye,
    Whose melting glances thrill the raptur'd sight:
And deep the magic of thy tuneful sigh;
    While at thy voice, hope paints in colours bright
Her wild romantic scenes. O heavenly child,
I shun thee not--! love thy aspect mild:
    Come then, and realize with touch divine
The airy forms which Fancy's call obey,
And I will bow before thy pow'rful sway,
    And heap sweet offerings on thy holy shrine.


Page 61

WRITTEN AT MY CHAMBER WINDOW

AFTER UNHAPPY DREAMS.

FLY, terrifying visions, fly--
    Children of night and fancy born !
For see, the thinly-clouded sky
    Glows with the orient blush of morn.


Far hence on swiftest wings depart;
    And let this lovely tranquil scene
Convey to my desponding heart
    Its gentle smile, its joy serene.

Then hope will re-assume her reign;
    And shew the happy moment near
When I shall fondly meet again
    The friends from infancy most dear.

But no, alas, it will not be !
    For memory, still with footstep true,
Retraces scenes of misery,
    And points them to my shudd'ring view.


Page 62

She leads me to the couch of pain,
    Where late distracted Fancy laid
A dying Mother--whilst in vain
    I strove methought to yield her aid.

With agonies which none can tell,
    I mark'd her shortening--shortening breath
I took a tender last farewell--
    And then--ah then ! she sunk in death.

Why do my tears thus swiftly fall ?
    Why feels my sad heart so forlorn ?
'Twas wild Imagination all--
    And now her frantic dreams are gone.

But thus, ah vainly ! reason tries
    To give my sickening soul relief;
Assist me, gracious Heaven, to rise
    Above this visionary grief.

O turn my languid eyes to view
    Life's real scenes--where sweetly blow
Affection's flow'rs of liveliest hue,
    And where the beams of pleasure glow


Page 63

And then, these gloomy thoughts away
    Like early clouds, shall swiftly roll;
For Gratitude's refulgent ray
    Will gild and animate my soul.


Page 64

WRITTEN

ON THE BIRTH-DAY OF A FRIEND

SEE how Aurora smiles ! her loveliest ray
Is shed to gild my Catherine's natal day.
Full many a flow'r the youthful Spring bestows:
The vi'let here in modest beauty blows,
And there the primrose, delicate and pale,
Steps timid forth to meet th' admiring gale;
The snow-drop too, whose aspect, cold and drear,
Scarce suits the temper of th' advancing year,
Her parting smile delays with lingering bloom,
Ambitious of a nobler, higher doom,
With downcast bells of simple white to grace
The wreath that soon will deck sweet Catherine's face.
But no--I twine these artless flow'rs in vain;
She now adorns some distant happier plain.


Page 65

Ah me ! I wander'd to the blissful past,
And almost thought this birthday like the last
Would find her joy-inspiring presence here ;--
Now fancy's brilliant charms no more appear,
And sad reality awakes a tear.--
Ah, dearest girl; to day we shall not stray
Together down the forest's mazy way;
Nor pause to view the prospects wild arise,
Nor talk of Nature's charms, and Friendship's joys;
No: amid other objects, distant far,
You move--and like some fair benignant star,
Illum'd by Virtue's glorious sun divine,
On fond admiring crouds you sweetly shine.

    This thought is soothing--tho' from me remov'd,
Others have hearts to love what I have lov'd;
To feel the pow'r of graceful ease, combin'd
With innate dignity of form and mind;
Admiring--sense, refinement, taste, to see
In union sweet with soft simplicity.


Page 66

Then, while my Catherine's swiftly passing hours
Continue crown'd with Pleasure's blooming flow'rs,
And she diffuses happiness so wide--
I will not grieve--but wait the welcome tide
With patient hope, "if hope can patient be,"
That brings her back to friendship and to me.


Page 67

TO THE APPROACHING SABBATH.

WRITTEN ON SATURDAY EVENING.

COME holy day of sacred rest !
Fair image of that period blest,
When God in every heart shall reign
And banish sin, and banish pain.

Come, bring those purified desires,
Those glorious hopes, those rapt'rous fires,
Which thought possesses pow'r to move,
When musing on a Saviour's love.

Whether with willing crouds I meet
To worship at our Father's feet,
Within the sacred house of pray'r;
And hear divine instruction there:


Page 68

Or whether 'tis my 'lone employ
To read the book of life and joy--
May grace upon my heart descend,
And heavenly peace my steps attend.

Come, holy day of sacred rest !
Bright image of that period blest
When God in every heart shall reign !
And banish sin, and banish pain !


Page 69

WRITTEN

DURING AN EARLY SUMMER EVENING's RAMBLE.

VALES of fragrance ! woods surrounding
While along your paths I'm bounding,
    What bright visions round me stray !
Fancy's raptures, ever changing,
O'er enchanted regions ranging,
    Bear my willing soul away.

Oft I pause to catch the breezes--
For their simple music pleases
    Bosoms careless--spirits gay ;--
I love to mark them gently creeping,
Gradual o'er the wood-tops sweeping,
    Then hush'd to slumbers, die away.


Page 70

And tho' the birds have ceased their singing,
'Tis sweet to view them swiftly winging
    Airy circles of delight;
And then on some soft hillock staying,
Where blows the wild thyme, sweets displaying,
    To drink the dew-drops, diamond bright.

Beloved scenes your charms adorning
Thus with all the smiles of morning,
    Must joy to ev'ry heart reveal;
For me--your wild enchantments viewing,
    Your lonely silent walks pursuing,
        'Tis rapture--ecstacy I feel.


Page 71

TO MY BROTHER

ON HIS ENTERING THE NAVY.

AH ! how Imagination's charms
    Deceive the youthful ardent mind!
You choose a life of wild alarms,
    And pleasure there expect to find.

But through the bustling tumults strange,
    That mark the wandering Sailor's lot,
There dwell in each eventful change,
    A thousand dangers you've forgot.

Ah ! is there not the constant fear
    That ev'ry wind that sweeps the wave
Will bring some mighty tempest near,
    And whelm its victims in the grave ?


Page 72

How many youthful hopes elate
    Lie cold and buried in the deep,
Of those, whose melancholy fate
    Bids sisters--brothers--parents--weep !

And then the battle's dreadful strife--
    The gashing sword--the cannon's play--
Which, if it chance to spare the life,
    Oft shattering tears the limbs away.

And there are perils greater still,
    More to be dreaded yet than these;
Which, sad with contemplating ill,
    With aching heart Affection sees,

The vessel lost--by skilful force
    The Seaman oft escapes the wave;
The ball may take another course--
    But virtue--oh ! how hard to save


Page 73

Dear William ! when I saw you stand
    Prepar'd--and ready to depart,--
When silently I press'd your hand,
    What mournful feelings swell'd my heart!

That innocently playful smile,
    Those eyes with fond Affection fraught--
O should they change to looks of guile !--
    I cannot bear the dreadful thought.

The dangers of the roaring sea,
    What are they, when compar'd with those
Which threaten Truth and Piety,
    And sacred Virtue's bless'd repose !

Oh gracious Heaven ! in mercy hear,
    With tears implor'd, my earnest pray'rs,
And guard the Friend, the Brother dear,
    From life's deceitful tempting snares.

In ev'ry change, whate'er betide,
    May Virtue, his companion still,
Each hope, pursuit, idea guide,
    And ev'ry station greatly fill.


Page 74

And soon, with feelings nobly tried,
    Improv'd in ev'ry youthful grace,
May he return, our joy and pride,
    And fill Affection's fond embrace.


Page 75

A TENDER HEART.

A TENDER heart--O what a treasure
O what a source of varied pleasure !
A gentle word--a smile--a glance--
Can bid with joy the Spirits dance;
Nature in her minutest scene,
Her flow'rs, her moss, her turfy green,
Has pow'r to spread enchantment near,
And bid delight in ev'ry thing appear.

    A tender heart !--O cause of sadness !
Of wild despair--of raving madness !
An unkind word--a look--a frown--
Can sink the yielding spirits down;
And when no real ill appears,
Oft fancy fills the eyes with tears;
Spreads shadows dark on all around,
And bids distress in ev'ry thing be found.


Page 76

    He then, in waters calm, appearing,
Who far from transport's waves is steering,
Should prize the blessing of repose,
Nor wish th' extremes that feeling knows,
And let the thought of past delight,
And hope of future seasons bright,
Console and soothe beneath distress
The lonely drooping child of tenderness.


Page 77

SONNET.

CONTENTMENT ! I have left the lowly spot
    Where Peace in still seclusion lov'd to dwell.
    Within the shelter of thy simple cell,
There once was fix'd my humble happy lot;
Ah would that I had never known a change !
    For 'mong reposing scenes that smil'd around,
    Serenest bliss my quiet bosom found.--
'Twas Hope who taught my wand'ring feet to range
Cruel deluder ! she in pilgrim vest
    Came to our cot: and by her witching tale,
"While dwelling there an unsuspected guest,"
    Seduc'd me from Contentment's happy vale.
Ah ! now, alone, amidst surrounding fears,
I'm left to disappointment and to tears !


Page [78]


Page [79]

1807.


Page [80]


Page 81

WRITTEN

AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF SPRING.

FROM the blue depths of western skies
    The zephyr comes, on gentlest wing !
And whisp'ring as he onward flies,
    Proclaims the sweet approach of Spring.

Ah see, she comes--in beauty drest,
    With buds and blossoms gaily crown'd;
Wakes Nature from her dreams of rest,
    And spreads enchantment all around.

Season reviving to the heart !
    The pow'rful magic of thy smile.
To Joy can livelier warmth impart,
    And Grief of half her pain beguile.


Page 82

In the young mind where fancy glows,
    Where Hope displays her lovely store,
Each leaf that spreads, each flow'r that blows
    Inspires delight unfelt before.

Ah ! though for me the charms of Spring
    No more awakes those feelings wild,
Those rapturous dreams, they used to bring
    When life and all its prospects smil'd :--

Yet still emotions mild and sweet
    Steal o'er my sooth'd and tranquil breast;
Sad memory's throbs forget to beat,
    And thought regretful sinks to rest.


Page 83

THE REDBREAST.

AUTUMN's charms are fading fast--
Mark how every ruthless blast
Scatters, as it sweeps around,
Showers of leaves upon the ground.
Ah ! no hand its force can stay;
All will soon be torn away.

    'Midst the ruins of the year,
See the cheerful bird appear,
Who, of all the warbling train,
Hails alone sad Winter's reign;
And throughout each' dreary day,
Sings the lonely hours away.

    Sweet Bird ! a summer bright as thine
Within this bosom once did shine;


Page 84

But now the wintry hour draws near,--
Fast, fast my comforts disappear;
And sinking from my clouded heart,
I feel the Sun of bliss depart.

    But shall thy admonition be
Unheeded, gentle Bird ! by me ?
Or shall its influence fail to move
A wish of emulative love !
No ! I will view thy patient form,
And learn to bear the beating storm.

    Back to the past I'll turn my eyes;
How many blessings there arise !
Blessings so undeserv'd, that still
My heart must feel the grateful thrill.
Sweet monitor ! I'll learn to be
All cheerfully resign'd--like thee.


Page 85

SONG.

TO MR. BRAHAM'S MUSIC OF
"MARIA."

THO' found in social scenes to shine,
    And charm the wise and good,
Ah see the sweet Maria pine
    In lonely solitude.

She flies the world--her friends she flies--
    And each succeeding day
In melancholy, hopeless sighs,
    Steals lingering, sad ! away.

    Ah lovely, gentle maid! how hard
    The heart that sought with care
Thy fond affectionate regard--
    Then left thee to despair !


Page 86

Ah ! would that Friendship's pitying sigh
    Thy sorrows might remove !
Come to her shelt'ring arms, and fly
    The bosom's traitor--Love !


Page 87

ADDRESSED TO MR.------

WITH sighs I quit the social throng--
    Ah friend belov'd ! where shall I find
The virtues that to thee belong;
    Thy noble, pure, exalted mind!

Where shall I those mild manners meet,
    Warm'd by benevolence so kind;
That conversation ever sweet,
    Improving, elegant, refin'd !

Ah ! often musing fancy strays
    Back to those days to mem'ry dear,
Those calm, delightful, happy days,
    Which pass'd so swift--when you were here.

I love to recollect the time
    When list'ning to your converse wise,


Page 88

Its holy eloquence sublime
    Rais'd my rapt spirit to the skies:
How often in this forest scene,
    Now sacred made, and doubly dear,
Devotion's flame, tho' warm, serene,
    Has swell'd the bright transporting tear!

Ah tears more sweet than smiles of joy !
    Ah hours far more than mirth belov'd !
Oft shall it be my blest employ
    To trace the raptures ye have prov'd.

Thou, dearest Friend ! whose path extends
    Through other scenes, remote from these;
Whom, still pursuing noble ends
    In active goodness, duty sees;

Proceed along thy virtuous way--
    And teach th' admiring world to find
Within thy useful life's display,
    The greatness of a Christian's mind.


Page 89

In happiness domestic blest,
    And ev'ry social comfort, shine.--
Here, treasur'd deep in friendship's breast,
    Her warmest, tenderest thoughts are thine.


Page 90

THE SABBATH EVENING.

    HOW lovely smiles the gentle ray
That closes soft the Sabbath day !
What holy feelings calm and sweet,
Within the Christian's bosom meet!

    Alone he walks beneath the shades,
Which silent solitude pervades;
There meets the smile of peace--and there
Expands his soul in praise and pray'r.

    The blessings of the hallowed day,
His thoughts with gratitude survey:
Which heightens as repentance dwells
On failings weeping memory tells.

    Holy Repentance ! sacred pow'r !
Oft dost thou sway the Christian's hour;
And swell'st those purifying sighs
Which waft the spirit to the skies.


Page 91

    By thee, through a redeemer's blood,
His soul is reconcil'd to God,
And, hoping aid from mercy's store,
Determines to offend no more.

    Thus sooth'd to tranquil happiness,
Too pure for language to express,
Prepar'd to meet each future day--
The Sabbath Evening steals away.


Page 92

ON SEEING A FLOWER

BLOOMING WHEN THE SEASON WAS PAST.

Poor little solitary thing,
Dropp'd from the lap of careless Spring !
When, gath'ring all her lovely train,
Reluctantly she leaves the plain !
Ah ! though Summer's skies are clear,
Though brightest sun-beams now appear,
And other, gayer flowers, we view
Where thy departed Sisters grew--
Yet, lonely one, it seems to me
Thou must melancholy be;
And pensively I sigh to find
That thou art left alone behind !
Perhaps the mournful heart can trace
Sad images in every place;
Yes, even when the happy mind
Sweetest forms of bliss would find--


Page 93

But--little lingering flower, in thee
Emblems sorrowful I see !
Ah ! the poor deserted heart
That has seen its friends depart,
All Youth's lov'd companions fled,
Number'd with the sleeping dead.--
Though beneath the summer ray
Of Prosperity's bright day,
In Society though thrown--
Still, like thee, he stands--alone.

     Such anguish'd sorrow--such despair--
My lot has not yet been to bear.
But ah this poor forlorn heart knows
That many are its secret woes !
And when my faded hopes I see,
I think that I resemble thee,
Poor little solitary flow'r--
They wither'd with life's vernal hour
And now that. all are lost and gone,
I feel deserted--and alone.


Page 94

    But let me pause--my sinking heart,
Are these reflecting wisdom's part ?
This weak indulgence of thy grief,
Say, can it ever give relief?
Oh hush the tumult of thy sighs,
And bid the tear no more arise.
Tho' hard the lesson to control
The swelling anguish of the soul,
Despair not--Heaven can give thee aid,
When all thy earthly comforts fade.
Angel forms are hov'ring near,
With commission'd pow'r to cheer.
Blest Religion, from above
Soft descends, on wings of love;
Holy music floating round
O how sweet the heavenly sound !
See, she comes--her gentle face
Beaming with mild Pity's grace.
O maternal form divine !
Wilt thou, wilt thou then be mine ?
And sway with thy sublime control
The wayward feelings of my soul ?--


Page 95

Ye earthly cares which late I knew,
Ah, for ever more adieu !
For she the friend of sorrow, mild,
Yes she--will take the wand'ring Child;--
And folded on her shelt'ring breast,
My throbbing heart shall sink to rest !


Page 96

SOLITARY MUSINGS.

O THERE are moments when the soul
    All desolate and friendless grown,
Seems parted from the mighty whole;
    A melancholy thing--alone !

How strange--how sad--yet how sublime
    The thoughts which then absorb the mind!--
Throughout the realms of earth and time
    No rest its vast desires can find.

It mounts--it soars above the skies--
    It soars beyond the starry spheres;
Onward through space unknown it flies,--
    Nor stops till Deity appears.

Snatch'd, from itself--in wonder still,
    Absorb'd, entranc'd--in vain it finds
All that can charm, delight, and fill
    The wishes of immortal minds.


Page 97

'Tis gone--the heavenly dream is gone;
    The spirit feels its earthly chains;
Bright was the vision--but alone
    Its recollection now remains.

Transient is ev'ry feeling here;
    The most sublime is soonest o'er,--
When will that glorious time appear
    When changes shall be known no more ?


Page 98

ALLUDING TO LINES WRITTEN IN 1804.

WHY did I mourn the prospects fair,
    That glow'd in life's delightful spring,
All sunk like gusts of passing air,
    And "flown on Sorrow's sable wing ;"

Why did I think that hope was lost,
    Her sweet enchanting visions o'er !
And weep for joy by sadness crost,
    And say 'twould smile for me no more?

Ah ! though my early joys decay'd,
    And sunk in Life's tumultuous stream;
Tho' the gay hopes were doom'd to fade
    That owed their light to Fancy's beam

A thousand prospects, fair as new,
    Now burst upon my ravish'd sight;
A thousand lovely hopes I view,
    Glowing with Truth's effulgence bright.


Page 99

Those fickle beams were shed to fade,
    But these shall never more depart;
Those lightly o'er my bosom play'd.
    These deeply sink within my heart.

O blest Religion ! 'tis to thee
    I owe these feelings all divine !--
Still thou my Sun of splendour be,
    And ever o'er my prospects shine.


Page 100

TO MY SISTERS.

COME, let us roam the mountains o'er,
    And trip the dewy ground,
Bath'd in elysian gales, that pour
    Their streams of freshness round.

Come, let us gaze on Nature's scene;
    And grateful taste from thence
The sweet, the pure delight serene
    Of hope and innocence.

My Friends--my Sisters ! happy we,
    Together thus to dwell,
With Health, Content, and Liberty,
    In Nature's simple cell!

O may our mutual love increase
    With each succeeding day;
And still upon the wings of peace
    Our moments glide away !


Page 101

A COTTAGE SCENE.

GENTLE Eve had blush'd adieu--
Soft the twilight breezes blew;
Faint appear'd the western star,--
O'er the tufted woods afar;
Soon the silver orb of night
Rose majestic on the sight,
From the grove that wav'd before
A Peasant's humble cottage door:
O how tranquil was the hour:
My bosom felt its soothing pow'r;
I paus'd--and silent gaz'd around,
And listen'd for each rural sound.
Low the woodbine-scented breeze
Rustling crept among the trees;
Then I softly gently heard
The twitter of the nestling bird:
While across the forest dell,
Tinkled faint the cattle's bell;


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Soon a strain of music near
Struck with sweet surprise mine ear;
It came from that secluded spot,
The Peasant's lowly peaceful cot,
There the mother sang to rest
The babe she folded on her breast--
It was a hymn, or evening pray'r,
A simple melancholy air;
It spake her tenderness and love,
Her pious hope and trust above.
O there is more of magic found
In such a plaintive artless sound,
More that will touch and melt the heart,
Than all the studied tones of art !

    I saw her kiss her darling's form,
And place it in the cradle warm;
Then, cautious stir her little fire,
To cheer her boy's expected sire:
While oft she listening paus'd, to hear
Whether his well-known step drew near;


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Then to the open'd door she came,
And look'd, and sigh'd her William's name.
Bright was the flame that o'er her face
Flashing disclos'd its artless grace;
But brighter did her smiles appear,
When she beheld his form so dear,
And, with affection's language sweet,
Flew swift his homeward steps to meet.
Ah ! did not that enraptur'd smile
Repay the weary husband's toil ?
Repay--O toil itself will prove
Delight, endur'd for those we love !
And how mistaken then are those?
Who say, that pleasure only glows
Where Fortune spreads her treasures gay--
O 'tis Affection's lovely ray
That brightens all--Affection cold,
Vain are our stores of glitt'ring gold;
They will not teach us to possess
The fleeting form of Happiness.
She, Angel wand'rer from above,
Can ne'er be brib'd to smiles of love;


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    But 'tis in calm Affection's breast
    That most on earth she loves to rest.
    Ah Poverty ! why should we dread
    Thy lone, obscure, and humble shed ?
    How oft beneath its roof are seen
    Content; and Love, and Peace serene,
    And Virtue's undisturb'd repose,
    And all the heaven Devotion knows.
For these, not wealth--my pray'r shall be ;--
Rich blessings these, tho' giv'n with Poverty!


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TO MISS BARTON.

WERE Hope's prophetic eye to close,
    And Faith no longer see
Beyond this dreary scene of woes.
    A blest eternity;

O could I think, that Friendship's flow'r,
    Not half expanded here,
Would wither with Life's little hour,
    Nor there matur'd appear;

Then, dear Maria ! as I dwell
    In mournful thought on thee,
Despair these tears of grief would swell
    To tears of agony.

I trust one day the scene to greet
    Where, all our sorrows o'er,
In union fond our souls shall meet,
    And meet to part no more.


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But here that gentle form of thine
    I never more shall view;
Thy last farewell of love is mine--
    Maria ! oh--adieu.

Prepar'd as thou art to depart,
    I should not wish thy stay;
Be still, my weak, my throbbing heart !
    Ye tears--away, away.


Page 107

WRITTEN DURING A STORM.

CEASE your desolating sound,
    O ye furious winds ! forbear--
Every gust that swells around
    Chills my shuddering heart with fear.

Ah ! the thoughtless time is past
    When I mark'd the rapid flight
Of each wildly rushing blast,
    With romantic gay delight.

When in sportive frolic dance,
    With the gale I skimm'd the plain,
Or would breathlessly advance,
    Laughing at its fury vain.

Often too, in graver mood,
    I have heard the tempest roll,
While a joy sublimely rude
    Has possess'd and charm'd my soul.


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But I cannot listen now
    To the wild, the dreadful sound;
Sad I see the forest bow,
    Mournful mark its groans around.

Fanciful I seem to hear
    Ocean roaring in the storm:
And behold the bark appear,
    Which contains a Brother's form.

Hope had pictur'd scenes of joy
    When he reach'd his native shore--
Should the tempest these destroy !
    --Winds, in pity blow no more.


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1808.


Page [110]


Page 111

FORLORN FEELINGS.

WHERE is the gentle hand to pour
    The balm of Pity o'er my heart !
To sigh its aching sorrows o'er,
    And sacred sympathy impart ?

Ah me ! unfriended and alone,
    I wander through life's scene of woe;
Unheard I breathe the plaintive moan,
    Unseen my tears of anguish flow.

'Tis not that desart scenes are spread
    Around my solitary feet;
No--amid' crouded paths I tread,
    And many a fellow-mortal meet.

But what, alas ! are all to me ?
    The desart lies within my mind--
No glance of sympathy I see,
    No look of pity can I find.


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Oh! I would hide my weary head
    In solitudes the most profound !
With dark impervious shades are spread;
    And silence reigns o'er all around.

Nature would ope her friendly arms;
    And, folded on her shelt'ring breast,
My heart would lose its wild alarms,
    My agonies would sink to rest.

Mistaken thought !--poor wand'rer ! no:
    It is not Nature that can cure
Thy restless deeply cherish'd woe--
    Ah no ! nor teach thee to endure.

The God of Nature--he alone,
    Who form'd the feeling heart, and I knows
Each secret throb--each stifled groan--
    He can relieve its mighty woes.

O did we with that ardent care
    With which we seek each earthly toy,
That glitt'ring dazzles to ensnare,
    And captivates but to destroy;


Page 113

Did we "with bosom free from pride"
    Seek His illuminating light,
He would support, console, and guide--
    And all our ways direct aright.


Page 114

SONNET.

TO CONTENT.

O LEAVE me not, Content ! I cannot bear
    The absence of thy sweet, thy heavenly smile;
'Tis that alone can gild the form of care,
    Can smooth the ruggedness of wearying toil.
Ah ! I have shun'd wild passion's stormy course,
    Left her intoxicating cup of joy,
To drink from thy serene and hallow'd source
    The sweets that know no mingled dark alloy.
Depart not then--but with those angel charms
    That first endear'd thee to my youthful heart,
O Come, and hush these fluttering alarms,
    And all thy peaceful purity impart.
Subdue each rising wish, each feeling rude,
    And reign within my bosom's solitude.


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LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP.

OF Love the raptur'd Poet sings--
    Blooming enchanting as the day;
But ah remember, Love has wings--
    He smiles--and charms--and flits away.

Sweet Friendship, meek and constant Pow'r!
    I'll breathe my tenderest vows to thee;
Thou shalt illume my mortal hour,
    And gild a bright eternity.


Page 116

WRITTEN

THE EVENING BEFORE THE DEPARTURE OF A FRIEND.

AH! bear with you, dear girl! away
    The wishes of a heart sincere,
That ev'ry future rising day
    May crown'd with tranquil bliss appear.

The pleasant hours that I have known
    So late, my gentle Friend, with you,
On silent wings too swiftly flown,
    And now just fading from my view.--

Full oft will Memory linger o'er
    With smile of tenderness and peace;
Ah ! to her dear her treasur'd store
    How fond she welcomes this encrease


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In happy moments bright and gay,
    The thought will livelier joy impart;
And when I bend to sorrow's sway,
    'Twill sooth and cheer my lonely heart.

May you sometimes, Sophia dear !
    In fancy turn these scenes to view;
Rememb'ring her who bids you here
    A sad affectionate adieu.


Page 118

SONG.

ALONE at Twilight's shadowy hour,
    I touch the plaintive lay;
And all resign'd to music's pow'r,
    My soul dissolves away
In visions soft as vernal show'rs,
    And wild and sweet as mountain flow'rs.

Then memory's pictures mild and clear,
    Like moonlight scenes arise:
And images to fancy dear
    Awake affection's sighs;
While Hope her angel smile displays,
    And tells of bright enchanting days.


Page 119

HYMN.

WHEN conscious guilt bedims the eye,
    And fills the heart with sad alarms,
Where can the trembling Sinner fly,
    Ah where, but to the Saviour's arms !

Those gentle arms expanded wide,
    Invite us to his friendly breast;
There may the persecuted hide,
    There may the worn and weary rest.

Oh, take me to that dear embrace !
    Oh ! be thy robe of mercy spread,
And shield, thou source of love and grace!
    Shield from a cruel world my head!


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EVENING IN RETIREMENT.

Down by yonder copse remote,
    Sweet to pass the evening hour;
There resounds each varied note
    That can charm the woodland bow'r;
There the earliest blackbirds sing,
    There the cuckoo first is heard;
And among the blooms of spring
    Warbles there night's favourite bird.

On that old secluded stile,
    By the meadow's flow'ry green,
Whence the distant prospects smile,
Pensively I love to lean:
    List'ning to each rural sound,
Gazing with attentive eyes
    On the lovely scene around,
Glowing earth, and painted skies.


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See the blue hills, soft and clear,
    Round whose base the river strays,
Where the gliding sails appear,
    Tinted by the western rays;
Now half hid among the trees,
    Now emerging to the beam,
As the softly blowing breeze
    Wafts them slowly down the stream.

O, as evening gently fades,
    Sweet the sacred sentiment
That my bosom calm pervades,
    Pious, peaceful, pleas'd, content.
Those long clouds that streak the west,
    I can fancy they convey
To my sympathetic breast
    Thoughts expanded wide as they.

Twilight spreads her pale grey line;
    Brings her stillness and her shade,
And the star that loves to shine
    Lonely o'er yon quiet glade.


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Now awake sweet Music's sound,
    Bid her gentlest murmurs roll,
And in tenderness profound
    Touch the chords within my soul.

How I love the pensive strain,
    Lengthen'd, dying on the ear!
How I cherish the soft pain
    That then gives the thrilling tear !
Absent friends ! then musing thought
    Ever to your memory true,
With affection doubly fraught,
    Brings you to my ling'ring view.

Thus enchanting dreams beguile,
    Homeward as I bend my way:
And the placid moon, the while
    Lights me with her silvery ray.--
O my sweet and tranquil home !
    Thy calm shades oft seem to say
Here contentions never come,
    Here peace holds perpetual sway.


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Nor untrue the whisper'd tale ;--
    Gently sweet our moments move,
Viewless as the passing gale,
    Gliding on the wings of love,
Ah serene, romantic days !
    When ye're gone for ever by,
How will memory love to gaze
    On the prospects ye'll supply !

With these valued favours blest,
    Shall anticipation's pow'r
In dark forms of fancy drest,
    Cloud with gloom the passing hour ?
No--for all these blessings given,
    Let my heart its homage pay;
And with gratitude to heaven
    Close the sweet, the happy day.


Page 124

WRITTEN

ON BEING INVITED FROM HOME.

LET me within these forest shades
    Serenely live, serenely die!
This spot endear'd, which peace pervades,
    Can all my humble wants supply.
While health and cheerfulness are mine,
    While liberty my footsteps guide,
While calm affection's sun-beams shine
    What can I ever wish besides !
Ah why for pleasure should I roam,
When here it glows so pure--so bright--at home!


Page 125

AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF A FRIEND.

SOFT the bud of pleasure spreads,
    Like the rose on yonder tree;
Sweet the fragrance round it sheds,
    Beautiful the tints we see.

But no sooner it appears
    Perfect to admiring eyes,
Than a languid look it wears;
    Ah ! it fades--it droops--it dies.

Yet while o'er its wither'd leaves
    Tears regretfully we pour,
Let us think, tho' Time bereaves,
    He has blessings still in store.

Yes ! tomorrow's Sun will see
    Many a flower expanded fair
On that hedge-row's bending tree,
    Which this evening blooms not there.


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And the sorrowing heart forlorn,
    Weeping now some comfort dead,
On a near approaching morn
    Shall behold another spread.

Still each joy successive blows:
    Here existence has its spring;
Every Sunny beam that glows
    Fresh expanded blooms may bring.

Droop not then my lonely heart,
    Look with hope to future hours;
Heaven will sunshine yet impart,
    Life has yet some budding flow'rs.

And when earthly joys depart,
    There is still a scene on high,
Where the sweets that charm the heart
    Blossom fair--and never die.


Page 127

SONNET.

O TAKE me from the hated haunts of man;
    O hide me on some rock-encompass'd shore,
Where I may spend unseen life's little span,
    And never hear of guilt and misery more
There a Recluse, within some lonely cave,
    I'll read, and watch, and meditate, and pray;
I'll list the murmurs of the rolling wave,
    And mark the rising and the setting ray;
No helpless animals for me shall bleed;
    The hand of nature shall my wants supply--
I'll view them as at liberty they feed,
    And their delight shall be my luxury.
O how I long for solitude like this !
For nature's innocence, and nature's bliss.


Page 128

SONNET.

RECANTATORY TO THE PRECEDING.

AH no--enthusiasm's hour is fled;--
    --Society, ! though many a saddening ill
Abides within the circle of thy tread,
    Yet fondly do I cling unto thee still.
How could I live estrang'd from all mankind:
    How could I bear the desolate remove
From all the sweet communion of the mind--
    The Sympathies of friendship, and of love!--
Rebellious Man in every changing scene
    Must feel th' effect of his primeval crime;--
Ah ! let him sometimes seek the shade serene,
    And sooth his weary soul with thought sublime;--
But 'tis in social life that he must prove
    Trials that fit him for the realms above.


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SONNET.

REPENTANCE, bathe me in thy sea of tears!
    Ah touch my heart with purifying sway;
And let these stains my darken'd conscience bears,
    By thy pale waters all be wash'd away;
Yet how can these remove Guilt's gloomy die!
    Oh how atone for oft repeated sin
Regardless of each warning from on high,
    The call without--the monitor within !--
Redeeming mercy--here alone the thought
    Can rest in hope;--yet come Repentance, come,
With all thy tender melting sorrows fraught,
    And guide this wand'ring heart. unto its home;
And while my own sad erring ways I grieve,
    Ah may I others learn to pity and forgive.


Page 130

SONNET.

O THAT religion in that breast did dwell !--
    See how he leans upon the vessel's side,
    And gloomily surveys the surgy tide.
Could you the meaning of that aspect tell,
Could you behold the heart that bosom hides,
    Its passions tossing like the billows wild,
    Its wishes by no soothing hope beguil'd,
But which impatience ever restless guides;
Ah did each thought perplex'd--each prospect dark--
    Each feeling of despair now meet your sight,
You'd say that Man, "poor helpless driving bark!"
    Needed a pilot to direct him right
On life's tumultuous waves--and waft him o'er
To some more shelter'd and more peaceful shore.


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SENSIBILITY.

AH ! child of sensibility!
The cold world nothing knows of thee !
The charm of sentiment--the thought
With tenderness enchanting fraught--
The bliss which Nature's scenes convey--
The dreams that o'er the spirit stray--
Th' indignant throb--the melting glow--
Devotion's flame--compassion's woe--
These rising on the ardent mind,
No interest congenial find;
But if attention's glance they gain,
Awake derision and disdain.
Ah, child of sensibility !
The cold world nothing knows of thee.

FINIS.


J.M,Creery, Printer,
Fleet-Street.


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