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FROM the moment in which I saw you embark from the pier at Ramsgate, for the expedition to Holland in 1799, till that in which I received accounts of your safe return from Egypt in the present year 1802, I have been too seriously anxious to be poetical on your subject. Now, on the return of peace, I present you with this small volume: you are already acquainted with
part of its contents; but there are some
things in it which you have never seen.
I have great pleasure in dedicating this
publication to a worthy young man, and
a brave soldier; whom I am proud to call
I remain, with sincere esteem,
MY DEAR JOHN,
Your faithful friend,
And very affectionate mother,
ANNE HUNTER. Duke Street, Westminster,
May 22, 1802.
The very favourable reception which has for some years past been given to Lyric Poetry, whether ancient or modern, induces me to offer this small volume to the public, consisting chiefly of Odes, Ballads, and Songs: and I have been further encouraged to take this step, by the success which has attended some of the latter description of composition, already well known to the musical world.a My little book will, I hope, escape the censure of being tedious; what other merit it may have
besides its brevity, and whether its contents will bear to be read, as well as to be sung, my readers must now be left to judge for themselves.
NOW yellow autumn's leafy ruins lie
In faded splendor, on deserted plains,
Far from the madding crowd, alone I fly,
To wake in solitude the mystic strains.
On themes of high import I dare to sing,
While Fate impels my hand to strike the trembling string.
Bright on my harp the meteors gleam,
As through the shades they glancing shine;
Now the winds howl, the night birds scream,
And yelling ghosts the chorus join:
Chimeras dire, from fancy's deepest hell,
Fly o'er yon hallow'd tow'r, and toll the passing bell.
November hears the dismal sound,
As slow advancing from the pole;
He leads the months their wintry round;
See black'ning clouds attendant roll,
Where frowns a giant band, the sons of care,
Dark thoughts, presages fell, and comfortless despair!
O'er Britain's isle they spread their wings,
And shades of death dismay the land;
November wide his mantle flings,
And lifting high his vengeful hand,
Hurls down the demon Spleen, with pow'rs combin'd,
To check the springs of life, and crush the enfeebled mind.
His drear dominion he maintains,
Beneath a cold inclement sky;
While noxious fogs, and drizzling rains,
On Nature's sick'ning bosom lie.
The op'ning rose of youth untimely fades,
And Hope's fair friendly light beams dimly thro' the shades.
Now prowls abroad the ghastly fiend,
Fell Suicide, whom Frenzy bore;
His brows with writhing serpents twin'd;
His mantle steep'd in human gore!
The livid flames around his eye-balls play,
Stern Horror stalks before, and Death pursues his way!
Hark! is not that the fatal stroke?
See where the bleeding victim lies;
The bonds of social feeling broke,
Dismay'd the frantic spirit flies:
Creation starts, and shrunken Nature views
Appall'd the blow, which heav'n's first right subdues.
Behold! the weight of woes combin'd,
A woman has the power to scorn;
Her infant race to shame consign'd,
A name disgrac'd, a fortune torn,
She meets resolv'd; and combating despair,
Supports alone the ills a coward durst not share.
On languid Luxury and Pride
The subtle fiend employs his spell;
Where selfish, sordid passions bide,
Where weak impatient spirits dwell;
Where thought oppressive from itself would fly,
And seeks relief from time in dark eternity.
Far from the scenes of guilt and death
My wearied spirit seeks to rest;
Why sudden stops my struggling breath,
Why heaves so strong my aching breast?
Hark! sounds of horror sweep the troubled glade!
Far on a whirlwind borne the fatal month is fled!
I watch'd his flight, and saw him bear
To Saturn's orb the sullen band;
Where winter chills the ling'ring year,
And gloom eternal shades the land.
On a lone rock, far in a stormy main,
In cheerless prison pent, I heard the ghosts complain.
Some power unseen denies my verse
The hallow'd veil of fate to rend;
Now sudden blasts the sounds disperse,
And Fancy's inspirations end:
While rushing winds in wild discordance jar,
Old Hyem calls the storms around his icy car.
LET courtly bards, in courtly lay,
Invoke the muse on New Year's day,
Prophetic, future times unfold,
Or tell again the tales of old;
For me, I sing, in strains sincere,
A grateful tribute due to the departed year.
Glad I behold our native isle
In wealth, in peace, in honours smile;
The balance hold with steady hand,
And discord cease at her command:
The dogs of war compell'd to wait,
And Janus close again his half unfolded gate.
I love the months whose calm career
Have left me what my heart holds dear;
They gave me health, and peace, and ease;
Who would not sing for gifts like these?
With me, the sense must still remain,
And mark this polish'd link of time's eternal chain.
Time, the consoler, slowly brings
Peace on his variegated wings;
He steals away the rose, 'tis true,
But then the thorn is blunted too;
Before him hope's illusions fly,
And all imagination's vain chimeras die.
The bitter griefs, the fleeting joys,
Which fancy's busy power employs,
To retrospective reason seem
The phantoms of a troubled dream:
The feverish vision fades away,
And leaves the soul in peace its tenement of clay.
I view the social circle round,
And ev'ry well known face is found.
My heart expands within my breast,
Each selfish, gloomy care at rest,
Joyful I sing, in strains sincere,
Praise to the Power Supreme, who guides the circling year.
SWEET Fancy, let me sing thy praise,
Thou kind companion of my days,
Through infancy and youth;
O let me, in a riper age,
Thy fairy favours still engage,
And blend thy charms with truth.
Gift of kind heav'n, dear wand'ring sprite,
'Tis thou canst opposites unite,
And pleasures mix with pain;
Without thy aid, the sons of art
To charm the eye, or touch the heart,
Shall toil, and toil in vain.
To warm, to polish, and refine
The judgment and the taste, are thine,
To aid where knowledge fails;
How exquisite thy finer sense,
How far beyond the vain pretence,
Where letter'd pride prevails!
Through the dim eye thy piercing ray
Beamsa on the mind a brighter day,
Where genius stands confess'd;
'Tisb thine to light the prison's gloom,
'Tisc thine to live beyond the tomb,
In fond affection's breast.
Thy art can on the moon's beam send
The heart's warm wish from friend to friend,
Through air and ocean's waste,
And on some bright unchanging star,
Though absent long, and distant far,
Remembrance may be plac'd.
'Tis happiness to dwell with thee;
Whate'er we think, whate'er we see,
Glows with a brighter dye;
All nature wears a lively green,
The heav'ns expand a blue serene,
And man forgets to sigh.
Or should a sigh unbidden rise,
On thy light wing the vagrant flies,
To seek some tender woe,
Our better feelings to awake,
Teaching for love, for pity's sake,
Delicious tears to flow.
Nor wealth can buy, nor pow'r command,
One circle from thy magic wand,
To charm the phantom care;
Born with the soul, thy living light
Beams forth in wayward fortune's spite,
Nor deigns her gifts to share.
Parent of hope, love's truest friend,
Without thee all our joys would end,
And dull existence fade:
'Tis thine to gild the darkest scene
Of poverty, restraint, or pain,
In life's obscurest shade.
Let me then still thy dreams pursue,
For ever bright, for ever new,
Time's tangled path to cheer;
Let me believe I still may find
The warm, sincere, congenial mind,
And meet LA DOUCE CHIMERE.
WHEN the awaken'd soul receives
The first impression fancy gives,
Temper'd by soft affection's reign,
Sweet are the days of pleasing pain.
But, ah ! they fly, fly never to return,
And leave the aching heart their transient charms to mourn.
What magic shall the muse employ
Back to recall departed joy?
Alas! the time returns no more,
Nor hope herself can e'er restore
Those smiling years when, with fresh roses bound,
She led the fairy hours their gay fantastic round.
Hope flies with youth, and leaves to age
The wintry tempest to engage.
The leaves are fallen, the branches torn,
On the wild blast behold them born
Far distant, while the shatter'd trunk remains
Cover'd with hoary frost, amidst deserted plains.
' Vain insects of a summer's day,'
The pow'r of nature seems to say,
' Expect not long unclouded hours;
Soon rushing winds and beating show'rs
Your pastimes end; and fortune, still at strife,
Disturbs with ceaseless change the dream of human life.'
Friendship alone remains sublime,
She rises o'er the wreck of time;
Unmix'd her purer joys we share,
No selfish passion rankles there;
Balm for the wounded heart's corroding woes,
Peace to the wearied spirit's final, solemn close.
In recollection's pensive hour,
When tender thoughts the past restore,
Then friendship reunites again:
The scatter'd traces which remain
Delights each fond remembrance still to save,
And plucks the envious weed from lost affection's grave.
DEAR tranquil shades, where freedom reigns,
Where calm content has fix'd her seat,
Lost to the world, its joys, its pains,
With thee I find a safe retreat;
The shafts of scorn or envy fail,
Alike, to reach my peaceful vale.
'Tis here with friendship's soothing smile
The gentle charities appear,
With converse sweet the hours beguile,
And steal away the frowning year;
To you, ye kind affections hail!
Most welcome to my peaceful vale.
Though torn from those delightful ties
Which hold the heart to life and light,
Remembrance still the loss supplies,
And fancy gives them to my sight;
Her dear delusive powers prevail,
And oft they bless my peaceful vale.
The treasur'd heaps of ancient lore,
The page where modern genius plays,
For me shall spread their boundless store,
And fill with varying thought my days;
Perhaps the muse by twilight pale
May deign to seek my peaceful vale.
Thus far from pride of wealth and show,
Thus far from poverty and care,
I walk unseen, nor wish to know
A joy the heart disdains to share;
Let others spread the vent'rous sail,
I quit no more my peaceful vale.
DELAINY, far from courtly art,
My free lyre vibrates to my heart
The simple notes of truth;
I joy to see thy virtuous age
With honours crown'd, a fair presage
For well deserving youth.
I joy to see desert repaid,
And talents cherish'd in the shade,
Unchill'd by evening's dew;
Bright glows for thee thy setting sun,
And ere thy mortal race is run,
The goal appears in view.
Born in a fair auspicious hour,
To mark thy lot the ruling pow'r
Both wit and worth assign'd;
Gave thee to pass thy early days
With genius, whose congenial rays
Still animate thy mind.
Nor has thy guardian spirit fled,
But still by steps unerring led
To honour and repose;
For in fair Windsor's royal seat
Thy virtues find a calm retreat,
And wait their final close.
Low hung the louring clouds of fate,
And thy soul sicken'd with regret
O'er friendship's sacred tomb;
'Twas in that hour of aching thought
The cares of royal bounty sought
To dissipate the gloom.
Sweet the delight of gen'rous deeds,
When from the heart the wish proceeds,
Warm, noble, and refin'd;
How exquisite the grateful sense
Of heav'n-born, pure benevolence
Upon the feeling mind!
Happy who thus have pow'r to give,
Who thus with honour may receive,
What just esteem bestows;
While from the starry realms above
The powers beneficent approve
The source from whence it flows.
ILL-fated youth! thy ardent soul
Aim'd at the heights of deathless fame,
Sprang from beneath the world's controul,
And seiz'd unknown a poet's name.
O that some friendly hand had deign'd to guide
Thy genius in its course! and sooth'd thy erring pride.
I mark thy muse; her gothic lyre
Well suits the legendary lay;
While darting from her eyes of fire
She beams a visionary day:
Bright as the magic torch she early gave
To light thy vent'rous way, through fancy's secret cave.
There, as she taught thee to behold
Imagin'd deeds of distant years,
Embattled knights and barons bold,
Great Ella's griefs, or Juga's tears;
Rapid as thought arose the glowing scene,
Till poverty, despair, and death, rush'd in between.
Poet sublime! although no sculptur'd urn,
No monumental bust thy ashes grace;
No fair inscription teaches whom to mourn,
No cypress shades the consecrated place,
Thy name shall live on time's recording page,
The wonder and reproach of an enlighten'd age.
OF thee, dear boy, the muse shall sing,
With joy she strikes the tuneful string,
To hail thy natal hour;
And O may lasting be the joy,
Nor, as the man suceeeds the boy,
The fruit disgrace the flower!
Still warm and tender be thy heart,
To honour true, devoid of art,
The wisdom of the weak;
Still gen'rous, feeling, and sincere,
Give misery the melting tear,
And joy the glowing cheek.
The gliding years move swiftly on,
And thy third lustre almost gone,
New cares appear in view,
Behold the world's eventful stage;
Where talents in a riper age
Must future hopes pursue.
But he who excellence attains,
Toils up the steep, the summit gains,
Nor shrinks from burning skies,
Nor loiters in the midway shade,
But climbs with firm and steady tread
Where rocks successive rise.
Till now thou hast but wander'd wild,
A giddy, thoughtless, playful child,
In sport around the base;
'Tis time to try the mountain's side,
And search with manly, honest pride
A more distinguish'd place.
Court then the muse, her magic pow'r
Can shorten many a ling'ring hour
Through life's uneven way;
While science, by those laws divine
Which guide to truth's eternal shrine,
Shall clear thy mental day.
Go on, dear boy! 'tis virtue leads;
He that determines half succeeds,
Nor obstacles can move:
Seek useful knowledge, honest fame,
Do honour to an honour'd name,
And well thy race approve.
O think! what joy my heart shall know,
How bright th' expiring lamp shall glow,
When quiv'ring o'er the tomb,
If, in the ev'ning of my days,
I live to hear thy well earn'd praise,
And see thy honours bloom.
If life's decline should be so bless'd,
How satisfy'd shall shrink to rest
Thy mother and thy friend;
For well the Grecian sage defin'd
The happiest lot of human kind,
So fortunate an end.d
NOW twice the spring, with flowrets gay,
Hath 'broider'd o'er her mantle green,
And twice the merry month of May
With hawthorn deck'd the vernal scene,
Since I in tuneful numbers hail'd the morn
When thou, my heart's dear boy, in happy hour wast born.
Nor had I miss'd the annual song,
When June return'd with roses crown'd;
But rising sorrow check'd my tongue,
And cloudy care hung low'ring round,
While in the gloomy shades of threat'ning death
I watch'd thy flutt'ring pulse, and fear'd thy parting breath.
How exquisite the anxious woe,
The agonizing bitter grief,
Maternal love alone can know,
'Midst glim'ring hopes of slow relief;
The cruel kindness of the healing art,
And those dim joyless smiles which rend the bursting heart!
Dear be those cares, to mem'ry dear,
Which sav'd thee from an early grave;
And ever bless'd the genial year,
The milder sky, the briny wave,
The healthful gale, which fading life restores,
Where the smooth swelling tide laves Hampton's happy shores.
Nor sav'd in vain: O still pursue
The path where truth unerring leads,
Where reason early may subdue
The wild desires which fancy feeds;
Circean charms, that with a magic force
Impel the feeble mind through youth's insensate course.
Go on, dear boy, exert each pow'r
On time's rich treasures to improve;
And may the slowly ripening hour,
Pass'd in the academic grove,
Strength to thy mind with ancient lore impart,
And judgment firm to guide a warm and feeling heart.
O THOU so dear! whose wand'ring star
Leaves sad maternal love to mourn,
Now chain'd to fierce Bellona's car,
Say, does no thought of home return?
Of me, beneath a sky so dark and drear,
Where fortune drives the storm, and sorrow clouds the year?
But rising from the stroke of fate,
I seize the long neglected lyre;
Warm at my heart new hopes dilate,
For thee new wishes they inspire;
The sullen weeds of woe I cast away,
And sweep the sounding chords to hail thy natal day.
Thy boyish years to manhood brought,
Bless'd be the harvest's happy time!
And O, may firm collected thought
With judgment mark thy ripen'd prime!
May fair desert, with smiling fortune, crown
Thy long succeeding years with honour and renown.
If with obscurity to dwell
Be mine in unfrequented bow'rs,
While fancy tunes her airy shell,
While friendship gilds the quiet hours,
Content may well her peaceful calm impart,
And soft affections still twine round my throbbing heart.
While thou, dear object of my care,
Must still the busy world explore,
May thou its smiles propitious share,
Till the gay pageant charms no more;
Then when existence verges to its close,
In friendship, filial love, and tranquil hope repose.
THOUGH fancy and her airy train
From sad experience fly away,
The heart's affections still remain,
And hail with joy this welcome day.
Again with roses newly blown
I crown the long neglected lyre,
I strike the chords for thee alone,
And tender thoughts the strains inspire.
Through boyish days, a giddy youth,
I watch'd thy course with anxious eyes,
Have mark'd thy honour, virtue, truth,
Grow with thy growth, to manhood rise.
And now may ev'ry future year
The promise of the past fulfil,
While to my heart for ever dear,
From absence, distance, dearer still.
DEAR to my heart as life's warm stream,
Which animates this mortal clay,
For thee I court the waking dream,
And deck with smiles the future day;
And thus beguile the present pain
With hopes that we shall meet again.
Yet will it be, as when the past
Twin'd ev'ry joy, and care, and thought,
And o'er our minds one mantle cast
Of kind affections finely wrought?
Ah no! the groundless hope were vain,
For so we ne'er can meet again !
May he who claims thy tender heart
Deserve its love, as I have done!
For, kind and gentle as thou art,
If so belov'd, thou'rt fairly won.
Bright may the sacred torch remain,
And cheer thee till we meet again!
WHY from these shades, sweet bird of eve,
Art thou to other regions wildly fled?
Thy pensive song would oft my cares relieve,
Thy melancholy softness oft would shed
Peace on my weary soul: return again,
Return, and, sadly sweet, in melting notes complain.
At the still hour I'll come alone,
And listen to thy love-lorn plaintive lay;
Or when the moon beams o'er yon mossy stone,
I'll watch thy restless wing from spray to spray,
And when the swelling cadence slow shall rise,
I'll join the harmony with low and murm'ring sighs.
Oh, simple bird! where art thou flown?
What distant woodland now receives thy nest?
What distant echo answers to thy moan,
What distant thorn supports thy aching breast?
Whoe'er can feel thy misery like me,
Or pay thee for thy song with such sad sympathy?
QUEEN of inventive thought, thy dreams
Have mark'd the colour of my fate;
Still lend thy lightly quivering beams,
Guide me through wilds untrodden yet;
Lead me where dim the days of old
Their dark historic page unfold,
Thy power alone can time subdue,
Retrace his pathless way, and bring the past to view.
On the gigantic phantom flies,
His waving pinions bright appear,
But o'er his track deep shadows rise,
And darkness closes on his rear.
Imperial realms, the world's proud boast,
In the oblivious shade are lost;
Pomp, wealth, and pow'r he sweeps away,
The muse alone withstands his arbitrary sway.
As through the deep uncertain gloom
I watch the ruins of the past,
Search the pale records of the tomb,
And mark faint traces while they last;
In pensive musing oft I stray,
When ev'ning spreads her mantle gray,
And floating in her train appear
The shades of many a long departed year.
Methinks I pass the foaming deep,
Where Victus rears his verdanta head;
Be still, ye winds, ye waters, sleep,
Again those favour'd shores I tread,
Again his fertile fields behold,
Waving in vegetable gold;
Again my eager steps are bent
To view the ruin'd tow'r and mould'ring battlement.
Nor shall thy charms my thoughts detain,
Medina, on thy tuftedb side,
Thou green-hair'd daughter of the main,
Whose urn receives the rushing tide;
O'er heath and hill, through winding dale,
I seek the stream, I seek the vale,
Where o'er the hamlet's humble bowers,
Lone Carisbrook, appear thy long-unguarded towers.c
Slow up the hill, my footsteps trace
The peaceful bastion's silent way,
While on the ruin's awful face
Still faintly gleams departing day.
Methinks I pause, a secret dread
Howls in the blast around my head,
And fearful I my path pursue,
Till nightfall's gloomy shade obscures my aching view.
Beneath the ramparts broken side,
Hark, melancholy night-birds call!
While distant echoes faintly chide,
And darkness drops her sable pall.
Now in the portal way I stand,
Where fancy waves her potent wand,
Till forms unknown, unnumber'd rise,
And ages long forgotten swim before my eyes.
Hark! sure I heard the loud rebound
As open flew the iron gate,
Yon towers return the sullen sound,
Where high they frown in idle state;
Behold with haughty mien advance,
High waves his plume, bright beams his lance,
An armed knight, of royal race,
From Withgar's ancient line the genius of the place.d
Through his dim form yon trembling star
Gleams, as I see the spectre stand;
Pale shadow of the sons of war,
Why dost thou wave thy nerveless hand?
Again he beckons; I obey,
And follow where he leads the way;
Up time-worn steps with briars o'ergrown,
I mount the lofty keep with force till now unknown.
" Behold (he cried) those rising forms
Of Britain's ancient sons appear,
'Mid ages rude, and threat'ning storms,
They rais'd a savage bulwark here,
When bold to wage unequal war,e
The Roman eagle came from far,
And from his piercing eye-ball throws
A light before unknown amidst his vanquish'd foes.
" 'Tis past with time, new powers prevail,
The walls in form embattled rise;
Behold the Saxon cas'd in mail,f
His sinewy arm, his giant size;
A royal chief, he pants for fame,
And gives the fort his mighty name.
Vain was the warrior's haughty boast,
His towers are fall'n to dust, and e'en their name is lost.
" A sudden radiance beams around,
New works arise 'midst war's alarms,
Earl Baldwin bravely keeps his ground,g
A female cause his courage arms;
While hope remains he courts the fight,
And proves a bold and loyal knight;
The tyrant's power at length prevails,
Nor Maud's imperial rights, nor valour aught avails.
" No more the pond'rous feudal yoke
The crouching vassal shall sustain;
Now and for ever crush'd and broke
The petty tyrant's galling chain;
But ere the sun of freedom's day
Darts forth its bright meridian ray,
Dark storms his genial powers controul,
And willingly I close the deep ensanguin'd scroll.
" Years follow years, slow rolling on,
Like fleecy clouds before the wind,
No daring deeds of valour done,
No record meets the searching mind,
Till on this spot a monarch's fateh
Stain'd with disgrace Britannia's state;
When civil discord shakes her brand
Dark treason wields the ax, and faction fires the land.
" Unhappy man, ill-fated prince!
What star malignant mark'd thy birth?
The virtues of thy soul evince
Worth to improve and grace the earth;
But by mistaken maxims led,
Thy faults were of opinion bred,
And form'd by links unseen the chain
Of sad disastrous chance that clos'd in blood thy reign.
" Why didst thou seek this luckless strand,
Where for thy life the toils were spread?
Hypocrisy rul'd o'er the land,
Good faith and gratitude were fled;
Yet still a loyal few remain'd,i
Whose hearts allegiance true maintain'd:
But fate forbad their hope to save,
And led thee through a maze of sorrow to the grave.
" Here melancholy mark'd the day,k
And solitude with care combin'd,
To give each sad reflection way
That preys upon a feeling mind:
Flattery no more, in courtly guise,
Bade vain self-love's illusions rise,
Known to himself, the man remain'd,
Religious hope alone his sinking soul sustain'd.l
" When the fell ruffian band appear'd,
To bear him o'er the briny wave,
Alas! no tempest interfer'd,
No pitying power arose to save;
But yet he felt the kindly powerm
Of friendship in that trying hour;
And with a faithful subject left
A pledge of gratitude, of all things else bereft.
" Within these walls hard-hearted pride
Spurn'd at the monarch's fallen state,
And tyranny the shaft would guide,
That aggravates the ills of fate.
A princess, in life's early bloom,n
Descends a captive to the tomb;
With thorns her couch of death is strewn,
Denied a parent's care, unpitied, and alone.
" Fair blossom of a hapless race!
Doom'd in a prison's gloom to fall,
Death sav'd thee from more foul disgrace,o
Beneath his dark and sacred pall;
In innocence and blameless youth,
Unsullied by the rancorous tooth
Of fiendlike malice, thy last hour
Was peace and heav'n to his who thus abus'd his power.p
" Sad monument of ruthless deeds,
A ruin shall these walls remain;
No hero hence his phalanx leads,
To guard the hills or scour the plain:
But while the world is wrap'd in sleep,
My visionary watch I keep,
Or guide some poet's wand'ring eye
In time's forgotten way thro' dim obscurity."
He ceas'd; while quick I drew my breath
The gloomy spectre by me swept;
I shudder'd at the scenes of death,
And with indignant sorrow wept.
Sure dastard fear must have supprest
The groan which heav'd a nation's breast:
'Tis ours in happier times to prove
The monarch's safety in his people's love.q
STILL as the circling months successive climb,
With ling'ring footsteps, up the steep of time,
Bleak February frowns in his return,
And crowns with cypress a sepulchral urn.
For me he still a mournful aspect wears,
And still receives the tribute of my tears.
Are not the ills enough which time supplies,
To check the dawning comforts in their rise?
Must memory too the present evils aid,
And tinge with darker hues life's deep'ning shade?
Must woes on woes accumulated roll,
And cloud with care the sunshine of the soul?
Such is our wretched lot, ill-fated kind!
Our thread of life with misery entwin'd;
Capricious fortune's sport, or passion's slave;
Till peace takes root, and blossoms on the grave.
Can I forget the days of anxious pain,
When that dear angel form I watch'd in vain?
Can I forget the agonizing hour
When those lov'd eyes were clos'd, to wake no more ?
Ah, no ! revolving years in vain depart,
The traces still remain upon my heart!
When lost in grief, my eyes refus'd a tear,
Instinctive fondness sought his silent bier,
Hope whisper'd, 'sure he sleeps,' I wildly press'd
The lovely image to my aching breast,
And felt the fearful chill of nature's awful rest.
Now I can weep, and oft in thought recall
The closing scene, the coffin, and the pall.
The solemn knell of death, I heard it toll;
How heavily it struck my wounded soul!
'Tis long since past; forgetfulness has spread
Her misty mantle o'er unnumber'd dead;
But fond affection lingers in the gloom;
Near the dim lamp that glimmers o'er the tomb
She graves with trembling hand the mournful rhyme,
Where memory recalls departed time,
Brings back in one short hour the dream of years,
And sprinkles on the grave a mother's tears.
IF ere the moment should arrive,
Which hope herself despairs to see,
Fortune, thy suppliant shall strive
To raise a votive pile to thee.
BONA FORTUNA shall be plac'd
In golden letters round the dome,
The weary pilgrim there shall rest,
And wait for happier days to come.
A curious lamp of bold design,
With emblematic sculpture crown'd,
Shall burn before thy sacred shrine,
And cast its cheering rays around.
It shall be form'd of silent tears,
Slow dropping in the cave of care,
Through the cold gloom of ling'ring years
Congeal'd to crystal by despair.
It shall be wrought with tales of woe,
Where Fortune turn'd the adverse tide,
And taught the stream of chance to flow
In channels hope herself denied.
There expectation's light shall burn,
And watchful faith the flame preserve;
If doubts and fears perchance return,
Hope shall have patience in reserve.
Bright lambent flame ! till death shall end
This mortal coil, and sorrow cease,
Thy beams shall consolation lend,
And light us on the way to peace.
O goddess Fortune, from thine eyes
The mystic fillet straight unbind,
See what thy random power denies,
And own thyself unjust and blind.
O Friend too dearly lov'd, O name ador'd!
My fancy's idol, and my reason's lord!
In vain a powerful duty bids us part,
Thou still art present to this bleeding heart.
Could the light breeze beyond the mountains bear
The sighs of anguish, and the silent tear;
Could my sad thoughts be present to thy mind,
Where thy idea with my life is twin'd,
E'en thou content, wouldst own I stand the test,
And well deserve the heart I have possess'd.
Dull ling'ring time creeps sad and slowly on,
Health fades, and youth with all its charms are gone:
But love remains unfaded, unimpair'd,
Where hope's enchanting voice was never heard;
Yet restless wishes, ever anxious cares,
All she can feel who loves, and who despairs,
Were fair delights, compar'd to that dark hour,
When doubt shall whisper, ' thou art lov'd no more.'
O let me sink in earth, that pang to save,
And 'scape distraction in the friendly grave!
By the wan lustre of the moon's pale beam,
I weave in fancy's loom the waking dream;
And now, methinks, the debt of nature paid,
This agitated heart at peace is laid,
A frozen clod, by death's cold hand comprest,
Each quiv'ring nerve and throbbing pulse at rest;
I mark the mourning train, I hear the knell,
Which bids the busy world a last farewell:
Then, clad in weeds of woe, I see thee come,
For calumny shall slumber o'er the tomb,
And frowning virtue shall forgive the tear
Which falls on lost affection's sacred bier.
With quick and troubled step I hear thee tread
The dreary chambers of the silent dead;
A gleaming torch directs thy eager eyes
To where thy Laura's clay-cold image lies;
I see thy bosom heave, I hear thy bursting sighs,
The grief thy fancied form before me wears,
Gives comfort to my heart, though steep'd in tears;
And guarded thus within fair honour's line,
Such misery has charms for souls like mine;
Thus to be lov'd, in anguish and despair,
Is bliss beyond the joys a giddy world can share.
O Power of fancy, from thy treasur'd store
Of past delights, which smile on earth no more,
Give to my aching heart the hour again,
When first it learnt to beat with sweet impassion'd pain.
All else seems tasteless, vain, and lost to me,
But those dear moments, Petrarch, pass'd with thee,
When from thy eyes the subtle softness stole
Into this throbbing breast, and seiz'd my captive soul.
Return enchanting looks and tender sighs,
Again in fancy's fairy vision rise;
Again methinks our falt'ring tongues declare
A hopeless passion, born and nourish'd in despair.
In sympathy we met; but sullen fate
Mix'd with its sweets the bitter of regret;
We met to love, to suffer, and to part,
And bear thro' tedious life a sad divided heart.
COME, tender thoughts, with twilight's pensive gloom,
Come, tender thoughts, and sooth the soul of care,
Soften remembrance, mitigate despair,
And cast a gleam of comfort o'er the tomb.
Methinks again the days and years return
When joy was young, and careless fancy smil'd,
When hope with promises the heart beguil'd,
When love illum'd the world, and happiness was born.
Where are ye fled, dear moments of delight!
And thou, O best belov'd! alas, no more
The future can the faded past restore;
Sunk in the shade of time's eternal night,
For me remains alone, through ling'ring years,
The melancholy muse, companion of my tears.
BEHOLD the gloomy tyrant's awful form
Binding the captive earth in icy chains;
His chilling breath sweeps o'er the wat'ry plains,
Howls in the blast, and swells the rising storm.
See from its centre bends the rifted tower,
Threat'ning the lowly vale with frowning pride,
O'er the scar'd flocks that seek its shelt'ring side,
A fearful ruin o'er their heads to pour.
While to the cheerful hearth and social board
Content and ease repair, the sons of want
Receive from niggard fate their pittance scant;
And where some shed bleak covert may afford,
Wan poverty, amidst her meagre host,
Casts round her haggard eyes, and shivers at the frost.
TIME may ambition's nest destroy,
Though on a rock 'tis perch'd so high,
May find dull av'rice in his cave,
And drag to light the sordid slave;
But from affection's temper'd chain
To free the heart he strives in vain.
The sculptur'd urn, the marble bust,
By time are crumbled with the dust;
But tender thoughts the muse has twin'd
For love, for friendship's brow design'd,
Shall still endure, shall still delight,
Till time is lost in endless night.
O Thou, who in a weak disjointed age
Dar'st in the cause of science to engage,
May fame and honour crown thy bold design,
And olive wreaths thy victor-brows entwine.
High above envy may thy name be plac'd,
A roman spirit with true attic taste.
Born to achieve a glory of thy own,
To rise unaided, and to shine alone;
Thy genius takes its elevated stand
Above the level of thy native land,
Grasping at once beyond the world's controul,
The painter's fancy, and the poet's soul;
Reflection guided by thy mimic power,
Commands whole ages in one fleeting hour.
From Thrace to Britain marks the rising beam
Of slow progressive arts o'er time's still flowing stream.
'Tis thine to bear us to those bless'd abodes
Where virtue and desert approach the gods;
Where beings of free thought and kindred mould
Unfading intercourse of friendship hold,
And the pure, endless, universal mind,
Beams in benevolence on human kind;
There, plac'd by judgment in the fairest light,
Each excellence appears distinctly bright;
Divine philosophy, the muse's art,
What forms the mind, what purifies the heart;
All that can touch the soul with living fire,
The love of honest fame, or elegant desire.
May some more favour'd bard thy work rehearse,
With all the energy of Pindar's verse;
While I, constrain'd to droop the trembling wing,
Rejoice in triumphs, I despair to sing;
And mark well pleas'd thy genius in its rise,
Thro' envious clouds, to clear untroubled skies.
DEAR friend, for thee, through ev'ry changing year,
Unchang'd affection draws the tie more near;
Treasure most precious, dearest to the heart,
Increas'd in value as the rest depart.
Tho' kindred bonds may break, and love must fade,
Friendship still brightens in the deep'ning shade.
Time, silent and unseen, pursues his course,
And wearied nature sickens at her source.
Methinks I see the season onward roll,
When age, like winter, comes to chill the soul:
I tremble at that pow'r's resistless sway
Who bears the flowers and fruit of life away.
Sudden to cease, or gently to decline,
O, Power of Mercy! may the lot be mine:
Let me not linger on the verge of fate,
Nor weary duty to its utmost date;
Losing, in pain's impatient gloom confin'd,
Freedom of thought, and dignity of mind;
Till pity views untouch'd the parting breath,
And cold indiff'rence adds a pang to death.
Yet if to suffer long my doom is past,
Let me preserve this temper to the last:
O let me still from self my feelings bear,
To sympathise with sorrow's starting tear,
Nor sadden at the smile which joy bestows,
Though far from me her beam ethereal glows:
Let me remember, in the gloom of age,
To smile at follies happier youth engage;
See them fallacious, but indulgent spare
The fairy dreams experience cannot share.
Nor view the rising morn with jaundice eye,
Because for me no more the sparkling moments fly.
SAY, shall the muse, the muse to Seward dear,
Fail to the mournful rites her aid to lend?
Refuse to place a chaplet on his bier,
Or give a tear to her departed friend ?
Ah no; she weeps ! for in thy silent grave
The kindly mild affections wake no more;
Cold is that heart, where bounteous nature gave
Of warm benevolence her richest store.
Those powers by nature given, by time improv'd,
Still to some fair, some honest purpose led;
To cherish modest worth thy spirit lov'd,
To raise dejected merit's drooping head.
The pride of learning, wit's resplendent ray,
The powers of genius, dazzling as they shine,
Before thy social virtues fade away,
Nor shall their loss be felt, or mourn'd like thine.
OF soul too high to act a dubious part,
With modest talents, and a feeling heart;
While worth and honour our respect shall claim,
Rever'd shall be thy fair unspotted name.
I Sigh, and lament me in vain,
These walls can but echo my moan;
Alas! it increases my pain,
To think of the days that are gone.
Through the grates of my prison I see
The birds as they wanton in air;
My heart, how it pants to be free,
My looks they are wild with despair.
Ye roofs, where cold damps and dismay
With silence and solitude dwell;
How comfortless passes the day,
How sad tolls the evening bell!
The owls from the battlements cry,
Hollow winds seem to murmur around,
' O Mary, prepare thee to die!'
My blood it runs cold at the sound.
Unchang'd by the rigors of fate,
I burn with contempt for my foes,
Though fortune has clouded my state,
This hope shall enlighten its close.
False woman! in ages to come
Thy malice detested shall be;
And when we are cold in the tomb,
The heart still shall sorrow for me.
THROUGH dreary wilds forlorn I go
When loud the storms of winter blow;
On me they waste their rage in vain,
For I can feel nor joy nor pain.
My sheep, companions kind and true,
Yes, I can feel a pang for you;
Come gather round, and I will keep
The watch, and sing while you shall sleep.
Ah, these were once my lover's care,
Of all the flock he held them dear;
With me they left their native fold,
And brav'd the winds of winter cold.
They follow wheresoe'er I lead,
And while I sit and see them feed,
Methinks the sunny days return
Ere yet my heart had learnt to mourn.
To mourn a father's cruel pride,
By whose rash hand my lover died;
O cruel, cruel was the deed,
That caus'd so kind a heart to bleed.
O youth belov'd, thy voice no more
Can peace to my sad soul restore;
To seek thy native hills I fly,
Where thou wert born I go to die!
THE sun sets in night, and the stars shun the day,
But glory remains when their lights fade away:
Begin, you tormentors ! your threats are in vain,
For the son of Alknomook will never complain.
Remember the arrows he shot from his bow,
Remember your chiefs, by his hatchet laid low:
Why so slow? do you wait till I shrink from the pain?
No; the son of Alknomook shall never complain.
Remember the wood, where in ambush we lay,
And the scalps which we bore from your nation away:
Now the flame rises fast; you exult in my pain;
But the son of Alknomook can never complain.
I go to the land where my father is gone,
His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son:
Death comes like a friend to relieve me from pain;
And thy son, O Alknomook, has scorn'd to complain.
THE idea of this ballad was suggested several years ago by hearing a gentleman, who had resided several years in America amongst the tribe or nation called the Cherokees, sing a wild air, which he assured me it was customary for those people to chaunt with a barbarous jargon, implying contempt for their enemies in the moments of torture and death. I have endeavoured to give something of the characteristic spirit and sentiment of those brave savages. We look upon the fierce and stubborn courage of the dying indian with a mixture of respect, pity, and horror; and it is to those sensations excited in the mind of the reader, that the Death Song must owe its effect.
It has already been published with the notes to which it was adapted.
AS on the transport's dusky side
Young William stood with folded arms,
Silent he watch'd the rising tide,
The loud wind fill'd him with alarms.
Not for himself he knew to fear,
But for one dearer far than life;
Nancy, in parting doubly dear,
His tender bride, his faithful wife.
She still had hop'd to share his fate,
To sooth him in affliction's hour;
On all his wand'ring steps to wait,
And give the comfort in her power.
But chance denied the wish'd-for prize,
The envied lot another drew;
Now sorrow dim'd her sleepless eyes,
And to despair her sorrow grew.
But when the shouting seamen strove
To tow the vessel on its way,
Wak'd from despair by anxious love,
She rush'd along the crowded quay.
The sails unfurl'd, as gliding round,
The parting cheers still louder grew,
She flew, and with a fearful bound
Drop'd in her William's arms below.
COME, ye wild winds, that round the welkin fly,
Bear the sad Lelia on your wings of air,
Then shall she downward cast a pitying eye
On all the troubled sons of toilsome care.
I had a friend, she prov'd unkind;
I had a love, he prov'd untrue;
Where they are fled, I cannot find;
A dark dark cloud obscures my view.
Hark! is not that a passing bell?
Affection in the grave is laid;
Some kindred spirit tolls her knell,
And love, perhaps, himself is dead.
When the cock crows, and morn is come,
A pilgrim grey I'll seek their tomb:
Ah no, alas! my hands are bound,
Dark walls and grates inclose me round,
Sad Lelia sits alone on the cold cold ground.
FROM Balagata's wavy brow
The Genius cast his eyes below,
Survey'd with grief the hostile plains,
And thus to Heaven address'd his strains.
Here first arose, in early time,
The beam of wisdom's light sublime;
From hence the stream of science flow'd,
Though now its source is lost in blood.
O, Brama, where is now thy place?
And why on thy deserted race
Falls more than thy weak slaves can bear?
Behold them victims to despair !
Behold thy sons unpitied bleed,
While wealth and honours crown the deed:
See grasping avarice denies
A moment to their suppliant cries.
Dark deadly fraud, wild horrid strife,
The poison'd bowl, the murd'ring knife,
Combine thy people to annoy;
Rise and avenge them, or destroy!
With chains of fire the genii bind,
Who come the scourge of human kind;
Plunge them in seas of melting ore,
Crown them with poniards dip'd in gore.
O, Brama ! may thy slave prevail,
Soon shall they spread their parting sail;
Command them distant far to fly,
Fell demons of calamity!
........." of one whose hand,
" Like the base indian, throws a pearl away, richer than all his tribe."
'TWAS at the time the moon's broad shield
Shone 'midst the vaulted skies,
While trembling round, in regal state,
The starry myriads rise.
Her pale beams silver'd o'er the gate
Where sculptur'd frenzy glares,
And moping melancholy scowls
Upon a world of cares.
From these dark cells, where horror reigns,
And wild distraction bides,
A hapless maniac burst her chains,
And through the portal glides.
Onward she press'd, with eager haste,
So swift she seem'd to fly,
One object fill'd her troubled breast,
And fix'd her wand'ring eye.
Loose flow'd her robes, and on her breast
Chill fell the ev'ning dew;
She felt it not: cold blew the blast,
The blast unheeded blew.
Forward she press'd, with eager haste
The well known mansion sought,
Where pass'd in youth those happier days,
Which still return'd in thought.
Through lighted halls of gay resort,
And trim domestic bands,
She pass'd resistless, and at once
Before the banquet stands.
O most unlook'd-for at that board,
And most unwelcome guest;
Cold is for thee the marble heart,
Which robb'd thee of thy rest.
Appall'd he view'd her alter'd form,
And met her vacant eye;
The blood forsook his conscious cheek,
And nature forc'd a sigh.
With the wild glance of keen despair
She ey'd the shining train,
Of lords, and knights, and ladies fair,
Who silent all remain.
Then recollecting, quick she cried,
" Why was I hence convey'd,
By fiends accurst, to darkness drear,
And thou deniest me aid?
" Where are my children? are they near?
O bring them to my sight!
Alas! I rave; banish'd they fled;
Like me forgotten quite.
" I burn, I burn! a wheel of fire
Whirls round my tortur'd brain:
They come; they tear them from my arms,
And I resist in vain.
" Ah! see they weep; I cannot weep!
Frown not, nor look unkind;
That gentle pity sheds her balm
To sooth my troubled mind.
" Fair blooms thy bride in pride of youth;
But will she love like me?
The holy knot is often tied,
And yet the heart is free.
" Were not ambition, wealth, and show,
The aim of her desires?
Is it from youth declining age
Can hope for mutual fires?
" For me, I lov'd thee more than life,
My children, or my fame;
Nor seiz'd a shelter from disgrace,
Beneath thy offer'd name.
" But, hark! methinks a distant bell
Low warns me to attend,
Where the last gleam of parting hope
Marks out a kinder friend.
" Death is the friend I go to meet,
And from his bounty crave
All that can now remain for me,
An undistinguish'd grave."
She stopt, scream'd wild; with frantic laugh
She darted to the door,
And, in the passing of a thought,
Fled, to return no more.
SIGH not, ye winds, as passing o'er
The chambers of the dead you fly;
Weep not, ye dews, for these no more
Shall ever weep, shall ever sigh.
Why mourn the throbbing heart at rest?
How still it lies within the breast!
Why mourn, since death presents us peace,
And in the grave our sorrows cease?
The shatter'd bark, from adverse winds,
Rest in this peaceful haven finds;
And, when the storms of life are past,
Hope drops her anchor here at last.
Sigh not, ye winds, as passing o'er
The chambers of the dead you fly;
Weep not, ye dews, for these no more
Shall ever weep, shall ever sigh.
WHY glide the hours so swift away,
When love and fortune shine?
Years seem'd but as a passing day,
When Amoret was mine.
Was mine ! sad sounds, ye ring my knell,
And bid to joy a long farewell!
Her voice could sooth the soul of care,
And lull despair to rest;
Why was she form'd divinely fair?
And why was I so bless'd?
So bless'd no more; I hear the knell,
Which bids the world a long farewell.
YE gentle gales, that careless blow
Regardless of a lover's sighs;
Ye streams, unheeding, as ye flow,
The wretch who on your margin dies:
Far from these banks I fly to prove
If absence is a cure for love.
Yet say, my heart, can distant plains,
Tho' e'er so fair the flowers they boast,
Can clearer streams assuage thy pains,
And give thee back thy quiet lost?
Ah no; and thou, alas! wilt prove
That absence is no cure for love.
FAR from this throbbing bosom haste,
Ye doubts and fears, that lay it waste;
Dear anxious days of pleasing pain
Fly, never to return again.
But, ah! return ye smiling hours,
By careless fancy crown'd with flowers;
Come, fairy joys, and wishes gay,
And dance in sportive rounds away.
So shall the moments gaily glide
O'er varying life's tumultuous tide;
Nor sad regrets disturb their course,
To calm oblivion's peaceful source.
FAR from hope, and lost to pleasure,
Haste away to war's alarms!
Sad I leave my soul's dear treasure
For the dismal din of arms.
But, ah! for thee, I follow glory,
To gain thy love I dare to die;
And when my comrades tell my story,
Thou shalt lament me with a sigh.
All my griefs will then be over,
Sunk in death's eternal rest;
You may regret a faithful lover,
Though you refuse to make him bless'd.
Bestow a tear of kind compassion
To grace a hapless soldier's tomb;
And, ah! forgive a fatal passion,
Which reason could not overcome.
WHILE I behold the moon's pale beam,
Her light, perhaps, reflects on thee,
As wand'ring near the silver stream,
Thy sad remembrance turns to me.
Ah, to forget! the wish were vain!
Our souls were form'd thus fond to be;
No more I'll murmur and complain,
For thou, my love, wilt think on me.
Silent and sad, I take my way,
As fortune deigns my bark to steer;
Of hope a faint and distant ray
Our far divided days shall cheer.
Ah! to return, to meet again!
Dear blissful thought! with love and thee!
No more I murmur and complain,
For thou, my love, wilt think on me.
DEAR shade of bliss, enchanting hope,
Thy fairy dreams are almost o'er;
Bewilder'd, weary, faint, I stop,
My heart, alas! believes no more.
Yet from the beaten track I stray,
And truant fancy wanders far,
To catch one faint and trembling ray
From thy obscure and distant star.
Come, dear delusion, smile once more,
If in thy smiles I may be bless'd!
Spread thy green mantle on the shore.
And give thy anchor to my breast.
THE moments fly, and we must part,
To weep a long adieu;
But still this fond, this faithful heart,
Shall feel, shall beat for you.
Though seas and adverse fates divide,
Yet thought unseen shall fly
Upon the light breeze o'er the tide.
And in your bosom die.
FAR, far from me my love is fled,
In a light skiff he tempts the sea,
The young desires his sails have spread,
And hope his pilot deigns to be.
The promis'd land of varied joy,
Which so delights his fickle mind,
In waking dreams his days employ,
While I, poor I, sing to the wind.
But young desires grow old and die,
And hope no more the helm may steer;
Beneath a dark and stormy sky
Shall fall the late repentant tear.
While I, within my peaceful grot,
May hear the distant tempest roar,
Contented with my humble lot,
In safety on the friendly shore.
IN airy dreams fond fancy flies,
My absent love to see,
And with the early dawn I rise,
Dear youth, to think of thee.
How swiftly flew the rosy hours,
When hope and love were new;
Sweet was the time, as op'ning flowers,
But, ah! 'twas transient too.
The moments now move slowly on,
Until thy wish'd return;
I count them, pensive and alone,
As in the shades I mourn.
Return, return, my love, and charm
Each anxious care to rest;
Thy voice shall every doubt disarm,
And sooth my troubled breast.
O'ER the lone heath I wander wild,
Or sing beneath the hawthorn shade,
While the soft breeze of ev'ning mild
Hovers around my careless head.
Sweet solitude, dear scenes of calm repose!
How far unlike the busy world are those.
So fancy sings, ere young desire
With grief, with joy inspires her lay,
Ere love has touch'd the soul with fire,
And wak'd to life the conscious clay;
Sweet sympathies, sad joys, and tender woes,
Still how unlike the busy world are those.
TO wander alone when the moon faintly beaming,
With glimmering lustre darts through the dim shade,
Where owls seek for covert, and night birds complaining,
Add sound to the horrors that darken the glade.
'Tis not for the happy, come daughter of sorrow,
'Tis here thy sad thoughts are embalm'd in thy tears,
Where lost in the past, nor regarding to-morrow,
There's nothing for hopes, there's nothing for fears.
THE season comes when first we met,
But you return no more;
Why cannot I the days forget,
Which time can ne'er restore?
O days too sweet, too bright to last,
Are you indeed for ever past?
The fleeting shadows of delight,
In memory I trace;
In fancy stop their rapid flight,
And all the past replace:
But, ah, I wake to endless woes,
And tears the fading visions close!
O Tuneful voice, I still deplore
Those accents which, tho' heard no more,
Still vibrate on my heart;
In echo's cave I long to dwell,
And still would hear the sad farewell,
When we were doom'd to part.
Bright eyes, O that the task were mine,
To guard the liquid fires that shine,
And round your orbits play;
To watch them with a vestal's care,
And feed with smiles a light so fair.
That it may ne'er decay.
NOW the dancing sunbeams play
On the green and glassy sea;
Come, and I will lead the way,
Where the pearly treasures be.
Come with me, and we will go
Where the rocks of coral grow;
Follow, follow, follow me.
Come, behold what treasures lie
Deep below the rolling waves,
Riches hid from human eye
Dimly shine in ocean's caves;
Stormy winds are far away,
Ebbing tides brook no delay;
Follow, follow, follow me.
THE anguish of my bursting heart
Till now my tongue has ne'er betray'd,
Despair at length reveals the smart
No time can cure, no hope can aid.
My sorrows verging to the grave,
No more shall pain thy gentle breast;
Think, death gives freedom to the slave,
Nor mourn for me when I'm at rest.
Yet if at eve you chance to stray
Where peaceful sleep the silent dead,
Give to your soft compassion way,
Nor check the tear by pity shed.
Where'er the precious drop may fall,
I ne'er can know, I ne'er can see;
And if sad thoughts my fate recall,
A sigh may rise, unheard by me.
WHERE the green ivy twining,
Binds round the burn's brow,
I heard a voice complaining
In numbers sad and low.
" Alas! she's gone for ever,
Now low in earth she lies;
And I, forlorn, shall never
Behold those speaking eyes.
" The pangs of grief beguiling,
She sooth'd our parting hour;
Amidst her tears soft smiling,
Like sunbeams thro' a shower.
" But, ah! she's gone for ever,
Now low in earth she lies,
And I, forlorn, must never
Behold those speaking eyes."
SPRING returns, the flowrets blow;
Will hope return? ah, no! ah, no!
With the dreams of youth she flies,
And like the rose, her emblem, dies.
Fancy droops beneath the shade,
And all the gay delights are fled.
Spring returns, the flowrets blow;
Will hope return? ah, no! ah, no!
HARK what I tell to thee,
Nor sorrow o'er the tomb,
My spirit wanders free,
And waits till thine shall come.
All pensive and alone,
I see thee sit and weep,
Thy head upon the stone,
Where my cold ashes sleep.
I watch thy speaking eyes,
And mark each precious tear,
I catch thy parting sighs,
Ere they are lost in air.
Hark what I tell to thee, &c. &c.
THE fatal moment I beheld
Those eyes so fondly fix'd on me,
Some magic sure my heart compell'd
To place its dearest hopes on thee.
And my true faith can alter never,
Though thou art gone perhaps for ever.
Nor dangers past, nor woes to come,
Thy image from my soul can part,
Through years of anguish to the tomb
'Twill follow this devoted heart;
And my true faith can alter never,
Though thou art gone perhaps for ever.
WHEN hollow bursts the rushing wind,
And heavy beats the shower,
This anxious, aching bosom finds
No comfort in its power.
For ah, my love! it little knows
What thy hard fate may be;
What bitter storm of fortune blows,
What tempests trouble thee.
A wayward fate hath twin'd the thread
On which our days depend,
And darkling in the checker'd shade.
She draws it to an end.
But whatsoe'er may be thy doom,
The lot is cast for me;
Or in the world, or in the tomb,
My heart is fix'd on thee.
MY mother bids me bind my hair
With bands of rosy hue,
Tie up my sleeves with ribbons rare,
And lace my bodice blue.
For why, she cries, sit still and weep,
While others dance and play?
Alas! I scarce can go or creep,
While Lubin is away.
'Tis sad to think the days are gone,
When those we love were near;
I sit upon this mossy stone,
And sigh when none can hear.
And while I spin my flaxen thread,
And sing my simple lay,
The village seems asleep, or dead,
Now Lubin is away.
HARK, the raven flaps his wings,
The owlet leaves her oaken bower,
Now we dance in airy ring,
On mossy banks at ev'ning hour:
And lightly beat the dewy ground
With our tiny feet around.
Vapours dark, or sprites impure,
Our fairy revels ne'er invade,
In the hawthorn brake secure
The glow-worm lights us thro' the shade.
We lightly beat the dewy ground
With our tiny feet around.
FORGET, forget the playful time,
Let every trace be done away,
When I with many an idle rhyme
Was wont to waste the summer's day.
Then hope was new, and love was young,
And fancy on her poet smil'd,
And as my roundelay I sung
The cares of life my song beguil'd.
Now hope is fled, the heart grows cold,
And fancy wears a cypress crown;
The roundelay grows dull and old,
And all the gay delights are flown.
Forget, forget the playful time, &c. &c.
THE village bells ring merrily,
The milk maids sing so cheerily,
With flow'ry wreaths and ribbons crown'd,
Now May Day comes its annual round;
The may-pole rears its lofty head,
Round on the turf they dance and play;
While I the distant pathway tread,
And shun their dance, and festive lay.
The wither'd leaves fell mournfully,
The autumn blast blew cold for me,
When Lubin left me at the door
Of our lone cottage on the moor.
He follows far the fife and drum,
In scarlet deck'd, and feathers gay;
Ah ! while he wanders far from home,
How can I hail the festive May?
COME, gentle maidens, gather round.
Bring sprigs of rosemary and rue,
Strew virgin lilies on the ground,
And the wild rose embalm'd in dew.
Emblem of hope, upon the thorn
Their transient beauties bloom and die,
While yet their sweets perfume the morn,
They on Maria's grave shall lie.
For she was fair, as fairest flower,
And gentle as the breath of peace;
But now her charms exist no more,
And soon their memory shall cease.
I raise the song, a name so dear
From cold oblivion's power to save;
Come, gentle maidens, round, and hear
The mournful story at her grave.
Methinks I see her on the beach,
Her eyes still fixed upon the sea;
Her thoughts beyond the ocean reach.
O Henry, they were fix'd on thee.
Above her sex's little arts,
Their feign'd contempt, or proud disdain,
She own'd the sympathy of hearts,
She lov'd, and was belov'd again.
But glory's voice young Henry heard,
Fortune and honours wait the brave;
The youth Maria's heart preferr'd,
Resolv'd to dare the hostile wave.
Dauntless to seek his country's foes,
And bravely guard her injur'd rights,
Warm from the heart his courage flows,
For love and honour Henry fights.
But who can paint the anxious days,
The ling'ring, long, and heavy hours,
The silent tears affection pays,
The sad forebodings love endures?
The rushing winds at dead of night,
Which shake her casements slender frame,
Disturbs her rest with wild affright,
For evils yet without a name.
In dismal dreams they meet again,
Again she hears his parting sighs;
The sails are spread, he skims the main,
And far the bounding vessel flies.
She wakes, and to the sounding shore
At early dawn her steps would move,
Counting the days of absence o'er;
How slow their pace appears to love!
I see her standing on the beach,
Her eyes still fix'd upon the sea;
Her thoughts beyond the ocean reach;
O, Henry, they were fix'd on thee!
Long absent on the wat'ry waste,
In Britain's cause his sword he drew;
And vanquish'd foes his fame increas'd,
While with his fame his fortune grew.
Nor glory's pride, nor fiercest war,
Maria from his thoughts could part;
Though absent long, and distant far,
She still was nearest to his heart.
From ev'ry port, with anxious care,
His kind attentive fondness wrote;
His love would still some gift prepare,
As witness to his constant thought.
The last remembrance she receiv'd
Her cheek with rosy blushes spread;
A trembling hope her soul deceiv'd,
While these soft words she fault'ring read.
" To thee, Maria, thee alone,
Each tender thought delights to fly,
This constant heart is all thy own.
For thee I live, for thee could die.
" For thy dear sake I still pursue
Unceasing toils, and think them sweet;
For now the time appears in view,
When we again in joy shall meet.
" Fly fast, ye hours! with winged haste,
Propitious gales, come waft me o'er!
Swift let me cross the wat'ry waste,
To meet my love! and part no more!"
I saw Maria on the beach,
Her eyes were fix'd upon the sea;
Her thoughts beyond the waters reach,
O, Henry! she expected thee!
Expected thee, her hand to claim,
Thy faithful passion's sacred right;
Hope saw thee crown'd with wealth and fame,
And love exulted in the sight.
Gay, flatt'ring hope! how bright you seem,
Gilding some joy beyond the hour!
A painted cloud, a fairy dream,
A rainbow in a summer's shower.
Sudden distracting terrors rise,
Unthought-of ills their hopes assail;
A dark and dreadful rumour flies,
And time confirms the horrid tale.
The demon of the trembling west
With ruthless fury rears his head
From the Atlantic's troubled breast,
And dire destruction round is spread.
He rises on the water's roar,
And death and desolation brings;
The boiling sea, the burning shore,
He sweeps with unrelenting wings.
The warring elements at strife,
Seem wild with rage, and mad with power;
And thousands sunk from light and life,
The victims of that fatal hour.
Brave Henry's gallant vessel lay,
Ill starr'd! near that devoted coast.
How shall I tell; nor need I say,
That he, and all his hopes were lost.
He fell by no proud conqu'ring foe,
That thought was sure in mercy giv'n;
And patience must support the blow
Inflicted by the hand of heaven.
I saw her seated on the beach,
Her eyes were fix'd upon the sea,
Her thoughts the depths of ocean reach;
O, Henry! still they follow'd thee.
No loud complaints were heard to rise,
'Twas vast unutterable woe!
Silent her tongue, and from her eyes
The dews of sorrow ceas'd to flow.
The lustre of her eye was gone,
The roses of her cheek were dead;
The faded lily reign'd alone,
And all the charm of youth was fled.
Pining in thought, a swift decay
Pervaded ev'ry vital part;
The bloom of beauty dropt away,
The canker-worm was in her heart.
Still I lament thee, gentle shade,
Though thy sad pilgrimage is o'er;
Still shall I weep for thee, sweet maid,
Though thy dim eyes can weep no more.
And oft, at dewy fall of night,
I seek the churchway path alone,
And by the moon's pale trembling light
Read thy lov'd name on this white stone.
This Ballad was founded on a true story. The event took place in 1785, or near about that time. Maria was a native of Cornwall, where she died in 1786.
T. BENSLEY, PRINTER,
BOLT COURT, FLEET STREET, LONDON.