Rosara's Chain: or, the Choice of Life. A Poem.

Lefanu, Alicia, fl. 1812-1826

Farida Khosh, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 89Kb
Copyright (c) British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. LefaARosar

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 36
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

Rosara's chain, or, The choice of life: a poem

Lefanu, Alicia

Printed for M. J. Godwin, at the Juvenile Library ... by J. Gold

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. ISuppl:540. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler ISuppl:540mf.]

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

Purchase of software has been made possible by a research grant from the Librarians' Association of the University of California, Davis chapter.

All poems, line groups, and lines are represented. All material originally typeset has been preserved, with the exception of running heads, the original prose line breaks, signature markings and decorative typographical elements. Page numbers and page breaks have been preserved. Pencilled annotations and other damage to the text have not been preserved.

Title Page
[Medium] [High]

H. Corbould del.       Hopwood sculp.
She said & round her captive threw
A rosy wreath of glowing hue.
                            Pa. 4.
Published at 41.Skinner St. Jany. 1.1812.

Title Page
[Medium] [High]

[Title Page]

Page [i]







By Joyce Gold, Shoe-lane.


Page [ii]

Page [iii]


Page [iv]

Page [1]



[Running head: SUSPICION]

"FOR me, kind Heaven, a lovely Bride
"Decked with your choicest gifts, provide!
"In wisdom, virtue, beauty, grace,
"All other Nymphs she must surpass.
"No fault or failing must she show;
"No speck, though slight, will I allow.
"Ye, Powers of Love, ah, tell me where,
"My steps shall meet this matchless fair!"

Page 2

    Thus spoke AMANTOR in the hour
He left his long-loved, native shore,
For distant realms, that seas divide,--
To seek PERFECTION in a bride.
    His bark first hailed a favoured coast,
Which Heaven's peculiar care might boast:
Where dwelt, 'mid endless summer hours,
The PRINCESS of the Rosy Bowers.
How sweet young passion's early sighs,
Ere cruel fears or doubts arise!
'Twas then Perfection seemed enshrined
In fair ROSARA'S form and mind:
Expression's breathing smiles illumed
That face, where matchless beauty bloomed;
Her Wit's enchantment won the sense,
And each bright glance was Eloquence:

Page 3

And (as in every gift she shines
That Genius, or that Taste combines,
Or captivates, with sweeter art,
By every Virtue of the Heart)
Her graceful excellence, confest,
Those most declare who know her best.
    The Prince long sought a happy hour,
His tale of raptured Love to pour:
It came--the moment long desired!
Within a Rosy Bower retired
The Princess, with complacent air,
And smiles consenting, heard his prayer.
    "Yes, happy youth," she said, "be mine:
"Around thee now this Chain I twine,
"Which binds thee ever to my sight
"In pleasing thrall and bondage light."

Page 4

    She said, and round her captive threw
A Rosy Wreath, of glowing hue;
The beauteous fetters round him twined,
And thus her willing slave confined.
    How proud AMANTOR felt, how vain,
When first he wore ROSARA'S CHAIN !--
But heavy soon the links, that bound
His steps to one continued round!
Whene'er, for pleasure, or for change,
He sought in newer scenes to range,
The Rosy Bands his feet retard,
'Till comes his sweet, but watchful guard.
    At length he ventures to complain:

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

"Alas! my tender cares are vain,
"Some doubts my fair must still retain.
"Else surely would she leave me free
"To worship her at liberty!"

Page 5

    He ceased--The Princess soft began:
"Inconstant is the heart of man!
"Ah! say, unfettered should you rove,
"Could I command Unchanging Love?
"Away with vain and murmuring plaint,
"And bear for me this mild restraint!"
    Her soothing words his soul subdue;
Again he vows Obedience new;
But soon, again his soul rebels;
Regret the restless prayer impels;
His spirits droop, his Love declines;
Like a wild songster caged, he pines:
To break his Chain his strength he tries;
The Chain though soft, his strength defies.
He finds the Lady of his Heart
Has formed it with a magic art.

Page 6

Now, yielding sad to vain regret,
'Mid arching groves a Sage he met;
A Bard, deep-read in magic lore,
And various science' mystic store:
Who, as his steps the gardens traced,
The captive thus with smiles addressed:
"Hail, happy youth, whom Heaven ordains
"To wear the bright ROSARA'S chains!"
    "Call me not so," the Prince replies,
"These blooming fetters cause my sighs;
"Oh, rather let thy wisdom speak!
"Teach me these mystic bonds to break!"
Then thus the Sage, "Oh, fond deceit!
"How oft our cares our purpose cheat!
"That Jealousy, ignoble guest,
"Should thus possess ROSARA'S breast!

Page 7

"Mistrusting all her countless charms,
"In force she seeks superior arms.
"For this she to a Sybil pray'd
"To lend her all her magic aid,
"To bind the youth her heart should love
"In Chains no power could e'er remove.
"She little knew, misguided fair,
"How fruitless was her anxious care!
"Believe me, sweet ROSARA'S mind
"Is pure, her heart benign and kind--
"Yet still, if freedom fires your soul,
"The wish I aim not to control:
"Through various scenes and fortunes passed,
"To her you may return at last.
"To me is known, by wizard lore,
"A counter-charm that ends her power.

Page 8

"Of Roses White the snowy wreath
"Is to her soft enchantment death,
"This secret told, no more delay!
"Around her, as in sportive play,
"The garland twine of flowerets pale,
"And all her trusted arts will fail;
"Powerless will prove the Chains she gave,
"And he she loved no more her slave."
    Soon as the Enchantress meets his eyes,
The youth the promised wonder tries.
The wreathed, talismanic flower
The nymph bereaves of all her power.
    Amazed she cries, "What unknown charm
"Can thus my potent arts disarm?"
Ah, soon with woe her bosom heaves;
Her flowery realms AMANTOR leaves.

Page 9

"I fly," he said, "with scorn, the mind
"That thinks in Chains the heart to bind!"
    Now, sinking 'mid o'er-whelming cares,
Thus speaks the Princess through her tears:
"Accursed shall for ever prove
"The Rose, that robs me of my love.
"For ever be the Red and White,
"In arms opposed, and deadly fight!
"Yes, yes, behold, in unborn times,
"In distant scenes, in northern climes,
"The different Roses shall appear
"The badges of Infuriate War!
"There vanquished, shall the Paler Flower
"Confess her Crimson Conqueror's power!--
"Ah, fruitless rage, unheeded sighs!
"My love, my grief AMANTOR flies!"

Page 10

    "No, never shall this heart," he said,
"Be won by a suspicious Maid;
"For Confidence, is still the soul,
"That Love, or Friendship must control.
"Such wily cautions I disdain;
"For other Nymphs I tempt the main."

Page 11


[Running head: LOQUACITY]

    FIRED by applauding Fame's report,
AMANTOR sought the dazzling court,
Where beauteous dwelt in stately hall,
For thus, from cause to him unknown,
Was named the heiress of the throne.
    With smiles of welcome, heavenly sweet,
Behold the nymph her suitor greet!
For all that nature can impart
To charm the eye, or win the heart
Was hers: the enraptured praise he gives
With modest silence she receives.

Page 12

To all his vows, his prayers, and sighs,
By looks and smiles she still replies.
Such diffidence each grace improves,
And e'en the sweet reserve he loves.
    But now two circling moons are fled,
Still silent, is the lovely maid;
And pensive oft would sigh the fair,
As one opprest with secret care.
    One morn, as still he strove in vain
The secret of her soul to gain,
LUCINDA , from beneath her robe,
Displays a wondrous CHRYSTAL GLOBE :
Presents it, with intreating tears,
Then, swift as lightning, disappears.
    What doubts AMANTOR'S mind distress!
How oft he strove aright to guess

Page 13

His silent mistress's intent,
When the mysterious Ball she lent.
" 'Twas easy from her looks to see
"Some service high she hoped from me.
"The deed must on this Ball depend!--
"When will my toils, my trials end?"
    Now o'er and o'er in vain he tries
To fathom where the secret lies.
'Till on the ground, as in despair,
He dashed the source of all his care.
    Quick, in ten thousand shivers, flies
The Glassy Globe, and from it rise
Of various words the murmuring sound
From countless airy forms around.
At first, no single speech or word,
But noise confused alone, was heard.

Page 14

Yet soon these sounds, more shrill than sweet,
Unnumbered tongues with joy repeat--
    "Hail, Stranger! but for thee, still dumb
"Had we remained for years to come;
"In us, by you this hour set free,
"Your charmer's powers of speech you see.
"A vengeful Fay confined us all
"Invisible within this Ball;
"And, to complete the ruthless deed,
"Th' infernal sorceress decreed
"The Nymph should ne'er her powers recover,
" 'Till freed from thraldom by a Lover.
"In vain by turns the Globe she gave
"To each successive humble slave;
"From thence the Dame they wont to call

Page 15

"But none her meaning could divine:
"That glory, generous Prince, is thine!"
    Now enters gay the happy Fair,
With loosened tongue, and joyous air,
While rapture dances in her eyes--
"Ten thousand thanks, kind youth," she cries;
"The maid you loved you have indeed
"From a detested slavery freed.
"This happiest day we'll celebrate
"By dance, by song, and courtly Fête ."
    Now free LUCINDA finds her tongue,
Her joy she wishes to prolong;
Behold her at the feast preside;
How volubly her periods glide!
While lasts the scene, three mortal hours
The wordy torrent still she pours;

Page 16

No voice but hers can now be heard,
That voice, which she to all preferred:
'Till e'en the Prince no more endures.
    A swift retreat repose ensures;
While, of her wit enamoured quite,
The Princess scarcely marked his flight,
He quits her realm, resolved to roam,
And seek adventures yet to come.
    "Better a passive slave remain,
"Imprisoned in ROSARA'S CHAIN ,
"Better thus wear out life," he cried,
"Than joined to a loquacious Bride."

[Illustration faces page 29 in original book.]


The Golden Mines
[Medium] [High]

The Golden Mines
H. Corbould del.       Hopwood sculp.
"Sure Pity dwells in looks so fair:
Oh, spare your wretched people, spare!"
Pa. 29.
Published at 41. Skinner St. Jany. 1, 1812.

Page 17


[Running head: AVARICE]

    As still, with Hope's delusion gay,
AMANTOR traced his devious way,
A stately Palace rose to view;
The walls were gold of shining hue;
The cement gems, whose brilliant rays
In various lights and colours blaze.
    The Prince now touched a golden door,
With sparkling diamonds studded o'er;
It opes: a garden meets his eye,
With flowers adorned of every dye.
More pleasing in his sight appear
An arbour's beauteous branches near;

Page 18

Whose half-concealing leaves among,
The grape's ambrosial clusters hung.
A glowing bunch, with thirsty lip,
He cropt the juice divine to sip.
    But false the semblance that invites;
Jasper with Amethyst unites,
And Emerald's luxuriant green,
To form the tempting, mimic scene.
    "Vain gems," with sighs AMANTOR says,
"Ah, what avail your purpling rays?
"Can you the thirsty soul revive,
"Or bid the Fainting Wanderer live?"
    A blooming rose next charm'd his sight;
He seized the prize with quick delight:
But ah! no scent the leaves disclose,
Each petal bright a ruby glows.

Page 19

He finds each flower, in every part,
Of gems is formed with wondrous art.
All here Surprise and Praise command,
But nought is lovely Nature's hand.
    As still the Prince his path pursued,
A river's rolling tide he viewed,
On whose transparent, silvery breast
A stately bark was seen to rest:
More splendid far, than that of yore
The bright Egyptian charmer bore.
As on the sails the sun-beams played,
A golden radiance they betrayed;
While dames appeared with vestures bright,
Whose robes diffused a dazzling light.
High on the deck, intent they stood,
To lure the inmates of the flood.

Page 20

The bait ensnares, with treacherous bribe,
Gay myriads of the scaly tribe.
    Their youthful charms his eye approved:--
While pleased he gazed, and gazing, loved,
His heedless step the margin leaves;
The flood his floating form receives.
Vain are his efforts, proudly strong,
The current whirls him swift along.
    Now weaker grow, now fainter still,
How vain the swimmer's boasted skill!
And now no longer beats his heart,
From Light and Life he seems to part.
    And is each blissful prospect fled
By Youth, and Hope, and Fancy fed!
And does the flower, that Morning eyed
In Pride of Love, and Glory's pride,

Page 21

That raised to Heaven its shining crest,
Now mournful sweep the river's breast!
And shall no sigh thy fate reprove!
    Ah, yes, it breathes from faithful Love:
The conscious gale that sigh shall bring,
The rose's fragrance loads its wing,
The mournful breeze the stream shall calm,
Its sweets thy Memory shall embalm!
    Yet Heaven relents, nor seals his doom:
Lo, rescued from a watery tomb,
At length, the youth his eyes re-opes
To pleasing scenes, and new-born hopes.
Within the royal barge he lies,
Where beauteous nymphs around him rise.
    While one, of prouder charms possest,
Who moves their Sovereign Fair confest,

Page 22

Thus speaks: " 'Twas ours thy life to save,
"With joy the timely aid we gave.
"Thee, gentle Stranger, we invite
"To scenes of grandeur and delight,
"Where, in unrivalled splendour, shines
    The youth replies, "Bright Maid, in me
"The sport of Love and Fate you see,
"My realms I quit, where Nature smiles
"Luxuriant in the EMERALD ISLES ,
"A Bride to seek, from coast to coast,
"Who proud Perfection's charms can boast."
    The story caught her willing ear:
(Who would not be the Faultless Fair?)
The watery sports delight no more,
Together now they seek the shore,

Page 23

Together reach the splendid seat,
Where Ease, and Wealth, and Beauty meet.
    To deck the banquet nymphs prepared
With scaly spoil that morn ensnared;
But, when AMANTOR sought in these
His taste, as well as sight, to please,
Each time, his fruitless efforts fail,

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

Of gold is formed each shining scale,
From jewels gleams the empurpled mail.
    The Princess smiles: "Here, be it known,
"We value real worth alone.
"No dainties of the vulgar board
"Our rich and sumptuous feasts afford;
"These, taught by secret springs to move,
"Amid the waves appear to rove:
"By wondrous art our lines attract,
"And thus the Angler's part we act."

Page 24

    And now, in gay succession placed,
Untasted viands deck the feast,
By artful imitation made;
And soon the rich dessert is laid;
Where fruits of amber, gems and gold,
Th' unsated Stranger may behold.
    At length, with pity-beaming eyes,
A lovely maid, attendant, cries,
"Perchance our weary, travelled guest
"Mislikes our bright, but sparing feast;
"And on the board would joy to find
The humble meal of plainer kind."
    " 'Tis well," the haughty fair one said,
"Ye slaves, the homely banquet spread."--
But poor the feast, and ill-supplied,
For plenty suits not sordid Pride!

Page 25

    "Zarina, charm the social hour
"With music's sweet, enlivening power."
Thus spoke the Princess - At the sound
The obsequious virgins throng around:
And see the happy youth prepare,
The joys of melody to share.
    But Ostentation here denies
Whate'er the Minstrel's art supplies.
No wood, nor ivory, wire, or string,
Produce the notes that softly ring;
With rich and brilliant ore alone
Each instrument resplendent shone.
In concert joined with voices sweet,
Bright golden bells their chimes repeat;
From silver-chorded lyres around,
Is drawn a feebly dulcet sound;

Page 26

And thus, in splendour's useless boast,
The powers of harmony are lost.
    "Now show my guest," AURELIA cries,
"My stately domes that proudly rise--
"To each apartment lead the way."
With willing smile, the nymphs obey.
    In vain AMANTOR'S polished mind,
With knowledge rich, and taste refined,
Amid the gaudy scene would trace
The arts, that should a sovereign grace.
No Painter claimed the immortal wreath,
No Sculptor taught the stone to breathe,
No Bard his heaven-taught descant raised,
Genius was here unloved, unpraised.
Yet still the matchless Palace shines
With metal rich from golden mines;

Page 27

Which, finely wrought, or tissued bright,
Above, around, still meets the sight.
    Each maiden, freed from harsh constraint,
Now ventures forth her soft complaint.
" 'Tis Avarice, inhuman guest,
"That reigns in stern AURELIA'S breast.
"Whate'er all-bounteous Heaven supplies,
"Her iron rule to us denies:
"No youthful joy our bosoms feel--
"And what Reward awaits our zeal?
"These robes, with gold and diamonds graced,
"But cover hearts with care oppressed.
"Each pleasing product Nature lends,
"Or art creates, far, far she sends,
"For gold exchanged; we mourn our fate,
"Enthralled in barren, cumbrous state,

Page 28

"Convenience, Pleasure, names forgot,
"Attend not on our hapless lot."
AMANTOR sighs the scene to view,
But finds the painful picture true.
    Yet still the bright and royal Fair
Selects him her peculiar care,
And new delights would still devise,
To gild each moment as it flies.
    "To you, much-favoured Youth, I show
"The wonders of my mines below."
'Twas thus with smiles the fair one said,
And to the deep recesses led,
Where diamonds sparkle, gold is found.
Or argent treasures rich abound.
    There, far from light, from ease, and joy,
Uncounted slaves their hours employ

Page 29

In nosiome , ever-growing toil,
To swell their sovereign's golden spoil.
The unpeopled land, and desert coast
In vain lament their children lost.
    With tenderest sympathy impressed,
The kneeling Prince the Maid addressed.
"Sure Pity dwells in looks so fair,
"Oh, spare your wretched people, spare!
"From labour's irksome bondage freed,
"Restore the shepherd to the mead;
"By speedy grace, to all be given
"The smiles of earth, the airs of Heaven!"
    "Peace, peace vain Youth!" the Dame replied,
And darts a look of sternest pride,
While angry frowns at once efface
Each winning charm, and tender grace.

Page 30

"Oh, Avarice accurst!" he cries,
"Ye hapless slaves, accept my sighs!"
    "Discourse so bold no more I bear!
"Guard him, ye slaves, for ever here,
"Deprived of Day's enchanting smile,
"His Life preserved for endless toil!"
She spoke, and seeking realms of light,
Her victim leaves to endless night.
    A martyr true to Mercy's cause,
He yields to Fate's oppressive laws.
In vain for him the all-cheering sun
Full many a glorious period run.
    As now, his dreary way he sought,
To tempt some far removed vault,
An ancient slave attracts his eyes.--
"Does the dim light deceive?" he cries:

Page 31

"To meet the sage sure Fate ordains,
"Who freed me from ROSARA'S CHAINS !"
    "See here," replies the virtuous Bard,
"My faithful friendship's sad reward!
"As thee I sought, thy steps to guide,
"Or share thy fortune's various tide,
"Behold me in a luckless hour,
"Betrayed to stern AURELIA'S power;
"Thence, to her mines a captive driven,
"But freed at length by favouring Heaven.
"To 'scape unnoticed, under ground,
"A secret pass by me is found.
"What says my loved, my valued friend,
"Will he my happy flight attend?
    "May these, the partners of my care,"
AMANTOR cries, "my fortune share?"

Page 32

    With looks that sad regret inspire,
The Sage restrains his generous fire.
"Their minds, by bondage long debased,
"The charms of freedom could not taste:
"The sordid fears their bosoms feel,
"Might yet my well-formed plan reveal."
    "Then," cries the youth, "no more delay."

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

The Bard points out the devious way;
At length they hail the chearful day.

Page 33


[Running head: COQUETRY]

    To cheer the Prince, his aged friend
His pleasing converse loves to lend;
And, as his lips events relate,
    "Still doomed to love, and love in vain,
"No new-made captive wears her Chain.
"No word her deep-felt sorrow speaks,
"But Virtue's soothing balm she seeks;
"In spreading happiness around,
"She fain would fly her bosom's wound;
"That wound still pains the gentle breast,
"Through which all other hearts are blest."

Page 34

    "Name her no more," AMANTOR cries,
"Her charms too bright to memory rise;
"By all confessed a nymph divine,
"BUT FOR ONE FAULT she had been mine."
    As Phoebus yields to cheerless night,
A forest dark obscures their sight.
Through its dim paths the faithful pair
Their equal toils and dangers share.
Athwart the gloom a friendly beam
Now shoots--they hail the enlivening gleam.
Now broader streams the lucid ray,
And towards a Palace points the way.
Illumined were the sparkling halls,
And polished Mirrors formed the walls.
    Soon as the wanderers reached the gate,
Gay courtiers, drest in robes of state,

Page 35

With welcome smiles the pilgrims meet,
And thus, with friendly accents, greet:
"Ye, Strangers, hail! for rest prepare;
"Her hospitable kindness share,
"Who lives, but to bestow delight,
    High seated on a radiant throne,
In dazzling charms CLAIRETTA shone.
The Hall, with beaming Chrystals hung,
Reflects a Hebe, fair and young.
As rises gay the generous feast,
The lovely hostess either guest
With kind, attentive care receives;
'Till welcome rest each toil relieves.
    Next morn the nymph AMANTOR sought,
Whose eyes awaked each tender thought.

Page 36

Their gentle power his looks declare;
His willing homage pleased the fair.
    Through each apartment, free to range,
Scarce does the dazzling prospect change.
In every scene their valves disclose,
The dome, with polished radiance glows.
Here she, in Convex Globes, may trace
The miniature of every grace.
There, Multiplying Chrystals give
Each charm ten thousand times to live.
While each surrounding glassy Lake
CLAIRETTA'S image loves to take.
Within, without, the Palace bright
With beaming lustre charms the sight.
    "Beware the sweet coquette, beware,
"And shun her beauty's tempting snare:

Page 37

"While vanity her bosom swells,
"Her breast no other passion feels."
Thus spoke in vain the warning Sage;
CLAIRETTA'S smiles the youth engage.
    The hall he sought where first was seen,
In beauty's state, his bosom's Queen.
His passion there he dares relate,
And, trembling, ask his coming fate.
"What spoke my Prince?" returns the fair,
With look confused, and absent air:
Enamoured, gazing on a glass,
His words she let unheeded pass.
    Too late, AMANTOR mourns to find,
That vanity enslaves her mind.
In vain his tale of Love is told,
It cannot pierce a heart so cold;

Page 38

Or, while the Mirrors are preferred,
May fall unheeded, and unheard.
    Then spoke the Bard, "No more delay!
"To realms remote, ah, point your way!--
"A secret project still detains
"My steps within these gay domains.
"Dread not to trust the dangerous main,
"In distant scenes we meet again."

[Illustration faces page 47 in original book.]


The Kingdom of Songs
[Medium] [High]

The Kingdom of Song.
H. Corbould del.       Hopwood sculp.
"Sacred to Phoebus and the Nine,
Profane not thus the leaf divine!"
Pa. 47.
Published at 41. Skinner St. Jany. 1, 1812.

Page 39


[Running head: MUSIC]

    THE dauntless youth, with heart elate,
Once more essays his chequered fate.
As perils new he boldly tries,
Behold a gathering tempest rise!
Now, all is fearful, all is dark,
Now, forked lightning strikes his bark;
The billowy waves, with angry roar,
Now dash him on a foreign shore.
    Insensible he long remains:
At length he wakes to softest strains,
Which, on the rolling floods beneath,
In gentle sounds, symphonious breathe.

Page 40

    "TELL me, sweet youth, why thus is thrown
"Thy gracious form on coasts unknown?
"Ah, heed'st thou not my pitying sigh,
        "Euterpe's sister watches near,
            "And sheds the tender tear,
"So, may thy deep entrancement fly.
"Waken, arise, and bless ere long

    "What dulcet notes," AMANTOR cries,
"My ravished senses now surprise!"
He grateful views a gentle Fair,
Who o'er him bends with anxious care.
Now her full court in chorus join,
And thus chaunt forth, with voice divine:

Page 41

"HEARS'T thou not the Minstrel's call?
        "Haste, O favoured Stranger, haste
"To the sweetly echoing Hall,
        "Every joy of SONG to taste,
"Where the Muses ever reign,
"With HERMIONE their Queen."

    With joy the blest ALAMANTOR speeds,
Where'er the tuneful charmer leads.
Fast by the ocean's swelling tide,
The Palace rose in graceful pride;
Each note the inmates thence repeat
On gliding waters sounds more sweet.
    A pearly chain the Princess rung
Which to the jasper portal hung;

Page 42

The slaves obey the silver call,
And welcome to the festive hall,
With grateful verse and dulcet voice,
In her returning sight rejoice.
    AMANTOR finds, to these belong
Each word and thought to pour in song.
From humble page to raptured Bard,
Soft Music's note alone is heard.
And he, soon versed in tuneful lays,
The general law with ease obeys.
Thus at the court is carried on
The STATESMAN'S plan, the LOVER'S moan,
The MOURNER'S plaint, the WIT'S address,
The voice of gladness, or distress;
While all in harmony unite,
And novelty augments delight.

Page 43

    Euterpe at each Fête presides:
Now o'er the waves the Pageant glides ,
Gay courtiers, in Gondolas trim,
Along the watery surface skim;
While gentle airs to tender rhyme,
With silver oars, respond in time,
Or warbling flute, with softer lay,
On ocean's bosom dies away.
In spacious hall, or grot, or bower,
Where'er intrudes the Zephyr's power,
The Lyre of Æolus is found,
And breathes its plaintive sweetness round:
While rises near full many a grove
Where feathered tribes delighted rove.
Then would you count each coming hour?
Instructed by the Minstrel's power,

Page 44

They chaunt them forth in measured strain,
That renders glass or time-piece vain.
    At concerts oft, to sounding string
While Bards assembled proudly sing,
HERMIONE'S o'er-ruling will

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

Commands each bird, with heavenly trill,
His station in the choir to fill.
Then, with their wood-notes not content,
Her deep, attentive care is bent,
To teach them, with unwearied pains,
To sing in scientific strains.
Nor yet melodious throats alone
Her labours and instructions own;
At schools to dull, ungifted fowls,
Harsh-screaming parrots, hooting owls,
And tuneless sparrows, swallows, jays,
She tries to teach enchanting lays;

Page 45

For plumed masters of the art
Their lessons, diligent, impart:
Yet still these Lords of Harmony
With shame their backward pupils see;
And, spite of all, no swift success
Appears, the Virgin's hopes to bless.
    It chanced, while, in the realms of song,
AMANTOR'S hours rolled smooth along,
One morning, at a concert gay,
A tuneful courier forced his way,
With tidings of a warlike Host,
That long had hovered near the coast.
    With terror-speaking looks, he cries,
"Behold the hostile Banners rise;
"The bright Battalions, now they form!
"Rouse, rouse, avert the threatening storm!"

Page 46

For war unmeet, the affrighted court
To brave AMANTOR'S aid resort;
And, trembling, haste, untaught, unarmed,
Their tender Lyres to shields transformed;
While mellow Horn, and Trumpet loud
Sound forth to animate the croud.
Confused and desperate, they engage,
The Prince alone, with noble rage,
Amid the thickest hosts is found,
Diffusing death and terror round.
Pierced by his hand their Leader dies:
So falls their Pride, their Fortune flies!
    Delivered from the threatened yoke,
HERMIONE the youth bespoke,
"My life, my realm, to thee I owe,
"Proud Glory's meed awaits thee now."

Page 47

A Laurel Wreath, with brilliants mixed,
Upon the Victor's brow she fixed.
    Swift through the court a murmur ran,
A Bard, indignant, thus began,
"Sacred to Phoebus and the Nine,
"Profane not thus the leaf divine!
"What glories to the Prince belong?
"Does he excel in harp or song?
"Compared with us, the tender verse
"His lips, untaught, can scarce rehearse.
"What, tho' he shine in honour's field,
"Arms still to polished Arts should yield!"
    The Princess, with repentant haste,
The bright reward, ashamed, displaced:
While, with regret and generous pain,
The Hero views the ungrateful train.

Page 48

    Yet, ere from thence he bent his way,
His lingering heart desired to stray,
Each pleasing scene once more to view,
And bid his favourite haunts adieu.
    As now, with pensive step, he roved
Through each recess he long had loved,
And, on the Lyre she oft had praised,
With thoughtful eyed absorbed, he gazed,
Entranced by memory's painful spell,
Unheeded, from his hand it fell.
Arising through the trembling strings,
This plaintive strain, low-echoing, rings.
"See, in this fragile frame exprest,
"The emblem of a gentle breast,
"A heart each ruder touch can wound;
"Though injured, broken, hurled to ground,

Page 49

"No angry sound its chords repeat,
"Its plaints and murmurs e'en are sweet,
"It mourns, but in melodious sighs,
"And, breathing soft vibrations, dies."
And must I quit this world of sound,
Where Music's charm prevails around,
And ever-varying Harmony,
With sweet expression's powers agree?
Where things inanimate impart
A soothing lesson to the heart?
Yes--for amid these heavenly strains
Injustice triumphs, Envy reigns!
    Now at each step new wonders rise,
That pleasure give, or win surprise,
For not in pride of SONG alone,
This Palace all domains outshone,

Page 50

But rich and varied store could boast
Of treasures bright from every coast.
In chambers vast, preserved with care,
Were Art and Nature's wonders rare.
These, unremarked in happier days,
The wanderer now well-pleased surveys.
Thus oft gay Fortune's smile conceals
The treasured good that woe reveals,
The new resource, the bliss untried,
O'erlooked in joy's abundant tide.
Affliction! 'tis thy mournful hour,
Unveils sweet Friendship's soothing power:
Affliction! 'tis thy harsh controul
Awakes from sloth, the aspiring soul.
Mysterious power, to thee we owe
Each higher joy we taste below.

Page 51

    A cabinet, with gems enchased,
Whate'er had charmed before effaced,
An emerald key new treasures opes,
That e'en exceed his splendid hopes.
Whate'er on earth, or under ground,
Most curious, or most rich is found,
Of marble, shell, or shining spar,
Or work of matchless art, was there.
    Now, gently sounding on his ears,
The voice of sad lament he hears.

    "WHEN cheerly laughs the morning,
        "And decks with vernal roses
        "The portals she uncloses
            "To life and new-born light,
    "Then, Sloth's indulgence scorning,

Page 52

    "The forest's shaggy ranger,
    "And beauteous feathered stranger,
        "In freedom's joys delight.
But, no such bliss adorning
    "This dark abode of anguish,
    "A captive sad I languish
        "In sorrow's endless night."

    These sounds, to his attentive ear,
Arising from a box appear,
With ivory's richest carving traced:
The lid a lovely portrait graced;
But different beauties centered there,
Than decked HERMIONE the Fair.
The Sapphic fire, the raptured look,
Where all the soul of genius spoke;

Page 53

The cheek of ever-varying glow,
The smiles, that darting radiance throw,
The trembling lustre of the eye,
Bedewed with thrilling extacy,
This could not claim; a milder grace
Sat in this dove-like eye, and marked the gentle face.
    "Oh, why, ye Fates!" AMANTOR cried,
"The fair one's name and story hide?"--
And now the plaint, so soft and sweet,
The voice he hears again repeat.
    "Concealed within, some secret lies:"--
The opening lid in haste he tries.
That touched, a second box arose,

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

Which, oped, a third in order shows,
A fourth did this in turn disclose.
As he his anxious search pursued,
A hundred he successive viewed;

Page 54

Each carved with exquisite design,
Of ivory to transparence fine.
The hundredth box so small appeared,
That e'en his constant mind despaired.
"This sure no treasure could contain."
    Lo, now again, with sorrowing strain,
But louder note, more clear and strong,
Is heard the hidden Mourner's song.
    Once more the casket he essays,
The yielding spring at length betrays,
As at his touch it swift unlocks,
The CAPTIVE of the tiny BOX .
    No charms he there must hope to find,
Like those upon the lid designed.
A form minute, of fairy mould,
Though chearful, silver-haired and old,

Page 55

While she his kind assistance blessed,
Her young deliverer thus addressed.
    "The victim of officious zeal,
"What pains have I been doomed to feel!
"The Fairy DISTAFF is my name.
"I scorn the Muse's vaunting claim;
"And fain my votaries would invite,
"To Industry's more calm delight.
    "Know, thoughtless Youth, while here you dwell
"The beauteous Syren's train to swell,
"In smiling realms, not distant far,
"Benignly reigns a sister star.
"One hour, one parent, viewed their birth,
"But, ah! how different their worth!
"While gay HERMIONE employs
"Her hours in Music's empty joys,

Page 56

"Bright EGLANTINE her time beguiles
"In sweetly-varied female toils,
"And loves, though blest with beauty's bloom,
"The purple labours of the loom,
"Their dying sire's paternal care
"To each bequeathed dominions fair,
    "In minds thus formed of various mould,
"Love soon to mere Indifference cooled.
"HERMIONE , thy charming art
"From friendship's claim had stolen thy heart.
"Not so fair EGLANTINE , whose breast
"A sweet remembrance still confessed.
"The Limner's art, the rich design,
"To deck the casket all combine,
"The tender gift, with which she strove
"Once more to light a sister's love.

Page 57

    "Long had report proclaimed her fame:
"Her soft enthusiasm to reclaim,
"Within this case I forced my way,
"And, thus concealed, was borne away;
"My friendly visit and design
"Unknown to beauteous EGLANTINE.
    "But, ah! how unforeseen my lot!
"The pleasing gift, o'erlooked, forgot,
"While SONG engrossed the owner's mind,
"Was to this cabinet consigned.
"This cabinet, which former reigns
"Had long adorned, by well-timed pains,
"With all the curious loved or prized,
"Is now disdained, unmarked, despised.
    "For, when too long the partial mind
"To one pursuit remains inclined,

Page 58

"(Though innocent itself the aim)
"It soon absorbs each other claim;
"And every duty, every joy
"Is banished for the loved employ.
    "Meantime impatient tears I shed,
"Imprisoned in my ivory bed.
"Though in a sad, ill-omened hour,
"I entered here by fairy power,
"No fairy power could set me free;
"(That, gentle Prince, remained for thee)
"Some outward touch the spring must ope.
"Light, Freedom, renovated Hope
"To you I owe, and in return
"Her sweet abode you soon shall learn,
"Whom each admiring Stranger calls

Page 59

    Fired with the unknown charmer's praise,
The Prince the fairy call obeys.
He follows swift her beckoning hand,
That leads him to the sea-girt strand.
    "Behold our bark!" with joy she cries.
The Prince desponding, sad replies,
"No welcome vessel here I view!"
    "Ah, doubting Youth, believe me true!
"Observe yon Nautilus's shell,
"Which soon my magic breath shall swell."
    Swift, as the mystic word she said,
The tiny sail begins to spread.
The curious parts by turns enlarge,
Till shines complete a sumptuous barge,
And, wafted by the gentle breeze,
They gaily cut the smiling seas.

Page 60


[Running head: INDUSTRY]

    As down the circling wave they glide,
Thus spoke at length the Elfin guide:
"My friend, behold the favoured coast,
"Where every care in bliss is lost,
"Where Peace presides, where Plenty smiles,
"And Labour carols while she toils,
"Where Royal Virtues mild dispense
"Their sweet and gracious influence."
    Now, every watery peril o'er,
With grateful heart he hails the shore,
And, rising soon of purest white,
The IVORY PALACE meets his sight.

Page 61

There Emblems Fair of Industry
Salute the admiring stranger's eye.
Here, carved with skill, the GRECIAN WIFE ,
Amid contending suitors' strife,
Still o'er the mystic web depends,
That, oft unravelled, never ends.
ARACHNE , there, her labours shows,
Ere yet MINERVA'S wrath she knows.
The GODDESS here HERSELF presides,
Each flaxen fibre dextrous guides,
Inventress of the useful art,
The pleasing gift she deigns impart.
In ivory, preserved to Fame,
Then rose the faithful TROJAN DAME ,
Who, while she weeps her HECTOR'S doom,
Records his glories in the loom.

Page 62

    With tears, where joy and friendship blend,
Greets EGLANTINE her fairy friend;
Nor less with welcome, honours she
The Prince, who gave her liberty.
    Not long within her realms he stayed,
When, as along the coast they strayed,
A distant vessel meets their eye;
Its near approach they now descry;
And now, the expanse of ocean past,
Its anchor near the shore is cast.
    But what compassion, what surprise
In EGLANTINE'S soft bosom rise,
When, with the suppliant's tearful eye,
Approached the sad HERMIONE !
At length her woes their prison break:
"I come, your pity to bespeak,

Page 63

"Driven from my realm by ruthless foes;--
"No farther can I now disclose."
    She said--and faint with toil and grief,
In showery tears finds short relief.
    "Mysterious Heaven!" the Virgin cries,
"Is it thus my sister meets my eyes?
"Ah! long unkind, but ever loved!
"Soon to my friendly dome removed,
"A sister's heart, a sister's care,
"HERMIONE , awaits you there."
    Not distant far, in snowy state,
Arose the IVORY PALACE gate.
But who regards the storied pile,
The rare design, the artist's toil,
When, to the feeling heart, a scene
More precious far awaits within?

Page 64

Where all the gentle triumph see
Of Friendship's fond fidelity,
Where joyful angels might approve,
The picture sweet of kindred love,
And bless the sacrifice divine
Of Anger at Affection's shrine
    When Welcome kind, when sweet Repose
Have eased the lovely Mourner's woes,
Soft through each heart her accents steal,
And thus her tale of grief reveal--
    "Not long had cold Injustice driven
"Far from my court the Approved of Heaven,
"Him, whose protecting arm alone
"Could yet have propped my tottering throne,
"When, with redoubled numbers, rose
"Again my fierce Barbarian foes.

Page 65

"Without or Counsellor or Friend,
"My Life, my Empire to defend,
"In vain, to yield me feeble aid,
"My gentle slaves around me bled.
"At length the proud, triumphant foe
"With burning brands my bowers laid low.
" 'Twas then, to power, to glory lost,
"With tears I sought your friendly coast.
"Yet do not I deserve to share
"The soft regards that met me there!"
    Sweet EGLANTINE , with tender smiles,
Her fruitless anguish, fond, beguiles.
The weeping fair, no longer proud
Of genius, or of charms allowed,
By flattering slaves no more caressed,
Finds solace in a SISTER'S breast.

Page 66

    And while to charm her cares away,
Each art would EGLANTINE essay,
She in AMANTOR'S eyes a star
Shines forth of purer lustre far,
And sympathy a sweeter grace
Diffuses o'er her lovely face,
Than all, that tempts the world's acclaim,
Of beauty bright, or laurelled fame.
    Nor yet, with soothing words alone,
She cheers the plaintive sufferer's moan,
But with effectual aid would fain
Restore her to her realms again.
Forth she dispatched her duteous bands,
Beneath AMANTOR'S brave commands;
Within whose generous bosom lies
No thought of former injuries.

Page 67

Oh! then, throughout the tuneful reign,
How soon does hope revive again!
How quickly learns the foe to fly,
Beneath AMANTOR'S threatening eye!
    With tidings gay, of conquest fraught,
The Prince the IVORY PALACE sought.
'Twas then, from pain and sorrow freed,
Rich with experience' dear-bought meed,
The Princess and her shattered train,
With new-born hopes, now tempt the main,
And, wafted by a prosperous gale,
Again their late lost country hail.
But, ere she sighs a last farewell,
Fond prayers her secret bosom swell,
That Heaven may bless with joys divine

Page 68

    NOW , moving in a different scene,
Though active, calm; though gay, serene;
AMANTOR marks the fair one's toils,
As at her ivory wheel she smiles;
Or, with new pleasure and surprise,
The snowy palace frequent eyes,
Where couch, or throne, or festive board
The same fair objects still afford;
While their light, fragile forms appear
The unwary touch or breath to fear,
And ever call for care and thought,
When cheer invites, or rest is sought.
    Nor does he long delay to find,
That EGLANTINE'S o'er-anxious mind,
Each precious moment she can spare
From tissued web, or tapestry rare,

Page 69

Is fixed to guard, with watchful eyes,
Each delicate, and beauteous prize.
    And, as the bow, by long restraint,
More swift regains its wonted bent,
So she, in whose soft, pitying heart,
Sweet Friendship's claim had stolen a part
From all her loved, domestic cares,
The forced neglect with haste repairs;
And thence, in joys minute engrossed,
To every other charm is lost.
No more in her he hopes to find
Congenial taste, or kindred mind;
And oft remembrance now recalls
Her tuneful Sister's VOCAL HALLS .
    The wandering thought he strove to hide
The fair, in sportive guise, would chide.

Page 70

"Describe the pleasures, that belong
"Peculiar, to the REALMS of SONG ."
Thus spoke the half-offended maid
How well, how soon, was she obeyed!
    And, while AMANTOR would declare
What soft delights enslaved him there:
Or, with entranced remembrance, dwell
On cadence sweet, or murmuring swell,
By turns enumerating o'er
Each matchless proof of Music's power;
Or as, with fresh enthusiasm fired,
His fancy, by the theme inspired,
Each Muse's pencil seems to bribe
The pleasing picture to describe,
Unmindful of his wonted care,
Heedless he touched a pannel fair,

Page 71

Where flowrets carved arose to view,
Of various form, but equal hue,
More exquisite than could withstand
The pressure of the incautious hand.
The Prince the havoc soon surveyed,
When low, a lovely wreck, was laid,
Shivered, defaced in many a part,
The frail, the beauteous boast of art!
    With deepest woe's sad piercing moan,
The maid laments her treasure gone;
Reproaches, tears, by turns prevail,
By turns the offending youth assail.
Those trembling pearls, that wont to deck
With Pity's charm her blooming cheek,
He marks, indignant, as they fall
At Selfish Sorrow's trifling call.

Page 72

    "Alas, a heart like hers (he cries)
"To noble aims can seldom rise!
"A temper, by each transient blast
"So easy ruffled and o'ercast,
"A vainly busy, female mind,
"To petty joys and cares confined,
"No higher, dearer pleasures moves!--
"I leave her to the gauds she loves:
"And seek where, in PERFECTION bright,
"SOFTNESS and ENERGY unite."

[Illustration faces page 84 in original book.]


The Mystic Cave
[Medium] [High]

The Mystic Cave.
H. Corbould del.       Hopwood sculp.
There, darkly flitting round her head,
Their influence Gloomy Phantoms shed.
Pa. 84.
Published at 41. Skinner St. Jany. 1, 1812.

Page 73


[Running head: PLEASURE]

WHEN PHOEBUS tints the breezy lawn,
AMANTOR hails the lovely dawn;
That dawn, which sees him free again,
Gay bounding o'er the smiling plain;
While happy Nature's sun-gilt vest
Beams kindred radiance on his breast.
The warbling birds, the glistening dews,
The flowers that odorous breath diffuse
(While each a brighter, fresher dye
Assumes to Day's returning eye),
And every sound, and every breeze
His chearful heart unite to please,

Page 74

And give to Life, and Joy, and Hope
A lighter spring, a wider scope.
    He entered now the skirting wood,
Roused from the lair the savage brood,
O'er dale, o'er thicket, lightly flew,
The danger hid, the prize in view.
And, as he thus beguiles his cares,
Like young ADONIS he appears,
Forsaking BEAUTY'S GODDESS bright,
To court the Hunter's stern delight.
    While in the pleasing toil engrossed,
His track, thro' devious wilds, he lost.
In vain he would the path explore,
Retrace each flowery Labyrinth o'er;
At length, a voice thus meets his ear,
"Seek you a guide? behold one near!"

Page 75

    Then starts a youth from out the glade,
Robed in the tint of forest shade;
Who leads, with courteous speech and mien,
The way from out the thickets green.
    And, as they journeyed, "Know," he cried,
"Within these woodlands I reside,
"To strangers oft my aid extend,
"Well pleased to prove the wanderer's friend:
"For acts like these, long known to Fame,
"The FOREST GUARDIAN is my name.
    "Yet late, in quest of change, I roved
"From these embowering shades beloved.
"I sought, as splendour's proudest boast
"The bright AURELIA'S golden coast;
"What chance that haughty nymph befel,
"My trembling tongue scarce dares to tell.

Page 76

"As high enthroned in sceptred state,
"Her breath declared her subjects' fate,
"And these she sent, for golden ore
"To tempt the waves, to search the shore,--
"With sudden crash the palace shakes,
"The earth around convulsive quakes,
"While, issuing from a nitrous flame,
"A SORCERER FIERCE bespoke the dame.
    "Yield, Princess, to avenging Fate,
"Receive, he cried, your destined mate;
"Behold, your future bridegroom comes,
"The SOVEREIGN of the sordid GNOMES .
"Nay, tremble not; like you, the store
"He boasts--of gems and glittering ore.
"Like you, they form his favourite care,
"Then haste, his darksome realms to share."

Page 77

    "He spoke--the King our sight alarmed,
"With more than PLUTO'S horrors armed:
"And bore, swift darting on his prey,
"Another PROSERPINE away.
    "Soon from those scenes my course I steered,
"To where CLAIRETTA'S domes appeared.
"But there the potent Sage, whose power
"Reversed AURELIA'S prosperous hour,
"Had, in the sister-realm displayed
"His terrors to this hapless maid.
"The PRINCESS of the MIRRORS bright
"No longer lives to soft delight.
"By sad reverse her GLASSY DOME
"A scene of horrors is become.
"Here concave chrystals, strike the eye,
"And every blemish magnify;

Page 78

"While others half their task perform,
"Reflecting a distorted form.
"Yet must she in this palace stay,
"Her cruel Mentor to obey,
"Who dooms each object to remain
"Thus hideous, till, no longer vain,
"She cease her highest joy to place
"In gazing on that beauteous face."
    "Sure, in these scenes," AMANTOR cried,
"I mark thy hand, my wizard guide!
"How strange my fate since last we met!"
    The thought inspires a soft regret;
Nor does he curb the generous tear
For poor CLAIRETTA'S fate severe,
Nor can resentment check the sigh
For stern AURELIA'S destiny.

Page 79

    "Yet, stranger, if I read aright,
"Some farther wonders met your sight,
"Still other realms your footsteps tried."
    "Suffice not these?" the youth replied.
"Then know, within an island lone,
"I hailed a peerless beauty's throne:
"As wondrous still, the mystic cloud,
"Whose shades her life, her fate enshroud.
"At night, she decks the festive scene,
"She sports,--the Graces own their Queen.
"But each returning morn she flies,
"To haunts unknown to mortal eyes;
"Within a cavern rests concealed,
"Whose secrets yet are unrevealed."
    The Prince the adventure longs to dare,
That leads to the mysterious Fair.

Page 80

He bids his FOREST-FRIEND adieu,
And, curious, anxious, hopes to view
Her, whose gay realm commands the wave,
    A fragrant gale, that scents the air,
Proclaims the destined port is near.
He greets it soon with crouding sail,
And, oh! nor far-famed Tempe's vale,
Nor Cretan, nor Hesperian coast,
Such charms of Art and Nature boast!
While that kind power her gifts extends,
And gay, congenial beauties lends
To her, who rules the favoured land,
Whose smiles reward, whose charms command.
    Now rising, like a guiding star,
Appears the Palace-gate from far,

Page 81

That Bright-illumined Cynosure,
Whose beams the wanderer's steps allure.
    Unnumbered suitors there await
From fair STATIRA'S lips their fate.
AMANTOR joins the splendid train,
Nor sues for favour long in vain.
    Yet still he notes the tale is true;
Each morn she quits his anxious view,
But re-appears each closing night
To give assembled crouds delight;
While mask, or ball, or pageant gay
Deceive the hours till morning's ray,
And all, around her blissful throne,
Appear to live for mirth alone.
    One night, with more than usual charm,
Her every look to rapture warms;

Page 82

At festal banquet she presides,
Whence flows her wit in sparkling tides:
The laughing Loves disportive fly,
Swift glancing, from her beaming eye;
Whence frolic PLEASURE darts her rays,
And animates her beauty's blaze;
And brilliant Thought, on Fancy's wings,
Her splendid coruscations flings.
Whene'er she looks, or smiles, or speaks,
The gay enthusiasm she awakes;
In sport and glee her courtiers vie,
And unrestrained hilarity.
    Warmed with her magic beauty's ray,
AMANTOR'S doubts now sunk away.
But (soon returned) "Ah, whence," he cries,
"Can such incongruous scenes arise?

Page 83

"This Bright Enchantress soon shall haste,
"Her hours in gloomy shades to waste.
    The daring plan he long revolves;
Then, ere he yields his soul, resolves
To watch, at morning's rosy light,
The mystic charmer of the night.
    When PHOEBUS rises from the wave,
Alone he seeks the SACRED CAVE :
As at its entrance dark he stood,
An unknown horror chilled his blood.
    Resolved howe'er, the path he tries,
When Lo! thick, sullen glooms arise,
That, all around, a mist create
No human eye can penetrate:
Now mournful sounds his ears assail,
Low sighs, and sorrow's stifled wail.

Page 84

    Dauntless he urged his shadowy way;
At length, far hid from chearful day,
Surrounded by these vapours drear,
He dimly views STATIRA near.
But, ah! how altered, since the hour
A court delighted owned her power!
In her pale cheek and languid eye,
No more the ambushed CUPIDS lie;
No sparkling GRACES frolic round,
No sprightly notes of mirth resound:
But, darkly flitting round her head,
Their influence gloomy phantoms shed;
And Sadness, Lassitude, and Care
Have fixed their mournful empire there.
    Soon as the Stranger meets her eyes,
With anger-darting looks she cries,

Page 85

"Presumptuous Youth! with footsteps rude
"Why dare in this recess intrude?"
She said--and raised her ebon wand--
What vengeance can its powers command!
    When, Lo! a Phantom rises proud;
A voice commanding thunders loud;
And, sent the unguarded youth to save,
Thus spoke the GENIUS of the CAVE .
"STATIRA , cease, nor impious dare
"Assault high Heaven's peculiar care!"
    Then thus to him, "Before you, see
"Gay PLEASURE'S constant votary!
" Long was STATIRA'S airy court
"Of thoughtless mirth the loved resort;
"With various sports to cheat the hours,
"Engaged her thoughts, employed her powers;

Page 86

"In empty pageantries engrossed,
"Her virtues, feelings, all were lost.
"Whirled in amusement's endless round,
"In vain the voice of Woe might sound;
"In vain the force of Merit plead,
"Or hope for praise, or look for aid.
"At length the angry powers of Heaven
"Withdraw the smiles so vainly given.
    "But, ere descends the gathering storm,
"The maid to punish, or reform,
"By them deputed, forth I went
"The Mental Mirror to present.
    " 'Heedless of blame or worthy praise,
"In trifling joys you waste your days,
"And dissipate those gifts of Heaven,
"Talents, for nobler uses given.

Page 87

"List then, proud Nymph; and listening, fear!
"This moment change your mad career;
"Let Wisdom, Virtue rule your heart,
"And PLEASURE bear a second part,
"Subservient to those duties still
"A Sovereign lives but to fulfil;
"Or if, defying Reason's force,
"You still pursue your wayward course,
"Your nights in revels may be spent,
"But morn shall see you long repent;
"Within a CAVERN'S GLOOM confined,
"My power shall there your footsteps bind,
"Where each gay joy you must forget,
"In silence, sadness, and regret.
"Now choose! for one you must declare,--
"Tumultuous nights, and mornings drear,

Page 88

"Or pleasures, tranquil, ceaseless, pure,
"That Virtue's practice can ensure.' "
    "With sighs her heart began to swell;
" 'How quit the joys I love so well!
"How train my mind to Labour's school!
"Each wandering wish how seek to rule,
"And act the patient student's part,
"To learn dominion's thorny art!
"Refuse 'mid soft delights to stray,
"And Reason's voice alone obey!
            "The die she threw;
"Her after-state now strikes your view.
"Behold, what forms surround her seat,
"CHIMÆRA'S air-bred horrors flit,
"SUSPICION brings her tribe of woes,
Her shade dark MELANCHOLY throws,

Page 89

"REGRET subdues, REPENTANCE stings,
"REMORSE expands his ebon wings,
"And IDLENESS her joyless train
"Leads forth within these realms to reign!"
    Filled with amaze, with awe inspired,
The Prince with pensive step retired.
And soon, in search of distant skies,
AMANTOR'S light-winged vessel flies,
'Till o'er the seas of azure hue,
Luxuriant regions rise to view.

[Illustration faces page 90 in original book.]


The Palace of Sculpture
[Medium] [High]

The Palace of Sculpture.
H. Corbould del.       Hopwood sculp.
A distant figure strikes his sight,
Arrayed in robes of dazzling white
Pa. 91.
Published at 41. Skinner St. Jany. 1, 1812.

Page 90


[Running head: VIRTU]

    THROUGH laughing meads and sounding groves,
Delighted now AMANTOR roves.
    But, while, amid the verdant shade,
He loitered fond, or careless strayed,
A distant figure strikes his sight,
Arrayed in robes of dazzling white.
Perhaps the SYLVAN GENIUS here
(So Fancy whispers) deigns appear;
Perhaps alone, with sorrow fraught.
The tangled path some damsel sought.
Onward, with winged feet, he speeds.--
She meets him not, nor yet recedes.

Page 91

Still she invites, still he pursues:
The snowy form he nearer views.--
A STATUE fair it stands confest,
Close by a garden's entrance placed;
As if to shield the Floral reign
From curious eye, or foot profane.
    Here fragrant bowers enchant the sight.
There grots to cooling shades invite;
But still remains what charmed him most,
(The beauteous garden's pride and boast).--
Near every mount, or bubbling rill,
Or alleyed walk, or planted hill,
Fair STATUES new delight create,
And living beauties emulate.
By lake or torrent's sedgy brim,
Lay RIVER GOD or NAIAD trim,

Page 92

And witnessed every secret shade
Thy image, pensive DRYAD MAID .
Nor yet was GENIUS of the WOOD ,
Nor Sprite of ELF or FAIRY brood,
Nor guardian GODDESS , GOD or FAUN ,
Or deity that haunts the lawn,
But, in the faithful marble found,
With lavish beauty smiled around.
    Now, through a vista, long and wide,
With STATUES decked on either side,
A lofty PALACE bounds the view,
Of plan superb, and Parian hue;
The portals, walls, and every part
Rich treasures of the SCULPTOR'S art
Adorned; but in proportion placed,
O'erwhelming not the scenes they graced.

Page 93

    At his approach wide flew the gate,
And opened to a Hall of State,
With niches filled; where, passing thought,
Forms to the very life were wrought.
The sister MUSES hand in hand,
And GRACES form a beauteous band.
And many a Laurelled King was there,
And Hero Bold, and Virgin Fair.
While some, in graceful groupe displayed,
The active scenes of life pourtrayed;
And attitude, with endless charms,
The marble animates and warms.
    Enthroned, amid the silent scene,
A lovely nymph, in state serene,
The only living object nigh,
Attracts the youth's enraptured eye.

Page 94

    "Stranger, approach," with smiles she said;
"Since chance your steps have hither led,
"Where, deep in solitary pride,
"I and my chosen court reside:--
"For seldom quits her happy home
"And yet, within these lonely towers;
"Uncloying pleasures fill my hours;
"The Arts a grateful tribute bring,
"Delights from thence perpetual spring:
"Nor treasures of the quarried stone
"This hall, these gardens boast alone;
"Beyond its limits stretch your view,
"Your sight will feast on wonders new.
    She said, and called her faithful train,
Who lead him through the fair domain;

Page 95

Where not the HUMAN FORM alone,
Nor GOD , nor GODDESS only shone,
The animal creation too
In Sculpture there was given to view.
For here, in fleece of snow arrayed,
Mute LAMBS reposed beneath the shade;
The CHARGER there, with fiery mien,
Appeared to spurn the sylvan scene,
And, bursting from the living stone,
To call the fields of war his own.
No jutting rock, or tufted glade,
No darksome glen, or forest shade,
But the appropriate guests that fill,
The union speak of taste and skill.
    Returning from the varied ground,
Deep-musing on the charms around,

Page 96

He hastes, in fair MIRANDA'S sight,
To pour his heart's unmixed delight.
    "And, Oh! unequalled nymph," he cried,
"What countless treasures here reside,
"What varied beauties deck the waste,
"Raised by your hand's unerring taste!"
He said, and at her feet adores
Her genius high, and matchless powers.
    Scarce prostrate, lowly, thus he lies,
When, with triumphant smiles, she cries,
"A proof of my victorious sway,
"My royal captive long shall stay."
She spoke--ensnared in magic thrall,
To stone transfixed, he decks her hall.
    "Let not despairing grief," she says,
"Embitter my AMANTOR'S days!

Page 97

"When twelve revolving moons are past,
"No longer shall the enchantment last.
"Ere then, the world entire shall see
"One moment's homage paid to me.
"Ere then, the pride of distant skies
"This scene may love, this heart may prize."
    She ceased, and, rising from her throne,
Her victim leaves, uncheered, alone.
Each day, he mourns his wayward fate,
His powerless, his inglorious state.
In proud AMANTOR'S swelling soul,
Strange to the mandates of controul,
No promise fair, nor blandishment
Can move submission, or content.

Page 98


    ONE morn, when Twilight, matron grey,
Hung fondly yet o'er infant Day,
Sudden, with tempered radiance bright,
Throughout the Hall a rosy light
Beams forth:--Amid the yielding air,
ROSARA moves, divinely fair.
Soft Pity's diamond drops obscure
Her eyes, of liquid azure, pure;
Benevolence, with Angel smile,
Illumes her lovely lips the while.
Her lucid robes, of dazzling white,
Her FAVOURITE FLOWER display to sight.

Page 99

Enwreathed her glittering tresses round,
Her head a ROSY GARLAND crowned.
Her waist the BLUSHING GEMS entwined,
And round her arms encircling wind.
Her wreathed sceptre o'er his head
She waved; its magic force it shed.
The Prince, again to Life restored,
His sweet deliverer adored.
    "Pay not to me (she said, and sighed).
"The homage, that you once denied.
"Think not, ROSARA comes again
"Your will, your wishes to restrain.
"No--when my science deep revealed
"The adventure long your Fate concealed,
"I flew, self-prompted, to your aid,
"Nor hope, nor wish to be repaid.

Page 100

"Your happiness I seek alone.
"Ah! fly MIRANDA'S fatal throne.
"Ask you her fault? each somewhere errs,
"And boundless SELFISHNESS is hers.
    "Survey these statued forms around.
"On them alone my truth I found.
    "Observe yon HERO of the plains,
"Whose hand a laurel crown sustains.
"Not far the time, in arms he shone,
"And bore to her his trophies won.
"Ah fatal gift! the ruthless fair
"Thus fixed her Triumph, his Despair.
    "Yon groupes of beauteous Nymphs divine
"No GRACES are, or MUSES nine,
"(As to your erring eye appears)
"Companions of her early years.

Page 101

"She caught them in the aspect all,
"That best adorned her sumptuous hall.
    "Yon maid who, on her harp reclined,
"Appears the LYRIC MUSE designed,
"Once, in gay pleasure's youthful hour,
"Could call forth notes of sweetest power.
"A victim to her matchless grace,
"In Sculpture now her charms we trace.
    "First in the nimble race to shine,
"Unmatched HIPPOLITA , was thine.
"Now in the conscious marble white,
"An emblem still, you seem of flight.
    "Mute is yon graceful HUNTER'S horn,
"Transfixed, no more he hails the morn.
    "That HOARY SAGE , who seems to mark
"The treasured lore of science dark,

Page 102

"Her tutor once, in times long past,

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

"Is now in stony semblance cast,
"With scenes more mirthful to contrast.
    "Brief let me be--another's joy,
"Or woe, she views with equal eye,
"When to HERSELF they can impart
"A pleasure in her favourite art."
    Then thus AMANTOR , bending low,
"Hear me, benign Enchantress, now;
"Completed be thy generous deed,
"And each inglorious captive freed!
"Then may I hope repentant strain
"Your gracious pardon may obtain,
"And give me, once again a part,
"An interest, in that gentle heart.
    In vain he reads the fair-one's eyes,
There Pity, but Denial, lies;

Page 103

But, when in Mercy's cause he pleads,
Thus free her gracious mandate speeds.
"Let those who in enchantment mourn,
"To life and all its joys return!"
    And, Oh! obedient to the sound,
How different smiled the scene around.
The hall, within whose drear domain
A stilly silence wont to reign,
Ere passed a fleeting moment, rung
With Pleasure's wild, entrancing song;
And Heroes, Youths, and Maidens bright,
Proclaimed their thanks with rapt delight.
Throughout the region's wide extent,
Her words the bonds of magic rent.
In frolic sports, beneath her eye,
The forest train express their joy.

Page 104

All living nature at her feet
Their Lovely Benefactress greet.
    Soft transports fill ROSARA'S heart,
And to her face such charms impart,
To the fond youth, beyond compare
She shines "the Fairest of the Fair."
    For never does the bosom know
Approving Love's most thrilling glow,
So sure, as when it sees its choice
Confirmed by Rapture's general voice,
And grateful crouds, with joint acclaim,
Extol the adored, the sainted name.
    Contemplating the Angelic Maid
In Mercy's every charm arrayed,
"Sure if PERFECTION dwells not here
"None yet have reached its height so near!"

Page 105

    But soon returns the thought again,
"For me those charms must shine in vain.
"And will not Penitence avail?
"Will tears to win forgiveness fail?"
    Now each delighted, grateful guest,
From thraldom freed at his request,
To the proud fair united kneel,
And plead the rover's cause with zeal.
    While Pity's voice her heart assails,
Triumphant LOVE at length prevails.
She smiles, she yields, she owns his power,
Soft Peace descending blessed the hour.
The approving Heavens auspicious shine,
The air is filled with breath divine,
More lucid glories gild the sky,
And all is Transport, Life, and Joy.

Page 106

    The enamoured Youth to grace restored,
Receives the Nymph his soul adored.
For, though, in all his wanderings round,
Pursuing still an empty sound,
By wonder, passion, fancy fired,
He oft was charmed, had oft admired,
Yet still, his heart's best, truest flame
Was hers, beyond all other claim.
    Their conquering friends, with joyous state,
Now lead from out the Palace gate,
And, guided by the jocund hours,
Conduct them to the ROSY BOWERS .
    There, 'mid the Loves and Graces bland,
ROSARA yields her willing hand.
The grateful Prince, supremely blest,
Now lives alone to joy and rest;

Page 107

While cold SUSPICION'S cruel dart
No more invades ROSARA'S Heart.
She seeks his truth alone to bind

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

In silken Fetters of the Mind,
By Love's enchanting finger twined.
    Whether the EMERALD ISLANDS fair,
Or ROSY BOWERS demand his care,
Still, while in sweet ROSARA'S sight,
In every scene he meets delight.
    Yet, if one moment's anxious care,
Those beauties damp that charm him there,
If transient error's passing cloud
That heavenly brow one instant shroud,
He raves not at relentless Fate,
That ne'er did faultless nymph create.
Her failings, balanced with his own,
Seem specks on snowy surface shown.

Page 108

    "Let me (he cries) the good enjoy,
"That Heaven bestows with slight alloy.
"Nor still with over-anxious thought
"Investigate each trifling fault.
"In fair ROSARA is combined
"Each winning grace of form and mind.
"Defects minute no more I scan,


Printed by Joyce Gold, Shoe-lane, London.