The Wild Wreath.

Robinson, Mary Elizabeth, ca. 1775-1818

Charlotte Payne, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 220Kb
Copyright (c) British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
I.D. No. RobiMWildW

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 34
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

The wild wreath

Robinson, Mary Elizabeth

Printed for Richard Phillips

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I Suppl:772. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I Suppl:772mf.]

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Title Page
[Medium] [High]

[Title Page]

[Engraved title page]

The Wild Wreath. Mrs. B. Tarleton del.

Page [i]

THE WILD WREATH. Dedicated (by Permission)
H. R. H. the Duchess of York,

71, St. Paul's Church Yard.
By Mercier & Co. Northumberland Court Strand. 1804.

Page [ii]

Page [iii]



THE common-place rhapsody of a modern Dedication is as far beneath the exalted Admiration which Your Royal Highness must claim from every English bosom, as it is ill-adapted to the task of gratifying such a heart as is known to be possessed by Your Royal Highness.

Emboldened, by your gracious permission, to lay before you these sketches of unclassical Poesy:--as the most diminutive flower is equally dear to NATURE as the loftiest tree,

Page iv

I trust I may not be accused of impropriety in presenting the small wild Wreath to HER who is at once her pupil and darling !

Suffer me, Madam, at the same moment, to offer the thanks of a grateful Heart, for the most honourable and flattering event of my life, the permission to subscribe myself,
Your Royal Highness's
most faithful and devoted
humble Servant, MARIA ELIZABETH ROBINSON. Englefield Cottage, Surry .

Page [v]


Page [1]


"Ah me !  for ought that ever I could read,
"Could ever hear, by tale or history,
"The course of true love never did run smooth."

Page [2]

Page [3]

[Engraved illustration on first page of poem, The foster-child]

Mrs. B. Tarleton del.




    'MID Cambria's hills a lowly cottage stood,
        Circled with mossy tufts of sombre green;
    A vagrant brook flow'd wildly thro' the wood,
        Flashing in lucid lapse the shades between;
        And, cloth'd in mist, a distant hut was seen:
    A village spire above the copse rose white;
        And oft, when summer clos'd the day serene,
    The broad horizon glisten'd golden-bright,
Beskirted here and there with purple-tinted light.

Page 4


    Close by the river's marge a ruin stands,
        Which time, for ages, taught to moulder slow;
    And there, as legends tell, the Druid bands
        To SNOWDEN'S summit rais'd the dirge of woe,
        Whene'er the warriors' blood was bade to flow;
    And when the yellow dawn, with weeping eye,
        Above the ivy'd battlements 'gan glow,
    From the black towr's their fading ghosts would cry,
Till the wide gates of day flam'd in the eastern sky.


    And there the minstrel's airy harp would sound,
        In soft vibrations musically sad;
    And there a stream of light would quiver 'round,
        While spectres gleam'd, in shroudy vestments clad;
        And many, hearing their loud shrieks, grew mad !
    And still the little cot was cheerful seen;
        And the poor foster-mother, smiling, glad
    That pride and pomp had ne'er her portion been,
But all her nights and days pass'd on in peace serene.

Page 5


    Sprung from a race obscure, she little knew
        The many snares that lurk in paths of state:
    She, mountain-cherish'd with the guileless few,
        Nor fear'd the cunning nor obeyed the great;
        Her bosom tranquil, and her soul elate !
    She from soft slumbers merrily awoke
        'Ere morn with humid fingers op'd her gate;
    And listen'd, cheerful, while the Woodman's stroke
Levell'd the loftiest pine, or cleft the proudest oak.


    And happy had the foster-mother been,
        But that her wedded mate was old and poor;
    Tho', as no splendid days the pair had seen,
        They envied not the rich their shining store,
        The costly banquet, nor the marble floor.
    Pleas'd with her toil, the nurse of lusty Health,
        She found contentment, and she sought no more;
    While Time, which conquers e'en the brave by stealth,
Scatter'd 'mid Folly's train the miseries of wealth.

Page 6


    Full sixty summers had old OWEN seen,
        And now his hair grew whiter ev'ry day;
    And he, who once a sturdy hind had been,
        Now found his strength was wasting quick away,
        While creeping Palsy shook his feeble clay;--
    And now came Discontent, with pining mien,
        And eager Avarice, which, gossips say,
    Is age's bitter curse; and so, I ween,
Old OWEN found the hag, the nurse of envious spleen:


    And now he hobbled through the splashy lane,
        While the night-breeze his weary bones would shake;
    And now the mountain's summit to attain
        He panted loud, as tho' his heart would break,
        And sorely did his limbs begin to ache:
    And when the snow was drifted, or the rain
        Swell'd the small rivulet to foaming rage,
    He felt the chilling mist in every vein,
And, like a wounded deer, droop'd languid o'er the plain.

Page 7


    And sometimes to the ruin he would hie,
        And there, upon a mossy fragment, wait,
    Watching the red blaze of the ev'ning sky,
        Gilding with flaming gold the roofs of state,
        The fretted column, and the trophied gate:
    And thus he ponder'd on the wrecks of Time,
        While o'er his head the bird of gloom would cry,
    And all around the black'ning ivy climb,
Shadowing the sacred Haunts of Solitude sublime.


    And then the varying destiny of Man
        Employ'd his thoughts till twilight's veil was spread;
    And much he murmur'd at the chequered plan,
        And many a tear, repining sore, he shed;
        And now in mute reflection bow'd his head,
    With arms enwoven, and with downcast eyes,
        The page of human misery he read,
    Where Wealth for Honesty its thralment tries
While at Oppression's feet the child of Virtue dies.

Page 8


    Then fancy led him to the battle's rage,
        Where flush'd Ambition rear'd its sanguine crest,
    Where men with men, like tigers, fierce engage;
        The brother's sword against the brother's breast:
        And then he rais'd his eyes to heav'n, and bless'd;
    For blood had never stain'd his trembling hand,
        But holy Innocence, by Pity drest,
    Spurning the pride of insolent command,
Had nerv'd his shuddering heart to scorn th' oppressor's brand.


    Thus did he ruminate; while many a tale,
        Told by the gabbling gossips of the plain,
    O'er his lean cheek diffused a deadly pale,
        Bidding him seek his cheerful home again:
        Now fancy bade him ken the warrior train
    Winding the mazes of the merry dance,
        With pages silken-clad, and ladies vain,
    And banners thickly pierc'd with many a lance,
And palfries milky-white, that champing loud did prance;

Page 9


    While airy harps, by sainted Druids smote,
        Pour'd the soft cadence from their golden strings;
    And groans of murder'd chieftains seem'd to float,
        O'er Cambria's tow'ring pride, on Echo's wings:
        And now the gushing of a thousand springs
    Call'd forth the elfin tribes, in dew bedight;
        And now the vaulted arch with clamors rings;
    And starry eyes, spangling the face of Night,
Seem'd thro' the murky gloom to shed translucent light.


    Now OWEN , rising from his moss-clad seat,
        Thro' the lone forest bent his silent way;
    And faint the pulses of his bosom beat,
        Till, peering calm and clear, the moony ray
        Diffus'd o'er SNOWDEN'S summit mimic day;
    And, while the dry leaves whisper'd thro' the wood,
        He mark'd the casement of his hut display
    A long pale stream of light--and swift his blood
Danc'd in his shrivell'd veins, like youth's returning flood.

Page 10


    But suddenly a voice was heard to moan,
        Soft as the sighing of the southern wind;
    And then a milder and a milder tone:----
        He started, stopp'd, and trembling look'd behind.
        What feeble spells can hold the human mind !
    And now, in tears, before old OWEN stood
        A beauteous lady !  Of the loftiest kind
    So did she seem; but those of loftiest blood
Live not in noblest deeds, as noblest natures should.


    The moony light fell clear upon her vest,
        For whiteness rivalling the stately swan;
    And yet less snowy than her beating breast,
        Whose fires the quenching tears fell fast upon;
        And mournful was her mien, and woe-begone:
    Yet her soft eyes might ruffian-rage command,
        Tho' her cold cheek and lip were deathly wan;
    For on her heart she laid her trembling hand,
And, like a guilty wretch, did faint and feeble stand.

Page 11


    And now she rush'd the woody brakes among;
        And now again she quits the dim retreat,
    While suddenly her nerves grew firm and strong--
        For in her arms she bore a baby sweet,
        Wrapp'd in a costly robe, with trappings meet,
    That glisten'd where the moon's pale lustre fell;
        And now she knelt forlorn at OWEN'S feet,
    While with such rending woes her heart 'gan swell
As only those who feel can ever learn to tell.


    Slow from her breast a purse of gold she drew
        (Ah, poison fatal to the soul of man !)
    While o'er the world a misty vapor flew;
        For Nature shrunk the guilty deed to scan:
        The fount in OWEN'S bosom chilly ran;
    The lady sigh'd--the babe his finger press'd--
        The lonely owl its nightly shriek began,
    The ring-dove murmur'd in its leafy nest,
While the fell murd'rer's ghost laugh'd on his grave unblest.

Page 12


    And now the lady spoke, with fault'ring tongue:--
        "Know'st thou the torrent by the mountain's side ?
    There a fantastic crag, with wild weeds hung,
        Frowns o'er the thunders of the foaming tide;
        No mortal sounding yet the gulph has tried:"
    Now OWEN shudder'd; for his heart grew cold:
        And now again the lady sternly cried,--
    "Down the black rock this baby must be roll'd !
Nay, shrink not from the deed; be rich, as thou art bold.


    "Waste not in vulgar toil thy feeble age;
        Bid Poverty, with all its ills, retire:
    Ought Conscience warfare with the heart to wage,
        When all its passions, all its joys, expire ?
        Who shall condemn Ambition's glorious fire ?
    Who bid thee linger thro' thy little day
        The slave of gilded fools ?  whose ruthless ire
    Will bend thee to the grave, a willing prey,
And bid, in envious scorn, thy very name decay.

Page 13


    "The soldier sheds, for gold, a brother's blood;
        The sons of Rapine revel wild in joys;
    For gold the sailor ploughs the billowy flood;
        The statesman barters for Ambition's toys:
        And shall vile Misery thy peace annoy ?
    Shall threat'ning Famine pinch thee to the heart
        While gold can every scorpion care destroy,
    Pouring its unction sweet on ev'ry smart,
And blunting, ere it falls, Oppression's with'ring dart ?"


    And now again the babe his finger press'd,
        Imploring silently his fost'ring care:
    'Twas Nature's eloquence; it touch'd his breast,--
        For Nature's spark was not extinguish'd there !
        He to his bosom snatch'd the treasure rare;
    It nestled fondly: while the lady base
        Rush'd thro' the forest; and the morning-air,
    Fanning with fragrant wings the baby's face,
O'erspread his dimpled cheek with tints of rosy grace.

Page 14


    Now to the margent of the rock they came:
        The hunter's merry horn was heard afar;
    The cold dew glitter'd, while the sunny flame
        Rush'd unimpeded o'er the morning-star,
        Rolling o'er clouds of gold Day's burning car:
    And now the lark its hymn of rapture sung,
        The sheep-bell tinkled, and the deaf'ning jar
    Of tumbling torrents thro' the valley rung,
While the young playful kid frisk'd the dank weeds among.


    Now OWEN , pacing by the bounding flood,
        With arms extended held the fearless child;
    And soon an icy languor chill'd his blood;
        And now his starting eye-balls, gazing wild,
        Fix'd on the baby, as it sweetly smil'd,
    While the rude crag the trembling caitiff trod;
        When lo !  his wither'd hands, by gold defil'd,
    Were numb'd and palsied like a senseless clod,
Smote by the chast'ning pow'r of NATURE'S shudd'ring GOD !

Page 15


    Now up the mazes of the dark'ning dell
        The foster-mother, like a maniac, hied;
    And bursting sighs her bosom taught to swell,
        For at the dawn of day her son had died !
        Her only son-old OWEN'S lusty pride !
    But grief to horror turn'd when OWEN told
        The story of the lady--who, to hide
    Her guilt and shame, had sought, by 'witching gold,
To have her own dear babe down the black mountain roll'd !


    And ere the setting sun, with vivid ray,
        Gilded the casement of their hovel low,
    She saw the raven cross the foamy way;
        She heard the screech-owl o'er the mountain go;
        While the true sheep-dog howl'd, portending woe.
    Now a dim circle round the moon was roll'd,
        And now the church-yard elms wav'd to and fro,
    While the small death-watch bitter griefs foretold,--
For OWEN'S cheek was pale, and OWEN'S heart was cold !

Page 16


    EIGHT years pass'd on, and still the stripling grew,
        But nothing lovely in his face was seen;
    His stature low, his brow of swarthy hue,
        And coarse and vulgar was his infant mien;
        A more unseemly thing scarce liv'd, I ween:
    Yet in his soul the pure affections shone,
        Meek charity, with modest pride serene;
    While truth and dauntless courage were his own,
Tho', when he wept, his tear would melt a heart of stone.


    The village gossips, 'round the blazing hearth,
        Would talk in wonder of the foster-child ;
    And one would say he was of lowly birth,
        While others thought him born of savage wild;
        And so they many a freezing night beguil'd:
    Till, falling once from an o'erhanging tree,
        Amidst the torrent strong, he fearless smil'd !
    And then the wrinkled hags, with devilish glee,
Swore "the undaunted boy some witch's brat must be !"

Page 17


    And oft, upon the brow of mountain-steep,
        As slow the landscape faded from his view,
    With devious steps he wander'd far, to weep,
        (While all around the sultry' vapours flew),
        Heedless of with'ring bolt, or drizzly dew:
    And as the giant shadows vanquish'd day,
        Veiling the woodland dell in dusky hue,
    By the small tinkling sheep-bell would he stray,
And, like to elfin ghost, bemoan the hours away:


    And often, on the mossy bank, alone,
        Strange figures would he draw, and features vile;
    And, building a rude seat of rugged stone,
        Would sit whole hours, and ponder all the while;
        Or, talking to himself, would nod and smile;
    And sometimes by the starry light he'd go
        Where the dank yew o'erhangs the church-yard stile,
    And there, with hemlock, nightshade, misletoe,
Weaving a poison'd wreath, would chaunt a strain of woe.

Page 18


    No wealth had he, no garland of renown;
        Slow pass'd the minutes thro' the livelong day,
    Till from the upland mead, or thistled down,
        He watch'd the sun's last lustre fade away:
        And if perchance his little heart was gay,
    It beat to hear some merry minstrel's note,
        Or goat-herd caroling his roundelay
    On craggy cliffs, while from the linnet's throat
Full many a winding trill on airy wings did float:


    And when the wint'ry moon, with crystal eye,
        Above the promontory bleak 'gan sail,
    Shrouding her modest brow in amber sky,
        While shrill the night-breeze whistled o'er the vale,
        Oft would he tell some melancholy tale
    To the deep lucid stream that wander'd slow,
        Listless and weary, indolent and pale,
    His bosom swelling high with bitter woe,
Which none but luckless wight with tender heart can know:

Page 19


    And oft to others' plaints would he give heed:--
        For all, that griev'd, his bosom learn'd to sigh:
    He could not see the fleecy victim bleed,
        Nor snare the free-born tenant of the sky,
        Nor lesser wight be teized when he stood by;
    For brute oppression rous'd his little rage;
        In combat fierce the younker to defy
    He would, with breathless ire, his limbs engage,
While neither threats nor pain his anger could assuage.


    With ebon locks unkempt, and mean attire,
        A mountain weather-beaten wight was he:--
    And passing meek; save when resentful ire
        Bade from his glance the living lightning flee,
        To think that Vice would Virtue's master be:
    For, tho' no classic knowledge grac'd his mind
        From legends old, or feats of chivalry,
    Still 'round his heart the wond'rous instinct twin'd
Which throbb'd in every vein--the love of human kind.

Page 20


    One night, the murky eve of Christmas-day,
        When mystic-fraught the wint'ry tempest blows,
    Dim shadows hover'd in the blunted ray,
        While red the moon o'er SNOWDEN'S summit rose:
        And soon fierce hurricanes the heav'ns unclose;
    Howling, the wild blast danc'd upon the wave;
        And now a blazing fire the mountain shows;
    The troubled streams like blood their margents lave;
And rays of livid light gleam o'er old OWEN'S grave:


    The foster-mother rose in dread dismay,
        And to the wayward stripling's chamber went;
    And now the paly stream of tardy day
        Stole down the hill, with frozen dew besprent,
        Silv'ring with light the little tenement:
    The swarthy boy upon his pallet rude
        Slept sweet and soundly, dreaming of content;
    While eager-ey'd the foster-mother stood,
Like a fell bird of prey watching a victim brood:

Page 21


    For, idle tales had now been widely spread,--
        That potent witchcraft had possest the child;
    That mystic spells, from pois'nous herbage shed,
        The urchin's wand'ring senses had beguil'd,
        Filling his brain with incantations wild:
    And some did swear that, by a fiend possest,
        Like a vile killcrop * , breathing airs defil'd,
    The corn would mildew, by his fingers prest,
And new-born babes expire, meeting his glance unblest.


    Near where the black-thorn mark'd the barren hill,
        Dotting with frequent tufts its rugged side,
    In a clay hut, a wither'd imp of ill
        Her art accurst for many a year had plied:
        Bearded she was, and swart, and haggard-eyed;
    And on her back a lump deforming grew;
        A huge dried snake about her waist was tied,
    And hideous forms upon the floor she drew
With hemlock's poison'd juice mingled with midnight dew:

*A witch's changeling.

Page 22


    The wings of bats, the hides of toads, were seen
        Clothing the walls of her infernal cell;
    And spiders grim, hiding their webs between,
        Watch'd the foul HAG weaving her potent spell,
        Low-muttering like a sullen fiend of hell:
    A murderer's scull, fall'n from a gibbet high,
        And fill'd with water from a stagnant well,
    Oft to her skinny lips she would apply,
With many a bitter curse and many a labour'd sigh:


    Close at her feet a brindled mastiff lay,
        Watching her busy toil with blodshot eyes;
    And now he howl'd, as if with dire dismay,
        Shaking the hovel with his fearful cries;
        And now, with hide erect, he couching lies:
    A rav'ning kite, which on the lattice stood,
        With side-glance keen the wither'd sorc'ress spies,
    His talons streaming with the wild kid's blood,
Which down the thorny steep roll'd in a crimson flood.

Page 23


    Thither in haste the foster-mother flew,
        To traffic with the wicked child of hell:
    For ev'ry starry path the sorc'ress knew;
        Could mark how high the stormy flood would swell;
        Of comets prattle, and eclipse foretel;
    Draw from their mould'ring shrouds the guilty dead;
        Ride on the whirlwind over hill and dell;
    Dance on the murderer's grave, and fearless tread
O'er the wide-yawning wave of Ocean's foamy bed.


    And now the foster-mother told her tale
        (The sorc'ress list'ning with malignant smile),--
    How the lorn boy would wander, sad and pale;
        Or pluck the yew-tree from the church-yard stile;
        Or bind his brows with weeds and herbage vile:
    How he would sing his wild song to the blast,
        And so night's melancholy noon beguile;
    Or, when the death-knell o'er the meadow pass'd,
Smile thro' the dreary hour, and wish it were his last.

Page 24


    And now again the witch, with ghastly grin,
        Turn'd to her rushy bed, and shriek'd with joy:
    For, there full many a wither'd branch was seen,
        And many a herb infectious, to destroy,
        Gather'd at dawn-light by the foster-boy;
    For, oftimes he the spiteful HAG would taunt,
        And, scatt'ring poisons, her lone hours annoy;
    Or, shrieking like a ghost, her threshold haunt,
Till morn above the steep its gaudy beams would flaunt:


    And now across her path the straw he threw,
        Or scratch'd her shrivel'd arm with crooked pin;
    Now up the moon-light lane her feet pursue,
        And shout behind her with insulting din:----
        To mock the old and feeble were a sin:
    But that the subtle HAG , with menac'd rage,
        Would urge the daily warfare to begin;
    And oft with stick and stone in fight engage,
Mingling with potent wrath the peevish bent of age.

Page 25


    The tale being told, the little wretch forlorn
        Was sentenc'd to endure each wounding wrong;
    Assail'd by all the shafts of ribald scorn,
        And mark'd the make-game of a senseless throng;--
        For, Persecution is a giant strong.
    And now his food was frequently denied;
        His sport was seldom, and his labor long;
    His hunger, herbs medicinal supplied,
With ears of mildew'd corn, steep'd in the sandy tide.


    One morn the foster-mother early rose;
        'Twas the blythe morn of love-inspiring May:
    But fearful dreams had haunted her repose,
        Dark'ning the splendor of the rising day:
        She sought the boy,--but he was far away !
    For sharp unkindness did his peace annoy,
        And little could he brook the rigid sway
    Which tyrant natures, tyrant souls, enjoy;
Their cruel sport to wound--their triumph to destroy.

Page 26


    Yet wither could the little wand'rer go ?
        A stranger to the world's wide mazes he;
    Despair his guide, his sole companion Woe--
        A solitary exile doom'd to be:
        He gaz'd aghast; no friend his eyes could see;
    And yet in fancy he beheld the day
        When, smiling, on his foster-mother's knee,
    He oftentimes has heard her sighing say,
How to her cot he came bedight in rich array.


    Perchance, he thought, some lord his sire might live;
        Some lady sweet his bashful mother prove,
    While shame might bid her to a stranger give
        The holy treasure of a parent's love.
        O barbarous Pride !   which NATURE cannot move;
    Shall her poor offspring ever plead in vain ?
        Shall they, unown'd by guilty greatness, rove;
    Or, lost in ignorance, unblest remain,
Like a wild with'ring tree plac'd on a desert plain ?--

Page 27


    And now his fev'rish brain began to burn,
        While Mem'ry conjur'd up each hour to view
    Which, erst so tranquil, never could return--
        Ah, MEMORY ! sad thy visions are, and true !--
        When dark Despair a gloomy picture drew;
    While Fancy madden'd on the varied scene:
        And now the clouds resum'd a cheerful hue;
    Yet, while he watch'd the rays of light between,
On all the earth there breath'd no wretch so lorn, I ween.


    O'er hill and dale the friendless foster-child,
        With weary footsteps, bent his lonely way:
    And now he hasten'd o'er the thorny wild;
        Now by the rippling brook would musing stay;
        Or dream, on flow'ry banks, of visions gay:
    Then, starting wild, his pilgrimage pursue,
        Not knowing whither he was doom'd to stray,
    While his wan cheek was sprent with chilling dew,
Or fierce the angry storm athwart his bosom flew.

Page 28


    At length gaunt Poverty, of sallow hue,
        And cold Neglect, with all their rueful train,
    About his heart their with'ring mischiefs threw;
        And sorely was he pinch'd with bitter pain:
        Yet proud was he, and fraught with high disdain,
    Tho' many a day he fasted sad and lone;
        And all night long across the dismal plain
    He pour'd, amid the blast, his rending groan,
While the faint glimm'ring stars in chilling lustre shone:


    And many a burning day, and freezing night,
        The little trav'ller on his journey bent;
    And often, by the moon-beam's quiv'ring light,
        He watch'd his shadow length'ning as he went,
        And, so companion'd, seem'd awhile content:
    Yet when, perchance, he met a lady gay,
        With sudden pangs his feeling heart was rent;
    For then remembrance shew'd the rich array
Which (so the tale was told) bedeck'd his natal day.

Page 29


    It so befel that, on a summer's eve,
        A stately mansion met his tearful eyes:
    And suddenly his soul forgot to grieve;
        And straight a beauteous lady he espies:
        With unknown hopes his heavy heart did rise,
    For on her cheek a gentle smile was seen;
        And now she mark'd his form with fond surprise !
    For, by his father's smile, his father's mien,
Her own wrong'd baby-boy she knew full well, I ween.


    'Twas INSTINCT rushing thro' her beating breast !
        Instinct, the lamp divine that lights the soul;
    For many a night, depriv'd of balmy rest,
        Her fev'rish eye-balls had been taught to roll:
        Oh ! what can conscious agony control ?
    And, when she ponder'd on the foaming tide,
        From her shrunk heart Hope's soothing visions stole;
    And sick'ning was the luxury of Pride,
While all the mother's fears beat high against her side.

Page 30


    Now the wide country 'round with revels rung;
        "The Stranger Boy " was sov'reign of the scene;
    And there the minstrel play'd, the peasant sung,
        And dancing circles dotted o'er the green;
        Such rural merriment had ne'er been seen:
    The soft harp echo'd down the woody dell;
        And, sporting gay, the sombre shades between,
    The wild goat wanton'd; while afar the swell
On the light breeze was borne, of many a distant bell.


    But who can paint the mother's silent joy ?
        Who measure the full transport of her soul ?
    While on the smiling cheek of her lost boy
        Her tears repentant swiftly now 'gan roll:
        And woe to him who would their course control !
    For 'twas the extract of the wounded heart,
        Wafted to Heaven by sighs that NATURE stole--
    Sighs which more sacred rapture can impart
Than all the pomp of wealth, and all the smiles of art !

Oct . 22, 1800.

Page 31



HARD by the limpid Conway's murm'ring stream
        A cottage stood, by thickest trees surrounded;
    The creeping vine, o'er lattic'd windows twining,
    Gave a soft light, when low the sun declining
Shot o'er the distant hills his sinking beam.

This cot was all its owner's watch and pride:
For in its bounds his sum of earthly blessings
Was all contain'd: kind Nature there bestowing
A being who, with artless beauty glowing,
Shone lovelier far than all her sex beside.

Page 32

Her lip outvied the richest tints of art;
        Her cheek the rose's blush, the lily's beauty:
    Thro' her black downcast lashes, softly stealing,
    Her sparkling eyes reveal'd each inmost feeling:
And her pure form enshrin'd as pure a heart.

To EDWIN it had vow'd its earliest love--
        EDWIN , the tenant of this little cottage;
    And he, on his lov'd ELLEN fondly smiling,
    In her dear presence every care beguiling,
Enjoy'd that bliss true hearts alone can prove.

But, ah !  let none deem earthly bliss secure !
        One ev'ning, with his ELLEN , EDWIN straying,
    Tasting the cool and balmy hour of leisure,
    Was prest by villains from his bosom's treasure,
And doom'd the keenest anguish to endure:

Page 33

In vain did Ellen weep, entreat, implore;
        The gang were dead to feeling, and to pity;
    From her firm grasp the madd'ning Edwin tearing;
    They dragged him wounded, dying, and despairing,
And from her last embrace their victim bore.

Oh !  hapless Ellen, never will thy sight
        Be blest again, with him it lov'd so dearly:
    Never again, to those sad eyes returning,
    Shall joy for thee awake its rosy morning,
Nor Edwin's smiles inspire the soft delight.

In death's cold arms his youthful graces sleep;
        Nor can thy cries disturb his leaden slumbers:
    O'er his pale form the whitening surge is rolling,
    Where, to the sea-gull's scream, the winds are howling,
And o'er the shatter'd wreck the lightnings sweep.

Page 34

Too soon did Ellen hear the fatal tale !
        No more her breaking heart its woes sustaining,
    She soon was laid within her last cold dwelling,
    While, on the hollow breeze, the death-bell, swelling,
In solemn cadence echo'd thro' the vale.

Rest, gentle Fair !  from this world's cruel wrong:
        In other climes ye now receive a blessing:
    The village bards, 'round your deserted dwelling,
    Shall tune their harps, the tide of sorrow swelling,
And to your fate and virtues raise the song.


Page 35


BY MRS. ROBINSON, (Never before Printed.)

"WATCH no more the twinkling stars;
    Watch no more the chalky bourne;
Lady !  from the Holy wars,
    Never will thy Love return !
        Cease to watch, and cease to mourn,
        Thy Lover never will return !


"Watch no more the yellow moon,
    Peering o'er the mountain's head;
Rosy day, returning soon,
    Will see thy Lover, pale and dead !
        Cease to weep, and cease to mourn,
        Thy Lover will no more return !

Page 36


"Lady, in the Holy wars,
    Fighting for the Cross, he died;
Low he lies, and many scars
    Mark his cold and mangled side;
        In his winding-sheet he lies,
        Lady !  check those rending sighs.


"Hark !  the hollow sounding gale
    Seems to sweep in murmurs by,
Sinking slowly down the vale;
    Wherefore, gentle Lady, sigh ?
        Wherefore moan, and wherefore sigh ?
        Lady !  all that live must die.


"Now the stars are fading fast:
    Swift their brilliant course are run;
Soon shall dreary night be past:
    Soon shall rise the cheering sun !

Page 37

        The sun will rise to gladden thee;
        Lady, Lady, cheerful be."


So spake a voice !  While sad, and lone,
    Upon a lofty tower, reclin'd,
A Lady sat: the pale moon shone,
    And sweetly blew the summer wind;
        Yet still, disconsolate in mind,
        The lovely Lady sat reclin'd.


The lofty tow'r was ivy clad;
    And round a dreary forest rose;
The midnight bell was tolling sad;
    'Twas tolling for a soul's repose !
        The Lady heard the gates unclose,
        And, from her seat, in terror, rose.


The summer moon shone bright and clear;

Page 38

    She saw the castle gates unclose;
And now she saw four monks appear,
    Loud chanting for a soul's repose.
        Forbear, oh, lady !  look no more:--
        They pass'd--a livid corpse they bore.


They pass'd, and all was silent now:
    The breeze upon the forest slept;
The moon stole o'er the mountain's brow;
    Again the Lady sigh'd, and wept:
        She watch'd the holy fathers go
        Along the forest path below.


And now the dawn was bright, the dew
    Upon the yellow heath was seen;
The clouds were of a rosy hue,
    The sunny lustre shone between:
        The Lady to the chapel ran,
        While the slow matin prayer began.

Page 39


And then, once more, the fathers grey
    She mark'd, employ'd in holy prayer:
Her heart was full, she cou'd not pray,
    For love and fear were masters there !
        Ah, Lady !  thou wilt pray ere long
        To sleep those lonely aisles among !


And now the matin prayers were o'er;
    The barefoot monks, of order grey,
Were thronging to the chapel door,
    When there the Lady stopp'd the way:
        "Tell me," she cried, "whose corpse, so pale,
        "Last night ye bore along the vale ?"


"Oh Lady !  question us no more:
    "No corpse did we bear down the dale !"
The lady sunk upon the floor,
    Her quivering lip was deathly pale !

Page 40

        The barefoot monks now whisper'd, sad,
        "God grant our Lady be not mad."


The monks departing, one by one,
    The chapel gates in silence close;
When from the altar steps, of stone,
    The trembling lady feebly goes:
        While the morning sheds a ruby light,
        The painted windows glowing bright.


And now she heard a hollow sound;
    It seem'd to come from graves below;
And now again she look'd around,
    A voice came murm'ring sad and slow;
        And now she heard it feebly cry,
        "Lady !  all that live must die !


"Watch no more from yonder tow'r,

Page 41

    "Watch no more the star of day !
"Watch no more the dawning hour,
    "That chases sullen night away !
        "Cease to watch, and cease to mourn,
        "Thy lover will no more return !"


She look'd around, and now she view'd,
    Clad in a doublet gold and green,
A youthful knight: he frowning stood
    And noble was his mournful mien;
        And now he said, with heaving sigh
        "Lady, all that live must die."


She rose to quit the altar's stone,
    She cast a look to heaven and sigh'd,
When lo !  the youthful knight was gone;
    And, scowling by the lady's side,
        With sightless skull and bony hand:
        She saw a giant spectre stand !

Page 42


His flowing robe was long and clear,
    His ribs were white, as drifted snow:
The Lady's heart was chill'd with fear;
    She rose, but scarce had power to go:
        The spectre grinn'd a dreadful smile,
        And walked beside her down the aisle.


And now he wav'd his rattling hand;
    And now they reached the chapel door,
And there the spectre took his stand;
    While, rising from the marble floor,
        A hollow voice was heard to cry,
        "Lady, all that live must die.


"Watch no more the evening star !
    "Watch no more the glimpse of morn !
"Never from the Holy War.
    "Lady, will thy love return !

Page 43

        "See this bloody cross; and, see,
        "His bloody scarf he sends to thee !"


And now again the youthful knight
    Stood smiling by the Lady's side !
His helmet shone with crimson light,
    His sword with drops of blood was dy'd:
        And now a soft and mournful song
        Stole the chapel aisles among.


Now from the spectre's paley cheek
    The flesh began to waste away;
The vaulted doors were heard to creek ,
    And dark became the Summer day !
        The spectre's eyes were sunk, but he
        Seem'd with their sockets still to see !


The second bell is heard to ring:

Page 44

    Four barefoot monks, of orders grey,
Again their holy service sing;
    And round the chapel altar pray:
        The Lady counted o'er and o'er,
        And shudder'd while she counted--four !


"Oh !  Fathers, who was he, so gay,
    "That stood beside the chapel door ?
"Oh !  Tell me fathers, tell me pray."
    The monks replied, "We fathers four:
        "Lady, no other have we seen,
        "Since in this holy place we've been !"



NOW the merry bugle horn
    Thro' the forest sounded far;
When on the lofty tow'r, forlorn,
    The Lady watch'd the evening star;

Page 45

        The evening star that seem'd to be
        Rising from the dark'ned sea !


The Summer sea was dark and still,
    The sky was streak'd with lines of gold,
The mist rose grey above the hill,
    And low the clouds of amber roll'd:
        The Lady on the lofty tow'r
        Watch'd the calm and silent hour.


And, while she watch'd, she saw advance
    A ship, with painted streamers gay:
She saw it on the green wave dance,
    And plunge amid the silver spray;
        While from the forest's haunts, forlorn,
        Again she heard the bugle-horn:


The sails were full; the breezes rose;

Page 46

    The billows curl'd along the shore;
And now the day began to close;--
    The bugle-horn was heard no more,
        But, rising from the wat'ry way,
        An airy voice was heard to say:


"Watch no more the evening star;
    "Watch no more the billowy sea;
"Lady, from the Holy War
    "Thy lover hastes to comfort thee:
        "Lady, Lady, cease to mourn;
        "Soon thy lover will return."


Now she hastens to the bay:
    Now the rising storm she hears:
Now the sailors smiling say,
    "Lady, Lady, check your fears:
        "Trust us, Lady; we will be
        "Your pilots o'er the stormy sea."

Page 47


Now the little bark she view'd,
    Moor'd beside the flinty steep;
And now, upon the foamy flood,
    The tranquil breezes seem'd to sleep.
        The moon arose; her silver ray
        Seem'd on the silent deep to play.


Now music stole across the main:
    It was a sweet but mournful tone;
It came a slow and dulcet strain;
    It came from where the pale moon shone:
        And, while it pass'd across the sea,
        More soft, and soft, it seem'd to be.


Now on the deck the Lady stands.
    The vessel steers across the main;
It steers towards the Holy Land,
    Never to return again:

Page 48

        Still the sailors cry, "We'll be
        Your Pilots o'er the stormy sea."


Now she hears a low voice say,
    "Deeper, deeper, deeper still;
"Hark !  the black'ning billows play;
    "Hark !  the waves the vessel fill:
        "Lower, lower, down we go;
        "All is dark and still below.


Now a flash of livid light,
    On the rolling deep, was seen !
And now the Lady saw the Knight,
    With doublet rich of gold and green:
        From the sockets of his eyes,
        A pale and streaming light she spies !


And now his form transparent stood,

Page 49

    Smiling with a ghastly mien;--
And now the calm and boundless flood
    Was, like the emerald, bright and green;
        And now 'twas of a troubled hue,
        While "Deeper, deeper," sang the crew.


Slow advanced the morning-light,
    Slow they plough'd the wavy tide;
When, on a cliff of dreadful height,
    A castle's lofty tow'rs they spied:
        The Lady heard the sailor-band,
        Cry, "Lady, this is Holy Land.


"Watch no more the glitt'ring spray;
    "Watch no more the weedy sand;
"Watch no more the star of day;
    "Lady, this is Holy Land:
        "This castle's lord shall welcome thee;
        "Then Lady, Lady, cheerful be !"

Page 50


Now the castle-gates they pass;
    Now across the spacious square,
Cover'd high with dewy grass,
    Trembling steals the Lady fair:
        And now the castle's lord was seen,
        Clad in a doublet gold and green.


He led her thro' the gothic hall,
    With bones and skulls encircled 'round;
Oh, let not this thy soul appal !"
    He cried, "for this is Holy Ground."
        He led her thro' the chambers lone,
        'Mid many a shriek, and many a groan.


Now to the banquet-room they came:
    Around a table of black stone
She mark'd a faint and vapoury flame;
    Upon the horrid feast it shone--

Page 51

        And there, to close the madd'ning sight,
        Unnumber'd spectres met the light.


Their teeth were like the brilliant, bright;
    Their eyes were blue as saphire clear;
Their bones were of a polish'd white;
    Gigantic did their ribs appear !--
        And now the Knight the Lady led,
        And plac'd her at the table's head !----


Just now the Lady WOKE :--for she
    Had slept upon the lofty tow'r,
And dreams of dreadful phantasie
    Had fill'd the lonely moon-light hour:
        Her pillow was the turret-stone,
        And on her breast the pale moon shone:


But now a real voice she hears:

Page 52

    It was her lover's voice;--for he,
To calm her bosom's rending fears,
    That night had cross'd the stormy sea:
        "I come," said he, "from Palestine,
        "To prove myself, sweet Lady , THINE .

Page [53]


Page [54]

Page 55



    IN these degenerate times the Muses blend
For thee a wreath, their guardian and their friend;
Thee, lib'ral MOIRA , in whose glowing mind
Exulting Nature ev'ry grace combin'd !
Honour's nice sense, by judgment wisely taught;
And hardy Valour, with soft Pity fraught;
TRUTH without ostentation ; and a soul,
Thro' which the purest tides of Feeling roll;
And inborn Dignity, which springs elate
Above the tinsel of mere lofty state !

Page 56

    Blest is the isle where Virtue such as thine
Waves its broad standard o'er the MUSE'S shrine
Blest is the hour when manly feelings own
A PATRIOT'S laurels twining round a THRONE !
With honest zeal when proud affections blend;
And courtly splendors dignify the Friend ,--
The gen'rous friend, whom int'rest cannot bind,
But whose strong ruler is HIS GOD-LIKE MIND !

    Where'er I trace thee, through Life's varying day,
I mark attending Virtues lead thy way:
I mark the mild Affections following near;
Now deck'd in smiles, now bath'd in pity's tear.
Beside thee VALOR moves with giant crest,
While Mercy's ensign hides his iron breast;
And TIME , with glowing pen, on Nature's page,
Transcribes thy deeds, to charm a future age !

    MOIRA !  accept the Muse's grateful songs;
For all THE MUSE can give to THEE belongs !
The flow'rs of Fancy at thy bidding rise,
And their wild fragrance blend, with purest dyes.

Page 57

No flatt'rer's voice the labour'd cadence flings;
No Syren mischief witches while she sings;
No hireling slave contaminates the tide
Where bright PIERIAN fountains proudly glide;--
The Wreath that suits with thee may Virtue claim,
'Tis BRITAIN'S offering,--'tis the WREATH OF FAME .

    Take from A STRANGER Muse the song sincere;
The wild note greets time with a mingling tear:
Take from her trembling hand a thornless flow'r,
And wear it on thy breast through Life's dull hour:
Haply, when Contemplation sighs to scan
The weedy pathway mark'd for wretched man,
This humble Flow'r may fragrance still impart;
If not to charm, to harmonize thy heart;
To prove that, e'en where darkest ills are found,
Where weedy mischiefs poison while they wound,
The sweetest emblem which the mind can know
Is the pure bud which Kindness taught to blow;
The bud which in thy wreath its leaves shall rear,
Bath'd in the lustre of a grateful tear.

Page 58



    SWEET is the calmly-cheerful hour
When, from mute Midnight's ebon tow'r,
The moon escapes, and sportive flies
O'er the gay garden of the skies,
Where NATURE'S loveliest flow'rs unfold
The starry buds of burning gold:
The weary winds pant on the deep,
Or amongst the cradling billows sleep:
All is delight !----But, ah, in vain
Such varying glories fill the plain;--
For, see !  the frenzied Lover speeds
From the bright skies and glittering meads,

Page 59

From gaudy hills, enchanted bow'rs,
From whisp'ring gales and perfum'd show'rs;--
He seeks the lonely pensive cave
Where he may think , and weep , and rave ,
And muse upon the murd'rous eye:
Then, there he calls down from on high
Unhallow'd curses, wild and dread,
Upon his rival's hated head.
He wraps his thought in sablest gloom,
And lures a transport from the tomb,
Where he may hope to rest at last,
When Passion's rending pangs are past.

    But, oh !  if he should chance to hear
The warblings of the bird sincere,
Who loves her secret pangs to throw
In all the melodies of woe,
His nerves relax,--his trembling lid
By Pity's pearly veil is hid,
Subjected agonies depart,
And soft'ning sorrow soothes his heart.

Page 60

    So I, dear Laura, long suppress'd
The thorn of anguish in my breast:
Lost to each social solace gay,
And heedless of the blooms of May;
And heedless of the haughty sun,
When, to his mad meridian run,
He lifts his red refulgent shield,
And fires the Heaven's eternal field:----
I have from each allurement fled,
To where incumbent darkness spread;
Trod the black torrent's gloomy side,
And held fierce converse with the tide:
But when thy numbers seiz'd my soul,
I found the thrilling sadness roll
In sweet similitude of joy,
That could my deadliest griefs destroy.
They stole upon my 'tranced sense,
As the fresh gales of morn dispense
New life to ev'ry flow'r that fades
In Solitude's neglected glades.
    Then frown not on my daring lay,

Page 61

That strives to paint the golden day;
To tell the lustre of the rose,
And thy resistless charms disclose:
But think, when in the grave's cold sleep
My wretched eyes shall cease to weep,
And, senseless of the wint'ry breeze,
This sad, this burning heart shall freeze,--
Then shall my ling'ring verse declare
How much I priz'd thee, good and fair !
What tenderness my soul conceiv'd !
How deeply for thy suff'rings griev'd !
While future lovers, future bards, shall join,
To pour in Laura's praise their melodies divine.

Page 62



    IN yonder skies the stealing shades of Even
Soften the glories of departing day;
    Light feath'ry clouds o'erspread the face of Heaven;
The distant spire reflects the gilded ray,
And o'er the silent wave the ling'ring sun-beams play.

    Soft on the ear, with mournful magic, dwells
    The less'ning cadence of the village-bells,
Borne by faint echo o'er the river's breast;
    While, wearied with the labours of the day,
    To his dear cot the hedger bends his way,
As the low song of birds proclaims the hour of rest.

Page 63

O Stranger !  is thy anxious mind perplex'd
By worldly cares ?  By human folly vex'd ?
Visit these scenes, whose gentle influence move
To kinder thoughts of charity and love !--
Is thy heart sad ?  This balmy ev'ning air
Might whisper comfort to the worst despair--
Might tune the rudest passions into peace,
And bid all jarring cares, all human sorrows, cease.

    But not to Thee , who sleep'st yon' stone beneath,
Can scenes like these a gleam of joy impart,
Or waken to delight thy frozen heart !
    The ling'ring sun-beam lights thy simple grave,
And bids the turf with life and beauty glow,
Yet fails to warm the breast that lies below !--
    No more for thee the blushing flow'rets breathe,
    And sparkling rays illume the peaceful wave:
Heedless the birds in tuneful chorus sing,
And with melodious concert hail the Spring;
While vainly Friendship , o'er thy mournful bier,
Sheds with some short-liv'd flow'r the melancholy tear.

Page 64

Oft, EMMA , on thy virtues and thy fate,
At silent eve, I love to meditate;
Fondly retracing to my burthen'd heart
The hours that join'd us, and that bade us part.
And oft I'm borne, in thought, to yonder skies,
Where, 'mongst departed spirits pure and wise,
Thy well-tried modest worth receives a heavenly prize.

Such thoughts as these my pensive heart beguile,
And soothe me, as I sadly pause awhile
    To view the peaceful spot where thou art laid.--
Perchance, ere long, I in my turn shall rest,
Within the precincts of its hallow'd breast,
    And share with thee thy cold and silent bed !--
Yet, whatsoe'er my doom, I'll ne'er repine,
If, when that hour arrives, my heart is pure as thine.


Page 65


BY M. G. LEWIS, ESQ. (Never before Printed.)

OH, mark his wan and hollow cheek !  and mark his eye-balls' glare !
And mark his teeth in anguish clench'd, the anguish of despair !
Know, since three days, his penance borne, yon Felon left a jail,
And since three days no food has pass'd those lips so parch'd and pale.

" Where shall I turn ?" the wretch exclaims; "Where hide my shameful head ?"
"How fly from scorn?  Oh !  how contrive to earn my honest bread ?

Page 66

"This branded hand would gladly toil; but, when for work I pray,
"Who sees this mark, 'A Felon !' cries, and loathing turns away.

"This heart has greatly err'd, but now would fain revert to good:
"This hand has deeply sinn'd, but yet has ne'er been stain'd with blood:
"For work, or alms, in vain I sue; the scorners both deny:
"I starve; I starve--Then what remains ?--This choice; to sin , or die !

"Here Virtue spurns me with disdain; there Pleasure spreads her snare:
"Strong habit drags me back to vice; and, urg'd by fierce Despair,
"I strive, while Hunger gnaws my heart, to fly from shame in vain !--

Page 67

"World, 'tis thy cruel will !  I yield, and plunge in guilt again.
"There's Mercy in each ray of light that mortal eyes e'er saw;
"There's Mercy in each breath of air that mortal lips e'er draw;
"There's Mercy both for bird and beast in GOD'S indulgent plan;
"There's Mercy for each creeping thing;--but MAN HAS NONE FOR MAN !

"Ye proudly honest !  when ye heard my wounded conscience groan,
"Had generous hand, or feeling heart, one glimpse of Mercy shown,--
"That act had made, from burning eyes, sweet tears of virtue roll,
"Had fix'd my heart, assur'd my faith, and Heav'n had gain'd a Soul ! "

Page 68



WHAT wounds more deep than arrows keen,
    Piercing the heart subdu'd ?
What renders life a dreary scene ?--
    Thy sting, INGRATITUDE !
For ev'ry pain that man can know
    Has still an antidote for woe,
Save where INGRATITUDE is found
    Giving its deep and deadly wound.

Does Love neglected, pining, sad,
    On ev'ry joy obtrude ?
Does pleasure fly the bosom glad
    Stung by INGRATITUDE ?

Page 69

Oh, yes !  For what is life to those
Who feel no hour of soft repose ?
Who find in ev'ry path a weed
Which bids the feeling bosom bleed !

    All lesser evils bend;
Thou potent shaft of destiny,
    Where all her poisons end !
The wretch, who smarts beneath thy fang,
Day after day endures the pang;
And finds no balm, alas !  will cure
Thy wound , for ever DEEP and SURE !

Where'er in Life's precarious scene
    My weary feet have stray'd,
Thou hast my taunting follower been,
    In sunshine and in shade !
In poverty I found thee ever
The bonds of social feelings sever;
And when I sank, by grief subdu'd,
I felt thy wound, INGRATITUDE .

Page 70

I found thee in the smile of Love;
    In Friendship's sacred vest;
In rustic meekness saw thee move,
    Pois'ning the untaught breast.
When Fortune, often dull and blind,
Heap'd splendor on the vulgar mind,
Scatt'ring on Pride and Vice her favour;
INGRATITUDE I found thee ever !

Thou imp infernal !  bane of rest !
    Turn from my aching heart;
Nor still, in artful kindness drest,
    Thy fatal stings impart:
This bosom, long assail'd by thee,
No more thy victim slave shall be,
No more shall be by thee subdu'd,
Thou worst of fiends, INGRATITUDE !

Page 71



    IS it in mansions rich and gay,
        On downy beds, or couches warm,
    That NATURE owns the WINT'RY DAY ,
        Or shrinks to hear the howling storm ?--
                Ah, No !----

'Tis on the bleak and barren heath,
    Where Mis'ry feels the shaft of Death,
As to the dark and freezing grave
    Her children,--not a friend to save,--
                Unheeded go.

*This Poem has given rise to the exertions of Mrs. Cosway's genius, who, a few months previously to Mrs. Robinson's death, painted a beautiful set of subjects from it,--inscribed to her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales.

Page 72


Is it in chambers silken drest,
    At tables which profusions heap:
Is it on pillows soft to rest,
    In dreams of long and balmy sleep ?
                Ah, No !----

'Tis in the rushy hut obscure,
    Where Poverty's low sons endure;
And, scarcely daring to repine,
    On a straw pallet, mute, recline,
                O'erwhelm'd with woe !


Is it to flaunt in warm attire ?
    To laugh, and feast, and dance and sing ?
To crowd around the blazing fire ?
    And make the roof with revels ring ?--
                Ah, No !----

'Tis on the prison's flinty floor,
    'Tis where the deaf'ning whirlwinds roar;

Page 73

'Tis when the sea-boy on the mast
    Hears the waves bounding to the blast,
                And looks below !


Is it beneath the taper's ray
    The banquet's luxury to share,
And waste the midnight hour away
    With Fashion's splendid vot'ries there ?
                Ah, No !

'Tis in the cheerless naked room
    Where Misery's victims wait their doom;
Where a fond mother famish'd dies,
    While forth a frantic father flies,
                Man's desp'rate foe !


Is it to lavish fortune's store
    In vain, fantastic, empty joys !
To scatter 'round the glittering ore,

Page 74

    And covet Folly's gilded toys ?
                Ah, No !----

'Tis in the silent spot obscure,
    Where, forc'd all sorrows to endure,
Pale GENIUS learns (OH ! LESSON SAD !)
    To court the vain, and on the bad ,
                FALSE PRAISE BESTOW !


Is it where gamesters, thronging round,
    Their shining heaps of wealth display ?
Where CHANCE'S giddy tribes are found
    Sporting their giddy hours away ?
                Ah, No !

'Tis where neglected Virtue sighs;
    Where Hope , exhausted, silent dies;
Where Merit starves, by Pride opprest,
    'Till ev'ry stream that warms the breast
                Forbears to flow.

Page [75]

[Engraved illustration at top of first page of poem, To An Infant Sleeping.]

Mrs. B. Tarleton del.    W. M. Gardner BA sc.



SWEET baby boy !  thy soft cheek glows
An emblem of tile living rose:
Thy breath a zephyr seems to rise;
And placid are thy half-clos'd eyes;
And silent is thy snowy breast,
Which gently heaves in transient rest;
And dreaming is thy infant brain
Of pleasure, undisturb'd by pain.

Page 76

Soon shall thy youth to sorrow rise;
And tears shall dim thy half-clos'd eyes;
And storms will fade that living rose;
And keen Unkindness wound repose:
Soon will thy slumbers painful be;--
And thou wilt watch and weep, like me;
And thou wilt shrink, with fear aghast,
From wild Misfortune's chilling blast.

Ah !  then no more in balmy sleep
Shall Mem'ry fond her garland steep;
No more shall visions, sweetly gay,
Sport in the coming beams of day;
No more thy downy pillow be
A pillow, BOY , of down to thee,--
For many a thorn shall ruthless Care
In envious rancour scatter there !

SWEET BABY BOY !   then sleep awhile:
For Youth will never wake to smile;
Time flings its poisons 'round the bed

Page 77

Where Manhood lays its weary head;
The Summer day of life will lour
As long, poor Boy, as Winter's hour--
Unless the Pilot FORTUNE brings
The magic of her GOLDEN WINGS .

Page 78



WHY tremble so, broad Aspin Tree ?
        Why shake thy leaves, ne'er ceasing ?--
At rest thou never seem'st to be !
    For, when the air is still and clear,
        Or when the nipping gale, encreasing,
    Shakes from thy boughs soft twilight's tear,
Thou tremblest still, broad Aspin Tree,
And never tranquil seem'st to be !

Beneath thy shade at sultry noon
        I oft have sat, deep musing;
And oft have watch'd the rising Moon
    Above the dusky summit shine,

Page 79

        A placid light diffusing !
    Though all around a calm divine
The rest of Nature seem'd to be,
Still did'st thou tremble , Aspin Tree !

Hadst thou sensation, I should say
        Thou wert, like me , uncheerly
Ordain'd to waste Life's hour away,
    Indignant at the vulgar crowd,
        And doom'd to feel severely,
    Scorning the dull, the base, the proud:
But thou art senseless, Aspin Tree;
Then, wherefore thus a trembler be ?

Who shall molest thee, shiv'ring tree ?
        Who shall thy branches sever ?
The seasons change, and oft to thee
    Returning Spring shall give its sweets,
        And still thou tremblest ever.
    Each whispering gale thy bosom meets
As though it came to menace thee;
O beauteous trembling Aspin Tree !

Page 80

Hadst thou e'er lov'd, or even felt
        Warm Friendship's ardor glowing,
Hadst thou in pity learnt to melt,
    Or to another's anguish gave
        The tear, spontaneous flowing:
    Then, sighing, might thy branches wave
And many a gentle show'r from thee
Might fall in tears, sweet Aspin Tree !

Hadst thou e'er known INGRATITUDE ,
        Thou wou'dst have cause to tremble;
For, in Misfortune's tempest rude,
    The deadliest foe the heart can find
        Is he who CAN DISSEMBLE !
    He who enthrals the willing mind,
And bids the captive bosom be
A trembler--like the Aspin Tree !

Page 81



DEEP in a solitary glen,
Far from the cheerful haunts of men;
By poverty opprest, and taught
The lonely task of silent thought,
A shepherd liv'd: a surly wight
As ever pac'd the mountain's height.
He was as cold, and eke as gray
As morning on a winter-day:
And gloomy as November's sky,
Old Simon mark'd life's shadows fly;
And often, from the mountain's side,
The manor-house old Simon spied--
The rich domains of corn, and fields,

Page 82

And all that smiling Nature yields;
And often, as he look'd, he sigh'd,
That Heav'n to him such gifts denied !

    The Squire had mark'd the ancient swain,
And felt compassion for his pain:
For not like many squires was he,
Too grand to hear, too high to see !
He was not deaf, when sorrow sigh'd,
Nor blind, when poverty met pride;
Nor did he think the honest poor
Too low to pass his lofty door.
He was a squire, as fame records,
Worth twenty squires--nay, twenty lords !
A squire the Muse would proudly sing,
Had Heaven design'd him for--a king !

    This Squire (or so the story's told)
Was fond of fashions somewhat old:
Such as in good Queen BESS'S days,
Bought something more than servile praise;

Page 83

Such as won hearts and made them gay
With many a cheerful holiday.--
He did not, when the winter came,
Cheer his old tenants with--a name :
He did not fly from Christmas fare
To feast with empty fools--elsewhere:
He did not let his steward play
The tyrant of his little day;
While at the gaming-table he
A very vassal chose to be:
He did not leave his wife at home,
With other wives abroad to roam;
And, while she squander'd thousands, snore,
And dream of--losing thousands more:
He did not give to fools a treat,
While Genius had not bread to eat !

    Oft at the gate, that open stood
To travellers, through a neighbouring wood
He mark'd old Simon: (for, beside
The gate, a brook was seen to glide;

Page 84

And there, beneath an alder's shade,
Simon, each morn, his breakfast made.)
And often, at the noon of day,
He watch'd him pace the sultry way:
At ev'nings' hour he saw him tread
The bleak hill to his rushy shed;
And oft he heard him loud deplore
That he was old, and weak, and poor.

The Squire, who felt he was A MAN ,
Revolv'd in silence Nature's plan:
He felt that wealth, and pride, and pow'r,
Were treasures of a transient hour;
That Chance allotted to his care
What Reason meant for all to share:
He felt that he was nothing more
Than the old shepherd, weak and poor,
Excepting by the dross which Heav'n,
For useful purposes, had giv'n.

    Near the large manor-house, a cot
Was doom'd to mend old Simon's lot:

Page 85

The Squire proposed that straightway he
The tenant of this cot should be.--
Simon was thankful;--"Yet," said he,
"If I'd a little shrubbery,--
"A bit of garden, full of flow'rs
"Would charm away my summer hours:
"And oft, amidst o'erhanging trees,
"I might enjoy the cooling breeze."
The Squire complies, and 'round the cot
A young plantation grac'd the spot.----
Now, Simon wish'd a brook were seen,
Gliding the shady maze between:--
And, from the torrent's rushing way,
A little rill was taught to stray
For still the Squire his humour pleas'd,
And Simon's varying fancy seiz'd.----
Simon was grateful: yet he swore
He'd be content with one thing more;--
A little field, enclos'd and fair,
Where he might breathe the morning air.
The ground was fenc'd !----He wish'd to keep

Page 86

'A cow, and half-a-dozen sheep.'
And still the kind good-natur'd Squire
Indulg'd him in his heart's desire.----
Thus favour'd, still he was inclin'd
To bear a discontented mind:
'The wind was nipping,' and he found
'The cottage stood on Northern ground:
'The soil was coarse, and bleak the air,
'And loud the tempest rattled there:
'The field was scarcely large enough
'To plant the needful garden stuff.'
(And he was fond of Nature's store ,
Therefore his field was planted o'er !)
'The brook, at times, would overflow;
'And the trees, waving to and fro,
'Disturb'd his rest: the cow and sheep
'Would stray along the upland steep;
'And he was old, and could not bear
'The endless toil of watching there.'
Now, to the manor-house remov'd,

Page 87

Old Simon ev'ry comfort prov'd.----
Yet he grew sick, and every day
He found his spirits waste away:
He wanted company; he sigh'd
That freedom was to him denied;--
He found that indolence and ease
An active soul can never please;
That labour only could dispense
The glow of fervor o'er his sense,
Which apathy could never know,
Nor splendid luxury bestow:
He also found that oft the Squire
Would mention this and that desire;
Would hint that Simon should not be
Unthankful for his destiny;
That few had known a change so sweet,
And fewer still such friends would meet;
Nay, once he utter'd words most hateful,
Such as "unworthy," and "ungrateful,"--
Words which the proud heart cannot bear,

Page 88

Whatever stings are planted there;--
Words that can sharper pangs impose
Than poverty, with all its woes !

    Near, in the garden, legends say,
A PEA-HEN scream'd at dawn of day:
Old Simon heard the hideous strain,
And sigh'd for solitude again.----
The Squire was fond of sports, and he
Made Simon bear him company:
Drinking was too the Squire's delight
All day,--and sometimes half the night.
The Squire would smoke:--and Simon ne'er
Tobacco in his life could bear:
Yet he must smoke, though almost choaking,
Because the Squire was fond of smoking.----

    Old Simon now began to find
That pleasure centres in the mind;
That, e'en in plenitude of joys,

Page 89

A very trifle bliss destroys:
He prov'd that pure Delight is found
To dwell within a narrow bound;
That Peace may smile, and cheerful be,
E'en in the hut of poverty;
While Splendor, Sorrow, Scorn, and Hate,
May thrive in gilded halls of state:
He felt the slav'ry which annoys,
With chains of gold, Ambition's joys;
That man must ever groan to find
That chain about his active mind ! ----
Thus Simon pin'd once more to be
The son of lab'ring poverty;
And, to regain his wonted pleasure,
Sought Freedom, as Man's proudest treasure.

Page 90



        MISER !  why countest thou thy treasure,
    Thy ill-got hoards of paltry gold ?--
        Feel'st thou a throb of secret pleasure,
When Conscience whispers, soft and low,
"These are the spoils which from oppression flow
    "For which thy fame is sold !"

        Why dost thou doat on useless ore ?
    Thou hast no joy in all thy wealth:
        Thou never heard'st the grateful poor
Bless thy benevolence, and cry,
While thankfulness illum'd the up-raised eye,
    "Heav'n grant thee years of health !"

Page 91

        Why dost thou, in the glooms of night,
    While loud the tempest rages wide,
        Tremble with Horror's wild affright,
And, grasping ev'ry shining woe,
To some dark nook with fault'ring footsteps go,
    The useless heaps to hide ?

        Dost thou not hear the thunder's voice
    Reproving Heav'n's just vengeance speak ?
        Dost thou not hear the fiend's rejoice,
While on thy tott'ring roof obscure
The tears of outrag'd Nature, 'whelming, pour,
    To chill thy wither'd cheek ?

        See thy lean frame !  thy sunken eyes !
    Behold the victor DEATH !  and know
        That when the wretched MISER dies
No bosom pities: on his tomb
No graceful bud of Spring shall ever bloom,
    No tear of Friendship flow !

Page 92

        Forgotten; or, if not, abhorr'd:
    Can all thy treasures, left behind,
        Bid Memory thy toil reward;
Or meek Religion breathe to Heaven
One prayer that thou may'st ever be forgiv'n--
    O, Miscreant unkind ?----

        Thou who would'st live belov'd, carest,
    Let sweet humanity he given
        By thee to e'en a foe distrest:--
But, if the child of Virtue sighs,
When Genius to thy open threshold flies,
    Know, 'tis the path to Heaven.

Page 93



OH !  What is he, whose haggard eye
    Scarce dares to meet the morning's ray;
Who trembling would, but cannot, fly
    From MAN , and from the busy day ?

Mark how his lip is fever'd o'er !
    Behold his cheek, how deathly it appears !
See how his bloodshot eye-balls pour
    A burning torrent of unpitied tears !

Page 94


Now watch the varying gesture wild !
    See how his tortur'd bosom heaves !
Behold Misfortune's wayward child,
    For whom no kindred nature grieves !

Despis'd, suspected, ruin'd, lost;
    His fortune, health, and reputation, flown;
On Mis'ry's stormy ocean tost,
    Condemn'd to curse his fate--and curse alone !


Once were his prospects bright and gay,
    And Independence bless'd his hours;
His was the smooth and sunny way
    Where tip-toe Pleasure scatter'd flow'rs;

Love bound his brow with thornless sweets,
    And smiling Friendship fill'd his cup of joy:--
Now, not a friend the victim meets,
    For, like a Wolf , he wanders to destroy

Page 95


All day, upon a couch of thorn,
    His weary fev'rish limbs recline;
All night, distracted and forlorn,
    He hovers round the fateful shrine,--

Eager to seize with grasping hands
    The slender pittance of the fool,
He links himself with caitiff bands,
    And learns the lesson of the GAMESTER'S SCHOOL .


One hour, elate with ill-got gold,
    And dazzled by the shining ore,
In plenitude of joys behold
    The prodigal display his store !

The next, in poverty and fear,
    He hides him, trembling at approaching fate,
While greedy creditors appear,
    And with remorseless rage lurk round his gate.

Page 96

Then comes the horror-breeding hour:
    While recreant SUICIDE attends;
And Madness, with impetuous pow'r,
    The scene of desolation ends !

Upon his grave no parent mourns,
    No widow'd love laments with graceful woe;
No joyful gleam for him returns;
    For Heav'n denies that peace his frenzy lost below !

Page 97



WHO has not wak'd to list the busy sounds
Of SUMMER MORNING , in the sultry smoke
Of noisy LONDON ?----On the pavement hot
The sooty Chimney-boy, with dingy face
And tatter'd covering, shrilly bawls his trade,
Rousing the sleepy House-maid.  At the door
The Milk-pail rattles, and the tinkling bell
Proclaims the Dustman's office; while the street
Is lost in clouds imperious.  Now begins
The din of Hackney-coaches, Waggons, Carts;
While Tin-men's shops, and noisy Trunk-makers,
Knife-grinders, Coopers, squeaking Cork-cutters,
Fruit-barrows, and the hunger-giving cries
Of Vegetable-venders, fill the air.

Page 98

Now ev'ry Shop displays its varied trade;
And the fresh-sprinkled pavement cools the feet
Of early walkers.  At the private door
The ruddy House-maid twirls the busy mop,
Annoying the smart 'prentice, or neat girl
Tripping with band-box lightly.  Now the Sun
Darts burning splendor on the glitt'ring pane,
Save where the canvas awning throws a shade
On the gay merchandise.  Now spruce and trim
In shops, where beauty smiles with industry,
Sits the smart damsel, while the passenger
Peeps through the window, watching ev'ry charm.
Now Pastry dainties catch the eyes minute
Of hummy insects, while the slimy snare
Waits to enthral them.  Now the Lamp-lighter
Mounts the slight ladder, nimbly venturous,
To trim the half-fill'd lamp; while at his feet
The Pot-boy yells discordant.  All along
The sultry pavement, the Old Clothes-man cries
In tone monotonous, and sidelong views

Page 99

The area for his traffic: now the bag
Is slily open'd, and the half-worn suit
(Sometimes the pilfer'd treasure of the base
Domestic spoiler) for one half its worth
Sinks in the green abyss.  The Porter now
Bears his huge load along the burning way:
And the poor POET wakes from busy dreams,

Page 100



ALONG the smooth and glassy stream
    The little boat glides slow;
And, while beneath the rosy beam
    Of setting sun the waters glow,
The Fisherman is singing gay
"Sweet is the hour of setting day."

The net, expanded wide, displays
    The snare of direful fate;
And where the finny victim strays,
    The shafts of death unseen await;
And still the Fisherman is gay,
Singing the close of Summer's day.

Page 101

The zephyrs on the willow-bed
    In busy whispers fly,
And o'er his lonely peaceful shed
    The mournful screech-owls hov'ring cry:
Yet still the Fisherman can say
"How cheerful is the close of day !"

The rising Moon a quiv'ring light
    Along the river throws;
Her soft beam, from the brow of night,
    A still and mimic day bestows:
While on the smooth and liquid way
The silent Fisherman is gay.

The rosy dawn above the hill
    Scatters the sev'ring cloud;
And myriads, flitting o'er the rill,
    The daisied margin faintly shroud:
And from his hut, to greet the day,
The Fisherman comes blythe and gay.

Page 102

Happy is he who never knew
    The pomp and pride of state;
Who, stranger to the sordid crew,
    Lives unmolested by the great;
Who labours through his little day,
And, pleas'd with labour , still is gay.

For what but FISHERMEN are those
    Who spread the golden snare;
Who watch the scene of blest repose,
    To scatter pain and ruin there;
Who vaunt their prosp'rous sunny day,
While others pine in grief away ?

Poor Fisherman !  would man, like thee,
    Contented pass his hour;
Would those of loftier destiny
    Forbear to use the rod of pow'r,
How many through Life's busy day
Would sing, like thee, belov'd and gay !

Page 103



COME, sportive Fancy !  Come with me, and trace
The POET'S Attic home !  The lofty seat
Of th' Heaven-tutor'd Nine !  The airy throne
Of bold Imagination, rapture-fraught,
Above the herd of mortals !--All around,
A solemn stillness seems to guard the scene,
Nursing the brood of thought; a thriving brood,
In the rich mazes of the cultur'd brain.
Upon thy altar, an old worm-eat board,
The pannel of a broken door, or lid
Of a strong coffer, plac'd on three-legg'd stool,
Stand quires of paper, white and beautiful;
Paper, by Destiny ordain'd to be
Scrawl'd o'er and blotted, dash'd and scratch'd, and torn,

Page 104

Or mark'd with lines severe, or scatter'd wide
In rage impetuous !  Sonnet, Song, and Ode;
Satire, and Epigram, and smart Charade;
Neat Paragraph, or legendary Tale
Of short and simple metre; each by turns
Will there delight the reader.

On the bed
Lies an old rusty "suit of solemn black,"
Brush'd thread-bare, and with brown unglossy hue
Grown rather ancient.  On the floor is seen
A pair of silken hose, whose footing bad
Shews they are travellers, but who still bear
Marks somewhat holy .  At the scanty fire
A chop turns round; by packthread strongly held;
And on the blackened bar a vessel shines
Of batter'd pewter, just half-fill'd, and warm,
With Whitbread's beverage pure.  The kitten purs,
Anticipating dinner; while the wind
Whistles through broken panes, and drifted snow

Page 105

Carpets the parapet with spotless garb
Of vestal coldness.--Now the sullen hour
(The fifth hour after noon) with dusky hand
Closes the lids of day.  The farthing light
Gleams through the cobweb'd chamber, and THE BARD
Concludes his pen's hard labour.  Now he eats
With appetite voracious !  Nothing sad
That the costly plate, nor the napkin fine,
Nor china rich, nor sav'ry viands greet
His eye, or palate.  On his lyric board
A sheet of paper serves for table-cloth;
A heap of salt is serv'd (Oh ! heav'nly treat),
On Ode Pindaric !   while his tuneful Puss
Scratches his slipper, for her fragment sweet,
And sings her love-song, soft, yet mournfully.

        Mocking the pillar Doric, or the roof
Of architecture Gothic, all around
The well-known ballads flit, of Grub-street fame !
The casement broke gives breath celestial
To the long "Dying Speech ," or gently fans

Page 106

The love-enflaming Sonnet.  'Round about
Small scraps of paper lie, torn vestiges
Of an unquiet fancy: here a page
Of flights poetic; here a Dedication;
A list of Dramatis Personæ bold,
Of heroes yet unborn, and lofty dames,
Of perishable compound "light as air,"
But sentenc'd to oblivion !

On a shelf,
Yclept a mantle-piece, a phial stands,
Half-fill'd with potent spirits, clear and strong,
Which sometimes haunt the Poet's restless brain,
And fill his mind with fancies whimsical.

        Poor Poet !  happy art thou, thus remov'd
From pride and folly !  For, in thy domain
Thou cans't command thy subjects, fill thy lines
With the all-conqu'ring weapon Heav'n bestows
In the grey-goose's wing !  which, tow'ring high,
Bears thy rich fancy to immortal fame !

Page 107



IN vain to me the howling deep
    Stern Winter's awful reign discloses:
In vain shall Summer zephyrs sleep
    On fragrant beds of budding roses:
To me alike each scene appears,
    Since thou hast broke my heart, or nearly;
While Mem'ry writes, in frequent tears,
    That I have lov'd thee VERY DEARLY !

How many Summers pass'd away !
    How many Winters, sad and dreary !
And still I taught thee to be gay,
    Whene'er thy soul of life was weary:

Page 108

When ling'ring sickness wrung thy breast,
    And bow'd thee to the earth severely,
I strove to lull thy mind to rest;
    For then I lov'd thee,--Oh, HOW DEARLY !

And though the flush of joy no more
    Shall, o'er my cheek its lustre throwing,
Bid giddy fools that cheek adore,
    And talk of passions ever glowing,--
Still to thy mind should time impart
    A charm to bid it feel sincerely;
Nor idly wound a breaking heart
    That lov'd thee LONG , and LOV'D THEE DEARLY !

Could gold thy truant fancy bind,--
    A faithful heart would still content me;
For, oh !  to serve that heart unkind,
    I gave THEE all that Fortune lent me !
In youth, when suitors round me press'd,
    Who vow'd to love, and "love sincerely,"

Page 109

When wealth could never charm my breast,--
    Tho' thou wert poor, I LOV'D THEE DEARLY !

Seek not the fragile dreams of love:
    Such fleeting phantoms will deceive thee;
They will but transient idols prove,--
    In wealth beguile, in sorrow leave thee.
Ah !  dost thou hope the sordid mind ,
    When thou art poor, will feel sincerely ?
Wilt thou in such the friendship find,
    Which warm'd the heart that LOV'D THEE DEARLY ?

Though fickle passions cease to burn
    For Her, so long thy bosom's treasure,
Ah !  think that reason may return,
    When far from thee my paths I measure:
Say, who will then thy conscience heal ?
    Or who will bid thy heart beat cheerly ?
Or from that heart the mem'ry steal

Page 110

When war shall rouze the brooding storm,
    And horrors haunt thy thorny pillow;
When Fancy shall present my form
    Borne on the wild and restless billow;
Oh !  where wilt thou an helpmate find
    Whose heart, like mine, shall throb sincerely ?
Or who thy heart in spells shall bind,
    When HER'S is broke that LOV'D THEE DEARLY ?

When thou contending throngs shall court,
    Where party zeal has often crown'd thee;
Perchance, of Fortune's frowns the sport,
    Caprice or cold neglect may wound thee !
Then wilt thou find no gen'rous heart
    To bid thee bear misfortune cheerly;
No friend, in grief, to share a part
    Like HER who lov'd thee LONG AND DEARLY !

Could I to distant regions stray,
    From THEE my thoughts would never wander;

Page 111

For, at the purpling close of day,
    By some lone vagrant rill's meander,--
Each wand'ring bee, each chilling wind,
    Would tell the heart that's broken nearly,--
In them, where'er they rove, to find
     The faults of him I lov'd SO DEARLY !----

I will not court thy fickle love;
    Soon shall our fates and fortunes sever:
Far from thy sight will I remove,
    And smiling sigh "adieu for ever !"
Give to the sordid friends thy days;
    Still trust that they will act sincerely,--
And when the specious mask decays,
    Lament the heart that LOV'D THEE DEARLY !

For Time will swiftly journey on,
    And Age with sickness haste to meet thee,
Friends prov'd deceitful will be gone,
    When they no more with smiles can cheat thee:
Then wilt thou seek in vain to find

Page 112

    A faithful heart that beats sincerely,--
A passion, cent'ring in THE MIND ,
    Which, scorning interest, LOV'D THEE DEARLY !

When in the grave this heart shall sleep,
    No soothing dream will bless thy slumber;
For thou wilt often wake to weep,
    And in despair my sorrows number !
My shade will haunt thine aching eyes,
    My voice in whispers tell thee clearly
    Which lov'd THEE LONG , and LOV'D THEE DEARLY .

Page 113



O LIBERTY !  transcendant and sublime,
    Born on the mountain's solitary crest,
NATURE thy nurse, thy SIRE exulting TIME ,
    TRUTH the pure inmate of thy glowing breast !
Oft dost thou wander, by the billowy deep,
    Scatt'ring the sands that bind the level shore;
    Or tow'ring, brave the desolating roar
That bids the tyrant Tempest lash the deep.
'Tis thine, where sanguinary Demons lour,
    Amidst the thick'ning host to force thy way;
To quell the minions of oppressive pow'r,
    And crush the vaunting NOTHINGS of a day.
Still shall the human mind thy name adore,
'Till Chaos reign, and worlds shall be no more !

Page 114



    LIFE-GLOWING Season !--odor-breathing SPRING ,
Deck'd in cerulean splendors,--vivid, warm,
Shedding soft lustre on the rosy hours,
And calling forth their beauties !  BALMY SPRING !
To thee the vegetating world begins
To pay fresh homage.  Ev'ry Southern gale
Whispers thy coming; ev'ry tepid show'r
Revivifies thy charms.  The mountain-breeze
Wafts the ethereal essence to the vale,
While the low vale returns its fragrant hoard
With ten-fold sweetness.  When the Dawn unfolds
Its purple splendors 'mid the dappled clouds,

Page 115

Thy influence cheers the soul.  When Noon uplifts
Its burning canopy, spreading the plain
Of Heav'ns own radiance with one vast of light,
Thou smil'st triumphant !  Ev'ry little flow'r
Seems to exult in thee, delicious SPRING ,
Luxuriant Nurse of Nature !  By the stream,
That winds its swift course down the mountain's side,
Thy progeny are seen; young primroses,
And all the varying buds of wildest birth,
Dotting the green slope gaily.  On the thorn
Which arms the hedge-row, the young birds invite
With merry minstrelsy, shrilly and maz'd
With winding cadences; now quick, now sunk
In the low-twitter'd song.  The Ev'ning-sky
Reddens the distant main; catching the sail
Which slowly lessens, and with crimson hue
Varying the sea-green wave; while the young Moon,
Scarce visible amid the warmer tints
Of Western splendors, slowly lifts her brow
Modest and icy-lustred !  O'er the plain

Page 116

The light dews rise, sprinkling the thistle's head,
And hanging its clear drops on the wild waste
Of broomy fragrance.  Season of delight !
Thou soul-expanding pow'r, whose wond'rous glow
Can bid all NATURE smile !  Ah !  why to ME
Come unregarded, undelighting still
This ever-mourning bosom ?  So I've seen
The sweetest flow'rets bind the icy urn;
The brightest sun-beams glitter on the grave;
And the soft zephyr kiss the troublous main,
With whisper'd murmurs.  Yes, to ME , O SPRING !
Thou com'st unwelcom'd by a smile of joy;--
To ME !  slow-with'ring to that silent grave
Where all is blank and dreary.  Yet once more
The SPRING ETERNAL of the SOUL shall dawn,
Unvisited by clouds, by storms, by change,
Radiant and unexhausted !  Then, ye buds,
Ye plumy minstrels, and ye balmy gales,
Adorn your little hour, and give your joys
To bless the fond world-loving traveller,

Page 117

Who smiling measures the long flow'ry path
That leads to DEATH !  For, to such wanderers,
Life is a busy, pleasing, cheerful dream,
And the last hour unwelcome: Not to ME ,
O !  not to ME , stern DEATH , art thou a foe;--
Thou art the welcome messenger, which brings
A passport --to a BLEST AND LONG REPOSE !

Page 118


Supposed to be written by Lady------, whom the cruelty of
a savage husband compelled to quit his house, and to return
to her native land, to a lovely but small mansion, the only
possession of which he had been unable to deprive her; shew-
ing in this manner the
gratitude he felt, for her having
all to follow him.

WELCOME, thrice-welcome, long-regretted home !
    Weary and faint I seek your shades again;
And hail your verdant groves, and peaceful bow'rs,
Poor senseless witnesses of happier hours !
Since last we parted, Sorrow's chilling gloom
From this wan cheek hath chas'd the rose's bloom;
Shrunk is this fragile form; Affliction's dart
Hath drain'd the life-blood from my sinking heart;
    And nought but shadows of those hours remain.

Page 119

Yet, 'mid'st my woes, blest to return to Thee,
From whose dear shelter I was forc'd to fly,
Grateful to Heav'n I bend the pious knee,
And kiss thy daisied turf with many a holy sigh.

As in each well-remember'd rustic face
The smiles of welcome eagerly I trace,
My poor forsaken heart with joy beats high,
And transent pleasure lights my dim-grown eye.
    With mingled feelings fondly I review
    The scenes where once in youth I lov'd to stray;
    Then to my mind did fairy visions play,--
    Of Friendship, ever-kind, and ever-true;
Of faithful Love; a gentle artless guest,
Cheating the sorrows of the saddest breast;--
Then did my future days in prospect smile,
And Hope illusive ev'ry hour beguile,
    Counting my life one blooming Summer's-day.

But false were all the promises she made;

Page 120

And in its birth the vision 'gan to fade.--
Lamented Parents !  O'er your closing bier
Fell the first off'ring of affliction's tear:
Beneath, yon vernal sod in peace you sleep,
Whilst I in ceaseless anguish vainly weep.

Thou crystal stream, that o'er thy shining bed
    Of glitt'ring pebbles roll'st so soft along,
Oft on thy banks, beneath the willow's shade,
My weary limbs upon the grass I've laid,
    And made the valley echo to my song:
What time bright Phoebus, in his chariot bold,
Just ting'd thy tiny waves with orient gold;
Or when the wat'ry moon-beam softly play'd
    Upon thy breast, and ev'ry little pow'r
    Shone bright, adorning Ev'ning's balmy hour;
Oft, wrapt in silent pleasure, have I stray'd,
Musing, the while, of Love, and Peace, and Joy;--
Alas, that Sorrow's storms should such fair scenes destroy !
O thou, who gav'st those scenes their fairest grace !

Page 121

How thou art chang'd these dim-grown eyes can speak,
And the pale hue that "lord's it" on my cheek.--
    Belov'd ***** !  When Fancy would retrace
Those long-past hours of peace, methinks they seem
Like the sweet passing fancies of a dream,
    Which with the morn dissolves, and scarcely leaves its trace.
--Yet, 'tis not so !  For, deep within my breast,
That dream of joy is but too well imprest;
The breath of morn but wakes the thought anew,
And ev'ning to my sorrow finds me true.--
But say, can'st thou, who bad'st these sorrows flow,
Revel with pleasure, heedless of my woe ?
Does no sad thought of what thy CECIL bears
Strike thy cold heart, and quench thy joy in tears ?--
Ah, no !  I fear my mem'ry ne'er was blest
    With one warm tear from thee, or one fond sigh:
    My image never bade thy slumbers fly,
Or gave a pang to thy unfeeling breast.--

Page 122

Yet still I love thee, cruel though thou art;
Nor can my bitter wrongs efface thee from my heart.
Adieu !  a long adieu !  for, o'er my soul,
High-swelling Sorrow bears her hard controul.
I can no more !  Dark clouds obscure my eye,
And the cold grave will grant that peace which you deny !

August 15, 1800.

Page 123



OH !  had the little hand that trac'd these flow'rs
    The envied might of guardian saints above,
How would it deck thy future happy hours
    With flow'rs divine, unfading as my love,
And ev'ry charm kind fortune could impart !
    But, ah !  to me no might can e'er belong;
    Nor can this hand one gift of fate bestow:
Yet may it wake to love thy feeling heart,
    And bid thy breast with fond emotion glow
    At the poor off'ring of a simple song !

Page 124



WHILE so various our faculties, passions, and views,
    How comes it so few can true happiness find ?
'Tis because MAN whate'er be the cause he pursues,
    Still aims to be more than what Nature design'd.
'Tis because with contempt moderation we see:
    To be wise, happy, great, or good, none ever tries;
    But, with ceaseless exertion, all labour to be
Too great, or too happy, too good, or too wise.

[The preceding line group has a different indentation structure than those following, which have the 2d, 4th, 6th and 8th lines indented.]

To be Man, and no more, Man should limit his care,
    And hold the mid station 'twixt Angel and Brute;
Active Virtue composing his ev'ry-day's wear,

Page 125

    And harmless Enjoyment his holiday suit.
But while, moderation despising, we strive
    In pleasure or virtue perfection to gain,
From excess to excess through Life's ocean we drive,
    And the harbour of happiness seldom attain !

Some, holding that man but exists to enjoy,
    Bid their days, wing'd with rapture, voluptuously fly;
Others, finding that libertine pleasures soon cloy,
    Reject the delight which their senses supply.
Like maniacs, the first wildly riot along;
    Forlorn, to the last, seems their earthly abode:
Both fly to extremes; find, too late, they were wrong,
    And have miss'd the true blessings which chequer Life's road.

The Hermit, with Man and with Nature at strife,
    Shunning pleasure, and careless who sink or who swim,
Leads, alone and inactive, a dull selfish life,
    Neither useful to others nor pleasing to him,

Page 126

Nor e'er by such cold flinty hearts can be prov'd
    That sun-shine which cheers his benevolent breast
Who, by loving his neighbour, has made himself lov'd,
    And, in blessing another, can make himself blest.

The Rake, from all conscience and prejudice freed,
    God and man in pursuit of enjoyment defies;
Though Prudence may warn him, though Virtue may plead,
    Invited by pleasure still onward he flies.
But ne'er tastes the Libertine's lip that sweet stream,
    Unsullied, which flows in Life's chrystalline bowl,
When Love joins with Nature, with passion esteem,
    And the senses scarce equal in rapture the soul.

Despis'd be the Hermit, detested the Rake;
    The last is a villain, the first is a fool:
Not theirs be the Lives which for models I take;
    Not theirs be the maxims my conduct to rule.
I aim not at Virtues for Man too sublime;
    I'll pervert not my pleasures by vicious excess;

Page 127

But, while Beauty and Wine aid the progress of time,
    May Honour and Sense their encroachment repress.

When remorse with my kisses its poison would blend,
    May Beauty's soft bosom ne'er rest upon mine;
When the grape proves my tyrant, no longer my friend,
    O lips, may I ne'er again bathe you in wine !
But when fellow-feelings have made my heart melt,
    Or my spirits are sunk by the pressure of care,
May love give me thanks that for others I've felt,
    And Wine give me strength my own sorrows to bear,

Let HONOR the pleasures I covet approve;
    Or never by me shall those pleasures be tried:
Let the kiss I solicit be granted by Love;
    Or still to my lips may that kiss be denied !
And when, for my sorrows a solace to find,
    I bid in my goblet champagne sparkle high,
May each globe on its surface recal to my mind
     A tear , drawn by Kindness from Gratitude's eye !

Page 128



HARK, how the Church-bells' thund'ring harmony
Stuns the glad ear !--Tidings of joy are come;
Good tidings of great joy--Two gallant ships
Met on the element;--they met--they fought
A desp'rate fight.  Good tidings of great joy !
The English guns plough'd up the hostile deck:
Old England triumph'd.--Yet another day
Of glory for the ruler of the waves:
For those who fell,--'twas in their country's cause;
They have their passing paragraphs of praise,
And are forgotten.

Page 129

There was ONE * who died
In that day's glory, whose obscurer name
No proud historian's page will chronicle.
Peace to his honest soul !  I read his name;
'Twas in the list of slaughter; and bless'd God
The sound was not familiar to my ear.
But it was told me after that this man
Was one whom lawful violence had forc'd
From his own home, and wife and little ones,
WHO by his labours liv'd; that he was one
Whose uncorrupted heart could keenly feel
A husband's love, a father's anxiousness !
That, from the wages of his toil, had fed
The distant dear ones; and would talk of them
At midnight, when he trod the silent deck
With him he valued: talk of them, of joys
That he had known.--O God !  and of the hour
When they should meet again , till his full heart,

Page 130

His manly heart, at last would overflow,
Ev'n like a child's, with very tenderness !
Peace to his honest spirit !  Suddenly
It came; and merciful the ball of death
That it came suddenly, and shatter'd him,
And left no moment's agonizing thought
On those he lov'd so well !

He, ocean-deep,
Now lies at rest! Be THOU her comforter
Who art the widow's friend !  Man does not know
What a cold faintness made her blood run back,
When first she heard the tidings of the fight.
Man does not know with what a dreadful hope
She listen'd to the names of those who died.
Man does not know, or, knowing, will not heed,
With what an agony of tenderness
She gaz'd upon her children, and beheld
His image who was gone.  O GOD , be thou

* These lines allude to the untimely fate of a brave officer named BLYTHE, who was killed on board THE MARS, during the late war.

Page 131


AS, musing on the world and all its woes,
At eve I wander'd by the river's side,
Viewing with vacant gaze the silent flood
Move slowly onward in its destined course,--
It struck my fancy as the life of man:----
And thus, quoth I, the stream of silent Time
Flows on, and on, impell'd by unseen force;
And none can stop its course for one poor hour;
But thus we journey forward to the grave.
The scene before us smiles, both gay and fair;
And in the future we delighted see
All that we wish, but never shall obtain,--
For Death cuts short our wishes and ourselves !

Page 132

    Thus, musing, onward I my way pursu'd;
And saw the rustic train, with measur'd step
And look devout, each in his Sunday's best,
Move slowly pacing to the village-church.
Blest be your humble prayers, poor honest souls
And Heav'n regard them with peculiar grace;
For in your bosoms dwells that simple peace,
Of Innocence begot, the fairest fruit
Of honest labour, and a frugal life.
Oh, never envy those whom fate has set
Upon a pinnacle above your reach !
Your humble virtues shame their rich attire:
The blush that tints your maidens' cheeks is true ,
True as the native honor of the heart;
And would ye change that blush for artful dyes,
Or all the empty pageantry of state ?
    But hark !
For through the vale the bell of death
Pours its sad cadence on the list'ning ear,
Waking to kindred grief the pensive heart.

Page 133

Approaching, I survey a little train,
In doleful black, bearing a friend belov'd
To his last home !  Fast flow their parting tears,
And heavy grief retards their heavy steps:
Lamenting, they set down their weary load,
And lay their friend within his peaceful grave,
While bursting tears o'erflow their swollen eyes.

    Now, sick at heart, I homeward bend my way;
And trace the mourners to the silent cot
Where late the smiles of love their welcome gave,
And peace, untainted by a restless world,
Held o'er their simple hearts her gentle sway.
How chang'd their little home: how blank and cold !
No smile of welcome greets their drowned eyes:
For Peace lies buri'd with their buri'd friend,
And tyrant Grief usurps his vacant place.

    And thus it fares with simple and with great !
The life of Man, like a gay summer flower,
Shines bright at morn, and with the twilight fades.

Page 134

The Cradle and the Grave are near akin:
And all the space between our birth and death
Is but an empty dream,--so soon 'tis flown !


Page 135



AH ! why should Grief bid Fancy's visions fly ?
And dark'ning clouds obscure yon azure sky ?
Last night, as blest with thee the moments flew,
And Hope's fair scenes seem'd opening to my view;
When Fate, relenting at my sorrows past,
Seem'd to my wishes to accede at last,
And grant at least a portion of thy heart; --
She strikes the blow--and says that we must part ! ----
Part did I say ?  Rather may welcome Death
This form dissolve, and snatch this fleeting breath;
So I from future sorrows may be free,
Nor bear ten thousand deaths in losing THEE !

Page 136

    How can'st thou unconcern'dly give me pain ?
Retract, retract, that cruel word again !
Nor suffer thus the dreadful thought to rend,
And wound the bosom of thy tend'rest Friend.--
Or if (avert it Heav'n) the die is cast,
And our approaching meeting be our last,
One parting sigh, one tender tear, bestow,
And seem at least unwillingly to go !
So shall that sigh repay me for my fate,
That tear for all my sorrows compensate.


Page 137



DREAD Dream !  that, hov'ring in the midnight air,
    Clasp'd with thy dusky wings my aching head,
Whilst, to Imagination's startled ear,
    Toll'd the slow bell for bright Eliza dead.--

Stretch'd on her sable bier, the grave beside,
    A snow-white shroud her breathless bosom bound;
O'er her wan brow the gather'd folds were tied,
    And Loves and Graces hung their garlands 'round.

From these cold lips did softest accents flow,
    'Round this pale mouth the sweetest dimples play,
On this dull cheek the rose of beauty blow,
    And these dim eyes diffuse celestial day ?

Page 138

Did this cold hand unasking want relieve,
    Or wake the lyre to every rapt'rous sound ?--
How sad for others' woes this heart would heave !
    How light this heart for others' transport bound !----

Beats not the bell again ?----Heav'ns !  Do I wake ?
    Why heave my sighs, and gush my tears, anew ?
Unreal forms my trembling doubts mistake,
    And frantic Sorrow fears the vision true.

Muse, to Eliza take thy airy flight:
    Go, tell my charmer all my killing fears,--
How love's soft woes alarm the silent night,
    And steep my pillow with unpitied tears.

Page 139



IF this my outward garb, so pure so fair,
The pensive glances of those eyes may share;
If, beauteous moralist, thy friendship deigns
To trace the tablet which that garb contains;
In both thy conscious sense shall bid thee find
Thy spotless bosom and thy perfect mind.
    To such a mind will days and hours appear
As feath'ry links that chain the circling year.

Page 140

As 'round the SUN obedient planets move,
One perfect system may thy Reason prove !
And, like the pendant orb, attraction still
Shall bend the varying passions to thy will.
And, Oh !  may time for thee his restless wing
Load with the perfumes of redundant Spring !
May Summer greet thee with celestial hues !
May Autumn bathe thee in ambrosial dews !
And Winter o'er the scene no tempests roll,
To shake the halcyon mildness of thy soul !
So hours, and months, and years, shall pass away,
Though transient, cheerful, as an April day;
And with each morn thy blushing cheek disclose
The breathing freshness of the living rose;
While filial virtue evergreens shall bind,
To mark the sweet affections of thy mind.
    Then start not when this tablet you behold,
Nor e'er with trembling touch its leaves unfold.
O'er thee in vain the threat'ning storms may lour,
While Winter vaunts its desolating pow'r;
They cannot, will not, break the conscious rest

Page 141

Which guards the tranquil tenant of thy breast.
To vice or folly Time's unerring wing
May shame or sorrow, fear or anguish, bring;
But TRUTH , encircled by a calm sublime,
May, smiling, ponder o'er the page of Time.

Page 142



I HEARD a voice from Etna's side;
    Where, o'er a cavern's mouth
    That fronted to the south,
A chesnut spread its umbrage wide:
A hermit, or a monk, the man might be;
But him I could not see:
And thus the music flow'd along,
In melody most like to old Sicilian song:

"There was a time when earth, and sea, and skies,
    The bright green vale, and forest's dark recess,
With all things, lay before mine eyes
    In steady loveliness:

Page 143

But now I feel, on earth's uneasy scene,
    Such sorrows as will never cease;--
    I only ask for peace;
If I must live to know that such a time has been !"
A silence then ensued:
    Till from the cavern came
    A voice;--it was the same !
And thus, in mournful tone, its dreary plaint renew'd:

"Last night, as o'er the sloping turf I trod,
    The smooth green turf, to me a vision gave
Beneath mine eyes, the sod--
    The roof of ROSA 'S grave !
My heart has need with dreams like these to strive;
    For, when I woke, beneath mine eyes, I found
    The plot of mossy ground,
On which we oft have sat when ROSA was alive.--
Why must the rock, and margin of the flood,
    Why must the hills so many flow'ret's bear,
Whose colours to a murder'd maiden's blood

Page 144

    Such sad resemblance wear ?--
I struck the wound ,--this hand of mine !
For Oh, thou maid divine,
    I lov'd to agony !
The youth whom thou call'dst thine
    Did never love like me ?

"Is it the stormy clouds above
    That flash'd so red a gleam ?
    On yonder downward trickling stream ?--
'Tis not the blood of her I love.----
The sun torments me from his western bed:
    Oh, let him cease for ever to diffuse
    Those crimson spectre hues !
Oh, let me lie in peace, and be for ever dead !"

Here ceas'd the voice.  In deep dismay,
Down thro' the forest I pursu'd my way.

Page 145


AWAY, thou false one !  thou the destin'd bane
Of all my bliss!--Yet would I still restrain
The bitter thoughts that falter on my tongue;--
I , that ne'er did, nor wish'd to do, thee wrong:
I , that would willingly have sacrific'd
All that by frail mortality is priz'd,
That unto thee those blessings might belong:
At me thou aim'st the unresisted dart,
And the remorseless arrow sinks into my heart !

False friendship is thy name !--I know thee well.
How have I suffer'd from that baneful spell
Which 'round my bosom, in a luckless hour,
Thou artfully didst twine !  But now thy pow'r

Page 146

I heed no more: no more thy falling tears
Can wound my heart with sympathetic fears,
And bid each blooming early prospect lour:
Not e'en thy smiles can any more impart
The balm of consolation to my alter'd heart.

Once did I hope, dup'd by a youthful dream,
That on my future life the soften'd beam
Of thy pure love would shine; that in thy breast
Each secret thought of mine might safely rest;
That in my sorrows thou did'st bear a part,
And all my joys came doubled to thy heart:----
But it was false !--Yet, be each sigh represt !
Thou art not worthy of my parting tear,
Since to a faithful friend thou could'st be insincere


Page 147


SWEET is the hour when Contemplation strays
    O'er breezy woodland, or low-winding dell,
    List'ning the wild wave's slow-returning swell,
Which o'er the rock in length'ning murmur plays,
While in the east chill Twilight's dusky rays
    On the green bosom of the landscape dwell.
    Yet, can such scenes the gloomy thought dispel,
Or lead the fancy from reflection's maze ?
Will MEMORY bring no agonizing truth
    To dim the fairy visions of past joy;
Scatt'ring the blooming roses of our youth
    With many a thorn, our rapture to destroy ?
Will she not picture those we once have lov'd,
    To whom the magic TWILIGHT HOUR was dear;

Page 148

With whom conversing we have fondly rov'd,
    And mark their absence with a silent tear ?
Or, as the night-breeze rises on the wave,
    In melancholy murmurs sad and deep,
Will not fond MEMORY ponder o'er the grave
    Where some lost parent, or lov'd friend, may sleep ?--
Yet, Twilight, come !  And teach my pensive mind
    This mild example to receive from thee;
Like thy last cheerful hour be mine ,--resign'd,
And, meekly fading, yield to Fate's decree !


Page 149


A LOVER, when he first essays
    A lady's heart to gain,
A thousand tender fears betrays,
    And talks of jealous pain.
All day he sighs; and, sighing, swears
That love and hope and anxious cares,
Destroy his peace, his nights molest,
And agonize his feeling breast .

If not believ'd, he ardent pays
    Obedient homage still,
And ev'ry gentle grace displays
    To gratify her will:

Page 150

Where'er she goes, he follows true;
And, if she frowns, he'll still adore;
And, if she scorns,--he'll doat the more.

Thus, would you keep a lover, still
    Unkind and careless prove;
For MAN is true while treated ill ,
    And coldness fosters love .
Spurn him with harshness--and he sighs;
    Most servile when most cross'd:
Return with kindness--and he flies;
     Adore him --and HE'S LOST !

Page 151


LESBIA upon her bosom wore
    The semblance of her lover;
    And oft with kisses she would cover
The senseless idol, and adore
    The dear enchanting rover.

LESBIA would gaze upon his eyes,
    And think they look'd so speaking
    That oft her gentle heart was breaking;
While glancing 'round, with frequent sighs,
    She seem'd her lover seeking.

One day says REASON , "Why embrace
    A cold and senseless lover ?

Page 152

    What charms can youthful eyes discover
In such a varnish'd, painted face ?
    Pry'thee the task give over."

Cried LESBIA , "REASON , wherefore blame ?
    Must you the cause be told ?
    My breathing lover I behold
With features painted just the same,
     As senseless and as cold .

Then, REASON , 'tis the better way
    The harmless to commend:
    My breathing lover soon would end
My weary life, to grief a prey;
     This never can offend ."

Page 153


SAY not the moments swiftly move,
When blest with those we fondly love;
Alas !  each moment seems to me
An age of bliss, if blest with thee.

But, torn away from thee, my friend,
The weary scene would quickly end;
For, like the light'ning, fraught with ill,
The pang, tho' short, would surely kill !

Page 154


DEAR SUSAN , while thy happy state
By virtue shames the guilty great,
    And cheers the child of Woe;
Thou court'st no false and vulgar glare:
To make the crowd with wonder stare
    At Folly's tinsel show.

Tho' deck'd in all the pride of worth ,
Above the empty boast of birth,
    No wealth to recommend,
Two wonders are by thee possest
Thou art unfashionably chaste,
    And art a faithful friend .


Page 155


SOFTLY did the curling billow
Wanton o'er the pebbly bay,
While the sun's last beam departing
Mark'd the hour of sinking day:

O'er the distant waters stealing,
Misty vapours float around;
While each tiny streamer waving
Beats the air with flutt'ring sound.

Lab'ring through the tranquil ocean,
Hen'ry's little boat moves slow:
Sad and silent is his bosom;
Sad and silently they go.

Page 156

Still beneath the straw roof slanting
Mary's peaceful home he sees,
While fond Fancy gives the lover
Mary's song in ev'ry breeze:

Many a happy hour recalling,
Many a tear in secret shed,
Many a glance of fond affection,
Many a pang of jealous dread.

Now the twinkling stars discover
Distant objects, still held dear,
While the melancholy lover
Marks them with a silent tear.

Thro' the gloomy thicket darting,
Oft a glimm'ring light appears;
While some well-known ditty whistling,
Memory mingles smiles with tears.

Now the doubtful gleam of morning

Page 157

Paly light diffuses 'round;
While the night-breeze, far retiring,
Bears the day-gun 's length'ning sound.

See !  the fresh'ning breezes bear him
Swiftly through the dashing spray,
While his native shores receding
Claim a smother'd farewel sigh !


Page 158


HAIL, sav'ry compound, luscious to the taste,
The school-boy's heart delighting !  sweet reward
Of many a tedious hour of penance sad
And lab'ring erudition !  Oft hast thou
Been brought to view by strong anticipation,
When poring over books, or conning loth
The lesson of dull grammar.  When, at school,
The scanty table nothing did present
But suet dumpling , or hard mutton boil'd,
How has thy minc'd meat danc'd before the eyes
Of greedy visionary !  how possest
The mazes of his brain !  Then to his view
Did his dear HOME return: his parents' smiles;
His ev'ning visits; and, perhaps, his joy
At play-house, where the busy Pantomime

Page 159

Bewitch'd the time away: then to return
To sup !  to eat MINCE PIE !  drink luscious wine !
To keep the list'ning circle list'ning still
Till after midnight, when the little ELF
On his soft pillow dreams it o'er again,
And wakes to mutton boil'd and SCHOOL once more.

Page 160



TENTS, marquees , and baggage-waggons;
Suttling houses; beer in flaggons;
Drams and trumpets; singing, firing;
Girls seducing; beaux admiring;
Country lasses, gay and smiling;
City-lads their hearts beguiling;
Dusty roads, and horses frisky;
Many an Eton boy, in whisky;
Tax'd-carts, fall of farmers' daughters;
Brutes to kill, and man, who slaughters;

Page 161

Public-houses, booths, and castles;
Belles of fashion, serving vassals;
Dowagers of sixty, simpering;
Misses for "their soldiers " wimp'ring;
Princesses with heav'nly faces;
Beauteous children of the Graces;
Britain's pride, and Virtue's treasure;
Fair and gracious beyond measure;
Aid-de-camps ; and royal pages;
Prudes and vestals of all ages;
Old coquettes, and matrons surly;
Sounds of distant hurly burly;
Mingled sounds of uncouth singing;
Carts, all sorts of forage bringing;
Sociables, and horses weary;
Houses warm and dresses airy;
Loads of fatten'd poultry; pleasure
Serv'd (for money) without measure;
Tradesmen leaving shops, and seeming
More of war than bus'ness dreaming.

Page 162

Martial sounds, and braying asses;
Noise that ev'ry noise surpasses;
All confusion, din, and riot;
Nothing clean, and nothing quiet.

M. E. R.

Page 163

MISS S* * * * * *,


TO gratify my scribbling pride,
And spread my verses far and wide,
    Fair girl !  the readiest way I'll shew you:--
Bid all who love you to excess
Peruse these lines; and then, I guess,
    They'll soon be read by all who know you.

Page 164



SLEEP, lovely babe !  sleep, gentle heart !
Thy father's picture : so thou art;--
Though he, forsooth, is pleas'd to say
His nose is form'd another way.

Laughing, he ey'd you even now;
    And said, "That face of thine
"Has much of me; but yet, I vow,
    "That nose, child, is not mine ."

Sleep, lovely babe !  in peace repose !
    His son thou surely art;
Though thou hast not thy father's nose ,
    Oh !  have thy father's heart .

Page 165



LOVE !  thou pleasing, gen'rous feeling,
    In what shape art thou not found ?
Gently o'er the senses stealing,
    In a soft delirium drown'd.

Lo, with martial stride appearing,
    Deck'd in soldier's trim array,
Thou, nor wounds nor carnage fearing,
    Lead'st to hasty rout the way !

Now as hermit, prostrate falling,
    Scrip and beads around thee strung.
Then, as joyous huntsman, calling,
    Horn and belt on shoulder slung:

Page 166

Wild, to antic measure dancing,
    Now the mantling cup goes 'round,
Fawns and satyrs round thee prancing,
    Lightly o'er the mystic ground.

Quick, with looks demure, yet smiling,
    See the shepherd youth appears;
With sweet note the nymph beguiling,
    Softly woo'd with vows and tears.--

Sighs, entreaties, wiles enchanting,
    Ever ready at thy nod;
Kneeling, trembling, struggling, panting
    Still prepar'd, thou busy god !

Yet, with ev'ry little failing,
    Thou art welcome still to me;
Gone--my heart is ever wailing;
    Life's but savage liberty.

Page 167



AH !  who can tell the pangs of those
Who truly love ?--Their heartfelt woes;
Their tender sorrows; ceaseless sighs;
Their transports, which immortalize ?
Strange tremors, jealousies, and fears,
Anxieties, and bitter tears,
Must gall the Lover's glowing cheek;
And anguish, which he dare not speak,
Must rankle in his glowing heart,
And point Despair's envenom'd dart.
Oh !  he shall seek, with madden'd haste,
The horrors of the lone parch'd waste;

Page 168

Nor dread the rugged mountain's height,
Or dashing billow's wild affright;
But hie him to the briny shore,
Regardless of the hoarse storm's roar:
There, creeping to some desert cave,
The wretched sport of each salt wave,
See him on dank weeds weeping lie,
And wish--but ah !  in vain--to die !

    Sudden he leaves the moisten'd sands,--
A rapt'rous gleam his heart expands;
Visions of heav'nly joys arise,
Delicious dreams and ecstacies,
Such as "those happy souls that dwell
In yellow meads of Asphodel,"
Where perfum'd zephyrs ever blow
In fields Elysian, faintly know.
Lo !  Genius o'er him, eagle-eyed,
Displays his glowing pennons wide;
Hark !  hark !  Inspir'd he strikes the shell,

Page 169

And sings how heroes bleeding fell;
Or wooes, to some enamour'd tale,
With melow strains, the nightingale;--
Now guides the muses' radiant plume,
And tells how, o'er the hawthorn's bloom,
The glow-worm pours her modest rays,
And tints each leaf with azure blaze;
What time the changeful queen of night
Bedecks each cloud with orient light,
Till, at the dawn of glorious day,
The paly lustre melts away.

    Oh ! it would claim "a muse of fire,"
To sing of Love and young Desire;
To paint the passions all must prove
Who feel thy pow'r, most mighty Love !

Page 170


BY THE HON. AND REV. T. J. TWISLETON. Mr. T. saw Miss S. C. at a party with an old, shabby, worn-
out fan; and, with the liberty of friendship, took an im-
mediate opportunity of committing it to the flames.  The
next day Mr. T. sent an elegant new fan to Miss S. C.;
with the following lines, supposed to be the declaration of
the new fan.

THRICE happy I;--now doom'd, by Fortune's lot,
To keep the sun from Seymour's beauteous eyes;
To fan her, like a Zephyr's cooling breeze;
To screen her face from fire's too scorching heat;
Or, whilst devotion occupies her mind,
In that assembly which is met for pray'r,
To guard her from the prying eyes of Man.

Page 171

    But, whilst with hope I this enjoyment crave,--
Yet still, in pity, let me mourn the fate
Of one poor name-sake; which, in luckless hour,
Was made a prey to the devouring flame.
Its time was come; and, worn-out in its course,
With proofs of service met its timely end.----
With youth's and novelty's bewitching charm,
A daring substitute I come:--if once
I feel the pressure of my Seymour's hand,
May Truth proclaim me happiest of my kind !

Page 172



COULD transient pleasures tempt my heart
    To leave the friend my soul adores,
Oh, Memory, oft thy tear would start,
    When, on Sicilia's viney shores,
Each dancing maid or minstrel gay
Breath'd to the sinking sun their roundelay.

And, as the misty vapor stole
    Along the purpling ev'ning sky,

Page 173

Would Memory picture to my soul
    Thy glowing cheek, thy speaking eye;
While my sad aching heart would mourn,
To know those blissful days would ne'er return.

When, stricken by the hand of care,
    In some far distant land I sleep,
No soothing breast my grief to share,
    No mournful eye for me will weep;
And, when my weary soul shall seek repose,
Some Stranger's hand my fainting eyes will close:
Ev'n then TO THEE my fleeting thoughts will rove;
Sad as my fate, though constant as my love.

M. E. R.

Page 174


AN EMPTY PURSE. Presented January 1, 1803.

THIS is the day of Gifts, to prove,
By change of tokens, unchang'd love;
And who is he that, once a-year,
Yearns not to prove he is sincere ?
And who so poor but can bestow
Some sign that may affection show ?
For true affection will receive
What e'en the sons of Verse may give;
For 'tis affection's gen'rous part
To weigh and measure by the heart,

Page 175

In whose kind balances a flow'r,
Light as the thistle down, has pow'r
Sweetly to turn th' indulgent scale
Where all the miser's heaps would fail.

How lucky, then, dear Friend, for me,
Who've nought to give but poesy !
For, though a friend may be a poet,
Few are his means, 'tis said, to shew it,
Of wreaths, 'tis true, his God sends plenty;
From half a page he can weave twenty;
Pinks, roses, lilies, all in bloom,
Enough to deck May's drawing-room;
Nay, in December's darkest time,
Can make a rich July in rhyme,--
Can, amidst Nature's real snow,
Bid Fancy's fairy blossoms blow,
And all so freshly cull'd, and gay,
From gardens in Utopia !
Where poets, poor although they seem,

Page 176

Have their golcondas in a dream;
Domains in tail, estates in fee,
None but a poet's eye can see;
A rich alcove, a sweet parterre,
A castle and a bank--in air.
From these possessions, worthy friend,
I could a perfum'd garland send,
That, high as Warwick's loftiest tow'r,
Might make Beaudesert all in flow'r.

But what are flowers ?  I fain would give
What might a little longer live;
For Fancy's blooms, tho' fair and gay
Like Nature's, flourish but a day.
What then shall grace my new year's verse,
My friend a banker--Sure; a PURSE
Is most appropriate to his plan,
Tho' useless to a rhyming man:
Then take it, Moody; and, tho' poor
And empty, it now boasts no store

Page 177

But the thin silver round its rim,
You soon can fill it to the brim;
And, tho' so low, and lean, and taper,
Can spread it out in Warwick paper;
Can lend it golden wings to fly,
As 'twere a native of the sky.

Yet, when 'tis full, oh, let it rest
A gift to Her you love the best !
In her kind hand it still shall prove
A friend to Bounty as to Love;
And I next year will send to you
An empty sack for filling too.


Page 178


BERRY-HILL, NOV. 1800. Noise and disputing behind the Scenes.-- The curtain begins to
rise.--(Speaks within.)

HOLD, hold !--What's this ?--No prologue to our play ?

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

Down with the curtain--let it down, I say:
Let me go forth--I must, I will have way !


So; I've escap'd at length: with much ado,
With threats, entreaties, ay, and wrangling too,
I've forc'd my passage, ere the curtain rise,

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

To mark your looks, your thoughts to scrutinize,
And read our doom, before-hand, in your eyes.

Page 179

Long in the green-room was this point contested:
Scarce to my pray'r a half-assent I'd wrested
When, loudly summon'd by the prompter's bell,
(To young advent'rers a tremendous knell !)
Restraint disdaining, hastily I flew
To state the case, and plead my cause to you.

    What! an unpractis'd novice band engage,
With vent'rous step, to tread the awful stage:
Before this dread tribunal dare t'appear;
Face such an audience as I now see here;
Nor send one humble messenger before,
To court your favour, and your smiles implore !--
Thus did I vainly urge: they all reply,
"But who so bold will venture ?" Who will?--I:
Give me your prologue; let this task be mine,
Or I'll no longer be your Valentine * .

* The part of Valentine, in the Intriguing Chambermaid.

    Thus then--But soft !  methinks I here descry
Smiles of good-humour beam from ev'ry eye;

Page 180

The gen'rous thought let ev'ry bosom move,
That prompts to pardon, if it can't approve:
Yes, in these partial looks with pride I view
Our fondest wishes realiz'd by you.--
No more, no more: I'll hasten to my friends;
Tell them, in their despite, I've gain'd my ends;
Bid them with confidence dispel their fear,
Certain to meet a kind reception here.

Page 181



WHILST fogs along the Thames' damp margin creep;
And cold winds thro' his leafless willows sweep;
And fairy elves, whose summer sport had been
To foot it nightly on the moon light green,
Now, hooded close, in many a cow'ring form,
Troop with the surly spirits of the storm;
Whilst by the blazing fire, with saddled nose,

Page 182

The sage turns o'er his leaves of tedious prose;
And o'er their new-dealt cards, with eager eye,
Good dowagers exult, or inly sigh;
And blooming maids from silken work-bags pour,

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

Like tangled sea-weed on the vexed shore,
Of patch-work, netting, fringe, a strange and motley store--
Whilst all, attempting many a different mode,
Would from their shoulders hitch Time's heavy load:
Thus have we chose, in comic sock bedight,
To wrestle with a long November night.

    "In comic sock !" methinks indignant cries
Some grave fastidious friend, with angry eyes,
Scowling severe: "No more the phrase abuse;
"So shod, indeed, there had been some excuse:
"But in these walls, a once well-known retreat
"Where Taste and Learning kept a favorite seat,
"Where Gothic arches, with a solemn shade,
"Should o'er the thoughtful mind their influence spread,

Page 183

"Where pictures, vases, busts, and precious things,
"Still speak of sages, poets, heroes, kings,
"On which the stranger looks with pensive gaze,
"And thinks upon the worth of other days,----
"Like foolish children, in their mimic play,
"Confin'd at Grandame's in a rainy day;
"With paltry farce, and all its bastard train,
"Grotesque and broad, such precincts to profane !--
"It is a shame !----But no, I will not speak;
"I feel the blood rise mantling to my cheek."----
Indeed, wise Sir!----
But he who o'er our heads these arches bent,
And stor'd these relicts dear to sentiment,
More mild than you, with grave pedantic pride,
Would not have rang'd him on your surly side.

    But now to you who, on our frolic scene,
Have look'd well pleas'd, and gentle critics been,
Nor would our homely humour proudly spurn,
To you, the good, the gay, the fair, I turn,

Page 184

And thank you all.--If here our feeble pow'rs
Have lightly wing'd for you some wint'ry hours,
Should these remember'd scenes in fancy live,
And to some future minutes pleasure give,
To right good end we've worn our mumming guise,
And we're repaid and happy--aye, and wise----
Who says we are not ?--on his sombre birth
Gay Fancy smil'd not, nor heart-light'ning Mirth:
Home let him hie to his unsocial rest,
And heavy sit the night-mare on his breast !

Page [185]


[Engraved illustration below section title.]

Mrs. B. Tarleton del.  W. N. Gardiner B.A. sc.

Page [186]

Page 187



THE sun now climbs the eastern hill:
    Awake, my love !  thine eyes unclose;
Hark !  near our hut the limpid rill
    Calls thee; soft-tinkling, from repose,
The lark is rous'd: her speckled breast
Soars high above thy couch of rest,
And on the plain the hunter's cries
Call Echo from her misty skies.
Awake, my love !  Those glances meet
Which promise hours of blisses sweet.

The dew-pearls fall from ev'ry flow'r:
    See how they glitter o'er the heath,

Page 188

While balmy breathings fill the bow'r
    Where LOVE still sighs with softer breath !
'Tis time to wake, my LOVE ; the day
On sunny wing flies fast away:
Noon will thy ruddy cheek annoy,
And ev'ning's dews will damp our joy:
Then wake, MY LOVE !  and ope those eyes,
As bright and blue as summer skies.

We'll hunt the stag; we'll chase the boar:
    Thou shalt my ATALANTA be;
And when our sportive toil is o'er,
    VENUS shall snatch a grace from thee.
Young BACCHUS shall his ivy band
Receive from thy soft snowy hand;
And Time his scythe aside shall fling,
While rosy raptures stop his wing.
Then wake, MY LOVE , the sun his beam
Darts golden o'er yon rapid stream.

Page 189

Thy cheek shall bloom as HEBE 'S fair;
    Thy lip shall moist with honey be;
The Graces shall entwine thy hair;
    The Loves shall weave a zone for thee:
Thy feet shall bound across the waste,
Like Daphne by Apollo chas'd;
And ev'ry breeze that 'round thee blows
Shall bring thee fragrance from the rose:--
Then come, MY LOVE !  the hour employ
No more in dreams, but waking joy.

I hear thy voice; I see those orbs,
    As blue, as brilliant, as the day !
Thy humid lip the dew absorbs,--
    It scents thy breath like op'ning May.
Upon thy dimpled cheek the hue
Of Summer's blushing buds I view;
Upon thy bosom's polish'd glow,
The whiteness of the melting snow.
Ah !  close thine eyes, MY LOVE , for, see
All Nature is eclips'd by THEE .

Page 190

[BRING me the flowing cup, dear boy !]

BRING me the flowing cup, dear boy !
    And bring it full; for I
Must taste the grateful liquid joy,
    And bid dull sorrow fly:
Bring, bring the sparkling cup divine,
And let its bev'rage sweet be mine.

Not with the purple luscious stream
    Its chrystal sides must glow;
Not with the fev'rish restless dream
    Will with'ring anguish go !----
Bring me the cup of bev'rage pure,
Which shall the wounds of MEMORY cure.

Give to the BACCHANALIAN throng
    Phoenicia's perfum'd glass;
While tipsy, revelry and song,
    Greet TIME , and bid him pass:--

Page 191

I ask the goblet,--not of wine;
I ask the limpid draught, DIVINE .

Let the hot sun-beam give the fruit
    A bloom of purple hue;
Let the pale MOON , in sil'vry suit,
    Scatter nocturnal dew;----
I to the fountain clear will haste,
A healthful chrystal cup to taste.

And now, my fev'rish senses find
    A calm and soothing rest;
Sweet are the visions of my mind.
    And tranquil is my breast:--
For, 'tis from LETHE 'S sacred stream
I drink farewell to PASSION'S DREAM .

Page 192


YOU say, my love, the drifted snow
    Around our ivy roof is flying:
Why, what care I ?  our bosoms glow;
    And LOVE still smiles, the storm defying.
LOVE shall no angry tempest fear,
    Tho' frowning skies the hail may scatter;
For still our guardian LOVE is here,
    Should howling blasts our hovel shatter.

Let icy bosoms freeze, while shrill
    The north wind blows around our dwelling;
Our bosoms feel the glowing thrill,
    And still with melting joys are swelling.
The hollow gust which passes by
    We scarcely hear, no danger fearing;

Page 193

Yet LOVE 'S most soft and murmur'd sigh
    Shall speak in accents sweetly cheering.

Our faggot fire shall brighter blaze;
    Our bed of down invite to slumber;
And, 'till the morn shall spread its rays,
    TIME shall delightful moments number.
See the dull flame our taper shews !
    Faintly it burns: well !  let it quiver;
The torch of LOVE unwasted glows,
    And still shall glow as bright as ever .

Page 194


IS it the purple grape that throws
    A lustre on the sparkling eye ?
Is it the nectar draught that flows
    Upon the lip of ruby dye ?
Is it the BACCHANALIAN set
That make old TIME his scythe forget,
And give the long, long, joyous night,
To fill the breast with rich delight ?

Does WINE expand the glowing soul ?
    Does FRIENDSHIP weave the magic vine ?
And, strengthen'd in the mantling bowl,
    Does GENIUS own its pow'r divine ?
Does SCIENCE smile ?  and WISDOM find
The nectar cup expand the mind ?
And does the morn's returning light
APPROVE the long, long, joyous night ?----

Page 195

If so, thou rosy god !  then take
    My ardent vows; and give to mirth
The fleeting hour; for thou can'st make
    This mortal scene a heav'n on earth.
Bring, bring the magic cup; and we
Will laugh and sport so merrily
That all the long, long, joyous night
Our hearts shall glow with rich delight.

But, if thy purple stream should prove
    A spell, my finer sense to bind;
If it can dim the flame of LOVE ,
    Or chill the source that warms the mind:
If REASON , BACCHUS , flies from thee,
I scorn thy grov'ling slave to be !
Nor will I share the long, long night
That robs the soul of pure delight .

Page 196

[THE day is past; the sultry west]


THE day is past; the sultry west
    The golden curtain closes:
My mossy couch is gaily drest
    With leaves of summer roses,
For thee:

The day is past; the silv'ry moon
Will light the shadowy mountain soon:
Then come, my love; let soft delight
Give downy wings to fleeting night,
With me !


The day is past; the rising dews
    Spangle the meadows over,

Page 197

Where buds retint their faded hues
    To greet the wand'ring lover----
Like thee.

The gossamer its silver thread
Winds round the glow-worm's twinkling head:
The beetle sounds its drony horn;
And pearl-drops all the flow'rs adorn;
For me.


The purple vine its branches bends,
    The bow'r of LOVE confining;
And there the ROSY GOD attends,
    An ivy wreath entwining
For thee:

The golden goblets, foaming 'round,
Seem with impatient streams to bound;
Haste, haste, my truant; let thy lip
The cup of heav'nly nectar sip
With me !

Page 198


But let not low or base desire
Degrade thy bosom's feeling;
Let LOVE illume his sacred fire,
    The light of truth revealing,
For thee.

Let vulgar common natures rove
In paths of sordid sensual love;
But, know, the sordid grov'ling mind
Nor friend nor lover e'er shall find
In me !

Page 199


WHAT is a kiss ?--'Tis but a seal
    That, lightly printed, soon decays:
'Tis but a zephyr taught to steal
    Where fleeting falsehood smiling plays:

The breeze will kiss the flow'r; but soon
    From flow'r to weed inconstant blows:
Such is the kiss of LOVE , the boon
    Which fickle fancy's form bestows.

A balmy Kiss once VENUS gave
    The ROSE that caught her lover's sigh:
That ROSE with ev'ry gale would wave,
    At every glance of morning die;

Page 200

Would ope its bosom to the beam
    Which glowing noon promiscuous threw;
Or, to the twilight's parting beam,
    Would yield responsive tears of dew;

Oft to the bee its sweets would give,
    And flaunt its odours wild around;
With perfum'd breath bid pleasures live,
    Or with its hidden mischiefs wound.

This ROSE was white; and, to be blest,
    Around it insect-myriads flew,
Charm'd by the wonders of its breast,
    High-essenc'd in the summer dew:

But when the lip of beauty shed
    A rival sweetness on that breast,
It blush'd --and droop'd its fragrant head,
    Asham'd to be so proudly blest.

Page 201

Its odour chang'd, a crimson glow
    Fix'd on its lovely form appears;
While 'round the sighing zephyrs blow,
    And NATURE bathes its leaves with tears.----

Then does not ev'ry kiss impart,
    In magic thrills of speechless pleasure,
Reproaches to the wand'ring heart
    That knows not how to prize the treasure ?

Page 202

Page [203]


                ------Oft, on silken wings upborne,
We , thro' dim air our sports pursue;
                'Till, scatter'd by the breeze of morn,
We quickly vanish from the view.

[Engraved illustration on section title page.]

Mrs. B. Tarleton del.  W. N. Gardner B. A. sc.

Page [204]

Page 205


OH come, my pretty love ! and we
    Will climb the dewy hill together;
An acorn shall our goblet be,
    A rose our couch in sultry weather--
Amidst its fragrant leaves we'll lie,
List'ning the zephyrs passing by.

Ah come, my fairy love !  and sip
    The dew that from each leaf is flowing;
And let the insect 'round thy lip
    With envy hover, while 'tis glowing.
Beneath a cowslip's shade we'll sing,
While morning gales shall fragrance bring.

Page 206

Haste, haste, my tiny love !  and dress
    Thy pretty form with pearls of morning;
Thy smiles shall charm, thy voice shall bless,
    Thy beauty ev'ry grace adorning:
By moon-light, on the glitt'ring ground
We'll sport, while fairies frolic 'round.

Ah !  why delay, my elfin love ?
    The sun is sinking in the ocean;
The birds are sleeping in the grove;
    The weary zephyrs scarce have motion:
Ah !  soon the gloomy shades of night
Will want those eyes of starry light.

I've made thee, love, a canopy,
    Of tulip tinted rich; a cluster
Of shining gold-cups waving nigh,
    Bespangled o'er with dewy lustre:
A verdant carpet at the door
With silv'ry frost is scatter'd o'er.

Page 207

Thy curtains are of insects' wings,
    With gossamer festoon'd and corded;
And, for their tassels, zephyr brings
    The thistle's floss, which Winter hoarded:
Thy pillow is of swan-down fair,
With filmy net-work, rich and rare.

Now, OBERON , thy love attends;
    His heart with anxious terror swelling;
While low his form with sorrow bends,
    To mark of LOVE the lonely dwelling:
Oh, come !  or, ere Night's shadows fly,
The chilling breeze shall bid me die.

Page 208


IN vain for me thy gifts display'd
    Meet the red eye of smiling morning:
I still will court the lovely shade,
    Alike thy vows and splendor scorning.--
Inconstant !  Ev'ry fairy knows
Thy love is like the gale that blows.

Thy oaths are like the summer flow'rs,
    No sooner blown than quickly faded;
Thy home like April's treach'rous show'rs,
    Now gay, and now by storms invaded;
Thy song is like the vagrant bird,
That sweet in ev'ry clime is heard.

Page 209

Thy couch so fragrant, rich, and gay,
    Will fade ere love has learnt to sicken;
And thou wilt wing thy fickle way,
    While Hope decays, by falsehood stricken,
As o'er the moon-light airy space
A thousand rivals fear shall trace.

False Lover !  to the shaggy steep
    TITANIA flies from thee and sorrow:
And, while beneath the waters sleep,
    From night a sable veil will borrow;
And on a thorny pillow rest,
Beside the screaming curlew's nest.

Yes, the lorn sea-bird's nest shall be
    Her cavern'd home, in hopeless anguish;
And, to the star of ev'ning, She
    Will tell how faithful love can languish:
The owl shall watch her all night long,
Hooting the dreary cliffs among.

Page 210

Go, vagrant lover !  'Mid the throngs
    Of fairy rovers seek a dwelling;
While I in silence mourn my wrongs,
    My sighs upon the cold breeze swelling:
Go !  Sport in wanton, idle play,
While moon-light scatters mimic day.

Go !  where the sun its splendor throws
    Upon the crest of yon tall mountain;
Go !  drink oblivion to love's woes,
    Where ev'ning gilds the lucid fountain;
Go !  where inconstant zephyrs flee:--
But think, oh !  think no more of me.

Page 211



LAST night, as musing on a lay
To greet thee on thy natal day,
    Sleep o'er my eyes her poppies press'd;
    And, as I softly sunk to rest,
Fancy beguil'd the passing hours
With visions fair as summer flow'rs,
    In all their blushing beauty drest.
Methought in fairy land I wander'd,
        A land renown'd in ancient tale;
    And by a streamlet clear and bright,
    Reflecting Cynthia's silver light,

Page 212

That o'er its glitt'ring bed meander'd
        In peaceful murmurs thro' the vale,
A band of tiny elves I spied,
Disporting gaily side by side,
        And frisking in the moon-beam pale.
    Their robes of green were spangled o'er
With pearly dew-drops, silv'ry bright;
And on their little forms, so light,
    Beauty had lavish'd all her store.
Upon their heads an em'rald crown
Encompass'd plumes of cygnets' down;
Which, as they sported in the shade,
With ev'ry wanton zephyr play'd
    That flutter'd on the verdant shore.
And now from forth a hollow tree,
In gallant trim came merrily
    Of little knights a fairy band,
    Each with a glow-worm in his hand,
To light the scene of revelry.--
        The silver fish had lent its scale,

Page 213

        To deck their splendid coat of mail;
    Which studded shone with golden sand,
And gems that sparkled brilliantly:
And each a slender jav'lin bore,
Like gallant knights in days of yore.
Their glossy bucklers' sable pride
Was stolen from the beetle's side;
And lady-birds had cast their shell,
To form their helmets' polish'd swell,
O'er which majestic seem'd to fly
Soft plumage of celestial dye.
    And soon each gentle warrior-knight
Threw off his cumb'rous shield and lance;
    And, while soft music charm'd the night,
        His little fairy partner led
To mingle in the circling dance.
They now retreat, and now advance;--
        Now, frisking light, with airy tread,
        They gain the nearest mountain head,

Page 214

Where shone a blooming woodbine bow'r,
Adorn'd with many a fragrant flow'r
        That early spring profusely shed.
    There, on an altar dazzling-white,
    A graceful figure met the sight;
Upon whose pedestal was seen,
In golden letters, "BEAUTY'S QUEEN ."
The face was by a veil conceal'd,
And ev'n the form but half-reveal'd;
Yet plainly shone in ev'ry line
The traces of a form divine.

When, lo !  from forth his secret cell,
A spotless lily's perfum'd bell,
A naked infant blushing flew:
    His breast the mountain snow outvied;
    His lip the rich carnation's pride;
And o'er his eyes' luxuriant blue
His silken ringlets lightly flew.--

Page 215

Around, in adoration low,
The circling fairies prostrate bow;
Hailing, with shouts of heartfelt glee,
The presence of their deity.

And now the blooming dimpled child
Display'd his purple wings, and smil'd;
And, raising high his little hand,

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

Attentive silence to command,
He thus bespoke the fairy band:
    "The genial spring's all-cheering ray
Hath bid the win'try tempests fly;
    And now, revolving, brings the day
        On whose blest morn awoke to birth
         The fairest flow'r of all the earth.
Come, then, ere dawn-light's weeping eye
Dissolve our midnight revelry,
Responsive to the tabor's sound
    Now chaunt the merry roundelay,
And let the rosy cup go round.
Of cowslips sweet a garland bring,

Page 216

The firstlings of the infant spring;
And add the primrose, soft and pale,
The humble fav'rite of the vale:
And twine them into many a braid,
To decorate the blooming maid.--

"Enough !  the magic spell is o'er:
"Fall prostrate, Fairies !  and adore."----
And, as the veil he gently rais'd,
In soft enchantment lost I gaz'd:
    For, as he gave the form to light

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

    In all its native lustre bright,
    It was thy image met my sight.--
And now the morning's rosy ray
Upon my window 'gan to play,
Just as thy form dissol'vd in air,
    And ev'ry fairy took his flight.

Page [217]


Page [218]

Page 219



WHO has not seen the chearful Harvest Home
Enliv'ning the scorch'd field, and greeting gay
The slow decline of Autumn ?  All around
The yellow sheaves, catching the burning beam,
Glow, golden lustr'd; and the trembling stem
Of the slim oat, or azure corn-flow'r,
Waves on the hedge-rows shady.  From the hill
The day-breeze softly steals with downward wing,
And lightly passes, whisp'ring the soft sounds
Which moan the death of Summer.  Glowing scene !
Nature's long holiday ?  Luxuriant, rich,
In her proud progeny, she smiling marks
Their graces, now mature, and wonder fraught !

Page 220

Hail !  season exquisite !  and hail, ye sons
Of rural toil !  ye blooming daughters !  ye,
Who, in the lap of hardy labour rear'd,
Enjoy the mind unspotted !  Up the plain,
Or on the sidelong hill, or in the glen,
Where the rich farm, or scatter'd hamlet shews
The neighbourhood of peace, ye still are found,
A merry and an artless throng, whose souls
Beam thro' untutor'd glances.  When the dawn
Unfolds its sunny lustre, and the dew
Silvers the outstretch'd landscape, labour's sons
Rise, ever healthful, ever chearily,
From sweet and soothing rest; for fev'rish dreams
Visit not lowly pallets !  All the day
They toil in the fierce beams of fervid noon,
But toil without repining !  The blythe song,
Joining the woodland melodies afar,
Flings its rude cadence in fantastic sport
On Echo's airy wing !  The pond'rous load
Follows the weary team: the narrow lane
Bears on its thick wove hedge the scatter'd corn,

Page 221

Hanging in scanty fragments, which the thorn
Purloin'd from the broad waggon.

On the plain
The freckled gleaner gathers the scant sheaf,
And looks, with many a sigh, on the tythe heap
Of the proud, pamper'd pastor !  To the brook
That ripples shallow down the valley's slope,
The herds slow measure their unvaried way:
The flocks along the heath are dimly seen
By the faint torch of ev'ning, whose red eye
Closes in tearful silence.  Now the air
Is rich in fragrance !  fragrance exquisite !
Of new-mown hay, of wild thyme dewy-wash'd,
And gales ambrosial, which, with cooling breath,
Ruffle the lake's grey surface.  All around
The thin mist rises, and the busy tones
Of airy people, borne on viewless wings,
Break the short pause of nature.  From the plain
The rustic throngs come chearly; their loud din

Page 222

Augments to mingling clamour.  Sportive hinds,
Happy !  more happy than the lords ye serve !
How lustily your sons endure the hour
Of wint'ry desolation; and how fair
Your blooming daughters greet the op'ning dawn
Of love-inspiring Spring !

Hail !  harvest home !
To thee, the Muse of Nature pours the song,
By instinct taught to warble: instinct pure,
Sacred, and grateful to that Pow'r ador'd,
Which warms the sensate being, and reveals
The soul self-evident !  beyond the dreams
Of visionary sceptics !  Scene sublime !
Where earth presents her golden treasuries;
Where balmy breathings whisper to the heart
Delights unspeakable !  Where seas and skies,
And hills and vallies, colours, odours, dews,
Diversify the work of Nature's God !

Page 223


BY THE LATE ROBERT MERRY, ESQ. Written at Florence, and addressed to the Countess of ------.

SOFT was the smile LOUISA gave,
    And tender was her speaking eye;
She seem'd to only wish to save--
    I felt I only wish'd to die.

But when she found my love sincere,
    And knew my soul was all her own,
Her kindness chang'd to scorn severe,
    And then her tyrant pow'r was shewn.

Page 224

With cold disdain my breast she tore,
    With taunts my faithful vows repaid;
She told me "I must hope no more,"
    And made me seek the lonely glade.

She bade me wander on the beach,
    Or to the nights descending dews,
'The woes of sad experience teach;
    Left me to sorrow and THE MUSE .

Page 225



IN dreary midnight's lonely hour,
    When wretched lovers only wake,
Ten thousand tears, fast falling, pour
    And bathe my bosom for thy sake !

When morning's misty eye uncloses,
    And gives the world another day,
For THEE (more sweet than vernal roses)
    Ten thousand sighs are breathed away !

Page 226

But HE , whose scalding tears are flowing,
    Whose aching breast heaves many a sigh,
Whose soul with fondest love is glowing,
    Must hide his heart's first wish, and die !

Page 227



AH, might I range each hallow'd bow'r and glade
    MUSÆUS cultur'd, many a raptur'd sigh
    Would that dear local consciousness supply
Beneath his willow, in the grotto's shade,
Whose roof his hand with ores and shells inlaid !
    How sweet to watch with reverential eye;
Thro' the sparr'd arch the streams he survey'd,
    Thou, blue THAMESIS , gently wand'ring by !
This is THE POET'S triumph; and it towers

Page 228

O'er life's pale ills: his consciousness of powers,
    That lift his Memory from oblivion's gloom,
Secures a train of these heart-thrilling hours,
    By his idea deck'd in raptures bloom,
For spirits rightly touch'd, thro' ages yet to come.


Page [i]

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