Alonzo and Cora, with Other Original Poems, Principally Elegiac.

Scot, Elizabeth, 1729-1789


David Zhuang, -- creation of electronic text.

Electronic edition 201Kb
British Women Romantic Poets Project
Shields Library, University of California, Davis, California 95616
2001
I.D. No. ScotEAlonz

Copyright (c) 2001, University of California

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 75
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor


Alonzo and Cora, with other original poems, principally elegiac

Scot, Elizabeth


Bunney and Gold, and may be had of Rivington ... [and 7 others]
London,
1801

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I Suppl:804. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I Suppl:804mf.]


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[Title Page]


ALONZO AND CORA.


Page [ii]


Page [iii]

ALONZO AND CORA ,
WITH
OTHER ORIGINAL POEMS,
PRINCIPALLY ELEGIAC.

BY

ELIZABETH SCOT,


A NATIVE OF EDINBURGH.
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
LETTERS IN VERSE,

By

BLACKLOCK

AND

BURNS.


LONDON:

Printed and published by BUNNEY and GOLD,
Shoe-Lane ;
AND MAY BE HAD OF
RIVINGTON, St. Paul's Church-Yard; ROBINSONS, Paternoster-Row;
CADELL and DAVIES, Strand; EGERTON, Whitehall; and FAULDER,
Bond-Street. Likewise of CRUTWELL, Bath; TESSYMAN, York; and
CREECH, Edinburgh.

1801.



Page [iv]


Page [v]

TO
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
THE COUNTESS DOWAGER OF ELGIN,

THIS COLLECTION OF POEMS
IS, BY PERMISSION,
AND AS A SMALL TESTIMONY OF GRATITUDE,
WITH THE UTMOST RESPECT AND ESTEEM,
INSCRIBED,
BY HER LADYSHIP'S MUCH OBLIGED,
AND MOST OBEDIENT SERVANT, THE EDITOR.


Page [vi]


Page [vii]

THE
LIST
OF
SUBSCRIBERS.


A.
B.
C.
D.
E.
Page [ix]


F.


G.
H.
K.
L.
M.
Page [xi]


N.


P.
R.
Page [xii]


S.


T.
W.
Page [xiv]


Page [xv]

CONTENTS.


Page [xvii]

PREFACE.

ELIZABETH SCOT, the author of these poems, was the daughter of David Rutherford, Esquire, Counsellor at Edinburgh; whose country-residence was Hermiston-hall, an ancient mansion in that neighbourhood. Our author was born at Edinburgh, 1729. Here she was early taught the Latin and French languages, and became a ready proficient in many branches of the belles lettres. Her predilection for poetry appeared at an early period. She courted the Muses from her childhood; and not only read, but wrote verses in her eleventh year. A copy, written at this early period, was found among her other poems.

It was no small gratification to her numerous and respectable friends, to mark the progress of her genius; improved, as it was, by culture, and strengthened by study. Her first friend and guide in the walks of poetry was Allen Ramsay. He tuned her yet unpolished lays. On his maturer


Page [xviii]

judgment and refined taste she reposed with confidence. In the number of her literary correspondents was Thomas Blacklock, the blind poet. He constantly mentioned Miss Rutherford as a writer, whose talents were superior, and whose poetry was deserving of praise. He was partial to the poem, entitled Solitude and Sadness; and called it one of the most beautiful little poems he had ever read.

Her acquaintance with Burns, and the just opinion she had formed of his abilities, appear from her letter to that poet. He, in his reply, expresses his obligations for the presents he had received, and applauds in the same verse the poetry and the plaid. These two letters, together with that of Blacklock, were never published till now. They may therefore be considered as a small accession to that interesting correspondence, which the late elegant edition of Burns's works comprises. It might have been expected that here, among other correspondents, the name of our author had obtained a place. Frequent and respectful mention is made in


Page [xix]

these volumes of her ingenious friend Miss Williams; whose sonnet on the Mountain-Daisy the writer of these poems admired and transcribed. See Dr. Moore's 13th letter to Burns, where this sonnet is inserted in a Note.

Our poetess was no less celebrated for her personal attractions, than for her intellectual endowments. The youth, who shared her affections, and with whom she was supposed to have consented to pass the remainder of her days, was unfortunately drowned in his passage from Edinburgh to Ireland. The recollection of his disastrous fate clouded her future prospects. In this reverse of fortune she had recourse to poetry;
         --canit, & moestum Musâ solatur amorem.

To assuage the anguish of disappointment, and sooth her sorrows, she exchanged the sprightly for the mournful Muse, and gave a decided preference to elegy.

Our author, at rather an advanced period, married Mr. Walter Scot, a country-gentleman


Page [xx]

of considerable property in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh.

Lest it should be conjectured from the late appearance of these poems, that their publication formed no part of the writer's design, it may be proper to mention, that some few poems, which are inserted in this collection, were corrected by herself with a view to the press. These, with some other poems, were intrusted to a friend, alike eminent for his talents and employments, to be revised by his care, and printed by his direction. But her friend's removal to a distance, and her own death in 1789, put a period to this projected plan, and the poems were returned to the Editor.
Northampton, June 1801.



Page [1]

POEMS, &c.

SCOTIA's ADDRESS
TO
HER SISTER ANGLIA.

    HAIL , happy Sister! great in arts and arms,
In manly valour and in female charms;
Whose classic sons the noblest honours claim,
And shine unrivall'd on the list of fame:
Say, wilt thou deign to mark these humble lays,
And kindly pardon, if thou can'st not praise?
Behold! my timid daughter blushing stands;
Her gift she proffers, but with trembling hands.
In antique garb has SCOTIA'S Muse too long
Disguis'd the sweetness of her native song:
Ev'n where her work the seal of genius bears,
The phrase uncouth disgusts your nicer ears.
At length a chosen band beheld the day,
Who clear'd the rust of ancient times away.


Page 2

POPE'S music flows in * HAMILTON'S smooth lines;
With art correct each polish'd period shines.
While + HOME sublime attempts a higher strain,
And boldly dares the tragic wreath to gain.
An ancient minstrel's simple tale he chose:
Beneath his hands a noble fabric rose;
Where tragedy in all her pomp appears,
And claims applauding hands and melting tears.
The germs of genius BEATTIE'S numbers show,
And mark those buds that undistinguish'd grow,
Till to perfection the fair fruit aspires:
Our taste approves it, and our eye admires.
More might I add, who seek the Muses' fane
With equal powers, and equal honours gain.
Such are my sons; no daughter yet of mine
Had dar'd to court the favour of the Nine,


Page 3

While ENGLAND'S fair distinguish'd honour grace,
And high in Fame's bright temple claim a place:
When, in the stillness of a wild retreat,
Far, far, alas! from genius' favourite seat,
Where * JED'S fair stream his woody borders laves,
Or pours thro' flowery meads his chrystal waves,
Your votary rose; and, warm with generous flame,
Strove to secure the meed of honest fame;
To follow where your daughters lead the way,
Last of the train, and listen to their lay:
Her harsher lines attune from their smooth strain;
From their full wreaths one humble sprig obtain;
From dark oblivion's gulf her name to save;
Adorn her life, and dignify her grave.

* WILLIAM HAMILTON of BANGOUR, Esq. an elegant Scotch Poet; whose Poems on several Occasions are comprised in one vol. 12mo. Edinburgh, 1760.

+ The author of Douglas . An interesting account of this celebrated tragedy and its author is given in the Biographia Dramatica , See also PERCY'S Scottish Ballad, Gil Morrice , and the Note. Vol. 3. pag. 99. 4 Ed.

* Our unassuming poetess represents herself as placed at a distance "from genius' favourite seat;" yet it is well known, that on the banks of "JED's fair stream" THOMSON delighted to saunter, and there courted with success his favourite Muse.


Page 4

TO A FRIEND.

    HOW various are the parts, by heaven assign'd
To fill the motley drama of mankind!
To some 'tis given, apart from noise and state,
And all the pains and pleasures of the great,
To taste what joys to rural life belong;
The Muse solicit to inspire the song;
With simple swains to pass the careless day,
And gently trifle life's short dream away.
You nobler toils and harder tasks demand:
To plan the glory of your native land;
From listening senates to extort applause,
And guard the monarch's rights and country's laws,
Your rank, your name, your talents, heaven design'd
To bless your friends, your sovereign, and mankind,
Yet from these higher cares some moments spare;
Let friendless merit claim your fostering care:
'Tis yours to give to genius honours due;
Genius, that finds its noblest theme in you.


Page 5

THE SHIPWRECK;

OR
MELANCHOLY FATE OF CAPT. PIERCE AND HIS
TWO DAUGHTERS* .

    ETERNAL Power! who rul'st with sovereign will
Who bid'st the tempest cease, and all is still;
In mercy hear us; stretch thine arm to save;
Oh! snatch my children from the whelming wave.
So pray'd the parent; but the prayer was vain;
The struggling vessel sinks beneath the main.
His hapless offspring cling around their sire,
Implore his aid, and in his arms expire.
Fair, faded blossoms! ere your prime destroy'd;
To you life just was shown, and ne'er enjoy'd.
+ In vain bright suns and purer skies invite;
In vain is Hymen sued to bless his rite.

* There is much pathos in this little poem. Every reader of sensibility and taste will feel himself disposed to sympathize with the suffering family. See an authentic account of this Shipwreck in a well-written Pamphlet, entitled A Circumstantial Narrative of the Loss of the HALSEWELL (East-Indiaman ), Capt. R. PIERCE, &c. Published by W. LANE, 1786. 20th Edit. LONDON.

+ This voyage was undertaken by the two ladies, with a view to their marriage and settlement in INDIA.


Page 6

Dark is his torch, the lamp funereal burns;
His drooping garland scatter'd o'er your urns.
How oft, with beating hearts and eager eye,

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


Shall your devoted lords the vessel spy,
Its progress mark, and trust their bliss is nigh!
Bid love and wealth for you their powers employ,
And glowing fancy deck each scene of joy!
Tune the soft lyre with rapturous airs to move,
And INDIA'S fragrance weave the bower of love!
Ill-fated youths, your needless care refrain,
Nor spread the feast, nor raise the nuptial strain;
Ne'er shall your spicy groves their steps invite,
Nor death's cold ear the melting strain delight.
Clos'd are those eyes, that dullest bosoms fir'd,
And mute the tongues, that harmony inspir'd.
Those polish'd forms, in softest silks array'd,
That on the downy couch were nightly laid,
Dash'd on the flinty rocks, distain'd with blood,
Are driven, impetuous o'er the boiling flood;
Or to the dreary Caves of ocean born,
Their mangled limbs by scaly monsters torn.
Was it for this, the fond maternal eye
Watch'd o'er the weakness of your infancy?

Page 7

Train'd with a parent's care your tender youth,
And taught the love of goodness and of truth?
With many a prayer indulgent heaven address'd,
To form you beautiful, and keep you bless'd?
Two lovely plants! together thus ye grew,
Sweet to the sense, and grateful to the view.
But, when the harvest promis'd to repay
The tender cares of many an anxious day,
Relentless fate inflicts the fatal blow,
And all your springing glories levels low.

Perchance, ere yet the tale had reach'd her ears,
The pensive matron, sway'd with hopes and fears,
Her youngest joy close to her bosom press'd,
And thus th' unconscious innocent address'd:
Smile, my sweet babe; and cheer thy mother's heart;
Alas! thine own cannot partake her smart.
For us thy venturous father dares to roam,
Far from his tender spouse and happy home;
O'er boundless oceans distant climes explores,
Nor dreads the raging storm, nor treacherous shores.


Page 8

Thou, all unknowing, saw'st thy father's face;
Nor sad, nor joyous at his last embrace.
But time will soon thy little powers display,
And dawning reason lend its feeble ray,
Then, when my dear-lov'd wanderer returns,
And all my soul with tender transport burns,
Wilt thou not catch the kindling joy from me,
And lisp his name, and hang around his knee?

Ah! gentle * HAMMET , what a task was thine!
How could thy lips the fatal words combine!
How in one moment every hope destroy,
And banish all her flattering dreams of joy!
Sad, tender office! when the bursting heart
Must o'er its sorrows throw the veil of art;
Must talk of comfort, while it inly bleeds,
And give the soothing balm its anguish needs!
But here the stroke too deep an entrance found:
Down sinks the lifeless victim on the ground.


Page 9

In mercy stop--your cruel cares refrain--
Is life, is reason worth the wish of pain?
In death's deep slumber let her eye-lids close,
And her cold bosom feel no future woes.

* The gentleman who first acquainted Mrs. PIERCE with the disastrous event.

    Alas! how impotent is feeble man,
The darken'd maze of Providence to scan!
All, all are born to suffer and complain,
The sad associates doom'd of grief and pain;
And, ere the sympathetic tear is spent,
We are ourselves the wretches we lament.


Page 10

CELADON AND MIRA;

A TALE.

RELENTLESS war, must still thy dreaded call
    The tender lover from his mistress part?
From beauty's eyes bid tears of anguish fall,
    And wring with fiercest pangs the gentle heart?

Ev'n in the rosy bower of pleasure laid,
    By fortune favour'd, and caress'd by love,
Thy martial sounds the ear of joy invade,
    And shake with terrour all the peaceful grove.

Say, will thy rage insatiate ne'er decay?
    Must nation against nation ever bleed?
Thy smoking wheels thro' carnage mark their way,
    And pale-ey'd famine thy dread steps succeed?

While yet one little spot mankind contain'd,
    Discord beneath the roof paternal rose,
With brother's blood a brother's hands were stain'd,
    And still the sanguine tide impetuous flows.


Page 11

The noble CELADON , young, lovely, brave,
    Enamour'd, doted on sweet MIRA'S charms:
To her fair form each beauty nature gave,
    That youthful hearts with tender transport warms.

Her spotless mind, that needed no disguise,
    Each genuine feeling on her face impress'd;
Now pity's dew drops glisten'd in her eyes;
    The glow of friendship now each look confess'd:

Anon a sudden blush her cheek o'erspread,
    And love amidst the new-blown roses play'd;
And now at last the transient lustre fled,
    While the pale hue some tender fear betray'd.

Her gentle soul no jarring passion knew;
    'Twas form'd alone for pity, love, and joy;
Nor hatred, anger, pride, a direful crew,
    Could e'er the fair one's bosom-peace annoy.

The wish'd consent approving parents gave,
    And bad the hymeneal rites prepare:


Page 12

And seldom had they join'd a youth so brave
    In tender union with a maid so fair.

But on the eve of that long-wish'd-for day,
    That should have bless'd him with his MIRA'S charms,
Stern honour's voice, which still the brave obey,
    Calls forth the hero to the field of arms

O grief of griefs! unutterable woe!
    And must hard fate these lovers dear divide?
Must he for war's dire scenes each bliss forego,
    And leave to wretchedness his weeping bride?

No time was given to take a last farewel;
    To plight fond vows, that ever true shall prove;
To mingle tears, and kiss them ere they fell;
    No parting gift's bestow'd, endear'd by love.

Now shines the hero on the embattl'd field,
    And seeks in danger's front renown to gain;
Bids softer love to fierce ambition yield,
    And victory's wreath supplant the lover's chain.


Page 13

Yet, grac'd with all that charms the soldier's eye,
    Glory in vain his stedfast soul assails;
Still for his absent MIRA swells the sigh,
    And love o'er fierce ambition's power prevails.

Full oft he reason'd with his doubting mind;
    What! shall I tamely yield to love's soft sway?
Beneath th' inglorious shade of rest reclin'd,
    Waste youth's short, active hours in ease away?

Ah! no; be sloth's dull couch by cowards press'd,
    Whose abject hearts at glory's call ne'er rose;
Beneath his laurels should the hero rest,
    And, but on victory's bosom, seek repose.

Yet MIRA'S charms her soldier would inspire,
    And her dear hands adorn me for the field;
With love of glory all my bosom fire,
    And, like my guardian-saint, from danger shield.

When gay returning from victorious toils,
    What joy her fond approving eyes to meet!


Page 14

Glow in the bright effulgence of her smiles,
    And lay with pride my laurels at her feet!

Oh! then be love and war together join'd,
    While each from each shall mutual succour share;
Beauty in valour's arms protection find;
    And love's fond smiles reward the brave and fair.

At length resolv'd he frames the fond request;
    While potent love each glowing line inspires,
To melt with tenderness his MIRA'S breast,
    At once to pity and partake his fires.

The fond request the gentle maid approves:
    Yes, dearest CELADON , I come, she cried;
Nor toils, nor distance shall divide our loves,
    Or keep me longer from thy faithful side.

His MIRA'S brother and his dearest friend,
    Thro' all the dangers of the distant way,
He prays the lovely traveller to attend,
    And safely to his longing eyes convey.


Page 15

The tender parents fold her in their arms,
    And heaven with many an anxious prayer implore,
To guard their age's treasure safe from harms,
    And soon, and happy to their vows restore.

They part; the chariot flies with rapid speed;
    Yet all its speed to MIRA seems too slow;
While hopes and fears each other quick succeed,
    And bid each animated feature glow.

And now, approaching near the destin'd place,
    A martial band, slow moving, she espies;
And now, advanc'd within a shorter space,
    Born on their arms a wounded chieftain lies.

And need the muse inform the feeling heart,
    Who was the youth his sad companions bore?
She gaz'd! a boding sigh her fears impart;
    O heavens! my love! she cried, and could no more.

Now at her feet their mournful burden laid,
    Again he feebly lifts his dying eyes;


Page 16

Their quivering beams are centred on the maid,
    And thus with feeble voice, and broken sighs:

'Tis past, my fair one; all our hopes are o'er;
    Thou com'st, alas! to catch my parting breath;
A widow'd bride thou tread'st this fatal shore,
    Ill-fated witness of thy husband's death.

Yet, MIRA , live to sooth a mother's woe:
    Tell her, her son with youthful ardour fir'd,
Not like a coward met the fatal blow;
    But, crown'd with conquest, at your feet expir'd.

Talk not of life, of hated life, she cried;
    And frantic sunk upon his bleeding breast:
Our union here tho' adverse fate denied,
    Yet join'd in death together shall we rest.

A beam of joy shone from his closing eye;
    A languid smile his clay-cold face o'erspread;
His gentle spirit, born on one deep sigh,
    From earth and all its miseries joyful fled.


Page 17

As the ripe grass beneath the breeze reclines,
    When high the sun in noontide splendour glows;
All bright in silvery waves it floating shines;
    When, lo! a sudden cloud its darkness throws.

Thus changeful is the checker'd life of man;
    Full many are his griefs, his pleasures few:
'Tis hard, O heaven!--so short our little span.
    So short, alas! and yet so wretched too.


Page 18

SOLITUDE AND SADNESS,

OR
THE DESERTED LOVER.

ONCE rosy pleasure bless'd my smiling hours,
    And all her scatter'd joys around me shed:
For me of balmy sweets she robb'd the flow'rs,
    And with her myrtle-wreath adorn'd my head.

Beneath my feet I saw the violet spring;
    I caught the fragrance of the morning-gale;
Each passing breeze bore sweetness on its wing,
    And scatter'd odours thro' the smiling vale.

Mine ear, still listening, heard the warbling notes,
    That from the wood the feather'd choir prolong;
Wild as themselves the tuneful cadence floats
    Of nature's sweetest, unassisted song.

Mine eye the opening dawn with joy survey'd,
    That streaks the eastern sky with crimson-hue,


Page 19

When night's dark curtain thrown aside display'd
    All nature's beauties to my raptur'd view.

Then glittering dew-drops every stalk adorn,
    And tho' depending seem to fall away;
The pearly moisture hangs from every thorn,
    And gives new freshness to the trembling spray.

Cheering the sun, in beamy radiance bright,
    When on the earth his fervid ray descends:
Pleasant the slow approach of sober night,
    Whose mantle grey its cooling shade extends.

The silvery moon how lovely! and the train
    Of lucid orbs, that round her throne revolve,
And gild with vivid gems th' etherial plain!
    Who, save their Maker, can their path resolve?

O ye fair objects, once ye knew to please;
    Why to my sense delightful now no more?
Say, charm ye only in the days of ease;
    Nor for the wretched have one bliss in store?


Page 20

Ill can the tearful eye your charms survey;
    Grief's thickest fog o'erclouds whate'er I see;
By me unheard is PHILOMELA'S lay;
    The lily's snowy hue delights not me.

For thou, with whom these objects charm'd, art gone:
    Pleasing with thee bright suns and evenings fair;
Thy beamy eyes, which bright as PHOEBUS shone,
    Dispell'd the frigid damps of gloomy care.

Pleasing with thee the music of the grove,
    Or tinkling streams, that o'er the pebbles stray;
More pleasing far thy voice, inspiring love,
    Whose soothing strains beguil'd the tedious day.

The flowers you cull'd were fairer to my sight;
    The fruit you gather'd richer to the taste;
From you each object pleas'd with new delight;
    All came from you with double beauty grac'd.

Ah! cruel fate, could nothing less atone
    Thy savage rage, or glut thy dreadful pow'r?


Page 21

Wilt thou unpitying hear the heart-felt groan,
    Nor smile propitious on the passing hour?

Sure less than this had been sufficient woe:
    Hadst thou on every limb inflicted pain;
Or wasted down my strength with pining slow;
    Or stung me with the taunts of cold disdain:

Ev'n poverty, and all the dreaded tribe
    That on the meagre sons of want attend;
The biting jest, the sullen brow of pride;
    The dear-bought favours of a selfish friend;

These ills I could have born, one treasure left;
    Fate's darts had only reach'd th' ignobler part;
Of every outward bliss of life bereft,
    Joy still had triumphed in my faithful heart.


Page 22

ABSENCE LAMENTED* .

    COME thou, th' APOLLO who my song inspires,
And warms my breast with more than poets' fires;
For whom my numbers still are taught to flow,
And every line with artless rapture glow;
Whose praise alone with fond delight I hear,
Whose blame is all the censure that I fear.
Whom can I wish, remote from thee, to please?
Without thee life is but a slow disease.
Tell me, oh! tell, why absent thou so long,
Source of my joy, and author of my song?
When far from thee, with fears and doubts oppress'd,
What sad forebodings fill'd my anxious breast!
How slow the cold unpleasing moments roll!
What cheerless clouds benight my drooping soul!
Come with the powerful magic of thine eye,
And bid those fears and doubts for ever fly:


Page 23

Dispel and chase those cheerless clouds away,
Thou sun, whose presence only gives me day.
'Tis thus the wretch, who, freezing near the pole,
Sees six slow months in cold and darkness roll,
With rapture views the blest return of light,
Forgets the horrours of his half-year's night,
Hails the bright orb, with grateful transport fir'd,
Absent so long, and oft in vain desir'd.

* The person, whose absence is here lamented, and who is the subject of other Elegies, is ORAN. See The Lover's Complaint , and the Note on that name.


Page 24

THE DESERTED MANSION* .

* An amiable character, a friend to our author, compelled by series of unexpected misfortunes to quit his hereditary seat, is pathetically lamented in this elegy.

AT first, the favour'd parents of mankind
    Delighted rov'd thro' EDEN'S fragrant bow'rs;
Where spring and autumn, in sweet union join'd,
    Form'd all the year, and led the smiling hours.

The trees at once their fruit and blossoms show'd;
    Pour'd forth their treasures, and still promis'd more:
The happy owners cropp'd the plenteous load,
    Nor fear'd that waste would dissipate their store.

How long this happy state, for ever gone,
    Was man's blest lot, it boots not now to say;
Then ages all unnoticed might have flown:
    Swift flies the hours, when sorrow keeps away.

Unlike those heavy moments oft we fell,
    With anguish loaded, disappointment, pain;


Page 25

Ah me! how slow the circling seasons wheel,
    That bring nor hope, nor pleasure in their train.

Too soon, alas! the blissful moments fled,
    When with averted looks, reluctant, slow,
By heaven's fell minister of vengeance led,
    They enter'd on a world of pain and woe.

All wild and comfortless the prospect lay;
    Each region unexplor'd, and all unknown,
Weary they wandered through the pathless way,
    While conscious guilt still gave the heart-felt groan.

Too many an hapless son has felt their pain,
    When, banish'd from the dear domestic home,
He casts behind a wishful look in vain,
    Doom'd thro' an hard, unfeeling world to roam.

What pain to leave each favourite haunt so dear,
    Where oft in musings sweet he wont to rove!
To leave the favourite tree he lov'd to rear,
    That spread so fair the glory of the grove!


Page 26

The fertile field his care unceasing fed,
    Where bounteous CERES wav'd her golden store;
The flowery lawn his stately herds o'erspread;
    The hill his fleecy wanderers whiten'd o'er;

Yet stronger ties the man of feeling bind:
    Here friendship brighten'd oft the tedious hour;
And social mirth, with social kindness join'd,
    Would all their various charms united pour.

'Twas here the lovely partner of his heart
    A double radiance threw o'er every scene:
'Twas here the smile of love, devoid of art,
    Heighten'd each joy, and soften'd every pain.

'Twas here the tender fruit of chaste delight
    First saw the day, and breath'd the vital air:
'Twas here their opening graces charm'd the sight,
    And grew, and bloom'd beneath a parent's care.

Now lost, for ever lost, each kindred scene;
    Whose dear ideas, woven through the heart,


Page 27

Fortune may try to sever, but in vain:
    Tho' every nerve be strain'd, they cannot part.

Ev'n tho' oblivion brought her languid aid,
    And o'er the past a transient darkness threw;
Too faithful memory still pierc'd the shade,
    And brought each dear, departed joy to view.

When smiling plenty bless'd his cheerful dome,
    Oft did he urge the weary wanderer's stay;
Oft bid the houseless stranger find a home,
    And strew with roses sorrow's thorny way.

Ah! must he now the needful aid require,
    His scanty fortunes can no more bestow?
Must he from life's gay eminence retire,
    And mingle with the humble crowd below?

Ye, to his blood by kindred bands conjoin'd,
    With tenderest care your needful aid impart;
Think, what nice feelings swell the high-born mind;
    Prevent his wish, but do not wound his heart.


Page 28

ELEONORA* .

* ELEONORA, daughter of the great earl of LEICESTER, was betrothed to LEWELLYN, prince of WALES; but, intercepted in her voyage thither by EDWARD the first, she was kept a prisoner in his court till the prince should perform his homage to the ENGLISH monarch. In this situation she is supposed to have written these lines.

O THOU ! to whom each thought unchanging tends,
To thee these lines a wretched captive sends.
In vain did love our tender hearts unite;
Hymen in vain prepare the nuptial rite:
His torch extinguish'd, torn his flowery chain,
Far other bands thy hapless bride detain.
A cruel tyrant's hate our bliss destroys,
And withers, ere their bloom, our promis'd joys.

    The gay-rigg'd vessel spread her silken sails,
And skimm'd the level deep with prosperous gales.
Some power, to love propitious, smooth'd the seas;
The sportive zephyrs breath'd a gentle breeze.
Round the tall bark the strong-wing'd herons fly;
And the loud sea-mew sends a hoarser cry.


Page 29

Fearless around the finny nations play,
And bask and wanton in the solar ray:
Now to the view their silver scales unfold,
Or azure coats, bespangled thick with gold.
Fearless of ill, we gaze with curious eyes,
To mark where WALLIA'S woody mountains rise.
Already fancy views the rocky strand,
And joyful crowds, that hail us safe to land.
First, to my longing eyes the prince appears;
High o'er the throng his graceful form he rears;
With rapturous joy receives me from the main,
The destin'd partner of his happy reign.

    O ye false hopes, that cheated mortals trust:
Ye baseless fabrics, form'd of painted dust;
At distance seen, ye charm the unwary eye;
But, ah! our eager grasp delusive fly.
While thus secure we gayly glide along,
Sooth'd with the dashing waves and seamen's song,
Like stone fierce tiger, ambush'd for his prey,
The hostile vessel intercepts our way.
To us, unarm'd, and unsuspecting ill,
Useless alike the attempts of force or skill.


Page 30

    O EDWARD , born the scourge of all my race;
EDWARD , the author of my dire disgrace;
By thee my warlike father press'd the plain;
By thee my brother fell, untimely slain.
An infant exile by thy dread command,
Ere scarce I saw, I lost my native land:
A foreign clime the helpless wanderer bred,
By strangers cherish'd, and by strangers fed.
What wretched fate my adverse star ordains,
That gives me back my country, but in chains?
Dear native isle, long lost, alas! and mourn'd;
I come, a captive to thy shores return'd.
Freed from his thraldom is the inglorious crew,
Alone must I the tyrant's vengeance rue,
Yet 'twas LEWELLYN'S pride he strove to tame;
And thro' my wrongs facilitate his aim:
Else had the haughty EDWARD'S eagle-eyes
Look'd down contemptuous on so mean a prize.
For thy lov'd sake what various ills I prove!
With threats the tyrant would subdue my love.
In vain his threats my faithful heart assail;
Nor fears, nor flatteries o'er my truth prevail.


Page 31

    In vain their winning arts the courtiers try
And strive to shine in ELEONORA'S eye.
Tho' theirs the studied phrase, the smile of art,
Thine is the honest courtship of the heart.
No more they boast the open manly grace,
That once adorn'd each free-born BRITON'S face.
In ASIA'S silken robes their limbs are drest;
And on their bosoms shines the embroider'd vest.
Their waving locks ambrosial sweets exhale,
And gayly wanton in the whispering gale.
In starry belts their gaudy swords are worn,
And less defend their wearers than adorn;
A haughty race, luxurious, vain and proud,
At feasts intemperate, in riots loud.
Hence WALLIA'S simple manners they despise,
And view her hardy sons with scornful eyes.
The tyrant EDWARD , fond of lawless sway,
Would force each free-born nation to obey.
For this he dares to shake the GALLIC throne,
And claim unconquer'd SCOTIA for his own.

    Ev'n now unwelcome rumours reach mine ears;
Pierce my sad heart, and fill my soul with fears;


Page 32

That thou art doom'd this haughty lord to greet,
And fall an abject vassal at his feet.
Too well I know LEWELLYN'S generous soul
But ill can stoop to EDWARD'S stern control;
That, ever true to honour's sacred laws,
Thou liv'st the faithful champion of her cause.
Tho' I these generous sentiments approve,
Yet sure some claims belong to tender love!
If haughty EDWARD'S mandate you deride,
Here must your captive lover long abide;
And, left in hopeless bondage, waste away
The tedious night, the slow-consuming day;
Till youth, and all its transient glories fled,
She sinks forgotten with the nameless dead.

    Thy people's dangers thy compassion claim:
When such the motive, who the deed can blame?
Tho' true their hearts, and warlike are their hands;
Yet few in number are thy faithful bands.
Ah! think how wide-extended EDWARD'S reign;
How circumscrib'd, alas! thy small domain.
Judge not, that ENGLISH valour I o'errate;
'Tis from their numbers I predict thy fate.


Page 33

When swarms of locusts overspread the plain,
All human force and human skill are vain:
The crowds resistless seize their destin'd prey;
And sure destruction marks their dreadful way.
Not glory claims alone the fighting field;
More lasting honours prudent counsels yield.
In vain may strength her fearless front oppose,
While wisdom's gentler arts disarm her foes.
Oft, when the hand of brutal courage fails,
The winning power of eloquence prevails.

    Yield then, LEWELLYN ; own this potent lord;
And EDWARD is thy friend, thy bride restor'd:
Peace shall again revisit WALLIA'S shores;
And smiling plenty pour her ample stores.
Loving and lov'd, our days shall glide away;
And, join'd in death, one tomb receive our clay.
But, if these peaceful counsels you despise,
Let them not sink me in LEWELLYN'S eyes;
If not your praise, your pity let them move;
Nor too severely blame the faults of love.


Page 34

Too plain my fond advice, which love reveals,
And shows the pangs my trembling bosom feels.
For, ah! no dauntless heart this breast contains;
Nor MONTFORT'S courage swells his daughter's veins:
To all my sex's fears and doubts resign'd,
Myself the weakest of the weaker kind.
I dread, alas! thine honour's rigid claim;
Yet more I dread thy censure and thy blame.
Let heaven my future destiny decide,
If EDWARD'S captive, or LEWELLYN'S bride;
Still may thy love my pride, my boast remain,
To bless my freedom, or to gild my chain.


Page 35

THE LOVER'S COMPLAINT.

    ME , from the source of every comfort torn,
Condemn'd in pensive solitude to mourn,
Me, a devoted prey to pain and grief,
E'en the false flatterer hope denies relief.
Oh! look propitious on these lines, that flow
From love sincere and undissembled woe.
No certain aim my wishes now pursue;
To weep and mourn is all I now can do.
In sorrow sunk, dismay'd by hopeless love,
Thro' fancy's endless labyrinth I rove;
Review those happy scenes of past delight,
Where oft you sooth'd mine ear and charm'd my sight.

    When winter's rage the smiling year deforms,
And blackens all the skies with gathering storms,
Spring's opening dawn the dismal prospect cheers,
When she, in smiles array'd, serene appears.
But will no spring for me its joys renew,
And chase the gloom of sorrow from my view?


Page 36

For me has fate no happy time in store?
Will joy and * ORAN greet mine eyes no more?
Each well-known spot recals you to my mind,
Where oft you walk'd, or where you oft reclin'd.
But, absent you, I gaze on empty air,
Yet think I hear your voice, and see you there.
Lovers these unavailing arts essay,
When fancy gives what fortune takes away.

*ORAN is a fictitious name; under which our author meant to conceal the object of her affections. He was an IRISHMAN of distinction. On his return from EDINBURGH to his own country by sea, he was unfortunately drowned. The recollection of this disastrous event was too deeply impressed on the writer's mind, to be erased by time. It set the colour of her life, saddened her future prospects, and produced its influence on her writings. For it disposed her to prefer the mournful Elegy; where disappointed lovers are permitted to complain, and where the tears of sorrow may be shed without reprehension.

    As some fond mother, who distracted eyes
Her dying babe, yet scarce believes it dies;
Views each faint sign of life with dire delight
And obstinately hopes in nature's spite:
Thus, when thy cruel coldness I survey'd,
When first I found my easy faith betray'd,


Page 37

Alarm'd, and still reluctant to believe,
I tried each art that could my fears deceive:
Hop'd what I wish'd, and form'd thee to my mind,
Of truth tenacious, and for ever kind.
But soon the sad conviction grew too strong;
For falsehood, tho' it please, supports not long.
Yet, say? what wonder, thou shouldst win the heart,
Endow'd by nature, and adorn'd by art.
I thought thee best, as comeliest of thy kind,
A faultless form with every virtue join'd.
Oh! had the work been perfect, as it seem'd;
Prais'd for its beauty, for its worth esteem'd;
On thee each eye with fond delight had hung,
Each ear had caught the music of thy tongue.
Why, led astray by vanity and youth,
Could'st thou with treacherous aims dissemble truth?
Why try each pleasing charm, each winning art,
To pierce with grief a fond believing heart,
Whose warmest vows were all to heaven address'd,
To crown thy wishes, and pronounce thee bless'd?
Thy fond endearments more than all I priz'd,
And, if but ORAN lov'd, the world despis'd.


Page 38

    Too long, alas! by dire misfortune cross'd,
On a wide sea of adverse chances toss'd,
In thee I hop'd one faithful plank to find,
And brave secure the rage of wave and wind:
On this I trusted all that yet remain'd,
Safe from the shipwreck I so late sustain'd.
Ah! foolish hope, and, Ah! believing maid,
By thine own truth and honest heart betray'd:
For soon dark clouds of ever-during night
Swept all the pleasing vision from my sight.
Thus, when the merchant, in pursuit of gain,
Attempts the dangers of the faithless main,
Lo! sudden storms his air-built hopes betray,
And all his wealth becomes at once their prey,
To one rich casket still he fondly cleaves,
And, grasping that, the rest to ruin leaves:
This dearest to his soul, and valued most,
Consoles him for the mighty treasures lost.
But if some swelling wave ev'n this denies,
And sweeps his darling casket from his eyes,
Despondent now, he strives with fate no more,
But fainting gives the hopeless struggle o'er:


Page 39

All lost for ever he resigns his breath,
And seeks a last and safe retreat in death.

    If souls above with fond affection glow,
If spirits mingle in affairs below,
To me, kind heaven, one happy lot assign;
To guard my best-lov'd ORAN still be mine.
For ever near him let my soul preside,
Repel each danger, and each action guide;
Direct what path to shun, and what pursue;
From errour and from passion clear his view.
No distance then thy presence shall deny,
Nor shall this hated form offend thine eye;
But, veil'd in some soft mist of melting air,
Be still invisible, tho' ever near.


Page 40

EDWIN AND EDITH* ;

A LEGENDARY TALE.

ADOWN yon fair sequester'd vale
    A silver stream meandering flows;
Thick on its banks the primrose pale,
    And sweet the azure violet blows.

Around yon rock's high pointed side
    Its arms the fragrant woodbine twines;
The brier-rose in blushing pride
    To paint the fairy scene combines.

Fierce Boreas' rage was all unknown,
    That blasts the hope of infant spring;
Far to less favour'd regions flown,
    He spreads not here his dusky wing.

* The author's talents no where shew themselves to greater advantage than in this little poem. The tale is interesting, and will be read with pleasure by every judge of elegiac poetry.


Page 41

A simple, but a spacious dome
    The traveller's eye delighted view'd;
'Twas oft the weary wanderer's home,
    Whom want and wretchedness pursu'd.

'Twas guarded by an ancient wood,
    That stately raised its reverend head;
The boast of ages long had stood,
    And wide its friendly shelter spread.

An aged chieftain there abode,
    Safe from the storms of public strife:
He long had left ambition's road,
    To taste the sweets of rural life.

His youth, for gallant feats renown'd,
    Had earn'd sweet peace to gild his age;
And wove the victor's wreath, that crown'd
    The hoary temples of the sage.

As the young blossoms' roseate hue
    Adorns the apple's wither'd arms,


Page 42

Thus by his side a daughter shew,
    Fair as the dawn, her opening charms,

Ah! wherefore was thy polish'd cheek
    Ting'd with the rose's softest die?
Why shone in beams so heavenly meek
    The star of morning in thine eye?

Ill-fated maid! thy hapless charms
    Shall every future bliss destroy;
Fill thy soft bosom with alarms,
    Nor spare a father's only joy.

'Twas May, when zephyrs wake the morn,
    And birds their warblings wild renew:
From the sweet bosom of the thorn
    All lucid hung the pearly dew.

While from the east, serenely mild,
    The sun an humid beam display'd;
Far round the growing splendours smil'd,
    And glittering on the waters play'd.


Page 43

By waking dreams of sleep bereft,
    To taste the freshness of the dawn,
Her downy couch sweet EDITH left,
    And lightly brush'd the dewy lawn,

And now she seeks the deepening shade,
    Led by the hand of love unknown;
And fondly deems, mistaken maid!
    She wanders thro' the woods alone;

What form is this, that meets her eyes,
    Beneath the aspen's quivering shade?
Lock'd in the arms of sleep he lies;
    His bow unstrung beside him laid.

The wanton zephyrs fan his hair,
    And half his glowing cheek conceal;
Green is the vest he seems to wear:
    She tries a nearer look to steal.

Say? dost thou in these forests dwell,
    And chase thy sylvan prey, she cries?


Page 44

No longer, envious sleep, conceal
    The starry lustre of his eyes.

A sportive Sylph, that heard the pray'r,
    Brush'd from his lids the slumberous dew:
He starts, he wakes; at once the fair
    All radiant rushes on his view.

In wonder lost they silent stand;
    Her head declin'd her blushes hide;
Unheeded, from her trembling hand,
    The flowery half-form'd chaplet glides.

At length the rapturous youth began:
    Hail, lovely queen of this fair shade!
Low at your feet behold a man,
    Who here a hapless wanderer stray'd.

Oh! lead me to those favour'd seats,
    That gladly own thy gentle sway;
And, while this faithful bosom beats,
    With joy thy mandates I'll obey.


Page 45

For thee, in summer's fervid heat,
    I'll glow beneath the burning sky;
And, when the storms of winter beat,
    The raging heavens for thee defy.

Oh! stranger, cease, the virgin said;
    Only a simple maid you see;
Who deem'd within this lonely shade
    Her steps from mortal eyes were free.

But to my sire thy tale unfold;
    No harsh denial need'st thou fear;
His breast to pity ne'er was cold;
    The child of sorrow claims his tear.

The stranger's cause when EDITH pleads,
    The indulgent sire will sure comply;
The bosom, form'd for generous deeds,
    Such fond requests can ill deny.

Long time beneath Sir OSMOND'S roof
    The youth a favour'd guest remain'd;


Page 46

And, tho' his tongue conceal'd the truth,
    His eyes his secret soul explain'd.

A thousand nameless deeds of love,
    By lovers' eyes alone descried,
Too well for EDITH'S quiet prove
    The tender truth his fears would hide.

For her he sought the earliest flower,
    That joys the vernal sun to meet:
He twin'd for her the shadowy bower,
    From sultry skies a shelter sweet.

If, like the virgin-goddess drest,
    She midst the hunter-train was found,
Anxious he show'd what path was best,
    Or taught her dart to give the wound.

It chanc'd, as on a summer-day
    The burning sun was mounted high;
Direct he shot his fervid ray;
    All cloudless shone the azure sky.


Page 47

Sooth'd by the coolness of the stream,
    Beneath an alder's verdant shade
She lay, and mark'd the dancing beam,
    That on its dimpl'd bosom play'd.

Led by the sympathetic power,
    Which lovers' souls doth sweetly bind,
Young EDWIN wander'd near the bower,
    Nor knew his love within reclin'd.

At once, to shun the sultry heat,
    He sunk beneath the cooling grove;
The birds their warbled lays repeat;
    And thus he join'd the song of love:

O nymph, possess'd of every charm,
The coldest breast with love to warm,
        Say, must I ever know
The day bereft of all delight;
The sleepless, slow-consuming night;
        And waste in hopeless woe?


Page 48

What canst thou hope, thou wretch forlorn,
From all the ties of kindred torn,
        Who parent never knew?
The savage hand, that gave thee birth,
Doom'd thee a vagabond on earth,
        And cast thee from her view.

And will Sir OSMOND'S only child,
On whose high birth fair fortune smil'd,
        To thee direct her eye?
Yet still some secret whisper tells,
The tide within these veins that swells,
        Perhaps may flow as high.

Let then my deeds my birth proclaim:
The brave can win themselves a name,
        That with renown shall live:
The victor's wreath my shame shall hide,
And force the scornful tongue of pride
        Unwilling praise to give.


Page 49

Inspir'd by EDITH'S beauteous eyes,
Ah! might I hope her love the prize,
        What dangers were too great?
But let me uncomplaining prove
What valour can, inspir'd by love;
        And leave the rest to fate.

The whispering gale, that round them play'd,
    To wondering EDITH'S listening ear
The sadly-pleasing strain convey'd:
    She dreaded, yet she wish'd, to hear.

For sure, she thought, a soul so brave,
    A form endu'd with so much grace,
No mean original could have:
    He must be sprung of noble race.

Ah! saw my father with my eyes;
    (But so, alas! few fathers see)
The pride of titles he'd despise,
    And own superior worth in thee


Page 50

'Twas thus, tho' loving and belov'd,
    The pair with hopeless passion pin'd:
Ah! blind to fate! which cruel prov'd,
    Beyond what ruthless love divin'd.

PART II.

SIR OSMOND'S youth in camps was bred,
    And manly sports still pleas'd his age:
Beneath his spear the wolf had bled;
    His arm had dar'd the boar's fell rage.

'Twas on a cheerful harvest-morn,
    With heart elate, and spirits gay,
Rous'd by the clangour of the horn,
    Sir OSMOND sought his silvan prey.

His jovial troop o'erspread the plain,
    Each in his hunter's vest of green;
But none of all the youthful train
    Could vie with EDWIN'S noble mien.


Page 51

The beauteous EDITH too was near,
    Well skill'd her milk-white steed to guide;
Who, pleas'd his lovely charge to bear,
    Toss'd his fair mane with conscious pride.

And now the boar in view appears;
    With rage inflam'd he rends the ground;
The ready hunters point their spears,
    And draw the bow to give the wound.

Sir OSMOND urg'd with all his speed,
    Regardless of declining age,
Among the first his fiery steed,
    And dar'd the foaming monster's rage.

The boar all furious rolls his eyes,
    His eyes, that flash with living fire;
Like darts his prickly bristles rise;
    He whets his tusks with vengeful ire.

A lance the dauntless OSMOND flung,
    Deep fix'd it quiver'd in his side;


Page 52

The reeking blood impetuous sprung,
    And all the field with crimson died.

Stung with the pain, his fury boils;
    He rushes headlong on the foe;
Agast the fearful steed recoils,
    And lays his hapless rider low.

Alas! thou hast no son of love
    With youthful arm thy life to save:
Yes, EDWIN ; he a son shall prove,
    And snatch thee from a sudden grave.

Quick as the lightning's flash he sprung;
    He pierc'd the monster's rugged breast:
He fell; the echoing forests rung,
    As earth his giant-carcass press'd.

All round the youthful victor drew;
    Tho' envious all repeat his name;
The prostrate foe with wonder view,
    And rend the skies with loud acclaim.


Page 53

Yet trembling EDITH'S silent praise
    To EDWIN'S heart is far more dear;
Her eyes to heaven he saw her raise,
    And fervent drop the grateful tear.

The aged chief with beating heart
    Long held him in a strict embrace;
Oh! more than son, we ne'er shall part--
    And tears of joy bedew'd his face.

Henceforth with all a father's love
    Sir OSMOND'S eyes the youth regard:
Oh! if thy birth shall noble prove,
    My EDITH shall thy worth reward.

Grant me, kind heaven! a son like thee;
    Whose arm may prop my failing age;
And gentle EDITH'S guardian be,
    When OSMOND leaves this mortal stage,

But, ah! I fear, ignoble birth
    Doth all thy gallant deeds debase:


Page 54

Alas! that valour, and that worth,
    May not the brave possessor raise.

Let me from EDWIN frankly claim
    The story of his life to know:
Not treasure is my sordid aim;
    A gentle name's my only vow.

'Twas at the peaceful evening-hour,
    When, freed from each intrusive guest,
In social talk they sought the bow'r,
    And OSMOND thus the youth address'd:

I know my EDWIN'S generous heart
    Will mean distrust of friends despise:
The soul of virtue needs not art,
    But fairest shows without disguise.

Say, is it friendship, ill return'd,
    Reluctant makes thee, EDWIN , rove?
Or hath thy gentle bosom burn'd
    With all the pangs of hopeless love?


Page 55

My faithful heart its part shall bear,
    If thou, my son, hast cause to grieve:
Oh! let me then thy sorrows share,
    Divide, and thus thy grief relieve.

With thee my soul no secret knows:
    So shall my faithful tongue relate
The tender story of my woes;
    For I have felt the stings of fate.

My early years were bred to arms,
    When WILLIAM , SCOTLAND'S glory, reign'd;
And, when fierce EDWARD spread alarms,
    My sword its meed of honour gain'd.

But, ah! that heart, which fear'd no foe,
    All-powerful beauty soon subdu'd:
Nor sigh'd I long in sullen woe;
    The fair one smil'd, when OSMOND woo'd.

She smil'd, but, ah! her sire denied,
    The potent lord of LIDDIS-DALE ;


Page 56

In all the pomp of wealth and pride
    He rul'd o'er many an hill and vale.

But can a father's stern commands
    The powerful voice of love control?
Or break those strong, tho' silken bands,
    That bind the lover's captive soul?

The timid maid, if love's her guide,
    Nor wiles shall want, nor dangers fear;
From prying eyes her steps shall hide,
    And lull secure the watchful ear.

We met: not long, ere new alarms
    Our hearts with deeper woes oppress'd;
Her father mark'd her alter'd charms,
    And, ah! the cause too truly guess'd.

Shut in a tower from mortal sight,
    His hapless daughter captive lay;
For me she wept the sleepless night;
    For me she pin'd the cheerless day.


Page 57

All impotent to bring relief,
    Nor force, nor art the means supply:
'Twas all I could, I shar'd her grief,
    And wish'd, but wish'd in vain, to die.

Six times within that tower forlorn
    She saw the moon renew her light;
When my ill-fated babe was born,
    All in the gloomy noon of night.

A stranger (so her sire ordains)
    Is charg'd the outcast babe to bear
Far distant from his native plains,
    Where kindred voice he ne'er shall hear.

Ere sever'd yet to meet no more,
    One sacred pledge she must impart;
A bracelet from her arm she tore,
    And plac'd it near his little heart.

Oh! take, she cried, this gift of love:
    When reason lends her searching light,


Page 58

This may thy high-born lineage prove,
    And guide thy doubtful steps aright.

'Twas the first gift I gave my fair:
    Two bleeding hearts together join'd;
A cherub fluttering light in air;
    A myrtle-wreath with roses twin'd;

A bracelet--say? exclaim'd the youth?
    To what rash hope would I aspire?
Two bleeding hearts? mysterious truth!
    'Tis here--and OSMOND is my sire.

He spoke; the father's eager eyes
    With silent gaze his features scan;
Now hope, now fear alternate rise,
    Till thro' his soul conviction ran.

Then with what transport to his heart
    He press'd his long-lamented boy!
How vain all language to impart
    The vast, the immeasurable joy!


Page 59

Ah! short-liv'd bliss! thus phantoms melt,
    And from the touch delusive fly:
Think, what the tender EDWIN felt,
    When his lov'd EDITH met his eye!

But now his struggles to reveal,
    It far exceeds my simple lay;
And more the gentle heart can feel,
    Than can the power of words display.

Cold, pale, as monumental stone,
    So EDITH stood in speechless woe;
Her bosom heav'd not with a groan;
    From her fix'd eye no tear did flow.

Silent they stood, when EDWIN rais'd
    His head to take one parting view;
Wild with despair, he frantic gaz'd:
    --Adieu for ever! O adieu!

And farewell thou, my sire belov'd;
    Long sought, alas! but found too late:


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My inauspicious love hath prov'd
    More fatal than the deadliest hate.

He spoke, and vanish'd from their sight;
    (His swelling heart brook'd no reply)
Hid in the murky shades of night,
    In honour's arms resolv'd to die.

Good OSMOND sunk beneath the blow;
    Thus, after many a storm withstood,
The bolts of Jove at length bring low
    The ancient glory of the wood.

Of all she lov'd, or priz'd, bereft,
    No well-known face of kindred near,
Behold the weeping EDITH left
    Extended o'er a parent's bier!

Around her stand her mournful train,
    And share their dear-lov'd mistress' grief;
But all their tears, their cares are vain;
    Nor tears, nor cares can bring relief.


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Time only can with lenient hand
    O'er sorrow throw a softer shade;
Or holy hope, at heaven's command,
    Descend to give the mourner aid.

'Twas night, when now the flatterer, sleep,
    Where fortune smiles, his favour shows;
But leaves the wretch forlorn to weep,
    Nor shuts those eyes, whence sorrow flows.

When, lo! the wandering EDITH'S sight
    A radiant cherub's form beheld;
His flowing robe of purest light;
    His hand a palm triumphant held.

Hail, gentle maid! I bring sweet peace
    I come, thy sorrows to dispel;
To give thee from life's toils release,
    And guide thy steps where angels dwell.

Within the bosom of that grove,
    Where oft to heaven thy soul was rais'd,
Ere yet a wretched mortal's love
    To earth thy purer thoughts debas'd;


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There shall thy future days be spent;
    Far off each mortal wish shall fly;
Till heaven reclaim the life it lent,
    And call thee to thy native sky.

Obedient to the voice divine,
    Nor wealth, nor state can bribe her stay:
All fortune's gifts she can resign,
    And go where angels point the way.

The world was all a dreary waste;
    Its honours were not worth her care;
Its pleasures only brought distaste;
    She saw no longer EDWIN there.

Thus EDITH left her father's halls;
    Those festive scenes of gay delight,
Where oft at feasts and courtly balls
    The song and dance prolong'd the night.

And here this sacred mansion rose,
    Where pale-ey'd maids their vigils keep
Beauty her flowery robe foregoes;
    And pleasure learns to fast and weep.


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The pensive nun this story told:
    And, see! she said with tearful eye,
Beneath yon weeping marble cold,
    The once-lov'd EDITH'S ashes lie.

There, in the solemn dead of night,
    From angel-harps soft airs are play'd:
There forms are seen, all heavenly bright,
    While yet the world is wrapp'd in shade.

O'er it the silent lapse of years
    With speed unmark'd has wing'd its way:
Now time's corrosive hand appears,
    And draws the traces of decay.

Not beauty's self alone must bow,
    But all the feeble props of fame:
The bust, the arch he levels low,
    And blots from sight the victor's name.


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ALONZO AND CORA;

A TALE,
FROM MARMONTEL'S INCAS OF PERU* .

* Marmontel's Incas , or the Destruction of the Empire of Peru , has of late engaged the public attention. For the popular Tragedy of Pizarro is, we are told, founded on incidents, recorded in that novel. But our author's poem was written long before Kotzebue's dramatic piece made its appearance. Both are derived from the same source. From this work of Marmontel, which to some readers may seem tedious, our poetess has selected the most splendid parts. She has chosen for the subject of her Poem the adventures of two faithful, but unfortunate lovers; whose complicated distresses, as here described, cannot fail to awaken sensibility, and excite the tenderest sympathies.

    WHEN o'er the western world IBERIA'S bands
With blood and rapine stain'd their guilty hands;
When frantic priests with zeal's unhallow'd fire
Saw the pale victims of their rage expire;
And madly dream'd their love of heaven to show
By filling earth with misery, guilt and woe;
A gentle youth there was, whose generous mind
Felt for the wretchedness of all mankind.
Love in his bosom ever gave the law;
A brother in each Indian's form he saw.


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In vain he strove their fury to control,
And melt to soft humanity of soul:
Nor prayers, nor threats their savage hearts could move,
And all his tender cares successless prove.
Resolv'd no more to view a scene of woes,
With power alone to pity, not oppose;
With horrour fill'd, he left the guilty crew,
His fate in distant regions to pursue.

    Far to the south a mighty empire lay;
A happy monarch there extends his sway;
His people blessing, by his people blest,
A filial homage every heart confess'd.
No SPANIARD yet had trod these happy climes,
Alike unknown their courage and their crimes.
Thro' various toils the fearless youth explores,
With noblest views inspir'd, these peaceful shores;
To warn them of the neighbouring empire's fate,
The direful tale of SPANISH guilt relate;
From chains, or death the harmless race to save,
Ensure their freedom, or partake their grave.


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    And now his toils and weary wanderings past,
He views the fair PERUVIAN plains at last.
These sweet abodes no adverse seasons fear,
Nor summer burns, nor winter freezes here.
Eternal spring unbounded fragrance show'rs;
Its ripen'd stores eternal harvest pours.
The labourer chooses when to sow his grain;
When of its golden load to ease the plain.
The boughs at once their fruit and blossoms show;
And, while they give, still promise to bestow.
Here from unclouded skies the lord of day
Pours on these favour'd climes his purest ray:
Here to his name a thousand altars rise,
And waft their curling incense to the skies.
In QUITO chief, their monarch's bright abode,
They in distinguish'd state adore the God.
High o'er the subject town his temple stands,
And seems the work of more than mortal hands.
Here thick as stars the vivid diamonds blaze,
And golden suns emit their dazzling rays:
The splendid roof, with burnish'd silver bright,
Steams from afar, and strikes the wondering sight.


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The holy priesthood, all of regal race,
On golden altars purest offerings place;
The fairest fruits and cakes of finest grain:
No bloody rites the spotless shrines profane.
Twelve beauteous virgins, of the royal line,
With pious awe attend the rites divine.
Their lucid robes in waves redundant flow,
Bright as the moon, and white as falling snow;
The ample folds a mystic zone confines;
With stars emblaz'd the radiant circle shines.
A dazzling sun on each fair bosom glows;
The brightest gems its mimic rays compose;
Their flowing tresses flowery chaplets bind,
And soft in graceful ringlets fall behind.

    As near ALONZO to the city drew,
The stately fabric struck his wondering view:
Towers, temples, domes in gay confusion rise,
And raise their glittering summits to the skies.
His generous soul with tender pity glows,
While down his cheek a stream of sorrow flows.


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O righteous heaven! he deeply sighing said,
Shall these fair dwellings in the dust be laid?
I hear the helpless matron's dying groans;
I see their infants dash'd against the stones:
The wretched people midst the ruin fall;
And death and desolation cover all.
O God! these ills avert, my aims approve,
And guard this people with a parent's love.

    Now twilight spread her mantle o'er the skies,
And hid the stranger's form from prying eyes.
Arriv'd, before the palace-gate he stands,
And free admittance to the king demands.
The generous prince, whose unsuspecting soul
No guilty fears, nor coward's doubts control;
Who felt himself the friend of human kind,
And therefore fear'd in none a foe to find;
Whose virtues, like firm guards, defend his breast;
Admits with confidence the stranger-guest.
His kingly form the stranger-guest admir'd,
With reverend awe and filial love inspir'd.


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The king with equal love the youth survey'd,
By nature's hand in every grace array'd.
His form the towering cedar of the grove;
His eyes the radiance of the star of love:
His cheeks th' unsullied rose of youth display;
Round his fair front his ebon tresses play:
Her finest polish culture's hand bestow'd,
And the full piece with perfect beauty glow'd.

    Mildly the king began: O youth unknown,
Of form and feature so unlike our own;
Say, what wide regions hast thou wander'd o'er?
What wonderous chance has brought thee to our shore?
ALONZO thus return'd: Great king, whose sway
The happy nations of the south obey,
Far, distant far, my native country lies,
And other stars beholds and other skies.
Tho' nature's choicest gifts enrich my home,
Yet curst ambition taught her sons to roam;
Myself, the associate of a desperate band,
In hour ill-fated left my natal land.


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Immeasurable seas we travers'd o'er;
And reach'd at last devoted INDIA'S shore.
The helpless natives fell an easy prey,
And blood and ruin mark'd our dreadful way.
But, ah! my faltering tongue relates with pain
Their cruel wrongs, and our eternal stain:
The sacred temples of their Gods o'erturn'd;
Their virgins ravish'd, and their cities burn'd;
Their captive monarchs dragg'd in shameful chains,
Or slow expiring midst the torture's pains.
Here let me draw oblivion's darkest veil,
Nor wound thee further with so sad a tale.
Each art I tried their fury to oppose,
And strove to lessen wretched INDIA'S woes.
In vain, alas! unable to endure
The sight of miseries I could not cure,
With horrour fill'd I fled the guilty train,
While ties of blood and country pled in vain.
These dogs of war now hither bend their way,
And mark thee out already for their prey.
What wilds, what mountains have I wander'd o'er,
With painful steps to reach this distant shore;


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The envenom'd serpent's deadly haunts explor'd,
And plung'd in gulfs, where foaming cataracts roar'd;
To show what gathering storms around thee frown,
And threat thy people's ruin and thine own.
If, as loud fame reports, I pleas'd shall find,
That every kingly virtue fills thy mind;
That in thy people's good thou find'st thine own,
The sordid tyrant's selfish views unknown
That mild benevolence hath fram'd thy laws,
And justice from thy throne oppression awes;
My heart and fortune I with thine unite.
Thy friend in council, and thy chief in fight.
For all thy threaten'd dangers well I know;
The arts, the courage of thy ruthless foe.
But if injustice marks thy guilty reign;
If injur'd innocence complains in vain;
Illegal robbers lord it o'er the land,
And force the hard-won bread from labour's hand;
If bloody rites thy cruel Gods require,
And slaughter'd captives at their shrines expire;
Henceforth I fly the hated haunts of men,
And seek the desert and the lonely den;


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In solitary wildness waste the day,
Or, join'd with tigers, rend my bloody prey.

    O sacred truth! without the aid of art;
Thy voice resistless wins the human heart.
Tho' strange the tale, the king its truth confess'd;
Clasp'd in his own, ALONZO'S hand he press'd:
Welcome, he cried, my warriour and my friend,
To guide in councils, and in camps defend.
Thy words confess, within thy youthful mind
The hero's fire with temperate wisdom join'd:
But heaven, when great achievements are decreed,
Still forms the hero for the destin'd deed.
But now, releas'd from former toils and care,
Let strengthening food thy wasted powers repair
In balmy sleep awhile forget thy woes,
And taste secure the blessings of repose.

    While sunk in sleep his couch ALONZO press'd,
A weight of woes o'erwhelms the monarch's breast:
He fears his people's ills, he fears his own;
Grief follows grief, and groan succeeds to groan.


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At length religion to his view display'd
The cheering hope of heaven's protective aid.
Pleas'd he resolves, when night's pale lamps retire,
To seek the sacred temple of his sire,
And there his suppliant vows and offerings pay
To him, the glorious ruler of the day;
Implore him to avert the threaten'd fate,
And smile propitious on his once lov'd state.

    Soon as the orient glow'd with early red,
The anxious king forsook his wakeful bed.
Instant the priests are summon'd to prepare
The holy rites of sacrifice and pray'r.
The pious monarch seeks the sacred fane;
His kindred Incas form a solemn train;
Whilst, with distinguish'd marks of honour grac'd,
ALONZO near the royal hand was plac'd.
With gold and gems the splendid temple blaz'd;
High rose the roof, on silver columns rais'd.
Full in the centre shone the lord of day;

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


Around him rolling on their devious way,
Thro' many a winding maze the attendant planets stray.

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First of the train is vivid Mercury seen,
And next the star of love's celestial queen.
Then the fair Earth, with verdure crown'd, appears;
A middle course the happy planet steers;
Nor in too fierce a blaze intense she glows,
Nor distant freezes in eternal snows.
Still by her side, the radiant queen of night
Sheds o'er her darken'd hours a friendly light,
When in the blue expanse she glows serene,
And with a milder lustre gilds the scene.
His fiery beams wide darting from afar,
Shines the bright planet of the God of war.
Still further Jupiter's huge form appears;
His varied sides the unceasing tempest tears:
Four silver moons their circuits round him run,
Whose fainter light supplies the absent sun.
Far wider still, immers'd in cold and night,
Pale Saturn sheds abroad a bluish light.
Five radiant moons around his orb are born,
Whose gloomy sides two shining zones adorn;
Their borrow'd beams a lambent light display,
And cheer his darkness with a feeble ray.


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    While round him, as a guard in awful state,
The inferior priests and holy virgins wait,
High in the midst the sovereign pontiff stands,
And thus his God adores with lifted hands:
    Thou! round whose throne eternal splendours shine,
The boundless empire of the skies is thine.
Thou! pride of heaven, from whose bright presence flow
Life, beauty, warmth, and every bliss below;
Where now are fled those twinkling orbs of light,
That spangled-o'er the gloomy veil of night?
When from the vast expanse thy beams retire,
Thou bad'st them light their ineffectual fire:
In the full blaze of thy effulgence drown'd,
No more their place in yon bright arch is found.
As now they sink beneath thy potent eye,
So may thy people's foes confounded fly:
Our prayers accept, all threaten'd ills remove,
And guard our sovereign with a parent's love.


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    The sacred virgins next their voices raise,
And thus the God in songs of rapture praise:
Soul of the world! didst thou thine aid deny,
Eternal shades would hide yon azure sky;
The fertile earth become a barren waste,
Amidst a gloomy void of darkness plac'd;
Thy genial warmth the face of nature cheers;
Thro' all her various bounds delight appears.
The yielding deep in liquid silver flows;
The moistened air with balmy sweetness glows;
The melting clouds descend in kindly show'rs;
Prolific earth unbounded plenty pours.
Oh! may thy smiles propitious round us shine,
And still a grateful people's praise be thine;
Those dreaded ills avert, that round us threat,
And save us from the frowns of angry fate.

    The virgins ceas'd; yet still ALONZO'S ear,
With fond delight enraptur'd, seem'd to hear;
Beauty and harmony their charms unite,
His soul to ravish, and his eyes delight.


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But one, divinely fair above the rest,
With rapturous tumults fir'd his youthful breast.
With equal love and equal charms inspir'd,
The beauteous nymph the stranger's form admir'd.
Low to the ground her timid eyes she throws,

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


An ashy paleness now her cheeks disclose,
And now the blushes of the crimson rose.
While yet her feeble limbs their powers retain,
She seeks to hide her midst the virgin-train.
O God of light! she softly sighing said,
What wondrous transports all my soul invade!
Say, of what magic powers art thou possess'd,
Too lovely youth, whose image fills my breast?

    Now from the finish'd rites, in solemn state,
The attending Incas on their monarch wait;
And slow retiring from the sacred fane,
The virgins seek their calm recess again;
Where gentle CORA , so was nam'd the fair,
Had pass'd a life devoid of joy or care.
The listless evening scarcely brought repose;
On the dull morn the day unwish'd-for rose.


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No golden dreams of pleasure sooth'd her rest;
No hope now flutter'd o'er her languid breast;
Cold as the fleeces of the ALPINE snow,
And smooth as lakes, whose waters never flow.
But, ah! no longer is her still retreat
Of calm indifference the peaceful seat.
It seems a dreadful prison, that surrounds
A wretch reluctant in its hated bounds.
To the dear absent youth in melting strains
She tells her fond desires and tender pains;
Deep in her memory imprints each grace,
The form majestic, and the beauteous face.
    And must, she cries, must all these dreams of love
Like shadows flit, and still delusive prove?
Why did I view those charms I must adore,
If now condemn'd to bless my sight no more?
Yet, Oh! ere death for ever close these eyes,
Come, my beloved, and hear my latest sighs;
View the dire ravage of thy fatal charms,
And let me breathe my last within thine arms.
Tho' here confin'd my wretched form remains,
My soul indignant all restraint disdains:


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Still, still to thee it flies with fond delight;
Nor bolts, nor walls our hearts can disunite.
Thy form alone creative fancy sees,
And hears thy voice in every passing breeze.
Oh! could my fond ideas real prove,
And one blest moment grant me all thy love;
I for that moment life would freely give,
And when you ceas'd to love, would cease to live.
All-gracious power, canst thou enjoy my pain,
And hear well pleas'd a hapless wretch complain?
Thou know'st the fatal vow, by which I'm tied;
My lips confess'd it, but my tongue denied;
Forc'd to obey, too fearful to oppose,
Tho' nature's voice against compulsion rose.
Oh! break the fatal band, and leave me free;
Unwilling votaries are unworthy thee.
Too fond, too frail my feelings to subdue,
One glance, alas! my weak resolves o'erthrew:
Nor vows, nor dread of death my soul restrain,
And reason lifts her feeble voice in vain.

    Now pale, extended on the ground she lay,
And clos'd her weeping eyes to shun the day:


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Asham'd to view the God she had betray'd,
She wish'd in darkest night her guilt to shade.
But soon ALONZO to her thought returns;
Anew the flame with force resistless burns;
Anew the swelling tide of sorrow flows,
While thus in wild complaints she breathes her woes:
    What fatal rashness, barbarous sire, was thine?
What equal rashness, wretched maid, was mine?
Why didst thou force me from thine aged side?
Why in a prison's gloom thy daughter hide?
I would have watch'd thy wishes as they rose,
Thy toils divided, and have sooth'd thy woes;
Blended with mine an husband's cares and fears,
And propp'd with tenderness thy drooping years.
As the young scions lift their verdant head,
And round the aged trunk their freshness spread;
So, blooming round thee, had thy joyful eyes
Beheld from us a youthful race arise.
Ah! vain delusion! never shall mine ear
The fond, the sacred name of mother hear:
No child of mine these eyes shall ever see,
Hang on thine arm, or twine around thy knee.


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For me in vain the stream of pleasure flows,
Lost to the sweetest joys that nature knows
Beauty and youth, her choicest gifts, are vain,
And life itself is one continu'd pain.

    That rapid lightning, whose pervading fires
In youthful bosoms kindle fond desires,
With force resistless lanc'd its keenest dart
At once thro' CORA'S and ALONZO'S heart.
Struck with a thousand nameless charms, he gaz'd,
Till thro' his soul the flame triumphant blaz'd;
Her flowery age, her sweet bewitching face,
Her rapture-moving voice, her modest grace.
The sacred rites reluctant he surveys,
And envies ev'n the power to whom she prays.
Long as the beauteous vision bless'd his sight,
His eyes insatiate rov'd with fond delight:
When seen no more, the pensive youth retires,
And carries in his breast the hopeless fires;
Impatient, restless, nought has power to please,
Nor friends, nor solitude his anguish ease:


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Those objects, once so dear, seem tasteless all,
And scarce his bosom beats at glory's call.
Resolv'd at last, his reason's aid he claims,
Abjures his passion, and his madness blames.
But weak is reason, weak are efforts found;
He tugs the dart, but deeper makes the wound.
One tender glance had fatally inspir'd
Delusive hopes, that all his wishes fir'd.
Her solemn vow, the cloister's lofty wall,
A watchful guard, in vain his heart appal.
He view'd them all, and all their power confess'd;
But when doth hope desert the lover's breast?
Yes; 'tis denied me to possess her charms;
A dreadful vow excludes me from her arms;
Yet to explore her wishes in her eyes,
Nor priest, nor vow that harmless bliss denies.
If, as she knows I love, she love imparts,
What mutual joys will then unite our hearts!

    But time at length his wandering sense restor'd;
He saw his guilty passion and abhorr'd.


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What! midst a pious, hospitable race,
Shall he religion's sacred laws disgrace?
A virtuous monarch, and his dearest friend,
Shall he with sacrilegious rage offend?
But, ah! far more than all, shall he expose
The dear-lov'd object to the worst of woes?
Shall he behold in infamy expire
The wretched victim of his rash desire?
Love at the dread idea trembling fled;
And hope dejected hung her pensive head:
Virtue anew resum'd her rightful sway,
And taught reluctant passion to obey.

    One evening, to assuage his tender woes,
And sooth the love-sick pangs that yet arose,
By chance directed, or by love betray'd,

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


The youth approach'd the consecrated shade,
That hid from view his lost lamented maid.
The sun was set, and o'er the dazzling blue
Her shadowy mantle gentle twilight threw.
Thick rows of trees, whose summits sought the skies,
Struck with a reverend awe the gazer's eyes:

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The arching boughs, that shunn'd the noontide glare,
On all around diffus'd a solemn air.
This scene the youth with kindling transport view'd,
And felt his fond desires at once renew'd.
And art thou there, for ever dear, he cries?
O envious shades! that hide thee from mine eyes.
Ye happy gales, that round my fair one play,
Soft to her ear her lover's sighs convey;
Tell her, while peace to her each morning brings,
And gentle slumbers wait on evening's wings;
Of her bereft, he solitary strays,
And wastes in hopeless wretchedness his days.
But, ah! perhaps she too like me complains;
Nor love, nor pity dare to break her chains.
High are these hated walls, severe her spies;
But love like mine these feeble bars defies.
'Twere brave, 'twere generous sure, in such a cause,
To burst these gates, and scorn a tyrant's laws.
    But, trembling at the deed, which love inspir'd,
To reason's voice he listen'd, and retir'd.


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Just heaven! he cries, is this the glorious aim,
For which to these far distant climes I came?
Profess'd a hero, pious, just and brave;
Now a vile ravisher, his passion's slave?
Thus struggling virtue yet her rights maintain'd,
And soon triumphant o'er his soul had reign'd,
But envious fate a snare too powerful laid,
And brought to dying love compassion's aid.

PART II.

    HAPPY the land, round which the ocean flows,
Whose ebbing waves its fertile soil compose.
The shepherd fearless leads his flocks to feed;
In peace the cheerful labourer sows the seed.
But curst that clime the billows never lave,
Whose lofty hills the clouds indignant brave.
Unhappy those, who till the treacherous soil;
Oft shall they mourn their ill-requited toil.
Rich fruits and flagrant flowers luxuriant show,
But hide the dreadful gulf that yawns below.


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The secret fires, that all within devour,
O'er the fair surface boundless plenty pour.
A fatal gift! see, earth tremendous rends,
And wide its jaws a dread abyss extends.
Such QUITO'S plains appear'd, as nature's pride;
Such flames destructive in their bosoms hide.
    'Twas on the evening of a sultry day;
The parting sun shot forth a fiery ray.
Still was the air, no gently fanning breeze
O'er-curl'd the lake, or whisper'd thro' the trees;
Scarce to the shore the languid, billows crept;
And all the elements in silence slept.
Around the fertile fields the busy swains
Or till, or sow, or reap the ripen'd grains.
For all the various labours of the year
United on these smiling fields appear:
Birth and maturity together grow;
At once the bud expands, the clusters glow.
Within their dome retir'd, the vestal fair
A curious texture from the wool prepare:
Their snowy hands the slender threads divide,
Or thro' the web the rapid shuttle guide.


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    When all is still, a sudden, hollow sound
Bursts from the fierce volcano's dread profound;
Deep as, when pent within their echoing cave,
The struggling tempests in hoarse murmurs rave;
Eager at once o'er earth and air to sweep,
And high in watery mountains heave the deep.
Loud, and more loud, the rattling thunders rise,
Roll thro' the air, and echo to the skies.
The trembling earth the dire convulsion feels;
A pitchy cloud the face of heaven conceals;
The mountain bursts, the wreathing flames aspire;
Adown its side descends the liquid fire;
O'er hills of snow its dreadful course it bends,
And sure destruction on its route attends.
Now from the mountain's burning entrails torn,
On whirling flames the shatter'd rocks are born;
Thro' the thick gloom the sparkling shivers fly,
As fiery meteors shoot along the sky:
Wild desolation reigns, and dread dismay;
The boldest hearts with terrour melt away.
The fearful priests or from their temples fly,
Or prostrate at their altars trembling lie.


Page 88

The sacred virgins from their cloister run,
And try in flight the threaten'd fate to shun.
But soon the wall with horrour strikes their eyes,
And ev'n the wretched hope of flight denies.
They lift their suppliant hands, and all dismay'd,
In vain they pray, and call in vain for aid.
Amidst this scene of horrour and affright,
ALONZO towards the enclosure took his flight.
Their plaintive cries with anxious heart he hears,
Yet for his CORA 's danger only fears.
'Tis thus, with fluttering heart, the tender dove
Hangs round the prison that confines his love.
'Tis thus the lioness disdains to fly,

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


As round the pit she rolls her glowing eye,
Where, struggling in the toils, her young ones lie.
Eager he search'd, and chance at last betray'd,
Where thro' the wall an ample rent was made.
With trembling joy he leaps the sacred bound,
And fearless enters the forbidden ground.
Such hard achievements are by love pursu'd,
For love can dare, when valour sinks subdu'd.

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The bold attempt propitious darkness shrouds,
And safely wraps him in a veil of clouds:
For light was none, save when the mountain's blaze
Shot thro' the dismal gloom its transient rays.
But, ah! how faint a beam will oft suffice
To guide the ardent lover's piercing eyes.
He saw by starts the fear-distracted maids,
Like nightly phantoms, gliding thro' the shades.
Love taught him to distinguish from the rest
That form, so deeply on his heart impress'd.
Not fear, nor darkness self those charms conceal'd,
That to the lover's eye the fair reveal'd.
With cautious tenderness the youth drew near,
Lest sudden transports might encrease her fear,
Soft as the accents of the amorous dove,
His faltering tongue pronounc'd the fears of love:
    My CORA , sure, some guardian power befriends;
He watches o'er her, and from ill defends.
The affrighted Vestal heard with new amaze:
Earth shook, the mountain sent a sudden blaze;
That for a moment chas'd the shades of night,
And gave at once ALONZO to her sight.


Page 90

Impell'd by fondness, or by fear oppress'd,
She trembling sunk upon her lover's breast:
Around the fainting maid he threw his arms,
And strove to dissipate her wild alarms.
O thou, whose beauties my fond heart subdu'd,
That blissful hour, when first thy form I view'd;
For whose dear sake alone I value breath,
Quick let me guard thee from the scene of death.
Nor less his accents than her fears persuade;
Half in his arms he bears the trembling maid.
Pensive they stray'd, no word the silence broke;
At length, recovering utterance, CORA spoke:
    I know not where my devious footsteps lead;
Nor who thou art, companion of my speed.
Ah! see, he cries, thy lover and thy friend,
Who only lives to love thee and defend.
Haste; let me lead thee to some safe recess,
Where joy and freedom all our days shall bless.
Thus she: Ah! tell me rather where to fly,
And hide my guilt from every human eye.
Thy sex renounc'd, yet here with thee I stray,
Myself dishonour, and my God betray.


Page 91

    O my soul's joy! the ardent youth rejoin'd;
Calm the wild terrours of thy timid mind;
From danger to escape, and life to save,
Is the first law unerring nature gave.
What vows, what ties, but must to that resign?
Nor guilt, nor shame, too fearful maid, are thine.
But, ere the curtains of the night are drawn,
Ere the faint twilight ushers in the dawn,
Back to the prison shall I guide thy way,
While yet no busy tongues thy flight betray.
    But now the fury of the storm was o'er;
The flames were sunk, the mountain ceas'd to roar,
And earth to tremble; while a gentle breeze
Dispell'd the rolling clouds by slow degrees;
The sky again its azure tint resum'd,
The silver moon the mountain's top illum'd;
The warring elements obey'd their lord,
And peace to nature was anew restor'd.

    Meanwhile ALONZO and the tender maid
Along these rich and beauteous meadows stray'd;


Page 92

Where the full trees their loaded boughs declin'd,
And in a leafy arch their branches twin'd:
The quivering moon-beams, darting thro' the shade,
A brighter verdure o'er the fields display'd.
The smiling scene to soft repose invites,
And sooths each various sense with soft delights.
O'erspent with wandering, and with heat oppress'd,
The weary lovers here resolve to rest.
The swelling moss a fragrant couch supplied,
That with the down's luxurious softness vied.
Beneath their feet a crystal fountain play'd,
And thro' the matted grass meandering stray'd.
High o'er their heads thick-woven shades depend,
Whose yielding boughs with purple clusters bend.
ALONZO cull'd the fairest and the best,
And to her lips their melting sweetness press'd.
The luscious jambo, that with honey vied,

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


The rich ananas, Western India's pride,
And juicy shadock's pulp their feast supplied.
Here, cried ALONZO , all our toils are paid:
How sweet this cool repast, this friendly shade!

Page 93

How fair appears yon radiant orb of light,
But late in gloomy horrours hid from sight!
How soft and still these vernal scenes appear,
Where desolation's reign deform'd the rear!
To me far sweeter thus to view thy charms,
All warm and glowing from thy past alarms.
Sure, heaven itself my guiltless flame approves,
And with this happy moment crowns our loves.
The earthquake's rage, the fierce volcano's fire,
To aid two tender lovers' bliss conspire:
The awful darkness of this fatal night
From all her guards conceals my CORA'S flight.
But soon the blissful moments will be o'er;
Those blissful moments time can ne'er restore:
Oh! bid me then be blest, my love, he cried;
And be thou blest, the love-lost maid replied.
    She spoke: nor longer reason held the rein;
Religion, honour, virtue, pled in vain.
Love o'er their minds his soft delusion threw,
And hid the dread futurity from view.

    Now to their eyes each object fairer show'd;
More fresh the earth, the moon more radiant glow'd:


Page 94

The opening blooms a richer scent exhal'd;
A secret charm o'er every sense prevail'd.
Sure, love, said CORA , owns this blissful seat,
Why wander to explore a new retreat?
These groves, these flowery meadows seem to say,
Ah! where in search of pleasure would ye stray?
Can cooler shades, or purer streams appear,
Or richer fruits, than what invite you here?
    For ever, O my love, the youth rejoin'd,
May'st thou each various scene as blissful find.
But further from thy prison must we fly,
Before to-morrow's dawn salutes the eye.
I know not where our wanderings now shall end,
Nor what at last our future fates intend.
But, blest with thee, each scene affords delight,
The desert blossoms, and the gloom is bright.
With joy and sorrow mix'd, the fair one heard,
And mingled tears and smiles at once appear'd.
Why, gracious Heaven, with boding sighs, she cried,
Why are our joys to bitterness allied?
His name, till now unknown, she asks to hear,
And with the dear-lov'd sound delights her ear.


Page 95

In various talk the happy moments flew;
They spoke of all they wish'd, and all they knew.
Of SPAIN he talk'd, and all those pleasures show'd,
That from refinement and from knowledge flow'd.
With her ere long he hop'd those joys to share,
And see her charms outshine IBERIA'S fair;
When ties more sacred should their hearts unite,
And pure religion sanctify delight.
At last soft slumbers o'er their eyelids creep,
And each emotion is subdu'd by sleep.

    Soon as the morning-star proclaim'd the day,
The feather'd songsters pour their early lay.
Wak'd with their strains, ALONZO lifts his eyes,
While wrapt in sleep his beauteous partner lies;
In silence hangs enamour'd o'er her charms,
While every look with tender transport warms,
Her rosy lips, yet smiling with delight,
A fervent pressure from his own invite;
Her fragrant breath, than opening, blooms more sweet,
His amorous soul impatient springs to meet.


Page 96

CORA awakes, her radiant eyes unseals,
And to her lover brighter day reveals.
Confus'd emotions all her soul possess,
And joy and shame by turns her looks confess.
    And do I still, she cried, behold thy face?
As soft she sunk within his fond embrace.
I dream'd, my love, thou wert for ever gone,
And I abandon'd, wretched, and alone.
Ah! cease to wound with doubts thy gentle heart,
Returns the youth; we meet no more to part.
But, see! the unwelcome morn already glows;
Ah! haste, my love; how fearful light it grows!
Let us yon mountain's lofty side ascend,
And trust to heaven, whose cares to all extend:
There may we now the sweets of freedom prove;
Freedom, the best of blessings, next to love.
And dare I hope, she cries, where freedom reigns,
In pathless forests, or in desert plains,
Unseen, unknown, with thee alone to dwell;
And, thee possessing, bid the world farewell?
But ah; I dread--in bitterness of woe
Her voice is lost, the tears of anguish flow.


Page 97

The cause unknown, amaz'd ALONZO hears
Her tender moan, and sees her streaming tears;
In softest phrase conjures her to explain
What may relieve, or whence proceeds her pain.

    But how, alas! the fatal cause impart,
And plant a dagger in her lover's heart?
His hand she press'd, and to his listening ear
Utter'd her griefs, and bade the truth appear:
    My lov'd ALONZO , my soul's only joy,
Must I so soon our dawning bliss destroy?
My heart the keenest pangs of anguish tear,
And thine, alas! an equal part must bear.
Tho' by the strictest bands our souls are tied,
A dreadful vow compels us to divide.
Love pleads, and pleasure spreads in vain her charms;
A God more powerful tears me from thine arms;
With fury fir'd, he threatens to destroy
And take due vengeance for our guilty joy.
Farewell, ALONZO --O my bursting heart!
Farewell, my love; we must for ever part!


Page 98

Just heavens! am I awake! ALONZO , hear;
Ah! think not for myself alone I fear:
But know, my guilt, O blind inhuman law!
Must on my parents sure destruction draw.
For me their lives are pledg'd; and can I fly,
A perjur'd wretch, while they in tortures die?
Ah! hapless pair! he cries, accurst of heav'n!
Outcasts of earth, to shame and misery driv'n!
Why not, long since, the fatal truth reveal?
Why from mine eyes the dreadful gulf conceal?
But leave me--go--no more my honour move;
Nor rack me with thy grief, thy guilt, thy love.
O heavens! and must I drive her from my arms?
Must I renounce her hardly tasted charms?
Detain her--must I then a monster prove,
And with her parents' blood cement our love?
She goes--inhuman--stop--Ah! see me die!
And art thou, CORA , in such haste to fly?
With pity mov'd, his wild despair she sees,
Sinks at his feet, and trembling clasps his knees.
Her griefs, her charms his former flame renew;
And gushing tears their moisten'd cheeks bedew.


Page 99

Resolve, she cries, resolve, ere yet too late,
To save my parents from impending fate.
Methinks already I behold the fire,
Where father, mother, children must expire.
Thus he: Ah! now the war of nature's o'er;
Reign, reason, reign, and love shall plead no more.
Her hand he seiz'd, reluctant o'er the plain
They measur'd now their former course again,
Those walls to reach, where thou, poor, perjur'd maid!
In vain shalt seek thy shame and guilt to shade.
Love, till this fatal night, in CORA'S breast
Seem'd like an image, by a dream impress'd,
A vague idea, a delusive fire,
Delirium wild of uncontroll'd desire.
    Amidst the horrours of that fatal night,
No prying eye had mark'd the Vestal's flight;
Who, if by love and favouring fortune bless'd,
Few dangers fear'd, and small remorse express'd.
Far other thoughts ALONZO'S bosom fill,
Prescient of woes, he dreads approaching ill.
He trembled, lest the busy hand of time
Should soon reveal their passion and their crime.


Page 100

The sweetest sound that blesses human ear,
A parent's sacred name, he dreads to hear,
The joys so fondly sought his torment prove;
He blames his rashness, and detests his love.
Ah! guilt! fell poison, bane of our repose!
Thou turn'st the dearest blessings into woes:
Thy fatal gifts are wretchedness and pain,
Remorse, and miseries, an endless train.

PART III.

    MISFORTUNE'S stings transfix the purest heart,
And souls, unknown to guilt, with anguish smart.
Not virtue can secure the good man's state,
Nor shield his fortune from the frowns of fate.
A nobler guard she gives the tranquil mind,
Meek in prosperity, in ills resign'd.
Domestic discord griev'd the royal breast:
An elder brother sought his crown to wrest.
The conquer'd lands their royal sire had won,
He gave the portion of his younger son.


Page 101

The elder's bosom burns with envious rage;
Revenge and war his furious soul engage.
The threaten'd mischief eager to prevent,
The king to CUSCO 's court ALONZO sent,
To sooth his brother's rage, to peace invite,
And 'gainst a foreign foe their arms unite.
In vain ALONZO tries each art to move,
And touches every string of fear and love:
The vengeful monarch's brutal rage remains,
And kindred ties and foreign foes disdains.
To QUITO'S regal seat the youth returns:
His unsuccessful cares the monarch mourns;
Reluctant bids his faithful chiefs prepare
Their fearless warriours for the impious war.

    And now the tribes, by various chieftains led,
In shining ranks around the sovereign spread.
Each warlike hand the deathful spear assumes;
High on their temples wave the nodding plumes.
With martial pride the SPANISH hero trod,
Chief in command, and graceful as a god.


Page 102

Fain would the Muse ALONZO'S deeds recite,
How wise in council, and how brave in fight!
What manly eloquence his tongue inspir'd!
What love of glory all his bosom fir'd!
How still, where danger press'd, the foremost found,
His arm victorious scatter'd deaths around!
How prostrate foes his lenity would praise,
Whose hand, that crush'd them, was alert to raise!
Thus the true hero softens wars alarms;
His valour conquers, but his mercy charms.
Yet from such scenes the Muse indignant flies,
And turns from blood and war her pitying eyes.
She unambitious strives in humbler strains
To sing the pleasures of the simple swains;
To paint the beauties of the vernal grove,
Or tell a tender tale of hapless love.
Suffice to know, that to ALONZO'S care
The king commits the conduct of the war;
Bids him from wanton murderous deeds abstain,
Nor with a brother's blood pollute the plain.
With ardour fir'd, the hero's bosom glows;
Nor strength, nor stratagem his course oppose.


Page 103

At length their sovereign, captiv'd by his hand,
No longer dares the conquering chief withstand.

    While deeds of glory, and love's cogent claims
Urged different pleas, and point to different aims;
In sad suspense ALONZO'S mind is held,
Till bold ambition is by love expell'd;
Till the soft passion reigns without control,
And owns no rival power in CORA'S soul.
In solitude's unvaried scene immur'd,
Her joy and sorrow love alone procur'd.
But now no more the ideal picture glows
With fancied raptures and imagined woes;
It shifts to real miseries and pain;
No heart could brook them, and no strength sustain.
The tender thefts of love, so long conceal'd,
Relentless time to public fame reveal'd.
The zealous priests, inflam'd with holy rage,
Unheard-of mischiefs to the state presage;
Unless due vengeance for the offence be giv'n,
To mitigate the wrath of angry heav'n.


Page 104

A band deputed on the sovereign wait,
And the dire tale of vestal guilt relate.
They urge the sacred justice of the cause,
And gloss with piety their murderous laws.
The king, with horror struck, the story hears;
And much he pities, but still more he fears;
And, tho' reluctant, yields the guilty dame
To public punishment and endless shame,
Heavens! could fierce priests, with zeal's relentless fire
A prince so just, so merciful inspire?
Mad superstition, fury fierce and blind,
Thou blott'st each human feature from the mind!

    On the sad eve of that disastrous day,
Which to the world must CORA'S guilt display,
With conquest crown'd, without one hostile scar,
The youth returns triumphant from the war;
His ardent soul with generous pride elate,
And all unconscious of this stroke of fate;
Yet oft a secret dread his joy suppress'd,
And strange forebodings fill'd his anxious breast.


Page 105

The king receives the youthful chief with praise,
And hears his lips relate in modest phrase
The glorious deeds his faithful troops had done,
What countries conquer'd, and what battles won.
Now to the king perform'd all honours due,
He gladly from the applauding crowd withdrew.
In sleep he seeks forgetfulness of pain;
But oft implores the gentle power in vain.
The power at last the wish'd-for bliss bestows,
And lulls him for a while in soft repose.
Not long o'er every sense this bliss prevails;
For lo! a sudden noise his ear assails.

    As yet the dawn diffus'd a glimmering light,
And morning hover'd on the rear of night:
Before his couch a reverend form appears;
Pale is his face, and wet with recent tears:
His form, like some tall ruin, strikes the sight;
Few are his scatter'd locks, and silver-white:
Graceful, erect, majestic in his woe,
Silent he stands, no word has power to flow.


Page 106

At length to speak his quivering lips essay,
And thus the voice of sorrow finds its way:
    'Tis CORA'S father now before thee stands;
Receive my dying daughter's last commands.
Tho' doom'd to fall the victim of thy crimes,
A tale of sorrow to succeeding times,
She dreads lest thou our bitter lot may'st share:
Leave us, unhappy youth, our woes to bear.
He ceas'd: no more the powers of voice remain;
No more his feeble knees his weight sustain.
With dread and wonder struck, ALONZO gaz'd,
And eager in his arms the mourner rais'd.
Oh! speak, he cries; say, how am I the cause,
That on thy house and thee destruction draws?
    Ah, cruel! dost thou ask! and canst thou bear,
From mine, a parent's lips, the tale to hear;
Fair on thy face each kind affection glow'd;
Warm from thy lips the voice of virtue flow'd;
But, ah! 'twas falshood, all the gloss of art;
Deceit and treachery lurk'd within thine heart.
She was, alas! too willing to believe;
And thou wert form'd thus specious to deceive.


Page 107

The fatal proofs of sacrilegious love,
Too obvious to conceal, her perjury prove.
Yon rising sun reveals her guilt to all;
And, ere he sinks, involves us in her fall.
Free of her guilt, her punishment we bear,
Condemn'd, tho' innocent, her fate to share:
To us are no sepulchral rites assign'd;
Our ashes curs'd are scatter'd with the wind;
Our dwelling, doom'd to solitude and shame,
With lasting infamy transmits our name.
But thou my daughter's dying wish fulfil;
She cannot hate, alas! she loves thee still.
Cause of her death, do not its partner be;
She uncomplaining falls, if thou art free.
Fear not; the fatal secret unreveal'd
Shall die, within my faithful breast conceal'd.
    He spoke; ALONZO shudder'd with despair;
Pale grew his face, uprose his bristling hair.
Now self-condemn'd, and motionless he stands;
Now beats his breast, and wildly wrings his hands.
Then, sunk on earth, the old man's knees he press'd,
And thus the anguish of his soul confess'd.


Page 108

    My crime you know, but not the fatal cause,
That urg'd me to profane your sacred laws.
You know not, O my sire, what dread alarms
Compell'd your dying daughter to my arms.
We both are lost, and you our ruin share:
Behold my sword, behold my bosom bare.
Now boldly strike; let justice guide your hands;
Think what your wrongs, and what my guilt demands.
    Alas! replied the sire, revenge is vain:
'Tis her's with crimes misfortune's hand to stain;
She only on the wicked joy bestows;
Thy blood can never wash away my woes:
It might with shame oppress my latest breath;
But ne'er my spouse, my children, save from death.
Leave me my virtue, of all else bereft;
Nor rob me of my only treasure left.
Perhaps thou wert not treacherous, but frail;
For strong temptations o'er the best prevail.
But he who all things knows, wilt judge aright;
And bring thy guilt, or innocence to light.


Page 109

    Divine old man, the youth enraptur'd cries,
My soul is lost in pity and surprise.
Heavens! must such virtue no reward obtain?
Is all thy portion infamy and pain?
And must the best, the loveliest of her kind,
The soften'd image of thy godlike mind--
It cannot--must not be--ye shall not die.
Ah! do not think I basely mean to fly.
Haste; to your consort, and your children go;
Tell them to hope, and try to sooth their woe.
Chief to my love my firm resolve declare,
In all her griefs an equal part to bear.
Your king, your chiefs shall hear me urge my claim,
And glory in a parent's sacred name.
What are the dangers that I fear to prove,
Impell'd by nature, and inspir'd by love?
But, oh! my father, ere once more we part,
Or grant my pardon, or transfix my heart.
Think what a load of woes that heart must bear
Nor let your anger sink me in despair.
The good old man embrac'd him, and forgave,
And heaven besought to pity him and save.


Page 110

Fast from their eyes a shower of sorrow fell,
And oft their lips pronounc'd a last farewel.

    Now rose the fatal morn, with clouds o'erspread;
The sun reluctant veil'd his mournful head;
The solemn gloom, on nature's face impress'd,
With double horrour fill'd each anxious breast.
The king appears before the palace-gate;
On either hand a crowd unnumber'd wait.
Slow thro' the parting throng the priests proceed,
And to the throne the hapless victim lead.
Behind, each parent's reverend form appears;
(Bent with the double load of grief and years)
Two beauteous maids, almost as CORA fair;
Three lovely youths, condemn'd her fate to share.
The awful scene unable to survey,
She trembles, sobs, and sinks, and faints away.
To life restor'd, she lifts her languid eyes,
And to the monarch's questions thus replies:
     'Twas midst the tumults of that dreadful night,
That fill'd the boldest bosoms with affright,


Page 111

A youth beheld, and pitied my alarms;
Distraction, terrour gave me to his arms.
Thence, thence my guilt and my misfortunes flow;
Nor farther seek the fatal tale to know.
But, oh! in mercy hear my dying pray'r;
My guiltless parents, and their children spare.
The crime I own; the punishment be mine;
Nor to my infamy their virtues join.
    She ceas'd; and thus the reverend sire express'd
The tender feelings of a parent's breast:
O king! let pity o'er thy soul prevail;
Think of her sex, her age, alas! how frail.
The God who sees, can only judge the heart;
Now to accuse the guilty be my part.
Mine be the guilt, who first my child betray'd;
Beneath her feet the fatal snare I laid:
With heart unpitying steel'd, to reason blind,
With vows I sought to chain the free-born mind.
To shun the ruthless tyrant that oppress'd,
She fled for refuge to her mother's breast.
In vain, alas! her tears unpitied flow'd;
No kind relentings in my bosom glow'd.


Page 112

Too well she lov'd me, and too well obey'd:
These were thine only crimes, unhappy maid.
And must for this my wretched daughter fall?
And I, alas! the guilty cause of all?
He could no more; his voice with grief suppress'd,
He held her weeping to his aged breast.
His tender sorrows melt the standers-by,
And drops of pity fall from every eye.

    The monarch's heart with soft compassion glow'd;
But to the laws severer rights he ow'd.
He bade with awful voice the guilty fair
The rash accomplice of her crime declare.
Silent and motionless awhile she stands;
At length thus answers to his stern commands:
    O thou, whose glorious lineage first begun
From yon bright orb, the ever-glorious sun,
Wilt thou, than ev'n the laws still more severe,
With double pangs my wretched bosom tear?
Ah! could my single death atone for all!
But father, mother, children too must fall.


Page 113

Yet cannot these your cruel rage suffice;
For other victims still your vengeance cries.
The wretched babe, to whom you light refuse,
Must I, the author of its life, accuse?
Say, to the fatal pit while I descend,
Would'st thou behold my bleeding bowels rend?
And, midst the horrours of this fatal day,
The guiltless victim of your rage display?
She spoke: the monarch's soul with pity thrill'd,
And life's warm stream a sudden tremour chill'd.
Deeply he groan'd then bade proclaim aloud
The awful sentence to the listening crowd:
When breathless, pale, with all a lover's fears,
ALONZO struggling thro' the throng appears.
As now before the throne he trembling stands,
He thus adjures the king with lifted hands:

    Here turn thine eyes, O prince, and view in me
The guilty cause of all this misery.
Your vengeance pour on my devoted head;
CORA is innocent, my blood be shed.


Page 114

Wild with her fears, a scarcely conscious prey.
I bore her from the sacred grove away,
Her fate she neither sought, nor could she shun;
And terrour did, what love would ne'er have done.
The wondering king, with grief and pity mov'd,
Thus eager spoke to save the man he lov'd:
    Our laws, O stranger, are to thee unknown,
And bind my people and myself alone:
What's guilt in CORA of the deepest die,
In thee is frailness of humanity.
Bound by no vow, far less dost thou offend;
Nor can to thee her punishment extend;
At least if brutal force thou didst forbear:
Let CORA freely now the truth declare.
Ah! no, she cries; no force, but love's alone,
A secret charm resistless and unknown,
O'erpower'd my reason, every fear suppress'd,
And fill'd with tender wishes all my breast.
Why wilt thou add new horrours to my fate?
ALONZO , cease my guilt to arrogate.
    She proves your innocence, the king rejoin'd;
To blame or punish you we nothing find.


Page 115

    And am I innocent, ALONZO cries,
When for my guilt that wretched victim dies?
O depth of horrour! mark that yawning tomb
Whose opening jaws must seal my CORA'S doom.
You call me innocent; behold that fire,
Where now her hapless kindred must expire.
O Inca! friendship blinds your better sense;
In vain you try to hide my foul offence.
But I more just reject the thin disguise;
Your laws I fear not, nor my safety prize.
Forgive, ye victims of a guilty flame;
My tears accept, my penitence, and shame:
Accept my death, and with you let me share
My portion of these wrongs for me you bear.
First to the fatal pile your steps I'll lead;
And first on me the raging flames shall feed.
This sword, which once was destin'd to defend
A king, I dare no longer call my friend,
This faithful sword shall do its sad last part,
And kindly pierce its wretched master's heart.
    Yet, ere I die, Oh! lend your listening ear;
From me the words of truth with patience hear,


Page 116

Say, can you think the glorious lord of day,
Who cheers all nature with his genial ray,
Who life, and joy, and warmth on all bestows,
Whose flame prolific in each bosom glows;
Say, can a deity, so bounteous, prove
The foe of nature, and the bane of love?
Has love, whose powers the brave, the wise control,
O'ercome a tender virgin's softer soul?
Must she for this in infamy expire?
For this her parents glut the raging fire?
Ah! dare not heaven with deeds so horrid stain;
No god could e'er such cruel laws ordain.
Some savage tyrant, foe of human kind,
With rage inspir'd, with superstition blind,
'Twas he, who first this barbarous law decreed,
And bade with joy the wretched victims bleed.
    But thou, O king, whose soul the virtues sway,
Whose people, not from dread, but love, obey;
'Tis thine to rise in truth and mercy's cause;
Nor rule thy subjects by a tyrant's laws
Behold! (as by some god inspir'd, he cried)
That bosom view--and tore her veil aside;


Page 117

See there the great Creator's will display'd;
And learn the end why woman first was made:
Not to be prison'd in a cloister's cell,
Condemn'd in useless solitude to dwell;
But all the joys of social life to prove,
And taste the sweets of friendship and of love;
To bless an husband with her chaste embrace,
And see around them rise a blooming race.

    He spoke: a murmur of applause was heard,
And glad conviction on each face appear'd.
The favouring signs the joyful monarch pleas'd;
He rose, and thus the happy moment seiz'd:
O people, from his lips persuasion flows,
And genuine truth in every accent glows;
His valour and his wisdom nobly shown,
Well may such merit one offence atone.
Henceforth let errour yield, and reason sway,
While we with joy her just commands obey.
Now with due reverence hear my fix'd decree;
Forthwith the virgins of the sun are free.


Page 118

No vow constrain'd the God we serve delights;
He to his fane no abject slave invites.
The monarch's generous heart with transport swell'd,
To see ALONZO sav'd, the law repeal'd.
Around his knees the aged father hung,
The voice of rapture dying on his tongue.
While loud acclaims the people's transports tell,
At CORA 's feet her happy lover fell.
She on her mother's bosom lifeless lay,
Cold, breathless, pale, inanimated clay.
When for her sake the generous youth she saw,
The willing victim of a cruel law,
Faint, speechless in her mother's arms she fell,
And seemed of life to take a last farewell:
A fond, a sad embrace the mother gave,
Nor sought nor wish'd her parting life to save.
Well-pleas'd she saw a period to her woes,
And bade her soft in death's cold arms repose.
But nature's voice dissolves death's slumberous charms;
She wakes encircl'd in ALONZO'S arms.


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    Oh! live thou dearest object of my heart,
The youth exclaims; we never more shall part.
Awake to joy, and banish all thy woes;
No vows shall more our faithful love oppose.
    Leave me, she cries, nor double thus my pain:
Ah! must I, cruel! must I die again?
No; thou shalt live; (the ardent youth rejoin'd)
Nature, and love, and fortune all are kind.
Nor gods, nor men, our tender union blame;
We live to glory in our constant flame.
Too weak the rushing tide of bliss to bear,
She sinks o'erborn with joy, as late with fear.
Thus the fair lily droops its fragrant head,
And dying sinks upon its native bed;
Or pinch'd by night, when rigorous frosts assail,
Or scorch'd by day, when burning suns prevail.

    What pangs, ALONZO , thy fond heart sustain'd,
Robb'd of a treasure scarce a moment gain'd!
With horrour froze, his blood forgets to flow;
He stands the image of extremest woe.


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    And now a thousand prayers ascend the skies;
And heaven propitious listens to their cries.
Her pallid cheeks with new-born roses bloom;
Her languid eyes their wonted fires resume.
His silent raptures all his soul confess:
Their kindred round, the happy lovers press.
With tears of joy their bliss the people share;
And love and fortune crown the favour'd pair.


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THE FRIENDLY RESCUE.

    As some benighted traveller, who strays
Through desert paths and unfrequented ways,
When no kind star bestows its radiant light,
No hut supplies a covert from the night;
Unknowing where his doubtful footsteps roam,
Far from his wishes and his native home;
Sudden some hospitable roof he spies;
Thither he bends his feet and turns his eyes;
Strains every nerve the blest retreat to gain,
And close the period of his lengthen'd pain:
Thus I by adverse fortune long was cross'd,
Long in a sea of warring passions toss'd,
Had long been mark'd the victim of despair,
Subdu'd by grief and all-consuming care;
When you, by friendship's generous motives sway'd,
Flew to my help, and brought unhop'd-for aid;


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Sav'd me just sinking on that fatal shore,
Where hope is lost and comfort is no more;
Lull'd my conflicting passions into rest,
And sweetly sooth'd the anguish of my breast.
Still may your friendship be my boasted pride,
Your virtues charm me, and your counsels guide.


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THE CONSOLATION.

    BLEST is the maid, and truly blest alone,
Who peaceful lives, unknowing and unknown.
For her the world displays no winning charms;
No love of conquest her fair bosom warms;
Within her breast no warring passion glows;
No anxious wish disturbs her fix'd repose;
No faithless lover fills her eyes with tears;
No haughty rival's fatal charms she fears;
No love neglected sinks her soul with shame;
She secret mourns no ill-requited flame.
Unmindful of her charms, however fair,
Unknown the pride of beauty, or the care;
Hid from the world, she shuns the public eye,
Like roses, that in deserts bloom and die.
In peace and ease she spends her happy days,
And fears no envy, as she courts no praise.


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LEANDER AND HERO;

IMITATED FROM MUSÆUS* .

* Our author's love-elegies furnish us with a presumptive proof, that she read Ovid's Epistles; if not in the original, certainly in a translation. The following work is an imitation of the admired poem of Musæus. This poem is familiarized to the English reader by the animated and faithful version of Francis Fawkes. His version she consulted; and, by descriptions, similes and sentiments, which her fertile imagination and refined taste have supplied, has given to an ancient and a well-known poem the graces and the charms of novelty.

    COME , SESTOS and ABYDOS , aid my song;
To you these elegiac strains belong.
Your griefs with mine, ye wretched cities, blend,
And bid a listening world our tale attend:
The fatal nuptials place before their view,
And all the woes these faithful lovers knew.
From them the sun withheld his cheering light,
And wrapp'd the world in silence and in night:
One feeble lamp alone the gloom dispell'd;
That lamp, which Hymen's fatal rites beheld.
Pure lamp of love, what envied fate was thine!
How worthy thou in heaven's bright arch to shine!


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There should thy fires, for ever bright and clear,
The lover's faithful cynosure appear.

    But what kind power shall give my verse to flow,
And form my voice to sing the tale of woe?
Parent of love, fair Goddess, first and best,
To thee my fervent vows be now address'd.
Delight of heaven above, and joy of earth,
Thou calm'st the air, and giv'st the flowerets birth:
Thy pleasing ardour life and bliss inspires,
And wakes in human bosoms gentlest fires:
By thee alone eternal union reigns,
And every creature wears thy willing chains.
If e'er thy HERO'S hands have join'd to bring
Daisies and pinks and all the pride of spring;
And with the fragrant spoils thy shrines have crown'd,
Or round thy statues myrtle-garlands bound;
Now all my soul with ardent zeal inspire,
Her woes to sing, and thy resistless fire.

    That narrow sea, in ancient times renown'd,
In fragile chains by XERXES' folly bound,


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Did SESTOS' and ABYDOS' towns divide;
The hapless lovers dwelt on either side.
There, under some malignant planet's spite,
They, doom'd to sorrow, first beheld the light.
Ye who, in search of knowledge, or of gain,
Traverse with venturous sails the faithless main,
If, as before the wind your vessels fly,
An antient tower's high summits strike the eye;
Fix'd on a rock the raging deep it braves;
Its base, each coming tide, the ocean laves;
Here first the virgin drew the vital air,
Unseen, unknowing heaven had form'd her fair.
Nor love's soft joys, nor pains she yet had prov'd;
Her charms nor envy, nor desire had mov'd:
Here with an aged nurse she liv'd serene;
Remote from every gay and busy scene.

    Not distant from the tower a temple stands,
And every passing traveller's praise demands.
The pious natives spar'd nor wealth nor toil,
To grace with richest ornaments the pile.
Here, each returning year, one solemn day,
They feast, and sacrifice in honour pay


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To VENUS and ADONIS , hapless boy;
While song and dance their jocund hours employ.
Here, free and innocent, the gentle maid
To love's bright queen in humble accents' pray'd.
A milk-white lamb she proffer'd to bestow
On him, the boyish god, who bears the bow:
So might she ne'er his wanton malice prove,
But guard her heart from all the wiles of love.
Alas! too fair love's fatal power to shun,
Thou from thy destin'd fate in vain would'st run:
Deaf are those ears, to which thou mak'st thy pray'r;
Blown by the winds, and lost in empty air.

    Soon as AURORA , on the festive morn,
Whose golden tresses rosy wreaths adorn,
The crystal gates of heaven had open'd wide,
And all the orient sky with blushes died;
In crowds the people to the streams repair,
And bathe, and drink salubrious waters there;
There seek the temple, and their homage pay
To love's bright queen, whom gods and men obey.


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No youth, whose heart with soft desire was pain'd,
That day in the paternal doom remain'd;
But sought his eyes to satiate with those charms,
That fill'd his bosom with love's fond alarms.
The nymph, whose locks adown her shoulders flow'd,
And brighter than the orient sun-beams glow'd,
With artful hands a leafy garland wove,
To grace the temple of the queen of love;
Then from her lap o'er all the altar threw
A shower of roses, bath'd with morning dew.
Ah! had APOLLO view'd the beauteous maid,
When in a youthful shepherd's form array'd,
The prize of beauty had been all her own,
And his fond vows been paid to her alone.
No nymph, that fountain haunts, or forest green,
By fancy's eye was e'er so lovely seen.
As round the taper the poor insect flies,
Nor leaves its dangerous brightness till it dies;
Thus round the fair the crowd enchanted drew,
And with her fatal beauties charm'd their view.
Her noble form, adorn'd with every grace,
The winning sweetness of her beauteous face,


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Her starry eyes, enkindling soft desire,
The radiant glow of youth with rapture fire.
Ah! sure, they said, these charms had SPARTA seen,
The general voice had crown'd thee beauty's queen:
When GRECIAN maidens strove the prize to gain,
These eyes had made their fond pretensions vain.
As the gay spring its opening blossoms shows
Above decrepit winter's frost and snows;
So far dost thou all other nymphs outshine,
And all thy sex's various charms are thine.
How blest the man, to whom the fates decree,
Their best, their fairest gift in giving thee!
As towards the beauteous maid each eye was turn'd,
With fear she view'd them, and with blushes burn'd;
Abash'd, the triumphs of her charms descried,
And in the distant temple strove to hide.
As the fierce hawk the turtle eyes with pain,
When, far beyond his reach, pursuit is vain;
Each amorous youth thus view'd the flying fair,
And felt his passion smother'd in despair.
Alone, of all the train, LEANDER shew
A flame, too strong to. hide, for art too true;


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Whose power, express'd at once, without disguise,
Proclaim'd the lover's wishes from his eyes.
She his fond looks with sweet regard return'd,
And glow'd with pity, as with love he burn'd.
Then hope, that doubting stood, with fear depress'd,
Commenc'd the joyful inmate of his breast.

    Now frigid night approach'd of dusky hue,
And o'er the world her dewy mantle threw.
The youth, embolden'd by the friendly shade,
That hides the thefts by bashful lovers made,
Seiz'd her fair hand, and press'd the beauteous prize
With ardent kisses and with burning sighs.
Warm on her cheek the deepening blushes shone,
Her face at once assum'd an angry frown:
Her hand withdrawn, with quick resentment fir'd
She turn'd, and with disdainful mien retir'd.
But, when she saw the youth her steps invade,
She stopp'd, and thus with voice resentful said:
    Intrusive man, thus rashly dar'st thou run,
In search of her, who seeks thy view to shun?


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Know'st thou my parents? noble is their name:
Their rank, at least from thee, may deference claim.
Some other chase, too forward youth, pursue,
And fly the anger to thy rashness due.
But oft, with scornful voice, the angry fair,
Peace to their lovers amidst war declare.
Her bosom-conflict soon the youth descried,
And hop'd that love the conflict would decide.
Imbolden'd, round her neck of snowy hue
His circling arms the daring lover threw;
On the soft ivory-skin a kiss impress'd,
And, ere she chid, he thus the nymph address'd:
    Oh! fitter thou to mingle with the Gods,
And add new splendour to the blest abodes;
For surely earth is not thy natal place,
Nor thou descended from a mortal race.
Accept an heart that seeks not to be free,
And let thy bosom its blest prison be:
But, if deriv'd from some terrestrial dame,
Oh! let thy beauty's slave thy pity claim.
The Goddess, to whom now our vows are paid,
Loves not the coolness of the scornful maid.


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ENDYMION , happy youth! 'twas thine to prove
Without its agonies the joys of love.
For thee the beauteous empress of the night,
Veil'd in a cloud, conceal'd her radiant light;
And left the glories of her heavenly reign;
To meet on LATMUS ' top her faithful swain;
With him their hours in mutual joys to spend,
And there with him his fleecy flocks to tend.
Thus VENUS ' fires her frozen heart subdu'd,
And to a faithful lover form'd the prude.
Yield then, fair nymph, to love's delightful sway,
Revere the power, to whom your vows you pay.
    His love-inspiring words resistless charm,
And her cold breast with tender transports warm.
Thus, when the sun's meridian splendours glow,
In tepid streams dissolves the wintry snow.
Love's latent power each glowing phrase convey'd
Warm to the heart, and won the attentive maid;
He in that heart, to fancy's raptur'd view,
The fairest scenes in liveliest colours drew.

    As when the fawn, that frisk'd devoid of fear,
With anguish feels the invading hunter's spear,


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Then to the river scours, or seeks the plain,
Yet finds from change of place no change of pain;
Thus, deep within her heart, the virgin found
Love's fatal dart had fix'd the mortal wound.
A thousand maiden arts in vain she tries,
To hide her soft confusion from his eyes.
Now bashfully she turns her head aside;
Now with her veil her blushes strives to hide;
Attempts to go, and yet resolves to stay;
In vain to speak her trembling lips essay:
Her fears, her silence all her soul reveal,
And tell each thought she struggles to conceal.
O blissful, silence! dearer to the heart,
Than all the graces language can impart:
O blest interpreter! by thee the youth
Resolves his doubts, and finds the welcome truth.
As one, who stoutly strives with curb and reign
The impetuous courser's fury to restrain:
In vain the floods oppose, the hills arise;
O'er hills and floods with headlong rage he flies:
Agast, his rider marks with wishful view
The safe, the happy path he should pursue.


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'Twas thus the maid, 'gainst passion's fierce command,
Oppos'd in vain weak reason's feeble hand.
At length (her face with rosy blushes spread)
She in these tender accents trembling said:
    What God inspires you? sure, these words you spoke,
Might tigers tame, and bend the stubborn oak.
But faithful tell me, why you tread this strand;
What be your name, and where your native land?
Yet why these questions? useless all to me,
Since all your vows and prayers must fruitless be.
What canst thou hope, a stranger as thou art,
And come, perhaps, from some far distant part?
Like some fond maid, shall I thy vows receive,
And mine to a loose wanderer rashly give?
No; till our parents' sanction we obtain,
And wear, like willing captives, Hymen's chain,
The prudent fair man's flattering arts must shun,
And from his soft seductions distant run.
For oft the busy tongues of human kind
To blaze what should be hid a pleasure find;


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And what we wish to hide from silent night,
Is oft in public shewn to noon-day light.
Yet, if you prize my love, the truth relate,
And undissembling tell your name and state.
My home is SESTOS ; HERO is my name;
My lineage I from noble parents claim.
See'st thou yon tower, that overlooks the shore
Round it the billows beat, the tempests roar:
There, distant from the vulgar and the great,
Is peaceful solitude my happy state.
Sole with my nurse I spend the careless day,
Nor wish beyond my custom'd bounds to stray.

    She ceas'd; but, as if fearful to have said
More than she thought became a cautious maid,
Her silken veil she quickly spread, to hide
Her glowing cheeks, with purple roses died.
LEANDER gaz'd with love-impassion'd soul,
While hope and doubt by turns his mind control.
To love the humble suiter ardent pray'd,
His faithful votary's fond request to aid;


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To give his tongue each soft persuasive art,
And warm with mutual fires the virgin's heart.
The wanton boy approves the amorous pray'r,
And unsuspected wounds the yielding fair.
Thrice his ambrosial wings he sportive spread,
Then, lightly perching on LEANDER'S head,
These words, in secret to his lips convey'd,
And, as the God inspir'd, the lover said:
    O nymph divine, thine envied love to gain,

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


Shall I all fearless plough the stormy main,
And NEPTUNE 'twixt us spread his seas in vain?
Yes; tho' destructive fleets should guard the shore,
Tho' boiling surges in loud tumults roar,
Nor storms, nor fleets, nor HELLE'S dreaded fate,
Should daunt my purpose, or my zeal abate.
Now, guided by pale Luna's lambent light,
Now, midst the gloom involv'd of darkest night,
I with this arm will cleave yon rolling sea,
Nor fear its horrours, when they lead to thee.
My country lies not distant from thy shore;
A breeze shall from ABYDOS waft me o'er.

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But from thy lofty tower a lamp display,
Which thro' the gloomy deep may point the way:
Preserve the pious flame all pure and bright;
And, when love's signal shall attract my sight,
Thy name invok'd, the conflict will I try,
And ocean's and Orion's rage defy.
But watch, lest adverse winds thy lamp annoy,
And one rude blast its life and mine destroy.
Nor think, bright maid, my name I wish to hide;
Know, beauteous HERO is LEANDER'S bride.

    But now the stars, round CYNTHIA'S car that burn,
Sink and retire before the rising morn:
The envious night forbids their farther stay;
The lingering lovers dare no more delay.
But first the tower, all unobserv'd before,
His eyes attentive measure o'er and o'er;
Its site remark; the rocks that rise around;

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


And where some peaceful bay may best be found,
When, ocean's perils past, he treads on solid ground.

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The youth to the paternal dome retires,
While love with pleasing hope his soul inspires.
She to her solitary cell returns;
There eyes the approaching day, and fondly mourns;
There wishes for the slow-returning night,
That gives her dear LEANDER to her sight.
Nor bat, nor owl more hate the cheerful sun,
Who joy in gloomy haunts his rays to shun,
Than these fond lovers, who lament in vain,
And to the winds, that hear not, thus complain:
    All-glorious sun, who pour'st in dazzling streams
This flood of glory that around us beams;
Who life and joy bestow'st on all below;
Oh! if thou e'er hast felt a lover's woe,
(Once to thy youthful bosom was it known)
Relieve, and pity griefs so like thine own.
Quick lash thy lingering steeds, impel their flight,
Plunge them in ocean, and restore the light.
Come, gentle night, to lovers ever dear,
Like us, who fondly wish and greatly fear.

    Soon as the nymph remark'd, that, from her throne,
The silver moon in all her radiance shone,


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With gentle beams their fond desires to aid,
She from her tower the friendly lamp display'd;
Whose welcome ray might on ABYDOS fall,
And to her fond embrace her lover call.
He, anxious, oft the hoarse-resounding shore
With solitary steps had wander'd o'er:
Still on the tower his watchful eyes he threw,
And fondly wish'd love's radiant sign to view.
But, when he saw the lamp's inspiring ray
From that dear spot, impatient of delay,
He hid his garments in the secret cave,
And plung'd his beating bosom in the wave;
With growing hopes he boldly forward press'd,
And thus the radiant guide of love address'd:
    O faithful messenger of soft desires!
O light, enkindled by love's purest fires!
How friendly shine thy gentle beams afar,
My guide thro' dangers, and my polar star!
Dear to mine eyes, as when, in gloom of night,
The bear's bright beams allure the pilot's sight.
Oh! safe conduct me thro' my dangerous way,
And to my lovely HERO'S arms convey.


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    He spoke; and, as a bird the air divides,
Along the ocean's azure bosom glides.
The sportive dolphins pleas'd around him sweep,
And hail the stranger to their native deep.
The wanton Tritons frolic in his train,
And frisking waft him o'er the watery plain.
The nymphs, from NEREUS and bright DORIS sprung,
With sea-green tresses, ever fair and young,
Forsake the pearly cave and coral grove,
To mark the triumphs of immortal love:
With pity's eye they view the adventurous youth,
Admire his beauty, and revere his truth.
Some from his breast the briny surge repel,
And smooth the billows, that too roughly swell;
Some from their brows the rosy garlands tear,
And with the fragrant spoils adorn his hair;
With fond attention see him reach the shore,
Nor leave him, till he needs their aid no more.

    No holy vestal e'er with fond desire
More anxious strove to guard the sacred fire,


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Than thou, fair nymph, to keep serene and bright
Thy lamp, still shining mid' the silent night.
She now against the winds her robe extends;
Now her spread hand the precious flame defends.
But, when the shallow stream approaching near,
Crown'd with fresh wreaths, she saw her love appear,
No greyhound, fleet to chase the bounding fawn,
Travers'd with half such speed the dewy lawn,
As she with beating heart and nimble feet,
Her dear-lov'd husband's glad approach to meet.
Scarce from the stream the weary youth withdrew,
When round his neck her snowy arms she threw,
And from her vermil-lips sweet kisses gave,
Impressing his, yet dripping from the wave:
Then with a snow-white robe and shining vest,
Wrought by her hands, his shivering limbs she dress'd,
And to her chamber led, where oft the fair
Unseen had wept, and pour'd the silent pray'r.
Here her soft hand with tenderness benign
Squeezed from his dripping hair the adherent brine;


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Here for his languid limbs prepar'd a bed,
With fragrant roses and with lilies spread:
Then in sweet accents, which sweet kisses broke,
Thus to the idol of her heart she spoke:
    Dear, faithful spouse! thou, who with fond regard,
What never lover durst, hast greatly dar'd;
Forget thy troubles now, be pleasure thine,
And on my breast thy wearied head recline.
She spoke; the youth enraptur'd view'd her charms,
And clasp'd the dear-bought treasure in his arms:
On that for future rest his soul relies;
Nor envies JOVE his empire in the skies.
In vain shall language labour to relate
The faithful lovers' enviable state,
When smiling fortune crowns their vows at last,
And happiness succeeds to sorrow past:
With equal ease might I attempt to teach
The names of shells, that glister on the beach;
Or tell in balmy spring the various flow'rs,
That FLORA o'er the earth's green mantle show'rs.
No gay processions on the bride await;
O'er her is born no canopy of state;


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No white-rob'd youths, with garlands crown'd, advance,
To weave with nimble feet the mazy dance:
No tuneful bard attends, in nuptial lays
To sing their passion, or record their praise:
No parent's voice is heard, with duteous care
Invoking Hymen's blessings on the pair:
Fresh wreaths around the posts no virgins place
Their heads nor amaranth nor caltha grace:
But night her sable mantle round them spread,
And gloomy silence hover'd o'er their bed.

    Now, in her dew-besprinkled robe array'd,
With roses crown'd, her golden lock display'd.
Aurora shone, to gladden human sight,
And drive from earth the gloomy shades of night.
In vain her eye beam'd on the nuptial bed;
The cautious lovers were already fled.
For when they saw, bright on the etherial plain,
The star of love begin her morning-reign,
And, with her potent wand of silver bright,
Before her drive the glimmering lamps of night;


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They vows exchang'd, and kisses sweet bestow'd,
Moist with their mutual tears, that copious flow'd.
Him to the utmost sands his spouse attends,
And to the care of every God commends.
The youth unwilling plunges in the main,
And mournful seeks his hated home again;
While from the beach her eyes his course pursue,
Till soon the distance hides him from her view.
Reluctant, not alone, she homeward bends,
Her lover's image all her steps attends.
O foe to lovers' joys, Aurora, why
Didst thou so speedily illume the sky?
Why banish from the world thy silent night,
And o'er her bosom throw thy hated light?
Say, must thou smooth thine aged TITHON'S hair?

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


Oh! leave a spouse unworthy of thy care,
And to the GANGES ' flowery banks repair;
There mid' the fragrant groves of myrtle play,
And weave fresh garlands for the new-born day.
Oh! think (and be thy soul with pity mov'd)
On CEPHALUS , so loving once, and lov'd.

Page 145

Thy fiery steeds' too eager rage restrain,
And yet awhile indulge night's silent reign.

    Elated now, now sinking thro' despair,
In joy and grief, alternate, liv'd the pair;
Till, from the frozen bosom of the north,
The hoary winter pour'd his tempests forth.
The black-wing'd storms deform the azure skies;
Howl thro' the air; the seas in mountains rise;
Thick fall the leaves; the fields their sweets resign,
And drooping nature mourns her sad decline.
Now diving ÆSACUS his head uprears;
Loud on his nymph he calls; his nymph appears:
Beside the sandy beach their course they keep,
And shun the dangers of the stormy deep.
There his hoarse voice resounds with dismal yells,
And to the seaman future wrecks foretels.
The weary pilot bids them furl the sails,
To shun the fury of tempestuous gales;
The dashing oars with eager haste to ply,
Till safe within the stream the vessels lie.


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For this, what time he sees, all keenly bright,
A starry zone begird the brow of night,
With suppliant voice he prays the Triton-train
To still the blustering winds, and smooth the main;
While the bright olive-branch adorns his hand,
And shrilling horns re-echo thro' the strand.

    Now the sad lovers, every pleasure gone,
In piteous strains their cruel lot bemoan.
The surges roar, thick lowering clouds prevail,
And false and fickle is each rising gale.
Oft as the youth remark'd with anxious eye
The fearful aspect of the troubled sky,
And saw the sad ALCYONE no more
In airy circles skim along the shore;
While Sol, with fiery tints his face bespread,
Sunk in the western main his glowing head;
And livid spots defac'd fair CYNTHIA'S form;
He mark'd the signs, and knew the coming storm:
Then tender grief his soul with anguish wrung,
Sighs swell'd his breast, and tears unbidden sprung.


Page 147

When anxious HERO from her sea-beat tow'r
Saw gathering clouds a watery deluge pour,
In wild complaints she breath'd her amorous strain,
And thus address'd the adverse winds in vain:

    Ah! wrathful Boreas, bane of all my joy,
Why 'gainst a tender nymph thy rage employ?
In vain you tear and lash the labouring sea;
It feels thee not; thy fury falls on me.
Ah! sure some pity should thy bosom melt,
That all love's pangs for ORITHYA felt.
For her lov'd sake, Oh! smooth the raging deep,
And let thy boisterous voice in silence sleep.
But, ah! what mortal heaven's decrees can shun,
Or from the destin'd hour that waits them run?
'Twas now, when seamen NEPTUNE'S anger fear,
And to the shelter'd bay their vessels steer;
There, fix'd with anchor firm, they safely ride,
Nor fear the fury of the wind and tide.
But lost LEANDER winds and tides defies,
When from the tower the fatal sign he spies.


Page 148

Ah! think, unhappy Youth, ere yet too late;
And read thy doom in wretched HELLE'S fate.
Ah! cruel lamp, no more to death invite;
Veil thy delusive splendours from his sight,
Till nature from her wintry chains be freed,
And vernal showers to gelid storms succeed.
Then, when the spring by FLORA'S hand is dress'd,
Sweet Zephyrs' breath shall smooth old ocean's breast.
But HERO , forc'd by that resistless fate,
That gives to mortal life the destin'd date,
Bereav'd of him, the idol she ador'd,
Shar'd in no pleasures, but e'en life abhorr'd:
Thus, when the clouds their kindly aid deny,
The tender blossoms droop their heads and die,
O'er reason's eye the veil of love she threw;
No more her wonted fears the danger view,
Alas! tho' now no boisterous tempest raves,
Yet think, how treacherous are the winds and waves!

    Soon as the night had spread her sable vest,
When spectres terrify and dreams molest,


Page 149

She with rash hand the fatal lamp display'd:
LEANDER soon the wish'd for sign survey'd.
For still with anxious eye he view'd the tow'r;
(Thus to the sun inclines the amorous flow'r)
And now he sought with sacrifice and pray'r
To calm the wintry sea, and still the air.
The sea to calm a sable ram he slew,
And one milk-white, the blustering brethren's due.
The winds are hush'd, the boisterous waves subside;
Dauntless he plung'd beneath the faithless tide.
While to the power that rules the deep he pray'd,
And every sea-born God, his hopes to aid;
Alone forgotten in disastrous hour,
And unemploy'd was Æolus's pow'r.
Unhappy youth! too quickly doom'd to know
With what dire rage immortal bosoms glow!
While, straining every nerve, he ardent strove,
And fondly reach'd in hope his absent love,
From her high tower, where HERO anxious stood,
And view'd with fearful eye the expanded flood,
The raven's note, which gathering storms foretel,
Doleful resounded, like death's dismal knell;


Page 150

While from the caves, and hollow grots around,
The ethos wild return'd the dismal sound,
That gave new horrours to the nightly gloom,
And spoke to HERO'S heart her lover's doom.

    O CYNTHIA , hear, (she cried) o'er whose domains
By storms unmov'd eternal quiet reigns;
Parent of good, from whose sweet influence flow
Those precious gifts, that sweeten life below;
If true it be, as bards and sages tell,
That thy strong hand the raging deep can quell;
If oft by him, whose destiny I dread,
Thine altar's flame has been with incense fed,
Reward his piety, and grant my pray'r;
Still the loud waves, and guard from storms the air.
His smile alone the lamp of life supplies,
And, if he falls, his faithful HERO dies.
Four milk-white doves shall, with the rising morn,
All pure as snow, thy sacred shrines adorn:
Thus much and more my grateful heart shall give,
So may LEANDER and his HERO live.


Page 151

The fond request, with humble mind preferr'd,
Eager to grant, the gentle Goddess heard.
But ÆOLUS , whom yet the hapless pair
Nor sought to please with sacrifice nor pray'r.
His head uprais'd, and, stung with grief and pride,
Open'd the portals of his cavern wide.
Swift as the greyhound loosen'd from his chain,
From their close prison rushed the boisterous train:
At once o'er earth and air they furious spread,
And heav'd old ocean from his deepest bed.
Now frozen Aquilo resistless blew;
Now from the south the adverse tempest flew:
By fear unaw'd, by pity unrestrain'd,
Disorder dire and fell destruction reign'd.
The swelling billows rose all foaming white,
And dash'd the sabre brows of lowering night.
Why, vengeful ÆOLUS , such rage employ,
Two fond, two hapless lovers to destroy?
Poor is the triumph o'er so weak a foe,
And small the joy such conquests can bestow.
Oh! rather let thy vengeance fierce be hurl'd
'Gainst the proud masters of a bleeding world.


Page 152

Mark yonder fleet, that stems the dashing tides,
And death and ruin in its bosom hides:
Give the dread word, o'erwhelm them in the wave,
And trembling nations from destruction save.

    Entranced in horrour stood the wretched dame
Grief dimm'd her eyes and agoniz'd her frame;
No hope remain'd the raging storm to brave;
No pitying God her dying lord to save.
Yet every God, the watery world who guides,
And every nymph, that on its bosom glides,
With tears and broken accents she implor'd,
Her woes to pity and their aid afford.
But, tho' her tears and charms compassion mov'd,
Still mid' the waves expires the youth she lov'd,
To her his faithful soul unalter'd flies;
While o'er his head the boisterous billows rise.
Love's gentle queen beheld him all dismay'd;
Him ocean's nymphs, the Tritons, strove to aid
Their arms around the panting youth they spread,
And oft above the billows rais'd his head.


Page 153

But, ah! their feeble efforts all were vain;
Not NEPTUNE'S self could still the raging main;
Tho' thrice his trident struck its furious breast,
And bade with awful voice the tempest rest.
In vain the God of love essay'd to give
The needful aid, and bid his votary live.
He and his amorous troop their wings extend,
And round the lamp with fond attention bend,
'Gainst hostile winds to guard the sacred light,
And keep the wavering flame serene and bright.
Ah! grief of griefs! the feeble lamp expires;
For now it sinks, now lifts its dying fires:
Its last faint gleams no longer light the shore,
Gleams now extinguish'd, to revive no more.
Soon, wretched nymph, shalt thou with tearful eye
View on the sea's cold breast thy lover lie.

    In tears AURORA brought the fated morn;
Nor wreath nor purple vest the power adorn:
A veil of sable clouds she round her threw,
And seem'd to hide her from the mournful view.


Page 154

With locks dishevell'd and with bosom bare,
Tortur'd with all the anguish of despair,
The lonely dame wild wander'd o'er the coast,
Retrac'd her steps, and wail'd her lover lost.
O'er ocean's lap she cast her streaming eyes,
And view'd that deep, whence all her sorrows rise.
Frantic and wild she tore her golden hair,
And beat with cruel hands her bosom bare;
Flew to the spot her prostrate lover press'd,
And clasp'd the lifeless body to her breast.
His the last tears, that dimm'd her closing eyes!
His the last kiss, and his her parting sighs!

    What tho' for thee, lov'd youth, no pile was rear'd,
Nor mourning friends to grace the rites appear'd;
Yet nobler obsequies thy fall attend,
And HERO'S woes shall dignify thine end.
Now, every debt of love and sorrow paid,
No more for life the hopeless mourner pray'd.
Him, close embrac'd, one parting kiss she gave,
Then, sinking with him, sought a watery grave.


Page 155

Ere yet the billows close above his head,
O wretched youth! with freezing tongue she said:
Responsive echo caught the mournful sound;
O wretched youth! the hollow rocks rebound.

    Ye gentle nymphs, to whom the youth was dear,
Now to your pearly cave their bodies bear.
Ye little loves, your favourite's fate deplore,
And weep with me LEANDER now no more.
Ye cities, where they drew their latest breath,
Mourn every winter their untimely death;
While round our brows we bind the mournful yew,
And pay the illustrious dead the honours due,
Then, when COCYTUS' gloomy waves are cross'd,
And they shall both have reach'd the farthest coast,
Amidst those fields, with spring eternal gay,
Thro' groves of myrtles shall the lovers stray,
And, recollecting oft their former fate,
Share with redoubled joy their present blissful state.


Page 156

THE GUIDWIFE OF WAUKHOPE-HOUSE
TO ROBERT BURNS, THE AIRSHIRE
BARD.    FEB. 1787.

    MY canty, witty, rhyming plughman,
I haftin's dout, it is na' true, man,
That ye between the stilts was bred,
Wi' plughman school'd wi' plughman fed.
I doubt it sair, ye've drawn your knowledge
Either frae grammar, school, or colledge.
Guid troth, your saul and body baith
War' better fed, I'd gie my aith,
Than theirs, who sup sour milk and paridge,
An' bummil thro' the single caritch.
Whaever heard the plughman speak,
Could tell gif Homer was a Greek?
He'd flee as soon upon a cudgel,
As git a single line of Virgil.
An' then sai slie ye crack your jokes
O' Willie P-- and Charlie ----.
Our grit men a' sai weel descrive,
An' how to gar the nation thrive,
Yen maist wad swear ye dwalt amang them,
An' as ye saw them, sai ye sang them.


Page 157

But be ye plughman, be ye peer,
Ye are a funny blade, I swear.
An' tho' the cauld I ill do bide,
Yet twenty miles, an' mair, I'd ride,
O'er moss, an' muir, an' never grumble,
Tho' my auld yad shou'd gai a stumble,
To crack a winter-night wi' thee,
An' hear thy sangs, an' sonnets slie.
A guid saut herring, an' a cake
Wi' sic a cheel a feast wad make.
I'd rather scour your rumming yill,
Or eat o' cheese an' bread my fill,
Than wi' dull lairds on turtle dine,
An' farlie at their wit and wine.
O, gif I kenn'd but whar ye baide,
I'd send to you a marled plaid.
'Twod haud your shoulders warm and braw,
An' douse at kirk, or market shaw.
Far south, as weel as north, my lad,
A' honest Scotsmen loe the maud.
Right wae that we're sai far frae ither;
Yet proud I am to ca' ye brither.

Your most obed. E. S.


Page 158

THE ANSWER.


GUIDWIFE,

I MIND it weel in early date,
When I was beardless, young and blate,
        An' first cou'd thresh the barn,
Or haud a yokin at the plugh,
An' tho' fu' foughten sair eneugh,
        Yet unko proud to learn.

When first among the yellow corn
    A man I reckon'd was;
An' with the lave ilk merry morn
    Could rank my rig and las;
        Still shearing and clearing
        The tither stooked raw;
        With clavers and halvers
        Wearing the time awa':

Ev'n then a wish (I mind its power)
A wish, that to my latest hour
        Shall strongly heave my breast;


Page 159

That I for poor auld Scotland's sake
Some useful plan, or book could make,
        Or sing a sang at least.

The rough bur-thistle spreading wide
    Among the bearded bear,
I turn'd my weeding heuk aside,
    An' spar'd the symbol dear.
        No nation, no station
        My envy e'er could raise:
        A Scot still, but blot still,
        I knew no higher praise.

But still the elements o' sang
In formless jumble, right an' wrang,
        Wild floated in my brain;
Till on that harste I said before,
My partner in the merry core,
        She rous'd the forming strain.

I see her yet, the sonsy queane,
    That lighted up my jingle;


Page 160

Her pauky smile, her kittle e'en,
    That garr'd my heartstrings tingle,
        So tiched, bewitched,
        I rav'd ay to mysel;
        But bashing and dashing,
        I kenn'd na how to tell.

Heal' to the set, ilk guid cheel says,
Wi' merry dance in winter-days,
        An' we to share in common:
The gust o' joy, the balm of woe,
The saul o' life, the heav'n below,
        Is rapture-giving woman.

Ye surly sumphs, who hate the name,
    Be mindfu' o' your mither:
She, honest woman, may think shame
    That ye're connected with her.
        Ye're wae men, ye're nae men,
        That slight the lovely dears:
        To shame ye, disclaim ye,
        Ilk honest birkie swears.


Page 161

For you, na bred to barn and byre,
Wha sweetly tune the Scottish lyre,
        Thanks to you for your line.
The marled plaid ye kindly spare,
By me should gratefully be ware;
        'Twad please me to the Nine.

I'd be mair vauntee o' my hap,
    Douse hingin o'er my curple,
Than ony ermine ever lap,
    Or proud imperial purple.
        Farewel then, lang heal' then,
        An' plenty be your fa':
        May losses and crosses
        Ne'er at your hallan ca'.


March 1787.R. BURNS.


Page 162

A LETTER FROM THOMAS BLACKLOCK
TO THE AUTHOR, RESPECTING BURNS.

    DEAR madam, hear a suppliant's pray'r,
And on our bard your censure spare,
Whase bluntness slights ilk trivial care
        Of mock decorum:
Since for a bard its unko rare
        To look before him.

With joy to praise, with freedom blame,
To ca' folk by their Christian name,
To speak his mind, but fear or shame,
        Was at his fashion:
But virtue his eternal flame,
        His ruling passion.

This by-past time, as fame reports,
The author's Muse was out of sorts,
And in some freak, perhaps in dorts,
        Or ablins spleen:
She paid her visists at the shorts,
        An' lang between.


Page 163

But, when your sang approach'd his ear,
How fain he was, you need na speer,
The smiles of heaven, whilk nature chear,
        Were never brighter:
Na sudden tide of worldly gear
        Sae gars him flighter.

But lang enough, perhaps o'er lang,
I draw an auld man's feeble sang;
Yet, tho' in this ye ca' me wrang,
        Perhaps na blate;
I still maun ask, for a' my thrang,
        ALICIA'S fate.


Page 164

ON THE BIRTH OF AN INFANT,
AN EXTEMPORE EFFUSION * .

    WELCOME , little lovely stranger,
To our motley world below:
Angels keep thee free from danger,
Soft thine infant moments flow.
Be all thy father's genius thine;
All thy mother's sprightly grace;
In future camps, or senates shine,
And shew thyself of El----'s race.

* Thus the author calls this little poem, in the card that accompanied it.


Page 165

GLOSSARY.

[The following glossary appeared in two columns in the original printed text.]


A.
B.
C.
D.
Page 166


E.


F.
G.
H.
I.
K.
L.
Page 167


M.


N.
O.
P.
Q.
R.
S.
T.
U.
V.
W.
Y.

Printed by BUNNY and GOLD,
Shoe-Lane, London.