Poems on Various Subjects.

Williams, Helen Maria, 1762-1827

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I.D. No. WillHPoems

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Davis British Women Romantic Poets Series

I.D. No. 33
Nancy Kushigian, -- General Editor
Charlotte Payne, -- Managing Editor

Poems on various subjects: with introductory remarks on the present state of science and literature in France

Williams, Helen Maria

G. and W. B. Whittaker

[This text was scanned from its original in the Shields Library Kohler Collection, University of California, Davis. Kohler ID no. I:1350. Another copy available on microfilm as Kohler I:1350mf.]

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SOME of the following poems, the productions of my early youth, and which were published many years since in two small volumes, have been long out of print; others have been scattered in different works, and several are now for the first time presented to the Public.

I feel that I have little to urge in behalf of these slight compositions, which I wish to preserve. They bear a character of melancholy that nature and early sorrows have made the habitual disposition of my mind; this is all I shall venture to say of them, for they scarcely deserve the honours of a grave defence.

I have indeed endeavoured to correct some of their inaccuracies, yet I feel far more apprehension than usual at the publication of the present volume: this may be easily explained. I have long renounced any attempts in verse, confining my pen almost entirely to sketches of the events of the Revolution. I have seen

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what I relate, and therefore I have written with confidence; I have there been treading on the territory of History, and a trace of my footsteps will perhaps be left. My narratives make a part of that marvellous story which the eighteenth century has to record to future times, and the testimony of a witness will be heard. Perhaps, indeed, I have written too little of events which I have known so well; but the convulsions of states form accumulations of private calamity that distract the attention by overwhelming the heart, and it is difficult to describe the shipwreck when sinking in the storm.

Four poems only of this collection have any reference to public events. The first in the order of time is one of my earliest productions, and appeared many years ago under the title of Peru; which title, although vague, seemed to promise far more than it performed. I have now adopted what appears to me a more appropriate denomination, that of Peruvian Tales in Verse; I have not ventured to dignify them with the appellation of historical, although they are chiefly composed of facts taken from Robertson's History of Spanish America, which first suggested the idea of this subject to my mind. In relating the adventures of that period, it was little

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necessary to seek to inspire interest by having recourse to fiction; misery and oppression have at all times composed the great materials of human history, and the fashion has not passed away; it may be traced from the fifteenth to the nineteenth century, from the invasion of Peru to that of Naples.* With respect to the Peruvian Tales I shall only add, that I have corrected them with care, and, above all, have found sufficient time to make them shorter.

The second poem to which I allude is entitled "A Poem on the Bill passed for regulating the Slave Trade." This Bill was passed a short time before that glorious law, by which England renounced for ever her share of oppression. On the Continent of Europe, egotism, and an antient respect for abuses, have raised an army of opponents to the abolition; and their path has not yet been crossed by a Wilberforce or a Clarkson--
          "In Heaven they write
                 Names, such as their's , in characters of light"+

* The events which took place twenty years ago at Naples were well fitted to be the precursors of those that have followed. The sketch I published in 1801, of the Revolution of Naples in 1799, together with copies of the original documents of the violated treaty, which were confided to me by the persons in whose possession they had been placed, have been inserted by Mr. Belsham in his continuation of Hume, and have therefore become a part of history.

+ Mr. Rogers' Human Life, p. 15.

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The third poem I have to mention is an Ode on the taking of the Bastille. Of that event I shall only say, in those eloquent words,* which have hung on my recollection across the lapse of years, and amidst scenes of revolutionary danger, "it was an action not to be excused but applauded; not to be pardoned but admired: I shall not descend to vindicate acts which history will teach the remotest posterity to admire, and which is destined to kindle in unborn millions the holy enthusiasm of freedom."

The fourth poem which bears on its brow the mark of politics, is an Ode on the Peace signed between the French and English at Amiens, in the year 1801. I shall offer no apology either for the sentiments or predictions contained in that little poem. It is so easy to make mistakes in the common calculations of life, that error may well be pardoned in marking the phases of a mighty revolution, which sweeps away hopes and predictions with other things, and leaves us to perceive too late that we have "read the book of destiny amiss."+ The only memorable circumstance in the history of this Ode is its having

* Answer of Sir James Mackintosh to Burke.

+Mrs. Barbauld's Corsica.

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incurred the displeasure of Buonaparte: he found it in a corner of the Morning Chronicle, and it was translated into French by his order. He pretended to be highly irritated at the expression "encircled by thy subject-waves," applied to England, and which he said was treasonable towards France; but what he really resented was, that his name was not once pronounced in the Ode. However singular it may seem that he should have paid the slightest attention to such a circumstance, it is nevertheless true. The ambitious find time for every thing, and while they appear to be wholly absorbed by great objects, never lose sight of the most minute if connected with their own egotism. Buonaparte is no more; and perhaps we are too much disposed to forgive his treasons against liberty in favour of the expiation he has made. But those who have abused power must not escape the sentence of posterity because they were unfortunate. Buonaparte must appear at the bar of history to give an account of his legions, and of that immense stock of human happiness confided to his care, and which he, guilty spendthrift, threw away.

I shall add no further observations respecting the following poems; previous apologies soften little of critical rigour, and, considered as a stranger in Eng-

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land (although my heart throbs at its name), my portion of indulgence will perhaps be scanty. My literary patrons belonged to "the days of other years," when a ray of favour sometimes fell on my early essays in verse. I can now only expect that, it being the nature of the English public to be just, I shall meet with no more severity than I deserve.

BEFORE I close these pages I cannot resist seizing the occasion of protesting against the opinions which have of late gone forth in England, respecting "the present degenerate State of Science and Literature in France." I consider it the more a duty to offer some remarks on this subject, these assertions having been made under the high authority of a Journal no less distinguished for its liberal principles than for the ability with which it is written. An accusation therefore, coming from that quarter, against modern France, wears something like an air of justice.

The professors of science in this country may indeed be safely left to defend themselves. The learned only are fit to be their own judges, and I know not what my eulogium could add to such names as those of La Place, Delambre, Hauy, Cuvier, Jus-

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sieu, Gay-Lussac, Arrago, Biot, Thenard, and many others worthy to augment the list. Some of those persons belong, from their age to the new order of things; and others, whose talents had already shed lustre on the old monarchy, proceeded in their learned labours during the course of the Revolution, and even amidst the crimes that marked the reign of terror, as if they sought to console mankind for those passing horrors by the eternal lessons of wisdom and truth. What, for instance, can be more noble and affecting than the conduct of Condorcet and Rabaut St. Etienne, at that period? who, while hors la loi , and certain, if their retreat were discovered, of being dragged without trial to the scaffold, pursued with the calmness of a superior nature the lofty speculations of philosophy, and left posthumous works, in which they disdained to make the slightest allusion to their own desperate situation, which for both terminated in death!*

* This last work of Condorcet is entitled "Sur la Perfectibilité de l'Homme ;" that of Rabaut St. Etienne Was a "Treatise on Public Instruction," which fell into the hands of the Omars of the day, and was destroyed. But a collection of his letters that have been preserved, and are now in the possession of Madam Rabaut-Pommier, his sister-in-law, will be published; they throw more light on the first years of the Revolution than any work that has yet appeared. He has also left a collection of Sermons, which he had preached in "the Desert," the sole temple of the French Protestants before the Revolution.

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It being my particular purpose at present to plead the cause of the Poets, I shall hastily pass over the merits of the French literati, and the orators at the bar and in the legislature, who have acquired celebrity under the auspices of liberty. It would indeed be superfluous to relate what is already well known; to repeat, for instance, that the admirable philosophical discourses of M. Daunou on history, the brilliant memoirs of M. Le Montey, the transcendent genius of Madame de Stael, belong to the new order of things; or, that at the bar, Dupin, Odillon-Barrot, Berville, the advocates of freedom, may stand with brow erect before the celebrated lawyers of the old despotism, who perhaps possessed equal abilities, but defended a less noble cause.

French eloquence, shackled in a thousand ways before the Revolution, burst at once into splendour, when the delegates of the people were permitted to proclaim their rights, and discuss their interests. The Constituent Assembly furnished models of public speaking; and the small minority of the Convention, the immortal members of the Gironde, proved that the purest source of eloquence is found in the love of liberty; they who, after having vainly pleaded her cause, gloriously died in its defence: and such men,

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among whom are found the Hampdens, the Sidneys, the Russels of their country, have been styled, in a tone of irony, "revolutionary worthies!" and this expression is not found in a manifesto of the Holy Alliance, dated from their head-quarters at Naples, but comes from the head-quarters of science, literature, and liberal principles, at Edinburgh!

When, after the fall of Buonaparte, the legislators ceased to be mute, eloquence revived with the use of speech. The most splendid talents in the Chamber of Deputies belong exclusively to the minority; the partizans of the past can boast of no such orators as Benjamin Constant, Royer-Collard, Daunou, General Foy, Chauvelin, Manuel, Saint-Aulaire, François de Nantes, D'Argenson, Dupont de L'Eure, Girardin, Etienne, Bignot, &c. Arguments and votes are found, indeed, to have little connection at the appel-nominal , but reason and eloquence have a mighty power over public opinion, not only in France but throughout Europe. The enlightened traveller now visits Paris, not merely to gaze upon the façade of the Louvre, or the master-pieces of art; he hastens to the sanctuary where the great interests of mankind are nobly defended, and where the vanquished obtain the palms.

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Before I attempt to give a Sketch of the Influence of the Revolution on French Poetry, it may be proper to repeat, what I have already observed in a work lately published, that, in this country, politics have long absorbed almost entirely the public mind; not only on account of their magnitude, but because the connection of political events with the fate of individuals is here far more immediate and overwhelming than in old settled governments. It has, indeed, been pretended that, the Revolution being now terminated, the people have given their dismission from public affairs; but this is not quite exact: if they no longer place themselves in the breach, they still maintain a post of observation, and their vigilant jealousy of the Charter, sole compensation of all their sacrifices, leaves them little leisure for letters and arts. Yet at every period of the Revolution, even at the gloomy epocha of terror, there existed some minds who sought in books their most soothing consolations amidst their own dangers, or, which perhaps they found more difficult to bear, the dangers of those who were dear to them. It requires to have been in such perilous situations to know the rapture of turning for a moment to Literature, from the turbulence of a world in commotion. Even then, also, were

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found a chosen few worthy to guard the vestal flame of the Muses; and the complainings of the poet were heard at intervals amidst the fury of the political tempest. The great event of the Revolution has had an influence in this country on the whole existence of man; on his thoughts, his principles, his manners, and his taste; and no doubt Poetry has been subject to its irresistible ascendency. From the natural connection that exists between our feelings and our situation, a new state of society must have led the vivid imagination of the poet to new images, and his heart, tremblingly awake to every human sympathy, must have felt new emotions. Enough has been said of the crimes of the Revolution, and perhaps too little of those examples of self-abrogation, those deeds of devotedness, those sublime public virtues, which seem to slumber in the soul in ordinary times, and which it requires the greatness of such a circumstance to call forth. The contemplation of those noble actions, piercing like the beautiful colours of the rainbow through the blackness of the cloud, and seeming also the symbols of security on which man might still repose, were well fitted to awaken lofty thoughts, and produce those habits of deep and serious meditation which gave birth to the marvels of intellectual energy.

Louis the Fourteenth has, indeed, the glory of

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giving his name to the Augustan age of literature in France; but there can be no reason on that account to believe that superstition and slavery are favourable to letters. What is there in common between despotism and genius? they may meet together, like many an ill-assorted pair, but the union was never made in heaven, and every generous feeling of our nature conspires to forbid the banns. Had Racine lived in our days, no doubt his mind would have taken a different tone, and feeling; he would have written more after his own heart; far from the ceremonial of a court by which he was sometimes shackled, he would have seized the philosophic spirit of the times, and allied the fervour of the patriot with the pathetic tenderness of the poet; and surely he would never have died of despondency because a monarch, on whose reign his divine genius sheds so bright a lustre, gave him an angry look.*

* The Revolution has even created a new phraseology in France. Many new words have been introduced, the result of new circumstances. But this is a truth which the French admit with reluctance: they tremble at the slightest innovation in their language, and consider every addition to its vocabulary as a profanation. Those upstart words seem despised like the people, by the privileged orders, for having no ancestry. The French Academy stedfastly persist in excluding many parliamentary terms which the Chamber of Deputies have resolutely adopted. Even the word Budjet , although a most uncouth sound to a French ear, is completely naturalized, in defiance of the Academicians. The new denomination of romantic in literature, gives a French critic the same kind of shivering fit, as that of liberal in politics produces on the nerves of an ultra .

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It were easy to exemplify the propitious effects which the new order of things has produced on Poetry in many remarkable instances but I shall confine myself to a few examples. There existed two poets in France at the period of the revolution, pre-eminent above the rest: Le Brun, and Delille. Their poetry differed as much as their political opinions; that of Le Brun is daring and original; that of Delille elegant and polished; but the Revolution exerted a powerful influence on both. Le Brun hailed that event with all the fervour of an impassioned spirit; his patriotic odes, and invocations to Liberty have
     "Thoughts that breathe, and words that burn."

Liberty lends his age new fires, and gives his muse the exulting glow of youth; he sweeps the chords of his lyre with a bolder hand, and draws forth tones of more lofty inspiration; he stamps upon his verse all the vehemence of his political sentiments, and proves that what Pope has said of the sorrows of love may be applied to the triumphs of liberty:
      "He best can paint them who shall feel them most."

Le Brun sometimes honoured me with his visits, and loved to recite his poetical compositions, even to a large circle; this is one of the last things a man of letters in England would chuse to undertake; but it

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has always been the practice and the fashion, under every regime, in France. His tall meagre form, and his long thin visage, became full of animation while he repeated his verses; he seemed possessed by a kind of poetic furor; his eye flashed fire, his voice was sonorous; but, with a temper impetuous as his song, he could bear no interruption; irritated by the slightest movement, the lowest whisper in the apartment, he would suddenly pause, and sometimes inflexibly refuse to proceed. Irascible in his temper, warm in his friendships, and no less violent in his enmities, he excelled in epigram, which he could point with a cruel skill that never missed its aim. Upon the whole, it cannot be denied that Le Brun was a greater poet for having witnessed the Revolution; that his muse took a higher flight after escaping from the trammels in which poetry had been confined in France; and that, by mingling the dearest interests of mankind with the passionate language of the muse, he gave his divine art a charm and an empire till then unknown in his country.*

* Le Brun had the good fortune to have a poet for the editor of his works, M. Guingené, who was a member of the Institute, well known for his taste and erudition, for many elegant literary and poetical productions, and an history of Italian literature, which is considered as a classical work. The memory of this accomplished and enlightened friend of liberty, will ever be cherished by those who enjoyed the privilege of his society, and the fascinating powers of his conversation.

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Delille, the contemporary of Le Brun, and like him advanced in age at the period of the Revolution, was one of its most resolute antagonists. But we are sometimes subject, by a sort of fatality, to the influence of what we hate; Delille, impelled by his political opinions to emigrate, took refuge in England, where he no doubt enlarged the sphere of his ideas, acquired perhaps more greatness of thought, and enriched his imagination with bolder images. While devoted to old systems of politics, he learnt to adorn the new systems of science with the most beautiful colouring of poetry. Even their rugged nomenclature becomes flexible to the will of the hand who possessed a peculiar power of bending the French language to his purpose, while he preserved all its grace and harmony.

Thus a new situation combined with the general progress of modern improvement and discovery, to make Delille a greater poet, in spite of his political prejudices, and almost against his will. He would have been satisfied to look at what could be seen of nature by a poet's eye, through the narrow casements of a gothic castle; but he was borne down the torrent-stream of the Revolution, and his muse was

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forced to walk abroad amidst scenery of more extensive beauty and sublimer grandeur.

There belongs to Delille's character a moral excellence which cannot be passed unnoticed, and that was his stedfast adherence to his principles. He was called, in the eloquent language of M. de Chateaubriand, "le courtisan de l'adversité;" and he has been celebrated also for his unshaken fidelity by a young poet now no more, Charles Loyson,* who has joined with the name of Delille that of the venerable poet and patriot Ducis, the translator of Hamlet and Macbeth. Ducis braved far longer than Delille the power of Buonaparte; refused all his gifts, and

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honours, the red ribbon, and the place of senator, and acquired the title of the last of the Romans. The following are the lines of Charles Loyson:
"Voyez-vous ce tyran? la foule en vain l'encense
"De Ducis, de Delille, il entend la silence,
"Qu'il soumette à ses loix l'Europe, et l'Univers,
"De leur muse inflexible il n'aura pas un vers."

Those who have passed through the various phases of a revolution, know how to appreciate the virtue of independence.*

* This young poet died not long since, of a consumption. His last composition, a farewell to life, is entitled "Le Jeune Poète au Lit de Mort ," where he laments his untimely fate in a strain of beautifully plaintive verse. I shall transcribe a few of the stanzas.

             "Couvrez mon lit de fleurs, couronnez-en ma tête;
             Placez, placez ma lyre en mes tremblantes mains;
             Je salûrai la mort par une hymne de fête;
             Vous, de mes derniers chants répéter les refrains.

             "Mais quel trouble s'élève en mon âme affaiblie?
             Pourquoi tombent soudain ces transports généreux?
             Mes regards, malgré moi, se tournent vers la vie,
             Et ma lyre ne rend que des sons douloureux.

             "Malheureux que je suis! je n'ai rien fait encore
             Qui puisse du tré pas sauver mon souvenir!
             J'emporte dans la tombe un nom que l'on ignore,
             Et tout entier la mort m'enlève à l'avenir!"

Among the poets whose compositions have embellished the Revolution, and softened its stern aspect, Chenier seems to require a particular mention, because he has been attacked with peculiar severity, not in his writings, but in his moral character; he is accused of nothing less than being an accomplice in the murder of his brother, or, at least, of having made no effort to save him from the scaffold. This

* It must be acknowledged that the fine arts too often follow the impulsion of power. Of this the first exhibition of painting at the Louvre, after the Restoration, furnished a striking evidence. We had been accustomed to see nothing but battles on every canvas, and the figure of Napoleon ever in the foreground of the piece. But suddenly "all pomp and circumstance of war" disappeared; the snows of Wagram stained with blood melted away; the fields of Austerlitz and Jena sunk from the horizon; and marshals, soldiers, cannon, precipices, camps, and broken bridges, were all swept into one common ruin. The walls were crowded with Madonas and processions, and not one single warrior fixed the eye but the good Henry the Fourth, always dear indeed to the French, and to whom they have never forgotten their allegiance.

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accusation is a detestable calumny, and the story of the letter comparing him to Cain, a fable invented by his relentless enemies. Chenier was naturally of a timid disposition, which served as a pretext for those horrible suggestions; but there is the most positive evidence that he pleaded for his brother with all the energy of which he was capable; and what evidence would it require to believe the contrary? It is true that Chenier omitted doing one thing which would have silenced his adversaries, and that was to die with his brother, whom he could not save: he had perhaps no other way left of obliging them to admit that he had done what he could. There are cases in times of revolution in which dying is the only means of escaping censure. Chenier had talents that excited envy, without having those qualities of the heart that obtain pardon for intellectual superiority; he was not amiable, either in the French or English definition of the term; his manners had no charm, and his virtues no gentleness. His genius for poetry was allied with a distinguished taste for the kindred art of music; his voluntaries on the piano were delightful, and he possessed a fine voice; but when asked to play or sing, he never forgot to refuse; he sat down at the instrument to please himself, and if he gave pleasure to others it

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was not his fault. When I first came to France he inhabited the same hotel with myself and my family, and used to pass his evenings in our society. When we were dragged to prison in the time of terror, as guilty of being born in England, Chenier happened to meet us as we descended the staircase, surrounded by soldiers and revolutionary commissaries, and passed by us without daring to take off his hat. This slight circumstance serves to shew that he was a timid man; but there are many gradations in morals between weakness and the barbarous sacrifice of a brother. Had Chenier been a terrorist, of which he is accused, he would have had no dangers to dread; guilt was the order of the day, and had nothing to fear but its own reproaches. Chenier's apprehensions never led him to join that sanguinary faction, like some others, whose apostacy at that fatal period gave occasion to observe, that in moments of peril nothing is more atrocious than fear. He was an object of suspicion to Robespierre, and had his tyranny been prolonged, would no doubt have been his victim. The writings of Chenier are all on the side of freedom and philosophy; he was one of the poets who were best inspired by the new order of things; and if he had not the courage as a legislator to "wield a fierce demo-

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cracy, and thunder in the forum," he has in his quality of poet nobly defended the cause of his country. It must ever be lamented that, like too many French philosophers, he had not learnt to separate the abuses of Catholicism from the doctrines of Christianity. He wished to instruct man to break the chains of superstition: but he sent the unbound captive to wander amidst the deserts of infidelity, without one hope to cheer his path.

France is still rich in tragic poets. The tragedies of Chenier, Reynouard, Le Mercier, Arnaud, Jouy, Casimir and De Lavigne, are composed in the most philosophical spirit. Instead of compelling the sages and heroes of antiquity to talk the language of modern gallantry, the passions and the sorrows of the drama are connected with the great political interests of mankind; and on the French stage this is now the surest way of awakening that contagious sympathy, which becomes so powerful when the audience are already of one mind. The most popular piece that has appeared for a long time on the French stage is the new tragedy of "Sylla," by M. Jouy. It is a noble production of genius; and the poet has displayed in Sylla many features of a family likeness with our own modern dictator. Liberty is destroyed in Rome,

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and nothing but victory is left. The Roscius of our times gives also a peculiar interest to the piece, when, wrapping himself in his purple robe, he seizes so precisely the fugitive tones and gestures of Napoleon, which are not yet traditional, but in the memory of all, that it seems as if the perturbed spirit had swept along the surges, and returned to tread the scene. When Talma exclaims,
"Du poids de ma grandeur plus accablé que vous,
"Je viens briser le joug qui nous fatiguait tous,"

and throws aside the purple, and breaks his golden palm, we recollect that it was expected by many that Napoleon would have performed the same part at the Champ de Mai. Had he done so, he would probably have changed his own destiny, and that of Europe.

In the beautiful and pathetic tragedy of M. de Lavigne, entitled "The Paria," one passage (conveying a lesson of tolerance) was applauded with rapture, which the young poet probably borrowed from Shakespeare. The Paria, who is the hero of the piece, belongs to a reprobated caste of the Hindoos; he exclaims, speaking of the Divinity,
"Nous sommes ses enfans. Comme sur leur visage
"N'a-t-il pas sur le nôtre imprimé son image?--

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"Ces mortels, comme nous, sont condamnés aux larmes,
"Soumis aux mêmes maux, blessé des mêmes armes;
"Les mêmes passions nous brûlent de leurs feux;
"Ils souffrent comme nous, et nous aimons comme eux."

M. de Lavigne had perhaps read "Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?"

France has been always rich in comic authors, and she can now boast of Picard, Duval, Merville,* Andrieux, and others of distinguished merit. Andrieux is professor of poetry at the College de France, and no one knows better than himself the secret of attracting a crowded audience. He encourages his pupils in their love of study, and never mingles, with invocations to the genius of antient Greece and Rome, any philippics against liberal principles, or treats the rising generation, like some others, with as much acrimony as if it were a misdemeanor to be young. Professors may argue, and statesmen may

*A new comedy by M. Merville, entitled "Les Quatre Ages ," has very lately appeared at the Théâtre Français, and obtained the distinguished applause it deserved. The dramatic censors had indeed clipped several fine passages respecting the French youth, but the public perceived that a great deal of beauty and merit had escaped their inexorable scissars. In picturing the four ages of man, it was natural to say something of the generous sentiments that belong to the young; but that part of the community is so obnoxious, not only to the ultras of France, but the ultras of all Europe, that a foreign minister at Verona lately proposed, it is said, to the Congress, the following arrêté : "La Jeunesse Française est, et demeuré supprimée!"

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knit their brows: but they might as well hope to change the course and order of nature, as teach the youth of France to unlearn the lesson of their lives, and adopt opinions that are falling, like their partizans, into old age and decrepitude. How will the young be persuaded that the principles on which the Revolution is founded are less true, because the adherents of the past consider the Revolution as an innovation; or, that absolute power is better than liberty, because it has the merit of being old? The young have a chord in their hearts which vibrates to noble impulses; they have reached that glowing hour of enthusiasm when visions of perfection and happiness visit the imagination; when liberty wears an angel form, and is not merely hailed as a principle, but adored as a passion. The youth of France know that freedom is the dear-bought legacy which the Revolution has bequeathed them, and they understand the price and value of their patrimony. They have thrown aside the levity of the French youth heretofore; they are less gay, less brilliant: but their minds have more dignity and elevation; their manners are simple, and their thoughts are serious; for they feel that their conduct must solve the great question, whether France is worthy to be free. They have also

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been nurtured amidst stupendous circumstances, and have seen in some sort, living, and embodied before their eyes, events of such magnitude, as the youth of other countries have only marvelled at in their school-books; where, perhaps amidst the ordinary occurrences of history, some tattered page, the record of freedom or glory, denotes in its worn condition how often it has been turned over. It is indeed a part of the delinquency of their age to be irritable; they may be won by confidence, but they would rebel against oppression, for they have not reached that period when the buoyant spirit recedes into timidity; when sacrifices and self-devotedness lose their perilous charm, and caution takes its place among the virtues. But while they guard their rights they remember their duties, and injustice alone would find in them "something that's dangerous." They have also, in the midst of the lengthened controversy between old and new politics, Time for their auxiliary, impelling them forward with vigorous wings, and brushing from his broad pinion the decaying obstacles in his way.

I shall transcribe the names of only a few poets to whom we owe some elegant compositions; such as Vigée, Tissot, Merville, Millvoye, Viennet; Madame

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de Salm, Madame Dufresnoy, and Madame Victoire Babois.* Esmenard's poem "On Navigation" is considered as a classical work.+

One of the most popular poets of the present time is M. Beranger, a writer of such songs as rather merit the name of odes, or hymns to liberty. They are for the most part local, and therefore would be less relished elsewhere than in France, where the allusions to persons and things are seized upon instantaneously; some are of a more general nature, and prove that a great deal of philosophy may be comprized in the burden of a song. M. Beranger lately published a collection of these celebrated compositions, of which an immense number were sold in a few days; but he was guilty of casting a shade over his glory, by inserting some productions which religion and morals are, alas, compelled to put on their index . His genius was rich enough to have been less parsimonious of a few pages which the Muse of His-

* Madame de Salm has written several didactic poems of great merit; she is eminently the poet of reason; Madame Dufresnoy has acquired great celebrity by some beautiful love elegies, and some philosophical essays in prose; and Madame Victoire Babois has composed a succession of elegiac complaints on the loss of an only child. It has been said of the famous French actress, Mlle. Duchesnois, "qu'elle a des larmes dans la voix;" and with no less propriety, it may be said of Madame Babois, that there are tears in her words.

+M. Esmenard, and the Marquis de Boufflers did me the honour of translating some of the following Poems into French verse.

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tory would wish, as she did for the Great Condé, to tear out. M. Beranger ought to have remembered that he also belongs to History: Anacreon is as well known to posterity as Themistocles. M. Beranger was tried for sedition, and condemned to a short imprisonment; while in captivity he caused his trial to be published, and inserted the forbidden songs on which his condemnation was founded. For that offence he was ordered to be tried a second time at the Cour D'Assises, the Old Bailey of Paris. There the poetical culprit appeared as on a scene of triumph. The court was filled with all the wits and the elegant women of Paris; he was defended by the admirable eloquence of M. Dupin, and the Jury were reminded by M. Berville of the fate that awaited the persecutors of the Muses in all ages; of his guilt who exiled Ovid; of the eternal infamy of him who imprisoned Tasso; and the recorded severity of him from whose presence Racine departed and died. M. Beranger was acquitted.

One young poet only in France M. La Martine, has ranged himself under the banners of power; he has addressed odes to the high-priest of intolerance the Abbé Menais; and invocations, not on stamped paper, but in Pindaric measures, to the

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Attorney General. M. La Martine has, however real talents, and his muse has, without his leave, borrowed energy from freedom.

I shall forbear further to enumerate the poets who have laid their votive offerings on the altar of liberty, and whom the austere critics of the north would perhaps call des illustres inconnues . They may be so in England, for a poet seldom acquires honour except in his own country; his name may be pronounced abroad, but he is only understood at home. It is the poetry of that language in which we have lisped in numbers, in which we first heard the voice that is dearest to us, in which we have breathed our earliest accents of joy and sorrow, that strongly affects the heart; that penetrates its inmost folds, and awakens its most deep-felt emotions: the poetry of a language which we have learnt with the dictionary has no such prerogative. My long residence in France qualifies me perhaps as much as any stranger to taste the charms of French poetry, and I am not insensible to its influence; but when I seek for consolation from verse I take up Pope, or Thomson. Science and History can be taught to speak every language, but Poetry knows only her own. The prejudices, therefore, that prevail every where against the poetry of other countries are natural enough; the poet is not

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understood by foreigners in his original tongue, and when his verse is translated, its enchantment is fled. Sir Walter Scott's novels have been read eagerly in French, but his poetry in its Parisian costume has lost all the simple graces of the Highland plaid; no Caledonian vapours hang upon the hill; no native voices are in the hall; the strings of the minstrel's harp are slackened, and there is little music in the murmurs of the Yarrow.

But it is time to conclude this imperfect sketch of the tendencies of the Revolution on poetry. If we are just, we shall not only absolve liberty of the crimes by which it has been profaned, but we shall beware of asserting that the new order of things has in any manner degenerated, rather than exalted the human mind, or enfeebled genius instead of giving fresh strength to its pinion. No; the Revolution has produced more energy of talent, more seriousness of thought, more virtue, more philanthropy, and more religion, than existed in this country at any former period. How can I resist mentioning, though it may be a digression, a recent and affecting proof of the progress of philanthropy, in the devotedness of the four French physicians, who lately hastened to pass the belt thrown around the desolate city of Barcelona,

Page xxxvii

to separate the living creation from the domain of death; who, like Howard, "plunged into the infection of hospitals," and while they risqued their lives for strangers, rejected the uncounted gold which the families of the sick threw at their feet, for services it would have profaned, but never could pay. These glorious philanthropists
"drew purer breath,
                "While Nature sicken'd, and each gale was death,"

with the exception of one young physician, M. Mazet, who fell the martyr of humanity. Two nations weep over his fate; two monuments will record his virtue. He has left a widowed mother to deplore his loss; but she may well exclaim, in the words of an English father, "I would not give my dead son for any living son in Christendom"*

*It seems scarcely necessary to mention the pilgrimage of les Soeurs de la Charité to attend the sick of Barcelona; pity is their vocation, and to them might be applied what was said by M. Thomas, the Celebrated academician, of the virtues of Madame Necker, "le roman des autres est son histoire ."

Religion is also become more than ever an object of respect in this country; there prevails a general ardour of inquiry, a general wish for light and information on that subject. The French feel the importance of having a religion, and the want of its compensations and its hopes. But it will readily be

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believed, that what the thinking part of so enlightened a people desire, is not the religion of the Jesuists; that it has nothing in common with the ravings of the missionaries, who fancy themselves Bossuets because they are fanatics; with the miracles of Amiens and of Saint Geneviéve, since she retook the Pantheon; or with that bigot zeal of proselytism, which, in its cruel perfidy, tears a Protestant child from her father, and teaches her that the way to merit heaven is to violate every duty on earth. Such vain and gloomy superstition may shelter itself under the banner of religion, as the guilty, in some countries, take refuge within the precincts of a temple; but it is no less reprehended by every liberal Catholic than by persons of other persuasions. The religion sought for by the French nation is that which is founded on the principles of rational inquiry, and on the sublime morality and the eternal truths of the Gospel; that religion, without which life in its utmost blessedness would be a path of weariness, but which, to those whose passage through the world has led them amidst such tremendous scenes as have convulsed society to its very foundations, is all that can calm the agitations of memory, all that can console for what is irreparable.

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I conclude with the wish that the above observations may have had some power to persuade the reader, that the Revolution has left some talents, some morality, and some religion in France.

Page xl


Since the foregoing pages were written, I have heard that Mr. O'Meara, in his Memoirs of Buonaparte, asserts that, having lent the Emperor a volume I published "On the Events of his Government of a Hundred Days," Buonaparte declared first, that it was a very silly composition, filled with a string of falsehoods; secondly, that he had never worn any other breastplate than his flannel-waistcoat; and thirdly, that the book, foolish as it was, must have been well paid . With regard to the imputation of my work being silly, it is before the Public and must defend itself; but when Buonaparte added "that it was filled with falsehoods," he well knew that all it uttered was truth; and indeed so much anger has something of a guilty air; nothing is calmer than innocence. With respect to the slight circumstance of his having worn, during the latter part of his reign, some kind of mysterious ægis beneath his flannel-waistcoat, I shall only repeat that it was a fact of public notoriety at Paris, and that it gave a very awkward appearance to his person. But

Page xli

I hasten from his coating to a far more serious allegation against me, that of having been well paid . What pages of my volume deserved best the recompense? Was it the tribute offered to Kosciusko, the hero of Poland; or to La Fayette, the veteran of liberty in two worlds? It is the misfortune of those who write in times of revolution, that every successive Government begins by proclaiming principles which the friend of liberty is tempted to applaud, and as regularly ends by governing in its own way. Exulting in the fall of one tyranny, the heart deludes itself with the hope of better things from new rulers, who take care, in their turn, to convict the dreamer of folly. All I said of Buonaparte, in that volume, were well known facts, upon which the stamp of fate was impressed, and which, while I traced them in a feeble sketch, History had already seized, and graven with her iron pen. If the glow of enthusiastic feeling were not one of the things which it is difficult to buy or sell, the person by whom I might most reasonably be suspected of having been heretofore paid, was Buonaparte himself. But no: when I offered incense at his shrine, when I never pronounced his name without emotion, he had no recompense to give: he was not then an Emperor. My first lavish

Page xlii

panegyric on Buonaparte, in my "Tour through Switzerland," was published before he went to Egypt, when no imperial diadem bound his brows, and he was only the Deliverer of Italy. At the date of my succeeding eulogium, in "A Sketch of the State of France towards the End of the Eighteenth Century," he was simply first Consul, with no other title than that of citizen; but I own I praised him as extravagantly as if consuls, like kings, could do no wrong. His imperial purple at length cured my enthusiasm, and no odes of my inditing hailed his coronation, or his marriage; I saluted with no acclamations the daughter of the Cæsars, and essayed no imitation of Pollio on the birth of the King of Rome.

Weary of military despotism, I rejoiced indeed in the deliverance of the country, although not insensible to the bitter pang which must have rankled in the breast of the fallen monarch; but while his misfortunes are pitied by the lovers of liberty, they must not be compelled to mourn over him as its friend. He! who finished the Revolution by undoing all it had done; who overthrew its best and most sacred institutions, with the mockery of a Senate that was prostrate, and a Legislature that was mute; who gave back to France her courtly pageantry her titles, her

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distinctions, her feudal majorats, and wrested from her those equal rights for which she had sacrificed them all; till at length his frantic ambition, unsatisfied with the inheritance of empires, brought hosts of strangers within the gates of the capital, while Liberty hid her prostrate head the dust. It was he who accustomed Europe to the action of immense masses of armed men, and thus gave rise to those Holy Alliances of bayonets, which hover over the nations with new invasions, new despotism and consequently new revolutions.

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Page [1]


Page [2]

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        WHILE envious crowds the summit view,
     Where Danger with Ambition strays;
        Or far, with anxious step, pursue
    Pale Av'rice, thro' his winding ways;
        The selfish passions in their train,
    Whose force the social ties unbind,
    And chill the love of human kind,
And make fond Nature's best emotions vain;

Page 4


        O, POESY ! O nymph most dear,
    To whom I early gave my heart,--
        Whose voice is sweetest to my ear
    Of aught in nature or in art;
        Thou, who canst all my breast controul,
    Come, and thy harp of various cadence bring,
    And long with melting music swell the string
That suits the present temper of my soul.

        O! ever gild my path of woe,
    And I the ills of life can bear;
        Let but thy lovely visions glow,
    And chase the forms of real care;
        O still, when tempted to repine
    At partial Fortune's frown severe,
    Wipe from my eyes the anxious tear,
And whisper that thy soothing joys are mine!

Page 5


        When did my fancy ever frame
    A dream of joy by thee unblest?
        When first my lips pronounc'd thy name,
    New pleasure warm'd my infant breast.
        I lov'd to form the jingling rhyme,
    The measur'd sounds, tho' rude, my ear could please,
    Could give the little pains of childhood ease,
And long have sooth'd the keener pains of time.


        The idle crowd in fashion's train,
    Their trifling comment, pert reply,
        Who talk so much, yet talk in vain,
    How pleas'd for thee, O nymph, I fly!
        For thine is all the wealth of mind,
    Thine the unborrow'd gems of thought;
        The flash of light by souls refin'd,
From heav'n's empyreal source exulting caught.

Page 6


    And ah! when destin'd to forego
The social hour with those I love,--
    That charm which brightens all below,
That joy all other joys above,
    And dearer to this breast of mine,
O Muse! than aught thy magic power can give,--
    Then on the gloom of lonely sadness shine,
And bid thy airy forms around me live.


        Thy page, O SHAKESPEARE ! let me view,
    Thine! at whose name my bosom glows;
        Proud that my earliest breath I drew
    In that blest isle where SHAKESPEARE rose!
        Where shall my dazzled glances roll?
    Shall I pursue gay Ariel's flight?
    Or wander where those hags of night
With deeds unnam'd shall freeze my trembling soul?

Page 7


        Plunge me, foul sisters! in the gloom
    Ye wrap around yon blasted heath:
        To hear the harrowing rite I come,
    That calls the angry shades from death!
        Away--my frighted bosom spare!
    Let true Cordelia pour her filial sigh,
    Let Desdemona lift her pleading eye,
And poor Ophelia sing in wild despair!


        When the bright noon of summer streams
    In one wide flash of lavish day,
        As soon shall mortal count the beams,
    As tell the powers of SHAKESPEARE'S lay!
        O, Nature's Poet! the untaught,
    The simple mind thy tale pursues,
    And wonders by what art it views
The perfect image of each native thought.

Page 8


        In those still moments, when the breast,
    Expanded, leaves its cares behind,
        Glows by some higher thought possest,
    And feels the energies of mind;
        Then, awful MILTON , raise the veil
    That hides from human eye the heav'nly throng!
    Immortal sons of light! I hear your song,
I hear your high-tun'd harps creation hail!


        Well might creation claim your care,
    And well the string of rapture move,
        When all was perfect, good, and fair,
    When all was music, joy, and love!
        Ere Evil's inauspicious birth
    Chang'd Nature's harmony to strife;
    And wild Remorse, abhorring life,
And deep Affliction, spread their shade on earth.

Page 9


    Blest Poesy! O, sent to calm
        The human pains which all must feel,
    Still shed on life thy precious balm,
        And every wound of nature heal!
        Is there a heart of human frame
    Along the burning track of torrid light,
    Or 'mid the fearful waste of polar night,
That never glow'd at thy inspiring name?


        Ye Southern Isles,* emerg'd so late
    Where the Pacific billow rolls,
        Witness, though rude your simple state,
    How heav'n-taught verse can melt your souls!
        Say, when you hear the wand'ring bard,
    How thrill'd ye listen to his lay,
    By what kind arts ye court his stay,--
All savage life affords his sure reward.

* "The song of the bards or minstrels of Otaheite was unpremeditated, and accompanied with music. They were continually going about from place to place; and they were rewarded by the master of the house with such things as the one wanted, and the other could spare." --Cook's Voyage.

Page 10


        So, when great HOMER 'S chiefs prepare,
    Awhile from War's rude toils releas'd,
        The pious hecatomb, and share
    The flowing bowl, and genial feast:
        Some heav'nly minstrel sweeps the lyre,
    While all applaud the poet's native art;
     For him they heap the viand's choicest part,
And copious goblets crown the Muse's fire.


        Ev'n here , in scenes of pride and gain,
    Where faint each genuine feeling glows;
         Here , Nature asks, in want and pain,
    The dear illusions verse bestows;
        The poor, from hunger, and from cold,
    Spare one small coin, the ballad's price,
    Admire their poet's quaint device,
And marvel much at all his rhymes unfold.

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        Ye children, lost in forests drear,
    Still o'er your wrongs each bosom grieves,
        And long the red-breast shall be dear,
    Who strew'd each little corpse with leaves;
        For you my earliest tears were shed,
    For you the gaudy doll I pleas'd forsook,
    And heard, with hands uprais'd, and eager look,
The cruel tale, and wish'd ye were not dead!


        And still on Scotia's northern shore,
    "At times, between the rushing blast,"
        Recording mem'ry loves to pour
    The mournful song of ages past;
        Come, lonely Bard "of other years!"
    While dim the half-seen moon of varying skies,
    While sad the wind along the grey moss sighs,
And give my pensive heart "the joy of tears!"

Page 12


        The various tropes that splendour dart
    Around the modern poet's line,
        Where, borrow'd from the sphere of art,
    Unnumber'd gay allusions shine,
        Have not a charm my breast to please
    Like the blue mist, the meteor's beam,
    The dark-brow'd rock, the mountain stream,
And the light thistle waving in the breeze.


        Wild Poesy, in haunts sublime,
     Delights her lofty note to pour;
        She loves the hanging rock to climb,
    And hear the sweeping torrent roar!
        The little scene of cultur'd grace
    But faintly her expanded bosom warms;
    She seeks the daring stroke, the awful charms,
Which Nature's pencil throws on Nature's face.

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        O, Nature! thou whose works divine
    Such rapture in this breast inspire,
        As makes me dream one spark is mine
    Of Poesy's celestial fire;
        When doom'd, "in cities pent," to leave
    The kindling morn's unfolding view,
     Which ever wears some aspect new,
And all the shadowy forms of soothing eve;


        Then, THOMSON , then be ever near,
    And paint whatever season reigns;
        Still let me see the varying year,
    And worship Nature in thy strains;
        Now, when the wint'ry tempests roll,
    Unfold their dark and desolating form,
    Rush in the savage madness of the storm,
And spread those horrors that exalt my soul!

Page 14


        And, POPE the music of thy verse
    Shall winter's dreary gloom dispel,
        And fond remembrance oft rehearse
    The moral song she knows so well;
        The sportive sylphs shall flutter here,--
    There Eloise, in anguish pale,
    "Kiss with cold lips the sacred veil,
"And drop with every bead too soft a tear!"


        When disappointment's sick'ning pain
    With chilling sadness numbs my breast,
        That feels its dearest hope was vain,
    And bids its fruitless struggles rest;
        When those for whom I wish to live,
    With cold suspicion wrong my aching heart;
    Or, doom'd from those for ever lov'd to part,
And feel a sharper pang than death can give;

Page 15


        Then with the mournful Bard I go,
    Whom "melancholy mark'd her own,"
        While tolls the curfew, solemn, slow,
    And wander amid graves unknown;
        With yon pale orb, lov'd poet, come!
    While from those elms long shadows spread,
    And where the lines of light are shed,
Read the fond record of the rustic tomb!


        Or let me o'er old Conway's flood
    Hang on the frowning rock, and trace
        The characters that, wove in blood,
    Stamp'd the dire fate of EDWARD'S race;
        Proud tyrant! tear thy laurell'd plume;
    How poor thy vain pretence to deathless fame!
    The injur'd Muse records thy lasting shame,
And she has power to "ratify thy doom."

Page 16


        Nature, when first she smiling came,
    To wake within the human breast
        The sacred Muse's hallow'd flame,
    And earth, with heav'n's rich spirit blest!
        Nature in that auspicious hour,
    With awful mandate, bade the Bard
    The register of glory guard,
And gave him o'er all mortal honours power.


        Can Fame on Painting's aid rely?
    Or lean on Sculpture's trophy'd bust?--
        The faithless colours bloom to die,
    The crumbling pillar mocks its trust;
        But thou, O Muse, immortal maid!
    Canst paint the godlike deeds that praise inspire,
    Or worth, that lives but in the mind's desire,
In tints that only shall with Nature fade!

Page 17


        O tell me, partial nymph! what rite,
    What incense sweet, what homage true,
        Draws from thy fount of purest light
    The flame it lends a chosen few?
        Alas! these lips can never frame
    The mystic vow that moves thy breast;
    Yet by thy joys my life is blest,
And my fond soul shall consecrate thy name.

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Description of Peru, and of its Productions--Virtues of the People;
and of their Monarch, ATALIBA --His love for ALZIRA --Their Nup-
tials celebrated--Character of ZORAI , her Father--Descent of the
Genius of Peru--Prediction of the Fall of that Empire.

     WHERE the Pacific deep in silence laves
The western shore, with slow, and languid waves,
There, lost PERUVlA ! bloom'd thy cultur'd bowers,
Thy vallies fragrant with perennial flowers;
There, far above, the Pine unbending rose,
Along the pathway of thy mountain snows;
The Palms fling high in air their feather'd heads,
While each broad leaf an ample shadow spreads;

Page 22

The Orange, and the rich Ananas bloom,
And humid Balsams ever shed perfume;
The Bark, reviving shrub! Ah, not in vain
Thy rosy blossoms tinge PERUVIA'S plain;
Ye fost'ring gales around those blossoms blow,
Ye balmy dew-drops o'er the tendrils flow!
Lo, as the health-diffusing plant aspires,
Disease relents, and hov'ring death retires;
Affection sees new lustre light the eye,
And feels her vanish'd peace again is nigh.
The Pacas,* and Vicunnas+ sport around,
And the meek Lamas+ , burden'd, press the ground.
The Mocking-bird his varying note essays,
And charms the grove with imitative lays;
The plaintive Humming-bird unfolds his wing
Of vivid plumage to the ray of spring;
Then sinks, soft burthen, on the humid flower,
His food, the dewdrops of the morning hour.

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    Nor less, PERUVIA , for thy favour'd clime,
The Virtues rose unsullied and sublime;
There melting Charity, with ardour warm,
Spreads her wide mantle o'er the shiv'ring form;
Cheer'd with the festal song her rural toils,
While in the lap of age she pour'd the spoils;*
There the mild Inca, ATALIBA sway'd,
His high behest the willing heart obey'd;
Descendant of a scepter'd, sacred race,
Whose origin from glowing suns they trace.
Love's soft emotions now his soul possest,
And fix'd ALZIRA'S image in his breast.
In that blest clime affection never knew
A selfish purpose, or a thought untrue;
Not as on Europe's shore, where wealth and pride,
From mourning love the venal breast divide;
Yet Love, if there from sordid shackles free,
One faithful bosom yet belongs to thee;

Page 24

On that fond heart the purest bliss bestow,
Or give, for thou canst give, a charm to woe;
Ah, never may that heart in vain deplore
The pang that tortures when belov'd no more.
And from that agony the spirit save,
When unrelenting yawns th' untimely grave;
When death dissolves the ties for ever dear,
When frantic passion pours her parting tear;
With all the wasting pains she only feels,
Hangs on the quiv'ring lip that silence seals;
Views fondness struggling in the closing eye,
And marks it mingling in the falt'ring sigh;
As the lov'd form, while folded to her breast,
Breathes the last moan that gives its struggles rest;
Leaves her to pine in grief that none can share,
And find the world a desert to despair.
    Bright was the lustre of the orient ray
That joyful wak'd ALZIRA'S nuptial day;
Her auburn hair spread loosely on the wind,
The virgin train with rosy chaplets bind;

Page 25

While the fresh flowers that form her bridal wreathe
Seem deeper hues and richer scents to breathe.
The gentle tribe now sought the hallow'd fane,
Where warbling vestals pour'd the choral strain;
There aged ZORAI his ALZIRA prest,
With love parental, to his anxious breast;
Priest of the Sun! within the sacred shrine
His fervent spirit breath'd the strain divine;
With careful hand the guiltless off'ring spread,
With pious zeal the clear libation shed.
Nor vain the incense of erroneous praise
When meek devotion's soul the tribute pays;
On wings of purity behold it rise,
While bending mercy wafts it to the skies!
PERUVIA ! O delightful land in vain
The virtues flourish'd on thy beauteous plain;
For soon shall burst the unrelenting storm
O'er thy mild head, and crush thy prostrate form!
Recording Fame shall mark thy desp'rate fate,
And distant ages weep for ills so great!

Page 26

Now o'er the deep dull Night her mantle flung,
Dim on the wave the moon's faint crescent hung;
PERUVIA'S Genius sought the liquid plain,
Sooth'd by the languid murmurs of the main;
When sudden clamour the illusion broke,
Wild on the surface of the deep it spoke;
A rising breeze expands her flowing veil,
Aghast with fear, she spies a flying sail--
The lofty mast impends, the banner waves,
The ruffled surge th' incumbent vessel laves;
With eager eye she views her destin'd foe
Lead to her peaceful shores th' advent'rous prow;
Trembling she knelt, with wild, disorder'd air,
And pour'd with frantic energy her prayer:
"O, ye avenging spirits of the deep!
Mount the blue lightning's wing, o'er ocean sweep;
Loud from your central caves the shell resound,
That summons death to your abyss profound;
Call the pale spectre from his dark abode,
To print the billow, swell the black'ning flood,

Page 27

Rush o'er the waves, the rough'ning deep deform,
Howl in the blast, and animate the storm--
Relentless powers! for not one quiv'ring breeze
Has ruffled yet the surface of the seas--
Swift from your rocky steeps ye Condors* stray,
Wave your black plumes, and cleave th' aerial way;
Proud in terrific force your wings expand,
Press the firm earth, and darken all the strand;
Bid the stern foe retire with wild affright,
And shun the region veil'd in partial night.
Vain hope, devoted land! I read thy doom,
My sad prophetic soul can pierce the gloom;
I see, I see my lov'd, my favour'd clime
Consum'd, and wasted in its early prime.
But not in vain this beauteous land shall bleed,
Too late shall Europe's race deplore the deed.
Region abhorr'd! be gold the tempting bane,
The curse that desolates thy hostile plain;

Page 28

May pleasure tinge with venom'd drops the bowl,
And luxury unnerve the sick'ning soul."
    Ah, not in vain she pour'd th' impassion'd tear;
Ah, not in vain she call'd the powers to hear!
When borne from lost PERUVIA'S bleeding land,
The guilty treasures beam'd on Europe's strand;
Each sweet affection fled the tainted shore,
And virtue wander'd, to return no more.

* The Paca is a domestic animal of Peru.

+ The Vicunna is a species of wild goat

+ The Lamas are employed as mules in carrying burdens.

* The people cheerfully assisted in reaping those fields of which the produce was given to old persons past their labour.

* The Condor is an inhabitant of the Andes. Its wings, when expanded, are said to be eighteen feet wide.

Page [29]



PIZARRO lands with the Forces--His meeting with ATALIBA --Its un-
happy consequences--ZORAI dies--ATALIBA imprisoned, and strangled
--Despair of ALZIRA .

    FLUSH'D with impatient hope, the martial band,
By stern PIZARRO led, approach the land;
No terrors arm his hostile brow, for guile
Seeks to betray with candour's open smile.
Too artless for distrust, the Monarch springs
To meet his latent foe on friendship's wings.
On as he moves, with dazzling splendour crown'd,
His feather'd chiefs the golden throne surround;
The waving canopy its plume displays,
Whose waving hues reflect the morning rays;

Page 30

With native grace he hails the warrior train,
Who stood majestic on PERUVIA'S plain,
In all the savage pomp of armour drest,
The frowning helmet, and the nodding crest.
Yet themes of joy PIZARRO'S lips impart,
And charm with eloquence the simple heart;
Unfolding to the monarch's wond'ring thought
All that inventive arts the rude have taught.
And now he bids the musing spirit rise
Above the circle of surrounding skies;
Presents the page that sheds Religion's light
O'er the dark mist of intellectual night:
While, thrill'd with awe, the monarch trembling stands,
He dropp'd the hallow'd volume from his hands.
Sudden,* while frantic zeal each breast inspires,
And shudd'ring demons fan the rising fires,
The bloody signal waves, the banners play,
The naked sabres flash their streaming ray;

Page 31

The trumpet rolls its animating sound,
And the loud cannon rend the vault around;
While fierce in sanguine rage, the sons of Spain
Rush on Peru's unarm'd, defenceless train!
The fiends of slaughter urg'd their dire career,
And virtue's guardian spirits dropped a tear!
Mild ZORAI fell, deploring human strife,
And clos'd with prayer his consecrated life!--
In vain PERUVIA'S chiefs undaunted stood,
Shield their lov'd Prince, and bathe his robes in blood;--
Touch'd with heroic ardour, cling around,
And high of soul, receive each fatal wound;

Page 32

Dragg'd from his throne, and hurried o'er the plain,
The wretched Monarch swells the captive train;
With iron grasp the frantic Prince they bear,
And feel their triumph in his wild despair.--
Deep in the gloomy dungeon's lone domain,
Lost ATALIBA wore the galling chain;
The earth's cold bed refus'd oblivious rest,
While throbb'd the woes of thousands at his breast;
ALZIRA'S desolating moan he hears,
And with the monarch's blends the lover's tears.
Soon had ALZIRA felt affliction's dart
Pierce her soft soul, and rend her bleeding heart;
Its quick pulsations paus'd, and chill'd with dread,
A livid hue her fading cheek o'erspread;
No tear the mourner shed, she breath'd no sigh,
Her lips were mute, and clos'd her languid eye;
Fainter, and slower heav'd her shiv'ring breast,
And her calm'd passions seem'd in death to rest.--
At length reviv'd, 'mid rising heaps of slain,
She prest with hurried step the crimson plain;

Page 33

The dungeon's gloomy depth she fearless sought,
For love with scorn of danger arm'd her thought:
She reach'd the cell where ATALIBA lay,
Where human vultures haste to seize their prey.--
In vain her treasur'd wealth PERUVIA gave,
This dearer treasure from their grasp to save;
ALZIRA ! lo, the ruthless murd'rers come,
This moment seals thy ATALIBA'S doom.
Ah, what avails the shriek that anguish pours?
The look that mercy's lenient aid implores?
Torn from thy clinging arms, thy throbbing breast,
The fatal cord his agony supprest!--
In vain the livid corpse she firmly clasps,
And pours her sorrows o'er the form she grasps,
The murd'rers soon their struggling victim tear
From the lost object of her soul's despair!
The swelling pang unable to sustain,
Distraction throbb'd in every beating vein;
Its sudden tumults seize her yielding soul,
And in her eye distemper'd glances roll--

Page 34

"They come!" the mourner cried with panting breath,
"To give the lost ALZIRA rest in death!
One moment more, ye bloody forms, bestow,
One moment more for ever cares my woe--
Lo! where the purple evening sheds her light
On blest remains! O! hide them, pitying night!
Slow in the breeze I see the verdure wave,
That shrouds with tufted grass my lover's grave;
Hark! on its wand'ring wing in mildness blows
The murm'ring gale, nor wakes his deep repose--
And see, yon hoary form still lingers there!
Dishevell'd by rude winds his silver hair;
O'er his chill'd bosom falls the winter rain,
I feel the big drops on my wither'd brain.
Not for himself that tear his bosom steeps,
For his lost child it flows--for me he weeps!
No more the dagger's point shall pierce thy breast,
For calm and lovely is thy silent rest;
Yet still in dust these eyes shall see thee roll,
Still the sad thought shall waste ALZIRA'S soul--

Page 35

What bleeding phantom moves along the storm?
It is my ATALIBA'S well-known form!
Approach! ALZIRA'S breast no terrors move,
Her fears are all for ever lost in love.
Safe on the hanging cliff I now can rest,
And press its pointed pillow to my breast--
He weeps! in heaven he weeps!--I feel his tear--
It chills my trembling heart, yet still 'tis dear.
To him all joyless are the realms above,
That pale look speaks of pity and of love!
Ah come, descend in yonder bending cloud,
And wrap ALZIRA in thy misty shroud!"
As roll'd her wand'ring glances wild around,
She snatch'd a reeking sabre from the ground;
Firmly her lifted hand the weapon prest,
And deep she plung'd it in her panting breast!
" 'Tis but a few short moments that divide "--
She falt'ring said--then sunk on earth and died!

* Pizarro, who during a long conference had with difficulty restrained his soldiers, eager to seize the rich spoils of which they had now so near a view, immediately gave the signal of assault. At once the martial music struck up, the cannon and muskets began to fire, the horse sallied out fiercely to the charge, the infantry rushed on sword in hand. The Peruvians, astonished at the suddenness of an attack which they did not expect, and dismayed with the destructive effects of the fire-arms, fled with universal consternation on every side. Pizarro, at the head of his chosen band, advanced directly towards the Inca; and though his nobles crowded around him with officious zeal, and fell in numbers at his feet, while they vied one with another in sacrificing their own lives that they might cover the sacred person of their sovereign, the Spaniards soon penetrated to the royal seat; and Pizarro, seizing the Inca by the arm, dragged him to the ground, and carried him a prisoner to his quarters. Robertson's History of America.

Page [36]



PIZARRO takes possession of Cuzco--The fanaticism of VALVERDA , a
Spanish priest--Its dreadful effects--A Peruvian priest put to the tor-
ture--His Daughter's distress--He is rescued by LAS CASAS , a Spa-
nish ecclesiastic--And led to a place of safety, where he dies--His
Daughter's narration of her sufferings--Her death.

    Now stern PIZARRO seeks the distant plains,
    Where beauteous Cuzco lifts her golden fanes.
    The meek Peruvians gaz'd in wild dismay,
    Nor barr'd the dark Oppressor's sanguine way;
    And soon on Cuzco, where the dawning light
    Of glory shone, foretelling day more bright,
    Where the young arts had shed unfolding flowers,
    A scene of spreading desolation lowers!

Page 37

    While buried deep in everlasting shade,
    That lustre sickens, and those blossoms fade.
    And yet, devoted land, not gold alone,
    Or dire ambition wak'd thy rising groan;
    For lo! a fiercer fiend, with joy elate,
    Feasts on thy suff'rings, and impels thy fate:
    Fanatic Fury rears her sullen shrine,
    Where vultures prey, where venom'd adders twine;
    Her savage arm with purple torrents stains
    Thy rocking temples, and thy falling fanes;
    Her blazing torches flash the mounting fire,
    She grasps the sabre, and she lights the pyre;
    Her voice is thunder rending the still air,
    Her glance the baleful lightning's lurid glare;
    Her lips unhallow'd breathe their impious strain,
    And pure Religion's sacred voice profane;
    Whose precepts pity's mildest deeds approve,
    Whose law is mercy, and whose soul is love.
    And see, fanatic Fury wakes the storm--
    She wears the stern VALVERDA'S hideous form;

Page 38

    His bosom never felt another's woes,
    No shriek of anguish breaks its dark repose.
    The temple nods--an aged form appears--
    He beats his breast, he rends his silver hairs--
    VALVERDA drags him from the blest abode,
    Where his meek spirit humbly sought its God;
    See, to his aid his child, soft ZILIA , springs,
    And steeps in tears the robe to which she clings!
    Now bursting from PERUVIA'S frighted throng,
    Two warlike youths impetuous rush'd along;
    One grasp'd his twanging bow with furious air,
    While in his troubled eye sat fierce despair;
    But all in vain his erring weapon flies,
    Pierc'd by a thousand wounds, on earth he lies.
    His drooping head the trembling ZILIA rais'd,
    And on the youth in speechless anguish gaz'd;
    While he who fondly shared his danger flew,
    And from his bleeding breast a poignard drew.
    "Deep in my faithful bosom let me hide
    The fatal steel that would our souls divide,"--

Page 39

    He quick exclaims--the dying warrior cries
    "Ah yet forbear!--by all the sacred ties
    That bind our hearts, forbear!"--in vain he spoke,
    Friendship with frantic zeal impels the stroke!
    "Thyself for ever lost, thou hop'st in vain,"
    The youth replied, "my spirit to detain;
    From thee my soul, in childhood's earliest year,
    Caught the light pleasure and the passing tear;
    Thy friendship then my young affections blest
    The first pure passion of my infant breast;
    And still in death I feel its strong controul,
    Its sacred impulse wings my fleeting soul,
    That only lingers here till thou depart,
    Whose image lives upon my fainting heart!"--
    In vain the gen'rous youth, with panting breath,
    Pour'd these last murmurs in the ear of death;
    He reads the fatal truth in ZILIA'S eye,
    And gives to friendship his expiring sigh.--
    But now with rage VALVERDA'S glances roll,
    And mark the vengeance rankling in his soul;

Page 40

    He bends his gloomy brow --his lips impart
    The brooding purpose of his venom'd heart;
    He bids the hoary priest in mutter'd strains
    Abjure his faith, forsake his native fanes,
    While yet the ling'ring pangs of torture wait,
    While yet VALVERDA'S power suspends his fate.
    "Vain man," the victim cried, "to hoary years
    Know death is mild, and virtue feels no fears;
    Cruel of spirit, come! let tortures prove
    The power I serv'd in life in death I love."
    He ceas'd--with rugged cords his limbs they bound,
    And drag the aged suff'rer on the ground;
    They grasp his feeble frame, his tresses tear;
    His robe they rend, his shrivell'd bosom bare.
    Ah, see his uncomplaining soul sustain
    The sting of insult and the dart of pain!
    His stedfast spirit feels one pang alone,
    A child's despair awakes one bitter groan--
    The mourner kneels to catch his parting breath,
    To soothe the agony of ling'ring death:

Page 41

    No moan she breath'd, no tear had power to flow,
    Still on her lip expir'd th' unutter'd woe;
    Yet ah, her livid cheek, her stedfast look,
    The desolated soul's deep anguish spoke--
    Mild victim! close not yet thy languid eyes;
    Pure spirit! claim not yet thy kindred skies;
    A pitying angel comes to stay thy flight,
    LAS CASAS * bids thee view returning light;
    Ah, let that sacred drop, to virtue dear,
    Efface thy wrongs--receive his precious tear;
    See his flush'd cheek with indignation glow,
    While from his lips the tones of pity flow.--
    "Oh, suff'ring Lord!" he cried, "whose streaming blood,
    Was pour'd for man--earth drank the sacred flood,
    Whose mercy in the mortal pang forgave
    The murd'rous band, Thy love alone could save;
    Forgive--thy goodness bursts each narrow bound
    Which feeble thought, and human hope surround;

Page 42

    Forgive the guilty wretch, whose impious hand
    From thy pure altar flings the flaming brand;
    In human blood that hallow'd altar steeps,
    Libation dire! while groaning nature weeps;
    The limits of thy mercy dares to scan,
    The object of thy love, his victim,--man.
    While yet I linger, lo, the suff'rer dies,
    I see his frame convuls'd,--I hear his sighs!
    Whoe'er controuls the purpose of my heart,
    First in this breast shall plunge his guilty dart."
    With hurried step he flew, with eager hands
    He broke the fetters, burst the cruel bands.
    As the fall'n angel heard with awful fear,
    The cherub's grave rebuke, in grace severe,
    And fled, while horror plum'd his impious crest,*
    The form of virtue as she stood confest;
    So fierce VALVERDA sullen mov'd along,
    Abash'd, and follow'd by the hostile throng.

Page 43

    At length the hoary victim, freed from chains,
    LAS CASAS gently leads to safer plains;
    His searching eye explores a secret cave,
    Whose shaggy sides the languid billows lave;
    "There rest secure," he cried, "the Christian's God
    Will hover near, will guard the lone abode."
    Oft to the gloomy cell his steps repair,
    While night's chill breezes wave his silver'd hair;
    Oft in the tones of love, the words of peace,
    He bids the bitter tears of anguish cease;
    Bids drooping hope uplift her languid eyes,
    And points to bliss that dwells beyond the skies.
    Yet ah! in vain his pious cares would save
    The aged suff'rer from the op'ning grave;
    For deep the pangs of torture pierc'd his frame,
    And sunk his wasted life's expiring flame;
    To his cold lip LAS CASAS ' hand he prest,
    He faintly clasp'd his ZILIA to his breast;
    Then cried, "the God, whom now my vows adore,
    My heart through life obey'd, unknowing more;

Page 44

    His mild forgiveness then my soul shall prove,
    His mercy share, LAS CASAS ' God is love."
    He spoke no more, his ZILIA'S hopeless moan
    Was heard responsive to his dying groan.
    "Victim of impious zeal," LAS CASAS cries,
    "Accept, departed shade, a Christian's sighs;
    And thou, soft mourner, tender, drooping form,
    What power shall guard thee from the fearful storm?"
    "Weep not for me," she cried, "for ZILIA'S breast
    Soon in the shelt'ring earth shall find its rest;
    Seek not the victim of despair to save,
    I ask but death--I only wish a grave.
    Witness, thou mangled form, that earth retains,
    Witness a murder'd lover's cold remains;
    I liv'd my father's pangs to soothe, to share,
    I bore to live, though life was all despair.
    Ah! still my lover's dying moan I hear,
    In every pulse I feel his parting tear--
    I faint--an icy coldness chills each vein,
    No more these feeble limbs their load sustain;

Page 45

    Spirit of pity! catch my fleeting breath,
    A moment stay--and close my eyes in death.
    LAS CASAS , thee thy God in mercy gave,
    To soothe my pangs, to find the wretch a grave."
    She ceas'd, her spirit fled to purer spheres,
    LAS CASAS bathes the pallid corse with tears;
    Fly, minister of good! nor ling'ring shed
    Those fruitless sorrows o'er th' unconscious dead;
    I view the sanguine flood, the wasting flame,
    I hear a suff'ring world LAS CASAS claim.

* LAS CASAS, that admirable ecclesiastic, who obtained by his humanity the title of Protector of the Indies.

* "----------on his crest
Sat horror plum'd." Par. Lost xiv, 988.

Page [46]



ALMAGRO'S expedition to Chili--His troops suffer great hardships from cold, in crossing the Andes--They reach Chili--The Chilians make a brave resistance--The revolt of the Peruvians in Cuzco---They are led on by MANCO CAPAC , the successor of ATALIBA --Parting with CORA , his wife--The Peruvians regain half their city--ALMAGRO leaves Chili--To avoid the Andes, he crosses a vast desert--His troops can find no water--They divide into two bands--ALPHONSO leads the second band, which soon reaches a fertile valley--The Spaniards observe that the natives are employed in searching the streams for gold--They resolve to attack them.

    Now the stern partner of PIZARRO'S toils,
    ALMAGRO , lur'd by hope of golden spoils,
    To distant Chili's ever-verdant meads,
    Through paths untrod, a band of warriors leads;
    O'er the high Andes' frozen steeps they go,
    And wander 'mid eternal hills of snow:

Page 47

    In vain the vivifying orb of day
    Darts on th' impervious ice his fervent ray;
    Cold, keen as chains the oceans of the pole,
    Numbs the shrunk frame, and chills the vig'rous soul;
    At length they reach luxuriant Chili's plain,
    Where ends the dreary bound of winter's reign.
    When first the brave Chilese, with eager glance,
    Beheld the hostile sons of Spain advance,
    Their threat'ning sabres red with purple streams,
    Their lances quiv'ring in the solar beams,
    With pale surprise they saw th' impending storm,
    Where low'ring danger wore an unknown form;
    But soon their spirits, stung with gen'rous shame,
    Renounce each terror, and for vengeance flame;
    Pant high with sacred freedom's ardent glow,
    And meet intrepid the superior foe.
    Long unsubdued by stern ALMAGRO'S train,
    Their valiant tribes unequal fight maintain;
    Long vict'ry hover'd doubtful o'er the field,
    And oft she forc'd IBERIA'S band to yield;

Page 48

    Oft love from Spain's proud head her laurel bough,
    And bade it blossom on PERUVIA'S brow;
    When sudden tidings reach'd ALMAGRO'S ear,
    That shook the warrior's soul with doubt and fear.
    Of murder'd ATALIBA'S royal race
    There yet remain'd a youth of blooming grace,
    Who pin'd, the captive of relentless Spain,
    And long in Cuzco dragg'd her galling chain;
    CAPAC , whose lofty soul indignant bears
    The rankling fetters, and revenge prepares.
    But since his daring spirit must forego
    The hope to rush upon the tyrant foe,
    Led by his parent orb, that gives the day,
    And fierce as darts the keen meridian ray,
    He vows to bend unseen his hostile course,
    Then on the victors rise with latent force,
    As sudden from its cloud, the brooding storm,
    Bursts in the thunder's voice, the light'ning's form.
    For this, from stern PIZARRO he obtains
    The boon, enlarg'd, to seek the neighb'ring plains,

Page 49

    For one bless'd day, and with his friend's unite,
    To crown with solemn pomp an antient rite;
    Share the dear pleasures of the social hour,
    And 'mid their fetters twine one festal flower.
    So spoke the Prince--far other thoughts possest,
    Far other purpose animates his breast:
    For now PERUVIA'S Nobles he commands
    To lead, with silent step, her martial bands
    Forth to the destin'd spot, prepared to dare
    The fiercest shock of dire, unequal war;
    While every sacred human interest pleads,
    And urges the firm soul to lofty deeds.
    Now CAPAC hail'd th' eventful morning's light,
    Rose with its dawn, and panted for the fight;
    But first with fondness to his heart he prest
    The tender CORA , partner of his breast,
    Who with her lord had sought the dungeon's gloom,
    And wasted there in grief her early bloom.
    "No more," he cried, "no more my love shall feel
    The mingled agonies I fly to heal;--

Page 50

    I go, but soon exulting shall return,
    And bid my faithful CORA cease to mourn;
    For O, amid each pang my bosom knows,
    What wastes, what wounds it most are CORA'S woes!
    Sweet was the love that crown'd our happier hours,
    And shed new fragrance o'er a path of flowers:
    But sure divided sorrow more endears
    The tie that passion seals with mutual tears!
    He paus'd. Fast-flowing drops bedew'd her eyes,
    While thus in mournful accents she replies:--
    "Still let me feel the pressure of thy chain,
    Still share the fetters which my love detain;
    The piercing iron to my soul is dear,
    Nor will its sharpness wound while thou art near.
    Look on our helpless babe, in mis'ry nurst--
    My child! my child, thy mother's heart will burst!
    O, wherefore bid the raging battle rise,
    Nor hear this harmless suff'rer's feeble cries?
    Look on those blades that pour a crimson flood,
    And plunge their cruel edge in infant blood!"

Page 51

    She could no more--he sees with tender pain
    Her grief, and leads her to a shelt'ring fane.
    Now high in air his feather'd standard waves,
    And soon from shrouding woods and hollow caves
    To Cuzco's gate advance increasing throngs,
    And, such their ardour, rous'd by sense of wrongs,
    That vainly would PIZARRO'S vet'ran force
    Arrest the torrent in its raging course;
    Danger and death PERUVIA'S sons disdain,
    And half their captive city soon regain.
    When stern ALMAGRO heard the voice of fame
    The triumphs of PERUVIA loud proclaim,
    Unconquer'd Chili's vale he swift forsakes,
    And his bold course to distant Cuzco takes.
    But now he shuns the Andes' frozen snows,
    The arrowy gale that on their summit blows;
    A burning desert undismay'd he past,
    And meets the ardors of the fiery blast.
    As o'er the sultry waste they slowly move,
    The keenest pang of raging thirst they prove;

Page 52

    No cooling fruit its grateful juice distils,
    Nor flows one balmy drop from crystal rills;
    For nature sickens in the parching beam
    That shrinks the vernal bud and dries the stream;
    While horror, as his giant stature grows,
    O'er the drear void his spreading shadow throws.
    ALMAGRO'S band now pale and fainting stray,
    While death oft barr'd the sinking warrior's way;
    At length the chief divides his martial force,
    And bids ALPHONSO by a sep'rate course
    Lead o'er the hideous desert half his train--
    "And search," he cried, "this vast, untrodden plain,
    Perchance some fruitage, with'ring in the breeze,
    The pains of lessen'd numbers may appease;
    Or heaven in pity from some genial shower
    On the parch'd lip one precious drop may pour."
    Not far the troops of young ALPHONSO went,
    When sudden from a rising hill's ascent
    They view a valley fed by fertile springs,
    Which Andes from his snowy summit flings;

Page 53

    Where summer's flowers humected odours shed,
    And wildly bloom, a waste by beauty spread.
    And now ALPHONSO and his martial band
    On the rich border of the valley stand;
    They quaff the limpid stream with eager haste,
    And the pure juice that swells the fruitage taste;
    Then give to balmy rest the night's still hours,
    Fann'd by the cooling gale that shuts the flowers.
    Soon as the purple beam of morning glows,
    Refresh'd from all their toils, the warriors rose;
    And saw the gentle natives of the mead
    Search the clear currents for the golden seed,
    Which from the mountain's height with headlong sweep
    The torrents bear in many a shining heap;
    IBERIA'S sons beheld with anxious brow
    The tempting lure, then breathe th' unpitying vow
    O'er those fair lawns to pour a sanguine flood,
    And dye those lucid streams with guiltless blood.
    Thus while the humming-bird, in beauty drest,
    Enchanting offspring of the ardent west,

Page 54

    Attunes his tender song to notes of love,
    Mild as the murmurs of the morning dove,
    While his rich plumage glows with brighter hues,
    And with soft bill he sips the scented dews,
    The savage condor on terrific wings,
    From Andes' frozen steeps relentless springs;
    And, quiv'ring in his fangs, his helpless prey
    Drops his weak wing, and sighs his soul away.

Page [55]



Character of ZAMOR , a bard--His passion for ACILOE , daughter of the Cazique who rules the valley--The Peruvian tribe prepare to defend themselves--A battle--The PERUVIANS are vanquished--ACILOE'S father is made a prisoner, and ZAMOR is supposed to have fallen in the engagement--ALPHONSO becomes enamoured of ACILOE --Offers to marry her--She rejects him--In revenge he puts her father to the torture--She appears to consent, in order to save him--Meets ZAMOR in a wood--LAS CASAS joins them--Leads the two lovers to ALPHONSO , and obtains their freedom--ZAMOR conducts ACILOE and her father to Chili--A reflection on the influence of Poetry over the human mind.

    IN this sweet scene, to all the virtues kind,
Mild ZAMOR own'd the richest gifts of mind;
For o'er his tuneful breast the heav'nly muse
Shed from her sacred spring inspiring dews;
She loves to breathe her hallow'd strain where art
Has never veil'd the soul, or warp'd the heart;

Page 56

Where fancy glows with all her native fire,
And passion lives on the exulting lyre.
Nature, in terror rob'd or beauty dreast,
Could thrill with dear enchantment ZAMOR'S breast;
He lov'd the languid sigh the zephyr pours,
He lov'd the placid rill that feeds the flowers--
But more the hollow sound the wild winds form,
When black upon the billow hangs the storm;
The torrent rolling from the mountain steep,
Its white foam trembling on the darken'd deep--
And oft on Andes' heights with earnest gaze
He view'd the sinking sun's reflected rays
Glow like unnumber'd stars, that seem to rest
Sublime upon his ice-encircled breast.
Oft his wild warblings charm'd the festal hour,
Rose in the vale, and languish'd in the bower;
The heart's reponsive tones he well could move,
Whose song was nature, and whose theme was love.
    ACILOE'S beauties his fond soul confest,
Yet more ACILOE'S virtues warm'd his breast.

Page 57

Ah stay, ye tender hours of young delight,
Suspend, ye moments, your impatient flight;
Prolong the charm when passion's pure controul
Unfolds the first affections of the soul!
This gentle tribe ACILOE'S sire obey'd,
Who still in wisdom and in mercy sway'd.
From him the dear illusions long had fled
That o'er the morn of life enchantment shed;
But virtue's calm remembrance cheer'd his breast,
And life was joy serene, and death was rest:
Bright is the blushing Summer's glowing ray,
Yet not unlovely Autumn's temper'd day.
    Now stern IBERIA'S ruthless sons advance,
Roll the fierce eye, and shake the pointed lance.
PERUVIA'S tribe behold the hostile throng
With desolating fury pour along;
The hoary chief to the dire conflict leads
His death-devoted train--the battle bleeds.
ACILOE'S searching eye can now no more
The form of ZAMOR or her sire explore;

Page 58

While destin'd all the bitterness to prove
Of anxious duty and of mourning love,
Each name that's dearest wakes her bursting sigh,
Throbs at her soul, and trembles in her eye.
Now pierc'd by wounds, and breathless from the fight,
Her friend, the valiant OMAR , struck her sight:--
"OMAR ," she cried, "you bleed, unhappy youth!
And sure that look unfolds some fatal truth;
Speak, pitying speak, my frantic fears forgive,
Say, does my father, does my ZAMOR live?"--
"All, all is lost!" the dying OMAR said,
"And endless griefs are thine, dear, wretched maid;
I saw thy aged sire a captive bound,
I saw thy ZAMOR press the crimson ground!"--
He could no more, he yields his fleeting breath,
While all in vain she seeks repose in death.
But O, how far each other pang above
Throbs the wild agony of hopeless love!
That woe, for which in vain would comfort shed
Her healing balm, or time in pity spread

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The veil that throws a shade o'er other care,
For here, and here alone, profound despair
Casts o'er the suff'ring soul a lasting gloom,
And slowly leads her victim to the tomb.
     Now rude tumultuous sounds assail her ear,
And soon ALPHONSO'S victor train appear;
Then, as with ling'ring step he mov'd along,
She saw her father 'mid the captive throng;
She saw with dire dismay, she wildly flew,
Her snowy arms around his form she threw;--
"He bleeds!" she cries; "I hear his moan of pain!
My father will not bear the galling chain!
Cruel ALPHONSO , let not helpless age
Feel thy hard yoke, and meet thy barb'rous rage;
Or, O, if ever mercy mov'd thy soul,
If ever thou hast felt her blest controul,
Grant my sad heart's desire, and let me share
The fetters which a father ill can bear."
While the young warrior, as she falt'ring spoke,
With fix'd attention and with ardent look

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Hung on her tender glance, that love inspires,
The rage of conquest yields to milder fires.
Yet as he gaz'd enraptur'd on her form,
Her virtues awe the heart her beauties warm;
And while impassion'd tones his love reveal,
He asks with holy rites his vows to seal.
"Hops't thou," she cried, "those sacred ties shall join
This bleeding heart, this trembling hand to thine?
To thine, whose ruthless heart has caus'd my pains,
Whose barb'rous hand the blood of ZAMOR stains!
Canst thou, the murd'rer of my peace, controul
The grief that swells, the pang that rends my soul?--
That pang shall death, shall death alone remove,
And cure the anguish of despairing love."
    At length, to madness stung by fixed disdain,
ALPHONSO now to fury gives the rein;
And with relentless mandate dooms her sire,
Stretch'd on the bed of torture to expire;
But O, what form of language can impart
The frantic grief that wrung ACILOE'S heart!

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When to the height of hopeless sorrow wrought,
The fainting spirit feels a pang of thought,
Which, never painted in the hues of speech,
Lives at the soul, and mocks expression's reach!
At length she falt'ring cried, "the conflict's o'er,
My heart, my breaking heart can bear no more!
Yet spare his feeble age--my vows receive,
And O, in mercy bid my father live!"
"Wilt thou be mine?" th' enamour'd chief replies--
"Yes, cruel!--see, he dies! my father dies!--
Save, save my father!"--"Dear, unhappy maid,"
The charm'd ALPHONSO cried, "be swift obey'd--
Unbind his chains--Ah, calm each anxious pain,
ACILOE'S voice no more shall plead in vain;
Plac'd near his child, thy aged sire shall share
Our joys, still cherished by thy tender care."--
"No more," she cried, "will fate that bliss allow;
Before my lips shall breathe the impartial vow,
Some faithful guide shall lead his aged feet
To distant scenes that yield a safe retreat;

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Where some soft heart, some gentle hand will shed
The drops of comfort on his hoary head.
My ZAMOR , if thy spirit hovers near,
Forgive!"--she ceas'd, and shed no more a tear.
    Now night descends, and steeps each weary breast,
Save sad ACILOE'S , in the balm of rest.
Her aged father's beauteous dwelling stood
Near the cool shelter of a waving wood;
But now the gales that bend its foliage die,
Soft on the silver turf its shadows lie;
While slowly wand'ring o'er the vale below,
The gazing moon look'd pale as silent woe.
The sacred shade, amid whose fragrant bowers
ZAMOR oft sooth'd with song the evening hours,
Pour'd to the lunar orb his magic lay,
More mild, more pensive than her musing ray,
That shade with trembling step the mourner sought,
And thus she breath'd her tender, plaintive thought:--
"Ah where, dear object of these piercing pains,
Where rests thy murder'd form, thy Lov'd remains?

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On what sad spot, my ZAMOR , flow'd the wound
That purpled with thy streaming blood the ground?
O, had ACILOE in that hour been nigh,
Hadst thou but fix'd on me thy closing eye,--
Told with faint voice, 'twas death's worst pang to part,
And dropp'd thy last cold tear upon my heart!
A pang less bitter then would waste this breast,
That in the grave alone shall seek its rest.
Soon as some friendly hand in mercy leads
My aged father safe to Chili's meads,
Death shall for ever seal the nuptial tie,
The heart belov'd by thee is fix'd to die."--
She ceas'd, when dimly thro' her flowing tears
She sees her ZAMOR'S form, his voice she hears.
" 'Tis he!" she cries, "he moves upon the gale!
My ZAMOR'S sigh is deep---his look is pale--
I faint--" his arms receive her sinking frame,--
He calls his love by every tender name;
He stays her fleeting spirit--life anew
Warms her cold cheek--his tears her cheek bedew.

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"Thy ZAMOR lives," he cried: "as on the ground
I senseless lay, some child of pity bound
My bleeding wounds, and bore me from the plain,--
But thou art lost, and I have liv'd in vain!"
"Forgive," she cried, in accents of despair,
ZAMOR , forgive thy wrongs, and O forbear,
The mild reproach that fills thy mournful eye,
The tear that wets thy cheek--I mean to die.
Could I behold my aged sire endure
The pains his wretched child had power to cure?
Still, still my father, stretch'd in death, I see,
His grey locks trembling while he gaz'd on me;
My ZAMOR , soft, breathe not so loud a sigh,
Some list'ning foe may pityless deny
This parting hour--hark, sure some step I hear,
ZAMOR again is lost--for now 'tis near."--
She paus'd, when sudden from the shelt'ring wood
A venerable form before them stood:
"Fear not, soft maid," he cried, "nor think I come
To seal with deeper miseries thy doom;

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To bruise the broken heart that sorrow rends,
Ah, not for this LAS CASAS hither bends--
He comes to bid those rising sorrows cease,
To pour upon thy wounds the balm of peace.
I rov'd with dire ALMAGRO'S ruthless train,
Through scenes of death, to Chili's verdant plain;
Their wish to bathe that verdant plain in gore,
Then from its bosom drag the golden ore:
But mine to check the stream of human blood,
Or mingle drops of pity with the flood;
When from those fair, unconquered vales they fled
This languid frame was stretch'd upon the bed
Of pale disease; when, helpless and alone,
The Chilese 'spied their friend, the murd'rers gone,
With eager fondness round my couch they drew,
And my cold hand with gushing tears bedew;
By day they soothe my pains with sweet delight,
And give to watchings the dull hours of night;
For me their gen'rous bosoms joy to prove
The cares of pity, and the toils of love--

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At length for me the pathless wild they trac'd,
And softly bore me o'er its dreary waste;
Then parting, at my feet they bend, and clasp
These aged knees--my soul yet feels their grasp!
Now o'er the vale with painful step I stray'd,
And reach this shelt'ring grove; here, hapless maid,
My list'ning ear has caught thy piercing wail,
My heart has trembled to thy moving tale."--
"And art thou he?" the mournful pair exclaim,
'"How dear to mis'ry's soul LAS CASAS ' name!
Spirit benign, who every grief can share,
Whose pity stoops to make the wretch its care,
Weep not for us--in vain thy tears shall flow
For cureless evils, and for hopeless woe!"--
"Come," he replied, "mild suff'rers, to the fane
Where rests ALPHONSO with his martial train;
My voice shall urge his soul to gen'rous deeds,
And bid him hear when truth and nature pleads."
While in meek tones LAS CASAS thus exprest
His pious purpose, o'er ACILOE'S breast

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A dawning ray of cheering comfort streams,
But faint the hope that on her spirit beams;
Faint as when ebbing life must soon depart,
The pulse that trembles while it warms the heart.
    Before ALPHONSO now the lovers stand,
The aged suff'rer joined the mournful band;
While, with the look that guardian seraphs wear,
When sent to calm the throbs of mortal care,
The story of their woes LAS CASAS told,
Then cried, "the wretched ZAMOR here behold--
Hop'st thou, fond man, a passion to controul
Fix'd in the breast, and woven in the soul?
Ah, know, mistaken youth, thy power in vain
Would bind thy victim in the nuptial chain;
That faithful heart will rend the galling tie,
That heart will break, that tender frame will die!
Then, by each sacred name to nature dear,
By faithful passion's agonizing tear,
By all the wasting pangs that tear her breast,
By the deep groan that gives the suff'rer rest,

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Let mercy's pleading voice thy bosom move,
And fear to burst the bonds of plighted love!"
He paus'd--now ZAMOR'S moan ALPHONSO hears;
Now sees the cheek of age bedew'd with tears.
Pallid and motionless ACILOE stands,
Fix'd was her lifted eye, and clasp'd her hands;
Her heart was chill'd--her fainting heart--for there
Hope slowly sinks in cold and dark despair.
ALPHONSO'S soul was mov'd--"No more," he cried,
"My hapless flame shall hearts like yours divide.
Live, tender spirit, soft ACILOE live,
And all the wrongs of madd'ning rage forgive!
Go from this desolated region far,
These plains, where av'rice spreads the waste of war;
Go where pure pleasures gild the peaceful scene,
Go where mild virtue sheds her ray serene!"
    In vain th' enraptur'd lovers would impart
The rising joy that swells, that pains the heart;
LAS CASAS ' feet in tears ACILOE steeps,
Looks on her sire and smiles, then turns and weeps;

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Then smiles again, while her flush'd cheek reveals
The mingled tumult of delight she feels;--
So fall the crystal showers of fragrant Spring,
And o'er the pure, clear sky, soft-shadows fling;
Then paint the drooping clouds from which they flow
With the warm colours of the lucid bow.
Now o'er the barren desert ZAMOR leads
ACILOE and her sire to Chili's meads;
There many a wand'ring wretch, condemn'd to roam
By hard oppression, found a shelt'ring home:
ZAMOR to pity tun'd the vocal shell,
Bright'ning the tear of anguish as it fell.
Did e'er the human bosom throb with pain
The heav'nly muse has sought to soothe in vain?
She, who can still with harmony its sighs,
And wake the sound at which affection dies!

Page [70]


TALE VI. The troops of ALMAGRO and ALPHONSO meet on the plain of CUZCO --. MANCO -CAPAC attacks them by nights--His army is defeated, and he is forced to fly with its scattered remains--CORA goes in search of him-- Her infant in her arms--Overcome with fatigue, she rests at the foot of a mountain--An earthquake--A band of Indians fly to the mountain for shelter--CORA discovers her husband--Their interview--Her death --He escapes with his infant--ALMAGRO claims a share of the spoils of Cuzco--His contention with PIZARRO --The Spaniards destroy each other--ALMAGRO is taken prisoner, and put to death--His soldiers, in revenge, assassinate PIZARRO in his palace--LAS CASAS dies--The annual festival of the PERUVIANS --Their victories over the Spaniards in Chili--A wish for the restoration of their liberty--Conclusion.

    AT length ALMAGRO and ALPHONSO'S train,
Each peril past, unite on Cuzco's plain;
CAPAC resolves beneath the shroud of night
To pierce the hostile camp, and brave the fight;
Though weak the wrong'd PERUVIANS ' arrowy showers
To the dire weapons stern IBERIA pours,

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Fierce was th' unequal contest, for the soul,
When rais'd by some high passion's strong controul,
New strings the nerves, and o'er the glowing frame
Breathes the warm spirit of heroic flame.
    But from the scene where raging slaughter burns,
The timid muse with silent horror turns;
The blended sounds of grief she panting hears,
Where anguish dims a mother's eye with tears;
Or where the maid, who gave to love's soft power
Her faithful spirit, weeps the parting hour;
And O, till death shall ease the tender woe,
That soul must languish, and those tears must flow;
For never with the thrill that rapture proves,
Her voice again shall hail the youth she loves!
Her earnest eye no more his form shall view,
Her quiv'ring lip has breath'd the last adieu!
    Now night, that pour'd upon the hollow gale
The din of battle, dropp'd her mournful veil.
The sun rose lovely from the sleeping flood,
And morning glitter'd o'er the field of blood;

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Where, bath'd in gore, PERUVIA'S vanquish'd train
Lay cold and senseless on the sanguine plain.
The gen'rous CAPAC saw his warriors yield,
And fled indignant from the conquer'd field.
A wretched throng from Cuzco now repair,
Who tread 'mid slaughter'd heaps in mute despair;
O'er some lov'd corse the shroud of earth to spread,
And breathe some ritual that may soothe the dead.
No moan was heard, for agony supprest
The fond complaints which ease the swelling breast;
Each hope for ever lost, they only crave
The deep repose that wraps the shelt'ring grave:--
So the meek lama, lur'd by some decoy
Of man, from all his unembitter'd joy,
Erewhile as free as roves the wand'ring breeze,
Meets the hard burden on his bending knees;*

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O'er rocks and mountains, dark and waste he goes,
Nor shuns the path where no fresh herbage grows;
Till, worn with toil, on earth he prostrate lies,
Heeds not the barb'rous lash, and scornful dies.
Swift o'er the field of death sad CORA flew,
Her infant to his mother's bosom grew;
She seeks her wretched lord, who fled the plain
With the last remnant of his vanquish'd train:
Thro' the long glen, or forest's gloomy shade,
A dreary solitude, the mourner stray'd;
Her timid heart can now each danger dare,
Her drooping soul is arm'd by deep despair--
Long, long she wander'd, till oppress'd with toil,
Her trembling footsteps track with blood the soil.
    Where o'er an ample vale a mountain rose,
Low at its base her fainting form she throws:

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"And here, my child," she cried, with panting breath,
"Here let us wait the hour of ling'ring death;
This famish'd bosom can no more supply
The streams that nourish life--my babe must die!
In vain I strive to cherish, for thy sake,
My failing strength; but when my heart-strings break,
When my cold bosom can no longer warm,
My stiff'ning arms no more enfold thy form,
Soft on this bed of leaves my child shall sleep--
Close to his mother's corse, he will not weep!
O! weep not then, my tender babe--tho' near,
I shall not hear thy moan, nor see thy tear;
Hope not to move me by thy mournful cry,
Nor seek with earnest look my answering eye."
As thus the dying CORA'S plaints arose,
O'er the fair valley sudden darkness throws
A hideous horror; thro' the wounded air
Howl'd the shrill voice of nature in despair;
The birds dart screaming thro' the fluid sky,
And, dash'd upon the cliff's hard surface, die;

Page 75

High o'er their rocky bounds the billows swell,
Then to their deep abyss affrighted fell;
Earth groaning heaves with dire convulsive throes,
While yawning gulphs its central caves disclose.
Now rush'd a frighted throng with trembling pace
Along the vale, and sought the mountain's base;
Purpos'd its perilous ascent to gain,
And shun the ruin low'ring o'er the plain.
They reach'd the spot where CORA clasp'd her child,
And gaz'd on present death with aspect wild:
They pitying pause--she lifts her mournful eye,
And views her lord!--he hears his CORA'S sigh--
He meets her looks--their melting souls unite,
O'erwhelmed, and agoniz'd with wild delight.
At length she faintly cried, "we yet must part!
Short are these rising joys--I feel my heart,
My suff'ring heart is cold, and mists arise,
That shroud thy image from my closing eyes!
O, save my child!--our helpless infant save,
And shed a tear upon thy CORA'S grave."

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The fluttering pulse of life now ceas'd to play,
And in his arms a pallid corse she lay!
O'er her dear form he hung in speechless pain,
And still on CORA call'd--but call'd in vain;
Scarce could his soul in one short moment bear
The wild extremes of transport and despair.
    Now o'er the west in melting softness streams
A lustre, milder than the morning beams;
A purer dawn dispell'd the fearful night,
And nature glow'd in all the blooms of light;
Then first the mourner, waking from his trance,
Cast on his smiling babe an eager glance:
Then rose the hollow voice on fancy's ear,
The parting words he hears, or seems to hear!
That sought with anxious tenderness to save
That dear memorial from the closing grave;
He clasps the object of his love's last care,
And vows for him the load of life to bear.
He journey'd o'er a dreary length of way,
To plains where freedom shed her hallow'd ray;

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There, o'er the pathless wood, and mountain hoar,
His faithful band the lifeless CORA bore:
Ye who ne'er pin'd in sorrow's hopeless pain,
Deem not the toil that soothes its anguish vain;
Perchance the conscious spirit hovers near,
And love's fond tribute to the dead is dear.
Not long IBERIA'S sullied trophies wave,
Her guilty warriors press th' untimely grave;
For av'rice rising from the caves of earth,
Wakes all her savage spirit into birth:
Bids proud ALMAGRO feel her baleful flame,
And Cuzco's treasures from PIZARRO claim.
Now fierce in hostile rage each warlike train.
Purple with kindred blood PERUVIA'S plain;
While pensive on the hills, whose lofty brow
O'erhung with waving woods the vale below,
PERUVIA'S hapless tribes in scatter'd throngs,
Behold the fiends of strife avenge their wrongs:
Till, fetter'd in PIZARRO'S iron chain,
ALMAGRO swells the victor's captive train.

Page 78

In vain his pleading voice, his suppliant eye,
Conjure his conqu'ror by the holy tie
That seal'd their mutual league with sacred force,
When first to climes unknown they bent their course;
When danger's rising horrors low'r'd afar,
The storms of ocean, and the toils of war,
The sad remains of wasted life to spare,
The shrivell'd bosom, and the silver'd hair--
ALMAGRO dies--the victor's barb'rous pride
To his pale corpse funereal rites denied;
Chill'd by the heavy dews of night it lay,
And wither'd in the sultry beam of day;
Till Indian bosoms, touch'd with gen'rous woe,
Paid the last duties to a prostrate foe.
With unrelenting hate the conqu'ror views
ALMAGRO'S band, and vengeance still pursues.
Condemns the victims of his power to stray
In drooping poverty's chill, thorny way;
To pine with famine's agony severe,
And all the ling'ring forms of death to fear;

Page 79

Till, by despair impell'd, the rival train,
Rush to the haughty victor's splendid fane;
Swift on their foe with rage impetuous dart,
And plunge their daggers in his guilty heart.
How unavailing now the treasur'd ore
That made PERUVIA'S rifled bosom poor!
He falls--unpitied, and would vainly buy
With ANDES ' mines, the tribute of a sigh.
    Now faint with virtue's toil, LAS CASAS ' soul
Sought, with exulting hope, her heavenly goal:--
But whence descends, in streams of lambent light,
That lovely vision on the raptur'd sight?
'Tis Sensibility! she stands confest:
With trembling step she moves, and panting breast;
To yon deserted grave, lo, swift she flies,
Where her lov'd victim, mild LAS CASAS lies!
I see her deck the solitary haunt
With chaplets twin'd from every weeping plant:
Its odours soft the simple violet shed,
The shrinking lily hung its drooping head;

Page 80

A moaning zephyr sigh'd within the bower,
And bent the frail stem of the pliant flower:
"Hither," she cried, her melting tone I hear,
It vibrates full on fancy's wakeful ear;
"Ye to whose yielding hearts my power endears,
The transport blended with delicious tears,
The bliss that swells to agony the breast,
The sympathy that robs the soul of rest;
Hither, with fond devotion, pensive come,
Kiss the pale shrine, and murmur o'er the tomb;
Bend on the hallow'd turf the tearful eye,
And breathe the precious incense of a sigh.
LAS CASAS ' tear has moisten'd misery's grave,
His sigh has moan'd the wretch he fail'd to save!
He, while conflicting pangs his bosom tear,
Has sought the lonely cavern of despair,
Where desolate she pin'd, and pour'd her thought
To the dread verge of wild distraction wrought.
While drops of mercy bath'd his hoary cheek,
He pour'd, by heav'n inspir'd, its accents meek;

Page 81

In truth's clear mirror bade the mourner's view
Pierce the deep veil which error darkly drew,
And vanquish'd empire with a smile resign,
While brighter worlds in fair perspective shine."
She paus'd--yet still the sweet enthusiast bends
O'er the cold turf, and still her tear descends.
    Ah, weak PERUVIA ! oft thy murmur'd sighs,
Thy stifled groans in fancy's ear arise;
She views, as slow the years of bondage roll,
On solemn days* when sorrow mocks controul,
Thy captive sons their antique garb assume,
And wake remember'd images of gloom.
Lo! ATALIBA'S murder'd form appears,
The mournful object of eternal tears!
Wild o'er the scene indignant glances dart,
And pangs convulsive seize the throbbing heart--

Page 82

Distraction soon each burning breast inflames,
And from the tyrant foe a victim claims!
    But now, dispersing desolation's night,
A ray benignant cheers my gladden'd sight!
A blooming Chieftain of Peruvian race,
Whose soaring soul its high descent can trace,
The feather'd standard rears on Chili's* plain,
And leads to glorious strife his gen'rous train.
And see, IBERIA bleeds! while Vict'ry twines
Her fairest garlands round PERUVIA'S shrines;
The gaping wounds of earth disclose no more
The lucid silver, and the blazing ore;

Page 83

A brighter radiance gilds the passing hour,
While Freedom breaks the rod of lawless power;
On Andes' icy steep exulting glows,
And prints with rapid step th' eternal snows;
While, roll'd in dust her graceful feet beneath,
Fades the dark laurel of IBERIA'S wreath!--
PERU ! the timid muse who mourn'd thy woes,
Whom pity robb'd so long of dear repose,
The muse whose pensive soul with anguish wrung,
Her early lyre for thee has trembling strung;
Shed the vain tear, and breath'd the powerless sigh,
Which in oblivion with her song must die;
Pants with the wish thy deeds may rise to fame;
Bright on some high-ton'd harp's immortal frame,
While on the string of ecstacy it pours
Thy future triumphs o'er unnumber'd shores.

*The Lamas bend their knees and stoop their body in such a manner as not to discompose their burden. They move with a slow but firm pace, in countries that are impracticable to other animals. They are neither dispirited by fasting or drudgery, while they have any strength remaining; but when they are totally exhausted, or fall under their burdens, it is to no purpose to harass and beat them, they will continue striking their heads on the ground till they kill themselves, Raynal's History of the European Settlements.

* The Peruvians have solemn days, on which they assume their ancient dress. Some among them represent a tragedy, the subject of which is the Death of Ataliba; the audience, who begin with shedding tears, are afterwards transported into a kind of madness: it seldom happens in these festivals but that some Spaniard is slain.-- Raynal's History.

*A descendant of the Incas had there reared the feathered standard, and obtained some victories over the Spaniards; the gold-mines were shut up, and the sound of independence was heard; but independence and hope soon vanished, and it was reserved for the Bolivars of other days to avenge the wrongs of the Peruvians. It was reserved also for Spain to make at present a noble atonement for the past! She has raised an expiatory altar to Liberty over the dungeons of the Inquisition:--may it never be thrown down! May the Old and New World form henceforth an Holy Alliance! And if liberty be menaced in either, may there always be found a Washington in the New World, and a La Fayette in the Old!

Page [84]

Page [85]




"DREAR cell! along whose lonely bounds,
    Unvisited by light,
    Chill silence dwells with night,
Save where the clanging fetter sounds!
    Abyss, where mercy never came,
Nor hope the wretch can find;
    Where long inaction wastes the frame,
And half annihilates the mind!

Page 86


"Stretch'd helpless in this living tomb,
    O haste, congenial death!
    Seize, seize this ling'ring breath,
And shroud me in unconscious gloom.
    BRITAIN ! thy exil'd son no more
Thy blissful vales shall see--
    Why did I leave thy hallow'd shore,
Ah, land ador'd, where all are free?"


BASTILLE ! within thy hideous pile,
Which stains of blood defile,
Thus rose the captive's sighs,
Till slumber seal'd his weeping eyes.
Terrific visions hover near!
He sees an awful form appear!
Who drags his step to deeper cells,
Where stranger, wilder horror dwells!

Page 87


"O! tear me from these haunted walls,
    Or these fierce shapes controul!
    Lest madness seize my soul!
That pond'rous mask of iron* falls,
    I see--" "Rash mortal, ha! beware,
Nor breathe that hidden name!
    Should those dire accents wound the air,
Know death shall lock thy stiff'ning frame.


"Hark! that loud bell which sullen tolls!
    It wakes a shriek of woe
    From yawning depths below;
Shrill through this hollow vault it rolls!
    A deed was done in this black cell
Unfit for mortal ear--
    A deed was done when toll'd that knell,
No human heart could live and hear!

Alluding to the prisoner who has excited so many conjectures in Europe.

Page 88


"Arouse thee from thy numbing glance,
Near yon thick gloom, advance;
The solid cloud has shook;
Arm all thy soul with strength to look--
Enough!--thy starting locks have rose--
Thy limbs have fail'd--thy blood has froze!--
On scenes so foul, with mad affright,
I fix no more thy fasten'd sight.


"Those troubled phantoms melt away!
    I lose the sense of care--
    I feel the vital air--
I see--I see the light of day!
    Visions of bliss!--eternal powers!
What force has shook those hated walls?
    What arm has rent those threat'ning towers?
It falls--the guilty fabric falls!"

Page 89


"Now, favour'd mortal, now behold!
    To soothe thy captive state
    I ope the book of fate;
Mark what its registers unfold:
    Where this dark pile in chaos lies,
With nature's execrations hurl'd,
    Shall Freedom's sacred temple rise,
And charm an emulating world!


" 'Tis her awak'ning voice commands
Those firm, those patriot bands;
    Arm'd to avenge her cause,
    And guard her violated laws!--
Did ever earth a scene display
More glorious to the eye of day,
Than millions with according mind,
Who claim the rights of human kind?

Page 90


"Does the fam'd Roman page sublime
    An hour more bright unroll,
    To animate the soul,
Than this lov'd theme of future time?--
    Posterity, with rapture meet,
The consecrated act shall hear;
    Age shall the glowing tale repeat,
And youth shall drop the burning tear!


"The peasant, while he fondly sees
    His infants round the hearth
    Pursue their simple mirth,
Or emulously climb his knees,
    No more bewails their future lot,
By tyranny's stern rod opprest;
    While freedom cheers his straw-roof'd cot,
And tells him all his toils are blest!

Page 91


"Philosophy! O, share the meed
Of freedom's noblest deed!
'Tis thine each truth to scan,
And dignify the rank of man!
'Tis thine all human wrongs to heal,
'Tis thine to love all nature's weal;
To give our frail existence worth,
And shed a ray from heaven on earth."

Page [92]



As roam'd a pilgrim o'er the mountain drear,
    On whose lone verge the foaming billows roar,
The wail of hopeless sorrow pierc'd his ear,
    And swell'd at distance on the sounding shore.

The mourner breath'd her deep complaint to night,
    Her moan she mingled with the rapid blast,
That bar'd her bosom in its wasting flight,
    And o'er the earth her scatter'd tresses cast,

Page 93

"Ye winds," she cried, "still heave the lab'ring deep,
    The mountain shake, the howling forest rend;
Still dash the shiv'ring fragments from the steep,
    Nor for a wretch like me the storm suspend.

"Ah, wherefore wish the rising storm to spare?
    Ah, why implore the raging winds to save?
What refuge can the breast, where lives despair,
    Desire but death?--what shelter but the grave?

"To me congenial is the gloom of night,
    The savage howlings that infest the air;
I unappall'd can view the fatal light
    That issues from the pointed lightning's glare.

"And yet erewhile, if night her shadows threw
    O'er the known woodlands of my native vale,
Fancy in visions wild the landscape drew,
    And swell'd with boding sounds the whisp'ring gale.

Page 94

"But deep despair has arm'd my timid soul,
    And agony has numb'd the throb of fear;
Taught a weak heart its terrors to controul,
    And more to court than shun the danger near.

"Yet could I welcome the return of light,
    Its glimm'ring beam might guide my searching eye;
The sacred spot might then emerge from night
    On which a lover's bleeding relics lie.

"For sure 'twas here, as late a shepherd stray'd,
    Bewilder'd, o'er the mountain's dreary bound,
Close to the pointed cliff he saw him laid,
    Where heav'd the waters of the deep around.

"Alas, no longer could his heart endure
    The woes that heart was doom'd for me to prove;
He sought for death--for death the only cure
    That fate has not refus'd to hopeless love!

Page 95

"My sire, unjust while passion swell'd his breast,
    From the lov'd ALFRED his EUPHELIA tore;
Mock'd the keen sorrows that my soul opprest,
    And bade me--vainly bade me, love no more.

"He told me love was like yon troubled deep,
    Whose restless billows never know repose,
Are wildly dash'd upon the rocky steep,
    And tremble to the slightest breeze that blows!

"From those rude scenes remote her gentle balm,
    Dear to the suff'ring spirit, peace applies;
Peace! 'tis th' oblivious lake's detested calm,
    Whose dull, slow waters never fall or rise.

"Ah, what avails a parent's stern command,
    The force of conqu'ring passion to subdue?
Ah, wherefore seek to rend with cruel hand
    The ties enchanted love so fondly drew?

Page 96

"Yet I could see my ALFRED'S fix'd despair,
    And, aw'd by filial fear, conceal my woes!
My coward heart could separation bear,
    And check the struggling anguish as it rose!

" 'Twas guilt the barb'rous mandate to obey,
    Which bade no parting sigh my bosom move!
Victim of duty's unrelenting sway,
    I seem'd a traitor, while a slave to love!

"Let her who seal'd a lover's fate, endure
    The sharpest pressure of deserv'd distress;
'Twere added perfidy to seek a cure,
    And, stain'd with falsehood, wish to suffer less.

"For wretches doom'd in other griefs to pine,
    Oft will benignant hope her ray impart;
And pity oft from her celestial shrine
    Drop a warm tear upon the fainting heart:

Page 97

"But o'er the lasting gloom of love's despair,
    Can hope's bright ray its cheering visions shed?
Can pity sooth the woes that breast must bear
    Which vainly loves, and vainly mourns the dead?

"No! ling'ring still, and still prolong'd, the moan
    Shall never pause 'till heaves my latest breath;
Till memory's distracting pang is flown,
    And all my sorrows shall be hush'd in death.

And death is pitying come, whose hand shall tear
    From this afflicted heart the sense of pain;
My fainting limbs refuse their load to bear,
    And life no longer will my form sustain.

"Yet once did health's enliv'ning glow adorn,
    And pleasure shed for me her loveliest ray,
Pure as the gentle star that gilds the morn,
    And constant as the equal light of day.

Page 98

"Now, those lost pleasures trac'd by mem'ry, seem
    Like yon illusive meteor's glancing light,
That o'er the darkness threw its instant gleam,
    Then sunk, and vanish'd in the depth of night.

"My native vale, and thou, delightful bower!
    Scenes to my hopeless love for ever dear!
Sweet vale, for whom the morning wak'd her flower,
    Fresh bower, for whom the evening pour'd her tear:

"I ask no more to see your beauties rise;
    Ye rocks and mountains, on whose rugged breast
My ALFRED , murder'd by EUPHELIA , lies,
    In your deep solitudes, I come to rest!

"And sure the dawning ray that lights the steep,
    And slowly wanders o'er the purple wave,
Will shew me where his sacred relics sleep,
    Will lead his mourner to her destin'd grave!"--

Page 99

O'er the high precipice unmov'd she bent,
    A fearful path the beams of morning shew;
The pilgrim reach'd with toil the rude ascent,
    And saw her brooding o'er the deep below.

"EUPHELIA , stay!" he cried, "thy ALFRED calls--
    O, stay--in desperation yet more dear!--
I come!"--in vain the tender accent falls,
    Alas, it reach'd not her distracted ear.

"Ah what avails," she said, "that morning rose,
    With fruitless pain I seek his mould'ring clay;
Vain search! to fill the measure of my woes,
    The foaming surge has wash'd his corse away.

"This cruel agony why longer bear?
    Death, death alone, can all my pangs remove--
Kind death will banish from my heart despair,
    And when I live again--I live to love."

Page 100

She said, and plung'd into the awful deep!
    He saw her meet the fury of the wave,
He frantic saw! and, darting to the steep,
    With desp'rate anguish, sought her wat'ry grave.

He clasp'd her dying form, he shar'd her sighs,
    He check'd the billow rushing on her breast;
She felt his dear embrace!--her closing eyes
    Were fix'd on ALFRED , and her death was blest!

Page [101]




        ABASH'D the rebel squadrons yield--
        MACBETH , the victor of the field,
    Exulting, past the blasted wild;
        And where his dark o'erhanging towers
    Frown on the heath, with pleasures mild
        Now DUNCAN hastes to wing the hours--
    Sweet are the rosy beams that chase
        The angry tempest from the sky;
    When winds have shook the mountain's base,
        Sweet is the zephyr's balmy sigh;
But sweeter to the breast the social charms
Whose grateful rapture sooths the toil of arms.

Page 102


        'Twas not the season when the storm
        Of winter wears its savage form;
    Black'ning all, the frozen North
        Wildly spreads its awful wings,
    From yon bare summit rushes forth,
        And on that barren desart, flings
    All the rapid torrents might,
        When with turbulence they sweep,
    Mingling, with the winds of might,
        Sounds majestically deep--
When nature form'd the hideous waste, she frown'd,
And gave to horror its deserted bound.


        'Twas not the hour when magic spells
        Rock the heath's untrodden cells;
    When slow the wither'd forms arise
        From caves, which night with lasting sway,
    Ever shrouds from mortal eyes,
        Nor divides one hour with day--

Page 103

    Sounds unmeet for mortal ear
        Chill with dread the human frame,
    Then unreal shapes appear
        By the blue unhallow'd flame--
Discordance strange disturbs the gentle air,
And pois'nous taints the thick'ning breezes bear.


        The western sun's departing ray
        Bright on the lofty turrets lay,
    That threw the shadow's length'ning line
        At solemn distance far below;
    And where the gather'd clouds recline
        On yon dark cliff's terrific brow,
    There stood a venerable seer,
        Whose prophetic soul could trace
    Distant ages hast'ning near,
        And all that fill'd the unborn space--
The prophet gaz'd, with sudden frenzy fir'd,
Saw deeds undone, and spoke with lips inspir'd:

Page 104


        "Hail, Scotia's Monarch! greatly brave,
        Skill'd to conquer, charm'd to save!
    Whose pitying hand inverts the lance,
        And meekly drops the slacken'd bow;
    Whose gracious eye with mercy's glance
        Has ever gaz'd on human woe!--
    MACBETH , the castle gate unbar,
        MACBETH , prepare the social board--
    Haste, from rugged toils of war,
        Haste, and hail thy sov'reign lord!
With music be the genial banquet crown'd,
And bid thy vaulted roofs with joy rebound.


        "Ha!--dread visions hang in air!--
        I see a bloody dagger glare!--
    Deeds that ask the gloom of night
        Are imag'd in yon troubl'd sky--
    Now a gleam of fatal light
        Flashes on my aching eye!

Page 105

    DUNCAN , shun that conscious tower--
        Fiends the social banquet pile!--
    Murder waits the midnight hour,
        Murder lurks in beauty's smile!
Vain my prophetic voice!--he hies away
Where, scowling o'er the couch, death calls his prey.


        "Sacred victim! bath'd in gore,
        Haunt the hideous scene no more--
    Rest, unquiet spirit, rest!
        Great revenge the heavens prepare;
    View thy murd'rer's tortur'd breast,
        And pity all that labours there!
    See the look, and hear the groan,
        Mark a bleeding soul in pain!
    Reason trembles on her throne,
        Furies seize the burning brain--
Unpitied, and accurst shall be his doom,
While rising honours flourish round thy tomb.

Page 106


        "Thy mem'ry shall for ever last,
        And fame, untir'd, repeat the past--
    Deep in the mystic clouds of time
        I see a poet call'd to birth--
    I hear a lyre, whose source sublime
        With wonder thrills the list'ning earth!
    The mighty bard, with 'potent art,'
        Shall nature's perfect semblance give,
    Unlock the springs that move the heart,
        And bid the human passions live--
Still in his heav'n-taught page shall DUNCAN bleed,
And future ages tremble as they read!"

Page [107]



    PALE moon! thy mild benignant light
May glad some other captive's sight;
Bright'ning the gloomy objects nigh,
Thy beams a lenient thought supply:
But, O, pale moon! what ray of thine
Can soothe a misery like mine,
Chase the sad image of the past,
And woes for ever doom'd to last?

Page 108


Where are the years with pleasure gay?
How bright their course! how short their stay!
Where are the crowns, that round my head
A double glory vainly spread?
Where are the beauties wont to move,
The grace, converting awe to love?
Alas! had fate design'd to bless,
Its equal hand had giv'n me less!


Why did the regal garb array
A breast that tender passions sway?
A soul of unsuspicious frame,
Which leans with faith on friendship's name?
Ye vanish'd hopes! ye broken ties!
By perfidy, in friendship's guise,
This breast was injur'd, lost, betray'd--
Where, where shall MARY look for aid?

Page 109


How could I hope redress to find,
Stern rival! from thy envious mind?
How could I e'er thy words believe?
O ever practised to deceive!
Thy wiles abhorr'd shall please alone
Cold bosoms, selfish as thy own;
While ages hence indignant hear
The horrors of my fate severe.


Have not thy unrelenting hands
Torn nature's most endearing bands?
Whate'er I hop'd from woman's name,
The ties of blood, the stranger's claim!
A sister-queen's despairing breast
On thee securely lean'd for rest;
On thee! from whom that breast has bled
With sharper ills than those I fled.

Page 110


O, skill'd in every baser art!
Tyrant! to this unguarded heart
No guilt so black as thine belongs,
Which loads my length'ning years with wrongs.
Strike, then, at once, insatiate foe,
The long premeditated blow!
So shall thy jealous terrors cease,
And MARY'S harass'd soul have peace.

Page [111]


In SENSIBILITY'S lov'd praise
    I tune my trembling reed,
And seek to deck her shrine with bays,
    On which my heart must bleed!

No cold exemption from her pain
    I ever wish to know;
Cheer'd with her transport, I sustain
    Without complaint her woe.

Page 112

Above whate'er content can give,
    Above the charm of ease,
The restless hopes and fears, that live
    With her, have power to please.

Where, but for her, were Friendship's power
    To heal the wounded heart,
To shorten sorrow's ling'ring hour,
    And bid its gloom depart?

'Tis she that lights the melting eye
    With looks to anguish dear;
She knows the price of every sigh,
    The value of a tear.

She prompts the tender marks of love
    Which words can scarce express;
The heart alone their force can prove,
    And feel how much they bless.

Page 113

Of every finer bliss the source!
    'Tis she on love bestows
The softer grace, the boundless force,
    Confiding passion knows;

When to another, the fond breast
    Each thought for ever gives;
When on another leans for rest,
    And in another lives!

Quick, as the trembling metal flies
    When heat or cold impels,
Her anxious heart to joy can rise,
    Or sink where anguish dwells!

Yet though her soul must griefs sustain
    Which she alone can know,
And feel that keener sense of pain
    Which sharpens every woe;

Page 114

Though she, the mourners' grief to calm,
    Still shares each pang they feel,
And, like the tree distilling balm,
    Bleeds others' wounds to heal;

Though she, whose bosom, fondly true,
    Has never wish'd to range,
One alter'd look will trembling view,
    And scarce can bear the change;

Though she, if death the bands should tear
    She vainly thought secure,
Through life must languish in despair,
    That never hopes a cure;

Though wounded by some vulgar mind,
    Unconscious of the deed,
Who never seeks those wounds to bind,
    But wonders why they bleed;--

Page 115

She oft will heave a secret sigh,
    Will shed a lonely tear,
O'er feelings nature wrought so high,
    And gave on terms so dear.

Yet who would hard INDIFFERENCE choose,
    Whose breast no tears can steep?
Who, for her apathy, would lose
    The sacred power to weep?

Though in a thousand objects pain
    And pleasure tremble nigh,
Those objects strive to reach in vain
    The circle of her eye.

Cold as the fabled god appears
    To the poor suppliant's grief,
Who bathes the marble form in tears,
    And vainly hopes relief.

Page 116

Ah, GREVILLE ! why the gifts refuse
    To souls like thine allied?
No more thy nature seem to lose,
    No more thy softness hide.

No more invoke the playful sprite
    To chill, with magic spell,
The tender feelings of delight,
    And anguish sung so well;

That envied case thy heart would prove
    Were sure too dearly bought
With friendship, sympathy, and love,
    And every finer thought.

Page [117]



WHERE the pure Derwent's waters glide
    Along their mossy bed,
Close by the river's verdant side,
    A castle rear'd its head.

The antient pile by time is raz'd,
    Where gothic trophies frown'd,
Where once the gilded armour blaz'd,
    And banners wav'd around.

Page 118

There liv'd a chief well known to fame,
    A bold adven'trous knight,
Renown'd for victory, his name
    In glory's annals bright.

Yet milder virtues he possest,
    And gentler passions felt,
For in his calm and yielding breast
    The soft affections dwelt.

No rugged toils the heart could steel,
    By nature form'd to prove
Whate'er the tender mind can feel
    In friendship or in love.

He lost the partner of his breast,
    Who sooth'd each rising care,
And ever charm'd the pains to rest
    She ever lov'd to share.

Page 119

From solitude he hop'd relief
    And this lone mansion sought,
To cherish there his faithful grief,
    To nurse the tender thought.

There, to his bosom fondly dear,
    A blooming daughter smil'd,
And oft' the mourner's falling tear
    Bedew'd his EMMA'S child.

As drest in charms the lonely flower
    Smiles in the distant vale,
With beauty gilds the morning hour,
    And scents the evening gale;

So liv'd in solitude, unseen,
    This lovely, peerless maid;
So grac'd the wild sequester'd scene,
    And blossom'd in the shade.

Page 120

Yet love could pierce the lone recess,
    For there he likes to dwell,
To leave the noisy crowd, and bless
    With happiness the cell.

To wing his sure resistless dart
    Where all its power is known,
And rule the undivided heart
    Despotic and alone.

Young EDWIN charm'd her gentle breast,
    Though scanty all his store,
No hoarded treasure he possest,
    Yet he could boast of more:

For he could boast the lib'ral heart,
    And honour, sense, and truth,
Unwarp'd by vanity or art,
    Adorn'd the gen'rous youth.

Page 121

The maxims of a servile age,
    The mean, the selfish care,
The sordid views that now engage
    The mercenary fair,

Whom riches can unite or part,
    To them were all unknown,
For then each sympathetic breast
    Was join'd by love alone.

They little knew that wealth had power
    To make the constant rove;
They little knew the weighty dower
    Could add one bliss to love.

ELTRADA o'er the distant mead
    Would haste at closing day,
And to the bleating mother lead
    The lamb that chanc'd to stray.

Page 122

For the bruis'd insect on the waste
    A sigh would heave her breast;
And oft her careful hand replac'd
    The linnet's fallen nest.

To her sensations calm as these
    Could sweet delight impart,
Those simple pleasures most can please
    The uncorrupted heart.

And oft with eager step she flies
    To cheer the roofless cot,
Where the lone widow breathes her sighs,
    And wails her desp'rate lot.

Their weeping mother's trembling knees
    Her lisping infants clasp,
Their meek imploring look she sees,
    She feels their tender grasp.

Page 123

On her pale cheek, where hung the tear
    Of agonizing woe,
ELTRADA bids a smile appear,
    A tear of rapture flow.

Thus on soft wing the moments flew,
    (Tho' love would court their stay,)
While some new virtue rose to view,
    And mark'd each fleeting day.

The youthful poet's soothing dream
    Of golden ages past,
The muse's fond ideal theme
    Seem'd realiz'd at last.

But here, how weak to hope that bliss
    Unchanging will endure;
Ah, in a world so vain as this,
    What heart can rest secure!

Page 124

For now arose the fatal day
    For civil discord fam'd,
When YORK from LANCASTER'S proud sway
    The regal sceptre claim'd.

Each moment now the horrors brought
    Of desolating rage,
The fam'd achievements now were wrought
    That swell th' historic page.

The good old ALBERT pants again
    To dare the hostile field,
The cause of HENRY to maintain,
    For him the lance to wield.

But O, a thousand gen'rous ties
    That bind the hero's soul,
A thousand sacred claims arise,
    And EDWIN'S breast controul.

Page 125

Though passion pleads in HENRY'S cause,
    And EDWIN'S heart would sway,
Yet honour's stern, imperious laws,
    The brave will still obey.

Oppress'd with many an anxious care,
    Full oft ELTRADA sigh'd,
Complaining that relentless war
    Should those she lov'd divide.

At length the parting morn arose,
    For her in sadness drest,
While boding thoughts of future woes
    With terror heav'd her breast.

A thousand pangs her father feels,
    A thousand tender fears,
While clinging at his feet she kneels,
    And bathes them with her tears.

Page 126

One pitying tear bedew'd his cheek--
    From his lov'd child he flew,
O'erwhelmed, the father could not speak,
    He could not say--"adieu!"--

Arm'd for the field her lover came,
    He saw her pallid look,
And trembling seize her drooping frame,
    While, falt'ring, thus he spoke:

"This cruel tenderness but wounds
    The heart it means to bless,
Those falling tears, those mournful sounds
    Increase the vain distress!"--

"If fate," she answer'd, "has decreed
    That on the hostile plain
My EDWIN'S faithful heart must bleed,
    And swell the heep of slain:

Page 127

"Trust me, I never will complain,
    I'll shed no fruitless tear,
Not one weak drop my cheek shall stain,
    Or tell what passes here!

"O, let thy fate of others claim
    A tear, a mournful sigh;
I'll only murmur thy dear name,
    I'll call on thee--and die!"--

But ah, how vain for words to tell
    The pang their bosoms prov'd,
They only will conceive it well,
    They only, who have lov'd.

The timid muse forbears to say
    What laurels EDWIN gain'd;
How ALBERT , long renown'd, that day
    His ancient fame maintain'd.

Page 128

The bard, who feels congenial fire,
    May sing of martial strife,
And with heroic sounds inspire
    The gen'rous scorn of life.

But ill the theme would suit her reed,
    Who, wand'ring through the grove,
Forgets the conqu'ring hero's meed,
    And gives a tear to love!

Though long the closing day was fled,
    The fight they still maintain,
While night a deeper horror shed
    Along the darken'd plain.

To ALBERT'S breast an arrow flew,
    He felt a mortal wound--
The drops that warm'd his heart bedew
    The cold and flinty ground.

Page 129

The foe who aim'd the fatal dart
    Now heard his dying sighs;
Compassion touch'd his yielding heart,
    To ALBERT'S aid he flies.

While round the chief his arms he cast,
    While oft he deeply sigh'd,
And seem'd as if he mourn'd the past,
    Old ALBERT faintly cried:

"Though nature heaves these parting groans,
    Without complaint I die;
Yet one dear care my heart still owns,
    Still feels one tender tie.

"For YORK , a warrior known to fame,
    Uplifts the hostile spear,
EDWIN the blooming hero's name,
    To ALBERT'S bosom dear.

Page 130

"O tell him my expiring sigh,
    Say my last words implor'd
To my despairing child to fly,
    To her he once ador'd!"

He spoke! but O, what mournful strain,
    Whose force the soul can melt,
What moving numbers shall explain
    The pang that EDWIN felt?

The pang that EDWIN now reveal'd--
    For he the warrior prest
(Whom the dark shades of night conceal'd)
    Close to his throbbing breast.

"Fly, fly," he cried, "my touch profane--
    O, how the rest impart!
Rever'd old man! could EDWIN stain
    With ALBERT'S blood the dart?"

Page 131

His languid eyes lie weakly rais'd,
    Which seem'd for ever clos'd,
On the pale youth with pity gaz'd,
    And then in death repos'd.

"I'll go," the hapless EDWIN said,
    "And breathe a last adieu!
And with the drops despair will shed,
    My mournful love bedew.

"I'll go to her for ever dear,
    To catch her trembling sigh,
To wipe from her pale cheek the tear,
    And at her feet to die!"

And as to her for ever dear
    The frantic mourner flew,
To wipe from her pale cheek the tear,
    And breathe a last adieu;

Page 132

Appall'd his troubled fancy sees
    That tear of anguish flow,
And hears in every passing breeze
    The plaintive sound of woe.

Meanwhile the anxious maid, whose tears
    In vain would heav'n implore,
Of ALBERT'S fate despairing hears,
    But yet had heard no more.

"What woes," she cried, "this breast must prove,
    Its dearest ties are broke;--
O, say what ruthless arm, my love,
    Could aim the fatal stroke?

"Could not thy hand, my EDWIN , thine
    Have warded off the blow?
For O, he was not only mine,
    He was thy father too!--

Page 133

"Why does thy bosom throb with pain?--
    O speak, my EDWIN , speak!
Or sure, unable to sustain
    This grief, my heart will break."

"Yes, it will break,"--he falt'ring cried,
    "For we will life resign--
Then trembling know, thy father died--
    And know, the guilt was mine!

"It is enough!" with short quick breath,
    Exclaim'd the fainting maid;
She spoke no more, but seem'd from death
    To look for instant aid.

In plaintive accents EDWIN cries,
    "And have I murder'd thee?
To other worlds thy spirit flies,
    And mine this stroke shall free!"--

Page 134

His hand the lifted weapon grasp'd,
    The steel he firmly prest,
When wildly she arose, and clasp'd
    Her lover to her breast.

"Methought," she cried, with panting breath,
    "My EDWIN talk'd of peace;
I knew 'twas only found in death,
    And fear'd that sad release.

"I clasp him still! 'twas but a dream--
    Help yon wide wound to close,
From which a father's spirits stream,
    A father's life-blood flows.

"But see!--from thee he shrinks, nor would
    Be blasted by thy touch!--
Ah, though my EDWIN spilt thy blood,
    Yet once he lov'd thee much.

Page 135

"My father, yet in pity stay!--
    I see his white beard wave--
A spirit beckons him away,
    And points to yonder grave.

"Alas, my love, I trembling hear
    A father's last adieu;
I see, I see the falling tear
    His wrinkled cheek bedew.

"He's gone, and here his ashes sleep--
    I do not heave a sigh,
His child a father does not weep--
    For ah, my brain is dry!

"But come, together let us rove,
    At the pale hour of night,
When the moon wand'ring through the grove,
    Shall pour her faintest light.

Page 136

"We'll gather from the rosy bower
    The fairest wreaths that bloom,
We'll cull, my love, each op'ning flower
    To deck his hallow'd tomb;

"We'll thither from the distant dale
    A weeping willow bear;
And plant a lily of the vale,
    A drooping lily, there.

"We'll shun the face of glaring day,
    Eternal silence keep;
Through the dark wood together stray,
    And only live to weep.

"But hark, 'tis come--the fatal time,
    When, EDWIN , we must part:
Some angel tells me 'tis a crime
    To hold thee to my heart.

Page 137

"Yet, EDWIN , if th' offence be thine,
    Too soon I can forgive;
But O, the guilt would all be mine,
    Could I endure to live.

"Farewell, my love, for O, I faint,
    Of pale despair I die;
And see! that hoary, murder'd saint
    Descends from yon blue sky.

"Poor weak old man! he comes, my love,
    To lead to heav'n the way;
He knows not heav'n will joyless prove,
    If EDWIN here must stay!"

"O, who can bear this pang?" he cried,
    Then to his bosom prest
The dying maid, who piteous sigh'd,
    And sunk to endless rest.

Page 138

He saw her eyes for ever close,
    He heard her latest sigh,
And yet no tear of anguish flows
    From his distracted eye.

He feels within his shiv'ring veins
    A mortal chillness rise!
Her pallid corse he feebly strains,
    And on her bosom dies.

No longer may their hapless lot
    The mournful muse engage,
She wipes away the tears that blot
    The melancholy page.

Page 139

For heav'n in love dissolves the ties
    That chain the spirit here,
And distant, and for ever flies
    The blessing held most dear;

To bid the suff'ring soul aspire
    A higher bliss to prove,
To wake the pure, refin'd desire,
    The hope that rests above!

Page [140]



    She comes, benign enchantress, heav'n born PEACE !
        With mercy beaming in her radiant eye;
    She bids the horrid din of battle cease,
        And at her glance the savage passions die.
    'Tis Nature's festival, let earth rejoice,
        And pour to Liberty exulting songs,
    In distant regions, with according voice,
Let Man the vict'ry bless, its prize to Man belongs.

* The Peace signed at Amiens, between the French and English, in 1801.

Page 141


    Resistless Freedom! when she nerves the arm,
    No vulgar triumph crowns the hero's might;
    She, she alone can spread a moral charm
        O'er war's fell deeds, and sanctify the fight.
    O, GALLIA ! in this bright immortal hour,
        How proud a trophy binds thy laurel'd brow!
    Republic, hail! whose independent power
All earth contested once, all earth confesses now.


    Protecting spirits of the glorious dead!
        Ah, not in vain the hero's noble toil,
    Ah, not in vain the patriot's blood is shed,
        That blood shall consecrate his native soil.
    Illustrious names! to hist'ry's record dear,
        And breath'd when some high impulse fires the bard,
    For you shall virtue pour the glowing tear,
And your remember'd deeds shall still your country guard.

Page 142


    And thou, lov'd BRITAIN , my parental Isle!
        Secure, encircled by thy subject waves,
    Thou, land august, where Freedom rear'd her pile,
        While gothic night obscur'd a world of slaves;
    Thy genius, that indignant heard the shock
        Of frantic combat, strife unmeet for thee,
    Now views triumphant, from his sea-girt rock,
Thee unsubdued alone, for thou alone wert free!


    O, happy thy misguided efforts fail'd,
        My Country! when with tyrant-hosts combin'd--
    O, hideous conquest, had thy sword prevail'd,
        And crown'd the impious league against mankind!
    Thou nurse of great design, of lofty thought,
        What homicide, had thy insensate rage
    Effac'd the sacred lesson thou hast taught,
And with thy purest blood inscrib'd on glory's page.

Page 143


    Ah, rather haste to Concord's holy shrine,
        Ye rival nations, haste with joy elate;
    Your blending garlands round her altar twine,
        And bind the wounds of no immortal hate:
    Go--breathe responsive rituals o'er the sod
        Where Freedom martyrs press an early grave;
    Go--vow that never shall their turf be trod
By the polluting step of tyrant or of slave.


    And from your shores the abject vices chase,
        That low Ambition generous souls disdain,
    Corruption blasting every moral grace,
        Servility that kneels to bless his chain;
    O, Liberty, those demons far remove,
        Come, nymph severely good, sublimely great!
    Nor to the raptur'd hope of mortals prove
Like those illusive dreams that pass the iv'ry gate.

Page 144


    New Age! that roll'st o'er man thy dawning year,
        Ah, sure all happy omens hail thy birth,
    Sure whiter annals in thy train appear,
        And purer glory cheers the gladden'd earth:
    Like the young eagle, when his stedfast glance
        Meets the full sun-beam in his upward flight,
    So thou shalt with majestic step advance,
And fix thy dauntless eye on Liberty and Light.

Page [145]


FAIR OTAHEITE , fondly blest
        By him who long was doom'd to brave
        The fury of the Polar wave,
    That fiercely mounts the frozen rock
Where the harsh sea-bird rears her nest,
    And learns the raging surge to mock--

Page 146

    There Night, that loves eternal storm,
Deep and lengthened darkness throws,
    And untried danger's doubtful form
Its half-seen horror shews!
    While Nature, with a look so wild,
    Leans on the cliffs, in chaos pil'd,
That here the aw'd, astonish'd mind
    Forgets, in that o'erwhelming hour,
When her rude hands the storms unbind
    In all the madness of her power,
That she who spreads the savage gloom,
    That she can dress in melting grace,
In sportive Summer's lavish bloom,
    The awful terrors of her face;
And wear the sweet perennial smile
That charms in OTAHEITE'S isle.
    Yet, amid her fragrant bowers,
Where Spring, whose dewy fingers strew
    O'er other lands some fleeting flowers,
Lives, in blossoms ever new;

Page 147

Whence arose that shriek of pain?
Whence the tear that flows in vain?
Death! thy unrelenting hand
Bursts some transient, human band.
What art thou, Death?--terrific shade,
In unpierc'd gloom array'd!--
Oft will daring Fancy stray
    Far in the central wastes, where night
Divides no cheering hour with day,
    And unnam'd horrors meet her sight;
There thy form she dimly sees,
    And round the shape unfinish'd throws
    All her frantic vision shews,
When numbing fears her spirit freeze.
But can mortal voice declare,
    If Fancy paints thee as thou art?--
Thy aspect may a terror wear
    Her pencil never shall impart;
The eye that once on thee shall gaze
No more its stiffen'd orb can raise;

Page 148

The lips that could thy power reveal,
Shall lasting silence instant seal.
In vain the icy hand we fold,
    In vain the breast with tears we steep,
The heart that shar'd each pang is cold,
    The vacant eye no more can weep.
Yet from the shore where Ganges rolls
    His waves beneath the torrid ray,
To earth's chill verge, where o'er the poles
    Falls the last beam of ling'ring day,
For ever sacred are the dead!
    Sweet Fancy comes in sorrow's aid,
And bids the mourner lightly tread
    Where th' insensate clay is laid;
Bids partial gloom the sod invest
By the mould'ring relics prest;
There lavish strews with sad delight,
    Whate'er her consecrating power
    Reveres, of herb or fruit, or flower,
And fondly weaves the various rite.

Page 149

    See! o'er OTAHEITE'S plain
Moves the long funereal train;
Slow the pallid corse they bear,
Oft they breathe the solemn prayer.
Where the Ocean bathes the land,
Thrice and thrice, with pious hand,
The priest, where high the billow springs,
From the wave unsullied, flings
Waters pure, that sprinkled near,
Sanctify the hallow'd bier;
But never may one drop profane
The relics with forbidden stain!
Now around the fun'ral shrine,
Led in mystic mazes, twine
Garlands, where the plantain weaves
With the palm's luxuriant leaves,
And o'er each sacred knot is spread
The plant devoted to the dead.
    Five pale moons with trembling light
Shall gaze upon the lengthen'd rite;

Page 150

Shall see distracted beauty tear
The tresses of her flowing hair;
Those graceful locks, no longer dear,
She wildly scatters o'er the bier,
And frantic gives the frequent wound
That purples with her blood the ground!
    Where along the western sky
Day's reflected colours die,
And twilight rules the doubtful hour
Ere slow-pac'd night resumes her power,
Mark the cloud that lingers still
Darkly on the hanging hill:
There the disembodied mind
Hears, upon the hollow wind,
Low, in mournful cadence thrown,
Sorrow's oft repeated moan--
Still some human passions sway
The spirit, late immers'd in clay;
Still the hopeless sigh is dear,
Still belov'd the fruitless tear!

Page 151

Five waning moons with wand'ring light
Have past the shadowy bound of night,
And mingled their departing ray
With the soft fires of early day;
Let the last sad rites be paid,
Grateful to the conscious shade.
Let the priest with pious care
Now the wasted relics bear,
Where the MORAI'S awful gloom
Shrouds the consecrated tomb.
Let the plantain lift its head;
Cherish'd emblem of the dead;
Slow, and solemn, o'er the grave
Let the twisted plumage wave,
Symbol hallow'd and divine
Of the god who guards the shrine.
Hark!--that shriek of strange despair
Never shall disturb the air;
Never, never shall it rise,
But for Nature's broken ties!--

Page 152

        Bright Crescent! that with lucid smile
    Gild'st the MORAI'S lofty pile;
    Whose broad lines of shadow throw
    A gloomy horror far below,
    Witness, O recording moon,
    All the rites are duly done;
    Be the faithful tribute o'er,
    The hov'ring spirit asks no more!
    Mortals, cease the pile to tread,
    Leave to silence, leave the dead.
    But where may she who loves to stray
        'Mid shadows of funereal gloom,
        And courts the sadness of the tomb,
    Where may she seek that proud MORAI ,
    Whose dear memorial points the place
    Where fell the friend of human race?
Ye lonely Isles, on Ocean's bound,
    Ye bloom'd thro' Time's long flight unknown,
        Till Cook the untrack'd billow past!
        Till he along the surges cast

Page 153

    Philanthropy's connecting zone,
And spread her loveliest blessings round!--
Not like that murd'rous band he came,
    Who stain'd with blood the new-found West;
    Nor as, with unrelenting breast,
    From BRITAIN'S free, enlightened land,
    Her sons now seek ANGOLA'S strand,*
        The ties most sacred to unbind,--
To load with chains a brother's frame,
        And plunge a dagger in the mind;
    Mock the sharp anguish bleeding there
    Of nature in her last despair!
        Great COOK ! Ambition's lofty flame,
        So oft directed to destroy,
    Led thee to circle with thy name
        The smile of love, and hope, and joy!
    Those fires that lend the dang'rous blaze
        The devious comet trails afar,
    Might form the pure, benignant rays
        That gild the morning's gentle star.

Page 154

    Sure, where the hero's ashes rest,
        The nations late emerg'd from night
    Still haste--with love's unwearied care,
    That spot in lavish flowers is drest,
        And fancy's dear, inventive rite
    Still paid with fond observance there?--
    Ah, no! around his fatal grave
        No lavish flowers were ever strew'd,
    No votive gift was ever laid--
        His blood a savage shore bedew'd!
    His mangled limbs, one hasty prayer,
    One pious tear by friendship paid,
    Were cast upon the raging wave!
        Deep in the wild abyss he lies,
Far from the cherish'd scene of home;
        Far, far from her whose faithful sighs
    A husband's trackless course pursue;
Whose tender fancy loves to roam
    With him o'er lands and oceans new;

Page 155

        And gilds with hope's deluding form
        The gloomy pathway of the storm!
    Yet, Cook! immortal wreathes are thine!
While Albion's grateful toil shall raise
        The marble tomb, the trophied bust,
        For ages faithful to its trust;
While, eager to record thy praise,
    She bids the muse of history twine
        The chaplet of undying fame,
    And tell each polish'd land thy worth,
    The ruder natives of the earth
        Shall oft repeat thy honour'd name,
While infants catch the frequent sound,
    And learn to lisp the oral tale,
    Whose fond remembrance shall prevail
Till Time has reach'd her destin'd bound!

* The Morai , the sepulchre of the Otaheitans, was composed at the desire of the kind patron of my first essays in literature, the Rev. Doctor Kippis, and inserted in his History of Captain Cook's Life by that revered friend, for whom the feelings of attachment and veneration, cherished since the days of childhood, still make a part of my existence. Nothing, indeed, is better fitted to confirm our love and admiration of particular virtue, than experience of the world in general.

The Slave-trade was not then abolished.

Page [156]


AH , EVAN , by thy winding stream
    How once I lov'd to stray,
And view the morning's redd'ning beam,
    Or charm of closing day!

To yon dear grot by EVAN'S side,
    How oft my steps were led;
Where far beneath the waters glide,
    And thick the woods are spread!

Page 157

But I no more a charm can see
    In EVAN'S lovely glades;
And drear and desolate to me
    Are those enchanting shades.

While far--how far from EVAN'S bowers,
    My wand'ring lover flies;
Where dark the angry tempest lowers,
    And high the billows rise!

And O, where'er the wand'rer goes,
    Is that poor mourner dear,
Who gives, while soft the EVAN flows,
    Each passing wave a tear?

And does he now that grotto view?
    On those steep banks still gaze?
In fancy does he still pursue
    The EVAN'S lovely maze?

Page 158

O come! repass the stormy wave,
    O toil for gold no more!
Our love a dearer pleasure gave
    On EVAN'S peaceful shore.

Leave not my breaking heart to mourn
    The joys so long denied;
Ah, soon to those green banks return,
    Where EVAN meets the CLYDE .

Page [159]



SLOW spreads the gloom my soul desires--
The sun from India's shore retires--
To EVAN'S banks with temp'rate ray,
Home of my youth! he leads the day.
O banks to me for ever dear!
O stream, whose murmurs still I hear!
All, all my hopes of bliss reside
Where EVAN mingles with the CLYDE .

Page 160


And she in simple beauty drest,
Whose image lives within my breast,
Who trembling heard my parting sigh,
And long pursued me with her eye!
Does she, with heart unchang'd as mine,
Oft in the vocal bowers recline?
Or where yon grot o'erhangs the tide,
Muse, while the EVAN meets the CLYDE ?


Ye lofty banks that EVAN bound,
Ye lavish woods that wave around,
And o'er the stream your shadows throw,
Which softly winds so far below--
What secret charm to mem'ry brings
All that on EVAN'S border springs?
Sweet banks!--ye bloom by MARY'S side!
Blest stream!--she views thee haste to CLYDE !

Page 161

Can all the wealth of INDIA'S coast
Atone for years in absence lost?
Return, ye moments of delight,
With richer treasures bless my sight!
Swift from this desert let me part,
And fly to meet a kindred heart!
Nor more may aught my steps divide
From that dear stream which flows to CLYDE .

Page [162]


NO riches from his scanty store
    My lover could impart;
He gave a boon I valued more--
    He gave me all his heart!

His soul sincere, his gen'rous worth,
    Might well this bosom move;
And when I ask'd for bliss on earth,
    I only meant his love.

Page 163

But now for me, in search of gain,
    From shore to shore he flies;--
Why wander riches to obtain,
    When love is all I prize?

The frugal meal, the lowly cot,
    When blest, my love, with thee,--
That simple fare, that humble lot,
    Were more than wealth to me.

While he the dang'rous Ocean braves,
    My tears but vainly flow;
Is pity in the faithless waves,
    To which I pour my woe?

The night is dark, the waters deep,
    Yet soft the billows roll;
Alas! at every breeze I weep--
    The storm is in my soul.

Page [164]


BROAD in the west the sun descends,
    I love his parting ray;
The robe of purple light he lends
    To dress the fading day.

For then, in yon grey mist array'd,
    Soon twilight hastens near,
And softly throws the deep'ning shade
    That hides my frequent tear!

Page 165

From me , capricious beauty, take
    The fruitless boon you gave;
Those useless graces, that can make
    Each youth, but one, my slave.

All praise but his I careless hear;
    His words alone impart
The charm that ever soothes my ear,
    And melts my partial heart!

False youth! though fair LOUISA'S face,
    Though bright her tresses shine,
Canst thou in her light glances trace
    The tenderness of mine?

Thy form which from my heart I tear,
    No more that heart shall move;
Alas! the indignation there
    Is but the pang of love!

Page [166]


    THE hollow winds of night no more
In wild, unequal cadence pour,
On musing fancy's wakeful ear,
The groan of agony severe
From yon dark vessel, which contains
The wretch new bound in hopeless chains!
Whose soul with keener anguish bleeds,
As AFRIC'S less'ning shore recedes--

Page 167

No more where Ocean's unseen bound
Leaves a drear world of waters round,
Between the howling gust, shall rise
The stifled captive's latest sighs!--
No more shall suffocating death
Seize the pent victim's sinking breath;
The pang of that convulsive hour,
Reproaching man's insatiate power;
Man! who to AFRIC'S shore has past,
Relentless, as the annual blast
That sweeps the Western Isles, and flings
Destruction from its furious wings!--
And woman, she, too weak to bear
The galling chain, the tainted air,--
Of mind too feeble to sustain
The vast, accumulated pain,--
No more, in desperation wild,
Shall madly strain her gasping child;
With all the mother at her soul,
With eyes where tears have ceas'd to roll,

Page 168

Shall catch the livid infant's breath,
Then sink in agonizing death!
BRITAIN ! the noble, blest decree
That soothes despair, is fram'd by thee!
Thy powerful arm has interpos'd,
And one dire scene for ever clos'd;
Its horror shall no more belong
To that foul drama, deep with wrong.
O, first of EUROPE'S polish'd lands
To ease the captive's iron bands;
Long, as thy glorious annals shine,
This proud distinction shall be thine!
Not first alone when valour leads
To rush on danger's noblest deeds;
When mercy calls thee to explore
A gloomy path, untrod before,
Thy ardent spirit springs to heal,
And, greatly gen'rous, dares to feel!--
Valour is like the meteor's light,
Whose partial flash leaves deeper night;

Page 169

While Mercy, like the lunar ray,
Gilds the thick shade with softer day.
    Blest deed! that met consenting minds
In all but those whom av'rice binds,--
Who creep in interest's crooked ways,
Nor ever pass her narrow maze;
Or those whom hard indiff'rence steels
To every pang another feels.
For them has fortune round their bowers
Twin'd, partial nymph! her lavish flowers;
For them , from unsunn'd caves, she brings
Her summer ice; for them she springs
To climes where hotter suns produce
The richer fruit's delicious juice;
While they , whom wasted blessings tire,
Nor leave one want to feed desire,
With cool, insulting ease demand
Why, for yon hopeless, captive band,
Is ask'd, to mitigate despair,
The mercy of the common air?

Page 170

The boon of larger space to breathe,
While coop'd that hollow deck beneath?
A lengthen'd plank, on which to throw
Their shackled limbs, while fiercely glow
The beams direct, that on each head
The fury of contagion shed?--
And dare presumptuous, guilty man,
Load with offence his fleeting span?
Deform creation with the gloom
Of crimes that blot its cheerful bloom?
Darken a work so perfect made,
And cast the universe in shade?--
Alas! to AFRIC'S fetter'd race
Creation wears no form of grace!
To them earth's pleasant vales are found
A blasted waste, a sterile bound;
Where the poor wand'rer must sustain
The load of unremitted pain;
A region in whose ample scope
His eye discerns no gleam of hope;

Page 171

Where thought no kind asylum knows
On which its anguish may repose;
But death, that to the ravag'd breast
Comes not in shapes of terror drest;
Points to green hills where freedom roves,
And minds renew their former loves;
Or, hov'ring in the troubled air,
Hangs the fierce spectre of Despair;
Whose soul abhors the gift of life,
Who stedfast grasps the reeking knife,
Bids the charg'd heart in torrents bleed,
And smiles in frenzy at the deed!
    Ye noble minds! who o'er a sky
Where clouds are roll'd, and tempests fly,
Have bid the lambent lustre play
Of one pure, lovely, azure ray;
O, far diffuse its op'ning bloom,
And the wide Hemisphere illume!
Ye, who one bitter drop have drain'd
From slav'ry's cup, with horror stain'd,

Page 172

O, let no fatal dregs be found,
But dash her chalice on the ground,
While still she links her impious chain,
And calculates the price of pain;
Weighs agony in sordid scales,
And marks if death or life prevails;
Decides how near the mangling scourge
May to the grave its victim urge,--
Yet for awhile, with prudent care,
The half-worn wretch, if useful, spare;
And speculates, with skill refin'd,
How deep a wound will stab the mind;
How far the spirit can endure
Calamity, that hopes no cure!--
Ye! who can selfish cares forego,
To pity those which others know,--
As light that from its centre strays
To glad all nature with its rays,--
O, ease the pangs ye stoop to share,
And rescue millions from despair!--

Page 173

For you, while morn in graces gay
Wakes the fresh bloom of op'ning day,
Gilds with her purple light your dome,
Renewing all the joys of home,--
Of that dear shed which first ye knew,
Where first the sweet affections grew;
Whose charm alike the heart can draw,
If form'd of marble or of straw;
Whether the voice of pleasure calls,
And gladness echoes through its walls,
Or to its hallow'd roof we fly
With those we love to pour the sigh;
The load of mingled pain to bear,
And soften every pang we share!--
Ah, think how desolate his state,
How he the cheerful light must hate,
Whom, sever'd from his native soil,
The morning wakes to fruitless toil
To labours hope shall never cheer,
Or fond domestic joy endear!

Page 174

Poor wretch! on whose despairing eyes
His cherish'd home shall never rise!
Condemn'd, severe extreme, to live
When all is fled that life can give:--
And ah, the blessings valued most
By human minds, are blessings lost!
Unlike the objects of the eye,
Enlarging as we bring them nigh;
Our joys at distance strike the breast,
And seem diminish'd when possest.
    Who from his far-divided shore
The half-expiring captive bore?
Those whom the traffic of their race
Has robb'd of every human grace;
Whose harden'd souls no more retain
Impressions nature stamp'd in vain:
As streams that once the landscape gave
Reflected on the trembling wave,
Their substance change when lock'd in frost,
And rest in dead contraction lost;

Page 175

Who view, unmoved, the look that tells
The pang that in the bosom dwells;
Heed not the nerves that terror shakes,
The heart convulsive anguish breaks;
The shriek that would their crimes upbraid,
But deem despair a part of trade.
Such only for detested gain
The barb'rous commerce would maintain;
The gen'rous sailor, he who dares
All forms of danger, while he bears
The British flag o'er sultry seas,
And spreads it on the Polar breeze;
He to whose guardian arm we owe
Each blessing that the happy know;
Whatever charms the soften'd heart,
Each cultur'd grace, each finer art,
E'en thine, most lovely of the train!
Sweet Poetry, thy heav'n-taught strain,
His breast, where nobler passions burn,
In honest poverty, would spurn

Page 176

The wealth oppression can bestow,
And scorn to wound a fetter'd foe!
    When borne at length to Western lands,
Chain'd on the beach the captive stands,
Where Man, dire merchandize! is sold,
And barter'd life is paid for gold!
In mute affliction, see him try
To read his new possessor's eye;
If one blest glance of mercy there,
One half-form'd tear may check despair!
Ah, if that eye with sorrow sees
His languid look, his quiv'ring knees,
Those limbs which scarce their load sustain,
That form consum'd in wasting pain,
Such sorrow fills his ruthless eye
Who sees the lamb he doom'd to die;
In pining sickness yield his life,
And thus elude the sharpen'd knife.
Or if where savage habit steels
The vulgar mind, one bosom feels

Page 177

The sacred claim of helpless woe--
If pity in that soil can grow!
Yet why on one poor chance must rest
The int'rest of a kindred breast?
Why yield to passion's wayward laws
Humanity's devoted cause?--
Ah ye, who one fix'd purpose own,
Whose untir'd aim is self alone;
Who think in gold the essence lies
From which extracted bliss shall rise;
Does fleeting life proportion bear
To all the wealth ye heap with care?
When soon your days in rapid flight
Shall sink in death's terrific night,
Then seize the moments in your power,
To Mercy consecrate the hour!
Risk something in her cause at last,
And thus atone for all the past.
Does avarice, your god, delight
With agony to feast his sight?

Page 178

Does he require that victims slain,
And human blood his altars stain?--
Ah, not alone of power possest
To check each virtue of the breast:
As when the numbing frosts arise
The charm of vegetation dies;
His sway the harden'd bosom leads
To cruelty's remorseless deeds;
Like the blue lightning, when it springs
With fury on its livid wings,
Darts to its goal with baleful force,
Nor heeds that ruin marks its course!
    O, Eloquence! prevailing art!
Whose force can chain the list'ning heart;
The throb of sympathy inspire,
And kindle every great desire;
With magic energy control,
And reign the sov'reign of the soul!
That dreams, while all its passions swell,
It shares the power it feels so well:

Page 179

As visual objects seem possest
Of those clear hues by light imprest.
O, skill'd in every grace to charm,
To soften, to appal, to warm,--
Fill with thy noblest rage the breast,
Bid on those lips thy spirit rest,
That shall, in Britain's Senate, trace
The wrongs of AFRIC'S captive race!--
But Fancy o'er the tale of woe
In vain one heighten'd tint would throw;
For ah, the truth is all we guess
Of anguish in its last excess!
Fancy may dress in deeper shade
The storm that hangs along the glade;
Spreads o'er the ruffled stream its wing,
And chills awhile the flowers of spring;
But where the wint'ry tempests sweep
In madness o'er the darken'd deep,--
Where the wild surge, the raging wave,
Point to the hopeless wretch a grave;

Page 180

And death surrounds the threat'ning shore--
Can fancy add one horror more?--
Lov'd BRITAIN ! whose protecting hand,
Stretch'd o'er the globe, on AFRIC'S strand
The honour'd base of freedom lays,
Soon, soon the finish'd fabric raise!
And when surrounding realms would frame,
Touch'd with a spark of gen'rous flame,
Some pure, ennobling, great design,
Some lofty act, almost divine,
Which earth may hail with rapture high,
And heav'n may view with fav'ring eye,--
Teach them to make all nature free,
And shine by emulating thee!

Page [181]


"AH ! pity all the pangs I feel,
    If pity e'er ye knew;--
An aged father's wounds to heal,
    Through scenes of death I flew.

"Perhaps my hast'ning steps are vain,
    Perhaps the warrior dies!--
Yet let me soothe each parting pain--
    Yet lead me where he lies."

Page 182

Thus to the list'ning band she calls,
    Nor fruitless her desire,
They lead her, panting, to the walls
    That hold her captive sire.

"And is a daughter come to bless
    These aged eyes once more?
Thy father's pains will now be less--
    His pains will now be o'er!"

"My father! by this waning lamp
    Thy form I faintly trace:--
Yet sure thy brow is cold and damp,
    And pale thy honour'd face!

"In vain thy wretched child is come,
    She comes too late to save!
And only now can share thy doom,
    And share thy peaceful grave!"

Page 183

Soft, as amid the lunar beams
    The falling shadows bend,
Upon the bosom of the streams,
    So soft her tears descend.

"Those tears a father ill can bear,
    He lives, my child, for thee!
A gentle youth, with pitying care,
    Has lent his aid to me.

"Born in the western world, his hand
    Maintains its hostile cause,
And fierce against Britannia's band
    His erring sword he draws;

"Yet feels the captive Briton's woe;
    For his ennobled mind
Forgets the name of Britain's foe,
    In love of human kind!

Page 184

"Yet know, my child, a dearer tie
    Has link'd his heart to mine:
He mourns with Friendship's holy sigh,
    The youth belov'd of thine!

"But hark! his welcome feet are near--
    Thy rising grief suppress:
By darkness veil'd, he hastens here
    To comfort and to bless."

"Stranger! for that dear father's sake,"
    She cried, in accents mild,
"Who lives by thy kind pity, take
    The blessings of his child!

"O, if in heaven, my EDWARD'S breast
    This deed of mercy knew,
That gives my tortur'd bosom rest,
    He sure would bless thee too!

Page 185

"Ah, tell me where my lover fell?
    The fatal scene recall;
His last, dear accents, stranger, tell,
    O, haste and tell me all!

"Say, if he gave to love the sigh,
    That set his spirit free?
Say, did he raise his closing eye,
    As if it sought for me?"

"Ask not," her father cried, "to know
    What, known, were added pain;
Nor think, my child, the tale of woe
    Thy softness can sustain."

"Though every joy with EDWARD fled,
    When EDWARD'S friend is near
It soothes my breaking heart," she said,
    "To tell those joys were dear.

Page 186

"The western ocean roll'd in vain
    Its parting waves between,
My EDWARD brav'd the dang'rous main,
    And bless'd our native scene.

"Soft Isis heard his artless tale,
    Ah, stream for ever dear!
Whose waters, as they pass'd the vale,
    Receiv'd a lover's tear.

"How could a heart that virtue lov'd,
    (And sure that heart is mine)
Lamented youth! behold unmov'd,
    The virtues that were thine?

"Calm, as the surface of the lake,
    When all the winds are still;
Mild, as the beams of morning break,
    When first they light the hill;

Page 187

"So calm was his unruffled soul,
    Where no rude passion strove;
So mild his soothing accents stole,
    Upon the ear of love.

"Where are the dear illusions fled
    Which sooth'd my former hours?
Where is the path that fancy spread,
    Ah, vainly spread with flowers?

"I heard the battle's fearful sounds,
    They seem'd my lover's knell--
I heard that, pierc'd with ghastly wounds,
    My vent'rous lover fell!--

"My sorrows shall with life endure,
    For he I lov'd is gone;
But something tells my heart, that sure
    My life will not be long."

Page 188

"My panting soul can bear no more,"
    The youth impatient cried;
" 'Tis EDWARD bids thy griefs be o'er,
    My love! my destin'd bride!

"The life which Heav'n preserv'd, how blest,
    How fondly priz'd by me!
Since dear to my AMELIA'S breast,
    Since valued still by thee!

"My father saw my constant pain
    When thee I left behind,
Nor longer will his power restrain
    The ties my soul would bind.

"And soon thy honor'd sire shall cease
    The captive's lot to bear;
And we, my love, will soothe to peace
    His griefs, with filial care.

Page 189

"Then come for ever to my soul!
    AMELIA come, and prove
How calm our blissful years will roll
    Along, a life of love!"

Page [190]


[Brackets following are part of original printed volume, not added by the editors.]

[The following Poem is formed on a very singular and sublime idea. A young gentleman, possessed of an uncommon genius for drawing, on visiting the Tower of London, passing one door of a singular construction, asked what apartment it led to, and expressed a desire to have it opened. The person who shewed the place shook his head, and answered, "Heaven knows what is within that door--it has been shut for ages." This answer made small impression on the other hearers, but a very deep one on the imagination of this youth. Gracious heaven! an apartment shut up for ages--and in the Tower!
                     "Ye Towers of Julius! London's lasting shame,
                      By many a foul and midnight murder fed."

Genius builds on a slight foundation, and rears beautiful structures on "the baseless fabric of a vision." The above transient hint dwelt on the young man's fancy, and conjured into his memory all the murders which history records to have been committed in the Tower: Henry the Sixth, the Duke of Clarence, the two young Princes sons of Edward the Fourth, Sir Thomas Overbury, &c. He supposes all their ghosts assembled in this unexplored apartment, and to these his fertile imagination has added several others. One of the spectres raises an immense pall of black velvet, and discovers the remains of a murdered royal family, whose story is lost in the lapse of time.--The gloomy wildness of these images struck my imagination so forcibly, that, endeavouring to catch the fire of the youth's pencil, this fragment was produced.]

Page 191


    RISE , winds of night! relentless tempests, rise!
        Rush from the troubled clouds, and o'er me roll!
    In this chill pause a deeper horror lies,
        A wilder fear appals my shudd'ring soul!--
    'Twas on this day,* this hour accurst,
        That Nature, starting from repose,
    Heard the dire shrieks of murder burst--
        From infant innocence they rose,--
            And shook these solemn towers!
    I shudd'ring pass that fatal room,
    For ages wrapt in central gloom!--
    I shudd'ring pass that iron door,
    Which fate perchance unlocks no more;
Death, smear'd with blood, o'er the dark portal lowers!

* The anniversary of the murder of Edward V., and his brother Richard, Duke of York.

Page 192


        How fearfully my step resounds
        Along these lonely bounds!--
    Spare, savage blast! the taper's quiv'ring fires;
    Deep in these gath'ring shades its flame expires.
        Ye host of heaven! the door recedes--
        It mocks my grasp--what unseen hands
            Have burst its iron bands?
        No mortal force this gate unbarr'd,
        Where danger lives, which terrors guard--
        Dread powers! its screaming hinges close
            On this dire scene of impious deeds--
        My feet are fix'd!--Dismay has bound
        My step on this polluted ground!
    But lo! the pitying moon a line of light
        Athwart the horrid darkness dimly throws,
And from yon grated window chases night.

Page 193


        Ye visions that before me roll,
    That freeze my blood, that shake my soul!
        Are ye the phantoms of a dream?--
    Pale spectres! are ye what ye seem?--
            They glide more near!
                Their forms unfold!
         Fix'd are their eyes--on me they bend--
                Their glaring look is cold!
            And hark!--I hear
Sounds that the throbbing pulse of life suspend:


    "No wild illusion cheats thy sight
    With shapes that only live in night--
    Mark the native glories spread
        Around my bleeding brow!
    The crown of Albion wreath'd my head,
        And Gallia's lilies* twin'd below--

Page 194

    When my father shook his spear,
        When his banner sought the skies,
    Her baffled host recoil'd with fear,
        Nor turn'd their shrinking eyes.
    Soon as the daring eagle springs,
        To bask in heav'n's empyreal light,
    The vultures ply their baleful wings,
        A cloud of deep'ning colour marks their flight,
            Staining the golden day:--
    But see! amid the rav'nous brood
        A bird of fiercer aspect soar--
    The spirits of a rival race*
    Hang on the noxious blast, and trace
            With gloomy joy his destin'd prey;
    Inflame th' ambitious wish that thirsts for blood,
And plunge his talons deep in kindred gore.

* Henry the Sixth was crowned when an infant, at Paris.


    "View the stern form that hovers nigh:
    Fierce rolls his dauntless eye,

Page 195

        In scorn of hideous death;
Till starting at a brother's* name,
Horror shrinks his glowing frame;
    Locks the half-utter'd groan,
        And chills the parting breath:--
    Astonish'd Nature heav'd a moan!
When her affrighted eye beheld the hands
She form'd to cherish, rend her holy bands.

*Richard the Third, by murdering so many near relations, seemed to revenge the suffering of Henry the Sixth and his family, on the house of York.


"Look where a royal infant+ kneels;
    Shrieking, and agoniz'd with fear,
    He sees the dagger pointed near
        A much-lov'd brother's+ breast,
And tells an absent mother all he feels!
    His eager eye he casts around,--
    Where shall her guardian form be found,
        On which his eager eye would rest?

Page 196

    On her he calls in accents wild,
        And wonders why her step is slow
    To save her suff'ring child!
Rob'd in the regal garb, his brother stands
        In more majestic woe,
    And meets the impious stroke with bosom bare,
Then fearless grasps the murd'rer's hands,
    And asks the minister of hell to spare
The child, whose feeble arms sustain
    His bleeding form, from cruel death.
    In vain fraternal fondness pleads,
        For cold is now his livid cheek,
    And cold his last, expiring breath;
        And now, with aspect meek,
    The infant lifts its mournful eye,
    And asks, with trembling voice, to die,
If death will cure his heaving heart of pain!
        His heaving heart now bleeds!--
    Foul tyrant! o'er the gilded hour
    That beams with all the blaze of power,

Page 197

                Remorse shall spread her thickest shroud!
            The furies in thy tortur'd ear
                Shall howl, with curses deep and loud,
            And wake distracting fear!
                I see the ghastly spectre rise,
                Whose blood is cold, whose hollow eyes
                Seem from his head to start!--
                With upright hair and shiv'ring heart,
            Dark o'er thy midnight couch he bends,
And clasps thy shrinking frame, thy impious spirit rends."

*Richard the Third, who murdered his brother the Duke of Clarence.

+Richard, Duke of York.

+Edward the Fifth.


            Now his thrilling accents die--
            His shape eludes my searching eye.
            But who is he,* convuls'd with pain,
            That writhes in every swelling vein?
                Yet in so deep, so wild a groan,
            A sharper anguish seems to live
            Than life's expiring pang can give!--
                He dies deserted, and alone.

Page 198

                If pity can allay thy woes,
                Sad spirit, they shall find repose:
            Thy friend, thy long-lov'd friend is near;
            He comes to pour the parting tear,
                He comes to catch the parting breath.
            Ah, heaven! no melting look he wears,
            His alter'd eye with vengeance glares;
            Each frantic passion at his soul;
            'Tis he has dash'd that venom'd bowl
                With agony and death!

* Sir Thomas Overbury, poisoned in the Tower by Somerset.


            But whence arose that solemn call?
                Yon bloody phantom waves his hand,
                And beckons me to deeper gloom!
Rest, troubled form! I come--
            Some unknown power my step impels
            To horror's secret cells.
                "For thee I raise this sable pall,
            It shrouds a ghastly band:

Page 199

    Stretch'd beneath, thy eye shall trace
            A mangled regal race!
    A thousand suns have roll'd, since light
    Rush'd on their solid night!
    See, o'er that tender frame grim Famine hangs,
            And mocks a mother's pangs!
    The last, last drop which warm'd her veins
            That meagre infant drains,
    Then gnaws her fond, sustaining breast!
        Stretch'd on her feeble knees, behold
    Another victim sinks to lasting rest;
        Another yet her matron arms would fold,
Who strives to reach her matron arms in vain--
    Too weak her wasted form to raise,
    On him she bends her eager gaze;
        She sees the soft imploring eye
That asks her dear embrace, the cure of pain--
        She sees her child at distance die!
    But now her stedfast heart can bear,
    Unmov'd, the pressure of despair.

Page 200

When first the winds of winter urge their course
    O'er the pure stream, whose current smoothly glides,
    The heaving river swells its troubled tides;
But when the bitter blast with keener force
    O'er the high wave an icy fetter throws,
    The harden'd wave is fix'd in dead repose."


    "Say, who that hoary form? alone he stands,
    And meekly lifts his wither'd hands;
            His white beard streams with blood!
    I see him with a smile deride
    The wounds that pierce his shrivell'd side,
            Whence flows a purple flood;
        But sudden pangs his bosom tear--
            On one big drop, of deeper dye,
            I see him fix his haggard eye
    In dark, and wild despair!
    That sanguine drop which wakes his woe,
            Say, Spirit! whence its source?"

Page 201

    "Ask no more its source to know--
    Ne'er shall mortal eye explore
    Whence flow'd that drop of human gore,
    Till the starting dead shall rise,
    Unchain'd from earth, and mount the skies,
And Time shall end his fated course.
    Now th' unfathom'd depth behold:
        Look but once--a second glance
    Wraps a heart of human mould
        In death's eternal trance!


    "That shapeless phantom, sinking slow
    Deep down the vast abyss below,
    Darts thro' the mists that shroud his frame,
    A horror, nature hates to name!
    Mortal, could thine eyes behold
    All those sullen mists enfold,
    Thy sinews at the sight accurst
    Would wither, and thy heart-strings burst;

Page 202

    Death would grasp with icy hand,
    And drag thee to our grizly band!
    Away! the sable pall I spread,
    And give to rest th' unquiet dead;
        Haste! ere its horrid shroud enclose
    Thy form, benumb'd with wild affright,
    And plunge thee far through wastes of night,
        In yon black gulph's abhorr'd repose!"
    As, starting at each step, I fly,
    Why backward turns my frantic eye,
            That closing portal past?
    Two sullen shades, half-seen, advance!
        On me, a blasting look they cast,
    And fix my view with dang'rous spells,
    Where burning frenzy dwells!--
Again! their vengeful look--and now a speechless--

Page 203


    O, EVER skilled to wear the form we love!
To bid the shapes of fear and grief depart;
    Come, gentle Hope! with one gay smile remove
The lasting sadness of an aching heart.
    Thy voice, benign Enchantress! let me hear;
Say that for me some pleasures yet shall bloom,--
    That Fancy's radiance, Friendship's precious tear,
Shall soften, or shall chase, misfortune's gloom.
    But come not glowing in the dazzling ray,
Which once with dear illusions charm'd my eye,--
    O! strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way
The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die;
    Visions less fair will soothe my pensive breast,
    That asks not happiness, but longs for rest!

*I commence the Sonnets with that to HOPE, from a predilection in its favour, for which I have a proud reason: it is that of Mr. Wordsworth, who lately honoured me with his visits while at Paris, having repeated it to me from memory, after a lapse of many years.

Page 204


    MEEK Twilight! soften the declining day,
And bring the hour my pensive spirit loves;
    When o'er the mountain slow descends the ray
That gives to silence and to night the groves.
    Ah, let the happy court the morning still,
When, in her blooming loveliness arrayed,
    She bids fresh beauty light the vale or hill,
And rapture warble in the vocal shade.
    Sweet is the odour of the morning's flower,
And rich in melody her accents rise;
    Yet dearer to my soul the shadowy hour
At which her blossoms close, her music dies:
    For then, while languid Nature droops her head,
    She wakes the tear 'tis luxury to shed.

Page 205


    WHILE soon the "garden's flaunting flowers" decay,
And, scatter'd on the earth, neglected lie,
    The "Mountain Daisy," cherish'd by the ray
A poet drew from heav'n, shall never die.
    Ah! like that lovely flower the poet rose!
'Mid penury's bare soil and bitter gale;
    He felt each storm that on the mountain blows,
Nor ever knew the shelter of the vale.
    By Genius in her native vigour nurst,
On Nature with impassion'd look he gazed,
    Then through the cloud of adverse fortune burst
Indignant, and in light unborrow'd blaz'd.
    Shield from rude sorrow, SCOTIA ! shield thy bard:--
    His heav'n-taught numbers Fame herself will guard.

Page 206


    THE glitt'ring colours of the day are fled;
Come, melancholy orb! that dwell'st with night,
    Come! and o'er earth thy wand'ring lustre shed,
Thy deepest shadow, and thy softest light;
    To me congenial is the gloomy grove,
When with faint light the sloping uplands shine;
    That gloom, those pensive rays alike I love,
Whose sadness seems in sympathy with mine!
    But most for this, pale orb! thy beams are dear,
For this, benignant orb! I hail thee most:
    That while I pour the unavailing tear,
And mourn that hope to me in youth is lost,
    Thy light can visionary thoughts impart,
    And lead the Muse to soothe a suff'ring heart.

Page 207


    SWEET Peace! ah, lead me from the thorny dale,
Where desolate my wand'ring steps have fled;
Far from the sunny paths which others tread,
    While youth enlivens, and while joys prevail.
    Then I no more shall vanished hopes bewail,
No more the fruitless tear shall love to shed,
When pensive eve her cherish'd gloom has spread,
    And day's bright tints, like my short pleasures, fail!
Yet lead me not where blooms the glowing rose,
    But lead me where the cypress branches wave;
Thou hast a shelt'ring cell for cureless woes,
    A home of refuge, where no tempests rave;
There would my weary heart in youth repose,
    Beneath the turf that shrouds an early grave.

Page 208


     SIDDONS ! the Muse, for many a joy refin'd,
Feelings which ever seem too swiftly fled,
For those delicious tears she loves to shed,
    Around thy brow the wreaths of praise would bind;
    But can her feeble notes thy praise unfold?
Repeat the tones each changing passion gives?
Or mark where nature in thy action lives,--
    Where, in thy pause, she speaks a pang untold?
    When fierce ambition steels thy daring breast,
When from thy frantic look our glance recedes?
    Or, oh, divine enthusiast! when, opprest
By mournful love, that eye of softness pleads?
    The sunbeam all can feel, but who can trace
    The instant light, and catch the radiant grace?

Page 209


    O THOU , whose melody the heart obeys,
Thou, who can'st all its subject passions move,
    Whose notes to heav'n the list'ning soul can raise,
Can thrill with pity, or can melt with love!
    Happy! whom nature lent this native charm,
Angelic tones, that shed, with magic power,
A sweeter pleasure o'er the social hour:
    The breast to softness soothe, to virtue warm;
But yet more happy, that thy life as clear
    From discord as thy perfect cadence flows;
That, tun'd to sympathy, thy faithful tear
    In mild accordance falls for others' woes;
That all the tender, pure affections bind,
In chains of harmony, thy willing mind!

Page 210


    EXPRESSION , child of soul! I fondly trace
Thy strong enchantments, when the poet's lyre,
The painter's pencil, catch thy sacred fire,
    And beauty wakes for thee her touching grace!
But from this frighted glance thy form avert,
    When horror checks thy tear, thy struggling sigh,
    When frenzy rolls in thy impassion'd eye,
Or guilt sits heavy on thy lab'ring heart;
Nor ever let my shudd'ring fancy hear
    The wasting groan, or view the pallid look
    Of him* the muses lov'd, when hope forsook
His spirit, vainly to the muses dear!
For, charm'd with heav'nly song, this mournful breast
Laments the power of verse could give despair no rest.


Page 211


    AH , Love! ere yet I knew thy fatal power,
Bright glow'd the colour of my youthful days,
As on the sultry zone the torrid rays,
    That paint the broad-leav'd plantain's glossy bower:
    Calm was my bosom as this silent hour,
When o'er the deep, scarce heard, the zephyr strays,
'Midst the cool tamarinds indolently plays,
    Nor from the orange shakes its od'rous flower:--
    But ah! since Love has all my heart possest,
That desolated heart what sorrows tear!
    Disturb'd, and wild as ocean's troubled breast,
When the hoarse tempest of the night is there!
    Yet my complaining spirit asks no rest,
This bleeding bosom cherishes despair.

* This and the seven following Sonnets were inserted, several years ago, in a translation I made of Bernardin de Saint Pierre's novel of Paul and Virginia , while I was in prison during the reign of terror, and which served to cheat the days of captivity of their weary length. The translation was, I believe, never published in England, where the Sonnets are little known. They are adapted to the peculiar situations and scenery of the work.

Page 212


    PALE disappointment! at thy freezing name
Chill fears in every shiv'ring vein I prove;
My sinking pulse almost forgets to move,
    And life almost forsakes my languid frame.
    Yet thee, relentless nymph! no more I blame:
Why do my thoughts 'midst vain illusions rove?
Why gild the charms of friendship and of love
    With the warm glow of fancy's purple flame?
    When ruffling winds have some bright fane o'erthrown,
Which shone on painted clouds, or seem'd to shine,
    Shall the fond gazer dream for him alone
Those clouds were sable, and at fate repine?--
    I feel, alas! the fault is all my own,
And ah, the cruel punishment is mine!

Page 213


    NYMPH of the desert! on this lonely shore,
Simplicity, thy blessings still are mine,
And all thou canst not give I pleas'd resign,
    For all beside can soothe my soul no more.
    I ask no lavish heaps to swell my store,
And purchase pleasures far remote from thine:
Ye joys, for which the race of Europe pine,
    Ah, not for me your studied grandeur pour;
    Let me where yon tall cliffs are rudely pil'd,
Where towers the Palm amidst the mountain trees,
    Where pendant from the steep, with graces wild,
    The blue Liana floats upon the breeze,
Still haunt those bold recesses, Nature's child,
    Where thy majestic charms my spirit seize!

Page 214


    THE Strawberry blooms upon its lowly bed,
Plant of my native soil!--the Lime may fling
More potent fragrance on the zephyr's wing,
    The milky Cocoa richer juices shed,
    The white Guava lovelier blossoms spread--
But not, like thee, to fond remembrance bring
The vanished hours of life's enchanting spring;
    Short calendar of joys for ever fled!
Thou bid'st the scenes of childhood rise to view,
    The wild wood-path which fancy loves to trace;
Where, veil'd in leaves, thy fruit of rosy hue
    Lurk'd on its pliant stem with modest grace.
But ah! when thought would later years renew,
    Alas, successive sorrows crowd the space!

Page 215


    SOOTH'D by the murmurs on the sea-beat shore,
His dun-grey plumage floating to the gale,
The Curlew blends his melancholy wail
    With those hoarse sounds the rushing waters pour.
    Like thee, congenial bird! my steps explore
The bleak lone sea-beach, or the rocky dale,--
And shun the orange bower, the myrtle vale,
    Whose gay luxuriance suits my soul no more.
I love the ocean's broad expanse, when drest
    In limpid clearness, or when tempests blow:
When the smooth currents on its placid breast
    Flow calm, as my past moments us'd to flow;
Or when its troubled waves refuse to rest,
    And seem the symbol of my present woe.

Page 216


    PATHWAY of light! o'er thy empurpled zone,
With lavish charms, perennial summer strays;
Soft 'midst thy spicy groves the zephyr plays,
    While far around the rich perfumes are thrown;
    The Amadavid-bird for thee alone
Spreads his gay plumes, that catch thy vivid rays;
For thee the gems with liquid lustre blaze,
    And Nature's various wealth is all thy own.
But ah! not thine is Twilight's doubtful gloom,
    Those mild gradations, mingling day with night;
Here instant darkness shrouds thy genial bloom,
    Nor leaves my pensive soul that ling'ring light,
When musing Mem'ry would each trace resume
    Of fading pleasures in successive flight.

Page 217


    SUBLIME Calbassia! luxuriant tree,
How soft the gloom thy bright-hued foliage throws!
While from thy pulp a healing balsam flows,
    Whose power the suff'ring wretch from pain can free:
    My pensive footsteps ever turn to thee!
Since oft, while musing on my lasting woes,
Beneath thy flowery white-bells I repose,
    Symbol of Friendship dost thou seem to me;
For thus has Friendship cast her soothing shade
    O'er my unshelter'd bosom's keen distress,
Thus sought to heal the wounds which Love has made,
    And temper bleeding sorrow's sharp excess!
Ah! not in vain she lends her balmy aid--
The agonies she cannot cure are less!

Page 218


    BIRD of the Tropic! thou, who lov'st to stray
Where thy long pinions sweep the sultry Line,
Or mark'st the bounds which torrid beams confine
    By thy averted course, that shuns the ray
    Oblique, enamour'd of sublimer day:
Oft on yon cliff thy folded plumes recline,
And drop those snowy feathers Indians twine,
    To crown the warrior's brow with honours gay.
O'er trackless oceans what impels thy wing?
    Does no soft instinct in thy soul prevail?
No sweet affection to thy bosom cling,
    And bid thee oft thy absent nest bewail?--
Yet thou again to that dear spot canst spring,
    But I no more my long-lost home shall hail!

Page [219]



[Brackets seen above are part of original printed volume, not added by the editors.]

LOV'D Companions, let us sing!
Wake the dear according string--
Come, with gladness fill the dome,
Pour the happy song of Home.


Now, sweet Home! our steps are free;
Now, sweet Home! we fly to thee!
Let the vaulted roofs resound
Sacred Home, with blessings crown'd!

Page 220

Learning, thorny are thy ways,
Thought is weary of the maze;
Let us seek awhile the goal
Where affection rests her soul!

CHORUS.--Now, sweet Home, &c.

Now, O toiling Muse, repose;
Muse! the classic volume close:--
Bid the cares of study cease,
Give the vacant hours to peace!

CHORUS.--Now, sweet Home, &c.

Joyful with the smiling year,
We will smile, for Home is near!--
Strangers will our song repeat--
Strangers feel that Home is sweet!

CHORUS.--Now, sweet Home, &c.

Page 221

Bring, O bring th' impatient steed,
Let us to the threshold speed,
Where we shed the tear of bliss,
Where we meet a mother's kiss!

CHORUS.--Now, sweet Home, &c.

Home of childhood! swell the strain,
While we hail thy gates again!
Why, Aurora, thus delay?
Slothful goddess, give the day!

CHORUS.--Now, sweet Home, &c.

Page [222]



MISTAKEN Bird, ah whither hast thou stray'd?
    My friendly grasp why eager to elude?
This hand was on thy pinion lightly laid,
    And fear'd to hurt thee by a touch too rude.

Is there no foresight in a Thrush's breast,
    That thou down yonder gulph from me wouldst go?
That gloomy area lurking cats infest,
    And there the dog may rove, alike thy foe.

Page 223

I would with lavish crumbs my bird have fed,
    And brought a crystal cup to wet thy bill;
I would have made of down and moss thy bed,
    Soft, though not fashion'd with a Thrush's skill.

Soon as thy strengthen'd wing could mount the sky,
    My willing hand had set my captive free;
Ah, not for her who loves the Muse, to buy
    A selfish pleasure, bought with pain to thee!

The vital air, and liberty, and light
    Had all been thine; and love, and rapt'rous song,
And sweet parental joys, in rapid flight,
    Had led the circle of thy life along.

Securely to my window hadst thou flown,
    And ever thy accustom'd morsel found;
Nor should thy trusting breast the wants have known
    Which other Thrushes knew when winter frown'd.

Page 224

Fram'd with the wisdom nature lent to thee,
    Thy house of straw had brav'd the tempest's rage,
And thou through many a Spring hadst liv'd to see
    The utmost limit of a Thrush's age.

Ill-fated bird!--and does the Thrush's race,
    Like Man's, mistake the path that leads to bliss?
Or, when his eye that tranquil path can trace,
    The good he well discerns through folly miss?

Page 225


    WHEN fading Autumn's latest hours
Strip the brown wood, and chill the flowers,--
When evening, wint'ry, short, and pale,
Expires in many a hollow gale,--
And only morn herself looks gay,
When first she throws her quiv'ring ray
Where the light frost congeals the dew,
Flushing the turf with purple hue;
Gay bloom, whose transient glow can shed
A charm like Summer when 'tis fled!--
A Linnet among leafless trees
Sung, in the pauses of the breeze,

Page 226

His farewell note, to fancy dear,
That ends the music of the year.
The short'ning day, the sadd'ning sky,
With frost and famine low'ring nigh;
The Summer's dirge he seem'd to sing,
And droop'd his elegiac wing.
Poor Bird! he read amiss his fate,
Nor saw the horrors of his state:
A prowling Cat, with jetty skin,--
Dark emblem of the mind within,--
Who feels no sympathetic pain,
Who hears unmov'd the sweetest strain,--
Fit but "for stratagem and spoil,"
Mischief his pleasure and his toil,
Drew near--and shook the wither'd leaves;--
The Linnet's flutt'ring bosom heaves--
Alarm'd he hears the rustling sound;
He starts--he pauses--looks around;
Too late--more near the savage draws,
And grasps the victim in his jaws!

Page 227

The Linnet's muse, a tim'rous maid,
Saw, and to Molly* scream'd for aid;
A tear then fill'd her earnest eye,
Useless as dews on desarts lie;
But Molly's pity fell like showers
That feed the plants, and wake the flowers;
Heroic Molly dauntless flew,
And, scorning all his claws could do,
Snatch'd from Grimalkin's teeth his prey,
And bore him in her breast away.
His beating heart and wings declare
How small his hope of safety there;
Still the dire foe he seem'd to see,
And scarce could fancy he was free.
Awhile he cow'rd on Molly's breast,
Then upward sprung, and sought his nest.
Dear Molly! for thy tender speed,
Thy fearless pity's gentle deed,

Page 228

A ribbon-garland, "rosy red,"
My votive gift, shall deck thy head;
That garland at the village fair
Shalt thou, dear maid, in triumph wear;
And may the blooming wreath obtain
The youth thy heart desires to gain.
And thou, sweet Bird, whom rapture fills,
Who feel'st no sense of future ills,--
That sense which human peace destroys,
And murders all our present joys,--
Still soothe with song th' autumnal hours;
And when the wint'ry tempest lowers,
When snow thy shiv'ring plumes shall fill,
And icicles shall load thy bill,
Come fearless to my friendly shed,
This careful hand the crumbs shall spread,
Then peck secure, these watchful eyes
Shall guard my Linnet from surprise.

*A maid-servant.

Page [229]



    WHILE in long exile far from you I roam,
To soothe my heart with images of home,
For me, my friend, with rich poetic grace
The landscapes of my native Isle you trace;
Her cultur'd meadows, and her lavish shades,
The rivers winding through her lovely glades;
Far as where, frowning on the flood below,
The rough Welsh mountain lifts its craggy brow.
Meanwhile my steps have stray'd where Autumn yields
A purple harvest on the sunny fields;

Page 230

Where, bending with their luscious weight, recline
The loaded branches of the clust'ring vine;
There, on the Loire's sweet banks, a joyful band
Cull'd the rich produce of the fruitful land;
The youthful peasant, and the village maid,
And age and childhood lent their feeble aid.
The labours of the morning done, they haste
Where in the field is spread the light repast;
The vintage-baskets serve, revers'd, for chairs,
And the gay meal is crown'd with tuneless airs.
    Delightful land! ah, now with gen'ral voice,
Thy village sons and daughters may rejoice;
Thy happy peasant, now no more a slave,
Forbad to taste one good that nature gave,
No longer views with unavailing pain
The lavish harvest, ripe for him in vain.
Oppression's cruel hand shall dare no more
To seize its tribute from his scanty store;
And from his famish'd infants wring the spoils,
Too hard-earn'd produce of his useful toils;

Page 231

For now on Gallia's plain the peasant knows
Those equal rights impartial heav'n bestows;
He now, by freedom's ray illumin'd, taught
Some self-respect, some energy of thought,
Discerns the blessings that to all belong,
And lives to guard his humble shed from wrong.
    Auspicious Liberty! in vain thy foes
Deride thy ardour, and thy force oppose;
In vain refuse to mark thy spreading light,
While, like the mole, they hide their heads in night,
Or hope their eloquence with taper-ray
Can dim the blaze of philosophic day;
Those reas'ners, who pretend that each abuse,
Sanction'd by precedent, has some blest use!
Does then a chemic power to time belong,
Extracting by some process right from wrong?
Must feudal governments for ever last,
Those Gothic piles, the work of ages past?
Nor may obtrusive reason dare to scan,
Far less reform, the rude, mishapen plan?

Page 232

The winding labyrinths, the hostile towers,
Where danger threatens, and where horror lowers;
The jealous drawbridge, and the mote profound,
The lonely dungeon in the cavern'd ground;
The sullen dome above those central caves,
Where liv'd one despot and a host of slaves?--
Ah, Freedom, on this renovated shore
That fabric frights the moral world no more!
Shook to its basis by thy powerful spell,
Its triple walls in massy fragments fell;
While, rising from the hideous wreck, appears
The temple thy firm arm sublimely rears;
Of fair proportions, and of simple grace,
A mansion worthy of the human race.
For me, the witness of those scenes, whose birth
Forms a new era in the storied earth;
Oft, while with glowing breast those scenes I view,
They lead, ah friend belov'd, my thoughts to you!
Still every fine emotion they impart
With your idea mingles in my heart;

Page 233

You, whom I oft have heard, with gen'rous zeal,
With all that truth can urge, or pity feel,
Refute the pompous argument, that tried
The common cause of millions to deride;
With reason's force the plausive sophist hit,
Or dart on folly the bright flash of wit;
And warmly share, with philosophic mind,
The great, the glorious triumph of mankind.

Page [234]



CALM all the tumults that invade
Our souls, and lend Thy pow'rful aid.
O Source of Mercy! soothe our pains,
And break, O break our cruel chains!
To Thee the captive pours his cry,
To Thee the mourner loves to fly;
The incense of our tears receive,
'Tis all the incense we can give.

*This little Hymn was composed by M. La Source, during the reign of terror, in the prison of the Luxembourg, and was usually sung by him and the Marquis de Sillery every evening, in our apartment of the prison, to which they constantly repaired for a few hours after having passed the day on their trial before the Revolutionary Tribunal. This simple dirge, which was adapted to a soft solemn air, and sung in a low tone, they called their evening service. Those mournful sounds, the knell of my departing friends, yet thrill upon my heart! They were soon after dragged to the scaffold, with the illustrious members of the Gironde, the martyrs of their country.

Page 235


Eternal Power, our cause defend,
O God! of innocence the friend!
Near Thee for ever she resides,
In Thee for ever she confides;
Thou know'st the secrets of the breast,
Thou know'st th' oppressor and th' opprest;
Do Thou our wrongs with pity see,
Avert a doom offending Thee!


But should the murd'rer's arm prevail,
Should tyranny our lives assail,
Unmov'd, triumphant, scorning death,
We'll bless Thee with our latest breath!--
The hour, the glorious hour will come,
That consecrates the patriot's tomb;
And, with the pang our mem'ry claims,
Our country will avenge our names.

Page [236]



Lov'd objects! cease to wonder when ye trace
The melancholy air that clouds my face;
Ah! while the Painter's skill this image drew,
They rear'd the Scaffold, and I thought of you!

*Author of a Poem called Les Mois .

Page [237]



THE hour that calls to death is near,
It brings to me no throb of fear;
The breast that honour arms, can brave
The murd'rer's steel, th' untimely grave;
But thou, to whom I gave my heart,
From thee for ever must I part?
Wilt thou not hear my latest sigh?--
Ah, 'tis a cruel task to die!

Page 238


To-morrow, my clos'd eyes no more
Shall gaze on beauty I adore;
To-morrow, sadd'ning every grace,
Unceasing tears shall bathe thy face;
To-morrow, chill'd by death's cold grasp,
This hand no longer thine shall clasp;
For thou--no more wilt thou be nigh--
Ah, 'tis a cruel task to die!

Page [239]



WHILE sickness still my step detains
From scenes where vernal pleasure reigns,
Where Spring has bath'd with dewy tear
The blossoms of the op'ning year;
To soothe confinement's languid hours,
You send a lavish gift of flowers,
Midst whose soft odours mem'ry roves
O'er all the images she loves.
Not long their sweetness shall prevail,
Their rosy tints shall soon be pale,

Page 240

Yet fancy in their fading hues
No emblem of our friendship views;
Its firm fidelity shall last,
When all the flowers of spring are past;
And when life's summer shall be o'er,
That summer which returns no more,
Still friendship, with perennial bloom,
Shall soften half the winter's gloom!

Page [241]



WHILE o'er the Alpine cliffs I musing stray'd,
    And gaz'd on nature, in her charms severe,
The last soft beam of parting day display'd
    The Glacier-Goddess, on her crystal sphere.

* Doctor Darwin, in his poem of The Botanic Garden, attributes the rise of the principal rivers which spring from the mountains, to the action of the higher temperature of the soil at the foot of the glaciers. According to him, every thing is subordinate to a central fire, hidden in the depths of the earth, and on which the great phenomena of those mountainous countries depend. The modest snow-mantled Goddess of the Glaciers, expressed her jealousy of his "nymphs of primeval fire," in the following complaint.

Page 242

Her sledgy car, with sparkling frost-work bright,
    O'er the pellucid ice her snow-birds drew,
And on her fleecy robe's refracted light
    The full-blown rose's vermeil colours threw.

Slow as she graceful lifts her misty veil,
    Indignant griefs her mournful glance exprest,
And thus, in falt'ring tones, the vestal pale
    Breath'd the deep sorrows of her beating breast:

"Native of that green isle, where DARWIN waves
    His magic wand o'er nature's vernal reign,
Her airy essence and her central caves,
    Her fires electric, and her nereid train:

"Go, tell him, stranger, had his muse explor'd
    My realms, new marvels had enchain'd her eye;
Go, tell him, in my sunless fanes are stor'd
    Treasures no vulgar glance shall e'er descry.

Page 243

"Ye nymphs of fire! around your glowing brows
    What lavish wreaths your poet loves to twine;
Know, partial bard! philosophy allows
    That one bright chaplet might belong to mine!

"Ah, why a vestal to a 'fiend'* transform,
    Bid to my steeps thy glitt'ring bands repair,
Direct with cruel aim their arrowy storm,
    And chain a goddess to the 'northern bear?'

"Stay thy rash steps! my potent hand impels
    The rushing avalanche to gulphs below!
I can transfix thee, numb'd, in icy cells,
    Or shroud thee in unfathom'd folds of snow!

"Come not in hostile garb!--with softer art,
    With dearer power, my yielding spirit seize;
Wake thy rich lyre, and melt my gelid heart
    With incense sweeter than the western breeze.

* Botanic Garden, Canto I. v. 442.

Page 244

"Thy muse shall mount my Lammer-Geyer's wing,
    Pass o'er my untrod heights, with daring course,
While the cold genii of each new-born spring
    For thee unlock the rivers' viewless source.

"For thee my sylphs, with tender care, shall mark
    The pointless pathway of the secret rills,
And light with lambent ray the caverns dark,
    Where chemic nature mystic wealth distils.

"For thee my sylphs in distant lands shall trace,
    Where, far diffus'd, my vivifying powers
Awake, ungrateful bard, in blushing grace,
    To life and love, awake thy wedded flowers.

"For thee--but ah, my pensive form he flies
    For nymphs of golden locks and florid hue!
No charms have snow-white tints, or azure eyes--"
    She wept, and, folded in a cloud, withdrew.

Page [245]



DEAR Boys!--dismiss'd awhile from school,
From sober learning's thorny rule,--
The annual race of glory run,
The prize bestow'd, the laurels won,--
Ye leave the scientific dome,
While noisy rapture hails your home:
Home--cherish'd spot! whose magic power
Can charm with hope the studious hour;
And where the heart--however far--
Points, like the needle to its star!

Page 246

And now, with many a fond oration,
Ye ask, to crown this dear vacation,
Saturnian time of sport and play,
A FÊTE !--to grace SAINT HELEN'S DAY !
But will the Saint propitious see
A Fête dear Boys! prepar'd for me?
I!--who her altar never sought,
An heretic! who idly thought
She liv'd alone in pagan fame,
And half forgot her sainted name!
But--since that name, entwin'd with palms,
The legend's deathless page embalms,
And since historic truth must own
Her crested votary fill'd a throne--
We'll lay our offerings at her shrine,
And call her, as she is, divine!
    Then haste, dear Boys! and deck the bowers,
This chosen day, with festive flowers!
The votive bouquet joyful bring;
And bid your muse, on lofty wing,

Page 247

The steep Parnassian summits climb,
And weave the tributary rhyme.
The soothing song which ye rehearse--
Though form'd of perishable verse,
And, like the bouquet , born to die--
Shall fill with tears affection's eye;
Shall touch, with eloquence confest,
The chords which vibrate in her breast!
Then hither bring the early friend,
With whom your bounding hearts unbend;
Till then, in vain the Fête prepared--
What Fête, unless by friendship shar'd?
Together, happy band! advance;
Together frame the sportive dance;
Together tread the mimic stage,
The TALMAS of another age;
And then, to crown this favor'd night,
Unquestion'd symbol of delight,
The soaring rocket swift shall rise,
And, sweeping, gild the midnight skies;

Page 248

Bright wheels of fire shall rapid turn;
And suns, that soon must set, shall burn;
SAINT HELEN , with a smile, shall view
Her rites all paid in order due.
The Saint, become my patron now,
To her and you I breathe my vow:
Listen, dear Boys! nor take amiss
A lesson, with a parting kiss--
    Your life has clos'd its baby span,
And childhood ripens into man:
On youth's gay threshold now ye tread;
The path unfolds, with roses spread,
That leads the unsuspecting guest
Where Pleasure holds her Circean feast;
With bosoms yet from evil free,
Now promise to the Saint and me,
Oft as the years, on circling wing,
This fond returning day shall bring,
While o'er the world ye lightly roam,
Far from the long-lost scene of home,

Page 249

This day in Pleasure's course to pause,
This day let Reason plead her cause!
    When come the years--for come they must--
When her ye love is laid in dust;
Her who for you has learn'd to prove
A mother's care--a mother's love!
From you all ill has sought to chase,
And fill a mother's vacant place:
Still on this day, to duty true,
Remember that she liv'd for you!
Ah! give her one recording sigh,
Nor pass this day with tearless eye!
Still may its chosen hours impart
The throb of virtue to the heart,
And be the talisman whose spell
Shall Passion's wild delirium quell;
Controul, with some good angel's power,
Seduction in her smiling hour.
This day, from all her wiles secure,
With nobler hopes, with purpose pure,

Page 250

Resolve to feel that best delight
Reserv'd for those who live aright:
And thus, dear Boys! your tribute pay;
Thus consecrate SAINT HELEN'S DAY !

Page [251]



    WHEN sever'd from this hostile shore,
A weary captive now no more,
Home, cherish'd home, shall glad your sight
In blessedness of fresh delight;
While love shall weave new spells around
That spot of consecrated ground,

Page 252

Where sweet domestic joy imparts
The charm that binds congenial hearts,
And filial tenderness prepares
A balm for all terrestrial cares:--
Forget not,--ah, forget not those
Who sought to soothe the captive's woes!
Exult, be happy, and be free,
But give one pensive thought to me!

* Mr. Forbes, well-known in the literary world, was claimed by the Royal Society of London, in a letter addressed to the Institute of France; his particular talent for drawing was mentioned to Buonaparte, and the very remarkable circumstance of his being in possession of several thousand sketches he had taken of the scenery of different parts of the globe which he had visited. Buonaparte ordered him and his family to be immediately set at liberty. Mr. Forbes is now no more! but to those who knew him he has left a void which will not easily be filled up:--they will long remember that enthusiastic love of nature which gave elevation to his mind; that extreme simplicity of manners, which has such a peculiar charm when united with superior intellect, and proceeding, not from ignorance of the world, but from having passed through it with a purity unsullied by its contact; that virtue which the seductions of wealth, and the corruptions of the east, had no power to alter; and that piety which has found its reward.

Page [253]


Minister of the United States at Paris, WHO DIED AT NAROWITCH IN POLAND, ON HIS RETURN
FROM WILNA, DEC. 26, 1812.

    WHERE o'er the Polish desert's trackless way
Relentless Winter rules with savage sway,--
Where the shrill Polar winds, as wild they blow,
Seem to repeat some plaint of mortal woe,--
Far o'er the cheerless waste, the traveller's eye
Shall this recording pillar long descry,
And give the sod a tear where BARLOW lies--
He who was simply great and nobly wise.
Here, led by patriot zeal, he met his doom,
And found, amid the frozen wastes, a tomb;

Page 254

Far from his native soil the patriot fell,
Far from that Western World he sung so well!
Nor she, so long belov'd! nor she was nigh,
To catch the dying look, the parting sigh!
She who, the hopeless anguish to beguile,
In fond memorial rears the fun'ral pile!
Whose widow'd bosom on Columbia's shore
Shall mourn the moments that return no more;
While, bending o'er the broad Atlantic wave,
Sad fancy hovers on the distant grave.

Page [255]



SOOTH'D I receive the flowers you bring,
Whose charm anticipates the Spring;
Whose tints in vernal freshness vie
With plants beneath an austral sky,--
Those glowing plants that, long unknown,
Your travell'd science made our own:--
Bright gift! in lavish grace array'd,
Thy flowers have only bloom'd to fade,--
Their transient being soon forgot:
How far unlike the giver's lot!

Page [256]

TO MRS. K--,


     WHAT crowding thoughts around me wake,
What marvels in a Christmas-cake!
Ah say, what strange enchantment dwells
Enclos'd within its od'rous cells?
Is there no small magician bound
Encrusted in its snowy round?
For magic surely lurks in this,
A cake that tells of vanish'd bliss;
A cake that conjures up to view
The early scenes, when life was new;
When mem'ry knew no sorrows past,
And hope believ'd in joys that last!--

Page 257

Mysterious cake, whose folds contain
Life's calendar of bliss and pain;
That speaks of friends for ever fled,
And wakes the tears I love to shed.
Oft shall I breathe her cherish'd name
From whose fair hand the off'ring came:
For she recalls the artless smile
Of nymphs that deck my native Isle;
Of beauty that we love to trace,
Allied with tender, modest grace;
Of those who, while abroad they roam,
Retain each charm that gladdens home,
And whose dear friendship can impart
A Christmas banquet for the heart!

Page [258]


IN 1814,

LOV'D ENGLAND ! now the narrow sea
In vain would sep'rate France and thee:
May fav'ring zephyrs swell the sail
That wafts the crowd my wishes hail!
Strangers to me, they hither roam,
But English accents speak of home;
And SCOTIA , still more dear to me
Are those which lead me back to thee!

Page 259

Accents that wake with magic powers
The spirits of departed hours!--
Ah, lost to me thy fir-clad hills,
The music of thy mountain-rills,--
Yet ever shall the mem'ry last,
"Pleasant and mournful" of the past.
But here, from scenes so new, so strange,
Where meditation long might range,
And taste might fix her ardent eye,
How swift the rapid travellers fly!
What haste to come, what haste to go,
Unknowing half they wish to know;
Delighted as they rush along,
But not less eager to be gone.
In vain the arts unfold their gates,
For there no stranger ever waits;
In vain unlock that wealth sublime
Immortal genius wrests from time:--
Ah, wherefore ope the classic book,
For those who have no time to look?

Page 260

Who 'midst the academic bowers,
On BREGUET call to mark the hours;
Through the long gall'ry swift advance,
And judge perfection with a glance!
But to what class does he belong
Who comes less eager to be gone,
And yet inflexibly refuses
To heed the Arts, or court the Muses?
The groups that press to give th' "Apollo"
A parting glance, he scorns to follow;
In vain the "Venus" may expect
One look, and wonder at neglect;
For CLARKSON slights all forms of beauty,--
Not that he thinks indiff'rence duty,
But dearer pleasures fill the space
Of classic charms, and attic grace:--
He comes at this decisive hour
In Pity's cause, to plead with power;
His embassy is from the slave,
His diplomatic skill to save!

Page 261

He comes the fetter'd to unbind,
To stipulate for half mankind;
And when applause records his name,
Sighs that philanthropy is fame.

Page [262]



    SWEET spoils of consecrated bowers,
How dear to me these chosen flowers!
I love the simplest bud that blows,
I love the meanest weed that grows:
Symbols of nature--every form
That speaks of her this heart can warm;
But ye, delicious flowers, assume
In fancy's eye a brighter bloom;
A dearer pleasure ye diffuse,
Cull'd by the fountain of Vaucluse!

Page 263

For ye were nurtur'd on the sod
Where PETRARCH mourn'd, and LAURA trod;
Ye grew on that inspiring ground
Where love has shed enchantment round;
Where still the tear of passion flows,
Fond tribute to a poet's woes!
Yet, cherish'd flowers, with love and fame
This wreath entwines a milder name;
Friendship, who better knows than they
The spells that smooth our length'ning way,--
Friendship the blooming off'ring brought;
When FORBES the classic fountain sought,
For me he cull'd the fresh-blown flowers,
And fix'd their hues with potent powers;
Their pliant forms with skilful care
He seized, and stamp'd duration there;
His gift shall ever glad the eye,--
Nor, like my verse is born to die.

Page [264]


HERE rests the image of a friend,--
    Thine, cherish'd BIBI , thine!
Oft to this spot our steps we'll bend,
    And call it Friendship's shrine.

Through length'ning years' successive flight
    Thy fondness still had power
To shed its narrow line of light
    On life's domestic hour;

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And while for pleasures sought amiss
    Abroad we vainly roam,
How far more dear the slightest bliss
    That adds one charm to home!

Let those who coldly scorn the tear
    That soothes the grief we prove,
Say, if fidelity be dear,
    If love has claims to love;

Say, on what hallow'd spot there lives
    A heart unknown to range,
That to one chosen object gives
    A love no power can change?

Tell, in what tender breast to find
    Affection half so true?--
Ah, BIBI, who of human kind
    Has learnt to love like you!

Page [266]



CHILD of my heart! while others hail
This festive morn, when joys prevail,
With careless wishes they may last,
Spite of all annals of the past;
As if for thee alone, secure,
Their fleeting nature would endure,
With roses strewing all thy way,
And life were but a bridal day;--

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For me, by pensive thoughts opprest,
The future fills my anxious breast;
And flowers that fade, and joys that flee,
Are not the things I ask, for thee!--
My heart for thee has learn'd to prove
The throbbings of a mother's love,
Since on thy cradle fell the tear
That mourn'd a sister's early bier;
And sure that angel's sainted prayer
Has shed sweet influence o'er my care;
To sorrow doomed in all the rest,
And only in her children blest!--
    While now you sign, with hope elate,
The civic register of fate;
Or at the holy altar bow,
To ratify the plighted vow,
Which made aright, or breath'd amiss,
Includes all future woe, or bliss;
While kneeling youth, and weeping beauty,
Hear the grave ritual of their duty,

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And the stern rubrick well approve
That charges to be true to love;
This compact, that for ever binds
In holy links two kindred minds,
Their happiness the mutual barter,
This solemn league we'll call a CHARTER !
Th' allusion never can be wrong,
White omens to the name belong;
Palladium that has all withstood,
And harbinger of boundless good.
    And ever may its hallow'd law
Your willing hearts together draw!
Ah! may no ultra thirst of power
Embitter life's domestic hour;
No principles of feudal sway
Teach without loving, to obey;
The heart such joyless homage slights,
And wedlock claims its Bill of Rights--
May you, to Virtue nobly just,
Disdain the whisper of mistrust;

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Your truth her dark police may brave,
Made for the tyrant, and the slave.--
May Discord pass with sullen tread,
Far from the threshold of your shed,
With accents that on harshness border,
And words that love would call to order;
Or veto he would pine to hear,
Protesting only by a tear.--
Nor when true fondness, with submisison
Her right asserting of petition,
Shall meekly hint at some abuse,
Or some reform of gen'ral use,
Unheeding all that she may say,
Pass to the order of the day.--
Nor, bidding every blessing fade,
Let Jealousy your peace invade;
Whose shadow clings to all that's dear,
And adds the length'ning shapes of fear;
Whose mind with sickly colours ting'd,
Discerns in all, the code infring'd,

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Reads violations in the eye,
And marks the treason of a sigh;
Or loads a tear with false aspersion,
Mistaking sorrow for aversion;
Or construes into acts of guile
The tender pleadings of a smile;
Condemns unheard, with ultra fury,
Nor suffers love to call a jury,
Where innocence her head uprears,
Safe, in a trial by her peers.--
    Thus, having ne'er from duty swerved,
The faith of treaties well observ'd;
When Time your destin'd lot shall fling
Of sorrow from his loaded wing,
For you, of other good bereft,
Unchanging love will still be left;
Not like the world he then will roam,
But rest, the morning star of home.
Not yours, their bitter fate, who know
That agony of lonely woe,

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An altered heart was bound to share,
Nor find defence, nor charter there!
    For you, to every duty true,
The Charter held in rev'rence due,
Each tender clause shall habit seal,
With no suggestion of repeal;
Firm to the law of true election,
And treating change with stern rejection,
Though time the graceful form has worn
To which fidelity was sworn:
For not alone with blooming youth
Is made that league of lasting truth;
The compact sign'd with beauty now,
Includes wan age, with wrinkled brow,
With tresses grey, with visage pale,
And eyes whose liquid lustre fail;
For then the hand, that shrivell'd thing,
Shall still display the nuptial ring,
Pledge of your faith, and cherish'd token
Of vows, through lengthen'd years unbroken;

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When all that's left of passion's flame
Is friendship, with a dearer name!
    Thus be the charter'd Code imprest,
With all its statutes, on your breast;
No duty it enjoins forsook,
Till Time at length shall close the book;
And hope shall frame, for worlds to come,
A treaty that survives the tomb.

Page [273]



DEAR Babe, soft object of my care,
Unseen, for whom I pour my pray'r;
Unknown, yet priz'd all else above,
The heir of my maternal love;
Ah, let me hail, in simplest lay,
    Thy earliest New-Year's Day!

Page 274


Nor past, nor future cloud thy brow,
Thy range of thought confin'd to now;
Calm on a mother's breast you lie,
And heed not if, with tearful eye,
For thee her wishes fondly stray
    O'er many a New-Year's Day.


Yet soon the years in rapid flight
Shall wake thy heart to new delight;
Soon shall exulting youth draw near,
With charms so fresh, and hopes so dear;
And lovely as the bloom of May
    Shall seem each New-Year's Day.


But ah, since Time at length will bring
No rapture on his weary wing,

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Then, o'er thy path, no longer bright,
May Virtue shed a line of light,
That cheers the pilgrim, when his way
    Leads to no New-Year's Day!

Page [276]



She lives--that first pulsation of the heart
Is life!--receive, dear babe, thy destin'd part;
Yet frail thy being as the op'ning rose
    When chill the rude wind blows.

But ah, be like the blossom of the vale,
Lov'd infant, shelter'd from the mountain gale;
On whose meek head descend no ruffling showers,
    Who lives the span of flowers.

And far from thee may sorrow's tempest bend,
Nor ever wasting pangs the bosom rend;
Calm be thy day of life, and o'er its bloom
    May evening mildly come!

Page [277]



BRIGHT nymphs, of NEWA'S banks the pride,
    Receive, before we part,
For you, and your maternal guide,
    The wishes of my heart!

Be every future good your lot!--
    But what can fate do more?
Has nature any boon forgot
    For you in all her store?

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While, mids't the wreathes the arts have twin'd
    Around your brows, we trace
That tender modesty of mind
    That decorates the face;

Grac'd with such forms as RAPHAEL drew
    Beneath his happiest star,
What is there left to ask for you,
    But wish you--what you are?

Page [279]


WHILE thee I seek, protecting Power!
    Be my vain wishes still'd;
And may this consecrated hour
    With better hopes be fill'd.

Thy love the powers of thought bestow'd,
    To thee my thoughts would soar,
Thy mercy o'er my life has flow'd--
    That mercy I adore.

In each event of life, how clear
    Thy ruling hand I see;
Each blessing to my soul more dear
    Because conferr'd by thee.

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In every joy that crowns my days,
    In every pain I bear,
My heart shall find delight in praise,
    Or seek relief in prayer.

When gladness wings my favour'd hour,
    Thy love my thoughts shall fill;
Resign'd, when storms of sorrow low'r,
    My soul shall meet thy will.

My lifted eye without a tear
    The low'ring storm shall see;
My steadfast heart shall know no fear--
    That heart will rest on Thee!

Page [281]


            "The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
            "Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and winter."

Psalm lxxiv, 16, 17.


MY GOD ! all nature owns thy sway,
Thou giv'st the night, and thou the day!
When lovely thy creation wakes,
When morning, rich in lustre, breaks,
And bathes in dew the op'ning flower,
To thee we owe her fragrant hour;
And when she pours her choral song,
Her melodies to thee belong!

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Or when, in paler tints array'd,
The evening slowly spreads her shade;
That soothing shade, that grateful gloom,
Can, more than day's enliv'ning bloom,
Still every fond and vain desire,
And calmer, purer, thoughts inspire;
From earth the pensive spirit free,
And lead the soften'd heart to Thee.


In every scene thy hands have drest,
In every form by thee imprest,
On the hoar mountain's awful head,
Or where the shelt'ring woods are spread;
In every note that swells the gale,
Or passing stream that cheers the vale;
The cavern's depth, or echoing grove,
A voice is heard of praise and love.

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As o'er thy work the seasons roll,
And soothe with change of bliss the soul,
O, never may their smiling train
Pass o'er the human scene in vain:
But oft, as on the charm we gaze,
Attune the raptur'd heart to praise;
And be the joys that most we prize,
The joys that from thy favour rise!

Page [284]


"Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have
compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I
not forget thee."

--Isaiah xlix. 15.

HEAV'N speaks! O, nature, listen, and rejoice!
O, spread from pole to pole this gracious voice:
"Say, every breast of human frame, that proves
The boundless force with which a parent loves;
Say, can a mother from her yearning heart
Bid the soft image of her child depart?
She! whom fond instinct arms with strength to bear
All forms of ill to shield that dearest care?

Page 285

She! who with anguish stung, with madness wild,
Will rush on death to save her threaten'd child;
All selfish feelings banish'd from her breast,
Her life one aim to make another's blest?
When her lov'd infant to her bosom clings,
When round her neck his eager arms he flings,
Breathes to her list'ning soul his melting sigh,
And lifts, suffus'd with tears, his asking eye;
Will she, for all ambition can attain,
The charms of pleasure, or the lures of gain,
Betray strong nature's feelings, will she prove
Cold to the claims of duty and of love?
But should the mother from her yearning heart
Bid the soft image of her child depart;
Betray fond nature's energies, and prove
Cold to the claims of duty and of love!
Yet never will the GOD , whose word gave birth
To yon illumin'd orbs and this fair earth;
Who, through the boundless depths of trackless space,
Bade new-wak'd beauty spread each perfect grace;

Page 286

Yet, when he form'd the vast stupendous whole,
Shed his best bounties on the human soul;
Which reason's light illumes, which friendship warms,
Which pity softens, and which virtue charms;
Which feels the pure affections gen'rous glow,
Shares others' joy, and bleeds for others' woe--
O, never will the gen'ral FATHER prove
Of man forgetful, man the child of love."--
When all those planets in their ample spheres
Have wing'd their course, and roll'd their destin'd years;
When the vast sun shall veil his glowing light
Deep in the gloom of everlasting night;
When wild destructive flames shall wrap the skies,
When chaos triumphs, and when nature dies,
Man shall alone the wreck of worlds survive,
Midst falling spheres immortal man shall live!
That voice which bade the last dread thunders roll,
Shall whisper to the good, and cheer their soul;
His favour'd creature GOD himself shall guide
Where living waters pour their blissful tide;

Page 287

Where the enlarg'd, exulting, wond'ring mind
Shall soar, from weakness and from guilt refin'd;
Where perfect knowledge, bright with cloudless rays,
Shall gild eternity's unmeasur'd days;
Where friendship, unembitter'd by distrust,
Shall in immortal bands unite the just;
Devotion rais'd to rapture breathe her strain,
And love in his eternal triumph reign.

Page [288]


            "Whatever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them."
--Matt. vii. 22.

PRECEPT divine! to earth in mercy given,
O, sacred rule of action, worthy heav'n!
Whose pitying love ordain'd the bless'd command
To bind our nature in a firmer band;
Enforce each human suff'rer's strong appeal,
And teach the selfish breast what others feel;
Wert thou the guide of life, mankind might know
A calm exemption from the worst of woe;

Page 289

No more the powerful would the weak oppress,
But tyrants learn the luxury to bless;
Mercy the hand, the cruel heart would move
To soften mis'ry by the deeds of love;
And av'rice from his horded treasures give,
Unask'd, the lib'ral boon that want might live;
The impious tongue of falsehood then would cease
To blast, with dark suggestions, virtue's peace;
No more would spleen, or passion banish rest,
And plant a pang in fond affection's breast;
With alter'd looks that slight her starting tear,
And words whose coldness kills from lips so dear.
No more the hand she loves would point the dart,
Whose hidden sting could wound no other heart;
No more deserted genius then would fly,
To breathe in solitude his hopeless sigh;
Nor fortune with her partial smile debase
The spirit, rich in intellectual grace;

Page 290

Who views unmov'd, from scenes where grandeur shines,
The lonely spot where kindred merit pines;
The soul heav'n form'd to soar, by woe deprest,
Nor heeds the pangs that pierce a gen'rous breast.
Thou, righteous law! whose clear and useful light
Sheds on the mind a ray divinely bright,
Condensing in one rule whate'er the sage
Has proudly taught in many a labour'd page;
Bid every heart thy hallow'd voice revere,
To Justice sacred, and to Virtue dear.

Page [291]


    "That thine alms may be in secret,
and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly."
--Matt. VI. 4.

HEAR heav'n's pure dictates, ye presumptuous crowd,
Be kind ye selfish, and abash'd ye proud!
Nor think the ostentatious act, which draws
The incense of ill judging man's applause,
The boon obtruded on the gazer's sight,
Outweighs in virtue's scale, the widow's mite;
Claim not in His divine rewards, a part,
Who knows the motive, and who views the heart;

Page 292

Be yours to hear the empty accents roll
Of praise, rejected by the conscious soul.
But ye, who when to succour want ye fly,
Have never paus'd to wish a witness nigh,
Have mingled with your alms, the unseen tear,
The secret sigh which heav'n alone could hear;
Be yours, when life shall reach the closing scene,
To read its record with a hope serene;
And yours to listen, while a voice of love
Proclaims your bright inheritance above.

Page [293]



CREATION'S GOD ! with thought elate,
    Thy hand divine I see
Impressed on scenes, where all is great,
    Where all is full of thee!

Where stern the Alpine mountains raise
    Their heads of massive snow;
When on the rolling storm I gaze,
    That hangs--how far below!

Page 294

Where on some bold, stupendous height,
    The Eagle sits alone;
Or soaring wings his sullen flight
    To haunts still more his own:

Where the sharp rock the Chamois treads,
    Or, slippery summit scales;
Or where the whitening Snow-bird spreads
    Her plumes to icy gales:

Where the rude cliff's steep column glows
    With morning's tint of blue;
Or evening on the glacier throws
    The rose's blushing hue:

Or where by twilight's softer light,
    The mountain's shadow bends;
And sudden casts a partial night,
    As black its form descends:

Page 295

Where the full ray of noon alone
    Down the deep valley falls:
Or where the sunbeam never shone
    Between its rifted walls:

Where cloudless regions calm the soul,
    Bid mortal cares be still,
Can passion's wayward wish controul,
    And rectify the will:

Where midst some vast expanse the mind,
    Which swelling virtue fires,
Forgets that earth it leaves behind,
    And to it's heaven aspires:

Where far along the desart air
    Is heard no creature's call:
And undisturbing mortal ear
    The avalanches fall:

Page 296

Where rushing from their snowy source,
    The daring torrents urge
Their loud-toned waters headlong course,
    And lift their feathered surge:

Where swift the lines of light and shade
    Flit o'er the lucid lake:
Or the shrill winds its breast invade,
    And its green billows wake:

Where on the slope, with speckled dye
    The pigmy herds I scan;
Or soothed, the scattered Chalets spy,
    The last abode of man:

Or where the flocks refuse to pass,
    And the lone peasant mows,
Fixed on his knees, the pendent grass,
    Which down the steep he throws:

Page 297

Where high the dangerous pathway leads
    Above the gulph profound,
From whence the shrinking eye recedes,
    Nor finds repose around:

Where red the mountain-ash reclines
    Along the clifted rock;
Where firm the dark unbending pines
    The howling tempests mock:

Where, level with the ice-ribb'd bound
    The yellow harvests glow;
Or vales with purple vines are crown'd
    Beneath impending snow:

Where the rich min'rals catch the ray,
    With varying lustre bright,
And glittering fragments strew the way
    With sparks of liquid light:

Page 298

Or where the moss forbears to creep
    Where loftier summits rear
Their untrod snow, and frozen sleep
    Locks all the uncolour'd year:

In every scene, where every hour
    Sheds some terrific grace,
In Nature's vast o'erwhelming power,
    THEE , THEE , my GOD , I trace!