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Juvenile Poems (Felicia Hemans)

Published onApr 10, 2024
Juvenile Poems (Felicia Hemans)

Juvenile Poems

By Felicia Hemans


Juvenile Poems

The Domestic Affections, and Other Poems

Juvenile Poems



Clad in all their brightest green,

This day the verdant fields are seen;

The tuneful birds begin their lay,

To celebrate thy natal day.

The breeze is still, the sea is calm,

And the whole scene combines to charm;

The flowers revive, this charming May,

Because it is thy natal day.

The sky is blue, the day serene,

And only pleasure now is seen;

The rose, the pink, the tulip gay,

Combine to bless thy natal day.



O God! my Father and my Friend,

Ever thy blessings to me send;

Let me have Virtue for my guide,

And Wisdom always at my side.

Thus cheerfully through life I’ll go,

Nor ever feel the sting of woe;

Contented with the humblest lot—

Happy, though in the meanest cot.



The infant muse, Jehovah! would aspire

To swell the adoration of the lyre:

Source of all good! oh, teach my voice to sing

Thee, from whom Nature’s genuine beauties spring;

Thee, God of truth, omnipotent and wise,

Who saidst to Chaos, “let the earth arise.”

O Author of the rich luxuriant year!

Love, Truth, and Mercy in thy works appear:

Within their orbs the planets dost Thou keep,

And e’en hast limited the mighty deep.

Oh! could I number thy inspiring ways,

And wake the voice of animated praise!

Ah, no! the theme shall swell a cherub’s note;

To Thee celestial hymns of rapture float.

’Tis not for me in lowly strains to sing

Thee, God of mercy,—heaven’s immortal King!

Yet to that happiness I’d fain aspire—

Oh! fill my heart with elevated fire:

With angel-songs an artless voice shall blend,

The grateful offering shall to Thee ascend.

Yes! Thou wilt breathe a spirit o’er my lyre,

And “fill my beating heart with sacred fire!”

And when to Thee my youth, my life, I’ve given,

Raise me to join Eliza, blest in Heaven.

A sister whom the author had lost.



I love to rove o’er history’s page,

Recall the hero and the sage;

Revive the actions of the dead,

And memory of ages fled:

Yet it yields me greater pleasure,

To read the poet’s pleasing measure.

Led by Shakspeare, bard inspired,

The bosom’s energies are fired;

We learn to shed the generous tear,

O’er poor Ophelia’s sacred bier;

To love the merry moonlit scene,

With fairy elves in valleys green;

Or, borne on fancy’s heavenly wings,

To listen while sweet Ariel sings.

How sweet the “native woodnotes wild”

Of him, the Muse’s favourite child!

Of him whose magic lays impart

Each various feeling to the heart!



Happy soon we’ll meet again,

Free from sorrow, care, and pain;

Soon again we’ll rise with dawn,

To roam the verdant dewy lawn;

Soon the budding leaves we’ll hail,

Or wander through the well-known vale;

Or weave the smiling wreath of flowers;

And sport away the light-wing’d hours.

Soon we’ll run the agile race;

Soon, dear playmates, we’ll embrace;—

Through the wheat-field or the grove,

We’ll hand in hand delighted rove;

Or, beneath some spreading oak,

Ponder the instructive book;

Or view the ships that swiftly glide,

Floating on the peaceful tide;

Or raise again the caroll’d lay;

Or join again in mirthful play;

Or listen to the humming bees,

As their murmurs swell the breeze;

Or seek the primrose where it springs;

Or chase the fly with painted wings;

Or talk beneath the arbour’s shade;

Or mark the tender shooting blade:

Or stray beside the babbling stream,

When Luna sheds her placid beam;

Or gaze upon the glassy sea——

Happy, happy shall we be!



To thee, maternal guardian of my youth,

I pour the genuine numbers free from art—

The lays inspired by gratitude and truth;

For thou wilt prize the effusion of the heart.

Oh! be it mine, with sweet and pious care,

To calm thy bosom in the hour of grief;

With soothing tenderness to chase the tear,

With fond endearments to impart relief:

Be mine thy warm affection to repay

With duteous love in thy declining hours;

My filial hand shall strew unfading flowers,

Perennial roses, to adorn thy way:

Still may thy grateful children round thee smile—

Their pleasing care affliction shall beguile.



’Tis sweet to think the spirits of the blest

May hover round the virtuous man’s repose;

And oft in visions animate his breast,

And scenes of bright beatitude disclose.

The ministers of Heaven, with pure control,

May bid his sorrow and emotion cease,

Inspire the pious fervour of his soul,

And whisper to his bosom hallow’d peace.

Ah, tender thought! that oft with sweet relief

May charm the bosom of a weeping friend,

Beguile with magic power the tear of grief,

And pensive pleasure with devotion blend;

While oft he fancies music, sweetly faint,

The airy lay of some departed saint.



Oh! may I ever pass my happy hours

In Cambrian valleys and romantic bowers;

For every spot in sylvan beauty drest,

And every landscape, charms my youthful breast.

And much I love to hail the vernal morn,

When flowers of spring the mossy seat adorn;

And sometimes through the lonely wood I stray,

To cull the tender rosebuds in my way;

And seek in every wild secluded dell,

The weeping cowslip and the azure bell;

With all the blossoms, fairer in the dew,

To form the gay festoon of varied hue.

And oft I seek the cultivated green,

The fertile meadow, and the village scene;

Where rosy children sport around the cot,

Or gather woodbine from the garden spot.

And there I wander by the cheerful rill,

That murmurs near the osiers and the mill;

To view the smiling peasants turn the hay,

And listen to their pleasing festive lay.

I love to loiter in the spreading grove,

Or in the mountain scenery to rove;

Where summits rise in awful grace around,

With hoary moss and tufted verdure crown’d;

Where cliffs in solemn majesty are piled,

“And frown upon the vale” with grandeur wild:

And there I view the mouldering tower sublime,

Array’d in all the blending shades of Time.

The airy upland and the woodland green,

The valley, and romantic mountain scene;

The lowly hermitage, or fair domain,

The dell retired, or willow-shaded lane;

“And every spot in sylvan beauty drest,

And every landscape, charms my youthful breast.”



I love to hail the mild and balmy hour

When evening spreads around her twilight veil.

When dews descend on every languid flower,

And sweet and tranquil is the summer gale.

Then let me wander by the peaceful tide,

While o’er the wave the breezes lightly play;

To hear the waters murmur as they glide,

To mark the fading smile of closing day.

There let me linger, blest in visions dear,

Till the soft moonbeams tremble on the seas;

While melting sounds decay on fancy’s ear,

Of airy music floating on the breeze.

For still when evening sheds the genial dews,

That pensive hour is sacred to the muse.



——“His sword the brave man draws,

And asks no omen but his country’s cause.”—Pope.

Too long have Tyranny and Power combined

To sway, with iron sceptre, o’er mankind;

Long has Oppression worn th’ imperial robe,

And Rapine’s sword has wasted half the globe!

O’er Europe’s cultured realms, and climes afar,

Triumphant Gaul has pour’d the tide of war:

To her fair Austria veil’d the standard bright;

Ausonia’s lovely plains have own’d her might;

While Prussia’s eagle, never taught to yield,

Forsook her towering height on Jena’s field!

O gallant Frederic! could thy parted shade

Have seen thy country vanquish’d and betray’d,

How had thy soul indignant mourn’d her shame,

Her sullied trophies, and her tarnish’d fame!

When Valour wept lamented Brunswick’s doom,

And nursed with tears the laurels on his tomb;

When Prussia, drooping o’er her hero’s grave,

Invoked his spirit to descend and save;

Then set her glories—then expired her sun,

And fraud achieved e’en more than conquest won!

O’er peaceful realms, that smiled with plenty gay,

Has desolation spread her ample sway;

Thy blast, O Ruin! on tremendous wings,

Has proudly swept o’er empires, nations, kings.

Thus the wild hurricane’s impetuous force

With dark destruction marks its whelming course,

Despoils the woodland’s pomp, the blooming plain,

Death on its pinion, vengeance in its train!

—Rise, Freedom, rise! and, breaking from thy trance,

Wave the dread banner, seize the glittering lance!

With arm of might assert thy sacred cause,

And call thy champions to defend thy laws!

How long shall tyrant power her throne maintain?

How long shall despots and usurpers reign?

Is honour’s lofty soul for ever fled!

Is virtue lost? is martial ardour dead?

Is there no heart where worth and valour dwell,

No patriot Wallace, no undaunted Tell?

Yes, Freedom! yes! thy sons, a noble band,

Around thy banner, firm, exulting stand;

Once more, ’tis thine, invincible to wield

The beamy spear and adamantine shield!

Again thy cheek with proud resentment glows,

Again thy lion-glance appals thy foes;

Thy kindling eye-beam darts unconquer’d fires,

Thy look sublime the warrior’s heart inspires;

And, while to guard thy standard and thy right,

Castilians rush, intrepid, to the fight,

Lo! Britain’s generous host their aid supply,

Resolved for thee to triumph or to die;

And Glory smiles to see Iberia’s name

Enroll’d with Albion’s in the book of fame!

Illustrious names! still, still united beam,

Be still the hero’s boast, the poet’s theme:

So, when two radiant gems together shine,

And in one wreath their lucid light combine;

Each, as it sparkles with transcendant rays,

Adds to the lustre of its kindred blaze.

Descend, O Genius! from thy orb descend!

Thy glowing thought, thy kindling spirit lend!

As Memnon’s harp (so ancient fables say)

With sweet vibration meets the morning ray,

So let the chords thy heavenly presence own,

And swell a louder note, a nobler tone;

Call from the sun, her burning throne on high,

The seraph Ecstasy, with lightning eye;

Steal from the source of day empyreal fire,

And breathe the soul of rapture o’er the lyre!

Hail, Albion! hail, thou land of freedom’s birth!

Pride of the main, and Phœnix of the earth!

Thou second Rome, where mercy, justice, dwell,

Whose sons in wisdom as in arms excel!

Thine are the dauntless bands, like Spartans brave,

Bold in the field, triumphant on the wave;

In classic elegance and arts divine,

To rival Athens’ fairest palm is thine;

For taste and fancy from Hymettus fly,

And richer bloom beneath thy varying sky,

Where Science mounts in radiant car sublime

To other worlds beyond the sphere of time!

Hail, Albion, hail! to thee has fate denied

Peruvian mines and rich Hindostan’s pride,

The gems that Ormuz and Golconda boast,

And all the wealth of Montezuma’s coast:

For thee no Parian marbles brightly shine,

No glowing suns mature the blushing vine;

No light Arabian gales their wings expand,

To waft Sabæan incense o’er the land;

No graceful cedars crown thy lofty hills,

No trickling myrrh for thee its balm distils;

Not from thy trees the lucid amber flows,

And far from thee the scented cassia blows:

Yet fearless Commerce, pillar of thy throne,

Makes all the wealth of foreign climes thy own;

From Lapland’s shore to Afric’s fervid reign,

She bids thy ensigns float above the main;

Unfurls her streamers to the favouring gale,

And shows to other worlds her daring sail:

Then wafts their gold, their varied stores to thee,

Queen of the trident! empress of the sea!

For this thy noble sons have spread alarms,

And bade the zones resound with Britain’s arms!

Calpè’s proud rock, and Syria’s palmy shore,

Have heard and trembled at their battle’s roar;

The sacred waves of fertilising Nile

Have seen the triumphs of the conquering isle;

For this, for this, the Samiel-blast of war

Has roll’d o’er Vincent’s cape and Trafalgar!

Victorious Rodney spread thy thunder’s sound,

And Nelson fell, with fame immortal crown’d—

Blest if their perils and their blood could gain,

To grace thy hand, the sceptre of the main!

The milder emblems of the virtues calm—

The poet’s verdant bay, the sage’s palm—

These in thy laurel’s blooming foliage twine,

And round thy brows a deathless wreath combine:

Not Mincio’s banks, nor Meles’ classic tide,

Are hallow’d more than Avon’s haunted side;

Nor is thy Thames a less inspiring theme

Than pure Ilissus, or than Tiber’s stream.

Bright in the annals of th’ impartial page,

Britannia’s heroes live from age to age!

From ancient days, when dwelt her savage race,

Her painted natives, foremost in the chase,

Free from all cares for luxury or gain,

Lords of the wood and monarchs of the plain;

To these Augustan days, when social arts

Refine and meliorate her manly hearts;

From doubtful Arthur—hero of romance,

King of the circled board, the spear, the lance—

To those whose recent trophies grace her shield,

The gallant victors of Vimeira’s field;

Still have her warriors borne th’ unfading crown

And made the British flag the ensign of renown.

Spirit of Alfred! patriot soul sublime!

Thou morning-star of error’s darkest time!

Prince of the Lion-heart! whose arm in fight,

On Syria’s plains repell’d Saladin’s might!

Edward! for bright heroic deeds revered,

By Cressy’s fame to Britain still endear’d!

Triumphant Henry! thou, whose valour proud,

The lofty plume of crested Gallia bow’d!

Look down, look down, exalted shades! and view

Your Albion still to freedom’s banner true!

Behold the land, ennobled by your fame,

Supreme in glory, and of spotless name:

And, as the pyramid indignant rears

Its awful head, and mocks the waste of years;

See her secure in pride of virtue tower,

While prostrate nations kiss the rod of power!

Lo! where her pennons, waving high, aspire,

Bold Victory hovers near, “with eyes of fire!”

While Lusitania hails, with just applause,

The brave defenders of her injured cause;

Bids the full song, the note of triumph rise,

And swells th’ exulting pæan to the skies!

And they, who late with anguish, hard to tell,

Breathed to their cherish’d realms a sad farewell!

Who, as the vessel bore them o’er the tide,

Still fondly linger’d on its deck, and sigh’d;

Gazed on the shore, till tears obscured their sight,

And the blue distance melted into light—

The Royal exiles, forced by Gallia’s hate

To fly for refuge in a foreign state—

They, soon returning o’er the western main,

Ere long may view their clime beloved again:

And as the blazing pillar led the host

Of faithful Israel o’er the desert coast,

So may Britannia guide the noble band

O’er the wild ocean to their native land.

O glorious isle!—O sovereign of the waves!

Thine are the sons who “never will be slaves!”

See them once more, with ardent hearts advance,

And rend the laurels of insulting France;

To brave Castile their potent aid supply,

And wave, O Freedom! wave thy sword on high!

Is there no bard of heavenly power possess’d

To thrill, to rouse, to animate the breast?

Like Shakspeare o’er the secret mind to sway,

And call each wayward passion to obey?

Is there no bard, imbued with hallow’d fire,

To wake the chords of Ossian’s magic lyre;

Whose numbers breathing all his flame divine,

The patriot’s name to ages might consign?

Rise, Inspiration! rise! be this thy theme,

And mount, like Uriel, on the golden beam!

Oh, could my muse on seraph pinion spring,

And sweep with rapture’s hand the trembling string!

Could she the bosom energies control,

And pour impassion’d fervour o’er the soul!

Oh, could she strike the harp to Milton given,

Brought by a cherub from th’ empyrean heaven!

Ah, fruitless wish! ah, prayer preferr’d in vain,

For her—the humblest of the woodland train;

Yet shall her feeble voice essay to raise

The hymn of liberty, the song of praise!

Iberian bands! whose noble ardour glows

To pour confusion on oppressive foes;

Intrepid spirits, hail! ’tis yours to feel

The hero’s fire, the freeman’s godlike zeal!

Not to secure dominion’s boundless reign,

Ye wave the flag of conquest o’er the slain;

No cruel rapine leads you to the war,

Nor mad ambition, whirl’d in crimson car.

No, brave Castilians! yours a nobler end,

Your land, your laws, your monarch to defend!

For these, for these, your valiant legions rear

The floating standard, and the lofty spear!

The fearless lover wields the conquering sword,

Fired by the image of the maid adored!

His best-beloved, his fondest ties, to aid,

The father’s hand unsheaths the glittering blade!

For each, for all, for ev’ry sacred right,

The daring patriot mingles in the fight!

And e’en if love or friendship fail to warm,

His country’s name alone can nerve his dauntless arm!

He bleeds! he falls! his deathbed is the field!

His dirge the trumpet, and his bier the shield!

His closing eyes the beam of valour speak,

The flush of ardour lingers on his cheek;

Serene he lifts to heaven those closing eyes,

Then for his country breathes a prayer—and dies!

Oh! ever hallow’d be his verdant grave—

There let the laurel spread, the cypress wave!

Thou, lovely Spring! bestow, to grace his tomb,

Thy sweetest fragrance, and thy earliest bloom;

There let the tears of heaven descend in balm,

There let the poet consecrate his palm!

Let honour, pity, bless the holy ground,

And shades of sainted heroes watch around!

’Twas thus, while Glory rung his thrilling knell,

Thy chief, O Thebes! at Mantinea fell;

Smiled undismay’d within the arms of death,

While Victory, weeping nigh, received his breath!

O thou, the sovereign of the noble soul!

Thou source of energies beyond control!

Queen of the lofty thought, the generous deed,

Whose sons unconquer’d fight, undaunted bleed,—

Inspiring Liberty! thy worshipp’d name

The warm enthusiast kindles to a flame;

Thy charms inspire him to achievements high,

Thy look of heaven, thy voice of harmony.

More blest with thee to tread perennial snows,

Where ne’er a flower expands, a zephyr blows;

Where Winter, binding nature in his chain,

In frost-work palace holds perpetual reign;

Than, far from thee, with frolic step to rove

The green savannas and the spicy grove;

Scent the rich balm of India’s perfumed gales,

In citron-woods and aromatic vales:

For oh! fair Liberty, when thou art near,

Elysium blossoms in the desert drear!

Where’er thy smile its magic power bestows,

There arts and taste expand, there fancy glows;

The sacred lyre its wild enchantment gives,

And every chord to swelling transport lives;

There ardent Genius bids the pencil trace

The soul of beauty, and the lines of grace;

With bold Promethean hand, the canvass warms,

And calls from stone expression’s breathing forms.

Its genial waves diffuse abundance round,

Bid Ceres laugh o’er waste and sterile sands,

And rich profusion clothe deserted lands.

Immortal Freedom! daughter of the skies!

To thee shall Britain’s grateful incense rise.

Ne’er, goddess! ne’er forsake thy favourite isle,

Still be thy Albion brighten’d with thy smile!

Long had thy spirit slept in dead repose,

While proudly triumph’d thine insulting foes;

Yet, though a cloud may veil Apollo’s light,

Soon, with celestial beam, he breaks to sight:

Once more we see thy kindling soul return,

Thy vestal-flame with added radiance burn;

Lo! in Iberian hearts thine ardour lives,

Lo! in Iberian hearts thy spark revives!

Proceed, proceed, ye firm undaunted band!

Still sure to conquer, if combined ye stand.

Though myriads flashing in the eye of day

Stream’d o’er the smiling land in long array,

Though tyrant Asia pour’d unnumber’d foes,

Triumphant still the arm of Greece arose;—

For every state in sacred union stood,

Strong to repel invasion’s whelming flood;

Each heart was glowing in the general cause,

Each hand prepared to guard their hallow’d laws;

Athenian valour join’d Laconia’s might,

And but contended to be first in fight;

From rank to rank the warm contagion ran,

And Hope and Freedom led the flaming van.

Then Persia’s monarch mourn’d his glories lost,

As wild confusion wing’d his flying host;

Then Attic bards the hymn of victory sung,

The Grecian harp to notes exulting rung!

Then Sculpture bade the Parian stone record

The high achievements of the conquering sword.

Thus, brave Castilians! thus may bright renown

And fair success your valiant efforts crown!

Genius of chivalry! whose early days

Tradition still recounts in artless lays;

Whose faded splendours fancy oft recalls—

The floating banners and the lofty halls,

The gallant feats thy festivals display’d,

The tilt, the tournament, the long crusade;

Whose ancient pride Romance delights to hail,

In fabling numbers, or heroic tale:

Those times are fled, when stern thy castles frown’d,

Their stately towers with feudal grandeur crown’d;

Those times are fled, when fair Iberia’s clime

Beheld thy Gothic reign, thy pomp sublime;

And all thy glories, all thy deeds of yore,

Live but in legends wild, and poet’s lore.

Lo! where thy silent harp neglected lies,

Light o’er its chords the murmuring zephyr sighs;

Thy solemn courts, where once the minstrel sung,

The choral voice of mirth and music rung;

Now, with the ivy clad, forsaken, lone,

Hear but the breeze and echo to its moan:

Thy lonely towers deserted fall away,

Thy broken shield is mouldering in decay.

Yet, though thy transient pageantries are gone,

Like fairy visions, bright, yet swiftly flown;

Genius of chivalry! thy noble train,

Thy firm, exalted virtues yet remain!

Fair truth, array’d in robes of spotless white,

Her eye a sunbeam, and her zone of light;

Warm emulation, with aspiring aim,

Still darting forward to the wreath of fame;

And purest love, that waves his torch divine,

At awful honour’s consecrated shrine;

Ardour, with eagle-wing and fiery glance;

And generous courage, resting on his lance;

And loyalty, by perils unsubdued;

Untainted faith, unshaken fortitude;

And patriot energy, with heart of flame—

These, in Iberia’s sons are yet the same!

These from remotest days their souls have fired,

“Nerved every arm,” and every breast inspired!

When Moorish bands their suffering land possess’d,

And fierce oppression rear’d her giant crest,

The wealthy caliphs on Cordova’s throne

In eastern gems and purple splendour shone;

Theirs was the proud magnificence that vied

With stately Bagdat’s oriental pride;

Theirs were the courts in regal pomp array’d,

Where arts and luxury their charms display’d;

’Twas theirs to rear the Zehrar’s costly towers,

Its fairy-palace and enchanted bowers;

There all Arabian fiction e’er could tell

Of potent genii or of wizard spell—

All that a poet’s dream could picture bright,

One sweet Elysium, charm’d the wondering sight!

Too fair, too rich, for work of mortal hand,

It seem’d an Eden from Armida’s wand!

Yet vain their pride, their wealth, and radiant state,

When freedom waved on high the sword of fate!

When brave Ramiro bade the despots fear,

Stem retribution frowning on his spear;

And fierce Almanzor, after many a fight,

O’erwhelm’d with shame, confess’d the Christian’s might.

In later times the gallant Cid arose,

Burning with zeal against his country’s foes;

His victor-arm Alphonso’s throne maintain’d,

His laureate brows the wreath of conquest gain’d!

And still his deeds Castilian bards rehearse,

Inspiring theme of patriotic verse!

High in the temple of recording fame,

Iberia points to great Gonsalvo’s name!

Victorious chief! whose valour still defied

The arms of Gaul, and bow’d her crested pride;

With splendid trophies graced his sovereign’s throne,

And bade Granada’s realms his prowess own.

Nor were his deeds thy only boast, O Spain!

In mighty Ferdinand’s illustrious reign;

’Twas then thy glorious Pilot spread the sail,

Unfurl’d his flag before the eastern gale;

Bold, sanguine, fearless, ventured to explore

Seas unexplored, and worlds unknown before.

Fair science guided o’er the liquid realm,

Sweet hope, exulting, steer’d the daring helm;

While on the mast, with ardour-flashing eye,

Courageous enterprise still hover’d nigh:

The hoary genius of th’ Atlantic main

Saw man invade his wide majestic reign—

His empire, yet by mortal unsubdued,

The throne, the world of awful solitude.

And e’en when shipwreck seem’d to rear his form,

And dark destruction menaced in the storm;

In every shape when giant-peril rose,

To daunt his spirit and his course oppose;

O’er ev’ry heart when terror sway’d alone,

And hope forsook each bosom but his own:

Moved by no dangers, by no fears repell’d,

His glorious track the gallant sailor held;

Attentive still to mark the sea-birds lave,

Or high in air their snowy pinions wave.

Thus princely Jason, launching from the steep,

With dauntless prow explored th’ untravell’d deep;

Thus, at the helm, Ulysses’ watchful sight

View’d ev’ry star and planetary light.

Sublime Columbus! when, at length descried,

The long-sought land arose above the tide,

How every heart with exultation glow’d,

How from each eye the tear of transport flow’d!

Not wilder joy the sons of Israel knew

When Canaan’s fertile plains appear’d in view.

Then rose the choral anthem on the breeze,

Then martial music floated o’er the seas;

Their waving streamers to the sun display’d,

In all the pride of warlike pomp array’d.

Advancing nearer still, the ardent band

Hail’d the glad shore, and bless’d the stranger land;

Admired its palmy groves and prospects fair,

With rapture breathed its pure ambrosial air:

Then crowded round its free and simple race,

Amazement pictured wild on every face;

Who deem’d that beings of celestial birth,

Sprung from the sun, descended to the earth.

Then first another world, another sky,

Beheld Iberia’s banner blaze on high!

Still prouder glories beam on history’s page,

Imperial Charles! to mark thy prosperous age

Those golden days of arts and fancy bright,

When Science pour’d her mild, refulgent light;

When Painting bade the glowing canvass breathe

Creative Sculpture claim’d the living wreath;

When roved the Muses in Ausonian bowers,

Weaving immortal crowns of fairest flowers;

When angel-truth dispersed, with beam divine,

The clouds that veil’d religion’s hallow’d shrine

Those golden days beheld Iberia tower

High on the pyramid of fame and power;

Vain all the efforts of her numerous foes,

Her might, superior still, triumphant rose.

Thus on proud Lebanon’s exalted brow,

The cedar, frowning o’er the plains below,

Though storms assail, its regal pomp to rend,

Majestic, still aspires, disdaining e’er to bend!

When Gallia pour’d to Pavia’s trophied plain,

Her youthful knights, a bold, impetuous train;

When, after many a toil and danger past,

The fatal morn of conflict rose at last;

That morning saw her glittering host combine,

And form in close array the threat’ning line;

Fire in each eye, and force in ev’ry arm,

With hope exulting, and with ardour warm;

Saw to the gale their streaming ensigns play,

Their armour flashing to the beam of day;

Their gen’rous chargers panting, spurn the ground,

Roused by the trumpet’s animating sound;

And heard in air their warlike music float,

The martial pipe, the drum’s inspiring note!

Pale set the sun—the shades of evening fell,

The mournful night-wind rung their funeral knell;

And the same day beheld their warriors dead,

Their sovereign captive, and their glories fled!

Fled, like the lightning’s evanescent fire,

Bright, blazing, dreadful—only to expire!

Then, then, while prostrate Gaul confess’d her might,

Iberia’s planet shed meridian light!

Nor less, on famed St Quintin’s deathful day,

Castilian spirit bore the prize away—

Laurels that still their verdure shall retain,

And trophies beaming high in glory’s fane!

And lo! her heroes, warm with kindred flame,

Still proudly emulate their fathers’ fame;

Still with the soul of patriot-valour glow,

Still rush impetuous to repel the foe;

Wave the bright falchion, lift the beamy spear,

And bid oppressive Gallia learn to fear!

Be theirs, be theirs unfading honour’s crown,

The living amaranths of bright renown!

Be theirs th’ inspiring tribute of applause,

Due to the champions of their country’s cause!

Be theirs the purest bliss that virtue loves,

The joy when conscience whispers and approves!

When every heart is fired, each pulse beats high,

To fight, to bleed, to fall, for liberty;

When every hand is dauntless and prepared

The sacred charter of mankind to guard;

When Britain’s valiant sons their aid unite,

Fervent and glowing still for freedom’s right,

Bid ancient enmities for ever cease,

And ancient wrongs forgotten sleep in peace.

When, firmly leagued, they join the patriot band,

Can venal slaves their conquering arms withstand?

Can fame refuse their gallant deeds to bless?

Can victory fail to crown them with success?

Look down, O Heaven! the righteous cause maintain,

Defend the injured, and avenge the slain!

Despot of France! destroyer of mankind!

What spectre-cares must haunt thy sleepless mind!

Oh! if at midnight round thy regal bed,

When soothing visions fly thine aching head;

When sleep denies thy anxious cares to calm,

And lull thy senses in his opiate balm;

Invoked by guilt, if airy phantoms rise,

And murder’d victims bleed before thine eyes;

Loud let them thunder in thy troubled ear,

“Tyrant! the hour, th’ avenging hour is near!”

It is, it is! thy star withdraws its ray—

Soon will its parting lustre fade away;

Soon will Cimmerian shades obscure its light,

And veil thy splendours in eternal night!

Oh! when accusing conscience wakes thy soul

With awful terrors and with dread control,

Bids threat’ning forms, appalling, round thee stand,

And summons all her visionary band;

Calls up the parted shadows of the dead,

And whispers, peace and happiness are fled;

E’en at the time of silence and of rest,

Paints the dire poniard menacing thy breast;

Is then thy cheek with guilt and horror pale?

Then dost thou tremble, does thy spirit fail?

And wouldst thou yet by added crimes provoke

The bolt of heaven to launch the fatal stroke?

Bereave a nation of its rights revered,

Of all to morals sacred and endear’d?

And shall they tamely liberty resign,

The soul of life, the source of bliss divine?

Canst thou, supreme destroyer! hope to bind,

In chains of adamant, the noble mind?

Go, bid the rolling orbs thy mandate hear—

Go, stay the lightning in its wing’d career!

No, tyrant! no! thy utmost force is vain

The patriot-arm of freedom to restrain.

Then bid thy subject-bands in armour shine,

Then bid thy legions all their power combine!

Yet couldst thou summon myriads at command,

Did boundless realms obey thy sceptred hand,

E’en then her soul thy lawless might would spurn,

E’en then, with kindling fire, with indignation burn!

Ye sons of Albion! first in danger’s field,

The sword of Britain and of truth to wield!

Still prompt the injured to defend and save,

Appal the despot, and assist the brave;

Who now intrepid lift the generous blade,

The cause of Justice and Castile to aid!

Ye sons of Albion! by your country’s name,

Her crown of glory, her unsullied fame;

Oh! by the shades of Cressy’s martial dead,

By warrior-bands at Agincourt who bled;

By honours gain’d on Blenheim’s fatal plain,

By those in Victory’s arms at Minden slain;

By the bright laurels Wolfe immortal won,

Undaunted spirit! valour’s favourite son!

By Albion’s thousand, thousand deeds sublime,

Renown’d from zone to zone, from clime to clime;

Ye British heroes! may your trophies raise

A deathless monument to future days!

Oh! may your courage still triumphant rise,

Exalt the “lion banner” to the skies!

Transcend the fairest names in history’s page,

The brightest actions of a former age;

The reign of Freedom let your arms restore,

And bid oppression fall—to rise no more!

Then soon returning to your native isle,

May love and beauty hail you with their smile;

For you may conquest weave th’ undying wreath,

And fame and glory’s voice the song of rapture breathe!

Ah! when shall mad ambition cease to rage?

Ah! when shall war his demon-wrath assuage?

When, when, supplanting discord’s iron reign,

Shall mercy wave her olive-wand again?

Not till the despot’s dread career is closed,

And might restrain’d and tyranny deposed!

Return, sweet Peace, ethereal form benign!

Fair blue-eyed seraph! balmy power divine!

Descend once more! thy hallow’d blessings bring,

Wave thy bright locks, and spread thy downy wing!

Luxuriant plenty, laughing in thy train,

Shall crown with glowing stores the desert-plain:

Young smiling Hope, attendant on thy way,

Shall gild thy path with mild celestial ray.

Descend once more, thou daughter of the sky!

Cheer every heart, and brighten every eye;

Justice, thy harbinger, before thee send,

Thy myrtle-sceptre o’er the globe extend:

Thy cherub-look again shall soothe mankind,

Thy cherub-hand the wounds of discord bind;

Thy smile of heaven shall every muse inspire,

To thee the bard shall strike the silver lyre.

Descend once more! to bid the world rejoice—

Let nations hail thee with exulting voice,

Around thy shrine with purest incense throng,

Weave the fresh palm, and swell the choral song!

Then shall the shepherd’s flute, the woodland reed,

The martial clarion and the drum succeed;

Again shall bloom Arcadia’s fairest flowers,

And music warble in Idalian bowers.

Where war and carnage blew the blast of death,

The gale shall whisper with Favonian breath;

And golden Ceres bless the festive swain,

Where the wild combat redden’d o’er the plain.

These are thy blessings, fair benignant maid!

Return, return, in vest of light array’d!

Let angel-forms and floating sylphids bear

Thy car of sapphire through the realms of air:

With accents milder than Æolian lays,

When o’er the harp the fanning zephyr plays,

Be thine to charm the raging world to rest,

Diffusing round the heaven that glows within thy breast!

O Thou! whose fiat lulls the storm asleep!

Thou, at whose nod subsides the rolling deep!

Whose awful word restrains the whirlwind’s force,

And stays the thunder in its vengeful course;

Fountain of life! Omnipotent Supreme!

Robed in perfection! crown’d with glory’s beam!

Oh! send on earth thy consecrated dove,

To bear the sacred olive from above;

Restore again the blest, the halcyon time,

The festal harmony of nature’s prime!

Bid truth and justice once again appear,

And spread their sunshine o’er this mundane sphere;

Bright in their path, let wreaths unfading bloom,

Transcendant light their hallow’d fane illume;

Bid war and anarchy for ever cease,

And kindred seraphs rear the shrine of Peace;

Brothers once more, let men her empire own,

And realms and monarchs bend before the throne,

While circling rays of angel-mercy shed

Eternal haloes round her sainted head!

The Domestic Affections, and Other Poems


Though youth may boast the curls that flow

In sunny waves of auburn glow;

As graceful on thy hoary head

Has Time the robe of honour spread,

And there, oh! softly, softly shed

His wreath of snow!

As frost-work on the trees display’d

When weeping Flora leaves the shade,

E’en more than Flora, charms the sight;

E’en so thy locks of purest white

Survive, in age’s frost-work bright,

Youth’s vernal rose decay’d!

To grace the nymph whose tresses play

Light on the sportive breeze of May,

Let other bards the garland twine,

Where sweets of every hue combine;

Those locks revered, that silvery shine,

Invite my lay!

Less white the summer-cloud sublime,

Less white the winter’s fringing rime;

Nor do Belinda’s lovelier seem

(A Poet’s blest immortal theme)

Than thine, which wear the moonlight beam

Of reverend Time!

Long may the graceful honours smile,

Like moss on some declining pile;

O much revered! may filial care

Around thee, duteous, long repair,

Thy joys with tender bliss to share,

Thy pains beguile!

Long, long, ye snowy ringlets, wave!

Long, long, your much-loved beauty save!

May bliss your latest evening crown,

Disarm life’s winter of its frown,

And soft, ye hoary hairs, go down

In gladness to the grave!

And as the parting beams of day

On mountain-snows reflected play,

And tints of roseate lustre shed;

Thus, on the snow that crowns thy head,

May joy, with evening planet, shed

His mildest ray!

August 18, 1809.


If e’er from human bliss or woe

I feel the sympathetic glow;

If e’er my heart has learn’d to know

The generous wish or prayer;

Who sow’d the germ with tender hand?

Who mark’d its infant leaves expand?—

My mother’s fostering care.

And if one flower of charms refined

May grace the garden of my mind,

’Twas she who nursed it there:

She loved to cherish and adorn

Each blossom of the soil;

To banish every weed and thorn

That oft opposed her toil!

And oh! if e’er I sigh’d to claim

The palm, the living palm of fame,

The glowing wreath of praise;

If e’er I wish’d the glittering stores

That Fortune on her favourite pours;

’Twas but that wealth and fame, if mine,

Round thee with streaming rays might shine,

And gild thy sun-bright days!

Yet not that splendour, pomp, and power

Might then irradiate every hour;

For these, my mother! well I know,

On thee no raptures could bestow;—

But could thy bounty, warm and kind,

Be, like thy wishes, unconfined,

And fall as manna from the skies,

And bid a train of blessings rise,

Diffusing joy and peace;

The tear-drop, grateful, pure, and bright,

For thee would beam with softer light

Than all the diamond’s crystal rays,

Than all the emerald’s lucid blaze;

And joys of heaven would thrill thy heart

To bid one bosom-grief depart,

One tear, one sorrow cease!

Then, oh! may Heaven, that loves to bless,

Bestow the power to cheer distress;

Make thee its minister below,

To light the cloudy path of woe;

To visit the deserted cell,

Where indigence is doom’d to dwell;

To raise, when drooping to the earth,

The blossoms of neglected worth;

And round, with liberal hand, dispense

The sunshine of beneficence!

But ah! if Fate should still deny

Delights like these, too rich and high;

If grief and pain thy steps assail,

In life’s remote and wintry vale;

Then, as the wild Æolian lyre

Complains with soft entrancing number,

When the lone storm awakes the wire,

And bids enchantment cease to slumber;

So filial love, with soothing voice,

E’en then shall teach thee to rejoice;

E’en then shall sweeter, milder sound,

When sorrow’s tempest raves around;

While dark misfortune’s gales destroy,

The frail mimosa-buds of hope and joy!



Though dark are the prospects and heavy the hours,

Though life is a desert, and cheerless the way;

Yet still shall affection adorn it with flowers,

Whose fragrance shall never decay!

And lo! to embrace thee, my Brother! she flies,

With artless delight, that no words can bespeak;

With a sunbeam of transport illuming her eyes,

With a smile and a glow on her cheek!

From the trophies of war, from the spear and the shield,

From scenes of destruction, from perils unblest;

Oh! welcome again, to the grove and the field,

To the vale of retirement and rest.

Then warble, sweet muse! with the lyre and the voice,

Oh! gay be the measure and sportive the strain;

For light is my heart, and my spirits rejoice

To meet thee, my Brother! again.

When the heroes of Albion, still valiant and true,

Were bleeding, were falling, with victory crown’d,

How often would fancy present to my view

The horrors that waited thee round!

How constant, how fervent, how pure was my prayer,

That Heaven would protect thee from danger and harm;

That angels of mercy would shield thee with care,

In the heat of the combat’s alarm!

How sad and how often descended the tear,

(Ah, long shall remembrance the image retain!)

How mournful the sigh, when I trembled with fear

I might never behold thee again!

But the prayer was accepted, the sorrow is o’er,

And the tear-drop is fled, like the dew on the rose;

Thy dangers, our tears, have endear’d thee the more,

And my bosom with tenderness glows.

And oh! when the dreams, the enchantments of youth,

Bright and transient, have fled like the rainbow away;

My affection for thee, still unfading in truth,

Shall never, oh! never decay!

No time can impair it, no change can destroy,

Whate’er be the lot I am destined to share;

It will smile in the sunshine of hope and of joy,

And beam through the cloud of despair!



How many a day, in various hues array’d,

Bright with gay sunshine, or eclipsed with shade,

How many an hour, on silent wing is past,

O my loved Brother! since we saw thee last!

Since then has childhood ripen’d into youth,

And fancy’s dreams have fled from sober truth;

Her splendid fabrics melting into air,

As sage experience waved the wand of care!

Yet still thine absence wakes the tender sigh,

And the tear trembles in affection’s eye!

When shall we meet again?—with glowing ray

Heart-soothing hope illumes some future day;

Checks the sad thought, beguiles the starting tear,

And sings benignly still—that day is near!

She, with bright eye, and soul-bewitching voice,

Wins us to smile, inspires us to rejoice;

Tells that the hour approaches, to restore

Our cherish’d wanderer to his home once more;

Where sacred ties his manly worth endear,

To faith still true, affection still sincere!

Then the past woes, the future’s dubious lot,

In that blest meeting shall be all forgot!

And joy’s full radiance gild that sun-bright hour,

Though all around th’ impending storm should lower.

Now distant far, amidst the intrepid host,

Albion’s firm sons, on Lusitania’s coast,

(That gallant band, in countless dangers tried,

Where glory’s pole-star beams their constant guide,)

Say, do thy thoughts, my Brother, fondly stray

To Cambria’s vales and mountains far away?

Does fancy oft in busy day-dreams roam,

And paint the greeting that awaits at home?

Does memory’s pencil oft, in mellowing hue,

Dear social scenes, departed joys renew;

In softer tints delighting to retrace

Each tender image and each well-known face?

Yes, wanderer! yes! thy spirit flies to those

Whose love, unalter’d, warm and faithful glows.

Oh! could that love, through life’s eventful hours,

Illume thy scenes and strew thy path with flowers!

Perennial joy should harmonise thy breast,

No struggle rend thee, and no cares molest!

But though our tenderness can but bestow

The wish, the hope, the prayer, averting woe,

Still shall it live, with pure, unclouded flame,

In storms, in sunshine, far and near—the same!

Still dwell enthroned within th’ unvarying heart,

And, firm and vital, but with life depart!

Bronwylfa, Feb. 8, 1811.


O thou! whose pure, exalted mind,

Lives in this record, fair and bright;

O thou! whose blameless life combined

Soft female charms, and grace refined,

With science and with light!

Celestial maid! whose spirit soar’d

Beyond this vale of tears—

Whose clear, enlighten’d eye explored

The lore of years!

Daughter of Heaven! if here, e’en here,

The wing of towering thought was thine;

If, on this dim and mundane sphere,

Fair truth illumed thy bright career,

With morning-star divine;

How must thy bless’d ethereal soul

Now kindle in her noontide ray,

And hail, unfetter’d by control,

The Fount of Day!

E’en now, perhaps, thy seraph eyes,

Undimm’d by doubt, nor veil’d by fear,

Behold a chain of wonders rise—

Gaze on the noon-beam of the skies,

Transcendant, pure, and clear!

E’en now, the fair, the good, the true,

From mortal sight conceal’d,

Bless in one blaze thy raptured view,

In light reveal’d!

If here the lore of distant time,

And learning’s flowers, were all thine own;

How must thy mind ascend sublime,

Matured in heaven’s empyreal clime,

To light’s unclouded throne!

Perhaps e’en now thy kindling glance

Each orb of living fire explores,

Darts o’er creation’s wide expanse,


Oh! if that lightning-eye surveys

This dark and sublunary plain;

How must the wreath of human praise

Fade, wither, vanish, in thy gaze,

So dim, so pale, so vain!

How, like a faint and shadowy dream,

Must quiver learning’s brightest ray;

While on thine eyes, with lucid stream,

The sun of glory pours his beam,

Perfection’s day!


Sweets of the wild! that breathe and bloom

On this lone tower, this ivied wall,

Lend to the gale a rich perfume,

And grace the ruin in its fall.

Though doom’d, remote from careless eye,

To smile, to flourish, and to die

In solitude sublime,

Oh! ever may the spring renew,

Your balmy scent and glowing hue,

To deck the robe of time!

Breathe, fragrance! breathe! enrich the air,

Though wasted on its wing unknown!

Blow, flowerets! blow! though vainly fair,

Neglected and alone!

These flowers that long withstood the blast,

These mossy towers, are mouldering fast,

While Flora’s children stay—

To mantle o’er the lonely pile,

To gild Destruction with a smile,

And beautify Decay!

Sweets of the wild! uncultured blowing,

Neglected in luxuriance glowing;

From the dark ruins frowning near,

Your charms in brighter tints appear,

And richer blush assume;

You smile with softer beauty crown’d,

Whilst all is desolate around,

Like sunshine on a tomb!

Thou hoary pile, majestic still,

Memento of departed fame!

While roving o’er the moss-clad hill,

I ponder on thine ancient name!

Here Grandeur, Beauty, Valour sleep,

That here, so oft, have shone supreme;

While Glory, Honour, Fancy, weep

That vanish’d is the golden dream!

Where are the banners, waving proud,

To kiss the summer-gale of even—

All purple as the morning-cloud,

All streaming to the winds of heaven?

Where is the harp, by rapture strung

To melting song or martial story?

Where are the lays the minstrel sung

To loveliness or glory?

Lorn Echo of these mouldering walls,

To thee no festal measure calls;

No music through the desert halls,

Awakes thee to rejoice!

How still thy sleep! as death profound—

As if, within this lonely round,

A step—a note—a whisper’d sound

Had ne’er aroused thy voice!

Thou hear’st the zephyr murmuring, dying,

Thou hear’st the foliage waving, sighing;

But ne’er again shall harp or song,

These dark deserted courts along,

Disturb thy calm repose.

The harp is broke, the song is fled,

The voice is hush’d, the bard is dead;

And never shall thy tones repeat

Or lofty strain or carol sweet

With plaintive close!

Proud Castle! though the days are flown

When once thy towers in glory shone;

When music through thy turrets rung,

When banners o’er thy ramparts hung,

Though ’midst thine arches, frowning lone,

Stern Desolation rear his throne;

And Silence, deep and awful, reign

Where echo’d once the choral strain;

Yet oft, dark ruin! lingering here,

The Muse will hail thee with a tear;

Here when the moonlight, quivering, beams,

And through the fringing ivy streams,

And softens every shade sublime,

And mellows every tint of Time—

Oh! here shall Contemplation love,

Unseen and undisturb’d, to rove;

And bending o’er some mossy tomb,

Where Valour sleeps or Beauties bloom,

Shall weep for Glory’s transient day

And Grandeur’s evanescent ray;

And listening to the swelling blast,

Shall wake the Spirit of the Past—

Call up the forms of ages fled,

Of warriors and of minstrels dead,

Who sought the field, who struck the lyre,

With all Ambition’s kindling fire!

Nor wilt thou, Spring! refuse to breathe

Soft odours on this desert air;

Refuse to twine thine earliest wreath,

And fringe these towers with garlands fair!

Sweets of the wild, oh! ever bloom

Unheeded on this ivied wall!

Lend to the gale a rich perfume,

And grace the ruin in its fall!

Thus round Misfortune’s holy head,

Would Pity wreaths of honour spread;

Like you, thus blooming on this lonely pile,

She seeks Despair, with heart-reviving smile!


Fair Gratitude! in strain sublime,

Swell high to heaven thy tuneful zeal;

And, hailing this auspicious time,

Kneel, Adoration! kneel!


For lo! the day, th’ immortal day,

When Mercy’s full, benignant ray

Chased every gathering cloud away,

And pour’d the noon of light!

Rapture! be kindling, mounting, glowing,

While from thine eye the tear is flowing,

Pure, warm, and bright!

’Twas on this day—oh, love divine!—

The Orient Star’s effulgence rose;

Then waked the Morn, whose eye benign

Shall never, never close!


Messiah! be thy name adored,

Eternal, high, redeeming Lord!

By grateful worlds be anthems pour’d—

Emanuel! Prince of Peace!

This day, from heaven’s empyreal dwelling,

Harp, lyre, and voice, in concert swelling,

Bade discord cease!

Wake the loud pæan, tune the voice,

Children of heaven and sons of earth!

Seraphs and men! exult, rejoice,

To bless the Saviour’s birth!


Devotion! light thy purest fire!

Transport! on cherub wing aspire!

Praise! wake to Him thy golden lyre,

Strike every thrilling chord!

While, at the Ark of Mercy kneeling,

We own thy grace, reviving, healing,

Redeemer! Lord!


Whence are those tranquil joys in mercy given,

To light the wilderness with beams of heaven?

To soothe our cares, and through the cloud diffuse

Their temper’d sunshine and celestial hues?

Those pure delights, ordain’d on life to throw

Gleams of the bliss ethereal natures know?

Say, do they grace Ambition’s regal throne,

When kneeling myriads call the world his own?

Or dwell with Luxury, in th’ enchanted bowers

Where taste and wealth exert creative powers?

Favour’d of heaven! O Genius! are they thine,

When round thy brow the wreaths of glory shine;

While rapture gazes on thy radiant way,

Midst the bright realms of clear and mental day?

No! sacred joys! ’tis yours to dwell enshrined,

Most fondly cherish’d, in the purest mind;

To twine with flowers those loved, endearing ties,

On earth so sweet—so perfect in the skies!

Nursed in the lap of solitude and shade,

The violet smiles, embosom’d in the glade

There sheds her spirit on the lonely gale,

Gem of seclusion! treasure of the vale!

Thus, far retired from life’s tumultuous road,

Domestic Bliss has fixed her calm abode

Where hallow’d Innocence and sweet Repose

May strew her shadowy path with many a rose.

As, when dread thunder shakes the troubled sky,

The cherub, Infancy, can close its eye,

And sweetly smile, unconscious of a tear,

While viewless angels wave their pinions near;

Thus, while around the storms of Discord roll,

Borne on resistless wing from pole to pole,

While War’s red lightnings desolate the ball,

And thrones and empires in destruction fall;

Then calm as evening on the silvery wave,

When the wind slumbers in the ocean cave,

She dwells unruffled, in her bower of rest,

Her empire Home!—her throne, Affection’s breast!

For her, sweet Nature wears her loveliest blooms,

And softer sunshine every scene illumes.

When Spring awakes the spirit of the breeze,

Whose light wing undulates the sleeping seas;

When Summer, waving her creative wand,

Bids verdure smile, and glowing life expand;

Or Autumn’s pencil sheds, with magic trace,

O’er fading lowliness, a moonlight grace;

Oh! still for her, through Nature’s boundless reign,

No charm is lost, no beauty blooms in vain;

While mental peace, o’er every prospect bright,

Throws mellowing tints and harmonising light!

Lo! borne on clouds, in rushing might sublime,

Stern Winter, bursting from the polar clime,

Triumphant waves his signal-torch on high,

The blood-red meteor of the northern sky!

And high through darkness rears his giant-form,

His throne the billow, and his flag the storm!

Yet then, when bloom and sunshine are no more,

And the wild surges foam along the shore,

Domestic Bliss, thy heaven is still serene,

Thy star unclouded, and thy myrtle green!

Thy fane of rest no raging storms invade—

Sweet peace is thine, the seraph of the shade!

Clear through the day, her light around thee glows,

And gilds the midnight of thy deep repose!

—Hail, sacred Home! where soft Affection’s hand

With flowers of Eden twines her magic band!

Where pure and bright the social ardours rise,

Concentring all their holiest energies!—

When wasting toil has dimm’d the vital flame,

And every power deserts the sinking frame,

Exhausted nature still from sleep implores

The charm that lulls, the manna that restores!

Thus, when oppress’d with rude, tumultuous cares,

To thee, sweet Home! the fainting mind repairs;

Still to thy breast, a wearied pilgrim, flies,

Her ark of refuge from uncertain skies!

Bower of repose! when, torn from all we love,

Through toil we struggle, or through distance rove;

To thee we turn, still faithful, from afar—

Thee, our bright vista! thee, our magnet-star!

And from the martial field, the troubled sea,

Unfetter’d thought still roves to bliss and thee!

When ocean-sounds in awful slumber die,

No wave to murmur, and no gale to sigh;

Wide o’er the world when Peace and Midnight reign,

And the moon trembles on the sleeping main;

At that still hour, the sailor wakes to keep,

Midst the dead calm, the vigil of the deep!

No gleaming shores his dim horizon bound,

All heaven—and sea—and solitude—around!

Then, from the lonely deck, the silent helm,

From the wide grandeur of the shadowy realm,

Still homeward borne, his fancy unconfined,

Leaving the worlds of ocean far behind,

Wings like a meteor-flash her swift career,

To the loved scenes, so distant, and so dear!

Lo! the rude whirlwind rushes from its cave,

And Danger frowns—the monarch of the wave!

Lo! rocks and storms the striving bark repel,

And Death and Shipwreck ride the foaming swell!

Child of the ocean! is thy bier the surge,

Thy grave the billow, and the wind thy dirge?

Yes! thy long toil, thy weary conflict o’er,

No storm shall wake, no perils rouse thee more!

Yet, in that solemn hour, that awful strife,

The struggling agony for death or life,

E’en then thy mind, embittering every pain,

Retraced the image so beloved—in vain!

Still to sweet Home thy last regrets were true,

Life’s parting sigh—the murmur of adieu!

Can war’s dread scenes the hallow’d ties efface,

Each tender thought, each fond remembrance chase?

Can fields of carnage, days of toil, destroy

The loved impression of domestic joy?

Ye daylight dreams! that cheer the soldier’s breast,

In hostile climes, with spells benign and blest,

Soothe his brave heart, and shed your glowing ray

O’er the long march through Desolation’s way;

Oh! still ye bear him from th’ ensanguined plain,

Armour’s bright flash, and Victory’s choral strain,

To that loved Home where pure affection glows,

That shrine of bliss! asylum of repose!

When all is hush’d—the rage of combat past,

And no dread war-note swells the moaning blast;

When the warm throb of many a heart is o’er,

And many an eye is closed to wake no more;

Lull’d by the night-wind, pillow’d on the ground,

(The dewy deathbed of his comrades, round!)

While o’er the slain the tears of midnight weep,

Faint with fatigue, he sinks in slumbers deep!

E’en then, soft visions, hovering round, portray

The cherish’d forms that o’er his bosom sway;

He sees fond transport light each beaming face,

Meets the warm tear-drop and the long embrace!

While the sweet welcome vibrates through his heart,

“Hail, weary soldier!—never more to part!”

And lo! at last, released from every toil,

He comes!—the wanderer views his native soil!

Then the bright raptures words can never speak

Flash in his eye and mantle o’er his cheek!

Then Love and Friendship, whose unceasing prayer

Implored for him each guardian-spirit’s care;

Who, for his fate, through sorrow’s lingering year,

Had proved each thrilling pulse of hope and fear;

In that blest moment, all the past forget—

Hours of suspense and vigils of regret!

And oh! for him, the child of rude alarms,

Rear’d by stern danger in the school of arms!

How sweet to change the war-song’s pealing note

For woodland-sounds in summer air that float!

Through vales of peace, o’er mountain wilds to roam,

And breathe his native gales, that whisper—‘Home!’

Hail, sweet endearments of domestic ties,

Charms of existence! angel sympathies!

Though Pleasure smile, a soft Circassian queen!

And guide her votaries through a fairy scene,

Where sylphid forms beguile their vernal hours

With mirth and music in Arcadian bowers;

Though gazing nations hail the fiery car

That bears the Son of Conquest from afar,

While Fame’s loud pæan bids his heart rejoice,

And every life-pulse vibrates to her voice;—

Yet from your source alone, in mazes bright,

Flows the full current of serene delight!

On Freedom’s wing, that every wild explores,

Through realms of space, th’ aspiring eagle soars!

Darts o’er the clouds, exulting to admire,

Meridian glory—on her throne of fire!

Bird of the Sun! his keen unwearied gaze

Hails the full noon, and triumphs in the blaze;

But soon, descending from his height sublime.

Day’s burning fount, and light’s empyreal clime,

Once more he speeds to joys more calmly blest,

Midst the dear inmates of his lonely nest!

Thus Genius, mounting on his bright career

Through the wide regions of the mental sphere,

And proudly waving in his gifted hand,

O’er Fancy’s worlds, Invention’s plastic wand,

Fearless and firm, with lightning-eye surveys

The clearest heaven of intellectual rays!

Yet, on his course though loftiest hopes attend,

And kindling raptures aid him to ascend,

(While in his mind, with high-born grandeur fraught,

Dilate the noblest energies of thought;)

Still, from the bliss, ethereal and refined,

Which crowns the soarings of triumphant mind,

At length he flies, to that serene retreat,

Where calm and pure the mild affections meet;

Embosom’d there, to feel and to impart

The softer pleasures of the social heart!

Ah! weep for those, deserted and forlorn,

From every tie by fate relentless torn;

See, on the barren coast, the lonely isle,

Mark’d with no step, uncheer’d by human smile,

Heart-sick and faint the ship-wreck’d wanderer stand,

Raise the dim eye, and lift the suppliant hand!

Explore with fruitless gaze the billowy main,

And weep—and pray—and linger—but in vain!

Thence, roving wild through many a depth of shade,

Where voice ne’er echo’d, footstep never stray’d,

He fondly seeks, o’er cliffs and deserts rude,

Haunts of mankind midst realms of solitude!

And pauses oft, and sadly hears alone

The wood’s deep sigh, the surge’s distant moan!

All else is hush’d! so silent, so profound,

As if some viewless power, presiding round,

With mystic spell, unbroken by a breath,

Had spread for ages the repose of death!

Ah! still the wanderer, by the boundless deep,

Lives but to watch—and watches but to weep!

He sees no sail in faint perspective rise,

His the dread loneliness of sea and skies!

Far from his cherish’d friends, his native shore,

Banish’d from being—to return no more;

There must he die!—within that circling wave,

That lonely isle—his prison and his grave!

Lo! through the waste, the wilderness of snows,

With fainting step, Siberia’s exile goes!

Homeless and sad, o’er many a polar wild,

Where beam, or flower, or verdure never smiled;

Where frost and silence hold their despot-reign,

And bind existence in eternal chain!

Child of the desert! pilgrim of the gloom!

Dark is the path which leads thee to the tomb!

While on thy faded cheek the arctic air

Congeals the bitter tear-drop of despair!

Yet not that fate condemns thy closing day

In that stern clime to shed its parting ray;

Not that fair nature’s loveliness and light

No more shall beam enchantment on thy sight;

Ah! not for this—far, far beyond relief,

Deep in thy bosom dwells the hopeless grief;

But that no friend of kindred heart is there,

Thy woes to mitigate, thy toils to share;

That no mild soother fondly shall assuage

The stormy trials of thy lingering age;

No smile of tenderness, with angel power,

Lull the dread pangs of dissolution’s hour;

For this alone, despair, a withering guest,

Sits on thy brow, and cankers in thy breast!

Yes! there, e’en there, in that tremendous clime,

Where desert grandeur frowns in pomp sublime;

Where winter triumphs, through the polar night,

In all his wild magnificence of might;

E’en there, affection’s hallow’d spell might pour

The light of heaven around th’ inclement shore!

And, like the vales with gloom and sunshine graced,

That smile, by circling Pyrenees embraced,

Teach the pure heart with vital fires to glow,

E’en ’midst the world of solitude and snow!

The halcyon’s charm, thus dreaming fictions feign,

With mystic power could tranquillise the main;

Bid the loud wind, the mountain billow sleep,

And peace and silence brood upon the deep!

And thus, Affection, can thy voice compose

The stormy tide of passions and of woes;

Bid every throb of wild emotion cease,

And lull misfortune in the arms of peace!

Oh! mark yon drooping form, of aged mien,

Wan, yet resign’d, and hopeless, yet serene!

Long ere victorious time had sought to chase

The bloom, the smile, that once illumed his face,

That faded eye was dimm’d with many a care,

Those waving locks were silver’d by despair!

Yet filial love can pour the sovereign balm,

Assuage his pangs, his wounded spirit calm!

He, a sad emigrant! condemn’d to roam

In life’s pale autumn from his ruin’d home,

Has borne the shock of Peril’s darkest wave,

Where joy—and hope—and fortune—found a grave!

’Twas his to see Destruction’s fiercest band

Rush, like a Typhon, on his native land,

And roll triumphant on their blasted way,

In fire and blood, the deluge of dismay!

Unequal combat raged on many a plain,

And patriot-valour waved the sword in vain!

Ah! gallant exile! nobly, long, he bled,

Long braved the tempest gathering o’er his head!

Till all was lost! and horror’s darken’d eye

Roused the stern spirit of despair to die!

Ah! gallant exile! in the storm that roll’d

Far o’er his country, rushing uncontroll’d,

The flowers that graced his path with loveliest bloom,

Torn by the blast, were scatter’d on the tomb!

When carnage burst, exulting in the strife,

The bosom ties that bound his soul to life,

Yet one was spared! and she, whose filial smile

Can soothe his wanderings and his tears beguile,

E’en then could temper, with divine relief,

The wild delirium of unbounded grief;

And, whispering peace, conceal with duteous art

Her own deep sorrows in her inmost heart!

And now, though time, subduing every trace,

Has mellow’d all, he never can erase;

Oft will the wanderer’s tears in silence flow,

Still sadly faithful to remember’d woe!

Then she, who feels a father’s pang alone,

(Still fondly struggling to suppress her own,)

With anxious tenderness is ever nigh,

To chase the image that awakes the sigh!

Her angel-voice his fainting soul can raise

To brighter visions of celestial days!

And speak of realms, where Virtue’s wing shall soar

On eagle-plume—to wonder and adore;

And friends, divided here, shall meet at last,

Unite their kindred souls—and smile on all the past!

Yes! we may hope that nature’s deathless ties,

Renew’d, refined, shall triumph in the skies!

Heart-soothing thought! whose loved, consoling powers

With seraph-dreams can gild reflection’s hours,

Oh! still be near, and brightening through the gloom,

Beam and ascend! the day-star of the tomb!

And smile for those, in sternest ordeals proved,

Those lonely hearts, bereft of all they loved.

Lo! by the couch where pain and chill disease

In every vein the ebbing life-blood freeze;

Where youth is taught, by stealing, slow decay,

Life’s closing lesson—in its dawning day;

Where beauty’s rose is withering ere its prime,

Unchanged by sorrow and unsoil’d by time;

There, bending still, with fix’d and sleepless eye,

There, from her child, the mother learns to die;

Explores, with fearful gaze, each mournful trace

Of lingering sickness in the faded face;

Through the sad night, when every hope is fled,

Keeps her lone vigil by the sufferer’s bed;

And starts each morn, as deeper marks declare

The spoiler’s hand—the blight of death is there!

He comes! now feebly in the exhausted frame,

Slow, languid, quivering, burns the vital flame;

From the glazed eye-ball sheds its parting ray—

Dim, transient spark, that fluttering fades away!

Faint beats the hovering pulse, the trembling heart;

Yet fond existence lingers ere she part!

’Tis past! the struggle and the pang are o’er,

And life shall throb with agony no more;

While o’er the wasted form, the features pale,

Death’s awful shadows throw their silvery veil.

Departed spirit! on this earthly sphere

Though poignant suffering mark’d thy short career,

Still could maternal love beguile thy woes,

And hush thy sighs—an angel of repose!

But who may charm her sleepless pang to rest,

Or draw the thorn that rankles in her breast?

And, while she bends in silence o’er thy bier,

Assuage the grief, too heart-sick for a tear?

Visions of hope in loveliest hues array’d,

Fair scenes of bliss by fancy’s hand portray’d!

And were ye doom’d with false, illusive smile,

With flattering promise, to enchant awhile?

And are ye vanish’d, never to return,

Set in the darkness of the mouldering urn?

Will no bright hour departed joys restore?

Shall the sad parent meet her child no more?

Behold no more the soul-illumined face,

The expressive smile, the animated grace!

Must the fair blossom, wither’d in the tomb,

Revive no more in loveliness and bloom?

Descend, blest faith! dispel the hopeless care,

And chase the gathering phantoms of despair;

Tell that the flower, transplanted in its morn,

Enjoys bright Eden, freed from every thorn;

Expands to milder suns, and softer dews,

The full perfection of immortal hues;

Tell, that when mounting to her native skies,

By death released, the parent spirit flies;

There shall the child, in anguish mourn’d so long,

With rapture hail her midst the cherub throng,

And guide her pinion on exulting flight,

Through glory’s boundless realms, and worlds of living light.

Ye gentle spirits of departed friends!

If e’er on earth your buoyant wing descends;

If, with benignant care, ye linger near,

To guard the objects in existence dear;

If, hovering o’er, ethereal band! ye view

The tender sorrows, to your memory true;

Oh! in the musing hour, at midnight deep,

While for your loss affection wakes to weep;

While every sound in hallow’d stillness lies,

But the low murmur of her plaintive sighs;

Oh! then, amidst that holy calm be near,

Breathe your light whisper softly in her ear;

With secret spells her wounded mind compose,

And chase the faithful tear—for you that flows:

Be near—when moonlight spreads the charm you loved

O’er scenes where once your earthly footstep roved.

Then, while she wanders o’er the sparkling dew,

Through glens and wood-paths, once endear’d by you,

And fondly lingers in your favourite bowers,

And pauses oft, recalling former hours;

Then wave your pinion o’er each well-known vale,

Float in the moonbeam, sigh upon the gale;

Bid your wild symphonies remotely swell,

Borne by the summer-wind from grot and dell;

And touch your viewless harps, and soothe her soul

With soft enchantments and divine control!

Be near, sweet guardians! watch her sacred rest,

When Slumber folds her in his magic vest;

Around her, smiling, let your forms arise,

Return’d in dreams, to bless her mental eyes;

Efface the memory of your last farewell—

Of glowing joys, of radiant prospects tell;

The sweet communion of the past renew,

Reviving former scenes, array’d in softer hue.

Be near when death, in virtue’s brightest hour,

Calls up each pang, and summons all his power;

Oh! then, transcending Fancy’s loveliest dream,

Then let your forms unveil’d around her beam;

Then waft the vision of unclouded light,

A burst of glory, on her closing sight;

Wake from the harp of heaven th’ immortal strain,

To hush the final agonies of pain;

With rapture’s flame the parting soul illume,

And smile triumphant through the shadowy gloom!

Oh! still be near, when, darting into day,

Th’ exulting spirit leaves her bonds of clay;

Be yours to guide her fluttering wings on high

O’er many a world, ascending to the sky;

There let your presence, once her earthly joy,

Though dimm’d with tears and clouded with alloy,

Now form her bliss on that celestial shore

Where death shall sever kindred hearts no more.

Yes! in the noon of that Elysian clime,

Beyond the sphere of anguish, death, or time;

Where mind’s bright eye, with renovated fire,

Shall beam on glories never to expire;

Oh! there th’ illumined soul may fondly trust,

More pure, more perfect, rising from the dust,

Those mild affections, whose consoling light

Sheds the soft moonbeam on terrestrial night,

Sublimed, ennobled, shall for ever glow,

Exalting rapture—not assuaging woe!


Minstrel! whose gifted hand can bring

Life, rapture, soul, from every string;

And wake, like bards of former time,

The spirit of the harp sublime;—

Oh! still prolong the varying strain!

Oh! touch th’ enchanted chords again!

Thine is the charm, suspending care,

The heavenly swell, the dying close,

The cadence melting into air,

That lulls each passion to repose;

While transport, lost in silence near,

Breathes all her language in a tear.

Exult, O Cambria!—now no more

With sighs thy slaughter’d bards deplore:

What though Plinlimmon’s misty brow

And Mona’s woods be silent now,

Yet can thy Conway boast a strain

Unrivall’d in thy proudest reign.

For Genius, with divine control,

Wakes the bold chord neglected long,

And pours Expression’s glowing soul

O’er the wild Harp, renown’d in song;

And Inspiration, hovering round,

Swells the full energies of sound.

Now Grandeur, pealing in the tone,

Could rouse the warrior’s kindling fire,

And now, ’tis like the breeze’s moan,

That murmurs o’er th’ Eolian lyre:

As if some sylph, with viewless wing,

Were sighing o’er the magic string.

Long, long, fair Conway! boast the skill

That soothes, inspires, commands, at will!

And oh! while rapture hails the lay,

Far distant be the closing day,

When Genius, Taste, again shall weep,

And Cambria’s Harp lie hush’d in sleep!



Stop, passenger! a wondrous tale to list—

Here lies a famous Mineralogist.

Famous indeed! such traces of his power,

He’s left from Penmaenbach to Penmaenmawr,

Such caves, and chasms, and fissures in the rocks,

His works resemble those of earthquake shocks;

And future ages very much may wonder

What mighty giant rent the hills asunder,

Or whether Lucifer himself had ne’er

Gone with his crew to play at foot-ball there.

His fossils, flints, and spars, of every hue,

With him, good reader, here lie buried too—

Sweet specimens! which, toiling to obtain,

He split huge cliffs, like so much wood, in twain.

We knew, so great the fuss he made about them,

Alive or dead, he ne’er would rest without them;

So, to secure soft slumber to his bones,

We paved his grave with all his favourite stones.

His much-loved hammer’s resting by his side;

Each hand contains a shell-fish petrified:

His mouth a piece of pudding-stone incloses,

And at his feet a lump of coal reposes:

Sure he was born beneath some lucky planet!—

His very coffin-plate is made of granite.

Weep not, good reader! he is truly blest

Amidst chalcedony and quartz to rest:

Weep not for him! but envied be his doom,

Whose tomb, though small, for all he loved had room:

And, O ye rocks!—schist, gneiss, whate’er ye be,

Ye varied strata!—names too hard for me—

Sing, “Oh, be joyful!” for your direst foe

By death’s fell hammer is at length laid low.

Ne’er on your spoils again shall W—— riot.

Clear up your cloudy brows, and rest in quiet—

He sleeps—no longer planning hostile actions,

As cold as any of his petrifactions;

Enshrined in specimens of every hue,

Too tranquil e’en to dream, ye rocks, of you.



Here in the dust, its strange adventures o’er,

A hammer rests, that ne’er knew rest before.

Released from toil, it slumbers by the side

Of one who oft its temper sorely tried;

No day e’er pass’d, but in some desperate strife

He risk’d the faithful hammer’s limbs and life:

Now laying siege to some old limestone wall,

Some rock now battering, proof to cannon-ball

Now scaling heights like Alps or Pyrenees,

Perhaps a flint, perhaps a slate to seize;

But, if a piece of copper met his eyes,

He’d mount a precipice that touch’d the skies,

And bring down lumps so precious, and so many,

I’m sure they almost would have made—a penny!

Think, when such deeds as these were daily done,

What fearful risks this hammer must have run.

And, to say truth, its praise deserves to shine

In lays more lofty and more famed than mine:

Oh! that in strains which ne’er should be forgot,

Its deeds were blazon’d forth by Walter Scott!

Then should its name with his be closely link’d,

And live till every mineral were extinct.

Rise, epic bards! be yours the ample field—

Bid W——’s hammer match Achilles’ shield:

As for my muse, the chaos of her brain,

I search for specimens of wit in vain;

Then let me cease ignoble rhymes to stammer,

And seek some theme less arduous than the hammer;

Remembering well, “what perils do environ”

Woman or “man that meddles with cold iron.”



Enter Captain George Browne, in the character of Corporal Foss.

To-night, kind friends, at your tribunal here,

Stands “The Poor Gentleman,” with many a fear;

Since well he knows, whoe’er may judge his cause,

That Poverty’s no title to applause.

Genius or Wit, pray, who’ll admire or quote,

If all their drapery be a threadbare coat?

Who, in a world where all is bought and sold,

Minds a man’s worth—except his worth in gold?

Who’ll greet poor Merit if she lacks a dinner!

Hence, starving saint, but welcome, wealthy sinner!

Away with Poverty! let none receive her,

She bears contagion as a plague or fever;

“Bony, and gaunt, and grim”—like jaundiced eyes,

Discolouring all within her sphere that lies.

“Poor Gentleman!” and by poor soldiers, too!

Oh, matchless impudence! without a sous!

In scenes, in actors poor, and what far worse is,

With heads, perhaps, as empty as their purses,

How shall they dare at such a bar appear?

What are their tactics and manœuvres here?

While thoughts like these come rushing o’er our mind,

Oh! may we still indulgence hope to find!

Brave sons of Erin! whose distinguish’d name

Shines with such brilliance in the page of Fame,

And you, fair daughters of the Emerald Isle!

View our weak efforts with approving smile!

School’d in rough camps, and still disdaining art,

Ill can the soldier act a borrow’d part;

The march, the skirmish, in this warlike age,

Are his rehearsals, and the field his stage;

His theatre is found in every land,

Where wave the ensigns of a hostile band:

Place him in danger’s front—he recks not where—

Be your own Wellington his prompter there,

And on that stage he trusts, with fearful mien,

He’ll act his part in glory’s tragic scene.

Yet here, though friends are gaily marshall’d round,

And from bright eyes alone he dreads a wound,

Here, though in ambush no sharpshooter’s wile

Aims at his breast, save hid in beauty’s smile;

Though all unused to pause, to doubt, to fear,

Yet his heart sinks, his courage fails him here.

No scenic pomp to him its aid supplies,

No stage effect of glittering pageantries:

No, to your kindness he must look alone

To realise the hope he dares not own;

And trusts, since here he meets no cynic eye,

His wish to please may claim indemnity.

And why despair, indulgence when we crave

From Erin’s sons, the generous and the brave?

Theirs the high spirit, and the liberal thought,

Kind, warm, sincere, with native candour fraught;

Still has the stranger, in their social isle,

Met the frank welcome and the cordial smile,

And well their hearts can share, though unexpress’d,

Each thought, each feeling, of the soldier’s breast.

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