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Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems, Volume 2 (Charlotte Smith)

Published onJan 01, 1800
Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems, Volume 2 (Charlotte Smith)

Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems, Volume 2

By Charlotte Smith



Miranda! mark where shrinking from the gale,
    Its silken leaves yet moist with early dew,
That fair faint flower, the Lily of the Vale,
    Droops its meek head, and looks, methinks, like you!
Wrapp'd in a shadowy veil of tender green,
    Its snowy bells a soft perfume dispense,
And bending as reluctant to be seen,
    In simple loveliness it sooths the sense.
With bosom bared to meet the garish day,
    The glaring Tulip, gaudy, undismay'd,
Offends the eye of taste; that turns away
    To seek the Lily in her fragrant shade.
With such unconscious beauty, pensive, mild,
Miranda charms—Nature's soft modest child.


Ill-omen'd bird! whose cries portentous float
    O'er yon savannah with the mournful wind;
While, as the Indian hears your piercing note,
    Dark dread of future evil fills his mind;
Wherefore with early lamentation break
    The dear delusive visions of repose?
Why from so short felicity awake
    My wounded senses to substantial woes?
O'er my sick soul thus rous'd from transient rest,
    Pale Superstition sheds her influence drear,
And to my shuddering fancy would suggest
    Thou com'st to speak of every woe I fear,
Ah! Reason little o'er the soul prevails,
When, from ideal ill, the enfeebled spirit fails!



While thus I wander, cheerless and unblest,
    And find in change of place but change of pain;
In tranquil sleep the village labourers rest,
    And taste that quiet I pursue in vain!
Hush'd is the hamlet now, and faintly gleam
    The dying embers, from the casement low
Of the thatch'd cottage; while the Moon's wan beam
    Lends a new lustre to the dazzling snow.
O'er the cold waste, amid the freezing night,
    Scarce heeding whither, desolate I stray;
For me, pale Eye of Evening, thy soft light
    Leads to no happy home; my weary way
Ends but in sad vicissitudes of care:
I only fly from doubt—to meet despair!


O'er faded heath-flowers spun, or thorny furze,
    The filmy Gossamer is lightly spread;
Waving in every sighing air that stirs,
    As Fairy fingers had entwined the thread:
A thousand trembling orbs of lucid dew
    Spangle the texture of the fairy loom,
As if soft Sylphs, lamenting as they flew,
    Had wept departed Summer's transient bloom:
But the wind rises, and the turf receives
    The glittering web:—So, evanescent, fade
Bright views that Youth with sanguine heart believes:
    So vanish schemes of bliss, by Fancy made;
Which, fragile as the fleeting dreams of morn,
Leave but the wither'd heath, and barren thorn!


Here from the restless bed of lingering pain
    The languid sufferer seeks the tepid wave,
And feels returning health and hope again
    Disperse "the gathering shadows of the grave!"
And here romantic rocks that boldly swell,
    Fringed with green woods, or stain'd with veins of ore,
Call'd native Genius forth, whose Heaven-taught skill
    Charm'd the deep echos of the rifted shore.
But tepid waves, wild scenes, or summer air,
    Restore they palsied Fancy, woe-deprest?
Check they the torpid influence of Despair,
    Or bid warm Health re-animate the breast;
Where Hope's soft visions have no longer part,
And whose sad inmate is—a broken heart?


In happier hours, ere yet so keenly blew
    Adversity's cold blight, and bitter storms,
    Luxuriant Summer's evanescent forms,
And Spring's soft blooms with pencil light I drew:
But as the lovely family of flowers
    Shrink from the bleakness of the Northern blast,
    So fail from present care and sorrow past
The slight botanic pencil's mimic powers—
Nor will kind Fancy even by Memory's aid,
    Her visionary garlands now entwine;
Yet while the wreaths of Hope and Pleasure fade,
    Still is one flower of deathless blossom mine,
That dares the lapse of Time, and Tempest rude,
The unfading Amaranth of Gratitude.


The night-flood rakes upon the stony shore;
    Along the rugged cliffs and chalky caves
Mourns the hoarse Ocean, seeming to deplore
    All that are buried in his restless waves—
Mined by corrosive tides, the hollow rock
    Falls prone, and rushing from its turfy height,
Shakes the broad beach with long-resounding shock,
    Loud thundering on the ear of sullen Night;
Above the desolate and stormy deep,
    Gleams the wan Moon, by floating mist opprest;
Yet here while youth, and health, and labour sleep,
    Alone I wander—Calm untroubled rest,
    "Nature's soft nurse," deserts the sigh-swoln breast,
And shuns the eyes, that only make to weep!


Swift fleet the billowy clouds along the sky,
    Earth seems to shudder at the storm aghast;
While only beings as forlorn as I,
    Court the chill horrors of the howling blast.
Even round yon crumbling walls, in search of food,
    The ravenous Owl foregoes his evening flight,
And in his cave, within the deepest wood,
    The Fox eludes the tempest of the night.
But to my heart congenial is the gloom
    Which hides me from a World I wish to shun;
That scene where Ruin saps the mouldering tomb,
    Suits with the sadness of a wretch undone.
Nor is the deepest shade, the keenest air,
Black as my fate, or cold as my despair.


Fall, dews of Heaven, upon my burning breast,
    Bathe with cool drops these ever-streaming eyes,
Ye gentle Winds, that fan the balmy West,
    With the soft rippling tide of morning rise,
And calm my bursting heart, as here I keep
    The vigil of the wretched!—Now away
Fade the pale stars, as wavering o'er the deep
    Soft rosy tints announce another day,
The day of Middle Summer!—Ah! in vain
    To those who mourn like me, does radiant June
Lead on her fragrant hours; for hopeless pain
    Darkens with sullen clouds the Sun of Noon,
And veil'd in shadows Nature's face appears
To hearts o'erwhelm'd with grief, to eyes suffused with tears.


Clouds, gold and purple, o'er the westering ray
    Threw a bright veil, and catching lights between,
    Fell on the glancing sail, that we had seen
With soft, but adverse winds, throughout the day
Contending vainly: as the vessel nears,
    Increasing numbers hail it from the shore;
Lo! on the deck a pallid form appears,
    Half wondering to behold himself once more
Approach his home—And now he can discern
    His cottage thatch amid surrounding trees;
    Yet, trembling, dreads lest sorrow or disease
Await him there, embittering his return:
But all he loves are safe; with heart elate,
Tho' poor and plunder'd, he absolves his fate!


Is there a solitary wretch who hies
    To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow,
And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes
    Its distance from the waves that chide below;
Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs
    Chills his cold bed upon the mountain turf,
With hoarse, half utter'd lamentation, lies
    Murmuring responses to the dashing surf?
In moody sadness, on the giddy brink,
    I see him more with envy than with fear;
He has no nice felicities that shrink
    From giant horrors; wildly wandering here,
He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know
The depth or the duration of his woe.


The chill waves whiten in the sharp North-east;
    Cold, cold the night-blast comes, with sullen sound,
And black and gloomy, like my cheerless breast:
    Frowns the dark pier and lonely sea-view round.
Yet a few months—and on the peopled strand
    Pleasure shall all her varied forms display;
Nymphs lightly tread the bright reflecting sand,
    And proud sails whiten all the summer bay:
Then, from these winds that whistle keen and bleak,
    Music's delightful melodies shall float
O'er the blue waters; but 'tis mine to seek
    Rather, some unfrequented shade, remote
From sights and sounds of gaiety——I mourn
All that gave me delight——Ah! never to return!


Thee! lucid arbiter 'twixt day and night,
    The Seaman greets, as on the Ocean stream
    Reflected, thy precursive friendly beam
Points out the long-sought haven to his sight.

Watching for thee, the lover's ardent eyes
    Turn to the eastern hills; and as above
Thy brilliance trembles, hails the lights that rise
    To guide his footsteps to expecting love!

I mark thee too, as night's dark clouds retire,
    And thy bright radiance glances on the sea;
But never more shall thy heraldic fire
    Speak of approaching morn with joy to me!
Quench'd in the gloom of death that heavenly ray
Once lent to light me on my thorny way!


Thou! whom Prosperity has always led
    O'er level paths, with moss and flow'rets strewn;
For whom she still prepares a downy bed
    With roses scatter'd, and to thorns unknown,
Wilt thou yet murmur at a mis-placed leaf?
    Think, ere thy irritable nerves repine,
    How many, born with feelings keen as thine,
Taste all the sad vicissitudes of grief;
How many steep in tears their scanty bread;
    Or, lost to reason, Sorrow's victims! rave:
How many know not where to lay their head;
    While some are driven by anguish to the grave!
Think; nor impatient at a feather's weight,
Mar the uncommon blessings of thy fate!


"Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleeve of care,"
    Forsakes me, while the chill and sullen blast,
    As my sad soul recalls its sorrows past,
Seems like a summons bidding me prepare
For the last sleep of death—Murmuring I hear
    The hollow wind around the ancient towers,
While night and silence reign; and cold and drear
    The darkest gloom of Middle Winter lours;
But wherefore fear existence such as mine,
    To change for long and undisturb'd repose?
Ah! when this suffering being I resign
    And o'er my miseries the tomb shall close,
By her, whose loss in anguish I deplore,
I shall be laid, and feel that loss no more!


Where the wild woods and pathless forests frown,
    The darkling Pilgrim seeks his unknown way,
Till on the grass he throws him weary down,
    To wait in broken sleep the dawn of day:
Through boughs just waving in the silent air,
    With pale capricious light the Summer Moon
Chequers his humid couch; while Fancy there,
    That loves to wanton in the Night's deep noon,
Calls from the mossy roots and fountain edge
    Fair visionary Nymphs that haunt the shade,
Or Naiads rising from the whispering sedge:
    And, 'mid the beauteous group, his dear loved maid
Seems beckoning him with smiles to join the train:
Then, starting from his dream, he feels his woes again!


Go now, ingenuous Youth!—The trying hour
    Is come: The World demands that thou shouldst go
To active life: There titles, wealth, and power
    May all be purchas'd—Yet I joy to know
Thou wilt not pay their price. The base controul
    Of petty despots in their pedant reign
    Already hast thou felt;—and high disdain
Of Tyrants is imprinted on thy soul—
    Not, where mistaken Glory, in the field
Rears her red banner, be thou ever found:
    But, against proud Oppression raise the shield
Of Patriot daring—So shalt thou renown'd
    For the best virtues live; or that denied
    May'st die, as Hampden or as Sydney died!


Small, viewless aeronaut, that by the line
    Of Gossamer suspended, in mid air
    Float'st on a sun beam—Living Atom, where
Ends thy breeze-guided voyage;—with what design,
    In Æther dost thou launch thy form minute,
Mocking the eye?—Alas! before the veil
    Of denser clouds shall hide thee, the pursuit
Of the keen Swift may end thy fairy sail!—
    Thus on the golden thread that Fancy weaves
Buoyant, as Hope's illusive flattery breathes,
    The young and visionary Poet leaves
Life's dull realities, while sevenfold wreaths
    Of rainbow-light around his head revolve.
    Ah! soon at Sorrow's touch the radiant dreams dissolve!


Wan Heralds of the Sun and Summer gale!
    That seem just fallen from infant Zephyrs' wing;
Not now, as once, with heart revived I hail
    Your modest buds, that for the brow of Spring
Form the first simple garland—Now no more
    Escaping for a moment all my cares,
Shall I, with pensive, silent step, explore
    The woods yet leafless; where to chilling airs
Your green and pencil'd blossoms, trembling, wave.
    Ah! ye soft, transient children of the ground,
More fair was she on whose untimely grave
    Flow my unceasing tears! Their varied round
The Seasons go; while I through all repine:
For fixt regret, and hopeless grief are mine.


Of Folly weary, shrinking from the view
    Of Violence and Fraud, allow'd to take
    All peace from humble life; I would forsake
Their haunts for ever, and, sweet Nymph! with you
    Find shelter; where my tired, and tear-swoln eyes
Among your silent shades of soothing hue,
    Your "bells and florets of unnumber'd dyes"
    Might rest—And learn the bright varieties
That from your lovely hands are fed with dew;
    And every veined leaf, that trembling sighs
In mead or woodland; or in wilds remote,
    Or lurk with mosses in the humid caves,
Mantle the cliffs, on dimpling rivers float,
    Or stream from coral rocks beneath the Ocean waves.


Dark and conceal'd art thou, soft Evening's Queen,
    And Melancholy's votaries that delight
To watch thee, gliding thro' the blue serene,
    Now vainly seek thee on the brow of night—
Mild Sorrow, such as Hope has not forsook,
    May love to muse beneath thy silent reign;
But I prefer from some steep rock to look
    On the obscure and fluctuating main,
What time the martial star with lurid glare,
    Portentous, gleams above the troubled deep;
Or the red comet shakes his blazing hair;
    Or on the fire-ting'd waves the lightnings leap;
While thy fair beams illume another sky,
And shine for beings less accurst than I.


He may be envied, who with tranquil breast
    Can wander in the wild and woodland scene,
When Summer's glowing hands have newly drest
    The shadowy forests, and the copses green;
Who, unpursued by care, can pass his hours
    Where briony and woodbine fringe the trees,
    On thymy banks reposing, while the bees
Murmur "their fairy tunes in praise of flowers;"
    Or on the rock with ivy clad, and fern
That overhangs the osier-whispering bed
    Of some clear current, bid his wishes turn
From this bad world; and by calm reason led,
    Knows, in refined retirement, to possess
    By friendship hallow'd—rural happiness!


Mute is thy wild harp, now, O Bard sublime!
    Who, amid Scotia's mountain solitude,
Great Nature taught to "build the lofty rhyme,"
    And even beneath the daily pressure, rude,
Of labouring Poverty, thy generous blood,
Fired with the love of freedom—Not subdued
    Wert thou by thy low fortune: But a time
    Like this we live in, when the abject chime
Of echoing Parasite is best approved,
    Was not for thee—Indignantly is fled
Thy noble Spirit; and no longer moved
    By all the ills o'er which thine heart has bled,
    Associate worthy of the illustrious dead,
Enjoys with them "the Liberty it loved."


The upland shepherd, as reclined he lies
    On the soft turf that clothes the mountain brow,
Marks the bright Sea-line mingling with the skies;
    Or from his course celestial, sinking slow,
    The Summer-Sun in purple radiance low,
Blaze on the western waters; the wide scene
    Magnificent, and tranquil, seems to spread
Even o'er the Rustic's breast a joy serene,
    When, like dark plague-spots by the Demons shed,
Charged deep with death, upon the waves, far seen,
    Move the war-freighted ships; and fierce and red,
    Flash their destructive fires—The mangled dead
And dying victims then pollute the flood.
Ah, thus man spoils Heaven's glorious works with blood!


Wilt thou forsake me who in life's bright May
    Lent warmer lustre to the radiant morn;
    And even o'er Summer scenes by tempests torn,
Shed with illusive light the dewy ray
Of pensive pleasure? Wilt thou, while the day
    Of saddening Autumn closes, as I mourn
In languid, hopeless sorrow, far away
    Bend thy soft step, and never more return?—
Crush'd to the earth, by bitterest anguish prest,
    From my faint eyes thy graceful form recedes;
    Thou canst not heal an heart like mine that bleeds;
But, when in quiet earth that heart shall rest,
    Haply may'st thou one sorrowing vigil keep,
    Where Pity and Remembrance bend and weep!


The fairest flowers are gone! for tempests fell,
    And with wild wing swept some unblown away,
While on the upland lawn or rocky dell
    More faded in the day-star's ardent ray;
And scarce the copse, or hedge-row shade beneath,
    Or by the runnel's grassy course, appear
    Some lingering blossoms of the earlier year,
Mingling bright florets, in the yellow wreath
That Autumn with his poppies and his corn
    Binds on his tawny temples—So the schemes
Rais'd by fond Hope in youth's unclouded morn,
    While sanguine youth enjoys delusive dreams,
Experience withers; till scarce one remains
Flattering the languid heart, where only Reason reigns!


Huge vapours brood above the clifted shore,
    Night on the Ocean settles, dark and mute,
Save where is heard the repercussive roar
    Of drowsy billows, on the rugged foot
Of rocks remote; or still more distant tone
    Of seamen in the anchor'd bark that tell
The watch reliev'd; or one deep voice alone,
    Singing the hour, and bidding "Strike the bell,"
All is black shadow, but the lucid line
    Mark'd by the light surf on the level sand,
Or where afar the ship-lights faintly shine
    Like wandering fairy fires, that oft on land
Mislead the Pilgrim——Such the dubious ray
That wavering Reason lends, in life's long darkling way.


The blasts of Autumn as they scatter round
    The faded foliage of another year,
And muttering many a sad and solemn sound,
    Drive the pale fragments o'er the stubble sere,
Are well attuned to my dejected mood;
    (Ah! better far than airs that breathe of Spring!)
    While the high rooks, that hoarsely clamouring
Seek in black phalanx the half-leafless wood,
    I rather hear, than that enraptured lay
Harmonious, and of Love and Pleasure born,
Which from the golden furze, or flowering thorn
    Awakes the Shepherd in the ides of May;
Nature delights me most when most she mourns,
For never more to me the Spring of Hope returns!


Oh! for imperial Polydamna's art,
    Which to bright Helen was in Egypt taught,
    To mix with magic power the oblivious draught
Of force to staunch the bleeding of the heart,
And to Care's wan and hollow cheek impart
    The smile of happy youth, uncursed with thought.
Potent indeed the charm that could appease
    Affection's ceaseless anguish, doom'd to weep
O'er the cold grave; or yield even transient ease
    By soothing busy Memory to sleep!
—Around me those who surely must have tried
    Some charm of equal power, I daily see,
But still to me Oblivion is denied,
    There's no Nepenthe, now, on earth for me.


Whether awaken'd from unquiet rest
  I watch "the opening eyelids of the Morn,"
When thou, O Sun! from Ocean's silver'd breast
  Emerging, bidst another day be born—
Or whether in thy path of cloudless blue,
  Thy noontide fires I mark with dazzled eyes;
Or to the West thy radiant course pursue,
  Veil'd in the gorgeous broidery of the skies,
Celestial lamp! thy influence bright and warm
  That renovates the world with life and light
Shines not for me—for never more the form
  I loved—so fondly loved, shall bless my sight;
And nought thy rays illumine, now can charm
  My misery, or to day convert my night!


Forgetfulness! I would thy hand could close
    These eyes that turn reluctant from the day;
    So might this painful consciousness decay,
And, with my memory, end my cureless woes.
    Sister of Chaos and eternal Night!
Oblivion! take me to thy quiet reign,
    Since robb'd of all that gave my soul delight,
I only ask exemption from the pain
    Of knowing "such things were"—and are no more;
Of dwelling on the hours for ever fled,
    And heartless, helpless, hopeless to deplore
   "Pale misery living, joy and pleasure dead:"
While dragging thus unwish'd a length of days,
   "Death seems prepared to strike, yet still delays."


I can in groups these mimic flowers compose,
    These bells and golden eyes, embathed in dew;
Catch the soft blush that warms the early Rose,
   Or the pale Iris cloud with veins of blue;
Copy the scallop’d leaves, and downy stems,
   And bid the pencil's varied shades arrest
Spring's humid buds, and Summer's musky gems:
   But, save the portrait on my bleeding breast,
I have no semblance of that form adored,
   That form, expressive of a soul divine,
   So early blighted; and while life is mine,
With fond regret, and ceaseless grief deplored–
   That grief, my angel! with too faithful art
   Enshrines thy image in thy Mother's heart.


Low murmurs creep along the woody vale,
    The tremulous Aspens shudder in the breeze,
Slow o'er the downs the leaden vapours sail,
    While I, beneath these old paternal trees,
Mark the dark shadows of the threaten'd storm,
    As gathering clouds o'erveil the morning sun;
They pass!—But oh! ye visions bright and warm
    With which even here my sanguine youth begun,
Ye are obscured for ever!—And too late
    The poor Slave shakes the unworthy bonds away
    Which crush'd her!—Lo! the radiant star of day
Lights up this lovely scene anew—My fate
    Nor hope nor joy illumines—Nor for me
Return those rosy hours which here I used to see!


Addressed to a Lady, who was affected at seeing the Funeral of a nameless Pauper, buried at the Expence of the Parish, in the Church-Yard at Brighthelmstone, in November 1792.

Swells then thy feeling heart, and streams thine eye
    O'er the deserted being, poor and old,
Whom cold, reluctant, Parish Charity
    Consigns to mingle with his kindred mold?

Mourn'st thou, that here the time-worn sufferer ends
    Those evil days still threatening woes to come;
Here, where the friendless feel no want of friends,
    Where even the houseless wanderer finds an home?

What tho' no kindred croud in sable forth,
    And sigh, or seem to sigh, around his bier;
Though o'er his coffin with the humid earth
    No children drop the unavailing tear?

Rather rejoice that here his sorrows cease,
    Whom sickness, age, and poverty oppress'd;
Where Death, the Leveller, restores to peace
    The wretch who living knew not where to rest.

Rejoice, that tho' an outcast spurn'd by Fate,
    Thro' penury's rugged path his race he ran;
In earth's cold bosom, equall'd with the great,
    Death vindicates the insulted rights of Man.

Rejoice, that tho' severe his earthly doom,
    And rude, and sown with thorns the way he trod,
Now, (where unfeeling Fortune cannot come)
    He rests upon the mercies of his God.


November’s chill blast on the rough beach is howling,
    The surge breaks afar, and then foams to the shore,
Dark clouds o'er the sea gather heavy and scowling,
    And the white cliffs re-echo the wild wintry roar.

Beneath that chalk rock, a fair stranger reclining,
    Has found on damp sea-weed a cold lonely seat;
Her eyes fill'd with tears, and her heart with repining,
    She starts at the billows that burst at her feet.

There, day after day, with an anxious heart heaving,
    She watches the waves where they mingle with air;
For the sail which, alas! all her fond hopes deceiving,
    May bring only tidings to add to her care.

Loose stream to wild winds those fair flowing tresses,
    Once woven with garlands of gay Summer flowers;
Her dress unregarded, bespeaks her distresses,
    And beauty is blighted by grief's heavy hours.

Her innocent children, unconscious of sorrow,
    To seek the gloss'd shell, or the crimson weed stray;
Amused with the present, they heed not to-morrow,
    Nor think of the storm that is gathering to day.

The gilt, fairy ship, with its ribbon-sail spreading,
    They launch on the salt pool the tide left behind;
Ah! victims—for whom their sad mother is dreading
    The multiplied miseries that wait on mankind!

To fair fortune born, she beholds them with anguish,
    Now wanderers with her on a once hostile soil,
Perhaps doom'd for life in chill penury to languish,
    Or abject dependence, or soul-crushing toil.

But the sea-boat, her hopes and her terrors renewing,
    O'er the dim grey horizon now faintly appears;
She flies to the quay, dreading tidings of ruin,
    All breathless with haste, half expiring with fears.

Poor mourner!—I would that my fortune had left me
    The means to alleviate the woes I deplore;
But like thine my hard fate has of affluence bereft me,
     I can warm the cold heart of the wretched no more!


When in a thousand swarms, the Summer o'er,
The birds of passage quit our English shore,
By various routs the feather'd myriad moves;
The Becca-fica seeks Italian groves,
No more a Wheat-ear; while the soaring files
Of sea-fowl gather round the Hebrid-isles.

    But if by bird-lime touch'd, unplumed, confined,
Some poor ill-fated straggler stays behind,
Driven from his transient perch, beneath your eaves
On his unshelter'd head the tempest raves,
While drooping round, redoubling every pain,
His Mate and Nestlings ask his help in vain.

    So we, the buskin and the sock who wear,
And "strut and fret," our little season here,
Dismiss'd at length, as Fortune bids divide—
Some (lucky rogues!) sit down on Thames's side;
Others to Liffy's western banks proceed,
And some—driven far a-field, across the Tweed:
But, pinion'd here, alas! I cannot fly:
The hapless, unplumed, lingering straggler I!
Unless the healing pity you bestow,
Shall imp my shatter'd wings—and let me go.

    Hard is his fate, whom evil stars have led
To seek in scenic art precarious bread,
While still, through wild vicissitudes afloat,
A hero now, and now a Sans Culotte!
That eleemosynary bread he gains
Mingling—with real distresses—mimic pains.

    See in our group, a pale, lank Falstaff stare!⁠}
Much needs he stuffing:—while young Ammon there ⁠}
Rehearses—in a garret—ten feet square! ⁠}
And as his soft Statira sighs consent,
Roxana comes not—but a dun for rent!
Here shivering Edgar, in his blanket roll'd,
Exclaims—with too much reason, "Tom's a-cold!"
And vainly tries his sorrows to divert,
While Goneril or Regan—wash his shirt!

    Lo! fresh from Calais, Edward! mighty king!
Revolves—a mutton chop upon a string!
And Hotspur, plucking "honour from the moon,"
Feeds a sick infant with a pewter spoon!

    More blest the Fisher, who undaunted braves
In his small bark, the impetuous winds and waves;

For though he plough the sea when others sleep,
He draws, like Glendower, spirits from the deep!
And while the storm howls round, amidst his trouble,
Bright moonshine still illuminates the cobble!
Pale with her fears for him, some fair Poissarde,
Watches his nearing boat; with fond regard
Smiles when she sees his little canvas handing,
And clasps her dripping lover on his landing.

    More blest the Peasant, who, with nervous toil
Hews the rough oak, or breaks the stubborn soil:
Weary, indeed, he sees the evening come,
But then, the rude, yet tranquil hut, his home,
Receives its rustic inmate; then are his,
Secure repose, and dear domestic bliss!
The orchard's blushing fruit, the garden's store,
The pendant hop, that mantles round the door,

Are his:—and while the cheerful faggots burn,
"His lisping children hail their sire's return!"

    But wandering Players, "unhousel'd, unanneal'd,"
And unappointed, scour life's common field,
A flying squadron!—disappointments cross 'em,
And the campaign concludes, perhaps, at Horsham!

    Oh! ye, whose timely bounty deigns to shed
Compassion's balm upon my luckless head,
Benevolence, with warm and glowing breast,
And soft, celestial mercy, doubly blest!
Smile on the generous act!—where means are given,
To aid the wretched is—to merit Heaven.


On a Stone, in the Church-Yard at Boreham, in Essex; raised by the Honourable Elizabeth Olmius, to the memory of Ann Gardner, who died at New Hall, after a faithful Service of Forty Years.

Whatev’er of praise, and of regret attend
The grateful Servant, and the humble friend,
Where strict integrity and worth unite
To raise the lowly in their Maker's sight,
Are her's; whose faithful service, long approved,
Wept by the Mistress whom thro' life she loved.
Here ends her earthly task; in joyful trust
To share the eternal triumph of the Just.


Supposed to have been written under the Ruins of Rufus's Castle, among the remains of the ancient Church on the Isle of Portland.

Chaotic pile of barren stone,
That Nature's hurrying hand has thrown,
    Half-finish'd, from the troubled waves;
On whose rude brow the rifted tower
Has frown'd, thro' many a stormy hour,
    On this drear site of tempest-beaten graves.

Sure Desolation loves to shroud
His giant form within the cloud
    That hovers round thy rugged head;
And as thro' broken vaults beneath,
The future storms low-muttering breathe,
    Hears the complaining voices of the dead.

Here marks the Fiend with eager eyes,
Far out at sea the fogs arise
    That dimly shade the beacon'd strand,
And listens the portentous roar
Of sullen waves, as on the shore,
    Monotonous, they burst and tell the storm at hand.

Northward the Demon's eyes are cast
O'er yonder bare and sterile waste,
    Where, born to hew and heave the block,
Man, lost in ignorance and toil,
Becomes associate to the soil,
    And his heart hardens like his native rock.

On the bleak hills, with flint o'erspread,
No blossoms rear the purple head;
    No shrub perfumes the Zephyrs' breath,
But o'er the cold and cheerless down
Grim Desolation seems to frown,
    Blasting the ungrateful soil with partial death.

Here the scathed trees with leaves half-drest,
Shade no soft songster's secret nest,
    Whose spring-notes soothe the pensive ear;
But high the croaking cormorant flies,
And mews and awks with clamorous cries
    Tire the lone echoes of these caverns drear.

Perchance among the ruins grey
Some widow'd mourner loves to stray,
    Marking the melancholy main
Where once, afar she could discern
O'er the white waves his sail return
    Who never, never now, returns again!

On these lone tombs, by storms up-torn,
The hopeless wretch may lingering mourn,
    Till from the ocean, rising red,
The misty Moon with lurid ray
Lights her, reluctant, on her way,
    To steep in tears her solitary bed.

Hence the dire Spirit oft surveys
The ship, that to the western bays
    With favouring gales pursues its course;
Then calls the vapour dark that blinds
The pilot—calls the felon winds
    That heave the billows with resistless force.

Commixing with the blotted skies,
High and more high the wild waves rise,
    Till, as impetuous torrents urge,
Driven on yon fatal bank accurst,
The vessel's massy timbers burst,
    And the crew sinks beneath the infuriate surge.

There find the weak an early grave,
While youthful strength the whelming wave
    Repels; and labouring for the land,
With shorten'd breath and upturn'd eyes,
Sees the rough shore above him rise,
    Nor dreams that rapine meets him on the strand.

And are there then in human form
Monsters more savage than the storm,
    Who from the gasping sufferer tear
The dripping weed?—who dare to reap
The inhuman harvest of the deep,
    From half-drown'd victims whom the tempests spare?

Ah! yes! by avarice once possest,
No pity moves the rustic breast;
    Callous he proves—as those who haply wait
Till I (a pilgrim weary worn)
To my own native land return,
    With legal toils to drag me to my fate!


As in the woods, where leathery lichen weaves
Its wint'ry web among the sallow leaves,
Which (thro' cold months in whirling eddies blown)
Decay beneath the branches once their own,
From the brown shelter of their foliage sear,
Spring the young blooms that lead the floral year:
When, waked by vernal suns, the Pilewort dares
Expand her spotted leaves, and shining stars;
And (veins empurpling all her tassels pale)
Bends the soft Wind-flower in the tepid gale;
Uncultured bells of azure Jacinths blow,
And the breeze-scenting Violet lurks below

So views the wanderer, with delighted eyes,
Reviving hopes from black despondence rise,
When, blighted by Adversity's chill breath,
Those hopes had felt a temporary death;
Then with gay heart he looks to future hours,
When Love shall dress for him the Summer bowers!
And, as delicious dreams enchant his mind,
Forgets his sorrows past, or gives them to the wind.



"AH! say," the fair Louisa cried,
    "Say where the abode of Love is found?"
Pervading Nature, I replied,
    His influence spreads the world around.
When Morning's arrowy beams arise,
    He sparkles in the enlivening ray,
And blushes in the glowing skies
    When rosy Evening fades away.

The Summer winds that gently blow,
    The flocks that bleat along the glades,
The nightingale, that soft and low,
    With music fills the listening shades:

The murmurs of the silver surf
    All echo Love's enchanting notes,
From Violets lurking in the turf,
    His balmy breath thro' æther floats.

From perfumed flowers and dewy leaves
    Delicious scents he bids exhale,
He smiles amid Autumnal sheaves,
    And clothes with green the grassy vale;
But when that throne the God assumes
    Where his most powerful influence lies,
'Tis on Louisa's cheek he blooms,
    And lightens from her radiant eyes!


Where thy broad branches brave the bitter North,
Like rugged, indigent, unheeded, worth,
Lo! Vegetation's guardian hands emboss
Each giant limb with fronds of studded moss,
Clothing the bark with many a fringed fold
Begemm'd with scarlet shields and cups of gold,
Which, to the wildest winds their webs oppose,
And mock the arrowy sleet, or weltering snows.
—But to the warmer West the Woodbine fair
With tassels that perfumed the Summer air,

The mantling Clematis, whose feathery bowers
Waved in festoons with Nightshade's purple flowers,
The silver weed, whose corded fillets wove
Round thy pale rind, even as deceitful love
Of mercenary beauty would engage
The dotard fondness of decrepit age;
All these, that during Summer's halcyon days
With their green canopies conceal'd thy sprays,
Are gone for ever; or disfigured, trail
Their sallow relics in the Autumnal gale;
Or o'er thy roots, in faded fragments tost,
But tell of happier hours, and sweetness lost!
—Thus in Fate's trying hour, when furious storms
Strip social life of Pleasure's fragile forms,

And awful Justice, as his rightful prey
Tears Luxury's silk, and jewel'd robe, away,
While reads Adversity her lesson stern,
And Fortune's minions tremble as they learn;
The crouds around her gilded car that hung,
Bent the lithe knee, and troul'd the honey'd tongue,
Desponding fall, or fly in pale despair;
And Scorn alone remembers that they were.
Not so Integrity; unchanged he lives
In the rude armour conscious Honor gives,
And dares with hardy front the troubled sky,
In Honesty's uninjured panoply.
Ne'er on Prosperity's enfeebling bed
Or rosy pillows, he reposed his head,

But given to useful arts, his ardent mind
Has sought the general welfare of mankind;
To mitigate their ills his greatest bliss,
While studying them, has taught him what he is;
He, when the human tempest rages worst,
And the earth shudders as the thunders burst,
Firm, as thy northern branch, is rooted fast,
And if he can't avert, endures the blast.


The trees have now hid at the edge of the hurst
    The spot where the ruins decay
Of the cottage, where Will of the Woodland was nursed
And lived so beloved, till the moment accurst
    When he went from the woodland away.

Among all the lads of the plough or the fold;
    Best esteem'd by the sober and good,
Was Will of the Woodlands; and often the old
Would tell of his frolics, for active and bold
    Was William the Boy of the wood.

Yet gentle was he, as the breath of the May,
    And when sick and declining was laid
The Woodman his father, young William away
Would go to the forest to labour all day,
    And perform his hard task in his stead.

And when his poor father the forester died,
    And his mother was sad, and alone,
He toil'd from the dawn, and at evening he hied
In storm or in snow, or whate'er might betide,
    To supply all her wants from the town.

One neighbour they had on the heath to the west,
    And no other the cottage was near,
But she would send Phoebe, the child she loved best,
To stay with the widow, thus sad and distrest,
    Her hours of dejection to cheer.

As the buds of wild roses, the cheeks of the maid
    Were just tinted with youth's lovely hue,
Her form, like the aspen, wild graces display'd,
And the eyes, over which her luxuriant locks stray'd,
    As the skies of the Summer were blue!

Still labouring to live, yet reflecting the while,
    Young William consider'd his lot;
'Twas hard, yet 'twas honest; and one tender smile
From Phoebe at night overpaid ev'ry toil,
    And then all his fatigues were forgot.

By the brook where it glides thro' the copse of Arbeal,
    When to eat his cold fare he reclined,
Then soft from her home his sweet Phoebe would steal,
And bring him wood-strawberries to finish his meal,
    And would sit by his side while he dined.

And though when employ'd in the deep forest glade,
    His days have seem'd slowly to move,
Yet Phoebe going home, through the wood-walk has stray'd
To bid him good night!—and whatever she said
    Was more sweet than the voice of the dove.

Fair Hope, that the lover so fondly believes,
    Then repeated each soul-soothing speech,
And touch'd with illusion, that often deceives
The future with light; as the sun through the leaves
    Illumines the boughs of the beech.

But once more the tempests of chill Winter blow,
    To depress and disfigure the earth;
And now ere the dawn, the young Woodman must go
To his work in the forest, half buried in snow,
    And at night bring home wood for the hearth.

The bridge on the heath by the flood was wash'd down,
    And fast, fast fell the sleet and the rain,
The stream to a wild rapid river was grown,
And long might the widow sit sighing alone
    Ere sweet Phoebe could see her again.

At the town was a market—and now for supplies,
    Such as needed her humble abode,
Young William went forth; and his mother with sighs
Watch'd long at the window, with tears in her eyes,
    Till he turn'd thro' the fields, to the road.

Then darkness came on; and she heard with affright
    The wind rise every moment more high;
She look'd from the door; not a star lent its light,
But the tempest redoubled the gloom of the night,
    And the rain fell in floods from the sky.

The clock in her cottage now mournfully told
    The hours that went heavily on;
'Twas midnight; her spirits sank hopeless and cold,
For the wind seem'd to say as in loud gusts it roll'd
    That long, long would her William be gone.

Then heart-sick and faint to her sad bed she crept,
    Yet first made up the fire in the room
To guide his dark steps; but she listen'd and wept,
Or if for a moment forgetful she slept,
    Soon she started!—and thought he was come.

'Twas morn; and the wind with an hoarse sullen moan
    Now seem'd dying away in the wood,
When the poor wretched mother still drooping, alone,
Beheld on the threshold a figure unknown,
    In gorgeous apparel who stood.

"Your son is a soldier," abruptly cried he,
    "And a place in our corps has obtain'd,
"Nay, be not cast down; you perhaps may soon see
"Your William a captain! he now sends by me
    "The purse he already has gain'd."

So William entrapp'd 'twixt persuasion and force,
    Is embark'd for the isles of the West,
But he seem'd to begin with ill omens his course,
And felt recollection, regret, and remorse
    Continually weigh on his breast.

With useless repentance he eagerly eyed
    The high coast as it faded from view,
And saw the green hills, on whose northernmost side
Was his own silvan home: and he falter'd, and cried,
    "Adieu! ah! for ever adieu!

"Who now, my poor mother, thy life shall sustain,
   "Since thy son has thus left thee forlorn?
"Ah! canst thou forgive me? And not in the pain
"Of this cruel desertion, of William complain,
   "And lament that he ever was born?

"Sweet Phoebe!—if ever thy lover was dear,
   "Now forsake not the cottage of woe,
"But comfort my mother; and quiet her fear,
"And help her to dry up the vain fruitless tear,
   "That too long for my absence will flow.

"Yet what if my Phoebe another should wed,
    "And lament her lost William no more?"
The thought was too cruel; and anguish now sped
The dart of disease——With the brave numerous dead
    He has fall'n on the plague-tainted shore.

In the lone village church-yard, the chancel-wall near,
    High grass now waves over the spot
Where the mother of William, unable to bear
His loss, who to her widow'd heart was so dear,
    Has both him and her sorrows forgot.

By the brook where it winds thro' the wood of Arbeal,
    Or amid the deep forest, to moan,
The poor wandering Phoebe will silently steal;
The pain of her bosom no reason can heal,
    And she loves to indulge it alone.

Her senses are injured; her eyes dim with tears;
    By the river she ponders; and weaves
Reed garlands, against her dear William appears,
Then breathlessly listens, and fancies she hears
    His light step in the half-wither'd leaves.

Ah! such are the miseries to which ye give birth,
    Ye cold statesmen! unknowing a scar;
Who from pictured saloon, or the bright sculptured hearth
Disperse desolation and death thro' the earth,
    When ye let loose the demons of war.



Not for the promise of the labour'd field,
Not for the good the yellow harvests yield,
        I bend at Ceres' shrine;
For dull, to human eyes, appear
The golden glories of the year,
        A far more melancholy worship's mine,

I hail the goddess for her scarlet flower!
        Thou brilliant weed,
        That dost so far exceed
    The richest gifts gay Flora can bestow:
Heedless I pass'd thee in life's morning hour,
    (Thou comforter of woe)
Till sorrow taught me to confess thy power.

    In early days, when Fancy cheats,
        A varied wreath I wove,
    Of laughing Spring's luxuriant sweets,
        To deck ungrateful Love:
    The rose, or thorn, my labours crown'd;
    As Venus smiled, or Venus frown'd;

But Love, and Joy, and all their train, are flown;
    E'en languid Hope no more is mine,
And I will sing of thee alone,
Unless, perchance, the attributes of Grief,
The cypress bud, and willow leaf,
    Their pale funereal foliage blend with thine.

    Hail, lovely blossom!—thou canst ease
    The wretched victims of Disease;
    Canst close those weary eyes in gentle sleep,
    Which never open but to weep;
    For, oh! thy potent charm
    Can agonizing Pain disarm;
    Expel imperious Memory from her seat,
    And bid the throbbing heart forget to beat.

    Soul-soothing plant! that can such blessings give,
    By thee the mourner bears to live!
        By thee the hopeless die!
    Oh! ever "friendly to despair,"
    Might Sorrow's pallid votary dare,
Without a crime, that remedy implore,
        Which bids the spirit from its bondage fly,
I'd court thy palliative aid no more;

        No more I'd sue that thou shouldst shed,
        A transient calm around my aching head,
        But rather would conjure thee to impart
        Thy sovereign balsam for a broken heart;
    And by thy dear Lethean power,
            (Inestimable flower)
Burst these terrestrial bonds, and other regions try.


Sweet age of blest delusion! blooming boys,
Ah! revel long in childhood's thoughtless joys,
With light and pliant spirits that can stoop
To follow, sportively, the rolling hoop;
To watch the sleeping top with gay delight,
Or mark, with raptured gaze, the sailing kite;
Or, eagerly pursuing Pleasure's call,
Can find it center'd in the bounding ball!
Alas! the day will come, when sports like these
Must lose their magic, and their power to please;
Too swiftly fled, the rosy hours of youth
Shall yield their fairy-charms to mournful Truth;

Even now, a mother's fond prophetic fear
Sees the dark train of human ills appear;
Views various fortune for each lovely child,
Storms for the bold, and anguish for the mild;
Beholds already those expressive eyes
Beam a sad certainty of future sighs;
And dreads each suffering those dear breasts may know
In their long passage through a world of woe;
Perchance predestined every pang to prove,
That treacherous friends inflict, or faithless love;
For, ah! how few have found existence sweet,
Where grief is sure, but happiness deceit!


Like a poor ghost the night I seek;
    Its hollow winds repeat my sighs;
The cold dews mingle on my cheek
    With tears that wander from mine eyes.

The thorns that still my couch molest,
    Have robb'd these heavy eyes of sleep;
But tho' deprived of tranquil rest,
    I here at last am free to weep.

Twelve times the moon, that rises red
    O'er yon tall wood of shadowy pine,
Has fill'd her orb, since low was laid
    My Harriet! that sweet form of thine!

While each sad month, as slow it past,
    Brought some new sorrow to deplore;
Some grief more poignant than the last,
    But thou canst calm those griefs no more.

No more thy friendship sooths to rest
    This wearied spirit tempest-tost;
The cares that weigh upon my breast
    Are doubly felt since thou art lost.

Bright visions of ideal grace
    That the young poet's dreams inflame,
Were not more lovely than thy face;
    Were not more perfect than thy frame.

Wit, that no sufferings could impair,
    Was thine, and thine those mental powers
Of force to chase the fiends that tear
    From Fancy's hands her budding flowers.

O'er what, my angel friend, thou wert,
    Dejected Memory loves to mourn;
Regretting still that tender heart,
    Now withering in a distant urn!

But ere that wood of shadowy pine
    Twelve times shall yon full orb behold,
This sickening heart, that bleeds for thine,
    My Harriet!—may like thine be cold!


To a wild mountain, whose bare summit hides
Its broken eminence in clouds; whose steeps
Are dark with woods; where the receding rocks
Are worn with torrents of dissolving snow;
A wretched woman, pale and breathless, flies,
And, gazing round her, listens to the sound
Of hostile footsteps:—No! they die away—
Nor noise remains, but of the cataract,
Or surly breeze of night, that mutters low
Among the thickets, where she trembling seeks
A temporary shelter—Clasping close
To her quick throbbing heart her sleeping child,

All she could rescue of the innocent group
That yesterday surrounded her—Escaped
Almost by miracle!—Fear, frantic Fear,
Wing'd her weak feet; yet, half repenting now
Her headlong haste, she wishes she had staid
To die with those affrighted Fancy paints
The lawless soldiers' victims—Hark! again
The driving tempest bears the cry of Death;
And with deep, sudden thunder, the dread sound
Of cannon vibrates on the tremulous earth;
While, bursting in the air, the murderous bomb
Glares o'er her mansion—Where the splinters fall
Like scatter'd comets, its destructive path
Is mark'd by wreaths of flame!—Then, overwhelm'd

Beneath accumulated horror, sinks
The desolate mourner!
  *⁠ * ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠*
  *⁠ * ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠*
  *⁠ * ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠* ⁠*
The feudal Chief, whose Gothic battlements
Frown on the plain beneath, returning home
From distant lands, alone, and in disguise,
Gains at the fall of night his castle walls;
But, at the silent gate no porter sits
To wait his lord's admittance!—In the courts
All is drear stillness!—Guessing but too well
The fatal truth, he shudders as he goes
Thro' the mute hall; where, by the blunted light

That the dim Moon thro' painted casement lends,
He sees that devastation has been there;
Then, while each hideous image to his mind
Rises terrific, o'er a bleeding corse
Stumbling he falls; another intercepts
His staggering feet—All! all who used to rush
With joy to meet him, all his family
Lie murder'd in his way!—And the day dawns
On a wild raving Maniac, whom a fate
So sudden and calamitous has robb'd
Of reason; and who round his vacant walls
Screams unregarded, and reproaches Heaven!


Green o'er the copses Spring's soft hues are spreading,
    High wave the Reeds in the transparent floods,
The Oak its sear and sallow foliage shedding,
    From their moss'd cradles start its infant buds.

Pale as the tranquil tide of Summer's ocean,
    The Willow now its slender leaf unveils;
And thro' the sky with swiftly fleeting motion,
    Driv'n by the wind, the rack of April sails.

Then, as the gust declines, the stealing showers
    Fall fresh and noiseless; while at closing day
The low Sun gleams on moist and half-blown flowers,
    That promise garlands for approaching May.

Bless'd are yon peasant children, simply singing,
    Who through the new-sprung grass rejoicing rove;
More blest! to whom the Time, fond thought is bringing,
    Of friends expected, or returning love.

The pensive wanderer blest, to whom reflection
    Points out some future views that soothe his mind;
Me how unlike!—whom cruel recollection
    But tells of comfort I shall never find!

Hope, that on Nature's youth is still attending,
    No more to me her syren song shall sing;
Never to me her influence extending,
    Shall I again enjoy the days of Spring!

Yet, how I loved them once these scenes remind me,
    When light of heart, in childhood's thoughtless mirth,
I reck'd not that the cruel lot assign'd me
    Should make me curse the hour that gave me birth!

Then, from thy wild-wood banks, Aruna! roving,
    Thy thymy downs with sportive steps I sought,
And Nature's charms, with artless transport loving,
    Sung like the birds, unheeded and untaught.

But now the Springtide's pleasant hours returning,
    Serve to awaken me to sharper pain;
Recalling scenes of agony and mourning,
    Of baffled hope and prayers preferr'd in vain.

Thus shone the Sun, his vernal rays displaying,
    Thus did the woods in early verdure wave,
While dire Disease on all I loved was preying,
    And flowers seem'd rising but to strew her grave!

Now, 'mid reviving blooms, I coldly languish,
    Spring seems devoid of joy to me alone;
Each sound of pleasure aggravates my anguish,
    And speaks of beauty, youth, and sweetness gone!

Yet, as stern Duty bids, with faint endeavour
    I drag on life, contending with my woe,
Tho' conscious Misery still repeats, that never
    My soul one pleasurable hour shall know.

Lost in the tomb, when Hope no more appeases
    The fester'd wounds that prompt the eternal sigh,
Grief, the most fatal of the heart's diseases,
    Soon teaches, whom it fastens on, to die.

The wretch undone, for pain alone existing,
    The abject dread of Death shall sure subdue,
And far from his decisive hand resisting,
    Rejoice to bid a world like this, adieu!


Friend of the wretched! wherefore should the eye
    Of blank Despair, whence tears have ceased to flow,
Be turn'd from thee?—Ah! wherefore fears to die
    He, who compell'd each poignant grief to know,
    Drains to its lowest dregs the cup of woe?

Would Cowardice postpone thy calm embrace,
    To linger out long years in torturing pain?
Or not prefer thee to the ills that chase
    Him, who too much impoverish'd to obtain
    From British Themis right, implores her aid in vain!

Sharp goading Indigence who would not fly,
    That urges toil the exhausted strength above?
Or shun the once fond friend's averted eye?
    Or who to thy asylum not remove,
    To lose the wasting anguish of ungrateful love?

Can then the wounded wretch, who must deplore
    What most she loved, to thy cold arms consign'd,
Who hears the voice that sooth'd her soul no more,
    Fear thee, O Death!—Or hug the chains that bind
    To joyless, cheerless life, her sick, reluctant mind?

Oh, Misery's Cure! who e'er in pale dismay
    Has watch'd the angel form they could not save,
And seen their dearest blessing torn away,
    May well the terrors of thy triumph brave,
    Nor pause in fearful dread before the opening grave!

"The Young Philosopher."

Ah! think'st thou, Laura, then, that wealth
Should make me thus my youth, and health,
    And freedom, and repose resign?—
Ah no!—I toil to gain by stealth
    One look, one tender glance of thine.

Born where huge hills on hills are piled,
In Caledonia's distant wild,
    Unbounded Liberty was mine:
But thou upon my hopes hast smiled,
    And bade me be a slave of thine!

Amid the gloomy haunts of gain,
Of weary hours I not complain,
    While Hope forbids me to repine,
And whispering tells me I obtain
    Pity from that soft heart of thine.

Tho' far capricious Fortune flies,
Yet Love shall bless the sacrifice,
    And all his purer joys combine;
While I my little world comprise
    In that fair form, and fairer soul of thine.

TO THE WINDS. FIRST PRINTED IN "The Young Philosopher."

Ye vagrant Winds! You clouds that bear
Thro' the blue desart of the air,
    Soft sailing in the Summer sky,
Do e’er your wandering breezes meet,
A wretch in misery so complete,
⁠So lost as I?

And yet, where’er your pinions wave
O'er some lost friend's—some lover's grave,
    Surviving sufferers still complain;
Some parent of his hopes deprived,
Some wretch who has himself survived,
⁠Lament in vain.

Blow where ye list on this sad earth,
Some soul-corroding care has birth,
    And Grief in all her accents speaks;
Here dark Dejection groans, and there
Wild Phrenzy, daughter of Despair,
⁠Unconscious shrieks.

Ah! Were it Death had torn apart
The tie that bound him to my heart,
    Tho' fatal still the pang would prove;
Yet had it soothed this bleeding breast
To know, I had till then possest
⁠Hillario's love.

And where his dear, dear ashes slept,
Long nights and days I then had wept,
    Till by slow-mining Grief opprest
As Memory fail'd, its vital heat
This wayward heart had lost, and beat
⁠Itself to rest.

But still Hillario lives, to prove
To some more happy maid his love!
    Hillario at her feet I see!
His voice still murmurs fond desire,
Still beam his eyes with lambent fire,
⁠But not for me!

Ah! words, my bosom's peace that stole,
Ah! Looks, that won my melting soul;
    Who dares your dear delusion try,
In dreams may all Elysium see,
Then undeceiv'd, awake, like me,
⁠Awake and die.

Like me, who now abandon'd, lost
Roam wildly on the rocky coast,
    With eager eyes the sea explore;
But hopeless watch and vainly rave,
Hillario o'er the western wave
⁠Returns no more!

Yet, go forgiven, Hillario go,
Such anguish may you never know
    As that which checks my labouring breath;
Pain so severe not long endures,
And I have still my choice of cures,
Madness or death.


Thou! Who behold'st with dewy eye
    The sleeping leaves and folded flowers,
And hear'st the night-wind lingering sigh
    Thro' shadowy woods and twilight bowers;
Thou wast the signal once that seem'd to say,
Hillario's beating heart reproved my long delay.

I see thy emerald lustre stream
    O'er these rude cliffs and cavern'd shore;
But here, orisons to thy beam
    The woodland chantress pours no more;
Nor I, as once, thy lamp propitious hail,
Seen indistinct thro' tears; confus'd, and dim, and pale.

Soon shall thy arrowy radiance shine
    On the broad ocean's restless wave,
Where this poor cold swoln form of mine
    Shall shelter in its billowy grave,
Safe from the scorn the World's sad outcasts prove.
Unconscious of the pain of ill-requited Love.


O'er the high down the night-wind blew,
    And as it chill and howling past,
The Juniper and scathed Yew
    Shrunk from the bitter blast.

Yet on the sea-mark's chalky height,
    The rude memorial of the Dane,
Thro' many a drear and stormy night
    Had hapless Lydia lain.

When I a lonely wanderer too,
    Who loved to climb and gaze around,
Even as the Autumnal Sun withdrew,
    The poor forlorn one found.

"Ah! Wherefore, maiden, sit you so,
    "The cold wind raving round your breast,
"While in the villages below
     "All are retired to rest?

"The fires are out, no lights appear
    "But the red flames of burning lime,
"None but the Horseman's ghost is here
    "At this pale evening time."

With wild yet vacant eye, the maid
    Gazed on me, and a mournful smile
On her wan sunken features play'd
    As thus she spoke the while:

"Yes, to their beds my friends are gone,
    "They have no grief; they slumber soon;
"But 'tis for me to wait alone
    "To meet the midnight Moon.

"The Moon will rise anon, and trace
    "Her silver pathway on the sea;
"I saw it from this very place,
    "When Edward went from me.

"Tho' like a mist the Horseman's ghost
    "From yon deep dell I often see,
"Glide o'er the mountain to the coast,
    "It gives no fear to me.

"I rather dread the clouds that rise
    "Like towers and turrets from afar,
"And swelling high, obscure the skies,
    "And every shining star.

"For then I can no longer trace
    "That long bright pathway in the sea,
"Where Edward bade me mark the place
    "When last he went from me!

"'Twas here, when loth to go, he gave
    "To his poor Girl his last adieu;
"He mark'd the moonlight on the wave,
    "And bade me mark it too.

"And, Lydia!—then he sighing cried,
    "When the tenth time that light so clear
"Shine on the Sea—whate'er betide,
    "Thy Edward will be here.

"Since then I watch with eager eyes,
    ("Nor feel I cold, or wind or rain,)
"Till the tenth blessed moon arise,
    "And Edward comes again."

"Ah, wretched Girl!" I would have cried,
    But why awaken her to pain?
"Long since thy wandering Lover died,
    "The moon returns in vain!

"Tho' with her wane, thy visions fade,
    "Yet hopest thou, till again she shine?"
———The hopes of half the World, poor Maid!
    Are not more rational than thine!

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