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I saw thy(a) form in youthful prime,
Nor thought that pale decay Would steal before thy steps of time,
And waste its bloom away, Mary !
Yet still thy features wore that light
Which flits not with the breath ;
And life ne'er looked more purely bright
Than in thy smile of death, Mary !
As streams that run o'er golden mines
With modest murmur glide,
Nor seem to know the wealth that shines
Within their gentle tide, Mary!
So veiled beneath a simple guise
Thy radiant genius shone ;
And that which charmed all other eyes
Seemed worthless in thine own, Mary!
If souls could always dwell above,
Thou ne'er hadst left thy sphere ; Or could we keep the souls we love,
We ne'er had lost thee here, Mary !
Though many a gifted mind we meet,
Though fairest forms we see,
To live with them is far less sweet
Than to remember thee, Mary !
(a) These beautiful stanzas are believed to have been composed on the death of the poetess, Mrs Tighe.
Fly to the desert, fly with me,
Our Arab tents are rude for thee;
But oh! the choice what heart can doubt
Of tents with love, or thrones without ?
Our rocks are rough, but smiling there
The acacia waves her yellow hair,
Lonely and sweet, nor loved the less
For flowering in a wilderness.
Our sands are bare, but down their slope
The silvery-footed antelope
As gracefully and gaily springs
As o'er the marble courts of Kings.
-thy Arab maid will be
The loved and lone acacia-tree,
The antelope, whose feet shall bless
With their light sound thy loneliness.
Oh ! there are looks and tones that dart
An instant sunshine through the heart,
As if the soul that minute caught
Some treasure it through life had sought ;
As if the very lips and eyes
Predestined to have all our sighs,
And never be forgot again,
Sparkled and spoke before us then !
So came thy every glance and tone,
When first on me they breathed and shone ;
New, as if brought from other spheres,
Yet welcome as if loved for years !
Then fly with me,--if thou hast known
No other flame, nor falsely thrown
A gem away, that thou hadst sworn
Should ever in thy heart be worn.
Come, if the love thou hast for me
Is pure and fresh as mine for thee,
Fresh as the fountain under ground,
When first 'tis by the lapwing found. (a)
But if for me thou dost forsake
Some other maid, and rudely break
Her worshipp'd image from its base,
To give to me the ruin'd place ;
Then, fare thee well—I'd rather make
My bower upon some icy lake
When thawing suns begin to shine,
Than trust to love so false as thine !
ALAS!-how light a cause may move
Dissension between hearts that love!
(a) The hudhud, or lapwing, is supposed to have the power of discovering water under ground.
Hearts that the world in vain has tried,
And sorrow but more closely tied ;
That stood the storm when waves were rough,
Yet in a sunny hour fall off,
Like ships that have gone down at sea,
When heaven was all tranquillity!
A something light as air-a look,
A word unkind or wrongly taken-
A love, that tempests never shook,
A breath, a touch like this has shaken
And ruder words will soon rush in
To spread the breach that words begin ;
And eyes forget the gentle ray
They wore in courtship's smiling day ;
And voices lose the tone that shed
A tenderness round all they said ;
Till fast declining, one by one,
The sweetnesses of love are gone,
And hearts, so lately mingled, seem
Like broken clouds-or like the stream
That smiling left the mountain's brow,
As though its waters ne'er could sever,
Yet ere it reach the plains below,
Breaks into floods that part for ever.
that have the charge of love, Keep him in rosy bondage bound, As in the fields of bliss above
He sits, with flowerets fettered round :-
Loose not a tie that round him clings,
Nor ever let him use his wings ;
For even an hour, a minute's flight
Will rob the plumes of half their light,
Like that celestial bird, whose nest
Is found below far eastern skies,
Whose wings, though radiant when at rest,
Lose all their glory when he flies !
Some difference of this dangerous kind, -
By which, though light, the links that bind
The fondest hearts may soon be riven ;
Some shadow in love's summer heaven,
Which, though a fleecy speck at first,
May yet in awful thunder burst.
WANTON drole, whose harmless play
Beguiles the rustic's closing day,
When drawn the ev'ning fire about,
Sit aged Crone and thoughtless Lout,
And child upon his three-foot stool,
Waiting till his supper cool ;
And maid, whose cheek outblooms the rose,
As bright the blazing fagot glows,
Who, bending to the friendly light,
Plies her task with busy sleight;
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces,
Thus circled round with merry faces.
Backward coiled, and crouching low,
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe,