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Oh! love the song, and let it oft
And he who came, of all bereft,
have traced the fabric o'er :-
A mother left her sleeping child
The fruitage of the forest wild. But storms upon her path-way rise,
The mother roams astray and weeping, Far from the weak appealing cries
Of him she left so sweetly sleeping. She hopes, she fears-a light is seen, And gentler blows the night-wind's breath;
—'tis gone—the storms are keen, The baby may be chill'd to death; Perhaps his little eyes are shaded
Dim by Death's eternal chill-
Life and love may light them still.
Hung on thy hand's bewildering touch, And, timid, ask'd that speaking eye,
If parting pain’d thee half so muchI thought, and, oh! forgive the thought,
For who, by eyes like thine inspir'd, Could ere resist the flattering fault
Of fancying what his soul desir'd ? Yes—I did think, in Cara's mind,
Though yet to Cara's mind unknown, I left one infant wish behind,
One feeling, which I call'd my own!
How did I ask of pity's care,
The nursling I had cradled there.
And many an hour of sorrow numbering, I ne'er forget the new-born treasure,
I left within thy bosom slumbering.
1 Such romantic works as “The American Farmer's Letters," and the “Account of Kentucky by Imlay," would seduce us into a belief, that innocence, peace, and freedom had deserted the rest of the world for Martha's Vineyard and the banks of the Ohio. The French travellers too, almost all from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most enthusiastic prepossession.
2 Norfolk, it must be owned, is an unfavourable specimen of America. The characteristics of Virginia in general are not such as can delight either the politician or the moralist, and at Norfolk they are exhibited in their least attractive form. At the time when we arrived, the yellow fever had not yet disappeared, and every odour that assailed us in the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation.
3 A trifling attempt at musical composition accompanied this epistle.
1 The poems which immediately follow. 2 Bermuda.
Perhaps, indifference has not chill'd it,
And like you, a legitimate child of the spheres, Haply, it yet a throb may give
Escape from the eye to enrapture the ears ! Yet no—perhaps, a doubt has kill'd it!
Sweet spirit of mystery ! how I should love,
In the wearisome ways I am fated to rove,
Inhaling for ever your song and your sigh!
'Mid the crowds of the world and the murmurs of ON THE DAWNING OF A NEW YEAR'S DAY.
I might sometimes converse with my nymph of the When midnight came to close the year,
air, We sigh'd to think it thus should take
And turn with disgust from the clamorous crew, The hours it gave us-hours as dear
To steal in the pauses one whisper from you.
Oh! come and be near me, for ever be mine,
We shall hold in the air a communion divine,
As sweet as, of old, was imagin'd to dwell But, Cara, when the dawn was nigh
In the grotto of Numa, or Socrates' cell. Which came another year to shed,
And oft, at those lingering moments of night, The smile we caught from eye to eye
When the heart is weigh'd down and the eyelid is Told us those moments were not fled ;
light, Oh no! we felt some future sun
You shall come to my pillow and tell me of love, Should see us still more closely one!
Such as angel to angel might whisper above!
Oh Spirit!—and then, could you borrow the tone Thus may we ever, side by side,
Of that voice, to my ear so bewitchingly known, From happy years to happier glide;
The voice of the one upon earth, who has twin'd And, still, my CARA, may the sigh
With her essence for ever my heart and my mind! We give to hours, that vanish o'er us,
Though lonely and far from the light of her smile, Be follow'd by the smiling eye,
And exile and weary and hopeless the while,
Could you shed for a moment that voice on my ear,
That she comes with consoling enchantment to speak,
And kisses my eyelid and sighs on my cheek,
Sweet Spirit ! if such be your magical power,
It will lighten the lapse of full many an hour;
Hope, Fancy, and Cara may smile for me still. But I will not believe them-no, science! to you I have long bid a last and a careless adieu : Still flying from Nature to study her laws,
PEACE AND GLORY. And dulling delight by exploring its cause,
WRITTEN AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE You forget how superior, for mortals below, Is the fiction they dream to the truth that they know. Oh! who, that has ever had rapture complete,
WHERE now is the smile that lighten'd Would ask how we feel it, or why it is sweet;
Every hero's couch of rest ? How rays are confused, or how particles fly
Where is now the hope that brightened Through the medium refin'd of a glance or a sigh!
Honour's eye, and pity's breast ? Is there one, who but once would not rather have
Have we lost the wreath we braided, known it,
For our weary warrior men ?
Is the faithless olive faded,
Must the bay be pluck'd again?
Passing hour of sunny weather, I will swear, you are one of those spirits that rove
Lovely in your light awhile, By the bank where, at twilight, the poet reclines, Peace and Glory, wed together, When the star of the west on his solitude shines,
Wander'd through the blessed isle ;
And the eyes of Peace would glisten,
When the timid maid would listen
To the deeds her chief had done.
Is the hour of dalliance over ?
Must the maiden's trembling feet 1 This and the subsequent poem have appeared in the
Waft her from her warlike lover public prints.
To the desert's still retreat ?
Take back the vows that, night and day,
My heart receiv'd, I thought, from thine ; Yet, no—allow them still to stay; They might some other heart betray,
As sweetly as they've ruin'd mine!
Fare you well! with sighs we banish
Nymph so fair and guest so bright; Yet the smile, with which you vanish,
Leaves behind a soothing light! Soothing light! that long shall sparkle
O'er your warrior's sanguine way, Through the field where horrors darkle,
Shedding Hope's consoling ray! Long the smile his heart will cherish,
To its absent idol true,
Glory still will sigh for you!
THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
WRITTEN AT NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA. "They tell of a young man who lost his mind upon the death of a girl he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from his friends, was never afterwards heard of. As he had frequently said, in his ravings, that the girl was not dead, but gone to the Dismal Swamp, it is supposed he had wandered into that dreary wilderness, and had died of hunger, or been lost in some of its dreadful morasses."-Anon.
“La Poésie a ses monstres comme la nature."
1801. To be the theme of every hour The heart devotes to fancy's power, When her soft magic fills the mind With friends and joys we've left behind, And joys return, and friends are near, And all are welcom'd with a tearIn the mind's purest seat to dwell, To be remember'd oft and well By one whose heart, though vain and wild, By passion led, by youth beguild, Can proudly still aspire to know The feeling soul's divinest glow! If thus to live in every part Of a lone weary wanderer's heart; If thus to be its sole employ Can give thee one faint gleam of joy, Believe it, Mary! oh! believe A tongue that never can deceive, When passion doth not first betray And tinge the thought upon its way! In pleasure's dream or sorrow's hour, In crowded hall or lonely bower, The business of my life shall be, For ever to remember thee! And though that heart be dead to mine, Since love is life and wakes not thine, I'll take thy image, as the form Of something I should long to warm, Which, though it yield no answering thrill, Is not less dear, is lovely still ! I'll take it, wheresoe'er I stray, The bright, cold burthen of my way! To keep this semblance fresh in bloom, My heart shall be its glowing tomb, And love shall lend his sweetest care, With memory to embalm it there!
“ THEY made her a grave, too cold and damp
For a soul so warm and true; And she's gone to the Lake of the Dismal Swamp,' Where, all night long, by a fire-fly lamp,
She paddles her white canoe.
And her paddle I soon shall hear;
When the footstep of death is near!”
His path was rugged and sore,
And man never trod before !
If slumber his eyelids knew,
The flesh with blistering dew!
And the copper-snake breath'd in his ear, Till he starting cried, from his dream awake, “ Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake,
And the white canoe of my dear ?" He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright
Quick over its surface play'd
The name of the death cold maid !
Which carried him off from shore;
And the boat return'd no more.
In passion's moment breath'd to me!
And has become too pure for thee! Take back the kiss, that faithless sigh
With all the warmth of truth imprest; Yet, no—the fatal kiss may lie : Upon thy lip its sweets would die, Or bloom to make a rival blest!
But oft from the Indian hunter's camp
This lover and maid so true
1 The Great Dismal Swamp is ten or twelve miles distant from Norfolk, and the lake in the middle of it (about seven miles long) is called Drummond's Pond.
Are seen, at the hour of midnight damp,
And paddle their white canoe!
Not all the charm, that ethnic fancy gave
To blessed arbours o'er the western wave,
The morn was lovely, every wave was still,
When the first perfume of a cedar-hill
The fairy harbour woo'd us to its arms.
Through plantain shades, that like an awning twin'd FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY 1804.
And kiss'd on either side the wanton sails, LADY, where'er you roam, whatever beam
Breathing our welcome to these vernal vales; Of bright creation warms your mimic dream;
While, far reflected o'er the wave serene, Whether you trace the valley's golden meads, Each wooded island sheds so soft a green, Where mazy Linth his lingering current leads ;' That the enamour'd keel, with whispering play, Enamour'd catch the mellow hues that sleep,
Through liquid herbage seem'd to steal its way! At eve on Meillerie's immortal steep;
Never did weary bark more sweetly glide, Or musing o'er the Lake, at day's decline,
Or rest its anchor in a lovelier tide! Mark the last shadow on the holy shrine,
Along the margin, many a brilliant dome, Where, many a night, the soul of Tell complains White as the palace of a Lapland gnome, Of Gallia's triumph and Helvetia's chains;
Brightened the wave; in every myrtle grove Oh! lay the pencil for a moment by,
Secluded, bashful, like a shrine of love, Turn from the tablet that creative eye,
Some elfin mansion sparkled through the shade; And let its splendour, like the morning ray
And, while the foliage interposing play'd, Upon a shepherd's harp, illume my lay!
Wreathing the structure into various grace, Yet, Lady! no—for song so rude as mine,
Fancy would love in many a form to trace Chase not the wonders of your dream divine;
The flowery capital, the shaft, the porch,? Still, radiant eye! upon the tablet dwell ;
And dream of temples, till her kindling torch Still, rosy finger! weave your pictur'd spell ;
Lighted me back to all the glorious days And, while I sing the animated smiles
Of Attic genius ; and I seem'd to gaze Of fairy nature in these sun-born isles,
On marble, from the rich Pentalic mount, Oh! might the song awake some bright design,
Gracing the umbrage of some Naiad's fount. Inspire a touch, or prompt one happy line,
Sweet airy being !3 who, in brighter hours,
Liv'd on the perfume of these honied bowers,
In velvet buds, at evening, lov'd to lie,
And win with music every rose's sigh!
Though weak the magic of my humble strain,
To charm your spirit from its orb again,
Yet, oh! for her, beneath whose smile I sing, Have you not oft, in nightly vision, stray'd For her, (whose pencil, if your rainbow wing To the pure isles of ever-blooming shade,
Were dimm’d or ruffled by a wintry sky, Which bards of old, with kindly magic, plac'd Could smooth its feather and relume its dye,) For happy spirits in th’ Atlantic waste ?3
A moment wander from your starry sphere,
And if the lime-tree grove that once was dear,
1 Nothing can be more romantic than the little harbour They charm'd their lapse of nightless hours along ! of St. George. The number of beautiful islets, the singular Nor yet in song, that mortal ear may suit,
clearness of the water, and the animated play of the grace
ful little boats, gliding for ever between the islands, and For every spirit was itself a lute,
seeming to sail from one cedar grove into another, form, all Where Virtue wakened with elysian breeze,
together, the sweetest miniature of nature that can be imPure tones of thought and mental harmonies agined.
2 This is an illusion which, to the few who are fanciful Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs bland
enough to indulge in it, renders the scenery of Bermuda Floated our bark to this enchanted land,
particularly interesting. In the short but beautiful twilight These leafy isles upon the ocean thrown,
of their spring evenings, the white cottages, scattered over Like studs of emerald o'er a silver zone;
the islands, and but partially seen through the trees that surround them, assume often the appearance of little Grecian temples, and fancy may embellish the poor fisherman's hut
with columns which the pencil of Claude might imitate. I 1 Lady D., I supposed, was at this time still in Switzer- had one favourite object of this kind in my walks, which land, where the powers of her pencil must have been fre- the hospitality of its owner robbed me of, by asking me to quently awakened.
visit him. He was a plain good man, and received me well 2 The chapel of William Tell, on the Lake of Lucerne. and warmly, but I never could turn his house into a Grecian
3 M. Gebelin says, in his Monde Primitif, “ Lorsque Stra- temple again. bon crut que les anciens théologiens et Poëtes placaient 3 Ariel. Among the many charms which Bermuda has les Champs Elysées dans .es Isles de l'Océan Atlantique, il for a poetic eye, we cannot for an instant forget that it is n'entendit rien à leur doctrine.” M. Gebelin's supposition, the scene of Shakspeare's Tempest, and that here he conI have no doubt, is the more correct; but that of Strabo is, jured up the " delicate Ariel,” who alone is worth the whole in the present instance, most to my purpose.
heaven of ancient mythology.
The sunny wave, the bower, the breezy hill, Where matter darkles or where spirit beams;
From the pellucid tides,' that whirl
The planets through their maze of song,
Murmuring o'er beds of pearl ;
From the rich sigh Borrow for sleep her own creative spells,
Of the sun's arrow through an evening sky,"
On Afric's burning fields ;)
That I respire in all, and all in me,
One mighty mingled soul of boundless harmony !
Welcome, welcome mystic shell !
Many a star has ceas'd to burno
Many a tear has Saturn's urn
O'er the cold bosom of the ocean wept,
Since thy aerial spell
Hath in the waters slept !
With the bright treasure to my choral sky,
Where she, who wak'd its early swell,
The syren, with a foot of fire,
Walks o'er the great string of my Orphic Lyre, Of those entrancing airs,'
Or guides around the burning pole The genii of the deep were wont to swell,
The winged chariot of some blissful soul!"
While thou ! When heaven's eternal orbs their midnight music rollid!
Oh, son of earth! what dreams shall rise for thee! Oh! seek it, wheresoe'er it floats;
Beneath Hispania's sun,
Thou'lt see a streamlet run,
Which I have warm’d with dews of melody;8 Go, bring the bright shell to my bower,
Listen !-when the night-wind dies And I will fold thee in such downy dreams,
Down the still current, like a harp it sighs! As lap the spirit of the seventh sphere,
of attraction and repulsion. See the fragment to which I When Luna's distant tone falls faintly on his ear!2 allude in Laertius, Αλλοτε μεν φιλοτητα, συνερχομεν'. κ.τ And thou shalt own,
Lib. 8. Cap. n. 12. That, through the circle of creation's zone,
1 Leucippus, the atomist, imagined a kind of vortices in the heavens, which he borrowed from Anaxagoras, and
possibly suggested to Descartes. 1 In the “ Historie Naturelle des Antilles," there is an ac 2 Heraclides, upon the allegories of Homer, conjectures count of some curious shells, found at Curaçoa, on the back that the idea of the harmony of the spheres originated with of which were lines, filled with musical characters, so dis- this poet, who in representing the solar beams as arrows, tinct and perfect, that the writer assures us a very charming supposes them to emit a peculiar sound in the air. trio was sung from one of them. "On le nomme musical, 3 In the account of Africa which d' Ablancourt has transparce qu'il porte sur le dos des lignes noirâtres pleines de lated, there is mention of a tree in that country, whose notes, qui ont une espèce de clé pour les mettre en chant, branches when shaken by the hand produce very sweet de sorte que l'on dirait qu'il ne manque que la lettre à cette sounds. "Le même auteur (Abenzégar) dit, qu'il y a untablature naturelle. rieux gentilhomme (M. du Mon- certain arbre, qui produit des gaules comme d'osier, et qu'en tel) rapporte qu'il en a vu qui avaient cinq lignes, une clé les prenant à la main et les branlant, elles font une espèce et des notes, qui formaient un accord parfait. Quelqu'un d'harmonie fort agréable," etc.etc.-L'Afrique de Marmol. y avait ajouté la lettre, que la nature avait oubliée, et la 4 Alluding to the extinction, or at least the disappearance faisait chanter en forme de trio, dont l'aire était fort agréa- of some of those fixed stars, which we are taught to conble." Chap. 19. Art. 11. The author adds, a poet might sider as suns, attended each by its system. Descartes thought imagine that these shells were used by the syrens at their that our earth might formerly have been a sun, which beconcerts.
came obscured by a thick incrustation over its surface. This 2 According to Cicero, and his commentator, Macrobius, probably suggested the idea of a central fire. the lunar tone is the gravest and faintest on the planetary 5 Porphyry says, that Pythagoras held the sea to be a tear. heptachord. “Quam ob causam summus ille cæli stellifer Inn Jaanirav je v sxxasi suvceo d sixpuov. De Vit, and some cursus, cujus conversio est concitatior, acuto et excitato one else, if I mistake not, has added the planet Saturn as the movetur sono: gravissimo autem hic lunaris atque infimus.' source of it. Empedocles, with similar affectation, called --Somn. Scip. Because, says Macrobius, "spiritu ut in the sea “the sweat of the earth :" odpwT* TnS gus. See extremitate languescente jam volvitur, et propter angustias Rittershusius upon Porphyry, Num. 41. quibus penultimus orbis arctatur impetu leniore converti 6 The system of harmonized orbs was styled by the antur."-In Somn. Scip. Lib. 2. Cap. 4. It is not very easy cients, the Great Lyre of Orpheus, for which Lucian acto understand the ancients in their musical arrangement of counts, η δε Λυρη επταμιτος εισα την των κ.1ν8 μενων άστρων the heavenly bodies. See Ptolem. Lib. 3.
αρμονιαν συνεβαλλετο. κ. τ. λ. in Astrolog. Leone Hebreo, pursuing 'the idea of Aristotle, that the 7 Διειλε ψυχας ισάριθμες τοις αστροις, ενειμε 9' εκασheavens are animal, attributes their harmony to perfect and | την προς εκαστον, και εμβιβασας (ΩΣ ΕΙΣ ΟΧΗΜΑ. Pla reciprocal love. “Non però manca fra loro il perfetto e ton. Timæus. reciproco amore: la causa principale, che ne mostra il loro 8 This musical river is mentioned in the romance of amore, è la lor amicizia harmoniaca e la concordanza, che Achilles Tatius. ETE FOTOPY *** yv Ss cx80x. Isang Ty perpetuamente si trova in loro."-Dialog. 2. di Amore, p. udsToS A&A SVTOS. The Latin version, in supplying the hia. 58." This "reciproco amore” of Leone is the pinotus of tus, which is in the original, has placed the river in Hispa. the ancient Empedocles, who seems, in his Love and Hate nia. “In Hispania quoque fluvius est, quem primo asof the Elements, to have given a glimpse of the principles pectu,” etc. etc.