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Like a scorch'd and mildew'd bough,
Leafless 'mid the blooms of May !
Him who lured thee and forsook,
Oft I watch'd with angry gaze,
Anxious heard his fervid phrase.
Soft the glances of the youth,
Soft his speech, and soft his sigh;
But no true love in his eye.*
Loathing thy polluted lot,
Hie thee, Maiden,t hie thee hence !
With a wiser innocence.
Thou hast known deceit and folly,
Thou hast felt, that vice is woe :
Inly arm'd, go, Maiden ! go.
* The second and third stanzas have replaced the following in the original version :
“ Inly gnawing, thy distresses
Mock those starts of wanton glee,
Chaste affliction's majesty." t Sufferer-1800.
Mother sage of self-dominion,
Firm thy steps, O Melancholy !
Is the memory of past folly.
Mute the sky-lark * and forlorn,
While she moults the firstling plumes,
Or the beanfield's odorous blooms.
Soon with renovated wing
Shall she dare a loftier flight,
And embathe in heavenly light.
LINES COMPOSED IN A CONCERT
In intricacies of laborious song.
These feel not Music's genuine power, nor deign
To melt at Nature's passion-warbled plaint, But when the long-breathed singer's uptrill'd strain
Bursts in a squall—they gape for wonderment.
* The lavrock-1800.
Hark! the deep buzz of vanity and hate !
Scornful, yet envious, with self-torturing sneer My lady eyes some maid of humbler state,
While the pert captain, or the primmer priest, Prattles accordant scandal in her ear.
O give me, from this heartless scene * released,
To hear our old musician, blind and gray, (Whom stretching from my nurse's arms I kiss'd,)
His Scottish tunes and warlike marches play, By moonshine, on the balmy summer
ner-night, The while I dance amid the tedded hay With merry maids, whose ringlets toss in light.
Or lies the purple evening on the bay
Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees,
On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at ease, And while the lazy boat sways to and fro,
Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears.
But 0, dear Anne ! when midnight wind careers, And the gust pelting on the out-house shed
Makes the cock shrilly in the rain-storm crow,
To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, Ballad of shipwreck'd sailor floating dead,
Whom his own true love buried in the sands !
* Loathsome scene-1799. of Around whose rootsmil.
Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice re
measures Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures
The things of Nature utter; birds or trees, Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, Or where the stiff grass mid the heath-plant waves,
Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze.
[Dear Maid ! whose form in solitude I seek,
Such songs in such a mood to hear thee sing,
It were a deep delight !—But thou shalt fling Thy white arm round my neck, and kiss
cheek, And love the brightness of my gladder eye, The while I tell thee what a holier joy
It were, in proud and stately step to go,
With trump and timbrel clang, and popular shout,
To celebrate the shame and absolute rout Unhealable of Freedom's latest foe,
Whose tower'd might shall to its centre nod.
When human feelings, sudden, deep and vast,
Were armied in the hearts of living men,
undebased, A world, made worthy of its God.]*
* The two last lines appear exactly thus in the newspaper from which they are derived. It would be a fruitless waste of ingenuity to attempt by conjecture to fill up the hiatuses, or to decide whether they were intentional or arose from the illegibility of the Author's MS.-ED.
THE tedded hay, the first fruits of the soil,
The tedded hay and corn-sheaves in one field, Show summer gone, ere come. The foxglove tall Sheds its loose purple bells, or in the gust, Or when it bends beneath the up-springing lark, Or mountain-finch alighting. And the rose (In vain the darling of successful love) Stands, like some boasted beauty of past years, The thorns remaining, and the flowers all gone. Nor can I find, amid my lonely walk By rivulet, or spring, or wet road-side, That blue and bright-eyed floweret of the brook, Hope's gentle gem, the sweet forget-me-not ! f So will not fade the flowers which Emmeline With delicate fingers on the snow-white silk Has work'd (the flowers which most she knew I
loved, And, more beloved than they, her auburn hair.
* Printed in The Morning Post, September 17, 1802.
t One of the names (and meriting to be the only one) of the Myosotis Scorpioides Palustris, a flower from six to twelve inches high, with blue blossom and bright yellow eye. It has the same name over the whole Empire of Germany (Vergissmein nicht) and, I believe, in Denmark and Sweden.
* More beloved than all-1802.