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To seek the churning-plant of sovereign power
That grew in clefts and bore a scarlet flower!
She roam'd without a purpose, all alone,
Thro' high grey vales unknowing and unknown.
Kind-hearted stranger ! patiently you hear
A tedious tale : I thank you for that tear.
May never other tears o'ercloud your eye
Than those which gentle Pity can supply!
Did you not mark a towering convent hang
Where the huge rocks with sounds of torrents rang?
Even yet, methinks, its spiry turrets swim
Amid yon purple gloom ascending dim!
For thither oft would my poor child repair
To ease her soul by penitence and prayer.
I knew that peace at good men's prayers returns
Home to the contrite heart of him that mourns,
And check'd her not; and often there she found
A timely pallet when the evening frown'd.
And there I trusted that my child would light
On shelter and on food, one dreadful night,
When there was uproar in the element
And she was absent. To my rest I went :
I thought her safe, yet often did I wake
And felt my very heart within me ache.
No daughter near me, at this very door
Next morn I listen’d to the dying roar.
Above, below, the prowling vulture wail'd,
And down the cliffs the heavy vapour saild.
Up by the wide-spread waves in fury torn
Homestalls and pines along the vale were borne.
The Dalesmen in thick crowds appear'd below
Clearing the road, o'erwhelm'd with hills of snow.
At times to the proud gust's ascending swell
A pack of bloodhounds flung their doleful yell :
For after nights of storm that dismal train
The pious convent sends, with hope humane
To find some outstretch'd man-perchance to save,
Or give, at least, that last good gift, a grave !
But now a gathering crowd did I survey
That slowly up the pasture bent their way;
Nor could I doubt but that their care had found
Some pilgrim in th' unchannell’d torrent drown’d.
And down the lawn I hasten’d to implore
That they would bring the body to my door ;
But soon exclaim'd a boy, who ran before,
“ Thrown by the last night's waters from their bed
“ Your daughter has been found, and she is dead ! ”
The old man paused. May he who, sternly just,
Lays at his will his creatures in the dust;
Some ere the earliest buds of hope be blown,
And some when every bloom of joy is flown;
May he the parent to his child restore
In that unchanging realm where Love reigns evermore.
POEMS AND POETICAL FRAGMENTS.*
Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus. CATULLUS.
MY LESBIA, let us love and live,
And to the winds, my Lesbia, give
Each cold restraint, each boding fear
Of age, and all its saws severe ! * Literary Remains of S.T.C., Lond., William Pickering, 1836, vol. i. pp. 274-281. Communicated, with the exception of the four last pieces, by Mr. Gutch. The first piece (signed Mortimer ') appeared in The Morning Post of April 11, 1798.
Yon sun now posting to the main
Will set,but 'tis to rise again ;-
· But we, when once our little light
Is set, must sleep in endless night.
Then come, with whom alone I'll live,
A thousand kisses take and give!
Another thousand !--to the store
Add hundreds--then a thousand more!
And when they to a million mount,
Let confusion take the account,-
That you, the number never knowing,
May continue still bestowing-
That I for joys may never pine,
Which never can again be mine!
Lugete, o Veneres, Cupidinesque. CATULLUS.
Pity, mourn in plaintive tone
The lovely starling dead and gone !
Pity mourns in plaintive tone
The lovely starling dead and gone.
Weep, ye Loves ! and Venus, weep
The lovely starling fall’n asleep!
Venus sees with tearful eyes-
In her lap the starling lies,
While the Loves all in a ring
Softly stroke the stiffen’d wing.
“ The hour-bell sounds, and I must go ;
Death waits—again I hear him calling ;-
No cowardly desires have I,
Nor will I shun his face appalling.
I die in faith and honour rich-
But ah! I leave behind my treasure
In widowhood and lonely pain ;-
To live were surely then a pleasure ! “My lifeless eyes upon thy face
Shall never open more to-morrow;
To-morrow shall thy beauteous eyes
Be closed to love, and drown'd in sorrow;
To-morrow death shall freeze this hand,
And on thy breast, my wedded treasure,
I never, never more shall live ;
Alas ! I quit a life of pleasure."
“Yet art thou happier far than she
Who feels the widow's love for thee!
For while her days are days of weeping,
Thou, in peace, in silence sleeping,
In some still world, unknown, remote,
The mighty parent's care hast found,
Without whose tender guardian thought
No sparrow falleth to the ground.”
'Twas sweet to know it only possible !
Some wishes cross'd my mind and dimly cheer'd it,
And one or two poor melancholy pleasures,
Each in the pale unwarming light of hope
Silvering its flimsy wing, flew silent by-
Moths in the moonbeam !-
- Behind the thin Grey cloud that cover’d, but not hid, the sky, The round full moon look'd small.
The subtle snow in every passing breeze
Rose curling from the grove like shafts of smoke.
-On the broad mountain top The neighing wild colt races with the wind O'er fern and heath-flowers.
-Like a mighty giantess Seized in sore travail and prodigious birth, Sick Nature struggled : long and strange her pangs, Her groans were horrible ;-but O, most fair The twins she bore, Equality and Peace.*
-Terrible and loud
As the strong voice that from the thunder-cloud
Speaks to the startled midnight.
Such fierce vivacity as fires the eye
Of genius fancy-crazed.
The mild despairing of a heart resign'd.
For the Hymn on the Sun.
-The Sun (for now his orb
'Gan slowly sink)
Shot half his rays aslant the heath, whose flowers
Purpled the mountain's broad and level top.
* This is the substance of the latter part of the second strophe, in the original version, of the Ode to the Departing Year (see Vol. i. p. 170, note).—ED.