Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

He heard the widow's heaven-breathed prayer of praise,
He marked the sheltered orphan's tearful gaze,
Or where the sorrow-shrivelled captive lay,
Poured the bright blaze of Freedom's noon-tide ray,
Beneath this roof if thy cheered moments pass,
Fill to the good man's name one grateful glass :
To higher zest shall Memory wake thy soul,
And Virtue mingle in the ennobled bowl.
But if, like me, through life's distressful scene
Lonely and sad thy pilgrimage hath been;
And if thy breast with heart-sick anguish fraught,
Thou journeyest onward tempest-tossed in thought;
Here cheat thy cares ! in generous visions melt,
And dream of Goodness, thou hast never felt !

TO A FRIEND,

TOGETHER WITH AN UNFINISHED POEM.

Thus far my scanty brain hath built the rhyme
Elaborate and swelling; yet the heart
Not owns it. From thy spirit-breathing powers
I ask not now, my Friend! the aiding verse,
Tedious to thee, and from thy anxious thought
Of dissonant mood. In fancy (well I know)
From business wandering far and local cares,
Thou creepest round a dear-loved Sister's bed
With noiseless step, and watchest the faint look,
Soothing each pang with fond solicitude,
And tenderest tones medicinal of love.
I too a Sister had, an only Sister-

She loved me dearly, and I doted on her!
To her I poured forth all my puny sorrows
(As a sick Patient in his Nurse's arms)
And of the heart those hidden maladies
That shrink ashamed from even Friendship's eye.
O! I have woke at midnight, and have wept,
Because she was not !-Cheerily, dear Charles !
Thou thy best friend shalt cherish many a year ;
Such warm presages feel I of high Hope.
For not uninterested the dear maid
I've viewed-her soul affectionate yet wise,
Her polished wit as mild as lambent glories
That play around a sainted infant's head.
(He knows, the Spirit that in secret sees,
Of whose omniscient and all-spreading Love
Aught to implore were impotence of mind)*
That
my

mute thoughts are sad before His throne,
Prepared, when He his healing ray vouchsafes,
To pour forth thanksgiving with lifted heart,
And praise Him Gracious with a Brother's joy!

December, 1794

* I utterly recant the sentiment contained in the lines

Of whose omniscient and all-spreading Love
Aught to implore were impotence of mind,

it being written in Scripture, “ Ask, and it shall be given you;" and my human reason being, moreover, convinced of the propriety of offering petitions as well as thanksgivings to Deity.-S. T. C., 1797.

TO THE NIGHTING LE.

SISTER of love-lorn Poets, Philomel !
How many Bards in city garret pent,
While at their window they with downward eye
Mark the faint Lamp-beam on the kennelled mud,
And listen to the drowsy cry of Watchmen,
(Those hoarse unfeathered Nightingales of Time !)
How
many

wretched Bards address thy name,
And Her's, the full-orbed Queen, that shines above.
But I do hear thee, and the high bough mark,
Within whose mild moon-mellowed foliage hid
Thou warblest sad thy pity-pleading strains.
O! I have listened, till my working soul,
Waked by those strains to thousand phantasies,
Absorbed hath ceased to listen! Therefore oft
I hymn thy name; and with a proud delight
Oft will I tell thee, Minstrel of the Moon !
“Most musical, most melancholy" Bird!
That all thy soft diversities of tone,
Tho' sweeter far than the delicious airs
That vibrate from a white-armed Lady's hary,
What time the languishment of lonely love
Melts in her eye, and heaves her breast of snow,
Are not so sweet, as is the voice of her,
My Sara,—best beloved of human kind!
When breathing the pure soul of Tenderness
She thrills me with the Husband's promised name

LINES ON A FRIEND

WHO DIED OF A FRENZY FEVER INDUCED BY CALUMNIOUS

REPORTS,

EDMUND! thy grave with aching eye

I

scan, And inly groan for Heaven's

outcast-Man! 'Tis tempest all or gloom : in early youth If gifted with the Ithuriel lance of Truth We force to start amid her feigned caress Vice, siren-hag ! in native ugliness ; A Brother's fate will haply rouse the tear, And on we go in heaviness and fear! But if our fond hearts call to Pleasure's bower Some pigmy Folly in a careless hour, The faithless guest shall stamp the enchanted ground, And mingled forms of Misery rise around: Heart-fretting Fear, with pallid look aghast, That courts the future woe to hide the past; Remorse, the poisoned arrow in his side, And loud lewd Mirth, to Anguish close allied: Till Frenzy, fierce-eyed child of moping pain, Darts her hot lightning-flash athwart the brain. Rest, injured shade! Shall Slander squatting near Spit her cold venom in a dead Man's ear? 'Twas thine to feel the sympathetic glow In Merit's joy, and Poverty's meek woe; Thine all, that cheer the moment as it flies, The zoneless Cares, and smiling Courtesies. Nursed in thy heart the firmer Virtues grew, And in thy heart they withered ! Such chill dew

poor

Wan Indolence on each young blossom shed;
And Vanity her filmy net-work spread
With

eye

that rolled around in asking gaze, And tongue that trafficked in the trade of praise. Thy follies such! the hard world marked them well ! Were they more wise, the proud who never fell ? Rest, injured Shade! the poor man's grateful prayer On heaven-ward wing thy wounded soul shall bear. As oft at twilight gloom thy grave I pass, And sit me down upon its recent grass, With introverted eye I contemplate Similitude of soul, perhaps of— fate. To me hath Heaven with bounteous hand assigned Energic Reason and a shaping mind, The daring ken of Truth, the Patriot's part, And Pity's sigh, that breathes the gentle heart. Sloth-jaundiced all! and from my graspless hand Drop Friendship’s precious pearls, like hour-glass sand. I weep, yet stoop not! the faint anguish flows, A dreamy pang in Morning's feverish doze.

Is this piled earth our Being's passless mound? Tell me, cold grave! is death with poppies crowned ? Tired Sentinel! 'Mid fitful starts I nod, And fain would sleep, though pillowed on a clod!

November, 1794.

D

« ForrigeFortsæt »