Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

TO

A mother saw our eyelids close,
And bless'd them into pure repose ;
Then, haply if a week, a day,
I linger'd from that home away,
How long the little absence seem'd!
How bright the look of welcome beam'd,
As mute you heard, with eager smile,
My tales of all that pass'd the while !

THE FLYING FISH.' When I have seen thy snow-white wing From the blue wave at evening spring, And show those scales of silvery white, So gayly to the eye of light, As if thy frame were form’d to rise, And live amid the glorious skies; Oh! it has made me proudly feel, How like thy wing's impatient zeal Is the pure soul, that rests not, pent Within this world's gross element, But takes the wing that God has given, And rises into light and heaven!

Yet now, my Kate, a gloomy sea Rolls wide between that home and me; The moon may thrice be born and die, Ere ev'n that seal can reach mine eye, Which used so oft, so quick to come, Still breathing all the breath of home, As if, still fresh, the cordial air From lips beloved were lingering there.

alas,far different fate! It comes o'er ocean, slow and late, When the dear hand that fill'd its fold With words of sweetness may lie cold.

But now,

But, when I see that wing, so bright, Grow languid with a moment's flight, Attempt the paths of air in vain, And sink into the waves again ; Alas! the flattering pride is o'er; Like thee, awhile, the soul may soar, But erring man must blush to think, Like thee, again the soul may sink.

Oh Virtue! when thy clime I seek, Let not my spirit's flight be weak: Let me not, like this feeble thing, With brine still dropping from its wing, Just sparkle in the solar glow And plunge again to depths below; But, when I leave the grosser throng With whom my soul hath dwelt so long, Let me, in that aspiring day, Cast every lingering stain away, And, panting for thy purer air, Fly up at once and fix me there.

But hence that gloomy thought! at last, Beloved Kate, the waves are past: I tread on earth securely now, And the.green cedar's living bough Breathes more refreshment to my eyes Than could a Claude's divinest dyes. At length I touch the happy sphero To liberty and virtue dear, Where man looks up, and, proud to claim His rank within the social frame, Sces a grand system round him roll, Himself its centre, sun, and soul ! Far from the shocks of Europe-far From every wild, elliptic star That, shooting with a devious fire, Kindled by heaven's avenging ire, So ost hath into chaos hurl'd The systems of the ancient world.

ТО

MISS MOORE. TROX NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA, NOVEMBER, 1803. Ix days, my Kate, when life was new, When, lulld with innocence and you, I heard, in home's beloved shade, The din the world at distance made; When, every night my wea, y head Sank on its own unthorned bed, And, inild as evening's matron hour, Looks on the faintly shutting flower,

The warrior here, in arms no more, Thinks of the toil, the conflict o'er, And glorying in the freedom won For hearth and shrine, for sire and son, Smiles on the dusky webs that hide His sleeping sword's remember'd pride. While Peace, with sunny cheeks of toil, Walks o'er the free, unlorded soil, Effacing with her splendid share The drops that war had sprinkled there.

1 It is the opinion of St. Austin upon Genesis, and I believe meToucvous apos na vnkta. With this thought in our minds, sariy all the Fathers, that birds, like fish, were originally when we first see the Flying-Fish, we could almost fancy

tuced from the waters; in defence of which idea they that we are present at the monient of creation and witness have coliected every fanciful circumstance which can tend the birth of the first bird from the waves,

gore a kindred similitude between them; ovyyevelAV TOIS

164

Thrice happy land! where he who flies
From the dark ills of other skies,
From scom, or want's unnerving woes,
May shelter him in proud repose :
Hope sings along the yellow sand
His welcome to a patriot land;
The mighty wood, with pomp, receives
The stranger in its world of leaves,
Which soon their barren glory yield
To the warm shed and cultured field;
And he, who came, of all bereft,
To whom malignant fate had left
Nor home nor friends nor country dear,
Finds home and friends and country here.

The simple strain I send you here,'
Wild though it be, would charm your ear,
Did you but know the trance of thought
In which my mind its numbers caught.
'Twas one of those half-waking dreams,
That haunt me oft, when music seems
To bear my soul in sound along,
And turn its feelings all to song.
I thought of home, the according lays
Came full of dreams of other days;
Freshly in each succeeding note
I found some young remembrance float,
Till following, as a clew, that strain,
I wander'd back to home again.

Oh! love the song, and let it oft
Live on your lip, in accents soft.
Say that it tells you, simply well,
All I have bid its wild notes tell,-
Of Memory's dream, of thoughts that yet
Glow with the light of joy that's set,
And all the fond heart keeps in store
Of friends and scenes beheld no more.

adieu this artless air,
With a few rhymes, in transcript fair,
Are all the gifts I yet can boast
To send you from Columbia's coast ;
But when the sun, with warmer smile,
Shall light me to my destin’d isle,"
You shall have many a cowslip-bell,
Where Ariel slept, and many a shell,
In which that gentle spirit drew
From honey flowers the morning dew.

Such is the picture, warmly such,
That Fancy long, with florid touch,
Had painted to my sanguine eye
Of man's new world of liberty.
Oh! ask me not, if Truth have yet
Her seal on Fancy's promise set;
If ev'n a glimpse my eyes

behold
Of that imagined age of gold ;
Alas, not yet one gleaming trace !!
Never did youth, who loved a face
As sketch'd by some fond pencil's skill,
And made by fancy lovelier still,
Shrink back with more of sad surprise,
When the live model met his eyes,
Than I have felt, in sorrow felt,
To find a dream on which I've dwelt
From boyhood's hour, thus fade and flee
At touch of stern reality!

And now,

BERT.

But, courage, yet, my wavering heart !
Blame not the temple's meanest part,

A BALLAD.
Till thou hast traced the fabric o'er :-

THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
As yet, we have beheld no more
Than just the porch to Freedom's fane;

WRITTEN AT NORFOLK, IN VIRGINIA.
And, though a sable spot may stain

"They tell of a young man, who lost his mind upon the

death of a girl he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from The vestibule, 'tis wrong, 'tis sin

his friends, was never afterwards heard of. As he had freTo doubt the godhead reigns within !

quently said, in his ravings, that the girl was not dead, bar So here I pause—and now, my Kate,

gone to the Dismal Swamp, it is supposed he had wandered To you, and those dear friends, whose fato

into that dreary wilderness, and had died of hunger, or been

lost in some of its dreadful morasses."-Anon. Touches more near this home-sick soul

“La Poésie a ses monstres comme la nature."_D'ALEX: Than all the Powers from pole to pole, One word at parting—in the tone

"They made her a grave, too cold and damp Most sweet to you, and most my own.

“For a soul so warm and true; 1 Such romantic works as "The American Farmer's Let

? Norfolk, it must be owned, presents an unfavorable speci! ters," and the account of Kentucky by Imlay, would seduce

men of America. The characteristics of Virginia in general us into a belief, that innocence, peace, and freedom had deserted the rest of the world for Martha's Vineyard and the alist, and at Norfolk they are exhibited in their least attract

are not such as can delight either the politician or the mot banks of the Ohio. The French travellers, too, almost all tive form. At the time when we arrived the yellow feret from revolutionary motives, have contributed their share to

had not yet disappeared, and every odor that assailed us in the diffusion of this flattering misconception. A visit to the

the streets very strongly accounted for its visitation. country is, however, quite sufficient to correct even the most

9 A trifling attempt at musical composition accompanied enthusiastic prepossession.

this Epistle.

* Bermuda

" 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

TO THE

MARCHIONESS DOWAGER OF DONEGALL.

FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.

“ And her fire-fly lamp I soon shall see,

“ And her paddle I soon shall hear; "Long and loving our life shall be, 1 « And I'll hide the maid in a cypress tree,

When the footstep of death is near.”

Away to the Dismal Swamp he speeds

His path was rugged and sore,
Through tangled juniper, beds of reeds,
Through many a fen, where the serpent feeds,

And man never trod before.

LADY! where'er you roam, whatever land
Woos the bright touches of that artist hand;
Whether you sketch the valley's golden meads,
Where mazy Linth his lingering current leads ;-
Enamor'd catch the mellow hues that sleep,
At eve, on Meillerie's immortal steep;
Or musing o'er the Lake, at day's decline,
Mark the last shadow on that holy shrine,
Where, many a night, the shade of Tell complains
Of Gallia's triumph and Helvetia’s chains ;
Oh! lay the pencil for a mome't by,
Turn from the canvass that creatis e eye,
And let its splendor, like the morning ray
Upon a shepherd's harp, illume my lay.

And, when on earth he sunk to sleep,

If slumber his eyelids knew,
He lay, where the deadly vine doth weep
Its venomous tear and nightly steep

The flesh with blistering dew!

And near him the she-wolf stirr'd the brake,

And the copper-snako breathed in his ear, Til he starting cried, from his dream awake, “Oh! when shall I see the dusky Lake,

" And the white canoe of my dear?”

Yet, Lady, no—for song so rude as mine,
Chase not the wonders of your art divine ;
Still, radiant eye, upon the canvass dwell;
Still, magic finger, weave your potent spell ;
And, while I sing the animated smiles
Of fairy nature in these sun-born isles,
Oh, might the song awake some bright design,
Inspire a touch, or prompt one happy line,
Proud were my soul, to see its humble thought
On painting's mirror so divinely caught;
While wondering Genius, as he lean’d to trace
The faint conception kindling into grace,
Might love my numbers for the spark they throw,
And bless the lay that lent a charm to you.

He saw the Lake, and a meteor bright

Quick over its surface play'd*Welcome,” he said, “my dear one's light!" And the dim shore echoed, for many a night,

The name of the death-cold maid.

Til he hollow'd a boat of the birchen bark,

Which carried him off from shore;
Far, far he follow'd the meteor spark,
The wind was high and the clouds were dark,

And the boat return'd no more.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

But oft, from the Indian hunter's camp

This lover and maid so true
Are seen at the hour of midnight damp
To cross the Lake by a fire-fly lamp,

[ocr errors]

Brought echoes of their own undying fame,
In eloquence of eye, and dreams of song,
They charm’d their lapse of nightless hours along :-
Nor yet in song, that mortal ear might suit,
For every spirit was itself a lute,
Where Virtue waken'd, with elysian breeze,
Pure tones of thought and mental harmonies.

And paddle their white canoe !

1 The Great Dismal Swamp is ten or twelve miles distant • M. Gebelin says, in his Monda Primitif, “Lorsque Strafrom Norfolk, and the Lake in the middle of it (about seven bon crût que les anciens théologiens et poëtes plaçoient les mabes loog) is called Drummond's Pond.

champs élysées dans les isles de l'Océan Atlantique, il n'en* Lady Donegall, I had reason to suppose, was at this time tendit rien à leur doctrine." M. Gebelin's supposition, I have El in Switzerland, where the well-known powers of her no doubt, is the more correct; but that of Strabo is, in the pocil ruust have been frequently awakened.

present instance, most to my purpose. The chapel of William Tell on the Lake of Lucerne.

166

Believe me, Lady, when the zephyrs bland
Floated our bark to this enchanted land,
These leafy isles upon the ocean thrown,
Like studs of emerald o'er a silver zone,-
Not all the charm, that ethnic fancy gave
To blessed arbors o'er the western wave,
Could wake a dream, more soothing or sublime,
Of bowers ethereal, and the Spirit's clime.

Bright rose the morning, every wave was still,
When the first perfume of a cedar hill
Sweetly awaked us, and, with smiling charms,
The fairy harbor woo'd us to its arms.
Gently we stole, before the whisp'ring wind,
Through plantain shades, that round, like awnings,

twined
And kiss'd on either side the wanton sails,
Breathing our welcome to these vernal vales ;
While, far reflected o'er the wave serene,
Each wooded island shed so soft a green
That the enamor'd keel, with whisp'ring play,
Through liquid herbage seem'd to steal its way.

Delicate Ariel ! who, in brighter hours,
Lived on the perfume of these honey'd bowers,
In velvet buds, at evening, loved 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,
For her (whose pencil, if your rainbow wing
Were dimm'd or ruffled by a wintry sky,
Could smooth its feather and relume its dye,)
Descend a moment from your starry sphere,
And, if the lime-treo grove that once was dear,
The sunny wave, the bower, the breezy hill,
The sparkling grotto can delight you still,
Oh cull their choicest tints, their softest light,
Weave all these spells into one dream of night,
And, while the lovely artist slumbering lies,
Shed the warm picture o'er her mental eyes ;
Take for the task her own creative spells,
And brightly show what song but faintly tells.

TO

Never did weary bark more gladly glido,
Or rest its anchor in a lovelier tide!
Along the margin, many a shining dome,
White as the palace of a Lapland gnome,
Brightend the wave ;-in every myrtle grove

GEORGE MORGAN, ESQ.
Secluded bashful, like a shrine of love,

OF NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.S
Some elfin mansion sparkled through the shade;
And, while the foliage interposing play'd,

FROM BERMUDA, JANUARY, 1804.
Lending the scene an ever-changing grace,

Κεινη δ' ηνεμοεσσα και ατροπος, οια θ' άλιπληξ, Fancy would love, in glimpses vague, to trace

Αιθυλης και μαλλον επιδρομος ηεπερ ίπποις, , The flowery capital, the shaft, the porch,"

Ποντω ενεστηρικται. .

CALLIMACH. Hymn in Del. v. 11. And dream of temples, till her kindling torch Lighted me back to all the glorious days

Oh, what a sea of storm we've passid ! Of Attic genius ; and I seem'd to gaze

High mountain waves and foamy showers, On marble, from the rich Pentelic mount,

And battling winds whose savage blast Gracing the umbrage of some Naiad's fount.

But ill agrees with one whose hours

Have pass'd in old Anacreon's bowers.
Then thought I, too, of thee, most sweet of all Yet think not poesy's bright charm
The spirit race that come at poet's call,

Forsook me in this rude alarm: 1 Nothing can be more romantic than the little harbor of well and warmly, but I could never turn his house into a St. George's. The number of beautifuk islets, the singular Grecian temple again. clearness of the water, and the animated play of the graceful 3 This gentleman is attached to the British consulate 21 little boats, gliding forever between the islands, and seeming Norfolk. His talents are worthy of a much higher sphere; to sail from one cedar-gtove into another, formed altogether but the excellent dispositions of the family with whom he as lovely a miniature of nature's beauties as can well be resides, and the cordial repose he enjoys amongst some of the imagined.

kindest hearts in the world, should be almost enough to atone ? This is an allusion which, to the few who are fanciful

to him for the worst caprices of fortune. The consul himenough to indulge in it, renders the scenery of Bermuda par- self, Colonel Hamilton, is one among

the very few instances ticularly interesting. In the short but beautiful twilight or of a man, ardently loyal to his king, and yet beloved by the their spring evenings, the white cottages, scattered over the Americans. His house is the very temple of hospitality, and islands, and but partially seen through the trees that sur

I sincerely pity the heart of that stranger who, warm from round them, assume often the appearance of little Grecian the welcome of such a board, could sit down to write a libel og temples; and a vivid fancy may embellish the poor fisher

his host, in the true spirit of a modern philosophist. See the man's hut with columns such as the pencil of a Claude might Travels of the Duke de la Ronchefoucault Liancourt, vol

. lii imitate. I had one favorite object of this kind in my walks, which the hospitality of ts owner robbed me of, by asking Bermuda, during three of which we were forced to lay-to in me to visit him. He was a plain good man, and received me

a gale of wind. The Driver sloop of war, in which I wenty

4 We were seven days on our passage from Norfolk to

When close they reef'd the timid sail,

The muse and I together sung, When, every plank complaining loud,

With Boreas to make out the trio We labor'd in the midnight gale,

But, bless the little fairy isle ! And ev'n our haughty mainmast bow'd,

How sweetly after all our ills, Even then, in that unlovely hour,

We saw the sunny morning smilo The Muse still brought her soothing power,

Serenely o'er its fragrant hills; And, midst the war of waves and wind,

And felt the pure, delicious flow In song's Elysium lapp'd my mind.

Of airs, that round this Eden blow Nay, when no numbers of my own

Freshly as ev’n the gales that come
Responded to her wakening tone,

O’er our own healthy hills at home.
She open'd, with her golden key,
The casket where my memory lays,

Could you but view the scenery fair,
Those gems of classic poesy,

That now beneath my window lies, Which time has saved from ancient days.

You'd think, that nature lavish'd there

Her purest wave, her softest skies, Take one of these, to Lais sung,

To make a heaven for love to sigh in, I wrote it while my hammock swung,

For bards to live and saints to die in. As one might write a dissertation

Close to my wooded bank below, ['pon “ Suspended Animation!"

In glassy calm the waters sleep,

And to the sunbeam proudly show Sweet' is your kiss, my Lais dear,

The coral rocks they love to steep. Bat, with that kiss I feel a tear

The fainting breezo of morning fails ; Gush from your eyelids, such as start

The drowsy boat moves slowly past, When those who've dearly loved must part.

And I can almost touch its sails Sadly you lean your head to mine,

As loose they flap around the mast. And mute those arms around me twino,

The noontide sun a splendor pours Your hair adown my bosom spread,

That lights up all these leafy shores ; All glittering with the tears you shed.

While his own heav'n, its clouds and beams, In vain I've kiss'd those lids of snow,

So pictured in the waters lie, For still, like ceaseless founts they flow,

That each small bark, in passing, seems
Bathing our cheeks, whene'er they meet.

To float along a burning sky.
Why is it thus ? do tell me, sweet !
Ah, Lais! are my bodings right?

Oh for the pinnace lent to thee,
Am I to lose you ? is to-night

Blest dreamer, who, in vision bright, Our last-go, false to heaven and me!

Didst sail o'er heaven's solar sea
Your very tears are treachery.

And touch at all its isles of light.
Sweet Venus, what a clime he found

Within thy orb's ambrosial round ! -
Such, while in air I floating hung,

There spring the breezes, rich and warm, Such was the strain, Morgante mio!

That sigh around thy vesper car; was built at Bermnda of cedar, and accounted an excellent Ειπε δ' ανειρομενω, τινος oύνεκα δακρυα λειβεις; sea-boat. She was then commanded by my very much re

Acidia μη με λιπης εστε γαρ όρκαπαται. pretied friend Captain Compton, who in July last was killed

? The water is so clear around the island, that the rocks abnard the Lilly in an action with a French privateer. Poor

are seen beneath to a very great depth; and, as we entered Coenpton! be fell a victim to the strange impolicy of allowing the harbor, they appeared to us so near the surface that it such a miserable thing as the Lilly to remain in the service; seemed impossible we should not strike on them. There is so small, crank, and unmanageable, that a well-manned

no necessity, of course, for heaving the lead; and the negro merchantan was at any time a match for her.

pilot, looking down at the rocks from the bow of the ship, iThis epigram is by Paul the Silentiary, and may be found takes her through this difficult navigation with a skill and La the Analecta of Branck, vol. iii. p. 72. As the reading confidence which seem to astonish some of the oldest sailors. there is somewhat different from what I have followed in

9 In Kircher's “Ecstatic Journey to Heaven," Cosmiel, the this raoslation, I shall give it as I had it in my memory at genius of the world, gives Theodidactus a boat of asbestos, the time, and as it is in Heinsius, who, I believe, first pro with which he embarks into the regions of the sun. “Vides Caced the epigram. See his Poemata.

(says Cosmiel) hanc asbestinam naviculam commoditati tuæ Hέο μενεστ. φιλημα το Λαιδος: ηδυ δε αυτων præparatam."— Itinerar. I. Dial. i. cap. 5. This work of Ητιοδινητων δακρυ χεις βλεφαρων, ,

Kircher abounds with strange fancies. Και πολυ κιχλιζουσα σοβεις ευβοστρυχον αιγλην, , 4 When the Genius of the world and his fellow-traveller Ημετερα κεφαλην δηρον ερεισαμενη.

arrive at tne planet Venus, they find an island of loveliness, Μερομενην δ' εφιλησα τα δ' ώς οροσερης απο πηγης, full of odors and intelligences, where angels preside, who Δακρυα μιγνυμενων πιπτε κατα στοματων *

shed the cosmetic influence of this planet over the earth;

« ForrigeFortsæt »