Part 2 out of 3
No cold exemption from her pain
I ever wish'd to know;
Cheer'd with her transport, I sustain
Without complaint her woe.
Above whate'er content can give,
Above the charm of ease,
The restless hopes, and fears that live
With her, have power to please.
Where but for her, were Friendship's power
To heal the wounded heart,
To shorten sorrow's ling'ring hour,
And bid its gloom depart?
'Tis she that lights the melting eye
With looks to anguish dear;
She knows the price of ev'ry sigh,
The value of a tear.
She prompts the tender marks of love
Which words can scarce express;
The heart alone their force can prove,
And feel how much they bless.
Of every finer bliss the source!
'Tis she on love bestows
The softer grace, the boundless force
Confiding passion knows;
When to another, the fond breast
Each thought for ever gives;
When on another, leans for rest.
And in another lives!
Quick, as the trembling metal flies,
When heat or cold impels,
Her anxious heart to joy can rise,
Or sink where anguish dwells!
Yet tho' her soul must griefs sustain
Which she alone, can know;
And feel that keener sense of pain
Which sharpens every woe;
Tho' she the mourner's grief to calm,
Still shares each pang they feel,
And, like the tree distilling balm,
Bleeds, others wounds to heal;
While she, whose bosom fondly true,
Has never wish'd to range;
One alter'd look will trembling view,
And scarce can bear the change;
Tho' she, if death the bands should tear,
She vainly thought secure;
Thro' life must languish in despair
That never hopes a cure;
Tho' wounded by some vulgar mind,
Unconscious of the deed,
Who never seeks those wounds to bind
But wonders why they bleed;--
She oft will heave a secret sigh,
Will shed a lonely tear,
O'er feelings nature wrought so high,
And gave on terms so dear;
Yet who would hard INDIFFERENCE choose,
Whose breast no tears can steep?
Who, for her apathy, would lose
The sacred power to weep?
Tho' in a thousand objects, pain,
And pleasure tremble nigh,
Those objects strive to reach, in vain,
The circle of her eye.
Cold, as the fabled god appears
To the poor suppliant's grief,
Who bathes the marble form in tears,
And vainly hopes relief.
Ah _Greville!_ why the gifts refuse
To souls like thine allied?
No more thy nature seem to lose
No more thy softness hide.
No more invoke the playful sprite
To chill, with magic spell,
The tender feelings of delight,
And anguish sung so well;
That envied ease thy heart would prove
Were sure too dearly bought
With friendship, sympathy, and love,
And every finer thought.
No riches from his scanty store
My lover could impart;
He gave a boon I valued more--
He gave me all his heart!
His soul sincere, his gen'rous worth,
Might well this bosom move;
And when I ask'd for bliss on earth,
I only meant his love.
But now for me, in search of gain
From shore to shore he flies:
Why wander riches to obtain,
When love is all I prize?
The frugal meal, the lowly cot
If blest my love with thee!
That simple fare, that humble lot,
Were more than wealth to me.
While he the dang'rous ocean braves,
My tears but vainly flow:
Is pity in the faithless waves
To which I pour my woe?
The night is dark, the waters deep,
Yet soft the billows roll;
Alas! at every breeze I weep--
The storm is in my soul.
As wand'ring late on Albion's shore
That chains the rude tempestuous deep,
I heard the hollow surges roar
And vainly beat her guardian steep;
I heard the rising sounds of woe
Loud on the storm's wild pinion flow;
And still they vibrate on the mournful lyre,
That tunes to grief its sympathetic wire.
From shores the wide Atlantic laves,
The spirit of the ocean bears
In moans, along his western waves,
Afflicted nature's hopeless cares:
Enchanting scenes of young delight,
How chang'd since first ye rose to sight;
Since first ye rose in infant glories drest
Fresh from the wave, and rear'd your ample breast.
Her crested serpents, discord throws
O'er scenes which love with roses grac'd;
The flow'ry chain his hands compose,
She wildly scatters o'er the waste:
Her glance his playful smile deforms,
Her frantic voice awakes the storms,
From land to land, her torches spread their fires,
While love's pure flame in streams of blood expires.
Now burns the savage soul of war,
While terror flashes from his eyes,
Lo! waving o'er his fiery car
Aloft his bloody banner flies:
The battle wakes--with awful sound
He thunders o'er the echoing ground,
He grasps his reeking blade, while streams of blood
Tinge the vast plain, and swell the purple flood.
But softer sounds of sorrow flow;
On drooping wing the murm'ring gales
Have borne the deep complaints of woe
That rose along the lonely vales--
Those breezes waft the orphan's cries,
They tremble to parental sighs,
And drink a tear for keener anguish shed,
The tear of faithful love when hope is fled.
The object of her anxious fear
Lies pale on earth, expiring, cold,
Ere, wing'd by happy love, one year
Too rapid in its course, has roll'd;
In vain the dying hand she grasps,
Hangs on the quiv'ring lip, and clasps
The fainting form, that slowly sinks in death,
To catch the parting glance, the fleeting breath.
Pale as the livid corse her cheek,
Her tresses torn, her glances wild,--
How fearful was her frantic shriek!
She wept--and then in horrors smil'd:
She gazes now with wild affright,
Lo! bleeding phantoms rush in sight--
Hark! on yon mangled form the mourner calls,
Then on the earth a senseless weight she falls.
And see! o'er gentle Andre's tomb,
The victim of his own despair,
Who fell in life's exulting bloom,
Nor deem'd that life deserv'd a care;
O'er the cold earth his relicks prest,
Lo! Britain's drooping legions rest;
For him the swords they sternly grasp, appear
Dim with a sigh, and sullied with a tear.
While Seward sweeps her plaintive strings,
While pensive round his sable shrine,
A radiant zone she graceful flings,
Where full emblaz'd his virtues shine;
The mournful loves that tremble nigh
Shall catch her warm melodious sigh;
The mournful loves shall drink the tears that flow
From Pity's hov'ring soul, dissolv'd in woe.
And hark, in Albion's flow'ry vale
A parent's deep complaint I hear!
A sister calls the western gale
To waft her soul-expressive tear;
'Tis Asgill claims that piercing sigh,
That drop which dims the beauteous eye,
While on the rack of Doubt Affection proves
How strong the force which binds the ties she loves.
How oft in every dawning grace
That blossom'd in his early hours,
Her soul some comfort lov'd to trace,
And deck'd futurity in flowers!
But lo! in Fancy's troubled sight
The dear illusions sink in night;
She views the murder'd form--the quiv'ring breath,
The rising virtues chill'd in shades of death.
Cease, cease ye throbs of hopeless woe;
He lives the future hours to bless,
He lives, the purest joy to know,
Parental transports fond excess;
His sight a father's eye shall chear,
A sister's drooping charms endear:--
The private pang was Albion's gen'rous care,
For him she breath'd a warm accepted prayer.
And lo! a radiant stream of light
Defending, gilds the murky cloud,
Where Desolation's gloomy night
Retiring, folds her sable shroud;
It flashes o'er the bright'ning deep,
It softens Britain's frowning steep--
'Tis mild benignant Peace, enchanting form!
That gilds the black abyss, that lulls the storm.
So thro' the dark, impending sky,
Where clouds, and fallen vapours roll'd,
Their curling wreaths dissolving fly
As the faint hues of light unfold--
The air with spreading azure streams,
The sun now darts his orient beams--
And now the mountains glow--the woods are bright--
While nature hails the season of delight.
Mild Peace! from Albion's fairest bowers
Pure spirit! cull with snowy hands,
The buds that drink the morning showers,
And bind the realms in flow'ry bands:
Thy smiles the angry passions chase,
Thy glance is pleasure's native grace;
Around thy form th' exulting virtues move,
And thy soft call awakes the strain of love.
Bless, all ye powers! the patriot name
That courts fair Peace, thy gentle stay;
Ah! gild with glory's light, his fame,
And glad his life with pleasure's ray!
While, like th' affrighted dove, thy form
Still shrinks, and fears some latent storm,
His cares shall sooth thy panting soul to rest,
And spread thy vernal couch on Albion's breast.
Ye, who have mourn'd the parting hour,
Which love in darker horrors drew,
Ye, who have vainly tried to pour
With falt'ring voice the last adieu!
When the pale cheek, the bursting sigh,
The soul that hov'ring in the eye,
Express'd the pains it felt, the pains it fear'd--
Ah! paint the youth's return, by grief endear'd.
Yon hoary form, with aspect mild,
Deserted kneels by anguish prest,
And seeks from Heav'n his long-lost child,
To smooth the path that leads to rest!--
He comes!--to close the sinking eye,
To catch the faint, expiring sigh;
A moment's transport stays the fleeting breath,
And sooths the soul on the pale verge of death.
No more the sanguine wreath shall twine
On the lost hero's early tomb,
But hung around thy simple shrine
Fair Peace! shall milder glories bloom.
Lo! commerce lifts her drooping head
Triumphal, Thames! from thy deep bed;
And bears to Albion, on her sail sublime,
The riches Nature gives each happier clime.
She fearless prints the polar snows,
Mid' horrors that reject the day;
Along the burning line she glows,
Nor shrinks beneath the torrid ray:
She opens India's glitt'ring mine,
Where streams of light reflected shine;
Wafts the bright gems to Britain's temp'rate vale,
And breathes her odours on the northern gale.
While from the far-divided shore
Where liberty unconquer'd roves,
Her ardent glance shall oft' explore
The parent isle her spirit loves;
Shall spread upon the western main
--Harmonious concord's golden chain,
While stern on Gallia's ever hostile strand
From Albion's cliff she pours her daring band.
Yet hide the sabre's hideous glare
Whose edge is bath'd in streams of blood,
The lance that quivers high in air,
And falling drinks a purple flood;
For Britain! fear shall seize thy foes,
While freedom in thy senate glows,
While peace shall smile upon thy cultur'd plain,
With grace and beauty her attendant train.
Enchanting visions sooth my sight--
The finer arts no more oppress'd,
Benignant source of pure delight!
On her soft bosom love to rest.
While each discordant sound expires,
Strike harmony! strike all thy wires;
The fine vibrations of the spirit move
And touch the springs of rapture and of love.
Bright painting's living forms shall rise;
And wrapt in Ugolino's woe[A],
Shall Reynolds wake unbidden sighs;
And Romney's graceful pencil flow,
That Nature's look benign pourtrays[B],
When to her infant Shakspeare's gaze
The partial nymph "unveil'd her awful face,"
And bade his "colours clear" her features trace.
[A] "Ugolino's woe"--a celebrated picture by Sir JOSHUA REYNOLDS, taken
[B] "Nature's look benign pourtrays"--a subject Mr. ROMNEY has taken
from GRAY'S Progress of Poesy.
And poesy! thy deep-ton'd shell
The heart shall sooth, the spirit fire,
And all the passion sink, or swell,
In true accordance to the lyre.
Oh! ever wake its heav'nly sound,
Oh! call thy lovely visions round;
Strew the soft path of peace with fancy's flowers,
With raptures bless the soul that feels thy powers.
While Hayley wakes thy magic string,
His shades shall no rude sound profane,
But stillness on her folded wing,
Enamour'd catch his soothing strain:
Tho' genius breathe its purest flame
--Around his lyre's enchanting frame;
Tho' music there in every period roll,
More warm his friendship, and more pure his soul.
While taste refines a polish'd age,
While her own _Hurd_ shall bid us trace
The lustre of the finish'd page
Where symmetry sheds perfect grace;
With sober and collected ray
To fancy, judgment shall display
The faultless model, where accomplish'd art
From nature draws a charm that leads the heart.
Th' historic Muse illumes the maze
For ages veil'd in gloomy night,
Where empire with meridian blaze
Once trod ambition's giddy height:
Tho' headlong from the dang'rous steep
Its pageants roll'd with wasteful sweep,
Her tablet still records the deeds of fame
And wakes the patriot's, and the hero's flame.
While meek philosophy explores
Creation's vast stupendous round;
Sublime her piercing vision soars,
And bursts the system's distant bound.
Lo! mid' the dark deep void of space
A rushing world[A] her eye can trace!--
It moves majestic in its ample sphere,
Sheds its long light, and rolls its ling'ring year.
[A] Alluding to Mr. Herschel's wonderful discoveries, and particularly
to his discovery of a new planet called the Georgium Sidus.
Ah! still diffuse thy genial ray,
Fair Science, on my Albion's plain!
And still thy grateful homage pay
Where Montagu has rear'd her fane;
Where eloquence and wit entwine
Their attic wreath around her shrine;
And still, while Learning shall unfold her store,
With their bright signet stamp the classic ore.
Enlight'ning Peace! for thine the hours
That wisdom decks in moral grace,
And thine invention's fairy powers,
The charm improv'd of nature's face;
Propitious come! in silence laid
Beneath thy olive's grateful shade,
Pour the mild bliss that sooths the tuneful mind,
And in thy zone the hostile spirit bind.
While Albion on her parent deep
Shall rest, may glory light her shore,
May honour there his vigils keep
Till time shall wing its course no more;
Till angels wrap the spheres in fire,
Till earth and yon fair orbs expire,
While chaos mounted on the wasting flame,
Shall spread eternal shade o'er nature's frame.
EDWIN AND ELTRUDA,
A LEGENDARY TALE.
_Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain;
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,
And the free maids, that weave their thread with bones
Do use to chant it. It is silly, sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love,
Like the old age._
SHAKSPEARE'S TWELFTH NIGHT.
EDWIN AND ELTRUDA
A LEGENDARY TALE.
Where the pure Derwent's waters glide
Along their mossy bed,
Close by the river's verdant side,
A castle rear'd its head.
The ancient pile by time is raz'd,
Where Gothic trophies frown'd;
Where once the gilded armour blaz'd,
And banners wav'd around.
There liv'd a chief, well known to fame,
A bold advent'rous knight;
Renown'd for victory; his name
In glory's annals bright.
What time in martial pomp he led
His gallant, chosen train;
The foe, who oft had conquer'd, fled,
Indignant fled, the plain.
Yet milder virtues he possest,
And gentler passions felt;
For in his calm and yielding breast
The soft affections dwelt.
No rugged toils the heart could steel,
By nature form'd to prove
Whate'er the tender mind can feel,
In friendship, or in love.
He lost the partner of his breast,
Who sooth'd each rising care;
And ever charm'd the pains to rest
She ever lov'd to share.
From solitude he hop'd relief.
And this lone mansion sought,
To cherish there his faithful grief,
To nurse the tender thought.
There, to his bosom fondly dear,
An infant daughter smil'd,
And oft the mourner's falling tear
Bedew'd his Emma's child.
The tear, as o'er the babe he hung,
Would tremble in his eye;
While blessings, falt'ring on his tongue,
Were breath'd but in a sigh.
Tho' time could never heal the wound,
It sooth'd the hopeless pain;
And in his child he thought he found
His Emma liv'd again.
Soft, as the dews of morn arise,
And on the pale flower gleam;
So soft Eltruda's melting eyes
With love and pity beam.
As drest in charms, the lonely flower
Smiles in the desert vale;
With beauty gilds the morning hour,
And scents the evening gale;
So liv'd in solitude, unseen,
This lovely, peerless maid;
So grac'd the wild, sequester'd scene,
And blossom'd in the shade.
Yet love could pierce the lone recess,
For there he likes to dwell;
To leave the noisy crowd, and bless
With happiness the cell.
To wing his sure resistless dart,
Where all its force is known;
And rule the undivided heart
Despotic, and alone.
Young Edwin charm'd her gentle breast,
Tho' scanty all his store;
No hoarded treasures he possest,
Yet he could boast of more.
For he could boast the lib'ral heart;
And honour, sense, and truth,
Unwarp'd by vanity or art,
Adorn'd the gen'rous youth.
The maxims of a servile age,
The mean, the selfish care,
The sordid views, that now engage
The mercenary pair;
Whom riches can unite, or part,
To them were still unknown;
For then the sympathetic heart
Was join'd by love alone.
They little knew, that wealth had power
To make the constant rove;
They little knew the weighty dower
Could add one bliss to love.
Her virtues every charm improv'd,
Or made those charms more dear;
For surely virtue to be lov'd
Has only to appear.
Domestic bliss, unvex'd by strife,
Beguil'd the circling hours;
She, who on every path of life
Can shed perennial flowers.
Eltruda, o'er the distant mead,
Would haste, at closing day,
And to the bleating mother lead
The lamb, that chanc'd to stray.
For the bruis'd insect on the waste,
A sigh would heave her breast;
And oft her careful hand replac'd
The linnet's falling nest.
To her, sensations calm as these
Could sweet delight impart;
These simple pleasures most can please
The uncorrupted heart.
Full oft with eager step she flies
To cheer the roofless cot,
Where the lone widow breathes her sighs,
And wails her desp'rate lot.
Their weeping mother's trembling knees,
Her lisping infants clasp;
Their meek, imploring look she sees,
She feels their tender grasp.
Wild throbs her aching bosom swell--
They mark the bursting sigh,
(Nature has form'd the soul to feel)
They weep, unknowing why.
Her hands the lib'ral boon impart,
And much her tear avails
To raise the mourner's drooping heart,
Where feeble utterance fails.
On the pale cheek, where hung the tear
Of agonizing woe,
She bids the cheerful bloom appear,
The tear of rapture flow.
Thus on soft wing the moments flew,
(Tho' love implor'd their stay)
While some new virtue rose to view,
And mark'd each fleeting day.
The youthful poet's soothing dream
Of golden ages past;
The muse's fond, ideal theme,
Was realiz'd at last.
But vainly here we hope, that bliss
Unchanging will endure;
Ah, in a world so vain as this,
What heart can rest secure!
For now arose the fatal day
For civil discord fam'd;
When _York_, from _Lancaster's_ proud sway,
The regal sceptre claim'd.
Each moment now the horrors brought
Of desolating rage;
The fam'd atchievements now were wrought,
That swell th' historic page.
The good old Albert pants, again
To dare the hostile field,
The cause of Henry to maintain,
For him, the launce to wield.
But oh, a thousand gen'rous ties,
That bind the hero's soul;
A thousand tender claims arise,
And Edwin's breast controul.
Tho' passion pleads in Henry's cause,
And Edwin's heart would sway;
Yet honour's stern, imperious laws,
The brave will still obey.
Oppress'd with many an anxious care,
Full oft Eltruda sigh'd;
Complaining that relentless war
Should those she lov'd--divide.
At length the parting morn arose,
In gloomy vapours drest;
The pensive maiden's sorrow flows,
And terror heaves her breast.
A thousand pangs the father feels,
A thousand rising fears,
While clinging at his feet she kneels,
And bathes them with her tears.
A pitying tear bedew'd his cheek,--
From his lov'd child he flew;
O'erwhelm'd; the father could not speak,
He could not say--"adieu!"
Arm'd for the field, her lover
He saw her pallid look,
And trembling seize her drooping frame,
While fault'ring, thus he spoke:
"This cruel tenderness but wounds
"The heart it means to bless;
"Those falling tears, those mournful sounds
"Increase the vain distress."--
"If fate, she answer'd, has decreed
"That on the hostile plain,
"My Edwin's faithful heart must bleed,
"And swell the heap of slain;
"Trust me, my love, I'll not complain,
"I'll shed no fruitless tear;
"Not one weak drop my cheek shall stain,
"Or tell what passes here!
"Oh, let thy fate of others claim
"A tear, a mournful sigh;
"I'll only murmur thy dear name--
Call on my love--and die!"
But ah! how vain for words to tell
The pang their bosoms prov'd;
They only will conceive it well,
They only, who have lov'd.
The timid muse forbears to say
What laurels Edwin gain'd;
How Albert long renown'd, that day
His ancient fame maintain'd.
The bard, who feels congenial fire,
May sing of martial strife;
And with heroic sounds, inspire
The gen'rous scorn of life;
But ill the theme would suit her reed,
Who, wand'ring thro' the grove,
Forgets the conq'ring hero's meed,
And gives a tear to love.
Tho' long the closing day was fled,
The fight they still maintain;
While night a deeper horror shed
Along the darken'd plain.
To Albert's breast an arrow flew,
He felt a mortal wound;
The drops that warm'd his heart, bedew
The cold, and flinty ground.
The foe, who aim'd the fatal dart,
Now heard his dying sighs;
Compassion touch'd his yielding heart,
To Albert's aid he flies.
While round the chief his arms he cast,
While oft he deeply sigh'd,
And seem'd, as if he mourn'd the past,
Old Albert faintly cried;
"Tho' nature heaves these parting groans,
"Without complaint I die;
"Yet one dear care my heart still owns,
"Still feels one tender tie,
"For York, a warriour known to fame,
"Uplifts the hostile spear;
"Edwin the blooming hero's name,
"To Albert's bosom dear.
"Oh, tell him my expiring sigh,
"Say my last words implor'd
"To my despairing child to fly,
"To her he once ador'd"--
He spoke! but oh, what mournful strain,
Whose force the soul can melt,
What moving numbers shall explain
The pang that Edwin felt?
The pang that Edwin now reveal'd--
For he the warriour prest,
(Whom the dark shades of night conceal'd)
Close to his throbbing breast.
"Fly, fly he cried, my touch profane--
"Oh, how the rest impart?
"Rever'd old man!--could Edwin stain
"With Albert's blood the dart!"
His languid eyes he meekly rais'd,
Which seem'd for ever clos'd;
On the pale youth with pity gaz'd,
And then in death repos'd.
"I'll go, the hapless Edwin said,
"And breathe a last adieu!
"And with the drops despair will shed,
"My mournful love bedew.
"I'll go to her for ever dear,
"To catch her melting sigh,
"To wipe from her pale cheek the tear,
"And at her feet to die."--
And as to her for ever dear
The frantic mourner flew,
To wipe from her pale cheek the tear,
And breathe a last adieu;
Appall'd his troubled fancy sees
Eltruda's anguish flow;
And hears in every passing breeze,
The plaintive sound of woe.
Meanwhile the anxious maid, whose tears
In vain would heav'n implore;
Of Albert's fate despairing hears,
But yet had heard no more.
She saw her much-lov'd Edwin near,
She saw, and deeply sigh'd;
Her cheek was bath'd in many a tear;
At length she faintly cried;
"Unceasing grief this heart must prove,
"Its dearest ties are broke;--
"Oh, say, what ruthless arm, my love,
"Could aim the fatal stroke?
"Could not thy hand, my Edwin, thine,
"Have warded off the blow?
"For oh, he was not only mine,
"He was _thy_ father too!"
No more the youth could pangs endure
His lips could never tell;
From death he vainly hop'd a cure,
As cold, on earth he fell.
She flew, she gave her sorrows vent,
A thousand tears she pour'd;
Her mournful voice, her moving plaint,
The youth to life restor'd.
"Why does thy bosom throb with pain
"She cried, my Edwin, speak;
"Or sure, unable to sustain
"This grief, my heart will break.
"Yes, it will break--he fault'ring cried,
"For me will life resign--
"Then trembling know thy father died--
"And know the guilt was mine!"
"It is enough," with short, quick breath,
Exclaim'd the fainting maid;
She spoke no more, but seem'd from death
To look for instant aid.
In plaintive accents, Edwin cries,
"And have I murder'd thee?
"To other worlds thy spirit flies,
"And mine this stroke shall free."
His hand the lifted weapon grasp'd,
The steel he firmly prest:
When wildly she arose, and clasp'd
Her lover to her breast.
"Methought, she cried with panting breath,
"My Edwin talk'd of peace;
"I knew 'twas only found in death,
"And fear'd that sad release.
"I clasp him still! 'twas but a dream--
"Help yon wide wound to close,
"From which a father's spirits stream,
"A father's life-blood flows.
"But see, from thee he shrinks, nor would
"Be blasted by thy touch;--
"Ah, tho' my Edwin spilt thy blood,
"Yet once he lov'd thee much.
"My father, yet in pity stay!--
"I see his white beard wave;
"A spirit beckons him away,
"And points to yonder grave.
"Alas, my love, I trembling hear
"A father's last adieu;
"I see, I see, the falling tear
"His wrinkled cheek bedew.
"He's gone, and here his ashes sleep--
"I do not heave a sigh,
"His child a father does not weep--
"For, ah, my brain is dry!
"But come, together let us rove,
"At the pale hour of night;
"When the moon wand'ring thro' the grove,
"Shall pour her faintest light.
"We'll gather from the rosy bow'r
"The fairest wreaths that bloom:
"We'll cull, my love, each op'ning flower,
"To deck his hallow'd tomb.
"We'll thither, from the distant dale,
"A weeping willow bear;
"And plant a lily of the vale,
"A drooping lily there.
"We'll shun the face of glaring day,
"Eternal silence keep;
"Thro' the dark wood together stray,
"And only live to weep.
"But hark, 'tis come--the fatal time
"When, Edwin, we must part;
"Some angel tells me 'tis a crime
"To hold thee to my heart.
"My father's spirit hovers near--
"Alas, he comes to chide;
"Is there no means, my Edwin dear,
"The fatal deed to hide?
"Yet, Edwin, if th' offence be thine,
"Too soon I can forgive;
"But, oh, the guilt would all be mine,
"Could I endure to live.
"Farewel, my love, for, oh, I faint,
"Of pale despair I die;
"And see, that hoary, murder'd saint
"Descends from yon blue sky.
"Poor, weak old man! he comes my love,
"To lead to heav'n the way;
"He knows not heaven will joyless prove,
"If Edwin here must stay!"--
"Oh, who can bear this pang!" he cry'd,
Then to his bosom prest
The dying maid, who piteous sigh'd,
And sunk to endless rest.
He saw her eyes for ever close,
He heard her latest sigh,
And yet no tear of anguish flows
From his distracted eye.
He feels within his shiv'ring veins,
A mortal chillness rise;
Her pallid corse he feebly strains--
And on her bosom dies.
* * * * *
No longer may their hapless lot
The mournful muse engage;
She wipes away the tears, that blot
The melancholy page.
For heav'n in love, dissolves the ties
That chain the spirit here;
And distant far for ever flies
The blessing held most dear;
To bid the suff'ring soul aspire
A higher bliss to prove;
To wake the pure, refin'd desire,
The hope that rests above!--
While thee I seek, protecting Power!
Be my vain wishes still'd;
And may this consecrated hour
With better hopes be fill'd.
Thy love the powers of thought bestow'd,
To thee my thoughts would soar;
Thy mercy o'er my life has flow'd--
That mercy I adore.
In each event of life, how clear,
Thy ruling hand I see;
Each blessing to my soul more dear,
Because conferr'd by thee.
In every joy that crowns my days,
In every pain I bear,
My heart shall find delight in praise,
Or seek relief in prayer.
When gladness wings my favour'd hour,
Thy love my thoughts shall fill:
Resign'd, when storms of sorrow lower,
My soul shall meet thy will.
My lifted eye without a tear
The lowring storm shall see;
My stedfast heart shall know no fear--
That heart will rest on Thee!
_The day is thine, the night also is thine; thou hast prepared the
light and the sun_.
_Thou hast set all the borders of the earth; thou hast made summer and
PSALM lxxiv. 16, 17.
My God! all nature owns thy sway,
Thou giv'st the night, and thou the day!
When all thy lov'd creation wakes,
When morning, rich in lustre breaks,
And bathes in dew the op'ning flower,
To thee we owe her fragrant hour;
And when she pours her choral song,
Her melodies to thee belong!
Or when, in paler tints array'd,
The evening slowly spreads her shade;
That soothing shade, that grateful gloom,
Can more than day's enliv'ning bloom
Still every fond, and vain desire,
And calmer, purer, thoughts inspire;
From earth the pensive spirit free,
And lead the soften'd heart to Thee.
In every scene thy hands have drest,
In every form by thee imprest,
Upon the mountain's awful head,
Or where the shelt'ring woods are spread;
In every note that swells the gale,
Or tuneful stream that cheers the vale,
The cavern's depth, or echoing grove,
A voice is heard of praise, and love.
As o'er thy work the seasons roll,
And sooth with change of bliss, the soul,
Oh never may their smiling train
Pass o'er the human scene in vain!
But oft as on the charm we gaze,
Attune the wond'ring soul to praise;
And be the joys that most we prize,
The joys that from thy favour rise!
_Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should
not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea,
they may forget, yet will I not forget thee._
ISAIAH xlix. 15.
Heaven speaks! Oh Nature listen and rejoice!
Oh spread from pole to pole this gracious voice!
"Say every breast of human frame, that proves
"The boundless force with which a parent loves;
"Say, can a mother from her yearning heart
"Bid the soft image of her child depart?
"She! whom strong instinct arms with strength to bear
"All forms of ill, to shield that dearest care;
"She! who with anguish stung, with madness wild,
"Will rush on death to save her threaten'd child;
"All selfish feelings banish'd from her breast,
"Her life one aim to make another's blest.
"When her vex'd infant to her bosom clings,
"When round her neck his eager arms he flings;
"Breathes to her list'ning soul his melting sigh,
"And lifts suffus'd with tears his asking eye!
"Will she for all ambition can attain,
"The charms of pleasure, or the lures of gain,
"Betray strong Nature's feelings, will she prove
"Cold to the claims of duty, and of love?
"But should the mother from her yearning heart
"Bid the soft image of her child depart;
"When the vex'd infant to her bosom clings
"When round her neck his eager arms he flings;
"Should she unpitying hear his melting sigh,
"And view unmov'd the tear that fills his eye;
"Should she for all ambition can attain,
"The charms of pleasure, or the lures of gain,
"Betray strong Nature's feelings--should she prove
"Cold to the claims of duty, and of love!
"Yet never will the God, whose word gave birth
"To yon illumin'd orbs, and this fair earth;
"Who thro' the boundless depths of trackless space
"Bade new-wak'd beauty spread each perfect grace;
"Yet when he form'd the vast stupendous whole,
"Shed his best bounties on the human soul;
"Which reason's light illumes, which friendship warms,
"Which pity softens, and which virtue charms;
"Which feels the pure affections gen'rous glow,
"Shares others joy, and bleeds for others woe--
"Oh never will the gen'ral Father prove
"Of man forgetful, man the child of love!"
When all those planets in their ample spheres
Have wing'd their course, and roll'd their destin'd years;
When the vast sun shall veil his golden light
Deep in the gloom of everlasting night;
When wild, destructive flames shall wrap the skies,
When Chaos triumphs, and when Nature dies;
Man shall alone the wreck of worlds survive,
Midst falling spheres, immortal man shall live!
The voice which bade the last dread thunders roll,
Shall whisper to the good, and cheer their soul.
God shall himself his favour'd creature guide
Where living waters pour their blissful tide,
Where the enlarg'd, exulting, wond'ring mind
Shall soar, from weakness and from guilt refin'd;
Where perfect knowledge, bright with cloudless rays,
Shall gild eternity's unmeasur'd days;
Where friendship, unembitter'd by distrust,
Shall in immortal bands unite the just;
Devotion rais'd to rapture breathe her strain,
And love in his eternal triumph reign!
_Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them._
MATT. vii. 12.
Precept divine! to earth in mercy given,
O sacred rule of action, worthy heaven!
Whose pitying love ordain'd the bless'd command
To bind our nature in a firmer band;
Enforce each human suff'rer's strong appeal,
And teach the selfish breast what others feel;
Wert thou the guide of life, mankind might know
A soft exemption from the worst of woe;
No more the powerful would the weak oppress,
But tyrants learn the luxury to bless;
No more would slav'ry bind a hopeless train,
Of human victims, in her galling chain;
Mercy the hard, the cruel heart would move
To soften mis'ry by the deeds of Jove;
And av'rice from his hoarded treasures give
Unask'd, the liberal boon, that want might live!
The impious tongue of falshood then would cease
To blast, with dark suggestions, virtue's peace;
No more would spleen, or passion banish rest
And plant a pang in fond affection's breast;
By one harsh word, one alter'd look, destroy
Her peace, and wither every op'ning joy;
Scarce can her tongue the captious wrong explain,
The slight offence which gives so deep a pain!
Th' affected ease that slights her starting tear,
The words whose coldness kills from lips so dear;
The hand she loves, alone can point the dart,
Whose hidden sting could wound no other heart--
These, of all pains the sharpest we endure,
The breast which now inflicts, would spring to cure.--
No more deserted genius then, would fly
To breathe in solitude his hopeless sigh;
No more would Fortune's partial smile debase
The spirit, rich in intellectual grace;
Who views unmov'd from scenes where pleasures bloom,
The flame of genius sunk in mis'ry's gloom;
The soul heav'n form'd to soar, by want deprest,
Nor heeds the wrongs that pierce a kindred breast.--
Thou righteous Law! whose clear and useful light
Sheds on the mind a ray divinely bright;
Condensing in one rule whate'er the sage
Has proudly taught, in many a labour'd page;
Bid every heart thy hallow'd voice revere,
To justice sacred, and to nature dear!
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.
HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS.
IN TWO VOLUMES.
An Epistle to Dr. Moore, Author of a View of Society and Manners in
France, Switzerland, and Germany.
Part of an irregular Fragment, found in a Dark Passage of the Tower.
Sonnet to Mrs. Siddons.
Queen Mary's Complaint.
Euphelia, an Elegy.
Sonnet to Expression.
Whether dispensing hope, and ease
To the pale victim of disease,
Or in the social crowd you sit,
And charm the group with sense and wit,
Moore's partial ear will not disdain
Attention to my artless strain.
A VIEW OF SOCIETY AND MANNERS
FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, AND GERMANY.
I mean no giddy heights to climb,
And vainly toil to be sublime;
While every line with labour wrought,
Is swell'd with tropes for want of thought:
Nor shall I call the Muse to shed
Castalian drops upon my head;
Or send me from Parnassian bowers
A chaplet wove of fancy's flowers.
At present all such aid I slight--
My heart instructs me how to write.
That softer glide my hours along,
That still my griefs are sooth'd by song,
That still my careless numbers flow
To your successful skill I owe;
You, who when sickness o'er me hung,
And languor had my lyre unstrung,
With treasures of the healing art,
With friendship's ardor at your heart,
From sickness snatch'd her early prey
And bade fair health--the goddess gay,
With sprightly air, and winning grace,
With laughing eye, and rosy face,
Accustom'd when you call to hear,
On her light pinion hasten near,
And swift restore with influence kind,
My weaken'd frame, my drooping mind.
With like benignity, and zeal,
The mental malady to heal,
To stop the fruitless, hopeless tear,
The life you lengthen'd, render dear,
To charm by fancy's powerful vein,
"The written troubles of the brain,"
From gayer scenes, compassion led
Your frequent footsteps to my shed:
And knowing that the Muses' art
Has power to ease an aching heart,
You sooth'd that heart with partial praise,
And I before too fond of lays,
While others pant for solid gain,
Grasp at a laurel sprig--in vain--
You could not chill with frown severe
The madness to my soul so dear;
For when Apollo came to store
Your mind with salutary lore,
The god I ween, was pleas'd to dart
A ray from Pindus on your heart;
Your willing bosom caught the fire,
And still is partial to the lyre.
But now from you at distance plac'd
Where _Epping_ spreads a woody waste;
Tho' unrestrain'd my fancy flies,
And views in air her fabrics rise,
And paints with brighter bloom the flowers,
Bids Dryads people all the bowers,
And Echoes speak from every hill,
And Naiads pour each little rill,
And bands of Sylphs with pride unfold
Their azure plumage mix'd with gold,
My heart remembers with a sigh
That you are now no longer nigh.
The magic scenes no more engage,
I quit them for your various page;
Where, with delight I traverse o'er
The foreign paths you trod before:
Ah not in vain those paths you trac'd,
With heart to feel, with powers to taste!
Amid the ever-jocund train
Who sport upon the banks of Seine,
In your light Frenchman pleas'd I see
His nation's gay epitome;
Whose careless hours glide smooth along,
Who charms MISFORTUNE with a song.
She comes not as on Albion's plain,
With death, and madness in her train;
For here, her keenest sharpest dart
May raze, but cannot pierce the heart.
Yet he whose spirit light as air
Calls life a jest, and laughs at care,
Feels the strong force of pity's voice,
And bids afflicted love rejoice;
Love, such as fills the poet's page
Love, such as form'd the golden age--
FANCHON, thy grateful look I see--
I share thy joys--I weep with thee--
What eye has read without a tear
A tale to nature's heart so dear!
There, dress'd in each sublimer grace
Geneva's happy scene I trace;
Her lake, from whose broad bosom thrown
Rushes the loud impetuous Rhone,
And bears his waves with mazy sweep
In rapid torrents to the deep--
Oh for a Muse less weak of wing,
High on yon Alpine steeps to spring,
And tell in verse what they disclose
As well as you have told in prose;
How wrapt in snows and icy showers,
Eternal winter, horrid lowers
Upon the mountain's awful brow,
While purple summer blooms below;
How icy structures rear their forms
Pale products of ten thousand storms;
Where the full sun-beam powerless falls
On crystal arches, columns, walls,
Yet paints the proud fantastic height
With all the various hues of light.
Why is no poet call'd to birth
In such a favour'd spot of earth?
How high his vent'rous Muse might rise,
And proudly scorn to ask supplies
From the Parnassian hill, the fire
Of verse, _Mont Blanc_ might well inspire.
O SWITZERLAND! how oft these eyes
Desire to view thy mountains rise;
How fancy loves thy steeps to climb,
So wild, so solemn, so sublime;
And o'er thy happy vales to roam,
Where freedom rears her humble home.
Ah, how unlike each social grace
Which binds in love thy manly race,
The HOLLANDERS phlegmatic ease
Too cold to love, too dull to please;
Who feel no sympathetic woe,
Nor sympathetic joy bestow,
But fancy words are only made
To serve the purposes of trade,
And when they neither buy, nor sell,
Think silence answers quite as well.
Now in his happiest light is seen
VOLTAIRE, when evening chas'd his spleen,
And plac'd at supper with his friends,
The playful flash of wit descends--
Of names renown'd you clearly shew
The finer traits we wish to know--
To Prussia's martial clime I stray
And see how FREDERIC spends the day;
Behold him rise at dawning light
To form his troops for future fight;
Thro' the firm ranks his glances pierce,
Where discipline, with aspect fierce,
And unrelenting breast, is seen
Degrading man to a machine;
My female heart delights to turn
Where GREATNESS seems not quite so stern:
Mild on th' IMPERIAL BROW she glows,
And lives to soften human woes.
But lo! on ocean's stormy breast
I see majestic VENICE rest;
While round her spires the billows rave,
Inverted splendours gild the wave.
Fair liberty has rear'd with toil,
Her fabric on this marshy soil.
She fled those banks with scornful pride,
Where classic Po devolves her tide:
Yet here her unrelenting laws
Are deaf to nature's, freedom's cause.
Unjust! they seal'd FOSCARI'S doom,
An exile in his early bloom.
And he, who bore the rack unmov'd,
Divided far from those he lov'd,
From all the social hour can give,
From all that make it bliss to live,
These worst of ills refus'd to bear,
And died, the victim of despair.
An eye of wonder let me raise,
While on imperial ROME I gaze.
But oh! no more in glory bright
She fills with awe th' astonish'd sight:
Her mould'ring fanes in ruin trac'd,
Lie scatter'd on _Campania's_ waste.
Nor only these--alas! we find
The wreck involves the human mind:
The lords of earth now drag a chain
Beneath a pontiff's feeble reign;
The soil that gave a _Cato_ birth
No longer yields heroic worth,
Whose image lives but on the bust,
Or consecrates the medal's rust:
Yet if no heart of modern frame
Glows with the antient hero's flame,
The dire _Arena's_ horrid stage
Is banish'd from this milder age;
Those savage virtues too are fled
At which the human feelings bled.
While now at _Virgil's_ tomb you bend,
O let me on your steps attend!
Kneel on the turf that blossoms round,
And kiss, with lips devout, the ground.
I feel how oft his magic powers
Shed pleasure on my lonely hours.
Tho' hid from me the classic tongue,
In which his heav'nly strain was sung,
In _Dryden's_ tuneful lines, I pierce
The shaded beauties of his verse.
Bright be the rip'ning beam, that shines
Fair FLORENCE, on thy purple vines!
And ever pure the fanning gale
That pants in Arno's myrtle vale!
Here, when the barb'rous northern race,
Dire foes to every muse, and grace,
Had doom'd the banish'd arts to roam
The lovely wand'rers found a home;
And shed round _Leo's_ triple crown
Unfading rays of bright renown.
Who e'er has felt his bosom glow
With knowledge, or the wish to know;
Has e'er from books with transport caught
The rich accession of a thought;
Perceiv'd with conscious pride, he feels
The sentiment which taste reveals;
Let all who joys like these possess,
Thy vale, enchanting FLORENCE bless--
O had the arts benignant light
No more reviv'd from Gothic night,
Earth had been one vast scene of strife,
Or one drear void had sadden'd life;
Lost had been all the sage has taught,
The painter's sketch, the poet's thought,
The force of sense, the charm of wit,
Nor ever had your page been writ;
That soothing page, which care beguiles,
And dresses truth in fancy's smiles:
For not with hostile step you prest
Each foreign soil, a thankless guest!
While travellers who want the skill
To mark the shapes of good and ill,
With vacant stare thro' Europe range,
And deem all bad, because 'tis strange;
Thro' varying modes of life, you trace
The finer trait, the latent grace,
And where thro' every vain disguise
You view the human follies rise,
The stroke of irony you dart
With force to mend, not wound the heart.
While intellectual objects share
Your mind's extensive view, you bear,
Quite free from spleen's incumb'ring load,
The little evils on the road--
So, while the path of life I tread,
A path to me with briers spread;
Let me its tangled mazes spy
Like you, with gay, good-humour'd eye;
Nor at those thorny tracts repine,
The treasure of your friendship, mine.
Grange Hill, Essex.
IRREGULAR [Transcriber's note: Original "IRREGULAL"] FRAGMENT,
FOUND IN A
DARK PASSAGE OF THE TOWER.
The following Poem is formed on a very singular and sublime idea. A
young gentleman, possessed of an uncommon genius for drawing, on
visiting the Tower of London, passing one door of a singular
construction, asked what apartment it led to, and expressed a desire to
have it opened. The person who shewed the place shook his head, and
answered, "Heaven knows what is within that door--it has been shut for
ages."--This answer made small impression on the other hearers; but a
very deep one on the imagination of this youth. Gracious Heaven! an
apartment shut up for ages--and in the Tower!
"Ye Towers of Julius! London's lasting shame,
By many a foul and midnight murder fed."
Genius builds on a slight foundation, and rears beautiful structures on
"the baseless fabric of a vision." The above transient hint dwelt on the
young man's fancy, and conjured into his memory all the murders which
history records to have been committed in the Tower; Henry the Sixth,
the Duke of Clarence, the two young princes, sons of Edward the Fourth,
Sir Thomas Overbury, &c. He supposes all their ghosts assembled in this
unexplored apartment, and to these his fertile imagination has added
several others. One of the spectres raises an immense pall of black
velvet, and discovers the remains of a murdered royal family, whose
story is lost in the lapse of time.--The gloomy wildness of these
images struck my imagination so forcibly, that endeavouring to catch the
fire of the youth's pencil, this Fragment was produced.
FOUND IN A
DARK PASSAGE OF THE TOWER.
Rise, winds of night! relentless tempests rise!
Rush from the troubled clouds, and o'er me roll;
In this chill pause a deeper horror lies,
A wilder fear appals my shudd'ring soul.--
'Twas on this day[A], this hour accurst,
That Nature starting from repose
Heard the dire shrieks of murder burst--
From infant innocence they rose,
And shook these solemn towers!--
I shudd'ring pass that fatal room
For ages wrapt in central gloom;--
I shudd'ring pass that iron door
Which Fate perchance unlocks no more;
Death, smear'd with blood, o'er the dark portal lowers.
[A] The anniversary of the murder of Edward the Fifth, and his brother
Richard, Duke of York.
How fearfully my step resounds
Along these lonely bounds:--
Spare, savage blast! the taper's quiv'ring fires,
Deep in these gath'ring shades its flame expires.
Ye host of heaven! the door recedes--
It mocks my grasp--what unseen hands
Have burst its iron bands?
No mortal force this gate unbarr'd
Where danger lives, which terrors guard--
Dread powers! its screaming hinges close
On this dire scene of impious deeds--
My feet are fix'd!--Dismay has bound
My step on this polluted ground--
But lo! the pitying moon, a line of light
Athwart the horrid darkness dimly throws,
And from yon grated window chases night.--
Ye visions that before me roll,
That freeze my blood, that shake my soul!
Are ye the phantoms of a dream?
Pale spectres! are ye what ye seem?
They glide more near--
Their forms unfold!
Fix'd are their eyes, on me they bend--
Their glaring look is cold!
And hark!--I hear
Sounds that the throbbing pulse of life suspend.
"No wild illusion cheats thy sight
"With shapes that only live in night--
"Mark the native glories spread
"Around my bleeding brow!
"The crown of Albion wreath'd my head,
"And Gallia's lilies[A] twin'd below--
"When my father shook his spear,
"When his banner sought the skies,
"Her baffled host recoil'd with fear,
"Nor turn'd their shrinking eyes:--
"Soon as the daring eagle springs
"To bask in heav'n's empyreal light,
"The vultures ply their baleful wings,
"A cloud of deep'ning colour marks their flight,
"Staining the golden day:--
"But see! amid the rav'nous brood
"A bird of fiercer aspect soar--
"The spirits of a rival race[B],
"Hang on the noxious blast, and trace,
"With gloomy joy his destin'd prey;
"Inflame th' ambitious with that thirsts for blood,
"And plunge his talons deep in kindred gore.
[A] Henry the Sixth, crowned when an infant, at Paris.
[B] Richard the Third, by murdering so many near relations, seemed to
revenge the sufferings of Henry the Sixth, and his family, on the
House of York.
"View the stern form that hovers nigh,
"Fierce rolls his dauntless eye
"In scorn of hideous death;
"Till starting at a brother's[A] name,
"Horror shrinks his glowing frame,
"Locks the half-utter'd groan,
"And chills the parting breath:--
"Astonish'd Nature heav'd a moan!
"When her affrighted eye beheld the hands
"She form'd to cherish, rend her holy bands.
[A] Richard the Third, who murdered his brother the Duke of Clarence.
"Look where a royal infant[A] kneels,
"Shrieking, and agoniz'd with fear,
"He sees the dagger pointed near
"A much-lov'd brother's[B] breast,
"And tells an absent mother all he feels:--
"His eager eye he casts around;
"Where shall her guardian form be found,
"On which his eager eye would rest!
"On her he calls in accents wild,
"And wonders why her step is slow
"To save her suff'ring child!--
"Rob'd in the regal garb, his brother stands
"In more majestic woe--
"And meets the impious stroke with bosom bare;
"Then fearless grasps the murd'rer's hands,
"And asks the minister of hell to spare
"The child whose feeble arms sustain
"His bleeding form from cruel Death.--
"In vain fraternal fondness pleads
"For cold is now his livid cheek,
"And cold his last, expiring breath:
"And now with aspect meek,
"The infant lifts his mournful eye,
"And asks with trembling voice, to die,
"If death will cure his heaving heart of pain--
"His heaving heart now bleeds--
"Foul tyrant! o'er the gilded hour
"That beams with all the blaze of power,
"Remorse shall spread her thickest shroud;
"The furies in thy tortur'd ear
"Shall howl, with curses deep, and loud,
"And wake distracting fear!
"I see the ghastly spectre rise,
"Whose blood is cold, whose hollow eyes
"Seem from his head to start--
"With upright hair, and shiv'ring heart,
Dark o'er thy midnight couch he bends,
And clasps thy shrinking frame, thy impious spirit rends."
[A] Richard Duke of York.
[B] Edward the Fifth.
Now his thrilling accents die--
His shape eludes my searching eye--
But who is he[A], convuls'd with pain,
That writhes in every swelling vein?
Yet in so deep, so wild a groan,
A sharper anguish seems to live
Than life's expiring pang can give:--
He dies deserted, and alone--
If pity can allay thy woes
Sad spirit they shall find repose--
Thy friend, thy long-lov'd friend is near!
He comes to pour the parting tear,
He comes to catch the parting breath--
Ah heaven! no melting look he wears,
His alter'd eye with vengeance glares;
Each frantic passion at his soul,
'Tis he has dash'd that venom'd bowl
With agony, and death.
[A] Sir Thomas Overbury, poisoned in the Tower by Somerset.
But whence arose that solemn call?
Yon bloody phantom waves his hand,
And beckons me to deeper gloom--
Rest, troubled form! I come--
Some unknown power my step impels
To horror's secret cells--
"For thee I raise this sable pall,
"It shrouds a ghastly band:
"Stretch'd beneath, thy eye shall trace
"A mangled regal race:
"A thousand suns have roll'd, since light
"Rush'd on their solid night--
"See, o'er that tender frame grim famine hangs,
"And mocks a mother's pangs!
"The last, last drop which warm'd her veins
"That meagre infant drains--
"Then gnaws her fond, sustaining breast--
"Stretch'd on her feeble knees, behold
"Another victim sinks to lasting rest--
"Another, yet her matron arms would fold
"Who strives to reach her matron arms in vain--
"Too weak her wasted form to raise,
"On him she bends her eager gaze;
"She sees the soft imploring eye
"That asks her dear embrace, the cure of pain--
"She sees her child at distance die--
"But now her stedfast heart can bear
"Unmov'd, the pressure of despair--
"When first the winds of winter urge their course
"O'er the pure stream, whose current smoothly glides,
"The heaving river swells its troubled tides;
"But when the bitter blast with keener force,
"O'er the high wave an icy fetter throws,
"The harden'd wave is fix'd in dead repose."--
"Say who that hoary form? alone he stands,
"And meekly lifts his wither'd hands--
"His white beard streams with blood--
"I see him with a smile, deride
"The wounds that pierce his shrivel'd side,
"Whence flows a purple flood--
"But sudden pangs his bosom tear--
"On one big drop, of deeper dye,
"I see him fix his haggard eye
"In dark, and wild despair!
"That sanguine drop which wakes his woe--
"Say, spirit! whence its source."--
"Ask no more its source to know--
"Ne'er shall mortal eye explore
"Whence flow'd that drop of human gore,
"Till the starting dead shall rise,
"Unchain'd from earth, and mount the skies,
"And time shall end his fated course."--
"Now th' unfathom'd depth behold--
"Look but once! a second glance
"Wraps a heart of human mold
"In death's eternal trance."
"That shapeless phantom sinking slow
"Deep down the vast abyss below,
"Darts, thro' the mists that shroud his frame,
"A horror, nature hates to name!"--
"Mortal, could thine eyes behold
"All those sullen mists enfold,
"Thy sinews at the sight accurst
"Would wither, and thy heart-strings burst;
"Death would grasp with icy hand
"And drag thee to our grizly band--
"Away! the sable pall I spread,
"And give to rest th' unquiet dead--
"Haste! ere its horrid shroud enclose
"Thy form, benumb'd with wild affright,
"And plunge thee far thro' wastes of night,
"In yon black gulph's abhorr'd repose!"--
As starting at each step, I fly,
Why backward turns my frantic eye,
That closing portal past?--
Two sullen shades half-seen, advance!--
On me, a blasting look they cast,
And fix my view with dang'rous spells,
Where burning frenzy dwells!--
Again! their vengeful look--and now a speechless--
IN SIX CANTOS.
While, bending at thy honour'd shrine, the Muse
Pours, MONTAGU, to thee her votive strain,
Thy heart will not her simple notes refuse,
Or chill her timid soul with cold disdain.
O might a transient spark of genius fire
The fond effusions of her fearful youth;
Then should thy virtues live upon her lyre,
And give to harmony the charm of truth.
Vain wish! they ask not the imperfect lay,
The weak applause her trembling accents breathe;
With whose pure radiance glory blends her ray,
Whom fame has circled with her fairest wreathe.
Thou, who while seen with graceful step to tread
Grandeur's enchanted round, can'st meekly pause
To rend the veil obscurity had spread
Where his lone sigh deserted Genius draws;
To lead his drooping spirit to thy fane,
Where attic joy the social circle warms;
Where science loves to pour her hallow'd strain,
Where wit, and wisdom, blend their sep'rate charms.
And lure to cherish intellectual powers,
To bid the vig'rous tides of genius roll,
Unfold, in fair expansion, fancy's flowers,
And wake the latent energies of soul;
Far other homage claims than flatt'ry brings
The little triumphs of the proud to grace:
For deeds like these a purer incense springs,
Warm from the swelling heart its source we trace!
Yet not to foster the rich gifts of mind
Alone can all thy lib'ral cares employ;
Not to the few those gifts adorn, confin'd,
They spread an ampler sphere of genuine joy.
While pleasure's lucid star illumes thy bower,
Thy pity views the distant storm that bends
Where want unshelter'd wastes the ling'ring hour;--
And meets the blessing that to heav'n ascends!
For this, while fame thro' each successive age
On her exulting lip thy name shall breathe;
While woman, pointing to thy finish'd page,
Claims from imperious man the critic wreathe;
Truth on her spotless record shall enroll
Each moral beauty to her spirit dear;
Paint in bright characters each grace of soul--
While admiration pours a gen'rous tear.
HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS.
London, April the 24th, 1784.
That no readers of the following work may entertain expectations
respecting it which it would ill satisfy, it is necessary to acquaint
them, that the author has not had the presumption even to attempt a
full, historical narration of the fall of the Peruvian empire. To
describe that important event with accuracy, and to display with
clearness and force the various causes which combined to produce it,
would require all the energy of genius, and the most glowing colours of
imagination. Conscious of her utter inability to execute such a design,
she has only aimed at a simple detail of some few incidents that make a
part of that romantic story; where the unparalleled sufferings of an
innocent and amiable people, form the most affecting subjects of true
pathos, while their climate, totally unlike our own, furnishes new and